Kevin Smith‘s Tusk is a prime example of a filmmaker in the midst of reinvention. Every since the disaster that was Cop Out, Smith has been on a quest to become a new director. First he shunned Hollywood and self-distributed Red State, a welcome departure from his off-the-wall comedies of the past. Now he’s delving deep into horror with Tusk, the story of a man named Howard (Michael Parks) who kidnaps a podcaster named Wallace (Justin Long) and attempts to turn him into a Walrus.
Much like Smith’s up-and-down career path, Tusk has a fascinating trajectory. Everything starts off well with the director slowly but surely building a very specific, intriguing and foreboding tone. Even as the story begins to border on the ridiculous and the gore gets exponentially more intense, we buy it because the film has won us over with its sharp writing, well-timed humor, inventive plot and layered storytelling.
Unfortunately, about two-thirds into the movie, Smith apparently saw some brake lights in front of him because the film comes to a screeching halt. It stops being fun so suddenly and so painfully it’s almost unfathomable. Things never quite recover from that narrative roadblock and, by the end, it all feels arbitrary and amateurish. Read More »
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I literally just walked out of a screening of Force Majeure at Fantastic Fest 2014 and had to let you know about it. Thankfully for me, a new poster and trailer came out earlier this week.
Directed by Ruben Östlund, the film follows a family who are on a ski vacation. When an avalanche unexpectedly hits, everyone is forced into a life or death situation where they’ll reveal their true colors. In one case, they aren’t what they expect. That might sounds like the set up to some kind of horror movie, but Force Majeure walks an absolute stellar tightrope of tone, seamlessly going from uncomfortable to funny, then tense and human. It’s poignant, it’s hilarious, it’s beautifully shot and it’s totally unexpected. The film won a special award at Cannes earlier this year and has been slaying the festival crowd, myself included. Below what the latest Force Majeure trailer and see the new poster. Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Angie Han
It’s been a bad year for Elle Fanning and cinematic father figures. Her Maleficent dad sent her away as a baby, and her Boxtrolls dad mostly just neglects her. Her streak will continue with Low Down, in which John Hawkes finds himself torn between his love for her, his passion for music, and his addiction to heroin.
Directed by Jeff Preiss, the indie drama debuted at Sundance this year and is now headed for a theatrical release thanks to Oscilloscope. Also starring are Glenn Close, Taryn Manning, Flea, Lena Headey, and Peter Dinklage – which means we might actually get to see the two Lannister sibs share a scene without trying to kill each other. Watch the first Low Down trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Angie Han
Just as summer always brings a rash of big-budget blockbuster sequels, fall and early winter reliably provide a crop of prestige dramas laden with Academy Award-nominated names. Among the many this year is A Most Violent Year, from Oscar nominee J.C. Chandor, two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, and actual Oscar / future Oscar nominee Oscar Isaac.
Isaac plays idealistic immigrant businessman Abel and Chastain his connected wife Anna. Together, they head a growing gas business in New York. But they runs into trouble when their company clashes with certain elements of the city’s criminal underworld. Watch the A Most Violent Year trailer after the jump.
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In the new Jason Reitman film, Men Women & Children, technology really isn’t making our lives easier. Instead of bringing us together, social media, gaming, online dating and other tech advancements too often provide methods to emphasize our fears and insecurities, and all the other things that cause pain and drive us apart. In this new Men Women and Children trailer, we see a dazed young guy played by Ansel Elgort, the girl he’s interested in (Kaitlyn Dever), her tech-paranoid mom (Jennifer Garner) and a host of other characters who either can’t connect, or choose the worst possible ways in which to reach out through technology. Read More »
One accepted truth about Hollywood is that one high-profile project will beget other similar projects. And so, just as Tom Hiddleston is about to star in a biopic about country singer Hank Williams, another Hank Williams film is coming together thanks to a notable producer and star. But this one is quite a bit different from the biopic.
Chris Hemsworth has optioned I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, the novel by songwriter Steve Earle in which a “defrocked doctor” is haunted by Williams’ ghost as he performs illegal procedures. Hemsworth will produce and star. Read More »
In Dazed & Confused the sport on the minds of the main characters was football. (Well, it was drinking and sex, and then football) In the “spiritual sequel” to the 1993 film, That’s What I’m Talking About, the guys will play baseball. Richard Linklater has cast a fond eye towards America’s Pastime before, when he remade The Bad News Bears. Now, his new film will continue Dazed‘s process of filtering his own youthful memories and experiences through comedy. News on the potential That’s What I’m Talking About cast is below.
Update: The first cast member is signed, and it isn’t any of the three people originally mentioned. More info below.
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Entire teams of people working in legal and clearance departments exist to prevent just the sort of stuff that happened to Emma Thompson‘s film Effie Gray. Based on a true story, Thompson scripted and co-starred in the film, only to see it bogged down in two separate accusations of plagiarism by two different playwrights. Judges ruled in favor of the film in both cases. Now it is closing in on release, so we can examine the first Effie Gray trailer.
The film follows a particularly odd Victorian love triangle in which Victorian art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) married his childhood friend Euphemia “Effie” Gray (Dakota Fanning), only to leave the marriage unconsummated. Eventually, Effie embarked upon a more fulfilling affair with painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge). Read More »