September 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Cinema of the United States

6 WAYS TO DIE – starring VINNIE JONES & VIVICA A. FOX / out JULY 31ST

Sonny “Sundown” Garcia is the top cocaine distributor in the United States, which has made him a very rich and powerful man. It has also made him plenty of enemies.
John Doe is just such a man. A nameless man of mystery, John lives to see Sundown not just dead, but to suffer six meaningful losses before his death—his fortune, his freedom, his love, his reputation, his most valuable possession and, finally, his life. John hires six hit-men, each one assigned to inflict one of the six meaningful losses upon Sundown.
Starring: Vinnie Jones (X-Men: The Last Stand, Swordfish), Dominique Swain (Face/Off, Lolita), Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill, Independence Day), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down) & Bai Ling (The Crow, Anna and the King)

INSIDE OUT- New Film Clip

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

Notes:
· Director Pete Docter is the Academy Award®-winning director of “Up.” He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar‘s smash hit “Monsters, Inc.,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film. Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar‘s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.” As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered an Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning “WALL•E.”
· Jonas Rivera produced the Academy Award®-winning “Up,” for which he was nominated for best picture. Prior to “Up,” he had worked on nearly every Pixar film since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, beginning with “Toy Story” for which he served as production office assistant. His subsequent credits include “A Bug’s Life” (as art department coordinator), “Toy Story 2” (as […]

Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” gets a compelling Trailer

It’s been a pretty good week for Trailers, I must say that. We’ve already gotten looks at a number of potential Academy Award players, including Everest and The Walk, but now Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks throw their hat into the ring with Bridge of Spies. This dramatic Cold War thriller, which got a Poster just yesterday, is considered by many to be the Oscar frontrunner in a number of categories, including Best Picture. As such, this was looked at with much anticipation, to say the least. You’ll be able to see the Trailer below, but take it from me…this looks like a contender to reckon with folks.
The story here has an American attorney (Hanks) being recruited by the CIA during the height of the Cold War to help rescue a downed pilot detained in the Soviet Union, while also negotiating the swap of a Soviet prison held by the United States. Hanks leads the charge, with Alan Alda, Domenick Lombardozzi, Billy Magnussen, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, and Austin Stowell also in the cast. Spielberg obviously directs, with Matt Charman having written the script that was then polished up by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (yes, the Coen Brothers along with Hanks and Spielberg). Janusz Kaminski is the cinematographer here and Thomas Newman composes the score, making for a truly A-list crop of talent involved in this one.
From the Trailer, it appears that Spielberg is working well within his comfort zone, albeit with a superb master’s touch. Hanks looks great, while the thriller nature of it will surely be a box office draw. They may not be reinventing the wheel here, but it appears to be smart adult cinema that will more than satisfy in the fall. There’s no doubt that this is poised to be something pitched directly at members of the Academy. You can’t possibly know if voters will respond just yet, but there’s no reason to amend any predictions after this first look. Everything suggests an Oscar contender from the word go.
Awards wise, the possibilities are basically limitless here. Best Picture obviously comes to mind, including pseudo frontrunner status, but that’s not all. There’s also Best Director (for Spielberg), Best Actor (for Hanks) Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (for Ryan), Best Supporting Actor (for Alda, Magnussen, or Rylance), Best Original Screenplay (for Charman and the Coens), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, […]

“Jurassic World”: Ten Movies to see in June

Ahoy! As always, I like to take a look at the month in advance to see what cinematic offerings are coming our way. This time out, it’s the June releases that I’m going to be prepping you for, and as an added bonus, I’ve seen a fair number of them already. In fact, if you include one that I’m seeing this coming Monday, there are only two or three that I’ve yet to lay eyes on at this point. That hopefully lends a little bit of extra credence to my picks, though clearly your mileage may ultimately vary. Regardless, June is shaping up to be a very solid month for film, so you’ll undoubtedly have multiple things to see starting next week. Take a look below and obviously stay tuned fore more on many of them…
Here now are the ten best bets for movies in June:
10. Entourage – The HBO show gets a big screen version for all of us who enjoyed the look at Hollywood while it was on the air. I don’t think anyone is expecting this to win over those who didn’t like it while it was running, but fans of the show should enjoy this one for what it is. Doug Ellin is still at the helm and the entire cast is back, so even if this is just a thinly veiled tribute to Mark Wahlberg, it should still be fun.
9. Infinitely Polar Bear – Mark Ruffalo plays a man with bipolar disorder in this Sundance Film Festival alum. I missed my initial screening, but I’ve heard very good things about his performance. For those of you who want some effective blockbuster season counter-programming, this could definitely be an option to consider. Ruffalo alone should sell some of you.
8. Spy – I just saw this action comedy and found it to be really enjoyable. It’s not filmmaker Paul Feig’s best (that would be Bridesmaids), but it’s a surprisingly effective mix of action and comedy. In fact, there might even be more of the former than needed, but Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, and Jason Statham are having a blast. I have a hunch that you will too, if you wind up checking it out.
7. Ted 2 – One of the most anticipated sequels if the year is the follow up to a surprising comedy smash. Co-writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane (along with another Wahlberg entry on this list) is […]

“San Andreas” continues to showcase Dwayne Johnson as a top tier action hero

We have more of almost everything at the movies these days, with one glaring exception: we don’t have nearly as many action heroes as we used to. Sure, there are plenty of action films opening with stars or up and comers in leading roles, saving the day, but very few true “action heroes”. One notable modern exception is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a certified A-list star of the action genre. He’s come a long way from just being The Rock, either in wrestling or his first on screen roles, but even removed from that, he’s a charismatic screen presence that holds the action hero title these days with aplomb. This week, he further cements his status with the disaster movie San Andreas.
In San Andreas, we get west coast spin on the disaster movie, leaving New York City alone for a moment to focus in on California. The film follows Johnson as a helicopter rescue pilot who tries to save his soon to be ex-wife and daughter in Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively as the Golden State sees the San Andreas fault crack open in literally Earth shaking quakes. He then goes on a mission to save his family, as you’d expect. Johnson stars, with Carla Gugino as his wife and Alexandra Daddario as his daughter. The cast also includes Paul Giamatti, Ioan Gruffudd, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Archie Panjabi, Kylie Minogue, Todd Williams, and Will Yun Lee. The director here is Brad Peyton, while the screenwriting team consists of Carlton Cuse, Andre Fabrizio, and Jeremy Passmore.
The special effects are the star of this one, but Johnson gives them a run for their money, demonstrating the screen presence and charisma that has made him the star that he now is in Hollywood. Those qualities made him the top pro wrestler of his generation, so it’s no surprise that he’s a ready made action hero. Initially, he coasted by on those qualities, but now he’s developed some acting chops to boot. He’s no Oscar nominee in the making (though anything is possible), but San Andreas represents one of his best performances to date, outside of Snitch and perhaps Pain and Gain as well. He’s a movie star through and through.
What makes Johnson not only one of the few action heroes we have, but one of the best, is how well he compliments whatever is happening on the screen. Be it car […]

Cameron Crowe returns to the big screen with “Aloha”

One of my favorite filmmakers out there is Cameron Crowe, bar none. He’s responsible for some of the most enjoyable and memorable cinema of the past few decades, so whenever a new film of his arrives, it’s something that I look forward to in a big way. As such, this week’s release of Aloha is one that’s been on my movie calendar for a while now. The director is returning to a project that he’d originally intended to be his follow up to Elizabethtown (a film that I unabashedly love, even if I’m in the minority), so it’s clear it means something to him. When I see it later tonight (we’re embargoed on discussing it until later in the week, by the by), hopefully that passion is reflected.
The film (once called Deep Tiki and rumored to star Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon before being shelved for a while and re-emerging from Crowe’s mind as Aloha) is a Hawaii set romantic dramedy, sure to be filled with memorable music. It centers around a military contractor (played by Bradley Cooper) who returns to the Hawaiian location of one of his greatest career triumphs. While there, he re-connects with a long-ago love (played by Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling in love with the Air Force watchdog (played by Emma Stone) who is assigned to him be with him at all times. Crowe obviously writes and directs, while the cast, aside from Cooper, McAdams, and Stone, features Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Elizabeth Marvel, and many more.
Throughout Crowe’s career, he’s had a great sense of music, relationships, and just filmmaking on the whole that makes you want to stand up and cheer. If any of that is once again in evidence here, it’ll make for a very entertaining film. Even if this is one of his lesser features, like the still enjoyable We Bought a Zoo, for example, it’ll still be something likely worth seeing. Factor in how great of a run Cooper is on of late, and that only makes this something more interesting. When Crowe is at his best, we get all time classics like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, so even if he’s not on that level, expectations should still be high.
Yes, the trailers so far have made this feel a bit on the generic side, but sometimes that actually winds up working in a movie’s favor. Without […]

In Mexico, “SICARIO” means hitman – Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin

SICARIO’s Emily Blunt [Kate Macer], Benicio del Toro [Alejandro], Josh Brolin [Matt Graver], and Director Denis Villeneuve, walked the Palais des Festivals Red Carpet tonight before the In Competition Screening of SICARIO at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.
In Mexico, SICARIO means hitman.
In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent [Emily Blunt] is enlisted by an elite government task force official [Josh Brolin] to aid in the escalating war against drugs.
Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past [Benicio Del Toro], the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive.
A Lionsgate presentation, a Black Label Media presentation, a Thunder Road production, a Denis Villeneuve film.
SICARIO opens in the US in limited release on September 18, 2015, and opens wide on September 25, 2015.
Photo courtesy Lionsgate, by Paul Le

INSIDE OUT / Cannes World Premiere Images and New Film Clips

Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios John Lasseter, director Pete Doctor, producer Jonas Rivera, co-director Ronnie Del Carmen and US voice cast Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith and Lewis Black delighted attendees at today’s press conference for INSIDE OUT during the 68th annual annual Cannes Film Festival. They were then joined by the French voice cast for the world premiere!

Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.
When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

Cate Blanchett in “Carol”: Our first big Oscar contender from Cannes 2015

Over the past week or so, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival has slowly unveiled some big time releases. Some, like Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, have turned out to be longer shots for any Academy Award attention. On the other hand, Cannes has seen Todd Haynes’ Carol launch towards the top of quite a few Oscar contention lists. Yes, while the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone saw their chances fade, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson certainly had their stock rise. Carol is the cream of the Cannes crop so far…
As a primer, the film is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol). In it, Blanchett plays a married older woman who begins a flirtation and then an affair with a younger woman, played by Mara. Chandler plays Blanchett’s possessive husband, while the cast also includes the aforementioned Paulson in a vital role, alongside the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and more. Haynes directs, obviously, while the adaptation of Highsmith’s book has been penned by Phyllis Nagy. In some ways, this sounds like similar material to Far From Heaven, but if that is the case, that doesn’t mean that Oscar won’t be very interested, regardless.

I think that this one has some huge awards potential, both at Cannes and beyond as we move towards Oscar season. For starters, it’s certainly a contender now for the Palme d’Or prize as well as citations for Haynes and Blanchett at the fest. At the end of the year, when The Weinstein Company puts it out, it’ll likely be one of the bigger Academy Award players as well. This is one that you really can’t ignore, especially after the glowing reviews from the festival. Before that, it was still a strong possibility given its pedigree, but now…well, things are all that much better for Harvey Weinstein’s likely big shot at Oscar gold.
How good could this one do? Well, I don’t think Carol will wind up leading the field, but Best Picture, Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actress (for Mara and/or Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score represent potential nominations. Yes, a double digit total is something that […]

Woody Allen: First Trailer for “Irrational Man” with Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone

Each and every single year, we’re treated to a new Woody Allen movie. Moreover, basically every other year, Allen’s latest outing becomes an awards contender. With last year apparently being his off year with the enjoyable, if slight, Magic in the Moonlight, speculation is high that 2015 could see an Oscar player from the filmmaker. Well, the first Trailer for his new film Irrational Man has hit the web, and it shows off some solid acting and a unique take on a potentially tired plot. I’m not sure if the Academy will wind up noticing it when all is said and done, but I sure did.
Irrational Man is a romantic comedy about a burnt out Philosophy professor who arrives at a new school and winds up in an existential crisis when he becomes smitten/in a relationship with a student. Joaquin Phoenix plays the professor while Emma Stone plays the student. Also on hand in this potentially smaller than usual last for Allen (who of course writes and directs) is Jamie Blackley and Parker Posey, to name two. If the plot sounds like something you’ve seen before, you’re not alone. The catch here is that Allen has a very unique take on the world, so his interpretation of this situation has a ton of potential.
There’s two things in the Trailer that stick out at me. One is the chemistry apparent between Phoenix and Stone, as well as the potential for Posey to steal her scenes. The other is that it appears that Allen is utilizing dual voiceovers to get us into the headspace of both main characters. That could lead to some fascinating introspective commentary, though it also could wind up just being a gimmick. Right now though, I’m willing to look at it as a clever choice by the legendary filmmaker, one that gives this film something to potentially set it apart from the crowd. You’ll be able to see the Trailer below and decide for yourself, of course, but I liked what I saw.
Obviously, we don’t know if Irrational Man will be a player in the awards season or not, but if it does, my suspicion is that it would be on the back of Allen’s script and the performances of Phoenix, Posey, and Stone. One could potentially envision a campaign centered on Best Picture, Best Actor for Phoenix, Best Actress for Stone, best Supporting Actress for Posey, and […]

Page 3 of 37512345...102030...Last »