Irons and Miller Join HIGH-RISE; Sarsgaard and Ryder to Lead EXPERIMENTER; Galifianakis Has TULIP FEVER; Butler Set for DEN OF THIEVES

by     Posted 161 days ago

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We have a few casting stories for you this morning.  Briefly:

  • Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller will join Tom Hiddleston in Ben Wheatley‘s adaptation of J.G. Ballard‘s High-Rise.
  • Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder will lead the biopic Experimenter, The Stanley Milgram Story.
  • Zach Galifanakis has signed on to Justin Chadwick‘s period romance Tulip Fever.
  • Gerard Butler is set to star in the heist drama Den of Thieves.

Hit the jump for more details on these casting bits.

TOP 5: FROZEN, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Trailer Cut Like THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, HOMEFRONT, What to Watch Online, OLDBOY

by     Posted 326 days ago

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Last night I rewatched Man of Steel for the first time since catching it in theaters back in June. Previously, I wrote that the film had me emotionally invested in Supes in a way that only Grant Morrison‘s All-Star Superman had done before. While I’ve since been blown away by Alan Moore‘s For the Man Who Has Everything tale, my second Man of Steel viewing from yesterday corroborates my previous statement. I see the pic as being good, borderline great thanks in large part to the outstanding performances of Michael Shannon and Kevin Costner. The tragedy of Zod’s story was somewhat lost on me during my first screening (perhaps it was dulled by the impressive array of action set pieces). This time around, though, I felt the full brunt of it and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him for knowing no other purpose than to defend the people of Krypton at any cost. Also, the scene where he introduces himself to the citizens of Earth? Downright frightening. Regarding Pa Kent: although I loved every facet of Costner’s performance the first time I watched the film, I was surprised at how much his scenes still resonated with me on the repeat viewing. Kudos to Zack Snyder and Co. for limiting his screen time and, in doing so, making every single second with him in the frame mean that much more.

My Blu-ray pick of the week aside, this week’s Top 5 features Frozen interviews with Kristen Bell and more, an It’s a Wonderful Life trailer cut in the style of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, Homefront interviews with James Franco and more, the first installment in Allison’s new monthly list of recommended streaming, and Oldboy interviews with Spike Lee, Josh Brolin, and more. As tradition dictates, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Izabela Vidovic and Director Gary Fleder Talk HOMEFRONT, Stunts, Action, Kittens and More

by     Posted 332 days ago

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Opening November 27th, Homefront follows the classic Western paradigm of an ex-lawman who goes to live a quiet life in a small town only to discover he can’t escape his troubled past.  Jason Statham plays former DEA agent Phil Broker, a family man who moves off the grid with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) to a seemingly quiet bayou backwater until meth kingpin Gator Bodine (James Franco) puts them in harm’s way forcing Broker back into action.  Directed by Gary Fleder from a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone based on the book by Chuck Logan, the action thriller also stars Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder.

At the film’s recent press day, Statham, Franco, Ryder, Bosworth, Vidovic and Fleder talked about bringing depth and humanity to the characters, finding the right emotional tone, Bosworth’s physical transformation, Statham’s unusual role as a father protecting his daughter, handling the dangerous stunts and action sequences, how production designer Greg Berry and D.P. Theo Van de Sande created the film’s authentic look, shooting on location in rural southern Louisiana, and composer Mark Isham’s indigenous score that acknowledges the region.  Franco also revealed what he’s learned from teaching, how he balances it with his busy filmmaking career, and his decision to adopt the film’s kittens.  Hit the jump to read the interview. 

Winona Ryder Likely to Return for BEETLEJUICE 2

by     Posted 337 days ago

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The Beetlejuice sequel is officially happening, and it sounds like much of the band is getting back together.  Tim Burton initially commissioned a sequel by screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Dark Shadows) to see if there was a story worth telling, and it would appear that Burton sparked to the scribe’s take on a follow-up given that he recently entered talks to direct Beetlejuice 2 as his next project.  Michael Keaton is also onboard to reprise his role as the titular fast-talking ghoul, and now Winona Ryder has hinted that she’ll be in the film too.  Hit the jump to see what she had to say about the sequel, which takes place 27 years after the first film.

New Red-Band Trailer for HOMEFRONT Starring Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank Grillo

by     Posted 1 year, 4 days ago

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If you have doubts that James Franco can play an unhinged, meth-cooking, backwoods gangster named Gator, then this new red-band trailer for Homefront might just change your mind.  Written by Sylvester Stallone and directed by Gary Fleder, Homefront stars Jason Statham as a former DEA agent who moves to a quiet town with his daughter in order to start a new life, but winds up tangling with the local druglord and his band of thugs.  I hope Statham saves some energy to kick his realtor’s ass because this town is the worst ever.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Also starring Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, and Frank GrilloHomefront opens November 27th.

THE ICEMAN Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 33 days ago

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Writer-director Ariel Vromen’s dramatic adaptation of the life of notorious hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski is now available on Blu-ray.  The Iceman stars Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) in the title role: a loving and devoted family man on the surface, in actuality a brutal and sadistic serial murderer with mafia ties.  Adapted from Anthony Bruno’s book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, the film attempts to examine the duality of Kuklinski, but ultimately ends up being little more than a showcase for Shannon’s terrifying talent.

The Iceman also stars Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Stephen Dorff and James Franco.  The Blu-ray extras include the standard “making of” featurette and filmmaker interviews, but unfortunately do not include the oft-cited HBO documentary, The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman.  Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.

First Trailer for HOMEFRONT Starring Jason Statham and James Franco, Written by Sylvester Stallone

by     Posted 1 year, 40 days ago

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The first trailer for Jason Statham-starrer Homefront is now available and it clearly plays to the action man’s strengths, namely kicking ass, taking names and not saying all that much beyond the occasional one-liner.   Adapted by Sylvester Stallone from the Chuck Logan novel, Homefront centers on DEA agent Phil Broker (Statham) who moves his family to a quiet town that just happens to be Meth-Central, USA.  When his daughter runs afoul of a tweaker family’s kid, the meth’d-out mother (played by Kate Bosworth in a bit of a shocking turn) seeks retribution from the local drug lord, Gator (James Franco) and his gang.  While I don’t buy Franco as the threatening sort, I’d happily watch Statham punch through Gator’s army of thugs any day.

Be sure to check out the first images from Homefront here.  Also starring Winona Ryder, Rachelle Lafevre, Clancy Brown, Omar Benson Miller and Frank Grillo, Homefront opens November 27th.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

DRUNK HISTORY Review; The Funny or Die Sketch Makes Its Way to Comedy Central

by     Posted 1 year, 105 days ago

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Moving something that’s successful online to TV isn’t a translation that always works.  Remember $#*! My Dad Says?  Memes flare brightly and die a pretty swift death online, and by the time TV execs (or morning talk show hosts) get in on the joke, the revival is like parading a corpse.

But Drunk History is a little different, in part because its creator, Derek Waters, is just very lucky.  In 2007, he filmed a friend imbibing a bottle of scotch and recounting the 1804 duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.  The rest is, well, Drunk History.  The original segment aired in 2010 on Funny or Die, the Will Ferrell and Adam McKay-created website.  Having had the backing of both the public and some of the most successful current comedy minds, the real question is why it took so long for Comedy Central to run with the idea.  Hit the jump for more on the new series.

Winona Ryder Talks THE ICEMAN, Playing Someone in Denial, Her Most Difficult Role, Her Obsession with THE WIRE and THE BIG LEBOWSKI, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 172 days ago

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Director/co-writer Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman opens this weekend in limited release.  The drama is based on the book by Anthony Bruno that chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski (played by Michael Shannon), a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family.  The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track.  The film also stars Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Robert Davi, and Danny Abeckaser.  For more on The Iceman, watch the trailer.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Winona Ryder.  We talked about making The Iceman, the way she prepares for a role, her most challenging role, if she still has to audition, her obsession with The Wire and The Big Lebowski, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say.

New Trailer for THE ICEMAN Starring Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, and Ray Liotta

by     Posted 1 year, 280 days ago

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A new trailer for the thriller The Iceman has landed online.  The film stars Michael Shannon and chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski, a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track.  This trailer makes the film feel a bit more dramatic than the action-oriented first trailer, but it looks like it might reveal a tad too much of the film’s plot.  Matt caught the film at the Toronto Film Festival and was not impressed by director/co-writer Ariel Vromen’s shallow take on Kuklinski, saying the pic is “about a hitman and nothing else.”

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, and James FrancoThe Iceman opens on May 3rd.

TOP 5: A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Trailer, TAKEN 2, SKYFALL, FRANKENWEENIE, GOLDENEYE 007 and Other Video Games That Should Get HD Remakes

by     Posted 2 years, 15 days ago

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If you’ve followed the Top 5 for any amount of time you’ve probably already deduced that I like to use the opening paragraph in an anecdotal fashion. Whether I’m spinning a recap of my latest pop-culture excursions or using the latest wedding I’m attending as a gateway for complaining about the pop-culture excursions I’d rather be partaking of, I try and keep this space at least loosely based around entertainment. That said, this week is no different as I finally had the chance to sit down with writer/director David Ayer‘s End of Watch last night. I won’t do the film the disservice of reviewing it in two sentences, but I will say that I found Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña‘s chemistry to be excellent and the action to be consistently suspenseful/captivating. Is the script’s attempt to tie nearly every encounter the partner’s undertake into an interconnected climax a little bit of a stretch? I think so. Nevertheless, End of Watch is still a cop drama that pushes almost all of the right buttons.

But enough of my reviews in 100 words or less, in this week’s trek down memory lane is the first official image and trailer for A Good Day to Die Hard, Taken 2 interviews with Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and more, a recap of all our James Bond / Skyfall coverage from the past week, Frankenweenie interviews with Tim Burton, Winona Ryder and more, and finally a look at some classic video games that we feel deserve an HD remake.

Winona Ryder Talks FRANKENWEENIE, Reuniting with Tim Burton, and Why She Likes Dark Films and Characters

by     Posted 2 years, 17 days ago

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Frankenweenie, from director Tim Burton and screenwriter John August, is a charming, macabre and heartwarming tale, about Victor (voiced by Charlie Tahan), a young boy who, after unexpectedly losing his beloved dog Sparky, harnesses the power of science to bring his best friend back to life, but quickly faces unintended and sometimes monstrous consequences for his actions.  The voice cast also includes Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder and Atticus Shaffer.

At the film’s press junket, actress Winona Ryder talked about what it was like to reunite with Tim Burton again (it’s been 22 years since Edward Scissorhands), how she found the experience of doing voice-over work, the messages that she connected to in the story, her impressions from the first time she worked with Burton on Beetlejuice, and why she’s always gravitated towards dark films and characters.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

FRANKENWEENIE Releases Two New Clips and a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

by     Posted 2 years, 32 days ago

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Director Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie is set to open in theaters on October 5th, but we have some previews to share with you today.  Two new clips have gone online for Disney’s stop-motion animated film that was based on Burton’s original idea and 1984 short film.  One of today’s clips shows young Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) in the process of resurrecting his deceased pet dog, Sparky (Frank Welker).  The second clip reveals that Victor’s secret is out, when classmate Edgar (Atticus Shaffer) pops by to share in Victor’s success.  The behind-the-scenes featurette is a bit spoilery and spotlights a good amount of plot points, but it does show some interesting puppetry work behind the camera.  Hit the jump to check it all out.

Bravo Developing HEATHERS TV Series

by     Posted 2 years, 39 days ago

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Heather, my love, there’s a new TV show in town. Not wishing to be left behind in the scripted TV game, Bravo is adding a bevy of new, original programming to its development slate, including a kind of reboot / sequel to the 1988 dark comedy cult hit Heathers, which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as two teenagers who rebel against the reign of the Heathers (Shannen DohertyKim Walker and Lisanne Falk) in their high school.

The series was envisioned by Jenny Bicks (The Big C), who wants to update the story by setting it 20 years after the first film, where Veronica (Ryder) returns to Sherwood with her daughter who herself must go up against the reigning high school clique – except this time instead of the Heathers it will be the Ashleys (who are actually the daughters of the surviving Heathers).  For more on angel dust, switchblades, and sexually perverse photography (i.e. the project), hit the jump.

Take a 360-Degree Virtual Tour of Tim Burton’s FRANKENWEENIE Set and Get a Glimpse of the Movie’s Characters and Creatures

by     Posted 2 years, 41 days ago

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Have you ever wanted to set foot on a movie set without having to deal with all the pesky credentials like education, experience and talent? Well, you’re in luck, because Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie has all new interactive tours that give you a 360-degree view of a working set.  The virtual tours are guided by some of the production’s creative team who are kind enough to explain the process of animating a stop-motion film.  If you look closely, you’ll even notice some new characters and creatures in the film that haven’t been revealed before.

Writer/director Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, featuring the voices of Charlie Tahan, Winona Rider, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Christopher Lee and Catherine O’Hara, opens October 5th.  Hit the jump to take the tour!

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