Opening this weekend is director Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller Side Effects. Written by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion, The Informant!), the film is about “a successful New York couple (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist (Jude Law)—intended to treat anxiety—has unexpected side effects.” The film also stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Vinessa Shaw.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive interview with Vinessa Shaw. While we were scheduled to talk about her work in Side Effects, we actually spent a lot of time talking about one of her other projects: Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut (she played a small but significant role as an HIV-positive prostitute). As a huge fan of Kubrick (like all of you) I figured it would be cool to hear some behind-the-scenes stories about the making of his last film. Of course we also talked about Side Effects, her work on CBS’ Vegas, and her next film, Electric Slide. Read or listen to what she had to say after the jump.
Evil children make shitty antagonists. It’s a lazy dichotomy to say, “Look! The faces of the innocent and pure are doing horrible acts of violence! HOW CAN THIS BE?” But they shouldn’t be threatening to any adult. You can’t be scared of anything you can dropkick. Come Out and Play (a remake of the 1976 Spanish horror film Who Can Kill a Child?) tries to up the fear by having the children be a tiny, angry mob rather than a solo threat, but the film’s true potential lies in trying to provide a set of conditions where we can condone, and perhaps even enjoy, killing bad seeds. Sadly, writer/director/shameless-self-promoter Makinov never wants to put in the hard work to meet this challenge. Instead, he spins his wheels, makes half-hearted attempts at various subtexts, and is left with a wasted opportunity to do anything beyond The Birds but with kids.
We’ve got a few movie casting notes for you today. Here they are at a glance:
- Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) and Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone) will star in writer/director Mark Palansky’s Rememory, in which Dinklage assists O’Hara in using her late husband’s invention to solve the mystery around his sudden death.
- Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma) is in talks to join Steven Soderbergh’s Bitter Pill. The project centers on a married doctor who is drawn into the life of an increasingly troubled patient who self-medicates to dull the anxiety related to the impending release of her husband from prison.
- Bridget Moynahan (I, Robot) joins the semi-autobiographical familial drama, Small Time, drawn from 24 co-creator Joel Surnow’s personal history.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
We have a few quick casting stories to report this afternoon. First up, Deadline reports that great character actor David Morse has joined Marc Forster’s World War Z. Morse “will play a prisoner living in an abandoned jail.” Question: if the jail is abandoned, and the movie takes place in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, why is he still a prisoner? Is he taking shelter in the prison? We already know that the movie is going to differ greatly from the book so who knows what Forster and co. are up to. The film stars Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, Anthony Mackie, and Bryan Cranston. Morse co-stars on HBO’s Treme and will next be seen in the Disney family flick The Odd Life of Timothy Greene.
Hit the jump for casting news on Siren and Arthur Newman, Golf Pro.
Adam and Mark Kassen’s Puncture takes two inherently dramatic concepts and can’t find the drama in either. The story takes the standard underdog-lawyer-vs-evil-corporation yarn and puts a drug addict character in the lead. But these elements are rendered inert without sharp writing, smart direction, tight pacing, and captivating performances. The Kassens never find a way to find what’s cinematic and compelling about their promising narrative.
A new clip from the healthcare drama Puncture starring Chris Evans is now available online. Co-directed by brothers Adam and Mark Kassen, the film centers on Mike Weiss (Evans), a young Houston lawyer/drug-addict who takes on a case involving a young nurse (Vinessa Shaw) who is pricked by a contaminated needle on the job. As Weiss digs deeper into the case, he uncovers what looks to be a pharmaceutical conspiracy that may be above his pay grade.
Judging from this clip, I’d say Puncture is a functional drama that is undoubtedly being boosted by Evans’ Captain America fame. Hit the jump to watch the new clip. Click here to check out the film’s trailer. Also starring Brett Cullen and Michael Biehn, Puncture opens on September 23rd.
And you thought Matthew McConaughey was an unconventional lawyer in The Lincoln Lawyer! He was barely even shirtless in that movie, and when he was, there were no suspenders involved*. That’s how we’re introduced to Chris Evans’ character in the new trailer for Puncture: shirtless, tattooed, white pants, red tie, black suspenders. The rest of the clip dives into your typical legal thriller fare, punctuated by the thousandth use of “Lux Aeterna” in a trailer. But Evans is a charismatic guy, the kind of actor who makes a showcase of a character described as “a talented young Houston lawyer and a functioning drug addict.”
One source lists September 23 for the date of release, a quick turnaround that fits with the realization, “Hey, this movie stars Captain America!” Brothers Adam and Mark Kassen co-directed the feature; Kassen also co-stars alongside Vinessa Shaw and Brett Cullen. Hit the jump for the trailer, poster, and official synopsis.
Ted Danson (Bored to Death) and Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers) have joined the cast of Everybody Loves Whales. The film will tell the story of a reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) who try to save trapped gray whales under the arctic circle in 1988. The film will be directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You) and is based on Tom Rose’s nonfiction book Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World’s Greatest Non-Event.
THR reports that Danson will play “a win-at-all-costs oilman who has no interest in saving the mammals.” Meanwhile, Shaw will play a “White House staffer who wants the government to help the whales.” Kristen Bell and Tim Blake Nelson were also previously cast in the film which starts shooting this month in Alaska.
Chris Evans has signed on to star in the Kassen Brothers’ Puncture. According to Variety, the indie drama follows a brilliant, drug-addicted attorney who must come to terms with his own demons when he sues a healthcare giant.” The film is currently shooting in Houston and working from a script by Chris Lopata. Vinessa Shaw (Two Lovers), Mark Kassen, and Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider) will co-star.
Evans will next be seen in The Losers on April 23rd. He’s also set to star alongside Anna Faris in the romantic comedy What’s Your Number? Oh, and he’s reportedly in the running to play the lead in a mostly-unknown film called The First Avenger: Captain America. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the status of What’s Your Number?
[Update: JoBlo says that Evans has already finished filming on this picture]