Michael Pena Talks END OF WATCH at TIFF

by     Posted 1 year, 210 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) police thriller End of Watch.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two Los Angeles beat cops who find themselves marked for death after a routine traffic stop turns into an epic drug bust that interferes with a notorious cartel.  Unlike Ayer’s previous films which focused on corrupt police officers, Gyllenhaal and Peña play honest cops trying to make a difference.  In addition, most of the movie was filmed with handheld cameras, and Ayer’s POV shots put the audience right in the middle of the action.  Trust me, End of Watch is definitely worth your time and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña is a lot of fun. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review, my video interviews with Ayer and Gyllenhaal, twenty things to know from my set visit, and all our previous coverageEnd of Watch also stars Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Cody Horn and Frank Grillo.

Last week at the Toronto Film Festival I was able to speak with Michel Peña.  We talked about premiering at TIFF, Comic-Con, did any of the training stay with him, how the role helped him as an actor, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez Talk END OF WATCH, the Unique Camerawork, and More at TIFF

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) police thriller End of Watch.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two Los Angeles beat cops who find themselves marked for death after a routine traffic stop turns into an epic drug bust that interferes with a notorious cartel.  Unlike Ayer’s previous films which focused on corrupt police officers, Gyllenhaal and Peña play honest cops trying to make a difference.  In addition, most of the movie was filmed with handheld cameras, and Ayer’s POV shots put the audience right in the middle of the action.  Trust me, End of Watch is definitely worth your time and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña is a lot of fun. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review, my video interviews with Ayer and Gyllenhaal, twenty things to know from my set visit, and all our previous coverage.  nd of Watch also stars Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Cody Horn and Frank Grillo.

Last week at the Toronto Film Festival I was able to speak with Kendrick and Martinez.  During our fun exchange we talked about premiering at TIFF, their reaction to the finished film, the unique camerawork, was it advantageous to have such a short shooting schedule, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Chris Evans Talks THE ICEMAN, SNOWPIERCER, CAPTAIN AMERICA 2, THOR 2, AVENGERS, His Marvel Contract, Future Roles, More!

by     Posted 1 year, 211 days ago

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Every once in awhile you land an interview that you can’t wait to share.  The one you’re about to watch with Chris Evans is one of those.  At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I got to sit down with Evans for over twenty minutes (we were scheduled for a lot less) to talk about his great work in director Ariel Vromen‘s The Iceman.  As you can see in the first trailer, Evans plays a killer and is nearly unrecognizable in dirty long hair as Richard Kuklinski’s (Michael Shannon) friend and partner.

I’ve spoken to Evans a lot over the years, and one of the things I love about him is his honesty and willingness to talk about everything.  If you ask him a question about his career, or even his contract with Marvel, he’ll talk about it.  Most actors will try and deflect the question, or give a politician’s answer.  That’s not how Evans operates and it’s very refreshing.  So besides talking about The Iceman and working with Michael Shannon, Evans talked about how his career has blown up, the intricacies of his Marvel contract, the business of Hollywood, playing a critical character of the Marvel universe, Captain America 2 (Captain America: The Winter Solider), whether he knows anything about Captain America 3, the success of The AvengersJoss WhedonThor 2Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, the greatness of Hayley Atwell, his upcoming anti-romantic comedy A Many Splintered Thing with Michelle Monaghan, and so much more.  Hit the jump for more.

Jake Gyllenhaal Talks END OF WATCH, Fashion Week, the Unique Camerawork, Comic-Con and More

by     Posted 1 year, 212 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) police thriller End of Watch.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two Los Angeles beat cops who find themselves marked for death after a routine traffic stop turns into an epic drug bust that interferes with a notorious cartel.  Unlike Ayer’s previous films which focused on corrupt police officers, Gyllenhaal and Peña play honest cops trying to make a difference.  In addition, most of the movie was filmed with handheld cameras, and Ayer’s POV shots put the audience right in the middle of the action.  Trust me, End of Watch is definitely worth your time and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña is a lot of fun. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review, my video interview with David Ayer, twenty things to know from my set visit, and all our previous coverageEnd of Watch also stars Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Cody Horn and Frank Grillo.

Last week at the Toronto Film Festival I was able to speak with Jake Gyllenhaal.  During our fun exchange we talked about the unique camerawork in End of Watch, what he learned from making the movie, the training and short shooting schedule, why he missed Comic-Con, fashion week, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

David Ayer Talks END OF WATCH and BREACHER Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; Says He Wants to ‘Reinvent Arnold’

by     Posted 1 year, 213 days ago

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Opening this weekend is director David Ayer’s (Harsh Times) police thriller End of Watch.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as two Los Angeles beat cops who find themselves marked for death after a routine traffic stop turns into an epic drug bust that interferes with a notorious cartel.  Unlike Ayer’s previous films which focused on corrupt police officers, Gyllenhaal and Peña play honest cops trying to make a difference.  In addition, most of the movie was filmed with handheld cameras, and Ayer’s POV shots put the audience right in the middle of the action.  Trust me, End of Watch is definitely worth your time and the chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Peña is a lot of fun. For more on the film, here’s Matt’s review, twenty things to know from my set visit, and all our previous coverageEnd of Watch also stars Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Cody Horn and Frank Grillo.

Last week at the Toronto Film Festival I was able to speak with David Ayer.  We talked about premiering in Toronto, his motivation for making End of Watch, the unique camerawork, and more.  In addition, Ayer talks about his next movie, Breacher, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sam Worthington.  He reveals they start shooting October 15, it will definitely be rated-R, and he says he wants to “reinvent Arnold.  He’ll be a new guy.”  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Derek Cianfrance Talks THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, Deleted Scenes, His HBO Project MUSCLE, and Will We Ever See BROTHER TIED

by     Posted 1 year, 216 days ago

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was The Place Beyond the Pines.  Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), the pic centers on a professional motorcycle rider turned bank robber (Ryan Gosling) and a rookie police officer (Bradley Cooper).   Pines premiered to a rapturous response (read Matt’s glowing review here and here’s two clips), and Focus quickly snapped it up for a planned 2013 release.   The pic also stars Eva Mendes, Bruce Greenwood, Dane DeHaan, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn and Rose Byrne.

The day after the premiere, I landed an extended video interview with Cianfrance.  We talked about his first feature–Brother Tiedand if it’ll ever be released, the genesis of The Place Beyond the Pines, premiering at TIFF, editing (he shot 400 hours of footage), deleted scenes, and more.  In addition, Cianfrance talked about his HBO project Muscle, which is based on Samuel Fussell’s memoir Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder.  Hit the jump to watch.

TOP 5: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION, First Trailer for LINCOLN, James Cameron Talks AVATAR Sequels/Prequel and His Take on JURASSIC PARK, FINDING NEMO 3D, TIFF 2012

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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In the spirit of TIFF 2012 winding down this weekend, I’m interested in hearing what some of our readers most anticipated pics coming out of the festival are. For me, I was already psyched for films such as Looper, Cloud Atlas, and The Master, but early buzz has also peaked my interest in The Place Beyond the Pines, End of Watch, Spring Breakers, Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, Dredd 3D, and At Any Price among others. What about you? Where there films that showed up on your radar while following the festival? What about a film you were looking forward to that you were disappointed didn’t fare quite as well as you had hoped (for me, this was Passion)? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out this week’s fifth spot for a link that can help you get caught up on all of our TIFF 2012 coverage.

In addition to that fifth spot, also on the docket for this week’s Top 5 is a slew of video interviews for Paul W. S. Anderson‘s Resident Evil: Retribution, the first full trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln, James Cameron talking the future of Avatar and what his take on Jurassic Park would have been like, and Steve’s video interviews with some of the major names behind Finding Nemo 3D. Brief recaps and links to each lie after the jump.

TIFF 2012: A Look Back

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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Later today, I will be on a plane home.  I have spent the last ten days at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and given a reminder on how film festivals are exhausting and a total blast.  I’ve gotten a huge jump on a lot of fall films, and an even bigger jump on movies that won’t arrive until probably late next year.  Hopefully, this jump will allow me to provide you all with more informed coverage when we report on these flicks.

This was my second year attending TIFF.  It’s still a remarkably well-run operation, especially when you consider the mind-boggling level of logistics that goes into making a festival like this work.  There are some professional frustrations along the way, like only having one press screening of a movie (which is why I missed Rust and Bone and Amour), but I’m still grateful for all the films I got to see even if a picture didn’t meet my level of expectations.  Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on TIFF 2012.

Dane DeHaan Talks THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, Working for Derek Cianfrance, KILL YOUR DARLINGS and More at TIFF

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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Dane DeHaan is having a great year.  After appearing on TV series like In Treatment and True Blood, DeHaan starred this year in Josh Trank‘s Chronicle, then acted alongside Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in Lawless, and now he’s one of the leads in director Derek Cianfrance‘s much buzzed about new film, The Place Beyond the Pines, which premiered to glowing reviews at this week’s Toronto International Film Festival (watch two clips here).  In addition, he recently wrapped on director John KrokidasKill Your Darlings, where he starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Elizabeth Olsen.

Shortly before the premiere of the film at TIFF, I sat down with DeHaan for an extended interview.  We talked about the past year, how he prepares for his roles, what it was like to work for Cianfrance and make The Place Beyond the Pines, who he plays in Kill Your Darlings and what its about, and what he might have coming up.  Hit the jump to watch.

TIFF 2012: FRANCES HA Review

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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Even though his films are most easily classified as comedies, you rarely feel good coming out of project by writer/director Noah Baumbach. That’s not a bad thing as his caustic wit and insightful observations about terrible, self-obsessed people have lead to some great films like The Squid And The Whale. However, his latest feature is a little different. Teaming up with mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig following their collaboration on the underappreciated Greenberg, Baumbach has surprisingly delivered his most warm and sweet movie to date in Frances Ha. After being produced almost in secret, the film premiered at TIFF to a far more positive reception than he has ever received before. Hit the jump for additional appreciation for the appropriately frivolous and insightful ode to late 20s irresponsibility.

TIFF 2012: THE ACT OF KILLING Review

by     Posted 1 year, 217 days ago

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The Act Of Killing is one of those movies that you might only see at a film festival and don’t want to miss out on the chance of catching. It’s a documentary like no other I’ve seen and undoubtedly one of the most disturbing movies screened at TIFF this year. The title says it all. The film is about the weight of murder on the perpetrator’s conscious. That might take years to finally surface as it does for the subject of director Joshua Oppenheimer’s searing new doc. The fact that the unimaginable delay occurred is unthinkable, but the fact that Oppenheimer was somehow there with a camera to capture it is remarkable. The film will never be described as an easy watch, but it is something that will leave a deep impression on anyone able to see it and should definitely be sampled by those with the stomach to endure. Hit the jump for the details.

Eli Roth & Nicolas Lopez Talk AFTERSHOCK, CLOWN, THE GREEN INFERNO & MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS; Roth Calls FISTS a ‘Hip Hop Kung-Fu AVENGERS’

by     Posted 1 year, 218 days ago

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Premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was the natural disaster thriller, Aftershock.  Co-written by star Eli Roth and director Nicolas LopezAftershock centers on a group of young partygoers in Chile who find themselves surrounded by death and destruction when a violent earthquake brings the town down around them.  You can watch some footage here.  Also, Dimension just picked up the rights to Aftershock, so you can expect to see the film for yourself sometime next year.

Before the world premiere, I sat down with Roth and Lopez for an extended interview.  They talked about premiering at TIFF, how they ended up working together, the genesis of Aftershock and how the original idea was to make a sci-fi movie, being distributed by Dimension, and a lot more.  In addition, with Roth and Lopez involved in a number of other projects, I got updates on Clown, The Green Inferno, and RZA’s The Man With the Iron Fists which Roth called a “hip hop kung fu Avengers” and who did the soundtrack.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

TIFF 2012: GHOST GRADUATION Review

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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Javier Ruiz Caldera‘s Ghost Graduation mashes-up The Sixth Sense, Heart and Souls, and The Breakfast Club, and does so with a big smile on its face.  Happily aware of the clichés of ghost films, Ghost Graduation has plenty of fun embracing the major rules of the genre (body possession, walking through walls, etc.) while still poking fun at the little quirks.  Caldera and his charming cast have created a sweet film that never gets too saccharine, and a nice parody that never becomes too self-aware.

TIFF 2012: PASSION Review

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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There’s a difference between “old-school” and “out-of-touch”, and Brian De Palma‘s Passion disappointingly falls into the latter.  In an attempt to dig into his old bag of tricks when making a sexual thriller, Passion starts out promising, but then slowly devolves into a series of gimmicks and decisions that render the movie increasingly cheesy until it becomes unintentionally hilarious.  De Palma revisits woman’s sexual duality, but with Passion, his attempt feels like a mash-up of previous ideas played out to disastrous results.  The score is corny, the performances feel stilted, the cinematography is heavy-handed, and the twists become inane.  Passion is a throwback that should simply be thrown away.

TIFF 2012: HELLBENDERS Review

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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Hellbenders teaches a valuable lesson: even with a neat premise and a strong cast of a character actors, a film can get real old, real fast.  Writer-director JT Petty wants to coast on the hook of a bunch of hellbound, sinful exorcists charged with doing the church’s dirty work, but he has no idea how to build on it.  The film becomes an endless loop of people in cleric’s collars doing raunchy stuff.  Petty’s motto seems to be, “When in doubt, give Clancy Brown something filthy to say.”  The cast is out of balance so there never feels like a team dynamic, and even when the story raises the stakes, the characters don’t feel much of an impetus to save the world.  Hellbenders may trip over the occasional humorous moment, but it’s mostly a constant reminder of wasted potential.  To rub salt in the wound, the movie is in crappy 3D.

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