New EX MACHINA Featurette Explores the Themes of the Upcoming Sci-Fi Film Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander

by     Posted 3 days ago

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A new Ex Machina featurette has gone online, and it has me even more excited for the movie.  Written and directed by Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later and Sunshine), the film stars Domhnall Gleeson as a computer programmer who wins a contest to meet with the CEO of a large search engine company (Oscar Isaac), but when he arrives, he discovers he’s part of an experiment to test the artificial intelligence of an android (Alicia Vikander).  It’s a terrific premise, and in this featurette, the cast and Garland explain the various themes they’re trying to explore with the movie.  I was hoping the picture would play at Sundance, but sadly, I’ll have to wait until April to see it.

Hit the jump to check out the Ex Machina featurette.  The film opens April 10th.

J.C. Chandor and Oscar Isaac Talk Bradford Young’s Incredible Cinematography in New A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Featurette

by     Posted 5 days ago

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Bradford Young.  Learn that name, because the guy is about to break out in a big way.  The cinematographer has been doing great work for a while now on films like Pariah and Middle of Nowhere, but his 2014 features A Most Violent Year and Selma display some of the best cinematography of the past few years.  The guy has a bold, confident voice, and what’s spectacular about his work is that his approaches to A Most Violent Year and Selma are incredibly different, but both are absolutely phenomenal.  A24 Films has released a new A Most Violent Year featurette in which director J.C. Chandor and Oscar Isaac talk about Young’s work on the film, which follows a businessman and his wife trying to hold on to their company in early 1980s New York.  Young says he wanted to capture a “refined quality of decay” of the city in the film, and he does so to spectacular results.

Watch the A Most Violent Year featurette after the jump.  The film opens in limited release on December 31st before expanding in January 2015.  Selma opens on Christmas Day and expands on January 9, 2015.  Both are well worth seeing.

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Character Names Revealed in Throwback Fashion

by     Posted 11 days ago

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Well this was certainly unexpected.  Filmmaker J.J. Abrams is known for his “mystery box” approach to movies; he lets as little information out as possible before the film’s release.  The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the perfect way to both appease fans and tell them almost nothing—which is good!  I don’t want to know everything about a movie before it’s released, and I think most people feel the same way.  However, a year before the film hits theaters, Abrams and Co. have now cracked open the Star Wars mystery box a tad by unveiling the Star Wars: The Force Awakens character names in quite possibly the coolest way imaginable.  A collection of “vintage” Topps trading cards for The Force Awakens were released today that feature images of the characters we saw in the trailer complete with their specific character names.  Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron!  The Masked Menace is Kylo Ren!  Daisy Ridley is not Kira!

Check out the Star Wars: The Force Awakens character names after the jump.  The film opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.

New A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Clip Carries a Loaded Gun in the Upcoming Drama Starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

by     Posted 18 days ago

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A24 has released a new A Most Violent Year clip.  The film takes place in New York City in 1981, and stars Oscar Isaac as a businessman trying to get a loan to expand his shipping company, but must contend with pressure from his wife (Jessica Chastain), the deputy attorney general (David Oyelowo), and organized crime families.  This premise and this clip may hint at a more intense story, but the film is actually pretty dull and consists largely of Isaac’s character moping around to get enough loans to save his business investment.

Hit the jump to check out the A Most Violent Year clip.  The film opens in limited release on December 31st before expanding nationwide in January, and also stars Albert Brooks and Alessandro Nivola.

National Board of Review Names A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Best Film of the Year; also Wins Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle named Boyhood as the best film of 2014.  Today, the National Board of Review has revealed they decided to go a different way by selecting J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year for the year’s best film.  The NBR must have been enraptured with the tale of a guy trying to get a loan because they also gave the movie Best Actor for Oscar Isaac (who tied in the category with Michael Keaton for Birdman) and Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

It’s a list filled with choices I don’t really agree with (other than The LEGO Movie for Best Original Screenplay even though they gave Best Animated Feature to How to Train Your Dragon 2), but the one that really gets me is giving Best Director to Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.  Combine that with Jersey Boys and 2014 showed that Eastwood really needs to stop directing movies because he has no vision whatsoever.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners, which also includes the National Board of Review’s Top Films of 2014 list.

First STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer Reveals J.J. Abrams’ Sequel

by     Posted 24 days ago

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It’s here!  Disney has released the very first Star Wars: The Force Awakens for director J.J. Abrams‘ highly anticipated sequel, which falls into the franchise as Episode VII if anyone’s counting.  As far as teaser trailers go, this one is pretty incredible.  Abrams doesn’t simply rely on nostalgia to make this thing exciting, offering up tantalizing teases through some genuinely compelling filmmaking.  As far as character first-looks go, we can clearly see John BoyegaDaisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac as seemingly “good guys” in full costume, and then an obscured baddie (Adam Driver?), complete with voiceover narration from Andy Serkis (not Benedict Cumberbatch).  The money shot of the Millennium Falcon is spectacular, and overall I’m extremely enthused to see a heavy reliance on practical locations and effects work.  This is great, great stuff.

Watch the debut Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer after the jump, and click here to check out some new hi-res images.  The film also stars Harrison FordMark HamillCarrie FisherLupita Nyong’o, Oscar IsaacDomhnall GleesonGwendoline ChristieMax Von Sydow, and more.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18, 2015.

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Featurette and Poster Delve Into the American Dream With Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

by     Posted 26 days ago

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A24 Films has issued a new A Most Violent Year featurette and poster in support of writer/director J.C. Chandor’s (All Is Lost) upcoming crime drama. The featurette is a nice look at not only the making of the piece, but the American economic situation that inspired it.  The film is set in New York in 1981 and revolves around “an American immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) trying to expand their business as violence and corruption threaten to destroy all they have built.”  I’m excited to see this movie next week, I typically love Isaac and Chastain so even if it’s not all that violent or action-packed, which I’ve heard, I should be just fine watching a solid drama featuring the pair.

Check out the first A Most Violent Year featurette and poster after the jump.  The film also stars Alessandro Nivola and Albert Brooks.  A Most Violent Year opens in limited release on December 31st before expanding in January 2015.  

Oscar Isaac to Play Villain Apocalypse in X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 28 days ago

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20th Century Fox has found its villain for the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse, and the studio has nabbed one of the best actors working today to bring the character to life.  Variety reports that Inside Llewyn Davis star Oscar Isaac has signed on to play the titular antagonist, a very old mutant who was considered a god during the time of ancient Egypt.  The crux of Apocalypse takes place in the 1980s and the film has been described as a “disaster movie”, so the powerful villain presumably acts as a formidable force for the X-Men team.  More after the jump.

Jessica Chastain Demands Respect in First A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Clip

by     Posted 39 days ago

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A24 Films has released the first A Most Violent Year clip from writer/director J.C. Chandor’s (All Is Lost) upcoming crime drama.  The film is set in New York in 1981 and revolves around “an American immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) trying to expand their business as violence and corruption threaten to destroy all they have built.”  This new clip, in no uncertain terms, serves to highlight Chastain’s performance in light of Best Supporting Actress consideration, as she explains to the District Attorney (played by David Oyelowo) how she and her husband must be respected.  This is absolutely one of my most anticipated films of the year, and response from its premiere at AFI Fest was incredibly positive, with many noting that Chandor once again uses a very specific story to draw parallels to what’s going on in our world today.

Check out the first A Most Violent Year clip after the jump.  The film also stars Alessandro Nivola and Albert BrooksA Most Violent Year opens in limited release on December 31st before expanding in January 2015.

Full-Length A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Trailer: Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain Expand Their Empire in 1981 New York

by     Posted 49 days ago

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A24 Films has released the full-length A Most Violent Year trailer for director J.C. Chandor‘s (All Is Lost) upcoming crime drama ahead of the film’s AFI Fest debut.  The film is set in New York in 1981 and revolves around “an American immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) trying to expand their business as violence and corruption threaten to destroy all they have built.”  This looks to be very much a crime drama in the vein of The Sopranos, in that the focus is more on how the business impacts the family rather than the crime business itself.  Chandor has been a talent to watch since his debut feature Margin Call, and after seeing him shift gears so dramatically with All Is Lost, I’m really curious to see what he has up his sleeve with this new film.  Additionally, Isaac and Chastain are two of the best actors working today, so the prospect of seeming them lead a character-centric crime drama such as this is highly enticing.  Can’t wait for this one.

Watch the new A Most Violent Year trailer after the jump.  The film also stars Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo, and Alessandro Nivola and opens in NY and LA on December 31st before expanding in January 2015.

First EX MACHINA Trailer Starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander

by     Posted 53 days ago

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“To erase the line between man and machine is to obscure the line between men and gods.”  Thus begins the first Ex Machina trailer, projecting an ominous tone for the psychological thriller.  The script by Alex Garland centers on a billionaire programmer (Oscar Isaac) who invites a young employee (Domhnall Gleeson) to his remote estate to be the human component in a Turing test to evaluate his new artificial intelligence robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander).  This is Garland’s directorial debut, and I am curious to see what he can do after contributing to great ambivalent science fiction like 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Never Let Me Go.  Plus, Isaac is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.  I’ll watch anything he’s in, especially if he plays a shady genius with a great beard.

The A24 release opens April 10, 2015.  Watch the Ex Machina trailer after the jump.

Awards Season Has Begun: BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Award Nominees; FOXCATCHER Stars Receive Special Jury Award

by     Posted 60 days ago

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And here we go.  The 2014 Awards Season has begun, and it begins with Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood leading with four nominations from the Gotham Awards.  Linklater’s terrific film picked up nominations for Best Feature, Ethan Hawke (Best Actor), Patricia Arquette (Best Actress), and Ellar Coltrane (Breakthrough Performance).  Also of note was Oscar Isaac receiving a Best Actor nomination for A Most Violent Year even though it has yet to be screened for the public (it will debut at AFI Fest next month).  Finally, I’m very amused that rather than choose between nominating Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, they received a Special Jury Award jointly for their performances.  That’s one way to do it.

It’s also worth noting that the Gotham Awards mean next to nothing in the overall awards race.  They have the distinction of being the starting gun, but I’m glad they’re continuing to honor worthwhile movies.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 1st.

Rumor: Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Farrell and Keanu Reeves Frontrunners for DOCTOR STRANGE?

by     Posted 66 days ago

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We’ve already got Ryan Gosling, Jared LetoOscar IsaacMatthew McConaugheyEwan McGregorJake Gyllenhaal and Ethan Hawke in the mix for Doctor Strange.  Why not add another name to the ever-growing list?

Not only is it being reported that Colin Farrell is in consideration for the title role, but that Benedict Cumberbatch is back in the race as well.  Hit the jump for more on who’s supposedly in and out.  Doctor Strange is due in theaters on July 8, 2016.

Rumor: Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal and More on Marvel’s Short List for DOCTOR STRANGE

by     Posted 68 days ago

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There have been a lot of Doctor Strange casting rumors over the last few months, but now there’s a new report claiming that Marvel is still assessing a short list and that that short list currently includes Jared Leto, Oscar Isaac, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ethan Hawke.

Per usual, nothing is official and we must treat this as a rumor, but after those negotiations with Joaquin Phoenix broke down, it makes sense for the studio to take a step back and assess the other options.  Hit the jump for additional details on each one.

J.C. Chandor’s A MOST VIOLENT YEAR to Open AFI Fest 2014

by     Posted 89 days ago

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J.C. Chandor’s only got three feature films under his belt, but there’s a good chance every single one of them will wind up with some awards season glory.  His feature directorial debut, Margin Call, earned him a Best Writing Oscar nod, then All Is Lost scored Robert Redford a Best Performance nomination at the Golden Globes and now we’ve A Most Violent Year poised to earn some acclaim of its own.

The American Film Institute just announced that the movie will celebrate its world premiere as the Opening Night Gala of AFI Fest 2014.  Hit the jump for more on A Most Violent Year.  The film is set to hit theaters on December 31st and stars Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola and Albert Brooks.

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