Like many others I presume, I can reduce my yesterday down to one common denominator: waiting. Waiting for my Xbox One to arrive in the mail, waiting for the “Day One” update to wrap-up, waiting for Call of Duty: Ghosts to install to my hard drive, waiting for Ghosts‘ mandatory 1Gb update to complete. All told, it was about a two and a half hour process from the time my console arrived at my door until I was able to fire my first virtual shot. Although I’d be lying if I said the delays weren’t tedious, at the end of the day it was absolutely worth it. Microsoft’s next-gen console isn’t perfect, but its ambition and by-and-large its initial execution are pretty damn impressive. Controlling the console via voice commands with Kinect is way smoother than I expected it to be. Directing my satellite television via the console is a feature that I believe, when mastered, I’ll wonder how I ever lived without. And that seems to be the general idea of the Xbox One: to make you reconsider what a video game console can and should do. Even if all of the pieces aren’t in place yet to make it a “must have” (I expect a steady barrage of software updates in the coming days, weeks, months, etc.), I’m having too much fun with it right now to care.
My initial Xbox One impressions aside, this week’s Top 5 includes The Hunger Games: Catching Fire interviews with Jennifer Lawrence and more, Dave’s Out of the Furnace set visit recap, Christopher Nolan strapping an IMAX camera to a Learjet for Interstellar, Delivery Man interviews with Vince Vaughn and more, and a new trailer for Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac that you’ll likely only feel halfway guilty for watching. Per the drill, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.
From the writer/director of Crazy Heart comes the new crime thriller, Out of the Furnace. The story centers on one Russell Baze, who goes in search of his missing brother Rodney when the young man disappears and law enforcement fails to follow up. Sam Shepard (Black Hawk Down) stars as the boys’ uncle “Red”.
During a set visit, Shepard talked to our visiting group of journalists about who he shared scenes with, his character’s backstory, how the quality of the script made him take the role, staying authentic to Pittsburgh’s language and culture, and using improv on set. Also starring Christian Bale, Zoe Saldana, Casey Affleck, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker and Woody Harrelson, Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace opens December 6th. Hit the jump for the interview.
New high-resolution images from a trio of upcoming releases have landed online. Briefly:
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – A new image from director Marc Webb’s superhero sequel features Jamie Foxx’s villain pre-transformation, along with hi-res versions of a couple of previously released photos. The film opens in 3D on May 2, 2014.
- Out of the Furnace – A large batch of new hi-res images from director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama, starring Christian Bale as an ex-con who goes searching for his missing brother (Casey Affleck). The film opens on December 6th.
- Grudge Match – A few new images from the Robert De Niro/Sylvester Stallone comedy, which revolves around a rematch between two old, bitter boxing rivals. The film opens on Christmas Day.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images.
Relativity Media has released a new trailer for director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) upcoming drama Out of the Furnace, and the film looks fantastic. The pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. This new trailer has a stronger focus on Woody Harrelson’s character, who promises to be a rather menacing force in the film. The performances look great all around, and like the first trailer, this new look teases a character-focused story with a strong thematic undercurrent of redemption and family told through the lens of America’s working class. No wonder the pic landed on our Most Anticipated list of fall films.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard, and Forest Whitaker. Out of the Furnace opens in theaters December 6th.
The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. This trailer is interesting in that it paints the film as a heartwarming story of familial reconciliation, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I caught the film at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and it is incredibly dark, but also very, very funny. The performances are pretty fantastic all around and Meryl Streep is unsurprisingly great, but if you’re expecting a nice Lifetime movie-esque film, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on December 25th.
It’s tough to decide if August: Osage County is foremost an insightful work about the dark, twisted, occasionally humorous nature of family, or if it’s good platform to showcase big performances. Either way, it’s an engaging picture that features memorable turns from its stellar cast, especially (and unsurprisingly) Meryl Streep, and also throws together a complicated, abrasive portrait of a shattered family that can’t put the pieces back together. They can only break into smaller pieces, and the only thing stopping the audience from breaking down is the black comedy permeating the family affair.
Relativity Media has released the first trailer for director Scott Cooper‘s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace. The promising pic stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. Backed by Pearl Jam‘s “Release,” this trailer is heavy on mood and atmosphere, promising some intense performances from the entire cast, including a sinister turn from Woody Harrelson. As a huge fan of Crazy Heart I was already looking forward to this one quite a bit, but this trailer is stellar. In addition to what looks to be a pretty involving thriller, Cooper looks to be tackling issues of the working class alongside themes of redemption and family, solidifying this as one of my most anticipated films of 2013.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out some high-resolution images. The film stars Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana, and Forest Whitaker. Out of the Furnace opens in limited release on November 27th and expands wide on December 6th.
The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. While a bit lighter in tone than the actual story, this trailer does a swell job of teasing the film’s absolutely terrific ensemble cast, led by a characteristically great Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in what could potentially be her best role in years. Given the talent involved both onscreen and behind the scenes (Argo‘s George Clooney and Grant Heslov produce), this thing is a surefire Oscar contender that also promises delectable interplay amongst the film’s incredible ensemble.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on November 8th.
Safe House is the kind of movie that you might run across on cable a couple years down the line and forgot that you had ever seen it. Sure, it’s got a good cast (Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, and Sam Shepard), but it’s so routine and by the numbers that by the end the film it almost completely evaporates from memory. Our review of the Blu-ray of Safe House follows after the jump.
You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
The first clip from Andrew Dominik‘s Killing Them Softly has gone online. The film (formerly titled Cogan’s Trade) stars Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer who’s tasked with investigating the robbery of a high-stakes poker game. The terrific cast also includes Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Richard Jenkins, Ben Mendelsohn, Scoot McNairy, Bella Heathcote, and Sam Shepard. The clip shows Shepard’s character roughing up Liotta, and it gives an indication of the tone Dominik’s trying to strike. There’s some clever camerawork culminating in a bit of dark comedy, and I’m curious to see if the rest of the film has the same attitude.
Hit the jump to check out the clip, and click here to check out some images from the movie. Killing Them Softly will premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and hit theaters stateside on September 21st.
Some big name casting news for you today. Here are the headlines:
- Willem Dafoe will join Christian Bale and Casey Affleck in the dramatic thriller, Out of the Furnace, written and directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart).
- Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) will star in the 1950s period piece, Brooklyn, adapted from Colm Toibin’s best-selling novel about a woman torn between her family in Ireland and her new found love for an American.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, and Sam Shepard are set to star in Scott Cooper‘s Out of the Furnace. The film centers on Russell Baze (Bale), who is released after serving four years in prison only to find that his younger brother, Rodney Baze Jr. (Affleck) has been brutally murdered. He sets out to avenge the death and track down the killer. Saldana will play Russell’s love interest, Lena Warren. We had previously reported on Bale, Affleck, and Saldana‘s connection to the project, but Shepard’s name is new. He’ll be playing Russell and Rodney’s uncle, Red. The press release makes no mention of Billy Bob Thornton and Forest Whitaker, who reportedly were circling the villain and sleazy bookie roles, respectively. If they sign on, they’ll be welcome additions to an already strong cast. Production begins later this month in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Hit the jump to check out the press release, which contains the official synopsis.
We’re happy to debut the first poster for the drama Darling Companion. The film stars Diane Keaton as woman who saves a lost dog and quickly forms a bond with the debraggled animal. When her self-involved husband, played by Kevin Kline, loses the dog, they form a search party with a few remaining guests at their house and set out to find the animal. The crux of the plot comes from how the members of the search party are affected by the rescue adventure, and the impressive cast includes Mark Duplass, Richard Jenkins, Elizabeth Moss, Dianne Wiest, and Sam Shepard. Given that The Big Chill director Lawrence Kasdan is behind the pic, I think we can safely assume we’re in for an ensemble film that’s equal parts drama and comedy.
Hit the jump to check out the poster debut. Darling Companion opens in limited release on April 20th.
There’s no problem with delivering a solid action thriller that doesn’t reinvent the genre, but Safe House goes through the motions without an ounce of creativity or flavor. It’s the bare minimum of what an action movie should be and marches through gunfights and car chases because that’s what the genre requires, not what makes the film exciting. Denzel Washington doesn’t add much by doing a tamer retread of his Training Day performance, and Ryan Reynolds is the film’s redeeming aspect as he tries to bring a little nuance and shading to his character. But the main fault lays with director Daniel Espinosa, who knows how to make Safe House loud, but not much else.