The Films of David Fincher: THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

Across his filmography, David Fincher’s work has been noted as dark, foreboding, chilly, cynical, cutting, and irreverent.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a striking anomaly in his filmography as the allure of the project makes some sense, but the execution is a lush, unabashed romance bubbling with mawkish sentiment.  The movie is graceful, beautiful, poetic, and yet oddly distant.  The whole production feels gilded as Fincher made a deeply moving film out of a fairly terrible script.  The most curious thing about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is how it manages to be a tearjerker despite its craven desire to elicit emotion from a director who rejects sentimentality.

THE BOXTROLLS Review

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Animation studio Laika isn’t just on the cutting edge of stop-motion animation.  They’re also the only studio putting out offbeat stories that unabashedly focus and celebrate true outsiders.  They make movies that are cute without being cutesy, strange without being self-conscious, and funny without being pandering.  Their latest film, The Boxtrolls, is by far their best yet as they’ve created a rich, gorgeous world filled with adorable characters, remarkable detail, and a clever comment on propaganda, which is ambitious for a movie that’s ostensibly a family film.  Laika may have made a name for themselves with Coraline and ParaNorman, but The Boxtrolls feels like the first movie that represents the heart and soul of this oddball studio.

Full-Length THE BOXTROLLS Trailer Delves into the Plot of Laika’s Latest Stop-Motion Adventure

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Focus Features has released a new full-length The Boxtrolls trailer for Laika Studios’ new stop-motion animated feature.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  As with Laika’s other films, Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls again revolves around outsiders, but it’s a story told with the studio’s signature charm and maturity.  This new trailer gets much deeper into the plot than the previous teasers, as we see that the young boy and his boxtroll brethren face danger in the form of the townspeople’s leaders.  Laika’s films are always a refreshing reprieve from many of the other same-feeling animation features that saturate the marketplace, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together with this latest adventure.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Boxtrolls trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

Jared Harris Talks THE QUIET ONES, Auditioning, Keeping Up with MAD MEN, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., POLTERGEIST, THE BOXTROLLS, and More

by     Posted 159 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director John Pogue’s supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones.  The period pic stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to explore the dark energy manifested by the damaged psyche of a young girl.  Naturally, things don’t go well.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke.  Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne.  For more on The Quiet Ones, check out some creepy motion postersthe trailer, and all our previous coverage.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Harris.  He talked about making the film, whether he still has to audition for a role, Mad Men and his thoughts on this current season, Guy Ritchie‘s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Poltergeist remake and what it was like working with Sam Rockwell, voicing a character on Laika’s The Boxtrolls, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Jared Harris, Sam Claflin and Olivia Cooke Talk THE QUIET ONES, Hammer Films, Script Changes, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 161 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director John Pogue’s supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones.  The period pic stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to explore the dark energy manifested by the damaged psyche of a young girl.  Naturally, things don’t go well.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke.  Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne.  For more on The Quiet Ones, check out some creepy motion posters, the trailer, and all our previous coverage.

At yesterday’s Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Harris, Claflin and Cooke.  They talked about whether the script changed during production, if they added anything to their characters, if they shot an alternate ending, deleted scenes, making a film for Hammer Films and the history of the company, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

New Trailer for Supernatural Horror Film THE QUIET ONES Starring Jared Harris and Sam Claflin

by     Posted 203 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new trailer for director John Pogue’s supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones.  The pic stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to explore the dark energy manifested by the damaged psyche of a young girl.  Naturally, things don’t quite turn out all fine and dandy.  Despite the now obligatory inclusion of a found footage aspect (though it appears to be minimal, thankfully), the pic seems like a solid entry in the historical horror genre.  The period setting sets The Quiet Ones apart from the deluge of modern, low-budget horror films that are currently populating the marketplace, so at least it feels a bit fresh.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, and Rory Fleck-ByrneThe Quiet Ones opens April 25th.

Creepy New Motion Posters from THE QUIET ONES Featuring Sam Claflin, Jared Harris, and Olivia Cooke

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The latest effort from Hammer Films, The Quiet Ones, isn’t due out until April 25th, but we have three character motion posters to put you in the mood right now.  John Pogue directs this horror film, based on true events, that finds a university professor and his students participating in an experiment with a troubled young girl, and unwittingly unleashing dark forces.  The motion posters, which are delightfully creepy, feature the principal cast of Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, and Olivia Cooke.  Erin Richards and Rory Fleck-Byrne also star.  Hit the jump to check out the motion posters.

Watch 4 Clips from Paul W.S. Anderson’s POMPEII Starring Kit Harington, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Emily Browning, and Kiefer Sutherland

by     Posted 236 days ago

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TriStar Pictures has released four clips from director Paul W.S. Anderson’s upcoming disaster epic Pompeii.  The film stars Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as an enslaved Celtic gladiator named Milo who falls in love with a noblewoman (Emily Browning) on the eve of a massive volcanic eruption that destroys Pompeii, an event that also brings him face-to-face with the man (Kiefer Sutherland) who slaughtered his family years earlier.  If you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage for the film, be sure to check out his full set visit report and interviews with Anderson, Harington, Sutherland, and producer Jeremy Bolt.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Jared Harris, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss, Sasha Roiz, Jessica Lucas, and Paz VegaPompeii opens in 3D on February 21st.

First Clip from POMPEII Pits Kit Harington against Kiefer Sutherland

by     Posted 238 days ago

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The first clip from Paul W.S. Anderson’s ancient actioner Pompeii is now online.  While it’s light on volcanic action, this first look does feature quite a bit of gladiatorial fighting.  It looks like stars Kit Harington and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje have teamed up against a veritable army of soldiers within the fighting ring.  We also get a look at such antagonizing spectators as Kiefer Sutherland, Jared Harris and Sasha Roiz.

Also starring Emily Browning, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jessica Lucas, and Paz Vega, Pompeii opens February 21st.  Hit the jump to watch the clip.

New Trailer and Image for THE QUIET ONES Starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, and Erin Richards

by     Posted 258 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a full trailer for the upcoming horror film The Quiet Ones.  The film stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to create a poltergeist from negative human energy.  I’m a sucker for horror films set at least forty years in the past, and that was one of the things I liked best about The ConjuringThe Quiet Ones looks like it has some similarities by using a mix of creepy recorded footage and the supernatural evil attacking the researchers.  Aside from some questionable CGI at the end, this could be damn fine horror flick.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with a new image.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, and Olivia CookeThe Quiet Ones opens April 25th.

TOP 5: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, First Trailer for GODZILLA, POMPEII Set Visit, TERMINATOR Reboot News, JUPITER ASCENDING Trailer

by     Posted 291 days ago

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What began as a way to keep my mind off of my upcoming fantasy football playoff matchup has blossomed into a full-on love affair. Over the past week I’ve watched a considerable amount of Parks and Recreation via Netflix and I couldn’t be happier with my time killer of choice. I’ve made it through the first three seasons, all of which have delivered consistent laughs and excellent character moments (Ron’s inability to resist his ex-wife and Leslie’s attempt to stay awake during Pawnee Cares’ diabetes telethon come to mind). I’ll admit that my television viewing is often marred by my own skepticism. When Parks debuted, I watched the first few episodes and wrote it off as cutting and pasting The Office‘s format into a small town, local government setting. These last few days I’ve realized that’s almost exactly what Parks is and yet I couldn’t care less because it’s smart, funny, and endearing at nearly every turn.

My new found love of Parks and Recreation now officially on the record, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug interviews and review, the first trailer for director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, a recap of Steve’s visit to the set of Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Pompeii, several bits of news out of the Terminator reboot camp, and the first trailer for The Wachowski Siblings‘ latest Jupiter Ascending. What comes next is a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Jared Harris Talks Playing a Hustler, His Love of Disaster Movies, Why His Characters Always Die, and More on the Set of POMPEII

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Anytime you cast Jared Harris, you’ve made the right choice.  Over the past two decades, and especially the last few years with Mad MenSherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, and Lincoln, Harris has played every type of role and always makes it look easy.   In director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, Harris plays a morally ambiguous businessman that is quickly running out of rope.  He also happens to be the father of Emily Browning’s character, the story’s primary love interest.

During a group interview on set last June, Harris talked about being a fan of disaster movies, how he was cast, his perspective on his character, filming the disaster scenes, why the characters he plays always die, what surprised him to learn about Pompeii, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for the interview.

First Trailer for Supernatural Horror Film THE QUIET ONES Starring Jared Harris and Sam Claflin

by     Posted 335 days ago

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Hammer Films has released the first trailer for director John Pogue’s (Quarantine 2) supernatural horror film The Quiet Ones.  From the studio behind The Woman in Black, the film stars Jared Harris as an unorthodox professor who sets up a series of dangerous experiments in order to create a poltergeist from negative human energy.  While genuinely good original horror films are few and far between these days, The Quiet Ones doesn’t look half bad.  There’s a nice aesthetic to the piece that evokes the found footage genre without feeling forced, and Harris is pretty intimidating as the film’s lead.

Hit the jump to watch the UK version of The Quiet Ones trailer.  The film also stars Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, and Erin RichardsThe Quiet Ones opens in theaters on April 11, 2014.

Jared Harris Lands POLTERGEIST Lead; DARK PLACES’ Christina Hendricks Goes from Supporting to Lead

by     Posted 1 year, 27 days ago

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A little bit of Mad Men-related casting for you today:

Hit the jump for more on both casting announcements. 

Bill Murray to Star in Barry Levinson’s ROCK THE KASBAH; Jared Harris Joins MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. as Official Synopsis Is Released

by     Posted 1 year, 28 days ago

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Bill Murray is poised to team up with Wag the Dog and Rain Man director Barry Levinson on the aptly named Rock the KasbahThe Wrap reports that Murray will lead  the pic, which centers on a music manager who goes on the USO tour to Afghanistan with his last remaining client.  Once there, “he finds himself abandoned, penniless and without his passport and discovers a young girl with an extraordinary voice who stows away with him back to Kabul to compete on the popular television show The Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s equivalent of American Idol.”  QED is producing the film, which boasts a script by Mitch Glazer (The Recruit, Magic City).

Hit the jump for a familiar cast addition to Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. along with an official synopsis for the film.

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