CAMP X-RAY Review

by     Posted 4 days ago

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[Note: This is a re-post of my Camp X-Ray review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The movie opens in limited release this weekend.]

In Camp X-Ray, writer/director Peter Sattler attempts to chronicle life at Guantanamo Bay through the eyes of a young female private, played by Kristen Stewart.  It’s touchy subject matter for sure, and though Guantanamo Bay has been no stranger to controversy, there are plenty of avenues worth exploring.  While the film features a compelling central relationship between the aforementioned young private and a foreign detainee, it too often veers into melodrama or goes for the easy cliché, making for somewhat of a mixed bag.  Read my full review after the jump.

CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 13 days ago

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During the Clouds of Sils Maria post-screening Q&A, Juliette Binoche pointed out, “Kristen [Stewart] just takes the text in the morning, she reads it two times and she knows it.”  Binoche on the other hand, noted that she requires far more prep time.   There are no biographical elements in Olivier Assayas’ latest, but there’s definitely some life imitating art (or art imitating life) going on and it adds yet another highly provocative notion to the already deftly layered and remarkably thoughtful feature.

Kristen Stewart Guards Guantanamo Bay “Detainees” in New CAMP X-RAY Trailer

by     Posted 15 days ago

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IFC Films has released a new Camp X-Ray trailer online.  The film stars Kristen Stewart as a young private stationed at Guantanamo Bay, and revolves around the complex relationship that develops between her and a foreign detainee, played by A Separation star Peyman Maadi.  I’m glad to see Stewart using Twilight and Snow White and the Huntsman as a springboard to do a collection of more indie material, which also includes Clouds of Sils Maria and Still AliceAdam saw Camp X-Ray at Sundance, and while he said it’s a bit of a mixed bag, he praised Stewart’s performance, and I’m interested to see what she did with this material.

Hit the jump to check out the new Camp X-Ray trailer.  The film also stars Lane Garrison, John Carrol Lynch, and Cory Michael SmithCamp X-Ray opens in theaters and VOD on October 17th.

First EQUALS Image Reveals Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult in Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Romance

by     Posted 25 days ago

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The first Equals image from director Drake Doremus’ (Like Crazy) upcoming sci-fi film has landed online.  The film stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult and takes place in a world without greed, poverty, violence, or emotion.  A new disease called Switched-On-Syndrome threatens to activate these dormant emotions, instilling love, depression, sensitivity, and fear into those affected, who are then swiftly sent away and never seen again.  Stewart and Hoult’s characters are caught in the middle of the dilemma, and as can be gleaned from this first image, the two strike up a forbidden relationship.  I’ve been incredibly curious about this film for some time now, and I was really impressed with Doremus’ Like Crazy follow-up Breathe In.  Moreover, I’m interested to see how Stewart adapts to Doremus’ heavily improvised style of directing.

Take a look at the first Equals image after the jump.  The film also stars Guy Pearce and Jacki Weaver and opens in theaters sometime next year.

Julianne Moore Surges into Best Actress Race as STILL ALICE Gets Oscar-Qualifying Release from Sony Pictures Classics

by     Posted 25 days ago

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One of the big surprises of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was a film called Still Alice.  Not many people I talked to saw it, but those that did were raving about Julianne Moore’s performance as a linguistics professor who begins showing the signs of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  The consensus was that if a studio picked up the independent film and set it for release before the year was out, they would have very good odds of landing a Best Actress Oscar for Moore.  And that is just what Sony Pictures Classics has done.  The studio confirmed today that it will release co-directors and co-writers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s adaptation of the Lisa Genova novel in New York and Los Angeles in December for a one-week awards qualifying run, officially entering Moore into this year’s Best Actress race.

Hit the jump for more on the Best Actress category as it stands now and Moore’s presumed frontrunner status for Still Alice.

The Films of David Fincher: PANIC ROOM

by     Posted 25 days ago

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

Although my evidence is purely anecdotal, I’ve found Panic Room to be the red-headed stepchild of Fincher’s filmography.  Its biggest sin seems to be its lack of thematic or narrative ambition, which is unfair because A) it’s a faulty appraisal of what the film is trying to achieve; and B) it dismisses the film’s technical mastery, and how the picture overcame a slew of unexpected problems.  If Alien 3 was an onslaught of insurmountable odds caused by studio meddling, Panic Room met unforeseen challenges and rose to the occasion every time to create what was, as intended, “a Friday night date movie.”

First CAMP X-RAY Poster, Plus New Posters for TRASH, HORNS, WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, and JESSABELLE

by     Posted 62 days ago

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A few new posters have made their way online.  Briefly:

  • Camp X-Ray – The first Camp X-Ray for the Guantanamo Bay-set drama makes no mistake about its selling point, as star Kristen Stewart graces almost the entire one-sheet.  The film opens in theaters and VOD on October 28th.  Read my review of the film here.
  • Trash – The first UK poster for director Stephen Daldry’s anticipated new film highlights its three unknown leads.  Also starring Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen, the pic doesn’t yet have a US release date, but could make a surprise appearance in this year’s awards season.
  • Horns – A couple of UK character posters for director Joe Hill’s darkly comic thriller shows the light (Juno Temple) and dark (Daniel Radcliffe) sides of the film, which opens in theaters and VOD on Halloween.
  • White Bird in a Blizzard – Star Shailene Woodley is front and center on the poster for director Gregg Araki’s sexually-charged drama.  The film will be available on VOD September 25th and opens in theaters on October 24th.
  • Jessabelle – The first poster Saw 3D director Kevin Greutert’s new horror film shows the dual nature of star Sarah Snook’s lead character.  The film opens in theaters on August 29th.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses for the aforementioned films.

CAMP X-RAY Trailer: Kristen Stewart Serves as a Guard at Guantanamo Bay

by     Posted 74 days ago

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IFC Films has released the first Camp X-Ray trailer for writer/director Peter Sattler’s Guantanamo Bay drama.  The film stars Kristen Stewart as a young private stationed at the aforementioned prison and revolves around the complex relationship that develops between her and a foreign detainee, played by A Separation star Peyman Maadi.  I caught the film at Sundance at found it to be a bit of a mixed bag.  It touches on the controversial issues surrounding the treatment of Guantanamo detainees and does a nice job of portraying them as human beings rather than faceless villains, and in particular the scenes between Stewart and Maadi are quite strong and compelling.  However, other aspects of the film tend to delve into melodrama territory and certain subplots coming off as superfluous and unfocused.  This is Sattler’s first feature and he certainly shows some promise, especially when it comes to intimate character-driven scenes, so I’m definitely eager to see how his career progresses going forward.

Hit the jump to watch the Camp X-Ray trailer and click here to read my full review.  The film also stars Lane Garrison, John Carrol Lynch, and Cory Michael SmithCamp X-Ray opens in theaters and VOD on October 28th.

Frank Darabont in Talks to Direct SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN 2; Kristen Stewart Not Expected to Return

by     Posted 117 days ago

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Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman 2 has found a director.  The follow-up was a curious prospect, given that the first film—a more grounded, ethereal reimagining of the Snow White story—was met with a ho-hum response from audiences, but a solid $396 million take at the global box office overall.  The fiim itself, though, became overshadowed by the behnd-the-scenes drama involving director Rupert Sanders and star Kristen Stewart.  Universal remained keen on continuing on with its franchise plans, but it was unclear which direction they would be taking.

Movement sped up recently as a shortlist of directors surfaced that included Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and Andres Muschietti (Mama), but it appears that it is veteran filmmaker Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) who will come away with the job.  However, in an interesting turn of events, Stewart may be left out of the follow-up entirely.  More after the jump.

First Trailer for Cannes Drama CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA Starring Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Ahead of the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the first Clouds of Sils Maria trailer has landed online for director Olivier Assayas’ (Summer Hours) seductive new drama.  Starring Juliette Binoche and Kirsten Stewart, the film revolves around an aging actress (Binoche) who is gearing up to star in a new production of the play that made her famous years ago, only this time she’ll be taking on the “older woman” role while a confident younger actress (Chloe Grace Moretz) tackles the lead.  The pic looks like a fantastic meditation on life, jealousy, and sexuality, and Binoche appears to turn in a very strong lead performance.  Stewart is impressive here as well, playing the loyal assistant to Binoche’s character.

Hit the jump to watch the Clouds of Sils Maria trailer.  The film will screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and IFC Films will release the pic stateside later this year.

New Images from CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA, BROOKLYN, and STANGERLAND

by     Posted 162 days ago

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The Cannes Film Festival begins later this week, which means new images are popping up online.  Among them are new images from Clouds of Sils Maria, the latest from Oliver Assayas (Summer Hours).  Per The Playlist, “the film follows a middle aged actress who decides to star in a new version of the play that made her famous years ago, but this time taking the older leading lady part. However, when she meets her co-star, a younger actress in the role that made her name, things take an interesting turn.”  The movie stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Johnny Flynn, and Brady CorbetClouds of Sils Maria will play on the last day of the Cannes Film Festival.

Hit the jump to check out the Clouds of Sils Maria images along with the first images from Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan and from Strangerland starring Nicole Kidman.  The 2014 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – 25th.

Kristen Stewart Joins STILL ALICE; David Oyelowo Joins A MOST VIOLENT YEAR; Ron Perlman and Chris Colfer Lend Voices to ROBODOG; and More

by     Posted 266 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher) will join A Most Violent Year, director J.C. Chandor’s new film which recently replaced Javier Bardem with Oscar Isaac starring opposite Jessica Chastain.
  • Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) will lead Galveston, an adaptation of the 2010 novel from Nic Pizzolatto to be directed by Janus Metz.
  • Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) has joined Still Alice along with Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns).  Based on the Lisa Genova novel of the same name, Still Alice stars Julianne Moore and is directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.
  • Chris Colfer (Glee) and Ron Perlman (Pacific Rim) will lend their voices to Robodog, Marza Animation Planet Inc.’s first original 3D CG animated film which will be directed by the Oscar-nominated Henry F. Anderson III (Stuart Little).

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Sundance 2014: CAMP X-RAY Review

by     Posted 276 days ago

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In Camp X-Ray, writer/director Peter Sattler attempts to chronicle life at Guantanamo Bay through the eyes of a young female private, played by Kristen Stewart.  It’s touchy subject matter for sure, and though Guantanamo Bay has been no stranger to controversy, there are plenty of avenues worth exploring.  While Camp X-Ray features a compelling central relationship between the aforementioned young private and a foreign detainee, it too often veers into melodrama or goes for the easy cliché, making for somewhat of a mixed bag.  Read my full review after the jump.

Sundance 2014: First Images from CAMP X-RAY, COLD IN JULY, GOD’S POCKET, and HAPPY CHRISTMAS

by     Posted 321 days ago

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The 2014 Sundance Film Festival just announced the films that will be screening in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.  We’ve got the first images and synopses from the following movies that will be playing in that category:

  • Camp X-Ray – Written and directed by Peter Sattler; starring Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, and John Carroll Lynch.
  • Cold in July – Directed by Jim Mickle; starring Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, and Wyatt Russell.
  • God’s Pocket – Directed and co-written by John Slattery; starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, and John Turturro.
  • Happy Christmas – Written and directed by Joe Swanberg; starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, and Joe Swanberg.

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

Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg Join Nima Nourizadeh’s Action Comedy AMERICAN ULTRA; Samuel L. Jackson Joins John Cusack in CELL

by     Posted 351 days ago

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Here are today’s latest casting announcements:

  • Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) and Jesse Eisenberg (The Double) will reunite to star in Project X-director Nima Nourizadeh’s new action comedy, American Ultra, scripted by Max Landis (Chronicle).
  • Stewart has also signed on to a small role in Tim Blake Nelson’s Anesthesia.
  • Samuel L. Jackson (The Samaritan) will reteam with John Cusack in Tod William’s Cell, a Stephen King adaptation.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

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