Laura Dern and Judd Apatow Putting Together a Female Football Comedy for Universal

by     Posted 14 days ago

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A female football movie?  Laura Dern and Judd Apatow caught got my attention with that!  It’s being reported that Dern came up with an idea for a comedy about obsessive female football fans and that Apatow is helping her develop it for Universal.  Hamlet 2 and Hot Rod scribe Pam Brady is penning the script, but other than that, we don’t know much more about the project.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Dern winds up scoring a role in the film, but right now she’s only set to produce alongside Barry Mendel and Apatow on behalf of Apatow Productions.  Hit the jump for more.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Reese Witherspoon Enters Frustratingly Thin Best Actress Race with WILD

by     Posted 67 days ago

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While the Toronto International Film Festival is a regular launching pad for awards season fare, this year’s fest lacked any one big breakout film like last year’s 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.  TIFF 2014, instead, was all about the performances.  I’ve already written about the awards prospects of the incredible work in Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything, not to mention a potential dark horse in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler, and now it’s time to discuss Reese Witherspoon’s raw, naked lead performance in director Jean-Marc Vallée’s pleasantly surprising and refreshing drama Wild.

You can read my full review of the film right here, but in this TIFF 2014 edition of Oscar Beat, I consider Witherspoon’s chances in the frustratingly weak Best Actress race.  Read on after the jump.

99 HOMES Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 67 days ago

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In my experience, home ownership is viewed as a right of passage in America.  We’ve heard of “the lawn with the white picket fence”, but no one celebrates living in the three-room apartment.  Our homes aren’t just where we keep our stuff or rest our heads.  They are part of our identity and more importantly, our family’s identity.  In the wake of the 2008 economic crash, that identity was ripped away as millions of homes were put into foreclosure.  In a country where we don’t build anything anymore, and instead just move things around, Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes is a heart-wrenching look at the foreclosure crisis, and with the help of incredible performances from Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, depicts how vultures are feasting in 21st century America.

WILD Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 69 days ago

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Perseverance is easier said than done.  We all understand that if we can just get through this, push a little harder, fight through the pain, then we will more than likely come out better off on the other side.  But it is so easy to stop trying.  Laze seems to be some kind of natural instinct that takes over and tells us to just give up and accept our life as it is.  Director Jean-Marc Vallée follows up last year’s Dallas Buyers Club with a much more solitary drama in Wild, which recounts author Cheryl Strayed’s three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace.  That’s a trite enough premise, but through Vallée’s confident, dynamic direction and a truly fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon, Wild turns out to be an honest, surprising, and unabashedly feminist chronicle of determination and rebirth. 

WILD Trailer: Reese Witherspoon Sets out on a Solitary Hike

by     Posted 131 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer for WildDallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir.  Reese Witherspoon takes on the role of Strayed in the pic, as she decides to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Coast Trail alone after the dissolution of her marriage and death of her mother.  There’s plenty more on display here than scrapbook moments from Strayed’s journey of self-discovery, as the trailer cuts between the challenges she faces on her hike and pivotal decisions she made in the past.  One imagines the feature film will follow a similar style, paralleling her trials and tribulations during both her metaphorical journey and her literal one. However Vallée handles the film’s framework, the inspiring story is almost certain to spark some awards talk.

Hit the jump to watch the Wild trailer.  The film also stars Laura Dern, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffman, Thomas Sadoski, and Kevin RankinWild opens in theaters on December 5th.

TOP 5: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Josh Trank Lands STAR WARS Spinoff Film, EDGE OF TOMORROW, DOCTOR STRANGE, JUPITER ASCENDING Delayed

by     Posted 164 days ago

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The Fault in Our Stars will break you. Don’t think for a second that it won’t. If you come out of it saying otherwise then there are only two explanations: you’re lying or you’re a sociopath. Either way, I’m not sure we can be friends. Led by terrific lead turns by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (and solid supporting efforts by Laura Dern and Nat Wolff), director Josh Boone‘s adaptation of the John Green novel disguises a lesson in how much of a cold hard bitch the universe can be as a romantic teen drama. Every sweet moment that Hazel and Gus share (of which there are plenty) has an all-consuming gray cloud overhead. Even the catharsis that comes from pelting your ex’s car with eggs only lasts as long as the inevitability of your own mortality will allow. For all of its borderline grief-inducing moments, The Fault in Our Stars is actually a solid entry in the genre that handles its subject honestly and respectfully. It deserves praise for this even if it does depress the hell out of us along the way.

In addition to more on The Fault in Our Stars, this week’s Top 5 also includes Chronicle director Josh Trank landing a Star Wars spinoff film, Matt’s Edge of Tomorrow review, Scott Derrickson getting the Doctor Strange gig as well as casting rumors surrounding the pic, and Warner Bros. pushing Jupiter Ascending back from next month to February 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Sam Trammell and Laura Dern Talk THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Preparing for the Role, the First Fan Screening, and More

by     Posted 164 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars.  The adaptation of the John Green novel centers on the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  While I wasn’t sure what to expect about the film going in, I attended a screening filled with press and die-hard fans and it was a powerful experience.  Not only did I share in the many tears that flowed from the entire audience, I started to understand why so many people are in love with the book and the characters.  Unlike a sappy, cliche portrait of “cancer love”, the movie is a realistic portrayal of young romance between two people with a unique outlook on life.  It’s a great film with fantastic performances.  The Fault in Our Stars also stars Willem DafoeNat WolffLaura DernSam TrammellMike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey.  For more on the film, watch the extended trailer, 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, or read Matt’s review.

At the New York City press junket, I landed an exclusive video interview with Sam Trammell and Laura Dern (they play Woodley’s parents).  They talked about their experiences making the movie, the first fan screening, how they prepared for the role, the book’s popularity, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Watch Almost 20 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 198 days ago

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With director Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars arriving in theaters June 6th, we’ve been provided with almost twenty minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.  The adaptation of the John Green novel centers on the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  The Fault in Our Stars also stars Willem DafoeNat WolffLaura DernSam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey.  For more on the film, watch the extended trailer.

I attended the first screening for fans last night in New York City and I can honestly say it was an powerful experience.  Not only did I share in the many tears that flowed from the entire audience, but I started to understand why so many people are in love with the book and the characters.  Unlike a sappy, saccharine portrait of “cancer love”, the movie is a realistic portrayal of young romance between two people with a unique outlook on life.  It’s a great film with fantastic performances, and if the fan reaction last night is any indication, it’s going to be a big hit at the box office.  Hit the jump to check out the behind-the-scenes footage.

New Trailer for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Featuring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 204 days ago

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Fox 2000 has released a new The Fault in Our Stars trailer for director Josh Boone’s (Stuck in Love) adaptation of the bestselling John Green novel of the same name.  The story revolves around the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  This longer trailer provides a better look at the central relationship from the film, and it’s further proof that Boone and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer) have absolutely nailed the sharply comedic tone of Green’s novel.  Woodley still looks like she’s knocked this role out of the park, and I’m definitely encouraged by her chemistry with Elgort.  Also, this trailer confirms that I’m gonna have to work hard not to cry throughout the entire movie.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Fault in Our Stars trailer.  The film also stars Willem DafoeNat WolffLaura DernSam TrammellMike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey.  The Fault in Our Stars opens June 6th.

First Trailer for WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL Starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, and Alexander Ludwig

by     Posted 222 days ago

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Apparently it’s the night for inspirational movie trailers, as Sony Pictures has now released the first trailer for director Thomas Carter’s (Coach Carter) sports drama When the Game Stands Tall.  The film tells the true story of the longest winning streak for any American sport, held by the football team of De La Salle High School.  However, instead of focusing on their rise to glory, When the Game Stands Tall revolves around what happened when that 151-game streak was broken and how the fallout affected the team, coaches, and town.  It looks to be quite similar in tone and focus to Friday Night Lights, with an emphasis on the lives of the players and not just the game itself.

Hit the jump to watch the debut When the Game Stands Tall trailer.  The film stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis, Alexander Ludwig, Clancy Brown, and Laura DernWhen the Game Stands Tall opens in theaters August 22nd.

New Featurette and Images for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 239 days ago

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Actors Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort can currently be seen in theaters playing brother and sister in the futuristic thriller Divergent, but this summer the two play love interests in the highly anticipated adaptation The Fault in Our Stars.  Based on the swell John Green novel of the same name, the story revolves around two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  Today, 20th Century Fox has released a new featurette and a few new images from the pic, giving fans a brief behind-the-scenes look at director Josh Boone’s adaptation.  The character-centric story is a refreshing reprieve from the glut of genre-tinged studio fare, and as a fan of the book, I don’t see how Woodley doesn’t knock this role out of the park.  The first trailer, at least, is incredibly promising.

Hit the jump to check out the featurette and images.  The film also stars Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, Emily Peachey, and Willem DafoeThe Fault in Our Stars opens June 6th.

First Trailer and Images for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 293 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for The Fault in Our StarsJosh Boone (Stuck in Love) directed the adaptation of the John Green novel about the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  As a big fan of the book I’ve been looking forward to this movie for some time, and I’m incredibly encouraged by this trailer.  I can easily see Woodley knocking this role out of the park, and her chemistry with Elgort seems spot on as the central romantic duo.  Green’s novel is not a sappy, saccharine portrait of “cancer love”; it’s a realistic and sharp portrayal of a relationship between two young adults with a unique outlook on life.  Judging by this first trailer, the movie absolutely nails that tone.

Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey also star.  The Fault in Our Stars opens June 6th.  Watch the trailer after the break. [Update: We've also added a handful of first-look images from the film after the jump.]

Laura Dern and Nat Wolff Join FAULT IN OUR STARS, Dave Franco Set for BUSINESS TRIP, Imogen Poots Replaces Brie Larson in Showbiz Comedy

by     Posted 1 year, 118 days ago

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We’ve got a number of new castings to report on today.  Briefly:

  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) and Nat Wolff (Admission) have joined Shailene Woodley in the cast of director Josh Boone’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars.
  • Dave Franco will star opposite Vince Vaughn in the comedy Business Trip.
  • Imogen Poots (Fright Night) has replaced Brie Larson (21 Jump Street) in an untitled showbiz comedy produced by Wes Anderson, previously titled Squirrels to the Nuts.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

Eddie Redmayne to Play Stephen Hawking in THEORY OF EVERYTHING; Tracey Ullman Goes INTO THE WOODS; Laura Dern Joins STRINGS

by     Posted 1 year, 159 days ago

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Casting for a notable biopic, a Disney fairy tale, and an indie music drama:

  • Eddie Redmayne is close to landing the lead role in the Stephen Hawking biopic Theory of Everything, which focuses on the relationship bewteen Hawking and his wife.
  • Tracey Ullman is in negotiations to join Disney’s Into the Woods, an adaptation of the Broadway musical in which Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emily Blunt will play classic fairy tale characters.
  • Laura Dern has joins Josh Duhamel, Maria Bello, Lucas Till, and Tom Everett Scott in Strings, the feature directorial debut of Daniel Duran.

More on each project after the jump.

First Trailer for JURASSIC PARK 3D

by     Posted 2 years, 9 days ago

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The first trailer for the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 classic Jurassic Park has been released.  The trailer makes great, playful use of John Williams‘ iconic score and drums up a major dose of nostalgia.  Whether 3D is your thing or not, it’s gonna be incredibly hard to pass up seeing Jurassic Park on the big screen again once this thing returns to theaters.  Even though it’s been 20 years, the effects actually look like they hold up pretty well (thank you, Stan Winston), and Jeff Goldblum‘s dry delivery remains spot-on.  Hold on to your butts.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film stars Sam NeillRichard AttenboroughLaura DernJoseph MazzelloAriana RichardsWayne Knight, and Samuel L. Jackson.  Jurassic Park 3D hits theaters on April 5th, 2013.

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