by Rob Vaux Posted: February 14th, 2013 at 6:06 am
I was with Killer Joe right up until the very end. For the first 95%, it held me tight in its grip: another brilliant collaboration between playwright Tracy Letts and director William Friedkin. The former brings the juicy hard-boiled dialogue, while the latter makes the story feel cinematic rather than canned theater. It’s a wild ride from the get-go… which makes its badly misplayed finale all the more disappointing. Hit the jump for my full review.
Nicolas Cage is set to star in the action thriller I Am Wrath for Emmett/Furla Films. Deadline reports that Cage will reteam with the company after previously working together on the serial killer thriller The Frozen Ground with John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens. I Am Wrath centers on a man who turns vigilante after he uncovers a thick plot of police corruption following the murder of his wife. He sets out to serve justice on his own and “destroy those who abuse their power.” It’s a premise in which Cage could really be set loose, and making things even sweeter is the fact that The French Connection and The Exorcist helmer William Friedkin is circling the director’s chair.
Production is scheduled to get underway in February with a script by Paul Sloan, so Friedkin will have to make a final decision soon. He most recently directed the polarizing drama Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey, which ruffled quite a few feathers with its NC-17 rating. Cage recently signed on to star in David Gordon Green’s (Pineapple Express) southern drama Joe.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director William Friedkin‘s controversial thriller Killer Joe. Based on the play by Tracey Letts, the NC-17-rated film centers on a son (Emile Hirsch) and his father (Thomas Haden Church) who hire a cop moonlighting as a hitman (Matthew McConaughey) to murder their mother in order to get her insurance policy. The film also stars Juno Temple as Hirsch’s sister and Gina Gershon. Loaded with great performances and an insane third act, Killer Joe is definitely worth checking out. For more on the film, here’s the trailer, a clip, and my interview with Hirsch.
The other day I sat down with Friedkin here in Los Angeles. During the extended interview we talked about making Killer Joe and its intense third act, his favorite movies, film versus digital, how filmmaking has changed over the past decade, deleted scenes, casting Killer Joe, his upcoming memoir, Connections, and a lot more. Hit the jump for more.
Opening this weekend, in limited release, is director William Friedkin‘s controversial thriller Killer Joe based on the play by Tracey Letts. The NC-17-rated film centers on a son (Emile Hirsch) and his father (Thomas Haden Church) who hire a cop moonlighting as a hitman (Matthew McConaughey) to murder their mother in order to get her insurance policy. The film also stars Juno Temple as Hirsch’s sister and Gina Gershon. Loaded with great performances and an insane third act, Killer Joe is definitely worth checking out. For more on the film, here’s the trailer and a clip.
The other day I sat down with Emile Hirsch here in Los Angeles. We talked about how he got involved in Killer Joe and his initial reaction to the script, favorite movies, how he prepares for a role, and he talks about director David Gordon Green‘s comedy remake Prince Avalanche, which he filmed completely under the radar in Austin without word getting out. He says “it’s based on an Icelandic movie called Either Way and it’s going to be, I think, awesome. It’s a story about these two guys who work on the road crews in Texas after these horrible fires. It’s just a small movie about these two guys, but it’s going to be really interesting.” Hit the jump for more.
The trailer for William Friedkin‘s Killer Joe has gone online. The NC-17-rated film centers on a son (Emile Hirsch) and his father (Thomas Haden Church) who hire a cop moonlighting as a hitman (Matthew McConaughey) to murder their mother in order to get her insurance policy. I caught Killer Joe last year at TIFF, and with the exception of McConaughey’s performance, the flick is pretty terrible. However, the absolutely bonkers ending almost makes the film worth your time.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Juno Temple and Gina Gershon. Killer Joe opens July 27th.
Many were surprised, yet pleased, when Demian Bichir’s named appeared among last year’s Oscar nominees for Best Actor. He’s been doing great work for years, but he was singled out for his fantastic performance in the drama A Better Life. As one can surmise, an Oscar nomination leads to plenty film offers, and now it appears that Bichir has settled on a duo of projects to shoot in the near future: Robert Rodriguez’s sequel Machete Kills and William Friedkin’s thriller Trapped. Furthermore, Bichir was apparently very much in the mix for the villain role in the Star Trek sequel that eventually went to Benedict Cumberbatch. Hit the jump for more.
by Phil Brown Posted: September 13th, 2011 at 1:26 pm
If William Friedkin had retired in 1973, he’d still be remembered today for creating two of the most successful and influential films of that revered film decade with The French Connection and The Exorcist. Yet, while he may never have reached those incredible heights of success again (and really, most filmmakers are lucky to even do it once), the man can be counted on for expertly crafted thrillers like Sorcerer or To Live And Die In LA. In recent years, Friedkin has dedicated his talents to an unexpected late career shift as an opera director. Though his filmmaking focus is always entertainment, it’s very much for an adult audience and not necessarily Hollywood’s current demographic of choice. Fortunately, that hasn’t mean that the director is entirely absent from filmmaking these days.
Friedkin has made two films in the last five years that are intense and insane colorations with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts. Together they adapted Letts’ gripping insect infestation/paranoid delusion play Bug in 2006 and this year they have returned with Killer Joe. The film premiered at The Toronto Film Festival and is a Southern Gothic comic thriller about blackmail, murder, and fried chicken forced entry starring Emile Hirsch, Thomas Haden Church, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, and a psychotic Matthew McConaughey. Though not for the squeamish, this tale of insurance fraud and infidelity is one of the most batshit insane and pleasant surprises of the festival. Collider got the chance to chat with the legendary director about his latest film and dig out a few thoughts on his long career. Hit the jump for all the details.
You have to respect a film that goes completely bonkers. It doesn’t mean the movie becomes good, or every shortcoming is instantly forgiven. But if a movie’s going to fail, then you hope that it fails in a spectacular fashion. The true fiascos aren’t just train wrecks. They’re train wrecks that were hit by an atomic bomb. Up until the last twenty minutes, William Freidkin’s Killer Joe looks like it will just be a disappointing movie. It’s not tightly twisted enough to be an effective crime film, and it’s not funny enough to be a dark comedy, and the only saving grace is Matthew McConaughey’s performance. But then the train goes off the tracks, the warhead comes crashing down, and you have to tip your glass to the madness.
Thomas Haden Church has joined Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch in William Friedkin’s dark comedy Killer Joe. As we previously reported, the film “centers on a brother (Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper, a cop and contract killer (McConaughey) to do the deed.” Variety doesn’t mention what role Church will play in the film.
Church was most recently seen in the comedy Easy A. After he shoots Killer Joe, Church will move on to the Cameron Crowe flick We Bought a Zoo starring Matt Damon (and possibly Amy Adams).
Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch have signed on to star in William Friedkin’s black comedy Killer Joe. According to THR, the story “centers on a brother (Hirsch) and sister combo who plot the death of their mother for the insurance money and hire “Killer Joe” Cooper, a cop and contract killer (McConaughey) to do the deed.” I will only like this movie if, after accepting the contract, Killer Joe says, “Alright, alright…”
Filming is set to begin in November in New Orleans. It will be Friekin’s first feature film since 2006′s Bug. McConaughey will next be seen in the legal thriller The Lincoln Lawyer and he recently signed on to the drama The Headhunter’s Calling. Hirsch recently wrapped filming on the 3D sci-fi thriller The Darkest Hour.
William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. is a classic of the 1980′s that has slipped under the radar, and was part of William Friedkin’s down period, where he no longer had the respect or honor that came from the Oscar winning French Connection or the mega-hit The Exorcist. And yet his films after those two are much more interesting and colorful, but the flop of Sorcerer and controversy of Cruising seemed to taint the director, and his best film was able to seem like a plea to be paid attention to again. William Peterson stars with Willem Dafoe in one of the best cop movies ever made. My review of To Live and Die in L.A. on Blu-ray after the jump.
Going back to the old masters, going back to the classics is always illuminating. Someone like Alfred Hitchcock knew how to frame a film. He knew where he was putting his camera, and why it was there. As in North by Northwest he achieved one of the great visual representations of sex. Cary Grant lifts Eva Marie Saint up to bed, and then a train enters a tunnel. Not exactly subtle, but undeniably brilliant. My review after the jump.