Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) eco-terrorist thriller The East. Brit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele. Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard). The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.
Last week I landed an extended video interview with Ellen Page. She talked about wanting to work with Marling and Batmanglij, the parallels of the film to real world issues, whether or not the script changed during production, the process of shooting the film in only four weeks, premiering at Sundance, and much more. In addition, Page talked about the popularity of Inception and if she’s still asked about it, does she censor herself on Twitter, X-Men: Days of Future Past and having Bryan Singer tweet out a picture of her on set, upcoming projects like Freeheld and the video game Beyond: Two Souls, doing a voice on Family Guy, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
It’s safe to say that the name Christopher Nolan is quite well known around these parts. He revitalized the Batman franchise with thought provoking films that didn’t settle for being standard popcorn-fare, and he made an extremely successful movie (Inception) that was based off of a wholly original screenplay instead of a board game or toy. With the impending release of the concluding chapter in his Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, Nolan recently sat down with the Directors Guild of America for an intensely in depth interview covering everything from his thoughts on 3D, to why didn’t shoot Inception in IMAX, how he approaches CGI, and much, much more. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.
Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister is set to make his directorial debut. Having recently wrapped on The Dark Knight Rises with Nolan, the Oscar-winning cinematographer will next direct an untitled screenplay from newcomer Jack Paglen. The film will be financed and produced through Alcon Entertainment, who is keeping the logline under wraps for the moment. Pre-production is expected to start immediately while principal photography will begin early this fall. Pfister is best known for his collaborations with Nolan since the pair has worked together on seven films since 1999. His track record includes four Oscar nominations and one win for Best Achievement in Cinematography for Inception. Although this film marks Pfister’s feature directorial debut, he has been directing commercials for a number of years. Hit the jump for a look at his work throughout the years.
The 37th Annual Saturn Awards were held last night. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films honored the best in film, television, special effects and more. Inception was the big winner of the night, taking home five awards including Best Science Fiction Film. Other winners in the top categories include Fringe for Best Network Series, Breaking Bad for best Cable Series, Let Me In for Best Horror Film, Alice in Wonderland for Best Fantasy Film and Salt for Best Action/Adventure Film.
Hit the jump to see the full list of winners, and don’t forget to check out Collider’s interviews from the red carpet at the event. We spoke with Brandon Routh, Fringe’s Lance Reddick, and producer Dean Devlin.
After months of buildup, Super 8 took top honors this weekend with an estimated $37 million from 3,379 locations. That figure is significantly higher than the film had been tracking just five days ago. Is it higher than the studio was hoping for five months ago? Not exactly.
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||Midnight in Paris
The film world was rocked to it’s very core today with the announcement of the nominees for the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, the only movie awards show with the courage to hand out trophies for categories like “Best Kiss,” “Biggest Badass Star,” and “Best Scared-As-S**t Performance” (MTV still thinks it would be too much to include the letters “h” and “i”). Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse that lead the pack with 8 nominations, followed closely by Inception with 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 with 6, and The Social Network with 5 nods. Obviously Twilight will win everything because fandom doesn’t care about critically comparing their favored property against other material.
As previously announced, Jason Sudeikis will be hosting the awards live on Sunday June 5th. If you’re desperate to make sure that Steve-O gets that coveted “Best Jaw-Dropping Moment” statue for the Poo Cocktail Supreme in Jackass 3D (7) (about which he told MTV, “Being nominated in this category for my work with poo really means something. I’m not sure what, but I’m very grateful.”), voting will take place at MovieAwards.MTV.com from today until June 4. That is except for the “Best Movie” category, which fans can continue to vote for while the awards ceremony is taking place. Hit the jump for the full list of awards and nominations.
With writer/director Spencer Susser’s Hesher getting released next week, earlier today I got to sit down with the cast and Susserb to talk about the film. Before going any further, if you haven’t seen the trailer, I suggest checking it out here. While the summer is filled with huge explosions and movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars, I promise you…none of them feature a main character as crazy as Hesher. Playing the lead is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and he again demonstrates why many consider him to be one of the best actors in Hollywood. Trust me, Hesher is worth seeing just to watch Gordon-Levitt’s performance.
During my interview with Gordon-Levitt earlier today, we discussed how he got involved in Hesher and how he prepared for the role, will he return as Cobra Commander in the sequel to G.I. Joe (he won’t), he talks about Rian Johnson’s Looper, how can he top his amazing monologue on Saturday Night Live, what’s his karaoke song, and he provides an interesting comparison/contrast between Christopher Nolan and Hesher‘s writer/director Spencer Susser.
And for all of you wondering why he didn’t talk about The Dark Knight Rises, as you watch the interview you’ll hear me ask him about it…but he turned the question around. All the journalists I spoke with told me that he wouldn’t answer any Dark Knight questions. Nolan has taught him well.
With director James Gunn’s superhero flick Super opening this weekend, I recently got to sit down with Ellen Page to talk about how she got involved with the project. As you might expect from Gunn (Slither, PG-Porn), the film is violent, twisted, and darkly comic. During the interview, Page talked about the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, what’s her karaoke song, does she have an opinion on the ending of Inception, the violence in Super, upcoming projects like Freeheld (which will be written by Ron Nyswaner) and Stitch and Bitch with Alia Shawkat.
Finally, if you’re a fan of Page, you definitely need to see Super. The reason I say this is you’ve never seen Page like this. When I saw Super, she had the entire theater laughing at some of the insane stuff she does on screen. It was great. Hit the jump to watch the interview:
Less than a month after making The Dark Knight available for rental via Facebook, Warner Bros. has added five more of their movies to the social networking site. The studio has announced via press release that Facebook users can now rent Inception, Life as We Know It, Yogi Bear, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Make no mistake: other studios are watching this experiment closely and seeing how popular it becomes. The real trick for Warner Bros. and for Facebook is working to get these movies out of browsers and onto other platforms like video game consoles, Roku, mobile devices, etc.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
In what easily had to be one of the most painful, unfunny Oscar ceremonies in recent memory, The King’s Speech finally reached the end of its inevitable march to Best Picture. It was the first Best Picture winner to win less than five Oscars (it won four, including Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay). [Correction: Crash, which won Best Picture in 2006, only won 3 Oscars] Does that make it more or less unworthy of the Best Picture crown? I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m drained after live-blogging the awful show and 50 minutes of terrible pre-show.
Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Like any good Oscar ceremony, the 83rd Academy Awards will most likely drag on unto infinity. Categories will blend together and you’ll find yourself waiting to see who wins “Best Costume Design for a Live-Action Short Starring Winter’s Bone“. I’m trying to stop myself from being on auto-snark and hoping that the show is genuinely entertaining. I find hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco to be charming so hopefully they’ll have some good material. Last year, I didn’t expect much from Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin and I thought they did a terrific job. While the Oscars are a show for rich people to congratulate themselves on a job well done, the host doesn’t have to tear the room down to make us poor slobs at home feel better. There’s a balancing act and hopefully Hathaway and Franco can pull it off.
So get your Oscar ballots ready and hit the jump as I live-blog the 83rd Academy Awards. Also, you can click here for my predictions.
If you’re among the folk who believe the Academy Awards are too stodgy, too reluctant to embrace sci-fi, fantasy, and horror — the Saturn Awards are for you. Sure, Best Picture nominee Inception led the field with nominations, but Let Me In and Tron: Legacy (just one Oscar nomination between them) fall close behind with 7 Saturn nominations apiece. Hereafter, Alice in Wonderland, Black Swan, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Never Let Me Go, and Shutter Island all landed 5 or more nominations.
The Walking Dead racked up the most television nominations with 6, followed by Breaking Bad, Fringe, and Lost with 5 each. Hit the jump for the full list of nominees and a breakdown of the number of nominations by film/series.
The Oscars are mere weeks away, and as such, award season is just about over. However, that doesn’t mean we’re bereft of award-inspired artwork just yet. The BAFTAs (British Academy Film Awards) were held last week, where The King’s Speech all but swept most of the categories. Included in the brochure for the ceremony was some outstanding original artwork by Adam Simpson depicting each of the five nominees for Best Picture: Black Swan, Inception, The King’s Speech, The Social Network and True Grit. Hit the jump to check out the individual illustrations for yourself.
Warner Bros. is taking an innovative step in their home distribution market by releasing two of their hit movies, The Dark Knight and Inception, as “App Editions” for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. In a press release, WB announced that the App Edition will enable “downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.” The App Editions will also utilize social networking features so that you can let all your friends know you’re watching Inception and all your friends will let you know that they don’t care.
The App Edition of Inception will cost you $11.99 while The Dark Knight will run you $9.99. Hit the jump my thoughts on this new distribution method, a photo gallery of the apps, and the press release, which includes the special features for each film.
Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister won the American Society of Cinematographers Outstanding Achievement Award in the feature film category. It was Pfister’s first win from the ASC. He had previously been nominated for The Dark Knight and Batman Begins. This year’s other nominees included Matthew Libatique (Black Swan), Danny Cohen (The King’s Speech), Jeff Cronenweth (The Social Network), and Roger Deakins (True Grit). All five of these men have also been nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography and it’s tough to argue that they don’t deserve it.
While Pfister’s win from the ASC may give him a slight edge in the Oscar race, I still think this is going to be Deakins’ year. It’s his ninth nomination and I think/hope that the Academy will finally give him his due. However, if Pfister takes home the statue, you won’t hear me complaining.