For the first time that I can remember since I started writing for Collider in 2010, director Peter Weir‘s The Truman Show made headlines this week when we learned that Paramount is developing a TV series adaptation of the film. While I won’t waste any space today discussing my feelings on the adaptation (mostly because there aren’t any real details to dissect as of now), I will absolutely take this opportunity to talk about my adoration of the film. The Truman Show ranks among my all-time favorites with ease and, if pressed to name a lone favorite, it would likely make that cut too. I actually didn’t watch it until my second year of college, circa 2007, but I credit that first viewing as a benchmark cinematic experience for me; one that helped me begin to understand the impact that a movie could have on a person’s outlook and perception of the world around them. I would eventually go on to dedicate my graduate school research to the film, during which I watched it at least 15 more times; wrote this semi-boring perceptual effects analysis; and wrote/recorded this somewhat less boring seven song record. On paper, these projects were a way to fulfill requirements towards my degree. In reality, it was an excuse to delve further into the headspace of a work that, for all intents and purposes, changed my life.
All personal reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Draft Day, early reactions to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the announcement that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman on CBS’ The Late Show, Sony selecting Drew Goddard to direct The Sinister Six, and the first look at Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
I like football, and judging by the mammoth TV ratings, so does most of America. I’m not sure what it says about us as a society that we celebrate what’s arguably the most violent major sport*, but to be fair, plenty of fans also get caught up in the details. Like most sports, second-guessing is part of the game, and the guessing game is in full force in the NFL Draft. It’s where the indentured servitude of the NCAA gives way to players actually getting paid, but no one knows if a player is going to be a bang or bust. Unfortunately, Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day may have the fiery setting, but the movie has trouble finding the spark. It’s fun to go inside the offices of NFL teams, but the energy is lost in a listless protagonist and tiresome subplots. Although it does manage to score at the end, the film is a tedious drive down the field.
Opening this weekend is director Ivan Reitman‘s sports drama Draft Day. The film takes place within the span of one day, the day of the NFL draft, as Kevin Costner plays a general manager who has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. As the day’s events unfold, he finds the lines between his personal and professional life becoming blurred. Draft Day also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Josh Pence, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Combs, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Ellen Burstyn, and Frank Langella.
At the Los Angeles press junket I landed an exclusive video interview with Garner. She talked about working with Costner, when she first realized Cleveland is a crazy sports town, what happened when Costner went to a baseball game in Cleveland, getting in trouble for what she said about Batman vs. Superman, and Jason Reitman’s Pale Blue Dot (previously called Men, Women and Children). Hit the jump to watch.
Years from now, I suspect that critics will look back and declare the 2013-2014 film season as “The Year of the McConaughey.” After a decade of squandering his acting chops and Southern drawl in mediocre Kate Hudson rom-coms, McConaughey has had the ultimate breakout season, with Mud, HBO’s wildly popular True Detective, and his upcoming lead in Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated Interstellar. Garnering rave reviews and earning him a Best Actor nomination, Dallas Buyers Club is yet another exceptional standout in McConaughey’s recent breakout. Hit the jump to read my Blu-ray review of the film.
Summit Entertainment has released four clips from Ivan Reitman‘s upcoming sports drama Draft Day. The film stars Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns General Manager, who unexpectedly trades for the top overall pick in the draft, which is only 13 hours away. As the clock winds down, he must figure out how to use his prized possession while also dealing with headaches from his personal life. Clips are usually released closer to the release date, but Draft Day doesn’t open for a few more months. However, with football season winding down, Summit is giving the film a big push. In addition to these clips, they’ve also released a TV spot that will air during the Super Bowl pre-game. Whether the movie sticks in the minds of football fans by the time April rolls around remains to be seen.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Josh Pence, Chadwick Boseman, Sean Combs, Sam Elliott, Terry Crews, Arian Foster, Ellen Burstyn, and Frank Langella. Draft Day opens April 11th.
Here’s a round-up of the latest news bits in the world of DC movies:
- Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) confirms a three-picture deal to star as Wonder Woman. The report also reveals Gadot’s payday for the film (if you’re interested in that sort of thing), and more importantly, a May start date for the Man of Steel sequel.
- While it will be a little while before we see Ben Affleck in the Batsuit for that sequel, his wife Jennifer Garner has already gotten a peak, calling it “unbelievably cool” and “a total reinvention.”
- Stephen Amell, star of The CW series, Arrow, recently commented on the state of the Justice League movie and his discussions for possibly joining the DC superhero team-up.
Hit the jump for more on each story.
Summit Entertainment has released the first trailer for director Ivan Reitman’s upcoming sports drama Draft Day. The film takes place within the span of one day, the day of the NFL draft, as Kevin Costner plays a general manager who has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. As the day’s events unfold, he finds the lines between his personal and professional life becoming blurred. The trailer is pretty promising, as the film looks to carry an air of intensity as the ticking clock of the draft runs up against Costner’s decisions. Though Reitman hasn’t had a great run as of late, the script by Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman landed on the Black List, so here’s hoping the result is a solid film.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella, Denis Leary, Timothy Simons, and Ellen Burstyn. Draft Day opens April 11, 2014.
Summit Entertainment has released a collection of new and first-look images from its 2014 slate. Briefly:
- Draft Day – Director Ivan Reitman’s dramedy takes place over the course of one day, centering on a general manager (Kevin Costner) who juggles his options with a number one draft pick. The film opens April 11, 2014.
- Child 44 – Director Daniel Espinosa’s (Safe House) adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith novel stars Tom Hardy as a 1950s Soviet military policeman. The film also stars Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace and opens next fall.
- Step Up: All In – The fifth entry in the dance franchise takes the series to Las Vegas. The film opens July 25, 2014.
- Divergent – The YA adaptation takes place in a dystopian future in which people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet and opens March 21, 2014.
- The Legend of Hercules – This new spin on the Hercules tale stars Kellan Lutz as the titular demigod and opens January 10, 2014.
Hit the jump to check out images from the aforementioned films.
Though writer/director Jason Reitman’s latest feature Labor Day doesn’t open in theaters until later this month, production is already underway on his follow-up film Men, Women & Children. Based on the novel of the same name by Chad Kultgen, the film “follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives.” Reitman co-wrote the screenplay with Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary), and the ensemble cast includes Adam Sandler, Rosemarie Dewitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, J.K. Simmons, Ansel Elgort, and Emma Thompson.
Filming is currently underway in Austin, Texas, with Paramount onboard to distribute. No word on when the film might hit theaters, but one imagines Reitman could make the fall festival circuit with the finished pic next year. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the cast list and extended synopsis.
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’Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O’Neill, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, and Kevin Rankin.
During the Toronto press day for the film, I was able to speak with Garner . She talked about why she wanted to be involved in the project,preparing for the role, what it was like to work with Leto and McConaughey, changes during production, future projects, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Although I hate to naysay, I’ve gone on record several times with my lack of excitement for the upcoming RoboCop remake (here’s one example although I’m sure there are more). This past week MGM and Sony released the new trailer for the film and while I think the cast has the potential to be great, in general the movie just keeps digging itself into a bigger hole with every bit of new footage that I see. Whereas Paul Verhoeven‘s original was laced with social critique that was often ahead of its time if not at least skillfully deployed, this latest trailer goes out of its way to show that it too has something to say about social issues with on the nose references to the idea of using American resources to promote peace abroad rather than at home and the invasive nature of corporate marketing/branding. You keep up with current affairs, we get it. Speaking of marketing, probably my biggest beef with this latest cut comes in its final seconds when it shows RoboCop making a grandiose landing that essentially says “You guys liked the Iron Man movies, right?! You should definitely check this out then because it has a guy in a futuristic suit too!”. Thanks but no thanks, MGM and Sony.
Now that I’ve levied more criticism on a 2:30 trailer than is likely fair, let’s move on to something more positive. This week’s Top 5 features Thor: The Dark World interviews with Tom Hiddleston and more, Dallas Buyers Club interviews with the likes of Jared Leto, the news that Marvel will bring live-action series to Netflix featuring Daredevil and others, a recap of Steve’s 47 Ronin set visit, and a farewell to the once massive video rental chain, Blockbuster Video. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Award-winning actress Jennifer Garner brings warmth to her role as Dr. Eve Saks, a compassionate immunologist, in Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee’s character-driven drama, Dallas Buyers Club. The film is based on the captivating real-life story of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) a womanizing, macho Texan who was one of millions who saw AIDS only as “that gay disease” until he was blindsided by being diagnosed as H.I.V.-positive. In 1985, at the flashpoint of America’s growing awareness of AIDS, he was given 30 days to live, but against all odds, he not only survived but thrived and saved lives. Opening in limited release on November 1st, the film also stars Jared Leto.
At an entertaining roundtable interview, Garner talked about the recent McConaughey reconnaissance and why she felt he was the perfect actor to play Woodroof, what it was like working on a fast-paced, barebones shoot with Vallee, how she found it disturbing to watch McConaughey and Leto’s dramatic physical transformation, the most surprising thing she discovered about her character, what she hoped to accomplish with the role, her reaction when she first saw the completed film, how she balances her work life with husband Ben Affleck, and her upcoming film Men, Women & Children with Jason Reitman. Hit the jump to read the interview:
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Dallas Buyers Club opens today in limited release.]
In the early 1990s America was finally beginning to understand the AIDS epidemic, and realizing it affected more than homosexuals. Films such as Philadelphia and plays such as Angels in America began dealing with the subject manner in a serious, upright, careful manner. AIDS was physically devastating, the human cost was visible, and this art could make the pain tangible but had to so with a delicate touch. The stakes were too high and the American public’s understanding was too fragile. But the people who helped combat HIV, the people in the trenches, were rebels. They didn’t fit into the neat, clean box mainstream culture was hoping to present. But now that AIDS has become manageable, the rebels are getting their due, and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club celebrates the charming, irritating, uncouth Ron Woodroof through a narrative that occasionally punches with kid gloves, but always lands a hit thanks to the stellar performances from stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Focus Features has released a new featurette for director Jean-Marc Vallée’s upcoming drama Dallas Buyers Club. Based on a true story, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as Texas electrician Ron Woodroof 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. The featurette does a nice job of showcasing the excellent performances by McConaughey and Jared Leto while also delving into Woodroof’s life story. I caught the film at TIFF and it’s an emotional look at the AIDS epidemic from a fascinating point of view. Expect to see McConaughey and Leto as major players in this year’s awards race.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, and Steve Zahn. Dallas Buyers Club opens in limited released on November 1st.
Focus Features has released new clips, a new poster, and some new images from director Jean-Marc Vallée’s upcoming 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. I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s a really solid performance-driven pic that chronicles the beginning of the AIDS epidemic from a fascinating point of view. McConaughey is indeed great in the film, but Jared Leto nearly steals the entire film as a transgender AIDS patient who becomes McConaughey’s business partner. Expect both to garner serious awards attention in the coming months.
Hit the jump to check out the clips, poster, and images, and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, and Steve Zahn. Dallas Buyers Club opens on November 1st.