Rudderless

Just when you thought you’d seen William H. Macy do everything, he steps behind the camera with his feature debut Rudderless. Macy co-wrote and directs a complex story of love, loss, friendship and music. Billy Crudup stars as Sam, the successful father of a boy who dies in a school shooting. After years of grief, Sam comes to realize his son was a very talented budding musician. With the help of another young musician named Quentin (Anton Yelchin), the two bring his music to the public.

Rudderless starts like an upbeat, uplifting film. It doesn’t finish there, however, instead delving into much darker issues along the way. These deeper themes definitely distinguish the film from the usual fare, but Macy’s direction in both parts doesn’t feel cohesive. The change is jarring and some of the goodwill the film has earned goes away at the shift. Still, it’s touching movie with a fantastic lead performance and even better music. Read More »

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Another big Cannes premiere this year was the crime drama Blood Ties, co-written by Two Lovers director James Gray, and the first English-language film directed by Guillaume Canet (Tell No One). The film has quite a cast, and a period ’70s setting in Brooklyn, as it remakes the 2008 French thriller Les liens du sang by Jacques Maillot.

The cast includes Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard reuniting from Rust & Bone, but the prime cast members are Clive Owen and Billy Crudup, with Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, and James Caan. The plot relies on an old conceit: two brothers on opposite sides of the law. But there’s some changing of sides, and the ensemble cast expands the scope of the production by involving far more people than the two brothers.

Keep in mind, the trailer is not safe for work thanks to language. Read More »

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The Hulk has been notoriously tricky to get right on the big screen, but thanks to his enduring popularity as a character plenty of people have tried. One man, concept artist Benton Jew, has even made the attempt three times.

Jew first worked on bids for Jonathan Hensleigh‘s unmade 1997 Hulk film and Ang Lee‘s 2003 Hulk, before getting hired in 2007 as a storyboard artist on Louis Leterrier‘s The Incredible Hulk. The illustrator recently took to his blog to share his work from those experiences, including mock-ups of Lee’s original choice Billy Crudup as Bruce Banner. Check ’em out after the jump!

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We first heard about Jill Sprecher‘s Thin Ice when Greg KinnearBilly Crudup, and Alan Arkin signed on to star almost two years ago, back when it was still titled The Convincer. But the film hasn’t drawn much attention since then; even after it premiered at last year’s Sundance, I don’t remember hearing much about it. After seeing this sharp new trailer, though, I’m happy to be reminded of its existence.

In what sort of looks like Fargo-lite without aping the Coen Bros. too closely, Kinnear plays Mickey, a down-on-his-luck insurance agent in Kenosha, Wisconson. He stumbles across an opportunity to make some shady money off of one of his customers (Arkin), who’s unaware of the true value of one of his possessions. Unfortunately, Mickey makes the mistake of involving an unpredictable ex-con (Crudup) in his exploits, and from there things quickly spin out of control. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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This past spring Mark Ruffalo said that he was looking at a role in Red Light Winter, a film based on the play of the same name by Adam Rapp (The L Word, Winter Passing), and a movie that would be brought into the world by Scott Rudin, the producer whose taste tends more genuinely toward the literary than almost anyone else working in the US right now.

Ruffalo told The Playlist “it’s the story of a writer and his best friend, and a kind of crazy love triangle they get into,” and more specifically the play is about two thirty-something friends who fall for the same prostitute in Amsterdam. Ruffalo and Billy Crudup play the friends, and now Kirsten Dunst will be their shared obsession. Read More »

Olivia Wilde has landed the coveted role of ’70s supermodel Suzy Miller in Rush, Ron Howard‘s Peter Morgan-scripted drama about the real-life rivalry between British Formula One driver James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Austrian racer Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). Miller married the womanizing Hunt, but then fell in love with Hunt’s friend Richard Burton. Burton agreed to pay the $1 million divorce settlement that Hunt owned Miller, and then married Miller.

Howard is reportedly eyeing Russell Crowe to play the supporting role of Burton, but it doesn’t sound like negotiations are too far along at this time. Rush began preliminary shooting last month, but real principal photography is starting soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Billy Crudup gets to show off his comedic chops while Helen Hunt, Maggie Grace, and Aaron Paul get to fight breast cancer.

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Eat, Pray, Love Movie Trailer

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Sony has released the first movie trailer for Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love. Julia Roberts plays “a happily married woman realizes her life needs to go in a different direction, and after a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey.” Watch the trailer now, embedded after the jump.

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While Hollywood held its breath in anticipation of this morning’s Oscar nominations, a few new casting notes slipped out, mostly for upcoming indies. For example, Orlando Bloom will take the lead role in The Good Doctor, which he’ll produce as well. Written by John Enbom, the film is about “a frustrated doctor looking to impress his superiors and colleagues. When his 18-year-old patient, admitted for a kidney infection, provides him with the esteem he so craves, the doctor tampers with her treatment so that she’ll have to stay at the hospital with him.”

Co-starring with Bloom may be an excellent cast: Michael Pena, Troy Garity, Courtney Ford, Taraji P. Henson, Rob Morrow and J.K. Simmons are all negotiating roles. [THR]

After the break, new cast members for the indie The Convincer, which sounds like a point of interest for fans of movies like Fargo. Read More »

VOTD: The Ballad of GI Joe

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Funny Or Die’s GI Joe parody probably has a bigger all-star cast than the actual movie. Written by Daniel Strange & Kevin Umbricht, The Ballad of GI Joe shows us what the GI Joes do in their off time for fun, through a brilliant musical number.

The list of stars features include: Laz Alonso as Doc, Alexis Bledel as Lady Jaye, Billy Crudup as Zartan, Zach Galifiankais as Snow Job, Tony Hale as Dr. Mindbender, Vinnie Jones as Destro, Joey Kern as Tomax and Xamot, Chuck Liddell as Gung Ho, Julianne Moore as Scarlett, Henry Rollins as Duke, Alan Tudyk as Shipwreck, Olivia Wilde as The Baroness, and Sgt. Slaughter as Himself. Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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It’s a really slow news day (how can you follow Ridley Scott going back to Alien?) so here are a few small casting notes to chew on. First, appropriately, is the news that Billy Crudup has joined the adaptation of best-selling memoir Eat, Pray Love. Variety notes that he’ll work alongside Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem and Richard Jenkins under the direction of Ryan Murphy. Crudup will play husband to Roberts’ protagonist, who leaves him behind to undertake a global journey of self-discovery. The film goes before cameras next week.

Meanwhile, three actors have been added to the science fiction action flick Battle: Los Angeles, and they’re all after the jump. Read More »