INTERSTELLAR Review

by     Posted 23 days ago

interstellar-review

“Except Christopher Nolan“.  That’s the cinephile’s refrain for a blockbuster marketplace that won’t accept any bold, original ideas.  No one gets to make a blockbuster film unless it’s based on a pre-existing material…Except Christopher Nolan.  Inception embodied this ideal, and following the conclusion of The Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan was free to travel to anywhere he wanted to go.

His latest destination is Interstellar, a film that certainly breaks away from the traditional blockbuster in the sense of its visuals and turning scientific concepts like relativity, gravity, and time distortion into understandable dramatic plot points.  Unfortunately, for all of the movie’s grandeur, the voyage is constantly beset with clunky exposition, stilted dialogue, maudlin sentiment, and thinly-drawn characters.  Nolan has the power to go wherever he wants, but he leaves the most valuable parts of his story in the dust.

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina Talk LOVE IS STRANGE, Prepping Without Rehearsals, Props They’ve Kept from Past Films, INTERSTELLAR and More

by     Posted 97 days ago

love-is-strange-interview-john-lithgow-alfred-molina-slice

You’d think two prolific actors like John Lithgow and Alfred Molina would have worked together before.  The guys are good friends, but, it turns out, Love Is Strange is their very first movie together.  They play Ben and George, respectively.  They’ve been together for 39 years, but are only first making it official now.  But, as soon as they get married, the Catholic school where George works fires him leaving them no choice, but to sell their apartment and find a less expensive one.  However, until they find that new place, they need somewhere to stay and no one they know can accommodate them both, so Ben heads off to live with his nephew (Charlie Tahan) and his family in Brooklyn while George settles in with their former neighbors.

With Love Is Strange due for a limited release this weekend, we got the opportunity to sit down with Lithgow and Molina to talk about their experience making the film.  Hit the jump to hear about how they finally found a film to work on together, how they prepped for the movie without rehearsals, favorite props they’ve kept from previous films, Lithgow’s character in Interstellar and much more.

LOVE IS STRANGE Review

by     Posted 97 days ago

love-is-strange-review

[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Love Is Strange opens today in limited release.]

“Write what you know,” is a common piece of writing advice. I don’t know how much of Ira SachsLove Is Strange is autobiographical, but it feels true to life. Boring, boring life. Because the film feels true to life, it also feels like one of the most self-indulgent films I’ve ever seen. Sachs is completely oblivious to what its audience would find remotely interesting or even emotionally relatable. The director takes his central relationship, one featuring great chemistry between Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, and completely undermines it with a hypocritical narrative. Not content to ruin his picture’s strongest asset, Sachs also drags his movie down with worthless side-plots and then tries to give his picture the illusion of depth and emotion with cheap tricks and unearned sentiment.

Alfred Molina Would Bring Back Doc Ock in a Heartbeat for SINISTER SIX

by     Posted 101 days ago

spider-man-2-alfred-molina-slice

Considering every single role was recast for The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s highly unlikely that Marc Webb and co. would ever bring back someone from one of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, but if Alfred Molina were offered the opportunity to reprise his role as Doctor Octopus in Sinister Six, he’d take it.

While talking to Molina about his latest film, Love Is Strange, we took a moment just to see if he’d be interested and it turns out, he’d play the character again in a heartbeat.  Hit the jump to hear more about that as well as how Molina’s Love Is Strange co-star, John Lithgow, would like to squeeze himself into the Spider-Man realm as well.

John Lithgow to Completely Re-Record His Work for Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR; Says Original Story Was “Dismantled and Reimagined”

by     Posted 101 days ago

good-dinosaur-slice

We’ve had a new Pixar movie every year for eight years now, so when The Good Dinosaur was pushed back from May 30, 2014 to November 25, 2015, it was tough not to be both concerned and disappointed, especially considering what went down prior to that announcement.  Almost exactly a year ago, word got out that director Bob Peterson was removed from the project.  On top of that, Peterson’s co-director, Peter Sohn, didn’t even get the solo gig.  Instead, he’s overseeing it as part of the Pixar Brain Trust.

That’s not something you want to hear when it comes to an especially highly anticipated film.  However, while talking to John Lithgow today about his upcoming release, Love Is Strange, he assured us that The Good Dinosaur is in great shape.  Hit the jump to hear about how the delay affected Lithgow’s work on the film.

“Why Cookie Rocket?” Looking Back at RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 141 days ago

rise-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-caesar-will

[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]

The Planet of the Apes movies have always been interested with time.  The original movie opens with Taylor (Charlton Heston) explaining that his spaceship’s mission isn’t to explore the galaxy, but to use Einstein’s Law of Relativity to leave Earth and return in the distant future where it might not be such a shithole (Taylor was disappointed).  From there, Beneath carried the torch to extinction, Escape traveled back in time, Conquest took a twenty-year jump to begin the downfall of humans, and Battle has a prologue and epilogue that take place in 2670 AD.  So it’s fitting that the series’ reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, would restart the clock to unload the baggage of the previous movies rather than throwing us back into the middle of the madhouse.  While it didn’t carry the heavy commentary of the original saga, Rise took a new path by putting a strong focus on family and bringing a level of spectacle far beyond what any Apes film had done before.

Sundance 2014: LOVE IS STRANGE Review

by     Posted 312 days ago

love-is-strange-slice

“Write what you know,” is a common piece of writing advice.  I don’t know how much of Ira SachsLove Is Strange is autobiographical, but it feels true to life.  Boring, boring life.  Because the film feels true to life, it also feels like one of the most self-indulgent films I’ve ever seen.  Sachs is completely oblivious to what its audience would find remotely interesting or even emotionally relatable.  The director takes his central relationship, one featuring great chemistry between Alfred Molina and John Lithgow, and completely undermines it with a hypocritical narrative. Not content to ruin his picture’s strongest asset, Sachs also drags his movie down with worthless side-plots and then tries to give his picture the illusion of depth and emotion with cheap tricks and unearned sentiment.

First Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR

by     Posted 348 days ago

interstellar-matthew-mcconaughey-slice

Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Interstellar.  The sci-fi pic stars Matthew McConaughey and revolves around a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole “to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.”  Though this teaser trailer features very, very little footage from the still in-production film, it’s a surprisingly moving piece that draws on the human spirit’s drive to keep moving forward.  I’ll say no more and let you experience the teaser for yourself, but the prospect of seeing Nolan further explore these themes in the full film is definitely exciting.

Hit the jump to watch the teaser Interstellar trailer.  The film also stars Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine, David Oyelowo, Wes Bentley, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace, David Gyasi, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Timothée Chalamet, and Matt DamonInterstellar opens November 7, 2014.

Sundance 2014 First Images from LOVE IS STRANGE, A MOST WANTED MAN, NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM, and THE ONE I LOVE

by     Posted 353 days ago

a-most-wanted-man-nick-offerman-slice

Continuing our coverage in anticipation of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we’ve got some more first look images and synopses for films that will be screening as part of the Premieres category.  Briefly:

  • Love Is Strange – Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons.
  • A Most Wanted Man – Directed by Anton Corbijn; starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright.
  • Nick Offerman: American Ham – Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts; starring Nick Offerman.
  • The One I Love – Directed by Charlie McDowell; starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ted Danson.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.

John Lithgow Talks Voicing the White Rabbit in ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND, the Quick Recording Process, What to Expect Going Forward, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 41 days ago

once-upon-a-time-in-wonderland-john-lithgow-slice

On the ABC fantasy series Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, Alice (Sophie Lowe) tells an impossible tale of a strange new land that exists on the other side of a rabbit hole, with an invisible cat, a hookah-smoking caterpillar and playing cards that can talk.  She was ready to put it all behind her, especially the painful memory of the genie — the handsome and mysterious Cyrus (Peter Gadiot) — that she fell in love with and lost forever, until the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (voiced by John Lithgow) suddenly show up to take her back to Wonderland.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor John Lithgow talked about how he immediately jumped at the chance to voice such a unique and unusual character, why he loves being a part of family entertainment, how he finds his inner White Rabbit, how he feels like he can take about 3% of the credit for the final product, that nothing on this show will turn out how you expect, and the process of being able to record from anywhere, at anytime.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

Pixar Announces Voice Casts and Reveals Concept Art for THE GOOD DINOSAUR and INSIDE OUT; Voice Actors Include Bill Hader & Amy Poehler [UPDATED]

by     Posted 1 year, 110 days ago

the-good-dinosaur-concept-art-slice

Pixar has announced the voice casts for two of its upcoming films during the D23 convention today.  Director Bob Peterson’s The Good Dinosaur, which opens next summer, takes place on an Earth where the asteroid never killed the dinosaurs and the creatures now live happily alongside humans.  The lead character, a dinosaur named Arlo, will be voiced by Lucas Neff (Raising Hope), while Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, and Judy Greer voice his siblings.  The dinosaur mother and father will be voiced by John Lithgow and Frances McDormandThe Good Dinosaur opens in theaters on May 30, 2014.

Pixar’s next film, Up director Peter Docter’s Inside Out, takes place within an 11-year-old girl’s mind as she is forced to move to San Francisco.  The fantastic voice cast—playing the girl’s emotions—includes Amy Poehler as the lead character, Joy, Bill Hader (there’s no such thing as too much Bill Hader) as Fear, Lewis Black as Anger, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, and The Office’s Phyllis Smith as Sadness.  Inside Out opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.  Look for Dave’s full recaps of the D23 Pixar panels later today. [Update: We've added new concept art images and the official synopsis for both films after the jump.]

John Lithgow Joins INTERSTELLAR; Jessica Chastain Eyes A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Opposite Javier Bardem

by     Posted 1 year, 134 days ago

john-lithgow-jessica-chastain-slice

The cast of Christopher Nolan’s upcoming sci-fi film Interstellar is rounding out ahead of the film’s imminent production start date.  The great John Lithgow is the latest actor to join the film’s cast, which is toplined by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine.  Given that plot details are firmly under wraps, The Wrap’s report has no information on Lithgow’s role.  Nevertheless, the Emmy-winning actor makes a swell addition, along with yesterday’s news of Ellen Burstyn, Mackenzie Foy, and Timothee Chalamet joining the cast.  Interstellar opens on November 7, 2014.

Hit the jump for news concerning Jessica Chastain possibly starring opposite Javier Bardem.

THIS IS 40 Review

by     Posted 1 year, 341 days ago

this-is-40-leslie mann paul rudd

It’s not all gold, Mr. Apatow.  The logic behind his films seems to be, “If it got big laughs at a test screening, we should probably keep it.”  Therefore, the editing isn’t decided on how best to tell the story, but how many jokes they can stuff into a borderline-ridiculous runtime.  If this is the case, then there must be an absolute certainty that the jokes are all terrific, and that it doesn’t detract from the characters or the plot.  You can have the “Know how I know you’re gay?” scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin because it’s funny, it doesn’t slow the film down, and it doesn’t detract from overall narrative.  This Is 40, Judd Apatow‘s latest film, lacks any such cohesion.  As nothing more than a slice-of-life, it’s free to wander around aimlessly, sometimes running up against great jokes, and sometimes meandering through scenes that could be cut completely.  More frustrating, beneath the sporadic success of the humor, there’s a compelling story and strong performances, especially from Leslie Mann.  Unfortunately, This Is 40 works in reverse, trying to let a story flow out of humorous situations rather than vice-versa.

5 Clips from Judd Apatow’s THIS IS 40 Starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann

by     Posted 1 year, 348 days ago

this-is-40-slice

Universal Pictures has released five clips from writer/director Judd Apatow’s new film This Is 40.  For those unaware, the pic is a “sort-of sequel” to Apatow’s 2008 film Knocked Up, and continues the story of the characters played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann five years later as they’re navigating new challenges to their careers, parents, marriage, and children.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Albert BrooksJohn LithgowMaude ApatowIris Apatow, Megan FoxChris O’DowdCharlyne Yi, Jason Segel, and Melissa McCarthy.  This Is 40 opens on December 21st.

Over 20 New Images from Judd Apatow’s THIS IS 40 Featuring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Chris O’Dowd, and Lena Dunham

by     Posted 1 year, 351 days ago

this-is-40-paul-rudd-lena-dunham-slice

Universal Pictures has released a large batch of images from writer/director Judd Apatow’s upcoming comedy This Is 40.  For those unaware, the film is a “sort-of sequel” to Apatow’s 2008 film Knocked Up and picks up with the characters played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann five years later as they’re navigating new challenges to their careers, parents, marriage, and children.  I’m encouraged by what we’ve seen thus far, and if anyone can bring a brutally honest portrayal of a marriage to the screen with equal parts charm and heartbreak, it’s Rudd and Mann.  These new images provide a colorful look at Apatow’s impressive cast.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Maude Apatow, Iris Apatow, Megan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Charlyne Yi, Jason Segel, and Melissa McCarthyThis Is 40 opens on December 21st.

Click Here