New to Blu-ray: THE JUNGLE BOOK, SHERLOCK Season 3, ENDER’S GAME, and More

by     Posted 198 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include a Diamond Edition of Walt Disney’s last film, the latest season of one of the most engrossing shows currently on television, a Best Picture winner, a current Oscar nominee, and more.  Briefly:

75 Songs Eligible for Best Original Song Oscar Including Tracks from FROZEN, THE GREAT GATSBY, and ANCHORMAN 2

by     Posted 255 days ago

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After unveiling the list of scores that will be competing for the Best Original Score Oscar last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has now unveiled the list of 75 songs that are in contention for Best Original Song.  The fantastic “Let It Go” from Frozen is already an early favorite, and five songs are eligible from Baz Luhrmann’s music-heavy The Great Gatsby including “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Rey and “Over the Love” by Florence and the Machine.  As for pleasant surprises, it would be most excellent to see the emotional rap “So You Know What It’s Like” from Short Term 12 land a nomination.  Upcoming films that have eligible original songs include “Doby” from Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and “The Moon Song” from Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of songs eligible for the Best Original Song Oscar.  The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16th, followed by the Oscar ceremony on March 2nd.

Bret McKenzie Talks AUSTENLAND, THE HOBBIT, THE MUPPETS Sequel, the Flight of the Conchords Tour with Dave Chappelle, What He Collects, and Much More

by     Posted 1 year, 12 days ago

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Opening this weekend in limited release is director Jerusha Hess’ comedy AustenlandThe film stars Keri Russell as a woman in her 30s who is so obsessed with the Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Darcy that no real-life man can compare, and her love life pays the toll. She decides to spend her life savings on a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England.  Once there, she quickly realizes that finding the perfect Regency-era gentleman may be much more of a challenge than she ever could have imagined.  The film also stars Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart, James Callis, and Bret McKenzie as the male love interest.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an extended video interview with McKenzie.  During our wide-ranging conversation he talked about making Austenland, his Sundance experience, how it feels to be an Oscar winner (he won for writing a song for The Muppets movie), the upcoming Flight of the Conchords tour with Dave Chappelle, The Hobbit movies, what he collects, and more.  In addition, McKenzie talked about Muppets Most Wanted, the songs, if he has seen a rough cut, his relationship with Disney, and future projects – revealing he’s writing a fairy tale comedy musical similar to Labyrinth.   Hit the jump to watch.

JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, James Callis and Ricky Whittle Talk AUSTENLAND, Regency-Era Appeal, Wearing the Period Costumes, and Memorable Filming Moments

by     Posted 1 year, 14 days ago

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Based on the novel by Shannon Hale (who also co-wrote the script with director Jerusha Hess), Austenland is a quirky romantic comedy about the 30-something and single Jane Hayes (Keri Russell), whose obsession with all things Jane Austen takes her on a trip to an English resort that caters to just that very thing.  But once there, Jane quickly realizes that finding the perfect Regency-era gentleman may be much more of a challenge than she ever could have imagined.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars JJ Feild (“Mr. Henry Nobley”), Bret McKenzie (“Martin”), James Callis (“Colonel Andrews”) and Ricky Whittle (“Captain George East”) talked about the appeal of the Regency era for American audiences, their most memorable moments making the film, what it was like to wear this wardrobe, being a part of a female-dominated movie, their favorite Jane Austen novel, and what their version of Austenland would be.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.  

Keri Russell and Producer Stephenie Meyer Talk AUSTENLAND and the Lasting Appeal of Jane Austen Stories

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago

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Based on the novel by Shannon Hale (who also co-wrote the script with director Jerusha Hess), Austenland is a quirky romantic comedy about the 30-something and single Jane Hayes (Keri Russell), whose obsession with all things Jane Austen takes her on a trip to an English resort that caters to just that very thing.  But once there, Jane quickly realizes that finding the perfect Regency-era gentleman may be much more of a challenge than she ever could have imagined.

During a conference at the film’s press day, actress Keri Russell talked about what she’s been obsessed with, why Jane Austen stories still appeal to people, her favorite Mr. Darcy, preparing for the role and how difficult corsets are to wear when you’re pregnant, while producer Stephenie Meyer (who wrote the Twilight books) talked about her responsibilities as the film’s producer, what she likes about producing movies, what she’s been obsessed with, who inspires her as a writer, and how easy it was to work with Keri Russell.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

First Trailer for AUSTENLAND Starring Keri Russell, Bret McKenzie, and Jane Seymour

by     Posted 1 year, 51 days ago

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The first trailer for director Jerusha Hess’ upcoming comedy Austenland has made its way online.  The film stars Keri Russell as a woman in her 30s who is so obsessed with the Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Darcy that no real-life man can compare, and her love life pays the toll. She decides to spend her life savings on a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England.  The pic premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to mixed reviews (watch Steve’s video blog reaction here), but this trailer promises an interesting take on the romantic comedy genre with Flight of the ConchordsBret McKenzie as the male love interest.  Jennifer Coolidge looks to be bringing her comedy A-game as always, and I’m interested to see if the film has anything interesting to say about the world of intense fandom or if it just uses the premise as a set up for a love story.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart and James CallisAustenland opens in limited release on August 16th.

Release Date Shuffle: I, FRANKENSTEIN Pushed to January 2014, INSIDIOUS 2 Moved Up, AUSTENLAND Set for 8/16, WALK OF SHAME Opens 9/20

by     Posted 1 year, 141 days ago

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A few release date shuffles have been announced.  Briefly:

  • I, Frankenstein – Director Stuart Beattie’s graphic novel adaptation has been pushed back yet again from this coming September to the less-than-promising date of January 24th.  The Aaron Eckhart-starrer will now open opposite the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sam Worthington thriller Ten.
  • Insidious: Chapter 2 – The Patrick Wilson/Rose Byrne-fronted horror sequel will now open a week earlier on September 13th, opposite Machete Kills and Battle of the Year.
  • Austenland – Sony Pictures Classic has set Jerusha Hess’ Sundance comedy for a limited release in NY and LA on August 16th.  The film stars Keri Russell and Jemaine Clement.
  • Walk of Shame – Director Steven Brill’s comedy, which stars Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden, has been slated for wide release on September 20th.  The film will open opposite the Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Prisoners and Ron Howard’s racing drama Rush.
  • Escape Plan - The Arnold Schwarzenegger/Sylvester Stallone thriller previously known as The Tomb has been moved up from September 27th to September 13th.

Keri Russell Talks THE AMERICANS, Her Character’s Backstory, Working in the 80s Time Period, Fight Scenes, AUSTENLAND, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 210 days ago

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The Americans is FX’s new period drama about the complex and complicated marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington, D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan was elected President.  Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell) have a network of spies and informants under their control, while their two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati) – know nothing about their parents’ true identity.  Even though Philip’s growing affinity for America’s values and way of life leads to tension with Elizabeth, the two must work together to keep their new FBI agent neighbor (Noah Emmerich) from discovering who they really are.

During this recent interview with Keri Russell, the actress talked about why she thinks her character will be relatable for viewers, what she knew about her character’s backstory, how her dance background really helps her with the stunts and fight scenes, what it’s like to have the show set in the ‘80s, working with co-star Matthew Rhys, and that the relationship between their characters will be a huge element of the story.  She also talked about what attracted her to the feature film Austenland, about a woman so obsessed with the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice that she travels to a Jane Austen theme park, in search of her perfect gentleman.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Sundance 2013 Acquisitions: DON JON’S ADDICTION, THE SPECTACULAR NOW, FRUITVALE, THE LOOK OF LOVE, and AUSTENLAND

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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Steve, Matt, and I are currently braving the cold of Park City for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and following the premieres of some of the major films this past weekend, a few high profile acquisitions are taking place.  Briefly:

  • Don Jon’s AddictionJoseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, a comedy that follows the life of a guido addicted to porn, has been picked up by Relativity Media for a record-breaking $4 million, per Variety.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • The Spectacular Now – This coming of age drama from director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer) garnered some great buzz, and A24 films has picked up the domestic rights.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Fruitvale – Fresh off its premiere on Saturday night, this Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan-fronted drama is currently the “buzz” film that everyone’s rushing to see.  Variety reports that the Weinstein Company is closing in on a deal worth north of $2 million following a heated bidding war.
  • The Look of Love – IFC Films has picked up the rights to Michael Winterbottom’s comedy starring Steve Coogan.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Austenland – The new comedy from Jerusha Hess and starring Keri Russell may be been picked up by Exclusive and FilmDistrict. [Update: Talks with FilmDistrict and Exclusive fell through, but Heat Vision reports that Sony Pictures Worldwide has now acquired distribution rights.]

Hit the jump to read the press releases.

Sundance 2013: Video Blog Reviews of Jerusha Hess’ AUSTENLAND & John Krokidas’ KILL YOUR DARLINGS

by     Posted 1 year, 221 days ago

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Two of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival were writer/director John KrokidasKill Your Darlings and Jerusha Hess’ AustenlandKill Your Darlings focuses on the origins of the Beat movement and follows the friendships of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) as they’re tested by the murder of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), a man in his thirties who is desperately in love with Ginsberg’s friend Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan).  Meanwhile, Austenland centers on a woman in her 30’s (Keri Russell) who is so obsessed with the Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Darcy that no real-life man can compare, and her love life pays the toll. She decides to spend her life savings on a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England. The supporting cast includes Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart and James Callis.

Shortly after seeing both films I recorded two video blogs with Peter from /Film.  Hit the jump for our thoughts.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Lineups for U.S. and World Competitions and NEXT Sections

by     Posted 1 year, 272 days ago

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The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is a little under two months away, and the first exciting lineups of films have been announced.  Today the lineups for U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions were unveiled, as well as the lineup for the out-of-competitions NEXT section.  A few highlights include the Daniel Radcliffe-fronted Kill Your Darlings, the outlaw pic Ain’t Them Bodies Saints with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, the strong ensemble The Spectacular Now, Primer director Shane Carruth’s new film Upstream Color, and many, many more.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineups, and be sure to check back here on Collider in January for our in-depth coverage from the festival including reviews and interviews.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.

Creators Jared and Jerusha Hess Talk NAPOLEON DYNAMITE Animated Series and AUSTENLAND

by     Posted 2 years, 217 days ago

From creators/executive producers Jared and Jerusha Hess, Napoleon Dynamite is an animated series on Fox, based on the hit film and following the comic adventures of America’s most awesomely awkward teenager and his offbeat family and friends, as they navigate small-town life in rural Idaho. With the original cast of the film (including Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell, Sandy Martin and Diedrich Bader) back to voice their roles, the first set of episodes also features an impressive guest cast with Amy Poehler, Jennifer Coolidge, Sam Rockwell and Jemaine Clement.

While at the TCA Winter Press Tour, Jared and Jerusha Hess sat down with Collider for this exclusive interview and talked about how the animated series came about, how excited the cast was to reprise their roles, how freeing it was to be able to do anything with the story in an animated version, and that Jared is doing about half a dozen different voices himself. They also talked about what their next projects might be, and Jerusha talked about her directorial debut, Austenland (based on the novel about a woman obsessed with the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, who travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman), starring Keri Russell and produced by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. Check out what they had to say after the jump:

Jerusha Hess to Direct Romantic Comedy AUSTENLAND

by     Posted 3 years, 54 days ago

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Jerusha Hess, co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, is set to make her directorial debut with the indie romantic comedy Austenland. Starring Keri Russell, J.J. Field (Captain America: The First Avenger) and Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords), Heat Vision reports that the film will also mark the producing debut of Twilight author Stephanie Meyer.

Based on the book by Shannon Hale, Austenland centers on a woman in her 30’s who is so obsessed with the Pride and Prejudice character Mr. Darcy that no real-life man can compare, and her love life pays the toll. She decides to spend her life savings on a trip to a Jane Austen-themed resort in England. The supporting cast includes Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour, Rupert Vansittart and James Callis. Filming begins this week. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.

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