Devils Knot

One of the most prestigious film festivals in North America, the Toronto Film Festival, has begun to announce its line up for 2013. The event takes place September 5-15 and as usual, the line-up includes pretty much every highly-anticipated awards contender scheduled for release through the end of the year.

Just a few examples are the Jackie Brown prequel Life of Crime, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, the star-studded August: Osage County, Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot (above), Jason Reitman’s latest Labor Day, Jason Bateman’s debut Bad Words, Ron Howard’s Rush, the Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate, Mike Myers’ documentary Supermench, Matthew Weiner’s You Are Here, Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi and Alfonso Cuaron’s space drama, Gravity.

And they haven’t even finished announcing everything. Below, read everything in this first wave. Read More »

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Early Buzz: Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

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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The themes of Cloud Atlas are legion, and the 160 minutes the film spans are epic. Six or seven plots are considered, depending how you define your storylines, and the time period ranges from 1849 to somewhere 400 years into the distant future. What I’m getting at here is the grandness of the scope, the giantess of the spectacle, the massive overarching ambition of the work. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski have delivered a weighty film tome for our analysis, and I have a feeling this one is going to be spurring conversations for years to come.

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A movie that debuted right here on /Film just make it big. Aftershock, directed by Nicolás López, starring and produced by Eli Roth, was just acquired by Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films at the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on Lopez’s experiences during the Chilean earthquake of 2010, the film centers on a group of friends who strive to survive after a massive earthquake hits Chile, freeing prisoners and unleashing other kinds of insanity.

Aftershock won’t premiere at TIFF until Tuesday September 11. The Weinsteins were confident enough in it, Lopez and Roth to not only purchase the film, but also take the rights to another Roth-produced horror film called Clown, based on a fake movie trailer. Learn more about both after the jump. Read More »

The best sci-fi movies aren’t defined by their sci-fi elements. Hovercars, cool guns, time travel and other sci-fi tropes are merely used to put a unique spin and visual style on a story with themes universal to almost any genre. And if it does that by blowing your mind with some cool stuff? All the better.

Rian Johnson‘s Looper is very much in that vein. A time-travelling, sci-fi movie to be sure, ultimately the film features very unexpected, yet welcome, fundamental themes. It almost becomes something that feels out of place in a world of time-travelling assassins and hover bikes which, of course, is exactly the point. Johnson hooks you with big action and reels you in for bigger ideas and that’s why Looper is so damn good.

After the jump, continue reading my review of the film, which opens September 28 and just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and watch a 100% spoiler-free video blog about Looper. Read More »

With the Toronto Film Festival set to get into full swing Thursday, we’ve already begun to see trailers and clips from all sorts of interesting independent releases. The latest is Twice Born, directed by Sergio Castellitto based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini. Penelope Cruz stars as a mother who brings her 16-year-old son back to the city of his birth, Sarajevo, and is forced to relive the trials and tribulations she and her family faced during the wars of the 1990s. Emile Hirsch co-stars and, after the jump, you can see the first trailer for the film which premieres this week in Toronto. Read More »

Michael Winterbottom has to be one of the most versatile filmmakers working today. Seemingly every single film he releases is completely different whether its a thriller, comedy, period piece, documentary or some kind of hybrid. That’s what his latest film, Everyday, is. A blend of fiction and documentary, the film tells the story of how the imprisonment of a father changes the life of his wife and four children. To accurately portray the passage of time, Winterbottom has been shooting the film in bits and pieces over the course of five years. Now the film will finally premiere next month at the Toronto Film Festival.

After the jump, check out a short teaser trailer for this surely powerful film. Read More »

One of the most interesting things you find when reporting on Pixar is how far in advance the company works on something before the public gets wind of it. They rarely announce a feature until it’s years into development and we generally don’t hear about their award winning shorts until they’re almost complete.

For example, we first heard about La Luna in May 2011, 13 months before Brave was released but only four months before it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. We do know Pixar’s working on new Toy Story Toons but it seems another film, possibly titled Rainy City Tales, might screen at Telluride later this month or the Toronto Film Festival in September. Read about the rumors and see some hints about it after the jump.

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