THAT MOMENT Provides a Snapshot of the Film Industry in 1999

by     Posted 19 days ago

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Last night I opened up an article I had earmarked earlier in the day and watched That Moment, the amazingly candid and engaging 72 minute documentary included on the 2000 DVD release of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s 1999 epic Magnolia.  And I was hit with a wave of nostalgia unlike anything I had felt in quite some time.  It might be odd that I would find the fanfare that greeted the 25th anniversary of 1989′s Batman to be little more than noise, only to be almost overcome by a 14 year old DVD supplement. But that’s what happened.

Of course, it probably helps that I watched this doc obsessively upon its release.  I was just starting to fall in love not only with film, but with the process of making it, and I must have sat down to watch this thing at least 20 times within my first year of owning the DVD.  The nostalgia didn’t come as a fondess for that time in my life though. It came in the form of a bittersweet remembrance of how things used to be in Hollywood not all that long ago.  Or, perhaps, as someone who didn’t even live in California at the time, a remembrance of the way I imagined things to beHead below for more.

Magnolia Picks up I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris

by     Posted 1 year, 119 days ago

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Magnolia has picked up the reverse rom-com I Give It a Year.  The film stars Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne as a married couple who grow to realize that they’re not right for each other, and start being drawn to other people (Anna Faris and Simon Baker, respectively).  I caught the film at SXSW, and found it to be surprising funny and charming even though it deals with a relationship that’s falling apart.  The movie will be released via Magnolia’s “Ultra VOD” program, which means it will debut on VOD and then the VOD cost will be slightly reduced when the picture hits limited theatrical release.  VOD is probably the best distribution method for the film since it’s a little too slight and lacks the star power to be a serious wide release.

Hit the jump for the press release.  I Give It a Year is due out later this year and also stars Stephen Merchant, Olivia Colman, Jason Flemyng, and Minnie Driver.

Sundance 2013 Acquisitions: BEFORE MIDNIGHT, PRINCE AVALANCHE, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS, and S-VHS

by     Posted 1 year, 185 days ago

As the 2013 Sundance Film Festival winds down to a close, a few more high profile acquisitions are taking place.

  • Before Midnight – Director Richard Linklater’s simply incredible sequel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset earned rave reviews following its premiere at the festival, and now Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Classics is making the acquisition in what’s shaping up to be one of the biggest deals of Sundance.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Prince Avalanche – Director David Gordon Green’s refreshingly subdued and touching tiny-budget comedy starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch also earned great reviews, and Magnolia Pictures has acquired distribution rights for a summer 2013 release.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – This Casey Affleck/Rooney Mara period crime film has earned comparisons to the work of Terrence Malick, and IFC Films has nabbed the U.S. rights for a multi-platform release later this year, per Deadline. Look for an awards season push.
  • S-VHS – This horror anthology sequel earned better reviews that its predecessor, and Variety reports that Magnolia Pictures (who distributed the first film) has acquired the rights to release this pic as well.

Hit the jump to read the press releases and for images.

Magnolia Acquires Terrence Malick’s TO THE WONDER; Will Be Released in 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 303 days ago

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After watching Terrence Malick‘s twirling train wreck of a picture, To the Wonder, I was left wondering what distributor would pick it up.  The movie lacked the awards power of Malick’s previous efforts, and his movies aren’t easy sells to begin with.  Today, Deadline reports that Magnolia is up for the challenge, and will distribute the film for a multi-platform release in 2013.  Most, if not all, Magnolia films hit VOD before getting a theatrical release, but Deadline says To the Wonder will be released first in theaters.  The movie will probably draw in the Malick die-hards since all of the imagery and tone is unmistakably the auteur’s work.  The trailer probably won’t convey how the movie is an utter chore, and even though it’s Malick’s second-shortest movie, it feels like his longest.

For those unfamiliar with the plot, it revolves around a European woman (Olga Kurylenko) and her tumultuous relationship with an Oklahoman man (Ben Affleck).  Occasionally, a priest (Javier Bardem) has scenes where he talks about how unhappy he is.  Godspeed, Magnolia.

Sarah Polley’s TAKE THIS WALTZ Picked up by Magnolia for Early Summer 2012 Release

by     Posted 2 years, 285 days ago

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It’s a sad truth that you can’t see everything you want at a major film festival and I was bummed that I missed Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz when I was at TIFF.  However, I rested easy in the knowledge that movie starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen would probably find distribution and now it has.  Magnolia has sent out a press release announcing their acquisition of the relationship drama and plan to run it through the festival circuit before releasing it into theaters in early summer 2012.

For those unfamiliar with the film, Williams plays a woman who’s married to a good-natured cookbook author (Rogen) but then she finds herself attracted to a handsome artist (Luke Kirby).  I really enjoyed Polley’s previous flim, Away from Her, and I’m glad I’ll be seeing Take This Waltz in the not-too-distant future.  Hit the jump for the full press release.

CBS Films to Distribute THE WOMAN IN BLACK Starring Daniel Radcliffe; Magnolia Picks up Worldwide Rights to JACK AND DIANE

by     Posted 3 years, 85 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of acquisition stories for you today. First up, CBS Films has acquired US distribution rights to the ghost thriller The Woman in Black. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, the film is based on the classic ghost story by Susan Hill that centers on a young lawyer visiting a remote English town that holds many ghostly secrets (there are presumably ghosts as well, judging by the creepy trailer). Deadline reports that Magnolia beat out other heavyweight bidders including The Weinstein Company and Summit. Currently no US release date is set.

Additionally, Magnolia has picked up the worldwide rights to Jack and Diane. The film stars Juno Temple (Atonement), Riley Keough (The Runaways), Kylie Minogue, and Cara Seymour (An Education). Written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray, the wholly original flick (which features animation and creature effects work) tells the story of a passionate love affair between two teenage girls in New York City. Hit the jump for a synopsis of both The Woman in Black and Jack and Diane.

Sundance 2011: Acquisitions for THE DETAILS, I MELT WITH YOU, PERFECT SENSE, ANOTHER EARTH and THE GUARD

by     Posted 3 years, 184 days ago

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Quite a few more acquisitions to report from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival today. Two star-studded films found distributors at the festival, with The Weinstein Company picking up worldwide rights to the dark comedy The Details starring Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks, and Magnolia Pictures grabbing the US rights to the polarizingly dark drama I Melt With You starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane and Jeremy Piven. IFC Films acquired North American rights to the Ewan McGregor and Eva Green romantic thriller Perfect Sense, Sony Pictures Classics acquired the action comedy The Guard starring Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson, and Fox Searchlight snatched up the sci-fi drama Another Earth starring William Mapother and Brit Marling. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn had this to say about acquiring I Melt With You:

“Mark Pellington has made a maverick, stylish and powerful film that resonates for days after viewing. Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay give some of the best performances of their entire careers and attention must be paid.”

Hit the jump to read the full press releases of all of the aforementioned films. Be sure to check out all of our Sundance coverage (including interviews, reviews and acquisitions) here.

THE TROLL HUNTER Will be Released by Magnet; Watch the Vérité Style Trailer

by     Posted 3 years, 284 days ago

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One of the four secret screenings at this year’s Fantastic Fest was a little handheld film called The Troll Hunter. Most people had not heard of the film at that point, and not many more know about it now despite a great response. I was not personally at the screening, but Twitter was alive with praises for the flick and focused on how varied and great the trolls looked. You may be tired of the “found footage” genre, but this might be a flick to look into for its unique qualities. Did I mention this film has enormous, forest-wrecking trolls? Magnet, the genre arm of Magnolia, has picked up the film for worldwide distribution (except Europe). I cannot wait to see this on the big screen. Hit the jump to watch the trailer and we’ve also provided the press release:

BOOGIE NIGHTS and MAGNOLIA Blu-ray Reviews

by     Posted 4 years, 167 days ago

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Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the most talented and most frustrating of the artists to emerge from the mid-90′s boom of next-generation film school brats. Though his first film was shuffled and recut, his sophomore effort was launched like the second coming. That film is Boogie Nights (1997), which – without setting the world on fire – became something of a cult hit, doing well enough to launch Anderson as a serious director. His follow up – 1999′s Magnolia – was viewed less favorably, though it too had its staunch defenders. With his cadre of returning players (Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman, John C. Reilly, Melora Walters, Phillip Baker Hall, Ricky Jay, and William H. Macy), and stars like Tom Cruise, and Mark Wahlberg, Anderson was both one of the most successful (critically) and least successful (fiscally) of the new auteurs. My reviews of Boogie Nights and Magnolia after jump.

Wear This: “Big Earl Partridge Productions, Inc” T-Shirt, Based on Paul Thomas Anderson’s MAGNOLIA

by     Posted 4 years, 232 days ago

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The shirts from Last Exit to Nowhere are for the true movie geeks out there.  The epitome of esoteric, these references can only be spotted by the sharpest of movie fans and create an unspoken beyond between the wearer and the person envying the wearer for wearing such a cool shirt.

Today LETN debuted a new shirt displaying the name and logo of “Big Earl Partridge Productions, Inc.” from Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia.  For those who don’t know or don’t remember, BEPP, Inc. was the studio behind “What Do Kids Know?” a jeopardy-like program that ruined the life of former young genius Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) and is currently ruining the life of young genius Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman).  The eponymous “Big” Earl Partridge is a feeble man dying of cancer (played by Jason Robards in his final feature film performance).  Now you can have all that knowledge in t-shirt form by clicking here.

Magnolia Pictures Set to Release Bong Joon-Ho’s MOTHER

by     Posted 4 years, 332 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures announced today that it has acquired North American rights to director Bong Joon-Ho’s “Mother”, which debuted at Cannes earlier this year to stellar reviews.  If you know who Bong Joon-Ho (“The Host”) is then this news should make you very happy because A) You should be anticipating this movie already and B) This means that you won’t have to order that South Korean import DVD anytime soon.  Now, if you don’t know who Bong Joon-Ho is then you are seriously missing out on one of the best directors who is working right now.  You can read more about “Mother” and why you should be excited for this one when you hit the jump.

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