National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 354 days ago

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The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013.  Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station).  Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners.  Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.

The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects.  Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.

SIGHTSEERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  Sightseers opens today in limited release.]

With his third film, Sightseers, director Ben Wheatley has clearly defined his wheelhouse. He makes surreal, darkly comic, horrifically violent tales about ugly people doing terrible things. The humor slightly faded in his last film, the twisted thriller Kill List, but Sightseers returns him to the pitch-black comedy of his debut feature, Down Terrace. This time, instead of giving an emotional bubonic plague to the platonic family, Wheatley fiercely savages the banality of relationships growing out of the puppy-love stages and into something serious. For the two lead characters in Sightseers, the relationship grows into something seriously demented and ruthlessly perverse.

10 Indie Films to Check Out This Summer

by     Posted 1 year, 204 days ago

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Blockbusters dominate the summer movie season, and some will definitely be worth your time.  You’ll pre-order your ticket, get together with friends for the earliest possible screening, and probably have a grand time.  But there are some smaller films this summer that shouldn’t escape your attention.  I’ve compiled a list of ten worthwhile indie films I saw at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW 2013.  The list includes coming of age comedies, moving romances, brutal dramas, and more.  There are other smaller films this summer that might be worth a look such as The Bling Ring and Blue Jasmine, but I haven’t seen them yet.  I can vouch for these ten.  Hit the jump for the list.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Lineups for Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier Programs Including MUD, HELL BABY, and S-VHS

by     Posted 1 year, 358 days ago

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Yesterday the 2013 Sundance Film Festival announced the lineup for films competing in the Dramatic and Documentary categories, and today they’ve unveiled the films that will screen in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier programs.  Films of note include Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols’ new film Mud starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, the U.S. premiere of Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, the Robert Ben Garant/Thomas Lennon comedy Hell Baby, and the horror anthology sequel S-VHS.

Hit the jump to see the full lineup, and click here to check out all of our Sundance coverage thus far.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.

TIFF 2012: SIGHTSEERS Review

by     Posted 2 years, 75 days ago

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With his third film, Sightseers, director Ben Wheatley has clearly defined his wheelhouse.  He makes surreal, darkly comic, horrifically violent tales about ugly people doing terrible things.  The humor slightly faded in his last film, the twisted thriller Kill List, but Sightseers returns him to the pitch-black comedy of his debut feature film, Down Terrace.  This time, instead of giving an emotional bubonic plague to the platonic family, Wheatley fiercely savages the banality of relationships growing out of the puppy-love stages and into something serious.  For the two lead characters in Sightseers, the relationship grows into something seriously demented and ruthlessly perverse.

First Trailer for KILL LIST Director Ben Wheatley’s Very Dark Comedy SIGHTSEERS

by     Posted 2 years, 86 days ago

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The first trailer for Kill List director Ben Wheatley‘s dark comedy Sightseers has gone online, and it’s pretty damn nutty.  The film stars Steve Oram and Alice Lowe as a seemingly nice couple who are taking a trip through the British Isles in his Abbey Oxford caravan.  As gleaned in the trailer, the journey soon turns into a killing spree/sex romp, the likes of which you’ve probably never seen before.  An appropriately creepy use of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” plays over this wondrously weird trailer that makes the film look like a really fun ride. Edgar Wright is an executive producer on the pic, and fans of his work should get a kick out of this hilariously strange story.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Sightseers will screen at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival which runs from September 6 – 16th, and opens in the UK on November 30th.

New Images from Ryuhei Kitamura’s NO ONE LIVES, Ben Wheatley’s SIGHTSEERS, Eva Sørhaug’s 90 MINUTES, and Zhang Yuan’s BEIJING FLICKERS

by     Posted 2 years, 114 days ago

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Today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced their excellent Midnight Madness and Vanguard line-ups.  Among the films playing in these program with new images and synopses are:

  • No One Lives (directed by Ryuhei Kitamura) Starring Luke Evans, Adelaide Clemens, Derek Magyar, Lee Tergesen, and America Olivo
  • Sightseers (directed by Ben Wheatley) Starring Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, Jonathan Aris, Richard Glover, and Monica Dolan
  • 90 Minutes (directed by Eva Sørhaug) Starring Aksel Hennie, Kaia Varjord, Bjørn Floberg, Annmari Kastrup, Mads Ousdal, and Pia Tjelta
  • Beijing Flickers (directed by Zhang Yuan) Starring Duan Bowen, Lv Yulai, Shi Shi, Han Wenwen, and Li Xinyun

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.

TIFF 2012 Line-ups for Kids, Vanguard, and Cinematheque; Includes HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, PUSHER Remake, ROOM 237, and DIAL M FOR MURDER 3D

by     Posted 2 years, 114 days ago

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Last week, the Toronto International Film Festival announced their 2012 line-up for the Special Presentations and Galas programs.  They’ve now announced their other line-ups including Midnight Madness and Documentaries as well as TIFF Kids, Vanguard, and Cinematheque.  The Kids program only has four films, but two of them are Hotel Transylvania and Finding Nemo 3D.  Vanguard, which is “international works that defy convention and ride on the pulse of cutting-edge cinema, includes the British remake of Nicolas Winding Refn‘s Pusher, the great Shining documentary Room 237, Michel Gondry‘s The We and the I, and Sightseers, the new film from Kill List director Ben Wheatley.  Finally, Cinematheque is for the classic films and it includes the digital 3D presentation of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M for Murder, and a 4K restoration of Roman Polanski‘s Tess.

Hit the jump for all the line-ups.  The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.

Edgar Wright Executive Producing Director Ben Wheatley’s Dark Comedy SIGHTSEERS

by     Posted 3 years, 100 days ago

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Director Ben Wheatley was already slowly but surely making a name for himself with 2009′s acclaimed crime/comedy Down Terrace and his most recent effort, Kill List, which hits theaters in the UK and Ireland on September 2nd. This in mind, the buzz surrounding Wheatley will most likely continue to rise going forward as it looks like his next pic, the dark comedy Sightseers, is being executive produced by Edgar Wright at Big Talk Productions.

Wheatley revealed Wright’s involvement in the pic to The Playlist over the weekend at Empire Big Screen 2011. The film, which is written by and co-stars Alice Lowe (Hot Fuzz) and Steve Oram (Wheatley’s aforementioned Kill List), is based on a short film and follows a pair of “psychotic caravaners.” Film4 is also on-board to produce Sightseers alongside Wright/Big Talk with production set to begin around the beginning of October. In addition to working with Wright on Sightseers, Wheatley will also work with Hot Fuzz star Nick Frost and Spaced‘s Michael Smiley in the comedy I, Macrobane. Wheatley says that production on that project will begin next year after Sightseers is in the can.

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