“Why Cookie Rocket?” Looking Back at RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 21 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.]

The Planet of the Apes movies have always been interested with time.  The original movie opens with Taylor (Charlton Heston) explaining that his spaceship’s mission isn’t to explore the galaxy, but to use Einstein’s Law of Relativity to leave Earth and return in the distant future where it might not be such a shithole (Taylor was disappointed).  From there, Beneath carried the torch to extinction, Escape traveled back in time, Conquest took a twenty-year jump to begin the downfall of humans, and Battle has a prologue and epilogue that take place in 2670 AD.  So it’s fitting that the series’ reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, would restart the clock to unload the baggage of the previous movies rather than throwing us back into the middle of the madhouse.  While it didn’t carry the heavy commentary of the original saga, Rise took a new path by putting a strong focus on family and bringing a level of spectacle far beyond what any Apes film had done before.

GOOD PEOPLE Trailer: James Franco and Kate Hudson Stumble Upon Some Serious Cash

by     Posted 34 days ago

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Millennium Entertainment has released the first Good People trailer for director Henrik Ruben Genz’s crime thriller.  The film stars James Franco and Kate Hudson as a cash-strapped couple living in London who come across a duffle bag full of money when their downstairs neighbor turns up dead.  Initially thinking no one would miss the large sum, the two soon find themselves in over their heads.  The London setting allows the film to stand out amongst the glut of other generic gritty thrillers, and Omar Sy (The Intouchables) appears to be playing a rather menacing villain.  It’s still tough to tell whether Franco is half asleep or genuinely giving it his all, though.  He does make a lot of movies.

Hit the jump to watch the Good People trailer.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson and will be released in theaters and VOD on September 26th.

THE INTERVIEW Trailer: Seth Rogen and James Franco Have to Assassinate Kim Jong-un [Updated with Images]

by     Posted 49 days ago

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Sony has released the first The Interview trailer on the heels of the poster release earlier todayJames Franco and Seth Rogen star as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  The trailer makes it clear directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg are willing to go big and broad to serve the funny premise.  The laughs will come with good execution, and these guys have earned our trust on that front.  Like other Rogen/Goldberg scripts (Superbad, Pineapple Express, This Is the End, and hey, even The Green Hornet), The Interview appears to strive for an emotional reality with a focus the talk show host/producer relationship amid the crazy.

Hit the jump to watch the Interview trailer.  Lizzy Caplan and Randall Park also star in the action comedy.  The Interview opens October 10. [Update: We've added three debut images from the film after the jump as well.]

THE INTERVIEW Poster: Seth Rogen and James Franco Become Propaganda

by     Posted 49 days ago

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In anticipation of the trailer debut later this week, Sony Pictures has released the first The Interview poster for directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new film.  Following their incredible debut with This Is the End, Rogen and Goldberg tackle the action-comedy genre with The Interview, which stars James Franco and Rogen as a talk show host and his producer, respectively, who travel to North Korea in order to interview dictator Kim Jong-un and legitimize themselves as real journalists.  Their plans are upended, however, when the CIA recruits them to instead assassinate Kim Jong-un.  This debut poster takes the North Korea setting and runs with it, as Rogen and Franco are painted gorgeously as dictatorial propaganda.  It’s ridiculous and fantastic (especially the credit line at the top), and I cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeve with this one.

Hit the jump to check out the first The Interview poster, and check back tomorrow to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Lizzy Caplan and Randall ParkThe Interview opens in theaters on October 10th.

Mark Rylance Joins Spielberg’s Cold War Thriller; Dave Franco Joins THE ROOM Movie; Marion Cotillard in MAL DE PIERRES; Duo Set for INSURGENT

by     Posted 50 days ago

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We have a few casting stories to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Stage actor Mark Rylance is the second actor to join the cast of Steven Spielberg’s next film, a Cold War thriller fronted by Tom Hanks.
  • Dave Franco is set to star opposite his brother James Franco in the film about the making of The Room, titled The Disaster Artist.
  • Marion Cotillard will lead the period romance Mal de Pierres.
  • The roles of Uriah and Lynn have been filled for the sequel The Divergent Series: Insurgent.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

First Poster for SPRING BREAKERS Sequel; James Franco Speaks Out on the Unapproved Follow-Up

by     Posted 77 days ago

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A week after the sequel was officially announced, the first Spring Breakers 2 poster has been spotted by our correspondent at the Cannes Film Festival.  The follow-up is titled Spring Breakers: The Second Coming and finds the titular Spring Breakers doing battle with an extreme militant Christian sect that attempts to convert them.  However, the sequel is being developed without the involvement or consent of Spring Breakers writer/director Harmony Korine or James Franco, and the latter has been quite vocal about his opposition to the follow-up.  Essentially, it’s an effort by the producers to take advantage of a recognizable brand.  They hope to mix both old and new castmembers in The Second Coming, but it’s doubtful that any of the main actors from Spring Breakers will actually return.

Regardless, Spring Breakers: The Second Coming is being shopped to buyers at Cannes, and our correspondent was able to snap a photo of the billboard being used to promote the pic.  Hit the jump to take a look at the Spring Breakers 2 poster and to read Franco’s full statement about the film.

Co-Director Evan Goldberg and Producer James Weaver Talk THE INTERVIEW, Test Screening Response, James Franco’s “Insane” Character & More

by     Posted 85 days ago

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Longtime collaborators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg made one hell of a directorial debut with last year’s excellent apocalyptic comedy This Is the End, and luckily we don’t have long to wait for their follow-up.  The duo are currently deep in post-production on their next directorial effort, The Interview, which revolves around a talk show host (James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who find themselves in over their heads when they get involved in a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.

Steve recently sat down with Goldberg and producer James Weaver in anticipation of the new comedy Neighbors, which they both produced, and during the conversation the two also talked a bit about The Interview.  They discussed the test screening process for the film, noting that they’re nearly finished with it altogether, and they also talked about Franco’s “insane” performance as the talk show host and how Rogen and Goldberg have upped their game as directors.  Read on after the jump.

First THIRD PERSON Trailer and New Images Featuring Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Adrian Brody, and Moran Atias

by     Posted 106 days ago

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Writer-director Paul Haggis’ Third Person trailer is now available online.  As a treat, we’ve also got a look at the film’s international trailer, a bunch of character images, and the film’s poster.  All of the varied media give looks at stars Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, Moran Atias, and Maria Bello.  That’s quite the cast that Haggis has assembled for his romantic drama that tells the tale of three interlocking stories of couples in Rome, Paris, and New York, familiar territory for the Oscar-winning writer of Crash.

Also starring Kim Basinger, the film will make its U.S. debut on April 24th at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Watch the first Third Person trailer after the jump, plus a bonus international trailer and a host of new images.

Trailer for Gia Coppola’s PALO ALTO Starring Emma Roberts, James Franco, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, Zoe Levin, and Val Kilmer

by     Posted 120 days ago

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A trailer has been released for Gia Coppola‘s high school drama Palo Alto.  Based on a book of short stories by James Franco (who co-stars in the film), the film features interconnected narratives involving a soccer player (Emma Roberts) getting involved with her coach (Franco), a precarious friendship between two young men (Jack Kilmer and Nat Wolff), and a young woman (Zoe Levin) who bases her self-esteem on having sex.  This trailer doesn’t do anything for me, but that’s because I’m not really hooked by the subject matter.  That doesn’t mean I think the film will be bad.  It’s just not something that piques my interest at this point.  If you are fan of these kinds of movies, then you should probably put it on your radar.

Hit the jump to check out the Palo Alto trailer.  The film also stars Claudia Levy, Chris Messina, and Val KilmerPalo Alto opens in limited release on May 9th.

James Franco to Direct Film about the Making of Cult Classic THE ROOM

by     Posted 172 days ago

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At any given time, James Franco is attached to write, direct, produce, star in, and adapt so many different projects that it’s hard to keep track.  However, Franco just set another future project in motion that is particularly intriguing.  Deadline reports that Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions has optioned the book and life rights to The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, which is chronicles the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “so-bad-it’s-good” cult classic The Room.  Franco will direct and co-produce the adaptation, and he has also expressed interest in starring in the pic alongside his brother Dave Franco.  Moreover, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are onboard as executive producers.

Hit the jump for more, including the synopsis for the book.

Melissa Leo & James Franco in THE FIXER; Glenn Close, Sophie Nelisse & Octavia Spencer in THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS; Cuba Gooding Jr. Is GRIDLOCKED

by     Posted 174 days ago

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Here’s a bit more casting news for you today:

  • Melissa Leo and James Franco are set to star in Ian Olds’ The Fixer.
  • Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief) will star in the title role of The Great Gilly Hopkins for director Stephen HerekGlenn Close, Kathy Bates, Danny Glover and Octavia Spencer also star.
  • Cuba Gooding Jr. will star in director and co-writer Allan Ungar’s action thriller, Gridlocked.

Hit the jump for more on each picture

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, and More to Voice R-Rated Animated Film SAUSAGE PARTY

by     Posted 183 days ago

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The This Is the End gang is getting back together—and then some.  Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Evan Goldberg have been developing a hard-R animated film called Sausage Party for some time, and when Sony Pictures agreed to produce the pic alongside Annapurna Pictures last year, we assumed that Rogen, Hill, and some of their regular collaborators would be leading the voice cast.  We assumed correctly, as The Wrap now reports that Rogen, Hill, and James Franco will lead the voice cast for the film, with Michael Cera, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton, Nick Kroll, and David Krumholtz also lending their voice talents to the pic.  Hit the jump for more.

First Trailer for James Franco’s CHILD OF GOD

by     Posted 190 days ago

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The first trailer for James Franco’s adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel Child of God has landed online.  The film takes place in 1960s Tennessee and tells the story of a violent, dispossessed man who retreats further and further into isolation.  The trailer certainly has a strong sense of foreboding, with a fittingly terrifying turn from star Scott Haze.  The aesthetic feels quite similar to Franco’s other projects, but he’s been passionate about making Child of God for quite some time so it should be interesting to see how it all comes together.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Parrack, and Franco himself.

Oscar Beat: Best Supporting Actor – Is Jared Leto on His Way to an Oscar Win?

by     Posted 228 days ago

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As we continue our in-depth look at the coming awards season, it’s now time to delve in the Best Supporting Actor race.  It’s a tough category this year, with a number of impressive turns from a variety of actors.  The two big standouts emerged at the Toronto Film Festival this past September with Jared Leto earning extremely high praise for his turn as a transsexual opposite Mattthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender turning heads as a ruthless slave owner in the highly emotional 12 Years a Slave.  But there are plenty of other contenders as well, with both Jonah Hill and James Franco firmly in the race for a pair of more comic performances.

Hit the jump to read the latest edition of Oscar Beat, in which we examine the Best Supporting Actor category.

Los Angeles, Boston, and New York Online Critics Announce Awards; HER and GRAVITY Tie for Best Picture in LA Awards

by     Posted 234 days ago

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The critics group awards are off and running.  Last week we saw the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and the Boston Online Critics announce their annual awards, and today we have three more groups to add to the pile.  12 Years a Slave won Best Picture in the Boston and New York Online groups, but the Los Angeles voting resulted in a tie for Best Picture between Gravity and HerAlfonso Cuaron took Best Director in the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics Online awards, while Boston went for 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen.  While many votes seemed to be in line with early predictions, James Franco shared the Best Supporting Actor moniker in the Los Angeles group for his work in Spring Breakers.

If there’s one takeaway from the critics group awards we’ve seen thus far, it’s that Spike Jonze’s Her has a heavy amount of love in the film community, which could very well translate to Oscar.  Hit the jump to read the full list of winners for all three groups, as well as the runners up for the L.A. and Boston awards.

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