Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, and More Join Andy Serkis’ JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS

by     Posted 92 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau is already in production on his nearly entirely CG-animated The Jungle Book for Disney, but Warner Bros. has now filled out the cast for its own adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling story.  Andy Serkis directs the terribly titled Jungle Book: Origins, and fresh off the news that Benedict Cumberbatch will be voicing Shere Khan, THR reports that Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan have joined the cast.  Moreover, Bad Words star Rohan Chand has been selected to fill the live-action role of Mowgli.  The film will be a mix of motion-capture, CG animation, and live-action with Serkis also set to star as Baloo.

Hit the jump to find out who the aforementioned actors will be playing in Jungle Book: Origins.

HERCULES Images: Dwayne Johnson Battles a Lion, a Giant Boar, and Puny Humans

by     Posted 126 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a collection of high-resolution Hercules images from director Brett Ratner’s upcoming sword-and-sandals actioner.  The film is a revisionist take on the classic myth and takes place after Hercules’ famous twelve labors, as we find him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  Dwayne Johnson takes on the lead role this time around, and as gleaned by these new images, he looks to have his hands full with plenty of foes—both human and non-human.  Also clear from these new images: the man can wear the hell out of a lion hat.

Hit the jump to check out the new Hercules images.  The film also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina Shayk.  Hercules opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 25th.

Extended HERCULES TV Spot: Dwayne Johnson Battles a Hydra

by     Posted 128 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new, extended Hercules TV spot for director Brett Ratner’s upcoming actioner.  The “revisionist take” on the classic myth takes place after Hercules’ famous twelve labors, as we find him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  This new footage sells the film’s action angle quite hard, while also revealing that Johnson won’t be denied a few entertaining quips here and there.  I’m a big fan of Johnson, but I’m finding it hard to get excited about Hercules.  The phrases “Inspired” and “Directed by Brett Ratner” don’t exactly go together, but I was hoping for at least some sense of something new or interesting here.  Johnson’s charisma goes a long way, though, so hopefully his presence makes the pic worthwhile.

Hit the jump to watch the new Hercules TV spot.  The film also stars John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina ShaykHercules opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on July 25th.

New HERCULES Trailer: Dwayne Johnson Is the Demigod of War

by     Posted 170 days ago

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Paramount has released a new Hercules trailer and poster.  Director Brett Ratner‘s “revisionist take on the classic myth” takes place after Hercules’ famous twelve labors, and has him “traveling with a group of mercenaries and cashing in on his famous name until he’s hired to train an army for an epic battle.”  As this new trailer shows, there’s a bit of God of War in the mix as the violent hero’s innocent family is killed by the gods, so the hero goes to take violent revenge.  And while I’m sure Hercules will be far less of a dick than God of War‘s Kratos, there will still be plenty of battles against Greek mythological monsters.

Hit the jump to check out the Hercules trailer and poster.  The film opens in 3D on July 25th and stars Dwayne Johnson, John Hurt, Ian McShane, Joseph FiennesPeter Mullan, Rufus Sewell, Robert Maillet, and Irina Shayk.

Filming Begins on Brett Ratner’s HERCULES Starring Dwayne Johnson; Revisionist Take Does Away with the Supernatural Aspect of the Character

by     Posted 1 year, 163 days ago

MGM and Paramount Pictures have announced that principal photography is currently underway on director Brett Ratner’s ensemble-action film Hercules.  The film stars Dwayne Johnson as the titular demigod and is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars, but the official logline describes the pic as “a revisionist take on the classic myth set in a grounded world where the supernatural does not exist.”  Making a Herclues movie without any semblance of the supernatural is a bit odd, but the story of Ratner’s film finds the titular character traveling ancient Greece with five faithful companions sometime after “the legend” that we’re familiar with.

Hit the jump to read the full official synopsis for the film.  Written by Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos, the pic also stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Askel Hennie, and Reece RitchieHercules opens on July 25, 2014.

TOP OF THE LAKE Preview; Jane Campion’s Haunting Miniseries Stays With You

by     Posted 1 year, 247 days ago

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There is something darkly meditative about Jane Campion‘s (Bright Star) work Top of the Lake, which was the first television series ever to be screened at Sundance, and definitely deserves the distinction.  The premise is reminiscent of works like The Killing or even Twin Peaks, where a special investigator begins unraveling a disturbing central mystery that is ripping a small, remote town apart.  In this case it’s Mad Men‘s Elizabeth Moss as Robin, who is home in New Zealand visiting her cancer-stricken mother when a 12 year old girl, Tui (Jacqueline Joe), the daughter of a local drug lord, is found to be five months pregnant.  The father?  “No one,” Tui writes down.  Soon she disappears completely, and what follows is a dark and twisted journey that uncovers the moral decay of what appears to be a pristine paradise.  For more on the series, hit the jump.

First Trailer for Crime Thriller WELCOME TO THE PUNCH Starring James McAvoy and Mark Strong

by     Posted 1 year, 343 days ago

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The first trailer for the British crime thriller Welcome to the Punch has landed online.  Directed by Eran Creevy (Shifty), the film stars James McAvoy as a cop whose nemesis, played by Mark Strong, suddenly reappears after having eluded capture years earlier.  The trailer plays like a mash-up between Heat and Snatch, with less comedy and 1000% more bullets and explosions.  I’m not exactly sure how everything comes together plotwise, but I’m sufficiently intrigued by the talented ensemble and Creevy’s impressive visuals.  This is a British thriller through and through, which is something we’ve seen far too little of lately.  Fans of The Walking Dead will also be happy to spot one David Morrissey in the cast, who plays The Governor on the AMC series.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Andrea Riseborough, Daniel Mays, Elyes Gabel, and Peter MullanWelcome to the Punch opens on March 15, 2013.

WAR HORSE Review

by     Posted 2 years, 331 days ago

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“A Boy and His Pet” stories can be immensely charming.  Pets are sweet and they look up to the boy (or girl, but usually it’s a boy in these stories) and the boy loves his faithful friend.  The genre started out as a “A Boy and His Dog”, but has expanded to “A Boy and His Robot” (The Iron Giant) and “A Boy and His Dragon” (How to Train Your Dragon).  Steven Spielberg‘s War Horse pulls it back to terrestrial creatures and starts out trying to tell the story of a boy and his horse.  But then the movie changes gears, separates the two and rather than show the struggle of both to get back to the other, the story uses the horse to try and tell a series of vignettes about life during World War I.  However, those vignettes lose their honesty when Spielberg refuses to show the devastating horror of war.

7 Clips from Steven Spielberg’s WAR HORSE

by     Posted 2 years, 352 days ago

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We have 7 clips from War Horse, one of two Steven Spielberg films that will see release this holiday season.  Set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.”  Based on early screenings, the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year.

Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Toby Kebbell also star.  War Horse opens on December 25.  Watch the clips after the jump.

Holly Hunter, David Wenham and Peter Mullan Joining TOP OF THE LAKE Mini-Series

by     Posted 3 years, 13 days ago

Just last week word came that Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss would lead the BBC miniseries Top of the Lake from writer Jane Campion, director Garth David and The King’s Speech producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning. Now Deadline has word that Holly Hunter (who worked with Campion on The Piano), David Wenham (Faramir from Lord of the Rings) and Peter Mullan (War Horse) have joined the production telling the story of Robin Griffin (Moss), a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is the daughter of a local drug lord. Mullan will play Matt Mitcham, the missing pregnant woman’s father and local drug lord while Hunter will play G.J., a guru at a local women’s camp. Wenham’s role has not yet been revealed, but it’d be nice to see him in a villainous role this time around just to mix things up a bit. Also, as was speculated in our initial report, Sundance Channel has closed a deal to distribute the miniseries here in the United States, so if all goes well when the shoot begins in New Zealand in February, we should see some Emmy love for the miniseries when the time comes.

Tim Roth to Star in BROKEN and THE LIABILITY

by     Posted 3 years, 44 days ago

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Tim Roth is currently looking for a new TV series since Lie to Me was canceled earlier this year.  In the meantime, he’s signing on to star in the drama Broken and the dark comedy The Liability.  Directed by Rufus Norris, Broken co-stars Cillian Murphy and newcomer Eloise Laurence, and has Roth playing “the father of an 11-year old girl living in North London who witnesses a violent attack which changes the way she looks at the world around her.”  At which point, Roth becomes The Abomination.  Okay, that doesn’t really happen, but I think that should happen in all of his movies from now on.  Filming on Broken begins this month in England.

As for The Liability, Deadline reports the story centers on an “aspiring hitman and a veteran assassin who hates protégés and dreams of retiring. They come across a beautiful and deadly female vigilante, who forces them to pool their resources to survive.”  How to survive: become The Abomination.  Directed by Craig Viveiros (Ghosted), the film co-stars Talulah Riley and the great Peter Mullan.  The Liability will also shoot in the UK.

New Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s WAR HORSE

by     Posted 3 years, 47 days ago

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A new trailer for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse has gone online.  After the somewhat-ineffectual teaser trailer struggled to explain the plot, the new trailer does a solid job of telling audiences that the movie is about a horse that is taken from his owner (Jeremy Irvine) to fight in World War I and the struggle between the two to reunite.  The new trailer is more encouraging, shows a grander scope of the drama, and strongly hints that the movie will tug at quite a few heartstrings.  The movie may have no big-name stars (although the great cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, and Toby Kebbell) and have a horse for a protagonist, but with Spielberg’s attached, it’s already shaping up to be a major awards contender.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  War Horse opens in the US on December 25th and in the UK on January 13, 2012.

Trailer for TYRANNOSAUR Starring Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman

by     Posted 3 years, 87 days ago

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A trailer has gone online for Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and unless the movie has been drastically recut, it’s not an accurate representation.  As I said in my Sundance review, the film is grim, brutal, and pointless.  It is rarely uplifting and if there’s drama between Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman’s characters, it’s because of the actors’ tremendous performances and the tension of two people who are unable to trust anyone and yet want to rely on each other.  I know other critics who were mesmerized and deeply moved by the film, and it picked up multiple awards at Sundance, but I felt it was mainly one-note.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Tyrannosaur currently has no release date but it will likely open sometime before the end of the year.

First Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s WAR HORSE [Updated]

by     Posted 3 years, 145 days ago

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[Update: We have updated the article with the English-language version which is also higher-quality video, as well as a new set image]

A Spanish trailer for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of War Horse has leaked online.  The movie charts the journey of a horse named Joey and his quest to reunite with a farmer’s son named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) against the backdrop of World War I.  Disney should release the official trailer soon, but the quality of this version is sufficient for now.  If you were hoping for a sweeping epic with a soaring John Williams score, the new clip promises just that.

Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberpatch, Patrick Kennedy, Emily Watson, Toby Kebbell, David Thewlis, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan also star.  War Horse opens December 28th. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Sundance 2011: TYRANNOSAUR Review

by     Posted 3 years, 302 days ago

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If you’re going to make a grim and brutal film, please make sure the grimness and brutality have a point.  Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur is nothing more than a collection of cheap dramatic shots combined with the hope that the visible pain of two characters will be enough to carry a belabored narrative that suffers from pacing and predictability.  While lead actors Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman deliver strong performances, they’re stuck playing flat characters that are defined by their suffering and almost nothing else.  Tyrannosaur wants to shock you into believing it has a powerful tale to tell, but at the end you’re not electrified as much as you’re annoyed.

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