New to Blu-ray: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, OUT OF THE FURNACE, THE BOOK THIEF, and More

by     Posted 224 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the latest, underrated film from the Coen brothers, an unforgivingly dark Christian Bale drama, a Criterion release of director David Gordon Green’s feature debut, and more.  Briefly:

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 278 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

114 Scores Eligible for Oscar Consideration Including Hans Zimmer’s MAN OF STEEL, John Williams’ THE BOOK THIEF, and Steven Price’s GRAVITY

by     Posted 313 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the list of 114 original scores that are eligible for the Best Original Score Oscar.  Though John Williams has worked almost exclusively with Steven Spielberg for the past few years, he’s eligible this year for scoring director Brian Percival’s Holocaust film The Book Thief.  Prolific composer Hans Zimmer has three scores in the running with Rush, Man of Steel, and 12 Years a Slave, and other notable scores include Steven Price’s excellent Gravity, David Wingo’s work on Mud, Ramin Djawadi’s rocking Pacific Rim score, Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and the collaboration between Arcade Fire’s William Butler and musician Owen Pallett on Her.  Frustratingly, though, Steven Price’s The World’s End score appears to have been deemed ineligible, presumably due to the abundance of pre-existing tracks.

Hit the jump to see the full list of eligible scores and for my thoughts on the early Oscar favorites.  The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced January 16th.

Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nelisse Talk THE BOOK THIEF

by     Posted 323 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Brian Percival’s (Downton Abbey) fantastic adaptation of Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief.  The story is about a young girl (Sophie Nélisse) who is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany after losing her family, and uses her love of reading as a way to rebel against the rise of Nazism.  It’s an extremely well done movie and something you should make an effort to see.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

At the New York City press day, I spoke to Rush, Watson and Nélisse.  They talked about what it was like to work on such a powerful project, whether anything changed during production, the way they prepared for their roles, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Weekend Box Office: CATCHING FIRE and FROZEN Set New Thanksgiving Records

by     Posted 324 days ago

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It was feast or famine at this year’s Thanksgiving box office, as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen eclipsed all other offerings.  Both films did better business than forecast and each surpassed long-standing records for the holiday frame.  Homefront and Black Nativity saw the flipside of Thanksgiving’s bounty, but overall grosses were still high enough to make this the biggest Thanksgiving box office of all time.

 Title Weekend Holiday Total
1.  Catching Fire $74,500,000 $110.1 $296.5
2.  Frozen $66,713,000 $93 $93
3.  Thor: The Dark World $11,108,000 $15.49 $186.7
4.  The Best Man Holiday $8,491,000 $11.12 $63.4
5.  Homefront $6,970,000 $9.7 $9.7
6.  Delivery Man $6,931,000 $9.6 $19.4
7.  The Book Thief $4,850,000 $6.4 $7.8
8.  Black Nativity $3,880,000 $5 $5
9.  Philomena $3,789,000 $4.6 $4.7
10.  Last Vegas $2,785,000 $3.8 $33.1

Author Markus Zusak and Director Brian Percival Talk THE BOOK THIEF, the Positive Critical Reaction, How They First Met, Story Changes, Deleted Scenes, More

by     Posted 328 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is director Brian Percival’s (Downton Abbey) fantastic adaptation of Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief.  The story is about a young girl (Sophie Nélisse) who is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany after losing her family, and uses her love of reading as a way to rebel against the rise of Nazism.  It’s an extremely well done movie and something you should make an effort to see.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

At the Los Angeles press day, I spoke to author Markus Zusak and director Brian Percival.  They talked about how they first met, the positive critical reaction, story changes while writing the book, deleted scenes in the film, whether they ever fought over anything, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

20th Century Fox, B-Reel and 826 Bring THE BOOK THIEF-Themed Little Free Libraries to L.A. and N.Y.C.

by     Posted 334 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is Brian Percival’s adaptation of the Markus Zusak novel, The Book Thief.  A tale of courage and perseverance in the face of pervasive tyranny, The Book Thief follows Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), a spirited young girl who is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany after losing her family.  An impulsive act of thievery leads to a love affair with books and words that transform her and those around her.

In the spirit of the film, 20th Century Fox has teamed with Little Free Library, B-Reel and 826 to bring movie-themed versions of the miniature public libraries to both Los Angeles and New York City locations.  Hit the jump to watch the video of their construction and installation.

Director Brian Percival and Author Markus Zusak Talk THE BOOK THIEF, Translating the Book to Screen, and Upcoming Projects

by     Posted 342 days ago

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The powerful story and courageous characters that sprang from the imagination of Markus Zusak in his international best-selling novel, The Book Thief, come to life on the screen in director Brian Percival’s moving film adaptation.  In this life-affirming tale of courage and perseverance in the face of pervasive tyranny, a spirited young girl (Liesel/Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in Nazi Germany after losing her family.  An impulsive act of thievery leads to a love affair with books and words that transform her and those around her.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

At the press day last week, we sat down with Percival and Zusak to talk about their collaboration, the challenges of transforming the world of the book to the screen, why certain scenes made it into the film while others did not, the rigorous international casting process to find the right actress to play Liesel, what Nélisse and Rush brought to their roles, and how S.E Hinton’s The Outsiders inspired Zusak to become a writer.  They also revealed what they’re working on next:  Percival’s upcoming film projects with Julian Fellowes and Zusak’s book in progress, Bridge of Clay, about a boy building a bridge.  Hit the jump to read the interview:

Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nélisse Talk THE BOOK THIEF, Meeting for the First Time, How Familiar They Were with the Book, and Tackling Tough Scenes

by     Posted 350 days ago

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Opening in limited release on November 8th, The Book Thief paints a moving and poignant portrait of the resiliency of the human spirit.  Directed by Brian Percival based on Australian author Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel, the film tells the inspiring story of a spirited and courageous young girl named Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family (Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson) in World War II Germany.  The power of words and imagination becomes a source of joy and a means of escape from the tumultuous events enveloping her.

At the film’s recent press day, Rush and Nélisse talked about what surprised them most about each other when they first met, their familiarity with the book when they were cast, how Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company translated the book onto the stage, why Percival approached the film differently, how they tackled the tough scenes and found ways to entertain each other on set, and their upcoming projects:  Rush’s adventure fantasy Gods of Egypt and Nélisse’s small role in the biopic Pawn SacrificeRush also revealed why he felt the script was magic and making the movie was a bold choice.  Hit the jump to read the interview. 

New Posters from OLDBOY, VAMPIRE ACADEMY, BAD GRANDPA and THE BOOK THIEF

by     Posted 1 year, 11 days ago

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Here’s today’s poster round-up:

  • OldboySpike Lee’s take on Garon Tsuchiya and Nobuaki Minegishi’s manga, starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L. Jackson and Sharlto Copley.  Oldboy opens November 27th.
  • Vampire AcademyMark Waters’ adaptation of Richelle Mead’s novel, starring Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry and Olga Kurylenko.  Vampire Academy opens February 14, 2014.
  • Bad GrandpaJeff Tremaine directs Johnny Knoxville as the title character, along with his “grandson” Jackson Nicoll.  Bad Grandpa opens October 25th.
  • The Book Thief – Brian Percival’s book adaptation starring Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey RushEmily Watson, and Ben Schnetzer, opens November 15th.

Hit the jump to view the posters and synopses.

FAULT IN OUR STARS Set for June 6, 2014; THE MAZE RUNNER Pushed to September 19, 2014; SMURFS 3 and THE BOOK THIEF Moved

by     Posted 1 year, 16 days ago

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A couple of release date shifts have been announced.  Briefly:

  • The highly anticipated adaptation of John Green’s beloved novel The Fault in Our Stars will be released in theaters on June 6, 2014.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, and Willem Dafoe.
  • The sci-fi thriller YA adaptation The Maze Runner has been pushed from this coming Valentine’s Day to September 19, 2014.  The film stars Dylan O’Brien.
  • Sony has moved The Smurfs 3 from July 2015 to August 14, 2015.
  • Fox has moved the upcoming adaptation The Book Thief up from November 15th to November 8th.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned films and what their competition looks like on their new release dates.

New Posters for THOR: THE DARK WORLD, SNOWPIERCER, THE BOOK THIEF, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, ENDER’S GAME and HOMEFRONT

by     Posted 1 year, 41 days ago

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Check out a selection of new posters from the following films:

  • Thor: The Dark WorldAlan Taylor’s Marvel follow-up starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Jamie Alexander, Stellan Skarsgård, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Christopher Eccleston opens November 8th.
  • SnowpiercerBong Joon-ho’s futuristic thriller starring Chris Evans, Tilda SwintonJohn HurtJamie BellAlison PillEd HarrisEwen Bremner,Octavia SpencerKang-ho Song, and Ko Asung does not yet have a U.S. release date.
  • The Book ThiefBrian Percival’s book adaptation starring Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey RushEmily Watson, and Ben Schnetzer, opens November 15th.
  • 12 Years a SlaveSteve McQueen’s biographical drama starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael FassbenderBenedict CumberbatchPaul GiamattiQuvenzhane WallisSarah PaulsonPaul DanoScoot McNairyGarrett DillahuntAlfre WoodardDwight Henry, Michael K. Williams, and Brad Pitt opens October 18th.
  • Ender’s GameGavin Hood’s sci-fi novel adaptation starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford, opens November 1st.
  • Homefront - From writer Sylvester Stallone, adapted from the Chuck Logan novel, director Gary Fleder’s action thriller stars Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Clancy Brown, Frank Grillo and Rachelle Lefevre, and opens November 27th.

Hit the jump to view the posters and synopses.

New Images from THE BOOK THIEF Starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nelisse

by     Posted 1 year, 60 days ago

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Some new images from director Brian Percival’s (Downton Abbey) upcoming adaptation of the Markus Zusak novel The Book Thief have landed online.  The story tells of a young girl (Sophie Nélisse) who is adopted by a family in a World War II Germany, and uses her love of reading as a way to rebel against the rise of Nazism.  20th Century Fox has positioned the film as a potential awards contender, and as we gleaned from the first trailer, The Book Thief hits several benchmarks of the “Oscar movie” category—young child taken under a benevolent adult’s wing, dramatized historical event, previous Oscar winner playing a supporting role, etc.  In all seriousness, though, the film looks fairly interesting with a sure-to-be-heartwarming story, and I’m eager to see how newcomer Nelisse does in her first lead role.

Hit the jump to check out the collection of images.  The film also stars Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Ben SchnetzerThe Book Thief opens November 15th.

Trailer for THE BOOK THIEF Starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson

by     Posted 1 year, 61 days ago

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Fox has released the trailer for Brian Percival‘s drama The Book Thief.  Based on the novel of the same name, the story tells of a young girl (Sophie Nélisse) who is adopted by a family in a World War II Germany, and uses her love of reading as a way to rebel against the rise of Nazism.  This trailer is trying so damn hard to get the movie into the Oscar race that it may as well have “For Your Consideration” slapped to the end of it.  The movie looks incredibly cloying, and not even the presence of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson (who play the girl’s parents) can save it.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The Book Thief opens November 15th.

Kristen Wiig Confirmed for ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES; Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nelisse Join THE BOOK THIEF Adaptation

by     Posted 1 year, 259 days ago

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Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner are all set to return for Anchorman: The Legend Continues.  Kristen Wiig was rumored to join the cast as Carell’s love interest, an item that just became fact as director Adam McKay confirmed the casting on Twitter:

Anchorman: The Legend Continues, set for release on December 20, 2013, picks up with the San Diego news crew at the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle.

Hit the jump for a casting update for the adaptation of The Book Thief.

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