Zach Braff‘s Wish I Was Here is now infamous because of the controversy surrounding Braff’s Kickstarter campaign. But let’s not allow that to cloud the real picture –Braff’s fans coughed up $3.1 million for his second feature film because they loved his first movie. Garden State connected with teens and college-aged twenty somethings in a manner that rarely happens, almost in the way that a song or a poem connects, rather than a movie. Fans have been waiting over a decade for Braff to go back behind the camera for a follow-up. This year at Sundance they got it.
Wish I Was Here is a real crowd pleaser, earning a standing ovation at the Premiere screening at Park City’s The Marc theatre. The film is very funny; when the lights came up I was hurting from laughter and sniffling a bit. (Must have been the cold temperature of Utah, right? Yeah that has to be the reason…) It is my favorite movie of Sundance this year (thus far).
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When most people think of Walt Disney films, they think of two genres: the animated musical and the live-action family film. Beauty and the Beast or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Snow White or Swiss Family Robinson. What’s slightly more rare of late is a blend of the two, the live-action musical, as we’ve seen in films like Mary Poppins, Newsies, Enchanted or The Muppets. These come out much less frequently.
Next year, however, Disney will be releasing two live-action musicals: Muppets Most Wanted and one that’s likely to be their most elaborate and star-studded live action musical to date, Into The Woods.
Directed by Rob Marshall and based on the Tony Award-winning broadway show with music by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods just began production aimed at a Christmas 2014 release. Below, read the full press release including the list of confirmed cast members, such as Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski and Tracy Ullman. Read More »
Pitch Perfect hit theaters in September of last year and, almost a year later, it’s even more popular than ever. The movie is playing non-stop on HBO, the cast appeared on the MTV Movie Awards, a sequel was put in the works, and Anna Kendrick‘s song, Cups, remains one of the most popular pop songs in the country. As fans patiently wait on the second film (rumored to be aimed at 2015) one of the cast members teased a project coming much sooner than that.
The cast of Pitch Perfect is working on an a cappella holiday album. Read More »
Disney’s just about cast a second Cinderella for their upcoming slate of live-action films. Downton Abbey‘s Lily James is playing the would-be princess in Kenneth Branagh’s film and now Pitch Perfect‘s Anna Kendrick is in talks to play the role in Rob Marshall‘s Into The Woods.
Marshall’s film, set for release Christmas 2014, is based on a Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Several classic fairy-tales are mashed up to tell the story of a family attempting to find a witch and break a curse.
Kendrick joins an already incredible cast that includes Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Tracy Ullman and Christine Baranski. [Variety]
Joe Swanberg‘s new film Drinking Buddies is his most traditionally polished effort, but it still has the raw emotional intensity of his best ultra low budget work. The film features a great quartet: Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston, and Olivia Wilde. The four actors play two committed couples, but lines between them are starting to blur as dissatisfaction with each is complicated by the friendship between Wilde and Johnson’s characters.
This first trailer seems like it gives away a lot, but this is really just a quick sketch of the plot. It hints at some of the most awkward moments between characters without getting into precisely what complications await as everyone tries to figure out what they really want. This is a movie that is frank about the difficulties of maintaining a relationship after the first blush of attraction fades, and while it isn’t always easy, there’s great stuff within, and Wilde’s performance should be appreciated as one of the best she’s given. Read More »
Hating on Zach Braff has become the cool thing to do. The reason being the actor/director took to Kickstarter in April to fund his next movie, Wish I Was Here. It was a polarizing move because many people felt Braff had enough clout to get traditional funding. He agreed, but decided he’d rather make the movie outside the system. Support and money poured in, as did criticism of the plan. Braff has remained steadfast in his decision, and is lining up a fantastic cast for the film. So far he’s got Anna Kendrick, Kate Hudson, Mandy Patinkin, Jim Parsons and Josh Gad.
Braff stopped by Sirius XM earlier this week and not only did a little defending, he revealed he off-handedly explained the entire crowd funding avenue to Woody Allen. Allen, whose last few films have all been set in Europe because it’s easier for him to get funding there, was apparently quite taken by the idea. Braff also revealed that Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell approached him to write a song for the film. Read more, and listen, to the segments below. Read More »
There are a whole lot of great people in Rapture-Palooza, written by Chris Matheson (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) and directed by Paul Middleditch (Separation City). The film features Anna Kendrick and John Francis Daley as a young couple navigating the slightly hellish landscape of Earth after the Rapture. Craig Robinson is the Antichrist, and Rob Corddry, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, Ana Gasteyer, John Michael Higgins, and Tyler Labine are on hand, too.
Like I said, a lot of great people… so we’ll just pretend for a while that the film looks a lot better than this red-band trailer makes it out to be. Knowing that this was written by the guy who created Bill & Ted helps, and this trailer seems to be angling for some of that spirit, and the weirder moments of the Harold & Kumar movies, too. But a lot of Rapture-Palooza looks a bit like Birdemic, only with recognizable actors. That might be good; a lot of people seem to like Birdemic.
There’s a lot of bad language in here, which is what earns the red-band status. Whether the language adds to the jokes is something we’ll let you decide. (I do like the vulgar crow.) Read More »
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Briefly: Good news for Pitch Perfect fans is coming out of CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The head of Universal Pictures, Adam Fogelson, just revealed the studio’s plan to have the Pitch Perfect 2 in theaters in 2015. Original writer Kay Cannon is back, and one can assume based on Sunday night’s MTV performance that the cast will be, too.
No more information just yet, but check out the new video of Anna Kendrick‘s ‘Cups’ from the film below. Read More »