Black Sea Jude Law 3

If movies have taught us anything, it’s that money drives people mad. Movie after movie depicts people doing terrible things for money. Killing, kidnapping, and worse. Now take that tension between people desperate for money, shove it into a super-confined space, and push the container deep under the ocean. The result is Black Sea.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), Black Sea stars Jude Law as a submarine captain who is let go from his job. Desperate to make a buck, he agrees to lead a rouge mission into the depths where one of Adolf Hitler’s World War II submarines is sitting at the bottom of the ocean, reportedly filled with gold.

Black Sea, which co-stars Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn and David Threlfall, opens January 23. Check out the Black Sea trailer below. Read More »

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Starred Up review

Jack O’Connell is one of those names you don’t know yet, but will very soon. The 24-year-old British actor has been in the mix for a bunch of high-profile roles over the past few years, and finally booked one in 300: Rise of an Empire — before nabbing an even bigger one in Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken. And while we’ve seen lots of pretty young faces come and go, his performance in David Mackenzie‘s excellent prison drama Starred Up suggests that this one has real staying power.

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Starred Up

Jack O’Connell is one of those young actors who’s right on the verge of breaking out. He’s not too well known in the U.S. yet (except maybe to U.K. Skins enthusiasts), but he’s on his way there, having come close to some high-profile projects like The Secret Service and Beautiful Creatures. And he should be much more famous by the end of this year, once 300: Rise of an Empire and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken are through with him.

The film that marks the turning point in his career is Starred Up, a gritty British drama that earned raves upon its Telluride premiere last year. O’Connell plays young Eric Love, a 19-year-old who winds up incarcerated in the same prison that holds his dad, Neville (Ben Mendelsohn). David Mackenzie (Perfect Sense, Young Adam) directed, and Rupert Friend also stars. Watch the intriguing first trailer after the jump.

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cotton-candy-autopsy

The guy who made Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines is now set to direct a film about clowns on a drunken rampage. Derek Cianfrance says he’s attached to make A Cotton Candy Autopsy, and he’s got his Place Beyond the Pines supporting actor Ben Mendelsohn to star.

The story is one that real old comics nerds might know, as it was the first issue in DC’s short lived “serious adult” comics anthology Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children that ran from ’89 to ’92. Dave Louapre wrote and Dan Sweetman drew the 30 issues of the series, of which A Cotton Candy Autopsy was the first. The story opens with a circus burning down, and follows a set of friends (or “friends”) from under the big top as they flee on a weird road trip.  Read More »

The Dark Knight Rises is a mess of a film. If The Dark Knight was filled to the brim with weighty ideas, then The Dark Knight Rises‘ cup overfloweth. Director Christopher Nolan, whose previous films have frequently dealt with the darkness of human nature, was not content with creating a light and fun summer actioner. Instead, he has packed his trilogy-concluding film so full of ideas, plot points, characters, emotional arcs, and set pieces that even with a 2 hour 45 minute runtime, none of them has any room to breathe.

But Nolan still knows how to bring the goods. His visual ambition and scope have grown exponentially over the years, and with about an hour’s worth of IMAX-native footage backed by a massive budget, he has an impressive canvas on which to paint his picture. There are sequences in this film that have a mind-boggling scale rarely attempted before. The result is a astonishing spectacle that manages to wow, despite its deep, deep flaws.

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With Cannes just around the corner we’re going to start seeing even more clips and trailer from some of our most anticipated movies of the year. One of the big ones is Killing Them Softly, the third feature film from Andrew Dominik (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) that was formerly titled Cogan’s Trade. We haven’t seen any footage at all from this one yet, so the clip below is a first look.

The film features Brad Pitt as a mob enforcer on the trail of a couple guys (Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn) who ripped off the wrong card game. None of those guys are in this first footage from the film, however. Rather, we see Sam Shepard and Slaine showing up at Ray Liotta‘s house, where they rough him up for some reason. The scene is pretty basic, but the way the camera moves past the action really marks this as Dominik’s work — he’s not a guy to engage a scene in the obvious manner. It’s a great little shot. Read More »

Soon after making his dark relationship indie Blue Valentine, Derek Cianfrance co-wrote a movie called The Place Beyond the Pines, which he says was inspired by Jack London and features two generations of conflicting fathers and sons, as well as motorcycles and guns.

His Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling signed on to be a motorcycle rider who turns to crime — yeah, shades of Drive there — and is pursued by a rookie cop (Bradley Cooper). Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, and Ray Liotta also joined the cast. After the break are the first full-size official stills of Gosling and Cooper as they appear in the movie. Read More »

We’ve wondered what the story really is with Joel Schumacher‘s Trespass, in which Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and Liana Liberato play a family held in their home by invading criminals Ben Mendelsohn and Cam Gigandet. Do the invaders want money? Diamonds? Secrets? And does Trespass really turn into an all-out violent morass at the end? All I can say after watching this trailer is that we’d better hope Schumacher is keeping a great many tricks in reserve, because there aren’t many on display here. Read More »

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