From Up On Poppy Hill, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Gor? Miyazaki, was Studio Ghibli’s big 2011 release. It tells the story of two high school students hoping to clean up their hometown who run up against the corporate mindset of a local businessman. When the film came out in Japan last summer, it was a success for the legendary company and soon after, producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy decided to bring it to North America via GKids. The film will be released in November for an Oscar qualifying run followed by a wider release in March 2013. Its impressive English language voice cast has now been revealed. Read the full list after the jump. Read More »

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It can be tough to wrangle a truly good performance out of a child actor, for pretty obvious reasons. So it may help if the kid in question has no idea he’s even acting. For his sophomore directorial effort End of Love, actor/filmmaker Mark Webber (you may recognize him as Stephen Stills from Scott Pilgrim) cast his two-year-old son Isaac without explaining to the boy that they were making a movie, and then hired some of his better known actor pals to improvise around Isaac’s blissfully oblivious “performance.”

Webber leads as a youngish father struggling to take care of his son as he grieves the death of his wife (Frankie Shaw, who is also Isaac’s real, non-dead mom). Among the activities he engages in while trying to pull himself together are an audition with Amanda Seyfried, a party at Michael Cera‘s, and an awkward affair with Lydia (Shannyn Sossamon). Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Roman Coppola‘s last film — and his first film — was CQ, released in 2001. While he has been a creator on several big movies since thanks to work with his father (Tetro, Youth Without Youth) and Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom) I’ve been hoping to see more development from him as a director.

Coppola’s second feature is A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, featuring Charlie Sheen as the title character and supporting work from Bill Murray, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza, and Jason Schwartzman. Like CQ, the movie takes place within a skewed world that isn’t quite our reality (as the title implies) and shows what happens when Swan’s girlfriend (Katheryn Winnick) dumps him and he starts to unravel.

The film has just been dated for February 2013, and we’ve got the first two photos from the film, along with some explanation from Coppola of just what we can expect to find in Swan’s head. Read More »

With her sharp, sarcastic persona, Aubrey Plaza could’ve easily wound up with a decent career playing BFF and sidekick roles. But in this year’s heartwarming indie hit Safety Not Guaranteed, she proved herself equally up for the task of leading a film — and now she’s about to do so again in next year’s The To Do List.

The cast list for the R-rated coming-of-age comedy reads is chock full of funny young talents. In addition to Plaza, Alia Shawkat, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Donald Glover, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Rachel Bilson, Scott Porter, Johnny Simmons, and Sarah Steele all co-star. Connie Britton and Clark Gregg take on the rare grown-up roles, apparently as Plaza’s parents. CBS Films has just offered a first red-band (i.e., NSFW) look at the film in a new video announcing the release date. Watch it after the jump.

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In the age of Facebook, finding out which of your high school friends got fat, rich, and/or married is a simple matter of entering their name into a search bar. But an entire movie centered around people “liking” baby photos or approving friend requests isn’t likely to be very exciting, so in 10 Years a group of old friends decides to actually converge in the flesh for their high school reunion.

The film’s bound to draw some attention for its cast alone: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Lynn Collins, Rosario Dawson, Kate Mara, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, Justin Long, Anthony Mackie, Ron Livingston, Aubrey Plaza, Oscar Isaac, Scott Porter, and Brian Geraghty all star. Watch the first trailer after the jump, and make sure you stick around for the adorably awkward old photos at the end.
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If Safety Not Guaranteed and Battleship seem like opposites in every way, it’s probably because they are. One is an offbeat indie that’s drawn glowing reviews on the film festival circuit; the other is a big, splashy blockbuster that’s been likened to Michael Bay’s Transformers. But both have just released new clips in preparation for their summer bows, so I’ve decided to arbitrarily lump them together. Watch the scenes after the jump.

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Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow had a pretty great idea for a script: take a wacky real-life classified ad, one looking for a time-travel partner, and expand it into a strange comedy. The result is Trevorrow’s film Safety Not Guaranteed, which wowed Pete at Sundance and was quickly picked up for distribution.

Watching this first trailer for the film, I can see why Pete responded so well to the project. Aubrey Plaza looks great as one of two magazine interns an editor (Jake Johnson) takes along to track down and interview the guy (Mark Duplass) who placed the ad. The trailer makes the film out to be living right in the sweet spot between warm and weird comedy, and while I get the idea that this shows me quite a lot, I still want to see the full film. Read More »

Throughout the ’90s, Whit Stillman could be counted on for his wry depictions of the American upper class, inspiring the likes of Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. But he took a break from filmmaking after 1998′s The Last Days of Disco, and it’s only now that he’s returning to the silver screen with Damsels in Distress.

Greta Gerwig stars as the leader of a clique of college girls trying to change “the atmosphere of male barbarism” at their preppy East Coast school. Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Adam Brody also star, but I’m just as excited for the supporting performances from comedic actors like Alia Shawkat, Aubrey Plaza, and Zach Woods. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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