THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Quentin Tarantino recently pointed out that with most directors there’s a notable falling off of quality as they get older.  That their last three films are often their worst.  And it’s true that with most directors that’s the case.  Martin Scorsese is currently 71 years old, and is a notable exception.  The Wolf of Wall Street is one of his best films.  It joins such established masterpieces as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas in the upper echelon of his work, and it’s the best performance that Leonardo DiCaprio has ever given.  My review of The Wolf of Wall Street on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

Kyler Chandler to Star in Netflix Thriller Series from DAMAGES Creators

by     Posted 94 days ago

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Netflix recently ordered a psychological thriller from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Glenn Kessler that promises to explore “the wounds and emotional demons that lie at the core of a contemporary American family.”  The Live Feed reports Kyle Chandler has signed on to star as the responsible brother, a family man working in law enforcement.  The character is described as the opposite of the black-sheep brother who stirs up trouble and tension among the siblings when he returns to town.

Chandler is free because Showtime passed on his pilot The Vatican.  I have enjoyed Chandler popping up for a few scenes in some great movies since Friday Night Lights signed off in 2011, but I am sure I will also enjoy binge-watching Chandler dive back into a long-form character on Netflix.  I just enjoy Kyle Chandler.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and the Team Behind WOLF OF WALL STREET Discuss the Real-Life Wolf, On-Screen Drugs, and the State of Hollywood

by     Posted 121 days ago

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It isn’t easy getting a movie made, even for guys like Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Then again, considering the duo was out to make a movie about a notorious stockbroker with an insatiable sexual drive, obsessive lust for drugs and habit of indulging in highly debauch activities, it is somewhat understandable that studios were hesitant to bring Jordan Belfort’s story to screen.

The Wolf of Wall Street covers Belfort’s (DiCaprio) rise in the stockbroking realm in the 1990s. He walks in hungry for money, but strives to attain it honestly. However, the instant he gets a taste of life with the big bucks, it flips a switch and he’s got no problem throwing all of his morals out the window in exchange for enormous paychecks, an endless supply of Quaaludes and the ability to keep his firm on top, even if he has to scam his clients to make it happen. Hit the jump for more. 

Ridley Scott’s THE VATICAN Pilot Dead at Showtime

by     Posted 129 days ago

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It appears that Ridley Scott’s first foray into television as a director won’t actually be making it to television.  The filmmaker signed on to helm the pilot for the potential Showtime series The Vatican last year with Kyle Chandler in the lead role, but the network has decided not to move forward with the show.  Described as a contemporary thriller, the aim of the series was to explore spirituality, power, and politics against the backdrop of the modern-day political machinations within the Catholic Church.  THR reports that the expensive pilot did not turn out well, and difficulties with showrunner Paul Attanasio—including failure to meet deadlines and clashing with colleagues—led to his exit once they wrapped.  Hit the jump for more.

Peter Berg Says There Won’t Be a New FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Movie

by     Posted 132 days ago

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Friday Night Lights is sure to go down in history as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time, but fans have been clamoring for just a bit more since the NBC show’s series finale in 2011.  Executive producer Peter Berg and many FNL castmembers have been teasing the possibility of a Friday Night Lights movie for the past few years now.  Though the show initially began as a spinoff of Berg’s Billy Bob Thornton-fronted 2004 film of the same name, this proposed new film would follow Kyle Chandler’s Coach Taylor and Connie Britton’s Tami Taylor.

Steve recently had a chance to speak with Berg in anticipation of his upcoming feature directorial effort Lone Survivor, and during the course of their conversation he provided an update on the status of the Friday Night Lights movie by saying it’s most likely not going to happen.  Hit the jump for more.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill Strike Up a Dysfunctional Bromance in New Trailer for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

by     Posted 173 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new trailer for director Martin Scorsese‘s new film The Wolf of Wall Street, and it’s fantastic.  Based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, the stranger-than-fiction pic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a hard-partying, drug-addicted stockbroker who was indicted in 1998 for security fraud and money laundering and served a 22-month federal prison stretch.  Whereas the film’s first trailer was more of a tone piece (a batshit crazy tone, but a tone nonetheless), this more traditional trailer lays out the film’s plot as we follow Belfort’s rise to power and struggle to stay on top.  The highlight here is the chemistry between DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, which is brilliant.  The two play off of each other extremely well, and just when I thought it wasn’t possible for me to be more excited about Scorsese’s return to dark comedy territory, this trailer has ramped up my anticipation even more.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Kyle ChandlerMatthew McConaugheyJean DujardinMargot RobbieJon Bernthal, and Rob Reiner.  The Wolf of Wall Street opens on December 25th.

THE SPECTACULAR NOW Review

by     Posted 261 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  The Spectacular Now opens today in limited release.]

“Live in the moment” is a nice platitude and a crappy life philosophy. Vivacity is all well and good. We should appreciate the present, but we can’t live only for the present. We have to think about tomorrow because we’re probably going to be there. In his wonderful new film The Spectacular Now, director James Ponsoldt explore the live-for-the-moment mentality with an authentic and earnest look at high school emotions, anxiety about the future, and first love. Led by extraordinary performances from stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now is a thoroughly charming and surprisingly powerful coming-of-age story about the fear of looking ahead and the seductive safety of living in the present.

First Trailer and Poster for THE SPECTACULAR NOW Starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley

by     Posted 305 days ago

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The first trailer for director James Ponsoldt’s (Smashed) drama The Spectacular Now has been released online.  The film premiered to wildly positive reviews at Sundance earlier this year, and stars Miles Teller as a young high school student who strikes up a friendship with a fellow student (Shailene Woodley) as graduation and some big life decisions loom closer.  I loved the film when I saw it at Sundance, and you should definitely go see it.  Please take my word on this, because the trailer will take you through the entire movie.  If you can’t take my word, then go ahead and watch the trailer, but consider yourself warned.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Teller and Woodley from Sundance.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kyle ChandlerThe Spectacular Now opens on August 2nd.

First Trailer for Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Starring Leonardo DiCaprio

by     Posted 308 days ago

Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for director Martin Scorsese’s upcoming drama The Wolf of Wall Street.  Based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a hard-partying, drug-addicted stockbroker who was indicted in 1998 for security fraud and money laundering and served a 22-month federal prison stretch.  Sounds pretty dramatic and sobering, no?  Well, our first introduction to Scorsese’s picture highlights the fun and leaves out the feds (for the most part).  It’s refreshing to see DiCaprio having a good time and everyone seems to be in on the party in this picture.  Early indications paint The Wolf of Wall Street more in the vein of Pain and Gain than Oliver Stone’s 1987 film Wall Street, which comes as an unexpected but welcome surprise.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jonah HillKyle ChandlerMatthew McConaugheyJean DujardinMargot RobbieJon Bernthal, and Rob ReinerThe Wolf of Wall Street opens on November 15th.

ZERO DARK THIRTY Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 24 days ago

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The events of September 11, 2001 had a profound effect on the United States of America that forever changed us as a nation.  We live in a post-9/11 world, and it is impossible to go back to “the way things were before.”  Though it’s been a decade since the event, in the scope of things we’re still living in the immediate aftermath of the most devastating domestic terror attack in history.  Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow has now dealt with these effects in two films, as she previously focused on the events of the Iraq War with her 2008 Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker, and her brilliant 2012 drama Zero Dark Thirty masterfully chronicles the decade-long hunt for the man responsible for the 9/11 attacks: Osama Bin Laden.  The result of the latter is a taut procedural thriller that not only entertains, but also provides a difficult and introspective look at America’s place in the post-9/11 world.  Hit the jump for my review of Zero Dark Thirty on Blu-ray.

Kyle Chandler Cast As Lead in Showtime Pilot THE VATICAN

by     Posted 1 year, 64 days ago

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Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), who has seemingly been in every movie that came out in 2012, could be returning to the small screen this year for Showtime’s drama pilot The Vatican.  The series gained some extra interest this winter when it was announced Ridley Scott (Prometheus) would be directing the pilot, continuing a trend of film directors setting their sights newly on television (which is great news for TV fans).  The Vatican will (unlike the network’s other Vatican-related series, The Borgias) take place in modern times, and has been described as a “thriller” that will focus on both the politics and spiritual aspects of the modern day Catholic church.  Hit the jump for more on the potential series, as well as Chandler’s much-anticipated role.

Sundance 2013: THE SPECTACULAR NOW Review

by     Posted 1 year, 92 days ago

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“Live in the moment” is a nice platitude and a crappy life philosophy.  Vivacity is all well and good.  We should appreciate the present, but we can’t live only for the present.  We have to think about tomorrow because we’re probably going to be there.    In his wonderful new film The Spectacular Now, director James Ponsoldt explore the live-for-the-moment mentality with an authentic and earnest look at high school emotions, anxiety about the future, and first love.   Led by extraordinary performances from stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now is a thoroughly charming and surprisingly powerful coming-of-age story about the fear of looking ahead and the seductive safety of living in the present.

Final Trailer for ZERO DARK THIRTY Highlights Performance by Jessica Chastain

by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago

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Director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty has stirred up quite a lot of awards buzz lately, thanks in part to Jessica Chastain’s performance. Chastain is front and center in this final trailer for the picture. There’s plenty of new footage to go around in addition to the reveal of more side-plots, since we already know how the operation to kill Osama bin Laden worked out. The added musical accompaniment of a children’s choir singing Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” puts this thing over the top; I wish it was in theaters right now.

Written by Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty also stars Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton and James Gandolfini.  The film opens in limited release on December 19th, then expands nationwide on January 11th. Hit the jump to watch the powerful final trailer. 

Things Get Tense in Riveting First Clip from ZERO DARK THIRTY

by     Posted 1 year, 142 days ago

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Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, has been a major topic of discussion in the past few days following its first positive critics screenings, and today the first clip from the film has been released.  We’ve heard plenty of great things about Jessica Chastain’s lead performance as a CIA analyst whose obsession with capturing bin Laden led to his eventual assassination, and this clip puts her promising work front and center.  We see a tense conversation between Chastain’s character and a CIA head played by Kyle Chandler as the two argue over what’s more important: thwarting terrorist cells on American soil or going after bin Laden.  It’s promising stuff, and I can’t wait to see the full film once it hits theaters.

Hit the jump to watch the clip.  The film also stars Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, and James Gandolfini.  Zero Dark Thirty opens in limited release on December 19th, then expands nationwide on January 11th.

New Images from ZERO DARK THIRTY Featuring Jessica Chastain and Kyle Chandler

by     Posted 1 year, 151 days ago

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A batch of new images from director Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming drama Zero Dark Thirty has been released online.  The film documents the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the now-famous SEAL Team Six operation.  We only recently became aware that Jessica Chastain plays the lead in the film, a CIA operative spearheading the manhunt, and these new images feature the actress front and center.  We also get a look at Kyle Chandler, who I believe plays Chastain’s superior at the CIA.  It’s like Homeland, but with considerably less crazy.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Chris Pratt, Mark Strong, Scott Adkins, Joel Edgerton, and James GandolfiniZero Dark Thirty opens in limited release on December 19th, then expands nationwide on January 11th.

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