THE DROP Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 48 days ago

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Michaël R. Roskam’s 2011 feature Bullhead was bold, proactive, and powerfully original.  It was a thoughtful meditation on masculinity as it relates to both sexuality and violence.  Sadly, his follow-up, The Drop, is a shrug of a picture that lacks any vibrancy whatsoever.  The movie seems to coast on being a Dennis Lehane-scripted, working-class crime picture filled led by talented actors.  There’s barely anything beneath its stolid surface.  The film is too meager too offend or excite in any manner.  At most, it’s an odd whimper of a crime thriller where the most engaging aspect is Tom Hardy playing with a puppy.

THE DROP Clips and Images Featuring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini in One of His Final Roles

by     Posted 65 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released three new clips and some new images from The Drop.  In the film Tom Hardy plays Bob, a former criminal and current bartender working at a bar that serves as a money “drop” for local gangsters.  When the bar gets robbed, Bob and his cousin/employer Marv (James Gandolfini) find themselves in the crosshairs of an investigation and the criminal underworld.

I could go either way on this movie.  It looks like a perfectly good thriller that has been marinating a bit too long in the “tough guys in a tough neighborhood doing tough things” tropes that a lot of filmmakers follow too far down the rabbit hole.  On the other hand it also looks like it might balance that out with a genuinely deft touch.  It also has a great cast and a well-regarded director in Bullhead helmer Michaël R. Roskam and it marks one of Gandolfini’s final performances.  Hit the jump to check out The Drop clips and images (also watch the trailer if you missed it). The film also stars Matthias Schoenaerts,  Noomi Rapace, John Ortiz, Ann Dowd, and James Frecheville.  It opens on September 12th.

New THE DROP Trailer, Posters, and Images Featuring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts, and James Gandolfini

by     Posted 126 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new The Drop trailer along with a new poster and images.  Tom Hardy plays Bob, a former criminal and current bartender working at a bar that serves as a money “drop” for local gangsters.  When the bar gets robbed, Bob and his cousin/employer Marv (James Gandolfini) find themselves in the crosshairs of an investigation and the criminal underworld.  Unlike the U.S. trailer, this international trailer features the excellent Matthias Schoenaerts, who is reteaming with his Bullhead director Michaël R. Roskam for the film.  It looks like a solid crime drama, and if anything, it will be worth watching for Gandolfini’s final big screen performance.

Hit the jump to check out The Drop trailer, poster, and images.  The film opens September 12th, and also stars Noomi Rapace, John Ortiz, Ann Dowd, and James Frecheville.

BLOOD TIES Review

by     Posted 217 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 256 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 269 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 1 year, 48 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 1 year, 157 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 1 year, 162 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, 241 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, 251 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, 333 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, 334 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 2 years, 3 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 2 years, 50 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.

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