Here’s a brief look at new Blu-rays hitting shelves this week:
Hit the jump for special features details for the aforementioned new releases.
A new U.S. trailer and some images have been made available for Stephen Frears’ Lay the Favorite. While it’s a bit better than the previously released trailer for the film, the comedic beats still seem to be missing their marks. The film stars Rebecca Hall (The Town) as Beth, a Florida stripper who leaves her job to become a Vegas cocktail waitress until professional sports gambler Dink (Bruce Willis) gives her a better option, placing wagers all over town in an attempt to beat the system. The plot thickens (or falls apart completely) when Beth is fired, tries to find work with a New York bookie and lands herself in trouble with the law.
Lay the Favorite also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vince Vaughn, Joshua Jackson and Laura Prepon and opens in theaters December 7th. Hit the jump to watch the trailer and see some new images from the film.
This week on The Collision, we continue to talk about the reasons behind G.I. Joe: Retaliation‘s delay, we cheer the first trailer for Les Miserables, and we jeer the first trailer for the atrocious Lay the Favorite. We then discuss last weekend’s major new release, Snow White and the Huntsman.
Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for last week’s episode, and click here to add the podcast to your RSS. Be sure to follow The Collision on Twitter for updates, and you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg, @AdamChitwood, and @DrClawMD (Dave Trumbore). Hit the jump to check out the trailers for this week’s recommendations.
The first UK trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (High Fidelity) new film Lay the Favorite has gone online. My mind had blanked on the plot before I watched this trailer, and after it was over I was even more confused as to what the film is about. Moreover, the normally solid Rebecca Hall puts an incredibly grating American voice that I’m assuming doesn’t get less annoying during the film’s two-hour duration. The pic premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to wildly negative reviews (you can read Matt’s review here), which is surprising given the talent involved. Hall plays a woman who works for Dink, a high-stakes gambler (Bruce Willis), and takes to the job like a natural, but she begins to fall for Dink, much to the chagrin of Dink’s wife, Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones).
I was shocked to see such negative reviews for the film out of Sundance, but after watching this trailer it’s not hard to imagine the pic being bad. Hit the jump to judge for yourself.
Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day. Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good. For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar. Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact. Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those. But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.
Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter). While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.
Sundance is over, which means it’s time to start looking forward to the eventual theatrical releases of the lucky selections. Three more movies landed a distribution deal over the weekend:
- Magnolia picked up Nobody Walks, the ensemble drama led by John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt, Justin Kirk, India Ennenga, and Dylan McDermott.
- Participant Media and AFFRM jointly acquired Middle of Nowhere, an “emotional drama chronicling a woman’s (Emayatzy E. Corinealdi) separation from her incarcerated husband (Omari Hardwick) and her journey to maintain her marriage and her identity.”
- The Weinstein Co. bought Lay the Favorite, a comedy set in the world of high-stakes gambling starring Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Laura Prepon, Rebecca Hall and Vince Vaughn.
Look to the press releases after the break for details on each acquisition.
I have some theories regarding Lay the Favorite. I believe screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis was partly paying attention to the script, partly paying attention to ESPN, and mostly paying attention to soft-core porn. The talented actress Rebecca Hall must have had her brain switched with adult film star Katie Morgan. And the director Stephen Frears can’t be the same one who directed High Fidelity, The Queen, and The Grifters. There must be a different director who is also named Stephen Frears, but who is also far less talented. These theories are the only way to explain why Lay the Favorite is so freaking terrible.
One of my must-see films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is Stephen Frears‘ adaptation of Lay the Favorite starring Rebecca Hall and Bruce Willis. Hall plays a woman who works for Dink, a high-stakes gambler (Willis), and takes to the job like a natural, but she begins to fall for Dink, much to the chagrin of Dink’s wife, Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The first clip from the film shows Hall and Willis singing along to The Hollies’ creepy song “The Air That I Breathe” (I know it’s not meant to be creepy, but it just is), driving along the Las Vegas strip, and getting chummy.
Hit the jump for the clip. The movie reunites Frears’ with his High Fidelity screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis, and co-stars Joshua Jackson, Vince Vaughn, Laura Prepon, and Corbin Bernsen. Lay the Favorite premieres at Sundance on the 21st and I’ll be there to review it. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
Today, the 2012 Sundance Film Festival announced their premieres line-up. Along with the announcement comes a boat load of images from the films set to be showcased at the fest. After the jump we’ve got images and syonpses from Celeste and Jesse Forever (starring Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, and Elijah Wood), Lay the Favorite (starring Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones), GOATS (starring David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, and Ty Burrell), and Shadow Dancer (starring Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson, and Clive Owen).
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
Last week, we learned what the 2012 Sundance Film Festival had lined-up in its In-Competition categories, plus the out-of-competition Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=>, and New Frontier selections. But today Sundance has announced the heavy-hitters with the “Premieres” category. That’s not to say these are the best films or the ones that will get the biggest buzz. But they’re the ones that will pack the gigantic Eccles Theater bright and early every morning.
The Premieres category will include Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer, Rodrigo Cortes‘ Red Lights, Stephen Frears‘ Lay the Favorite, James Marsh‘s Shadow Dancer, Ice-T‘s Something from Nothing: The Art of Wrap, and the Peter Jackson-produced West Memphis Three documentary, West of Memphis. There’s plenty more than these few films and you can check out the entire line-up after the jump. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
We’ve received a press release announcing that Stephen Frears’ adaptation of the Beth Raymer’s memoir Lay the Favorite wrapped principal photography today. The release includes the first official synopsis of the film and there are (unsurprisingly) some variations from the book. While the book covers Raymer’s rise through the ranks of sports gambling, the movie apparently adds romantic entanglements and drama that, going by the synopsis, seem awfully forced. But with Frears at the helm and a cast that features Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Joshua Jackson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, I’m still interested in seeing this flick.
Hit the jump for the full synopsis.
And the casting stories keep on coming. 14-year-old Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) is in early negotiations to join Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Variety reports that he’s being eyed for the role of Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin. Hailee Steinfeld is attached to star as Juliet, with Ed Westwick poised to play Tybalt and Holly Hunter set to take on the role of The Nurse. Italian director Carlei (Flight of the Innocent) will helm from a script by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park). The key roles of Romeo and Mercutio have yet to be cast, but production is set to begin this summer in Italy.
Additionally, Corbin Bernsen has joined the cast of the indie gambling comedy Lay the Favorite. Based on the memoir of Beth Raymer, the flick stars Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The story centers on Raymer’s rise from a Las Vegas cocktail waitress to one of the world’s best gamblers. Variety reports that Bernsen will play Hall’s father in the flick. Stephen Frears (High Fidelity) is directing from a script by D.V. De Vincentis. I’m a big fan of Frears, and the cast he’s turning out is pretty impressive. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
Vince Vaughn will join Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the gambling drama Lay the Favorite. The film is based on the memoir of Beth Raymer, played by Hall in the biopic. Once a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, Raymer became an elite professional gambler: “After falling in love, Raymer soon begins to re-evaluate her life and the profession she has chosen.” Deadline reports Vaughn will play Rosie, a Long Island bookie who employed Raymer. Willis is Dink Heimowitz, Raymer’s mentor who teaches her the finer points of betting on sports. Zeta-Jones will play Dink’s wife.
Stephen Frears will direct from a script by D.V. De Vincentis. I’m always interested in the latest from Frears, and I like the collection of eclectic gathering around Lay the Favorite. Read a synopsis of Raymer’s memoir after the jump.
We have a few pieces of casting news to report this afternoon. First up, Luke Evans and Kristin Scott Thomas have joined Nicolas Winding Refn’s independent drama Only God Forgives. There’s no word yet on which roles the Evans or Thomas will play, but according to Cineuropa [via The Playlist], the plot centers “on a Thai police lieutenant whose rivalry with a gangster sees the two settling their differences in a Thai boxing match.” International rights to the film will be sold later this month at Cannes.
Refn recently directed the Ryan Gosling thriller Drive—which will premiere at Cannes and open in the U.S. on September 16th—and he plans to shoot Only God Forgives before moving on to direct a remake of Logan’s Run which will also star Gosling. Presumably, shooting on Only God Forgives would take place this summer and then Refn and Gosling would shoot Logan’s Run in the late fall or early winter in order to accommodate Gosling’s shooting schedule on Gangster Squad. Hit the jump for casting news regarding Armie Hammer and Frank Grillo.
Joshua Jackson (Fringe) is in talks to star opposite Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall in Lay the Favorite, based on the life of Beth Raymer. Once a Las Vegas cocktail waitress, Raymer became an elite professional gambler: “After falling in love, Raymer soon begins to re-evaluate her life and the profession she has chosen.” Hall will portray Raymer — Willis will play her gambling mentor Dink Heimowitz. Last we checked, Catherine Zeta-Jones was in talks to play Willis’ wife in the film. Variety doesn’t specify in their report, but my instinct says Jackson is up for the love interest. Lay the Favorite reunites director Stephen Frears (Tamara Drewe) with his High Fidelity screenwriter D.V. DeVincentis.
Hit the jump for more casting news, wherein Victoria Jackson, James Frecheville, and Craig Roberts join The First Time, and Michael Peña enters negotiations for End of Watch.