FRANK Review

by     Posted 96 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Frank opens today in limited release.]

“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scoot McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender). Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off. Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own. It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.

Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lenny Abrahamson and Jon Ronson Talk FRANK, Frank Sidebottom, Masks and More

by     Posted 97 days ago

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When you cast Michael Fassbender as your title character, the last thing you’d probably think to do is put a giant mask over his head so you can’t see his face throughout the film, but that’s exactly what director Lenny Abrahamson chose to do in his latest, Frank, and it pays off quite well.  Domhnall Gleeson plays Jon, a guy who takes a risk and follows his dream of becoming a musician only to wind up in a remote cabin with an eccentric band called the Soronprfbs, led by a guy who sings with a mask on and never takes it off – ever.

With Frank making its way into theaters for an April 15th limited release, Abrahamson, Fassbender, Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and writer Jon Ronson all sat down for a press conference to discuss the unusual music featured in the film, performing with that head on, the connection to Frank Sidebottom and more.  Check it out after the jump.

Watch Michael Fassbender Sing as FRANK on The Colbert Report

by     Posted 104 days ago

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How am I just now hearing about Frank?  This movie looks friggin’ amazing, especially if you’ve ever done time in a band.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom with Fassbender sporting an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal who joined Fassbender and Gleeson on The Colbert Report last night to perform as the Soronprfbs (the band depicted in the film).  Of course, Fassbender wears the mask throughout the entirety of this performance of “I Love You All.” 

Hit the jump to check out Fassbender and the rest of the cast perform the song on The Colbert Report.  You should also see the film’s trailer and read Matt’s review.  Frank opens in limited release on August 15th and this song is available on iTunes

New Trailer and Poster for FRANK Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, and Michael Fassbender

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Magnolia has released a new Frank trailer and poster.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom with Fassbender sporting an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  I enjoyed the film when I saw it at Sundance, and while it makes sense that the trailer would focus on the weirdness of the band and Frank’s behavior, the movie is really about Gleeson’s character and his desperation to find acclaim despite a dearth of talent.

Hit the jump to check out the Frank trailer and poster.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairyFrank opens in limited release on August 15th.

First Trailer for Offbeat Sundance Comedy FRANK Starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, and Maggie Gyllenhaal

by     Posted 258 days ago

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The first trailer for director Lenny Abrahamson’s dark comedy Frank has been released online.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson as an aspiring musician who joins an eccentric band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, played by Michael Fassbender.  The story is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, as Fassbender sports an odd, large mask for the entirety of the film.  I caught the pic at Sundance and it’s incredibly weird, very funny, and oddly sweet.  Fassbender is excellent as the titular Frank, and Gleeson shines once again as the straight man opposite a bounty of strange characters.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s full review.  The film also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairyFrank opens in the U.K. on May 9th and in the U.S. later this year.

Sundance 2014: FRANK Review

by     Posted 305 days ago

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“He’s the sanest person I’ve ever met,” band manager Don (Scott McNairy) tells keyboardist Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) about their lead singer and songwriter, Frank (Michael Fassbender).  Frank wears a giant fake head that he never takes off.  Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank is a funny, warm, thoughtful story about crafting an artistic identity, and needing to seize on to someone else’s expression when you don’t have one of your own.  It also provides an insightful look at the fault in trying to forge an identity based on the acceptance of others instead of embracing one’s own oddities and shortcomings even if the world at large sees them as “insane”.

Sundance 2014: New Images from THE RAID 2, THEY CAME TOGETHER, FRANK, and LAGGIES

by     Posted 345 days ago

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The Premieres lineup for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival was just unveiled, and along with it a collection of first look images and synopses for said films are now online.  Briefly:

  • The Raid 2 – Directed by Gareth Evans; starring Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo, and Alex Abbad.
  • They Came Together – Directed by David Wain; starring Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Ed Helms, Cobie Smulders, Max Greenfield, and Christopher Meloni.
  • Frank – Directed by Lenny Abrahamson; starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Scoot McNairy.
  • Laggies – Directed by Lynn Shelton; starring Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ellie Kemper, Jeff Garlin, and Mark Webber.

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

WHITE HOUSE DOWN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 356 days ago

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This year saw two films attempt to take down the White House, with the most recent being disaster master Roland Emmerich’s White House Down.  Although he famously destroyed the entire Presidential residence in one blow in 1996′s Independence Day, Emmerich treats the title structure with much more reverence and care this time around.  (Don’t worry, he still beats the hell out of it.)  Equally bloodied and bruised are White House Down‘s heroic duo, played by Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, who must take down the threat inside the Oval Office while rescuing the hostages trapped inside.  It’s one of Emmerich’s most entertaining films to date, and now that it’s available on Blu-ray, you can check it out for yourself in your very own home.  Hit the jump for my review.

TOP 5: WHITE HOUSE DOWN, THE CONJURING Set Visit, THE HEAT, Jim Carrey Declines to Promote KICK-ASS 2, 2013 Saturn Awards Interviews

by     Posted 1 year, 143 days ago

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Well said, Matt Goldberg. In the opening sentences of his review of The Heat (linked after the jump), our Managing Editor/resident film reviewer dropped some serious truth regarding female lead films, their often unfair characterization as “the female [insert hit movie here]“, and how ridiculous it is that it has taken this long to get our better halves at the forefront of a genre that has been around for years. I say this not because I feel like Matt needs my approval and/or defense, but because it’s thoughtful writing like this that makes me both a proud contributor and eternal fan of the site.

All high-fiving aside, this week’s Top 5 includes White House Down interviews with Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, and more, Dave’s The Conjuring set visit recap, The Heat interviews with Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy, and director Paul Feig, Jim Carrey‘s announcement that he won’t be promoting Kick-Ass 2, and interviews from the 2013 Saturn Awards red carpet with the likes of Joss Whedon and Shane Black. A brief recap and link to each makes its home after the jump.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 145 days ago

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Making a silly, fun action movie is a difficult balance.  If the film takes itself too seriously in order to make the stakes feel more immediate, then the audience can become uncomfortable (e.g. Olympus Has Fallen).  If the film is constantly winking at the audience, then they can grow tired with a movie that’s trying way too hard to be ironic (e.g. Snakes on a Plane).  Director Roland Emmerich has rarely had trouble striking the right balance.  Emmerich knows to pepper the movie with snappy, funny dialogue, have the good-hearted characters take their situation seriously, and never be afraid to go melodramatic, over the top, and do so in a way that’s unashamed rather than shameless.  White House Down is Emmerich at his best, and delivers exactly the movie we’ve come to expect from the blockbuster director.

Maggie Gyllenhaal Talks WHITE HOUSE DOWN, the Great Advice Jamie Foxx Told Her, Making THE DARK KNIGHT, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 145 days ago

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With director Roland Emmerich’s latest actioner White House Down opening this weekend, Sony held a big press junket across the street from the White House.  While I’ve done a lot of interviews, it was incredibly cool to be talking to the cast and Emmerich with the President’s home right in front of us.  If you’ve missed all the trailers, the film follows a rejected Secret Service applicant (Channing Tatum) who must save the President (Jamie Foxx) when a heavily-armed paramilitary group takes over the White House.  White House Down also stars Maggie GyllenhaalJames Woods, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Jake Weber, Lance Reddick, and Jason Clarke.

During my interview with Gyllenhaal she talked about whether it was a fun shoot, if she wanted to be involved in more of the action (which leads to a great story about making The Dark Knight), what advice Jamie Foxx told her, deleted scenes, what she learned about the White House, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Four-Minute Trailer for WHITE HOUSE DOWN Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for Roland Emmerich’s new action film, White House Down.  The story follows a rejected Secret Service applicant (Channing Tatum) who must save the President (Jamie Foxx) when a heavily-armed paramilitary group takes over the White House.  I haven’t watched this four-minute trailer because the previous trailer already sold me on the movie.  It looks like loads of fun by setting up one of most unlikely buddy-cop-esque partnerships, and then blowing up Washington, but not in an uncomfortable, far-too-serious, Olympus Has Fallen way.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.  The film also stars Maggie GyllenhaalJames Woods, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Jake Weber, Lance Reddick, and Jason ClarkeWhite House Down opens June 28th.

New Featurette for WHITE HOUSE DOWN Goes Behind the Scenes of Roland Emmerich’s Actioner

by     Posted 1 year, 179 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new featurette for director Roland Emmerich’s upcoming actioner White House Down.  The story follows a rejected Secret Service applicant (Channing Tatum) who must save the President (Jamie Foxx) when a heavily-armed paramilitary group takes over the White House.  We saw in the most recent trailer that the pic has an almost buddy cop feel to it, and this featurette shows off a few new bits of footage that continue to be promising.  We also get a fascinating look behind the scenes at the massive sets that Emmerich built in order to re-create the White House, as he shot almost exclusively on soundstages for the film.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette, and if you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage be sure to check out 35 things to know and his interviews with Tatum, Emmerich, producers Brad Fischer and Reid Carolin, producer Harold Kloser, and production designer Kirk M. Petruecelli.  The film also stars Jason Clarke, James Woods, and Maggie Gyllenhaal and opens on June 28th.

First Trailer and New Poster for WHITE HOUSE DOWN Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 1 year, 238 days ago

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The first trailer for director Roland Emmerich’s presidential thriller White House Down has been released.  While the trailer (and plot) have lots of elements in common with Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen, our first introduction to White House Down comes through the lens of various news outlets reporting an attack on Washington, D.C. rather than centering on the heroic lead; we don’t even seen Channing Tatum until about half-way through.  Emmerich’s usual flare for the dramatic is evident, but then he goes and does something interesting by allowing silence to fill a good portion of the trailer.  It also looks like the danger will come not from an outside enemy, but from within.  There are moments that appear to be more Die Hard in nature (and a few glimpses that could be considered spoilers), but there’s just enough here to warrant some interest even after a movie with the exact same plot was just released.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins, Jason Clarke, Jake Weber, Lance Reddick and Joey KingWhite House Down opens on June 28th, 2013.

First Image from FRANK Starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson

by     Posted 1 year, 313 days ago

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The first image has been released for Lenny Abrahamson’s rock comedy Frank.  The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Dredd) as man “who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).”  The film is based off the memoir by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), and “is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.”  As you can see from the image, Fassbender looks like he’s really gotten in shape for the film, and that shape is terrifying.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  The film also stars Scoot McNairy, Carla Aza, and Francois Civil.

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