George Clooney to Direct Phone Hacking Scandal Movie for Sony

by     Posted 19 days ago

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After tackling World War II with this past February’s The Monuments Men, the multi-talented George Clooney has settled on his next directorial feature.  THR reports that Clooney will produce and direct an adaptation of journalist Nick Davies’ book Hack Attack (great title or greatest title?) for Sony Pictures, which chronicles the recent British phone hacking scandal that surrounded Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation empire.  In 2011, the company was caught hacking into the voicemails of everyone from celebrities to politicians to families of soldiers who perished in the Iraq War.  The unveiling of the scandal led to News of the World closing its doors after 168 years and a subsequent government investigation that lead to the arrest of the publication’s former executive editor Neil Wallis and former editor Rebekah Brooks.

More on the film, and Clooney’s upcoming slate, after the jump.

Josh Brolin to Reunite with Coen Brothers in HAIL, CAESAR!

by     Posted 105 days ago

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Josh Brolin is on quite a roll.  He recently joined Emily Blunt in director Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners) promising next film Sicario and just signed on to play the Big Bad Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy (and, by extension, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe), and now he’s lining up a reunion with the Coen brothers.  Universal Pictures announced today (via The Wrap) that they will distribute the next film from writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen, Hail, Caesar!, and in the announcement the studio revealed that Brolin will be starring in the film alongside previously announced George Clooney.  Hit the jump for more on the Coen brothers’ next film.

FANTASTIC MR. FOX Criterion Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 176 days ago

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Few filmmakers are better suited to the world of stop-motion animation than Wes Anderson.  The director has fine-tuned his visual aesthetic over the course of his career, bringing quick and stable camera movements, gorgeous set designs, and specific yet vibrant color palettes to the forefront of his signature style.  After a swell run films that made him one of the most exciting directors in the business, Anderson expanded his scope to the sea (Life Aquatic) and international locales (Darjeeling Limited) before diving into the world of stop-motion animation for his 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The result is a highlight of an already impressive career, and the impeccable Roald Dahl adaptation is finally a part of the Criterion Collection.  Hit the jump for my Fantastic Mr. Fox Blu-ray review.

GRAVITY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 192 days ago

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Gravity just won seven Oscars, including two for editor/director Alfonso Cuarón, and was a blockbuster at the box office, grossing over $270 Million domestic and over $700 million worldwide.  It was a theatrical experience, meant to be seen in 3D on Imax in a Dolby Atmos theater.  Which means it’s exactly the sort of film that might not be as much fun to watch at home.  So how does it fare on the small screen? Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in the film, and my 2D version of Gravity Blu-ray review follows after the jump. 

George Clooney and Grant Heslov to Produce Remake of Norwegian Thriller PIONEER for Sony

by     Posted 222 days ago

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While their film The Monuments Men is currently playing in theaters, George Clooney and Grant Heslov will set their sights on a new project.  Sony is currently in negotiations to acquire the remake rights for Norwegian thriller Pioneer, with Clooney and Heslov producing through their Smokehouse company.  Directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and starring Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang, Pioneer centered on a worker laying oil pipeline in the North Sea.  When a tragic accident occurs, he attempts to determine its cause and soon finds himself at the center of a sinister conspiracy.  Hit the jump for more.

Excellent Criterion Collection Trailer for Wes Anderson’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX

by     Posted 224 days ago

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Wes Anderson has made many good films over the course of his career, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is among his best.  The 2009 stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s childrens book is an absolute delight from start to finish, and it’s finally getting a proper Criterion Collection release next week.  In anticipation of the Blu-ray/DVD dual format release, Criterion has put together a swell new trailer that offers a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes material that will be included on the Criterion disc.  The director-approved release includes the film’s digital master as well as a host of extras, including audio commentary, footage of the actors voicing the characters, an hour-long documentary about Dahl, and much more.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the full list of extras included on the Blu-ray, and click here to pre-order the disc.  Fantastic Mr. Fox Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD will be available starting February 18th.

Weekend Box Office: THE LEGO MOVIE Clicks with Giant $69.1 Million Debut; THE MONUMENTS MEN in Second with $22.7 Million

by     Posted 225 days ago

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It was clear that The LEGO Movie was going to be big, but ‘big’ in February usually means something different than at other times of the year.  Most projections had the animated film opening between $45 and $60 million.  Instead, the big screen debut of the classic toy brand earned an estimated $69.1 million from 3,775 locations.  That counts as big in any month, and stands as one of the best openings ever for an original animated feature.  The Monuments Men and Vampire Academy were also new this weekend, though only the former ended up successfully counterprogramming the LEGO juggernaut.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The LEGO Movie $69,110,000 $69.1
2.  The Monuments Men $22,700,000 $22.7
3.  Ride Along $9,400,000 $105.1
4.  Frozen $6,914,000 $368.6
5.  That Awkward Moment $5,400,000 $16.8
6.  Lone Survivor $5,300,000 $112.5
7.  Vampire Academy $4,100,000 $4.1
8.  The Nut Job $3,809,000 $55
9.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $3,600,000 $44.4
10.  Labor Day $3,230,000 $10.1

THE MONUMENTS MEN Review

by     Posted 228 days ago

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In his past films, George Clooney has shown himself to be surprisingly deft at working with genre and mood.  Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a stunning directorial debut that melds comedy, paranoia, tragedy, and drama, and his following works all have a smart, sensible core (although I’ll admit his previous picture, The Ides of March is slightly shaky).  Unfortunately, his confident direction is nowhere to be found in his latest film, The Monuments Men.  The story is scattershot in structure, narrative, and tone.  The premise is fascinating, but Clooney can never seem to find the right angle, and it’s unclear if we’re watching a drama with comedic elements or a rousing World War II picture with moments of tragedy.  There’s almost a total lack of cohesion, and while Clooney is occasionally able to regain control of the picture, the best moments rely almost entirely on the performances.

George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and Producer Grant Heslov Talk THE MONUMENTS MEN

by     Posted 231 days ago

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Opening February 7th, George Clooney’s exciting action drama The Monuments Men features an impressive ensemble cast that brings to life the untold but true story of courageous people who risked everything to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves.  Set during World War II, the movie is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter and centers on one of the greatest treasure hunts in history.  It also shines a light and a perspective on very well-known historical facts.

At the film’s recent press day, we participated in a press conference with Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, John Goodman and producer Grant Heslov.  They spoke about wanting to make an entertaining movie that also deals with a very serious subject matter, what they found inspiring about portraying their characters, their experience working in Berlin, Clooney’s evolution as a director, why he enjoys stepping behind the camera now more than acting, what Heslov and he look for in a project, how he pranked Damon by altering his wardrobe during production, the importance of protecting art and preserving our cultural legacy, the impact of this movie moving forward and how the Monuments Men are still at work today.  Check out the interview after the jump.

20 New Images from George Clooney’s THE MONUMENTS MEN Featuring Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 237 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a slew of new high-resolution images from George Clooney’s latest directorial effort, the WWII drama The Monuments Men.  Based on a true story, the film revolves around a group of museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians tasked with rescuing the world’s artistic masterpieces before the Nazi army destroys them.  Clooney has repeatedly stated that this film is his effort at tackling less cynical material than his previous directorial projects, and he’s put together a fantastic ensemble to bring this story to life.

Hit the jump to check out the new images, and click here to watch five clips from the pic.  Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett star.  The Monuments Men opens February 7th.

George Clooney Talks about TOMORROWLAND, Blue Screens, and Hanging from Wires

by     Posted 237 days ago

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Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland is shrouded in mystery mostly because it has the audacity to be an original screenplay that’s steeped in Disney history, but isn’t based on any particular piece, nor does it take place in any Disneyland park.  And the official synopsis raises more questions than it answers:  “Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as ‘Tomorrowland.’” So any scrap of news is worth filing away, and star George Clooney briefly provided some info about the upcoming project.

Hit the jump for what he had to say.  The film also stars Britt Robertson, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, and Hugh LaurieTomorrowland opens May 22, 2015.

Watch 5 Clips from THE MONUMENTS MEN Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett

by     Posted 249 days ago

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Five clips have been released for George Clooney’s The Monuments Men.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before the Nazis destroy them.  We previously reported that Clooney was trying to find the right tone for the film between the comedic and dramatic aspects, and so perhaps these clips will give people a slightly better idea of what to expect.

Hit the jump to check out the clips.  The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7th.

GRAVITY Returns to Theaters This Weekend

by     Posted 252 days ago

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After winning a Golden Globe for Best Director, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity will be returning to theaters this weekend.  In case you missed the buzz-worthy sci-fi thriller, you’ll now be able to experience it on the big screen.  It’s no coincidence that the 86th Annual Academy Awards’ nominations list will be unveiled this Thursday either.  As Adam has expressed in his Oscar Beat column, Gravity, its director, and star Sandra Bullock will likely be up for some major awards.  So whether you missed it the first time, you’re curious about all this awards talk, or you just want to see it in the theater again, this weekend’s your big chance!

Hit the jump for Gravity’s trailer, synopsis and poster.

How Did They Do That? Burning Questions Answered in New Behind-the-Scenes GRAVITY Featurette

by     Posted 273 days ago

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With Gravity, director Alfonso Cuaron brought mystique back to the movies.  The film is almost like a magic trick in that much of what happens onscreen seems physically impossible, and after I saw the film for the first time I remarked that I couldn’t wait to own the Blu-ray so I could pore over hours and hours of behind-the-scenes extras that reveal  how Cuaron pulled this off.  In the spirit of Oscar season, Warner Bros. has now released a new featurette that finally offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the film’s effects were created by Cuaron and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.  It’s a fascinating if brief look behind-the-scenes, and I hope there’s plenty more where this comes from on the eventual Blu-ray release.

The film is a major Oscar contender in a number of categories, but this featurette focuses mainly on the jaw-dropping visual effects and Lubzeki’s gorgeous cinematography as well as the metaphorical intentions of Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron‘s screenplay.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette.

New Trailer for THE MONUMENTS MEN Plays as a World War II Newsreel and Leads to Real Tip Line about Stolen Art

by     Posted 273 days ago

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20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures have released a fun spin on the trailer for The Monuments Men by doing it in the style of a World War II newsreel.  For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis.  What’s really surprising about this trailer is that it provides a phone number at the end that actually works.  I was expecting to get a recorded message plugging the movie, but if you call 1-866-WWII-ART you can get a real person on the line.  When I called the number, I expressed my surprise to the person I spoke to, and she explained that the number is for people who believe they might have a lead on art that was stolen by the Nazis or lost during the war.  There’s also a website, supportthemonumentsmen.com, that has more useful information.  I’m surprised and delighted that the studios put something of substance into their marketing.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate BlanchettJean DujardinHugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill MurrayThe Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.

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