THE COLLISION: Episode 86 – STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting

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Yesterday, Disney announced the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, so we decided to have a special edition of The Collision where we gave our thoughts on this major news.  During our conversation, we give our thoughts on the casting process, what we think we know about the story, how the story has developed and how that has ties in with the casting, our opinions about the cast, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Summer Indie Movies”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

New to Blu-ray: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, OUT OF THE FURNACE, THE BOOK THIEF, and More

by     Posted 142 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the latest, underrated film from the Coen brothers, an unforgivingly dark Christian Bale drama, a Criterion release of director David Gordon Green’s feature debut, and more.  Briefly:

John Goodman Talks THE MONUMENTS MEN, Honoring the World War II Generation, THE GAMBLER, Looking Back on THE BIG LEBOWSKI, SPEED RACER, and More

by     Posted 177 days ago

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John Goodman turns in a moving performance in The Monuments Men as Walter Garfield, a role inspired by real-life Monuments Man Walker Hancock who was an acclaimed artist and St. Louis sculptor.  Goodman’s character is part of a motley crew of art historians and museum curators who rush to the front lines of WWII in a race against time to save priceless works of art from Nazi thieves.  Opening February 7th, the buddy action thriller directed by and starring George Clooney boasts an impressive cast that also includes Jean Dujardin, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Bob Balazar, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Goodman who spoke about what attracted him to the role, why he said yes to the project before reading the script and had the same reaction when the Coen Brothers offered him Inside Llewyn Davis, why honoring the generation that sacrificed so much to win the war was a big hook for him, how his acting process has changed over the years, his upcoming role in The Gambler and his reaction to William Monahan’s script, working with the Wachowskis on Speed Racer, hosting SNL and his favorite sketch, the possibility of a Monsters University sequel, and looking back on making The Big Lebowski.  Check out the interview after the jump.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 196 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

Friday Box Office: LONE SURVIVOR Thrives, THE LEGEND OF HERCULES Dies

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Of the five movies opening nationwide as of Friday, only one was brand new – and it’s looking like a bit of a weakling.  The Legend of Hercules, the first of two movies this year to star the mythic strong man, opened to a disappointing $3 million from 2,104 locations.  That means that Hercules is likely to fall short of its (very modest) $10 million goal this weekend.  Considering Hercules is currently rocking a 2% on Rotten Tomatoes, however, things could be worse for the son of Zeus.

Among the four titles expanding their runs this weekend, the clear winner is Lone Survivor.  After two weeks in two locations, Universal’s military drama took in an estimated $14.4 million from 2,876 locations on Friday.  That puts Lone Survivor on track for first place with about $34 million this weekend.  That’s well above the $24 million originally projected and tops the $24.4 million that Zero Dark Thirty realized after its nationwide expansion at this time last year.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Lone Survivor $14,400,000 $14.7
2.  Frozen $3,111,000 $305.7
3.  Legend of Hercules $3,080,000 $3.08
4.  Wolf of Wall Street $2,726,000 $72.3
5.  American Hustle $2,580,000 $95.5
6.  August: Osage County $2,200,000 $2.7

Friday numbers for Her and August: Osage County after the jump:

3-Way Tie Leads to Seven Nominations from Cinematographers Society; Costume Designer Guild Nominates Braless Wonder AMERICAN HUSTLE

by     Posted 204 days ago

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The major guilds have all chimed in with their nominees, and as Adam has pointed out in his Oscar Beat column, this gives us a clearer picture of who might be getting Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week.  But it’s important to remember that guilds usually share members with the Academy, and now the American Society of Cinematographers and the Costume Designers Guild have chimed in with their nominees.

If you need proof that 2013 featured some beautifully shot pictures, the ASC ended up nominating seven films instead of five because there was a three-way tie.  As for the costume designers, the plunging necklines of American Hustle earned a nomination as did the also-glamorous The Great Gatsby.  I’m also pleased with the nomination for Her.  One of the things I noticed on my third viewing was the subtle way that designer Casey Storm provided a “futuristic” fashion by having the men wear high wool pants and button the top button of collared shirts.  It’s just another nice touch to a great movie.  Hit the jump for a full list of the nominees from both guilds.

TOP 5: Our Favorite Movies of 2013, New Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, First Trailer for THE RAID 2: BERANDAL, Cinemath

by     Posted 208 days ago

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Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.

Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth EvansThe Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Watch a Clip from INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Featuring Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver with Commentary from T-Bone Burnett

by     Posted 209 days ago

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Currently playing in theaters is the new Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis.  The folk music drama centers on the title character (Oscar Isaac), a young singer attempting to navigate the Greenwich Village scene in the early 1960s.  If you need more of a hook to get you into the theater, this new clip from the film highlights the musicality of the picture, with Isaac recording a song live alongside costars Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver.  Stick around after the clip for commentary from executive music producer, T-Bone Burnett.

Also starring Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund, Inside Llewyn Davis is in theaters now.  Hit the jump to watch the clip.

Oscar Isaac Talks INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Collaborating with the Coen Brothers, Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 209 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of the year, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis.  The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships.  Loaded with incredible performances, an all-star cast (featuring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John GoodmanGarrett HedlundF. Murray AbrahamAdam DriverStark Sands, and Max Casella), and a fantastic soundtrack (put together by T-Bone Burnett), Inside Llewyn Davis should not be missed.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Oscar Isaac.  He talked about what it was like working for the Coen Brothers, how he felt landing the role, what it was like performing the songs and how much changed along the way, and more.  In addition, Isaac talked about working with Alex Garland on Ex Machina and William Monahan on Mojave.  Hit the jump to watch.

Oscar Beat: Analyzing What the Producers Guild Awards Nominations Mean for Oscar

by     Posted 210 days ago

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When it comes to predicting the Oscars, there are a number of factors to take into account.  The early critics awards carry some weight, as does a film’s overall box office performance, but the most significant gauge with regards to Oscar voting comes with the guild awards.  The four major guilds—producers, directors, writers, and actors—have a large amount of crossover with Academy membership, which means that many of the same people that are voting for the Oscars are also voting in the PGA, DGA, WGA, and SAG awards.  Earlier today we got our first look at the Producers Guild of America nominations, and there were a couple of minor surprises mixed in with the usual suspects.

In this edition of Collider’s awards column, Oscar Beat, I’ll be analyzing what this year’s PGA nominations mean with regards to the upcoming 86th Academy Awards race.  Read on after the jump.

Stark Sands Talks INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Collaborating with the Coen Brothers, the Success of KINKY BOOTS on Broadway, and More

by     Posted 210 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of the year, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis.  The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships.  Loaded with incredible performances, an all-star cast (featuring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John GoodmanGarrett HedlundF. Murray AbrahamAdam DriverStark Sands, and Max Casella), and a fantastic soundtrack (put together by T-Bone Burnett), Inside Llewyn Davis should not be missed.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Stark Sands.  He talked about what it was like working for the Coen Brothers, the way he got the role, how much he brought to his character, whether he hung out on set during his off days, the success of Kinky Boots on Broadway, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Edgar Wright’s Top 20 Movies of 2013 Include GRAVITY, HER, and SPRING BREAKERS

by     Posted 211 days ago

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Over the past week or so, we here at Collider have been inundating you with year-end lists.  In addition to personal Top 10s from me, Matt, and Dave, we’ve also run down 2013’s best trailers, posters, movie moments, new TV series, returning TV series, and much more.  Now filmmaker Edgar Wright has chimed in with his own personal “Top 20” of 2013.  The director is plenty busy at the moment prepping to direct Marvel’s Ant-Man (starring Paul Rudd, no less), but he graciously took some time to run down a varied list of films that includes Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Pacific Rim, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra.  Hit the jump to take a look at the full batch.

Matt’s Top 10 Films of 2013

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And so here we are again.  The “Top 10 Films” list is an act of vanity, and one I enjoy annually.  Almost everyone who does it is basically proclaiming, “I saw many movies this year, and lo, in my infinite wisdom, have culled them down into these chosen ten.  I would inscribe them on stone tablets had I the time or money to do so.”  But they do serve a purpose beyond ego (although I do love the ego part): they can guide.  We love movies, and we want to share them with other people so they can (hopefully) experience the same joy, wonder, fear, introspection, and a host of other emotions.  I can’t inscribe these titles in stone, but they still left a serious impact on me.  If you’ve seen these movies, I want to discuss them.  If you haven’t seen these movies, I hope you seek them out so we can have a conversation.  For me, these ten titles live beyond the screen, and not just in an itemized list.

Check out my Top 10 Films of 2013 after the jump.

Adam’s Top 10 Films of 2013

by     Posted 214 days ago

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Top 10 lists are inherently flawed.  How does one compare the “greatness” of a film like Gravity to a film like 12 Years a Slave?  The two could not be more different from each other, but they both exemplify the best of what movies have to offer.  Alas, the Oscars attempt to measure the quality of one film against the quality of another year after year, but for my personal Top 10 list I’ve opted to rank according to “favorite” rather than “best”.  2013 was a very good year for film, particularly these last two months.  I enjoyed a great deal of what 2013 had to offer—way more than just the following 10 movies—but if forced to choose, I’ve come up with a list of my 10 favorites.  It’s entirely possible that my arbitrary rankings could look entirely different tomorrow, but after the jump I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite films of 2013.

Watch a New Featurette for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS that Reveals the Behind-the-Scenes Process of Bringing Stage Music to the Screen

by     Posted 217 days ago

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A new behind-the-scenes featurette from Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis reveals the laborious process of bringing stage music to the screen.  The Coens join star Oscar Isaac, music producer T-Bone Burnett, production mixer Peter Kurland, and re-recording mixer Greg Orloff, for this eight-minute look at how the folk music drama came together.

The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, and John Goodman, and is now playing theaters.  Hit the jump to watch the behind-the-scenes featurette.

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