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

by     Posted 44 days ago


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.


by     Posted 57 days ago


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 95 days ago


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 124 days ago


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 126 days ago


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.


by     Posted 128 days ago


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 129 days ago


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 130 days ago


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.

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks Talk SAVING MR. BANKS, Bringing the Essence of Their Characters to the Screen, and How P.L. Travers Would Have Reacted

by     Posted 131 days ago


Saving Mr. Banks tells the tale of when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) invited Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to his studio in Los Angeles in 1961, to discuss his interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character.  While there, Travers, who had been resistant for 20 years, spent two weeks uncompromisingly fighting every idea and suggestion, on the road to bringing this classic to the big screen.

At a press conference to promote the film’s release, co-stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks talked about bringing the essence of these people to life without doing an exact imitation, what they learned about these individuals from playing them, the characters they were each obsessed with, growing up, and what P.L. Travers might have thought of this film.  Thompson also addressed whether there might ever be another Nanny McPhee movie.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

Tom Hanks Talks SAVING MR. BANKS, His Reluctance to Play Walt Disney, Working with Paul Greengrass on CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, CLOUD ATLAS, and More

by     Posted 150 days ago


Next month, John Lee Hancock’s (The Blind SideSaving Mr. Banks will open in theaters.  Based on the true story, the pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood.  Loaded with great performances, a strong script, and the first time Walt Disney has been portrayed on screen, Banks is a likely contender for this year’s award season.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, only a few other reporters and I had an intimate thirty-minute roundtable interview with Hanks.  While I’ve been running Collider for over eight years, this was the first time I’d gotten to interview Hanks and am happy to report he’s as nice, friendly, and honest as everyone says.  During the interview, he talked about his initial reluctance to play Disney, how he was convinced to do the role, his process as an actor and if it’s changed over the years, the way Cloud Atlas changed him, what it was like to work with Paul Greengrass on Captain Phillips, future directing plans, and so much more.  It’s a great interview.  Hit the jump for more.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race – Acting Veterans Square Off Against McConaughey, Ejiofor, and More

by     Posted 158 days ago


In the last few months of covering this year’s awards race, it’s become very clear that the 2014 Oscars are going to be one of the most competitive in recent memory.  Nowhere is this more clear than in the Best Actor category, which already seems to have congealed into a solid list of five extremely likely candidates with a number of others waiting in the wings to play the spoiler.  As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the race starts to firm up, now seems like a good time to start taking a closer look at the individual categories in the 2014 Oscar race.

In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we begin with the Best Actor category, which will see a couple of acting legends challenging the rise of McConaughey, powerful performances depicting historically important characters, Leo, and more.  Read on after the jump.

First Clip and Two Featurettes for SAVING MR. BANKS Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

by     Posted 163 days ago


Disney has released the first clip and two featurettes for John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks.  The 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.  Judging by the brief clip, which centers on the first meeting between Disney and Travers, the two lead actors look like they’ll have some good chemistry.  As for the featurettes, one explains the appeal of the story, and the other celebrates Thompson’s performance.  The latter is a bit confusing since everyone is praising the complexity of the character and the depth of Thompson’s performance, but all we’re seeing is a prim-and-proper fish-out-of-water.  At the end of the featurette, we get a glimpse of the dramatic side, but I’m worried these moments will feel forced in the movie.  My current prediction is that Hancock has created a nice picture that will invite backlash if it picks up any awards steam.

Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurettes.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley WhitfordJason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin FarrellSaving Mr. Banks will premiere at AFI Fest in November and opens in theaters on December 20th.


by     Posted 185 days ago


The Toy Story shorts have been a nice way of continuing the franchise without the burden of heavy expectations that would come with a new feature film.  Thus far, they’ve been fun little episodes that are nice ways to warm up a crowd of kids for a Disney feature.  But with Toy Story of Terror!, Pixar has made their most ambitious Toy Story short film to date.  In addition to being the longest short film, it’s also the first one to push beyond being cute and provide some drama and tension.  Once the film gets past a rough start, it ends up being as funny and as emotionally moving as any of the three features.

Weekend Box Office: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Charts Impressive Opening but GRAVITY Holds For First

by     Posted 188 days ago

gravity-sandra-bullock-george-clooney-sliceAfter setting a new October record for its debut, Gravity was again stellar in its second orbit. The 3D drama remained securely in first place with an estimated $44.2 million and a new domestic total of $123.4 million after ten days. That left newcomer Captain Phillips with a second place launch, though the film’s estimate of $26 million was well above expectations. Machete Kills, on the other hand, brought in less than half of its anticipated $8 million start and just one third of the opening that Machete claimed in 2011.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Gravity $44,265,000 $123.4
2.  Captain Phillips $26,000,000 $26
3.  Cloudy With a Chance 2 $14,200,000 $78
4.  Machete Kills $3,797,000 $3.7
5.  Runner Runner $3,725,000 $14.1
6.  Prisoners $3,665,000 $53.6
7.  Insidious Chapter 2 $2,650,000 $78.4
8.  Rush $2,400,000 $22.2
9.  Don Jon $2,340,000 $20.1
10.  Baggage Claim $2,075,000 $18.2


by     Posted 189 days ago


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.

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