A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 34 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.

Cameron Crowe’s Untitled Emma Stone/Bradley Cooper Comedy Pushed to May 29, 2015

by     Posted 38 days ago

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If you were looking forward to catching the next Cameron Crowe film this Christmas, we’ve got some bad news.  Sony Pictures has opted to push Crowe’s untitled new romantic comedy from its initial December 25th release date to May 29, 2015.  Sony recently saw a new cut and decided the pic was more of a summer play rather than a holiday/awards-type film.  Though I’m disappointed I’ll have to wait an extra five months to see the pic, hopefully it’s found a more fitting date.  On its new opening weekend, the film will square off against the horror sequel Insidous Chapter 3 and the animated adventure/family pic Monster Trucks.

Crowe’s untitled romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper as a defense contractor overseeing a weapons satellite launch from Hawaii who teams up with (and falls for) an Air Force pilot (Emma Stone) to scuttle the launch.  The promising ensemble also includes Bill MurrayAlec BaldwinRachel McAdams, John Krasinski, and Danny McBride.

Exarchopoulos Joins BASTILLE DAY; Shannon on Board for FREEHELD; Rourke and Wolff to Lead ASHBY; McAdams and Nyong’o Circling SOUTPAW

by     Posted 105 days ago

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With the Cannes Film Festival underway, plenty of wheeling and dealing is going down, so that means lots of casting news.  Briefly:

  • Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue Is the Warmest Color) is joining Idris Elba in James WatkinsBastille Day.
  • Michael Shannon will co-star with Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in Freeheld.
  • Mickey Rourke, Nat Wolff, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Silverman will star in Ashby.
  • Rachel McAdams and Lupita Nyong’o are circling the drama Southpaw.

Hit the jump for more on this casting news.

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

by     Posted 139 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.

Director Dexter Fletcher Departs Freddie Mercury Biopic; Rachel McAdams Exits PASSENGERS

by     Posted 167 days ago

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A pair of interesting projects have suffered significant setbacks in the past couple of days.  First up, the long-in-the-works biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury has lost its director.  Deadline reports that Dexter Fletcher has departed the project over “creative differences,” just as it looked like the film was finally moving forward with an eye towards a summer production start-date.  Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) remains attached to star as Mercury for GK Films and Sony, but this is just the latest in a number of problems that have plagued the film.  Sacha Baron Cohen was long attached to play Mercury before subsequently dropping out over, you guessed it, “creative differences” with the Queen band members.

Hit the jump for more, including news regarding the uncertain future of the promising sci-fi film Passengers.

Release Dates Announced for RIDE ALONG 2, BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL 2, WHAT IF and TRACKS; Sci-Fi PASSENGERS Pulled from Schedule

by     Posted 168 days ago

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We have a few release date announcements to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Ride Along 2 – Universal has dated the action-comedy sequel for January 15, 2016, almost exactly two years after the release of the first film.  Ice Cube and Kevin Hart star.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 – Fox Searchlight has set a March 6, 2015 release date for this unlikely follow-up.  The entire original cast, including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith, return.
  • What If – Previously titled The F Word, this excellent relationship comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan will arrive on August 1, 2014.
  • Tracks – The Weinstein Company has dated the Mia Wasikowska-fronted adventure drama for May 23, 2014.
  • Passengers – This promising sci-fi thriller set to star Keanu Reeves and Rachel McAdams was dated for April 3, 2015, but The Weinstein Company has unfortunately pulled it off the schedule.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned films.

ABOUT TIME Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 197 days ago

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Time travel is a tricky concept to pull off in any medium, especially film.  If the movie is “about” time travel, it can easily get bogged down in trying to explain the mechanics and paradoxes involved in said time traveling.  The best time travel films (like Back to the Future and Looper) aren’t really about time travel at all, but instead put the focus on the characters and story so that any specifics regarding how it all works become secondary.  This is true of writer/director Richard Curtis’ third directorial effort About Time, which is a surprising turn from the director behind Love Actually and Pirate Radio that manages to balance humor, heart, and time travel in equal measures, resulting in an effectively emotional gut punch.  Read my review of About Time on Blu-ray after the jump.

Sundance 2014: A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 221 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.

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

by     Posted 238 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.

ABOUT TIME Review

by     Posted 301 days ago

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From time to time, I like to fantasize about how my life would be different if I could relive certain moments knowing what I know now.  Would my life be any better?  We are, for good or ill, the sum of our experiences.  We may come out stronger because of failure, but it would be nice if we could repair those failures to steer our lives towards a better future.  About Time takes a little bit of time travel to provide a wonderful fantasy about getting the chance to make things right.  However, the real magic is how writer-director Richard Curtis takes this concept and uses it not only to create a charming love story, but a powerful life story that will have you tearing up not at the fantasy of reliving your past, but the reality of cherishing the present.

Rachel McAdams Talks ABOUT TIME, Why She Loves Love Stories, Working on Cameron Crowe’s Next Movie, and More

by     Posted 303 days ago

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From writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually), About Time is charming, endearing, heart-warming and, at times, a real tear-jerker.  The story follows Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), whose father (Bill Nighy) tells him, at the age of 21, that the men in their family have always had the ability to travel through time.  He can’t change history, but he can make his world, and the life that he shares with his beautiful girlfriend Mary (Rachel McAdams), a better place.

At the film’s press day, actress Rachel McAdams spoke during a roundtable about having done three time travel films now (the others being The Time Traveler’s Wife and Midnight in Paris), whether she has any time travel envy, which moments she’d like to relive in her own life, what a special experience it was to make this film, and what it was like to shoot a scene in the dark.  She also talked about how she’s currently shooting with director Cameron Crowe, why she loves stories with love in them, how The Notebook will always hold a special place in her heart, and her favorite holiday movies.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Christoph Waltz in Talks for HORRIBLE BOSSES 2; Luke Grimes Joins FIFTY SHADES OF GREY; Rachel McAdams May Join Keanu Reeves in PASSENGERS

by     Posted 307 days ago

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Here’s today’s latest casting news:

  • Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) is in negotiations to join Horrible Bosses 2.  New Line has set a November 28, 2014 release date for the sequel that also stars Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and Chris Pine.
  • Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris) is in talks to replace Reese Witherspoon in the science fiction picture, Passengers, starring Keanu Reeves.
  • Luke Grimes (Taken 2) has been cast in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation, which stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
  • Robin Weigert (The Sessions) has signed on to Edward Zwick’s chess drama, Pawn Sacrifice, starring Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Production Begins on Cameron Crowe’s Untitled Hawaii Project Starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams

by     Posted 325 days ago

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Filming is officially underway on writer/director Cameron Crowe’s next film.  The “Untitled Hawaii Project” stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Rachel McAdams in the lead roles, with Alec Baldwin also reportedly in talks to sign on.  The premise of the film apparently centers on “a defense contractor (Cooper) who is overseeing a weapons satellite launch from Hawaii who teams up with (and falls for) an Air Force pilot (Stone) to scuttle the launch. Mystical island forces and a talking a computer also play a part.”  Definitely a departure for Crowe, but the pic is said to be a reworked version of the filmmaker’s long-gestating project Deep Tiki.

Production is taking place in Hawaii with Eric Gautier (Into the Wild) serving as cinematographer.  Hit the jump to take a look at an official set photo of the film slate.

New Featurette and 31 High-Resolution Images from ABOUT TIME Starring Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy

by     Posted 1 year, 5 days ago

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A bevy of new high-resolution images and a new featurette for director Richard Curtis’ (Love, Actually) romantic comedy About Time have been released.  The film puts a time travel spin on the classic romantic comedy conceit, as Domnhall Gleeson (Anna Karenina) plays a man who has inherited the ability to travel through time from his father (Bill Nighy).  Naturally, Gleeson’s character uses his time travel prowess to woo the girl of his dreams (Rachel McAdams), but as with all time travel stories, the powers come with grave consequences.  The pic really looks like a lot of fun, and if Curtis’ last two directorial features (Love, Actually and Pirate Radio) are any indication, then About Time will have plenty of replay value.

Hit the jump to check out the images and featurette.  The film also stars Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Lydia Wilson, and Vanessa Kirby.  About Time opens in the UK on September 6th and in the US on November 1st.

Idris Elba Stars in Cary Fukunaga’s BEASTS OF NO NATION; EVERY THING WILL BE FINE for Rachel McAdams; Ashley Greene in STATEN ISLAND SUMMER

by     Posted 1 year, 8 days ago

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Here’s the latest casting news:

Hit the jump for more on each story.

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