JOE Review

by     Posted 5 days ago

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

After watching Prince Avalanche earlier this year, I hoped that director David Gordon Green would continue with smaller, more intimate stories. With his follow-up, Joe, he has not only built on the palette-cleanser of Prince Avalanche, but also delivered one of his best movies. Featuring tremendous performances from stars Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan as well as a cast of non-professional actors, Joe is both compassionate towards its characters and non-judgmental towards their actions. It’s a story about men teetering between honest living and losing all restraint with their violent tendencies. Casually and with great subtlety, Green examines not only the inner struggle to maintain control, but also how much responsibility we owe to others and the limits of that responsibility.

AFF 2014: Tye Sheridan and Director David Gordon Green Talk JOE, Viewing It as a Western, the Festival Circuit, MANGLEHORN, and More

by     Posted 19 days ago

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One of my favorite films of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival was David Gordon Green‘s JoeNicolas Cage plays the eponymous character who is trying to live a quiet life in a rural town, but must confront his inner demons when he meets and wants to protect Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), a young man in danger of following in the footsteps of Joe’s dark past.  It’s a terrific movie, and I’m so glad that audiences will be able to see it next month.

Joe will open this year’s Atlanta Film Festival, so I got the chance to interview Green and Sheridan.  During our conversation, we talked about moving from studio features to a trilogy of indies (Prince Avalanche, Joe, and the upcoming Manglehorn), viewing the film as a western, Joe as the last man on the frontier, Green and Sheridan’s upcoming projects, the festival circuit, and much more.  There’s also a fun story of how Cage got Sheridan into a Snoop Dogg concert.  Hit the jump to check out the interview.  The 2014 Atlanta Film Festival begins tonight and runs to April 6th.  Joe opens in theaters and on VOD on April 11th.

Chris Pine to Star in David Gordon Green Thriller LINE

by     Posted 78 days ago

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A promising new thriller will be shopped to buyers at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.  Heat Vision reports that Chris Pine is attached to star in the “gritty thriller” Line, which Pineapple Express helmer David Gordon Green will direct.  Penned by The Walking Dead scribe Sang Kyu Kim, Pine is set to star as a patrol agent on a downward spiral following the loss of his wife and young son.  When he unexpectedly finds himself the caretaker of a ten-year-old orphan after a shootout with a criminal cartel, he must go on the run and protect the boy while dealing with enemies on both sides of the law and border.  Hit the jump for more.

First Trailer for David Gordon Green’s JOE Starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan

by     Posted 78 days ago

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David Gordon Green‘s Joe was one of my favorite films at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and now the first trailer has gone online.  The story is about the relationship that forms between the troubled titular character (Nicolas Cage) and an abused teenager (Tye Sheridan).  That’s the brief logline, but Joe is primarily a character driven piece and all the more rewarding for it.  This trailer tries to walk the balance between the tone and the loose narrative, and hits on the darkness and violence permeating the picture.  I can’t recommend the movie enough since it’s Green’s best film after George Washington and has one of Cage’s finest performances.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Joe currently doesn’t have a U.S. release date.

TIFF 2013: JOE Review

by     Posted 215 days ago

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After watching Prince Avalanche earlier this year, I hoped that director David Gordon Green would continue with smaller, more intimate stories.  With his follow-up, Joe, he has not only built on the palette-cleanser of Prince Avalanche, but also delivered one of his best movies.  Featuring tremendous performances from stars Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan as well as a cast of non-professional actors, Joe is both compassionate towards its characters and non-judgmental towards their actions.  It’s a story about men teetering between honest living and losing all restraint with their violent tendencies. Casually and with great subtlety, Green examines not only the inner struggle to maintain control, but also how much responsibility we owe to others and the limits of that responsibility.

Nicolas Cage and Director David Gordon Green Talk JOE, Working with Non-Professional Actors, Future Projects, and More at TIFF 2013

by     Posted 216 days ago

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Since George Washington hit the scene in 2000, director David Gordon Green has impressed me again and again.  Whether tackling a big studio comedy like Pineapple Express, an intimate drama like Snow Angels, or outrageous characters like Kenny Powers on HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Green has repeatedly shown he’s a gifted filmmaker that can handle any subject.  In his new film, Joe, which just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, he tackles the story of an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who becomes a role models to 15 year old Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), the oldest child of a homeless family led by a drunk father.  Loaded with fantastic performances (including some incredible work by non-professional actors), Joe really impressed me at this year’s festival.

Shortly after the premiere I got to sit down with Green and Cage for an exclusive video interview.  They talked about being at TIFF, the value of non-professional actors, improvising on set, how Green values the organic process over detailed planning of shots, upcoming projects like Eastbound & Down and Tokarev, and more.  Hit the jump to watch. 

PRINCE AVALANCHE Review

by     Posted 250 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  Prince Avalanche opens today in limited release.]

Director David Gordon Green broke through with indie films such as George Washington and All the Real Girls, and then seemed like he would make a strong transition to larger budget features after the success of Pineapple Express. However, the quality of pictures decreased as the concepts increased. The stoner medieval comedy Your Highness was painfully disappointing, and the mean-spirited The Sitter was even worse. His new film, Prince Avalanche, is a welcome return to form as it puts Green back inside an indie budget but lets him hold onto the goofy humor of Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down (he has directed ten episodes over the course of the series). The result is a quiet, sweet, and funny picture about loneliness featuring noteworthy performances from stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.

Emile Hirsch and Director David Gordon Green Talk PRINCE AVALANCHE, Kickstarter, What They Collect, CAMP X-RAY, EASTBOUND & DOWN, and Much More

by     Posted 251 days ago

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Opening this week in limited release is director David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) dramedy Prince Avalanche.  The film stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and follows two workers as they spend their summer repainting traffic lines in the middle of a country highway.  While most summer movies are loaded with explosions, Prince Avalanche‘s sole focus is on the characters and their relationship.  Thankfully, Rudd and Hirsch deliver fantastic performances and the film’s scenes alternate between hilarity and heartbreak.  It’s definitely recommended.  For more on the film, here’s the trailer and Matt’s review.

The other day I sat down with Emile Hirsch and David Gordon Green here in Los Angeles.  They talked about making the film under the radar, how the project came together, the editing process, their thoughts on Kickstarter, Twitter, what they collect, the Pineapple Express sequel from This Is the End, upcoming projects like Lone Survivor, Bonnie and Clyde, Joe, Manglehorn, HBO’s Eastbound and Down, Camp X-Ray, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for the interview.

New Trailer for David Gordon Green’s PRINCE AVALANCHE Starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch

by     Posted 296 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures has released a new trailer for director David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) low-key dramedy Prince Avalanche.  The film stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and follows two workers as they spend their summer repainting traffic lines in the middle of a country highway.  I was a little worried that Magnolia would try to play heavy on the comedy angle when really the film is more of a dramedy, but instead this trailer is pretty spot-on when it comes to the tone of the picture.  There is some humor, but it also shows the more dramatic elements and the strong performances from Rudd and Hirsch.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read my review from Sundance.  Prince Avalanche will be available in theaters and VOD on August 9th.

Al Pacino May Lead David Gordon Green’s MANGLEHORN

by     Posted 350 days ago

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David Gordon Green provided a nice return to form with his latest film, Prince Avalanche.  However, that was an incredibly small production that was shrouded in secrecy.  Nevertheless, after the comic misfires of Your Highness and The Sitter, it looks like he’s returning to thoughtful drama with Joe and now Manglehorn.  According to Deadline, Al Pacino is in talks to play A.J. Manglehorn, “an aging, ordinary guy in a small town who nurses his sick cat, squeezes out a conversation with the local bank teller every Friday, and eats at the same place every day.”  But it turns out Manglehorn is an ex-con with a dark past who deeply regrets giving up his dream girl for a big score.  Green describes the picture as “a love story, the choices you make in your youth and the situations you set up for yourself,” but adds “there is a beautiful humor in this.”  Green definitely found that kind of “beautiful humor” in Prince Avalanche, and I hope he finds it again with Manglehorn.

Pacino will next be heard as one of the voices in Despicable Me 2.  Green’s Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan (Mud), is set to debut on the fall festival circuit.

First Trailer and Poster for PRINCE AVALANCHE Starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch

by     Posted 355 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures has released the first teaser trailer and poster for director David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) upcoming dramedy Prince Avalanche.  The film stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and follows two workers as they spend their summer repainting traffic lines in the middle of a country highway.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s a wonderfully peculiar film with two fantastic performances from Rudd and Hirsch.  There are literally only four characters that appear onscreen in the entire movie, with Rudd and Hirsch sharing the lion’s share of the pic’s screentime alone.  It’s really the perfect blend of Green’s indie and commercial comedy sensibilities, as the film’s scenes alternate between hilarity and heartbreak.  This trailer does a nice job of showcasing the chemistry between Rudd and Hirsch while playing up the pic’s funnier moments, but there are plenty of nice dramatic beats to be found in the full feature as well.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film from Sundance.  Prince Avalanche will be available in theaters and on VOD August 9th.

First Image and Synopsis for David Gordon Green’s JOE Starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan

by     Posted 1 year, 68 days ago

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The first image and a new synopsis have been released for David Gordon Green‘s upcoming southern thriller, JoeNicolas Cage stars as the titular an ex-con who “becomes the unlikeliest of role models to 15 year old Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), the oldest child of a homeless family ruled by a drunk, worthless father.”  Green delivered one of his best films in years with Prince Avalanche (click here for my review), and it looks like Joe will continue the director’s return to form.  I’m curious to see how Sheridan’s performance in Joe compares to his excellent work in Mud where he also plays a kid from a broken home who embraces a criminal as a role model.

Hit the jump to check out the image and synopsis.  WestEnd Films is handling international sales and will be shopping the films to buyers at this month’s European Film Market.

David Gordon Green Says His SUSPIRIA Movie Is in Limbo; Wants to Do 3 More PRINCE AVALANCHE Remakes

by     Posted 1 year, 82 days ago

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One of the more interesting movies I saw at this year’s 2013 Sundance Film Festival was director David Gordon Green’s Prince Avalanche.  One might think that a movie from the director of Pineapple Express and starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch would be a big, brash, laugh-a-minute comedy, but Prince Avalanche is a surprisingly subdued and touching dramedy that consists of only 4 characters and takes place entirely in the woods.

While at Sundance promoting the film, Green recently participated in a couple of interviews where he dropped some interesting information about upcoming projects.  In addition to revealing that his horror remake Suspiria is stuck in legal woes at the moment, Green said that he wants to do three more Prince Avalanche remakes in the future.  Hit the jump for more.

Sundance 2013: PRINCE AVALANCHE Review

by     Posted 1 year, 83 days ago

prince-avalanche-emile-hirsch-paul-rudd-slice

Director David Gordon Green broke through with indie films such as George Washington and All the Real Girls, and then seemed like he would make a strong transition to larger budget features after the success of Pineapple Express.  However, the quality of pictures decreased as the concepts increased.  The stoner medieval comedy Your Highness was painfully disappointing, and the mean-spirited The Sitter was even worse.  His new film, Prince Avalanche, is a welcome return to form as it puts Green back inside an indie budget but lets him hold onto the goofy humor of Pineapple Express and Eastbound and Down (he has directed ten episodes over the course of the series).  The result is a quiet, sweet, and funny picture about loneliness featuring noteworthy performances from stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.

David Gordon Green in Talks to Direct LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE Movie

by     Posted 1 year, 196 days ago

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While David Gordon Green‘s directorial work on Eastbound & Down has been superb, his recent feature films, Your Highness and The Sitter, have fallen dreadfully short of what we’ve come to expect from the talented filmmaker.  Green recently finished shooting the “secret” low-budget indie comedy Prince Avalance starring Emile Hirsh and Paul Rudd, and it looks like the director plans to return to more dramatic fare with the gritty, southern drama Joe starring Nicolas Cage.  Today, Deadline reports that a bizarre project might be getting added to Green’s slate with Sony Pictures’ adaptation of the Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s semi-autobiographical novel series Little House on the Prairie.

Hit the jump for more.

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