Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race at a Glance

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Every year it seems like Oscars’ Best Actor category is crowded, while the number of contenders for the Best Actress trophy feels relatively thin.  It’s a result of the sad fact that there just aren’t as many interesting lead roles for women in Hollywood as there are for men; many times the “female lead” is relegated to existing only in relation to the film’s male lead.  It’s disappointing to be sure, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any noteworthy female roles out there, and this year’s Best Actress race is an excellent showcase of both talent and range, from brilliant sociopaths to Alzheimer’s patients.

After the jump, I take a look at the current state of the Best Actress Oscar category in this new edition of Oscar Beat.

New INTO THE WOODS Trailer Has Wishes and a Quest for Its Cast of Fairy Tale Characters

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Following yesterday’s motion posters, Disney has released a new Into the Woods trailer.  Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), her Prince (Chris Pine), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and the Wolf (Johnny Depp).  Between Into the Woods and Annie, I’m curious to see if December is big enough for two famous musicals.  At least as far as Into the Woods is concerned, the studio is definitely pushing the star power since the lead cast is listed not once but twice.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods trailer.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Lucy Punch, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

INTO THE WOODS Motion Posters Featuring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and More

by     Posted 19 days ago

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A whole batch of Into the Woods motion posters just hit the web and while I do appreciate the subtlety of the designs, showing some branches swaying just isn’t enough to create a consuming atmosphere like the ones in, let’s say, the motion poster for The Wolverine or this one for Gravity.  However, the poster for Mackenzie Mauzy’s Rapunzel does resemble an eerie murder scene, although that likely wasn’t intentional.

Hit the jump to check out that poster as well as the ones of James Corden as The Baker, Emily Blunt as The Baker’s Wife, Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Lilla Crawford as Little Red, Daniel Huttlestone as Jack, Chris Pine as The Prince, Billy Magnussen as The Other Prince, Meryl Streep as The Witch and Johnny Depp as The Wolf.  Into the Woods is due in theaters on December 25th.

EDGE OF TOMORROW Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 21 days ago

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Seriously, are we supposed to call it Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow now? That’s what the packaging of the Blu-ray (and its title on VOD) suggests, which is odd for a movie that made a little over a hundred million domestically.  Generally that sort of rebranding happens when a film flops, but perhaps this change was made because that’s what audiences thought the title was from the marketing.  Regardless, this Tom Cruise sci-fi action movie was easily one of the better movies of this past summer, but perhaps Cruise fatigue or title confusion left the film to underperform.  Starring alongside Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, Cruise does great work in this video game-inspired film and my review of the Blu-ray of Edge of Tomorrow follows after the jump.

8 New INTO THE WOODS Images Send Us Deeper into the Fairy Tale Musical Starring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and Johnny Depp

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Disney has released hi-res versions of previously released Into the Woods images along with a couple new stills as well.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters including Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), her Prince (Chris Pine), Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and the Wolf (Johnny Depp).  I really liked the extended featurette we saw last week, and I hope we’ll get a new trailer soon that will give us an even better idea of what to expect from director Rob Marshall‘s take on Stephen Sondheim‘s terrific musical.

Hit the jump to check out the Into the Woods images.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Lucy Punch, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

Extended INTO THE WOODS Featurette Provides Plenty of New Footage from the Upcoming Musical

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Following yesterday’s EW covers and new images, Disney has now released an extended featurette for Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical Into the Woods.  The Disney production stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters, all of whom have wishes to change their lives.  While I’ll admit that Johnny Depp‘s costume and makeup for the Big Bad Wolf continue to plunge the actor into self-parody, the rest of the movie looks surprisingly great.  This featurette really sells not only the fantastic visuals, but also shows that this is a true ensemble piece.  The featurette also provides the first time we’re hearing the actors sing some of the songs, and they sound terrific.

Hit the jump to watch the Into the Woods extended featurette.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Lilla CrawfordMackenzie Mauzy, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Feature Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, and More

by     Posted 33 days ago

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Earlier this morning, we got our first look at Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) upcoming musical adaptation Into the Woods.  It’s an interesting look to say the least, and while I figured the reason Depp was left out of the trailer was because his character would be CG-aided, it turns out he’s actually just wearing what looks like a relatively cheap Halloween costume.  Indeed, Depp tells EW Marshall let him put his own spin on the character:

“Rob Marshall wasn’t afraid to let me take the role to a level of heightened reality, almost cartoon-like, where one second the Wolf is here, and then, boom, suddenly he’s over there.”

Nevertheless, the film still has promise with its fantastic ensemble and twisty premise, and some new Into the Woods images have now landed online that give some different looks at Depp’s wolf, Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and more.  Take a look at the new Into the Woods images after the jump.  The film also stars Emily Blunt, James Corden, Meryl Streep, Lucy PunchChristine Baranski, and more. Into the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

INTO THE WOODS Trailer: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, and More Get Musical

by     Posted 116 days ago

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Disney has released the first trailer for the fairy tale musical Into the Woods, directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago).  James Corden and Emily Blunt star as a couple who encounter Brothers Grimm characters while on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family.  This is very much a teaser trailer, which unfortunately means we don’t get to hear any of the songs just yet; this trailer is very much focused on introducing the cast and the magical world.  Marshall’s first foray into tentpole moviemaking with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a bit of a misfire, but Into the Woods looks to combine the large-canvas sensibilities of that film with the theatrical quality of Chicago.  He’s assembled an incredibly talented cast to bring Into the Woods to fruition, so if he can deliver from a directorial standpoint (and if the songs turn out well), we could be in for something quite special.

Into the Woods stars Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski, and opens December 25th.  Hit the jump to watch the first Into the Woods trailer, and click here to see the recently released images.

New INTO THE WOODS Images Reveal Anna Kendrick’s Cinderella, Chris Pine’s Prince Charming, and Johnny Depp’s Big Bad Wolf

by     Posted 117 days ago

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A batch of new Into the Woods images from director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical has landed online.  The Disney production stars James Corden (Begin Again) and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters.  Today’s new images reveal quite a few of these, including Anna Kendrick as Cinderella, Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf, and Chris Pine as Prince Charming.  It’s an absolutely stacked cast, and Marshall had everyone sing live on set, so it should be interesting to see the final result come together this Christmas.  With these images debuting today, I imagine a first trailer is right around the corner.

Hit the jump to check out the new Into the Woods images, and click here to watch the first trailer.  The film also stars Meryl Streep, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Tracy Ullman, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Magnussen, Mackenzie MauzyInto the Woods opens in theaters on December 25th.

TOP 5: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Josh Trank Lands STAR WARS Spinoff Film, EDGE OF TOMORROW, DOCTOR STRANGE, JUPITER ASCENDING Delayed

by     Posted 170 days ago

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The Fault in Our Stars will break you. Don’t think for a second that it won’t. If you come out of it saying otherwise then there are only two explanations: you’re lying or you’re a sociopath. Either way, I’m not sure we can be friends. Led by terrific lead turns by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (and solid supporting efforts by Laura Dern and Nat Wolff), director Josh Boone‘s adaptation of the John Green novel disguises a lesson in how much of a cold hard bitch the universe can be as a romantic teen drama. Every sweet moment that Hazel and Gus share (of which there are plenty) has an all-consuming gray cloud overhead. Even the catharsis that comes from pelting your ex’s car with eggs only lasts as long as the inevitability of your own mortality will allow. For all of its borderline grief-inducing moments, The Fault in Our Stars is actually a solid entry in the genre that handles its subject honestly and respectfully. It deserves praise for this even if it does depress the hell out of us along the way.

In addition to more on The Fault in Our Stars, this week’s Top 5 also includes Chronicle director Josh Trank landing a Star Wars spinoff film, Matt’s Edge of Tomorrow review, Scott Derrickson getting the Doctor Strange gig as well as casting rumors surrounding the pic, and Warner Bros. pushing Jupiter Ascending back from next month to February 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

EDGE OF TOMORROW Review

by     Posted 172 days ago

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In almost every action movie, the hero never dies.  If he does die, he’s always alive at the end.  He is immortal by default.  Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow provides a sly commentary not only on the action genre, but also touches on notions of destiny, providence, choice, and sacrifice.  However, its most intriguing aspect is how it aligns with the career of its ageless, persevering star.  Tom Cruise is the eternal action star, who is both dominant in and yet trapped by his career circumstances.  His captivating performance in Edge of Tomorrow is both reflective and fresh as he doesn’t distract from the fascinating, exciting film, but his presence gives an extra pop to a film that will bring you back for repeat viewings.

New EDGE OF TOMORROW Clips and 5 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage

by     Posted 182 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a batch of four Edge of Tomorrow clips and five minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from director Doug Liman’s upcoming sci-fi actioner.  The film stars Tom Cruise as a military officer who keeps being killed during a doomed combat mission to take down a hive-like alien race, only to wake up and relive the same day over and over again.  In order to perhaps change his fate and save humanity, he works with a Special Forces warrior (Emily Blunt) to train himself to become a better soldier.  Early response to the pic has been highly positive, and all of the trailers have teased a thrilling and fascinating sci-fi yarn.  As a big Cruise fan myself, I’m very much looking forward to seeing this one in a couple of weeks.

Hit the jump to check out the Edge of Tomorrow movie clips and behind-the-scenes footage.  The film also stars Bill PaxtonBrendan GleesonNoah TaylorKick GurryDragomir MrsicCharlotte RielyJonas ArmstrongFranz DramehMasayoshi Haneda, and Tony Way.  Edge of Tomorrow opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 6th.

27 New EDGE OF TOMORROW Images Featuring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson

by     Posted 186 days ago

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The stars of Doug Liman’s sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow are gearing up for their globe-trotting world premiere in just a couple of days, and the marketing has been ramping up with a recently released featurette and trailer.  Today we’ve got 27 new images from the film to share with you which feature great new action-packed looks at Tom CruiseEmily BluntBill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson.  Exo-suits are the new black.

Also starring Noah TaylorKick GurryDragomir MrsicCharlotte RielyJonas ArmstrongFranz DramehMasayoshi Haneda, and Tony WayEdge of Tomorrow opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 6th.  Hit the jump to check out the new images.

Tom Cruise Keeps Dying in Excellent New EDGE OF TOMORROW Trailer

by     Posted 196 days ago

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Fresh off this morning’s behind-the-scenes featurette, Warner Bros. has released a fantastic new Edge of Tomorrow trailer for director Doug Liman’s upcoming sci-fi actioner.  Tom Cruise plays a military officer who keeps being killed during a doomed combat mission to take down a hive-like alien race, only to wake up and relive the same day over and over again.  In order to perhaps change his fate and save humanity, he works with a Special Forces warrior (Emily Blunt) to train himself to become a better soldier.  The premise itself is fascinating enough, but this trailer shows more of the relationship between Cruise’s cowardly character and Blunt’s warrior as the two are in training, and it looks incredibly promising.  I also really like the aesthetic that Liman has settled on for the film, and the set pieces look absolutely thrilling.

Hit the jump to watch the new Edge of Tomorrow trailer.  The film also stars Bill PaxtonBrendan GleesonNoah TaylorKick GurryDragomir MrsicCharlotte RielyJonas ArmstrongFranz DramehMasayoshi Haneda, and Tony WayEdge of Tomorrow opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 6th.

New Featurette for EDGE OF TOMORROW Starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt

by     Posted 196 days ago

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A new featurette has been released for Edge of Tomorrow.  The film stars Tom Cruise as a military officer who is killed within minutes of a doomed combat mission to take down a hive-like alien race.  He wakes up and is forced to relive the day over and over again, but it allows him to become a better soldier, and perhaps change his fate thanks to the help of a fellow officer played by Emily Blunt.  In the featurette, Blunt explains that her character once had the same ability, and while she eventually lost it, it allowed her to become a much better soldier.  Now she’s going to train Cruise’s character, which involves killing him a lot.  This makes the exercise seem like a video game: every time you die, you get better.  Tom Cruise is Super Meat Boy.

Hit the jump to check out the Edge of Tomorrow featurette.  The film opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 6th, and also stars Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riely, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda, and Tony Way.

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