The 23rd film in the James Bond series premiered in the UK on Friday, and we have an early spoiler-free video blog reaction. I recorded my thoughts alongside Alex Billington from FirstShowing, a huge Bond fanatic who balances out my ambivalence to much of the series.
I think the latest entry into the Bond franchise will please both Bond fanatics and casual viewers, striking a great compromise between old Bond feel and contemporary action and seriousness. For me the highlight was Roger Deakins‘ cinematography, beautiful, striking, the best looking Bond film to date. There is one sequence in Shanghai which looks and feels like a contemporary Blade Runner but with the action of the Mission: Impossible series. Watch our complete video blog embedded after the jump to hear more.
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Five years ago, David Chase ended one of the best television shows of all time, The Sopranos. Now he’s rolled that legacy into his first movie. Not Fade Away is Chase’s feature directorial debut and it’s a semi-autobiographical story about a group of young men in 1960s New Jersey attempting to form a rock band. Starring John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill, Bella Heathcote, Brad Garrett, Christopher McDonald and James Gandolfini, the film is currently playing the New York Film Festival before its holiday release, December 21.
After the break, check out the nostalgic first trailer, packed with rock and roll, and read some of the early buzz coming out of the New York Film Festival. Read More »
There are several major take aways from the latest trailer for Paranormal Activity 4. One is that Katie and the boy she kidnapped, Hunter, are definitely back. Another is that the evil spirits from the first three films still really, really love to drag people down hallways. A third is that your XBox Kinect is the devil. It all adds up to a very intriguing bit of marketing.
Paranormal Activity 4 opens October 19 from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who did Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3. This time around, the story is back in the present, following the neighbors of a mysterious new family whose son may, or may not, be the aforementioned Hunter.
After the jump, you can not only check out the revealing new trailer, but read a bunch of early buzz from a work print screening at Fantastic Fest 2012. Either way, you’ll never look at XBox Kinect the same way again. Read More »
Testing a film with a live audience is a huge part of Judd Apatow‘s filmmaking process. Finding the biggest laughs and gauging reactions is treated as an additional round of editing for the writer/director/producer. The danger in that is, even though most people sign non-disclosure agreements, word is bound to leak out early. So while This is 40, Apatow’s latest film, won’t hit theaters until Christmas, the first review has made it online in a very non-traditional place.
Comedian Marc Maron, best known for his hugely popular WTF Podcast, was among a star-studded early audience invited to see the “sort of sequel” to Knocked Up starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann and talked about it on his show. Read his quotes and more after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
Joss Whedon‘s already two for two this year, earning critical raves for The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote with Drew Goddard) and then knocking it out of the park on every level with The Avengers. But he’s not finished: His third film of the year, the black-and-white William Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, just premiered at TIFF. And based on the reviews so far it sounds like the perfect capper to Whedon’s already stunning year.
Shot in just 12 days while Whedon was finishing up The Avengers, this version retains the Bard’s dialogue but moves the action to contemporary LA. (Specifically, Whedon’s own house.) Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star as Beatrice and Benedick, acquaintances whose prickly banter signals an obvious compatibility. Other Whedon favorites fill out the rest of the cast: Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, and Clark Gregg. Read more of the early buzz after the jump.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by Angie Han
With Labor Day weekend marking the end of the summer movie season — actually, make that the traditional end of summer, period — it’s time to look ahead at the fall and winter offerings on the horizon.
We’ve got early buzz on two very different entertainments coming up, Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder and Sam Mendes‘ Skyfall. The former made its debut at Venice this past weekend to divided audiences, while the latter has apparently begun test screenings in London. Read more after the jump.
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Paul Thomas Anderson did another early screening of his new film The Master in 70mm last night at Chicago’s Music Box Theater, to follow on the Santa Monica showing that took place a couple weeks ago. Just about the only people who seem to be unhappy about that are officials at film festivals, as praise for various aspects of the film is pouring in via Twitter and a few reviews. (The Venice film gave The Master a slot in competition, but the showing will now hardly count as a world premiere.)
It would be wrong to suggest that the praise for Anderson’s latest film is uniform. The film follows a drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as he comes into the orbit of the magnetic title character Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Dodd’s wife (Amy Adams), who have organzied a coterie of followers around Dodd’s philosophical approach to life. The film’s performers are universally acclaimed so far, as is the visual presentation, specifically as seen in 70mm. Some seem to be seeking a new film to lead the charge in the battle between film and digital, and have found it in The Master. But the movie is also called a bit aimless (which isn’t necessarily a point of complaint) and referred to as one that takes a lot of processing time.
See some of the reactions below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012 by Angie Han
The same breathtaking ambition that makes Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer‘s David Mitchell adaptation Cloud Atlas so intriguing also gives it the potential to flop, hard. Weaving together six interlocking stories that cut across time, space, and genre is difficult enough to do within the confines of a novel, to say nothing of a three-hour film. Then there’s that insane casting: stars like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Jim Sturgess are each playing multiple characters, in some cases switching genders or races to do so.
Thankfully, buzz from test screenings suggests that much more of it works than not. Keep in mind that quite a few things may have changed in the few months since testing began (for one thing, some of these folks saw a cut that was four hours long), and that these reactions are coming from people whose tastes we don’t know. Even so, a flood of positive reactions seems like a very promising sign. Hit the jump to read the comments.
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