The Wackness wasn’t Jonathan Levine‘s directorial debut, but it was the first film we saw from him. Following the long-delayed All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Levine wrote and directed the coming-of-age film set in the early ’90s. The Wackness was packed with music of its time, with no shortage of Biggie songs, and lots of old classics, such as Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” Levine’s love for music, and his knack for using music to tell a story, rang loud and clear in The Wackness.
Over the years he’s continued to use music rather effectively. As famous as some of the songs are in his films, they never distract from the emotional or comedic beats they’re serving. The Wackness, 50/50, Warm Bodies, and the director’s newest film, The Night Before, are packed with great tunes. Levine’s Christmas comedy features plenty of cheerful holiday music, but there are also some modern hits that play a major part in the story. There’s a Miley Cyrus performance, for example, that is more than a cameo.
At the junket for The Night Before — which stars Seth Rogen (Steve Jobs), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (50/50), and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) — we decided to discuss with Levine his love for music and why he chose certain songs over the course of his career. Read our Jonathan Levine interview after the jump. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Any movie franchise with a 53-year history is going to have some stories of things that never happened and what could have been. Fans of the James Bond films always like to play the “What If?” game. What if George Lazenby had hung around for more movies after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service? What if The Spy Who Loved Me could have actually seen the return of Blofeld and S.P.E.C.T.R.E., as originally intended? And now we have a new one to ponder: What if Peter Morgan‘s concept for the film that would eventually become Skyfall was filmed?
Morgan, a two-time Oscar nominee for penning The Queen and Frost/Nixon, contributed a treatment titled Once Upon a Spy, which was ultimately rejected by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson. And we can see why – this lost James Bond movie would have taken 007 into territory that would’ve been a little too dark, even for Daniel Craig‘s morally gray run with the character.
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The Freddie Mercury biopic has been in development for over half a decade now. The movie appeared to pick up speed when Sacha Baron Cohen (Grimsby) became attached to the project, before departing over “creative differences.” Now screenwriter Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything) has signed up to write the latest draft of the Sony project, which may star Ben Whishaw (Spectre).
Learn more about the Freddie Mercury biopic after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 by Angie Han
Nikolaj Arcel‘s The Dark Tower may get some A-list star wattage. Matthew McConaughey is reportedly circling the Stephen King adaptation, which is intended as the start of a sprawling franchise spanning multiple films and a companion TV series. More on the potential Matthew McConaughey Dark Tower casting, including details on the character he might play, after the jump. Read More »
It’s safe to say that we all need some laughs, and if this past weekend’s fantastic episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Elizabeth Banks wasn’t enough, this week brings the R-rated holiday comedy The Night Before to help out.
And if the recent red-band trailer didn’t convince you to see what looks like a truly hilarious flick for the holidays, the opening scene from the movie has been released, featuring touching narration by Tracy Morgan, not long after he hosted his own episode of SNL. However, it’s NSFW (due to language, not nudity), so beware of where you are watching it. Read More »
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Even though the forthcoming Ghostbusters reboot doesn’t have any narrative ties to the original franchise, there will still be plenty for original fans to sink their teeth into. All of the surviving Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson) have cameos along with a couple other cast members (but not Rick Moranis). But one more cameo from a familiar Ghostbusters face might be on the table.
A new rumor says that a Slimer cameo will be brought into the Ghostbusters reboot, but one conflicting, key source has created some doubt as to whether that will actually happen. Find out more below! Read More »
Posted on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 by Angie Han
A few weeks back, word got around that Sony was finally moving forward with a The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel — without David Fincher, Daniel Craig, or Rooney Mara. But that last part seems to be news to Mara. The actress says she’s still attached to the franchise, as far as she knows, and that “of course” she’d love to make another. Read the Rooney Mara Dragon Tattoo sequel comment after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Friday, November 13th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
The problem with almost every “faith-based” film is that they’re too busy delivering a sermon to tell a good story. There is nothing wrong with entertainment being specifically crafted for Christian audiences, but there is everything wrong with recent movies like God’s Not Dead and The War Room, which coddle their audiences by literally preaching to the choir and no one else.
So we’ll say this much about Risen: if you remove it from the faith-based genre, it still has a killer elevator pitch. This is the story of a Roman soldier tasked with tracking down the body of Jesus Christ, which has vanished from his tomb only days after his execution. With Jesus’ followers stirring up revolution throughout Jerusalem, he has to work fast and, as you can guess, he soon learns that things aren’t quite so simple.
You can cast judgment on the Risen trailer yourself after the the jump.
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Last weekend, Spectre took the top spot at the box office despite the film being considerably less acclaimed than its predecessor Skyfall. There are a myriad of complaints ranging from the length of the film to the unevenness of the story, but one of the more divisive elements is the use of some of the more old-school James Bond tropes. Whether it’s Monica Bellucci as a grieving widow suddenly turned on by 007, the cheeky one-liners, or the contrived climax, there’s plenty about Spectre that feels like it’s straight out of the 1960s and 1970s.
But beyond the old-school style of the film, there are also plenty of simple Spectre Easter eggs that merely reference earlier James Bond films without getting in your face about it. See if you caught all the Easter eggs after the jump, but beware of spoilers. Read More »