The Wire HD remasters

The Wire is coming to HD at last, but perhaps not quite in the form you want. The show was formatted for a 4:3 aspect ratio when originally shot and broadcast, and that’s how it was released on DVD. But for The Wire HD remasters, which will first be available on HBO Go and for digital purchase before eventually appearing on Blu-ray, the show has been formatted for a 16:9 presentation. Note the word “formatted” there rather than “cropped,” as the choice is intentional and important.

Reaction to this news, especially coming so soon after The Simpsons debacle on FXX and the Simpsons World portal, was quick, and very negative. In short, seeing such concessions made to a project like The Wire — a creator-driven, serious drama that originally played to a limited fanbase —  is a sign that the aspect ratio war is basically over, and we’ve lost.

But in the case of The Wire, the situation is more complicated than that. Let the show’s creator David Simon explain. Read More »

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Unbroken

Fairly or not, each year a handful of pictures are pegged as probable Academy Awards contenders sight-unseen. Angelina Jolie‘s Louis Zamperini biopic Unbroken was one of those for months, but now the picture has come into clearer focus as the first reviews have hit the web.

The general consensus so far is that Unbroken is good but not great. Critics praised the talent involved, including lead actor Jack O’Connell, cinematographer Roger Deakins, and composer Alexandre Desplat, and enjoyed the extraordinary fact-based plotline. However, they were less impressed by Jolie’s dutifully conventional, cripplingly respectful approach.

Whether the good outweighs the bad is something we’ll have to find out for ourselves when the film hits theaters December 25. But in the meantime, get the Unbroken early buzz after the jump.  Read More »

Better Call Saul clip

It’s not like Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and Mike Ehrmentraut (Jonathan Banks) were BFFs when we knew them on Breaking Bad. But as it turns out, their Heisenberg-era relationship is downright cuddly compared to their earliest interactions.

AMC has revealed the first clip from its Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, showing them locking horns in one of their first meetings. Who’d have thought these two would go on to have such a long, fruitful professional relationship? Hit the jump for the new Better Call Saul clip, plus another Better Call Saul teaser. Read More »

‘Cake’ Trailer: Jennifer Aniston Goes Dark

Cake

Daniel Barnz‘s indie drama Cake is being promoted in some circles as Jennifer Aniston‘s best shot at an Oscar nomination in ages, which frankly isn’t saying much. She typically favors the type of fluffy comedy roles that don’t get awards attention, and hasn’t done a “serious” role since 2006′s Friends With Money.

But on the rare occasions that she does break into more dramatic territory, she usually does quite well. Cake seems to be no exception. Aniston plays Claire Simmons, a woman in a constant state of physical and emotional pain. At a low point, she begins obsessing over a suicide victim played by Anna KendrickSam Worthington, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Chris Messina, and Adriana Barazza also star. Watch the Cake trailer after the jump.

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‘X+Y’ Trailer: Asa Butterfield Is a Math Prodigy

Asa Butterfield in X plus Y

If three’s a trend, fact-based dramas about British geniuses are the next big thing. This month we have The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game, and next spring brings X+Y, based on the 2007 documentary Beautiful Young Minds.

Asa Butterfield stars as a young prodigy who’s terrible with people but great with numbers. His life changes when he’s chosen to represent Great Britain at the International Mathematical Olympiad in China. Sally Hawkins plays his mom, Rafe Spall and Eddie Marsan his mentors, and Jo Yang and Jake Davies his friends. Watch the X Plus Y trailer after the jump.  Read More »

matthew mcconaughey the stand

Josh Boone‘s plans for Stephen King‘s The Stand are grand. Four movies, if all goes according to plan. If that plan is to work, he’s going to need “a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds,” or so he recently said on a podcast. He may have already started making that statement true as Matthew McConaughy is reportedly in talked to play Randall Flagg, the main villain of the story.

Read more about potential Matthew McConaughey The Stand casting below. Read More »

steve jobs movie universal

Last week Sony dumped Steve Jobs, but now Universal, as expected, is picking up the project. The Aaron Sorkin-scripted film seems to be mostly in the same condition it was when Amy Pascal and Sony decided the partnership was no longer right. And Universal has reportedly paid as much as $30m for the project. Read More »

Match starring Patrick Stewart

Everyone remembers Patrick Stewart had one very big movie out this year, but he also had a much smaller one making the festival rounds. Directed by Stephen Belber, Match stars Stewart as a Juilliard ballet instructor forced to reflect upon his life when he’s interviewed by a married couple (Carla Gugino and Matthew Lillard) with ulterior motives. Watch the Match trailer after the jump.

Read More »

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