FARGO Blu-ray Review

by     Posted One week ago

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With the premiere of the intriguing new Fargo limited series, it was inevitable that we’d receive a new Blu-ray version of the modern classic that inspired it. Joel & Ethan Coen‘s Fargo remains one of the high points of their storied career, and while its arrival on Blu-ray has clearly mercenary motivations, it’s no less welcome because of it. Hit the jump for my Fargo Blu-ray review.

First Trailer for FX Series FARGO Features a Look at Billy Bob Thornton in the Frozen North

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Our first look at the new FX limited series Fargo comes by way of this thirty-second teaser trailer.  It features a look at Billy Bob Thornton’s character in the frozen North, The Ames Brothers’ “It Only Hurts for a Little While” and hints of the dark humor that’s sure to come.  It also comes with the tagline: “This April, Lorne Malvo has a few things to clear up.”

Executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, the 10-episode show is a reimagining of the classic Coen brothers film and also stars Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh, Glenn Howerton, Joey King, Tom Musgrave, Peter Breitmayer, Josh Close, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, and Allison Tolman.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: Our Favorite Movies of 2013, New Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, First Trailer for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL, Cinemath

by     Posted 105 days ago

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Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.

Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth EvansThe Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Watch a New Featurette for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS that Reveals the Behind-the-Scenes Process of Bringing Stage Music to the Screen

by     Posted 114 days ago

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A new behind-the-scenes featurette from Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis reveals the laborious process of bringing stage music to the screen.  The Coens join star Oscar Isaac, music producer T-Bone Burnett, production mixer Peter Kurland, and re-recording mixer Greg Orloff, for this eight-minute look at how the folk music drama came together.

The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman, and is now playing theaters.  Hit the jump to watch the behind-the-scenes featurette.

HAIL CAESAR Has a “Good Chance” at Being the Coen Brothers’ Next Film; George Clooney Still Attached to Star

by     Posted 128 days ago

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The Coen Brothers‘ love making George Clooney look like a schmuck, and it appears they might be doing it again in the near future.  During a recent interview with Thompson on Hollywood, Anne Thompson asked about their comedy Hail Caesar, which they had talked about back in 2004.  According to The Playlist, the film is set to star George Clooney “as a 1920s matinee film idol who takes on Ancient Rome epic” and at one point Tim Blake Nelson was also being considered for the cast.  Joel Coen told Thompson they’ve been working on Hail Caesar, and “there’s a good chance that would be next”; Ethan Coen added that the film is “about the movie business and life and religion and faith. Faith and the movie business”.

Hit the jump for more.

Joel and Ethan Coen Talk INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Casting Oscar Isaac, Working with Cats, Shooting on Film, and Working with T-Bone Burnett

by     Posted 129 days ago

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From Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis follows folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), who is struggling to make it in the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.  Relying on friends for a couch to sleep on and scrounging for whatever work he can find, Llewyn attempts to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, many of which are of his own making, while never really catching a break.  The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, Adam Driver, Stark Sands and Max Casella.

At the films press day, filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen spoke at this roundtable interview about what led them to cast Oscar Isaac as their lead, the challenges of finding someone who could convincingly act and perform music live, the unusual nature of working with cats, why they chose to shoot this on film instead of digital, what their working relationship with executive music producer T-Bone Burnett is like, and why they think there haven’t been as many popular representations of this period in music.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Review

by     Posted 134 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival.  Inside Llewyn Davis opens today in limited release.]

It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.

National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 136 days ago

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The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013.  Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station).  Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners.  Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.

The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects.  Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.

The Coen Brothers Say They’re Working on a Film about Ancient Rome; Could Just Be Messing with Everyone

by     Posted 138 days ago

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One of the many great things about the Coen Brothers’ is the way they limit their interviews.  They refuse to go in depth about the thematic elements of their movies or even overarching discussions about their careers.  Ambiguity gives their movies more room to breathe and invites thoughtful interpretations.  With their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, the furthest they’ve gone is discussing the film’s inspiration (Dave Von Ronk‘s memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street) and production aspects like selecting the appeal of the era and working on the music with frequent collaborator T-Bone Burnett.

And while the Brothers’ shooting style is steady and deliberate, they don’t take themselves too seriously. That’s why in a recent interview with the AP, they have playfully hinted they’re writing a movie about ancient Rome.  Hit the jump for more.

Oscar Beat: The Best Director Race – Is the Cuaron vs. McQueen Showdown Inevitable?

by     Posted 142 days ago

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The Best Director Oscar category quite often mirrors the Best Picture category, with the winners in both matching up year after year.  That being said, it’s not wholly uncommon to see a split for one reason or another—in fact, it’s happened 22 times.  Sometimes the director of the Best Picture winner gets snubbed out of a nomination (see: Ben Affleck), sometimes heavy backdoor campaigning results in a split (see: Shakespeare in Love take Best Picture and Saving Private Ryan getting Best Director), and sometimes the Academy is simply not willing to award difficult material the grand prize (see: Brokeback Mountain losing Best Picture).  This year, however, we have a different scenario that could simply be boiled down to an incredibly tough choice: two excellent, groundbreaking films that both showcase directing at its finest.

The Best Picture showdown appears to be 12 Years a Slave vs. Gravity, and that same showdown is mirrored in the Best Director race.  Will there be a split?  Can someone like Paul Greengrass or David O. Russell pull an upset?  After the jump, we take a look at the current state of the Best Director race in the latest installment of Oscar Beat

Watch Full Performance of “Please Mr. Kennedy” from INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Plus a New Featurette

by     Posted 142 days ago

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The Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis is terrific, and it’s also probably the duo’s saddest movie.  However, it also has some hilarious moments, and its funniest scene by far is when struggling folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) reluctantly plays “Please Mr. Kennedy” with his friend (Justin Timblerlake) and another musician (Adam Driver) who has a unique approach to the song.  I’ve recommended holding off on listening to the song until you see the movie, but that’s because I wanted you to see Driver performing it.  Now you can, and you absolutely should.  There’s also a new featurette, which does a good job explaining the music’s role in the production and in the story.

Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurette.  The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Stark Sands, Garrett Hedlund, and John GoodmanInside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.

New Trailer for the Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Highlights the Comedy and the Critical Raves; Plus 4 New Images

by     Posted 194 days ago

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CBS Films has released a new trailer for the Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis.  The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships.  I saw the film at the New York Film Festival, and though it was great.  It’s melancholy, but also quite moving, and the music is absolutely wonderful.  The new trailer provides a nice blend of the comic moments, the drama, and plenty of blurbs from ecstatic critics.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John GoodmanInside Llewyn Davis opens December 6th.

NYFF 2013: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Review

by     Posted 205 days ago

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It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.

New Trailer for The Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake

by     Posted 240 days ago

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Inside Llewyn Davis is my most-anticipated film of 2013.  The Coen Brothers are among my all-time favorite filmmakers, and if I could have afforded to fly to France to see Inside Llewyn Davis premiere at Cannes this past May, I would have.  The film garnered rave reviews at the festival, and won the Grand Prix Award.  CBS Films has released a new trailer featuring plenty of footage, and I love the balance between the hardships faced by the eponymous character (played by Oscar Isaac) and the humor (he’s got a great answer to “Do you think about the future?”).  Like the previous trailer, Marcus Mumford‘s cover of “Fare Thee Well” plays over footage.  The song will be available on the soundtrack, which will be released on September 17th.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John GoodmanInside Llewyn Davis will play at the New York Film Festival, and opens December 6th.

New York City INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Benefit Concert to Include Performances by The Avett Brothers, Jack White, Patti Smith, Marcus Mumford, and More

by     Posted 243 days ago

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With Inside Llewyn Davis, writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen take on the 1960s Greenwich Village folk music scene.  The film is sure to be supremely entertaining, but if the Coen brothers’ O, Brother Where Art Thou? is any indication, we’re also in for one hell of a soundtrack.  In anticipation of the film’s release, the Coen brothers, executive music producer T Bone Burnett, and producer Scott Rudin have put together a benefit concert called “Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis.”  The concert will take place on September 29th at The Town Hall in New York City, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Recording Preservation Foundation.  Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, August 21st at Ticketmaster.com.

Taking part in the concert will be an impressive lineup of artists including The Avett Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Conor Oberst, Patti Smith, Jack White, Colin Meloy, Milk Carton Kids, and many more.  Additionally, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, and Stark Sands will perform.  Hit the jump for more details.  Inside Llewyn Davis opens in theaters on December 6th.

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