OLIVE KITTERIDGE Review: Frances McDormand Stars in HBO’s Maine-Focused Miniseries

by     Posted 50 days ago

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It’s that time of year, in between HBO’s fall and winter series, where it runs a highbrow miniseries event that immediately flies to the front of Emmy contender lists.  These tend to be acting showcases based on literary adaptations; Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet, is a recent example.  This year, it’s Olive Kitteridge, based on a 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout.  The novel, like the miniseries, explores a number of vignettes in and around a small, coastal Maine town, connected through the middle-aged Olive, over the course of 25 years.  Hit the jump for why “I’m waiting for the dog to die so I can shoot myself.”

OLIVE KITTERIDGE Trailer and Poster: Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins Lead Dark and Funny HBO Miniseries Adaptation

by     Posted 79 days ago

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HBO has released the first Olive Kitteridge trailer for director Lisa Cholodenko’s (The Kids Are All Right) miniseries adaptation of author Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.  The story focuses on a retired schoolteacher (Frances McDormand) and the characters that surround her, as the various tales of affairs, suicide, and emotional problems in her small Maine town are told through her eyes.  McDormand looks to be quite incredible here as the titular lead, and Cholodenko appears to do a swell job of balancing the darkly funny and dramatic tone.  Everything about this looks great, from the cinematography to the supporting cast, and I can’t wait to dive into the four-hour story next month.

Hit the jump to watch the Olive Kitteridge trailer and to check out the poster.  The miniseries also stars Richard Jenkins, Bill Murray, John Gallagher Jr., Peter Mullan, Rosemarie DeWitt, Zoe Kazan, Jesse Plemons, and Rachel BrosnahanOlive Kitteridge will air in four parts, with “Pharmacy” and “Incoming Tide” debuting on November 2nd followed by “A Different Road” and “Security” on November 3rd.

Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox Join BONE TOMAHAWK, Violent Western Shoots Next Month

by     Posted 88 days ago

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I’ve been looking forward to Bone Tomahawk ever since I read the words “Kurt Russell” and “Western” in the same sentence a while back and now it looks like this much anticipated film is on its feet and ready to go, making it one of two Kurt Russell westerns hitting screens next year (the other being The Hateful Eight).  So 2015 has that going for it.

In addition to the amazing (and previously reported) Richard Jenkins, the film has added Patrick Wilson and Matthew Fox to its already impressive roster.  The film’s writer S. Craig Zahler (who also penned the flat-out amazing script The Brigands of Rattleborge) will be stepping behind the camera to direct.  The films starts shooting next month outside Los Angeles and will be produced by Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller.  Hit the jump for more on Bone Tomahawk.

New Images from Peter Bogdanovich’s SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY, THE HUMBLING Starring Al Pacino, and HBO’s OLIVE KITTERIDGE

by     Posted 132 days ago

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With the fall film festival circuit imminent, the 2014 Venice Film Festival has start to unveil images from some of the films that will screen in Italy later this month. We previously shared new images from Good Kill, Your Right Mind, and Hungry Hearts, as well as James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury, and now we have new images from another trio of films slated to screen in Venice.  Briefly:

  • She’s Funny That Way – Previously titled Squirrels to the Nuts, director Peter Bogdanovich’s (Paper Moon) ensemble comedy stars Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, and Imogen Poots.
  • The Humbling – Star Al Pacino reunites with director Barry Levinson (You Don’t Know Jack) for the story of a famous retired stage actor in decline who becomes reinvigorated by moving in with a much younger woman.
  • Olive Kitteridge – Director Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) helms the HBO miniseries adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Price-winning novel, starring Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins.

Hit the jump for new images from the aforementioned films.  The 2014 Venice Film Festival runs from August 27 – September 6th.

GOD’S POCKET Review

by     Posted 226 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.

John Krasinski to Direct and Star in THE HOLLARS; Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, and Richard Jenkins Co-Star

by     Posted 230 days ago

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John Krasinski has signed on to direct his second feature, The Hollars.  Krasinski will also star and recruited a great supporting cast in Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, and Richard Jenkins.  Per Deadline, Krasinski plays an aspiring artist who takes his girlfriend (Kendrick) back to his Middle America hometown shortly before his mother (Martindale) is scheduled to have brain surgery: “There he’s forced to navigate the crazy life he left behind as his dysfunctional family, high school pals, his father (Jenkins), and his over-eager ex flood back into his life ahead of the operation.”

James C. Strouse (The Winning Season) scripted The Hollars, described as a “blend of Steel Magnolias and Garden State.”  The Garden State comparison is striking given the shared NBC sitcom roots of Krasinski and Zach Braff.  Then again, dramas love to send the protagonist back home to create conflict.  I love this cast, so I hope Krasinski can produce a fresh spin on a common tale.

First Trailer for John Slattery’s GOD’S POCKET Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 251 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.

GOD’S POCKET Review

by     Posted 337 days ago

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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.

A.C.O.D. Review

by     Posted 1 year, 78 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  A.C.O.D. opens today in limited release.]

In his feature directorial debut, A.C.O.D., Stu Zicherman has taken the premise for the episode of a sitcom, and turned it into a film that’s not only funny, but also surprisingly relatable for audience members represented by the title’s acronym, “Adult Children of Divorce”. Speaking as an A.C.O.D., my parents never had the comical, over-the top fights featured in the movie, but Zicherman and co-writer Ben Karlin manage to work in a strong, emotional center to a comedy that works in broad strokes. The movie may share the same plotline as sitcom episode, but thanks to its excellent cast and willingness to push its protagonist to emotionally unpleasant places, A.C.O.D. works for kids from broken and unbroken homes alike.

Exclusive Clip from A.C.O.D. Starring Adam Scott and Richard Jenkins

by     Posted 1 year, 86 days ago

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Today we’re happy to bring you an exclusive clip from the upcoming comedy, A.C.O.D.  The title stands for “Adult Children of Divorce” and the film centers on Carter (Adam Scott) who has been caught in his parents’ (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) ugly divorce for the past twenty years.  Matters become even worse when he tries to get them in the same room so they can attend his brother’s wedding.  I really enjoyed the movie when I saw it at Sundance, and this clip is a good representation of the humor and shows off Scott and Jenkins’ great performances.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  The film also stars Jane Lynch, Jessica Alba, Clark Duke, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Amy PoehlerA.C.O.D. opens October 4th.

First Trailer for A.C.O.D. Starring Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, and Amy Poehler

by     Posted 1 year, 128 days ago

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The first trailer for director Stuart Zicherman’s comedy A.C.O.D. has been released online.  The title stands for “Adult Children of Divorce” and the film centers on a guy (Adam Scott) who has been caught in his parents’ (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) ugly divorce for the past twenty years, and matters become even worse when his brother gets engaged.  I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a really nice showcase for Adam Scott as a leading man, with a couple of scene-stealing performances by Jenkins and O’Hara to boot.  In addition to being really funny, the pic also touches on some issues that should hit close to home for fellow A.C.O.D.’s.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Jane Lynch, Jessica Alba, Clark Duke, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Amy PoehlerA.C.O.D. opens in theaters on October 4th.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 177 days ago

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Making a silly, fun action movie is a difficult balance.  If the film takes itself too seriously in order to make the stakes feel more immediate, then the audience can become uncomfortable (e.g. Olympus Has Fallen).  If the film is constantly winking at the audience, then they can grow tired with a movie that’s trying way too hard to be ironic (e.g. Snakes on a Plane).  Director Roland Emmerich has rarely had trouble striking the right balance.  Emmerich knows to pepper the movie with snappy, funny dialogue, have the good-hearted characters take their situation seriously, and never be afraid to go melodramatic, over the top, and do so in a way that’s unashamed rather than shameless.  White House Down is Emmerich at his best, and delivers exactly the movie we’ve come to expect from the blockbuster director.

Four-Minute Trailer for WHITE HOUSE DOWN Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx

by     Posted 1 year, 195 days ago

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Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for Roland Emmerich’s new action film, White House Down.  The story follows a rejected Secret Service applicant (Channing Tatum) who must save the President (Jamie Foxx) when a heavily-armed paramilitary group takes over the White House.  I haven’t watched this four-minute trailer because the previous trailer already sold me on the movie.  It looks like loads of fun by setting up one of most unlikely buddy-cop-esque partnerships, and then blowing up Washington, but not in an uncomfortable, far-too-serious, Olympus Has Fallen way.

Hit the jump to check out the new trailer.  The film also stars Maggie GyllenhaalJames Woods, Richard Jenkins, Joey King, Jake Weber, Lance Reddick, and Jason ClarkeWhite House Down opens June 28th.

Samuel L. Jackson Joins Hailee Steinfeld in BARELY LETHAL; John Slattery to Direct Philip Seymour Hoffman in GOD’S POCKET

by     Posted 1 year, 220 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of quick casting stories for you this afternoon.  First up Samuel L. Jackson is set to star opposite Hailee Steinfeld in the indie, Barely Lethal.  According to Variety, “the story follows a 16-year-old international assassin yearning for a “normal” adolescence who fakes her own death and enrolls as a senior in a suburban high school. Jackson will play her mentor who trains her in the program.”  I’m curious to see how director Kyle Newman will handle his follow-up to the surprisingly enjoyable, Fanboys.  I’m also interested to see how it will compare to the recent “teenage assassin” flick, Hanna, even though this is a comedy.

Hit the jump for news on John Slattery‘s directorial debut, God’s Pocket.

Lisa Cholodenko to Direct Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in HBO Miniseries Adaptation of OLIVE KITTERIDGE

by     Posted 1 year, 234 days ago

Actress Frances McDormand has been trying to get an adaptation of author Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge off the ground for years, and it looks like things are now finally moving forward.  Deadline reports that The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko will helm a miniseries adaptation of the novel for HBO in which McDormand and Richard Jenkins will star.  The story focuses on a retired schoolteacher and the characters that surround her, as the various tales of affairs, suicide, and emotional problems in her small Maine town are told through her eyes.  McDormand will star as the schoolteacher, Olive Kitteridge, while Jenkins will play her husband.

Cholodenko had previously been attached to direct an adaptation of the childrens book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, but she recently dropped outJane Anderson wrote the screenplay for the four-hour miniseries.  Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Strout’s book.

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