New THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT Trailer, Poster, and Images Find Shailene Woodley on the Run

by     Posted 9 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released a new theatrical trailer for The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second in what will be a four-film adaptation of author Veronica Roth’s dystopian sci-fi series.  The Divergent sequel finds the principal characters on the run in the fringes of society and searching for answers after breaking open the world as they knew it.  To be honest, I have no earthly idea what the hell is going in in this Insurgent trailer, but this new installment does have come compelling visuals and interesting concepts at play.  Though this is the most stiff I have ever seen the normally vibrant Winslet. 

Watch the new Insurgent trailer, check out a new poster, and new images for the film after the jump.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo JamesAnsel Elgort, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, and Zoe Kravitz.  The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens on March 20, 2015.

Jonah Hill to Star in Todd Phillips’ ARMS AND THE DUDES; Miles Teller Offered Other Lead Role

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Last we checked in on Arms and the DudesJesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf were in talks to star.  Eisenberg has a conflict playing Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and possibly Suicide Squad, and the LaBeouf negotiations never moved beyond the courting stage.  Director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) has a great backup plan.  Jonah Hill closed a deal to star and Warner Bros. made an offer to Miles Teller to co-star.

Hit the jump for more on the project.

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT Trailer: Shailene Woodley Defies Reality and Rides a Flying Building

by     Posted 39 days ago

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When the first film of a franchise scores $152.5 million opening weekend like The Hunger Games, the sequel is basically a guaranteed hit.  Even if the numbers do drop, it’s still bound to take big money to the bank.  On the other hand, the second Divergent film, Insurgent, is going to have its work cut out for it if it’s going to match the first film’s $54.6 million start and justify the studio’s decision to stretch the final book of the trilogy into two films.

I hoped the first bit of promo material from Insurgent would be something to ease fans back into the world and possibly even pull in newcomers. However, not only does this teaser trailer feel nothing like the original film, but it’s also highly unlikely that anyone who isn’t familiar with the first film or the books will have any idea of what’s going on.  Hit the jump to check out the Divergent Series: Insurgent trailer for yourself.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate WinsletOctavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz, Daniel Dae Kim, and Suki WaterhouseThe Divergent Series: Insurgent opens in theaters on March 20, 2015.

Miles Teller in Talks to Star in Marc Webb’s Drama THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK

by     Posted 47 days ago

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Marc Webb was highly regarded in the music video world when he made his feature directorial debut with 2009’s swell romantic comedy/drama (500) Days of Summer.  The sweet and uniquely told indie was a massive success, and Webb showed tremendous promise as a filmmaker—so much so that Sony then hired him to reboot the Spider-Man franchise.  Since that time, though, Summer remains the only non-Spider-Man movie under Webb’s belt, as he went right into directing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after the first Spidey pic.  The plan was for Webb to also move right into directing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 after the second film in order to stay on schedule, but after the critical and commercial disappointment of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony has opted to push back Spider-Man 3 and move forward with The Sinister Six first instead.

Which brings us to today’s promising news regarding Webb’s next directorial effort.  With The Amazing Spider-Man 3 postponed (or possibly canceled altogether), Webb is now eyeing two smaller pictures for his next project, and he’s landed a rather talented young individual to lead one of them: Miles Teller.  More after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 50 days ago

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Every year in the awards race, it seems like the Best Actor field is the most crowded category.  That is certainly the case with this current crop of contenders, as there is no shortage of formidable talents vying for one of the five Best Actor Oscar slots.  While it’s still a tad early to start talking about possible winners, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to chances of being nominated.  The contenders range from well-respected underdogs to recent winners, and yes, spoiler alert, many of them are playing real people.  After the jump, I take a look at the Best Actor race at a glance in this edition of Oscar Beat.

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT Posters for Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Miles Teller, Zoe Kravitz, Keiynan Lonsdale and More

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Lionsgate kicked off its Insurgent 3D poster campaign yesterday morning with a design for Ansel Elgort’s Caleb and now we’ve got the other seven posters to go along with it.  We’ve got artwork for heavy hitters Four (Theo James) and Tris (Shailene Woodley) as well as Tris’ fellow Dauntless initiates, Peter (Miles Teller) and Christina (Zoe Kravitz).  There are also posters for Dauntless’ resident tattoo artist, Tori (Maggie Q), the Dauntless leader, Max (Mekhi Phifer), and a film franchise newcomer who’s a book series favorite, Uriah (Keiynan Lonsdale).

Hit the jump to check out all eight Insurgent posters for yourself.  The Divergent Series: Insurgent arrives in theaters in 3D and 2D on March 20, 2015.  The film also stars Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Ray Stevenson, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney and Daniel Dae Kim.

WHIPLASH Review

by     Posted 72 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Whiplash opens today in limited release.]

We know “greatness” demands sacrifice. It’s blood, sweat, and tears, and if you’re not willing to dish out all three constantly and consistently, then hey, you’re not worthy of your dream. Physical greatness–the greatness of athletes, for example–is easily quantifiable. But when that physicality is blended with musical expression, it becomes something more vague, complex, and fascinating. Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash provides an intense and disturbing exploration of the primal drive to dominate and achieve greatness but at a horrific cost. Anchored by extraordinary performances from lead actors Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, Chazelle’s film never loses its brooding, unnerving energy even as it stumbles trying to find a fitting crescendo.

Miles Teller Talks WHIPLASH, BLEED FOR THIS, THE FANTASTIC FOUR, Wanting to Play Elvis, and More

by     Posted 72 days ago

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One of my favorite films this year is writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.  The film stars Miles Teller as a 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 something you should seek out when it comes to a theater near you.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review or watch the trailer.

Last week at the Los Angeles press day I landed an extended video interview with Miles Teller.  He talked about what the past year has been like, the experience of premiering at Sundance, how he views the promotional circuit, the tight 19-day schedule to shoot Whiplash, his interaction with Simmons on set, his relationship with Chazelle, preparing for Bleed for This and how he approaches preparation in general, how it felt to play a superhero in The Fantastic Four and getting along with the other actors in New Orleans, wanting to play Elvis, what he’s looking to do in the future, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, and Writer/Director Damien Chazelle Talk WHIPLASH, Shooting the Drum Solo, Creative Freedom, and More

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Writer/director Damien Chazelle turns the music movie genre on its head with Whiplash, an intense, exhilarating psychological drama that’s built around riveting, award-worthy performances by Miles Teller as an ambitious  young drummer and J.K. Simmons as his ruthless teacher.  For his impressive second feature, Chazelle pushes the boundaries in ways we’ve never seen, where precision musicianship is front and center, instruments resemble weapons, and the action unfolds on the unexpected battlefield of a school rehearsal room or on a concert stage.  Opening October 10th, the kinetic, inspiring and brutally funny drama also stars Paul Reiser and Melissa Benoist.

At the film’s recent press day, Chazelle, Teller, Simmons and Benoist talked about how the movie operated differently on screen than it did on the page, bringing to life the showy roles of Andrew and Terence, how streaks of tyranny have historically led to great musicianship, how Teller’s and Chazelle’s experience as musicians channeled its way into the film, the decision to shoot L.A. for N.Y., shooting the big drum solo, the questions Chazelle hopes the cathartic finale raises, how he allowed the actors the creative freedom to explore their roles, and why this was such a cool movie to be a part of.  Check out the interview after the jump:

WHIPLASH Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 108 days ago

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[Note: This is a "second take" review of Whiplash by Phil Brown from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  To read Matt's initial review from Sundance 2014, click here.]

Reduced to the most basic possible logline plot description, Whiplash might sound like an impossibly cheesy inspirational teaching drama with jazz band setting. Thankfully anything resembling warm, fuzzy, and safe entertainment ends there in writer/director Damien Chazelle’s debut feature. What he’s created is a vicious game of psychological warfare between a talented pupil and nearly psychotic teacher that ducks and swerves against convention at every possible turn, transforming into a fascinatingly dark character study quite unlike anything that could be expected from this subgenre. Want to know why? Then go ahead and hit that jump. 

New WHIPLASH Trailer Showcases the Jazz-Infused Horror Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons

by     Posted 118 days ago

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A new Whiplash trailer has gone online, and it gave me flashbacks of how much the film unnerved me when I saw it at Sundance.  The film stars Miles Teller as a student jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played with palpable intensity by J.K. Simmons.  Although some may want to file this under “drama”, make no mistake: this is one of the scariest horror films of the year.  The word “horror” usually implies something supernatural and thriller conveys some form of excitement.  Whiplash is nerve-wracking dread, but it’s still a must-see, especially for Teller and Simmons’ performances.

Hit the jump to check out the international Whiplash trailer.  The film opens October 10th.

TWO NIGHT STAND Trailer & Poster Starring Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller

by     Posted 135 days ago

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I remember hearing about Two Night Stand gearing up to shoot a few years ago and then it completely fell off the radar.  Today, it is once again a blip on the screen thanks to this new trailer.  The film is directed by Max Nichols (son of Graduate director Mike Nichols) from a Blacklist script by Mark Hammer and stars Miles Teller (fresh off shooting The Fantastic Four, which I believe went into production after this film) and Analeigh Tipton.

I’m a fan of Tipton’s and Teller seems like he’s got a few chops.  But while Two Night Stand actually looks pretty good for what it is, what it is… is not for me.  It’s certainly not offensive, in fact I find the idea of two young people engaging in a frank dialogue about how to be more considerate lovers to be a refreshing concept in today’s mainstream landscape.  Maybe it’s just that I’m a few years older than these characters and don’t need to delve back into that mindset.  Still, it’s nice that movies about, you know, people aren’t just limited to serious art house fare. Hit the jump for the Two Night Stand trailer.  The film hits theaters on September 26th.

Kate Mara Shares Celebratory FANTASTIC FOUR Image to Mark End of Filming

by     Posted 141 days ago

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One of the bigger “huh?” moments from this year’s Comic-Con was the complete lack of anything from 20th Century Fox’s The Fantastic Four.  Granted, director Josh Trank‘s superhero adaptation was in the midst of production and barreling towards a fast-approaching June 19, 2015 release date, but fans were hoping to see at least a title treatment or image from the pic.  Alas, no such preview emerged, but Invisible Girl herself Kate Mara has now shared a kind of Fantastic Four image by way of a celebratory selfie with her fellow FF members.  “That’s a wrap on Fantastic Four” the tweet reads, though it’s unclear if that means the entire production has wrapped, the principal castmembers have wrapped, or only Mara has wrapped.  Regardless, since we’ve seen nothing official from the film thus far, it’s kind of neat to see Mara, Miles Teller (Mr. Fantastic), Michael B. Jordan (Human Torch), and Jamie Bell (Thing) all together on the streets of New Orleans.

Hit the jump to check out the image for yourself.  Hopefully a genuine piece of Fantastic Four material will show up in the coming months.  The film also stars Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson, and Reg E. Cathey.

WHIPLASH Trailer: J.K. Simmons Induces Terror as the Jazz Instructor from Hell

by     Posted 150 days ago

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Fresh off a prestigious TIFF selection, Sony Pictures Classics has released the first Whiplash trailer for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Sundance award-winning drama.  The film stars Miles Teller as a student jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played with palpable intensity by J.K. Simmons.  I caught the film at Sundance, and this trailer does a great job of conveying the pic’s tone.  It’s essentially a story about the cost of striving for artistic perfection, but it almost plays out as a small-scale horror film with Simmons wholly embodying the role of a relentless teacher.  Teller does excellent work here as well, and he’s already making plans to reteam with Chazelle on another feature.

Hit the jump to watch the Whiplash trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Teller from Sundance.  Whiplash also stars Paul Reiser and opens in theaters on October 10th.

Emma Watson and Miles Teller May Go Musical for LA LA LAND; Lupita Nyong’o to Lead AMERICANAH; Ike Barinholtz Joins THE NEST

by     Posted 199 days ago

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A couple of interesting casting announcements have surfaced.  First up, director Damien Chazelle—whose dark music-centric drama Whiplash drew raves at Sundance earlier this year—is putting together his next project.  Whiplash, a film about the relationship between aspiring jazz drummer (Miles Teller) and his ruthless instructor (J.K. Simmons), marked Chazelle’s feature debut, and it appears that he wants to stay in the music realm for his follow-up.  The Wrap reports that Miles Teller is in early talks to reteam with Chazelle on the musical La La Land, with Emma Watson in talks to tackle the female lead.  The story follows a lonely, aspiring actress and a cocky, charismatic jazz pianist who fall in love in Los Angeles.  However, they are soon faced with the stiff challenge of navigating a relationship in the cutthroat climate of L.A.

Hit the jump for more on La La Land and news regarding a new Lupita Nyong’o project and a Neighbors standout landing the lead in the new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler film.

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