New to Blu-ray: WORLD WAR Z, BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, ARROW: The Complete First Season, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 91 days ago

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Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

2 Alternate Endings to THE EAST Starring Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard

by     Posted 1 year, 91 days ago

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The East is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, and it’s a damn fine thriller that you should consider checking out.  The film stars Brit Marling (who co-wrote the script with director Zal Batmanglij) as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  It’s interesting that both of these endings were filmed considering they’re so drastically different.  The final scene in the finished film is a blending of the two tones, and I think it works slightly better than these alternates endings.  However, they’re still worth watching to see what might have been.

Hit the jump to check out the alternate endings, and click here to go buy The East on Blu-ray/DVD.

TOP 5: THE LONE RANGER, 15 Movies You May Have Missed in 2013 So Far, Christian Bale Not Involved with JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE WAY, WAY BACK, Our Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 1 year, 164 days ago

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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.

15 Movies You May Have Missed in 2013 Including STOKER, WHAT MAISIE KNEW, THE KINGS OF SUMMER, THE EAST, WRONG and UPSTREAM COLOR

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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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.

Director Zal Batmanglij Talks THE EAST, Deleted Scenes, Script Changes, Future Projects, and the Possibility of a Sequel to SOUND OF MY VOICE

by     Posted 1 year, 193 days ago

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Now playing in limited release is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) fantastic eco-terrorist thriller The EastBrit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond.  You can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.

During my recent interview with Batmanglij he talked about making The East, the casting process, whether he made any changes to the film since premiering at Sundance, why he used the Alexa camera, deleted scenes. script changes, what will be on the Blu-ray, future projects, if he’ll ever make a sequel to Sound of My Voice, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Alexander Skarsgard Talks THE EAST, TRUE BLOOD Season 6, Matt and Ross Duffer’s HIDDEN, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 195 days ago

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Now playing in limited rlease is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) fantastic eco-terrorist thriller The EastBrit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.

During my recent interview with Skarsgard, he talked about making The East, his reaction to reading the script for the first time, what it was like working on a quick schedule, how much changed during production, his preparation process, and more.  In addition, he also talked about the upcoming season of True Blood, Matt and Ross Duffer’s Hidden and how it was the most difficult role he’s played, and whether any more of his family are getting ready to enter Hollywood.  Hit the jump for more.

Ellen Page Talks THE EAST, INCEPTION, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Twitter, FAMILY GUY, and Much More

by     Posted 1 year, 200 days ago

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Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) eco-terrorist thriller The EastBrit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.

Last week I landed an extended video interview with Ellen Page.  She talked about  wanting to work with Marling and Batmanglij, the parallels of the film to real world issues, whether or not the script changed during production, the process of shooting the film in only four weeks, premiering at Sundance, and much more.  In addition, Page talked about the popularity of Inception and if she’s still asked about it, does she censor herself on Twitter, X-Men: Days of Future Past and having Bryan Singer tweet out a picture of her on set, upcoming projects like Freeheld and the video game Beyond: Two Souls, doing a voice on Family Guy, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE EAST Review

by     Posted 1 year, 200 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.  The East opens today in limited release.]

The undercover thriller is a familiar genre, but it rarely reaches its full potential. For a setting where betrayal and shifting sympathies are central to the plot, most of these stories only provide the semblance of a grey area. Yes, the terrorist is planning to destroy the western seaboard, but his kid died ten years ago, so he’s not all bad. This is an easy road to nominal dramatic conflict while still keeping the audience firmly supporting the hero. With their new film The East, director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer Brit Marling have played the undercover thriller to near-perfection by forcing the audience to sit uncomfortably as we wonder who should deserve our sympathies. Playing to the conventions of the genre stops The East from holding any major surprises, but Batmanglij and his strong cast always keep us riveted as we become as conflicted as the film’s protagonist.

5 Exclusive Images from THE EAST Starring Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page and Brit Marling

by     Posted 1 year, 201 days ago

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Opening this weekend is writer-director Zal Batmanglij’s The East, an espionage thriller starring Brit Marling - the film’s co-writer – in the lead.  The story centers on a former FBI agent who becomes a private intelligence operative tasked with protecting top-tier corporate clients, but soon questions her loyalties after infiltrating an anarchist group.

We’ve got five exclusive images from both behind the scenes and from the movie itself to share with you today.  Be sure to check out Steve’s extended video interview with Marling hereclick here to read Matt’s review, and click here to read Adam’s interview with Batmanglij and Marling.  The film also stars Alexander SkarsgardEllen PagePatricia ClarksonJulia OrmondShiloh Fernandez and Jason Ritter.  Hit the jump for the new images.

Brit Marling Talks THE EAST, How She’s Matured as a Filmmaker, Mike Cahill’s I ORIGINS, THE KEEPING ROOM, POSTHUMOUS, and THE GREEN BLADE RISES

by     Posted 1 year, 202 days ago

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Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director/co-writer Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) eco-terrorist thriller The EastBrit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be and becomes conflicted when she starts falling for the charismatic leader (Alexander Skarsgard).  The impressive ensemble cast also includes Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, and Julia Ormond, and you can click here to watch the trailer and here is Matt’s review.

Last week I landed an extended video interview with Marling.  She talked about the sources of inspiration for the film, the compressed schedule, the amount of changes that occurred from the inception of the idea to the final cut of the film, deleted scenes, what she’s learned about Hollywood and how she’s matured as a filmmaker since Sound of My Voice, and more.  In addition, she talked about some of her upcoming projects like writer-director Mike Cahill’s I Origins, The Green Blade Rises, Posthumous, and The Keeping Room.  Hit the jump to watch. 

New Images from THE EAST Starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page

by     Posted 1 year, 210 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a batch of new high-resolution images from director Zal Batmanglij’s (Sound of My Voice) eco-terrorist thriller The East. Brit Marling co-wrote the script with Batmanglij and stars as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be.  I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a very solid thriller that poses some fascinating questions that don’t exactly have easy answers.  It has a lot to say about the world we live in, but the film still manages to work very effectively as commercial entertainment, as evidenced by the most recent trailer.

Hit the jump to check out the images, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to read my interview with Batmanglij and Marling.  The film also stars Alexander SkarsgardEllen PagePatricia ClarksonJulia OrmondShiloh Fernandez, and Jason Ritter.  The East opens on May 31st.

10 Indie Films to Check Out This Summer

by     Posted 1 year, 228 days ago

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Blockbusters dominate the summer movie season, and some will definitely be worth your time.  You’ll pre-order your ticket, get together with friends for the earliest possible screening, and probably have a grand time.  But there are some smaller films this summer that shouldn’t escape your attention.  I’ve compiled a list of ten worthwhile indie films I saw at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and SXSW 2013.  The list includes coming of age comedies, moving romances, brutal dramas, and more.  There are other smaller films this summer that might be worth a look such as The Bling Ring and Blue Jasmine, but I haven’t seen them yet.  I can vouch for these ten.  Hit the jump for the list.

New Posters for STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, RED 2, THE EAST, and CBGB

by     Posted 1 year, 236 days ago

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6 posters, 5 character posters, 4 movies.  Let’s go:

  • Star Trek Into Darkness – Two character posters for Sulu (John Cho) and Bones (Karl Urban)
  • Red 2 – The posters highlight two additions to the cast for the spy sequel, Anthony Hopkins and Byung-hun LeeBruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren star.
  • The EastBrit Marling stars as an operative for a private intelligence firm who goes undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective that attacks corporations.  Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, and Patricia Clarkson co-star.
  • CBGB – Chronicles the quest of Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) to turn a small club into the legendary punk venue.  Ashley Greene, Malin Akerman, Johnny Galecki, Rupert Grint, and Stana Katic co-star.

See the posters after the break.

New Trailer for THE EAST Starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgard, and Ellen Page

by     Posted 1 year, 236 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new trailer for Sound of My Voice director Zal Batmanglij’s upcoming thriller The East.  The film stars Brit Marling as an undercover operative for an elite private intelligence firm who infiltrates a domestic terrorist organization in order to protect her corporate clientele.  Once she starts living as part of the anarchist collective, though, she finds that her loyalties aren’t as solid as she believed them to be.  I caught the film at Sundance and it’s a very solid thriller.  Batmanglij and star/co-writer Marling prove that they can skillfully craft a commercially pleasing film that still manages to be smart and thought provoking, and Marling turns in a riveting performance as the film’s protagonist.  This trailer delves quite a bit deeper into the pic’s plot than the first teaser trailer, and it gives you a good idea of the pic’s intensity level and story beats.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to read my interview with Batmanglij and Marling.  The film also stars Alexander Skarsgard, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson, Julia Ormond, Shiloh Fernandez, and Jason RitterThe East opens on May 31st.

CinemaCon: Posters/Logos/Displays for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, FREE BIRDS, STAR TREK, WHERE THE DEVIL HIDES, FAST & FURIOUS 6, RED 2, More

by     Posted 1 year, 247 days ago

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While I already posted the first posters for Spike Lee‘s Oldboy, James Wan‘s Insidious: Chapter 2, Robert Schwentke’s R.I.P.D., and a great display for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, I’ve still got a ton of pictures left to post.  However, rather than offering them up one article at a time, I’m grouping them all into one huge article.

While a lot of the posters you’ve previously seen, there are a few new things like the first logo for Paul Greengrass‘ Somali pirate pic Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks, the first poster for Where the Devil Hides, and the first display for Jimmy Hayward’s Free Birds starring Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler.  In addition, you can also check out posters/displays for Star Trek Into Darkness, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Despicable Me 2, Fast and Furious 6,  Man of Steel, The Lone Ranger, The Heat, Elysium, The East, The Wolverine, The Mortal Instruments, and a lot more.

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