FRANK Review

by     Posted 66 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Frank opens today in limited release.]

“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scoot McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender). Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own. It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.

Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lenny Abrahamson and Jon Ronson Talk FRANK, Frank Sidebottom, Masks and More

by     Posted 67 days ago

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When you cast Michael Fassbender as your title character, the last thing you’d probably think to do is put a giant mask over his head so you can’t see his face throughout the film, but that’s exactly what director Lenny Abrahamson chose to do in his latest, Frank, and it pays off quite well.  Domhnall Gleeson plays Jon, a guy who takes a risk and follows his dream of becoming a musician only to wind up in a remote cabin with an eccentric band called the Soronprfbs, led by a guy who sings with a mask on and never takes it off – ever.

With Frank making its way into theaters for an April 15th limited release, Abrahamson, Fassbender, Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and writer Jon Ronson all sat down for a press conference to discuss the unusual music featured in the film, performing with that head on, the connection to Frank Sidebottom and more.  Check it out after the jump.

Watch Michael Fassbender Sing as FRANK on The Colbert Report

by     Posted 74 days ago

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How am I just now hearing about Frank?  This movie looks friggin’ amazing, especially if you’ve ever done time in a band.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom with Fassbender sporting an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal who joined Fassbender and Gleeson on The Colbert Report last night to perform as the Soronprfbs (the band depicted in the film).  Of course, Fassbender wears the mask throughout the entirety of this performance of “I Love You All.” 

Hit the jump to check out Fassbender and the rest of the cast perform the song on The Colbert Report.  You should also see the film’s trailer and read Matt’s review.  Frank opens in limited release on August 15th and this song is available on iTunes

New Trailer and Poster for FRANK Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Fassbender

by     Posted 122 days ago

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Magnolia has released a new Frank trailer and poster.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom with Fassbender sporting an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  I enjoyed the film when I saw it at Sundance, and while it makes sense that the trailer would focus on the weirdness of the band and Frank’s behavior, the movie is really about Gleeson’s character and his desperation to find acclaim despite a dearth of talent.

Hit the jump to check out the Frank trailer and poster.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairyFrank opens in limited release on August 15th.

10-Minute Featurette and New Clip from FRANK Starring Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson

by     Posted 166 days ago

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A new Frank featurette has gone online along with a new clip.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom with Fassbender sporting an odd, large mask.  The featurette is really fascinating as Gleeson, Fassbender, writer Jon Ronson, (whose time with Sidebottom was the inspiration for the story), and director Lenny Abrahamson talk about the various aspects of the film without giving away any of the plot.  I really liked the movie when I saw it at Sundance, and even though it’s strange, it’s also funny and moving, and I hope it finds an audience.

Hit the jump to check out the featurette and the clip.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairyFrank opens in the U.K. on May 9th and in the U.S. on August 22nd.

THE COLLISION: Episode 86 – STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting

by     Posted 173 days ago

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Yesterday, Disney announced the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, so we decided to have a special edition of The Collision where we gave our thoughts on this major news.  During our conversation, we give our thoughts on the casting process, what we think we know about the story, how the story has developed and how that has ties in with the casting, our opinions about the cast, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Summer Indie Movies”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

New Posters for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, FRANK, and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

by     Posted 192 days ago

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New posters have been released for your viewing pleasure.  Briefly:

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Directed by Dean Deblois, the animated sequel opens in 3D on June 13th, and features the voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard ButlerKit HaringtonCraig FergusonAmerica FerreraJonah HillChristopher Mintz-PlasseT.J. MillerDjimon Hounsou, and Kristen Wiig.
  • FrankLenny Abrahamson’s off-beat, dark comedy Frank opens in the U.K. on May 4th, and stars Michael FassbenderDomhnall GleesonMaggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy.  U.S. distributor Magnolia Pictures hasn’t announced a U.S. release date.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Marc Webb’s superhero blockbuster opens in 3D on May 2nd, and stars Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Emma StonePaul GiamattiFelicity JonesChris CooperB.J. NovakColm Feore, and Sally Field.

Hit the jump to check out the new posters.

First Trailer for Offbeat Sundance Comedy FRANK Starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, and Maggie Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 228 days ago

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The first trailer for director Lenny Abrahamson’s dark comedy Frank has been released online.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, as Fassbender sports an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s incredibly weird, very funny, and oddly sweet.  Fassbender is excellent as the titular Frank, and Gleeson shines once again as the straight man opposite a bounty of strange characters.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s full review.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairyFrank opens in the U.K. on May 9th and in the U.S. later this year.

Sundance 2014 Acquisitions: Sony Pictures Classics Claims LOVE IS STRANGE; Magnolia Secures U.S. Rights to FRANK; A24 Acquires LIFE AFTER BETH

by     Posted 269 days ago

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The latest Sundance Film Festival pictures that have been acquired for distribution:

  • Writer-director Jeff Baena’s zombie rom-com Life after Beth, starring Dane DeHaan, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick, has been acquired by A24 for U.S. distribution.  Read up on our Sundance interviews with Baena here, and DeHaan and Plaza here.
  • Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John LithgowAlfred MolinaMarisa TomeiDarren BurrowsCharlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons, Love Is Strange has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics.  Read up on Matt’s review of the film from Sundance here.
  • Frank, directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael FassbenderDomhnall GleesonMaggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy, has been acquired by Magnolia Pictures for North American distribution.  Read Matt’s Sundance review here.

Hit the jump to read the press releases for Love Is Strange, Frank, and Life after Beth, and click here to catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage.

Sundance 2014: FRANK Review

by     Posted 275 days ago

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“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scott McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender).  Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off.  Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own.  It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.

Sundance 2014: New Images from THE RAID 2, THEY CAME TOGETHER, FRANK, and LAGGIES

by     Posted 315 days ago

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The Premieres lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was just unveiled, and along with it a collection of first look images and synopses for said films are now online.  Briefly:

  • The Raid 2 – Directed by Gareth Evans; starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, and Alex Abbad.
  • They Came Together – Directed by David Wain; starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, and Christopher Meloni.
  • Frank – Directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy.
  • Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, and Mark Webber.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.

Sundance 2014 Premieres Lineup Announced; Includes THE RAID 2, LAGGIES, A MOST WANTED MAN, and Roger Ebert Doc LIFE ITSELF

by     Posted 315 days ago

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The 2014 Sundance Film Festival has already announced its lineup for competition films and the At Midnight and NEXT categories, and today they’ve unveiled the multitude of world premieres that will take place in Park City next month.  These films include the action sequel The Raid 2, director Lynne Shelton’s new film Laggies, director Anton Corbijn’s John le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, the David Wain comedy They Came Together, writer/director Jake Paltrow’s sci-fi pic Young Ones, the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, and many more.  Hit the jump to check out the full lineup.

First Image from FRANK Starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson

by     Posted 1 year, 283 days ago

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The first image has been released for Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd) as man “who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).”  The film is based off the memoir by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and “is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.”  As you can see from the image, Fassbender looks like he’s really gotten in shape for the film, and that shape is terrifying.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  The film also stars Scoot McNairy, Carla Aza, and Francois Civil.

Benicio del Toro to Play Pablo Escobar in PARADISE LOST; Scoot McNairy Joins THE ROVER and FRANK; REACH ME Cast Led by Berenger, Stallone, Sedgwick

by     Posted 1 year, 338 days ago

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A few casting notices:

  • Benicio del Toro is in final negotiations to play Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in Paradise Lost, which is not exactly a Pablo Escobar biopic.
  • Scoot McNairy booked two roles.  He will star opposite Michael Fassbender in Frank, and joins Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in The Rover.
  • The full cast list for Reach Me features Tom Berenger, Kevin Connolly, Thomas Jane, Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Kelsey Grammer, Nelly, Terry Crews, Ryan Kwanten, and more.

Details on each project after the jump.

Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson to Star in Rock Comedy FRANK

by     Posted 2 years, 45 days ago

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The incredibly talented (not to mention charming) Michael Fassbender is looking to try his hand at comedy.  Variety reports that Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter) are attached to star in director Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank.  The film is loosely based on the life of musician/comedian Chris Sievey and will center on an aspiring musician (Gleeson) “who finds himself in over his head when he joins an eccentric rock band fronted by Fassbender.”  Gleeson is probably best known for his turn as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films, but he also had memorable parts in True Grit and Never Let Me Go.  He appears in this fall’s Dredd and Anna Karenina.

Fassbender recently wrapped a re-team with Shame director Steve McQueen on Twelve Years a Slave and is currently filming Ridley Scott’s drama The Counselor.  He’ll return for the X-Men: First Class sequel early next year, and he’s also set to produce and star in an adaptation of Assassin’s Creed.  No word on when he’ll be available to squeeze Frank into his tight schedule, but I’m interested to see the actor’s comedic chops.

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