Meryl Streep in Talks for Lead in Rob Marshall’s INTO THE WOODS; Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, and More Read for Roles

by     Posted 2 years, 17 days ago

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Following the success (commercially, that is) of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, director Rob Marshall was mulling a couple of projects as his follow-up.  After his remake of The Thin Man with Johnny Depp was put on hold, the Chicago director set his sights on returning to the world of song and dance for his next film.  Marshall is prepping an adaptation of the fairy tale-themed musical Into the Woods for Disney, and he recently held a star-studded screenplay read that included the likes of Anna Kendrick, Patrick Wilson, Allison Janney, and many more.  Additionally, it sounds like he may have settled on Meryl Streep for the lead role of the Witch.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of actors who were in attendance for the screenplay reading.

TANGLED Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 3 years, 192 days ago

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Tangled has the distinction of being the 50th animated film to emerge from Walt Disney studios. Lot of miles there. From being the king of the animated world, to the loss of direction in the 70’s and 80’s to the boom of The Little Mermaid and the run of animated hits that followed, to the complete lack of direction again in the 21st century. At this point you have no idea what to expect from the Mouse house, and often can expect better from Pixar. And yet Tangled is one of their better films, a charming version of the Rapunzel story, where the princess (Mandy Moore) doesn’t need rescuing as much as the would-be prince (Zachary Levi) does. Check out our Blu-ray review after the jump.

Sony Pictures Classics to Distribute Vera Farmiga’s HIGHER GROUND

by     Posted 3 years, 249 days ago

Sony Pictures Classics have acquired the North American distribution rights to Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut, Higher GroundI caught the film at Sundance and while it left me cold, I should note that some of my fellow critics absolutely adored the flick.  The film centers on Corinne (Farmiga), a devoutly-Christian woman who slowly begins to question her faith and the male-dominated power structure of her church.  It has some funny moments, but it rarely seems to be mocking faith, and I applaud it for that.

Hit the jump for the full press release.

Sundance 2011: HIGHER GROUND Review

by     Posted 3 years, 270 days ago

Religion is a tricky topic.  It’s incredibly easy to mock it or to preach it.  But an honest exploration of faith requires complete commitment and a willingness to let non-believers scoff and the holier-than-thou scorn.  Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut Higher Ground manages the impressive task of fully committing to its characters’ faith.  Unfortunately, it never transforms that commitment into a more fulfilling experience.  Despite an earnest approach to the Christian faith, Farmiga never finds anything interesting to say about it.

Donna Murphy Exclusive Interview TANGLED

by     Posted 3 years, 330 days ago

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! With the holiday in full swing today, and countless families gathering for turkey and stuffing, I wanted to bring you the final interview for Tangled. This is Disney’s 50th animated feature film in the Disney film canon, and it truly deserves some praise because it is one of the best animated films to come directly from the Mouse House in years. I sat down with Donna Murphy, the voice of the deceitful Mother Gothel, and we had a great discussion about what this type of role means to a mother and how it affects children. I must warn you now, as one publicist put it: Murphy doesn’t know how to give sound bites. She is quite a talker, which is a great experience when you hit on the right subject. Hit the jump to see my entire interview with Murphy, two fun videos, and a recap of the recent Tangled coverage.

TANGLED Review

by     Posted 3 years, 332 days ago

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Tangled could have been a disaster. Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard really pushed for something different by attempting to modernize a classic tale for contemporary audiences while combining the classic storylines and imagery of Disney’s illustrious past. All of that experimentation can unbalance a film by leaning too heavily on one side or the other, but Tangled does a remarkable job at harmonizing the past and present. Gorgeous CG, an involving and up-tempo score, and some of the best sidekicks seen on screen propel this take on the character of Rapunzel. There is a sense of contemporary fun throughout the film, and yet the heart remains where it should; right in the middle.  My full review after the jump:

4 Clips from Disney’s TANGLED Featuring Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore

by     Posted 3 years, 340 days ago

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Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 50th animated feature film is Tangled, and they really made this one special. This retelling of the Grimm fairy tale about Rapunzel and her magical hair may have some cautiously optimistic, but having seen the film I am just plain confident that audiences will enjoy it. Directed by Byron Howard and Nathan Greno, this tale features the voice work of Zachary Levi, Mandy Moore, Tony Award-winning actress Donna Murphy, and Brad Garrett. All four get in on the action–and singing–with a slew of brand new songs composed by the legendary Alan Menken. Did I mention the film has perhaps some of the best animation to date?  Hit the jump to check out four clips from Tangled, which hits theaters in 3D on November 24th.  Also, look for new interviews with the cast very soon.

Casting Call: Christopher Walken Rides DARK HORSE; Vanessa Hudgens on JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND; Jessica Lange & Sam Neill Take THE VOW

by     Posted 4 years, 7 days ago

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Christopher Walken, Mia Farrow, Selma Blair, Jordan Gelber, Aasif Mandvi, Justin Bartha, Zachary Booth, and Donna Murphy have all joined the cast of Dark Horse, the latest from writer/director Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime).  THR provides a brief outline for the indie drama:

The film centers on a thirtysomething man (Gelber) in arrested development who lives with his parents (Walken and Farrow), reluctantly works for his father and avidly collects toys. He seeks out a thirtysomething woman (Blair) in arrested development in an attempt to shed the “dark horse” status in his family and finally accomplish something.

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Mandvi plays Blair’s “not quite ex-boyfriend,” Bartha and Booth are Gelber’s more successful brother and easygoing cousin (respectively); Murphy will portray Walken’s secretary.  Filming began earlier this week in New York.

Hit the jump for news details on Vanessa Hudgen’s role in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and the teaming of Jessica Lange and Sam Neill for The Vow.

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