Good things keep coming for the stars of Animal Kingdom, as Jacki Weaver lands a role in David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook. Weaver will play Bradley Cooper‘s mother in the film, based on Matthew Quick‘s novel about a former high school teacher (Cooper) who’s just been released from a four-year stint at a mental institution into the care of his mother. Upon his release, the protagonist initially tries to win back his ex-wife but eventually falls into a romance with an eccentric young widow (Jennifer Lawrence).

Also signed on for the project is Robert De Niro in an unnamed part. Chris Tucker was said to be in talks for the part of Cooper’s pal from the institution, but the latest reports don’t mention him, so I’m guessing he’s out. The Silver Linings Playbook is set to begin shooting this fall. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, Paul Bettany and Brian Cox team up for a film adapted from a BAFTA-nominated BBC series, and True Blood star Sam Trammell helps Virginia Madsen cope with her troubles.

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TIFF Movie Trailer: Repeaters

Hitfix has premiered the trailer for a Canadian independent sci-fi drama titled Repeaters, which will screen at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in September. The movie is being called “a really dark version of Groundhog Day” as it uses the same concept but to different results. Here is the official plot synopsis:

REPEATERS is an aggressive, fast-paced thriller with an important moral question: what would you do if you knew that everyday you started over with a clean slate? Sonia, Kyle and Weeks are three cynical outsiders fed up with the peer groups and the perceived injustices inflicted upon their early adult lives. Forced into mandatory rehab, the trio is given a day pass to attempt to complete step nine on the path to recovery – make direct amends with those they have wronged in the past. The following morning, they begin to notice a strange, eerie repetitiveness to their day. The day’s events play out exactly like their memory of the previous day: people are carrying on the same conversations, and on the television, the morning news repeats the previous day’s broadcast. When the trio reconvene to discuss what happened to them the night before they realize that a shared experience is what is causing the day to repeat. They awake the next morning to find that their fear of reliving a same day over again is confirmed. Upon acceptance of their predicament, the three begin to behave with more confidence and bravado because surely their misdeeds will be erased if the day continues to repeat itself. Accordingly, they set out pulling pranks and committing petty revenges, but things soon escalate, culminating in the torture and kidnapping of a rival.

The film stars Dustin Milligan (Extract, Final Destination 3), Amanda Crew (Charlie St. Cloud, Sex Drive), and Richard de Klerk and is the tenth feature directed by Carl Bessai (Normal), Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Movie Trailer: Charlie St. Cloud

charlie-st-cloud-trailer

How serious can Zac Efron be? That’s mostly a rhetorical question because, his High School Musical past notwithstanding, the guy indicated in Me and Orson Welles that he might actually be able to bring it. But Charlie St. Cloud might be the real test. This is the movie where Efron’s character has to choose between the hot girl and life of a sailor on one hand, and literally spending time with the ghost of his dead brother on the other.

Actually, I don’t know why I wasted all this time saying anything other than “this movie looks like a Nicholas Sparks version of The Lovely Bones.” There, how does that make you feel? Tingly, I know. Read More »

Hunter Stephenson’s Movie Review: Sex Drive

Three things you should know about Sex Drive: 1) A whore nearly shits on Clark Duke. 2) It’s one of the funniest movies of 2008. 3) It doesn’t carry a Judd Apatow hall-pass.

And if the word of mouth explodes on this flick, it might be hailed commercially as the new American Pie (whatever that means) right in time for total economic collapse. Admittedly, like your own, my expectations were really low for this movie, comparable to those for Nick & Norah: Die, and that was before I found out Fall Out Boy had a cameo. That was before I paid enough attention to realize the title was a pun. That was before I went to Momofuku Ko for free and got a free massage. The only reason why this movie was on my movie radar was the presence in the unfunny trailers of Clark Duke, a shapely young actor who starred in the addictive web series, Clark and Michael, opposite Michael Cera.

But after seeing Sex Drive, Clark Duke is officially a star. And he’s a star who’s open to “dude, you look like a chick” jabs courtesy of Brian Posehn. And he’s the highlight of an R-rated teen-sex comedy because he bangs everything that moves, including the Amish.

This is not a comedy you should read five reviews on, even if you’re bored. It follows the adventures of a proto-Last American Virgin named Ian (Josh Zukerman, awesome here) who steals a ’69 GTO and bounces around with his pussy-magnet best bud (Duke) and his best girl/crush (Amanda Crew, funny)—the Ferris Bueller equation. Talented youngs, all. And, as confidently co-written and directed by Sean Anders, the movie never forgets the sparkly cast chemistry and off-the-cuff banter of ‘80s flicks like Fast Times, Weird Science and License to Drive, even while piling on supremely gross sight-gags from the late ‘90s, ‘00s agreeable YouTube segues, and lots of ‘20s “Fag!”s. This is a cast you’ll want to stay with after, even if the didactic ending kinda bails—and did we really need the cliché “that explains the bigotry?” safety net?

James Marsden destroys as the older, alpha brother to Zuckerman’s bashful Ian. His character, Rex, has drawn early comparisons to Bill Paxton’s Chet (and Lee Tergesen’s), but also possesses the jock heart of Brand in The Goonies. When guns are drawn and the film’s plot goes madcap, Rex joins the party rather than squashing it. The preview audience ate-it-up. Marsden is swell at physical comedy—making you feel sorry for a garage door—and whenever he’s on screen he offers a jolt of violent anticipation. His one-liners aren’t bad either. When informing his brother that he “looks like a Mexican butthole,” in the context of the scene it’s both an endearing, painfully wrong and acute observation. To the pantheon of movie jerks he goes.

So much current mainstream comedy walks an awkward, paranoid tight rope—see SNL being censored by billionaire stiffs—and Sex Drive is refreshing because Anders and co-writer John Morris seem blissfully unawares here. This is Anders’s second film following a little seen 2005 Christian rock spoof, and due to the success of Superbad, it could have been predictably stuffed with pseudo-shocking cock jokes. Instead, nothing is off limits if it scores a laugh, as it should be. Christians get beaved, grandma, cancer, abstinence and suicide are up for grabs, and I think there’s an Elvis Mitchell doppelganger at the end. A talking Jean Claude Van Damme poster? Sure. Unlike the second Harold and Kumar, the jokes aren’t stitched together to mock yet casually simmer in the cultural climate; compared to a few of this summer’s high profile comedies, the bromance on display doesn’t fill the air like congratulatory cigar smoke.

When Clark Duke assures an incarcerated black dude that he’ll check out his rap MySpace page, it’s Zen-like. Suddenly it’s as if you’re peering into a future of countless afternoons spent enjoying Sex Drive on Comedy Central instead of getting dressed or blankly watching your roommate clean-up. For me, that’s an all too rare accomplishment for a film. And congrats to those involved for The Wraith homage set to Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone.”

8.5/10

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