This time last week I was two movies into the triple feature I teased the last time we met. While I can’t say I was overly impressed by Gangster Squad, both Zero Dark Thirty and Django Unchained made their respective cases as qualified Best Picture nominees. Of the two, Zero Dark‘s unrelenting final act not only made it my top pick of the day but also provided some of the most sustained tension I can remember experiencing in a movie theater. Having now seen it for myself, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with those who have voiced their disbelief at Kathryn Bigelow‘s Best Director Oscar snub.
Zero Dark Thirty praise aside, on tap in this week’s Top 5 are The Last Stand interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, and more, a live-action remake of Toy Story, a new trailer for Primer writer/director/star/almost literally everything else Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color, Mama interviews with Guillermo del Toro and more, and all of our Sundance 2013 coverage to date. For your reading pleasure, a recap and link to each awaits after the jump.
Having scared up substantial interest with their short film Mama, Andrés and Barbara Muschietti have managed to expand the horror story into an even scarier full-fledged feature. The picture centers on two young sisters (Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse) who are discovered alive and well in the woods after disappearing five years earlier. When their uncle (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend (Jessica Chastain) bring the girls home to raise, they discover that something else has traveled home with them. For more on the film, here are four clips.
During a recent video interview, the Muschietti siblings talked about the process of taking the core concept of the Mama short and developing it into a feature-length film, drawing inspiration from nature in its most brutal and most loving aspects (including the essential concept of imprinting in young animals and children) and revealed that the eventual Blu-ray could have up to forty minutes of deleted scenes. Hit the jump to watch our video interview with the Muschiettis for Mama, opening January 18th.
While I’d recommend going into Andrés Muschietti’s Mama as unspoiled as possible to get the most out of the film’s great scares, this new featurette does give viewers a better sense of what the picture is all about. Featuring commentary from executive producer Guillermo del Toro and stars Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the video gives a bit of insight into the nature of the two sisters (played by Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse), some real-world inspiration for the film and some info on the title character. Unfortunately, it also spoils a few of the picture’s best jump moments and gives away, in my opinion, too much of the monstrously-designed title character. Steer clear if you’re already locked in for Mama when it debuts on January 18th; hit the jump to check it out if you still need convincing.
Guillermo del Toro is set to start your new year off with a scare. As executive producer on the horror film Mama, del Toro recently recorded an introduction to the short film by the same name that inspired him to get involved with the feature-length production. The short was written and directed by Andres Muschietti, who will direct the feature and also wrote the script along with Barbara Muschietti and Neil Cross. If you like what you see in the following short, I hear you’ll love what the team has in store for the feature-length picture. Get a sample by watching the trailers for Mama here and here.
Starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jessica Chastain, Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse, Mama opens January 18th. Hit the jump to check out the short with del Toro’s introduction.