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

by     Posted 16 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 54 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 66 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 66 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 68 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 139 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 145 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 170 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 173 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 192 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. 

Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett Pay Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 223 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 239 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 240 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 241 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 241 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.

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