Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

by     Posted 16 days ago

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

INHERENT VICE Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 27 days ago

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After the New York Film Festival screening of Inherent Vice, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson and a good deal of his cast took the stage for a brief Q&A.  At one point, Anderson discussed Howard HawksThe Big Sleep and noted, “I saw The Big Sleep and it made me realize, I could not follow any of it and it didn’t matter because I just wanted to see what was gonna happen next.”  Anderson does manage to achieve that to a degree in Inherent Vice, but it winds up making the film even more of a disappointment because what happens next is rarely satisfying.

TOP 5: GONE GIRL, INHERENT VICE, New INTERSTELLAR Trailer, AMERICAN SNIPER, Most Anticipated: October to December

by     Posted 27 days ago

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Halloween season is upon us and to celebrate I’ll be recommending horror pics I’ve seen recently that I think merit a view in each Top 5 installment this month. This week my recommendation goes to writer/director Mike Flanagan‘s Oculus. The film hit theaters back in April where it enjoyed solid box office returns and critical success alike. While not overly frightening, Oculus is an effective, unsettling picture thanks in large part to Flanagan’s editing which expertly weaves present day and past events together in a way that makes the outcome(s) feel inevitable yet satisfying. Watching Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites‘ terrifying past and present unfold concurrently could have easily discombobulated the narrative. Instead, the transitions not only feel smooth but they add tremendous tension and empathy for the brother and sister. More psychological horror than gore fest (although it’s not completely void of tough to watch moments), Oculus is absolutely deserving of a spot on your All Hallows’ Eve watch list.

Recommendations aside, this week’s edition features Matt’s Gone Girl review and the conclusion of his David Fincher retrospective, the first trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice, a new Interstellar trailer, a breathtaking first trailer for Clint Eastwood‘s American Sniper, and a look at our most anticipated movies for the rest of 2014. Read on for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Collider’s Most Anticipated Movies: October to December

by     Posted 29 days ago

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The summer movie season is behind us, and there is a lot to look forward to in the closing months of 2014.  As always there’s plenty of adult dramas to dig through, but the year’s final releases are an eclectic bunch ranging from massive-scale sci-fi films to psychedelic period romps, and there are more than a couple of new releases from some of the best filmmakers working today.  It’s an embarrassment of riches, but Matt, Adam, Perri, and Evan have each pored over the release calendar and picked out their five most anticipated films of this final quarter.  It certainly wasn’t easy.

Hit the jump to find out what they can’t wait to see and why.

INHERENT VICE Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Leads Paul Thomas Anderson’s Psychedelic Detective Romp

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the highly anticipated first Inherent Vice trailer for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, and it is glorious.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is enlisted to help a former lover thwart a potential kidnapping involving her current billionaire boyfriend.  While PTA has trended a bit darker with his past few films, Inherent Vice looks to be a delightfully goofy romp that’s closer in tone to Boogie Nights than There Will Be Blood.  I found myself laughing multiple times during this trailer, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be absolutely perfect casting as the pothead protagonist.  Moreover, the supporting cast appears to be phenomenal as well, with Josh Brolin getting a particularly hilarious standout moment here.  Anderson cuts his own trailers so this is likely a very accurate snapshot of the film’s vibe as a whole, and all I can say is it’s made the wait for the film’s release feel so, so, so much farther away.

Hit the jump to watch the Inherent Vice trailer.  The film also stars Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna NewsomInherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.

New INHERENT VICE Images Goes Online; Paul Thomas Anderson Talks about the Film and Reveals the Ending Differs from the Book

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice will soon be making its world premiere at the New York Film Festival, and while we wait for the buzz to surface (or die, depending on the reaction), a new image has been released online.  Based on the book by Thomas Pynchon, the story takes place in 1969 Los Angeles, and centers on a pothead/private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), who is helping a former lover with an intriguing case that involves infidelity, mental institutions, and policemen called “Bigfoot.”  However, don’t go in expecting a direct adaptation of Pynchon’s novel.  According to the New York Times, Anderson wrote an “outrageous new ending for the film that deviates significantly from the novel,” although Phoenix notes that Pynchon was an active participant in the process (the reclusive author may even have a cameo).

Hit the jump to check out the new Inherent Vice image and to learn more about the film.  Inherent Vice opens December 12th, and also stars Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, Katherine Waterson, and Joanna Newsom.

First Look at Reese Witherspoon in New INHERENT VICE Image

by     Posted 37 days ago

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We have seen a couple stills and a brief flash of footage from Inherent Vice, but Warner Bros. is happy to keep the flow of publicity materials slow and steady up until the October 4 New York Film Festival premiere.  A new image surfaced tonight that offers our first look at Reese Witherspoon.  Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel, the plot of the movie is set into motion when an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) hires private detective Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) to investigate a case in early 1970s Los Angeles.

Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newsom also star.  Inherent Vice opens in limited release December 12 and expands nationwide January 9, 2015.  See the full Inherent Vice image after the jump.

NYFF Trailer Offers First Look at INHERENT VICE Footage

by     Posted 51 days ago

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The New York Film Festival has a fantastic slate this year.  From the premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance as the closing night selection, it makes me supremely jealous of those on the east coast for that week.  Of course, the largest question mark here is writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s long awaited Inherent Vice, which will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th as the fest’s centerpiece gala.

We’ve only seen a few stills from the film (and we wake up every day hoping for a trailer), so we’re actually getting our first-ever snippet of footage via this NYFF trailer that highlights the fest’s selections.  Anderson’s Thomas Pynchon adaptation stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson and is described by NYFF director Kent Jones as being “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.  Hit the jump for the NYFF trailer.

New INHERENT VICE Image Reveals Katherine Waterston in a Potential Breakout Role

by     Posted 57 days ago

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A new Inherent Vice image has landed online from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming Thomas Pynchon adaptation, but instead of offering another look at Joaquin Phoenix’s pothead detective or Josh Brolin’s straight-laced cop, we actually get our first look at the female lead, played by Katherine Waterston.  The actress—who is the daughter of Law & Order vet Sam Waterston—has had supporting roles in things like Boardwalk Empire and Taking Woodstock, but Inherent Vice marks her highest profile role to date as she plays the “free-spirited, sensual ex-girlfriend who wakes the mutton-chopped private investigator Doc Sportello (Phoenix) from his stoner haze.”  As the female lead of a Paul Thomas Anderson film, Waterston will surely get some meaty scenes to chew through on screen, and this image is a simple tease of what could be a breakout role for the actress.

Hit the jump to check out the new Inherent Vice image.  The film also stars Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna NewsomInherent Vice will have its world premiere next month at the New York Film Festival and opens in limited release on December 12th and will expand nationwide on January 9, 2015.

Oscar Beat: Which Awards Contenders Will Emerge from the Fall Film Festival Season?

by     Posted 65 days ago

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Ready or not, the awards season is about to begin.  Every year, Oscar season kicks off with the series of film festivals in late August and early September.  It’s at these festivals—Telluride, Toronto, and Venice—that a hefty number of the year’s Oscar hopefuls debut and begin what they hope will be long and prosperous campaigns.  Four out of the last five Best Picture winners screened at both Telluride and Toronto, and as the festivals are about to start later this week, now felt like a good time to preview the block of awards hopefuls that will be screening since the odds are pretty good that this year’s Best Picture winner will have debuted by mid-September.

Hit the jump for the Fall Film Festival Preview 2014 edition of Oscar Beat.

First INHERENT VICE Image Reveals Josh Brolin in a Flat Top

by     Posted 78 days ago

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One of the most anticipated films of the year is undoubtedly Paul Thomas Anderson’s next feature, and now the first official Inherent Vice image has landed online—albeit in rough form.  The film is featured in this week’s Fall Movie Preview edition of Entertainment Weekly, and while the magazine hasn’t officially released the Inherent Vice image online, a scan of the photo has been uploaded for our perusing pleasure.  It’s small in size and low in quality, but we do see Joaquin Phoenix’s title character sporting some serious mutton chops while he chats up a serious-looking Josh Brolin, who has a very particular kind of haircut.  Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, the film has been described as “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.”  Hopefully a high-quality version of the image lands online, and we should be seeing a trailer soon.

Hit the jump to check out the Inherent Vice image.  The film also stars Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, and Owen WilsonInherent Vice will have its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in October and opens in theaters on December 12th.

Benicio del Toro Talks GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, Playing the Collector, His Marvel Contract, INHERENT VICE, PARADISE LOST, and More

by     Posted 94 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  As most of you know, the story follows five intergalactic misfits—Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)—as they set out to protect a powerful and mysterious orb from the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).  Loaded with great performances, an extremely funny script, and some fantastic action sequences, Guardians of the Galaxy should be a big hit with moviegoers and it helps to explain why Marvel was so quick to announce that a sequel is coming July 28, 2017.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Benicio del Toro, who plays The Collector.   He talked about how he got involved in the Marvel universe, his contract with the studio, how the look of the Collector came together, upcoming films Inherent Vice and Paradise Lost, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE to Have World Premiere at New York Film Festival

by     Posted 104 days ago

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The New York Film Festival made a hell of a first selection by nabbing David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film, and now the fest’s second selection makes it an even more enticing destination.  Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th, as the pic as been selected as the fest’s centerpiece gala.  The Thomas Pynchon adaptation is led by Joaquin Phoenix, with an eclectic cast that also includes Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson.  Per THR, NYFF director Kent Jones describes Inherent Vice as “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”

With the one-two punch of premiering Gone Girl and Inherent Vice, NYFF is giving the traditional festival juggernaut TIFF a run for its money.  Read a synopsis for the book after the jump.  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th. 

Oscar Beat: 10 Films That Could End Up in the 2015 Awards Race

by     Posted 237 days ago

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With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now.  We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony.  Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race.  After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE Set for December 12th; Release Dates Announced for ENTOURAGE and THE INTERN

by     Posted 248 days ago

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The 2013 awards race will finally come to a close on Sunday with the Academy Awards, so naturally there’s no time to waste when it comes to looking at Awards Season 2014.  Paul Thomas Anderson‘s last two films, There Will Be Blood and The Master, both racked up multiple nominations, and Warner Bros. is angling for his next movie, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon‘s detective novel Inherent Vice, to do the same.  The studio has set Inherent Vice to open on December 12th.  Currently, its competition will be Ridley Scott‘s biblical epic Exodus and the family movie Paddington.  I’m curious to see if Warners plans to run Vice through the festival circuit before its theatrical release.

Hit the jump for more on Inherent Vice and release dates for Entourage and The Intern.

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