When a film is executed under a series of conditions, it can feel like an exercise. It can come off like a director running a test rather than telling a story. But we also know that restrictions can spur creativity and yield unexpected results. Steven Knight’s Locke sets its conditions: a story told in real time where the protagonist is stuck behind the wheel of a constantly moving car, he’s the only character on screen, and he only talks to other characters over the phone. Under these conditions, Knight and star Tom Hardy have created a surprisingly captivating picture where adultery and concrete maintenance carry the same dramatic weight.
Showtime has made a few announcements during the network’s TCA panel. Briefly:
- The sixth season of Nurse Jackie will premiere Sunday, April 13th at 9pm ET followed by the seventh and final season of Californication at 9:30pm and the docu-series Years of Living Dangerously at 10pm.
- The new psychosexual horror series Penny Dreadful will premiere Sunday, May 11th at 10pm ET. Click here to watch the new trailer.
- Showtime has added two new original series to its lineup with full series orders. The one-hour drama The Affair starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson has been given a 10-episode order, and the half-hour comedy series Happyish starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn has also been given a 10-episode order.
Hit the jump to check out the first images from the two new series and for more info on the upcoming shows.
The abject failure of The Lone Ranger produced its share of schadenfreude, particularly among people weary of star Johnny Depp and the kind of summer movie hubris that the western reboot seemed to embody in every frame. It was too bloated, too unwieldy, too full of itself and its own overblown event status to merit forgiveness. Audiences stayed away in droves, and not without good reason. There’s a lot here that just doesn’t work. And yet in a season dominated by grim, downbeat, unyieldingly bleak blockbusters, it brought an undeniable sense of fun that most critics completely overlooked. I’m not prepared to go all Tarantino on it, but I will say it shows signs of life that definitely merit a second look. Hit the jump for my full review of The Lone Ranger on Blu-ray.
The BBC’s compelling crime drama Luther returns to American shores by pulling a half-Netflix, if you will. You can binge, but only after four days: BBC America will air the four-part miniseries (also know as Season Three) on consecutive nights. It’s a nice schedule for rabid viewers, particularly as the show’s stakes have never been higher.
On the flip side, Luther is not without its flaws. There are those who have said the show can be unnecessarily and cartoonishly violent (criticism I’ve lobbed at shows like Sons of Anarchy and Boardwalk Empire) while wanting to remain serious. But while the third season certainly doesn’t shy away from these moments, it also retains, as it always has, a good sense of what fans want to see when all is said and done. Hit the jump for more on the show’s potentially polarizing final season.
The BBC’s captivating crime drama Luther just finished up its third season run in the U.K., which left fans asking what might be next for the series. The show’s iconic star Idris Elba had made mention in the past of his hopes for a movie (perhaps instead of a fourth season) to wrap up the series, and word is that is now coming true.
Luther creator Neil Cross confirmed at the Edinburgh TV Festival yesterday that he has written a prequel script for a movie that will bring back some of the favorite characters from the first season of the show. But, since the events will be leading up to that first season, that means sadly there won’t be any Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Alice does however appear in the third season, which will run on consecutive nights on BBC America starting September 3rd. Hit the jump for more on the prequel project without spoilers from the third season.
A bevy of announcements have been made out of the Television Critics Association panel for Showtime today. In addition to specific January premiere dates for Episodes, Shameless, and House of Lies, the following casting news was unveiled:
- Josh Hartnett and Eva Green will star in Penny Dreadful, the horror series from Skyfall writer John Logan and director Sam Mendes, who acts as executive producer.
- Ruth Wilson (Luther) has been set as the female lead in the drama series pilot The Affair opposite Dominic West (The Wire).
- The new comedy series Trending Down, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn has been ordered to pilot.
Hit the jump for much more.
The first trailer has been release for John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks. The first trailer has been release for John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks. The film focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two. In some ways, it’s pure Oscar-bait and easily digestible as well as a little on the sappy side, but it also looks quite charming. Hanks and Thompson look like they have great chemistry, and I got a big laugh when they come across the problem of trying to sell Travers on “supercalifragilousexpialadocious”.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Kathy Baker. Saving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before going wide December 20th.
With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
With director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger opening this Wednesday, Disney held a big press junket Santa Fe, New Mexico. While I’ve done a lot of interviews, it was incredibly cool to talk to the cast and filmmakers with the beautiful New Mexico desert behind us. If you’ve missed the trailers, the story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice. As you can see in this featurette, the production went to enormous lengths to film the majority of The Lone Ranger practically, and they shot at some amazing locations all around the country. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.
During my interview with Wilson, she talked about filming on location, if her friends want to visit her on set, deleted scenes, if she gets nervous when auditioning, if people look at her differently after Luther, her upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
I love epic westerns. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of my all-time favorite films. I also adore Once Upon a Time in the West and obviously The Searchers is an undisputed classic. They’re epic not only because of their length and how they take in the awe-inspiring scenery, but also in the grand motives of the characters, the sweep of their journey, and the conflict along the way. The Lone Ranger isn’t epic; it’s just really damn long. The flabby screenplay moves at half-speed while undeveloped characters slog through predictable motions and forced quirkiness, all of which is trapped in an erratic tone that swerves from kookiness to uncomfortably somber. Even the few redeeming aspects like Armie Hammer‘s endearing performance and director Gore Verbinski‘s skill at putting together set pieces can’t stop the film from feeling like being dragged through the desert rather than a rousing ride through canyons and vistas.
Disney has released a slew of new images from director Gore Verbinski’s new film The Lone Ranger. The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice. As a big fan of Verbinski’s work on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s put together for Lone Ranger. These new images tease the film’s large cast of characters as well as the principal partnership between the titular Ranger and Tonto, and it should be fun to see how the duo’s relationship develops over the course of the film.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.
Disney has released a new featurette for The Lone Ranger. The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice. The new featurette focuses on the “cowboy bootcamp” where Hammer and co-star Ruth Wilson had to learn how to ride horses and lasso chairs. The former might be more important than the latter. Depp is nowhere to be seen, so either he went to Native American bootcamp, or innately knows how to ride a horse and throw a loop of rope over furniture.
Hit the jump to check out the featurette. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.
With a little over a month away until the release of Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, Disney has a released a new trailer. The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice. The new trailer speeds through the premise to get to the set pieces, and while I want to be excited for this movie, I just keep seeing Wild Wild West. There’s hardly any of the humor that made Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies so enjoyable, or the strangeness that brought Rango to life. Then again, if Disney wants to leave the best stuff out of the trailer, that’s fine by me. I’d like to be surprised.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.
In case you didn’t get your fill of Disney’s The Lone Ranger yesterday from the new trailer debut and Steve’s interviews with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Armie Hammer, a new international trailer has now made its way online that offers up even more new footage. This trailer focuses more on the fiim’s humor and, unsurprisingly, Johnny Depp (he’s a big draw overseas, you know). Director Gore Verbinski has a real knack for crafting exciting and coherent action sequences, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s put together for this mega-budget Western.
Hit the jump to watch the international trailer. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens on July 3rd.
Disney has released a new trailer for director Gore Verbinski‘s upcoming film The Lone Ranger. This lengthy theatrical trailer begins by focusing on the origin of Armie Hammer‘s titular ranger and how his partnership with Johnny Depp‘s Tonto was forged, and from there we get quite a few looks at the many characters and set pieces that make up the action/adventure pic. There are more than a few similarities to be found between this and Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, as this trailer showcases a massive scale, a kooky Depp performance, plenty of dirty, nefarious characters, and a possible supernatural element. The visuals here look gorgeous, and while I’m not sold on Depp’s performance or even necessarily the story, I’m still eager to see what Verbinski has cooked up on a very big screen when this thing hits theaters.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens on July 3rd.