HBO has become one of the great places for auteurs to make cheaper movies. Of late we’ve seen Todd Haynes and Steven Soderbergh turn to the channel to get films made, and now Philip Kaufman has joined their ranks. The man behind The Right Stuff and The Unbearable Lightness of Being directed Hemingway & Gellhorn, a biopic about Ernest Hemingway’s one-time wife and reporter Martha Gellhorn. And for the film he got Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen to star as his drunken lovers. Our review of the Blu-ray of Hemingway & Gellhorn follows after the jump.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Shadow Dancer opens today in limited release.]
It’s great when movies are a slow burn, but to qualify for that description there needs to be at least some heat. James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer moves at a glacial pace and barely does anything to build tension. There’s hardly any urgency and no interest in the intrigue. A compelling lead performance is essential to making a film like this working, but actress Andrea Riseborough meanders through her role and fails to convey any deeper emotions or conflict. Some movies can be effective “anti-thrillers” where they play against expectations and still manage to generate drama. Shadow Dancer just seems to be against thrills.
So much for retirement. Much has been made over the past year or so about the fact that filmmaker Steven Soderbergh would be taking a self-imposed hiatus from directing after the release of his Liberace film Behind the Candelabra. While Candelabra premieres on HBO this Sunday, it appears that Soderbergh is already coming out of “retirement” to direct a new TV series for Cinemax. The filmmaker will helm 10 episodes of a period series called The Knick, which will star Clive Owen and takes place in New York in 1900. Hit the jump for more.
Last week, we saw the first images from Guillaume Canet‘s Blood Ties, and now the trailer and poster have been released. The story takes place in New York in 1974, and centers on two brothers. One has recently been released from prison, and the other is a cop who is trying to help his brother out only to discover that old habits die hard. It’s weird to see Marion Cotillard trying on a New York accent, but the crime-drama aspect looks good, and there’s definitely a lot of potential here. As for the poster, I really like the 70s-style they’ve used.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster. The film also stars Clive Owen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, James Caan, and Zoe Saldana.
Blood Ties, the new film from Tell No One director Guillaume Canet, is premiering at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the first eight images from the movie have been released. The story takes place in New York in 1974, and centers on two brothers. One has recently been released from prison, and the other is a cop who is trying to help his brother out only to discover that old habits die hard. The stellar cast includes Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, James Caan, and Zoe Saldana.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The Cannes Film Festival is now underway, so we should expect to hear the buzz on Blood Ties soon.
The Joseph Gordon-Levitt news continues. As the multitalented actor prepares to unveil his feature directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, he’s been the focus of quite a few news stories over the past week. We learned last Wednesday that Gordon-Levitt had been added to the list of contenders for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and earlier today it was reported that he passed on a role in Warner Bros.’ Godzilla reboot. Now it appears that Gordon-Levitt has settled on his next project, as he has committed to a lead role in director Robert Rodriguez’s upcoming sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For after turning down the Guardians gig. [Update: Gordon-Levitt released a statement to explain why he is drawn to the Sin City world: "I love how the first movie uses VFX, not to make fake things look real, but to create a heightened world unburdened by the look and feel of reality. Plus, nobody makes a badass like Mr. Rodriguez."]
Hit the jump for more, including further details on the cast of Sin City 2.
As AFM rolls on, so do plenty of casting stories. While the casting is in place, it’s still unknown if any of these movies will actually make it in front of cameras, but they’re being packaged for potential international buyers. First up, Screen Daily [via The Playlist] reports on the interesting pairing of Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen for The Last Knights. Written by Michael Konyves (Barney’s Version) and directed by Kazuaki Kiriya (The Legend of Goemon), the film is about a “a band of warriors who seek to avenge the loss of their master at the hands of a corrupt emperor.” I have no idea where Freeman and Owen fit into a story that sounds like it takes place in Feudal Japan, but I’m interested. Filming will take place in the Czech Republic, although that’s likely for tax incentives and the production could use soundstages.
Hit the jump for some John Cusack casting news.
Sin City 2, aka Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which began shooting in Austin yesterday, has added Jaime King in a returning role and Jamie Chung (Sucker Punch), who replaces Devon Aoki. Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller are teaming up once again for the sequel to their 2005 hit adaptation. Their co-written script is a mingling of Miller’s comics’ storylines as well as a new story written just for the film by Miller. One plot was taken from the 1993 comic, “A Dame to Kill For,” and centers on a man named Dwight and his entanglements with a femme fatale named Ava. Additional info on casting, such as the possible return of Clive Owen and much more, follows after the jump.
Some casting news for you today. Check out the info in brief below:
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
The script for the RoboCop remake may have gotten panned, but the movie still has an incredibly strong cast: Joel Kinnaman, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Jay Baruchel, Abbie Cornish, Michael K. Williams, and Jackie Earle Haley. We previously reported that Hugh Laurie was in negotiations to play the film’s villain, but now Variety’s Jeff Sneider is tweeting that Laurie won’t be squaring off against the cyborg police officer. According to Sneider, Laurie was never really “in” since he was still in negotiations for the part, and those talks have now fallen apart. It’s a bit of a bummer since I’d like to see more Laurie especially now that House, M.D. is over, but hopefully he’ll land another big role soon.
RoboCop is set to open on August 9, 2013. [Update: Deadline reports that MGM is now looking at a small group of actors to fill the villain role, and one of them includes Clive Owen.]
[With The Bourne Legacy set to open this Friday, we'll be taking a look back at the original Bourne trilogy. These reviews will contain spoilers since the movies have been out for years.]
In the years following his breakthrough success with Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon‘s career had hit a snag. He was a talented actor who had made a series of bad choices in terms of leading roles. Furthermore, he had never taken on the role of an action hero, but Universal took a chance on the actor, and had him star in the thriller The Bourne Identity. Director Doug Liman has also never done an action film before, and had made his name on the indie features Swingers and Go. Strangely, neither the director nor his star does a particularly great job with the film, but it was a hit and led to two excellent features once Paul Greengrass took over the franchise. I didn’t care much for The Bourne Identity when I saw it back when it was released in 2002. I hadn’t revisited the movie until today, and unfortunately, it still has a lot of problems. Thankfully, these problems then serve to illustrate what makes the character works and separates him from other action heroes.
Director Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) tweeted a set photo from behind the scenes of The Amazing Spider-Man today with the tag: “got caption?” So let’s have a little fun with this one. Check out the image, which features star Andrew Garfield and some stunt performers, and come up with your best caption to submit to our comments section (or Webb himself, if you’re feeling brave).
We also have another batch of photos and video of Mila Kunis and Clive Owen from Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties. We’ve already seen Owen propose in these set photos, so I’m happy to see they’re still getting along. The 1970s period picture set in Brooklyn follows two brothers on opposite sides of the law who are caught up in the world of organized crime. Hit the jump to check out the set photos and videos.
Tonight’s batch of set photos is connected by a That 70s Show theme. Not only are Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher featured, but both are again styled in the fashion of the 70s for their respective period piece:
- Kutcher is playing Steve Jobs in the biopic Jobs: Get Inspired, which covers the Apple founder’s life from 1971-2000.
- Kunis stars alongside Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, and Zoe Saldana in Blood Ties, which centers two brothers involved in organized crime in 1970s Brooklyn
Hit the jump for the set photos and details on each project.
Some casting info, including news that should make fans of Sean Bean very happy. Here it is in brief:
- Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) will star in the three-film adaptation of Devil’s Peak, a suspense novel trilogy by South African author, Deon Meyer.
- Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) is set to star in Baggage Claim, a comedy adapted and directed by David Talbert from his bestselling 2003 novel.
- Jamie Hector (The Wire) joins the phenomenal cast of Blood Ties, which includes Mila Kunis (Black Swan) , Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) and Marion Cotillard (Inception).
Hit the jump for more on each film.
Spike Lee’s exhausting search for the villain in his Oldboy remake may have finally come to an end. After previously offering the role to Christian Bale, Colin Firth, and Clive Owen—all of who turned the part down—Variety now reports that District 9 star Sharlto Copley has been offered the role and is in early talks to sign on. Josh Brolin is set as the lead and Elizabeth Olsen is onboard in the lead female role of Lee’s take on Park Chan-wook’s classic revenge pic of the same name. For those unfamiliar, Brolin plays a man who is abducted and imprisoned for 15 years, after which he’s inexplicably released and sent on a hunt to track down those responsible for his imprisonment. Many unexpected twists and turns ensue. Hit the jump for more, including my thoughts on Copley landing the role.