Director Scott Cooper Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, the Film’s Subtlety, Working with Johnny Depp on BLACK MASS, Leaving THE STAND, and More

by     Posted 222 days ago

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From writer/director Scott Cooper, Out of the Furnace (now available on Blu-ray/DVD) is a gripping and powerful drama that tells the story of Russell Baze (Christian Bale), a man leading a dead-end life, working a meaningless steel mill job and caring for his terminally ill father.  When his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from Iraq, he is lured into a ruthless crime ring and mysteriously disappears, causing Russell to want to seek justice.  The film also stars Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Sam Shepard.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Scott Cooper talked about his desire to tell very personal stories, his process for working with actors who all have very different approaches to their craft, why his acting experience works to his advantage, how music is one of the most important things in his life, how Eddie Vedder came to re-record the Pearl Jam song “Release” for the movie, and what he’s most proud of with the film.  He also talked about his next film, the Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, why the compelling nature of the story appealed to him and that he’s already deep into collaborating with its star Johnny Depp, as well as why he ended up walking away from the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, and how his kids want him to make a movie that they can see.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

New to Blu-ray: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, OUT OF THE FURNACE, THE BOOK THIEF, and More

by     Posted 223 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the latest, underrated film from the Coen brothers, an unforgivingly dark Christian Bale drama, a Criterion release of director David Gordon Green’s feature debut, and more.  Briefly:

Weekend Box Office: FROZEN Edges Out CATCHING FIRE for First; OUT OF THE FURNACE in Third

by     Posted 316 days ago

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Frozen managed to climb past Catching Fire on its second weekend in theatres, giving the Disney hit its first win with an estimated $31.6 million.  The sequel to The Hunger Games was not far behind with $27 million but,  after that, box office estimates dropped precipitously on this notoriously low-grossing post-Thanksgiving frame.

Title Weekend Total
1.  Frozen $31,641,000 $134.2
2.  Catching Fire $27,000,000 $336.6
3.  Out of the Furnace $5,300,000 $5.3
4.  Thor: The Dark World $4,740,000 $193.6
5.  Delivery Man $3,775,000 $24.8
6.  Homefront $3,384,000 $15.2
7.  The Book Thief
$2,700,000 $12
8.  The Best Man Holiday
$2,673,000 $67.2
9.  Philomena $2,282,000 $8.2
10.  Dallas Buyers Club $1,458,000 $12.4

Woody Harrelson and Writer/Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Collaborating on the Character, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 316 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Harrelson and Cooper.  They talked about the way they collaborated to flesh out Harrelson’s character, the film Cooper was trying to make, the characters, deleted scenes, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Trailer, OUT OF THE FURNACE, Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, Sundance 2014, X-MEN: APOCALYPSE

by     Posted 317 days ago

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This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey‘s The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of “first times”. As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90′s will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don’t want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it’s a class final that’s worth 75% of your overall grade.

Home entertainment recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for director Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Out of the Furnace interviews with Christian Bale and more, Gal Gadot landing the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, Sundance 2014 announcing its competition lineup along with a slew of first/new images from many of the entries, and the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters in May 2016. For more, check out a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

Friday Box Office: CATCHING FIRE and FROZEN Remain Hot; OUT OF THE FURNACE Fails to Light

by     Posted 317 days ago

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After the record-breaking feast audiences enjoyed over the Thanksgiving holiday, this weekend will look a bit stingy by comparison.  Traditionally one of the slower frames of the year, this weekend will come down to a showdown between major holdovers The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and FrozenCatching Fire had the edge on Friday, adding an estimated $7.7 million to its domestic total.  Frozen should pull ahead on the weekend chart, however.  The Disney hit is projected to pull in about $30 million on its sophomore frame, compared to Katniss’s $28 million.

Yesterday brought only one fresh wide release: Relativity’s Out of the Furnace.  The R-rated thriller took in an estimated $1.8 million from 2,001 locations on Friday after posting an uninspiring $27,076 from four locations on Wednesday and Thursday.  Compare that to the $123,340 that Inside Llewyn Davis claimed from its four locations on Friday.  On its first day in theatres, the latest from Joel and Ethan Coen averaged almost $31,000 per screen for one of the best limited debuts in recent memory.  We’ll have complete details tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Catching Fire $7,700,000 $317.4
2.  Frozen $6,815,000 $109.4
3.  Out of the Furnace $1,880,000 $1.9
4.  Thor: The Dark World $1,292,000 $190.1
5.  Delivery Man $1,158,000 $22.1

Willem Dafoe Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Playing Conflicted Characters, Bringing an Eastern European Flair to His Character, and Future Projects

by     Posted 318 days ago

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Willem Dafoe delivers a finely drawn performance as a small town bookie in Out of the Furnace, Scott Cooper’s dark and gritty drama set in a struggling blue-collar Pennsylvania steel town.  A local lowlife with connections, John Petty (Dafoe) is part of the community and friends with steelworker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) and his brother, Rodney (Casey Affleck), an Iraq vet struggling to transition back to civilian life.  Petty knows the brothers have fallen on hard times, but Rodney is into him for quite a sum of money, and business comes first.  Opening December 6th, the film also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana and Forest Whitaker.

In an exclusive interview, Dafoe talked about how his sense of trust in Cooper combined with the strong script and an impressive cast was a big draw, why he enjoys playing characters that are conflicted and full of contradictions, what inspired him to bring an Eastern European flavor to his character, how he found Cooper to be a positive, confident director who values actors, his collaborative approach with the other actors, what shooting on location in Braddock lent to the film, and his upcoming projects including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nymphomaniac and A Most Wanted Man.  Hit the jump to read the interview.

Christian Bale Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Knowing When He Has to Do a Project, the Experience of Working with Terrence Malick, and More

by     Posted 319 days ago

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Now playing in limited release and expanding nationwide this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Christian Bale.  He talked about knowing when he has to do a project, his character in the film and his thoughts on what kind of movie it is, what it was like working for Terrence Malick and how Bale used gopros on set to film some of the movie himself, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Zoe Saldana Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Working with Christian Bale, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, STAR TREK 3, and More

by     Posted 320 days ago

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Opening this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Zoe Saldana.  She talked about how she got involved in the project, what it was like to work with the amazing cast (specifically Bale), how she’s changed as an actor, changes on set, J.J. Abrams not directing Star Trek 3, working with James Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy, having to do four to five hours of makeup every day, and much more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Casey Affleck Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Shooting Entirely On Location, Why He Doesn’t Work More Often, and More

by     Posted 321 days ago

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Opening this weekend is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace.  Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring.  Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.  For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. 

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Casey Affleck.  He talked about how shooting the film on location added a lot to the story, how he prepares for a role, the amount of takes he likes to do, why he doesn’t work more often, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, and Director Scott Cooper Talk OUT OF THE FURNACE, Filming Entirely On Location, and More

by     Posted 322 days ago

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Acclaimed writer and director Scott Cooper has long been drawn to the personal stories of people living on the margins of society.  His new film, Out of the Furnace, takes audiences on a tragic yet inspiring journey into the heart of a fading American Dream where fate, family and loyalty drive an ordinary man to take heroic measures to fight for those he loves.  Opening in theaters on December 6th, the film was shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania and features an impressive cast that includes Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker.

At the film’s recent press day, Bale, Affleck, Harrelson, Saldana and Cooper revealed what appealed to them about the story and its characters, how shooting on location helped inform their performances, why it’s important to be cool and calm when playing an intense character, how trust is essential when a high level of physicality is involved, what Bale and Affleck did to create an authentic chemistry between their characters, what it was like for Cooper to bring the story to life with such a talented group of actors, and why he feels it’s important to be true to yourself and to your artistic world view.  Hit the jump to read the interview.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, OUT OF THE FURNACE Set Visit, Nolan Straps an IMAX Camera to a Learjet, DELIVERY MAN, NYMPHOMANIAC Trailer

by     Posted 331 days ago

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Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.

My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Sam Shepard Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Joining on the Strength of the Script, Staying Authentic to Pittsburgh’s Language and Culture, and Improv on Set

by     Posted 332 days ago

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From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down) stars as the boys’ uncle “Red”.

During a set visit, Shepard talked to our visiting group of journalists about who he shared scenes with, his character’s backstory, how the quality of the script made him take the role, staying authentic to Pittsburgh’s language and culture, and using improv on set.  Also starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Willem Dafoe Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, Working in Pittsburgh, Finding a Trigger to Center His Character, and How His Character Fits into the Story

by     Posted 333 days ago

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From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) plays John Petty, a bookie who’s embroiled in the criminal underbelly of the community, while also being a family friend of the brothers’.

During a set visit, Dafoe took time to talk to our group of interviewers to talk about joining the picture, who he had scenes with, working in Pittsburgh, the authenticity of the setting, and how his character fits into the story.  Also starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Scott Cooper Talks OUT OF THE FURNACE, His Artistic Influences, Filming Christian Bale Working in an Active Steel Mill, & Exploring a Violent but Vanishing Culture

by     Posted 335 days ago

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From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace.  The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up.  Writer-director Scott Cooper took time out of his schedule to talk to our visiting group of reporters about the film.  He listed his various influences for both visual cues and references in the picture, shooting scenes in and around a live steel mill furnace, and showing a violent but vanishing way of life in America.

Starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Out of the Furnace opens December 6th.  Hit the jump for the interview.

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