Disney has released a new trailer for director James Bobin‘s upcoming sequel Muppets Most Wanted. In the follow-up, the gang is on a successful tour in Europe but gets into trouble when Kermit gets confused with his jewel-heisting doppelganger, Constantine. I really enjoyed 2011′s The Muppets, but almost everything I’m seeing from this sequel is doing nothing for me. It’s not a bad premise, and it’s amusing to see Constantine try to impersonate Kermit, but it’s still a fairly tired plot and there’s almost none of the irreverence or wackiness I’d expect to see from a Muppet movie. Here’s hoping it’s just a bad trailer and not a bad movie.
Hit the jump check out the new trailer and images, and find out about some of the cameos. The film stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell. Muppets Most Wanted opens March 21, 2014.
We’ve got some up-to-the-minute casting news to bring you, along with a first-look image:
- The Identical – A musical drama directed by Dustin Marcellino and starring Seth Green, Ashley Judd, Joe Pantoliano and Ray Liotta. The picture will have a special screening at AFM on November 8th.
- Mississippi Grind – Sienna Miller to join Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn in Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s new feature. Production is set to begin January 2014 in New Orleans.
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
Writer-director Ariel Vromen’s dramatic adaptation of the life of notorious hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski is now available on Blu-ray. The Iceman stars Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) in the title role: a loving and devoted family man on the surface, in actuality a brutal and sadistic serial murderer with mafia ties. Adapted from Anthony Bruno’s book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, the film attempts to examine the duality of Kuklinski, but ultimately ends up being little more than a showcase for Shannon’s terrifying talent.
The Iceman also stars Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Stephen Dorff and James Franco. The Blu-ray extras include the standard “making of” featurette and filmmaker interviews, but unfortunately do not include the oft-cited HBO documentary, The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman. Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.
The “family drama” genre is usually one that is relegated to saccharine films that feel like movies of the week, or small-scale character pieces that explore dynamics within a contained story. With The Place Beyond the Pines, however, writer/director Derek Cianfrance boldly expands the scope of the “family drama” to an epic scale with an ambitious, unique structure that succeeds without sacrificing the compelling character interplay that grounds the story’s emotions. Themes of legacy and parenthood play out across three distinct acts buoyed by a magnetically reserved and nuanced Ryan Gosling performance that reverberates throughout the entire feature, culminating in one of the best films of 2013. Hit the jump for my review of The Place Beyond the Pines.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The Iceman opens today in limited release.]
The Iceman is a hitman movie. It’s about a hitman and nothing else. Director and co-writer Ariel Vromen takes no chances on his film based on the life of mob enforcer Richard Kuklinski. The movie paints a two-dimensional character, and then wants credit for not making him one-dimensional. There’s more effort put into developing the characters’ era-appropriate facial hair than developing the story into anything more than a description of Kuklinski’s actions. Only Michael Shannon‘s overpowering screen presence stops The Iceman from being the driest crime drama in recent memory.
Ray Liotta plays real-life mobster Roy Demeo in Ariel Vromen’s crime drama, The Iceman, based on the story of notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) whose career prospects expand when Demeo offers him the opportunity to earn a living as a mob enforcer. The role marks the second time in 30 years that Liotta has played a real-life mobster since his acclaimed performance in Martin Scorsese’s gangster classic, Goodfellas.
At the film’s recent press day, Liotta talked about getting back into that world again, why he likes playing pretend, how he researched his larger than life character, what it was like working opposite Michael Shannon, how he’s met real life mobsters, why he was reluctant to play Frank Sinatra in The Rat Pack, and why he tries to avoid typecasting and chooses roles that are diverse and challenging. He also revealed his upcoming projects including playing himself in The Muppets…Again!, a hitman in the crime thriller Pawn, a preacher in The Identical, and a guy cheating on his wife in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Hit the jump to read more:
We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this evening. First up, Ray Liotta is the latest actor to join the human cast of The Muppets sequel. Ricky Gervais is set as the lead with Ty Burrell and Tina Fey poised to co-star, and Variety now reports that Liotta is joining the sequel in an unspecified role. This isn’t Liotta’s first time with The Muppets, as he also appeared in 1999’s Muppets from Space. The Europe-set film will be directed by James Bobin and production is scheduled to begin in London this month.
Hit the jump for casting news concerning the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink.
When news broke a couple of weeks ago that Joseph Gordon-Levitt had joined Robert Rodriguez’s in-production sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, the source report noted that other “tough guy actors” would be announced for the cast soon. Indeed, just a day later Josh Brolin joined the pic in a lead role and Christopher Meloni signed on to portray a supporting character, and now The Playlist reports that Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, and the lovely Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) have been added to the cast.
Details on their characters are unknown at the moment, but Rodriguez is filling out the follow-up with a pretty impressive lineup. The current cast now also includes Mickey ROurke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Dennis Haysbert, and Jamie Chung. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For opens on October 14th.
A new trailer for the thriller The Iceman has landed online. The film stars Michael Shannon and chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski, a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track. This trailer makes the film feel a bit more dramatic than the action-oriented first trailer, but it looks like it might reveal a tad too much of the film’s plot. Matt caught the film at the Toronto Film Festival and was not impressed by director/co-writer Ariel Vromen’s shallow take on Kuklinski, saying the pic is “about a hitman and nothing else.”
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, and James Franco. The Iceman opens on May 3rd.
The first trailer for director Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines has gone online. The film centers on two fathers: one is a pro-motorcycle rider and bank robber (Ryan Gosling) while the other is a rookie cop on the rise (Bradley Cooper). Though the two leads are instantly set on a collision course, it’s hard to know who to root for with such compelling actors in their respective multi-dimensional roles. You can also check out two clips from the film here and read Matt Goldberg’s review from TIFF.
The Place Beyond the Pines also stars Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne and Ray Liotta. The film opens March 29, 2013. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
A new trailer for director Andrew Dominik’s crime drama Killing Them Soflty has been released. The film stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer called in to investigate the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The film’s first trailer was pretty great, but this clip ups my anticipation level even more. We see a bit more of the plot and character interactions, and there’s a scene set in the rain that shows off some fantastic visuals. Dominik displayed tremendous talent with The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, and I’m highly encouraged by what we’ve seen of his second go-around with Pitt thus far.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn. Killing Them Softly opens November 30th.
[This a re-post of my review from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The Details opens today in limited release.]
The Details is a darkly comic tale that can never quite seem to get a handle on its tone. The film plays with notions of fate but only a fate that will deal out punishment and retribution no matter how much good you do or if you even receive a kindness. That’s not a problem for a black comedy, but The Details grinds to a halt as its main character receives valuable life lessons or as he heads into another predictable comic set-up. Director Jacob Aaron Estes’ best attempt to tie it all together is with an insufferable Danny Elfman-esque score. Stars Tobey Maguire and Laura Linney do a great job handling the comedy, but even their scenes eventually feel repetitive. The Details has a lot to offer, most notably frustration.
We’ve got a couple more casting stories to share this afternoon, straight from the American Film Market (AFM). First up, Amanda Seyfried and Patrick Dempsey are set to team up for the romantic comedy Wonderful Tonight. The “feel good” story centers on a wealthy bachelor and a free-spirited woman whose one-night stand results in a child. The Wrap reports that Christine Jeffs (Sunshine Cleaning) will direct from a script by J. Mills Goodloe (Ride).
Hit the jump for casting news concerning Ray Liotta in a film noir.
A new international trailer for Killing Them Softly has been released. The film stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer called in to investigate the robbery of a high-stakes card game. The domestic trailer showed us some of the other characters and plot points, but this international trailer is short, to the point, and it works.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn. Killing Them Softly opens November 30th.
We have the pleasure of debuting an exclusive alternative poster for writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes‘ The Details. A darkly comic movie, The Details stars Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man) as Jeff, a married man who notices a family of raccoons infesting his yard, a discovery which spirals into a chain reaction of tension, infidelity and murder. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company at Sundance 2011 and was reviewed there by our own Matt Goldberg.
The Details, also starring Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert and Kerry Washington, is now available on VOD and opens theatrically November 2nd. Hit the jump to check out the new alternative poster.