John Hawkes Talks LIFE OF CRIME, His Preparation Process, Elmore Leonard, Baltasar Kormákur’s EVEREST, and More

by     Posted 20 days ago

John-Hawkes-life-of-crime-interview

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 John Hawkes.  He talked about making Life of Crime, how quickly he said yes to the project, the way he likes to work and if he did anything special for this role, Elmore Leonard, Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

LIFE OF CRIME Review

by     Posted 25 days ago

life-of-crime-review

[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

life-of-crime-yasiin-bey-john-hawkes-slice

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.

FX Passes on Charlie Kaufman’s Pilot HOW AND WHY

by     Posted 63 days ago

charlie-kaufman-fx-slice

The prospect of seeing an original TV series from the mind of Charlie Kaufman was almost too good to be true.  Alas, after producing a pilot for a comedy called How and Why, FX has decided to pass on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation. scribe’s potential series, per Deadline.  The show was to star John Hawkes as a man who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.  The promising cast also included Michael Cera, Sally Hawkins, and Catherine Keener, but apparently it wasn’t up to snuff for the network.  Hit the jump for more.

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

by     Posted 125 days ago

life-of-crime-trailer-john-hawkes-jennifer-aniston

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.

Octavia Spencer Joins Leslie Mann in LAS MADRES; Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel Lead Highsmith Adaptation; Frank Langella Joins DRIFTLESS AREA

by     Posted 137 days ago

octavia-spencer-las-madres-patrick-wilson-jessica-biel

We’ve got a few pieces of casting to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer will join Leslie Mann in the DreamWorks comedy Las Madres.
  • Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Toby Jones (Captain America), and Imogen Poots (That Awkward Moment) have joined the cast of the untitled adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Blunderer.
  • Frank Langella will star opposite Anton Yelchin and Zooey Deschanel in the unconventional romance The Driftless Area.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned films.

Universal to Release EVEREST in 3D and IMAX 3D on September 18, 2015; Film Stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, and Jake Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 185 days ago

everest-movie-jason-clarke

Universal Pictures has bumped the survival drama Everest from February 27, 2015 to September 18, 2015.  Directed by Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns), the movie focuses on two different expeditions that struggle to survive while climbing the world’s tallest mountain.  The film stars Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Martin Henderson, Emily Watson, Michael Kelly, and Thomas M. Wright.  Even though we’ll have to wait a little longer, the date change is encouraging since Universal might think they have an awards contender if they’ve moved the picture to the fall.  The studio will release Everest in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Right now, there’s no competition on September 18, 2015, but a week later Sony will have the family flick Hotel Transylvania 2 and Warner Bros. is releasing the comedy The Intern.  Hit the jump for the official synopsis for Everest.

John Hawkes and Michael Cera to Lead Charlie Kaufman’s FX Comedy Pilot, HOW AND WHY

by     Posted 251 days ago

john-hawkes-michael-cera-slice

Last year, we reported that FX had ordered a pilot for How and Why, a half-hour comedy pilot from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer Charlie Kaufman.  Today, Deadline is reporting that the show will have two great lead actors in John Hawkes and Michael Cera.  The brief logline is that the show “tells the story of a man (Hawkes) who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.”  Since this is from the mind of Kaufman, who also wrote Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Synecdoche, New York, I’m assuming it’s nowhere near that simple.  While neither Hawkes nor Cera are strangers to television, I’ll be excited to see how they play off each other (assuming they actually share the screen; with Kaufman, it’s best to leave expectations aside).

Kaufman will write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce, but there’s currently no air date.  Assuming the series is picked up, and FX is willing to give Kaufman as much freedom as they’ve given Louis C.K. on Louie, then How and Why could be amazing, or at least unlike anything else on television.

TIFF 2013: LIFE OF CRIME Review

by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago

life-of-crime-yasiin-bey-john-hawkes-slice

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.

New Trailer for EASTBOUND & DOWN Reveals Plenty of Footage from Season 4; Plus First Images

by     Posted 1 year, 17 days ago

eastbound-down-season-4-danny-mcbride-slice

HBO has released a new trailer and some debut images for the upcoming fourth season of Eastbound & Down, and they give us our first look at a fair amount of footage from the further adventures of Kenny Powers.  Danny McBride is on point, as always, as the season’s story looks to find Powers struggling with his lack of fame and purpose.  The track record of the three previous seasons bodes extremely well for this final batch of episodes, and I’m really eager to see how McBride and showrunner Jody Hill wrap the story up once and for all.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and images.  Season four of Eastbound & Down begins on HBO Sunday, September 29th.

First Images from LIFE OF CRIME, THE RAILWAY MAN, THIRD PERSON, THE ART OF THE STEAL, and BAD WORDS

by     Posted 1 year, 61 days ago

 life-of-crime-railway-man-third-person-slice

This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival announced its terrific line-up for their Galas and Special Presentation programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • Life of Crime (Directed by Daniel Schechter) Starring John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def), Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Jr.
  • The Railway Man (Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky) Starring Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, and Nicole Kidman.
  • Third Person (Directed by Paul Haggis) Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger, and Moran Atias.
  • The Art of the Steal (Directed by Jonathan Sobol) Starring Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon, Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kenneth Welsh, and Jason Jones.
  • Bad Words (Directed by Jason Bateman) Starring Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohan Chand.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jason Clarke in Talks for Baltasar Kormakur’s EVEREST

by     Posted 1 year, 67 days ago

brolin-hawkes-gyllenhaal-clarke

Director Baltasar Kormakur (Contraband, The Deep) may have rounded up a group of doomed mountaineers.  According to Deadline, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jason Clarke are in talks to star in Everest.  The film is based on the disastrous 1996 expedition that left eight climbers dead, and was chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s excellent non-fiction novel, Into Thin Air.  This adaptation will reportedly be “be sourced from various books and interviews with survivors.”  One of the fascinating aspects of the climb is that it claimed both novice and experienced climbers, and I’m curious to find out if the actors are playing real people or amalgams.

Earlier this year, we reported that Christian Bale was going to play the lead role, but Deadline makes no mention of him, so presumably he’s out.  The production is eyeing a November start date.  It’s also worth noting that there’s another Everest movie in production (also titled “Everest”) with Doug Liman attached to direct, but we haven’t heard anything new on the project in almost a year.  That movie is about George Mallory, and his three attempts in the early 1920s to become the first man to climb the world’s highest mountain.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Dominates Independent Spirit Awards with 4 Wins Including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

silver-linings-playbook-jennifer-lawrence-bradley-cooper-slice

Though the 85th Academy Awards are a mere day away, tonight an awards ceremony of a different sort took place to celebrate the best of independent film.  Unsurprisingly, Oscar player Silver Linings Playbook took home the most awards of the night with four wins, including Best Picture, Best Director for David O. Russell, Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, and Best Screenplay for Russell.  The crowdpleasing pic beat out the likes of Beasts of the Southern Wild and Moonrise Kingdom for the top prize, but John Hawkes was named Best Actor for his swell work in The Sessions.  The Best First Feature prize deservingly went to The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Hit the jump to read the full list of winners for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards.

The Road to Oscar: Best Actor

by     Posted 1 year, 214 days ago

best-actor-oscars-daniel-day-lewis-slice

As Sunday’s 85th Annual Academy Awards loom closer, we’ve using this week as an opportunity to take a look back at how the past year’s Oscar race has played out in a number of categories.  We first took a look at the ebbs and flows in the Best Supporting Actor category, and then we chronicled the road that lead us to the Best Supporting Actress nominees.  Today we’re examining the Best Actor race, which actually seemed to be all wrapped up months before the nominees were even announced.  Hit the jump to read on.

Trailer and Poster for THE PLAYROOM Starring John Hawkes and Molly Parker

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago

the-playroom-john-hawkes-slice

A trailer has been released for the dramedy The Playroom.  The film takes place in the 1975, and centers on a group of kids seeing the drama created by their parents.  The advertising is practically begging to get the movie some credibility by overloading on blurbs to the point where one of the quotes is along the lines of “this is the stuff Oscar clips are made from.”  It would be the first Oscar movie without any buzz whatsoever.  I love star John Hawkes, but he does his share of forgettable indies, and this looks like one of them.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer, and maybe you’ll feel differently.  The film also stars Molly Parker, Cody Linley, Lydia MacKay, and Olivia HarrisThe Playroom hits theaters, DVD, and VOD on February 8th (you know, like all potential Oscar contenders).

Click Here