A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted One week ago

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[This is a re-post of my A Most Wanted Man review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  The film opens in limited release this weekend.]

The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process.  This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, A Most Wanted Man still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

Watch: Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe Discuss the Struggles of Making THE LIFE AQUATIC in Criterion Clip

by     Posted 72 days ago

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Filmmaker Wes Anderson’s 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou gets the Criterion Collection Blu-ray treatment next week, and in anticipation of the release, an online-exclusive clip called “Bittersweet Remembrances” has been released online.  The extra is a retrospective piece likely filmed during the Grand Budapest Hotel press tour that has Anderson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, and Willem Dafoe reflecting on the struggles involved with making the ambitious picture.  If seeing the team candidly discuss the making of the film wasn’t enough, Anderson and Goldblum also spend a good deal of the clip debating the correct pronunciation of the word “wont”.  Though not as polished as some of Anderson’s other films, The Life Aquatic has its charms and I’m eager to revisit the pic in pristine HD thanks to Criterion’s new release.

Hit the jump to watch the Life Aquatic clip.  The Criterion Collection Blu-ray will be released on May 27th.

Watch Almost 20 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 89 days ago

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With director Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars arriving in theaters June 6th, we’ve been provided with almost twenty minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.  The adaptation of the John Green novel centers on the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  The Fault in Our Stars also stars Willem DafoeNat WolffLaura DernSam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey.  For more on the film, watch the extended trailer.

I attended the first screening for fans last night in New York City and I can honestly say it was an powerful experience.  Not only did I share in the many tears that flowed from the entire audience, but I started to understand why so many people are in love with the book and the characters.  Unlike a sappy, saccharine portrait of “cancer love”, the movie is a realistic portrayal of young romance between two people with a unique outlook on life.  It’s a great film with fantastic performances, and if the fan reaction last night is any indication, it’s going to be a big hit at the box office.  Hit the jump to check out the behind-the-scenes footage.

New Trailer for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Featuring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 95 days ago

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Fox 2000 has released a new The Fault in Our Stars trailer for director Josh Boone’s (Stuck in Love) adaptation of the bestselling John Green novel of the same name.  The story revolves around the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  This longer trailer provides a better look at the central relationship from the film, and it’s further proof that Boone and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer) have absolutely nailed the sharply comedic tone of Green’s novel.  Woodley still looks like she’s knocked this role out of the park, and I’m definitely encouraged by her chemistry with Elgort.  Also, this trailer confirms that I’m gonna have to work hard not to cry throughout the entire movie.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Fault in Our Stars trailer.  The film also stars Willem DafoeNat WolffLaura DernSam TrammellMike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey.  The Fault in Our Stars opens June 6th.

New Trailer for Anton Corbijn’s A MOST WANTED MAN Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman

by     Posted 112 days ago

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The first official trailer for director Anton Corbijn’s (The American) dramatic spy thriller A Most Wanted Man has been released.  Based on the John le Carre (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) novel of the same name, the film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles as a German intelligence operative working to track down terrorists abroad.  I caught the film at Sundance a few months ago and, essentially, it’s exactly what you think an Anton Corbijn adaptation of a John le Carre novel would be.  It’s certainly a slow burn, but it’s sharp and engrossing, offering a unique, global perspective on the post-9/11 world.  Hoffman is, unsurprisingly, brilliant in the lead role as the focused yet jaded operative trying to navigate the no-win world of terrorist hunting, and just watching this trailer makes me enormously sad that he’s no longer around to grace us with his irreplaceable talent.

Hit the jump to watch the A Most Wanted Man trailer, and click here to read my full review.  The film also stars Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, and Grigoriy DobryginA Most Wanted Man opens in theaters on July 25th.

New Trailer for NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME II Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jamie Bell, and Shia LaBeouf

by     Posted 136 days ago

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A new trailer for the second half of director Lars von Trier’s sexual epic Nymphomaniac has arrived.  Nymphomaniac: Volume II continues the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) as she recounts her life to an old bachelor (Stellan Skarsgard), this time focusing on her adulthood.  This trailer is certainly aggressive and quite weird, showcasing the further sexual exploits of Joe and giving us further looks at the characters played by Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, and Shia LaBeoufVolume I was only just made available VOD earlier this month, but Volume II hits the market in just a couple of days.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and click here to read Matt’s review of Volume I.  The film also stars Stacy Martin, Mia Goth, and Jean-Marc BarrNymphomaniac: Volume II will be available VOD on March 20th and opens in theaters on April 4th.

Willem Dafoe and Jeff Goldblum Talk THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, the Wes Anderson Experience, Preparing for the Role, and More

by     Posted 147 days ago

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I love everything about Wes Anderson movies.  From the way he creates unique worlds to the unusual characters that occupy the screen, Anderson is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker that always makes something special.  His newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and it continues his streak of making exceptional films.  The story mostly takes place in early 20th-century and revolves around the goings-on at a famous European hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori) against the backdrop of a changing continent.  The film also stars Saoirse RonanBill MurrayF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson.  For more on the film, watch 13 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage and here’s all our previous coverage.

The day after the world premiere, I participated in a great roundtable interview with Willem Dafoe and Jeff Goldblum  in Berlin.  They talked about the Wes Anderson experience, preparing for their roles, Dafoe’s look in the film, if the way they prepare for a role has changed over the years, their reaction to the finished film, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what they had to say. The Grand Budapest Hotel is now playing in limited release.

Exclusive Clip from Stephen Sommers’ ODD THOMAS Starring Anton Yelchin

by     Posted 162 days ago

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It’s our pleasure to bring you an exclusive look at writer-director Stephen Sommers’ Odd Thomas.  This clip features star Anton Yelchin as the title character, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities, who runs into quite the supernatural surprise by way of a faceless horde.  There are sure to be plenty more spooky moments in store for audiences who check out the rest of the feature adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel.

Also starring Addison Timlin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nico Tortorella, Patton Oswalt, and Willem Dafoe, Odd Thomas is now available on VOD and opens in theaters February 28th.  Hit the jump to watch our exclusive clip.

New U.S. Trailer for Lars von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I

by     Posted 169 days ago

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As a special Valentine’s Day treat (?), Magnolia Pictures has released the official U.S. theatrical trailer for director Lars von Trier’s new film Nymphomaniac: Volume I.  The two-part epic tells the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac who recounts her numerous sexual encounters to an old bachelor when he discovers her badley beaten in an alley.  Volume I looks to mainly take place in flashback, as the young Joe (Stacy Martin) begins her adventurous journey.  This trailer is devoid of any NSFW material from von Trier’s graphically explicit film, but there is quite a bit of Shia LaBeouf.  The tone is certainly aggressive, and it’ll be interesting to see how von Trier’s epic stands up as two separate films.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Jamie Bell, Uma ThurmanStacy MartinConnie NielsenChristian SlaterWillem DafoeMia GothNicolas BroSophie Kennedy ClarkJens Albinus, and Udo KierNymphomaniac: Volume I will be available VOD on March 6th followed by a theatrical release on March 21st, while Nymphomaniac: Volume II hits VOD on April 3rd and theaters on April 18th.

First Trailer and Images for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

by     Posted 184 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for The Fault in Our StarsJosh Boone (Stuck in Love) directed the adaptation of the John Green novel about the relationship between two teenagers (Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  As a big fan of the book I’ve been looking forward to this movie for some time, and I’m incredibly encouraged by this trailer.  I can easily see Woodley knocking this role out of the park, and her chemistry with Elgort seems spot on as the central romantic duo.  Green’s novel is not a sappy, saccharine portrait of “cancer love”; it’s a realistic and sharp portrayal of a relationship between two young adults with a unique outlook on life.  Judging by this first trailer, the movie absolutely nails that tone.

Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Mike Birbiglia, and Emily Peachey also star.  The Fault in Our Stars opens June 6th.  Watch the trailer after the break. [Update: We've also added a handful of first-look images from the film after the jump.]

New Trailer for Lars von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC: PART TWO Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Shia LaBeouf

by     Posted 184 days ago

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A new trailer for Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac: Part Two has been released.  Unlike the NSFW trailer for Part One and Part Two, there’s no sex or nudity in this one, but there is plenty of weirdness.  That’s part and parcel of a Lars von Trier movie, and in addition to some bondage, painting over mirrors, and orgasmic visions, there’s also setting cars ablaze set to The Talking Heads‘ “Burning Down the House”.  The trailer also features Shia LaBeouf, who would like to remind you that he’s not famous anymore.

Hit the jump to check out.  The film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, Connie Nielsen, Christian Slater, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, Nicolas Bro, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Jens Albinus, and Udo KierNymphomaniac: Part One  will be available on VOD on March 6th and in theaters on March 21st;  Nymphomaniac: Part Two will be released on VOD on April 3rd and in theaters on April 18th.

Sundance 2014: A MOST WANTED MAN Review

by     Posted 194 days ago

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The spy thriller genre—like all genres—has its fair share of tropes and clichés.  The best entries are ones that take the foundation of the genre and expand upon it or put a new spin on the material.  Director Anton Corbijn’s latest film, A Most Wanted Man, is a solid and sharply smart entry into the spy genre that manages to explore dark characters and difficult topics while foregoing the typical action-heavy formula, sidestepping audience expectations in the process.  This is not a film that takes shortcuts just to make its audience happy, and though the final results may not delve as deep into some of its themes as one would expect, it still manages to be an involving, tense, and slow-burn thriller.  Read my full review after the jump.

19 New Images from Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Starring Ralph Fiennes, Saoirse Ronan, and Tony Revolori

by     Posted 200 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released nineteen new images from Wes Anderson‘s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The story takes place in early 20th-century Hungary, and revolves around the goings-on at the titular hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori).  The film will sport a gigantic cast of characters, multiple aspect ratios, and as you can see from these images, a gorgeous color palette.  Anderson’s films are always visually pleasing, but the colors here look like they’re ready to pop off the screen.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Saoirse RonanF. Murray AbrahamEdward NortonMathieu AmalricAdrien BrodyWillem DafoeLea SeydouxJeff GoldblumJason SchwarztmanJude LawTilda SwintonHarvey KeitelTom WilkinsonBill Murray, and Owen Wilson.  The Grand Budapest Hotel will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February and open in the U.S. on March 7th.

First Trailer for A MOST WANTED MAN Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Brühl, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe

by     Posted 211 days ago

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Although it doesn’t have a U.S. release date just yet, director Anton Corbijn’s thriller A Most Wanted Man will be premiering at Sundance in just a couple of weeks.  In order to drum up some interest, a new international trailer for the film is making its rounds online today.  The film, adapted from the John le Carré novel, centers on a bizarre love triangle among a half-starved Russian man secreted into Hamburg, an idealistic German civil rights lawyer, and a sixty-year-old man who is inheriting a failing British bank.  All of that hodgepodge aside, this trailer plays up the thriller aspect of the novel as it centers on the German intelligence operation tasked with infiltrating suspected terrorist cells, an objective that leads the operatives to cross paths with the aforementioned trio.

A Most Wanted Man stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Brühl, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and Willem Dafoe.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

New Images and NSFW Character Portraits for Lars von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC

by     Posted 214 days ago

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Sex sells, so perhaps it’s only natural that there’s been a ton of marketing for Lars von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac.  There have been monthly clips, a ridiculously NSFW trailer, character posters, and today we have a bunch of new images along with some more NSFW material.  It’s not as NSFW as the semen-dribbling trailer, but the collection of portraits does contain some topless photos of some of the movie’s characters.  We don’t know much about these characters since our knowledge of the plot extends to Charlotte Gainsbourg starring as Joe, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac, who recounts her life story to Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard), an old, charming bachelor who finds Joe beaten up in an alley.  I’m sure we’ll probably learn about about these topless ladies in between all the banging.

Hit the jump to check out the images and portraits.  The film also stars Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, Connie Nielsen, Christian Slater, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, Nicolas Bro, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Jens Albinus, and Udo KierNymphomaniac: Part One  will be available on VOD on March 6th and in theaters on March 21st;  Nymphomaniac: Part Two will be released on VOD on April 3rd and in theaters on April 18th. [Update: We have removed the character portraits at the request of the studio]

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