Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! Criterion Blu-ray Reviews

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Criterion has released two Spanish-language movies of a sexual nature, one from Mexico, one from Spain.  The former is Alfonso Cuaron’s Y Tu Mama Tambien (which translates to “And your mother too”), which Criterion has been promising for five years, while the other is Pedro Almodovar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, which was notorious for its NC-17 rated content at the time.  My review of both Criterion editions of these films follow after the jump.

ROSEWATER Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Gael Garcia Bernal plays incarcerated journalist Maziar Bahari in Rosewater, but writer-director Jon Stewart is the true lead.  For fans for The Daily Show, his personality shines through every episode, and it’s one that has become wearied over the years as news coverage has declined at an exponential rate.  His hopes for a better world have become a life raft, and his refusal to give into cynicism is what keeps his directorial debut afloat even if it veers into being earnest to the point of cheesiness.  Rosewater may not have much depth, but Stewart’s personal connection to the story—both professional and ideological—give it an abundance of heart.

ROSEWATER Trailer: Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut Looks Impressive and Earnest

by     Posted 63 days ago

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It was just announced this morning that Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater would be playing the Telluride Film Festival, so it makes sense that Open Road would choose today as a launching pad for the film’s trailer.  The film is an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari‘s memoir, Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival.  Bahari, who was born in Tehran, went to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard, and then interrogated and beaten for 118 days by a man known only as “Rosewater”.

Early word on the film is mixed, but I like this trailer so perhaps I’ll fall into the camp of people who dig the movie.  I love Stewart’s satire, but it’s refreshing to see another side of him in this earnest piece.  The pic stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Kim Bodnia.  Hit the jump for the Rosewater trailer.  Open Road releases the film in theaters on November 7th.  [Update: We've added the official poster for the film.]

New ROSEWATER Images: Gael Garcia Bernal Is Blindfolded in Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut

by     Posted 72 days ago

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A couple of new Rosewater images have been released for comedian and The Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s directorial debut as the film’s World Premiere looms closer.  Written and directed by Stewart, the pic stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Kim Bodnia and is an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir Then They Came for Me.  Bahari, who was born in Tehran, went to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard and then interrogated and beaten for 118 days by a man known only as “Rosewater.”  Stewart had a personal connection to the story, as Bahari’s previous Daily Show appearance was used as “evidence” that he was a spy.  This has been high on my most anticipated list for some time, and I’m extremely eager to see what Stewart has put together when the film screens at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hit the jump to check out the new Rosewater images.  The film will likely make its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival before screening at TIFF, and is scheduled to open in theaters on November 7th.

First Images From Jon Stewart’s ROSEWATER Convey Film’s Bleak Tone

by     Posted 90 days ago

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Yesterday Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater got a release date and now we have a look at the first images released from the film.  If anyone was expecting a comedy, this definitely isn’t one.  Written and directed by Stewart, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and is an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari‘s memoir, Then They Came for Me.  Bahari, who was born in Tehran, went to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard, and then interrogated and beaten for 118 days by a man known only as “Rosewater”.  Stewart had a personal connection to the story as Bahari’s previous The Daily Show appearance was used as “evidence” that he was a spy.

I’m eager to see Rosewater, not just for the subject matter but out of personal curiosity to see if Stewart has directing chops.  He puts a lot of care into what he does (and is good at admitting past mistakes like Playing By Heart), so I’m confident his compass was true when he chose to take this on.  Hit the jump for the Rosewater images.  Open Road releases the film on November 7th.

Jon Stewart’s ROSEWATER Release Date Set for November 7th; James Wan-Produced DEMONIC Finally Dated for December 12th

by     Posted 91 days ago

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A Rosewater release date has finally been set, and it’s in the heart of awards season later this fall.  Jon Stewart’s highly anticipated directorial debut will open in select theaters on November 7th, the same date as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.  However, Open Road Films will likely take good care of rolling the film out slowly over the course of the month, so no one’s expecting it to give Interstellar a run for its money.  Written and directed by Stewart, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and is an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari‘s memoir, Then They Came for Me.  Bahari, who was born in Tehran, went to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard, and then interrogated and beaten for 118 days by a man known only as “Rosewater”.  Stewart had a personal connection to the story as Bahari’s previous The Daily Show appearance was used as “evidence” that he was a spy.

Rosewater is slated to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September where I’m eager to finally see it, but it will likely have its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival one week prior.  Hit the jump for news concerning a slightly delayed horror film called Demonic.

Gael Garcia Bernal’s Salary Demands Could Complicate Jon Stewart’s Low-Budget ROSEWATER

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago

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Jon Stewart has gone on hiatus from The Daily Show to make his low-budget drama Rosewater, but the production is already running into problems.  We previously reported that Gael Garcia Bernal was in talks to lead the picture, which is based on BBC journalist Maziar Bahari’s 118-day captivity in Iran’s most notorious prison after leaving London in June of 2009 to cover the country’s presidential elections.  The title is derived from the fact that Bahari knew only one thing about his brutal interrogator: he smelled of Rosewater.  Today, THR is reporting that Bernal is demanding a higher salary than what the production is willing to offer.  The $10 million film is trying to save money in order to shoot on location in Jordan starting in mid-July, although most of the movie will take place in interior settings.

Personally, I think they should let Bernal go and hire up-and-coming actor Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, The Reluctant Fundamentalist).  He’s only a few years younger than Bernal (Ahmed is 30, Bernal is 34), and Ahmed is of middle-eastern descent.  You could also go with Amr Waked (Syriana, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), who is middle-eastern as well as closer to Bahari’s age (Waked is 40, Bahari is 46).  No matter whom they choose, the film is going to be sold on Stewart’s name, not the lead actor.

Amanda Seyfried Stars in WHILE WE’RE YOUNG; Gael Garcia Bernal to Lead Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut, ROSEWATER; Paddy Considine Considers CHILD 44

by     Posted 1 year, 160 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Jessica Chastain is THE ZOOKEEPERS WIFE, Brad Pitt Out for THE GRAY MAN, Gael Garcia Bernal and Alice Braga Star in EL ARDOR

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago

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Here’s today’s casting news:

  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) is set to star in The Zookeeper’s Wife, based on the Diana Ackerman novel about the true story of Warsaw zoo owners Jan and Antonina Zabinski’s rescue of hundreds of Jewish refugees during the Nazi invasion of World War II.
  • Brad Pitt was courted to play the world’s greatest assassin in The Gray Man a number of years ago, but it looks like the veteran has departed this particular picture.
  • Gael Garcia Bernal (No) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend) are set to star in El Ardor, pitched as a modern-day Western, a tale of survival and revenge set in in the Amazon jungle.

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

Gael Garcia Bernal and Director Pablo Larrain Talk NO, the Lo-Fi Visual Concept, and the Best Foreign Film Oscar Nomination

by     Posted 1 year, 257 days ago

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Gael Garcia Bernal stars in NO, an epic David and Goliath story penned by Pedro Peirano about a brash young Chilean adman, René Saavedra, who spearheads a campaign to defeat dictator Augusto Pinochet and set Chile free during the country’s 1988 referendum.  The film is the final part of a trilogy which director Pablo Larraín began with Tony Manero in 2008 and followed with Post Mortem in 2010.  NO has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and opens in theaters on February 15th. 

At the film’s recent press day, Larraín and Bernal talked about their smart and engaging political thriller inspired by actual events, how the film reflects their own social conscience and political sensibilities, why it resonates with other political events occurring throughout the world today, how they came up with a distinct lo-fi concept for the film’s unique visual style, how the film has been received in Chile, their reaction to the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and Larraín’s next project which might just be a futuristic film.  Hit the jump to read more:

First Trailer for NO, Starring Gael Garcia Bernal

by     Posted 1 year, 316 days ago

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The first trailer is now available for director Pablo Larrain’s No, a drama centering on the marketing campaign to defeat Chile’s army general and dictator Augusto Pinochet from retaining power in the country’s 1988 referendum. The simple yet strong title comes from the referendum’s choice: “Yes” to retain Pinochet, “No” to boot him out in favor of democracy. Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) plays the advertising executive Rene Saavedra, who used commercial marketing techniques to effectively communicate a political message and provide voters with a counterpoint to official campaign for Pinochet’s retention.

No opens on February 15, 2013. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.

Jared Leto Joins Matthew McConaughey in HIV Drama THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

by     Posted 1 year, 357 days ago

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Jared Leto is making a return to acting.  After taking a five-year break from films to focus on his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, Leto is now set to join Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in the AIDS drama The Dallas Buyers Club.  Directed by Jean Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria), the film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986.  Given only a few months to live, Woodroof began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other AIDS patients.  The pic has been a passion project for McConaughey, who recently lost an alarming amount of weight in order to portray Woodroof onscreen.

Per THR, Leto will play “a flamboyant cross-dresser with HIV who helps Woodruff.”  Gael Garcia Bernal previously circled the role but never closed a deal.  Filming begins next week in New Orleans.

Gael Garcia Bernal Joins Matthew McConaughey in THE DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB; Ron Perlman in SAVAGE MUTTS; Jack Black and Richard Linklater Go Bowling

by     Posted 2 years, 26 days ago

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Let’s take a look at some recent casting news, shall we?

  • It looks like Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries) will be joining Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike) in The Dallas Buyer’s Club, a drama about the AIDS epidemic directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y.).
  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy) will join Savage Mutts, a criminal action thriller written and directed by Nika Agiashvili (Tbilisi, My City).
  • Word has it that Jack Black and director Richard Linklater, who previously collaborated on School of Rock and the 2012 indie Bernie, will reunite for a bowling movie that may have been inspired by colorful PBA champion, Pete Weber.
  • Finally, the ensemble cast of August: Osage County has added Julianne Nicholson (Kinsey) as well.  The film currently stars Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney.

Hit the jump for more on each casting note.

CASA DE MI PADRE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 90 days ago

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There are few performers as consistently funny and interesting as Will Ferrell. Sure, he’ll take a gig in a studio paycheck film, but often those are often weird and interesting too (say what you will about Land of the Lost, that’s not a boring choice), and so it’s no surprise that Ferrell would appear in a movie in which he spends the entire movie speaking Spanish. He stars in Casa de mi Padre as a rancher stuck in the middle of a drug war. He’s between his brother (Diego Luna) and the town’s vicious drug lord (Gael Garcia Bernal), and all three have interest in his brother’s fiancée (Genesis Rodriguez). Our review of the Blu-ray of Casa de mi Padre follows after the jump.

First Trailer for THE LONELIEST PLANET, Starring Gael Garcia Bernal

by     Posted 2 years, 116 days ago

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The new trailer for Russian-born, Colorado-raised writer/director Julia Loktev‘s eerie travel tale The Loneliest Planet has just been released.  The film, which was well-received at festivals last year, stars art-house veteran Gael Garcia Bernal as well as Hani Furstenberg as an engaged couple who spend a summer backpacking in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.  Of course, the couple’s idyllic trip is marred by “an incident” that threatens to change the course of their relationship and much of what they know (it’s probably not intestinal in nature, but I think we’ve all been there).

The film covers surprisingly well-worn ground: loosely inspired by Ernest Hemingway‘s 1936 short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, (going on level deeper, Inception-style: the short-story was inspired by an actual incident in pre-World War II Africa), the tale is a framework for Loktev’s film along with another short-story based on the same material by Tim Bissell called Expensive Trips Nowhere. (Hemingway’s story was also turned into a 1947 film starring Gregory PeckThe Macomber Affair). Hit the jump for more on this new take on the material as well as the trailer.

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