Last weekend I checked out director Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie remake and found it to be a perfectly solid retelling of Brian De Palma‘s 1976 classic. With a solid lead performance from Chloë Grace Moretz and a downright terrifying turn by Julianne Moore, I found more than a few things to like about the pic. I also thought the opening scene was terrific and was surprised to hear Judy Greer tell Steve that it wasn’t in the original script. Although I knew how the story would play out, I found myself wanting so badly for Carrie’s prom night to go smoothly which I think is a credit to Peirce’s direction and the time she takes setting up the obstacle-laden road Carrie traverses on the way to her first date. Ultimately, is there anything extraordinarily fresh and/or updated about the remake? Not really. Nevertheless, it’s a solid movie that proves Stephen King‘s tale is just as relevant and effective today as it was nearly four decades ago.
With my paragraph review of Carrie in the bag, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Adam’s Divergent set visit, Steve’s Thor: The Dark World video interviews with Chris Hemsworth and more, two new trailers for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Evan’s look at superhero movie casting decisions that nearly came to fruition. Much like in the past, a brief recap and link to each of the above is waiting after the jump.
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. Chris Evans as Captain America. These are just a few staples to be found in the superhero movie genre that have really established themselves as their characters. For some, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing these bigger-than-life figures, but for many of these movies, each role was nearly given to someone else. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of these scenarios of possible alternate casting, cases where we can delve into what exactly happened and the very different franchises they could have been. Hit the jump for more.
After watching Prince Avalanche earlier this year, I hoped that director David Gordon Green would continue with smaller, more intimate stories. With his follow-up, Joe, he has not only built on the palette-cleanser of Prince Avalanche, but also delivered one of his best movies. Featuring tremendous performances from stars Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan as well as a cast of non-professional actors, Joe is both compassionate towards its characters and non-judgmental towards their actions. It’s a story about men teetering between honest living and losing all restraint with their violent tendencies. Casually and with great subtlety, Green examines not only the inner struggle to maintain control, but also how much responsibility we owe to others and the limits of that responsibility.
Since George Washington hit the scene in 2000, director David Gordon Green has impressed me again and again. Whether tackling a big studio comedy like Pineapple Express, an intimate drama like Snow Angels, or outrageous characters like Kenny Powers on HBO’s Eastbound & Down, Green has repeatedly shown he’s a gifted filmmaker that can handle any subject. In his new film, Joe, which just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, he tackles the story of an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) who becomes a role models to 15 year old Gary Jones (Tye Sheridan), the oldest child of a homeless family led by a drunk father. Loaded with fantastic performances (including some incredible work by non-professional actors), Joe really impressed me at this year’s festival.
Shortly after the premiere I got to sit down with Green and Cage for an exclusive video interview. They talked about being at TIFF, the value of non-professional actors, improvising on set, how Green values the organic process over detailed planning of shots, upcoming projects like Eastbound & Down and Tokarev, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Opening in theaters and on demand August 23rd, writer/director Scott Walker’s cat-and-mouse thriller, The Frozen Ground, stars Nicolas Cage as Alaskan State Trooper, Sgt. Jack Halcombe, who’s hot on the trail of a notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen (John Cusack), with the help of Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens). As Hansen’s only surviving teenage victim who managed to escape, Paulson becomes the vital key in an unlikely partnership that finally brings Hansen to justice. The film based on true events is Walker’s directorial debut and also features Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
At the film’s recent press day, Cage, Hudgens and Walker talked about their research and preparation for the film, condensing a 13-year story into a 2-hour film, what impressed them most about the real Cindy Paulson when they met her, the decision not to interview Robert Hansen, the cold weather and other logistical challenges of shooting a film set in Alaska, dealing with some of the film’s most emotionally difficult scenes, maintaining the integrity of the story within the structure of the film, and striking the right balance between the ugly rawness of the material and the desire to give the victims dignity. Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview.
Lionsgate and Millennium Films have announced that principal photography on The Expendables 3 has begun in Bulgaria and at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia. The upcoming film pits Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and his team against his old partner Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). Stonebanks is out for revenge, and so Barney must round-up a gang of younger team members to join the Expendables. This is an odd synopsis considering that the high-profile new names are veterans Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, and Harrison Ford. The younger additions consist of Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, and boxing champion Victor Ortiz. The most notable aspect of the press release is the omissions. Deadline had previously reported that Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan, and Milla Jovovich were on board, but they’re not mentioned in this press release. Additionally, Stallone had said that Mickey Rourke would return, but he’s also absent. Perhaps their roles were…dispensable.
Hit the jump for the press release. The Expendables 3 is due out August 15, 2014.
It’s been too long since we saw a film from director Terry Zwigoff. His movies have a cult following and Bad Santa, his most successful movie, has become a holiday staple. Seven years after his last feature, Art School Confidential, Zwigoff might be returning with Lost Melody. According to The Wrap, Nicolas Cage is set to star as “a man who’s trapped in a marriage to a shrewish wife and falls in love with a prostitute.” It sounds fairly bland, but I’m assuming that logline doesn’t do justice to the tone and style Zwigoff has planned. It’s worth noting that a few weeks ago, we reported that Zwigoff had also signed on to direct Fred Armisen in an untitled comedy about “a man forced to grow up a second time.” The filmmakers are in the process of trying to finance that picture for a fall shoot. No matter what project goes forward first, I’m hoping that we’ll be seeing a new Zwigoff movie in the near future
As for Cage, he’ll next be seen opposite John Cusack in the thriller The Frozen Ground. Cage is also co-starring with Tye Sheridan (Mud) in David Gordon Green’s drama Joe, and he recently signed on for The Expendables 3.
We’ve got a few exclusive images from writer-director Scott Walker’s thriller The Frozen Ground to share with you today. The picture stars Nicolas Cage as an Alaskan detective out to catch a serial killer (John Cusack) with the help of one of his recently-escaped would-be victims (Vanessa Hudgens). Based on a true story, killer Robert Hansen (Cusack) would kidnap prostitutes, rape them, take them into his helicopter and let them free in the Alaskan wilderness where he would then hunt them like animals. Yikes. If you missed the recently-released trailer, have a look at it here.
Also starring Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, The Frozen Ground opens August 23rd in theaters and on VOD. Hit the jump to check out our exclusive first look at new images from the film.
A new trailer for writer-director Scott Walker’s new thriller The Frozen Ground is now available. The picture stars Nicolas Cage as an Alaskan detective out to catch a serial killer (John Cusack) with the help of one of his recently-escaped would-be victims (Vanessa Hudgens). Yes, Cage plays the detective and Cusack the serial killer … not the other way around, but Hudgens is dancing on a stripper pole in this trailer so what do you want from me?
Also starring Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as Pimp Clate Johnson (ie Best Name Ever), The Frozen Ground opens August 23rd. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
It seems like the goal of The Expendables movies is to put together a dream-team action cast, and then figure out the plot. Audiences have been pleased with the line-ups of the past films, and producer/star Sylvester Stallone is hoping to keep fans happy. We previously reported that Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes, and Nicolas Cage were all circling The Expendables 3, and now it looks like Stallone has got them. According to Deadline, the three actors are in “advanced negotiations” to join the film, and Milla Jovovich is also in talks to fight in the boys’ club. Jovovich could be a fun addition to the mix, and the series has definitely run short on female firepower. Audiences love her in the Resident Evil franchise, and I don’t think they’ll have any problem seeing her kicking ass alongside Stallone, Statham, et al.
Some weekend casting news for you:
- Oscar Isaac (Drive) has landed the lead in Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman’s Pablo Escobar biopic.
- Glenn Close, Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow) and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been confirmed to join Low Down, a 1960s-set drama about a jazz musician (John Hawkes) struggling with addiction.
- Nicolas Cage will star in horror-thriller Hotel 33, based on a “real-life” mass-vanishing that took place at a Pennsylvania hotel.
- Timothy Olyphant looks set for the role of a border-town sheriff dealing with the aftermath of a cartel deal gone bad in Gonzalo López-Gallego’s crime thriller The Man on Carrion Road.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
At this point, it’s surprising when DreamWorks Animation doesn’t make a sequel out of one of its properties. While the studio was decidedly more nervous than usual for the release of last month’s prehistoric pic The Croods following the commercial disappointment of Rise of the Guardians, audiences flocked to the cavepeople-centric animated film. The Croods’ worldwide box office total now stands at over $385 million, and THR reports that DreamWorks Animation has officially greenlit a sequel.
Writers/directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders will return for The Croods 2, and the studio is currently in negotiations with certain key voice actors to return as well. The first pic boasts a voice cast that includes Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, and Ryan Reynolds, and we can reasonably expect a fair amount of the actors to come back. Next on the DWA release docket is the snail racing pic Turbo this July, which also features the voice of Reynolds.
The nationwide expansion of Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers meant that I had the opportunity to catch the film last night at my local theater. We’ll talk a more specifically about our coverage of the film after the jump. For now, I’d like to make a futile attempt at encapsulating my feelings on the pic in the next few sentences. There’s a lot to like about Breakers whether it be the performances (James Franco‘s especially), the music, the slick editing and use of foreshadowing, etc. Nevertheless, for me this isn’t a movie that I “liked” as much as it’s one I respect. It’s beautiful, surreal, challenging, abhorrent, and vapid all at the same time. In other words, it’s art.
I could go on for days about the pic but that’s not why we’re here. In this week’s Top 5 we’ll take a look at our Breakers coverage, some Transformers 4 plot details, Olympus Has Fallen interviews with Gerard Butler and Antoine Fuqua just to name a few, a new trailer and poster for Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Croods interviews with Nicolas Cage and more. As is standard, a brief recap and link to each awaits after the jump.
“Crude” is a half-appropriate description of DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods. The word couldn’t apply less to the gorgeous animation, which not only paints a broad, beautiful canvas for the setting, but also revels in meticulous detail. But the film’s sense of humor and thinly-drawn characters are rarely worthy of their magnificent surroundings. Although the film doesn’t resort to fart humor (which DreamWorks Animation has never been hesitant to employ), it’s mostly slapstick that renders the characters’ need to survive less than compelling when they can be tossed 80 feet in the air and land with nary a scratch. The story may preach about looking to tomorrow, but the tired story and themes are rooted firmly in the past.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches from the past few years was “Get in the Cage.” The sketch featured Andy Samberg as Nicolas Cage, and each episode would have “Cage” talking with fellow thespians about their craft and their recent work. Some of the episodes included Bradley Cooper, Jude Law, Jake Gyllenhaal, Liam Neeson, and would you believe the real Nicolas Cage. About a year ago, when Cage was promoting Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, he stopped by SNL and did the sketch with Samberg. Not only was it a huge surprise, it was also incredibly funny.
At the recent New York City press day for DreamWorks Animations The Croods, I asked Cage about appearing in the sketch and mentioned how funny it was. While I was a bit nervous that he wouldn’t want to talk about it, this was not the case at all. In fact, it seemed like he might have been waiting for someone to ask him about it, as he wanted to go on record that not everything he says is a whisper or a scream. Hit the jump to watch the sketch and to see Cage talk about appearing on SNL. Look for my full interview with Cage tomorrow.