ANNABELLE Trailer Suggests the Doll Will Continue to Be Your Worst Nightmare

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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That first teaser trailer for The Conjuring spinoff, Annabelle, made for a strong start, but the film’s first full trailer just dropped and it proves that Annabelle isn’t just a creepy doll shtick, but rather that it has the potential to blow the doors wide open to another deeply terrifying supernatural haunting.

The Conjuring kicked off with a sequence during which Annabelle terrorized two nursing students, but by the looks of one particular shot in this trailer, her upcoming solo movie could go back to where it all started.  Hit the jump to check out the new Annabelle trailer for yourself.  The film stars Annabelle WallisAlfre WoodardWard Horton, Tony AmendolaEric Ladin and Brian Howe, and hits theaters on October 3rd.

Jon Stewart’s ROSEWATER Release Date Set for November 7th; James Wan-Produced DEMONIC Finally Dated for December 12th

by     Posted 21 days ago

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A Rosewater release date has finally been set, and it’s in the heart of awards season later this fall.  Jon Stewart’s highly anticipated directorial debut will open in select theaters on November 7th, the same date as Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.  However, Open Road Films will likely take good care of rolling the film out slowly over the course of the month, so no one’s expecting it to give Interstellar a run for its money.  Written and directed by Stewart, the film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and is an adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari‘s memoir, Then They Came for Me.  Bahari, who was born in Tehran, went to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but was arrested by the Revolutionary Guard, and then interrogated and beaten for 118 days by a man known only as “Rosewater”.  Stewart had a personal connection to the story as Bahari’s previous The Daily Show appearance was used as “evidence” that he was a spy.

Rosewater is slated to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival in September where I’m eager to finally see it, but it will likely have its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival one week prior.  Hit the jump for news concerning a slightly delayed horror film called Demonic.

ANNABELLE Teaser Trailer Hints at a Potentially Terrifying Film

by     Posted 35 days ago

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Last week we got the news that Annabelle, the spinoff of The Conjuring, was indeed the “Untitled New Line Horror Film” that had previously been scheduled for later this year.  Today, in what seems like a remarkably quick turnaround, we have a two minute teaser trailer for the movie.  If you’re even remotely a fan of The Conjuring this is something you’ll want to check out (though it should be noted that Annabelle is not the official sequel The Conjuring 2, which is set for release October 23rd, 2015).

Annabelle was directed by John R. Leonetti (who served as a DP on The Conjuring and should be able to recreate that film’s style) and written by Gary Dauberman (the upcoming Crawlspace).  James Wan is producing alongside Peter Safran.  The film stars the somewhat ironically named Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders), Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard. New Line and Warner Bros. will release the film on October 3rd, 2014.  Hit the jump for the Annabelle teaser trailer.

FAST & FURIOUS 7 Wraps Production; Shares Heartfelt Note and New Image Commemorating Tough Shoot

by     Posted 42 days ago

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Shooting has just officially wrapped on Fast & Furious 7.  The tumultuous, to say the least, production faced innumerable hurdles following the tragic death of star Paul Walker in November.  I imagine those involved are glad they pushed on but relieved that the ordeal is drawing to a close.  I also imagine director James Wan has a bear of a post-production schedule ahead of him. Assembling the film in the proper manner to respectfully work around Walker’s death (and the various methods employed in replacing him) has to be a pretty intense juggling act.

Hit the jump to read a heartfelt note from the team and see a new Fast & Furious 7 image.  The film also stars Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Ronda Rousey, Tony Jaa, Nathalie Emmanuel, Lucas Black, John Brotherton, Djimon Hounsou, and Kurt RussellFast & Furious 7 opens in theaters on April 3, 2015.

THE CONJURING Spinoff ANNABELLE Release Date Set for October 3rd

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Fans of The Conjuring should be happy with this one.  For a long time in the horror world (translation – several months) there has been some speculation as to what the Untitled New Line Horror Film scheduled for October 3rd, 2014 was.  Today Warner Bros. and New Line announced that it’s Annabelle, a spinoff of The Conjuring.  You’ll remember that the creepy doll that was featured in several of the film’s set pieces.  It should be noted that this is not The Conjuring 2 (the official sequel to the hit film that will be release on October 23, 2015), but a standalone story in that film’s universe.

The film was directed by John R. Leonetti (who served as a DP on The Conjuring and should be able to recreate that film’s style) and written by Gary Dauberman (the upcoming Crawlspace from the same studios).  James Wan is producing alongside Peter Safran.  The film stars the somewhat ironically named Annabelle Wallis (Peaky Blinders), Ward Horton, and Alfre Woodard.

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 222 days ago

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Director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell‘s 2011 creeper Insidious was a box office success, even though the general consensus was that the second half sucked.  But since it made a profit, a sequel was only natural.  The filmmaking duo have fallen into the trappings of sequels before with the Saw franchise that they started, but for Insidious: Chapter 2 they decided to take the reigns themselves.  The result is a mixed bag of cheap jump scares and effective atmosphere that makes you wonder, was this a story that really needed to be told?  Now Insidious: Chapter 2 is available on a solid Sony Blu-ray.  Hit the jump for my review of the package.

Universal Will “Retire” Paul Walker’s Character in FAST & FURIOUS 7

by     Posted 230 days ago

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The seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise has been surrounded by an air of uncertainty for the past few weeks following the unfortunate passing of star Paul Walker.  Speculation has run rampant with regards to how Universal would move forward with Fast & Furious 7 after Walker’s death, given that the film was in the middle of production when the actor passed.  The studio officially pushed the James Wan-directed pic’s release date from this coming July to April 2015, and now it appears that all parties involved have settled on how to move forward with the pic: Walker’s character will be “retired” in Fast & Furious 7.  Hit the jump for more.

Production on FAST & FURIOUS 7 Delayed Following Paul Walker’s Death

by     Posted 263 days ago

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Filming on Fast & Furious 7 was halfway finished when Paul Walker died last night in a car crash.  The actor, who starred in all but one of the Fast & Furious movies, had not completed his work on the upcoming sequel.   Naturally, production has been delayed not only to give Walker’s friends, family, and co-workers time to grieve.  However, the production is delayed indefinitely as Universal Studios, the producers, and director James Wan try to figure out how to proceed without one of the movie’s lead actors.  According to The Wrap, shooting, which included scenes with Walker, was scheduled to resume this week in Atlanta following the holiday break.  The production was then scheduled to go to Abu Dhabi to continue filming.  That plan now seems highly unlikely as are any plans regarding the future of Fast & Furious 7.

Hit the jump for more.

THE CONJURING Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 265 days ago

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Horror movies are the ultimate test of directorial skill.  It’s not the words that make it scary, it’s the camera, the performance, and how things are revealed.  And watching The Conjuring it’s obvious that James Wan is a remarkable talent, and it’s great that he’s moved into the big time as his next project is Fast and Furious 7.  He’s got it.  The Conjuring follows two families.  The Warrens (Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson) are ghost hunters who uncover real and fake hauntings, while the Perrons (headed by Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston) are an ordinary family whose new house is haunted.  The two cross paths in this supposed true story.  My review of The Conjuring on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

Paul Walker Says FAST & FURIOUS 8 “Guaranteed”; Talks FF7 and Beyond, the Abrupt Director Change, Consulting J.J. Abrams about Returning, and More

by     Posted 276 days ago

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Last week, Collider was invited to sit down with Paul Walker for a lengthy interview, to discuss his remarkable work in the dramatic thriller Hours, about a father (played by Walker) who struggles to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  While we will run the portion of the interview where he talked about that film and his experience making it, closer to its December 13th theatrical release, we did want to share what he had to say about Fast & Furious 7.

Due out in the summer of 2014, Fast & Furious 7 has a new director in James Wan (The Conjuring), which not only made Walker nervous, but made him question whether to actually return for another film, at all.  During this exclusive interview with Collider, he talked about what sold him on James Wan, as a director, what he was like to work with on set, how what he’s doing with the film has a definite look that’s all his own, and how the entire cast embraced him.  He also talked about how the studio is hoping for a Fast & Furious 8, 9 and 10, but that there will definitely at least be an eighth film.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Director James Wan Shows off the Villain’s Sweet Ride from FAST & FURIOUS 7

by     Posted 318 days ago

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The stinger during the credits of Fast & Furious 6 revealed Jason Statham would play the villain of the next movie.  Naturally, a Fast & Furious villain needs a cool car, although it would be kind of fun if Statham’s character refused to use a vehicle, and the heroes were absolutely stymied by this fact.  But a confident British actor like Statham needs a sweet ride, and he’s got one of the sweetest.  A new set photo from director James Wan reveals that the villain will be cruising around in an Aston Martin.  Will it come with all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from James Bond’s Aston Martins?  I hope so.

Hit the jump to check out the set photo.  The film also stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Tony Jaa, Djimon Hounson, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Lucas Black, and Dwayne JohnsonFast & Furious 7 opens July 11, 2014.

Weekend Box Office: INSIDIOUS CHAPTER TWO Sets New September Record with $41 Million Debut

by     Posted 340 days ago

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After scaring up 2013’s highest single-day horror opening on Friday the 13th, Insidious Chapter Two went on to claim an estimated $41 million from 3,049 locations this weekend. That’s a new record for a live-action September release (only Hotel Transylvania opened higher) and ranks as one of the top openings ever in the supernatural horror genre.

The Family was the weekend’s only other new release. Unlike Insidious 2, which nearly doubled its pre-release projection, Luc Besson’s gangster came in on par with its more modest target.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Insidious Chapter Two $41,050,000 $41.05
2.  The Family $14,500,000 $14.5
3.  Riddick $7,000,000 $31.27
4.  Lee Daniels’ The Butler $5,580,000 $100
5.  We’re The Millers $5,415,000 $131.6
6.  Instructions Not Included $4,250,000 $26.5
7.  Planes $3,066,000 $82.9
8.  One Direction: This Is Us $2,400,000 $26.8
9.  Elysium $2,050,000 $88.3
10.  Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters $1,825,000 $62

TOP 5: INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 Interviews, Oscar Beat, HARRY POTTER Spinoff Film Series in the Works from J.K. Rowling, Cinemath, TIFF 2013 Coverage

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Having played in limited release since August, director James Ponsoldt‘s high school drama The Spectacular Now finally made its way to my Midwestern neck of the woods this weekend and I jumped at the chance to see it last night. Although it elicited fewer laughs than I expected, the film levied an emotional punch that I’m still shaking off today. As has been noted by many before me, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley‘s performances are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable from beginning to end (one scene in which Woodley’s Aimee describes her dreams of a perfect marriage stands out to me in particular). Moreover, Kyle Chandler‘s turn as Teller’s estranged father is as powerful as it is short-lived. If you have the slightest interest in the coming-of-age genre, and this film is playing nearby, take the time to see it. Few in the genre capture the nuance of high-school love and personal demons as honestly as The Spectacular Now.

With that ringing endorsement behind me, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of Insidious: Chapter 2 interviews, Adam keeping his finger on the pulse of awards season with his recurring Oscar Beat feature, news that Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling are teaming up for a new film series inspired by Harry Potter, a new installment of Cinemath that takes a look at the history of movie ticket prices, and a recap of our robust TIFF 2013 coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

James Wan Talks INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2, Why He Wanted to Make a Sequel, Taking a Break from Horror, FAST & FURIOUS 7, & the Genre He Wants to Try Next

by     Posted 344 days ago

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Opening in theaters this weekend is James Wan’s Insidious: Chapter 2.  The follow-up to the 2011 surprise hit picks up exactly where the first left off with the Lambert family thrust into a world of psychics, demons and ghosts.  Insidious put an entirely original spin on the haunted house subgenre with its unique third act, and Chapter 2 digs deeper into that universe traveling further into the, well, Further and answering any last lingering fan questions.  Insidious: Chapter 2 stars Patrick WilsonRose ByrneBarbara HersheyLin ShayeLeigh WhannellAngus Sampson, and Ty Simpkins.

A few weeks ago at a Los Angeles press day I sat down for an exclusive interview with Wan. He talked about gaining confidence as a filmmaker, why he wanted to make an Insidious sequel, taking a break from the horror genre, his approach to Fast & Furious 7, future plans with Leigh Whannell and the genre he most wants to do next. Hit the jump to see what he had to say.

THE CONJURING Review

by     Posted 1 year, 34 days ago

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Director James Wan and I have a disagreement on the meaning of the word “malevolent.”  His new film, The Conjuring, features an opening crawl that says the events we’re about to see are based on the true story of the most malevolent case in the files of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.  The case is so sinister that it’s been kept secret until now.  With this kind of billing, I expect something truly horrific and upsetting.  But for Wan, “malevolent” is the equivalent of demons pulling supernatural tricks on a helpless family.  The film features excellent performances and thoughtful cinematography that evokes the time period of the story, but Wan’s definition of horror continues to rely on stale spooky images.  His strongest asset is the Warrens, but the malevolence on display becomes redundant and annoying until the third act when Wan is finally able to tap in to true terror.

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