New CINDERELLA Trailer, Poster, and Images: Disney Classic Comes to Live-Action with Lily James, Richard Madden, and Cate Blanchett

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Disney has released a new Cinderella trailer and poster along with new images for director Kenneth Branagh’s live-action iteration of the classic story.  The movie is the traditional rags-to-riches story we know with a few twists like Cinderella (Lily James) meeting the prince (Richard Madden) before knowing he’s a prince, and the fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) appearing in the guise of an old, beggar woman.  But the nefarious evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and wicked stepsisters (Sophie McShera and Holliday Granger) are still in place.  It looks like Branagh has stayed incredibly faithful to the 1950 Disney animated film, and this trailer is basically a condensed, live-action version of that entire movie.  I guess if you’re more into flesh-and-blood actors combined with lots of CG, then this will be the Cinderella for you.

Hit the jump to watch the new Cinderella trailer, poster, and images.  The film also stars Nonso AnozieDerek Jacobi, and Stellan Skarsgard, and opens in theaters on March 13, 2015.

The Films of David Fincher: FIGHT CLUB

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

The first rule of Fight Club is to talk about Fight Club.  The movie underperformed at the box office, and found life on DVD where it became a cult classic.  Within the context of the film, Tyler Durden’s famous rule is a brilliant and ironic bit of marketing for a group of men trying to reject advertising and find human connection.  “Jack” (for clarity purposes, I’ll use this name to refer to the Narrator) may be our storyteller, but Tyler is our lens, and through that lens, the story of Fight Club has been greatly misinterpreted by any audience member who saw the movie and thought, “I should start a fight club!”  The movie isn’t preaching.  It isn’t an angry screed by David Fincher or worshiping at the Church of Tyler Durden.  It’s not even wholly about male bonding.  Fight Club is a romantic comedy as only David Fincher could tell it.

James Bobin’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Begins Production

by     Posted 107 days ago

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Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland is one of the director’s weakest efforts, but it’s also by far his highest grossing.  The movie made over $1 billion worldwide at the box office, and I’m surprised it’s taken so long for a sequel to start moving into production.  But four years later, production has begun on Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass with James Bobin (The Muppets) in the director’s chair and the original actors returning along with new additions to both the live-action and the voice cast.  Plot details are scarce, but the story will “revisit Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories with an all-new new tale that travels back to Underland—and back in Time.”

Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the full cast and who they’re playing as well as the production’s key contributors behind the camera.  Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass opens May 27, 2016.

“Never Send a Monkey to Do a Man’s Job”: Looking Back at the Remake of PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 134 days ago

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[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]

Battle for the Planet of the Apes chose to end the original 5-film saga on a message of hope, and then the franchise lay dormant for almost thirty years.  Interest had waned, fans had grown up, and that’s usually the signal for a studio to dig back into the archive to try and reinvent a property—no matter how classic or untouchable—for modern audiences, i.e. male teenagers with disposable income.  Planet of the Apes had endured to where the mainstream was aware of the original insofar as the twist, the final shot, and “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”

But after watching the first five movies, I think the franchise’s most admirable trait is its tonal flexibility in service of various themes.  These movies were radically different, but they each had a distinct personality.  Tim Burton‘s 2001 remake “re-invented” the franchise by removing any personality whatsoever.

Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter Fight for Women’s Rights in First SUFFRAGETTE Image

by     Posted 170 days ago

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Pathe has released the first Suffragette image and synopsis online.  Written by Abi Morgan (Shame) and directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane), the film stars Carey Mulligan as a working-class women’s rights activist in the early days of the feminist movement.  As the official synopsis points out, the story has the unique perspective of focusing more on working women who were willing to turn to violence as opposed to the usually-depicted genteel, educated activists.

Hit the jump to check out the Suffragette image and synopsis.  The film also stars Helena Bonham-Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep.  Post-production is currently underway, so we’ll see if Suffragette is ready in time for the fall festival circuit, or if it will be released next year.

Helena Bonham Carter Ready to Return as the Red Queen in ALICE IN WONDERLAND Sequel, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; Taraji P. Henson Joins TERM LIFE

by     Posted 252 days ago

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Here’s a look at the latest casting news for the following films:

  • Helena Bonham Carter is in final negotiations to reprise her role of the Red Queen in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass.
  • Taraji P. Henson has joined Term LifePeter Billingsley’s crime drama fronted by Vince Vaughn and Hailee Steinfeld.
  • Olivia Cooke is in talks to lead Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, adapted by Jesse Andrews from his own novel.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

THE LONE RANGER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 308 days ago

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The abject failure of The Lone Ranger produced its share of schadenfreude, particularly among people weary of star Johnny Depp and the kind of summer movie hubris that the western reboot seemed to embody in every frame. It was too bloated, too unwieldy, too full of itself and its own overblown event status to merit forgiveness. Audiences stayed away in droves, and not without good reason. There’s a lot here that just doesn’t work. And yet in a season dominated by grim, downbeat, unyieldingly bleak blockbusters, it brought an undeniable sense of fun that most critics completely overlooked. I’m not prepared to go all Tarantino on it, but I will say it shows signs of life that definitely merit a second look. Hit the jump for my full review of The Lone Ranger on Blu-ray.

Helena Bonham Carter Talks BURTON AND TAYLOR, Elizabeth Taylor vs Queen Elizabeth, Signing on to the Project, Consulting an Astrologer and More

by     Posted 1 year, 34 days ago

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The BBC America original movie Burton and Taylor follows Hollywood’s most volatile on-again-off-again lovers, Elizabeth Taylor (Helena Bonham Carter) and Richard Burton (Dominic West), who famously played out every high and low of their love affairs, multiple marriages and divorces in the public eye.  This is the story of their ill-fated reunion, on and off stage, when they made their last appearance together in the critically reviled 1983 revival of Noel Coward’s stage play, Private Lives.

During this recent interview to promote the film’s premiere on October 16th, actress Helena Bonham Carter talked about whether it was more daunting to take on Elizabeth Taylor or Queen Elizabeth, what ultimately made her decide to sign on for the project, the biggest challenges in playing Elizabeth Taylor, what she learned about her that she hadn’t known prior, consulting an astrologer about the relationship between Taylor and Burton, pulling off the look, finding the voice, and whether or not she’s seen the movie that Lindsay Lohan did.  Check out what she had to say after the jump. 

Filming Begins on Kenneth Branagh’s Live-Action CINDERELLA; First Image and Official Synopsis Released

by     Posted 1 year, 57 days ago

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Principal photography has begun on Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action version of Cinderella, and Disney has provided a press release containing the first image and official synopsis.  For the most part, it’s the story we all know: nice girl, treated badly by step-mothers and step-sisters, eventually gets to a happily ever after with the prince.  Looking at the synopsis, there are two big changes: she meets the prince in the woods one day without knowing he’s the prince, and “a kindly beggar woman” is probably the fairy godmother considering she’s “armed with a pumpkin and a few mice.”  Because if a beggar woman comes to you with a pumpkin and some mice, she’s clearly going to make your dreams come true.

Hit the jump for the image and the press release.  The film stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden, Sophie McShera, Holliday Granger, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, and Stellan SkarsgardCinderella opens March 13, 2015.

Trailer and Images for Jean-Pierre Jenuet’s THE YOUNG AND PRODIGIOUS SPIVET

by     Posted 1 year, 76 days ago

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A couple years ago, we reported that director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) was set to adapt Reif Larson’s debut novel The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.  The story centers on 12-year-old inventor T.S. Spivet (Kyle Catlett), who embarks on a cross-country adventure from Montana to Washington D.C., after he wins a contest at the Smithsonian Institute.  During his journey he learns life lessons from eccentric characters he meets along the way.  The trailer is very reminiscent of Amelie with the descriptions and visualizations of the leading characters, and it also looks like it has the same mix of humor and heart.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and images.  The film also stars Niamh Wilson, Helena Bonham Carter, Callum Keith Rennie, and Judy DavisThe Young and Prodigious Spivet opens in France on October 16th, and will likely be released in the U.S. sometime in 2014.

THE LONE RANGER Review

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago

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I love epic westerns.  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of my all-time favorite films.  I also adore Once Upon a Time in the West and obviously The Searchers is an undisputed classic.  They’re epic not only because of their length and how they take in the awe-inspiring scenery, but also in the grand motives of the characters, the sweep of their journey, and the conflict along the way.  The Lone Ranger isn’t epic; it’s just really damn long.  The flabby screenplay moves at half-speed while undeveloped characters slog through predictable motions and forced quirkiness, all of which is trapped in an erratic tone that swerves from kookiness to uncomfortably somber.  Even the few redeeming aspects like Armie Hammer‘s endearing performance and director Gore Verbinski‘s skill at putting together set pieces can’t stop the film from feeling like being dragged through the desert rather than a rousing ride through canyons and vistas.

Helena Bonham Carter to Play Fairy Godmother in CINDERELLA; Danny Huston Joins BIG EYES; Tobias Santelmann Set for HERCULES

by     Posted 1 year, 152 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to share this evening.  First up, Helena Bonham Carter has been tapped to play the fairy godmother in Disney’s Cinderella redo, directed by Kenneth Branagh.  The godmother will have an expanded role in Branagh’s take on the story, as Carter will also appear as an elderly woman before she surprises the titular Cinderella and reveals herself to be the wish-granting fairy.  Lily James (Downton Abbey) won the lead role in the film, and she’ll star opposite Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as the Prince and Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother.  Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) and Holliday Granger (The Borgias) are in talks to play the nasty stepsisters.  This marks Carter’s third time working with Disney, having starred in the studio’s Alice in Wonderland and the upcoming The Lone Ranger.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning Tim Burton’s next film and the villain in Dwayne Johnson’s passion project.

26 New Images from THE LONE RANGER Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and Helena Bonham Carter

by     Posted 1 year, 158 days ago

Disney has released a slew of new images from director Gore Verbinski’s new film The Lone Ranger.  The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  As a big fan of Verbinski’s work on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s put together for Lone Ranger.  These new images tease the film’s large cast of characters as well as the principal partnership between the titular Ranger and Tonto, and it should be fun to see how the duo’s relationship develops over the course of the film.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.  The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.

First Look at Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in BURTON AND TAYLOR

by     Posted 1 year, 167 days ago

BBC America has unveiled the first image from the upcoming biopic Burton and Taylor, giving us a look at Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West (The Wire, John Carter) as tumultuous lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  While we just recently saw another TV movie iteration of the Taylor/Burton love affair, one imagines BBC America’s version will be considerably more prestigious than Lifetime’s Liz & Dick with Lindsay Lohan.  The focus of Burton and Taylor follows the titular actors’ “private and public relationship played out against their ill-fated appearance in a 1983 revival of Noel Coward’s stage play, Private Lives.”

Hit the jump to check out the image and to read the official synopsis.  Burton and Taylor premieres this fall on BBC America.

New Trailer for THE LONE RANGER Goes Heavy on the Action

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

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With a little over a month away until the release of Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, Disney has a released a new trailer.  The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  The new trailer speeds through the premise to get to the set pieces, and while I want to be excited for this movie, I just keep seeing Wild Wild West.  There’s hardly any of the humor that made Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies so enjoyable, or the strangeness that brought Rango to life.  Then again, if Disney wants to leave the best stuff out of the trailer, that’s fine by me.  I’d like to be surprised.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham CarterThe Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.

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