THE JUNGLE BOOK Adds Christopher Walken and Giancarlo Esposito; Eva Green in Talks for Tim Burton’s MISS PEREGRINE

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Disney continues to expand the cast of it’s The Jungle Book adaptation, even if only one actor will ever be seen on screen.  Director Jon Favreau’s iteration recently cast young newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli, and he will be the only live-action actor to appear in the film.  The rest of the cast is filled out with CG-animated creatures, and today Disney announced that Christopher Walken and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito have joined the voice cast.  Walken will fill the role of King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, while Esposito will voice Akela, the leader of the wolf pack.  Other voice actors in the film include Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, and Sir Ben KingsleyThe Jungle Book is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015.

Hit the jump for news concerning a Dark Shadows actress leading the next film from director Tim Burton.

Christopher Walken to Play Captain Hook in PETER PAN LIVE! This December

by     Posted 18 days ago

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NBC scored a surprise hit last December with The Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood in a live presentation of the classic musical.  The Sound of Music has been popular for decades, but in the social media age, it was irresistible to viewers who wanted to tweet along with the program.  The network will try to repeat that success when they air Peter Pan Live! this December.  They’ve also landed a big hook for Hook: Christopher Walken.  The program will reunite the actor with executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who worked with Walken on Hairspray.  The rest of the special has yet to be cast, but Walken alone might be more than enough to get viewers in front of their TV sets with the Twitter app at the ready.

Hit the jump for the press release.  Peter Pan Live! will air December 3rd.

JERSEY BOYS Images and Featurette: Clint Eastwood Directs “the Musical for Everybody”

by     Posted 56 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a slew of Jersey Boys images from director Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the popular stage musical, as well as a nearly 5-minute behind-the-scenes featurette.  For those unfamiliar, the film tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, chronicling the group’s rise in the 1960s with such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man” and subsequent troubles that came with their success.  As this featurette points out, the Four Seasons were far from your poster boys for upstanding gentlemen, as Eastwood describes them as a group of “juvenile delinquents.”  I’ve seen the stage musical version of Jersey Boys and it’s a lot of fun, but I’m still wary of the story being told through Eastwood’s lens.  If anyone can suck the fun out of a musical, it’s Eastwood.

Hit the jump to check out over 35 Jersey Boys movie images as well as the new featurette.  The film stars John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Renee Marino, Mike Doyle, and Christopher WalkenJersey Boys opens in theaters on June 20th.

Christopher Walken Joins THE FAMILY FANG; Adam DeVine Returns for PITCH PERFECT 2; Oona Chaplin and Britt Robertson Take THE LONGEST RIDE

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Christopher Walken is set to join director Jason Bateman’s The Family Fang, which stars Bateman and Nicole Kidman.
  • Adam DeVine will return to reprise his role in Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut Pitch Perfect 2, alongside returning cast members Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow.
  • Oona Chaplin and Britt Robertson have joined The Longest Ride, the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation that will be directed by George Tillman and stars Scott Eastwood.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

First Trailer and Poster for Clint Eastwood’s Musical Adaptation JERSEY BOYS

by     Posted 106 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first Jersey Boys trailer and poster for director Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the popular stage musical.  The film tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, chronicling the group’s rise in the 1960s with such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man” and subsequent troubles that came with their success.  I was a bit surprised to see that the pic maintains the direct address from the stage musical, with the various characters speaking into the camera to move the story along, but it could be an interesting addition to what’s essentially a rags-to-riches-to-troubles biopic of the Four Seasons.  On the stage, the story is a lot of fun and almost plays like a musical version of Goodfellas, so it certainly has strong potential.  My main hesitation is Eastwood, whose dreary aesthetic and tone don’t particularly scream “movie musical.”  But he’s an avid music fan and a musician himself, so maybe he’ll surprise us with this one.

Hit the jump to watch the Jersey Boys trailer and to check out the pic’s debut poster.  The film stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza, Michael Lomenda, and Christopher Walken.  Jersey Boys opens in theaters on June 20th.

Jake Gyllenhaal Set for SOUTHPAW; Walken and Kravitz Join ROOTIE TOOTIE; Driver and Grillo Head to JEKYLL ISLAND

by     Posted 273 days ago

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We’ve got a number of casting announcements to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Jake Gyllenhaal is poised to take over the role previously held by Eminem in the long-gestating boxing drama Southpaw.
  • Christopher Walken will play jazz opposite Lenny Kravitz in the upcoming musician drama Little Rootie Tootie.
  • Minnie Driver and Frank Grillo (The Grey) are set to topline the indie thriller A Conspiracy on Jekyll Island alongside Dianna Agron (Glee), John Leguizamo, Maggie Q, and more.
  • Director Matthew Vaughn has added a femme fatale to his graphic novel adaptation The Secret Service in model Sofia Boutella.

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned projects.

Christopher Walken Joins JERSEY BOYS, Kellan Lutz Boards EXPENDABLES 3, Jessica Alba Joins STRECH and Danny McBride to Star in New Cameron Crowe Film

by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Christopher Walken (Pulp Fiction) will join Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys adaptation as mobster Angelo “Gyp” DeCarlo.
  • Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga) is in talks to join the all-action cast of The Expendables 3, directed by Patrick Hughes (Red Hill).  Other newcomers include Ronda Rousey and Victor Ortiz.
  • Jessica Alba (Sin City) will board Joe Carnahan’s action-comedy, Stretch.
  • Danny McBride (Eastbound and Down) has signed on for writer-director Cameron Crowe’s new project, a rumored reimagining of his Deep Tiki script.

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 152 days ago

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Writer/director Martin McDonagh first came to the attention of American audiences with his 2005 short film Six Shooter.  Fresh off the short’s success, he wrote and directed his first feature film shortly thereafter, turning 2008’s fantastic drama In Bruges.  The film was a critical hit, and it showcased McDonagh’s knack for original storytelling that blended humor and incredibly dark situations in a way that few had done before.  The filmmaker’s long-awaited follow-up film finally made its way to screens last year with the sufficiently nutty and wildly self-referential comedy Seven Psychopaths.  Though the pic never ceases to be entertaining, it has a hard time coalescing as a singular story, instead veering off into wild tangents and meta subplots.  Hit the jump for our review of Seven Psychopaths on Blu-ray.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 228 days ago

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In director Steven Spielberg’s four decade-long career, the filmmaker has tackled a variety of genres and topics that amounts to a delightfully diverse oeuvre.  In the early 2000s, Spielberg was coming off three back-to-back films that dealt with fairly heady material (Saving Private Ryan, A.I., and Minority Report) and decided to tackle something a bit lighter.  He assembled a top notch cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, and the result is arguably one of the most entertaining films of Spielberg’s entire career: Catch Me If You Can.  The 2002 film has been digitally remastered and released on Blu-ray for the very first time, and you can read my review of the home video release after the jump.

A LATE QUARTET Review

by     Posted 1 year, 271 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.

Awards News: STAND UP GUYS Gets Oscar-Qualifying Run; Wide Release of ZERO DARK THIRTY May Be Pushed to January

by     Posted 1 year, 280 days ago

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Oscar season must be getting closer, as couple of interesting awards-related stories have surfaced today.  First up, Lionsgate’s comedy Stand Up Guys is getting an awards-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on December 14th, per THR.  The film stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin as retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night where, naturally, everything goes to hell.  I’m not sure how strong the chances are of generating a nomination or two for some of the cast, but it can’t hurt for Lionsgate to try.  The pic opens wide on January 11th.

Additionally, it looks like Sony may be rethinking their release strategy with the highly anticipated “kill Bin Laden” drama Zero Dark Thirty.  Hit the jump for more. 

TOP 5: New York Comic-Con 2012, First Trailer for HITCHCOCK, SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Interviews, DJANGO UNCHAINED, ARROW Interviews

by     Posted 1 year, 291 days ago

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As a preamble to this week’s Top 5, I’d like to take a few lines to recognize my own personal “Top 2″ from the past 7 days: the St. Louis Cardinals and Warner Premiere’s animated adaptation of Frank Miller‘s classic tale The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1. Beginning with the former, my beloved Cardinals completed yet another historic comeback last night against the Washington Nationals. Win or lose, I think it’s necessary to get in writing here that I won’t have a single negative thing to say about this team the rest of the way. As for the latter, I had a chance to sit down with director Jay Oliva‘s animated adaptation the other day and I found it to be a worthy retelling of Miller’s classic Bat-story. If you have any interest in animated comic adaptations and have yet to check it out, I recommend doing so.

But enough of my own personal favorites, included in this week’s trip around the bases (yep, that’s another baseball reference) is our coverage of New York Comic-Con 2012, the first trailer for director Sacha Gervasi‘s Hitchcock, Seven Psychopaths interviews with Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and more, a new trailer for Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and a slew of interviews for The CW’s new superhero series, Arrow. A brief recap and link to each awaits.

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 292 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the Toronto International Film Festival.  Seven Psychopaths opens today.]

A way to work through writer’s block is to write about the writer’s block. At least you’re writing, and you may get something more creative than if you had carefully mapped out your path. I’m not sure if writer-director Martin McDonagh suffered a case of writer’s block on his way to creating Seven Psychopaths, but the end result is brash, brilliant, wickedly fun, and the best film about screenwriting since Adaptation. Psychopaths is viciously funny, delightfully clever, and meta without being cloyingly self-conscious. McDonagh’s machine-gun script races with energy fueled by wild performances from stars Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Walken. The movie doesn’t simply break through writer’s block; Seven Psychopaths gleefully blows the block to hell.

Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken Talk SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, What Inspired Their Performances, Memorable Moments, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 293 days ago

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The crime comedy Seven Psychopaths, from writer/director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges), is equal parts gore and humor, with an absolutely adorable Shih Tzu thrown in, for good measure.  Struggling screenwriter Marty Faranan (Colin Farrell) is past deadline and out of ideas, until he gets inspiration from his best friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) and the eccentric Hans (Christopher Walken), whose dog-napping business results in gangster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson) desperate to get his prized pooch back.

At the film’s press day, co-stars Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken talked about why they enjoy working with Martin McDonagh, the cemetery scene, what they found most memorable about working on the film, what inspired their performances, and delivering such great dialogue.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell Talk SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, Script Changes on Set, How They Each Prepare for a Role, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 297 days ago

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One of the best films I saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was writer-director Martin McDonagh‘s (In Bruges) dark comedy Seven PsychopathsThe film centers on a screenwriter (Colin Farrell) suffering writer’s block, who then gets drawn into the mischief of his two dog-napping friends (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken) after they kidnap a pooch belonging to a psychotic gangster (Woody Harrelson).  For more on the film that also stars Tom Waits, Zeljko Ivanek, Abbie Cornish, and Olga Kurylenko, here’s Matt’s review, seven clips, and all our previous coverage.

The day after the world premiere, I sat down with Walken and Rockwell for an exclusive interview.  We talked about their initial reaction to reading the script, how precious McDonagh is with the dialogue, whether anything changed on set, how they each prepare for a role, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

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