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

by     Posted 6 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 9 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 28 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 review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire follows after the jump. 

Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett Pay Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 59 days ago

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As Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death is still being mourned by his fans and the acting community, two of his fellow thespians recently honored his life and work.  During her acceptance speech for Best Actress at the BAFTA’s last week, Cate Blanchett dedicated the award to Hoffman, saying “Your monumental talent, your generosity, and your unflinching quest for truth not only in art, but in life will be missed not only be me, but by so many people.”

Amy Adams also remembered Hoffman in an emotional interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actor’s Studio.  Adams and Hoffman worked together on Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master, the latter two earning them both Oscar nominations.  The interview was recorded only a few days after Hoffman’s death, and it’s incredibly moving to watch Adams talk through her tears about her co-star.  You can watch both videos after the jump.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Had One Major Scene Left to Film on THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2

by     Posted 75 days ago

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Yesterday, we reported that Philip Seymour Hoffman had one week left to film on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, but we didn’t know the importance or length of that material.  Today, THR reports that Hoffman had “one major, emotional scene left to film”, but as a Lionsgate executive tells the trade, “we’re going to have a couple of work-around issues but the movie will be creatively whole. His performances in both [remaining] movies will be up to the best of his craft. We feel it will be a good tribute to him.”  The final installment of the blockbuster series is still schedule to be released on November 20, 2015.

Hit the jump for possibilities on these “work-around issues”.

Philip Seymour Hoffman Still Had 7 Days Left to Film on THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2; Will Still Be Released on Schedule

by     Posted 76 days ago

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Yesterday, we reported the sad and shocking news that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died.  In addition to leaving behind friends, family, and an astounding body of work, Hoffman was also in the middle of multiple projects.  His half-hour comedy series Happyish had just been ordered to series by Showtime, and he was filming on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.  According to sources close to the production, Hoffman had mostly completed his work as Plutarch Heavensbee on Mockingjay – Part 1, but still had seven days left to film on Mockingjay – Part 2.

We don’t know what scenes he had left to shoot, nor do we know the importance of those scenes to the picture.  In the book, Heavensbee is an important character, but he’s not a major one.  Whatever the case may be, the production has found a way to continue, and Mockingjay – Part 1 and Mockingjay – Part 2 will still meet their original release dates of November 21st and November 20, 2015, respectively.

THE COLLISION: Episode 75 – Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 77 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we talk about the career of Philip Seymour Hoffman.  A couple hours before we were set to record, we learned about the great actor’s death, and so instead of talk about last week’s news items regarding Super Bowl ads and Batman/Superman, we wanted to celebrate Hoffman’s work.  During out conversation, we look over his diverse filmography, what specifically made him such a gifted actor, and how he left a distinct mark on all of his movies.  As for our recommendations, we point out two of his performances that may have been lost in the shuffle of a fantastic, yet all-too-brief career.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“The 2014 Sundance Film Festival“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014) [Updated With Statements from Family and Filmmakers]

by     Posted 77 days ago

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We are sad to report that Philip Seymour Hoffman died today at age 46.  The WSJ report indicates the New York Police Department is investigating after Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment this morning.

Hoffman was always a fascinating screen presence.  In particular, the actor was Paul Thomas Anderson‘s greatest collaborator, from Hard Eight to Boogie Nights to Magnolia to Punch-Drunk Love to, most recently, The Master.  Hoffman recently took on a role in the Hunger Games series, which is currently filming the final chapter, Mockingjay – Part 2.  Hoffman was also set to star in the Showtime series Happyish.

Hoffman was nominated for four Oscars in the last decade for Capote, Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and The Master.  Watch his Capote Best Actor acceptance speech after the jump.

Sundance 2014: A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 91 days ago

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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, it still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

GOD’S POCKET Review

by     Posted 92 days ago

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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.

Showtime Sets Premiere Dates for CALIFORNICATION, NURSE JACKIE, & PENNY DREADFUL; Orders THE AFFAIR and HAPPYISH to Series

by     Posted 94 days ago

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Showtime has made a few announcements during the network’s TCA panel.  Briefly:

  • The sixth season of Nurse Jackie will premiere Sunday, April 13th at 9pm ET followed by the seventh and final season of Californication at 9:30pm and the docu-series Years of Living Dangerously at 10pm.
  • The new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful will premiere Sunday, May 11th at 10pm ET.  Click here to watch the new trailer.
  • Showtime has added two new original series to its lineup with full series orders.  The one-hour drama The Affair starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson has been given a 10-episode order, and the half-hour comedy series Happyish starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn has also been given a 10-episode order.

Hit the jump to check out the first images from the two new series and for more info on the upcoming shows.

First Trailer for A MOST WANTED MAN Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Brühl, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe

by     Posted 108 days ago

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Although it doesn’t have a U.S. release date just yet, director Anton Corbijn’s thriller A Most Wanted Man will be premiering at Sundance in just a couple of weeks.  In order to drum up some interest, a new international trailer for the film is making its rounds online today.  The film, adapted from the John le Carré novel, centers on a bizarre love triangle among a half-starved Russian man secreted into Hamburg, an idealistic German civil rights lawyer, and a sixty-year-old man who is inheriting a failing British bank.  All of that hodgepodge aside, this trailer plays up the thriller aspect of the novel as it centers on the German intelligence operation tasked with infiltrating suspected terrorist cells, an objective that leads the operatives to cross paths with the aforementioned trio.

A Most Wanted Man stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Brühl, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

Sundance 2014 First Images from LOVE IS STRANGE, A MOST WANTED MAN, NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM, and THE ONE I LOVE

by     Posted 132 days ago

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Continuing our coverage in anticipation of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, we’ve got some more first look images and synopses for films that will be screening as part of the Premieres category.  Briefly:

  • Love Is Strange – Directed by Ira Sachs; starring John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, Marisa Tomei, Darren Burrows, Charlie Tahan, and Cheyenne Jacksons.
  • A Most Wanted Man – Directed by Anton Corbijn; starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Robin Wright.
  • Nick Offerman: American Ham – Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts; starring Nick Offerman.
  • The One I Love – Directed by Charlie McDowell; starring Mark Duplass, Elisabeth Moss, and Ted Danson.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

by     Posted 150 days ago

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Early in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reminds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) that the Hunger Games were just a game.  Her real fear should be a war that will rain down hell on all of the districts if she continues to be a symbol to the downtrodden.  To both its credit and its detriment, Francis Lawrence‘s sequel shares those values.  The fear and excitement has left the arena and spread to the streets, and returning to a different arena almost feels safe by comparison.  The adaptation is a slight improvement on the book (mostly by avoiding author Suzanne Collins‘ poor prose and stilted dialogue), but also has the same structural weakness of taking the characters to familiar confines albeit with different players and hazards.  Nevertheless, the central core of the story remains strong and skillfully eschews the traditional heroine in favor of a scared puppet who can only summon her strength in certain situations.  It’s a confined character that can’t take full advantage of its actress’ immense talent, but as the movie reminds us, sometimes sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.

Final Trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 175 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I’m sure the TV spots will probably have a little new footage, but this trailer gives us good pieces of the new arena, but also doesn’t forget to sell the major conflict, which is between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and President Snow (Donald Sutherland).  It’s almost entirely summed up in the shot where points an arrow at the sky and lets it fly.  Ultimately, this does what every good trailer should do: shows off some good stuff, but doesn’t give away anything major.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthSam ClaflinJena MaloneElizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda PlummerThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd.

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