BLOOD TIES Review

by     Posted 26 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Blood Ties opens today in limited release.]

There’s no prequel to Blood Ties, but perhaps there should be. It could provide a reason to give a damn about the characters. We could see the development of their conflict, the tension between brothers and the brothers’ tension with their lovers. Instead, Guillaume Canet’s film hits the ground stumbling as the disjointed picture jumps between characters seemingly at random, and never spends enough time to make us care, or wastes time showing just how shallow these horrible people really are. Coated in the veneer of a throwback crime drama, Blood Ties is an insult to its genre, its cast, and its audience.

Idris Elba and Sam Worthington Board ALIVE ALONE; John Travolta to Voice GUMMY BEAR

by     Posted 65 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting announcements to attend to this afternoon.  First up, Idris Elba and Sam Worthington have boarded the dramatic thriller Alive Alone as Matthias Schoenaerts has dropped out of the picture.  Elba will play an ex-detainee of Guantanamo Bay working as a taxi driver whose world collides with a prostitute (Noomi Rapace) on the run from a feared crime boss (Worthington).  The story takes place in New York City and Khurram Longi is making his directorial debut on the feature, which he also wrote.  Per Deadline, production is looking to get underway next month.

Additionally, Deadline reports that John Travolta will lead the voice cast of the insane-sounding independent animated feature Gummy Bear.  The 2D/3D animated pic “sees Gummy and his friends—a vegetarian vampire bat, a cat, and a chameleon—fighting to save an alien planet from destruction.”  A director is not yet attached and Stealth Media Group is aiming to start production on the $30 million pic this September.  That premise is certainly something.

Kristen Stewart Joins STILL ALICE; David Oyelowo Joins A MOST VIOLENT YEAR; Ron Perlman and Chris Colfer Lend Voices to ROBODOG; and More

by     Posted 78 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • David Oyelowo (Jack Reacher) will join A Most Violent Year, director J.C. Chandor’s new film which recently replaced Javier Bardem with Oscar Isaac starring opposite Jessica Chastain.
  • Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) will lead Galveston, an adaptation of the 2010 novel from Nic Pizzolatto to be directed by Janus Metz.
  • Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) has joined Still Alice along with Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns).  Based on the Lisa Genova novel of the same name, Still Alice stars Julianne Moore and is directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.
  • Chris Colfer (Glee) and Ron Perlman (Pacific Rim) will lend their voices to Robodog, Marza Animation Planet Inc.’s first original 3D CG animated film which will be directed by the Oscar-nominated Henry F. Anderson III (Stuart Little).

Hit the jump for more on each project.

TIFF 2013: BLOOD TIES Review

by     Posted 222 days ago

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There’s no prequel to Blood Ties, but perhaps there should be.  It could provide a reason to give a damn about the characters.  We could see the development of their conflict, the tension between brothers and the brothers’ tension with their lovers.  Instead, Guillaume Canet’s film hits the ground stumbling as the disjointed picture jumps between characters seemingly at random, and never spends enough time to make us care, or wastes time showing just how shallow these horrible people really are.  Coated in the veneer of a throwback crime drama, Blood Ties is an insult to its genre, its cast, and its audience.

First Trailer and Poster for BLOOD TIES Starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana

by     Posted 331 days ago

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Last week, we saw the first images from Guillaume Canet‘s Blood Ties, and now the trailer and poster have been released.  The story takes place in New York in 1974, and centers on two brothers.  One has recently been released from prison, and the other is a cop who is trying to help his brother out only to discover that old habits die hard.  It’s weird to see Marion Cotillard trying on a New York accent, but the crime-drama aspect looks good, and there’s definitely a lot of potential here.  As for the poster, I really like the 70s-style they’ve used.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Clive Owen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, James Caan, and Zoe Saldana.

8 Images from Guillaume Canet’s BLOOD TIES Starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana

by     Posted 336 days ago

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Blood Ties, the new film from Tell No One director Guillaume Canet, is premiering at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and the first eight images from the movie have been released.  The story takes place in New York in 1974, and centers on two brothers.  One has recently been released from prison, and the other is a cop who is trying to help his brother out only to discover that old habits die hard.  The stellar cast includes Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, James Caan, and Zoe Saldana.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The Cannes Film Festival is now underway, so we should expect to hear the buzz on Blood Ties soon.

Marion Cotillard to Lead Dardenne Brothers’ TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT; Matthias Schoenaerts Joins Tom Hardy in ANIMAL RESCUE

by     Posted 1 year, 50 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon.  First up, Marion Cotillard is set to lead the next film from brothers Luc and Pierre Dardenne, the drama Deux Jours, Une Nuit (translated to Two Days, One Night).  The Dardenne brothers recently helmed the drama The Kid with the Bike, and penned the script for Two Days, One Night which, per The Film Stage, centers on a woman “who has a weekend to see colleagues and convince them to give up their bonus so she can keep her job.”  Belgian actor Fabrizio Rongione is set to star as Cotillard’s husband in the pic, which will start production early this summer in Belgium.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning the Dennis Lehane adaptation Animal Rescue.

2012 Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts Review

by     Posted 1 year, 60 days ago

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While the Oscar-nominated animated shorts take a little time to pick up some momentum, most of these live-action nominees find a way to grab you immediately by introducing a mystery of some kind.  One begins with a suicide attempt, another starts with a kidnapping, one features a man with a mysterious camera that can record shadows, and another opens with the striking image of children casually carrying around AK-47s.  More than animated films, live-action short movies can provide a notice to audiences and studios that these are talented filmmakers worth putting on your radar.

Hit the jump for my reviews of the 2012 Oscar-nominated live-action short films: Henry, Asad, Death of a Shadow, Curfew, and Buzkashi Boys.

Matthias Schoenaerts Talks RUST AND BONE

by     Posted 1 year, 142 days ago

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Up-and-comer Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) isn’t afraid to look ‘bad’.  He fully embraces the darker and completely unlikable sides of his characters. There is no ego to his performance as Ali in Rust and Bone.  Ali is a shitty father, an uncaring boyfriend to Marion Cotillard’s Stephanie and just a downright dirtbag to his family and acquaintances.  Of course, over the course of the film, Ali gradually sees the error of his ways and becomes a more compassionate and caring human being.  But it’s a testament to Schoenaerts that not only does he sell Ali’s good-natured transformation, but that he makes such an inevitability seem downright surprising.

In the following interview with Matthias Schoenaerts, he discusses playing the unflattering sides of the character, finding the motivations for Ali’s arc and transitioning to American films (Schoenaerts can next be seen in two US pictures: Blood Ties and The Loft).  For the full interview, hit the jump.

Casting Call: Schoenaerts to Co-Star in SUITE FRANCAISE; Marisa Tomei Joins Hugh Grant Comedy; Mendelsohn to Reteam with Gosling on MONSTER

by     Posted 1 year, 143 days ago

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If you’ve managed to break away from your Black Friday shopping, we’ve got some brief casting stories for you this morning.  First up, rising star Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) has joined Michelle Williams and Kristin Scott Thomas in the period drama Suite Francaise.  Directed by Saul Dibb (The Duchess), the adaptation of the Irene Nemirovsky‘s novel “set in German-occupied France, about a German officer billeted at the home of a young woman (Williams) and her mother-in-law (Scott Thomas).”  According to the Daily Mail, Schoenaerts will play the German officer.  If you’ve seen Bullhead, you know it’s great to see Schoenaerts’ career take off.  He can currently be seen starring opposite Marion Cotillard in Jacques Audiard‘s acclaimed latest feature, Rust and Bone.

Hit the jump for Marisa Tomei and Ben Mendelsohn casting news.

RUST AND BONE Takes Top Prize at 56th BFI London Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 177 days ago

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We have word that director Jacques Audiard’s film, Rust and Bonehas landed the top award at the 56th British Film Institute’s London Film Festival.  The picture stars Marion Cotillard (Inception) as a killer whale trainer who suffers a tragic accident and Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead) as single father who helps her in her recovery. Audiard’s last effort, A Prophet, was also graced with the festival’s top prize in 2009.  Hit the jump to see the trailer, poster and synopsis for Rust and Bone, which opens stateside in limited release starting November 23rd.

UK Trailer for RUST AND BONE Starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts

by     Posted 1 year, 224 days ago

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Studio Canal has released the UK trailer for Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone.  The film stars Marion Cotillard as a killer whale trainer who suffers a horrible accident, but develops a bond with a man (Bullhead‘s Matthias Schoenaerts) who has recently been put in charge of his young son.  I’m a big fan of Audiard’s A Prophet and The Beat That My Heart Skipped, and I’m bummed that scheduling conflicts mean I’ll probably miss Rust and Bone at TIFF.  Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to see it soon because this trailer makes the film look terrific.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Rust and Bone opens in the UK on November 2nd.

Clive Owen and Billy Crudup Will Star in the Crime Thriller BLOOD TIES

by     Posted 2 years, 31 days ago

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Clive Owen and Billy Crudup are set to lead Guillaume Canet‘s crime thriller Blood Ties.  Based off the French novel Les liens du sang, Canet’s English-language debut “centers on a younger brother (Crudup) who has to ask his convict older brother (Owen) to go back into the underworld to help out the family.”  As we reported back in November, Mark Wahlberg, Zoe Saldana, and Marion Cotillard were circling the picture.  In addition to the casting news regarding Owen and Crudup, THR reports that Saldana and Cotillard have signed on along with Mila Kunis and James Caan.  Kunis and Cotillard will play love interests.  Bullhead star Matthias Schoenaerts has been offered role, and if he signs on, this cast will be even more impressive.

Canet co-wrote the script for Blood Ties with We Own the Night writer-director James Gray.  For those unfamiliar with Canet, I strongly recommend checking out this 2006 mystery flick Tell No One.  If the financing on Blood Ties comes together, filming will begin in April in New York.

BULLHEAD Review

by     Posted 2 years, 58 days ago

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Michael R. Roskam’s Bullhead is a dark, quiet, and intense meditation on masculinity.  It is a movie that comes to the crossroads of power and sex, and explores if a man can have one if he’ll never have the other.  Despite relying on a bland crime-drama, Bullhead crafts a fascinating character study, and Matthias Schoenaerts powerful performance combined with Roskamn’s thoughtful, intelligent direction manages to turn frustration into captivation, and predictability into tragedy.

FANTASTIC FEST 2011 Recap and Awards Roundup

by     Posted 2 years, 198 days ago

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Well, folks, it’s over:  another year, another week-long cavalcade of awesome at Fantastic Fest.  This year’s lineup included some big name movies (Melancholia, Take Shelter), some smaller ones (You’re Next, Extraterrestrial), and some complete unknowns (Zombie Ass, A Boy and His Samurai), as well as some truly amazing, non-screening events.  Who won awards at this year’s Fantastic Fest, and what were the highlights of the week?  Find out after the jump, folks.

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