Composer JUNKIE XL Talks 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, DIVERGENT, Possibly Collaborating with Hans Zimmer on INTERSTELLAR, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, and More

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Grammy nominated, multi-platinum producer and composer Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a skilled multi-instrumentalist whose versatility and mastery of studio technology put him on the cutting edge of contemporary music.  His ability to combine electronic, pop, and classical influences has made him a highly sought after Hollywood composer.  Most recently, he drew from his extensive knowledge of classical forms combined with his work in contemporary music to create the cool, exciting scores for the action thriller 300:  Rise of an Empire and the futuristic action-adventure Divergent opening in theaters March 21st.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Junkie XL who spoke about how he created a score for 300 that combined the film’s intense action and character themes with a thematic tone influenced by the sea, the challenge of capturing the world of Divergent from the first person perspective of its heroine, how he works with directors and draws on his eclectic background as an artist to craft the right sound, his Dutch roots and their influence on his music, his musical inspirations that include Pink Floyd and Nirvana, his collaborative relationship with Hans Zimmer and the possibility of working with him on Interstellar, and his upcoming projects:  Mad Max: Fury Road and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  Check out the interview after the jump.

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

by     Posted 42 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.

Matthew McConaughey Calls Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR the “Most Ambitious Thing He’s Ever Done”

by     Posted 60 days ago

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While Matthew McConaughey talked about his recent work – including turns in Dallas Buyers Club, HBO’s True Detective, and Mud among others – he briefly commented on a highly anticipated upcoming film: Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.  Not only did he call the sci-fi film “the most ambitious thing he’s ever done”, McConaughey also talked about meeting Nolan at his house for what turned out to be his role in Interstellar.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

TOP 5: Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Join BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, NEIGHBORS, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, INTERSTELLAR, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST

by     Posted 77 days ago

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With an Oscar nod for Best Documentary under its belt and Matt having named it his favorite film of 2013, the last thing Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing needs is an endorsement from me. And yet, here it is. I watched the film on Netflix several weeks ago and, to be honest, I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it. It’s the most the surreal and disturbing look at human atrocity I’ve seen and the more I think about its subjects and overall approach, the more I’m in awe of the fact that it exists. I drown in hyperbole when thinking of words to describe it because it’s so profound that calling it a “good film” seems not like an understatement but a complete inaccuracy. The Act of Killing is not a “good film”, it’s a stunning work of humanity that makes awards, critical reception, the sentence I’m typing at this very moment, etc., seem absolutely trivial.

Speaking of trivial, in what may go down as one of the worst segues in Collider history, I’ll now attempt to jump into this week’s Top 5. Highlighted today is Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joining Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, Steve’s Neighbors set visit coverage, the first trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar being exempt from Paramount’s digital mandate, and the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR to Receive Exemption from Paramount’s Digital Mandate

by     Posted 81 days ago

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Last week, Paramount Pictures announced that starting with The Wolf of Wall Street, all of its films would now be released to theaters in an entirely digital format.  It was essentially another nail in the coffin of film projection, but today Paramount has had to backtrack a bit on its new mandate thanks to one very powerful filmmaker: Christopher Nolan.  Paramount likely realized that trying to convince the film-friendly director to distribute his latest picture on a digital card instead of on film was an impossible task, and so they have confirmed that in the case of Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi pic Interstellar, they will be making an exception.  Hit the jump to read on.

2014 Blockbuster Preview: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, INTERSTELLAR, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, 22 JUMP STREET, and More

by     Posted 109 days ago

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It’s no secret that 2015 is going to be a sort of moviepocalypse with regards to its sheer magnitude of massive films, but right now we’ve still got 2014 to look forward to.  There are plenty of exciting large-scale films on tap for the coming year ranging from sequels to reboots to (gasp!) original properties.  Inevitably some will be great and some will be disappointing, but right now we’re full of optimism, and we’ve put together a list of 25 promising blockbusters set to be released in the next 12 months.  Read on after the jump.

TOP 5: INTERSTELLAR Trailer, ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, First Trailer for 22 JUMP STREET, AMERICAN HUSTLE, “Worst Of” Lists are the Worst

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Last night I had the opportunity to catch Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and I have to say that I walked away with mixed feelings. For the most part, the laughs were there (especially the scenes with Greg Kinnear and the “getting the team back together” sequence early on). I also thought the decision to place the Channel 4 News Team at the dawn of the 24 hour news cycle was great in that it gave Ron and Co. the chance to be pioneers of the trade and provided the pic solid footing from which to deliver its well-placed jabs at the current state of the broadcast news industry. On the other hand, some of the film’s gags and multiple cameos landed with a huge thud for me and I’m still a little surprised at how ridiculously over the top it becomes in the final 20 minutes or so (even for an Anchorman sequel). All in all, if you enjoyed the original then I think there’s enough magic left in the tank that you’ll have fun with The Legend Continues. Just don’t be surprised if you leave the theater less than thrilled to experience the next installment in Ron Burgundy’s story.

My notes aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, interviews with Will Ferrell and more for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the first trailer for 22 Jump Street, American Hustle interviews with Christian Bale and more, and Matt’s editorial on why “Worst Of” lists are, for the lack of a better word, the worst. Read on for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 126 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar.  The sci-fi pic stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Though this teaser trailer features very, very little footage from the still in-production film, it’s a surprisingly moving piece that draws on the human spirit’s drive to keep moving forward.  I’ll say no more and let you experience the teaser for yourself, but the prospect of seeing Nolan further explore these themes in the full film is definitely exciting.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser trailer.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt DamonInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

Take to the Stars with the Logo for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 128 days ago

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Presumably for the graphic design nerds out there, Warner Bros. and Paramount have released the logo for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar.  Details are scarce beyond the cryptic logline, “a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage”, and the story might involve corn, a thought that tickles me to no end.  I have no opinion on this logo because sometimes it’s okay not to have an opinion on everything.  Honestly, it’s good to have this in our image gallery for future stories about the movie.

The image is from the just launched website, and remember the first trailer might be attached to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  If so, it will also be online in the near future.  Interstellar opens November 7, 2014, and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Bill Irwin, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, Topher Grace, David Oyelowo, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael Caine.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR Reportedly Attached to THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

by     Posted 141 days ago

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We may be getting a first look at director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar very, very soon.  The Film Stage reports that the debut trailer for the sci-fi pic will be attached to screenings of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug when Peter Jackson’s fantasy pic opens on December 13th.  Moreover, the trailer apparently clocks in at 1 minute and 43 seconds in length.  The inclusion of the Interstellar teaser in front of The Hobbit wouldn’t be a total shock given that both films are under the Warner Bros. banner, but don’t go expecting a ton of footage to be revealed since Nolan is still in the middle of production.  It’s more likely that the trailer will mimic the first teaser for Inception, which simply featured tantalizing graphics, very brief out-of-context shots from the film, and tense music.

Hit the jump for more on Interstellar and to watch the aforementioned Inception teaser for an idea of what we could expect.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 147 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Christopher Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to the Front of a Learjet for INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Christopher Nolan loves using the IMAX camera, and we love him for using it.  It gets amazing footage, but it’s tough to wield.  The camera is bulky, noisy, and there aren’t many of them in the world, so you have to be careful.  Strapping an IMAX camera to the front of a Learjet may not be the most cautious use of the expensive equipment, but Nolan’s probably going to get some amazing footage out of it for his new movie, Interstellar.  Plot details are unsurprisingly scarce (“a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage”; the story might also involve corn), but it’s good to know that Nolan is finding new ways to utilize the IMAX camera.

Hit the jump to check out a couple images of the rig.  The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, Bill Irwin, John Lithgow, Casey Affleck, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, Topher Grace, David Oyelowo, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael CaineInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

Matthew McConaughey Talks DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, the 16-Year Process of Getting the Film Made, Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR, and More

by     Posted 158 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is Jean-Marc Vallée’s drama Dallas Buyers Club.  Based on a true story, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as a Texas electrician who, after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other patients, along with his business partner, a transgender AIDS patient brilliantly played by Jared Leto.  While I’ve seen a lot of great performances this year, McConaughey and Leto are at the top of the list.  Both give the film their heart and soul and they will both be rewarded with nominations during award season.  Dallas Buyers Club is not to be missed.  The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis O’HareSteve ZahnMichael O’NeillDallas RobertsGriffin Dunne, and Kevin Rankin.

During the Toronto press day for the film, I was able to speak with McConaughey.  He talked about trying to make the film for 16 years, financing problems, how eight days before shooting they still didn’t have the money, working with Jared Leto, what it’s been like working with Christopher Nolan on Interstellar, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

New Rumors Abound as Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR Films in Iceland

by     Posted 222 days ago

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We previously posted some corny news related to rumors on Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a sci-fi picture that follows a group of space explorers journeying through a wormhole.  Today, we’ve got something that could prove to be a little more substantial as it comes from the Icelandic set of the film where Nolan has constructed some reportedly massive practical fixtures.  We’ll save those details until after the jump.

Starring Matthew McConaugheyAnne HathawayJessica Chastain,Matt DamonBill IrwinJohn LithgowCasey AffleckDavid GyasiWes BentleyMackenzie FoyTimothée ChalametTopher GraceDavid OyelowoEllen Burstyn, and Michael Caine, Interstellar opens November 7, 2014. [Possible spoilers ahead]

TOP 5: ENDER’S GAME Set Visit, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Trailer, Stop Asking for Bryan Cranston to Play Lex Luthor, DIVERGENT Trailer, INTERSTELLAR Plot Info

by     Posted 231 days ago

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After weeks of deliberation, last night I made the decision to resume my Netflix subscription. Today, after having watched the pilot episode of its original series Orange is the New Black, I can say with confidence that was $7.99 well spent. Only one episode in and I can absolutely see myself spending the rest of this Labor Day weekend devouring the remaining 12 episodes with ease. While you’ve likely read some of the show’s rave reviews elsewhere already, I’ll lend my own endorsement by saying that the pilot offers a near-perfect balance of humor and drama. Moreover, the pace is never slowed by consistent cutting between Piper Chapman’s (Taylor Schilling) past transgressions and present consequences. If anything, it serves to heighten the depressing reality of the situation we find Chapman in. All said, I give the pilot high marks all around and myself a disappointed facepalm for not having got in on the series sooner.

My reintroduction to Netflix aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights part one of our Ender’s Game set visit, the first trailer for Dallas Buyers Club, an editorial by Matt imploring all of us to stop asking for Bryan Cranston to play Lex Luthor, the first trailer for Divergent, and a little bit of extra plot info regarding Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. As you may expect, a brief recap and link to everything I just mentioned can be found after the jump.

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