The Hunger Games: Catching Fire isn’t your typical blockbuster sequel. Yes it’s bigger and better than the original movie. The stakes have been raised and new characters are added. But what makes Catching Fire unique is how it’s infused with a gravitas most major Hollywood entertainment lacks. At every single turn, the plight of the citizens of Panem is felt as they face the cruel tyranny of the Capitol, adding layers of pathos and tension to everything we see. Couple that with the impressive IMAX visuals and a more surprising story, and Catching Fire joins that rare breed of sequels that improve on the original. Read More »
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At 23, Jennifer Lawrence has reached heights most of us never even dream of. She won the Oscar for Best Actress with her second nomination, for Silver Linings Playbook. She stars in a superhero franchise and toplines another of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, The Hunger Games. Without a doubt, she’s one of the biggest stars in the world, yet has somehow managed to remain genuine, funny and unfiltered. Jennifer Lawrence isn’t only America’s sweetheart, she’s everyone’s sweetheart.
So, in short, sites like /Film usually don’t get to speak to her, especially not for a film as highly anticipated as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. But you ask nicely, expect to get turned down, and then somehow find yourself outside a hotel room, the only online outlet who’ll be speaking one on one, in person, with Hollywood’s darling. No pressure.
While I can’t gauge my performance, Lawrence did not disappoint. Even after two full days of non-stop press, Katniss Everdeen herself snuggled up on her hotel room chair, slippers and all, and spoke eloquently about the pathos in Catching Fire, its political messages, shooting with IMAX cameras, her duties as reigning Best Actress, how often she gets out to the movies, Short Term 12, “texting Fassbender” (yes, that one), why promoting X-Men movies can be better than Hunger Games and the insane Internet notion she could play a female Han Solo. Read the full interview below. Read More »
The gang’s back, and they have a devious new leader in the three new trailers for next year’s Muppets Most Wanted. Kermit has been captured and replaced by the world’s most famous thief, Constantine. Will the Muppets figure it out? And how many cameos, to go along with leading roles from Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell, will it take to help them solve the case? Find out in the domestic, and two international, trailers below. Read More »
The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Edition takes big steps towards giving long-time fans the version of Marvel’s clawed mutant that they’ve always wanted to see on screen.
The first solo Wolverine movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was a bloated, cartoonish mess that vomited stereotypical criticisms of comic book movies onto the screen as story points. Unsurprisingly, that left no one happy. When a follow-up, The Wolverine, was revealed to be drawing direct inspiration from the character’s early solo comic book outing created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, there was reason to hope the character’s second headlining gig might fare better.
The Wolverine hit theaters this past summer, and thanks to James Mangold‘s direction (both on set and behind the scenes in dealing with Fox) it was a thematically strong film, with Nolan-esque ambitions to break the image of the comic book film as a superficial effects showcase. Yet it still seemed to be held in check; in particular the film’s violence and intensity didn’t quite match up to the intensity of Claremont and Miller’s conception of the character.
For the Blu-ray and digital release of The Wolverine, Fox is taking an unusual step by releasing an extended and unrated cut of the film. This marks the first time that Fox has veered away from the PG-13 rating with an X-Men movie, and a rare example of any major studio offering an extended unrated cut of a major tentpole. I saw the cut last night on the Fox lot. It is more bloody and violent; it’s a movie that offers the grimier side of Wolverine even as it fails to address issues that kept the theatrical cut from fulfilling all its ambitions.
Note: full spoilers for The Wolverine follow. Read More »
With almost every film Spike Lee makes, he’s trying something different. From college comedy through racial drama, coming-of-age stories, the historical biopic, murder mystery, Hollywood blockbuster, sequel, war film, and sports movie, he rarely attempts the same genre twice. It’s part of the reason he’s remained influential and relevant for so many years.
His latest film, Oldboy, continues his trend of being unpredictable. Lee directs an American remake of a revered South Korean film (originally by Park Chan-wook) about a man mysteriously imprisoned for 20 years, and the aftermath of his release. It’s Lee’s first remake, which posed some brand-new challenges for the man behind such classics as Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, 25th Hour, and Malcolm X.
We had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Lee about those new challenges, his upcoming Kickstarter feature The Sweet Blood of Jesus, being a film professor at his alma-mater New York University and, of course, New York sports. Oldboy opens November 27, but read the interview below. Read More »
We’re nearing on the end of 2013 and the 2015 calendar is already quickly becoming crammed with sequels, reboots, adaptations and adaptations. Earlier in the year, I put together a quick visual calendar showing how the year 2015 is beginning to look from afar. Today I have updated that graphic to include a bunch of additions and pushed release dates. Check it out after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 by Angie Han
Following yesterday’s juicy little teaser, not one but two full-length trailers for Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah have arrived, and you can check out both of them after the jump.
Russell Crowe stars as the familiar Biblical hero, who’s driven by a vision from God to prepare for an upcoming flood that could wipe out all life on Earth. He builds an ark and begins to round up the animals, but not everyone (including villain Ray Winstone) is on board with his plan.
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Bruce Dern has seen it all in Hollywood. His TV work in the early ’60s positioned him to be right in the middle of the New Hollywood explosion that happened late in the decade. He’s in a mind-boggling array of great films, from Hang ‘Em High to They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, to The King of Marvin Gardens and The Driver — it’s impossible to reel off a quick summation of his career without feeling like you’ve left out five essentials.
Or maybe Dern has seen almost all of Hollywood. Dominating as the heavy, he’s never quite broken into lead status, and he’s never won an Oscar. (He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1979, an Oscar year thick with great performances, for his role in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home. Christopher Walken won, for The Deer Hunter, even as Jon Voight and Jane Fonda won the Best Actor and Actress trophies for their own work in Coming Home.)
So Nebraska feels like a singular moment in Dern’s career. He’s directed in the film by Alexander Payne, one of the modern filmmakers who feels most creatively connected to the biggest years in Dern’s career. He’s got a lead role, and it’s one which forces him to look past his own natural tendency to unleash a torrent of conversation. As scripted by Bob Nelson, his character, Woody Grant, barely talks at all. Even as we wonder about his mental capacity, he’s fixed on a goal: claiming the million bucks a piece of junk mail tells him he’s won. Dern approaches the work with quiet intensity and a real vulnerability, bouncing off co-star Will Forte‘s own uncharacteristic straight man role. The result is unlike anything else you’ll see this year.
I spoke to Dern in Los Angeles, and we discussed acting challenges and risk-taking, Payne’s quiet direction, and the goal of becoming a character, rather than simply performing as one. There’s even some trivia about The Exorcist in here, for good measure. Read More »
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