Sony and Aardman Animation have teamed for a new 3D stop-motion animated film, called The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. (Which is also the film’s title in the UK, I believe.) That isn’t news, but the first still, above, and the announcement of the full cast definitely is.

Aardman co-founder and Chicken Run co-director Peter Lord is directing the film, which is animated in the now-classic Aardman clay figure style, and he’s got Hugh Grant making his clay debut as the chap you see above. There are a bunch of other great names on hand to provide voices as well, and you can get the full list after the break. Read More »

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A couple quick updates on James McTeigue‘s The Raven today: The Edgar Allan Poe thriller, starring John Cusack as Poe, has lost its title, and is currently being referred to by the working title The Untitled Raven Project. On the plus side, the film now has an official release date of March 9, 2012. Read more about the project after the jump.

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The film Safe House has been shooting for some time now, and it’s one that has our interest thanks to a great collection of talent: Snabba Cash director Daniel Espinosa makes his English-language debut with the movie and the cast is toplined by Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, with additional roles filled out by Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard and Robert Patrick.

Now, despite the fact that it’s a little late in the game, Vera Farmiga has been added to the cast. Read More »

Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington will soon shoot Safe House, in which a CIA trainee (Reynolds) has to transport a criminal (Washington) who is under fire from other enemies. Daniel Espinosa (Snabba Cash) is directing from a script by David Guggenheim. Now the film picked up four more actors: Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick, Sam Shepard and Liam Cunningham. No word on the roles for the quartet, but I hope they play the team trying to take down Denzel.

The film shoots starting next week, and has a February 10, 2012 release date. [Variety]

After the break, Ed Harris and Diane Keaton book a new film, Ari Folman’s The Congress gets one more, and a Glee cast member gets his own caper movie. Read More »

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 30 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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The Guard, which was picked up at Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics, is one of those movies you’re going to be quoting and turning your friends on to. Though it seems pretty surface based on a general description, once you see it, you realize it’s a truly special movie complete with humor, action, heart and one of the most memorable characters in recent years. That character, Sergeant Gerry Boyle played by Brendan Gleeson, is sort of Bad Lieutenant Light. He’s got plenty of bad habits – drinks on the job, says horrible things – but is actually a decent guy and great cop. Put that character in the middle of a simple murder mystery, co-starring Don Cheadle and Mark Strong, written and directed by John Michael McDonagh, and you’ve got one of the best movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Sundance Review: In Bruges

In Bruges

In Bruges PosterColin Farrell plays Ray, a guilt-ridden hitman who is sent by his boss to Bruges, a little “fairy tale-like village”. Ray’s partner Ken, played by Brendan Gleeson, is more interested in sightseeing, touring churches and canals, while Ray is left contemplating the fatale mistake in their last job. While in Belgium, they have encounters with a family of fat American tourists, a racist drunk horse-tranqualizer-popping dwarf actor, and his cute drug-dealing con-artist friend named Chloë (played by Clémence Poésy, of Harry Potter fame).

In Bruges jerks from farcical comedy to drama to action, and this may be too much for typical American audiences. The film has a serious identity crisis, which will sadly never be solved. Other than that, this film is competently directed by Martin McDonagh, an award-winning playwright in his feature film debut. McDonagh also won an Academy Award for his 2004 short Six Shooter. The screenplay is clever, taking unexpected twists throughout. The “cunt”-heavy dialogue is snappy and original, and Ray’s ignorant comments towards “midgets” might be too politically incorrect for some, while I found it to be hilarious.

/Film Rating: 7.5 out of 10

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