Note: This review originally ran during the Sundance Film Festival in January. It is based on a cut of the film that is slightly different than what opened limited last weekend and expands this week.
The best way to revitalize a well-worn story concept is often to approach it openly and honestly, but from an unusual angle. That’s what writer/director David Lowery does with the ages-old conflict between an outlaw, a lawman, and the woman between them, in the exceptional modern western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.
Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara are the people crossed at a crucial point in time. You’ve heard the story before, or at least seen the setup: one guy pulls a criminal job, and is caught in a fight with sheriff’s deputies as a result. His girlfriend is stalwart and sticks with him, even when the consequences of his criminal actions hit hard. But life is complicated, and plans go right to hell.
Deliberately paced and more interested in aftermath than big action scenes, a shorthand caption for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints could be “Cormac McCarthy by way of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” Each role is acted with calm precision, and directed with a measured hand. Lowery never falls to the temptation of overplaying a scene. It is one of the best films I’ve seen at Sundance 2013, and a must for fans of the slow burn or directors Andrew Dominik and John Hillcoat. Read More »
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The intensified scandal over the doping actions of Lance Armstrong have irrevocably tainted his participation in cycling. As you might expect, however, the controversy has only increased the speed at which various producers are trying to put together a film based on his story.
One of a few projects in the works about the cancer survivor and disgraced champ is Red Blooded American, housed at Warner Bros. Atlas Entertainment is producing, and Jay Roach is directing, and the development is based on a script by Scott Z. Burns (Contagion). Now Bradley Cooper has come on as a producer. He may also star in the film. Read More »
Director Peter Berg‘s last movie was Universal’s gigantic Battleship. By comparison, his new movie, Lone Survivor, is really sneaking up on us. The first trailer for the film was released relatively quietly today, and it shows Mark Wahlberg in the role of a Navy SEAL on a mission to take out a Taliban figure. It’s a true story, based on the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, by Marcus Luttrell. The actual tale has gone down as a dramatic moment in recent military history, and this trailer suggests that Berg is taking it very seriously.
Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana are also part of the story, but as the title suggests, things don’t go super-well for some of them. Oh, and as soon as the trailer really kicks into gear it plays out to the tune of Peter Gabriel mournfully covering David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Check out the trailer below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, July 26th, 2013 by Angie Han
The doping scandal lost Lance Armstrong a lot of fans, but it’s won him a lot of attention from Hollywood. Warner Bros. and Paramount already have their own projects about the disgraced cyclist in development. Now Working Title has set Stephen Frears to direct yet another one with Ben Foster in the lead. Hit the jump for all the details.
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The image above comes straight from Sundance and is the first official look at the cast of Kill Your Darlings, which features a good crop of young actors as Beat Generation luminaries such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. Daniel Radcliffe plays Ginsberg and Ben Foster plays Burroughs; Jack Huston joins in as Jack Kerouac, and Dane DeHaan plays Lucien Carr, who introduced Ginsberg to Burroughs and Kerouac, and in so doing helped create one of the most notable writers’ cliques of the century.
But a guy named David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) was in love with Carr, and when Kammerer was found murdered, the group of friends was caught up in the investigation, and the young Ginsberg’s coming of age is tainted by experience he would never have predicted.
A full synopsis for the film is below. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
After receiving worldwide acclaim for City of God and The Constant Gardener, director Fernando Meirelles took a stumble with his most recent film, Blindness. Now he’s angling to get back on top with 360, an erotic drama inspired by the Arthur Schnitzler‘s play Reigen. (Another of Schnitzler’s works once served as the source material for Stanely Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.)
All the pieces for a fantastic movie are here: The star-studded cast includes Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, and Ben Foster, and the screenplay comes from The Queen scribe Peter Morgan. But it’s what Meirelles does with those parts that matters, and the first trailer is inconclusive on that front. Watch it after the jump.
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In the wake of this weekend’s successful opening of the ‘real Navy SEALs’ movie Act of Valor, expect to see other similar movies go into action. While we wait to hear that Kathryn Bigelow is actually rolling on her movie about the SEAL Team 6 hunt for Osama Bin Laden, we’ve got word of another Naval special-ops adventure.
Over the past couple years Universal has developed Lone Survivor, based on the memoir of the same name by Marcus Luttrell. The author was one member of a SEAL team ambushed in Afghanistan, and the book tells of the team’s struggle to survive.
Peter Berg has been part of the project since the beginning, and now it looks like Berg will direct the film this fall as his follow-up to Battleship. He’s got Mark Wahlberg in talks to play Marcus Luttrell, and Ben Foster in talks to join Taylor Kitsch as other men on Luttrell’s team. Read More »
The trailer for Contraband put me to sleep. How many times have we seen an action movie where a former crook is drawn back into the life he left to save his family? That, coupled with the January release date, usually a kiss of death, had me going into the Baltasar Kormákur-directed film with expectations suitably low. As it turns out Contraband, which stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi, has plenty of entertaining elements. It’s noticeably flawed but those problems aren’t fatal and you get exactly what you paid for. Two hours of forgettable, forgivable entertainment. Read More »
From the moment I heard about Rampart the movie placed high on my ‘must-see’ list. The Messenger director Oren Moverman reunites with Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster to tell a story about the LAPD’s disgraced Rampart division, with a script originally written by LA crime master James Ellroy. Ice Cube is a good cop and Ned Beatty is in the movie, as are Sigourney Weaver and Steve Buscemi.
The movie has hit some festivals and I’m already hearing so much about how good Harrelson is in the film that I’ve just had to shut down all of the chatter until I get a chance to see the film. Rampart is scheduled for a limited Oscar-qualifying run in New York and LA starting next week, but most of us won’t get a chance to see it until January 2012.
There is a trailer right now, however, so you can get a taste of Harrelson’s performance as “the most corrupt cop you’ve ever seen on screen.” Watch it below. Read More »