As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.
While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.
Summer’s penultimate weekend was never going to be a blockbuster, but now – with Hurricane Irene closing theatres up and down the Eastern seaboard – it is shaping up to be one of the worst frames of the entire year at the domestic box office. Three new releases rolled out on Friday but reduced traffic and theatre counts from North Carolina to New York meant that none of them came close to knocking The Help out of first place. Last weekend’s top film earned an estimated $4.4 million on its third Friday; bringing its US total up to $86.6 million in 17 days. The revenge-thriller Colombiana was Friday’s newbie king, taking in an estimated $3.75 million, followed closely by the Guillermo del Toro-penned Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark with $3.6 million. The Weinstein’s Our Idiot Brother closed out Friday’s top five with $2.4 million. The uncertainty of the hurricane means that it is more difficult than usual to predict how well any of this weekend’s offerings will fare, but I can tell you that The Help is the only film that is expected to get much above $10 million by Sunday. We’ll have an update tomorrow.
||Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
||Rise of the Planet of the Apes
||Our Idiot Brother
If you’re just tuning in, a few months back we started the weekly “Top 5″ feature as a way of aggregating all of what we deem to be our best, most relevant coverage from the preceding week into one place. The hope is that you, the reader, will have already scoped all of this material out and shared it with your millions of friends (either real, virtual, or both). However, if for whatever reason some of it has fallen through the cracks, you can come here, check it out, and then share it with all of your friends (again, either real, virtual, or both). That in mind…
In this week’s installment, you’ll find all of our coverage from Steve’s Underworld: Awakening set visit and Disney’s D23 Expo, interviews for the Guillermo del Toro produced horror flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and the Paul Rudd comedy Our Idiot Brother, and a slightly improved, slightly less puppet-friendly version of Yoda in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Check out brief recaps and links to all of the above after the jump.
One of the best panels from this year’s Comic-Con was undoubtedly FilmDistrict’s mashup of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive. Instead of separating the studio’s two films, the filmmakers and stars from both flicks participated in the panel together, resulting in an utterly fascinating and wildly entertaining conversation between Dark co-writer/producer Guillermo del Toro and Drive writer/director Nicholas Winding Refn. The conversation, which also includes Troy Nixey, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman and Guy Pearce, offers incredible insight into the way both directors think, with some fantastic stories and NSFW language sprinkled in for good measure. Refn recounts, with hilarious detail, a ridiculously awkward prescription drug-fueled car ride with star Ryan Gosling that cultivated the idea for Drive.
Hit the jump to watch the full panel, which I highly suggest you do. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opens today, and Drive starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Albert Brooks opens September 16th.
I’m an easy scare. I tend not to seek out horror movies because the idea of being hit by jump scares doesn’t appeal to me. Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark goes after gothic, psychological horror with a haunted house/monster movie vibe and that’s usually the way the genre works for me. But despite the exquisite art direction and cinematography, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a horror movie that rarely conjures of any sense of dread or terror.
FilmDistrict has released a new red band trailer for the horror remake Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark just before it hits theaters this weekend. There’s no gore or nudity, so I can’t point to the specifics that make it red band. (Maybe acute creepiness?) You get a really good look at the creatures, which are always a treat when Guillermo del Toro’s involved. He’s producing here, and co-wrote the screenplay with Matthew Robbins (Mimic); Troy Nixey directed.
The story centers on an architect (Guy Pearce), his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes), and his daughter (Bailee Madison) during the restoration of Blackwood Manor, a Gothic mansion infested by “an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number: the homunculi.” Watch the trailer after the jump.
Guillermo del Toro is a fascinating and imaginative filmmaker with a macabre aesthetic who loves to populate his films with mysterious creatures that exist only in a fantastical realm. His latest project, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, which he co-wrote and produced, is inspired by a 1973 telefilm that he considers one of the scariest movies he ever saw as a kid. The remake follows Sally (Bailee Madison), a precocious young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in the 19th-century mansion they are restoring. When Sally stumbles upon the mansion’s hidden basement, she unwittingly unleashes something so terrible that everyone’s life is put in grave danger.
At a recent roundtable interview, we talked with del Toro and Holmes about the movie and their love of the horror genre. Del Toro told us what inspired him to use a younger protagonist in the remake, how he collaborated with director Troy Nixey on the film’s visual style, and why he thinks the idea of a tooth fairy is a very creepy concept. Holmes discussed what she did to prepare for her role, how her experience as a mother influenced the emotional arc of her character, and why she liked del Toro’s treatment of the female characters. They also updated us on what they have coming up next. Del Toro is looking forward to helming the upcoming alien invasion flick, Pacific Rim, this Fall, while Holmes described her roles in The Son of No One, Jack and Jill, and Responsible Adults. Check out the interview after the jump.
At this year’s Comic-Con, I got to speak with an actor whose work I really love: Guy Pearce. No matter the role, Pearce always delivers a great performance, and I really think he’s one of the best actors working in Hollywood. Anyway, Pearce was at Comic-Con to help promote director Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. In the film, Pearce plays the father that doesn’t believe the creatures are real. For more on the movie, here’s our recap of the panel, the trailer, and my interview with Guillermo Del Toro and Katie Holmes from the L.A. Film Festival.
In addition to Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Pearce talked about what it’s like to work for Ridley Scott (he’s in Prometheus), Lockout, John Hillcoat’s Wettest Country in the World, Drake Doremus and a lot more. Hit the jump to watch.
There are plenty of big genre properties that show off at Comic-Con but this I’m excited out of my mind for two smaller films: the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. Last year the panel for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was one of the best panels I saw in part because of del Toro’s terrific stage presence and in part because the film just looks damn scary. As for Drive, I’ve heard nothing but great things about the film and this will be Refn’s first trip to Comic-Con. Unlike the standard panel format of show footage and audience Q&A, it will be a conversation between del Toro and Refn and the casts of their movies. Cast members included Ron Perlman, Guy Pearace, Carey Mulligan, and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark director Troy Nixey.
Hit the jump for the Film District panel of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Drive.
There’s plenty of good stuff to see at this year’s Comic-Con. There’s too much good stuff. You could clone yourself seven times and you and your many selves still probably couldn’t see everything worth seeing. I am without a cloning machine (damn you, lazy scientists) and I will be covering only Hall H this year. After the jump, I’ve listed the five panels I’m most interested in seeing in Hall H as well as the five panels I wish I could attend outside of Comic-Con’s biggest room.
Comic-Con 2011 is merely one week away, and today FilmDistrict has released some details about their Thursday panel in Hall H. The studio will be bringing Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark co-writer and producer Guillermo del Toro and Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn. The two will engage in a conversation about each other’s films, the creative process of making genre films, their favorite genre films and more. Stars from each of their films will also be present to take part in the conversation.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a horror film that stars Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, and tells the story of a family who looks to restore an old mansion, but in turn is plagued by hellish beings. Drive is an action caper that stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opens August 26th, while Drive hits theaters September 16th. Hit the jump to read the full press release regarding the Comic-Con panel.
Opening in late August is director Troy Nixey’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Based on the 1973 telefilm, the remake was written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins and “the story follows Sally (Bailee Madison), a young girl who moves to Rhode Island to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in the 19th Century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, Sally starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own.” Here’s the trailer. In addition, I saw the movie at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival and thought it was really well done and it’s definitely recommended.
The day after the premiere I got to sit down with del Toro and Holmes. While I was going to hold the interview until closer to release, with both revealing they’ll be at this year’s Comic-Con, I figure it’s better to post it now. During the interview we talked about making the film, how there are no cheap scares, and what’s the secret to making the characters stay in the house in a believable way. In addition, we talked about Comic-Con, Doug Liman’s Go, Pacific Rim and karaoke. Hit the jump to watch.
Comic-Con has announced the schedule for Preview Night (Wednesday, July 20th) and the Thursday that officially opens the Con. While Preview Night is usually a chance for attendees to roam the floor of the exhibitors and trample each other for swag, this year’s preview night will be hosting world premiere pilot screenings of Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle, and Supernatural: The Anime Series. I don’t care about the last two, but since Alcatraz and Person of Interest both come form J.J. Abrams, I imagine they’ll be packed.
As for Thursday, Hall H belongs to (in chronological order): The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Arthur Christmas, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Drive, an unannounced line-up from 20th Century Fox (expect Rise of the Planet of the Apes), a sneak peek at Robert Rodriguez’ upcoming films (yawn), and a discussion between Guillermo del Toro and Jon Favreau. I would stand in line all day just for Drive and the conversation between del Toro and Favreau. Hit the jump for the full schedule. Expect the schedule for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday over the next several days.
A few new posters have surfaced today. Our first look at Pixar’s upcoming Brave comes in the form of a gorgeous poster, teasing some darker elements in the fairy tale story. The teaser trailer is attached to prints of Cars 2 this weekend, and compounded with the images/concept artwork that’s been released, I’m already looking past the Cars sequel and longing for this original film. Featuring the voices of Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Kevin McKidd, and Craig Ferguson, Brave hits theaters on June 22nd, 2012.
Additionally, UK poster for the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has been released. The trailers for the flick have been terrifying, and this poster keeps the creep factor up. Starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, and Bailee Madison, the film is set to be released on August 12th. And finally, we’ve got a poster for John Singleton’s Abduction. The trailers for the Taylor Lautner-starred flick gave off a strong Bourne vibe and this poster seems to be along the same lines. Abduction hits theaters September 23rd. Hit the jump to check out the posters.
New posters have been released for the horror flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Robert Rodriguez’ Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. The Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark poster is a tad generic and I preferred the early teaser poster, but I understand why studios don’t go with illustrated posters for live-action movies. There could be confusion from the audience that the film is animated. Best to go with floating heads.
Speaking of floating heads, the Spy Kids poster is terrifying. Yes, it uses the same style as the previous Sky Kids posters, but for God’s sake: there’s a dog’s head popping off its body and you can see its (admittedly mechanical) spine! Jeremy Piven’s face dominates a quarter of the poster space! Hit the jump to be cool to a poster for a horror film and horrified by a poster for a family film. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opens August 26th. Spy Kids: All the time in the World opens in 3D on August 19th.