Tim Burton Says BEETLEJUICE 2 Script Is “Pretty Good”, Hopes to Speak With Michael Keaton Soon

by     Posted 6 days ago

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For whatever reason I’m still pretty excited for Beetlejuice 2.  Maybe it’s the uptick in Tim Burton‘s quality of work in recent years.  After hitting a creative nadir with Alice In Wonderland (what a mindfuck it has to be when your worst movies are the most successful ones financially and your best ones, like Ed Wood, bomb the hardest) I actually really enjoyed Frankenweenie quite a bit.  And I hear good things about Big Eyes, so I’m considering the possibility that Burton has his mojo back after a few fallow years.

Burton recently spoke about the script for Beetlejuice 2 (written by Seth Grahame-Smith) calling it “pretty good.”  Which I hope is code for “great” since Burton is promising that this movie will happen.  Also confirmed?  Winona Ryder (though that’s really nothing new).  Pretty much confirmed?  Michael Keaton.  Hit the jump for more on Beetlejuice 2.

John Lee Hancock in Talks to Tell the Story Behind the McDonald’s Expansion with THE FOUNDER; Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton Eyed to Star

by     Posted 12 days ago

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Filmmaker John Lee Hancock most recently helmed a film about the true story behind the making of Mary Poppins, and now he’s setting his sights on the creation of a fast food empire.  THR reports that the Saving Mr. Banks director is in talks to helm The Founder for FilmNation and the Combine, which will tell the story of how salesman Ray Kroc acquired the McDonald’s restaurant and turned it into a billion dollar empire.  An inspiring rags-to-riches story this is not, as Kroc stumbled upon a small burger operation run efficiently by brothers Mac and Dick McDonald in Southern California, then maneuvered himself to a position from which he was able to pull the company away from the brothers and enjoy the profits.  More after the jump.

Watch Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Channing Tatum and More in 50-Minute Actors Roundtable Discussion

by     Posted 18 days ago

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This year’s THR Roundtable series has been excellent, bringing us some fascinating conversation involving some of the year’s best cinematographers, writers, and actresses.  These events are clearly meant to boost the awards profiles of those who participate, but in staging the events as roundtable discussions, it lets the audience see some candid conversation driven by the participants themselves.  Today, THR has unveiled its Actor roundtable, which includes Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood).  I’m especially pleased to see Tatum taking part, as I think his lead turn in Foxcatcher is one of the year’s most impressive and under-discussed performances.

Watch the full 50-minute video after the jump, which touches on film vs. theater, playing real people, research for roles, challenges, and much more.

National Board of Review Names A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Best Film of the Year; also Wins Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle named Boyhood as the best film of 2014.  Today, the National Board of Review has revealed they decided to go a different way by selecting J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year for the year’s best film.  The NBR must have been enraptured with the tale of a guy trying to get a loan because they also gave the movie Best Actor for Oscar Isaac (who tied in the category with Michael Keaton for Birdman) and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

It’s a list filled with choices I don’t really agree with (other than The LEGO Movie for Best Original Screenplay even though they gave Best Animated Feature to How to Train Your Dragon 2), but the one that really gets me is giving Best Director to Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.  Combine that with Jersey Boys and 2014 showed that Eastwood really needs to stop directing movies because he has no vision whatsoever.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners, which also includes the National Board of Review’s Top Films of 2014 list.

Gotham Award Winners: BIRDMAN Wins Best Feature, CITIZENFOUR Wins Best Documentary

by     Posted 21 days ago

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Matt noted that Awards Season begins with the 2014 Gotham Awards: the winners were announced tonight.  Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) took home Best Feature.  Birdman lead Michael Keaton earned Best Actor and parlayed the award name into a Batman joke in his thank you speech: “I want to thank the folks of Gotham.  It’s good to be home.”

Julianne Moore won Best Actress for the tearjerker Still Alice.  The Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour won Best Documentary.  Hit the jump for the full list of Gotham Award winners.

The BIRDMAN RETURNS Trailer Mocks Michael Keaton’s Past; Doesn’t Entirely Succeed

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Something happened to me on the way to see Birdman, a movie I was once quite excited for.  I saw all of the trailers and clips we had been posting and my excitement just kept diminishing.  It all seemed so smug, on-the-nose obvious, and pleased with itself that it turned me off.  I’m not saying that this is true of the finished film, but as a consumer of both trash cinema and great movies the one thing I can’t stand is when a movie thinks it’s smarter than the landscape around it (especially when it’s not).  This sentiment doesn’t diminish when I watch the faux Birdman Returns trailer, which I suppose is meant to lampoon the superhero movie past of Michael Keaton‘s character in the film. But I can’t tell what it’s making fun of.  1992?  Batman Returns (which was actually pretty great)?  It’s too flat to be funny or incisive.  I’ll still see the real Birdman, but I hope its attitude towards this stuff is a bit more complex.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman Returns trailer.  The actual film was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.  Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is now in theaters.

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) Review

by     Posted 59 days ago

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[Birdman expands to more theaters this weekend.  Click here for Perri's review from the 2014 New York Film Festival]

To paraphrase one of the most famous plays of all-time, Alejandro González Iñárritu Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is “but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage…A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,” and it signifies almost nothing.  Macbeth uses this to refer to life, but for Iñárritu—who literally has someone shout this soliloquy off-camera—it applies to the entirety of a picture that rejects subtlety in a misguided attempt to blend the language of film and stage, and address a multitude of topics including acting, celebrity, the New York/L.A. divide, superhero movies, critics, and ego.  The result is a cacophony of opinions and half-cooked ideas where the only one that comes close to fruition is an exploration of a nervous breakdown where identity has become consumed by artistic desperation.

Michael Keaton Talks BIRDMAN, Working with Alejandro González Iñárritu and Emmanuel Lubezki, and More

by     Posted 61 days ago

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I love this time of year.  The weather starts to cool off.  Football games start to matter.  And Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season.  Which brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

Last week at the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Michael Keaton.  He talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, crafting his performance alongside the cinematography, how he immediately said yes to the project, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

BIRDMAN Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 71 days ago

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You would think that one movie that blurs the line between reality and fiction to convey the challenges of being an actor would be enough for one week, but Birdman is just as absorbing as Clouds of Sils Maria and also offers up a totally unique experience.  It’s neat that Michael Keaton portrays a former superhero movie star after having played Batman himself and the one-shot shooting style is an absolutely astounding technical achievement, but the best part is that both are used in ways that serve the story, not as alluring gimmicks.  If it were the other way around, Edward Norton’s Mike Shiner wouldn’t approve of it.

New BIRDMAN Clips and Posters Shine a Light On Michael Keaton’s Battle Against Edward Norton

by     Posted 73 days ago

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I’m so exceed to see Birdman, a dark comedy starring Michael Keaton that director Alejandro González Iñárritu staged to appear as one long, continuous shot.  The film stars Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Two new clips from the film hit today, and both of them feature Keaton going toe-to-toe with Edward Norton as a smarmy New York theater actor.  And they’re great.  We’ve also got a look at a few city specific posters for the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman clips and posters.  The film also stars Naomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.  Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens in select theaters on October 17th. Just a heads up that the language in these scenes is NSFW.

9 New BIRDMAN Images Fly Online Featuring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone

by     Posted 87 days ago

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Now that the year is winding down, there are only a handful of movies I can’t wait to see, and Birdman is near the top of the list.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ambitious black comedy, which was made to look like one long shot, stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Nine new Birdman images have been released, and looking at the diversity of the images, I have no idea how they can be connected by one shot, but I can’t wait to find out.  The movie has picked up rave reviews at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, and we’ll be hearing word out of the New York Film Festival soon.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman images.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens in select theaters on October 17th.

Filming Begins on Thomas McCarthy’s SPOTLIGHT Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Principal photography on Spotlight, the next movie from writer/director Thomas McCarthy (The Visitor), began today in Boston.  Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Billy Crudup, and Jamey Sheridan star in the drama.  The script by McCarthy and Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate) centers on the Boston Globe investigative team who in 2001 fought “to expose the Boston Archdiocese’s systemic cover up of sexual abuse of children by ordained priests.”

Hit the jump for the press release with all the details.

Early BIRDMAN Reviews Offer Ecstatic Praise for Michael Keaton, Alejandro González Iñárritu; Oscar Future Looks Bright

by     Posted 117 days ago

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Oscar season has begun.  With the Fall Film Festival season kicking off this week, the awards contenders are about to emerge.  I’ll have a full rundown of the potential players in a new Oscar Beat coming shortly, but for now we have the first Birdman reviews for director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s highly anticipated black comedy, which just premiered at the Venice Film Festival.  For those unaware, the pic stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  This has been high on my most anticipated list for some time, and I’m happy to see that the first reviews out of Venice are positively glowing, heaping praise upon Keaton’s lead performance and Iñárritu’s ambitious one-take style, and predicting a heavy awards presence for the film overall.

Since the film doesn’t open stateside until October 17th, we’ve rounded up some highlights from a few of the very first Birdman reviews for your perusing pleasure.  Hit the jump for an overview of the reaction.

New Posters for BIRDMAN, THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, ALEXANDER, and ABCS OF DEATH 2

by     Posted 138 days ago

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We’ve got a few new posters to share this evening.  Briefly:

  • Birdman – A new Birdman poster for director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s ambitious drama shows a flying Michael Keaton amidst a stark black-and-white pattern.  The film opens in theaters on October 17th.
  • This Is Where I Leave You – A series of rather unfortunate character posters for Shawn Levy’s otherwise promising drama highlight the dynamic ensemble cast, which includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Adam Driver.  The film opens in theaters on September 12th.
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Two posters for Disney’s children’s book adaptation show the before and after of the film’s titular day.  Starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, the pic opens on October 10th.
  • ABCs of Death 2 – The official poster for Magnet’s second anthology collection of horror shorts portrays a rather menacing-looking Death.  The film will be available VOD on October 2nd and hits theaters on October 31st.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses for the aforementioned films.

New Full-Length BIRDMAN Trailer: Michael Keaton Is About to Destroy What’s Left of His Career

by     Posted 144 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new international full-length Birdman trailer for director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ambitious black comedy.  The film stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  The previous trailers have all been fantastic, but they’ve simply teased the plot without giving much away story-wise.  This new international trailer digs deep into the descent of Keaton’s character, and the actor looks to be giving a truly tour de force performance as a man on the brink of a career meltdown.  Moreover, it’s fantastic to see the kinds of camera tricks that Iñárritu uses to make the film appear to be one continuous shot.  I seriously can’t wait to see this movie.

Hit the jump to watch the new Birdman trailer, which is slightly NSFW for a couple of f-bombs.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) will premiere at the Venice Film Festival and opens in theaters on October 17th.

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