by     Posted 2 hours ago


Near the end of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Robin Williams talks to Ben Stiller about accepting when it’s time to bid farewell to a loved one. The film is filled with flaccid attempts to pull at our heartstrings, but within the context of Williams’ untimely passing this moment is painfully bittersweet. Unfortunately, the rest of the film’s emotional and comedic moments fall flat as we watch Stiller lazily trudge through another series of museum misadventures.

7 New NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB Character Posters Use the Title Six Different Ways

by     Posted 30 days ago


20th Century Fox has released seven new Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb character posters.  After saving the day (or night) at the Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian, security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is off to the British Museum in London where he hopes to uncover more secrets about the mysterious tablet that brings the museum figures to life.  These posters all find a way to incorporate “Night” into the tagline except the one featuring Attila the Hun.  I like to think about the tagline copywriters burning the midnight oil, rolling up their shirt sleeves, chain smoking, crumpling up sheets of papers, and getting into shouting matches because they couldn’t figure out how to make a play on words with “hun” and “night”.  Then they gave up and cried themselves to sleep.

Hit the jump to check out the Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb character posters.  The film opens November 19th, and also stars Robin Williams, Dan Stevens, Ben KingsleyRicky GervaisRami MalekSteve CooganOwen Wilson, Rebel WilsonPatrick GallagherMizuo PeckBill CobbsDick Van Dyke, and Mickey Rooney.

Steve Coogan to Replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Showtime Comedy Series HAPPYISH

by     Posted 57 days ago


Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death left a gaping void in the acting world, and there are so many more roles it would have been wonderful to see him tackle.  Among his planned projects was Happyish, a 10-episode half-hour comedy series for Showtime created, written, and executive produced by This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander (who also wrote the terrific book Foreskin’s Lament).  The series is described as “a soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place.”

The project was in stasis following Hoffman’s death, but Showtime has decided to move forward by casting Steve Coogan in the lead role of “Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like ‘digital,’ ‘social’ and ‘viral.’” The series was also set to star Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans, but there’s no mention of them in the press release, so it’s possible that their roles—Thom’s wife and his mentor—are being re-cast.  Hit the jump for the press release.  The half-hour pilot will be shot in New York in December.

Michael Douglas and Orlando Bloom Join UNLOCKED; Steve Coogan Takes Title Role in BOSWELL FOR THE DEFENCE

by     Posted 101 days ago


It’s casting time.  Here’s what we’ve got coming at a glance:

  • Steve Coogan just signed on to play James Boswell in the feature film adaptation of Patrick Edgeworth’s play, Boswell for the Defence.
  • Michael Douglas and Orlando Bloom joined Michael Apted’s upcoming thriller, Unlocked.  They’ll star alongside Noomi Rapace who’s already set to play a CIA interrogator.

Hit the jump for more on Boswell for the Defence and Unlocked.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Named Best Film at BAFTA Awards; GRAVITY Wins Best Director and Best British Film

by     Posted 305 days ago


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its awards this evening, and while the BAFTAs have increasingly become a solid bellwether of how the Oscars will vote, tonight’s tallies do little to settle the virtual tie between Gravity and 12 Years a SlaveGravity won the most awards of the night with six, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best British Film, but 12 Years a Slave took the top honors as Best Film as well as Best Actor for Chiwetel EjioforAmerican Hustle also had a fairly strong showing with three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence over 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’Oone of this year’s toughest categories.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and to catch up on our awards coverage be sure to take a look at our running Oscar Beat column.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Mock THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in New Clip from THE TRIP TO ITALY

by     Posted 328 days ago


2010′s The Trip didn’t do much for me, although I love the scene where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon try to find out who can do the better Michael Caine impression.  The sequel, The Trip to Italy, premiered at Sundance this past week, and IFC Films have released a clip where Coogan and Brydon have resumed impersonating the venerable Mr. Caine.  They also use this as an opportunity to poke fun at The Dark Knight Rises and expand their repertoire to impressions of Christian Bale and Tom Hardy.  It’s quite amusing.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.


by     Posted 1 year, 9 days ago


Our Sundance 2014 pre-coverage continues with some first look images and synopses from a collection of films that will have their world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Briefly:

  • Rudderless – Directed by William H. Macy; starring Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne, and William H. Macy.
  • The Trip to Italy – Directed by Michael Winterbottom; starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.
  • The Voices – Directed by Marjane Satrapi; starring Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver.
  • White Bird in a Blizzard – Written and directed by Gregg Araki; starring Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, and Thomas Jane.
  • Young Ones – Written and directed by Jake Paltrow; starring Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Sundance Film Festival runs January 16 – 26th.

New US Trailer for PHILOMENA Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

by     Posted 1 year, 81 days ago


The Weinstein Company has released the US theatrical trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) upcoming comedic drama Philomena.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who aided Lee in the search for her son.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s much less “gooey” than this trailer would suggest, but the trailer does do a nice job of showcasing Dench’s wonderful performance as the titular Philomena, even if it does verge on giving away too much of the story.  Dench and Coogan make a truly great comedic duo, and the film is surprisingly thoughtful despite its Lifetime Movie-esque premise.  Honestly, it’s one of the more pleasantly surprising films I’ve seen this year and will like put Dench in the Best Actress race.  Read my full review here.

Hit the jump to watch the theatrical trailer.  The film also stars Michelle Fairley, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, and Charles EdwardsPhilomena opens in the US in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide on January 10th.


by     Posted 1 year, 97 days ago


Steve Coogan and Judi Dench might not immediately jump out to most viewers as an obvious big screen dream team, but director Stephen Frears somehow saw a peanut butter and chocolate combination in the two legendary Brits and brought them together for a bittersweet dramedy (what else?) called Philomena. Mixing remorseful tragedy for Dench and sardonic a-hole comedy for Coogan, the film is an interesting combination and works fairly well. Sure, it’s not perfect. But really, what else could you expect from a clash of screen personalities this unexpected and diametrically opposed? Hit the jump for all the diddy-details. 

Oscar Beat TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Launches Judi Dench into Best Actress Race; Hugh Jackman Shines in PRISONERS

by     Posted 1 year, 100 days ago


As the first weekend of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival heads toward a close, we’ve already seen a number of serious Oscar contenders emerge.  While 12 Years a Slave and Gravity will certainly be heavy hitters in a number of categories, there are a couple of other TIFF films that could nab just one or two nods comes Oscar time.  Judi Dench’s wonderful turn in the pleasantly surprising drama Philomena may very well put her back in the Best Actress race, and Hugh Jackman’s strong performance in the taut thriller Prisoners has a slight possibility of landing him a second Best Actor nomination.

Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects of Philomena and Prisoners in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.


by     Posted 1 year, 101 days ago


At first glance, Philomena’s premise reads like that of a Lifetime movie of the week.  An older, unassuming woman sets out in search of her long-lost son with the help of reluctant journalist.  Life lessons are learned, hearts are warmed, and humor ensues.  However, director Stephen Frears and co-writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope take this simple logline (based on a true story) and run with it in complete earnestness, crafting a sweet, thoughtful, and endearing story of guilt, redemption, and friendship that is buoyed by a remarkable performance from Judi Dench and excellent chemistry between the actress and her co-star, Steve Coogan.  Hit the jump for my full review.

70th Venice Film Festival Award Winners: Gianfranco Rosi’s SACRO GRA, Tye Sheridan for David Gordon Green’s JOE & Gabe Klinger’s DOUBLE PLAY Doc

by     Posted 1 year, 102 days ago


The 70th Venice Film Festival is a wrap and the award-winners have been announced.  While showcasing some of the world’s top talent, the festival also serves to illustrate just how out of touch I am personally with the global cinematic world.  While the overall award for Best Film (the Golden Lion) went to Gianfranco Rosi’s Sacro Gra, a couple of other notable names made the list: Tye Sheridan earned the Best Young Actor award for his work in David Gordon Green’s Joe, and Gabe Klinger’s Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater won the Best Documentary on Cinema award.  Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope earned the Best Screenplay Award for Stephen Frears’ Philomena.

Hit the jump to view all the winners.

Steve Coogan Comedy ALAN PARTRIDGE Set for Early 2014 U.S. Release

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago


Magnolia Pictures has acquired the North American distribution rights for the BBC Films/Studio Canal comedy Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, ensuring that the pic will get a theatrical release here in the U.S.  For those unaware, the film is a feature adaptation of the popular BBC TV series and radio character Alan Partridge, portrayed by Steve Coogan.  Patridge is a bit of a parody of sports commentators and talk show hosts, as the character is himself a radio host and television presenter for I’m Alan Partridge.

Magnolia is eyeing an early 2014 release for the film here in the States, where it will simply be titled Alan Partridge.  The pic hit U.K. theaters on August 7th, where it has been enjoying a rather successful theatrical run for the past couple of weeks.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to watch the trailer.

First Trailer for Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

by     Posted 1 year, 131 days ago


The first trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Philomena has landed online.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped Lee locate her son.  While Frears’ most recent directorial effort Lay the Favorite was pretty much universally panned, Philomena looks to be a nice, simple return to form for the director.  It’s nice to see Dench stretching her comedic side, and Coogan gets a chance to shine as the straight man for once.  There is a chance that the film could be a tad overly sentimental, but this trailer is nevertheless promising.  Moreover, Dench makes a wonderfully off-color joke at the end.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Philomena will play at the Toronto Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival and is slated to open in the UK on November 1st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be set.


by     Posted 1 year, 148 days ago


The Toronto International Film Festival announced its stellar line-up for their 2013 Galas and Special Presentation programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (Directed by Ned Benson) Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, and Jess Weixler.
  • Dom Hemingway (Directed by Richard Shepard) Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
  • Enough Said (Directed by Nicole Holofcener) Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, and Tavi Gevinson.
  • Hateship Loveship (Directed by Liza Johnson) Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Christine Lahti, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sami Gayle.
  • Philomena (Directed by Stephen Frears) Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

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