Sundance 2013: SWEETWATER Review

by     Posted 1 year, 332 days ago


I am a huge fan of the Western genre.  So between me and the filmmakers behind the Western Sweetwater, that makes one of us.  Writer-directors Logan Miller and Noah Miller are far more interested in half-constructed ideas based solely on what seems cool.  The film rolls along without any urgency even though the audience can tell the story from start to finish, and probably tell it better.   The filmmakers somehow managed to rope in great actors like Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs to play campy stock characters, but never had any idea how to fully take advantage of their talent.  Cinematographer Brad Shield even gives the movie the look of respectability.  Despite some pretty shots and entertaining performances, Sweetwater always feels lackadaisical and half-hearted.


by     Posted 2 years, 40 days ago


Last night I uncovered a gem from 2011 for the first time and my only regret is that I didn’t take the time to seek it out sooner. Writer/director Thomas McCarthy‘s dramedy Win Win is not only consistently funny but also chock full of both heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The performances are terrific all-around, the script is strong albeit somewhat easy to telegraph, and the wrestling scenes are even surprisingly intense at times (I mean, it was nominated for a prestigious ESPY for “Best Sports Film” after all). Matt gave the film his full endorsement when he reviewed it at Sundance 2011 and I’m doing the same here today.

Movie recommendations aside, in what was yet another busy week around these parts, the five standouts include our Skyfall interviews with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, director Sam Mendes and more, a Beautiful Creatures set visit recap, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, even more set visit goodness from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, and ongoing development news for the next Star Wars trilogy. Keep reading for brief recaps and links to all of the above.

20 Things to Know from Our Set Visit to THE LAST STAND Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

by     Posted 2 years, 43 days ago


The sheriff of a small border town stands in front of a notorious drug cartel leader, blocking his path across the bridge that will take him safely out of the country.  Wanting to avoid a physical confrontation with the much larger man, the cartel leader attempts to buy him off. The sheriff responds by discarding his gun belt and shedding his jacket, dropping it to the ground.  The men rush each other.  They trade blows, neither getting the upper hand until the sheriff lifts the man into the air and prepares to slam him to the asphalt.  Director Kim Jee-Woon calls cut and sheriff Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger) slowly lowers cartel leader Gabriel Cortes (Eduardo Noriega) to the ground with the assistance of the actor’s stunt wires.

It’s late October 2011 and we’re on set of The Last StandSchwarzenegger’s first starring role since leaving the governorship of California and his triumphant return to the big screen.  While we’ll have interviews with the cast and crew of the film later on this week, you can hit the jump right now to view our “20 Things to Know” for The Last Stand.  Also starring Forest Whitaker, Rodrigo Santoro, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford and Genesis Rodriguez, The Last Stand opens January 18th, 2013.

Eduardo Noriega Talks THE LAST STAND, Playing the Villain, Fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger, Working with Director Kim Jee-Woon and Driving the ZR1 Corvette

by     Posted 2 years, 43 days ago


Eduardo Noriega (Open Your Eyes) has the unenviable task of squaring off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in Lionsgate’s The Last Stand (watch the new trailer here).  Directed by Kim Jee-woon, the stylized Western centeres on a retired LAPD officer turned sheriff, Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger), who settles in the peaceful border town of Sommerton Junction.  When cartel leader Gabriel Cortez (Noriega) escapes from the FBI and makes a run for the border, Owens and his small-town sheriffs department are the only things standing in his way.

During our set visit to The Last Stand, Noriega took some time out of his stunt work with Schwarzenegger to participate in a round-table interview and talked about The Last Stand, the background of his antagonistic character, how the film’s action and physicality compare to demands in his previous works, working with director Kim Jee-woon, being cooped up in the car with co-star Genesis Rodriguez, as well as driving the 1,000 horsepower ZR1 Chevy Corvette.  Noriega also confessed to being a fan of Schwarzenegger’s since he was a little kid and what this experience means to him.  Hit the jump to read up on our interview with Noriega from our set visit to The Last Stand

New Trailer for THE LAST STAND Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

by     Posted 2 years, 43 days ago


A new full-length trailer for director Kim Jee-Woon‘s actioner The Last Stand has been released.  The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the old sheriff of a sleepy border town who’s called to action when a drug kingpin flees an FBI prisoner convoy, and tries to make his way to Mexico.  This trailer gives us a better look at the action outside of the border town involving Forest Whitaker‘s law enforcement character and also highlights some of the lighter aspects of the pic.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford, and Genesis Rodriguez.  The Last Stand opens January 18, 2013.

First Trailer for THE LAST STAND Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

by     Posted 2 years, 126 days ago


The first trailer for Kim Jee-Woon‘s The Last Stand has gone online.  Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the old sheriff of a sleepy border town who’s called to action when a drug kingpin flees an FBI prisoner convoy, and tries to make his way to Mexico.  It’s a good premise for nice little action-thriller, but Schwarzenegger seems totally miscast.  He’s just not really meant for small movies because he’s a big persona.  There’s nothing subdued about him.  So when a huge guy with a thick Austrian accent is wandering around a small town like it’s no big deal, he seems horribly out of place.  Maybe it will work better in context, and I really like the action on display from Kim Jee-Woon.  It’s a nice break from the shaky-cam antics other directors may have brought to the picture.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford, and Genesis RodriguezThe Last Stand opens January 18, 2013.

First Official Synopsis and Poster for THE LAST STAND Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger

by     Posted 2 years, 128 days ago


You’ll see a little bit more of Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables 2 than you did in the first film, but once The Last Stand rolls in next January, the whole screen belongs to the former Governor.  We previously brought you the first image from the film, but now we’re happy to share an official synopsis and poster.  The actioner from director Ji-woon Kim stars Schwarzenegger as the aging sheriff of a border town, which happens to be the last hope of keeping a drug cartel leader from fleeing the country.  The Last Stand, also starring Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Jaimie Alexander, Peter Stormare, Genesis Rodriguez and Zach Gilford, opens January 18th.  Hit the jump for the official synopsis and poster.

Eduardo Noriega Set as Villain Opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in LAST STAND

by     Posted 3 years, 71 days ago


A formidable foe has finally been chosen to square off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in his comeback project Last Stand. Variety reports that Eduardo Noriega (Blackthorn) has been cast as the villain in the action pic. The story centers on the sheriff of a sleepy border town who serves as the last line of defense against a drug cartel leader headed for the Mexican border. Noriega will play the cartel leader, fleeing to Mexico with $400 million in tow. Kim Jee-Woon is directing, and the cast includes Rodrigo Santoro, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford and recent addition Jaimie Alexander.

Spanish actor Noriega’s resume includes Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone and Alejandro Amenabar’s Open Your Eyes. Schwarzenegger is currently filming a stint in The Expendables 2, photographic evidence of which was tweeted earlier today showing Schwarzenegger standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. Last Stand opens January 18th, 2013.

Trailer for BLACKTHORN Makes Film Look Better than Initially Advertised

by     Posted 3 years, 119 days ago


When we first reported on Blackthorn in March 2010, it sounded like a cheap attempt to cash in on the classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  The plot had Butch Cassidy surviving the shootout in Bolivia and going under the new name “Blackthorn”.  At the time, it sounded like it was an old criminal going in for one last heist, but the trailer and official synopsis have gone online and they make the movie seem more complex and interesting than the original logline.  Sam Shepard also makes for a good Western protagonist even though the older Butch Cassidy has become far more grizzled and a lot less lighthearted.  Also, since we get so few Westerns, I’m willing to give almost all of them a shot.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Blackthorn hits VOD on September 2nd and opens in theaters on October 7th.

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