The Films of David Fincher: THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON

by     Posted 3 days ago

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[With the upcoming release of his new film Gone Girl, I’m taking a look back at the work of director David Fincher.  These articles contain spoilers.]

Across his filmography, David Fincher’s work has been noted as dark, foreboding, chilly, cynical, cutting, and irreverent.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a striking anomaly in his filmography as the allure of the project makes some sense, but the execution is a lush, unabashed romance bubbling with mawkish sentiment.  The movie is graceful, beautiful, poetic, and yet oddly distant.  The whole production feels gilded as Fincher made a deeply moving film out of a fairly terrible script.  The most curious thing about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is how it manages to be a tearjerker despite its craven desire to elicit emotion from a director who rejects sentimentality.

NO GOOD DEED Review

by     Posted 19 days ago

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No Good Deed is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet, I would recommend it highly to almost every single one of my friends.  I’m not typically responsive to the “so bad it’s good” mindset, and that’s not where this review is really coming from.  I don’t beckon you towards this film so you can laugh at it; I want you to laugh with it. Because I think director Sam Miller (working from a script by Aimee Lagos) knows exactly what this film is at this point.  No Good Deed entered post-production over two years ago and, though I have zero inside knowledge or proof that this was the case, it feels like the filmmakers realized they had a disaster on their hands and made the smart move of leaning into the mess rather than shying away from it.  

Idris Elba Talks NO GOOD DEED, Getting to Play a Bad Guy, the Potential Return of LUTHER, and More

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Screen Gems will release director Sam Miller‘s (Luther) new thriller No Good Deed tomorrow.  The film stars Idris Elba as an escaped convict with a dangerous past who makes his way into the home of a devoted wife (Taraji P. Henson) and her young children.    As you can tell from the trailer, Elba isn’t in his usual good guy mode here.  I recently had a chance to sit down with the actor and we talked about how satisfying it was for him to play someone so evil.  We also talked about the physicality of his scenes with Henson and the possibility of more Luther episodes (along with a movie).

Hit the jump to watch my No Good Deed interview with Idris Elba.  The film also stars Leslie BibbKate del Castillo, and Henry Simmons.  No Good Deed opens in theaters on September 12th.

Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Romany Malco & Taraji P. Henson Talk THINK LIKE A MAN TOO, Musical Numbers, Stripping and Fighting on Screen, and More

by     Posted 95 days ago

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Right before I was set to interview Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Romany Malco & Taraji P. Henson at the Think Like A Man Too junket, I overheard Ealy ask a nearby publicist if ‘Las Vegas had put any money into the picture?’  The publicist looked at Ealy and shrugged. ‘Good’ he quickly replied, ‘because they’d take back any money they’d given after they see these interviews I’ve done today.’  A good deal of the fun of Think Like a Man Too hinges on the interactions between the cast and the ‘Sin City’.  Much of the film was shot in actual Vegas locations – the hotel rooms, the club scenes, the strip joint, the jailhouse… It adds a certain sense of verisimilitude to the picture – and allows the cast to really interact with their surroundings.  There’s just an unquantifiable x-factor to knowing that the stripper pole used in the film is an actual bump-and-grind working pole, much perhaps to the chagrin of the actual cast members.

In the following interview with Ealy, Good, Malco and Henson, the foursome discuss musical numbers, stripping & fighting on screen and the uncomfortable indignities of shooting in Las Vegas. For the full interview, hit the jump.

NO GOOD DEED Trailer: Idris Elba Goes Bad as a Home Invader

by     Posted 110 days ago

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Screen Gems has released the first No Good Deed trailer for director Sam Miller’s (Luther) upcoming thriller.  The film stars Idris Elba as an escaped convict with a dangerous past who makes his way into the home of a devoted wife (Taraji P. Henson) and her young children.  The pic looks to be a pretty disturbing home invasion thriller, maybe because Elba is just so damn likable in most of his other roles.  Here, though, Elba appears to be playing a character with very sinister intentions.  Stringer Bell this is not.

Hit the jump to watch the No Good Deed trailer.  The film also stars Leslie Bibb, Kate del Castillo, and Henry SimmonsNo Good Deed opens in theaters on September 12th.

Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, and the Cast of THINK LIKE A MAN TOO Talk Sequels, Improvisation, and Filming in a Casino in Our Set Visit Interview

by     Posted 134 days ago

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The ensemble comedy Think Like a Man, inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, was a huge hit, naturally leading to a sequel that will be bringing all of the couples back for a wedding in Las Vegas, when it hits theaters on June 20th, what was supposed to be a romantic weekend goes terribly awry when their various misadventures, and the bachelor and bachelorette parties, get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event.  Back on June 13, 2013, Collider was invited, along with a handful of other press, to visit the Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino set of Think Like a Man Too and chat with the cast and filmmakers.

One thing that was evident from the scenes that we watched on set was that the cast – Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union and newest addition Wendi McLendon-Covey – was dedicated to making the sequel as funny as possible.  They improvised countless versions of lines, each getting a laugh from whoever was in earshot around the casino.  While there, I was able to participate in a small press conference with the cast, and you can check out what they had to say after the jump.   

Helena Bonham Carter Ready to Return as the Red Queen in ALICE IN WONDERLAND Sequel, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS; Taraji P. Henson Joins TERM LIFE

by     Posted 203 days ago

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Here’s a look at the latest casting news for the following films:

  • Helena Bonham Carter is in final negotiations to reprise her role of the Red Queen in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland sequel, Through the Looking Glass.
  • Taraji P. Henson has joined Term LifePeter Billingsley’s crime drama fronted by Vince Vaughn and Hailee Steinfeld.
  • Olivia Cooke is in talks to lead Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me & Earl & the Dying Girl, adapted by Jesse Andrews from his own novel.

Hit the jump for more on each project.

Watch Jay-Z’s Performance Art Film PICASSO BABY, Directed by Mark Romanek

by     Posted 1 year, 59 days ago

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Never one to go the traditional route, Jay-Z has taken a rather fascinating approach to the video for his latest single, “Picasso Baby.”  The hip-hop artist collaborated with director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo) to put together a piece of performance art for the track, and the result is a 10-minute short film called Picasso Baby that debuted on HBO Friday night.  Jay-Z and Romanek set the piece up at Pace Gallery in New York City with the intention of seeing what would happen if Jay-Z performed specifically to a single person instead of an arena full of fans.  The result is a highly entertaining piece of work with appearances by Judd Apatow, Michael K. Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Alan Cumming, Adam Driver, Jim Jarmusch, Jemima Kirke, and many more.

Of course, Romanek has plenty of experience crafting memorable music videos, as he’s the man responsible for Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” and Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.”  He also worked with Jay-Z previously on the video for “99 Problems.”  Hit the jump to watch the performance art film Picasso Baby.

I, FRANKENSTEIN and BATTLE OF THE YEAR Pushed to September 13, 2013, Dwayne Johnson’s SNITCH Set for February 22, NO GOOD DEED Lands October 18

by     Posted 2 years, 12 days ago

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Hot on the heels of the news that Universal is shifting Les Miserables to Christmas Day this year, a few changes and debuts set for some 2013 releases have been announced.  Briefly:

  • I, Frankenstein – The graphic novel adaptation of the eponymous monster, played by Aaron Eckhart, has been pushed from February 22nd to September 13th, 2013.
  • Battle of the Year – The breakdancing (or “B-boy”) film starring Josh Holloway, Josh Peck, and Chris Brown has been pushed from this January all the way to September 13th, 2013.
  • Snitch – The action thriller starring Dwayne Johnson has been set for release on February 22nd, 2013.
  • No Good Deed – The thriller featuring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson has been given a pre-Halloween release of October 18th, 2013.

Hit the jump for more details.

Comic-Con: PERSON OF INTEREST Cast and Crew Interviews Hint at Second Season Plotlines

by     Posted 2 years, 76 days ago

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Person of Interest is one of the biggest hits to premiere last year.  The show centers the partnership between John Reese (Jim Caviezel), an ex-CIA operative, and the mysterious, millionaire computer engineer Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) who develops a machine that can predict crimes.  After a cliffhanger season finale, the second season will premiere September 27th on CBS.  We sat down with series creator/producer/writer Jonathan Nolan, series writer Greg Plageman and cast members Caviezel, Emerson, Taraji P. Henson, and Kevin Chapman to discuss where the new season picks up, the challenges of working on TV, and living in a society where all your information is public.  Hit the jump for highlights from the interviews and our full interview with Jonathan Nolan.

New Trailer and Poster for THE GOOD DOCTOR Starring Orlando Bloom

by     Posted 2 years, 139 days ago

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Orlando Bloom is a charming guy, but I’ve always believed his on-screen persona suffered because his talent is always chasing his unbelievable beauty.  The Good Doctor may have found a way around that problem.  First, director Lance Daly gave him a flat haircut, downgrading his looks from A to A-.  Second, the lead character, “an ambitious but anxious young doctor, eager to impress his superiors and colleagues,” is reserved and buttoned down.  So any perceived woodenness may well be in service of the performance.  The Good Doctor spent the last few months touring the festival circuit, receiving mostly good reviews and positive notices for Bloom’s performance.  A new trailer paints a vivid picture of the thriller, including some heavy lifting on Bloom’s part once “things take a dark turn as his enthusiasm begins to become an obsession.”  If Bloom pulls that off, I’m eager to check it out.

Riley Keough, Rob Morrow, Taraji P. Henson, and Michael Peña also star.  The Good Doctor opens on August 31.  Watch the trailer after the jump.

Taraji P. Henson Talks THINK LIKE A MAN, PERSON OF INTEREST, Upcoming NO GOOD DEED, and Her Wish to Play Either Whitney Houston or a Superhero

by     Posted 2 years, 167 days ago

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The comedy Think Like A Man, out in theaters on April 20th, is about a group of friends who have their love lives shaken up, after the women they are pursuing buy Steve Harvey’s best-selling book (that the film is inspired by) and start taking his advice to heart. When they realize that they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire to use the book’s teachings to turn the tables. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Romany Malco and Gabrielle Union.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Taraji P. Henson talked about how she came to be a part of Think Like A Man, what drew her to the character of Lauren, how it was a character that she could easily identify with and relate to, getting to work with co-star Michael Ealy, how she didn’t really do any ad-libbing in the film, and why she loves working with director Tim Story. She also talked about what she thinks of the direction that her CBS drama series Person of Interest is taking and how she can’t wait to learn more about her character’s backstory, and going straight into shooting the feature film No Good Deed (the day after POI wraps for the season on April 23rd) with Idris Elba, in which she plays an ex-district attorney who gives up her life to be a stay-at-home mom, only to have a dangerous man show up at her door. Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Casting Call: Simon Baker Set for I GIVE IT A YEAR; Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson to Topline Thriller NO GOOD DEED

by     Posted 2 years, 212 days ago

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share with you today. First up, The Mentalist star Simon Baker has settled on a feature project to shoot during his upcoming hiatus from the CBS series. Variety reports that Baker will star in the comedy I Give it a Year. The film stars Rafe Spall (Anonymous) and centers on “the comedic trials and tribulations of a pair of newlyweds during their first year as a married couple.” Dan Mazer, a writer-director on Da Ali G Show and a credited scribe on Borat and Bruno, is set to direct the pic. It’s a bit of a departure for Baker who’s best known for dramatic roles, and with Mazer onboard I think we can safely assume this won’t be your average romcom.

Hit the jump for casting news concerning the thriller No Good Deed.

Comic-Con 2011: Jonathan Nolan, Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, and Taraji P. Henson Talk PERSON OF INTEREST & the Creepiness of Modern Surveillance

by     Posted 3 years, 67 days ago

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I’ll come right out and say it: save for How I Met Your Mother, CBS’ television slate rarely offers anything that catches my attention. As a result, I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed the pilot for its upcoming drama Person of Interest. Starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson (Lost), and Taraji P. Henson, the series follows John Reese (Caviezel), an expertly trained killer who teams up with a scientist (Emerson) who has created an algorithm that is capable of predicting crimes before they occur. While the series pilot leaves more questions than answers (check out Bill’s review and panel recap by clicking here), it is also features solid writing, convincing performances, and some top-notch action sequences. In short, I’m looking forward to checking out more when the series debuts this fall.

All of this in mind, during the series’ press day at Comic-Con, I had the opportunity to discuss the show with series creator/executive producer/writer Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) as well as the aforementioned cast of Caviezel, Emerson, and Henson. During the interview, each cast member talked about their respective character while Nolan touched on his writing approach and the strangeness of modern surveillance techniques. Hit the jump to check out what they had to say.

Comic-Con 2011: PERSON OF INTEREST Pilot Review and Panel Recap

by     Posted 3 years, 68 days ago

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A first impression can go a long way, which is why I think people will truly be impressed by CBS’s Person of Interest. Last night I attended the pilot screening and panel in Room 6BCF and the crowd was electric. Produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot (Lost), the series is based off of Jonah Nolan (The Dark Knight) and Abrams’ writings that focuses on paranoia, thrills, and drama. Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ), Michael Emerson (Lost), and Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) star. The show seemed to get a huge response and was followed by the accustomed too-short Q&A session. Hit the jump for my brief review of the pilot along with a recap of the panel.

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