The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods. The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing. The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary. The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.
With Halloween 2013 now a few days behind us, I may be a little late to the punch on this recommendation. Still yet, every October I find myself liking 1995′s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers more and more. Directed by Joe Chappelle (who would later go on to direct episodes of The Wire and Fringe among others) and written by Daniel Farrands (a long-time fan of the franchise who, at the time, had little produced work under his belt), the film is notorious for its troubled production and its “Producers Cut” which features nearly 45 minutes of alternate footage, including a different ending. Watching it as a kid I remember it being the Halloween film that made me fear Michael Myers. To date, I still feel like the pic features the killer at his most ruthless (just try looking at doing the laundry the same way after watching). Rewatching it as an adult, I admire Farrands’ script for exploring the forces at work behind Michael’s madness. Even with October 31st, 2014 a distant 363 days away, I encourage Halloween fans to watch or revisit The Curse of Michael Myers this next week and see how your feelings towards the film stack up against my own.
Mid-90′s horror recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes Ender’s Game interviews with Asa Butterfield and more, the excellent first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, a slew of interviews for 12 Years a Slave, a new trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street, and a detailed history of the Ghostbusters movies, comics, cartoons, and merch. In what should come as no surprise, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Following the excellent trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, two new images have been released for Bryan Singer’s upcoming sequel. he story finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants. One of the images shows us Beast (Nicholas Hoult) giving Magneto (Michael Fassbender) a good thrashing, but the other one looks like Magneto has boobs. Not the best angle.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in 3D May 23, 2014.
The American Film Market (AFM) is about to begin, which means movies are being “packaged” for buyers in order to sell international rights and therefore provide the funding to make the films. This means bringing on bankable actors, which is what the following movies have done:
- Michael Fassbender is in negotiations to star in the gangster film, Trespass Against Us.
- Ethan Hawke will star in Alejandro Amenábar’s drama Regression.
- Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, and Alfred Molina will lead Boychoir.
Hit the jump for more on all of these films.
20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for director Bryan Singer‘s sequel/prequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. The story finds Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) having his consciousness sent back to 1973 in order to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants. This trailer is extremely similar to the footage they showed at Comic-Con this summer (right down to the Hans Zimmer score), which sent Hall H into a frenzy. It does an excellent job of conveying the darker tone of the film as well as teasing the spectacle that will be on display, and I really can’t wait to see more.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Peter Dinklage, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens in 3D May 23, 2014.
Gravity’s winning streak came to an end this weekend, courtesy of Johnny Knoxville. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa easily claimed first place in its debut with an estimated $32 million from 3,366 locations. Also in its first frame, Ridley Scott’s The Counselor was far less impressive. The Fox thriller took in just $8 million in spite of its A-list cast. Fox Searchlight had better results with 12 Years a Slave. The early Oscar contender earned a spot in the top ten on the strength of just 123 venues.
|| Bad Grandpa
|| Captain Phillips
|| The Counselor
|| Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
|| Escape Plan
|| 12 Years a Slave
|| Enough Said
Expanding into more theaters this weekend is one of the best films of the year: director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, the true story chronicles his twelve-year journey as an educated and married free man from New York who was abducted in 1841 and forced into slavery for over a decade. The film is absolutely one of the best of the year and features powerful performances by the whole cast, especially Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong’O, and it will be a major player in this year’s awards race. For more on the film, read Matt’s review.
At the recent New York City press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Fassbender. He talked about how McQueen’s movies always feel real and the scenes and characters believable, and what is it like to have so many people loving the movie. He also talked about what he collects as well as future projects like the Prometheus sequel, confirmed that filming on Assassin’s Creed begins next year, and attempted to come up with a good tease for fans regarding X-Men: Days of Future Past. Hit the jump to watch and make sure to see 12 Years a Slave as soon as you can.
Following yesterday’s teaser for the first trailer, 20th Century Fox has now released twelve new images from Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the upcoming sequel/prequel, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has his consciousness sent back to 1973 to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants. These images don’t give anything away, but I quite like them, especially the one where Xavier and Magneto are continuing to play chess even though their friendship has fractured. It’s an obvious symbol, but still a nice one considering it’s the constant in their relationship. And if that doesn’t do anything for you, there’s an image of Jennifer Lawrence being adorable on set.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23, 2014.
In his crime thriller No Country for Old Men, author Cormac McCarthy’s prose is taut, tense, and doesn’t waste a word. Unfortunately, his literary style doesn’t translate well to his script for The Counselor or Ridley Scott’s direction. The film is ostensibly in the same vein as an unforgiving, ruthless crime flick where greedy people get in over their heads, innocents get caught in the crossfire, and only the most ruthless thrive. This vibrancy fades in and out through the picture, but it’s usually overshadowed by forced, awkward monologues that cut the tension in favor indulgent pontification and dime store philosophy.
It’s a good day to be a fan of superhero movies. We just got the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and now Bryan Singer has released the first footage from X-Men: Days of Future Past. In the upcoming sequel/prequel, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has his consciousness sent back to 1973 to help Professor X (James McAvoy), Magneto (Michael Fassbender), and the rest of the X-Men: First Class crew stop the rise of the Sentinels, giant robots programmed to exterminate mutants. Normally, I’m sour about teasers for trailers, but I’m so excited for people to a glimpse of what was shown at Comic-Con that I’ll make an exception.
Hit the jump to check out the brief footage, and come back on October 29th for the full trailer. The film also stars Peter Dinklage, Nicholas Hoult, Jennifer Lawrence, Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Shawn Ashmore, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Omar Sy, and Halle Berry. X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23, 2014.
Though it’s only October, we’re already in the thick of awards season. We’ve seen frontrunners emerge from the fall festival circuit, and now some of the year’s potential heavy hitters are starting to open in theaters, providing some hard data for the all-important “audience reception” factor in the Oscar race. Gravity emerged as a potential frontrunner for a number of awards—including Best Picture—when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice, and Telluride earlier this year, and now the film can add “box office hit” to its resume, as the pic opened to a record-breaking $55.5 million in its first weekend and only dropped an incredible 21% in its second weekend.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the importance of box office in the Oscar race and what this means for Gravity and the other awards contenders going forward. Additionally, I update my predictions to reflect movements in the recent weeks. Hit the jump to read on.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. 12 Years a Slave opens today in limited release.]
It’s easy to draw the lines regarding slavery in America as “good” and “evil” where the enslavers were evil and everyone else was good. When the issue of slavery culminated in the Civil War, the battle lines were drawn between the “good” north and the “evil” south. As long as we know someone else is to blame for the evil in the world, then we remove all culpability from ourselves. With unflinching, heart-wrenching honesty, Steve McQueen’s adaptation of Solomon Northrup’s memoir 12 Years a Slave shows that the issue of slavery wasn’t as simple as black-and-white. There were shades of grey regarding slavery even among slaves. The vileness of slavery isn’t in question, and McQueen shows it in all its ugliness. He shows slavery to the point of how it not only wears away a person’s body, but also their identity and even their soul. The exploration in 12 Years a Slave is into the culpability of all men and women, free and slave, in this unquestionable shame.
Director Steve McQueen’s moving historical drama 12 Years a Slave is undoubtedly one of the best films of the year, and we here at Collider are happy to debut six new images from the film. Based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, the true story chronicles Northup’s twelve-year journey as an educated and married free man from New York who was abducted in 1841 and forced into slavery for over a decade. Buoyed by tremendous performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong’O and masterful direction from McQueen, 12 Years a Slave is one of the most powerful moviegoing experiences I’ve ever had. This film is essential viewing.
Hit the jump to take a look at the new images, which also behind-the-scenes looks at McQueen on set, and click here to read Matt’s review from the Toronto International Film Festival. The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Michael Kenneth Williams, Chris Chalk, and Brad Pitt. 12 Years a Slave opens in limited release this Friday, October 18th and expands wide on November 1st.
20th Century Fox has released a new clip from Ridley Scott’s The Counselor. The script by Cormac McCarthy (author of The Road and No Country for Old Men) centers on an attorney (Michael Fassbender) who teams with Reiner (Javier Bardem) to sell $20 million worth of cocaine. In the clip, Fassbender’s character has a conversation with a sale clerk (Natalie Dormer) about purchasing women’s undergarments. It’s an incredibly odd scene not because of the content, but because of Scott’s direction. The tone of the scene is almost sinister, and the way it ends almost makes me think there’s an error in the player. The dialogue keeps going but the character’s lips stop moving, so it looks like they have a telepathic bond. It gets stranger from there.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The film also stars Brad Pitt, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, and Goran Visnjic. The Counselor opens October 25th. [Update: The clip is technically "viral footage" whatever that means.]
Fox Searchlight has released a new TV spot for director Steve McQueen’s (Shame) incredible drama 12 Years a Slave. The true story is based on Solomon Northup’s autobiography of the same name, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) as Northup, an educated and married black man living in New York in 1841. Northup was approached by two men about a job offer in Washington D.C., but when he showed up he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade. I caught the film at TIFF and it is not only one of the best films I’ve seen all year, but also one of the most emotional moviegoing experiences I’ve had period. This TV spot is heavy on intensity, but it’s not really indicative of the film’s pace. McQueen offers an unflinching, terrifying look at slavery in a straightforward manner that captures the reality of the situation without smoothing out the edges or glamorizing the story with flashy editing.
Hit the jump to watch the TV spot, click here for Matt’s review, and click here for my rundown of its awards chances. The film also stars Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’O, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garrett Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad Pitt. 12 Years a Slave opens in limited release on October 18th before expanding in the following weeks.