TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Review

by     Posted 228 days ago

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Being a platonic friend sucks.  It just does.  No matter how much chemistry you have with a person, the relationship dynamic inevitably pushes you into a Hobson’s choice: take the less-than-ideal relationship you have or lose it entirely.  There’s not much middle ground unless the platonic relationship finally becomes romantic, and that tends to be in the realm of wish fulfillment, especially when the one you want to be with is in a healthy relationship with someone else.  The F Word takes on this familiar story, and while it does keep the wish fulfillment intact, director Michael Dowse obliterates the selfishness and single-sided nature of these stories to create a rich, full, and painfully funny ensemble piece that offers sweet sentiment with salty comedy.

I GIVE IT A YEAR Review

by     Posted 259 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.  I Give It a Year opens tomorrow in limited release.]

Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one. Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical. And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate. But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.

Trailer and Poster for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris

by     Posted 310 days ago

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Magnolia has released the trailer and poster for Dan Mazer‘s reverse romantic-comedy, I Give It a Year.  The film stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as a mismatched couple and centers on their struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  This trailer shares some of the jokes with the one we saw last year, but it’s still very funny stuff.  I really enjoyed the film when I caught it at SXSW, and this trailer makes me want to see it again.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The film also stars Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, and Olivia Coleman. I Give It a Year hits VOD on July 3rd and opens in theaters on August 9th.

Magnolia Picks up I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, and Anna Faris

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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Magnolia has picked up the reverse rom-com I Give It a Year.  The film stars Rafe Spall and Rose Byrne as a married couple who grow to realize that they’re not right for each other, and start being drawn to other people (Anna Faris and Simon Baker, respectively).  I caught the film at SXSW, and found it to be surprising funny and charming even though it deals with a relationship that’s falling apart.  The movie will be released via Magnolia’s “Ultra VOD” program, which means it will debut on VOD and then the VOD cost will be slightly reduced when the picture hits limited theatrical release.  VOD is probably the best distribution method for the film since it’s a little too slight and lacks the star power to be a serious wide release.

Hit the jump for the press release.  I Give It a Year is due out later this year and also stars Stephen Merchant, Olivia Colman, Jason Flemyng, and Minnie Driver.

SXSW 2013: I GIVE IT A YEAR Review

by     Posted 1 year, 42 days ago

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Dan Mazer‘s I Give It a Year is the rom-com in reverse and two rom-coms in one.  Mazer takes the difficult task of showing a marriage fall apart, and turns it into a surprisingly funny and witty comedy that never feels cynical.  And it’s absolutely easy to be cynical when it comes to marriage because of the 50% divorce rate.  But like any good comic writer, Mazer finds the humor in an unlikely topic, and succeeds with sharp dialogue, talented actors, and wisely keeping the tone of the film the same as an average romantic comedy.

New Trailer for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Stephen Merchant

by     Posted 1 year, 130 days ago

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A new trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online.  The film stars Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Prometheus) as a mismatched couple and centers on their struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  While the logline and “romantic comedy” description may sound a bit trite, this actually looks like a solid comedy.  The new trailer features some great stuff from Stephen Merchant and even a solid Justin Bieber joke for good measure.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie DriverJason FlemyngOlivia Colman, and Jane Asher.  I Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013. 

LIFE OF PI Review

by     Posted 1 year, 153 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi presents a tough sell for mainstream audiences: the main character is oddly named, the cast is not comprised of instantly-recognizable faces and the bulk of the story strands the viewers in a small boat with a boy and a tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But if people take a chance and put their faith in the Oscar-winning director, they’ll experience a beautifully told story about survival, self-discovery, the triumph of the human spirit and the quest for meaning in life, all wrapped up in a well-paced film in which the gorgeous special effects and responsible use of 3D are actually quite complementary.

Based on the novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Rafe Spall and Gerard Depardieu and is in theaters now. Hit the jump for my review.

First Trailer for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Stephen Merchant

by     Posted 1 year, 153 days ago

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The promising first trailer for the British romantic comedy I Give It a Year has been released online.  The film focuses on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Anonymous) star as the newlywed couple, while Simon Baker and Anna Faris appear in supporting roles as temptations for the duo.  The pic actually looks really funny, with strong turns from Byrne and Spall and some big laughs from Stephen Merchant.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here for images and a synopsis for the film.  Written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat), the film also stars Minnie Driver, Jason Flemyng, Olivia Colman, and Jane AsherI Give It A Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013. 

First Images and Synopsis for I GIVE IT A YEAR Starring Rose Byrne, Rafe Spall, and Simon Baker

by     Posted 1 year, 158 days ago

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A few weeks ago, Steve attended the American Film Market (AFM) and was able to bring back some promo images, posters, and synopses for a few upcoming films.  Today we have the first images and synopsis for the romantic comedy I Give it a Year, which centers on a mismatched couple as they struggle to survive their first year of marriage.  Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) and Rafe Spall (Anonymous) star as the newlywed couple, while Simon Baker and Anna Faris appear in supporting roles as temptations for the duo.

Hit the jump to check out the first images and synopsis for the film, which was written and directed by Dan Mazer (Borat, Bruno).  I Give It a Year opens in the UK on February 8, 2013.

New Posters for LIFE OF PI, CLOUD ATLAS and WARM BODIES

by     Posted 1 year, 185 days ago

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Check out the offerings from our latest poster round-up:

  • The U.K. poster for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, starring Suraj SharmaRafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain. Life of Pi opens in 3D November 21st.
  • A huge banner poster for Cloud Atlas, from directors Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tyker.  Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and more, Cloud Atlas opens October 26th.
  • A teaser posters for Warm Bodies, a zombie romance (zomance? zom-rom?) starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, which opens February 1st, 2013.

Hit the jump for the posters and synopses. 

First Clip from LIFE OF PI with an Introduction by Director Ang Lee

by     Posted 1 year, 187 days ago

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The first clip from visionary director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is now available.  The scene in question is an extension of the stunning trailer for the film, which was adapted from Yann Martel’s novel by David MageeLife of Pi follows an Indian boy named Pi (Suraj Sharma), a zookeeper’s son who finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  Viewed in 2D, the clip can be a bit distracting as there are obvious places where the 3D will be played up; it entertains just the same.

Also starring Rafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan and Adil HussainLife of Pi opens in 3D November 21st.  Hit the jump to see the clip.

New International Trailer for Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 214 days ago

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A new international trailer for director Ang Lee’s ambitious adaptation of Life of Pi has landed online.  The story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.  The clip gets things started right with the lovely stylings of Sigur Ros, and we get to see quite a bit of new footage on land.  The trailer opens as a frame story as we see the journalist character that was previously played by Tobey MaguireLee decided to recast the role after he saw that Maguire’s starpower made the scene feel off, so now we see Rafe Spall in the part.  Every piece of footage we’ve seen thus far has been gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see Lee’s Life of Pi on a giant screen when it hits theaters.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, and Gerard DepardieuLife of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.

Tobey Maguire Cut from Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 230 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s gorgeous-looking adaptation of Life of Pi is shaping up to be a major awards contender this year, but official word has now come down that the film’s biggest star has been cut from the film.  Lee filled his international cast with relative unknowns, but he went with Tobey Maguire to tackle a small role as a writer who interviews the protagonist.  We’d heard rumblings that Maguire was no longer in the film, and THR now confirms that the role was recast after the director felt that Maguire’s performance “wasn’t working.”  Hit the jump for more.

Heather Graham Boards Indie Comedy FEED THE DOG; Rafe Spall, Megan Park and Mackenzie Davis Join Daniel Radcliffe in THE F WORD

by     Posted 1 year, 249 days ago

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Here are a couple of casting notes in brief:

  • Heather Graham (The Hangover) is set to star opposite Selena Gomez in the indie comedy Feed the Dog, formerly titled Parental Guidance Suggested.
  • Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) will join Daniel Radcliffe in The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse (Goon).

Hit the jump for details on each picture.

PROMETHEUS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 320 days ago

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Like its ill-fated protagonists, Prometheus‘ greatest sin is overreach, which is a shame for a movie that manages to grasp so much.  Director Ridley Scott has refined and polished his return to the Alien universe by creating a self-contained mystery that falters when he attempts to answer an unasked question of his classic 1979 film.  While he doesn’t come close to recapturing the magic of his original film (an almost an unfair expectation), he does manage to give Prometheus a unique majesty through gorgeous visuals, a thrilling pace, delightful sci-fi horror, and a slew of fantastic performances with a standout turn by Michael Fassbender.  However, some sloppy narrative shortcuts and a jumbled thematic through-line keep the flame from igniting into an all-consuming blaze.

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