INHERENT VICE Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 15 days ago

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After the New York Film Festival screening of Inherent Vice, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson and a good deal of his cast took the stage for a brief Q&A.  At one point, Anderson discussed Howard HawksThe Big Sleep and noted, “I saw The Big Sleep and it made me realize, I could not follow any of it and it didn’t matter because I just wanted to see what was gonna happen next.”  Anderson does manage to achieve that to a degree in Inherent Vice, but it winds up making the film even more of a disappointment because what happens next is rarely satisfying.

INHERENT VICE Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Leads Paul Thomas Anderson’s Psychedelic Detective Romp

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the highly anticipated first Inherent Vice trailer for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, and it is glorious.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is enlisted to help a former lover thwart a potential kidnapping involving her current billionaire boyfriend.  While PTA has trended a bit darker with his past few films, Inherent Vice looks to be a delightfully goofy romp that’s closer in tone to Boogie Nights than There Will Be Blood.  I found myself laughing multiple times during this trailer, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be absolutely perfect casting as the pothead protagonist.  Moreover, the supporting cast appears to be phenomenal as well, with Josh Brolin getting a particularly hilarious standout moment here.  Anderson cuts his own trailers so this is likely a very accurate snapshot of the film’s vibe as a whole, and all I can say is it’s made the wait for the film’s release feel so, so, so much farther away.

Hit the jump to watch the Inherent Vice trailer.  The film also stars Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna NewsomInherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Review

by     Posted 59 days ago

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In 2005, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller‘s Sin City was an interesting novelty.  The directors were able to transfer Miller’s visually distinct comics to the screen through the heavy use of CGI.  Not adapt; transfer.  The comic was used as a storyboard, and the directors filled in the gaps by casting a bunch of recognizable actors to play the roles.  For people who argue that adaptations should never stray from the source material, 2005′s Sin City was perfect.  Although the novelty has run its course, Rodriguez and Miller are back nine years later with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but the visual panache now feels like a crutch while also diminishing any authentic noir vibe the movie occasionally tries to convey.  Although the sequel is occasionally enjoyable thanks to the actors who are in on the exaggerated tone, the film feels like it was made by a couple of teenagers who mistake whores for dames, sadists for toughs guys, and style for charm.

Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller Talk SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

by     Posted 61 days ago

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Nearly a decade after the first film, co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have reunited to bring the visually stunning Sin City graphic novels back to the screen for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.  In a town where murderers reign and the desperate want vengeance, their paths cross at the famous Kadie’s Club Pecos, where Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) still dances while mourning the loss of her love, John Hartigan (Bruce Willis).  With Marv (Mickey Rourke) in the center of the carnage, a cocky young gambler named Johnny (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes on the villainous Senator Roark (Powers Boothe), and Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) is battles with the woman of his dreams and nightmares, Ava Lord (Eva Green).

During a conference at the film’s press day, actors Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Eva Green talked about living in Sin City, with this dialogue and these extremes, going into the mind of Frank Miller, trickiest scenes, playing a Rodriguez bad-ass, the motives of the women in Sin City, working in Austin at Troublemaker Studios, working with Christopher Lloyd, feeling comfortable with Nancy’s swagger, the sex and sexuality of the story, and why Nancy is a stripper who never actually takes her clothes off.  Also there, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller discussed getting even closer to the comics this time around, what the 3D added, the process of lighting the film, what their collaboration has meant to each other, and how they’d like to go into production on a third film, right away.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

First INHERENT VICE Image Reveals Josh Brolin in a Flat Top

by     Posted 66 days ago

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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.

Josh Brolin Talks Thanos’ Love for Death, Future Appearances, Character Comparisons, and More

by     Posted 72 days ago

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Although some might argue that Thanos kind of sucks at being a supervillain, I would counter that we’ve barely seen the big guy get going since he’s had less than five minutes of total screen time over the course of ten movies.  He’s going to be the culmination of a massive balancing act, and while it may all fall apart, Marvel at least has a great actor playing the part.  While doing press for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Josh Brolin was asked about playing Marvel’s Biggest Bad, and if it was similar to the Emperor from Star Wars.  “That sounds awesome, I love that,” said Brolin.  “It’s what he is.”  He also said that Apocalypse Now‘s Colonel Kurtz is also a source of inspiration, although Brolin noted he was drawing primarily from the comics.

Hit the jump for Brolin talking about how he prepared for playing Thanos, the character’s relationship with Death, his dynamic with Robert Downey Jr., and when we’ll be seeing Thanos again.

Watch Over 9 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Footage

by     Posted 73 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released over nine minutes of behind-the-scenes Sin City: A Dame to Kill For footage that offers a look at how directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller brought the sequel to fruition.  If you’re curious to see just how many actual sets were used (spoiler alert: the answer is basically zero) in the making of Sin City 2, this b-roll is an interesting watch.  Regardless of the quality of the finished film, the actors are all essentially playing pretend in a giant green sandbox with very little to work with by way of atmosphere or environment.  It’s certainly a challenging working process, and while blockbuster films all use greenscreen to some degree, Rodriguez pushes the lack of live-action elements to the limit.

Hit the jump to watch the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For footage.  The film stars Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Eva GreenMickey RourkeRosario DawsonJoseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce WillisJaime KingDennis HaysbertChristopher MeloniJeremy PivenRay LiottaJuno Temple, Stacy Keach, and Julia GarnerSin City: A Dame to Kill For opens in theaters on August 22nd.

First Official Thanos Image from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Revealed in Marvel’s Phase 1 & 2 Recap Video

by     Posted 79 days ago

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Marvel Studios’ The Avengers was a massive success, and while most fans were left satisfied by the film as a whole, Marvel kicked off another whirlwind of anticipation with the film’s post-credits scene in which the comics supervillain Thanos was first glimpsed.  Speculation ran rampant that the cosmic baddie would be the foe in The Avengers 2, but that turned out to be false as Joss Whedon and Co. instead settled on the robot Ultron.  And so it appears that Marvel is playing the long game when it comes to Thanos, but his time may finally be drawing near as the character makes his first in-movie appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, opening in theaters this weekend.  Josh Brolin was cast in the integral role, performing the facial performance capture for the character after principal photography on Guardians had already wrapped.  Though Thanos isn’t on screen for too long in the film, he certainly has a memorable presence.  Now, on opening day, Marvel has released the first official Thanos image from Guardians.

If you so desire, hit the jump to get a good look at the Big Bad in the first Thanos image from Guardians of the Galaxy along with an extended recap video of Marvel’s Phase 1 & 2.  You can check out the film in theaters this weekend to see the character in action. 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Review

by     Posted 80 days ago

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Leading up to Guardians of the Galaxy, there’s been a persistent question among pundits, analysts, and even Marvel fans about whether or not the studio’s new film is “too weird”.  Somehow, we’ve come to expect a guy who can invent anything, an alien Norseman with a magic hammer, and a guy who was put into suspended animation instead of dying of hypothermia are all credible protagonists worthy of their own movies.  But once you go into outer space and feature a talking raccoon, all bets are off. Writer-director James Gunn has no problem convincing us of his space oddities as he taps into universally beloved qualities like humor, warmth, and a sense of adventure.  Although he’s still a little trapped by some familiar plot points and a few underdeveloped main characters, these are minor qualms in a movie that’s a total blast.

Kevin Feige Talks AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, Josh Brolin (Thanos) and the Infinity Gauntlet, a Female THOR Movie, DOCTOR STRANGE, and More

by     Posted 82 days ago

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Shortly after the Avengers: Age of Ultron panel in Hall H at Comic-Con Saturday night, I got to conduct video interviews with most of the cast in the press room.  While the interviews had to be conducted in groups due to how many reporters were in attendance, we still managed to get a lot of great information from the cast.   You can watch my Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans interviews by clicking the links.

In addition to the cast of Avengers, I also got a few minutes with Marvel’s Kevin Fiege.  He talked about the great Joss Whedon dialogue in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the possibility of Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, how much Josh Brolin wearing the Infinity Gauntlet on stage indicates where things are going in the Marvel universe, the likelihood of making Thor a female down the road, the rumors that Joaquin Phoenix might play Doctor Strange, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Red-Band Trailer Goes Heavy on Stylization, Light on Everything Else

by     Posted 83 days ago

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Dimension Films has released the new full-length Sin City: A Dame to Kill For red-band trailer that premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend.  And it doesn’t seem like directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller (read our SDCC interview) have done anything new for the sequel.  The film stars Josh Brolin as the physically altered Dwight (played by Clive Owen in the first film), who is hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord (Eva Green), and then watches his life go straight to hell.  Also going straight to hell is my interest in this movie.  I enjoyed the first film but felt that even this trailer was too much time spent back in the arbitrarily stylized world.  Nothing had any impact.  The only thing this film could do to surprise me is fashion a tight, engaging narrative.

Hit the jump to watch the full-length Sin City: A Dame to Kill For red-band trailer.  The film also stars Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Powers Booth, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Dennis HaysbertChristopher MeloniJeremy PivenRay LiottaJuno Temple, Stacy Keach, and Julia Garner.  Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on August 22nd.

Over 35 Marvel Comic-Con Panel Images, Featuring the Casts of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and ANT-MAN

by     Posted 84 days ago

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As you can tell by the absolutely massive amount of Comic-Con content on the site at the moment, it’s been a whirlwind last few days here in San Diego at Comic-Con 2014.  The festivities are winding down, and while we still have a fair amount of SDCC content yet to post, this Sunday we thought we’d bring the large majority of people that were unable to attend the convention a little closer to arguably the biggest panel of the convention: Marvel.  This year, Marvel Studios showcased Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man during its Saturday night Hall H panel, and while the lack of surprises made the proceedings a tad underwhelming, it was nevertheless an entertaining affair.  If you haven’t already, be sure to read our full Avengers: Age of Ultron panel recap and Ant-Man panel recap.

After the jump, you’ll find __ Marvel Comic-Con images from both panels, featuring Robert Downey Jr., Paul Rudd, Chris Evans, Elizabeth Olsen, Michael Douglas, Chris Hemsworth, Evangeline Lilly, Samuel L. Jackson, Corey Stoll, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, James Spader, director Peyton Reed, and Thanos himself Josh Brolin

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Character Posters Give Yondu, Nova Prime and Corpsman Dey Their Chance to Shine

by     Posted 95 days ago

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It’s only two weeks or so until director James Gunn’s Marvel tentpole Guardians of the Galaxy hits US screens (it opens internationally a few days prior).  As you can tell by my reaction to the footage that was screened from the film last week, I’m quite excited for this picture (you should also check out the new TV spots that hit yesterday if you missed them).  Today sees the release of three character posters.  John C. Reilly’s Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close’s Nova Prime and Michael Rooker‘s Yondu.

Guardians of the Galaxy also stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee PaceKaren GillanBenicio Del ToroDjimon HounsouPeter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Bradley CooperVin Diesel, and Josh Brolin.  It opens in 2D and 3D on August 1st.  Hit the jump for the new Guardians of the Galaxy character posters!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Footage Review: Evan’s Reaction to Marvel Screening 17 Minutes of Footage

by     Posted 104 days ago

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I’ve been more excited about Guardians of the Galaxy than I have most other Marvel films for some time now.  I’m a huge fan of director James Gunn (Slither, Super) and the potential for strong authorial voices gets me more excited for tentpoles (see also Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 and Edgar Wright’s unfortunately cancelled take on Ant-Man).  While I generally like Marvel movies, there’s something about the humor in all of the Guardians of the Galaxy promos that I’ve seen that has colluded with my fandom of Gunn to raise my expectations for this film.  So when an invitation came my way to preview 17 minutes of the film in 3D IMAX this evening at the TLC Chinese Theater, I leapt at it despite the fact that I would essentially just be watching 17 minutes of footage I’d be seeing in a more complete context within a matter of weeks.

Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee PaceKaren GillanGlenn CloseBenicio Del ToroDjimon HounsouJohn C. ReillyMichael RookerPeter Serafinowicz, and the voices of Bradley CooperVin Diesel, and Josh Brolin.  It opens in 2D and 3D on August 1st.  Hit the jump to read my Guardians of the Galaxy footage reaction!

New Full-Length SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Trailer Features the Return of Mickey Rourke’s Marv

by     Posted 130 days ago

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Dimension Films has released a new full-length Sin City: A Dame to Kill For for directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s sequel.  The film stars Josh Brolin as the physically altered Dwight (played by Clive Owen in the first film), who is hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord (Eva Green), and then watches his life go straight to hell.  This trailer focuses heavily on the returning members of the cast, specifically Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, and Bruce Willis.  There’s plenty of action and stylized visuals on display, but even after a number of trailers, images, posters, etc. I’m still having troubling drumming up anything but indifference towards the follow-up.  It looks fine, but 2006 was a very long time ago.

Hit the jump to watch the full-length Sin City: A Dame to Kill For trailer.  The film also stars Powers Booth, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Dennis HaysbertChristopher MeloniJeremy PivenRay LiottaJuno Temple, Stacy Keach, and Julia Garner.  Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on August 22nd.

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