The Films of Andrew Dominik: THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Andrew Dominik’s second feature film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an unmitigated masterpiece.  After testing out his prowess on the fleet, trim Chopper Dominik went for a stately sprawl for his followup and pulled it off with remarkable precision.  A slow, meditative western with a commercially unwieldly title (Brad Pitt reportedly made it part of his deal that the studio wasn’t allowed to abbreviate it)  -  the film was facing an uphill commercial battle from the beginning, despite the starpower of its lead.  Not knowing how to market such a thing, Warner Bros. released Jesse James into a scant 301 theaters in the fall of 2007 to the tune of a $3.9 million domestic gross.

Casey Affleck to Star in Boston Marathon Bombing Drama BOSTON STRONG

by     Posted 23 days ago

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Though this season of HBO’s The Newsroom will be addressing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the event is now poised to get the big screen treatment.  Variety reports that Casey Affleck has attached himself to star in and produce Boston Strong, a drama based on the book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge.  The story follows the massive manhunt that ensued after the tragic bombing, as well as the effect the event had on the city as a whole.  The project boasts a screenplay by Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy and is expected to go out to studios next week, where I imagine it will find a solid home.

Boston Strong marks only the second project thus far on which Affleck is a full-fledged producer, with the other being his 2010 Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Still Here.  As an actor, Affleck is currently shooting the Coast Guard drama The Finest Hours for Disney and recently wrapped John Hillcoat’s ensemble Triple Nine.  He’ll next be seen in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar.

Six New INTERSTELLAR Images Featuring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Christopher Nolan

by     Posted 36 days ago

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Empire Magazine promised more Interstellar material after the outlet unveiled the covers for its November edition and now it’s making due on that promise by releasing six brand new images from the film.  The movie stars Matthew McConaughey and involves a team of explorers who come across a wormhole to “surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”

The new batch of Interstellar images includes two behind-the-scenes shots and four brand new stills from the film.  Hit the jump to check them all out.  The film opens in 2D and IMAX on November 7th, and also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet and Matt Damon.

THE FINEST HOURS Starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck and Holliday Grainger Nearing Production

by     Posted 51 days ago

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We first found out that Chris Pine was in talks for Disney’s The Finest Hours back in April, but now the project has its core cast and is set to begin production this month in Quincy and Chatham, Massachusetts.  The screenplay comes from Academy Award nominees Paul Tamsay, Eric Johnson and Scott Silver and is based on the Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias book, The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue, which recalls what happened when two oil tankers were pummeled by a vicious nor’easter in the winter of 1952 and the Coast Guard was dispatched to rescue them.  Hit the jump for more.

Samuel L. Jackson to Lead BLACK PHANTOM, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon Team for BIG LITTLE LIES, Casey Affleck Set in FINEST HOURS, and Trio Join SCRIPTURE

by     Posted 85 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Samuel L. Jackson is in talks to replace Jamie Foxx in the action comedy The Black Phantom.
  • Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are teaming up to develop to star in the dark comedy Big Little Lies.
  • Casey Affleck is in talks to join Disney’s period Coast Guard rescue film The Finest Hours.
  • Eric Bana, Theo James, and Jack Reynor are in negotiations to join director Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of The Secret Scripture.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting news.

New Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR Starring Matthew McConaughey

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new Interstellar trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi drama.  The film stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Even though I know most of the visual effects are still in development, I’m surprised at how much focus was on the emotional side of the film.  Like production designer Nathan Crawley said, this is really a father-daughter story, and I like the emphasis on the emotion.  But there’s also a darkness in here that the characters aren’t just leaving Earth for the sake of exploration; they’re leaving Earth because it’s a lost cause.

Hit the jump to watch the new Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne HathawayJessica ChastainCasey AffleckMichael Caine, David OyelowoWes BentleyJohn LithgowEllen BurstynTopher GraceDavid GyasiMackenzie FoyBill IrwinTimothée Chalamet, and Matt Damon.  Interstellar opens November 7th.

Jay Roach in Talks to Direct Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Yankees Wife Swap Film THE TRADE

by     Posted 175 days ago

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Though Ben Affleck and Matt Damon haven’t appeared together onscreen in starring roles for quite some time, the duo have been trying to get another project off the ground.  A few years ago, it looked as though the reunion would happen on a film based on the 1970s baseball scandal involving the swapping of wives between New York Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich.  Titled The Trade, the idea was that Damon would direct and star opposite Affleck and Casey Affleck, but their busy schedules forced the project into limbo.  Now it appears that Warner Bros. is reviving the project with a new director at the helm: Jay Roach.

Hit the jump for more, including what roles Damon and Affleck will fill in this new iteration of the project.

Mark Romanek in Talks to Direct BOSTON STRANGLER Starring Casey Affleck

by     Posted 295 days ago

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Though we sadly won’t be seeing Never Let Me Go director Mark Romanek’s take on Cinderella, it appears that the filmmaker has found a promisingly dark piece of material for his next project.  Variety reports that Romanek is in negotiations to take the helm of the crime drama Boston Strangler for Warner Bros.  Casey Affleck came aboard to executive produce and star in the project last year, and the film tells the true story of a detective trying to solve the titular case of a notorious Boston serial killer in the early 1960s.  The tone is described as being in the vein of Seven and Zodiac, which is fitting given that Romanek is good friends with David Fincher.

The One Hour Photo filmmaker has flirted with larger properties in recent years, having developed both The Wolfman and Disney’s upcoming Cinderella before dropping out of both films over creative differences, but Boston Strangler feels like a film on which Romanek could comfortably stretch his creative instincts.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 320 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar.  The sci-fi pic stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Though this teaser trailer features very, very little footage from the still in-production film, it’s a surprisingly moving piece that draws on the human spirit’s drive to keep moving forward.  I’ll say no more and let you experience the teaser for yourself, but the prospect of seeing Nolan further explore these themes in the full film is definitely exciting.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt DamonInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

Michael B. Jordan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Casey Affleck in Talks to Star in John Hillcoat’s TRIPLE NINE

by     Posted 321 days ago

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Director John Hillcoat (The Road) is assembling one hell of a cast for his upcoming crime thriller Triple NineThe Wrap reports that current awards contenders Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as well as the incredibly talented Casey Affleck are all in talks to star alongside Oscar winners Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett in the film.  Talk about a killer lineup.  Scripted by Matt Cook, the story centers on a group of thieves who plan to murder a cop in order to draw attention away from the heist they’ll be pulling on the other side of town.  The film has been in development for some time with Charlie Hunnam previously attached to play the targeted cop, but Affleck is now in talks to take on that role.

Ejiofor is mulling over an offer to play the mastermind behind the heist, while Jordan is in talks to play a young cop working with the thieves who partners up with Affleck’s character with the intention of setting him up.  Production will begin next year on what is shaping up to be an incredibly promising project.

TOP 5: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Trailer, OUT OF THE FURNACE, Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, Sundance 2014, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 327 days ago

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This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey‘s The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of “first times”. As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90′s will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don’t want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it’s a class final that’s worth 75% of your overall grade.

Home entertainment recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for director Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Out of the Furnace interviews with Christian Bale and more, Gal Gadot landing the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, Sundance 2014 announcing its competition lineup along with a slew of first/new images from many of the entries, and the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters in May 2016. For more, check out a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Casey Affleck Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Shooting Entirely On Location, Why He Doesn’t Work More Often, and More

by     Posted 331 days ago

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Opening this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. 

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Casey Affleck.  He talked about how shooting the film on location added a lot to the story, how he prepares for a role, the amount of takes he likes to do, why he doesn’t work more often, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming Entirely On Location, and More

by     Posted 332 days ago

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Acclaimed writer and director Scott Cooper has long been drawn to the personal stories of people living on the margins of society.  His new film, Out of the Furnace, takes audiences on a tragic yet inspiring journey into the heart of a fading American Dream where fate, family and loyalty drive an ordinary man to take heroic measures to fight for those he loves.  Opening in theaters on December 6th, the film was shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania and features an impressive cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.

At the film’s recent press day, Bale, Affleck, Harrelson, Saldana and Cooper revealed what appealed to them about the story and its characters, how shooting on location helped inform their performances, why it’s important to be cool and calm when playing an intense character, how trust is essential when a high level of physicality is involved, what Bale and Affleck did to create an authentic chemistry between their characters, what it was like for Cooper to bring the story to life with such a talented group of actors, and why he feels it’s important to be true to yourself and to your artistic world view.  Hit the jump to read the interview.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Casey Affleck Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming in Pittsburgh, Playing a War Veteran with PTSD, and Working with Writer-Director Scott Cooper

by     Posted 346 days ago

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From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Casey Affleck (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) stars as Rodney, a veteran of the Iraq War who returns home with post-traumatic stress disorder, which complicates his search for a job.

During a set visit, Affleck took some time out of his shooting schedule to talk to our group of reporters about filming in Pittsburgh, researching for his part, and working with writer-director Scott Cooper.  Also starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.

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