Matthew McConaughey May Be THE COMPANY MAN; Four More for Spielberg & Hank’s UNTITLED COLD WAR THRILLER; Naomi Watts Joins DEMOLITION

by     Posted 2 days ago

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A few casting items crept up in today’s second half.  In short:

  • Mathew McConaughey is said to be in talks to join The Company Man.  The former Black List script is currently looking for a director.
  • Amy Ryan, Eve Hewson, Alan Alda and Billy Magnussen look to be joining Steven Spielberg’s Untitled Cold War Thriller starring Tom Hanks.
  • Speaking of talks, Naomi Watts is apparently in them to join Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, the new picture from Dallas Buyers Club-director Jean-Marc Vallée.

Hit the jump for more on each announcement.

Steven Spielberg’s UNTITLED COLD WAR SPY THRILLER Set for 2015 and THE BFG Lands a 2016 Release Date

by     Posted 37 days ago

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It’s been nearly two years since the release of Lincoln, but Steven Spielberg has already firmed up his next two projects, which will essentially shoot back-to-back.  We previously reported that Spielberg had signed on to helm an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book The BFG with production poised to begin in early 2015, but it was noted that the filmmaker was looking to possibly shoot a smaller-scale film first.  That project firmed up as an untitled Cold War thriller that will see Tom Hanks playing an American attorney who slips under the Iron Curtain in order to negotiate the release of a captured U-2 spy plane pilot.

With these two DreamWorks projects set as Spielberg’s next films, release dates have now been firmed up.  The untitled spy thriller will open in theaters on October 16, 2015, while The BFG is slated for release on July 1, 2016.  Hit the jump for more on both films and what competition they’ll face at the box office.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING Sequel Moving Forward with Nia Vardalos and John Corbett

by     Posted 57 days ago

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12 years after the first film took the box office by storm, a My Big Fat Greek Wedding sequel is finally moving forward.  THR reports that Playtone, HBO, and Gold Circle are producing the comedy follow-up, with Nia Vardalos reprising her role from the first film alongside returning co-star John Corbett.  Inspired by her life growing up in a Greek household and marrying a non-Greek, Vardolos went on to nab an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay with My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and she has written the script for the follow-up as well.  Hit the jump for more, including the plot of the sequel.

Coen Brothers to Pen Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Untitled Cold War Thriller

by     Posted 64 days ago

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Well, now this is interesting.  Remember that Cold War-era thriller in development with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks attached?  Now it seems as if Joel and Ethan Coen will draft the screenplay.  That’s a lot of Oscar-winning talent right there, enough to land the project on an incredibly early awards watch long before it even has a title.  The picture aims to tell the true story of James Donovan, “an attorney who was thrust into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated with the KGB for the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers.”  Perhaps the news that the Coens are taking a crack at Matt Charman’s initial script will add enough heat to the project to make it Spielberg’s next directorial feature.  Hit the jump for more.

First Look at Tom Hanks in A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING; Plus Debut Images from THE KEEPING ROOM and THE MAN ON CARRION ROAD

by     Posted 70 days ago

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As the Cannes Film Festival heats up, debut images from a number of films are starting to surface.  We now have our first looks at the following films:

  • A Hologram for the KingTom Hanks stars in Cloud Atlas co-director Tom Tykwer’s comedic drama adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel, which finds a down-on-his-luck American salesman venturing to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch effort for success.
  • The Keeping Room – A Civil War drama from director Daniel Barber that revolves around three Southern women who must defend their home and family from an onslaught of soldiers that have broken off from the Union Army.  Brit Marling (Sound of My Voice), Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru, and Sam Worthington star.
  • The Man on Carrion Road – Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego’s (Open Grave) drama tells the story of a retired sheriff (Ian McShane) and his replacement (Patrick Wilson) who investigate a botched cartel deal.

Hit the jump to check out the debut images from the aforementioned films.

SAVING MR. BANKS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 88 days ago

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Sometimes a movie that screams Academy Award-pedigree just doesn’t score the nominations–let alone the rewards.  Such was the case in 2013 for Saving Mr. Banks, which landed numerous critics’ award nominations but tallied only one Oscar nom (for Best Original Score).  Perhaps that says more about the strength of the then seemingly wide-open Oscar field than the film itself, since Saving Mr. Banks is a thoroughly delightful film.  Hit the jump for my Saving Mr. Banks Blu-ray review.

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg May Reteam for Untitled Cold War Thriller

by     Posted 93 days ago

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Just last week, we learned that filmmaker Steven Spielberg was zeroing in on his next directorial effort as he attached himself to yet another potential future project.  At the time, the decision appeared to be down to either the big-budget sci-fi spectacle Robopocalypse or the historical drama Montezuma, which revolves around the relationship between Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and the titular Aztec ruler.  Well now there appears to be a third contender for Spielberg’s next slot, as Tom Hanks has become attached to star in an untitled Cold War thriller with Spielberg eyeing the pic as a possible directorial vehicle.  More after the jump.

Cast for Tom Tykwer’s A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING Revealed as Principal Photography Starts in Morocco

by     Posted 139 days ago

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We previously reported that Tom Hanks would be reteaming with his Cloud Atlas co-director Tom Tykwer for his adaptation of Dave Eggers’ A Hologram for the King, but now the principal cast has been revealed.  The film, which stars Hanks as down-on-his-luck American businessman Alan Clay relocating to Saudi Arabia for a last-ditch effort at making it big, just began production in Morocco.  The principal cast features Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Omar Elba (Intelligence), Tracey Fairaway (Enough Said), David Menkin (Zero Dark Thirty) and Tom Skerritt (Ted).  Hit the jump for the full press release.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 152 days ago

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Paul Greengrass has thread the needle with Captain Phillips.  The director has achieved box office successes with his Bourne movies (Supremacy and Ultimatum), but with this film he is able to incorporate his “you are there” faux-documentary approach to a real life story in a way that was appealing to the masses.  Perhaps it helps that Tom Hanks is his star, as there is no greater everyman working in cinema today.  My review of Captain Phillips on Blu-ray follows after the jump. 

Adam Predicts the 2014 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 190 days ago

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Well, folks, the time has finally come.  I’ve been covering this year’s awards season since last fall when we launched our awards column Oscar Beat, and after running through the ups and downs of the season thus far, it’s now time to predict which films, performances, screenplays, and other cinematic achievements from 2013 the Academy will choose to single out.  I feel very confident about some of my choices while others feel like more of a crapshoot.  One thing’s for sure: this has been quite an interesting season thus far, and there’s still no consensus with regards to some of the big winners.

Hit the jump as I take a stab at predicting the 2014 Oscar nominees.  The nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on January 16th.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Lead Critics Choice Award Nominations

by     Posted 219 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association has unveiled its list of nominees for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with 13 nominations each—though three of Hustle’s nominations come from “Comedy” categories.  The BFCA added some genre categories last year for Action, Sci-Fi/Horror, and Comedy, so the list of nominations is a bit more diverse than those we’ve seen previously.  That being said, Brie Larson made the overall Best Actress cut for her excellent turn in Short Term 12, and it’s nice to finally see The World’s End and star Simon Pegg getting some attention (nicer still that BFCA recognizes actual comedies in the Best Comedy category, unlike the Golden Globes).  Other notable additions include Scarlett Johansson nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nod for her voice-only role in Her and Christian Bale landing a Best Actor nomination for the aforementioned American Hustle.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations and to find out how closely the Critics’ Choice Awards correlate with Oscar.  The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on January 16, 2014.

Oscar Beat: Best Supporting Actor – Is Jared Leto on His Way to an Oscar Win?

by     Posted 221 days ago

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As we continue our in-depth look at the coming awards season, it’s now time to delve in the Best Supporting Actor race.  It’s a tough category this year, with a number of impressive turns from a variety of actors.  The two big standouts emerged at the Toronto Film Festival this past September with Jared Leto earning extremely high praise for his turn as a transsexual opposite Mattthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, and Michael Fassbender turning heads as a ruthless slave owner in the highly emotional 12 Years a Slave.  But there are plenty of other contenders as well, with both Jonah Hill and James Franco firmly in the race for a pair of more comic performances.

Hit the jump to read the latest edition of Oscar Beat, in which we examine the Best Supporting Actor category.

SAVING MR. BANKS Review

by     Posted 223 days ago

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All films based on real events should have historical license.  The most important thing is trying to tell the best story possible, and if that means playing a little fast and loose with the facts, then so be it.  But when those facts become elastic in order to serve an agenda coated in mawkish sentiment, then history a serious consideration rather than a suggestion.  In the case of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney is attempting to rewrite history in service of bolstering the argument of corporate wisdom seducing the misguided artist who doesn’t understand that synergy is the best way to catharsis.  The film pays a bit of lip service to cold studio pragmatism, and Tom Hanks is at his most charming, but Saving Mr. Banks‘ warm, sunny attitude can’t mask calculating, self-congratulatory motives.

2 New Featurettes for SAVING MR. BANKS Delve into the Music and Tom Hanks’ Performance as Walt Disney

by     Posted 224 days ago

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Disney has released two new behind-the-scenes featurettes for director John Lee Hancock’s upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks.  The film’s story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  The film is considered a potential Oscar contender, especially as far as Hanks and Thompson’s performances are concerned.  One of these two featurettes explores how Hanks approached playing Walt Disney in what will be the first time the visionary has ever been portrayed onscreen, while the second featurette delves into the music of Mary Poppins, as B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the legendary Sherman Brothers.

Hit the jump to watch the new featurettes, and if you missed Steve’s lengthy and wide-ranging chat with Hanks, click here.  The film also stars Bradley Whitford, Paul Giamatti, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, and Colin FarrellSaving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before expanding wide on December 20th.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Returning to Theaters on Wednesday, January 15th in Advance of Academy Award Nominations

by     Posted 225 days ago

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In an effort to goose Oscar buzz, Sony is re-releasing Captain Phillips into theaters starting Wednesday, January 15th.  The Tom Hanks-starrer is expected to expand to 1,000 theaters from its current tally of 640 by the time the Academy Award nominations are announced the very next day.  Hanks plays the title role, the captain of a ship taken over by Somali pirates.  The action-adventure biopic has already made north of $100 million domestically and is nearing $200 million worldwide.  On the awards front, buzz is building for newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who played the lead pirate thrust into taking action that was far beyond his own abilities.  Hit the jump for more.

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