HBO Greenlights David Simon Miniseries SHOW ME A HERO Starring Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener; Paul Haggis to Direct

by     Posted 118 days ago

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HBO is back in business with The Wire and Treme creator David Simon.  Though the insanely smart and wonderfully talented writer is currently developing a Martin Luther King Jr. miniseries America: In the King Years at the network, it appears that a miniseries of a different sort will materialize first.  HBO has now given the greenlight to Show Me a Hero, which is based on the non-fiction book by Lisa Belkin and tells the story of Nick Wasicsko, the youngest big-city mayor in the country in the 1960s who was forced by a federal court to build a number of low-income housing units in white neighborhoods of his town, Yonkers, New York.  The result of the effort was the eruption of tensions in the city and the destruction of his political future.  Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener are poised to lead the six-hour drama.

So we’ve got David Simon writing a racially charged miniseries with Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener starring.  Sounds fantastic right?  Well then we have the director: Paul Haggis.  More after the jump.

FX Passes on Charlie Kaufman’s Pilot HOW AND WHY

by     Posted 127 days ago

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The prospect of seeing an original TV series from the mind of Charlie Kaufman was almost too good to be true.  Alas, after producing a pilot for a comedy called How and Why, FX has decided to pass on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. scribe’s potential series, per Deadline.  The show was to star John Hawkes as a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.  The promising cast also included Michael Cera, Sally Hawkins, and Catherine Keener, but apparently it wasn’t up to snuff for the network.  Hit the jump for more.

JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA .5 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 141 days ago

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The problem with alternative comedy cuts is fairly self-evident: they’re made up of footage deemed less than what was actually released. Thus by their very make-up, they are less funny than whatever original preferred version preceded them.  Bad Grandpa .5 makes a valiant attempt to overcome these short-comings (at least for the first half) by being less a collection of unused footage and more a behind the scenes making of.  Hit the jump for my Bad Grandpa .5 Blu-ray review. 

JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA .5/Unrated Trailer Features the Return of Spike Jonze as Gloria

by     Posted 188 days ago

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The Jackass films have always come complete with tons of deleted/unseen footage when they hit home video, and Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is no different.  Ahead of the film’s Digital HD release, Paramount has unveiled a Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5/Unrated trailer that offers a look at unseen footage that was cut from the film, including the return of Spike Jonze in old lady makeup as “Gloria” and Catherine Keener as another makeup-clad character.  Entertaining hijinks will no doubt ensue.

Hit the jump to watch the Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa .5 trailer.  The film will be released on Digital HD June 3rd, followed by a proper Blu-ray/DVD release on July 8th.

Catherine Keener Leads THE GREENS ARE GONE; Mary Steenburgen Joins A WALK IN THE WOODS; Katey Sagal Added to PITCH PERFECT 2

by     Posted 195 days ago

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A few casting notices to report:

  • Catherine Keener, Anton Yelchin, Kiernan Shipka, Riley Keough, Annie Starke, Cary Elwes, Lois Smith, and Ryan Eggold star in The Greens Are Gone, the feature directorial debut of Peer Pedersen.
  • Mary Steenburgen joins Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal, and Emma Thompson in A Walk in the Woods, directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You).
  • Katey Sagal joins Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, and Hailee Steinfeld in Pitch Perfect 2, directed by Elizabeth Banks.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

First Trailer and Poster for John Carney’s BEGIN AGAIN Starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley [Updated]

by     Posted 242 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director John Carney’s (Once) new film Begin Again, which was formerly titled Can a Song Save Your Life?Mark Ruffalo stars as a washed up A&R man who discovers a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) soon after being fired, and the two set out to change each other’s fortunes for the better while crafting a unique concept album.  I caught the pic at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall where it was a bit of a crowd pleaser, and while I liked it well enough, the song’s aren’t really all that memorable and it falls quite short of Carney’s previous effort.  Nevertheless, Ruffalo and Knightley give a pair of swell performances, and Adam Levine is surprisingly strong as Knightley’s rock star ex-boyfriend.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Mos Def, Cee-Lo Green, and James CordenBegin Again opens in limited release on July 4th. [Update: We've added the first poster as well.]

Producer Dana Brunetti Talks CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, Landing the Rights, Deleted Scenes, Changing the Ending, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 12 days ago

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While you might not know the name Dana Brunetti, you’ve definitely seen some of his work.  Over the past few years, Brunetti has helped produce a number of cool and varied projects like 21, House of CardsCaptain PhillipsFanboysThe Social Network, and Casino Jack (just to name a few), and next year he’s helping to bring 50 Shades of Greyto movie screens.  Not a bad ten year run.

Last week I sat down with Brunetti for an extended video interview.  Since we talked about so many projects, I’m breaking up the conversation into smaller parts.  Yesterday I posted what he said about Netflix’s House of Cards, and today it’s about Captain Phillips.   During the interview he talked about working with Mike De Luca and Kevin Spacey to acquire the rights to Phillips’ story, his first meetings with Phillips, the challenge of getting a studio onboard, landing Paul Greengrass as the director, how they initially had a longer cut of the film, a big and expensive alternate ending that was filmed chronicling Phillips’ homecoming, other changes to the film including more of Catherine Keener‘s character, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Idris Elba to Lead BASTILLE DAY; Catherine Keener Joins Chloe Grace Moretz in NOVEMBER CRIMINALS

by     Posted 1 year, 14 days ago

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He can be seen fleetingly in Marvel’s latest film Thor: The Dark World, but Idris Elba will now get the chance to lead a feature of his own.  Variety reports that Elba is set to star in the international thriller Bastille Day for Vendome Pictures and Anonymous Content.  Penned by Andrew Baldwin, the story revolves around “a U.S. operative who is tasked with interrogating and eventually making a young American boy ‘disappear’ in order to avoid embarrassment to the U.S. government after the boy is linked as the prime suspect to an attack on the Paris metro.”  Unsurprisingly, the operative soon realizes that the boy is innocent after a string of other attacks ensue, and the two must work together to find out who is orchestrating the destruction.

Taken helmer Pierre Morel was previously attached to direct but he has subsequently fallen off the project.  Producers are currently looking for a director to take the helm.  Hit the jump for casting news concerning Hitchcock director Sacha Gervasi’s next film.

ENOUGH SAID Review

by     Posted 1 year, 68 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Enough Said opens today in limited release.]

Enough Said doesn’t have enough to say, and that’s fine because it’s so pleasant, nice, sweet, and cute. There’s some light subtext about not substituting other people’s relationships for our own, but mostly the movie is about pairing together two charming lead actors in a romantic comedy, and just enjoying their chemistry. Julia Louis-Drefyus and James Gandolfini are completely endearing as a couple with playful banter, funny jokes, and mutual hesitations about trying to love someone who was deemed unlovable by somebody else. Even at the movie’s heaviest and most awkward moments, writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s light touch always keeps us smiling.

TIFF 2013: CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE? Review

by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago

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John Carney’s 2007 film Once was a surprising, touching musical about two musicians falling in love through their love of music.  It felt authentic thanks to the naturalistic direction, and real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who made their acting debuts and fell in love in real life.  That kind of chemistry is lightning in a bottle, but it provided Once with a unique and vibrant feel that expertly wove together a love of music and a love story.  Carney’s new film, Can a Song Save Your Life?, returns to similar territory but with a more polished approach that diminishes the charm in favor of a more Hollywood-friendly feel.  The movie is still funny, good-natured, and most importantly, stresses the joy of sharing music with others.  It’s even a little acerbic in its tone towards the music business, but Carney’s film is guilty of the some of the same critiques regarding watered-down entertainment.

TIFF 2013: ENOUGH SAID Review

by     Posted 1 year, 78 days ago

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Enough Said doesn’t have enough to say, and that’s fine because it’s so pleasant, nice, sweet, and cute.  There’s some light subtext about not substituting other people’s relationships for our own, but mostly the movie is about pairing together two charming lead actors in a romantic comedy, and just enjoying their chemistry.  Julia Louis-Drefyus and James Gandolfini are completely endearing as a couple with playful banter, funny jokes, and mutual hesitations about trying to love someone who was deemed unlovable by somebody else.  Even at the movie’s heaviest and most awkward moments, writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s light touch always keeps us smiling.

New Trailer for Paul Greengrass’ CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Starring Tom Hanks

by     Posted 1 year, 110 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for director Paul Greengrass’ (The Bourne Ultimatum) new film Captain Phillips.  The pic stars Tom Hanks as real life ship captain Richard Phillips who allowed himself to be taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009 in exchange for the safety of his crew.  In addition to teasing what’s sure to be a suspenseful and thrilling ride, this trailer also hints that Greengrass will be touching on issues larger than gunfights and heroic sacrifices; mixing big ideas and tough questions with the thriller genre has become something of Greengrass’ specialty.  This is refreshing to see, and I expect it will be incredibly compelling to watch the interplay between Hanks’ Phillips and his captors.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Catherine Keener, Max Martini, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahaman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Corey Johnson, Chris Mulkey, Yul Vazquez, and David WarshofskyCaptain Phillips will premiere at the New York Film Festival and opens in theaters on October 11th.

8 Clips from THE CROODS Featuring the Voices of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Nicolas Cage

by     Posted 1 year, 264 days ago

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We’ve got eight clips from DreamWorks Animations’ The Croods to share with you today. Directed by Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon), The Croods centers on the titular prehistoric family embarking on the world’s first  road trip through an uncharted, fantastical and dangerous world.  Featuring the voice talents of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage, Clark Duke, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman, The Croods opens March 22nd.  Hit the jump to watch all eight clips.

New Trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s THE CROODS

by     Posted 1 year, 354 days ago

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A new trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming film The Croods has been released online.  Written and directed by Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon), the film takes us back to “a previously undiscovered era in the history of our planet” and centers on the culture clash between a family of cavemen and a more evolved young man named Guy (Ryan Reynolds).  This trailer is much more DreamWorks-y than the first teaser in that it relies heavily on physical comedy and gags.  That said, there are a couple genuine laughs to be found and the animation looks great.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and click here to read Dave’s recap from DreamWorks Animation’s recent sneak peek at their upcoming slate.  The film also features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman and Clark DukeThe Croods opens March 22, 2013 in 3D.

A LATE QUARTET Review

by     Posted 2 years, 22 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  A Late Quartet opens today in limited release.]

I love it when films help me to understand a new culture. Usually, I visit these new cultures through documentaries, but Yaron Zilberman‘s non-documentary feature A Late Quartet captivated me with an introduction to the world of orchestral music. More impressive, he uses a technical explanation as a gateway to the conflict between his central characters. Their instruments are thoughtful metaphors for their personalities, and we see how the pursuit of personal expression through a musician’s art can both divide and unite his or her group. The movie does hit a false note when it forces a conflict between two characters, but for the most part, the cast, the story, and the setting play together in perfect harmony.

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