THE DOUBLE Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 3 days ago

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While Richard Ayoade first came to prominence as a comedic actor on British TV series like Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, The Mighty Boosh, and The IT Crowd, the guy is proving himself to be quite the formidable filmmaker.  He made his feature directorial debut with 2010’s delightfully funny and offbeat Submarine, and his follow-up film The Double marks yet a massive step forward for Ayodae as a filmmaker.  He really hones in on his aesthetic style with this darkly comic adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevski’s novella of the same name, and anchored by a terrific dual lead performance from Jesse Eisenberg, has crafted one of the more inventive films of the year.  Read my full The Double Blu-ray review after the jump.

Full-Length THE BOXTROLLS Trailer Delves into the Plot of Laika’s Latest Stop-Motion Adventure

by     Posted 107 days ago

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Focus Features has released a new full-length The Boxtrolls trailer for Laika Studios’ new stop-motion animated feature.  Directed by Anthony Staachi and Graham Annabele, the film tells the story of the misunderstood titular trolls that live underneath the streets of Cheesebridge, where they attempt to raise an orphaned human boy as their own.  As with Laika’s other films, Coraline and ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls again revolves around outsiders, but it’s a story told with the studio’s signature charm and maturity.  This new trailer gets much deeper into the plot than the previous teasers, as we see that the young boy and his boxtroll brethren face danger in the form of the townspeople’s leaders.  Laika’s films are always a refreshing reprieve from many of the other same-feeling animation features that saturate the marketplace, and I can’t wait to see what they’ve put together with this latest adventure.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Boxtrolls trailer.  The film features the voices of Ben KingsleyToni ColletteElle FanningIsaac Hempstead-WrightJared HarrisSimon PeggNick FrostRichard Ayoade, and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls opens in 2D and 3D on September 26th.

THE DOUBLE Review

by     Posted 140 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  The Double opens today in limited release and is available on VOD]

Director Richard Ayoade delivered a visually distinct, memorable, and funny film with 2010’s Submarine. With his follow-up, The Double, he has made his imagery even more distinct and eye-catching by building a new world from scratch; showcasing Erik Wilson’s gorgeous cinematography; and creating a remarkable and unusual blending of absurd comedy with psychological thriller.  Furthermore, star Jesse Eisenberg takes his two familiar character types, and fits them both into the unique setting Ayoade has conjured.  The result is a movie that can be overly forthright with its themes, but is still utterly captivating.

Jesse Eisenberg Battles Himself in Excellent New Trailer for Richard Ayoade’s THE DOUBLE

by     Posted 210 days ago

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Magnolia Pictures has released a wonderful new trailer for writer/director Richard Ayoade’s (Submarine) new film The Double.  The story centers on meek office-drone Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) who is overlooked by everyone he knows including his crush, Hannah (Mia Wasikowska).  Simon’s meager life is then upended when he meets James Simon (Jesse Eisenberg), a man who’s identical in appearance and the complete opposite in personality.  This trailer is, quite simply, fantastic, as it highlights Ayoade’s delightfully inventive script, Eisenberg’s stellar dual performances, and the film’s darkly humorous tone.  The film received a wildly positive response at the Toronto International Film Festival (read Matt’s review here), and I can’t wait to check it out for myself in a couple of months.

Hit the jump to watch the new U.S. trailer.  The film also stars Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, and Paddy ConsidineThe Double will be available VOD and in theaters on May 9th.

Magnolia Picks up U.S. Distribution Rights for Richard Ayoade’s THE DOUBLE Starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska

by     Posted 346 days ago

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Richard Ayoade’s The Double is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Jesse Eisenberg stars as a beleaguered office drone whose life is made even worse when he meets a man who shares his appearance but has the exact opposite personality. The film is darkly comic, beautifully shot, quite witty, and captivating from start to finish. I was a little surprised the movie wasn’t acquired straight out of the Toronto International Film Festival, but thankfully it has now found distribution. Magnolia Pictures has announced they’ve picked up the U.S. rights, and are looking to release the film in 2014. Be sure to keep this flick on your radar.

Hit the jump for the press release. The Double also stars Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, and Paddy Considine.

TIFF 2013: THE DOUBLE Review

by     Posted 1 year, 14 days ago

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Director Richard Ayoade delivered a visually distinct, memorable, and funny film with 2010’s Submarine.  With his follow-up, The Double, he has made his imagery even more distinct and eye-catching by building a new world from scratch; showcasing Erik Wilson’s gorgeous cinematography; and creating a remarkable and unusual blending of absurd comedy with psychological thriller.  Furthermore, star Jesse Eisenberg takes his two familiar character types, and fits them both into the unique setting Ayoade has conjured.  The result is a movie that can be overly forthright with its themes, but is still utterly captivating.

Director Richard Ayoade Talks THE DOUBLE, Casting Jesse Eisenberg, the Group Effort Behind the Film’s Unique Look, and More at TIFF 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 16 days ago

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is writer/director Richard Ayoade’s The Double.  Based on the novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the film stars Jesse Eisenberg as a government clerk whose life is destroyed after what he believes to be an exact copy of himself begins working in his office and attempts to ruin his life.  As you can see in the just released trailerThe Double takes place in its own world and Ayoade has created something cool that hopefully you’ll be able to see in the near future.  The film also stars Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Rade Serbedzija, James Fox, and Yasmin Paige.

Shortly after the premiere I got to sit down with Ayoade for an extended video interview.  He talked about being at TIFF, what The Double is about, the process of adapting the Dostoevsky novel for the screen, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg, the length of his first cut, deleted scenes and keeping a lengthy credit roll in order to keep the credits song, his preference for writing and directing versus acting, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Jesse Eisenberg Talks NOW YOU SEE ME, Working with Louis Leterrier, Richard Ayoade’s THE DOUBLE, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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With director Louis Leterrier’s (The Incredible Hulk) magician-centered thriller Now You See Me opening May 31st, I recently went to New Orleans to interview the cast.  For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows an FBI squad on the heels of a team of bank-robbing magicians who share their profits with the audience.  The pic boasts an impressive ensemble cast that includes Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine, Melanie Laurent, and Morgan Freeman.  For more on the film, watch six clips and check out all of our previous coverage.

During my interview with Eisenberg, he talked about how much fun he had making Now You See Me, what he learned about magic, New Orleans, what it was like working for Leterrier and his always moving camera, and more.  In addition, he also talked about director Richard Ayoade‘s next movie The Double.  Hit the jump to watch.

Laika Announces THE BOXTROLLS Featuring the Voices of Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Tracy Morgan and More, Plus the Film’s First Concept Image

by     Posted 1 year, 231 days ago

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Laika and Focus Features are teaming up once again for The Boxtrolls.  Their third production will be the 3D stop motion and CG hybrid animated adaptation of Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters.”  The story centers on a posh Victorian-era town of people obsessed with finery and stinky cheese, but are plagued by an underground society of foul monsters who steal their children…and cheese.  Similar in themes to their previous productions Coraline and ParaNorman, the under-dwellers are not exactly what the citizens’ legends say they are.

Directed by Anthony Stacchi (Open Season) and Graham Annable (a story artist on Coraline and ParaNorman), The Boxtrolls features an impressive voice cast featuring Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan.  The Boxtrolls is due out October 17, 2014.  Hit the jump to see the full synopsis along with the first concept image from the film.

Jesse Eisenberg Talks WHY STOP NOW?, NOW YOU SEE ME, RIO 2, Richard Ayoade’s THE DOUBLE, and Being Mistaken for Mark Zuckerberg at the Olympics

by     Posted 2 years, 40 days ago

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Why Stop Now? tells the bittersweet story of Eli Smith (Jesse Eisenberg), a piano prodigy who, on the day of his audition for a prestigious music program, plans to enter his loving mother (Melissa Leo) into rehab for drug addiction.  But, things don’t quite work out as planned and Eli soon finds himself having to work with her drug dealer Sprinkles (Tracy Morgan) while trying to make his own dream come true.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Jesse Eisenberg talked about why he was interested in being a part of Why Stop Now?, what made his character so relatable, preparing to do the piano playing himself, getting to work so closely with Melissa Leo, and what surprised him about Tracy Morgan, as a dramatic actor.  He also talked about what he’s looking forward to with the animated sequel Rio 2, working with Richard Ayoade on The Double (a comedy about a man who is driven insane by the appearance of his doppleganger), creating the unique world of Now You See Me (a thriller about FBI agents tracking a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances), getting ready to shoot Night Moves (in which he’ll play an eco-terrorist), and being mistaken for Mark Zuckerberg at the Olympics.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

TOP 5: MAN OF STEEL, THE CAMPAIGN Set Visit, CLOUD ATLAS Trailer and Images, THE WATCH Interviews, Batman by the Numbers

by     Posted 2 years, 59 days ago

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As you’re likely aware, the 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off in London yesterday. In other words, it’s time for me to care about competitive swimming and gymnastics for the first time since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. To all of our readers, especially those internationally-based, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the Summer Olympics. Is it an event that evokes your inner-patriotism and love of otherwise obscure athletic feats? Do you take great joy in defeating the ol’ U.S. of A. in something other than Math and Science scores? Sound off in the comments.

This Saturday brings us the Man of Steel teaser trailer set to John Williams‘ original Superman score, coverage from our visit to the set of Will Ferrell and Zach GalifianakisThe Campaign, an extended trailer and first official images from Cloud Atlas, interviews with the fellas of The Watch, and Brendan’s latest By the Numbers installment covering The Caped Crusader from Batman: The Movie to The Dark Knight Rises. Unless you’re a Top 5 noob (in which case, welcome aboard!), you know that a brief recap and link to each can be found after the jump.

THE WATCH Review

by     Posted 2 years, 61 days ago

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“Let’s keep it 1950s, kids,” Vince Vaughn‘s character says to his teenage daughter and her prom date in Akiva Schaffer‘s The Watch.  That sentiment could be applied to the film’s cherished values, and the characters’ drive to protect the most boring of places: the suburbs.  The suburbs are where white flew after African-Americans began moving into the cities, and now it’s a safe haven where nothing happens or will ever happen.  The paradox of The Watch is in seeing the heroes (played by Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade) go on a comic adventure to keep the status quo.  But in the dull trappings of Schaffer’s bland direction, Stiller’s killjoy character, and Ayoade’s wasted talented, there’s no comedy or thrills to be found.  It’s a movie where rocking the suburbs won’t wake the neighbors, and only the chemistry between Vaughn and Hill provides any levity to the tame R-rated comedy.

Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade Talk THE WATCH; Updates on THE DOUBLE, THE INTERNSHIP, ZOOLANDER 2 and the 21 JUMP STREET Sequel

by     Posted 2 years, 61 days ago

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Opening tomorrow is director Akiva Schaffer’s (Hot Rod) sci-fi comedy The Watch (previously titled Neighborhood Watch).  The film stars Vince Vaughn, Jonah HillBen Stiller and Richard Ayoade as a group of neighbors who form a local neighborhood watch group and end up stumbling onto an alien plot to destroy the world.  The film also stars Billy Crudup, Will Forte, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Nicholas Braun.  For more on the film, here’s the latest trailer, a red band trailer, an outtake reel, my video interview with Schaffer, and all our previous coverage.

The other day I got to speak with Stiller, Vaughn, Hill and Ayoade.  We talked about the filthy dialogue, what was in the script versus improv, what scene had the most takes, and who broke the most during filming.  In addition, at the end of the interview I got updates on the 21 Jump Street sequel, Zoolander 2, The Internship and The Double.  Hit the jump to watch.

Red-Band Trailer/Outtake Reel for THE WATCH

by     Posted 2 years, 62 days ago

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A new red-band trailer/outtake reel for The Watch has gone online.  For those unfamiliar with the film, it follows a neighborhood watch gang who stumble upon plans for an alien invasion.  There are some regular clips that have appeared in other trailers, and then the outtakes are more like alternate takes that are followed by the actors cracking up at their shenanigans.  I’ll have my review online tomorrow, but I’ll say now that if you want to avoid spoiling some of the jokes for yourself, maybe hold off on watching this until after you’ve seen the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the red-band trailer/outtake reel.  The film stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard AyoadeThe Watch opens Friday.

International Trailer for THE WATCH Starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade

by     Posted 2 years, 97 days ago

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It almost seemed like Fox had forgotten about Akiva Schaffer‘s comedy The Watch (it received the blandest poster of the year thus far), but with about a month to go until the film’s release, it looks like the marketing is beginning to ramp up.  A new international trailer has gone online, and it’s got some good laughs throughout.  The plot centers on a group of neighborhood watch guys (played by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade) who stumble upon an alien invasion plot.  Stiller and Vaughn seem to have settled into their standard personas (uptight guy and fast-talking guy, respectively), but I like seeing Hill as a little bit psycho, and it looks like British actor Ayoade (The IT Crowd) has a chance to steal the show in his big American debut.

Hit the jump to check out the international trailer.  The film also stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Will Forte, and Billy CrudupThe Watch (formerly titled Neighborhood Watch) opens July 27th.

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