THE RAILWAY MAN Review

by     Posted 5 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my The Railway Man review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The Railway Man opens today in limited release.]

War is an undeniable certainty.  For as long as there is civilization, there will be war.  With conflict comes tragedy, but it does not end when the war concludes; the effects a human being are long lasting and not easily forgotten.  We’ve see countless aspects of war explored onscreen in various films, some focusing on the battles at hand, some zeroing in on the psychological experience, and some chronicling the lasting effects years after the actual conflict.  The Railway Man tries to have it both ways by telling two stories: one of atrocities during World War II and one of the after effects on man’s psyche nearly half a decade later.  By splitting its focus in two, though, the film fails to wholly capture either story, resulting in a disappointing feature all together.  Hit the jump for my full review.

Nicole Kidman Joins GENIUS; Adrien Brody Boards THE SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ; Mark Rylance Is the Mad Hatter’s Father in ALICE IN WONDERLAND 2

by     Posted One week ago

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A few casting notices to report:

  • Nicole Kidman will reportedly join the cast of Genius, which centers on the relationship between author Thomas Wolfe (Michael Fassbender) and his editor Max Perkins (Colin Firth).
  • Adrien Brody will star opposite Salma Hayek and Shoreh Aghdashl in the thriller The Septembers of Shiraz, set during the Islamic revolution in Iran.
  • Mark Rylance is in negotiations to play the Mad Hatter’s father in the Alice in Wonderland sequel.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

U.K. Trailer for GRACE OF MONACO Starring Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, and Frank Langella

by     Posted 41 days ago

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This new trailer for Olivier Dahan’s Grace of Monaco highlights the fact that not every princess who finds her prince lives happily ever after.  The U.K. cut goes fairly deep into the complications that plague the life of Princess Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman).  Set six years after her wedding and departure from the Hollywood lights, Grace must reconcile a desire to return to the big screen while navigating a political minefield.  The trailer gives rather more time to her own internal conflicts than the government-level threats, but it’s a solid introduction to the film at any rate.

Also starring Paz Vega, Tim Roth, Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Milo Ventimiglia, and Derek JacobiGrace of Monaco will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this May.  Hit the jump to watch the new U.K. trailer.

First Trailer for PADDINGTON Starring Colin Firth as the Voice of Paddington Bear

by     Posted 43 days ago

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TWC-Dimension has released the first trailer for Paddington.  The story centers on a young bear (voiced by Colin Firth) who is lost at Paddington Station in London, adopted by a kind family, and then Paddington sets out in search of an explorer who inspired his aunt years before.  This is an announcement trailer, and all it really gives us is half of a look at Paddington’s face.  It’s a little surprising that Paddington looks like a realistic bear cub, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less adorable.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman.   Paddington opens December 12th.

The Weinstein Company Pulls GRACE OF MONACO from Release Schedule [UPDATED]

by     Posted 83 days ago

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The biopic Grace of Monaco will no longer be hitting theaters this March, and it’s unclear when, exactly, we’ll be able to see it.  The Weinstein Company pulled director Olivier Dahan’s (La Vie en Rose) Nicole Kidman-fronted portrait of Grace Kelly from its scheduled November release last fall, noting that the film wasn’t yet finished, but Dahan was singing a different tune.  The filmmaker said that the film was, in fact, finished, but in two different versions: his and Harvey Weinstein’s.  He called the situation “catastrophic” at the time, but it appears that the director and studio still have yet to hash out their issues, as The Weinstein Company has now pulled Grace of Monaco completely off its 2014 calendar, nixing its scheduled March 14th release date.  The studio will instead release the British dramedy One Chance on that weekend.

No official reason was given for the move, but THR reports that the film has yet to be delivered to the studio, making it impossible to begin a marketing campaign.  Hopefully we hear more soon. [Update: Variety reports that the movie will open this year's Cannes Film Festival, and so while it may not have theatrical release date, it will definitely have to be finished by May]

New Trailer for THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman

by     Posted 97 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzsky’s drama The Railway Man, and it basically gives away the entire movie.  Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore.  As he suffers from severe psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering.  I caught the pic back in September at TIFF and, sadly, it doesn’t really come together.  The flashback sequences featuring Jeremy Irvine as a young Lomax during the war are excellent, but the rest of the film is pretty unremarkable and predictable.  That being said, if you have any desire to see the pic I would discourage you from watching this new domestic trailer, which sequentially runs through almost the entire film.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and click here to read my review.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki SandaThe Railway Man will open sometime later this year.

New Poster PADDINGTON Starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, and Featuring Colin Firth as the Voice of Paddington Bear

by     Posted 113 days ago

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Earlier this year, we showed you the poster for the upcoming live-action/CGI Paddington Bear adaptation, Paddington.  The story centers on a young bear (voiced by Colin Firth) who is lost at Paddington Station in London, adopted by a kind family, and then Paddington sets out in search of an explorer who inspired his aunt years before.  Firth will be doing some facial-capture for the CGI bear, so that could be a nice touch.   This new poster is almost exactly like the first one except now it has the names of the cast and the release date.  Normally, we would group this with other posters, but it’s Christmas Eve, news is slow, and we make exceptions for bears in raingear.

Hit the jump to check out the poster.  The film also stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole KidmanPaddington opens December 12, 2014.

Nicole Kidman Set to Star in THE SILENT WIFE; Bella Thorne and Kyra Sedgwick Tackle BIG SKY; Elizabeth Peña Joins David Mamet’s BLACKBIRD

by     Posted 188 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each project.

First Trailer for GRACE OF MONACO Starring Nicole Kidman

by     Posted 212 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for Grace of Monaco.  The film takes place between December 1961 and November 1962, when Grace Kelly (Nicole Kidman) maneuvered behind the scenes as Princess of Monaco to save her nation from political turmoil.  The trailer treats Kelly like some shining beacon of wealth and nobility that came down to shower us mere mortals with her presence.  But this is Oscar season, and that’s when stuff like this starts creeping in to get Academy voters to remember the importance of famous people playing other famous people.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Paz Vega, Tim Roth, Frank Langella, Parker Posey, Milo Ventimiglia, and Derek JacobiGrace of Monaco opens December 27th.

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman to Lead PADDINGTON; Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent Join Cast; 2015 U.S. Release Set

by     Posted 215 days ago

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Things are heating up for the live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation of the popular childrens book series Paddington.  As production gears up to begin later this month, The Weinstein Company has come onboard to handle North American rights for the David Heyman-produced film.  Paddington will be the first release under TWC’s new banner TWC-Dimension, which will serve as a distribution arm that will see Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein “team on films for which they share a common passion.”  Additionally, director Paul King has filled out his cast for the film with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent.  Hit the jump for more.

First Trailer for THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Stellan Skarsgard

by     Posted 218 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first UK trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama The Railway Man.  Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore.  As he suffers from sever psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering.  I caught the film at TIFF this past weekend and found it to be pretty disappointing.  In splitting the film up between the PTSD portion in the present and the war portion in the past, Teplitzky fails to tell either story effectively.  By far the best part of the film is a 40-minute flashback sequence featuring Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as the young Lomax that chronicles his time at the POW camp, but that’s not enough to make up for the rest of the film.  Read my full review here.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, but be warned that it verges on revealing the entire plot, so tread lightly if you’re especially looking forward to this one.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada and is currently awaiting a US release date.

Nicole Kidman May Supplant Naomi Watts as QUEEN OF THE DESERT; Christopher Plummer Joins THE FORGER; Ben McKenzie is THE SWIMMER

by     Posted 219 days ago

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Here’s today’s helping of casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each announcement.

TIFF 2013: THE RAILWAY MAN Review

by     Posted 221 days ago

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War is an undeniable certainty.  For as long as there is civilization, there will be war.  With conflict comes tragedy, but it does not end when the war concludes; the effects a human being are long lasting and not easily forgotten.  We’ve see countless aspects of war explored onscreen in various films, some focusing on the battles at hand, some zeroing in on the psychological experience, and some chronicling the lasting effects years after the actual conflict.  The Railway Man tries to have it both ways by telling two stories: one of atrocities during World War II and one of the after effects on man’s psyche nearly half a decade later.  By splitting its focus in two, though, the film fails to wholly capture either story, resulting in a disappointing feature all together.  Hit the jump for my full review.

HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 314 days ago

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HBO has become one of the great places for auteurs to make cheaper movies.  Of late we’ve seen Todd Haynes and Steven Soderbergh turn to the channel to get films made, and now Philip Kaufman has joined their ranks.  The man behind The Right Stuff and The Unbearable Lightness of Being directed Hemingway & Gellhorn, a biopic about Ernest Hemingway’s one-time wife and reporter Martha Gellhorn.  And for the film he got Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen to star as his drunken lovers.  Our review of the Blu-ray of Hemingway & Gellhorn follows after the jump.

Robert Downey Jr. Reteams with Jon Favreau for Indie Comedy CHEF, Nicole Kidman is RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, Stephen Lang Joins Stephen King Adaptation

by     Posted 341 days ago

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Not to be confused with the John Wells-directed drama of the same name starring Bradley Cooper, Jon Favreau’s Chef will instead be an indie comedy both directed by and starring Favreau himself.  Joining him will be the world-renowned billionaire-playboy-philanthropist Tony Stark Robert Downey Jr.  The story centers on “a man (Favreau) who loses his chef job and starts up a food truck to reclaim his artistic promise and reclaiming his estranged family.”  Also starring are Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale.  Hit the jump for casting news for Nicole Kidman and Stephen Lang.

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