David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Acquired by Focus World for Early 2015 Release

by     Posted 8 hours ago

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Filmmaker David Cronenberg’s latest effort will find its way to U.S. screens early next year.  Ahead of the film’s North American debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, Focus World announced today that it has acquired U.S. distribution for Maps to the Stars with plans to release the film stateside in early 2015.  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals (John Cusack), his wife (Olivia Williams) who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter (Mia Wasikowska), who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana (Julianne Moore), an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  The pic premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, and while the overall reaction was mixed, Moore drew high praise for her performance and won the Best Actress award.

Many had pegged Moore as a contender in this year’s Oscar race, but if Focus World doesn’t stage a limited release in December to qualify for contention, that takes her out of the running.  That said, Focus World’s specific release strategy is unknown at the moment.  Read the full press release after the jump.

SEVENTH SON Rises with New Trailer, Posters, and Images Starring Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Universal and Legendary Pictures have released a new Seventh Son trailer and poster along with some new images.  The plot follows mystical knight Father Gregory (Jeff Bridges) and his apprentice Tom Ward (Ben Barnes) and their fight to defeat the evil witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore) and her followers.  If you feel like you’ve been vaguely hearing about this movie off and on the past several years, it’s because you have.  Seventh Son was originally scheduled to open on February 15th…2013.  After being pushed back three times, the movie is now (probably) going to finally come out.  That’s a big build up for a movie where the Dude and Prince Caspian fight monsters, but we’ll see if it was worth the wait.

Hit the jump to check out the Seventh Son trailer, poster, and images.  The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, and Djimon HounsouSeventh Son opens February 6, 2015.

New MAPS TO THE STARS Trailer: Director David Cronenberg Highlights the Madness and Paranoia of Hollywood

by     Posted 22 days ago

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Entertainment One UK has released a new Maps to the Stars trailer online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  I’m still not 100% sure what to expect from Cronenberg’s new picture, but that’s one of the reasons it’s one of my must-see films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Hit the jump to check out the new Maps to the Stars trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in the U.K. and Ireland on September 26th.  There is currently no U.S. release date.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Posters Focus on the Revolutionaries of District 13

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Lionsgate has released new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 posters focusing on key members of the resistance in their home base, District 13: President Coin (Julianne Moore), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson).  I like these character posters because while these are the members of the resistance, they’re also behind cold, grey walls.  It’s a signal that while the resistance has a headquarters, they don’t have a sanctuary.

Hit the jump to check out the hi-res The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 posters.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Teaser Trailer Hints at the Battle to Come

by     Posted 37 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first teaser trailer for the first half of the conclusion to the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, directed by Francis Lawrence.  Since the teaser trailer is only a minute, Lionsgate has wisely chosen to let the visuals and minimal dialogue set the stage at the battle to come.  I especially enjoyed seeing Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) discussing Katniss’ purpose in the rebellion.  Plutarch insists, “Listen to me.  No one else can do this, but her.”  Coin disagrees.  “She won’t be able to handle it.  The games destroyed her.”  Shortly after their scene we get a glimpse of Natalie Dormer as Cressida with her half shaved head as well as Liam Hemsworth looking serious as Gale.   Hit the jump to check it out.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright,, and Donald Sutherland, and opens in theaters November 21st.  Watch the first The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer after the break.

First Images from MY OLD LADY, NED RIFLE, THE RIOT CLUB, and STILL ALICE

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs. Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • My Old Lady (Directed by Israel Horovitz) starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
  • Ned Rifle (Directed by Hal Hartley) starring Aubrey Plaza.
  • The Riot Club (Directed by Lone Scherfig) starring Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Douglas Booth.
  • Still Alice (Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland) starring Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Julianne Moore.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses. The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 – 14th.

NON-STOP Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 64 days ago

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Liam Neeson has become the go-to asskicker of late.  Even more so than Jason Statham, audiences have responded to Neeson’s world-weary charms and commanding presence.  So it should be no surprise that Jaume Collet-Serra’s Non-Stop was a modest hit earlier this year.  Neeson stars as air marshal Bill Marks, who is forced to act when he’s contacted on an international flight to deliver a $150 Million ransom or a passenger will die every twenty minutes.  My review of Non-Stop follows after the jump. 

Oscar Beat: Early Contenders Arise from Cannes Film Festival

by     Posted 99 days ago

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It seems like only yesterday we were closing out the lengthy and eventful awards season with my 2015 preview installment of Oscar Beat, but the next race is already starting to heat up.  The first awards barometer of each year arrives with the Cannes Film Festival, and the most recent fest is no different.  A number of potential contenders premiered on the Croisette over the past couple of weeks, and after all the standing ovations (and a fair amount of boos), some serious Oscar contenders have emerged.

Hit the jump as I take a look at the post-Cannes Oscar landscape, which includes contenders like Foxcatcher, Mr. TurnerMaps to the Stars, and even a possible Oscar nomination for Channing Tatum.

WINTER SLEEP Wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival; FOXCATCHER’s Bennett Miller Takes Best Director

by     Posted 101 days ago

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Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is the winner of the coveted Palme d’Or at the 64th XX Cannes Film Festival for his three-hour twenty-minute film Winter Sleep. The director had fierce competition… with better films – mainly Mr. Turner by Mike Leigh, Mommy by Xavier Dolan, Foxcatcher by Bennett Miller, The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones and the critically-acclaimed Still the Water by Naomi Kawase.

Alice Rohrwacher‘s Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) won the Grand Prize, while Bennett Miller takes home the best direction Palme for another favorite amongst critics, Foxcatcher. Julianne Moore won the best actress award for her performance as a C-list actress in David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars and Timothy Spall the best actor award for his unforgettable rendition in the title role in Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner.  Hit the jump for more, including the full list of winners.

Exarchopoulos Joins BASTILLE DAY; Shannon on Board for FREEHELD; Rourke and Wolff to Lead ASHBY; McAdams and Nyong’o Circling SOUTPAW

by     Posted 110 days ago

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With the Cannes Film Festival underway, plenty of wheeling and dealing is going down, so that means lots of casting news.  Briefly:

  • Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) is joining Idris Elba in James WatkinsBastille Day.
  • Michael Shannon will co-star with Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in Freeheld.
  • Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Silverman will star in Ashby.
  • Rachel McAdams and Lupita Nyong’o are circling the drama Southpaw.

Hit the jump for more on this casting news.

First 3 Clips from David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Ahead of its Cannes Film Festival premiere, three new Maps to the Stars clips have gone online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  These new clips feature most of the main characters, and they provide a sense of unease as well as Hollywood satire.  I don’t know if that will be the overall tone of the movie, but there’s definitely something quietly unnerving about these clips.

Hit the jump to check out the clips [they're slightly NSFW because of language].  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

New Images from David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 134 days ago

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With its premiere set for the Cannes Film Festival, new Maps to the Stars images have gone online.  David Cronenberg‘s latest film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother. The two trailers have been cryptic, and we’ll probably get a better sense of the movie after it plays at the festival.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

NSFW Trailer for David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 140 days ago

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A new Maps to the Stars trailer has gone online, and this one is a French, NSFW version (it’s NSFW because of language and nudity, not because it’s French).  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  Like yesterday’s trailer, I’m still not quite sure what to make of the movie.  There are clearly some darkly comic elements, but there’s also some serious intensity, and it’s sometimes difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.  I can’t wait to see this flick.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah GadonMaps to the Stars opens in France and Italy on May 21st, and will probably make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.  A U.S. release date has yet to be announced.

First Trailer for David Cronenberg’s MAPS TO THE STARS Starring Mia Wasikowska, Julianne Moore, and Robert Pattinson

by     Posted 141 days ago

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The first Maps to the Stars trailer has been released.  The film follows an archetypical Hollywood dynasty including a writer of self-help manuals, his wife who manages the career of their 13-year-old son, and their daughter, who was recently released from a sanatorium where she was treated for criminal pyromania.  The plot also includes Havana, an actress who wants to remake a movie that starred her now-deceased mother.  I’m not quite sure what to make of the footage in this promo trailer, and that’s part of what makes me so excited for this movie.  The other part is that this is a new David Cronenberg movie, and I’m eager to see anything he does.

Hit the jump to watch the Maps to the Stars trailer.  The film stars John Cusack, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams, and Sarah Gadon

TOP 5: Adam Driver Nears Deal to Play Villain in STAR WARS EPISODE 7, GODZILLA Trailer, NON-STOP, Cinemath Meets Oscar Beat, VERONICA MARS Set Visit

by     Posted 185 days ago

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Lying somewhat quietly between two of David Fincher‘s most beloved works is The Game (1997) starring Michael Douglas. Although it failed to reach the level of critical and box office success enjoyed by Seven (1995) or the cult classic status of Fight Club (1999), after watching its Criterion Collection DVD release this past week I came away thinking that it may actually be one of Fincher’s best directorial efforts. Working from a script by John Brancato and Michael Ferris (2/3 of the writing trio that helped bring you the 2004 Catwoman screenplay that you enjoyed so much), Fincher’s cold/muted color palette, striking visual style, and fantastic pacing help elevate the interesting, albeit occasionally absurd, screenplay to another level. The result is a haunting work that expertly sets up and tears down the callous, calculated world of corporate wealth by forcing Douglas’ Ebenezer Scrooge archetype to see the shell of a life he has outside of his work and possessions. The Game may go off the rails at times, but with Fincher’s steady hand guiding the story it does so in all the extremely dark, right ways.

My Fincher recommendation aside, I should mention that the Top 5 will take a quick week hiatus to allow me to travel next weekend. In the meantime, this week’s installment highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII casting news involving Adam Driver, the new trailer for director Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, a review and interviews for Non-Stop, worlds colliding as Brendan’s Cinemath meets Adam’s Oscar Beat, and our Veronica Mars set visit coverage. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

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