Now available on VOD and in select theaters is Drafthouse Films’ dark thriller/comedy Cheap Thrills starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, David Koechner, and Sara Paxton. I watched the film last night and, while not for the faint of heart or stomach, I can’t recommend it enough. At its core, Thrills works from a single question: how far would you go to be able to provide for yourself and/or your family? It uses precision pacing, confident direction from E.L. Katz, and solid performances across the board to explore this question, all while gradually rising to a crescendo that feels both inevitable and wildly inventive. Offhand I can’t think of a film that blends the thrilling and the disgusting, excitement and repulsion, in a more entertaining way than Cheap Thrills. Regardless of whether you want to or not (and I don’t think you will), this is a movie you won’t soon forget.
In addition to talking a bit more about Cheap Thrills with Matt’s review and a couple of interviews, this week’s Top 5 also highlights our set visit coverage for Godzilla, Matt’s review of Divergent plus interviews with Shailene Woodley and more, the final trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Muppets Most Wanted interviews with Tina Fey among others. Read on for a brief recap and link to everything I mention above.
The story of Divergent celebrates bravery, compassion, and above all, accepting an emotional complexity that goes beyond a single characteristic. Unfortunately, Neil Burger‘s adaptation of Veronica Roth‘s best-selling novel is constantly softening that emotional complexity or dodging it altogether. The director is more focused on recreating the world of the novel, but rarely does he concern himself with fleshing it out and making the character relationships more than superficial. The result is a staggeringly safe picture in what’s supposed to be a dangerous setting.
With Divergent opening this weekend, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with Miles Teller and Jai Courtney. During the interview they talked about working with director Neil Burger, why the police called so many times to the apartment building where the cast was staying, what can they tease about Reed Richards and Kyle Reese in Fantastic Four and Terminator: Genesis, and more
For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.” Hit the jump to watch the interview. Divergent also stars Theo James, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort,Maggie Q, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen, and Kate Winslet.
Summit Entertainment has released a number of new images from director Neil Burger’s (Limitless) upcoming Veronica Roth adaptation Divergent. The film is on track for a big opening weekend, and from what little footage we’ve seen, I’ve really liked Burger’s visual take on the dystopian world. Moreover, the prospect of seeing The Spectacular Now stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller together again onscreen (albeit under very different circumstances) is highly enticing. For those unaware, the futuristic thriller takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Woodley plays a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups, and faces grave consequences if it’s revealed that she’s “Divergent”.
Hit the jump to check out the new images, which fans of the book will be happy to know include looks at nearly the entire cast and even Roth’s cameo. The film also stars Theo James, Jai Courtney, Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen, Ray Stevenson, Amy Newbold, and Ben Lamb. Divergent opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on March 21st.
Summit has released a new featurette for Neil Burger’s adaptation of the best-selling novel, Divergent. The story takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups, and faces grave consequences if it’s revealed that she’s “Divergent”. Theo James plays Four, Tris’ instructor and love-interest, and this featurette provides a behind-the-scenes look at the character and his performance. I haven’t seen any of James’ previous work, so I don’t know how he’ll handle the emotional scenes, but from a physical standpoint, he fits the bill.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also stars Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, and Kate Winslet. Divergent opens on March 21st. [Update: We've also added a new TV spot]
Summit Entertainment has debuted a batch of new images from director Neil Burger’s (Limitless) upcoming futuristic thriller Divergent, giving us a first look at a number of characters from the book—including Miles Teller’s Peter. For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.” Summit no doubt hopes to mimic the success of another YA franchise (The Hunger Games), and it looks like they just may succeed as The Wrap reports that Divergent is tracking strong for a $50+ million opening and building. As someone who read and enjoyed the book and is a fan of Burger’s visuals, that’s good to hear. In addition, the studio has announced that advance tickets for the film will be on sale starting March 4th, at which time purchasers will receive a free digital copy of the book.
Hit the jump to take a look at the new images. The film also stars Theo James, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Jai Courtney, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Christian Madsen, and Kate Winslet. Divergent opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on March 21st.
Landing just outside of this week’s Top 5 and earning an opening paragraph mention as a result is the first trailer and poster for writer/editor/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. Obviously inspired by 1978′s Jonestown Massacre, the film features a team of journalists who attempt to document the story of a seemingly peaceful religious commune only to have the proverbial shit hit the fan in the process. I think West is among the best working directors in terms of creating and maintaining terror as evidenced by both 2009′s The House of the Devil and 2011′s The Innkeepers. Each of those films expertly sustain a sense of dread throughout and if Gene Jones hauntingly daring the visiting journalists to “Take it…” in this first trailer is any indication, The Sacrament looks to be cut from the same stellar mold. While it will be tough to match the psychological horror dealt out by 2011′s cult-centric drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, I’ll be anxiously anticipating West’s latest up until the time it hits VOD on May 1st.
Transitioning to the list section of the feature, this week’s installment highlights the first trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Steve’s set visit coverage for X-Men: Days of Future Past, interviews for and Matt’s review of Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Pompeii, casting news for Fox’s Fantastic Four reboot, and coverage from the floor of Toy Fair 2014 at the Javits Center in NYC. Keep reading for a quick recap and link to each of the above.
We have passed along Fantastic Four casting rumors for nearly a year now. It seems Fox is very close to finalizing the cast. THR reports the studio is in the final stages of negotiation with Miles Teller for Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara for Invisible Girl, Michael B. Jordan for the Human Torch, and Jamie Bell for The Thing. Bell is the only name we have yet to hear attached to the project, but he’s a great addition to a promising young cast. Mara, nearly 31, is the oldest of the group. Heck, she’s older than director Josh Trank (Chronicle), who just turned 30. The age range may not match the public conception of the Marvel superhero group, but such a group of fresh voices reassures the reboot will look nothing like Fox’s other Fantastic Four attempts.
Fantastic Four is scheduled for release on June 19, 2015. Hit the jump for background from the comics.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
- Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan will reunite with That Awkward Moment director Tom Gormican for his untitled heist movie set up at Warner Bros.
- Elodie Yung is the latest addition to Alex Proyas’ Gods of Egypt, starring Gerard Butler, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
- James Badge Dale is reported as being in negotiations for Legendary’s supernatural thriller, Spectral, directed by Nic Mathieu.
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
Live in the moment. In itself, this adage is positive and helpful, but can it go too far? Can people invest themselves so much in the present that it becomes a detriment to their future? This is the question raised by James Ponsoldt’s (Smashed) brilliant love story film, The Spectacular Now. Hit the jump to read my Blu-ray review of the movie.
With its March start date fast approaching, screen testing is underway for Josh Trank‘s upcoming reboot, The Fantastic Four. The only actor currently confirmed for the movie is Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch after Fox exercised the option it had on the actor following Chronicle, which was also directed by Trank. Today, we’ve learned about some of the actors testing for the other three members of the superhero team. Once again, Miles Teller‘s name is in the mix as he’s screen testing for the role of the elastic Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic. Although Kit Harington was also mentioned as a possibility for the role, the actor won’t test for the role, and will instead star in Testament to Youth.
Hit the jump for more including a surprising twist to Dr. Doom playing the villain. The Fantastic Four opens June 19, 2015.
One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. The film stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons. While the film focuses on musicians, it’s really about anyone trying to become great at something and the cost of achieving said goal. Trust me, it’s a great movie, and one you’ll be able to see by the end of the year because Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for domestic distribution. Whiplash also won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition at Sundance. For more on the film, read Matt’s review.
The day after the world premiere, I landed a video interview with Teller. He talked about being at Sundance two years in a row, how he only wrapped on Whiplash in October, working with J.K. Simmons, the film’s themes of sacrifice and the price of greatness, the Divergent sequel, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Summit Entertainment has released a new trailer for Neil Burger‘s adaptation of Veronica Roth‘s best-selling young adult novel, Divergent. The film takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities. Tris (Shailene Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.” This trailer goes heavy on the story although there’s some bits of action scattered throughout. I’m still a bit unclear on how one young woman’s “divergence” can bring down “the system” or how that system keeps society under control, but this trailer has made me eager to find out the answers.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Theo James, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, and Kate Winslet. Divergent opens on March 21st.
Fresh off his film Whiplash winning both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, actor Miles Teller is going the biopic route. It was announced today that Teller will star opposite Aaron Eckhart in Bleed for This, a film about boxer Vinny Panzienza, who made a triumphant return to the ring a year after a car accident rendered him unable to walk. Eckhart will play infamous trainer Kevin Rooney, who helped train Panzienza for his return. Ben Younger (Boiler Room) wrote the script and will direct, and Martin Scorsese is attached to the Synchronicity Entertainment project as an executive producer.
Teller next appears onscreen in this March’s YA adaptation Divergent, and Summit is expected to begin production on the sequel Insurgent this year if the first film catches on with audiences. No word on when Bleed for This might begin filming, but Teller could also be shooting The Fantastic Four in 2014 as well if he indeed joins the cast of Fox’s reboot.
It isn’t enough to just make a movie that dissects romance from the guy’s perspective. When you make a relationship movie, moviegoers are going to want your real life advice, too. Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller star in That Awkward Moment as Jason, Mikey and Daniel. When Mikey gets hit with a divorce, Jason and Daniel decide to lift his spirits by professing their dedication to the single life. They make a pact to stay unattached and head out ready to indulge in quick flings together. However, that turns out to be easier said than done because Mikey’s still hung up on his ex, Daniel starts to fall for his wing woman, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), someone who actually makes him want more out of relationship for the first time in his life. Hit the jump for more.
With That Awkward Moment nearing its January 31st wide release, Efron, Jordan, Teller, Poots and writer-director Tom Gormican sat down for a press conference in New York City where there were questions about inspiration, casting and filming techniques, but loads more digging for information about what the group values in their real life relationships.