BIRDMAN Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 10 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.

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

by     Posted 26 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.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 44 days ago

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Film festivals are a good time to sample the latest work of Noah Baumbach.  The caustic comedic filmmaker’s work can feel a bit nasty when held up against the tripe that often qualifies as mainstream comedy.  Shove it in amidst a series of screenings of art house exports, documentaries, and Oscar bait and suddenly it doesn’t feel so odd.  Baumbach’s work tends to be at it’s best when he’s at his most visious and uncompromising.  His newest film While We’re Young is a bit softer than much of his work, which is mildly disappointing.  Thankfully, Baumbach playing nice is still harsher than 95% of comedies and this flick features easily one of his funniest scripts.  Hit the jump for all the dirty deets.

ST. VINCENT Images Show Off Bill Murray’s Unusual Babysitting Techniques

by     Posted 62 days ago

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Theodore Melfi’s feature directorial debut, St. Vincent, is just about two weeks away from making its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  We’ve already got a trailer and a small handful of images, but now there’s three more stills from the film to go along with them.

St. Vincent features Bill Murray as Vincent, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and Oliver’s (Jaeden Lieberher) retired neighbor with a drinking problem, bad attitude and no money in his bank account.  When Maggie gets stuck working long hours, she lets Vincent watch Oliver while she’s gone, giving him a chance to make a quick buck.  Hit the jump to check out those new stills to get a sense of what babysitting means to Vincent.  The film also stars Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts.  It’s set to screen at TIFF on September 5th and will begin its theatrical run on October 14th.

Production Begins on Gus Van Sant’s SEA OF TREES Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts

by     Posted 84 days ago

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“The McConaissance” continues as Gus Van Sant’s new project Sea of Trees starts shooting today.  As you may have guessed, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as well as Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts.  Penned by Chris Sparling, the story follows a man who enters the “Suicidal Forest” at Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life.  When he is interrupted by a Japanese man who is having second thoughts about his own suicide, the two “begin a journey of reflection and survival.”

This sounds exactly like the kind of film I feel Van Sant should be doing and it makes me glad that 50 Shades of Grey dalliance ended for him when it did.  Hit the jump for the full press release on Sea of Trees starting up.  The film will shoot on location in Massachusetts and Japan with no release date set as-of-yet.

First Images From WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, COMING HOME, FORCE MAJEURE, and A SECOND CHANCE

by     Posted 92 days ago

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Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • While We’re Young (Directed by Noah Baumbach) starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried and Charles Grodin.
  • Force Majeure (Directed by Ruben Östlund) starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.
  • Coming Home (Directed by Zhang Yimou) starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li.
  • A Second Chance (Directed by Susanne Bier) starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lykke May Andersen.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4th-14th.

Matthew McConaughey May Be THE COMPANY MAN; Four More for Spielberg & Hank’s UNTITLED COLD WAR THRILLER; Naomi Watts Joins DEMOLITION

by     Posted 93 days ago

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A few casting items crept up in today’s second half.  In short:

  • Mathew McConaughey is said to be in talks to join The Company Man.  The former Black List script is currently looking for a director.
  • Amy Ryan, Eve Hewson, Alan Alda and Billy Magnussen look to be joining Steven Spielberg’s Untitled Cold War Thriller starring Tom Hanks.
  • Speaking of talks, Naomi Watts is apparently in them to join Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, the new picture from Dallas Buyers Club-director Jean-Marc Vallée.

Hit the jump for more on each announcement.

BIRDMAN, Starring Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, to Open the Venice Film Festival; Early Awards Contender

by     Posted 104 days ago

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Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, will be the opening film of the 71st Annual Venice Film Festival.  This move obviously conveys a high amount of confidence in the film not only on the part of the Fest, but on behalf of distributor Fox Searchlight as well.  So far everything bodes well for what looks to be a truly original work.

Hit the jump for more on Birdman opening the Venice Film Festival.  The film also stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (aka The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens October 17th. And if you haven’t checked out the trailer, please do so. It’s wonderful. 

ST. VINCENT Trailer: Bill Murray Makes an Unlikely Friend

by     Posted 113 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first St. Vincent trailer for writer/director Theodore Melfi’s upcoming dramedy.  Bill Murray stars as a curmudgeonly, misanthropic veteran who begrudgingly agrees to look after his divorced neighbor’s (Melissa McCarthy) young boy while she’s at work, making an unlikely new friend in the process.  The film looks like a solid vehicle for Murray to do his thing, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how McCarthy handles a more dramatic role.  The pic was a heavily sought-after item in development, and with a fall release date, it’s possible The Weinstein Company could be going after some awards love for Murray and/or McCarthy.

Hit the jump to watch the first St. Vincent trailer.  The film opens in theaters on October 14th and also stars Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts.

New BIRDMAN Images Hint at Epic Fight between Michael Keaton and Edward Norton and More

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released five new Birdman images.  Michael Keaton plays Riggin Thomson an actor, who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway production of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Edward Norton co-stars as an actor in the play and Emma Stone plays Thomson’s daughter.  Birdman is already one of my most-anticipated films for the remainder of 2014, and these images (the one with Keaton and Norton preparing to fight, in particular) make me want to see the movie even more.

Hit the jump to check out the Birdman images, and in case you haven’t seen the great teaser trailer, click here.  The film also stars Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman opens October 17th.

BIRDMAN Trailer: Michael Keaton Looks for a Revival in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Latest Film

by     Posted 132 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released the first Birdman trailer.  Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 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.  Aside from the biographical implications of the story, this teaser trailer has some gorgeous shots, and looks far more fantastical than anything director Alejandro González Iñárritu has done before.  I’m also a huge fan of Keaton, and I can’t wait to see him a dramatic role that puts him front-and-center.

Hit the jump to check out the Birdman trailer.  The film opens on October 17th, and also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAmy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough.

Naomi Watts Joins INSURGENT and ALLEGIANT; Tim Roth Added to SELMA; James Ransone Set for Western IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE

by     Posted 140 days ago

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We have a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Naomi Watts has landed the critical role of Evelyn in the Divergent sequel Insurgent, as well as the two-part conclusion to the franchise Allegiant.
  • Tim Roth will play Governor George Wallace in the Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma.
  • The Wire alum has joined John Travolta and Ethan Hawke in director Ti West’s (The Sacrament) Blumhouse Pictures Western In a Valley of Violence.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.

New Trailer and Poster for DIANA Starring Naomi Watts

by     Posted 1 year, 27 days ago

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eOne has released a new trailer for the drama DianaNaomi Watts stars as the eponymous princess, and the story focuses on the final two years of the late princess’ life, specifically centering on her secret affair with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Kahn, played by Naveen Andrews (Lost).  Diana is one of two upcoming “famous princess” movies, the other being Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly.  I’m not the target audience for either movie, but at least Grace of Monaco has its protagonist doing something substantial in trying work behind the scenes to prevent political turmoil in her country.  Judging by the trailer for Diana, there’s some brief lip service towards her humanitarian work, but it’s mostly about a love affair between a regular guy and an attractive, rich, and famous person.  It’s like Notting Hill, but no fun whatsoever.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  Diana opens November 1st.

Naomi Watts in Talks to Star in Errol Morris’ HOLLAND, MICHIGAN; Jennifer Lopez to Star in THE BOY NEXT DOOR; FAST & FURIOUS 7 Adds Nathalie Emmanuel

by     Posted 1 year, 46 days ago

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A bit more casting news today:

Hit the jump for more on both pictures.

Biopic DIANA Starring Naomi Watts Set for U.S. Release on November 1st

by     Posted 1 year, 57 days ago

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Entertainment One announced today that director Oliver Hirschbiegel’s (Downfall) Princess Diana biopic Diana will be given a limited release in the U.S. on November 1st, followed by a nationwide expansion.  Naomi Watts stars as the titular figure, and the story focuses on the final two years of the late princess’ life, specifically centering on her secret affair with heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Kahn, played by Naveen Andrews (Lost).  The film’s trailer looks to paint a rather idolatrous portrait of Diana rather than humanizing her with a warts-and-all glimpse into her life, but this could just be a product of poor marketing.  Entertainment One no doubt hopes to drum up some awards buzz for the feature, so it’ll be interesting to see how the film is received by critics.

When Diana opens on November 1st, it will be playing opposite the sci-fi pic Ender’s Game, Relativity’s animated feature Free Birds, and the ensemble comedy Last Vegas.

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