First Trailer for Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Starring Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, and Josh Gad

by     Posted 11 days ago


Focus Features has released the teaser trailer for director Zach Braff’s comedic drama Wish I Was Here.  Braff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  I am in no way surprised that this trailer is set a song by The Shins (they provided two of the tracks on the Garden State soundtrack) and plays like a music video minus the musicians.  It’s a montage of clips from the movie, and based on the tone, it’s not going to change anyone’s mind about how much they want to see this flick.

Hit the jump to watch the Wish I Was Here trailer, and click here to read Adam’s review from Sundance.  The film also stars Kate Hudson, Joey King, Josh Gad, Pierce Gagnon, Ashley Greene, Jim Parsons, and Donald FaisonWish I Was Here opens in limited release on July 18th.

Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Set for July 18th; GOOSEBUMPS Will Spook Theaters on March 23, 2016

by     Posted 52 days ago


A couple of release dates have been announced.  First up, Zach Braff’s long-awaited Garden State follow-up Wish I Was Here will open in limited release this summer on July 18th, after which it will be expanding into 20 cities on July 25th and even more cities on August 1st.  Braff co-wrote, directed, and stars in the film as a struggling actor, father, and husband who is seeking purpose in life and trying to come to terms with the impending death of his father (Mandy Patinkin).  I caught the film at its Sundance debut and was rather disappointed.  While it’s quite funny and features some really solid and interesting moments, it also has a fair share of scenes that simply do not work and stop the film cold.  That said, Kate Hudson turns in her best performance since Almost Famous as Braff’s supportive wife.  Josh Gad, Ashley Greene, and Joey King also star.

Hit the jump for release date news and more info on the upcoming Goosebumps movie.

Sundance 2014: WISH I WAS HERE Review

by     Posted 91 days ago


It’s been ten long years since Zach Braff directed a feature film.  Those that fell hard for Garden State—myself included—looked forward to seeing another directorial effort from Braff, and now the time has finally come with Wish I Was Here.  Written by Braff and his brother Adam Braff, the story explores late-blooming maturity through the eyes of a struggling actor living in L.A. with his wife and two children.  Braff weaves in plenty of themes about loss, marriage, and parenthood throughout the film, but he throws so much into the pot that not all of it sticks.  The result is a disappointing mixed bag as some of the film hits just the right note while the rest of it falls completely flat.  Read my full review after the jump.

Zach Braff’s WISH I WAS HERE Added to Sundance 2014 Premieres Lineup [Updated with Images]

by     Posted 123 days ago


The 2014 Sundance Film Festival just recently announced its programming slate, but the fest adding another title to its Premieres lineup: Zach Braff’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to Garden State.  Braff’s new film, Wish I Was Here, revolves around a struggling actor, father, and husband who is struggling to find purpose in life and come to terms with the death of his father.  Braff co-wrote the film with his brother, Adam Braff, and he also stars in the pic alongside Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Josh Gad, Ashley Greene, and Joey King.  The pic drew considerable attention earlier this year because it was financed by a Kickstarter campaign, and its Sundance screening will mark Wish I Was Here’s world premiere.

Additionally, Sundance announced that the upcoming festival will play host to a 20th anniversary screening of Clerks, followed by a Q&A with writer/director Kevin Smith.  To catch up on all of our Sundance 2014 coverage thus far, including first-look images and synopses, click here. [Update: We've added a couple of images from Wish I Was Here after the jump.]


by     Posted 312 days ago


Although Walt Disney never got a chance to see his own version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz stories brought to the screen before his death in 1966, director Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful makes a valiant attempt at recreating Disney’s vision.  The big-budget, 3D reimagining of Baum’s collection of stories introduces small-time magician turned prophecy-fulfilling wizard, Oscar Diggs (James Franco) as he’s swept up into the magical world of Oz where must sort out the intentions of three very attractive witches (Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz).  Accompanied by a flying monkey and a china doll (voiced by Zach Braff and Joey King respectively), Diggs must discover the goodness within him if he’s to save the people of Oz from the tyranny of the wicked witch.

Now available on Blu-ray, Oz the Great and Powerful is a visually dazzling addition to the Oz films that acts as a prequel to 1939′s The Wizard of Oz.  While it comes nowhere near the caliber of that classic tale, this new imagining is a welcome journey back into the Emerald City and the unique lands that surround it.  Hit the jump for my Blu-ray review.

Zach Braff Launches Kickstarter for GARDEN STATE Follow-Up WISH I WAS HERE

by     Posted 361 days ago


When creator/writer Rob Thomas announced that he and his cast were going to raise the funds to make a Veronica Mars movie on Kickstarter, the response was decidedly mixed.  The experiment was an enormous success, with the total topping out at over $5 million, but some were uneasy about the fact that Warner Bros. was essentially making fans assume all the risk by funding a film that they would in turn distribute.  Many wondered what this meant for independent financing going forward, and now another major star is turning to the fundraising service to get his next film made: Zach Braff.

Though Braff hasn’t directed a feature film since 2004’s Garden State, he’s hoping to secure financing for his follow-up Wish I Was Here with an eye towards a Sundance 2014 debut.  Unlike Veronica Mars, though, Braff’s Kickstarter is 100% independent with no studio involved.  Hit the jump for much more. 


by     Posted 1 year, 42 days ago

collider-top-5-sliceI realize that it’s a little too March to be discussing my favorite holiday gifts, but I only recently had the opportunity to dive into one of mine and, as a result, I feel the need to share it’s greatness with our readers. The ESPN 30 for 30 Collector’s Set Blu-ray is an outstanding collection of sports documentaries that is rife with social commentary and almost sure to have something for sports and/or documentary fans alike. Before I get accused of paid programming, I’ll disclaim that all thirty of its films aren’t home runs (that’s right, a sports pun). Moreover, I’m fairly sure that all of the series’ entries are available to watch instantly on Netflix right now making the physical collection redundant for some. Regardless of how you partake, I encourage you to sift through the series, find a topic that interests you, and give it a shot.

All recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 features a healthy portion of Iron Man 3 coverage (including the new trailer), Oz the Great and Powerful interviews with Sam Raimi, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and more, the first trailer for The Hangover Part III, a sizable Justice League movie rumor, and the new trailer and poster for Will Smith and Jaden Smith‘s After Earth. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link for each of the above waits after the jump.

Zach Braff Talks OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, 3D, the Yellow Brick Road, and WISH I WAS HERE; Which He Plans to Direct This Year

by     Posted 1 year, 44 days ago


Opening this weekend is Disney and director Sam Raimi’s fantastic prequel to The Wizard of OzOz The Great and Powerful.  The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).  Loaded with incredible visuals, amazing 3D, and a beautiful world created by production designer Robert Stromberg (Alice in Wonderland, Avatar), Oz is the type of movie that definitely should be seen on a movie screen and it’s absolutely worth the extra charge to see it in 3D.  Oz The Great and Powerful also stars Zach Braff and Joey King.

Recently, I got to speak with Braff.  We talked about what it was like to walk on the yellow brick road for the first time, his reaction to the finished film, 3D, the unusual way he brought his character to life, and more.  In addition, Braff talked about his upcoming film, Wish I Was Here, which he wrote with his brother and plans to direct later this year.  Hit the jump to watch.


by     Posted 1 year, 44 days ago


We can find truth in deception.  We find the deeper truth beneath the artifice.  Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful makes no secrets of its deception, and shows how deception can be used for good or evil.  We just don’t call it deception when it’s used for good.  Then it’s an illusion, not a trick.* Oz creates a beautiful illusion that we can get lost in not because of the visual effects wizardry or the size of the canvas, but because of the honesty of the characters and Raimi staying true to his oddball style.

2 New Clips and 13 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from Sam Raimi’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

by     Posted 1 year, 51 days ago


Two new clips and 13 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage have been released from Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful.  The film centers on a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics (James Franco) who finds himself transported to Oz and drawn into a battle between the three witches Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams).  We previously saw a clip showcasing the conflict between Theodora and Evanora, as well as Oz and his cohorts “traveling by bubble”, which should be impressive on the big screen in 3D.  The new clips showcase the film’s attempt at comedy by showing Oz’s frustration with his traveling companions, Finley (voiced by Zach Braff) and China Girl (voiced by Joey King).

Hit the jump to check out the previously released clips and the new ones as well as the behind-the-scenes footage.  Also, click on the respective links for Steve’s set visit: 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam RaimiJames FrancoMichelle WilliamsZach Braff, and Joey KingOz the Great and Powerful opens March 8th.

First Featurette for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Goes Behind the Scenes of Sam Raimi’s Epic

by     Posted 1 year, 66 days ago


Disney has released the first featurette for director Sam Raimi’s Wizard of Oz prequel Oz the Great and Powerful.  It’s actually a fairly in-depth look behind the scenes of the film, as we’re treated to interviews with Raimi and many of the cast members including James Franco, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Zach Braff.  The focus is on how Raimi brought the world of Oz to life with the help of production designer Robert Stromberg and costume designer Gary Jones, and it’s clear that this was an absolutely massive production.  Jones and Raimi also provide insight into designing the iconic Wicked Witch, with Raimi noting that he wanted “a big, scary green witch,” instead of taking a more subtle approach to the character.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette.  If you missed any of Steve’s set visit coverage, check out 30 things to know about the film plus a video blog, and his interviews with Sam RaimiJames FrancoMichelle WilliamsZach Braff, and Joey King.  Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 3D on March 8th.


by     Posted 1 year, 77 days ago


Prior to last Sunday, Zero Dark Thirty was my favorite pic of 2012 by a considerable margin. However, after my matinee viewing of Silver Linings Playbook, that margin has been replaced with a draw. Whereas Zero provided me with a tension that left me on the verge of breathless at moments, Playbook‘s spectacular performances and head-on portrayal of mental illness and our ability to help each other cope/prevail proved not only hugely entertaining but also quite cathartic.

My 2012 movie scorecard aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our set visit coverage of Oz the Great and Powerful, Duncan Jones being tapped to helm the World of Warcraft movie, more visit coverage from the set of Jack the Giant Slayer, a slew of news from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and a Sundance 2013 wrap-up. A brief recap and link to each of the above is promised after the jump.

Zach Braff Talks Working on a Large-Scale Epic, Collaborating with Sam Raimi, 3D Technology, and More on the Set of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

by     Posted 1 year, 79 days ago


Just like Joey King, Zach Braff is playing two characters in Oz The Great and Powerful.  When the film opens in Kansas, Braff plays someone that works with James Franco in the circus.  But when the film gets to Oz, Braff plays a CGI monkey named Finley that helps Oz transform into who he’s meant to be.

When the production was filming in Michigan in late 2011, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters.  Even though Braff wasn’t filming that day, he came in to talk with us.  During our interview he talked about how he was cast, what it was like working on such a big production, collaborating with Sam Raimi, the challenge of voicing a character off set, working with 3D cameras, and so much more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to the interview.


by     Posted 1 year, 108 days ago


New TV spots have been released for Beautiful Creatures and Oz the Great and PowerfulBeautiful Creatures is a supernatural love story centering on Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert) a “caster” (a.k.a. a witch), her relationship with Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), and her dread at being chosen for good or evil.  This TV spot sells the love-angle, but I can’t help but being slightly intrigued by the supernatural element of the story.  As for Oz the Great and Powerful, the TV spots are about ringing in the New Year with Sam Raimi‘s Wizard of Oz prequel.

Hit the jump to check out the TV spots.  Beautiful Creatures opens February 13th.  Oz the Great and Powerful opens in 3D on March 8th.

New Trailer for Sam Raimi’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

by     Posted 1 year, 156 days ago


A new trailer for director Sam Raimi‘s Oz the Great and Powerful has been released.  Watching this trailer, I can’t help but be confused as to why three witches (Mila KunisRachel WeiszMichelle Williams) need the help of the Wizard (James Franco) simply because we’re going to the lame plot device of “the prophecy”.  Theadora comments that she doesn’t have a broom, but–and correct me if I’m wrong–a witch is a woman who can do magic.  So why does the entire kingdom of Oz depend on one guy showing up when there are three ladies who already have magical powers?  As for the look of the movie, I’m seeing lots of special effects but almost none of Raimi’s personality.  Billed as “From the Director of the Spider-Man  Trilogy” and “The Producer of Alice in Wonderland“, Oz looks like it’s more from the latter.

Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.  The film also stars Zach Braff, and Abigail Spencer.  Oz the Great and Powerful opens on March 8, 2013.

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