FOXCATCHER Review

by     Posted 13 days ago

foxcatcher-review

[This is a re-post of my Foxcatcher review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The film opens today in limited release.]

For those who aspire to be champions, it’s a horrible thing to know you’ll never be the best. Successful people will engender only envy and further self-loathing. You will only see your weakness. You will live in shadows. Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is an incredibly sad and poignant portrait of two men desperate for greatness they’ll never achieve, and destroyed by the failings they’ll always feel. They can lie about confidence, achievements, and relationships, but there’s no escape. Led by astounding performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo, Miller has created a quiet, brooding picture of doubt, depression, and destruction.

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum Talk FOXCATCHER, the Physical Demands of the Film, Going to Emotionally Dark Places, and More

by     Posted 14 days ago

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From director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote), Foxcatcher tells the story of Olympic gold medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), who is invited to be a part of the team being put together by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.  Having come from obscurity and poverty, and with a desire to step out of the shadow of his older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), Mark is eager and excited about the opportunity, until he realizes that it has all become way more than he bargained for.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Steve Carell and Channing Tatum talked about the physical demands of this movie, bonding through wrestling, finding their performances of these real-life men, coming out of the dark places that these roles required, and how an experience like this has changed them.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 26 days ago

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Every year in the awards race, it seems like the Best Actor field is the most crowded category.  That is certainly the case with this current crop of contenders, as there is no shortage of formidable talents vying for one of the five Best Actor Oscar slots.  While it’s still a tad early to start talking about possible winners, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to chances of being nominated.  The contenders range from well-respected underdogs to recent winners, and yes, spoiler alert, many of them are playing real people.  After the jump, I take a look at the Best Actor race at a glance in this edition of Oscar Beat.

Poster Round-Up: Michael Mann’s BLACKHAT, Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER, and Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Some new posters have landed online.  Briefly:

  • BlackhatChris Hemsworth‘s head looms large in the poster Michael Mann‘s upcoming film about cyberterrorism.  The movie opens January 16, 2015 also stars Viola Davis, Tang Wei, and Wang Leehom.
  • FoxcatcherSteve Carell takes center stage as the creepy John du Pont in Bennett Miller‘s tragic story of ambition and failure.  The film opens November 14th, and also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.  Click here to read my review from TIFF.
  • Ex MachinaAlicia Vikander has a case of robot-neck in the U.K. poster for Alex Garland‘s new sci-fi film.  The movie opens on April 10, 2015, and also stars Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. [We've added the U.S. teaser poster as well as the official synopsis]

Hit the jump to check out the posters.

Awards Season Has Begun: BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Award Nominees; FOXCATCHER Stars Receive Special Jury Award

by     Posted 35 days ago

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And here we go.  The 2014 Awards Season has begun, and it begins with Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood leading with four nominations from the Gotham Awards.  Linklater’s terrific film picked up nominations for Best Feature, Ethan Hawke (Best Actor), Patricia Arquette (Best Actress), and Ellar Coltrane (Breakthrough Performance).  Also of note was Oscar Isaac receiving a Best Actor nomination for A Most Violent Year even though it has yet to be screened for the public (it will debut at AFI Fest next month).  Finally, I’m very amused that rather than choose between nominating Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, they received a Special Jury Award jointly for their performances.  That’s one way to do it.

It’s also worth noting that the Gotham Awards mean next to nothing in the overall awards race.  They have the distinction of being the starting gun, but I’m glad they’re continuing to honor worthwhile movies.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 1st.

Charlie Kaufman to Rewrite IQ 83 for Steve Carell to Star

by     Posted 36 days ago

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It looks like Charlie Kaufman and Steve Carell may work together after all.  Carell was originally set to star in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind scribe’s excellent-sounding musical Frank or Francis, but the feature was postponed due to lack of financing.  He then turned his attention to the FX pilot How and Why, only to see the network pass on picking it up to series earlier this year.  Now Kaufman has been tapped to rewrite a star vehicle for Carell, and it sounds kind of great.  The Adaptation. and Being John Malkovich screenwriter will pen an adaptation of Arthur Herzog’s science-fiction novel IQ 83, which revolves around the outbreak of a disease that is slowly making everyone dumber.  More after the jump.

New FOXCATCHER Images Highlight the Quiet Intensity of Bennett Miller’s Dark Drama

by     Posted 37 days ago

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A batch of new Foxcatcher images have landed online from director Bennett Miller’s (Capote) upcoming dark drama, and they do an excellent job of evoking the tone of the film.  Steve Carell stars as John du Pont, an eccentric millionaire who decided to host an Olympic Wrestling training camp on his grounds despite having no experience with the sport himself.  The crux of the film revolves around du Pont’s relationship with Olympic Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and in particular du Pont’s mentorship of the younger brother Mark, who lived in the shadow of his more successful brother.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s magnificent.  The performances by Carell, Tatum, and Ruffalo are positively transcendent, as each actor wholly disappears into his role.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Foxcatcher images, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa RedgraveFoxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th.

New Full-Length FOXCATCHER Trailer: Steve Carell Leads Dark, Odd True Story Drama from Director Bennett Miller

by     Posted 44 days ago

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Sony Pictures Classics has released a new Foxcatcher trailer for Capote and Moneyball director Bennett Miller’s upcoming drama.  The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their troubled relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).  This trailer is really the first full-length one we’ve seen from the film, and it gives a nice overview of the story while also teasing out the terrific performances.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s astoundingly good, with Tatum, Carell, and Ruffalo all turning in career-best work as the lead trio.  It’s a quiet film and one that demands attention and patience, but I think Miller has done a fantastic job of crafting what’s essentially a dark, strange, and sometimes funny character study.

Hit the jump to watch the new Foxcatcher trailer and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa RedgraveFoxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th.

Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner Talk ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY, Who Ruined the Most Takes, CURLY SUE, and More

by     Posted 49 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director Miguel Arteta’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Based on the classic children’s book of the same name, the film follows 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible day of his young life.  But then, things get even worse and Alexander finds himself watching his upbeat parents (Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell), older brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey), and even the little baby of the family (Zoey and Elise Vargas) going through a string of events so terrible that they make up the baddest of very bad days.  For more on the film, watch the trailer here.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed a video interview with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.  They talked about working with the kids, who ruined the most takes from laughing, being able to share the film with their families, and what Curly Sue taught Carell about working with kids.  Hit the jump to watch.

Gore Verbinski to Next Direct Steve Carell in Paranoid Thriller; Lines Up Two More Projects

by     Posted 51 days ago

steve-carell-gore-verbinski-movie

Filmmaker Gore Verbinski is coming back with a vengeance.  After helming the massively popular Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy with a swell mix of elegance and goofiness, the director took his talents to the animated world with the fantastic Rango.  Most recently, however, Verbinski helmed the poorly received and very expensive The Lone Ranger.  As a fan of the filmmaker I was still eager to see what he would do next, and now Verbinski is lining up his next three projects.  He will first helm an untitled paranoid thriller starring Steve Carell, and then plans to shoot the horror thriller A Cure for Wellness and the action comedy Passengers back-to-back.  More after the jump.

Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner Talk ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY, Working with Dick Van Dyke & Miguel Arteta, More

by     Posted 52 days ago

alexander-and-the-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day

Based on the classic children’s book of the same name, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible day of his young life.  But then, things get even worse and Alexander finds himself watching his upbeat parents (Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell), older brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey), and even the little baby of the family (Zoey and Elise Vargas) going through a string of events so terrible that they make up the baddest of very bad days.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner talked about having input into the character’s family life, why Miguel Arteta was the right director for this job, working with Dick Van Dyke, encouraging your kids to have the whole range of emotions, having a very bad day during filming, what they hope families get out of this movie, and how they hope this film brings more live-action family films.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

FOXCATCHER Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 80 days ago

foxcatcher-review

For those who aspire to be champions, it’s a horrible thing to know you’ll never be the best.  Successful people will engender only envy and further self-loathing.  You will only see your weakness.  You will live in shadows.  Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is an incredibly sad and poignant portrait of two men desperate for greatness they’ll never achieve, and destroyed by the failings they’ll always feel.  They can lie about confidence, achievements, and relationships, but there’s no escape.  Led by three astounding performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo, Miller has created a quiet, brooding picture of doubt, depression, and destruction.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: FOXCATCHER Enters Awards Race with Tremendous Performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo

by     Posted 80 days ago

steve-carell-foxcatcher-slice

The terrific, immensely unsettling drama Foxcatcher is finally on the verge of release on November 14th, and the film comes with incredibly high expectations.  Not only does it carry a fascinating, true story premise (eccentric millionaire John du Pont’s quest to coach an Olympic wrestling team) but the movie hails from filmmaker Bennett Miller, who is two-for-two when it comes to directing Best Picture nominees and even landed a Best Director Oscar nomination for his narrative feature debut Capote.  Having finally gotten a chance to see Foxcatcher at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, I can confirm that it is indeed a major contender in the upcoming awards race, especially when it comes to the film’s jaw-dropping trio of performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo.

In this TIFF 2014 edition of Oscar Beat, I run down Foxcatcher’s chances in the upcoming Oscar race, including a very tricky quandary when it comes to category placement for the performances.  Read on after the jump.

New FOXCATCHER Teaser Trailer Turns Steve Carell into the Stuff of Nightmares

by     Posted 91 days ago

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With a new poster hitting yesterday and today’s announcement that the film will be playing the Telluride Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics continues their Foxcatcher role with this nightmarish new teaser.  It really looks like director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) has fashioned something intense with this new drama.

The film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their troubled relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell). The film also stars Sienna MillerVanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall and opens in theaters on November 14th.  Hit the jump for the new Foxcatcher teaser.

New Posters for BIRDMAN, THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, ALEXANDER, and ABCS OF DEATH 2

by     Posted 113 days ago

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We’ve got a few new posters to share this evening.  Briefly:

  • Birdman – A new Birdman poster for director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s ambitious drama shows a flying Michael Keaton amidst a stark black-and-white pattern.  The film opens in theaters on October 17th.
  • This Is Where I Leave You – A series of rather unfortunate character posters for Shawn Levy’s otherwise promising drama highlight the dynamic ensemble cast, which includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, and Adam Driver.  The film opens in theaters on September 12th.
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Two posters for Disney’s children’s book adaptation show the before and after of the film’s titular day.  Starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, the pic opens on October 10th.
  • ABCs of Death 2 – The official poster for Magnet’s second anthology collection of horror shorts portrays a rather menacing-looking Death.  The film will be available VOD on October 2nd and hits theaters on October 31st.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses for the aforementioned films.

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