TOP 5: Joaquin Phoenix in Final Talks to Lead DOCTOR STRANGE, WHIPLASH, Warner Bros. Superhero Pics Are No Joke, ROSEWATER, KIRK CAMERON’S SAVING CHRISTMAS

by     Posted 16 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

One of the best documentaries I’ve seen this year is the Netflix original The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Directed by brothers Chapman Way and Maclain Way, the doc premiered at Sundance back in January where Matt gave it a glowing review and debuted on Netflix last month where you can still instant stream it today. The film follows the Portland Mavericks, an independent baseball team created by actor and lifelong baseball enthusiast Bing Russell in 1973. In addition to being the only professional team in America to operate without a Major League affiliate at the time, the Mavericks held open tryouts and built a roster that was made up almost entirely of players who had long been forgotten by the world of organized baseball. The result was a team that played with a supreme chip on their shoulder that not only lead to wins but also record setting attendance numbers that stand to this day. Whether you grew up wanting to be a big leaguer or simply appreciate a fantastic underdog story, The Battered Bastards of Baseball is an affecting doc that’s not to be missed.

Recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 features word that Joaquin Phoenix is in final negotiations to star in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, a new trailer for Whiplash that will detour you from ever wanting to study jazz performance, the rumor that Warner Bros. has a “no jokes” mandate for its upcoming Superhero movies, the first trailer for Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut Rosewater, and a disturbing trailer for Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Exclusive: Joaquin Phoenix in Final Talks to Lead DOCTOR STRANGE

by     Posted 18 days ago

doctor-strange-movie-joaquin-phoenix

Given the cloud of secrecy that surrounds each and every Marvel Studios property while in development, there are bound to be unconfirmed rumors about almost every major aspect of their upcoming films—particularly in the casting department.  The studio is currently filling out its Phase Three slate, and while Ant-Man is the first film out of the gate in July 2015 followed by Captain America 3 in May 2016, we then have the Doctor Strange movie on July 8, 2016.  Marvel recently signed Scott Derrickson to direct the mystical comics adaptation, and in keeping with the rumor tradition, speculation has run rampant as to who will fill the title role.

After rounds of shortlists and cryptic comments with regards to who will inhabit the character, the trades reported in mid-July that Joaquin Phoenix was finally in negotiations to star in the film.  It’s been over a month since that time and there still hasn’t been confirmation from Marvel’s end, so the speculation machine kicked up again recently with word going around that Jack Huston is now “under consideration” for the part.  However, we’re hearing there’s absolutely no truth to that rumor, as Phoenix’s deal is currently being finalized.  More after the jump.

First INHERENT VICE Image Reveals Josh Brolin in a Flat Top

by     Posted 32 days ago

inherent-vice-image

One of the most anticipated films of the year is undoubtedly Paul Thomas Anderson’s next feature, and now the first official Inherent Vice image has landed online—albeit in rough form.  The film is featured in this week’s Fall Movie Preview edition of Entertainment Weekly, and while the magazine hasn’t officially released the Inherent Vice image online, a scan of the photo has been uploaded for our perusing pleasure.  It’s small in size and low in quality, but we do see Joaquin Phoenix’s title character sporting some serious mutton chops while he chats up a serious-looking Josh Brolin, who has a very particular kind of haircut.  Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, the film has been described as “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.”  Hopefully a high-quality version of the image lands online, and we should be seeing a trailer soon.

Hit the jump to check out the Inherent Vice image.  The film also stars Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, and Owen WilsonInherent Vice will have its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in October and opens in theaters on December 12th.

Joaquin Phoenix Reportedly in Talks to Play DOCTOR STRANGE

by     Posted 52 days ago

doctor-strainge-joaquin-phoenix

Move over Benedict Cumberbatch and those persistent rumors.  Marvel and director Scott Derrickson might have found their Doctor Strange.  Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly in talks to star in the titular role for Marvel’s potential new franchise.

I think this is perfect casting because I think Phoenix is essentially always a great choice.  He’s one of the finest actors of our generation and can effortlessly disappear into pretty much any role.  Hit the jump for more on Joaquin Phoenix potentially playing Doctor Strange.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s INHERENT VICE to Have World Premiere at New York Film Festival

by     Posted 58 days ago

inherent-vice-new-york-film-festival

The New York Film Festival made a hell of a first selection by nabbing David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opening night film, and now the fest’s second selection makes it an even more enticing destination.  Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will have its world premiere at NYFF 2014 on October 4th, as the pic as been selected as the fest’s centerpiece gala.  The Thomas Pynchon adaptation is led by Joaquin Phoenix, with an eclectic cast that also includes Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson.  Per THR, NYFF director Kent Jones describes Inherent Vice as “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early ‘70s SoCal counterculture back to full-blown life.  It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”

With the one-two punch of premiering Gone Girl and Inherent Vice, NYFF is giving the traditional festival juggernaut TIFF a run for its money.  Read a synopsis for the book after the jump.  NYFF 2014 runs from September 27th through October 13th, and Inherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th. 

HER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 94 days ago

her-blu-ray-review-joaquin-phoenix

Prior to the release of Spike Jonze’s love story Her last year, the film was essentially the butt of a joke.  A guy falls in love with his phone?  Ridiculous.  How would that even work?  Well the key, apparently, is Spike Jonze.  The filmmaker turned a very simple and potentially laughable premise into one of the most engaging, affecting, and emotional love stories in recent memory.  Her isn’t just about how a guy falls in love with his phone, it’s about how we, humanity, love one another in the modern age.  It’s one of the things that makes us uniquely human, and Jonze explores issues relating to relationships—both romantic and platonic—against a gorgeous and fascinating sci-fi backdrop to phenomenal results, anchored by an incredible, delicate lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix.  Read my full Her Blu-ray review after the jump.

Gerard Butler Drops out of POINT BREAK; Channing Tatum to Produce and Star in Sony Crime Thriller; Emma Stone Joins Woody Allen’s Next Untitled Picture

by     Posted 132 days ago

gerard-butler-point-break

Here’s a bit of casting (and anti-casting) news today:

  • Gerard Butler has exited Ericson Core’s Point Break remake scripted by Kurt Wimmer.  Luke Bracey still stars.
  • Channing Tatum will star in and produce an untitled crime thriller for Sony.  Kristin Gore will pen the script.
  • Emma Stone has joined Woody Allen’s latest untitled film, which also stars Joaquin Phoenix.
  • Michelle Forbes is the latest addition to Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Joaquin Phoenix to Star in Woody Allen’s Next Film

by     Posted 136 days ago

joaquin-phoenix-woody-allen-movie

As per usual, filmmaker Woody Allen is getting ready to start production on his next film this summer.  Also per usual, plot details on the untitled pic are unknown, but now we have a face to put with Allen’s next feature: Joaquin PhoenixDeadline reports that Phoenix has signed on to lead Allen’s next project, which begins filming in July.  The filmmaker is coming off the success of last year’s darkly comic drama Blue Jasmine, and before that he went straight comedy with To Rome with Love.  It’s unclear which genre he’ll be tackling with Phoenix, but the pairing is certainly promising.

Allen’s 2014 film is the romantic comedy Magic in the Moonlight, which opens July 25th and stars Colin Firth as an Englishman in the 1920s who is brought to the south of France to unmask a possible swindle.  Emma Stone also stars.  As for Phoenix, he most recently wrapped Paul Thomas Anderson’s detective story Inherent Vice, which hits theaters December 12th, and was considered for the Lex Luthor role in Batman vs. Superman that was eventually filled by Jesse Eisenberg.  Though a superhero movie would’ve been an interesting career turn, a Woody Allen movie feels a bit more in line with Phoenix’s trajectory.

New Trailer for THE IMMIGRANT Starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner

by     Posted 151 days ago

the-immigrant-trailer

The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for James Gray‘s period drama The Immigrant.  The story centers on a woman (Marion Cotillard) immigrating to New York City in the 1920s who, when her sister is rejected and sent back to Poland, finds herself lured into the world of prostitution in the hopes of eventually being reunited with her kin.  This trailer focuses on the striking cinematography and throws out several ecstatic blurbs from critics.  I wish I had seen the movie they saw.  When I caught the film at the New York Film Festival last year, I saw a misguided effort that took a softball approach to a harsh narrative.

Hit the jump to check out The Immigrant trailer.  The film also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner.

Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix Were Considered for the Role of Lex Luthor in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

by     Posted 222 days ago

adam-driver-joaquin-phoenix-slice

Last week, we learned that Jesse Eisenberg had been cast as Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, and the news was met with a positive reaction.  People could see the actor who played Mark Zuckerberg slipping into the role of another arrogant, egotistical, monomaniacal character (this is presuming, of course, we’re going to see the same kind of Luthor from the comics).  However, he wasn’t the only one considered for the role, and a couple of previously mentioned actors may have made for more controversial choices.

Hit the jump for more.  The film also stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, and Laurence FishburneBatman vs. Superman (tentative title) opens May 6, 2016.

TOP 5: 2014 Oscar Nods, ANT-MAN and DOCTOR STRANGE, JACK RYAN, DOOMED! THE UNTOLD STORY OF ROGER CORMAN’S “THE FANTASTIC FOUR”, Sundance 2014

by     Posted 240 days ago

collider-top-5-slice

Every so often a film comes along that plays pitch perfect to your sensibilities and hits you with such pinpoint accuracy that it reaffirms your love of the medium. That’s what Spike Jonze‘s Her did for me last weekend. It’s the type of movie I wish I had the talent to make and, at the same time, one that I’m thankful anyone had the talent and passion to make. It’s a film that says so much about our desire to connect, to love and to feel loved, that evaluating it piece by piece (acting, editing, sound, cinematography, mise-en-scène, etc.) almost cheapens its value as a whole. Above all, though, it refuses to be just one thing and therein lies its greatest achievement. It’s comedy soaked in melancholy, drama with hints of playfulness, quirk wrapped in genuine romance, and heartbreaking sincerity set within the most plastic of relationships. Her is an instant classic.

In case my subtlety has left you uncertain about my feelings on Her, feel free to e-mail me at colliderjason@gmail.com and I’ll try to be more on the nose about how damn great it is. In the meantime, this week’s Top 5 features the newly announced 2014 Oscar nominations, Marvel casting news/rumors regarding Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit interviews with Chris Pine and more, the trailer for the seemingly interesting doc DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four”, and all of our Sundance 2014 coverage to date. Click on to find a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Excellent New Behind-the-Scenes Trailer for Spike Jonze’s HER

by     Posted 248 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-slice

Director Spike Jonze’s new film Her was one of the best films I saw in all of 2013, and it’s expanding in theaters nationwide today.  To mark the occasion, Warner Bros. has released a new “behind-the-scenes” trailer, and it perfectly captures the spirit of the film.  Instead of intercutting footage from the pic with talking head interviews with the cast and crew, this new trailer simply shows a montage of behind-the-scenes footage and photos while overlaying some dialogue between Joaquin Phoenix’s character and his operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.  It’s a great embodiment of the themes that the actual film explores, and those curious as to how much Her pulls from Jonze’s own relationship with Sofia Coppola will find plenty to thumb through in this trailer.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and please go out and give Her a shot in theaters this weekend.  It’s sweet, funny, poignant, emotional, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

Joaquin Phoenix Wanted for BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN Villain Role

by     Posted 271 days ago

joaquin-phoenix-lex-luthor-batman-vs-superman

Warner Bros. and director Zack Snyder are aiming very, very high for the villain role in the upcoming Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman.  With the casting of Ben Affleck as an older, weathered Batman, the studio turned plenty of heads, and they recently tapped Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman in what is likely the first of many feature film appearances by the female superhero.  Directly after the release of Man of Steel, fans assumed that Snyder and Co. would be bringing iconic Superman villain Lex Luthor into the mix for the follow-up, and indeed Easter Eggs hidden in Man of Steel pointed to Luthor’s existence in the DC cinematic universe.

As Snyder prepares to begin production on Batman vs. Superman early next year, he’s swinging for the fences when it comes to casting what is very possibly the Luthor role by extending an offer to one Joaquin Phoenix.  Hit the jump for more, and if you missed the latest news that Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio is being brought in to touch up the script, click here.

HER Review

by     Posted 271 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-slice-1

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival.  Her opens today in limited release.]

We ascribe technology a personality and vice versa. We say our machines “hate” us when they break down. Programs illustrate the interests of the user. Spike Jonze’s Her may seem like an outrageous concept—a man falling in love with a computer—the idea is closer than we think, and its immediacy isn’t just a social concern. It’s an existential concern as the film attempts to provide the contours of a soul through the absence of a body, a past, and society. Her is a fragile, delicate movie that requires the audience’s absolute indulgence, but the rewards are some head-spinning questions coupled with a tender, funny, and touching love story.

New Trailer and High-Resolution Images for Spike Jonze’s HER Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde

by     Posted 286 days ago

her-joaquin-phoenix-amy-adams-slice

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for director Spike Jonze’s upcoming romantic drama Her.  The story revolves around a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).  The film picked up considerable acclaim at its New York Film Festival Premiere, with Matt calling it a “tender, funny, and touching love story” in his review.  This trailer (aided by the musical stylings of Arcade Fire’s “Supersymmetry”) continues to highlight the central romance while also revealing a refreshingly warm performance by Phoenix.  Her really looks to be something quite special, and I can’t wait to check out the full film.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and to check out a large batch of high-resolution images.  The film also stars Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia WildeHer opens in limited release on December 18th and expands wide on January 10th.

Click Here