Calvary

The opening scene of John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary is a frightening juxtaposition that perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come. Father James (Brendan Gleeson) is taking confession from a mysterious man who admits to being molested by a priest as a child. Not this specific priest, though, another one, and to get revenge he tells Father James he’s going to kill him for no good reason. In an instant, McDonagh has sucked the audience in.

Much like McDonagh and Gleeson’s previous film The Guard, Calvary is wholly original. It blends elements of mystery, a detective story and comedy with lots of philosophical ruminations. As Father James spends what might be his final week alive dealing with the townspeople, one of which is his would-be murderer, he tries to solve the riddle by delving into their problems (alcoholism, depression, adultery, etc) through his Catholic beliefs. The result is an ambitious, slow-burn drama with dynamite performances from top to bottom that just misses the mark because it’s trying to do too much. Read More »

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Calvary

A noble, wise priest is told he’s going to be killed in a week simply because he’s good. That’s the start of Calvary, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh (The Guard), which had its world premiere this week at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, which stars Brendan Gleeson, generated solid buzz for its mix of pseudo-detective story and philosophical rumination. And now, you’ll all get a chance to see it as Fox Searchlight acquired it for domestic distribution. It’s their second Sundance purchase, following I OriginsRead More »

Henry Selick‘s stop-motion animation Shademaker hit a massive roadblock last year when Disney backed out of the project, but happily it turned out not to be dead so much as stalled. K5 International got things going again this week when it decided to back the project (now titled The Shadow King) and bring it to the European Film Market.

Today, we have a first look at the new feature in the form of a sales poster for EFM. In addition, we have some info on the promising cast, which will include Jeffrey TamborBrendan Gleeson, and Catherine O’Hara. Hit the jump for more.

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Is minimal design in teasers now the go-to for kids animation franchises? Despicable Me 2 used the approach to pretty cute effect not long ago, and here an international teaser for The Smurfs 2 (which is likely almost exactly the same as the forthcoming US teaser) relies on little but a Smurf, a white backdrop, and an insistent bit of text. It’s gentle and a little bit silly, like the Smurfs, if not all that memorable.

The real audience for a Smurfs movie won’t care much, I imagine, but the parents buying the tickets might not be all that excited to pony up just yet. Check out the teaser below. Read More »

It’s weird to see a trailer for a film that feels like it has to throw out a recap definition of the Weather Underground, that group of radical leftists who in the early ’70s embraced violent tactics (riots, bomb attacks on banks and government buildings) in order to protest government actions and argue for revolution. But time marches on, and audiences don’t remember everything.

That said, the trailer for The Company You Keep actually argues that time does not march on, as it follows the efforts of a dogged young newspaper reporter (Shia LaBeouf) as he tracks an at-large WU member (Robert Redford) after the arrest of another formerly free suspect (Susan Sarandon). Redford directed based on a script by Lem Dobbs (The Limey, Haywire) and the trailer makes it look like a pastiche of classic Redford political thriller hits All the President’s Men, and Three Days of the Condor.

There’s an appeal to that classic thriller style, however, and the large cast (Julie Christie, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, and Chris Cooper also appear) lends a real prestige feel to the proceedings. Check out the first trailer below. Read More »

CinemaCon has come to a close, and I’ve returned from Las Vegas to find a ton of film sequel news bits. After the jump you’ll see a round up of all the latest, including:

  • New photos from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Expendables 2
  • Benedict Cumberbatch explains how he auditioned for Star Trek 2 on his iPhone.
  • Brendan Gleeson and J.B. Smoove join The Smurfs 2
  • Screenwriter Max Landis talks about returning characters, possible directors, and how Chronicle 2 will be about the world’s first ‘supervillain’
  • The running time and soundtrack listing for Men in Black 3 has been revealed
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel will begin production by Summer’s end.
  • And an update on The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo sequels.

 

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Believe it or not, there’s just 34 days left to go until the second season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones. And as that date approaches, the teasers and trailers have been getting ever so slightly more revealing. The latest ditches the dramatic narration of the last two, so we get more dialogue this time around — and, consequently, a better idea of the struggles the characters will be facing in the upcoming season. Watch the video after the jump. (Spoilers for Season One follow, obviously.)

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The Guard, starring Brendon Gleeson and Don Cheadle, became a tidy little art-house hit last year, and director John Michael McDonagh is planning his next film, called The Calvary.

The movie is set to shoot this September, and has distribution sales going on in Berlin right now. The film brings Gleeson and McDonagh back together, and is now adding Chris O’Dowd and Aidan Gillen, with Kelly Reilly and David Wilmot joining as well. Read More »

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