Watch Gillian Flynn, Jon Favreau, Jonah Nolan, and More Talk the Writing Process, Collaborating with Directors in One-Hour Writers Roundtable Interview

by     Posted 13 days ago

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Awards season is upon us, in case you hadn’t already noticed, and that means one very good thing: we’re in for a bounty of roundtable interviews with the fine folks square in the Oscar race.  THR’s series of roundtable video interviews are a highlight of every awards season, and they kick things off today with one of the most important aspects of any film: the writer.  This roundtable discussion includes Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), Jon Favreau (Chef), Jonah Nolan (Interstellar), Chris Rock (Top Five), Graham Moore (The Imitation Game), and Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything).  It’s a fascinating discussion that’s well worth watching, especially to see Nolan discusses his co-writing process with his brother Christopher Nolan, and I have little doubt that at least one of these aforementioned writers (Flynn for sure) is destined for an Oscar nod.

Watch the roundtable interview after the jump, and look for plenty more over the coming weeks.

TOP FIVE Clip: Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan Reveal Their Top Five Rappers

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Chris Rock hit it big at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September.  Not only was Top Five the biggest acquisition of the event with Paramount putting up $12.5 million for it, but it also won our own Phil Brown over as well.  In fact, Paramount just released a new clip from the film and it’s got a quote from Phil’s review in it.  Rock wrote, directed and also stars in the film as Andre Allen, a stand-up comedian trying to make it as a film star.

Hit the jump to check out the new Top Five clip and click here to read Phil’s full review.  The movie also stars Rosario DawsonJ.B. SmooveGabrielle UnionTracy MorganCedric the EntertainerKevin HartJerry SeinfeldAdam SandlerWhoopi GoldbergSherri ShepherdJay PharoahAnders Holm and Michael Che, and is scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th.

Chris Rock and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Turned Down the Offer to Host This Year’s Oscars

by     Posted 28 days ago

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It was announced last week that the excellent Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this coming February’s Oscar ceremony, but it turns out that NPH wasn’t the Academy’s first choice.  THR reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—who have produced the last two ceremonies in a row—first “begged” Ellen Degeneres to return as Oscar for this year’s ceremony.  She firmly declined the offer, and then they next approached Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005.  He turned down the offer as well, and so Zadan and Meron then went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, shocker, said “no”.  They then finally landed on Harris, who graciously agreed to take on the gig.  More after the jump.

TOP FIVE Trailer: Chris Rock Writes, Directs, and Stars in Cameo-Filled New Comedy

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Top Five trailer for the upcoming comedy from writer, director, and star Chris Rock.  The comedian plays a loosely fictionalized version of himself in the film, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist forces him to confront both the career that made him famous and the life he left behind.  The picture was the highest profile acquisition of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount paying a whopping $12.5 million in a bidding war to acquire the distribution rights to the film.  The movie looks a little like Chris Rock’s Funny People, as it takes some digs at his own career path, and there are a ton of cameos from a wide range of familiar faces.

Hit the jump to watch the Top Five trailer and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Rosario Dawson, J.B. Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che, and features music by Questlove.

TIFF 2014 Acquisitions: TOP FIVE, BEFORE WE GO, STILL ALICE, PAWN SACRIFICE and More

by     Posted 68 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival is starting to wrap up, so we’ve got quite a few sales to report.  Here’s what’s coming at a glance:

  • RADiUS took the US rights to Adult Beginners starring Rose Byrne.
  • RADiUS also snatched up the US rights to Chris EvansBefore We Go.
  • Sony Pictures Classics closed a deal for the Julianne Moore-starrer, Still Alice.
  • Saban Films picked up the US rights to American Heist with Hayden Christensen.
  • Bleecker Street snagged Pawn Sacrifice starring Tobey Maguire.
  • Paramount put up $12.5 million for Chris Rock’s Top Five.

Hit the jump for more.

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TOP FIVE Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 71 days ago

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On stage, Chris Rock is consistently one of the funniest men on the planet.  In the movies…well, it’s been a rocky road.  With a few exceptions (typically in supporting roles), filmmakers have just never been able to figure out how to take advantage of his comedic voice when playing a fictional character.  Even the two times in the past that Rock has directed his movies, something felt off.  At least that was true until now.  Rock writes, directs, and stars in Top Five as a loosely fictionalized version of himself.  Just like a Woody Allen movie, it comes off as personal without being autobiographical. More importantly, it’s incredibly funny, just like Rock has always been with a mic in his hand. About time.  Hit that jump.

New Images from THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND, and TOP FIVE Starring Chris Rock

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Finishing up with our coverage of new images for films that will be debuting this fall at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, we’ve got new photos from a trio of promising features.  Briefly:

  • The Theory of Everything – (Directed by James Marsh) Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson.
  • Time Out of Mind – (Directed by Oren Moverman) Starring Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, Jena Malone, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeremy Strong, Yul Vasquez, Coleman Domingo, Geraldine Hughes, Michael Kenneth Williams, and Steve Buscemi.
  • Top Five – (Directed by Chris Rock) Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Smoove, Gabrielle Union, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Jay Pharoah, Anders Holm, and Michael Che.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses, and click here to see all the images released from TIFF films thus far.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

Oscars: Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Hutcherson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, and More Added to Academy Voting Body

by     Posted 146 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its list of actors, filmmakers, and others involved in the moviemaking industry that have been invited to join the Academy’s membership.  271 artists made the cut this year, ranging from recent winners and nominees like Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender to more eclectic choices like Rob Riggle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Josh Hutcherson, and even Jason StathamChris Rock also finally gets a ballot years after hosting the ceremony, and Clark Gregg will bring some Marvel pedigree into the fold.  On the filmmaking side, brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, David Gordon Green, Denis Villeneuve, and Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) join the directors branch, while DP Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave) has been added to the cinematographers group.  Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams (sans hat) are also now Academy members should they accept their invitations.  The full list is still disappointingly short on females, however.

Hit the jump to check out the complete list of 2014 invitees to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The 2015 race will be here before you know it, folks.

New International Trailer for GROWN UPS 2 Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade

by     Posted 1 year, 181 days ago

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A new international trailer for director Dennis Dugan’s comedy sequel Grown Ups 2 has been released online, and it’s got everything: ugly mother jokes, deer piss, David Spade in a tire, a Shaq nut shot, and the classic “fat guy jumps naked into a lake” gag.  The story appears to revolve around a rivalry between Sandler’s “old guys” gang and a group of stereotypical frat boys who live near Sandler’s cabin.  It’s hard to believe there’s an audience out there for a sequel like this, but with the first film making over $270 million worldwide, it would appear that there are plenty of people eager to see more Grown Ups.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Kevin JamesChris RockDavid Spade, Salma HayekMaria BelloMaya RudolphNick Swardson, Taylor Lautner, and Patrick SchwarzeneggerGrown Ups 2 opens on July 12th.

First Trailer for GROWN UPS 2 Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Kevin James

by     Posted 1 year, 231 days ago

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Columbia Pictures has released the first trailer for director Dennis Dugan’s comedy sequel Grown Ups 2.  I hate myself for saying this, but I actually got a few chuckles out of the trailer.  After you get past the deer piss, there are a couple of ridiculous cameos from Shaquille O’Neal and Andy Samberg that are nice throwbacks to the zany Adam Sandler movies of old.  There’s also a nice flip on the “hot girl car trouble” scene from the first film.  And believe it or not, this might be a role that Lautner was Taylor-made for (sorry).

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars also Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, Maya Rudolph, Nick Swardson and Patrick SchwarzeneggerGrown Ups 2 opens on July 12th.

Chris Rock to Poke Fun at Comedians-Turned-Dramatic Actors in FINALLY FAMOUS

by     Posted 1 year, 263 days ago

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Chris Rock will be taking on his fellow comedians and himself for his new film, Finally Famous.  According to Showbiz411, The comedy will focus on a comedian who wants to be taken seriously.  The film will be Rock’s third directing gig following Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife.  The latter has dramatic elements, so Finally Famous isn’t just jabs at Rock’s peers.  Rock also wrote the script and will star in the picture.  A casting notice has gone out looking for a late-20s, early-30s love-interest for Rock’s character.  The casting notice describes the character, Chelsea Brown, as “‘vintage, downtown N.Y.C. funky,’ with a lacerating intelligence and humor that is disarming.”  Producer Scott Rudin, who partnered with Rock on the comedian’s Broadway show, The Motherfucker with the Hat, will produce on Finally Famous

Hit the jump for the synopsis and casting descriptions for the other characters.  Filming is set to begin in June.  Rock will next be seen in the decidedly non-dramatic Grown Ups 2.

Epic 8-Minute Trailer for Jimmy Kimmel’s MOVIE: THE MOVIE 2V Starring Everyone in Hollywood

by     Posted 1 year, 267 days ago

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Every year, Jimmy Kimmel Live follows the Oscars with a star-studded sketch.  Last year, audiences were treated to a trailer for Movie: The Movie, which featured dozens of movie stars parodying every film genre and cliché.  Naturally, every hit needs a sequel, and JKL has delivered with Movie: The Movie 2V.  I’ll let you be the judge between which trailer is better, but I would say the sequel surpasses the original when it comes to the obligatory Matt Damon joke.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Movie: The Movie 2V opens Arbor Day.

New Images from MAMA, Plus the First Images from GROWN UPS 2 and THE CALL, Previously Known as THE HIVE Starring Halle Berry

by     Posted 1 year, 316 days ago

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Here’s a look at some new images from the following projects:

  • From executive producer Guillermo del Toro comes Andres Muschietti’s directorial debut, Mama, a horror film starring Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse.
  • The first official image from Dennis Dugan’s Grown Ups 2 features Salma Hayek’s boobs…oh, and Kevin James, Chris Rock, Maria Bello, David Spade and Adam Sandler.
  • The first official image of Halley Berry from The Call, Brad Anderson’s thriller that was previously known as The Hive.  The picture also stars Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut and Michael Imperioli.

Hit the jump to check out all the new images.

Julie Delpy Talks 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK, Casting Chris Rock, Her Writing Process, Her Comedic Influences and Future Projects

by     Posted 2 years, 100 days ago

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2 Days in New York stars Chris Rock and Julie Delpy as a couple who go through two unforgettable days of mayhem when her family comes for a visit and pushes every button in the couple’s relationship.  The quirky comedy, which opens in theaters on August 10th, is written and directed by Delpy and also features Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, Alex Nahon, Emily Wagner, Dylan Baker and John Gallo.

In an exclusive phone interview today, I spoke to the multi-talented Delpy about what inspired her to make the film.  The actress/screenwriter/director talked to me about why she cast Rock in the lead, how American perceptions of the French are often inaccurate, how she collaborated with her editor on the film’s comedic timing, her writing process, her comedic influences and shooting in New York City.  She also discussed her upcoming projects:  The Right Profile, a biopic about the life of Clash frontman Joe Strummer, which she may direct, and a possible follow-up to Before Sunset that she’s writing with Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater.  Hit the jump for more.

Trailer and Poster for 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK Starring Julie Delpy and Chris Rock

by     Posted 2 years, 157 days ago

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The trailer and poster for Julie Delpy‘s comedy 2 Days in New York have gone online.  The film stars Delpy and Chris Rock as a couple who are put through a hectic two days when the family of Delpy’s family comes to visit.  I haven’t seen Delpy’s previous film, 2 Days in Paris, and I missed New York when it was at Sundance, but this looks like a cute little movie, and I like what I’m seeing from the two leads in this trailer.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, and Alex Nahon2 Days in New York hits VOD on July 6th before opening in theaters on August 10th.

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