Perhaps the combination of my new found love of fantasy football and my fondness of sports documentaries in general make me a less than unbiased voice, but I can’t recommend writer/director Rory Karpf‘s documentary The Book of Manning enough. The made for TV doc premiered on ESPN this past week and it blew me away from a perspective that had nothing to do with sports or athletic achievement and everything to do with its noteworthy focus on parenting, family, and legacy. This may not seem like a huge achievement on paper, but when your film’s protagonists are some of the most highly decorated football players in the history of the sport, it’s a testament to the patriarch, Archie Manning, that the biggest takeaway I have from The Book of Manning isn’t how many records he set at Ole Miss or how many of those records his son Eli broke decades later, it’s that our families and kids are the most important responsibilities we can have and the way that we treat both is ultimately what defines us as people.
Now that I’ve hit you over the head with an “After School Special” message right out of the gate, this week’s Top 5 features Rush interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth and more, our resident scientist Dave Trumbore fact-checking the science behind Breaking Bad, Fox landing a new television series based on Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Don Jon interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more, and a new Cinemath installment focusing on adjusting for box office inflation and the inherent dangers of comparing Gone with the Wind to The Avengers. As is often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has come a long way from the puppy-eyes of 10 Things I Hate About You, the soft-looking teen is long gone and replaced with a muscular, porn-obsessed skirt chaser in his latest film Don Jon, which JGL also wrote and directed. He landed a not-too-shabby costar for this directing debut as well; Scarlett Johansson plays the woman who just might tame the beast (and if anyone could do it, I’d put money on ScarJo.) The film also stars Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headley and Brie Larson.
At a recent press day in NYC, the two stars sat down for an exclusive interview with Collider to talk about about opening their film at both Sundance and TIFF (to rave reviews), creating their characters, and more. Johansson even told me what she collects (snow globes), and suggested a collection for Gordon-Levitt to start. Click after the jump to watch.
A racy new TV spot for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon aired last night during MTV’s VMA’s, and it has now been released online for all to see. Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. This new TV spot shows off a single clip from the film in which Gordon-Levitt’s character is trying to talk himself into Scarlett Johansson’s bedroom at the end of their date. It’s a nice showcase of the film’s humor, and having seen the full pic at Sundance, I can attest that Don Jon definitely doesn’t skirt around issues related to sex and relationships.
Hit the jump to watch the TV spot. The film also stars Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Jeremy Luke, Rob Brown, and Brie Larson. Don Jon opens in theaters on September 27th.
New images from a trio of upcoming Relativity Media films have been released online for your viewing pleasure. Briefly:
- Out of the Furnace – Writer/director Scott Cooper’s character-centric crime drama stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard round out a stellar supporting cast. The film opens on December 6th.
- The Family – Director Luc Besson’s action comedy centers on a mob family headed up by Robert De Niro that moves to Italy as part of the witness protection program. They soon learn, though, that old habits die hard. Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Pfeiffer also star. The film opens on September 13th.
- Don Jon – The excellent directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt centers on a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. Gordon-Levitt stars alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore in the thought-provoking comedy, which opens on September 27th. Read Matt’s review here.
Hit the jump to check out the new images from the aforementioned films.
Relativity Media has released a new trailer for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon. Gordon-Levitt also wrote and stars in the comedy as a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. While the first trailer was a great introduction to the film’s tone and style, this new one does a swell job of teasing the relationship between Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson’s characters without giving too much away. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s supremely entertaining. JGL definitely proves to be a talent behind the camera, and Don Jon has a lot to say about relationships as it pertains to our current media-obsessed culture.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Jeremy Luke, Rob Brown, and Brie Larson. Don Jon opens in theaters on September 27th.
Relativity Media has released the first clip from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, and it fits right in with this past weekend’s Father’s Day holiday. Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed, and stars in the comedy as a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. In this red-band clip, Gordon-Levitt’s character brings his new girlfriend (Scarlett Johansson) over to his house to meet his family, fantastically portrayed by Tony Danza and Glenne Headly. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a lot of fun, and as seen here in this new clip, Gordon-Levitt and Danza have some great chemistry as a very Jersey father and son.
Hit the jump to watch the clip, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here for the pic’s debut trailer. The film also stars Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Jeremy Luke, Rob Brown, and Brie Larson. Don Jon now opens on September 27th, a few weeks earlier than its previous release date.
Relativity Media has released the first trailer for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon. Gordon-Levitt stars in the comedy as a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s really funny and marks the start of what looks to be a very, very promising directorial career for Gordon-Levitt. This trailer does a great job of conveying the film’s tone and the style that Gordon-Levitt has crafted, as quick editing, music, and repetition are used frequently to present some of the film’s situations, especially with regards to the porn. While the trailer does give away a couple of the pic’s best comedic surprises (like the cameos), there’s also a sweet sincerity to Don Jon that’s only hinted at here, and the performances from Gordon-Levitt, Johansson, Moore, and Danza are all top-notch. I expect the film will be a major crowd-pleaser when it hits theaters later this year.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, click here to read Matt’s review of the film from Sundance, and click here for Steve’s interview with Gordon-Levitt and the cast. The pic also stars Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Jeremy Luke, Rob Brown, and Brie Larson. Don Jon opens on October 18th.
A couple of release date shifts for two Relativity Media films have been announced today. First up, Relativity will unveil Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon (previously titled Don Jon’s Addiction) in wide release on October 18th. Gordon-Levitt stars in the comedy as contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a lot of fun (read Matt’s review here). Gordon-Levitt has a great eye for visuals and the performances from his excellent supporting cast (Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza) are spot-on.
The pic should have plenty of general audience appeal when it opens in October, but it faces stiff competition in the form of the Chloe Moretz-fronted Carrie remake, Lee Daniels’ period drama The Butler, and the fantasy epic The Seventh Son starring Jeff Bridges. Interestingly, Don Jon, Carrie, and The Seventh Son all feature Julianne Moore. Hit the jump for release date news concerning Luc Besson’s (The Fifth Element) star-studded comedic actioner Malavita.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s feature directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction landed a record-breaking acquisition deal when Relativity picked it up after Sundance, but the pic is now getting a title change. Simplified to Don Jon, the picture stars Gordon-Levitt as a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type who attempts to reform himself. The film also stars Scarlett Johansson and Tony Danza.
Be sure to read Matt’s review here and hit the jump to see what Gordon-Levitt said on the topic of the title change, plus four new images.
One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon’s Addiction. In his feature directorial debut, Gordon-Levitt stars as a New Jersey guido addicted to porn. Even though this is the type of character that some would easily dismiss, Levitt find a way to let you see his sweet spot and you end up rooting for him. In addition to the great cast he put together (Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown), the main reason the film works is the very funny script and confident direction. While we all knew Gordon-Levitt is one of the best actors of his generation, Don Jon’s Addiction shows he’s also extremely talented behind the camera. I can’t wait to see what he does next. For more on the film, read Matt’s review.
Shortly after debuting the film at Sundance, I sat down with Gordon-Levitt, Moore and Danza. We talked about premiering at Sundance, the collaboration process, changes on set, if Gordon-Levitt was precious with his dialogue, deleted scenes, who saw the movie early to give notes, and more. In addition, with the film having a main character addicted to porn, the film flashes brief moments from real porn movies. We talked about the challenges of getting an R rating from the MPAA and how the organization has a double standard for violence and sex in movies. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
Earlier this month, we reported on the first wave of SXSW 2013 films, which includes The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Evil Dead. Today, the full line-up has been announced, and it feels like Sundance all over again when it comes to plenty of unknown films. The chance of discovering a gem is high, and I look forward to hearing the buzz that arises from some these movies. There’s also a second chance at festival films I missed like The Act of Killing (from TIFF) and Pit Stop (from Sundance). I thought Toy’s House would make it in to SXSW, but I’ll see it eventually since it picked up distribution.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 8 – 17th.
Steve, Matt, and I are currently braving the cold of Park City for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and following the premieres of some of the major films this past weekend, a few high profile acquisitions are taking place. Briefly:
- Don Jon’s Addiction – Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, a comedy that follows the life of a guido addicted to porn, has been picked up by Relativity Media for a record-breaking $4 million, per Variety. Read Matt’s review here.
- The Spectacular Now – This coming of age drama from director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer) garnered some great buzz, and A24 films has picked up the domestic rights. Read Matt’s review here.
- Fruitvale – Fresh off its premiere on Saturday night, this Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan-fronted drama is currently the “buzz” film that everyone’s rushing to see. Variety reports that the Weinstein Company is closing in on a deal worth north of $2 million following a heated bidding war.
- The Look of Love – IFC Films has picked up the rights to Michael Winterbottom’s comedy starring Steve Coogan. Read Matt’s review here.
- Austenland – The new comedy from Jerusha Hess and starring Keri Russell may be been picked up by Exclusive and FilmDistrict. [Update: Talks with FilmDistrict and Exclusive fell through, but Heat Vision reports that Sony Pictures Worldwide has now acquired distribution rights.]
Hit the jump to read the press releases.
Don Jon’s Addiction is much like its eponymous character: not much depth but quick, confident, amusing, and oddly endearing. The entire film quickly boils down to its core concept in the span of its frenetic intro: the eponymous character is afraid of intimacy. So who’s going to tear down that emotional wall? How will he learn his lesson? How can a lothario clearly based on “The Situation” from Jersey Shore ever learn to love? Director, writer, and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt knows his character inside and out, backwards and forwards, and finds the sweet, vulnerable heart of a guy who keeps Kleenex in business.
Yesterday, Sundance announced their stellar Premieres line-up and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the category:
- A.C.O.D. – Directed and co-written by Stuart Zicherman, co-written by Ben Karlin, starring Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
- Don Jon’s Addiction – Written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, and Julianne Moore.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
Expanding into more theaters this weekend is Steven Spielberg’s Best Picture nomination shoo-in, Lincoln. The period piece is less a cut-and-dry biopic of America’s 16th President, played brilliantly by Daniel Day-Lewis, and more of an examination of the burdens placed on Lincoln to keep a nation from falling apart while abolishing slavery and attempting to hold his personal life together. Lincoln also stars Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lee Pace and Hal Holbrook. For more on the film, here’s three clips, Dave’s review, a great trailer, and all our previous coverage.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I got to speak with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He talked about what was it like to collaborate with Steven Spielberg, whether anything surprised him while researching his role (he plays one of Lincoln’s sons), what it was like to work with Daniel Day-Lewis and what he was like off camera, his directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction (which I think is premiering at Sundance in January), what it was like to host SNL for the second time, and more. Hit the jump to watch.