Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl to Star in Florian Gallenberger’s COLONIA

by     Posted 23 days ago

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I like to think we’re pretty on top of casting news, so this one kind of came out of nowhere, but it still sounds interesting.  A press release has announced that Emma Watson and Daniel Brühl (Rush) will star in Florian Gallenberger‘s new film, Colonia.  The story takes place in Chile in 1973, and has Watson playing a young woman who must join in a cult in order to save her husband (Brühl), who has been kidnapped by Pinochet’s secret police.  As the press release notes, this will be Watson’s first real starring role since Harry Potter (at most, she’s had co-leads to this point; here it sounds like she’s the protagonist and Brühl is the supporting character), so that makes this project even more exciting.

Principal photography on Colombia is about to begin, and it will shoot until the end of the year.  Hit the jump for the press release.

NOAH Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 84 days ago

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The sign of a good religious picture is the controversy surrounding it.  Whenever a movie asks you to seriously grapple with theological issues, it’s bound to rile those who like their religion safe and comforting.  Noah certainly prompted its share of screeching op-ed pieces, along with the smug indifference of the secular crowd.  In truth, director Darren Aronofsky has punk’d them all: creating a serious, thoughtful and unbearably intense study of our relationship to God in the context of a giant Hollywood blockbuster.  Hit the jump for my full Noah Blu-ray review.

Guillermo del Toro Drops Out of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST with Emma Watson

by     Posted 132 days ago

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It’s been years since we’ve heard a solid update on Guillermo del Toro’s live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptationHarry Potter star Emma Watson attached herself as the lead back in 2012, and del Toro continued to develop the project as he tackled Pacific Rim.  Today we have serious movement on the Warner Bros. pic, but unfortunately it’s not exactly good news.  The ever-busy del Toro has now withdrawn himself from the project as director, opting instead to simply produce the pic.  Hit the jump for more.

First Image from Alejandro Amenábar REGRESSION Starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson

by     Posted 134 days ago

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The first image from Alejandro Amenábar‘s drama Regression has been released online.  The movie takes place in Minnesota in 1990, and stars Ethan Hawke as a detective who investigates the case of a young woman (Emma Watson) who accuses her father (David Dencik) of an “unspeakable crime”.  The investigation eventually leads to uncovering a “horrifying nationwide mystery.”  I’m a big fan of Amenábar’s previous films The Others and The Sea Inside, and it looks like he has another powerful story here.  Principal photography has wrapped, so I wonder if there’s a chance we’ll see this one on the fall festival circuit.

Hit the jump to check out the Regression image.  The film also stars David Thewlis, Dale Dickey, Lothaire Bluteau, and Devon Bostick.

Emma Watson and Miles Teller May Go Musical for LA LA LAND; Lupita Nyong’o to Lead AMERICANAH; Ike Barinholtz Joins THE NEST

by     Posted 139 days ago

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A couple of interesting casting announcements have surfaced.  First up, director Damien Chazelle—whose dark music-centric drama Whiplash drew raves at Sundance earlier this year—is putting together his next project.  Whiplash, a film about the relationship between aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller) and his ruthless instructor (J.K. Simmons), marked Chazelle’s feature debut, and it appears that he wants to stay in the music realm for his follow-up.  The Wrap reports that Miles Teller is in early talks to reteam with Chazelle on the musical La La Land, with Emma Watson in talks to tackle the female lead.  The story follows a lonely, aspiring actress and a cocky, charismatic jazz pianist who fall in love in Los Angeles.  However, they are soon faced with the stiff challenge of navigating a relationship in the cutthroat climate of L.A.

Hit the jump for more on La La Land and news regarding a new Lupita Nyong’o project and a Neighbors standout landing the lead in the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler film.

NOAH Review

by     Posted 209 days ago

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Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite filmmakers.  It’s been rewarding to watch him develop over the course of his five feature films (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan) and how he’s matured in approach to certain themes—namely, obsession and death.  His latest feature, Noah, should be dripping with these two themes as it’s the story of a man directed by God and willing to let the rest of the world die.  While it does provide some intriguing departure from those themes, Noah feels like a series of compromises that soften the impact of the themes as Aronofsky gets bogged down in explanations that feel like excuses, and then struggles to return to the fascinating and complex moral drama at the center of the story.  Although he has his frequent collaborators providing the picture with grandeur and majesty, and the filmmaker’s trademark earnestness remains, his style begins to work against him as Noah veers between gritty reality and difficult humanism.

30 New Images from Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH Featuring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and More

by     Posted 217 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a large batch of new images from director Darren Aronofsky’s upcoming Biblical epic Noah.  The film is Aronofsky’s take on the Great Flood story from the Bible, with Russell Crowe assuming the titular role of a man who is told by God that Earth’s population will be wiped out by a flood.  The film drew strong if somewhat polarizing reactions from its world premiere, and it has already encountered its share of controversy throughout development.  Hopefully the finished product reflects Aronofsky’s full, uncompromised vision, which is sure to result in a wholly original take on this well-known story.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, and Douglas Booth.  Noah opens in theaters on March 28th.

11 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson

by     Posted 217 days ago

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Paramount has released 11 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah.  Aronofsky’s adaptation will take the familiar story about Noah (Russell Crowe) building the ark to survive the flood, but provide the director’s unique take on the material.  Those who saw the premiere last week applauded the film, but acknowledged that it’s likely to be divisive, which is shocking because everyone agrees on everything from the Bible.  This footage goes into Aronofsky directing his talented cast as well as the work that went into building the ark, so it’s worth checking out.

Hit the jump to check out the footage.  The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, and Anthony HopkinsNoah opens in theaters on March 28th.

NOAH Featurette Reveals the Building of the Ark with Commentary from Darren Aronofsky, Russell Crowe, and Emma Watson

by     Posted 230 days ago

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There has been much debate throughout history about the Biblical ark, if it ever really existed, and just how it would have been (intelligently) designed.  Luckily, this new featurette for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah puts that question to rest, in the cinematic world at least.  This behind-the-scenes look at ark design, construction, and functionality gives us just the briefest of introductions into the approach the filmmakers had in adapting the Biblical tale, and it looks to be one epic journey that’s actually worthy of the modifier.  If nothing else, you’ll learn just what a cubit is.

Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Logan Lerman,  Noah opens March 28.  Watch the featurette after the jump, click here for Matt’s report from the set, and click here for his interview with Crowe.

Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan and More Set for LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT; Emma Watson Joins Ethan Hawke in Thriller REGRESSION

by     Posted 259 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to address today.  First up, it was announced that Ewan McGregor will lead the cast of writer/director Rodrigo Garcia’s (Albert Nobbs) new drama Last Days in the Desert.  McGregor will be joined by Ciaran Hinds (Harry Potter), Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel), and the young Tye Sheridan (Mud) in the pic, which follows a holy man and a demon on a journey through the desert.  McGregor will play both the holy man and the demon, and the story finds the former encountering a family struggling to survive in the harsh environment that forces the man to confront his own fate.  Production is currently underway in the Southern California desert with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life) lensing the film.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning Harry Potter alum Emma Watson tackling the thriller genre and for the full press release for Last Days in the Desert.

Watch Super Bowl Spot for Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH Starring Russell Crowe

by     Posted 266 days ago

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Paramount has released the Super Bowl spot for Noah online ahead of the Sunday ad extravaganza.  The tagline that punctuates the clip is a bit silly—”Witness the untold story of the world’s most epic event”—but gets to the point of what I’m looking forward to in Noah: A darker version of a very familiar story that would naturally be horrific in the moment, told by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) in his biggest sandbox to date.  The 35-second clip is packed with big moments, including a brief shot of celestial beings hurtling toward Earth.

Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, and Logan Lerman star.  Noah opens March 28.  Watch the spot after the break.

First 2 Trailers for Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH Starring Russell Crowe

by     Posted 342 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for director Darren Aronofsky’s Biblical epic Noah, and it looks exactly like a Darren Aronofsky version of the Great Flood story.  The visuals here are quite stunning, and the production’s decision to shoot in Iceland looks to be more than warranted.  How refreshing it is to see a film with real backgrounds and landscapes as opposed to CG-created everything (ahem Maleficent).  What I’m most excited about, though, is the human element, as Aronofsky has a knack for telling wonderfully intimate stories that are extremely character-focused.  Combined with the expansive visuals of the Great Flood, this has the makings to be quite the event film.  Whatever quarrels are going on about the current edit of the feature, I sincerely hope Aronofsky’s signature style isn’t lost in the final cut.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Kevin Durand, Martin Csokas, Mark Margolis, and Anthony HopkinsNoah opens on March 28, 2014. [Update: Paramount has also released an entirely different international trailer, which is also included after the jump.]

THE BLING RING Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 360 days ago

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With such films as Marie Antoinette and Somewhere, writer/director Sofia Coppola has carved a niche for herself as cinema’s premiere chronicler of privileged ennui.  However, in her latest cinematic offering, The Bling Ring, Coppola steps outside of the insular world of the wealthy and bored to focus her lens on characters desperate to get inside it.  My review after the jump.

THIS IS THE END Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 1 day ago

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Seth Rogen made a bold decision in his directorial debut This is the End (which he co-wrote and co-directed with Evan Goldberg) that could have just as easily blown up in his face.  He stars as himself, as do his friends/co-stars Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson in this comedy about what happens when actors survive the rapture.  My review of the Blu-ray of This is the End follows after the jump.

Emma Watson to Reteam with PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER Director Stephen Chbosky on WHILE WE’RE YOUNG

by     Posted 1 year, 12 days ago

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Emma Watson is poised to reteam with The Perks of Being a Wallflower writer/director Stephen Chbosky on another adaptation.  While Chbosky adapted Perks from his own novel, Deadline reports that the director has now signed on to helm an adaptation of Adena Halpern’s book 29, which will be titled While We’re Young.  The book revolves around a young-at-heart 75-year-old named Ellie who feels she has more in common with her 29-year-old granddaughter Lucy than her 55-year-old daughter Barbara.  On her birthday, Ellie wishes she could be 29 again for just one day, and is surprised to find that the wish magically comes true.  The story explores three generations of women and how one day changes everything they know about each other.

While the premise sounds a tad saccharine, so did the logline for Perks and Chbosky crafted that film into a mature, emotional, and honest look at young life; he’s more than earned the benefit of the doubt.  Hit the jump for more. 

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