LOVE & MERCY Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 43 days ago

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The Beach Boys are one of my favorite bands of all time, and their seminal 1966 album Pet Sounds is also one of my favorite albums of all time, so I came into director Bill Pohlad’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy with high expectations and a certain degree of skepticism.  As it turns out, the film is actually really good.  Pohlad takes a non-traditional approach to the biopic genre by splitting the story between young Brian Wilson (Paul Dano) and older Brian Wilson (John Cusack), focusing on the creation of Pet Sounds and the troubled SMiLE in the Dano timeline and Wilson’s severe mental illness and abusive relationship with his caretaker in the Cusack one.  Both actors rise to the challenge, with Cusack turning in his best performance in years, and Pohlad ends up crafting not only one of the more interesting biopics to come along in a while, but also a moving and honest chronicle of mental illness and success.

Paul Giamatti Joins STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON as NWA Manager Jerry Heller

by     Posted 66 days ago

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With Straight Outta Compton heading towards an August 14, 2015 debut, it’s got to finish casting up soon.  When the release date news hit, we got that shot of stars O’Shea Jackson Jr.Jason Mitchell and Corey Hawkins right along with their real life counterparts, Ice CubeEazy-E, and Dr. Dre, respectively, and now we just got word that another actor has joined in, too.

Paul Giamatti is reportedly on board to portray NWA’s manager and Ruthless Records co-founder, Jerry Heller.  Hit the jump for more on Heller’s work and additional information on the film as well.

Watch THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Opening Scene Online

by     Posted 80 days ago

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Remember when you still had hope that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 could be a solid sequel?   Now you can relive those 10 minutes because the opening sequence of Marc Webb’s second go-around with the hero is here.  Having seen the film, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that it never came together, but this sequence does serve as a reminder that there were some cool parts to it.

The release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opening scene is tied to the DVD and Blu-ray debut, but it also hit amidst of flurry of Spidey spinoff movie news including the plan for a female-led film, Sinister Six story details and also the reveal of the new title for Alex Kurtzman’s Venom movie, Venom Carnage.  Hit the jump for more.

SINISTER SIX Release Date Set for November 11, 2016; THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 Pushed to 2018

by     Posted 92 days ago

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Two Sony superhero projects that seemed to be very much in doubt over the past few months (ever since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to match expectations at the box office) are now back on the map in a major way.  Sony has just announced firm release dates for both the villain spinoff The Sinister Six and The Amazing Spider-Man 3.  It’s not all confetti though, since this means The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will be pushed one year beyond the already rumored release date shift to 2017.

All of this means that The Sinister Six release date will be November 11th, 2016 while The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has to wait all the way until May 4th, 2018.  That last date might not be such a bad thing, as it gives Sony and director Marc Webb (if he stays attached) more time to course correct a franchise that has been sinking at an alarming rate.  Hit the jump for more on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and Sinister Six release dates.

“Never Send a Monkey to Do a Man’s Job”: Looking Back at the Remake of PLANET OF THE APES

by     Posted 107 days ago

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[With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening on Friday, July 11th, I'm taking a look back at the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. These reviews contain spoilers.]

Battle for the Planet of the Apes chose to end the original 5-film saga on a message of hope, and then the franchise lay dormant for almost thirty years.  Interest had waned, fans had grown up, and that’s usually the signal for a studio to dig back into the archive to try and reinvent a property—no matter how classic or untouchable—for modern audiences, i.e. male teenagers with disposable income.  Planet of the Apes had endured to where the mainstream was aware of the original insofar as the twist, the final shot, and “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!”

But after watching the first five movies, I think the franchise’s most admirable trait is its tonal flexibility in service of various themes.  These movies were radically different, but they each had a distinct personality.  Tim Burton‘s 2001 remake “re-invented” the franchise by removing any personality whatsoever.

THE CONGRESS Trailer; Ari Folman’s Hybrid Live-Action/Animation Film Stars Robin Wright

by     Posted 150 days ago

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The U.S. The Congress trailer has arrived for Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman’s long-awaited follow-up feature.  The film is a live-action/animation hybrid adaptation of the classic Stainslaw Lem short story “The Futurological Congress” and follows an aging actress desperate for work (Robin Wright, playing a version of herself) who takes one last job to support her disabled son (Kodi-Smit McPhee).  The work she finds has her scanned into an animated world where the company will own her image, but she’ll be forever young.  It’s an incredibly beguiling premise, and this trailer is absolutely mesmerizing. Reviews have been strong for the thought-provoking pic, with our own Matt Goldberg calling it “as fascinating as it is gorgeous” in his review, and I’m really looking forward to catching the full feature later this year.

Hit the jump to watch the The Congress U.S. trailer.  The film also stars Jon HammDanny Huston, Harvey Keitel, and Paul Giamatti and opens in theaters on August 29th.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Review

by     Posted 175 days ago

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When Sony decided to reboot Spider-Man, it was a bit of surprise since Sam Raimi‘s series still had life in it, and everyone involved in the production was eager to return for a fourth installment.  But the studio cravenly hit the restart button, and even though they hired a director with great potential and a strong cast, The Amazing Spider-Man was a weak return for the wall-crawler.  It was too gritty and the plot was an utter mess based on coincidence with entire plotlines cut to ribbons (what happened to Irrfan Khan?).  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wants to function as a reboot of a reboot, and while it’s marginally better than its predecessor, it suffers from an overstuffed plot where no one seems to be on the same page.  There’s a fun, lighthearted tone that always peeks out, especially in the scenes between Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen (Emma Stone) as well as Spidey at his most buoyant.  But that vibrancy is always snuffed out by ridiculous villains, cheap motivations, and shiny but lifeless action scenes.

Watch 4 Clips, 6 Minutes of B-Roll, and a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Hans Zimmer Recording the Score for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

by     Posted 190 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released new The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie clips, six minutes of B-roll, and a behind-the-scenes look at the recording of the score.  The follow-up finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) surrounded by antagonistic forces as Electro (Jamie Foxx) emerges, Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to New York City, and everyone seems to have a connection to the shady goings-on at Oscorp.  The music stuff is particularly cool because it shows composer Hans Zimmer recording with the band. And if you don’t blink, you might see director Marc Webb playing guitar towards the end of the video.

Hit the jump to check out the clips, B-roll footage, and behind-the-scenes video of the scoring process.  The film also stars Emma StonePaul GiamattiSally FieldChris Cooper, B.J. Novak, and Felicity Jones.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 2nd.

Extended TV Spot for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Contains Even More New Footage

by     Posted 202 days ago

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In case you haven’t seen enough of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yet, Sony has released an extended TV spot containing even more new footage.  I’m curious as to why they keep doing this.  Are they worried people won’t come out to see a Spider-Man movie?  It’s Spider-Man.  People will see it.  It will sell lots of toys and other merchandise.  It’s also the first movie of the summer blockbuster season (no disrespect to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but summer blockbuster season begins on the first weekend of May; it’s science).  Does giving so much of the movie away really benefit anyone?  I guess if you can’t get enough of the movie before you see the movie, then you’re over the moon about the company’s marketing campaign.

Hit the jump to check out the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 extended TV spot. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Emma StonePaul GiamattiFelicity JonesChris CooperB.J. NovakColm Feore, and Sally FieldThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 3D on May 2nd.

New Images from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Provide a Good Look at Green Goblin’s Glider [Updated with Hi-Res]

by     Posted 210 days ago

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Despite the fact that the movie doesn’t open for over a month, Sony is nowhere near done with it’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 marketing blitz.  Today’s batch of new images offer a behind-the-scenes look at the practical version of Green Goblin’s (Dane DeHaan) glider, another look at Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, and then a couple of other images that might cross the line into possible spoiler territory.  It’s been said to death, but given the amount of footage and such that we’ve seen from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it feels like we have enough to plot out the entire story.  Despite feeling overwhelmed by it, the footage actually looks quite good, so hopefully director Marc Webb still has plenty of surprises waiting for moviegoers on opening weekend.

Hit the jump to check out the new images.  The film also stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Jamie Foxx, Felicity Jones, B.J. Novak, and Chris CooperThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 2nd. [Update: We've updated the article with high-resolution versions of some of the images.]

Final Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

by     Posted 218 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a final theatrical trailer for director Marc Webb‘s upcoming sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  The follow-up finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) surrounded by antagonistic forces as Electro (Jamie Foxx) emerges, Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to New York City, and everyone seems to have a connection to the shady goings-on at Oscorp.  This trailer would probably be a bit more exciting if Sony hadn’t previously released an overwhelming amount of trailers, clips, and images (keep in mind that the movie is still six weeks away), but there’s still plenty of action and a heavier emphasis on Harry Osborne/Green Goblin even though Electro is the main villain.  The movie looks good; I just wish the studio hadn’t already shown us so much of it.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Emma StonePaul GiamattiSally FieldChris Cooper, B.J. Novak, and Felicity Jones.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 2nd.

Action, Comedy and Plutonium Bounce around in New Clip from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

by     Posted 224 days ago

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Sony has been releasing clips from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and they’re highly encouraging.  In the upcoming sequel, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds himself surrounded by antagonistic forces as Electro (Jamie Foxx) emerges, Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to New York City, and everyone seems to have a connection to the shady goings-on at Oscorp.  Another clip has hit today, and it’s got a great mix of action and comedy as Spidey tries to wrangle some loose plutonium as the Rhino (Paul Giamatti) rampages through the streets.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  The film also stars The film also stars Emma Stone, Felicity Jones, Chris Cooper, B.J. Novak, Colm Feore, and Sally FieldThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 3D on May 2nd.

New Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 Has More Footage and More Dubstep

by     Posted 241 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released yet another new trailer for Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  In the upcoming sequel, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) finds himself surrounded by antagonistic forces as Electro (Jamie Foxx) emerges, Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to New York City, and everyone seems to have a connection to the shady goings-on at Oscorp.  This new trailer has some new footage, a lot more dubstep, and continues to make us wonder how much of the movie Sony will show us before it opens in theaters.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars The film also stars Emma Stone, Paul Giamatti, Felicity Jones, Chris Cooper, B.J. Novak, Colm Feore, and Sally FieldThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in 3D on May 2nd.

Trailer for Best Animated Feature Oscar Nominee ERNEST & CELESTINE

by     Posted 259 days ago

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Fresh off the film’s Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination, GKids has released a U.S. trailer for the French animated film Ernest & Celestine.  Directed by Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, and Stéphane Aubier, the story revolves around a young artistic mouse named Celestine (voiced by Mackenzie Foy) who strikes up a friendly relationship with a bear named Ernest (voiced by Forest Whitaker), despite the fact that her fellow mice live in fear of being eaten by bears.  This trailer highlights the delightfully charming relationship between the titular duo and the adventurous spirit of the pic as a whole, which finds Ernest and Celestine on the run and getting into various hijinks.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The U.S. release also features the voices of Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jeffrey WrightErnest & Celestine opens stateside in limited release on February 28th.

New Images from THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2; Roberto Orci Talks THE SINISTER SIX, VENOM, and More

by     Posted 280 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released more images from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and we’re starting to get to the “flipbook stage” where, by the time the film is released in May, there will probably be so many images, clips, and trailers that you’ll be able to put together the movie without seeing it.  We’re only in January, and I would say that one of these images already takes things too far, but this strategy is nothing new for blockbusters.  It’s total secrecy during filming and then spilling almost everything afterwards.  I personally find it irritating, but I suppose it’s nice for the people who are super-excited for Spidey’s next adventure.

Hit the jump to check out the images, and if you want to jump even further ahead in the Spider-Man saga, there are also some new comments from writer Roberto Orci on how they’re handling The Sinister Six, Venom, and more.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, and Sally Field, and opens in 3D on May 2nd.

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