THE COLLISION: Episode 102 – TIFF 2014 Preview

by     Posted 118 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we look ahead to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.  We break down how TIFF compares to the year’s other major film festivals, its role in awards season, the films we’re looking forward to, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Robin Williams”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

WHAT IF Review

by     Posted 135 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  What If opens today in limited release.]

Being a platonic friend sucks. It just does. No matter how much chemistry you have with a person, the relationship dynamic inevitably pushes you into a Hobson’s choice: take the less-than-ideal relationship you have or lose it entirely. There’s not much middle ground unless the platonic relationship finally becomes romantic, and that tends to be in the realm of wish fulfillment, especially when the one you want to be with is in a healthy relationship with someone else. What If takes on this familiar story, and while it does keep the wish fulfillment intact, director Michael Dowse obliterates the selfishness and single-sided nature of these stories to create a rich, full, and painfully funny ensemble piece that offers sweet sentiment with salty comedy.

WHAT IF: Watch 6 Clips and a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette for the Terrific Rom-Com Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan

by     Posted 138 days ago

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CBS Films has released six What If clips along with a behind-the-scenes featurette.  The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as a medical school dropout who strikes up a friendly relationship with a young animator (Zoe Kazan), but they start to wonder if the chemistry between them outweighs her relationship with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  I really enjoyed the film when I saw it at TIFF last year (back when it had the better title “The F Word“), and I look forward to seeing it again when it opens later this month.

Hit the jump to check out the What If clips and featurette.  The film also stars Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Oona Chaplin.  What If opens in limited release on August 8th and expands nationwide on August 22nd.

First WHAT IF Trailer; GOON Director Michael Dowse’s Romantic Comedy Stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan

by     Posted 206 days ago

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CBS Films has released the first What If trailer for director Michael Dowse‘s (Goon) romantic comedy.  Daniel Radcliffe plays a med school dropout who strikes up a friendship with an animator (Zoe Kazan).  They start to wonder if the chemistry between them outweighs her relationship with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  Adam Driver, who plays Radcliffe’s character’s friend in the picture, absolutely steals the first few seconds of this trailer, but there’s plenty to go around in the three minutes that follow.  While I understand it’s difficult to inform audiences about your film and set yourself apart in the world of rom-coms, this first look gives away a tad too much of the plot for my liking.  Charming nonetheless.

Hit the jump to watch the What If trailer and click here to read Matt’s review.  Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Oona Chaplin also star.  What If opens August 1st.

New Poster and Images from WHAT IF Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan, and Adam Driver

by     Posted 222 days ago

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CBS Films has released a new poster and collection of images from director Michael Dowse’s (Goon) excellent romantic comedy What If (formerly titled The F Word).  The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as a medical school dropout who strikes up a friendly relationship with a young animator (Zoe Kazan), but they start to wonder if the chemistry between them outweighs her relationship with her longtime boyfriend (Rafe Spall)..  Though the premise may sound derivative, I fell pretty hard for the film when I saw it at TIFF.  It’s incredibly funny and surprisingly sweet, with Radclife and Kazan turning in a pair of hilariously charming performances.  Moreover, Adam Driver steals nearly every scene he’s in.  This is definitely one to keep on your radar when you start to feel the blockbuster fatigue this summer.

Hit the jump to check out the What If poster and images, click here to read Matt’s review, and check back on May 29th to watch the debut trailer.  The film also stars Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park, and Oona ChaplinWhat If opens in theaters on August 1st.

Release Dates Announced for RIDE ALONG 2, BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL 2, WHAT IF and TRACKS; Sci-Fi PASSENGERS Pulled from Schedule

by     Posted 283 days ago

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We have a few release date announcements to attend to this evening.  Briefly:

  • Ride Along 2 – Universal has dated the action-comedy sequel for January 15, 2016, almost exactly two years after the release of the first film.  Ice Cube and Kevin Hart star.
  • The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 – Fox Searchlight has set a March 6, 2015 release date for this unlikely follow-up.  The entire original cast, including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith, return.
  • What If – Previously titled The F Word, this excellent relationship comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan will arrive on August 1, 2014.
  • Tracks – The Weinstein Company has dated the Mia Wasikowska-fronted adventure drama for May 23, 2014.
  • Passengers – This promising sci-fi thriller set to star Keanu Reeves and Rachel McAdams was dated for April 3, 2015, but The Weinstein Company has unfortunately pulled it off the schedule.

Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned films.

TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Goes to CBS Films, Weinstein Acquires ELEANOR RIGBY and RAILWAY MAN, and Lionsgate Nabs LIFE OF CRIME

by     Posted 1 year, 101 days ago

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We’ve got a number of exciting acquisitions to report on this afternoon from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Briefly:

  • The F Word – This fantastic relationship comedy from Goon director Michael Dowse stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who strikes up a close relationship with a girl (Zoe Kazan) who has a boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  It was one of my favorite films from TIFF this year and CBS Films has acquired US rights to the pic.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers – The ambitious two-part feature about a relationship between James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain is told from each partner’s point of view in two separate portions, and The Weinstein Company is now acquiring the U.S. rights to the Ned Benson-directed 190-minute pic per Deadline.
  • The Railway Man – The Weinstein Company is also acquiring (per THR) this war/post-war drama starring Colin Firth as a former POW suffering from PTSD who attempts to reconcile the events of his capture.  The pic as a whole never really comes together, but Jeremy Irvine stands out in flashbacks.  Read my review here.
  • Life of Crime – Deadline also repots that Lionsage and Roadside Attractions are nearing a deal for this Elmore Leonard adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, and John Hawkes.

Hit the jump for more details in the full press releases.

TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Review

by     Posted 1 year, 104 days ago

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Being a platonic friend sucks.  It just does.  No matter how much chemistry you have with a person, the relationship dynamic inevitably pushes you into a Hobson’s choice: take the less-than-ideal relationship you have or lose it entirely.  There’s not much middle ground unless the platonic relationship finally becomes romantic, and that tends to be in the realm of wish fulfillment, especially when the one you want to be with is in a healthy relationship with someone else.  The F Word takes on this familiar story, and while it does keep the wish fulfillment intact, director Michael Dowse obliterates the selfishness and single-sided nature of these stories to create a rich, full, and painfully funny ensemble piece that offers sweet sentiment with salty comedy.

TIFF 2013 Adds BASTARDS, METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER, Preview of Spike Jonze’s HER, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 123 days ago

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The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has made the final touches on its line-up, and made some nice additions.  For the first time, TIFF will have movies in IMAX.  The films that will be going big are Gravity, Man of Tai Chi, Metallica Through the Never, and The Wizard of Oz.  All of these movies except Man of Tai Chi will also be in 3D.  Other additions include Claire DenisBastards, a conversation with Spike Jonze and a preview of his new film Her (the full film is scheduled to debut as the closer at the New York Film Festival), Ron Howard‘s Jay-Z documentary Made in America, and more.

Hit the jump for the new additions.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

TIFF 2013 Lineup Adds THE F WORD Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, Denis Villeneuve’s ENEMY with Jake Gyllenhaal, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 136 days ago

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The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has added a few more films to its already stellar lineup.  Here’s a brief look at some of the Canadian productions that have been added:

  • Enemy – Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), the thriller features Jake Gyllenhaal pulling double duty as two characters and tells the story of a man who is torn between his mistress and his wife.
  • The F Word – A romantic comedy from director Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight) that stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who, upon finding out that the girl he just met lives with her long-term boyfriend, resigns himself to being “just friends.”  Adam Driver also stars.
  • Tom at the Farm – A dark new thriller from director Xavier Dolan that tells the story of a man returning home for a funeral, only to find himself embroiled in a twisted game.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of additions.  The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5-15th.

Zoe Kazan Talks RUBY SPARKS, Her Experience Writing and Acting in the Film, Her Original Ending and Working with Daniel Radcliffe on THE F WORD

by     Posted 2 years, 48 days ago

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Now available on DVD/Blu-ray is the romantic dramedy Ruby Sparks, from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), about a once-famous novelist named Calvin (Paul Dano), who creates a beautiful fictitious character named Ruby (Zoe Kazan) that not only brings his work to life, but actually literally comes to life.  TheDVD/Blu-ray special features include Behind the Story, Real-Life Couples: Co-stars & Directors, Be Careful What You Wish For and the theatrical trailer.

During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, the film’s star and screenwriter Zoe Kazan talked about how writing this feature came about, when she realized that she and her real-life boyfriend Paul Dano would be playing the roles, what writing allows her that acting doesn’t, how she originally had a different ending for the story, that she always wanted to leave the reasons for Ruby’s existence unexplained, how she just finished writing the first draft of a new project, and working with Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter franchise) on The F Word.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Heather Graham Boards Indie Comedy FEED THE DOG; Rafe Spall, Megan Park and Mackenzie Davis Join Daniel Radcliffe in THE F WORD

by     Posted 2 years, 125 days ago

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Here are a couple of casting notes in brief:

  • Heather Graham (The Hangover) is set to star opposite Selena Gomez in the indie comedy Feed the Dog, formerly titled Parental Guidance Suggested.
  • Rafe Spall (Prometheus), Megan Park (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Mackenzie Davis (Smashed) will join Daniel Radcliffe in The F Word, directed by Michael Dowse (Goon).

Hit the jump for details on each picture.

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan Talk RUBY SPARKS, Bringing Their Characters to Life, LOOPER, TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE, THE F-WORD and More

by     Posted 2 years, 147 days ago

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A sharp, modern take on the Pygmalion myth, Ruby Sparks is the story of a novelist’s vision that inexplicably comes to life, only to prove far more complicated than even he could have imagined.  Ruby (Zoe Kazan) starts out as an idea in Calvin’s (Paul Dano) mind, but he creates her with such a strong individualistic desire to be her own person that he is ultimately forced to grow in order to accommodate her strength and evolution.  Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a first screenplay by actress and playwright Kazan, the film constantly challenges the audience as it takes an unpredictable route into fantasy, identity and the ways we invent love and how love reinvents us.

At the press day for Ruby Sparks, we sat down at a roundtable interview with Kazan and Dano to talk about what happens when a writer tries to make a relationship from his imagination work in the real world.  They told us what the experience was like bringing their characters to life on screen, how they approached the film’s most physically and emotionally challenging sequences, and why Dayton & Faris were the perfect duo to direct the film.  They also revealed their next projects including Dano’s upcoming For Ellen, Looper and Twelve Years a Slave and Kazan’s The F-Word.

Daniel Radcliffe to Star Opposite Zoe Kazan in Indie Rom-Com THE F WORD

by     Posted 2 years, 156 days ago

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Daniel Radcliffe’s current career trajectory is screaming, “I will not be Harry Potter forever!”  The actor has been taking on an admirable diversity of roles ever since hanging up his wand last year.  Earlier this year, he starred in the gothic horror flick The Woman in Black, he’s playing Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings, and several days ago we reported that he would lead the supernatural fantasy-thriller, Horns.

Today, Variety reports that Radcliffe is adding an indie romantic comedy to his slate by signing on to star opposite Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) in The F WordMichael Dowse (Goon) will direct from a Black List script by Elan Mastai (The Samaritan), which has “Radcliffe venturing to be the first male to have a successfully platonic relationship with a girl he likes (Kazan), only to find out she’s already in a relationship.”  I have no idea what this means because I’m not exactly sure how the story is measuring success.  Is he trying to escape from the friend zone?  Is he trying to be at peace living in the friend zone?  Damn you and your vagueness, loglines.  Damn you to hell.

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