THE LAST 5 YEARS Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Finding a new way to tell a love story is tough.  Relationships are what hold us together, and the wide range of emotions felt throughout them—passion, attraction, anger, jealousy—are what remind us that we are indeed human.  Director Richard LaGravenese’s feature film adaption of the stage musical The Last 5 Years attempts to tell this kind of universal story in a unique fashion, as the story tracks the life of a relationship between a man and a woman from beginning to end simultaneously. We begin at the end from the woman’s point of view, and then trade off every other scene with the man’s point of view, which starts at the beginning of the relationship.  On top of that, the whole thing is a full-on, genuine musical.  While the catchy songs and a fantastic performance from Anna Kendrick make the film enjoyable, some odd directorial choices and an unfortunate miscasting of the male half of the duo prevent the film from ever fully coming together.

THE LAST FIVE YEARS Clip: Anna Kendrick Sings Her Heart Out

by     Posted One week ago

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RADiUS has already snatched up the North American rights to Richard LaGravenese’s The Last Five Years and scheduled it to go head-to-head with Fifty Shades Grey on Valentine’s Day 2015, so the promotional effort is underway and now we’ve got the very first clip from the film.

The Last Five Years is based on the off-Broadway show and stars Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as Cathy Hyatt and Jamie Wellerstein.  The narrative covers their entire five-year relationship, but while Jamie’s portion starts when they first meet, Cathy’s goes in reverse, kicking off with the end of their marriage and moving backwards.  Hit the jump to check out The Last Five Years clip.

TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, TRACERS and THE LAST 5 YEARS

by     Posted 11 days ago

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The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival is only just getting started, but we’ve already got a few new acquisitions to tell you about.  Here they are at a glance:

  • Nearly eight months after premiering at Sundance, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows just scored a US distribution deal with Unison Films and made a US digital, DVD and broadcast distribution arrangement with The Orchard.
  • Saban Capital Group, Inc. has acquired the North American distribution rights to the Taylor Lautner action thriller, Tracers.
  • The North American rights to The Last 5 Years starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan just went to RADiUS.  The company will release the film on Valentine’s Day 2015.

Hit the jump for more on all three films.

INTO THE WOODS Trailer: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, and More Get Musical

by     Posted 47 days ago

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Disney has released the first trailer for the fairy tale musical Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago).  James Corden and Emily Blunt star as a couple who encounter Brothers Grimm characters while on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family.  This is very much a teaser trailer, which unfortunately means we don’t get to hear any of the songs just yet; this trailer is very much focused on introducing the cast and the magical world.  Marshall’s first foray into tentpole moviemaking with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a bit of a misfire, but Into the Woods looks to combine the large-canvas sensibilities of that film with the theatrical quality of Chicago.  He’s assembled an incredibly talented cast to bring Into the Woods to fruition, so if he can deliver from a directorial standpoint (and if the songs turn out well), we could be in for something quite special.

Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski, and opens December 25th.  Hit the jump to watch the first Into the Woods trailer, and click here to see the recently released images.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Reveal Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf

by     Posted 48 days ago

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A batch of new Into the Woods images from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical has landed online.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters.  Today’s new images reveal quite a few of these, including Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, and Chris Pine as Prince Charming.  It’s an absolutely stacked cast, and Marshall had everyone sing live on set, so it should be interesting to see the final result come together this Christmas.  With these images debuting today, I imagine a first trailer is right around the corner.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods images, and click here to watch the first trailer.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie MauzyInto the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

First Images from THE HUMBLING, THE KEEPING ROOM, THE LAST FIVE YEARS, and LEARNING TO DRIVE

by     Posted 56 days ago

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Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • The Humbling (Directed by Barry Levinson) starring Al Pacino, Mandy Patinkin, Dianne Wiest, and Greta Gerwig.
  • The Keeping Room (Directed by Daniel Barber) starring Sam WorthingtonBrit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru, and Kyle Soller.
  • The Last Five Years (Directed by Richard LaGravenese) starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.
  • Learning to Drive (Directed by Isabel Coixet) starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

LIFE AFTER BETH Trailer and Posters: Dane DeHaan Tries to Keep Love Alive with a Dead Aubrey Plaza

by     Posted 82 days ago

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A24 has released the Life After Beth trailer online along with a couple of posters.  The movie follows a young man (Dane DeHaan) whose girlfriend (Aubrey Plaza) comes back from the dead, but now has an appetite for human flesh.  Even though I heard mixed things about the movie after it premiered at Sundance, this trailer makes it look delightfully weird and darkly comic.  I really like the cast, and I hope that I’m more positive on the movie than my peers.

Hit the jump to check out the Life After Beth trailer and posters.  The film also stars John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Anna KendrickLife After Beth will premiere on DirecTV on July 17th before opening in theaters on August 15th.  Click here to read Adam’s interview with DeHaan and Plaza and writer/director Jeff Baena.

Exclusive HAPPY CHRISTMAS TV Spot Featuring Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham, and Joe Swanberg

by     Posted 83 days ago

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It’s never too early to wish someone a Happy Christmas, especially when we have an exclusive look at a new TV spot from writer-director Joe Swanberg’s film to share with you.  In case you missed the dramedy’s trailer, the film centers on an immature, hard-partying twentysomething (Anna Kendrick) who moves in with her brother (Swanberg), his novelist wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their young baby, only to complicate their otherwise enjoyable lives.  For fans of Kendrick’s work in Swanberg’s 2013 film Drinking Buddies, this is an interesting role for her to take on since she gets to play the other side of the coin.

Also starring Lena Dunham and Mark Webber, Happy Christmas will be available VOD on June 26th and opens in theaters on July 25th.  Hit the jump to watch our exclusive TV spot for Happy Christmas.

First HAPPY CHRISTMAS Trailer Starring Anna Kendrick, Mark Webber, and Lena Dunham

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures has released the first Happy Christmas trailer for Drinking Buddies writer/director Joe Swanberg’s new comedy.  The film stars Anna Kendrick as an immature, hard-partying twentysomething who moves in with her brother (Swanberg), his novelist wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their young baby, only to shake up their idyllic life.  Swanberg’s films are always heavily improvised, and the loose nature of the dialogue in Happy Christmas is evident in this first trailer.  The cast is talented and Swanberg is coming off his most successful film yet with Drinking Buddies, so hopefully this one makes for a solid follow-up.

Hit the jump to watch the Happy Christmas trailer.  The film also stars Mark Webber and Lena DunhamHappy Christmas will be available VOD on June 26th and opens in theaters on July 25th.

The Barden Bellas Reunite in New Image from PITCH PERFECT 2 Rehearsals

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Pitch Perfect surprised a lot of people when it was released, not only because it made a lot of money ($113 million worldwide against a budget of just $17 million), but also because it was actually really funny.  As such, it’s no surprise that Universal is now moving forward with a sequel, and rehearsals for Pitch Perfect 2 are currently underway in Baton Rogue as filming is expected to begin soon.  Producer and actress Elizabeth Banks takes over directorial duties this time around, and co-star Rebel Wilson has now shared an image of Banks with the reunited Barden Bellas (plus new addition Hailee Steinfeld) getting down to business on the rehearsal stage.  It’s admittedly not much, but those looking forward to the follow-up should find the tease amusing.

Hit the jump to check out the Pitch Perfect 2 image.  The film also stars Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Adam Devine, and Katey SagalPitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters on May 15, 2015.

John Krasinski to Direct and Star in THE HOLLARS; Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, and Richard Jenkins Co-Star

by     Posted 134 days ago

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John Krasinski has signed on to direct his second feature, The Hollars.  Krasinski will also star and recruited a great supporting cast in Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, and Richard Jenkins.  Per Deadline, Krasinski plays an aspiring artist who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his Middle America hometown shortly before his mother (Martindale) is scheduled to have brain surgery: “There he’s forced to navigate the crazy life he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, his father (Jenkins), and his over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of the operation.”

James C. Strouse (The Winning Season) scripted The Hollars, described as a “blend of Steel Magnolias and Garden State.”  The Garden State comparison is striking given the shared NBC sitcom roots of Krasinski and Zach Braff.  Then again, dramas love to send the protagonist back home to create conflict.  I love this cast, so I hope Krasinski can produce a fresh spin on a common tale.

Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell Team for MR. RIGHT; Emma Thompson and Nick Offerman Join WOODS; Rachel Weisz and More Set for YOUTH

by     Posted 134 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell will co-star in the hit man romantic comedy Mr. Right, scripted by Max Landis.
  • Emma Thompson, Nick Offerman, and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show) have joined Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in the indie comedy A Walk in the Woods.
  • Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel, and Paul Dano will star in director Paolo Sorrentino’s drama Youth opposite Michael Caine.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting stories.

Christopher Plummer to Lead REMEMBER; Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, More Join DIGGING FOR FIRE; Anton Yelchin Set for VINCENT & ROXXY

by     Posted 139 days ago

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With the Cannes Film Festival on the horizon, a number of casting announcements are being made.  Here’s the latest:

  • Christopher Plummer will lead director Atom Egoyan’s thriller Remember alongside Martin Landau.
  • Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg just wrapped his latest film, Digging for Fire, as Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Mike Birbiglia, and Jenny Slate have been revealed as additions to the cast.
  • Anton Yelchin will star in the indie Vincent & Roxxy alongside Megalyn Echikunwoke.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

Forest Whitaker to Spar with Jake Gyllenhaal in SOUTHPAW; Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington and More Join CAKE

by     Posted 168 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting announcements to attend to this evening.  First up, The Wrap reports that Forest Whitaker is in talks to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in director Antoine Fuqua’s (Training Day) boxing drama Southpaw.  The story revolves around a left-handed boxer who wins a title but suffers various tragedies in his personal life, all while trying to win back the love of his daughter.  Gyllenhaal plays the titular fighter, while Whitaker will fill the other lead as a former fighter who now works as a trainer.  The script was penned by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter and at one point had Eminem attached to star.  Production begins this summer.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning the Jennifer Aniston indie Cake.

Lionsgate Acquires Twisted Sundance Dark Comedy THE VOICES Starring Ryan Reynolds

by     Posted 195 days ago

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One of my favorite films I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival took me completely by surprise in the best way possible, and now you too will be able to enjoy the delightful wickedness of director Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis) dark comedy The Voices.  Lionsgate has acquired US distribution for the pic, which stars Ryan Reynolds as a loveable psychopath who converses with his dog, cat, and other disembodied parts in his droll apartment.  As I said in my review, Reynolds is positively stellar in the lead role and Satrapi mesmerizes as she takes us inside the mind of one twisted individual, basking in all of the colorful eccentricities of his point of view.

No details are given as to when Lionsgate will release The Voices, but the studio feels like a smart fit for the genre-bending pic.  The film also stars Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver in supporting roles.  Read the full press release after the jump.

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