The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013. Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station). Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners. Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.
The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects. Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.
20th Century Fox has released a new trailer and poster for Ben Stiller’s upcoming drama The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Stiller both directs and stars in the film as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn). This new trailer gets some help from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” to showcase the titular Mitty’s fantasy sequences, and the visuals in the film remain extremely strong. The pic had a bit of a polarizing effect on critics (read Matt’s take here and Steve’s take here), but it feels more like a commercial crowd-pleaser than a critical darling.
Hit the jump to check out the new trailer and poster, which is a tad heavy on the photoshop. The film also stars Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, Patton Oswalt, and Sean Penn. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens on Christmas Day.
A new clip from Ben Stiller’s latest directorial feature The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been released online. Stiller stars in the film as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn). In this new clip, we see Stiller riding a bicycle in a rather gorgeously remote location and discussing his eHarmony profile on the phone with a character played by Patton Oswalt. The film premiered at the New York Film Festival to a rather mixed response (Steve loved it, while Matt did not), but I’m interested to see more from what looks to be Stiller’s most visually ambitious film yet.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, and Kathryn Hahn. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.
Though it’s only October, we’re already in the thick of awards season. We’ve seen frontrunners emerge from the fall festival circuit, and now some of the year’s potential heavy hitters are starting to open in theaters, providing some hard data for the all-important “audience reception” factor in the Oscar race. Gravity emerged as a potential frontrunner for a number of awards—including Best Picture—when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice, and Telluride earlier this year, and now the film can add “box office hit” to its resume, as the pic opened to a record-breaking $55.5 million in its first weekend and only dropped an incredible 21% in its second weekend.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the importance of box office in the Oscar race and what this means for Gravity and the other awards contenders going forward. Additionally, I update my predictions to reflect movements in the recent weeks. Hit the jump to read on.
An international trailer has gone online for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Ben Stiller (who also directed the film) stars as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn). The international trailer features a little more new footage than the recent new trailer, but it’s still pushing the “uplifting film you’ll see on Christmas” angle.
Hit the jump to check out the international trailer, click here for Steve’s thoughts on the movie, and click here for my review. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, and Adam Scott. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.
Having missed it during its highly successful theatrical run, I made an early trip to the video store (remember those?) this past Tuesday to pick up The Purge on Blu-ray. Like many, I was intrigued by the premise of a dystopian future America in which an annual night of crime-free killing known as “The Purge” is the key to the new U.S. of A.’s unprecedented prosperity. For an elevator pitch, my last sentence is intriguing stuff that leaves you wanting to know more about the world created by writer/director James DeMonaco. Unfortunately, I found the stellar logline to be the best thing going for The Purge as a majority of the film’s execution felt flat. I cared little to nothing about the Sandin family, was taken out of the movie during long stretches of characters searching aimlessly around the house with a flashlight, and felt the pic exchanged discernible commentary on societal violence for an all-out bloodbath that was not as much scary as it was a welcomed break from said extensive flashlight searching. Final verdict? Watch The Purge for the interesting premise, but don’t expect much in the way of scares or social commentary.
All new to home video discussion aside, this week’s Top 5 is filled to the brim with Captain Phillips interviews with Tom Hanks and more, a new trailer for Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty including Matt and Steve’s impressions of the film, 106 lost episodes of Doctor Who potentially popping up in Ethiopia, a new trailer for David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, and Quentin Tarantino‘s top 10 films of 2013 to date. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.
20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Ben Stiller (who also directed the film) stars as a daydreaming Life Magazine employee who has to start going on real adventures in order to track down an elusive photographer (Sean Penn). Steve and I saw the movie this weekend. He liked it; I didn’t. The trailer is a fair representation of the film, and even though it goes through a lot of the plot, the trailer doesn’t really give anything away since everything is so spaced out and mixed up.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer along with the New York Film Festival press conference. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, and Patton Oswalt. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.
The problem with platitudes is that they may profess a nice sentiment, but the statement tends to be an obvious one, and it will be a fleeting memory by the time you finish reading that t-shirt or bumper sticker. Platitudes can’t cut deeper and provide a thoughtful, lasting impression that would cause us to seriously take stock of our lives and values. Ben Stiller’s two-hour platitude, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, may seem like it’s championing bravery and adventure, but the presentation, while initially enjoyable, quickly becomes hollow, frivolous, and overbearing. It’s a movie where a man’s facial hair defines his character more than his actions.
Earlier today I got to check out Ben Stiller‘s latest directorial effort The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In the film, Stiller stars as the eponymous LIFE Magazine negative asset manager who, incapable of standing up for himself in the real world, retreats to a fantasy where he becomes his poised, confident opposite. On his quest, he seeks to find a missing image taken by a photographer played by Sean Penn. The movie stars Kristen Wiig as his love interest, and Adam Scott, Shirley MacLaine, Patton Oswalt, and Kathryn Hahn. While Stiller is known for his great work behind the camera on Tropic Thunder and Zoolander, Walter Mitty is definitely his most adult effort to date and the film is a beautiful look at life. I loved it.
Shortly after getting out of the screening, I recorded a spoiler free video blog with Peter from /film. Hit the jump to watch and here’s the trailer if you missed it. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.
Opening October 4th, Stuart Zicherman’s hilarious comedy A.C.O.D. centers on Carter (Adam Scott), a seemingly well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce with a successful career. When his younger brother (Clark Duke) announces he’s getting married, Carter suddenly finds himself revisiting the chaos of his parents’ ugly divorce. Trying to reunite his bitterly divorced parents (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) and their new spouses (Amy Poehler and Ken Howard) for the wedding proves more than he bargained for, so he turns to his wacky therapist (Jane Lynch) for advice.
At a wildly irreverent roundtable interview, Scott and Duke talked about what drew them to the roles, their reaction when they first read the script, why having a well written script made their jobs easier, how their real-life friendship helped them develop a genuine brotherly rapport on screen, what it was like having Poehler play their bitchy stepmother, being deputized on set by SAG President Ken Howard, and brandishing a sidearm and SAG card to get into strip clubs while shooting in Atlanta. They also discussed what they’re working on next including Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (which they revealed will hit theaters March 2014), a new season of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Hit the jump to read the interview.
The summer movie season has come to a close, and it’s now time to turn our focus towards what this fall has in store for us. Unsurprisingly, there are a number of very promising character-centric pics headed our way, and on paper these next few months look to be an embarrassment of riches. We saw more than a few disappointments this summer (especially with regards to the sci-fi genre), so hopefully the end of the year will have a higher success rate when it comes to delivering the goods. Regardless, it’s sure to be a nice change of pace from the effects-driven onslaught of the summer.
In the latest installment of our Most Anticipated series, Matt, Adam, and Dave run down what films they’re most looking forward to between October and December. Hit the jump to read on.
The Fall Film Festival season has come and gone, and with that we now have a pretty clear idea of the early state of the Oscar race. While initial awards projections were made mostly on conjecture and blind faith, a number of the major contenders have now had a chance to screen at the prestigious Telluride, Toronto, and Venice film festivals allowing critics and industry folk to assess the quality of heavy hitters such as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and August: Osage County. Last year, an early Oscar frontrunner came out of nowhere at the Toronto International Film Festival in the form of Silver Linings Playbook, but this year an incredibly strong frontrunner has emerged with near-unanimous praise.
Hit the jump for a rundown of the Oscar race as it stands now, including our first Oscar Beat power rankings for the major categories.
One of my favorite films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is Jason Bateman‘s directorial debut Bad Words. Andrew Dodge’s awesome script centers on a high-school drop-out (Bateman) who uses a loophole to compete in an 8th grade spelling bee, enraging teachers and parents alike, but befriending an awkward young contestant along the way. And while the film could easily be a family friendly, PG movie that plays it safe, I’m happy to report Bateman has crafted a wholly R-rated movie that’s loaded with inappropriate dialogue and hysterical situations. It also explains why Focus Features quickly snapped it up during an all night bidding war following the world premiere. Bad Words also stars Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chand.
The day after the premiere I got to sit down with Hahn for an extended video interview. She talked about what the last few years have been like, premiering at TIFF, making Bad Words, working with Nick Offerman in We’re the Millers, her experience on Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, working with Peter Bogdanovich on Squirrels to the Nuts and its great cameos, her Showtime pilot Trending Down with Philip Seymour Hoffman, and so much more. Hit the jump to watch.
We’ve got the latest posters from the following films:
- Captain Phillips – Paul Greengrass directs Tom Hanks in the title role of the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama. Captain Phillips opens October 11th.
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller directs and stars in this picture about a daydreaming office worker who sets off a global journey in the real world. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens Christmas Day.
- I Declare War – Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson direct a cast of neighborhood kids as their summer war games take a darker turn toward reality. I Declare War is now playing in limited release.
- Bad Milo – Jacob Vaughan directs Ken Marino in this horror comedy about a cute little intestinal parasitic demon. Also starring Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, Peter Stormare and Stephen Root, Bad Milo is available for digital download now.
- Rush – Ron Howard’s true-life tale of the 1970s rivalry between Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl). Rush opens September 27th.
Hit the jump for the new posters and films’ synopses.
The first in a series of posters for Ben Stiller’s latest directorial effort The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been released, along with a small batch of new images from the film. In Walter Mitty, Stiller stars as the eponymous LIFE Magazine photo editor/negative asset manager who, incapable of standing up for himself in the real world, retreats to a fantasy where he becomes his poised, confident opposite. This poster highlights the more fantastical aspects of the film, and Walter Mitty continues to look like a possible surprise Oscar contender—should the full film deliver the goods, of course.
Hit the jump to check out the poster and images. The pic also stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt, and Shirley MacLaine. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty opens December 25th.