JAUJA Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 24 days ago

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Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja opens with a stunningly picturesque two-shot of Viggo Mortensen and Viilbjørk Malling Agger.  The two sit side-by-side, Agger facing the camera and Mortensen with his back to the lens, discussing her desire to own a dog.  The entire conversation plays out in that one shot, but it works.  The colors are so vibrant, the topic of conversation is relatable and their affection for one another is palpable as well.  Unfortunately, that’s the only time the performances and the beautiful backdrop can carry the minimal amount of coverage and sluggish pace.

Viggo Mortensen Says Peter Jackson Sacrificed Subtlety for CGI with THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT

by     Posted 169 days ago

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It’s no secret that The Hobbit films haven’t been as universally praised as director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Lord of the Rings films, with many pointing to The Hobbit’s propensity for CG over practical effects (and discarding of miniatures altogether) as distracting and, at times, downright ugly.  Though Jackson got his start with gore-filled, practical effects-based horror comedies like Bad Taste and Dead Alive, his recent work has leaned heavily on visual effects.  However, Jackson’s affinity for CG sequences didn’t simply begin with The Hobbit or even King Kong, but with the Lord of the Rings trilogy itself.  Rewatching the films, one can see a growing amount of CGI-enhanced sequences as the series moves on, with Return of the King concluding in the epic VFX-heavy battle of Minas Tirith.

Though some are fans of what Jackson has been doing with cutting-edge technology, others are disappointed in the shift.  A principal castmember from The Lord of the Rings counts himself in the latter group, as Viggo Mortensen recently spoke extensively about what he sees as Jackson sacrificing subtlety for CGI, specifically pointing to the later Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit.  Hit the jump to read on.

First Clip and New Images from THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac

by     Posted 189 days ago

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The first clip and new images from The Two Faces of January have gone online.  The movie centers on an American con artist (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife (Kirsten Dunst) who strike up a relationship with a stranger (Oscar Isaac) in 1960s Athens.  In the clip, we see Isaac’s character giving a brief tour and talking about the tale of Theseus while Mortensen and Dunst’s characters discuss the Parthenon’s architecture.  However, these mundane conversations provide a nice, subtle nod at the deception and oversights that likely lay ahead.

Hit the jump to check out The Two Faces of January clip and images.  The film opens in the U.K. on May 16th, but currently doesn’t have a U.S. release date.

First Trailer and Poster for THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac

by     Posted 263 days ago

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The thriller The Two Faces of January, the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, is set to premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, and the first trailer and poster have now gone online.  The movie centers on an American con artist (Viggo Mortensen) and his wife (Kirsten Dunst) who strike up a relationship with a stranger (Oscar Isaac) in 1960s Athens.  The trailer makes the film look exciting and puts an emphasis on the interesting dynamic between the three characters, especially the one between Mortensen and Isaac.  Also, it wasn’t until I watched this trailer that I realized there wasn’t a new movie featuring Mortensen last year.  That’s simply unacceptable.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  The Two Faces of January currently has no U.S. release date, but will open in the U.K. on May 16th.

Viggo Mortensen Stars in FAR FROM MEN, Peter Dinklage Set for HOP FROG, Carice van Houten Stars in Greta Garbo Biopic and Dylan O’Brien for GLIMMER

by     Posted 1 year, 164 days ago

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Check out the latest casting news below:

  • Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) will star in his first French-language role in writer-director David Oelhoffen’s Loin des hommes (Far From Men). 
  • Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) will star in Hop Frog, a revenge thriller based on the Edgar Allan Poe story that will be directed by Mark Palansky (Penelope).
  • Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones) has landed the lead of Greta Garbo in a biopic for the Swedish screen legend.
  • Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) is reportedly in talks to lead Glimmer, a sci-fi thriller about a group of teens discovering a portal through time and directed by Ringan Ledwidge (Gone).

Hit the jump for more on each casting announcement.

ON THE ROAD Review

by     Posted 1 year, 313 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.  On the Road opens today in limited release.]

Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road is a novel that inspired a generation of restless young men and women to break free from their comfort zones, broaden their horizons, and look to the majesty of America. Walter SallesOn the Road is a film adaptation that will inspire a generation of lazy high school kids to watch the movie instead of reading the book. Salles snaps up the words of Kerouac’s novel, but not their spirit. The movie shouldn’t simply regurgitate the book because adaptation should be a work of inspiration and not imitation. But there’s nothing inspired about Salles’ picture. It’s safe where it should be dangerous. It’s lugubrious when it should be explosive. It’s derivative when it should be daring. Despite glimmers of an emotionally moving story, On the Road rarely has the energy to get up and bravely venture forth beyond the plot constraints of a book that’s not driven by its plot.

New Trailer for ON THE ROAD

by     Posted 1 year, 349 days ago

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On the eve of the release of the final installment in the Twilight franchise, we’ve got a Kristen Stewart news bit of a different sort to share: a new trailer for the Jack Kerouac adaptation On the Road.  Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, and Sam Riley star as the central characters Marylou, Dean, and Sal, respectively, and this impressive trailer takes a more character-centric approach to the story, attempting to relay at least a little of what the film’s about.  I’m interested to see how Kerouac’s Beat Generation portrait translates to film (read Matt’s review right here), but I continue to be impressed by the brief glimpses of Hedlund’s performance that we’ve seen in the trailers thus far.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Viggo MortensenKirsten DunstAmy Adams, and Elizabeth MossOn the Road opens on December 21st.

First Poster for A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD and New Poster for ON THE ROAD, Plus New Images from Each Picture

by     Posted 2 years, 5 days ago

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A couple of new posters and related images to share with you today.  We’ve got the first poster and a new image from director John Moore’s A Good Day to Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as John McClane alongside his estranged son (Jai Courtney) as they take on those evil Commies no-goodniks Russian bad guys.  A twist on McClane’s signature catch phrase lets us know what he thinks of their country.  If you missed the trailer, check it out hereA Good Day to Die Hard opens February 14th, 2013.

We’ve also got the US poster for Walter Salles’ On the Road, starring Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart and Sam Riley. An adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel,  On the Road drives into theaters on December 21st.  Hit the jump to check out the new posters and images for each film. 

Production Begins on THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY Starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst; First Image and Synopsis Revealed

by     Posted 2 years, 26 days ago

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Production is underway on the international thriller The Two Faces of January.  The film marks the directorial debut of Drive and Snow White and the Huntsman screenwriter Hossein Amini and centers on an American con artist and his wife who strike up a relationship with a stranger in 1960s Athens.  Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst star as the couple, while Oscar Isaac is onboard as said stranger.  The first image and a full synopsis have been released, detailing a rather intriguing premise that’s a tad reminiscent of The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Hit the jump to check out the image and synopsis.  Filming on the StudioCanal production is taking place in Crete, Athens, Istanbul, and London.

Marvel Looking to Release the Comic-Con ANT-MAN Test Video; Plus Viggo Mortensen as Doctor Strange Denied

by     Posted 2 years, 48 days ago

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Of the many cool things that Marvel did at Comic-Con, I was most intrigued by the Ant-Man test footage.  The basic premise of Ant-Man (a man who can shrink to the size of an ant fights crime) is not guaranteed to work on film.  But the word on the street says director Edgar Wright nailed out the big/small transition effects, and I want to see for myself.  Marvel executive Victoria Alonso implies that I will probably get my wish.  Alonso told our partners at Omelete (roughly translated):

“What we showed at Comic-Con was a work in progress.  We’re working on finishing it, and I think you might see it.  Not sure where, but we always listen to the fans.  And if the fans demand it we make sure they get it.  I don’t know if we are going to post it online, but I don’t have [any reason] to believe we may not.”

So please demand it.  For my sake.  Hit the jump for more from Alonso, including confirmation that Wright will direct and a comment on the Viggo Mortensen/Doctor Strange rumor.

First Trailer for EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN Starring Viggo Mortensen and Viggo Mortensen

by     Posted 2 years, 49 days ago

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Fans of Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings) will get a double dose of the actor in Everybody Has a Plan The Spanish-language film set in Argentina stars Mortensen in the role of identical twin brothers.  One brother, Agustin, assumes the identity of his deceased twin, Pedro, and returns to the boys’ childhood home.  What he finds there is not a fresh start, but rather a dangerous reawakening of the criminal element that was central to his brother’s life.  Hit the jump for the full synopsis and the first trailer for Everybody Has a Plan

Rumor: Could Viggo Mortensen Appear as Dr. Strange in THOR: THE DARK WORLD?

by     Posted 2 years, 50 days ago

It’s rumor time!  As Marvel Studios launches further into “Phase Two” of their film slate, we’re likely to be vetting quite a few rumors over the next few years.  While most of these turn out to be false (look over the long road to The Avengers), a few here and there are solid.  A rather tantalizing rumor has now surfaced with regards to director Alan Taylor’s (Game of Thrones) sequel Thor: The Dark World, and we figured it was worth sharing.

Production on that film is currently underway in London and we already know that Christopher Eccleston is onboard as villain Malekith the Accursed, but now murmurs are making their way around the interwebs that Thor: The Dark World could also see an appearance from another major Marvel character: Dr. Strange.  Hit the jump for more.

First U.S. Trailer for ON THE ROAD Starring Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, and Sam Riley

by     Posted 2 years, 60 days ago

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We’ve already seen a number of trailers for director Walter Salles’ (The Motorcycle Diaries) adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road, but the first official U.S. trailer has just now made its debut.  Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, and Sam Riley star as the central characters Marylou, Dean, and Sal, respectively, and this trailer is much more frenetic than what we’ve seen before.  It’s billed as a teaser trailer and thus is light on dialogue and heavy on fast cuts.  The film premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival where it received mixed reviews (read a round-up of the reactions right here), but Salles has apparently re-cut the film for its theatrical release.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Viggo MortensenKirsten DunstAmy Adams, and Elizabeth MossOn the Road will screen at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival and opens in U.S. theaters on December 21st.

Focus Films Reneges on EASTERN PROMISES 2

by     Posted 2 years, 77 days ago

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As recently as June, we posted that David Cronenberg was returning to direct Eastern Promises 2, starring Viggo Mortensen and possibly Vincent Cassel.  While things looked to be moving ahead in a positive direction only a short while ago, the production has taken a turn for the worse (or better if you weren’t looking forward to the sequel).  Apparently, the decision has come down from the Focus Features studio to scrap the project, even though production was scheduled to begin in October.  Hit the jump to hear the explanation on the about face from Cronenberg himself. 

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