Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

by     Posted 5 hours ago

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Director Francis Lawrence Ponders THE HUNGER GAMES Past MOCKINGJAY – PART 2; Reveals How They Handled Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Remaining Scenes

by     Posted 3 days ago

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It’s hard to let a good franchise perish.  Thankfully, the Harry Potter saga has come to a close but we’re going to continue into the Wizarding World with a completely separate story, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be a trilogy starting in 2016.  However, J.K. Rowling drew out a whole world with her books while The Hunger Games is really about a group of revolutionaries, and you certainly wouldn’t want to trudge around a totalitarian setting with no prospect for change.  And if you set it after Mockingjay – Part 2, then Katniss continues to loom over everything as opposed to Fantastic Beasts, which is set in America 70 years before Harry Potter.

So how would someone continue The Hunger Games series past Mockingjay – Part 2, which is due out next year?  Director Francis Lawrence pondered that question, and didn’t have a clear-cut answer.  Hit the jump for what he had to say, and also to learn how they handled the scenes they had yet to shoot when Philip Seymour Hoffman died.

Steve Coogan to Replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Showtime Comedy Series HAPPYISH

by     Posted 9 days ago

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Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death left a gaping void in the acting world, and there are so many more roles it would have been wonderful to see him tackle.  Among his planned projects was Happyish, a 10-episode half-hour comedy series for Showtime created, written, and executive produced by This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander (who also wrote the terrific book Foreskin’s Lament).  The series is described as “a soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place.”

The project was in stasis following Hoffman’s death, but Showtime has decided to move forward by casting Steve Coogan in the lead role of “Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like ‘digital,’ ‘social’ and ‘viral.’” The series was also set to star Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans, but there’s no mention of them in the press release, so it’s possible that their roles—Thom’s wife and his mentor—are being re-cast.  Hit the jump for the press release.  The half-hour pilot will be shot in New York in December.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot Contains New Footage of Katniss Refusing to Give up the Fight

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Lionsgate has released a new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot, which contains fresh footage from the upcoming blockbuster.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in Panem while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  We’ve had some huge hits this year, but I’m still putting my money on The Girl on Fire for winning the 2014 box office race, especially since this looks like the biggest Hunger Games movie yet.

Hit the jump to check out the new TV spot.  The film also stars Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

The Rebellion Continues with 19 New Images from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1

by     Posted 15 days ago

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Last night, we got a new teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and now we have more images from the upcoming film.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  These new images give us a look not only at our main heroes, but also new supporting characters Cressida (Natalie Dormer), Boggs (Mahershala Ali), Pollux (Elden Henson), Messalla (Evan Ross), and Castor (Wes Chatham).

Hit the jump to check out the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 images.  The film also stars Liam HemsworthWoody HarrelsonJulianne MoorePhilip Seymour HoffmanElizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens on November 21st.

The Rebellion Takes Flight in Full-Length THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Trailer

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the full-length The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer for the first half of director Francis Lawrence’s conclusion to the Hunger Games franchise.  The film finds Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the rebellion in District 13 while Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna (Jena Malone) are held captive in the Capitol.  Francis Lawrence surprised the hell out of me with Catching Fire, which I thought was hands-down the best “tentpole” film of last year, and so I have high hopes for his adaptation of Mockingjay (the weakest book of the trilogy).  What strikes me most about this trailer is that the film appears to be in the vein of an action pic, whereas Catching Fire was more of a thriller and the first film was essentially a survival movie.  District 13 isn’t exactly a cinematic location and there’s a lot of bunker-set scenes in the book, so I’m very curious to see what changes have been made in the feature film adaptation.  The pic looks rather epic in scope, and I imagine Mockingjay – Part 1 will be the most intense and largest scale entry in the franchise yet.  Hold on to your butts.

Hit the jump to watch the Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer.  The film also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Sam Claflin, and Donald SutherlandThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st.

New THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Posters Focus on the Revolutionaries of District 13

by     Posted 84 days ago

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Lionsgate has released new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 posters focusing on key members of the resistance in their home base, District 13: President Coin (Julianne Moore), Finnick (Sam Claflin), Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Effie (Elizabeth Banks), and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson).  I like these character posters because while these are the members of the resistance, they’re also behind cold, grey walls.  It’s a signal that while the resistance has a headquarters, they don’t have a sanctuary.

Hit the jump to check out the hi-res The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 posters.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Teaser Trailer Hints at the Battle to Come

by     Posted 96 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first teaser trailer for the first half of the conclusion to the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, directed by Francis Lawrence.  Since the teaser trailer is only a minute, Lionsgate has wisely chosen to let the visuals and minimal dialogue set the stage at the battle to come.  I especially enjoyed seeing Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) discussing Katniss’ purpose in the rebellion.  Plutarch insists, “Listen to me.  No one else can do this, but her.”  Coin disagrees.  “She won’t be able to handle it.  The games destroyed her.”  Shortly after their scene we get a glimpse of Natalie Dormer as Cressida with her half shaved head as well as Liam Hemsworth looking serious as Gale.   Hit the jump to check it out.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright,, and Donald Sutherland, and opens in theaters November 21st.  Watch the first The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 trailer after the break.

Weekend Box Office: LUCY Shines with $44 Million; HERCULES Takes Second with $29 Million

by     Posted 96 days ago

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2014’s summer box office got a rare ray of sunshine this weekend thanks to Lucy.  The sci-fi/action pic easily claimed first place with an estimated $44 million from 3,173 locations – the highest debut for star Scarlett Johansson outside of her Marvel Universe appearances.   Hercules had to settle for a second place, though the action/adventure’s estimated $29 million from 3,595 locations also beat expectations.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Lucy $44,025,000 $44
2.  Hercules $29,000,000 $29
3.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $16,400,000 $172
4.  The Purge: Anarchy $9,896,000 $51.2
5.  Planes: Fire & Rescue $9,303,000 $35.1
6.  Sex Tape $5,975,000 $26.8
7.  Transformers: Age of Extinction $4,600,000 $236.3
8.  And So It Goes $4,552,000 $4.5
9.  Tammy $3,400,000 $78.1
10.  A Most Wanted Man $2,717,000 $2.7

 

Full story after the jump.

A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 98 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my A Most Wanted Man review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process.  This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, A Most Wanted Man still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

First Images from THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, and Woody Harrelson, Plus a Motion Poster

by     Posted 169 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first images from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 along with a motion poster for the film.  All the media comes courtesy of their new website, which will give fans access to the making of the movie, including first-look images, behind-the-scenes looks, and an interactive sneak peek at a page from the film’s script.  In addition to the first images and a new motion poster, we’ve also shared the first look at Julianne Moore’s President Alma Coin and a video commentary from Moore about all things Mockingjay.

Hit the jump for the The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 images and motion poster.  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland star in the sequel directed by Francis Lawrence.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens November 21.

GOD’S POCKET Review

by     Posted 175 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  God's Pocket opens today in limited release.]

Following around sad characters does not make a story poignant. It does not make it sorrowful or deep or compassionate.  In his feature directing debut, John Slattery has filled a tank with dirty water so his talented actors can swim around giving performances that don’t serve anything but the performance itself, and the ugly setting and plot is just the fodder for long pauses, pained grimaces, and distant glances.  Slattery swings around wildly from grimy pathos to violent dark comedy, and neither is rewarding.  Rather than showcasing its talented cast, Slattery wastes them in a wasteland.

First Trailer for John Slattery’s GOD’S POCKET Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 200 days ago

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Earlier this week, the first trailer for A Most Wanted Man arrived and gave us a look at one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances before his unfortunate passing.  Now a debut trailer for another one of Hoffman’s last films, God’s Pocket, has arrived.  The dark comedy/drama marks the feature directorial debut of Mad Men actor John Slattery and stars Hoffman as a man living in a working class neighborhood who runs into trouble when his unstable stepson is killed in a construction “accident.”  I caught the film at Sundance and unfortunately found it to be a profound disappointment.  Hoffman is unsurprisingly solid in the lead role, but the pic as a whole is unfocused and never really finds its tone.  It swings sharply from screwball comedy to incredibly dark drama, giving the viewer a confusing case of whiplash.

Hit the jump to watch the first God’s Pocket trailer and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Christina Hendricks, Richard Jenkins, Eddie Marsan, Caleb Landry Jones, and John TurturroGod’s Pocket opens in theaters on May 9th.

New Trailer for Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 203 days ago

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The first official trailer for director Anton Corbijn’s (The American) dramatic spy thriller A Most Wanted Man has been released.  Based on the John le Carre (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) novel of the same name, the film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles as a German intelligence operative working to track down terrorists abroad.  I caught the film at Sundance a few months ago and, essentially, it’s exactly what you think an Anton Corbijn adaptation of a John le Carre novel would be.  It’s certainly a slow burn, but it’s sharp and engrossing, offering a unique, global perspective on the post-9/11 world.  Hoffman is, unsurprisingly, brilliant in the lead role as the focused yet jaded operative trying to navigate the no-win world of terrorist hunting, and just watching this trailer makes me enormously sad that he’s no longer around to grace us with his irreplaceable talent.

Hit the jump to watch the A Most Wanted Man trailer, and click here to read my full review.  The film also stars Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Grigoriy DobryginA Most Wanted Man opens in theaters on July 25th.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 222 days ago

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It’s hard not to be impressed by blockbusters right now.  2013’s top three films were The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 and Frozen.  All good to great movies.  Catching Fire proved the most successful of the lot, grossing well over $400 million, and even outperformed the first film.  Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, who is forced to compete in a battle royale yet again in the savage Quarter Quell with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) at her side, and with her love Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) watching from a distance.  My The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Blu-ray review follows after the jump. 

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