New AMERICAN SNIPER Trailer Offers a Longer Look at Clint Eastwood’s Military Drama

by     Posted 2 days ago

american-sniper-trailer

Warner Bros. has released a new American Sniper trailer for director Clint Eastwood’s film about U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  The trailer is a bit misleading in that the full film doesn’t have near as much ambiguity or thoughtfulness as this cut would have you believe.  I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like this movie.  It’s frustratingly one-note and refuses to delve into areas that could be fascinating (especially with regards to Kyle’s life once he leaves the military), and its only saving grace is a strong performance from Bradley Cooper, who does the best with the material he’s given.  Moreover, Eastwood completely fumbles sequences that should be tense or thrilling; the whole thing just feels like a missed opportunity.

Check out the new American Sniper trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’DonnellAmerican Sniper opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

Bradley Cooper Just Wants to Get the Bad Guys in New AMERICAN SNIPER Clip; Plus 19 New Images

by     Posted 4 days ago

american-sniper-clip-images

Warner Bros. has released a new American Sniper clip and a batch of new images from director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama.  Bradley Cooper plays U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four tours of duty in Iraq and quickly became the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  His reputation extended across enemy lines, making him a prime target for the insurgency, and when he returned home to his wife and kids he struggled to leave the war behind.  I’ve seen the film and I really wasn’t crazy about it.  There’s a fascinating story to be told here, especially with regards to how Kyle’s life came to an abrupt end, but that’s not the one Eastwood is interested in telling; it’s a frustratingly one-dimensional portrayal of the war and its effects on those who fought in it.  Nevertheless, Cooper gives a strong performance as Kyle, which you can see here in this brief clip in which Kyle is arguing to be on the ground with the other soldiers instead of perched safely in his sniper’s nest.

Check out the new American Sniper clip after the jump, along with a batch of new images.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Jake McDormanLuke GrimesSam Jaeger, Navid Negahban, Sammy Sheik, Mido Hamada, and Keir O’Donnell.  American Sniper opens in limited release on December 25th.

National Board of Review Names A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Best Film of the Year; also Wins Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress

by     Posted 18 days ago

a-most-violent-year-oscar-isaac-jessica-chastain

Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle named Boyhood as the best film of 2014.  Today, the National Board of Review has revealed they decided to go a different way by selecting J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year for the year’s best film.  The NBR must have been enraptured with the tale of a guy trying to get a loan because they also gave the movie Best Actor for Oscar Isaac (who tied in the category with Michael Keaton for Birdman) and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

It’s a list filled with choices I don’t really agree with (other than The LEGO Movie for Best Original Screenplay even though they gave Best Animated Feature to How to Train Your Dragon 2), but the one that really gets me is giving Best Director to Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.  Combine that with Jersey Boys and 2014 showed that Eastwood really needs to stop directing movies because he has no vision whatsoever.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners, which also includes the National Board of Review’s Top Films of 2014 list.

Oscar Beat: The Best Director Race at a Glance

by     Posted 22 days ago

oscars-best-director-angelina-jolie

As we head out of the Thanksgiving holiday, studios have been scrambling to get screeners out to critics and voters before early December deadlines, and some of the year’s later releases are finally starting to be seen, which means the Oscar race is becoming much clearer.  We already have one potentially huge game-changer in the form of Selma, which has enjoyed enthusiastically positive response from its initial screenings, but that film also throws a curious prospect into the mix: for the first time in history, could we actually have two female directors nominated for the Best Director Oscar?

After the jump, I consider this question as I take a look at the current state of the rather crowded Best Director race in this edition of Oscar Beat.

AMERICAN SNIPER Trailer: Bradley Cooper Is the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

by     Posted 79 days ago

american-sniper-trailer-bradley-cooper

Warner Bros. has released the first American Sniper trailer for director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming drama.  Based on a true story, the film stars Bradley Cooper as U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four tours in Iraq and quickly became the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  His reputation crossed enemy lines, making him a prime target for the insurgency, and when he returned home to his wife and kids, he struggled to leave the war behind.  While most of my interest in this film dropped when Eastwood replaced Steven Spielberg as director, I have to admit that this trailer is mighty impressive.  It captures the essence of Kyle’s role in the military, the toll it took on him personally, and his family life all within the context of a single clip.  Cooper has been passionate about this project for years and is a producer on the film, so maybe his enthusiasm for the material lit a spark in Eastwood for this particular film.  And are those primary colors I spot in the aesthetic here?

Hit the jump to watch the first American Sniper trailer and to check out the first poster.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes, Navid Negahban, and Keir O’DonnellAmerican Sniper opens in limited release on December 25th.

AMERICAN SNIPER, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., and the POINT BREAK Remake Get New Release Dates

by     Posted 130 days ago

american-sniper-release-date

Warner Bros. shifted their slate around a bit today which resulted in new release dates for a trio of their films.

  • Director Clint Eastwood‘s film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper, will now open in select theaters on Christmas Day.
  • Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which stars Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill, will now open on August 14th, 2015.
  • The Point Break remake, directed by Ericson Core, will hit theaters on July 31st 2015.

Hit the jump for more on these release date changes.

Clint Eastwood, Cast, and Writers Talk JERSEY BOYS, Adapting the Broadway Musical, Finding the Actors, the Clever Director Cameo, and More

by     Posted 179 days ago

jersey-boys

Now playing in theaters is director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys.  The film, which is based on the extremely popular stage musical, 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.   The film stars John Lloyd Young,  Vincent PiazzaErich BergenMichael LomendaRenee MarinoMike Doyle, and Christopher Walken.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or these clips.

At the New York City press day, I was able to participate in a press conference with Clint Eastwood, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, and screenwriters Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice.  They talked about making the film, how Eastwood got involved, the challenges in bringing the stage musical to life, the clever director cameo, what it was like for the cast to meet Eastwood for the first time, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what they had to say.

Friday Box Office: THINK LIKE A MAN TOO Leads with $12.2 Million; JERSEY BOYS in Fourth

by     Posted 182 days ago

think-like-a-man-too-kevin-hart

It’s another sequel-heavy weekend and another big frame for Sony.  After claiming first place last weekend with 22 Jump Street, the studio is on top again thanks to Think Like a Man Too.  The follow-up to 2012’s surprise box office hit earned an estimated $12.2 million from 2,225 locations on Friday, including $1.8 million from Thursday night previews.  That puts the sequel on track for at least $32 million through Sunday: enough to knock 22 Jump Street to second but not quite enough to surpass the $33.6 million debut of Think Like A Man.

Details and Friday’s top five chart after the jump.

JERSEY BOYS Review

by     Posted 184 days ago

jersey-boys-review

Clint Eastwood is only making movies for himself at this point in his career.  Every artist should try to please him or herself first; pandering to the lowest common denominator may bring success, but rarely artistic satisfaction.  However, Eastwood doesn’t seem to be chasing some artistic muse.  For well over a decade now, he seems to make movies because it keeps him busy.  It’s a hobby, and studios pay for him to keep doing it regardless of diminishing returns or that it stops more invested filmmakers from tackling worthwhile stories.  Eastwood’s latest directorial shrug is his adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys.  For a director who barely seems interested in his own movies beyond giving them over to his actors and hoping for the best, he’s clearly unsuited to the vibrancy and effervescence a musical demands.  Instead, we’re left with a choppy, haphazard story that barely gives the relationships a chance to breathe and the acknowledgement that, yes, we too enjoy the music of The Four Seasons.

7 Clips from Director Clint Eastwood’s JERSEY BOYS

by     Posted 193 days ago

jersey-boys-movie-clips

With director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys opening June 20th, Warner Bros. has provided us with seven clips from the musical.  The film, which is based on the extremely popular stage musical, 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.”  The film stars John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Renee Marino, Mike Doyle, and Christopher Walken.  Hit the jump to watch the Jersey Boys movie clips.

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

by     Posted 197 days ago

jersey-boys-movie-images-featurette

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.

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

by     Posted 247 days ago

jersey-boys-trailer-poster

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.

First Image from Clint Eastwood’s Musical JERSEY BOYS

by     Posted 351 days ago

jersey-boys-movie

Warner Bros. has released the first image from director Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the stage musical Jersey Boys.  The film tells the story of 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.”  Eastwood filled his lead cast with largely unknown actors to the film world, and in this first image we see John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza, and Michael Lomenda gracing the stage as “Franki Valli and the Four Seasons.”  Though a stage musical feels like an odd choice of material for Eastwood, the filmmaker is an avid music fan and a composer himself.  He’s been dabbling in serious, introspective dramas for the past decade, but can Eastwood pull off an entertaining musical?  We’ll find out this summer, but a debut trailer for the film should be coming our way soon.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  Jersey Boys also stars Christopher Walken and opens in theaters June 20th.

HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago

high-plains-drifter-slice

It’s amazing to consider how prolific Clint Eastwood has been as a director.  When actors direct, they tend to focus on just a few projects.  Kevin Costner, for instance, has just three directing credits to his name.  Mel Gibson has four.  And yet it took Eastwood almost twenty films before he received the same accolades that they did for his skills. (He currently stands at 35-plus movies.)  It took him that long to be properly acknowledged.  Luckily, because he has so many, we can genuinely chart his growth and progress as a creative force in ways we can’t with those other filmmaker/stars.  High Plains Drifter, which has arrived in freshly minted Blu-ray form, was the first Western he directed, and remains one of his most challenging (and disturbing) efforts behind the camera.  Hit the jump for my full review.

Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT Set for December 25, 2015 Release; Clint Eastwood’s JERSEY BOYS Opens June 20, 2014

by     Posted 1 year, 45 days ago

ben-affleck-live-by-night

Warner Bros. has announced release dates for a pair of the studio’s more prestigious upcoming projects.  First up, Ben Affleck’s directorial follow-up to last year’s Argo will get a prime holiday release, as Live By Night has been officially dated for December 25, 2015 (now the busiest year in film history).  The crime drama is an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name, which takes place in Boston during the 1920’s.  Affleck was originally planning on going into production this year, but he subsequently signed on to star in David Fincher’s Gone Girl and agreed to don the cowl for Batman vs. SupermanLive by Night will now start production later next year after Affleck wraps his Batman role, making the Christmas 2015 release date a rather quick turnaround.  And yes, Batman vs. Superman also opens in 2015.

Additionally, Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys will arrive in theaters on June 20, 2014, where it will open opposite the comedy sequel Think Like a Man Too.  Aside from Christopher Walken, the cast of Eastwood’s film is mostly made up of stage actors.

Click Here