SMASHED Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 228 days ago

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In films, alcoholism is rarely treated as the crippling, devastating disease that it is.  It’s oftentimes romanticized or portrayed as some quirk for comedic aspects.  A lot of diseases and mental illnesses are treated this way on screen.  There are some great films about alcoholism that take it seriously, like Lost Weekend and Under the Volcano.  But for the most part films tend to leave out the lies, shame, and heaps of ruin laid on the alcoholic and their family.  James Ponsoldt‘s Smashed manages to find the perfect balance between a romantic comedy and a compelling study of a relationship fueled by booze.  More on Sony Pictures Classics’ Smashed Blu-ray after the jump.

New to Blu-ray: LIFE OF PI, WILLOW, RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 253 days ago

Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray titles:

Hit the jump for extras details on all of the aforementioned releases.

MOONRISE KINGDOM and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Lead 2013 Independent Spirit Award Nominations; Matthew McConaughey Lands Double Nods

by     Posted 1 year, 357 days ago

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The nominations for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards have been announced, and Oscar hopefuls Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom lead the pack.  Both films picked up nominations for Best Feature, Director, and Screenplay with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper landing acting noms for SLP and Bruce Willis garnering a swell Best Supporting Actor nomination for his work in Moonrise KingdomBeasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, and Keep the Lights On round out the Best Feature nominees, while The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Safety Not Guaranteed were singled out for the Best First Feature award.  Also, Matthew McConaughey pulled double nominations for his stellar work in this year’s Magic Mike and Killer Joe, landing a Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor nod, respectively.  Notably shut out of the race entirely was Leos Carax‘s critically-lauded Holy Motors.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations.  The winners of the 2013 Spirit Awards will be announced on Saturday, February 23, 2013.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Talks SMASHED, THE SPECTACULAR NOW, CHARLIE SWAN, and A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD

by     Posted 2 years, 41 days ago

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The indie dramedy Smashed follows Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), a young married couple who prefer to drink than deal with their own demons. But, when Kate’s drinking puts her job as a school teacher in jeopardy, it scares her into wanting to join AA and get sober. Directed by James Ponsoldt, he film also stars Octavia Spencer, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman and Mary Kay Place.

At the film’s press day, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about why she wanted to make an independent film, what attracted her to this specific project, the research she did for the role, finding the awkward humor, and how important it was that her character did not just have an easy road to recovery. She also talked about re-teaming with Ponsoldt for The Spectacular Now, what attracted her to A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charlie Swan III, and going to Budapest for A Good Day to Die Hard. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

First Trailer and Poster for SMASHED Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul

by     Posted 2 years, 69 days ago

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The first trailer and poster for the indie drama Smashed have been released.  The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as a married couple who are brought together by booze.  Things get complicated when Winstead’s character decides she wants to be sober.  The trailer plays things pretty light, and its effective in making this drama about a struggle with alcoholism seem appealing.  That said, Smashed isn’t exactly a comedy.  The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to positive reviews, with Matt noting that Winstead gives the best performance of her career thus farNick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Megan Mullaly (Will & Grace), Mary Kay Place, and Octavia Spencer round out a promising supporting cast for what looks to be a solid character drama.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  Directed by James Ponsoldt, Smashed opens on October 12th.

Acquisition News: Sony Pictures Classics Gets SMASHED; Magnolia to Distribute Kevin Macdonald’s Bob Marley Documentary, MARLEY

by     Posted 2 years, 287 days ago

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The alcoholism drama Smashed and the Bob Marley documentary Marley have now found a way to you.  According to The Wrap, Sony Pictures Classics will distribute Smashed, which features a powerful performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an alcoholic who’s struggling to get sober.  I caught the film at Sundance and was blown away by Winstead as well as her co-star Aaron Paul.  As for Marley, the film was directed by Kevin Macdonald (Life in a Day) and will tell the legendary musician’s life story with unprecedented support from Marley’s family.  The film will make its US premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March.

Hit the jump for the press release for Marley.

Sundance 2012: Matt’s Review Scorecard and Wrap-Up

by     Posted 2 years, 293 days ago

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Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival.  It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day.  Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good.  For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar.  Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact.  Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those.  But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.

Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter).  While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead Talks SMASHED, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III

by     Posted 2 years, 293 days ago

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One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director James Ponsoldt‘s Smashed.  Written by Susan Burke and James Ponsoldt, Smashed is about a young married couple – played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul – who are brought together by booze.  When Winstead’s character (Kate) decides to get sober, it creates its own set of problems.  While the film and subject matter could have easily drifted into a Lifetime movie of the week, what makes Smashed work is a career best performance by Winstead and fantastic work from the rest of the cast which includes Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review.

Shortly after seeing the film, I got to sit down with Winstead for an exclusive interview.  We talked about what it means to be a part of Sundance, how she got involved in Smashed and what it’s about, how she went about creating a three dimensional character, karaoke, working with director Timur Bekmambetov on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and who she plays, Roman Coppola‘s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, and what she has coming up.  Hit the jump to watch.

Sundance 2012 Awards Winners Include BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, THE SURROGATE, SLEEPWALK WITH ME, and THE HOUSE I LIVE IN

by     Posted 2 years, 296 days ago

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If you have followed our Sundance coverage over the last week and a half, you know how massive the festival can feel from afar.  These are the movies that will fill arthouses over the next year, so perhaps the best place for those who could not make it to Park City to start is at the end, with the announcement of the awards.  In terms of the major awards, the Grand Jury Prizes went to  Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dramatic), The House I Live In (in the Documentary category), Violeta Went to Heaven (World Dramatic), and The Law in These Parts (World Documentary).  Beasts of the Southern Wild, the consensus critical darling, also won for cinematography and a producers’ award.  Thankfully Fox Searchlight made a deal to bring Beasts to a theater near you soon.

The Audience Awards went to The Surrogate (Dramatic), The Invisible War (Documentary), Valley of Saints (World Dramatic), and Searching for Sugar Man (World Documentary).  The cast of The Surrogates—led by John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy—doubled up with the Jury Prize for Ensemble Acting.  Fox Searchlight also picked up The Surrogates.  Love that studio.  Hit the jump for the press release with the expansive list of award winners.

Aaron Paul Talks SMASHED, the Final Season of BREAKING BAD, QUAD and DECODING ANNIE PARKER at Sundance 2012

by     Posted 2 years, 297 days ago

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One of the many films that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was director James Ponsoldt‘s Smashed.  Written by Susan Burke and James Ponsoldt, Smashed is about a young married couple – played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul – who are brought together by booze.  When Winstead’s character (Kate) decides to get sober, it creates its own set of problems.  While the film and subject matter could have easily drifted into a Lifetime movie of the week, what makes Smashed work is a career best performance by Winstead and fantastic work from the rest of the cast which includes Octavia Spencer, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review.

Shortly after seeing the film, I got to sit down with Aaron Paul for an exclusive interview.  We talked about what it means for him to be a part of Sundance, how he got involved in Smashed, what it’s about, who he plays, and the experience of making the movie in 19 days.  In addition, with Paul getting ready to film the final season of Breaking Bad (they start filming in March and it airs this July), we talked about his feelings on the show ending, how much he likes to learn about the season before they shoot, and other upcoming projects like Quad (which is based on a true story of a man who becomes a quadriplegic) and Decoding Annie Parker (another project based on a true story of a woman who develops cancer).  Hit the jump to watch.

Sundance 2012: SMASHED Review

by     Posted 2 years, 300 days ago

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Alcoholism is a serious problem.  We know that.  Addiction can, and usually does, ruins lives.  We know that.  A lot of people find Alcoholics Anonymous a life-saver (although its effectiveness is debatable).  We know that.  On the page, Smashed doesn’t bring anything new to the table.  A young woman struggles to deal with her alcoholism and how her new-found sobriety creates its own problems.  But what transforms Smashed from a good-yet-predictable clean-and-sober tale is Mary Elizabeth Winstead giving the best performance of her career thus far.

2012 Sundance Film Festival In-Competition Line-Up Announced

by     Posted 2 years, 355 days ago

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I had a blast at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and I can’t wait to go again next year.  Today, Sundance announced their In-Competition line-ups for 2012 and already I’m trying to plan out how I’m going to see all of them (which is impossible, but it’s nice to dream).  The U.S. Dramatic Competition features For Ellen, Nobody Walks, Safety Not Guaranteed, Smashed, and more.  There are also some interesting-sounding films in the U.S. Documentary Competition including Finding North, The Invisible War, and The Other Dream Team.

Hit the jump to check out the full press release, which includes the in-competition line-ups for U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition.  The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul Join Indie Dramedy SMASHED

by     Posted 3 years, 61 days ago

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After battling alien life forms in this fall’s The Thing prequel, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs The World) could sure use a drink. So it’s fitting that Winstead’s in negotiations to join the indie drama Smashed, which focuses on a married couple who are brought together by booze. Completing the partnership is Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) who is no stranger to portraying a man with an addiction. I’d imagine that Paul’s character in Smashed will be slightly less tweaked out than the meth-cooking Jesse, as he will be romancing Winstead and seducing her with his passion for alcohol. Loosely based off of the 1962 film, Days of Wine and Roses, Smashed explores what happens to their relationship when Winstead’s character makes a move towards sobriety and attends AA. James Ponsoldt (Off the Black) will direct from a script co-written with Susan Burke. Hit the jump for more of the stellar cast of Smashed.

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