With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
Hard to believe we’re already half-way through 2013. What’s even more surprising is the number of quality films from the first half of the year that flew under the radar. Want some quirky horror? Check out John Dies at the End and 100 Bloody Acres. Looking for the newest efforts from some up-and-coming writer-directors? How about Zal Batmanglij’s The East or Quentin Dupieux’s Wrong? Perhaps historical dramas like No, Lore and Kon-Tiki are more your style. Whatever your interest, 2013 surely has a film for you, you just might have missed it. Hit the jump for 15 movies from 2013 that deserve another look.
Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
I’m a fan of director Chan-wook Park, and I really enjoyed his English-language debut, Stoker, when I caught it at Sundance in January. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it centers on a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) who encounters her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) while mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). Stoker has the same style and confidence Park showed with his excellent films Oldboy and Lady Vengeance, and while it was divisive at Sundance, it’s still worth checking out.
I’m pleased to announce that we’re giving away 10 passes to the Atlanta screening of Stoker. Hit the jump to find out how you can check out the film early and for free. Stoker will open exclusively at the Tara on March 15th.
Every once in a while I use this space to tout a recently released Blu-ray/DVD that I missed in theaters but, via the magic of home video, was finally able to check out from the comfort of my couch (click here to see me gush about The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Today I’ll do the same by encouraging you to check out co-writer/director Scott Derrickson‘s horror pic Sinister. There’s nothing spectacular going on here, it’s just an effective movie with several scenes that I found genuinely frightening/disturbing. Moreover, it’s probably the last widely-released horror entry since Insidious that left me turning some of the lights on in the house shortly after it ended.
With my “Super Cool Blu-ray Pick of the Week” out of the way, this week’s Top 5 includes interviews from the set of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, some drama-inducing first set images from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a set visit recap and interviews for Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker, Jack the Giant Slayer interviews, and the first trailer and poster for director James Wan‘s The Conjuring. As you may expect, a brief recap and link to each of these can be found completely free of charge after the jump.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Stoker opens today in limited release. Click here to find out when the film will be playing near you.]
In Chan-wook Park‘s Stoker, the hunt is more rewarding than the kill. Park has beautifully crafted an unnerving, slow-burn mystery-thriller that delves into a bloodline destined to shed blood. In his English-language debut, Park takes his immaculate yet eerie style, and uses it to enhance a relatively simple tale of a disturbed girl who begins a bizarre and disturbing relationship with her recently-discovered uncle. Through Park’s lens and the tremendous performances of stars Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode, Stoker may not cut deep, but it slashes hard.
There’s just something eerie about Matthew Goode (Watchmen). It’s almost as if the poor guy is too damn good looking, his smile a little too perfect, his hair too evenly keeled and parted… There must surely be something wrong with him. If it is human instinct to weed out the proper characteristics of even the most undesirable of beings, then the opposite must also be true. One can’t help but search for any imperfection to poor ol’ Goode’s character. Behind that smile and hair, there must lurk something less. And Goode uses that to his full advantage. As the too charming, too handsome Uncle Charlie in the melodrama-masquerading-as-a-thriller Stoker, Goode revels in the malevolence hiding just underneath his pearly whites. After the sudden death of his brother, Uncle Charlie shacks up with his sibling’s widowed wife and young daughter under the guise of helping them through their grief. Of course his true intentions are far more perverse and sinister.
In the following interview with Goode, he discusses his distaste for most horror films, working with the meticulous Park Chan-Wook (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) and his upcoming roles in television (BBC’s Dancing on the Edge) and film (the period piece Belle). For the full interview, hit the jump.
Park Chan-Wook’s (Old Boy) American debut Stoker, an odd little film if ever there was one, has the Asian auteur taking on Hitchcock. Ostensibly a remake/reimagining/updating of Hitch’s own Shadow of a Doubt, Stoker centers on a young pubescent girl, whose father has recently died under ‘mysterious’ circumstances. Enter an equally ‘mysterious’ long lost uncle (Mathew Goode), a series of murders, a distant never-present mother (Nicole Kidman) – and Park has all the ingredients he needs to make a pretty damn efficient thriller/melodrama. Ol’ Hitch would be proud.
Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) is the standout here. As India, the fatherless young woman who comes to suspect her ‘Uncle Charlie’ is a murderer, Wasikowska deftly uses her delicate features as a counterbalance to her character’s darker and more perverse proclivities — for the film is less a mystery about who Uncle Charlie is and more so who India really is. In the following interview with Wasikowska, she discusses working with Park Chan Wook, India’s ‘self-discovery’, a potential sequel to Alice in Wonderland and her upcoming vampire Jim Jarmusch film Only Lovers Left Alive. For the full interview, hit the jump.
Another clip from Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker has been released. In the clip, the newly-widowed Evelyn Stoker (Nicole Kidman) seduces her deceased husband’s brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), while her daughter India (Mia Wasikowska) looks on. In addition to this new clip, Fox Searchlight has released Clint Mansell‘s terrific score for the film, and you should definitely give it a listen.
Hit the jump to check out the clip and the score. Click here for my review of the film and click here to read about Adam’s visit to the set. Stoker opens in limited release on Friday.
Stoker marks the latest in a long line of risky independent pictures for the enduringly talented and ageless Nicole Kidman. The Paperboy, Rabbit Hole, Margot at the Wedding, Birth – Kidman isn’t afraid to take a chance on risky material or art-house filmmakers. In Stoker, Kidman co-stars as Evelyn, the neglectful mother to India, a weird and troubled girl. Evelyn doesn’t know what to make of her daughter – her own flesh and blood a stranger even to herself. After her husband suddenly dies, Evelyn finds herself drawn to her husband’s long-thought-lost brother Charlie, unaware that her brother-in-law only has eyes for her daughter.
In the following interview with Kidman, she discusses her favorite Hitchcock films, working with as meticulous a filmmaker as Park Chan Wook and playing screen icon Grace Kelly in the upcoming Grace of Monaco. For the full interview, hit the jump.
It’s a breezy fall day in Nashville, Tennessee. Leaves are falling over an expansive estate that’s as haunting as it is gorgeous, and South Korean director Park Chan-wook—the man behind Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Thirst, and many others—is directing his English-language feature film debut in the country music capital of the world.
In September of 2011, Collider was invited to the set of the horror drama Stoker, which stars Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, and Dermot Mulroney. The production had opted to film most of the pic’s scenes in and around a rather gothic-looking estate in Nashville, so along with a small group of journalists, we were able to spend a day on set and to get a look at how Park Chan-wook was making his Hollywood debut. Hit the jump for my full set visit report.
For his English-language debut, acclaimed Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park has crafted Stoker, a macabre coming-of-age tale set amidst the eerie, improbable and self-contained world of the Stoker family whose quiet, secluded life is suddenly shattered by a tragic accident that reveals a dark family history and lots of bad blood. Directed from a script by actor Wentworth Miller, this deliciously twisted psychological thriller with nods to Dracula and Hitchcock opens in theaters on March 1st and stars Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode.
At the film’s recent press day, Kidman, Wasikowska and Goode talked about what drew them to play their unusual characters, their first impressions upon reading the script, collaborating with director Park, their most memorable moments during filming, and their reaction after seeing the completed film. Park discussed what it was like helming his first English-speaking film and how his Hollywood experience compared to directing in Korea. Kidman also commented on her upcoming role in Grace of Monaco. Hit the jump to read more.
A new clip has been released from Park Chan-wook‘s Stoker. The film centers on a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) who encounters her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) while mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). This clip does a terrific job of showing off Chung-hoon Chung‘s gorgeous cinematography (you’ll notice how this clip is done in one shot). I quite liked the film when I saw it at Sundance, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again.
Hit the jump to check out the clip. The film also stars Jacki Weaver and Nicole Kidman. Stoker opens in limited release on March 1st.
Fox Searchlight has released the first clip from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut, Stoker. The film centers on a young girl (Mia Wasikowska) who encounters her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) while mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). The majority of this clip is actually silent, as we’re treated to a quiet scene between Wasikowska and Goode’s characters. An overall air of creepiness is prevalent, and it goes hand-in-hand with Chan-wook’s precision photography. Matt caught the film at Sundance and enjoyed it, describing it as “an unnerving, slow-burn mystery-thriller that delves into a bloodline destined to shed blood” in his review.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The film also stars Nicole Kidman and Jacki Weaver. Stoker opens in limited release on March 1st before expanding in the following weeks.
We’ve got three new featurettes for you today from a variety of pictures:
- Silver Linings Playbook – A 30-minute “making of” featurette that gets to the heart of mental illness as portrayed by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in the Oscar-nominated David O. Russell film.
- Stoker – Commentary on the characters of Park Chan-wook’s dark family portrait drama that stars Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode. Stoker opens in limited release March 1st.
- Olympus Has Fallen – Behind-the-scenes of Antoine Fuqua’s latest actioner starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. Olympus Has Fallen opens March 22nd.
Hit the jump to watch all three featurettes.