HALT AND CATCH FIRE Review: AMC Hopes That Building a Computer Will Make for High Drama

by     Posted 53 days ago

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With Breaking Bad having wrapped up, and Mad Men only seven episodes away from the conclusion of its run, AMC is surely hoping that Halt and Catch Fire will prove to be its next prestige drama.  It didn’t quite pan out with Rubicon or Low Winter Sun, but then again, those shows didn’t feature Lee Pace.  Halt and Catch Fire is stylish, and takes place in the 1980s, when the computer wars seemed to be over, and IBM was left wearing the crown.  But at the mid-level Cardiff Electric, Pace’s savvy and suave Joe MacMillan looks to make a name for himself by challenging that Goliath (the show is essentially a reworked story of the birth of Compaq).  Hit the jump for why “computers aren’t the thing.  They’re the thing that gets us to the thing.”

First WHAT IF Trailer; GOON Director Michael Dowse’s Romantic Comedy Stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan

by     Posted 55 days ago

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CBS Films has released the first What If trailer for director Michael Dowse‘s (Goon) romantic comedy.  Daniel Radcliffe plays a med school dropout who strikes up a friendship with an animator (Zoe Kazan).  They start to wonder if the chemistry between them outweighs her relationship with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  Adam Driver, who plays Radcliffe’s character’s friend in the picture, absolutely steals the first few seconds of this trailer, but there’s plenty to go around in the three minutes that follow.  While I understand it’s difficult to inform audiences about your film and set yourself apart in the world of rom-coms, this first look gives away a tad too much of the plot for my liking.  Charming nonetheless.

Hit the jump to watch the What If trailer and click here to read Matt’s review.  Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Oona Chaplin also star.  What If opens August 1st.

Watch the Premiere of AMC’s New Drama HALT AND CATCH FIRE Online Now

by     Posted 65 days ago

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The first half of the final season of AMC’s Mad Men comes to an abrupt close next Sunday, but fortunately the network has a promising new drama taking its place the following week.  Ahead of its official on-air premiere, AMC has made the entire first episode of Halt and Catch Fire available to watch online for free right now.  From executive producer/showrunner Jonathan Lisco (Southland), the series takes place in Texas in the early 1980s, during the rise of the PC era.  Lee Pace leads the cast as a former IBM executive who recruits an engineer (Scoot McNairy) and a volatile prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) to help him reverse engineer the new IBM PC.  The trailers have all looked great so far, and I’m really looking forward to checking out the first season.  If you want to get an early peek, now’s your chance.

Hit the jump to watch the premiere episode of Halt and Catch Fire.  The show also stars Kerry Bishe and Toby HussHalt and Catch Fire premieres on AMC Sunday, June 1st and 10pm ET/PT.

New Poster and Images from WHAT IF Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver

by     Posted 71 days ago

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CBS Films has released a new poster and collection of images from director Michael Dowse’s (Goon) excellent romantic comedy What If (formerly titled The F Word).  The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as a medical school dropout who strikes up a friendly relationship with a young animator (Zoe Kazan), but they start to wonder if the chemistry between them outweighs her relationship with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall)..  Though the premise may sound derivative, I fell pretty hard for the film when I saw it at TIFF.  It’s incredibly funny and surprisingly sweet, with Radclife and Kazan turning in a pair of hilariously charming performances.  Moreover, Adam Driver steals nearly every scene he’s in.  This is definitely one to keep on your radar when you start to feel the blockbuster fatigue this summer.

Hit the jump to check out the What If poster and images, click here to read Matt’s review, and check back on May 29th to watch the debut trailer.  The film also stars Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Oona ChaplinWhat If opens in theaters on August 1st.

First Trailer and Images for New AMC Drama Series HALT AND CATCH FIRE Starring Lee Pace

by     Posted 114 days ago

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During last night’s season finale of The Walking Dead, AMC took advantage of the likely massive viewership to tout one of its new upcoming series, Halt and Catch Fire.  From executive producer/showrunner Jonathan Lisco (Southland), the drama takes place in Texas in the early 1980s, during the rise of the PC era.  Lee Pace leads the cast as a former IBM executive who recruits an engineer (Scoot McNairy) and a volatile prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) to help him reverse engineer the new IBM PC.  It actually looks like it could be a swell companion to HBO’s new modern day comedy tech series Silicon Valley, but the period setting of Halt provides a hefty amount of promising drama to mine from the PC boom.  This trailer is a brief teaser so we don’t see much, but the cast and premise certainly make this show one to check out.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out some debut images.  The series also stars Kerry Bishe and Toby HussHalt and Catch Fire premieres on AMC Sunday, June 1st at 10pm ET/PT.

BREATHE IN Review

by     Posted 117 days ago

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

The family drama genre is one that’s very easy to get wrong, and it’s rare to find a film of this kind that is genuinely moving without feeling overly manipulative or sappy.  Writer/director Drake Doremus took the Sundance Film Festival by storm in 2011 with his young love drama Like Crazy, and he returns in 2013 with an intimate take on the family drama genre that marks a major step forward for the filmmaker.  In chronicling the story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New York family, Doremus’ Breathe In completely wraps the viewer up in the emotions of its characters and doesn’t let go for 98 captivating, intense, and ultimately heartbreaking minutes.

New Trailer and Poster for Drake Doremus’ BREATHE IN Starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones

by     Posted 194 days ago

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It’s been a bit of a wait for fans to see Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus’ follow-up feature, but Breathe In finally opens stateside in just a couple of months.  A new trailer and poster for the pic have been released online, and they both do a nice job of capturing the tone of the intimate family drama. Guy Pearce stars as a former rock musician and current music teacher whose life begins to unravel when he develops an attraction towards a young foreign exchange student (Felicity Jones) that is staying with his family for her final semester.  I was a big fan of the pic when I caught it at last year’s Sundance Film Festival (read my review here), and Pearce and Jones both give captivating, magnetic performances as the two leads.  The supporting cast is great as well, especially relative newcomer Mackenzie Davis.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and poster, and click here to read my extensive interview with Doremus about the pic.  The film also stars Amy Ryan and Kyle MacLachlanBreathe In opens in the U.S. on March 23rd.

16 New Images from THAT AWKWARD MOMENT Starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller

by     Posted 216 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new collection of images from director Tom Gormican’s upcoming R-rated comedy That Awkward Moment.  The film stars Zac EfronMichael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as three best friends who vow to maintain their single status for as long as possible when one of them is devastated by a recent breakup.  The plan gets derailed when they each fall in love and have to secretly work around their pledge to bachelorhood.  The film’s red-band trailer promises a pretty funny take on the “break-up movie” from a male point-of-view, and the pic’s charming lead cast certainly bodes well.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica LucasThat Awkward Moment opens January 31st.

Green-Band Trailer for THAT AWKWARD MOMENT Starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller

by     Posted 274 days ago

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FilmDistrict has released the green-band trailer for the romantic comedy, That Awkward Moment.  The film stars Zac EfronMichael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as three best friends who vow to maintain their single status for as long as possible when one of them is devastated by a recent breakup.  The plan gets derailed when they each fall in love and have to secretly work around their pledge to bachelorhood.  This new trailer is basically the red-band trailer but with all the raunchy moments removed. So if you haven’t seen the red-band trailer yet, but still want to get an idea of the movie without spoiling some of the funnier jokes, this trailer is for you.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica LucasThat Awkward Moment opens on January 31, 2014.

First Red-Band Trailer for THAT AWKWARD MOMENT Starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller

by     Posted 281 days ago

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Focus Features has released the first red-band trailer for director Tom Gormican’s R-rated comedy That Awkward Moment.  The film stars Zac EfronMichael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as three best friends who vow to maintain their single status for as long as possible when one of them is devastated by a recent breakup.  The plan gets derailed when they each fall in love and have to secretly work around their pledge to bachelorhood.  Despite the lame title, the pic actually looks to be a really funny take on the romantic comedy genre from a male perspective.  The main trio have excellent chemistry (Teller unsurprisingly steals this red-band trailer), and I’m looking forward to checking out the full film.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica LucasThat Awkward Moment opens on January 31, 2014.

TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Review

by     Posted 318 days ago

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Being a platonic friend sucks.  It just does.  No matter how much chemistry you have with a person, the relationship dynamic inevitably pushes you into a Hobson’s choice: take the less-than-ideal relationship you have or lose it entirely.  There’s not much middle ground unless the platonic relationship finally becomes romantic, and that tends to be in the realm of wish fulfillment, especially when the one you want to be with is in a healthy relationship with someone else.  The F Word takes on this familiar story, and while it does keep the wish fulfillment intact, director Michael Dowse obliterates the selfishness and single-sided nature of these stories to create a rich, full, and painfully funny ensemble piece that offers sweet sentiment with salty comedy.

UK Trailer and Images for Drake Doremus’ BREATHE IN Starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones

by     Posted 1 year, 26 days ago

The first UK trailer for Like Crazy writer/director Drake Doremus’ new film Breathe In has been released online.  The film stars Guy Pearce as a former rock musician and current music teacher whose life begins to unravel when he develops an attraction towards a young foreign exchange student (Felicity Jones) that is staying with his family for her final semester.  The pic was one of my favorites of this year’s Sundance Film Festival (read my full review here), and it boasts some absolutely devastating performances from the entire cast, including Amy Ryan as Pearce’s wife.  Doremus tackles the family drama genre with a powerful intimacy that makes the story’s events that much more impactful, and the always-reliable Pearce truly shines in the lead role.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and some images, and click here to read my extended interview with Doremus from Sundance.  The film also stars Mackenzie Davis and Kyle MacLachlanBreathe In opens in the UK on July 19th and will be released in the US later this year.

Ray Liotta Joins THE MUPPETS Sequel; Nicholas Braun and Sundance Breakout Mackenzie Davis to Lead Horror-Comedy KITCHEN SINK

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this evening.  First up, Ray Liotta is the latest actor to join the human cast of The Muppets sequelRicky Gervais is set as the lead with Ty Burrell and Tina Fey poised to co-star, and Variety now reports that Liotta is joining the sequel in an unspecified role.  This isn’t Liotta’s first time with The Muppets, as he also appeared in 1999’s Muppets from Space.  The Europe-set film will be directed by James Bobin and production is scheduled to begin in London this month.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink.

Sundance 2013: BREATHE IN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 184 days ago

breathe-in-felicity-jones-guy-pearce-slice

The family drama genre is one that’s very easy to get wrong, and it’s rare to find a film of this kind that is genuinely moving without feeling overly manipulative or sappy.  Writer/director Drake Doremus took the Sundance Film Festival by storm in 2011 with his young love drama Like Crazy, and he returns in 2013 with an intimate take on the family drama genre that marks a major step forward for the filmmaker.  In chronicling the story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New York family, Doremus’ Breathe In completely wraps the viewer up in the emotions of its characters and doesn’t let go for 98 captivating, intense, and ultimately heartbreaking minutes.

Heather Graham Boards Indie Comedy FEED THE DOG; Rafe Spall, Megan Park and Mackenzie Davis Join Daniel Radcliffe in THE F WORD

by     Posted 1 year, 339 days ago

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Here are a couple of casting notes in brief:

  • Heather Graham (The Hangover) is set to star opposite Selena Gomez in the indie comedy Feed the Dog, formerly titled Parental Guidance Suggested.
  • Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) will join Daniel Radcliffe in The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse (Goon).

Hit the jump for details on each picture.

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