Vanessa Hudgens leaves behind her High School Musical image and turns in a stunning and transformative performance in writer/director Ronald Krauss’ drama, Gimme Shelter, based on the courageous, true-life story of Agnes “Apple” Bailey (Hudgens). A pregnant, homeless teenager forced to flee her abusive mother (Rosario Dawson) and estranged from her Wall Street father (Brendan Fraser), Apple finds herself on a desperate and isolated journey of survival until she finds a true family at a homeless shelter. Opening January 24th, the inspiring film also stars James Earl Jones, Stephanie Szostak, Emily Meade and Ann Dowd.
At the film’s recent press day, Hudgens spoke about going outside of her comfort zone and tackling more diverse dramatic roles in Spring Breakers, Frozen Ground and now Gimme Shelter, why playing a strong female character appealed to her, how Charlize Theron’s performance in Monster inspired her, her preparation for the role, the emotional depths she explored to play Apple, how it contributed to her personal growth, why she believes the story is so relevant today, why she’s drawn to movies based on real life stories, and her role in the upcoming horror-comedy monster mash-up, The Kitchen Sink. Hit the jump to read the interview.
Former Disney sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers) continues to tackle diverse roles in her young career. The next example of a departure from her High School Musical days comes with the starring role in writer-director Ron Krauss’ Gimme Shelter. Based on a true story, Hudgens plays Apple, a pregnant teenager who flees her abusive mother, and is cast out by her estranged father, before finding a true family at a homeless shelter.
Also starring James Earl Jones, Rosario Dawson, Ann Dowd and Brendan Fraser, Gimme Shelter opens January 24, 2014. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Ten new images have been released from Robert Rodriguez’ Machete Kills. The film centers on Machete’s (Danny Trejo) quest to stop an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has plans to spread war and anarchy across the planet. Judging by what we’ve seen so far, it looks like more of the same, so if you liked the original Machete, then Machete Kills should be right up your alley of violence and mayhem. The movie is set to screen this evening as the opener of Fantastic Fest 2013, so expect some reactions to start hitting the Internet later tonight.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alex Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and Mel Gibson. Machete Kills opens October 11th.
Opening in theaters and on demand August 23rd, writer/director Scott Walker’s cat-and-mouse thriller, The Frozen Ground, stars Nicolas Cage as Alaskan State Trooper, Sgt. Jack Halcombe, who’s hot on the trail of a notorious serial predator, Robert Hansen (John Cusack), with the help of Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens). As Hansen’s only surviving teenage victim who managed to escape, Paulson becomes the vital key in an unlikely partnership that finally brings Hansen to justice. The film based on true events is Walker’s directorial debut and also features Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
At the film’s recent press day, Cage, Hudgens and Walker talked about their research and preparation for the film, condensing a 13-year story into a 2-hour film, what impressed them most about the real Cindy Paulson when they met her, the decision not to interview Robert Hansen, the cold weather and other logistical challenges of shooting a film set in Alaska, dealing with some of the film’s most emotionally difficult scenes, maintaining the integrity of the story within the structure of the film, and striking the right balance between the ugly rawness of the material and the desire to give the victims dignity. Hit the jump to read the rest of the interview.
Vanessa Hudgens turns in a surprisingly raw and emotionally powerful performance in Scott Walker’s suspenseful thriller, The Frozen Ground, as 17-year-old street hooker Cindy Paulson, one of the few victims that managed to escape Alaska’s most notorious serial killer, Robert Hansen (John Cusack). In the film inspired by true events, Hudgens’ character forms an unlikely partnership with Alaska State Trooper, Sgt. Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage), who convinces her to help him bring Hansen to justice. Opening August 23rd, the film also features Dean Norris, Radha Mitchell and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
We recently landed an exclusive interview with Hudgens who talked about her reaction when she first read the script, how meeting the real Cindy Paulson helped inform her portrayal of the character, why it was important to her that audiences see Paulson as a real human being and not a stereotype, what she learned from working with experienced actors like Cage and Cusack who inspired her performance, how Walker’s enthusiasm and energy kept the atmosphere on set upbeat despite the dark subject matter, and what she discovered about herself in the process of making the film. She also discussed her fun cameo in Machete Kills and her upcoming films, Gimme Shelter and The Kitchen Sink.
A new trailer has been released for Robert Rodriguez’ Machete Kills. The film centers on Machete’s (Danny Trejo) quest to stop an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has plans to spread war and anarchy across the planet. This new trailer provides more of a “plot” synopsis, but mostly gives us a look at the supporting cast, which includes Lady Gaga, Cuba Gooding Jr., Antonio Banderas, and Mel Gibson as the villain. Judging by this new trailer, Rodriguez has run out of ways to make Machete fun and interesting, and is now just making a really long Funny or Die video where celebrities briefly take on ridiculous roles.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alex Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, William Sadler, and Marko Zaror. Machete Kills will open Fantastic Fest 2013, and opens in wide release on October 11th.
Here’s the latest casting news:
- David Oyelowo (The Last King of Scotland) and David Gyasi (Cloud Atlas) will join Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film, Interstellar.
- Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers) is in early talks for the horror-comedy The Kitchen Sink, directed by Robbie Pickering (Natural Selection). Denis Leary (The Amazing Spider-Man) is set for the film.
- Helen Hunt (The Sessions) has landed financing for her new film, Ride, the cast of which also features Luke Wilson (Wedding Crashers), David Zayas (Dexter), Mike White (The School of Rock), Richard Kind (Argo), Leonor Varela (Blade II), Elizabeth Jayne and Brenton Thwaites (Blue Lagoon II: The Awakening).
Hit the jump for more on each picture.
We’ve got a few exclusive images from writer-director Scott Walker’s thriller The Frozen Ground to share with you today. The picture stars Nicolas Cage as an Alaskan detective out to catch a serial killer (John Cusack) with the help of one of his recently-escaped would-be victims (Vanessa Hudgens). Based on a true story, killer Robert Hansen (Cusack) would kidnap prostitutes, rape them, take them into his helicopter and let them free in the Alaskan wilderness where he would then hunt them like animals. Yikes. If you missed the recently-released trailer, have a look at it here.
Also starring Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, The Frozen Ground opens August 23rd in theaters and on VOD. Hit the jump to check out our exclusive first look at new images from the film.
A new trailer for writer-director Scott Walker’s new thriller The Frozen Ground is now available. The picture stars Nicolas Cage as an Alaskan detective out to catch a serial killer (John Cusack) with the help of one of his recently-escaped would-be victims (Vanessa Hudgens). Yes, Cage plays the detective and Cusack the serial killer … not the other way around, but Hudgens is dancing on a stripper pole in this trailer so what do you want from me?
Also starring Radha Mitchell, Dean Norris and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson as Pimp Clate Johnson (ie Best Name Ever), The Frozen Ground opens August 23rd. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
Open Road Films has released the first trailer for director Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills. The film centers on Machete’s (Danny Trejo) quest to stop an eccentric billionaire arms dealer who has plans to spread war and anarchy across the planet. This trailer was released on Yahoo!’s Spanish-language site, but the dialogue is in English. It looks like fun, but so did Machete, which made Trejo a supporting character in his own movie. A large cast is fun, but Rodriguez always seems to have trouble finding the right balance (he had the same problem with Once Upon a Time in Mexico). Hopefully, Machete Kills will be an improvement on the first film. [Update: We've added the English-language version, which is the same except now English-language speakers can understand the narration]
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Jessica Alba, Demian Bichir, Alex Vega, Vanessa Hudgens, Cuba Gooding Jr., William Sadler, Marko Zaror, and Mel Gibson. Machete Kills opens September 13th.
The nationwide expansion of Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers meant that I had the opportunity to catch the film last night at my local theater. We’ll talk a more specifically about our coverage of the film after the jump. For now, I’d like to make a futile attempt at encapsulating my feelings on the pic in the next few sentences. There’s a lot to like about Breakers whether it be the performances (James Franco‘s especially), the music, the slick editing and use of foreshadowing, etc. Nevertheless, for me this isn’t a movie that I “liked” as much as it’s one I respect. It’s beautiful, surreal, challenging, abhorrent, and vapid all at the same time. In other words, it’s art.
I could go on for days about the pic but that’s not why we’re here. In this week’s Top 5 we’ll take a look at our Breakers coverage, some Transformers 4 plot details, Olympus Has Fallen interviews with Gerard Butler and Antoine Fuqua just to name a few, a new trailer and poster for Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Croods interviews with Nicolas Cage and more. As is standard, a brief recap and link to each awaits after the jump.
Now playing in limited release and expanding nationwide this weekend is director Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. The movie centers on a group of girls (played by Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) who go to disturbing lengths to keep their spring break going, and their journey becomes even stranger when they encounter unhinged drug dealer, Alien (James Franco). For more on the film, watch the red band trailer or read Matt’s review.
At the recent Los Angeles press day, I got to speak with Hudgens, Gomez, Benson, and Korine. We talked about what it was like making a movie with so many people watching them work, how the majority of the film was improvised, how even though it’s an independent movie, it’s being covered like a 200 million Hollywood blockbuster, and what it was like working with James Franco. Hit the jump to watch.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Spring Breakers opens today in limited release.]
Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers is a wild, aggressive, mildly disturbing, darkly comic, and surprisingly thoughtful film about hedonism so thick you’ll about to choke on it. For college kids who feel entitled to a good time and never want the party to stop, Spring Breakers takes their debauched desires, and plays them out to a grotesque degree where the characters are tested in how far they’ll go to keep the passion of spring break burning forever (the other burning will require penicillin). Complimented by the glorious stunt casting of James Franco as a goofy drug dealer, Spring Breakers defies simple explanation, and sends the audience spinning as we grasp for some kind of anchor in this sweaty mosh pit of a movie.
A bounty of new material from director Harmony Korine’s upcoming film Spring Breakers has made its way online, with a new red-band trailer, two TV spots, and a featurette awaiting your eager eyeballs. The movie centers on a group of girls (played by Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) who go to disturbing lengths to keep their spring break going, and their journey becomes even stranger when they encounter unhinged drug dealer, Alien (James Franco). There’s plenty of new footage to thumb through in these materials, and the featurette provides an interesting look behind the scenes of the film.
Hit the jump to check out the new red-band trailer, TV spots, and featurette. Spring Breakers opens on March 15th.
A new red-band trailer has been released for Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers. The movie centers on a group of co-eds (played by Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) who go to disturbing lengths to keep their spring break going, and their journey becomes even stranger when they encounter unhinged drug dealer, Alien (James Franco). The fun thing about these trailers is that they can’t really spoil the film, because so much of what defines Spring Breakers is the tone. And as strange as these trailers make the movie look, they’re somewhat misleading, because the flick is not constant, poppy intensity as much as it’s something that absolutely overwhelms the audience. I caught the film at TIFF, and I can’t wait to see what the widespread reaction will be when the film opens next month.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. Spring Breakers opens in New York and L.A. on March 15th, and opens nationwide on March 22nd.