Shailene Woodley Talks DIVERGENT, Taking on Her First Big Movie, Having Fun with the Cast Away from Set, the Stunts, and More

by     Posted 280 days ago


With director Neil Burger’s (LimitlessDivergent opening next weekend, I recently landed an exclusive video interview with Shailene Woodley.  During the interview, Woodley talked about if she was nervous to take on her first big Hollywood movie, why the police were called to the building where the cast was staying when they were filming in Chicago, if she was nervous doing the stunts, the sequel Insurgent, and more.

For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the Veronica Roth novel of the same name and takes place in a society where people are divided into factions based on their personalities.  Tris (Woodley) is a young girl who doesn’t fit into any of the pre-assigned groups and faces grave consequences due to her status as a “Divergent.”  Hit the jump to watch the interview.  Divergent also stars Theo James, Ashley JuddRay StevensonZoe KravitzJai CourtneyTony GoldwynAnsel Elgort,Maggie QBen Lloyd-HughesChristian Madsen, and Kate Winslet.


by     Posted 319 days ago


Live in the moment.  In itself, this adage is positive and helpful, but can it go too far?  Can people invest themselves so much in the present that it becomes a detriment to their future?  This is the question raised by James Ponsoldt’s (Smashed) brilliant love story film, The Spectacular Now.  Hit the jump to read my Blu-ray review of the movie.

New to Blu-ray: SHORT TERM 12, YOU’RE NEXT, RIDDICK, and More

by     Posted 341 days ago


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

Edgar Wright’s Top 20 Movies of 2013 Include GRAVITY, HER, and SPRING BREAKERS

by     Posted 355 days ago


Over the past week or so, we here at Collider have been inundating you with year-end lists.  In addition to personal Top 10s from me, Matt, and Dave, we’ve also run down 2013’s best trailers, posters, movie moments, new TV series, returning TV series, and much more.  Now filmmaker Edgar Wright has chimed in with his own personal “Top 20” of 2013.  The director is plenty busy at the moment prepping to direct Marvel’s Ant-Man (starring Paul Rudd, no less), but he graciously took some time to run down a varied list of films that includes Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Pacific Rim, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra.  Hit the jump to take a look at the full batch.

For Your Consideration: This Year’s Oscar-Worthy, Overlooked Films, Performances, and Screenplays

by     Posted 361 days ago


As part of Collider’s new column, Oscar Beat, I’ve been covering the in’s and the out’s of this year’s awards race for the past few months.  While there are plenty of excellent films contending for a number of different awards, there are also a number of films that, for one reason or another, don’t fit the “Oscar mold” but deserve recognition all the same.  The Academy is loathe to recognize any kind of comedic work despite the fact that the “Best Actor” or “Best Picture” categories lack disclaimers that would disqualify genres other than drama, and smaller pictures have a hard time drumming up support against the studio-backed fare.

After the jump, I run down a number of films, performances, and screenplays from 2013 that are deserving of awards attention despite failing to drum up serious support.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Sweeps Boston Online Film Critics Awards with Best Picture, Director, Actor, and Supporting Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago


Oscar frontrunner 12 Years a Slave has nabbed its first critics group award in a very big way.  The Boston Online Film Critics Association awarded the incredibly moving drama six trophies in all, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer.  Clear frontrunner Cate Blanchett continued her roll with another Best Actress award, Jared Leto landed Best Supporting Actor for his transformative work in Dallas Buyers Club, and the Best Animated Film trophy was split between Frozen and The Wind Rises.  Additionally, the Boston Online Film Critics Top 10 has a few refreshingly eclectic choices, with The World’s End, Blue Is the Warmest Color, and The Spectacular Now all nabbing well-deserved spots alongside films like Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Inside Llewyn Davis.

For those keeping score at home, we now have three critics group announcements and three different Best Pictures.  The New York Film Critics Circle went for American Hustle, the National Board of Review lauded Her, and now Boston has tapped 12 Years.  Hit the jump to read the full list of Boston Online Film Critics awards.

National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 1 year, 18 days ago


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.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and NEBRASKA Top 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

by     Posted 1 year, 26 days ago


The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor.  Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods.  The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing.  The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary.  The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.

Director James Ponsoldt Talks THE SPECTACULAR NOW, the Casting Process, PIPPIN, RODHAM, Sentimentality vs. Nostalgia, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 137 days ago


One of the best movies I’ve seen this year is James Ponsoldt‘s The Spectacular Now.  The coming-of-age film chronicles the unlikely relationship between directionless party boy Sutter (Miles Teller) and the quiet, reserved Aimee (Shailene Woodley).  It’s one of the few non-documentary films I’ve seen that honestly speaks to the teenage experience, and I encourage you to seek it out when it comes to your city (if it hasn’t already).

Yesterday, I got the chance to sit down with Ponsoldt and talk about the movie.  During out conversation, we talked about the film’s journey from Sundance to distribution, the casting process, working with his talented crew, going for nostalgia over sentimentality, his upcoming movies Pippin and Rodham, and much more.  Hit the jump to read the interview.  Click here to find out when where The Spectacular Now will be playing near you.


by     Posted 1 year, 142 days ago


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

“Live in the moment” is a nice platitude and a crappy life philosophy. Vivacity is all well and good. We should appreciate the present, but we can’t live only for the present. We have to think about tomorrow because we’re probably going to be there. In his wonderful new film The Spectacular Now, director James Ponsoldt explore the live-for-the-moment mentality with an authentic and earnest look at high school emotions, anxiety about the future, and first love. Led by extraordinary performances from stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now is a thoroughly charming and surprisingly powerful coming-of-age story about the fear of looking ahead and the seductive safety of living in the present.

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller Talk THE SPECTACULAR NOW, How The Film Feels Real and Authentic, What They Collect, DIVERGENT, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 143 days ago


One of my favorite movies of the year is director James Ponsoldt (Smashed) and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber’s (500 Days of Summer) coming of age drama The Spectacular Now.   Led by fantastic lead performances from Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, the film is about two High School seniors that are going in opposite directions.  Sutter Keely (Teller) is the life of the party and loves to drink, while Aimee Finicky (Woodley) is pretty, but shy and removed from the popular crowd.  When Sutter wakes up on Aimee’s lawn after being dumped by his girlfriend, what starts off as a rebound quickly turn into something more.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Kyle Chandler.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

A few days ago at the Los Ageles press day, I spoke with Teller and Woodley.  They talked about how the film feels real and not a Hollywood version of teenage life, the way everyone is praising the movie, what they collect, how they were both cast in Divergent, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.  The Spectacular Now opens in limited release this weekend.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See THE SPECTACULAR NOW

by     Posted 1 year, 146 days ago

the spectacular now shailene woodley miles teller slice

Movies that feature teenagers and authentically speak to the teenage experience are rare.  The Spectacular Now is a rare movie, and one that demands to be seen.  The film stars Miles Teller as a young high school student who strikes up a friendship with a fellow student (Shailene Woodley) as graduation and some big life decisions loom closer.  The film was met with rave reactions when it premiered at Sundance earlier this year (click here to read my review), and I’m so glad that a wider audience now has the chance to see it.  It’s funny, heartwarming, and most importantly, emotionally honest.  If you haven’t had a chance to see many indie movies this summer, you’re going to want to make time for this one.

I’m pleased to announce we’re giving away 20 pairs of passes to the Atlanta screening of The Spectacular Now.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  The film stars Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kyle ChandlerThe Spectacular Now opens in limited release on August 2nd and expands to Altanta on August 9th.

First Trailer and Poster for THE SPECTACULAR NOW Starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley

by     Posted 1 year, 186 days ago


The first trailer for director James Ponsoldt’s (Smashed) drama The Spectacular Now has been released online.  The film premiered to wildly positive reviews at Sundance earlier this year, and stars Miles Teller as a young high school student who strikes up a friendship with a fellow student (Shailene Woodley) as graduation and some big life decisions loom closer.  I loved the film when I saw it at Sundance, and you should definitely go see it.  Please take my word on this, because the trailer will take you through the entire movie.  If you can’t take my word, then go ahead and watch the trailer, but consider yourself warned.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Teller and Woodley from Sundance.  The film also stars Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Kyle ChandlerThe Spectacular Now opens on August 2nd.

10 Indie Films to Check Out This Summer

by     Posted 1 year, 233 days ago


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.

2013 Los Angeles Film Festival Lineup Includes THE WAY, WAY BACK, ONLY GOD FORGIVES, FRUITVALE STATION, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 235 days ago


The lineup for the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival has been announced.  Fox Searchlight’s The Way, Way Back—which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning The Descendants screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon—has been selected as the closing night film, while Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives and the Sundance hits Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now will also fill out the festival.  Additionally, the fest will host the US premiere of the sci-fi thriller Europa Report starring Sharlto Copley and there will be community screenings of Badlands, Dazed and Confused and John WatersHairsprayHit the jump for the full press release.

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