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Films can get financing based on the attachment of a recognizable cast, and when a film’s director has previous credits producing known films, it makes it easier to bring elements together, whether or not the script is any good.

Chris Brinker makes his directorial debut with Bad Country, but he’s got producer credits going back to The Boondock Saints. And so he was able to bring in Boondock co-star Willem Dafoe to star in this cat and mouse story of a cop tracking down a killer. Also in the cast are Matt Dillon, Amy Smart, Tom Berenger, Bill Duke and Neal McDonough, not that any of it will probably matter. The first trailer for the film is pretty painful, but it has Dafoe looking mustachioed and haggard, and it’s worth the investment of a couple minutes just to enjoy his presence.  Read More »

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Statistically speaking, flying is actually one of the safest ways to travel — you’re much, much more likely to die in a car accident, for example — but you wouldn’t know it from the number of movies that involve horrible things happening aboard an airplane. The latest of these is 7500, a paranormal thriller from The Grudge helmer Takashi ShimizuRyan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Jerry Ferrara, Leslie Bibb, and Jamie Chung star as passengers and crew en route from Los Angeles to Tokyo when they begin to notice odd occurrences within the cabin. Watch the first teaser after the jump.

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Steve Carell‘s been doing quite well for himself in his post-Office career. He’s already got several films lined up for the next couple of years, including Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher and the magician comedy Burt Wonderstone. Now the latest addition to his slate is Conviction, a heist film which he’ll produce and star in. Jonathan Herman‘s Black List script centers around a convicted bank robber who’s forced by the FBI to entrap his former protege.

Which sounds good, except that while Herman’s original screenplay had a tone similar to Heat, it’s now being reworked as an action comedy in the vein of 48 Hours or Ocean’s Eleven. That seems like a pretty major shift, though without having read the script I can’t say for certain whether it’s a terrible idea. The project has yet to confirm a writer to draft a new version of the script. [Deadline]

After the jump, Ben Kingsley, Julian Sands, and Jena Malone join a classic tale with a zeitgeisty twist, while Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, and Amy Smart board a flight with some paranormal issues.

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VOTD: Spencer Susser’s A Love Story

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Last year, we featured a beautiful zombie short film titled I Love Sarah Jane. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out right now. It was screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and many regional film festivals around the world. And aside from being awesome, it is notable for featuring Mia Wasikowska, who later became Alice in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Writer/director Spencer Susser has been working in commercials and music videos , but has finally completed his first feature film, an indie dramedy titled Hesher starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, and Natalie Portman, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (more here, review here).

This week our friends at FilmSchoolRejects posted a short film Susser wrote and directed in July 2005 titled A Love Story, which I had never seen before. The tagline is “love hurts” and this film is the literal example of that famous saying. The one and a half minute short stars Branden Williams & Amy Smart. Watch it now, embedded after the jump.

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The clock is ticking. In minutes, I am scheduled to interview Corey Haim. But I need more time to: find my good sunglasses, make a margarita, and hook up my interview shit poolside at a friend’s house. The publicist agrees to push the interview back half-an-hour. The power of /Film. By-and-by, it all works out and the publicist fulfills a dream. I’m not into doing interviews. Much too often, there is A) a bitchy studio hawk circling, B) a wait-time worthy of a disappointing rap concert/Comcast, or C) the celeb is so glazed-over from blurting the same answers to ‘net middle men on every continent that you feel like hugging them, and then slapping them. And likewise for them, sans the personal contact.

But Corey Haim is Z) reached levels of non-ironic cool that even Steve McQueen (not the Hunger one) and Lee Marvin (the Prime Cut one) could never touch. Like brightly-dyed shorts with displaced geometric patterns, Haim burst onto the scene as the American teenager in the 1980s. For an actor—and for our younger readers—that requires more natural pep than LeBron James has hops. And in my opinion, Haim was the first real, believable and awesome geek on screen (dude, your comic store’s Dewey Decimal System blows) who could get laid. And thus, maybe get you laid. Paul Rudd would come much later. Paul Rudd is also a geek narc. Haim can be seen in theaters this weekend wearing a mullet in Crank: High Voltage.

Excluding the initial actions above, I didn’t prepare for the interview; I know I’ll be interviewing Corey again soon when he gets a major theatrical role. It needs to happen, Hollywood. Our chat was fun, casual, whatever. Haim has the laid back charm over the tele that many of us know so well. Just add a cigarette.

/Film: Hello Corey Haim.

Corey Haim: What’s up Hunter. How you doin’?

Ha. I’m doing fine, sittin’ by the pool. So you have a role in Crank 2. How did you first meet [writer/directors Mark] Neveldine and [Brian] Taylor?

Corey Haim: Actually, a while ago man. I believe. See, I was supposed to be in the first movie. Was it the same character? A character. I just know that in this movie they wanted me to play this character. Randy.

Right.

Corey Haim: Let me give you a description of my character.

Sure.

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Alex Aja’s Mirrors Red Band Movie Trailer

When the first trailer for Alexandre Aja‘s Mirrors premiered, with the exception of Slashfilm and a few horror sites, the Net issued a collective “meh, pass.” The trailer even purportedly received loud guffaws at a press screening, and we received four death threats just for suggesting that the film itself might actually be creepy. Scarier than email/gchat death threats from nerds, even. A friend and source close to the production tells me that the film will definitely deliver and give Alex Aja (Haute Tension) the industry cachet to keep kids up at night for many years. He compares what he’s seen of the film to Jacob’s Ladder meets Poltergeist III (and P3 was fucking scary, admit it), and says that even this trailer doesn’t do the film justice.

IGN received the red band and suddenly the Net consensus has pulled a uniform “maybe I was wrong.” The red band offers a nice round-up of the recurring psychotic optical “jaggies” and too-real throat slits that Aja is great at. We also see co-star Amy Smart, or a reflection thereof, removing her mandible. No big deal. The scenes with tykes are cliche, sure, but the tone is inherently spooky and a welcome return to the horror genre for Kiefer Sutherland. Summer ’08 is offering a great mix of films, and I think we’ll include Mirrors as a fun contribution when all is said and done.

Mirrors opens August 15th.

Discuss: Run of the mill or do you think Mirrors and Aja will deliver actual scares?

Crank 2: High Voltage Cast Announced

CrankCrank 2: High Voltage is set to begin shooting on April 28th in Los Angeles and the casting announcements were made over the weekend:

  • Jason Statham returns as hitman Chev Chelios
  • Amy Smart returns as his girlfriend Eve
  • Dwight Yoakam returns as Doc Miles
  • Efren Ramirez returns, but as a character named Venus (Ramirez played Kaylo, who died in the original film)
  • Clifton Collins Jr. has been brought on board to play Chelios’ nemesis
  • Bai Ling has also been brought on board

Crank 2 begins seconds after the end of the original film. Chelios must face a mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered robotic heart which requires regular jolts of electricity to keep working.

Mark Neveldine has plans to introduce a new moving bullet-time camera rig which he invented for the production. It should be insane, but what else do you expect from Neveldine/Taylor.

source: Variety

Crank 2 Spoilers Hit the Web

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A slew of spoilerific and amazing character descriptions for Crank 2 just hit the web over at Spoiler TV. We’ve pasted them all after the jump. Judging from the run down, directors and Slashfilm party mates Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor seem to really love the word “sociopath,” and their Ritalin milkshake of a sequel should be all the better for it. I mean, a villain that is 100-years-old? Holy shit, that is awesome. What is this, Double Dragon? Sorry Scott Wolf, it’s not. It’s Crank, one of the best action flicks/franchises in years that arguably has its own subcategory: post-Shane Black.

And how Hollywood is it to list a character named “Pepper,” to be played by a 20something actress, and conclude in all CAPS, “Must Be Okay with Nudity”? Furthermore, seems there will be more cheeky media commentary in the sequel, and while I know I mention this character in every other post, I would give anything to see Robert Downey Jr.’s nutzoid reporter Wayne Gale from Natural Born Killers make a cameo. If Jason Statham’s Chev Chelios can survive a black market heart transplant (not to mention a helicopter fall), Gale can be resurrected!

Details after the jump…

Discuss: With the masses discovering and loving its predecessor on DVD, how big of a hit can Crank 2 be? And should audiences over 30 have to sign a health waiver to see Crank 3 (3D)? I mean, really…

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