Jennifer Aniston Talks LIFE OF CRIME, Elmore Leonard, the Lack of Improv, the Way She Likes to Work, and More

by     Posted 22 days ago

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Life of CrimeDaniel Schecter’s adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch, is now playing on VOD and in theaters.  The film features younger versions of the Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson characters from another Leonard adaptation, Jackie Brown, with John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) filling the roles this time around.  The story features Hawkes and Bey kidnapping the trophy wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a wealthy man (Tim Robbins) only to find out he doesn’t actually want her back.  The film also stars Mark Boone JuniorIsla FisherWill Forte.  Life of Crime is loaded with juicy characters and great dialogue, and it’s definitely worth checking out.  For more on the movie, read Matt’s review or watch the trailer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Jennifer Aniston.  She talked about making Life of Crime, how quickly she said yes to the project, the way she likes to work, the lack of improv on the film, how doing big Hollywood movies allows her the freedom to make independent movies, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

LIFE OF CRIME Review

by     Posted 25 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Life of Crime opens today in limited release.]

I’ve never read any of Elmore Leonard’s novels, and yes, I’m ashamed. But I know from the film adaptations of his crime novels that there’s a way to do them right and wrong. They have a confidence, a swagger, a sly wink, a braggadocio, and they’re smart. They have the talk for the walk, and some directors, most notably Quentin Tarantino with Jackie Brown (based off Leonard’s Rum Punch) and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, are smart enough to bring that confidence to the screen. Those films make the uninitiated feel embarrassed that they haven’t joined the club. Even with Daniel Schechter’s cautious adaptation of Life of Crime (based on the novel The Switch) the audience can hear the author’s voice. Schechter’s direction is serviceable enough to not get in the way, he wisely trust his strong cast, accents the comedy, and lets Leonard do the talking.

Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Will Forte, and Director Daniel Schechter Talk LIFE OF CRIME, Their Chemistry Onscreen, Forte’s Giant Beard, and More

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Life of Crime is a wonderfully wicked tale filled with outrageously eccentric characters, sly comedy and surprising twists based on Elmore Leonard’s darkly funny novel, The Switch.  When a couple of low-level criminals kidnap the wife of a corrupt real estate developer, they get both more and less than they bargained for in this cool crime caper adapted for the screen and directed by Daniel Schechter.  The film stars Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey, Mark Boone Junior, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and Tim Robbins and will be released in theaters and VOD on August 29th.

At the film’s recent press day, Schechter, Aniston, Hawkes, and Forte talked about making a film set in the 70s, what appealed to Schechter about Leonard’s The Switch and made it perfect for adapting to the screen, the brilliance of Leonard’s dialogue, Aniston’s duo role as actor and executive producer and her future plans to direct, how Hawkes found the right balance playing a lovable criminal, the chemistry between the actors, their preparation for the physical scenes, what they learned from each other, and Forte’s upcoming role in his new Fox TV series Last Man on Earth directed by Phil Lord and  Christopher Miller.  Check out the interview after the jump.

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel Stages FRIENDS Reunion with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Along with Seinfeld, NBC’s Friends is another 90s sitcom that’s destined to go down in history as one of the classics.  The show raked in a now-unthinkable 52 million viewers for its 2004 series finale, and since that time fans have been clamoring for some kind of reunion—most notably in the form of a Friends movie.  I’m a massive fan of Friends, but I think a Friends movie is a horrible idea.  Which is why I was delighted to see that on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, host Jimmy Kimmel staged a mini Friends reunion of his own with the female half of the cast: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, and Lisa Kudrow.  The video is a fun watch, especially since Kimmel recreated Monica and Chandler’s kitchen to a T, and fans of the series will certainly be happy to see the aforementioned actresses reprising their roles—albeit with a Kimmel-esque twist.

Hit the jump to watch the Friends reunion video from Jimmy Kimmel Live.

New Images from CAKE, BLACK AND WHITE, BANG BANG BABY and SHELTER

by     Posted 41 days ago

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We’ve already brought you images from Boychoir, The Connection, Escobar: Paradise Lost, The Forger and The Cobbler, but with the Toronto International Festival’s September 4th start date fast approaching, there are even more brand new stills from the official selections hitting the web.  Here’s what we got for you now:

  • Cake (Directed by Daniel Barnz) starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman and Sam Worthington.
  • Black and White (Directed by Mike Binder) starring Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer, Anthony Mackie and Jennifer Ehle.
  • Bang Bang Baby (Directed by Jeffrey St. Jules) starring Jane Levy, Justin Chatwin, Peter Stormare and David Reale
  • Shelter (Directed by Paul Bettany) starring Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

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HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Trailer Gives a First Look at Stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis

by     Posted 83 days ago

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New Line has released the first trailer for Horrible Bosses 2, directed by Sean Anders (That’s My Boy).  Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis return to start a new business in the sequel.  When a slick investor (Christoph Waltz) takes over, “the three would-be entrepreneurs hatch a misguided plan to kidnap the investor’s adult son (Chris Pine) and ransom him to regain control of their company.”  I somehow missed the first installment from Seth Gordon back in 2011, but this new trailer makes me want to remedy that ASAP.  It’s also got the best use of “Turn Down for What” since, well, DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s video.

Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey also return in Horrible Bosses 2, scheduled for release on November 26th.  Hit the jump to watch the first Horrible Bosses 2 trailer.

John Hawkes Kidnaps Jennifer Aniston in the First LIFE OF CRIME Trailer

by     Posted 125 days ago

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The first Life of Crime trailer has been released for director Daniel Schecter’s adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch.  The film features younger versions of the Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson characters from another Leonard adaptation, Jackie Brown, with John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) filling the roles this time around.  The story kicks into gear when Hawkes and Bey kidnap the trophy wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a wealthy man (Tim Robbins), only to find out her husband doesn’t actually want her back.  The pic looks to be a fun criminal-centric comedy with strong performances from the leads, and Leonard’s authorial voice comes through loud and clear.

Hit the jump to watch the Life of Crime trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone JuniorLife of Crime opens in theaters on August 29th.

Josh Gad and Kevin James in Early Talks to Join Chris Columbus’ Long-Gestating PIXELS; Adam Sandler to Star [Updated]

by     Posted 208 days ago

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Sony Pictures’ long-in-the-works adaptation of the short film Pixels is finally moving towards a production start.  The studio teamed up with Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production company to adapt Patrick Jean’s short film of the same name three years ago, but movement on the video game-themed project has been slow.  Now, after setting family friendly filmmaker Chris Columbus (Harry Potter 1 and 2) to direct last year, Josh Gad and Kevin James are in line to possibly lead the pic as champion arcade gamers who are needed to help defeat alien attacks who have an affinity for 80s arcade games.  Hit the jump for more, including the original short.

[Update: The Wrap adds that Sandler will also be leading the cast of Pixels with Jennifer Aniston in the mix for the female lead, though scheduling may ultimately prevent her from signing on.]

WE’RE THE MILLERS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 302 days ago

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You never know what comedies are going to break through.  Where studios now mostly rely on brand names and franchises to have hits, comedies — though usually stacked with name players – are that much trickier, even if they’re hilarious.  We’re the Millers was one of this summer’s biggest surprise hits, and after watching both the theatrical and extended cut, it’s easy to see why.  The film, which stars Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston, is consistently funny.  My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.

TIFF 2013: LIFE OF CRIME Review

by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago

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I’ve never read any of Elmore Leonard’s novels, and yes, I’m ashamed.  But I know from the film adaptations of his crime novels that there’s a way to do them right and wrong.  They have a confidence, a swagger, a sly wink, a braggadocio, and they’re smart.  They have the talk for the walk, and some directors, most notably Quentin Tarantino with Jackie Brown (based off Leonard’s Rum Punch) and Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, are smart enough to bring that confidence to the screen.  Those films make the uninitiated feel embarrassed that they haven’t joined the club.  Even with Daniel Schechter’s cautious adaptation of Life of Crime (based on the novel The Switch) the audience can hear Leonard speaking.  Schechter’s direction is serviceable enough to not get in the way, he wisely trust his strong cast, accents the comedy, and lets Leonard do the talking.

TOP 5: New Trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD, ELYSIUM Interviews, New DOCTOR WHO, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS, WE’RE THE MILLERS

by     Posted 1 year, 43 days ago

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Last night I had the chance to check out We’re the Millers with a group of friends and while I wouldn’t classify it as a “Must See!”, it’s a plenty serviceable R-rated comedy. As you can probably tell from the trailers, English actor Will Poulter delivers some of the biggest laughs and, for my money, it’s hard to go wrong with Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn in most anything. Aside from its tendency to settle for just being “OK”, my only real gripe would be that the film’s premise exceeds its execution. On paper, it has the potential to be a hilarious, yet incisive, play on the nuclear family. On screen, it turns the convention on its head before ultimately forcing its characters to conform to many of its tenets.

Although I’m sure you can never get enough of my one paragraph film reactions, we must move on to this week’s Top 5. Included this week is the new trailer for Thor: The Dark World, Elysium interviews with Neill Blomkamp and more, the new Doctor Who, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters interviews, and a slew of We’re the Millers interviews with the cast and director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Per routine, a brief recap and link to each of the above kindly requests your attention after the jump.

Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Kathryn Hahn, and Director Rawson Marshall Thurber Talk WE’RE THE MILLERS

by     Posted 1 year, 47 days ago

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Opening this week is director Rawson Marshall Thurber’s (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) R-rated comedy We’re the Millers.  The film centers on a single, small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who ends up in debt to his supplier (Ed Helms).  In order to bring the next shipment of drugs up from Mexico, he puts together a fake family comprised of his stripper neighbor (Jennifer Aniston), an eager teen (Will Poulter) and a streetwise punk (Emma Roberts).  The supporting cast also includes the hilarious Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn.  For more on the film, watch seven clips or read Matt’s review.

Last week, I attended a fun press conference with Sudeikis, Aniston, Roberts, Poulter, Hahn, and Marshall Thurber in New York City.  They talked about making the film, how Aniston got in shape for the role, improv, their favorite scenes, the hardest scene to film without laughing and who broke the most on set, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what they had to say.

WE’RE THE MILLERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 47 days ago

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The quaint idea of the nuclear family is one that’s been skewered a thousand different ways.  It’s a portrait of American domesticity that never really existed except on television in the 1950s.  We’re the Millers tries to knock the nuclear family ideal and yet feels strangely beholden to it.  Filled with hilarious, mean-spirited comedy, Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s movie swings between a cold, dead heart completely immune from sentimentality and then over to a mushy center where characters inadvertently bond and learn important life lessons.  The space in between is filled with plenty of great jokes that you’ll struggle to remember mere moments after leaving the theater.

Red-Band Trailer for WE’RE THE MILLERS Starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis

by     Posted 1 year, 52 days ago

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New Line Cinema has released a red-band trailer for Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s comedy We’re the Millers.  The film centers on a single, small-time pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) who ends up in debt to his supplier (Ed Helms).  In order to bring the next shipment of drugs up from Mexico, the dealer puts together a fake family from his stripper neighbor (Jennifer Aniston), an eager teen (Will Poulter), and a streetwise punk (Emma Roberts) as a cover for his smuggling operation.  I wasn’t even aware that this was an R-rated comedy, but there are some good jokes in here.  In all fairness, this movie hasn’t really been on my radar, which is surprising because I’ve been waiting for Thurber to do a comic follow-up to Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.  I was also a big fan of his “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker” commercials.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  We’re the Millers opens August 7th.

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