Michelle Monaghan Joins PIXELS; Gwendoline Christie Replaces Lily Rabe in THE HUNGER GAMES Finale; Amy Ryan and Jillian Bell Get GOOSEBUMPS with Jack Black

by     Posted 17 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Michelle Monaghan is the latest addition to Chris Columbus’ Pixels as the female lead.  Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, and Josh Gad also star.
  • Gwendoline Christie will replace Lily Rabe in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
  • Amy Ryan and Jillian Bell have signed on for Rob Letterman’s Goosebumps adaptation, starring Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, and Odeya Rush.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

BREATHE IN Review

by     Posted 24 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  Breathe In opens today in limited release.]

The family drama genre is one that’s very easy to get wrong, and it’s rare to find a film of this kind that is genuinely moving without feeling overly manipulative or sappy.  Writer/director Drake Doremus took the Sundance Film Festival by storm in 2011 with his young love drama Like Crazy, and he returns in 2013 with an intimate take on the family drama genre that marks a major step forward for the filmmaker.  In chronicling the story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New York family, Doremus’ Breathe In completely wraps the viewer up in the emotions of its characters and doesn’t let go for 98 captivating, intense, and ultimately heartbreaking minutes.

Kevin Spacey to Play Winston Churchill, Meryl Streep Set for Jonathan Demme/Diablo Cody Project, and Amy Ryan Joins MONSTER TRUCKS

by     Posted 27 days ago

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We have a few interesting casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Kevin Spacey is adding another politician to his roster, as he is set to take on the role of Winston Churchill in the drama Captain of the Gate.
  • Meryl Streep is attached to star in a new project with Jonathan Demme onboard to direct from a script by Diablo Cody.
  • Amy Ryan has been added to the live-action/CG hybrid film Monster Trucks.

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned casting.

New Trailer for DEVIL’S KNOT Starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth

by     Posted 42 days ago

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A new trailer for director Atom Egoyan’s real-life drama Devil’s Knot has been released online.  The film is based on the story of the West Memphis Three, who were wrongfully accused and convicted of the murder of three young boys in Arkansas in the 1990s.  Reese Witherspoon stars as the mother of one of the victims while Colin Firth plays a private investigator hired to look into the defense case.  I caught the pic at TIFF last fall and found it to be a massive disappointment.  The film has no real focus and the performances—by talented actors, mind you—are bafflingly atrocious.  Moreover, the story of Witherspoon’s character verges into exploitation territory.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Alessandro Nivola, Stephen Moyer, Dane DeHaanMireille EnosBruce GreenwoodElias Koteas, and Amy Ryan.  Devil’s Knot opens in theaters May 9th.

New Trailer and Poster for Drake Doremus’ BREATHE IN Starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones

by     Posted 101 days ago

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It’s been a bit of a wait for fans to see Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus’ follow-up feature, but Breathe In finally opens stateside in just a couple of months.  A new trailer and poster for the pic have been released online, and they both do a nice job of capturing the tone of the intimate family drama. Guy Pearce stars as a former rock musician and current music teacher whose life begins to unravel when he develops an attraction towards a young foreign exchange student (Felicity Jones) that is staying with his family for her final semester.  I was a big fan of the pic when I caught it at last year’s Sundance Film Festival (read my review here), and Pearce and Jones both give captivating, magnetic performances as the two leads.  The supporting cast is great as well, especially relative newcomer Mackenzie Davis.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and poster, and click here to read my extensive interview with Doremus about the pic.  The film also stars Amy Ryan and Kyle MacLachlanBreathe In opens in the U.S. on March 23rd.

ESCAPE PLAN Review

by     Posted 186 days ago

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Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger would really like it to be the 1980s, or at the very least, the 90s.  For Stallone, he had Tango & Cash, Cliffhanger, and Demolition Man.  For Schwarzenegger, he had Total Recall, Terminator 2, and True Lies.  Over the past several years, they’ve tried to rejuvenate their careers by giving the fans the team-up films they didn’t get 20-30 years ago.  Their past outings with The Expendables movies have been straight fan service with Schwarzenegger spouting lines like “I’m back!”  Escape Plan is their first real movie together, and while it’s a nice evolution for Schwarzenegger, the movie is caught between playing it straight and acknowledging the goofiness of its premise.  It eventually breaks free to embrace its B-movie personality, but it has a hard time getting there.

TIFF 2013: DEVIL’S KNOT Review

by     Posted 223 days ago

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The injustice perpetrated against The West Memphis Three—three teenagers who in 1994 were wrongly convicted of the brutal slayings of three young boys in Memphis, Arkansas—was powerfully revealed in the 1996 documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.  Directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky proceed to keep interest in the case alive with their two sequels, and the accused were finally released from jail in 2011.  Berlinger and Sinofsky did the hard work and compelling filmmaking that captured the drama and tragedy of the case.  Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot takes that hard work and turns it into a based-on-true-events movie that’s not only pointless, but also exploitative and disrespectful.

New Full Trailer for Larry David’s CLEAR HISTORY Starring Jon Hamm, Danny McBride, and Bill Hader

by     Posted 297 days ago

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The first full trailer for writer/star Larry David’s new HBO film Clear History has made its way online.  David plays a hipster marketing exec named Nathan who sells his shares to a start-up over a fight with his boss (Jon Hamm), only to miss out on billions when the company’s new product becomes a smashing success.  We’ve see the footage of David in his long beard previously, but this new trailer reveals that the majority of Clear History takes place 10 years after David’s character sells his shares.  Nathan, now clean-shaven and very different in appearance, runs into his old boss at his island off the coast of Massachusetts, and proceeds to plot his revenge.

The trailer makes the film look like a feature-length episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is in no way a bad thing, and its prospects are buoyed by promising appearances from the likes of Danny McBride, Bill Hader, and Michael Keaton.  Hit the jump to watch the full trailer.  Directed by Greg MottolaClear History premieres on HBO August 10th.

UK Trailer and Images for Drake Doremus’ BREATHE IN Starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones

by     Posted 298 days ago

The first UK trailer for Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus’ new film Breathe In has been released online.  The film stars Guy Pearce as a former rock musician and current music teacher whose life begins to unravel when he develops an attraction towards a young foreign exchange student (Felicity Jones) that is staying with his family for her final semester.  The pic was one of my favorites of this year’s Sundance Film Festival (read my full review here), and it boasts some absolutely devastating performances from the entire cast, including Amy Ryan as Pearce’s wife.  Doremus tackles the family drama genre with a powerful intimacy that makes the story’s events that much more impactful, and the always-reliable Pearce truly shines in the lead role.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and some images, and click here to read my extended interview with Doremus from Sundance.  The film also stars Mackenzie Davis and Kyle MacLachlanBreathe In opens in the UK on July 19th and will be released in the US later this year.

First Trailer for ESCAPE PLAN Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone

by     Posted 298 days ago

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The first trailer has been released for the action film, Escape Plan.  Formerly titled “The Tomb“, Sylvester Stallone stars as Ray Breslin, the world’s foremost authority on structural security. Breslin is framed and incarcerated in a prison of his own master design, and must escape in order to find out who framed him and why.  Stallone is joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who plays a fellow inmate and accomplice in the jail break.  The trailer makes the flick look like an old-school action flick, and one that could be a whole lot of fun.  Schwarzenegger and Stallone could have played these roles twenty years ago, but they don’t seem too old to play them now.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Jim Caviezel, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Amy Ryan.  Escape Plan opens September 27th.

Production Begins on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN Starring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Zach Galifianakis

by     Posted 1 year, 5 days ago

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Filming is underway on Alejandro González Iñárritu’s black comedy Birdman.  Fox Searchlight and New Regency announced today that principal photography has begun in New York City on Birdman, which centers on an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Michael Keaton stars as the struggling actor, and he’s surrounded by a fantastic ensemble cast that includes Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough.

Iñárritu co-wrote the original script alongside Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo, and is also producing the film with John Lesher.  Hit the jump to read the full press release.

Robert Duvall to Star Alongside Robert Downey Jr. in THE JUDGE; Amy Ryan Joins Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BIRDMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 39 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of exciting casting stories to share this afternoon.  First up, Robert Duvall is signing on to co-star with Robert Downey Jr. in the dramedy The Judge.  The folks at Variety report that Duvall is in final negotiations to play Downey Jr.’s father in the pic, which centers on an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral where he learns that his estranged father, a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, is suspected of murder.  Last fall we heard that Warner Bros. was attempting to coax Jack Nicholson to take on the father role and Tommy Lee Jones was apparently also in the mix, but Duvall won out in the end.

Hit the jump for more, including who’s in the running for the female lead and casting news for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s star-studded comedy Birdman.

Sundance 2013: BREATHE IN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 91 days ago

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The family drama genre is one that’s very easy to get wrong, and it’s rare to find a film of this kind that is genuinely moving without feeling overly manipulative or sappy.  Writer/director Drake Doremus took the Sundance Film Festival by storm in 2011 with his young love drama Like Crazy, and he returns in 2013 with an intimate take on the family drama genre that marks a major step forward for the filmmaker.  In chronicling the story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New York family, Doremus’ Breathe In completely wraps the viewer up in the emotions of its characters and doesn’t let go for 98 captivating, intense, and ultimately heartbreaking minutes.

Larry David’s HBO Comedy Feature Now Titled CLEAR HISTORY; All-Star Cast to Include Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, Kate Hudson, Bill Hader and More

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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It looks like Larry David’s comedy feature set up to debut on HBO finally has a name: Clear History.  More important than that oddly ambiguous title is the all-star cast that David and director Greg Mottola (Superbad) have lined up.  We previously reported that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Michael Keaton (Batman) were attached to star, but a slew of others have joined the production.  Clear History will also feature Kate Hudson, Bill Hader, Amy Ryan, Eva Mendes, JB Smoove, Danny McBride and Phillip Michael Hall.  Hit the jump for more on Clear History.

Casting Call: Bill Paxton in Talks to Join Mark Wahlberg in 2 GUNS; Amy Ryan and Dane DeHaan Eye West Memphis 3 Film DEVIL’S KNOT

by     Posted 1 year, 311 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon.  First up, Bill Paxton is lining up a big project to follow the success of his History Channell miniseries Hatfield & McCoysVariety reports that Paxton is in talks to join the crime actioner 2 Guns.  Based on the graphic novel by Steven Grant, the film stars Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington and centers on a DEA agent and an undercover naval intelligence officer who unknowingly investigate each other as each is stealing money from the mob.  Contraband director Baltasar Kormakur is onboard to direct, and we recently learned that Paul Patton is also in talks to star.  Paxton will apparently play a high-ranking CIA operative.

Hit the jump for promising casting news concerning the West Memphis 3 film Devil’s Knot, starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.

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