I was a huge fan/supporter of Jonathan Levine‘s 2008 film The Wackness, which premiered years ago at Sundance and got dumped at the box office by Sony Pictures Classics. Levine has had some tough luck in terms of distributors — his debut feature, the critically acclaimed horror film All The Boys Love Mandy Lane premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, yet has still never gotten a US release (both theatrically and even on dvd/blu-ray). But as they say, the third times the charm, right?

50/50 (originally titled I’m With Cancer) is an autobiographical story based on the experiences of Will Reiser, a producer on HBO’s Da Ali G Show and VH1′s Best Week Ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old who is diagnosed with cancer, and his sometimes funny “struggle to beat the disease.” The film, funded with Summit Entertainment’s giant pile of Twilight money, co-stars Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston. 50/50 won’t hit theaters until September 30th 2011, probably after a film festival run. We should see a trailer next week.

I’ve heard some amazing buzz about the film, and now I have something in print. /Film Reader Ben has seen a completed cut of the film, and has filed a reader review (much in line with what I’ve heard). Read his thoughts after the jump.

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‘The Help’ Trailer and New Photos

The trailer has landed for The Help, the Tate Taylor-scripted and directed adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s novel of the same name. The story follows Skeeter (Emma Stone), a young college grad who, incensed by the treatment of the women who work as maids in her hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, decides to write a book from the perspective of ‘the help.’ The results, as you might expect in Jackson in the ’60s, are explosive.  Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Octavia Spencer are also in the cast. See the trailer and a few new high-res photos from the film after the break. Read More »

The apple often doesn’t fall far from the tree in Hollywood, as evidenced by the number of Hollywood offspring who’ve grown up to become Hollywood players in their own right. Sofia Coppola and Jason Reitman became directors, just like their fathers, while Jeff Bridges, Kate Hudson and Colin Hanks all became actors, just like their parents. Now, actor-turned-director Ron Howard’s daughter Bryce Dallas Howard is poised to follow her father’s footsteps by making the leap from acting to writing and directing.

Howard’s first feature as a director will be The Originals, a New York City-based drama about 20somethings. The original (heh) script was written by Howard herself and her writing partner/brother-in-law Dane Charbonneau. Read more about the project and watch Howard’s very first directorial effort, the short film Orchids, after the jump.

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In addition to offering up quite a few new images of Captain America, the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly has first looks at many other films. There’s the first image from The Help, starring Viola Davis and Emma Stone in what is sure to be one of the prestige pictures of fall 2011. There are also new images from Something Borrowed, starring John Krasinski and Kate Hudson, and even an on-set image, enlarged above, from Oren Moverman‘s Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and Ice Cube. More info and pics after the break. Read More »

TIFF Movie Review: Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter

Clint Eastwood‘s new film Hereafter is one of the most talked about films going into this year’s festival. When the schedule for the festival was announced, it featured one sole performance, and no press screenings.

Industry bloggers threw a fuss and Warner Bros responded that they planned to have a press screening sometime on the first Saturday of the festival. And they followed through with that promise. TIFF Press received an e-mail less than two hours before the newly announced screening. Most critics learned about the screening after it was too late. And what kind of screening room did they find to screen this highly anticipated movie? One that fit less than 140 people. To give you perspective, the biggest press screening room fits 557 people (I know this because we just saw Dustin Lance Black’s directorial debut on that screen).

Why would Warner Bros be so elusive about a press screening? Why screen the film only once publicly? Could it possibly be THAT bad? Might they be trying to prevent bad buzz from spreading fast? And if so, why submit the film to a film festival in the first place?

Update: I have talked to someone involved who says the press screening was scheduled weeks in advance. But the information was not available on any of the press schedule board updates. So I’m not sure why the majority of press were only alerted of it an hour and forty five minutes before the screening.

I can’t answer any of the questions above, but I can tell you what I thought of the film.

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Is this a Clint Eastwood movie or one by M. Night Shyamalan? OK, I’m kidding, and now that I’ve completely stacked the deck against Hereafter by even mentioning that name I guess I should backtrack.

Clint Eastwood has called Hereafter his ‘chick flick.’ It features Matt Damon as a retired/reluctant psychic who brings together a boy (twins Frankie and George McLaren) who lost his brother and a woman (Cécile De France) who nearly died in the 2004. The film is certainly about loss and dealing with the ugly turns life takes, more than it is about the supernatural. Oh, hell, I’m probably not doing this one any favors. Just watch the trailer, after the break, and hopefully that will get the idea across. Read More »

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Clint Eastwood‘s upcoming Hereafter, starring Matt Damon, is now slated to close this year’s installment of the New York Film Festival. David Fincher’s The Social Network is opening the fest and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest is another of the big films; new additions to the program include Certified Copy, We Are What We Are (the ‘Mexican cannibal movie’), Another Year and Meek’s Cutoff. That is, most of the big Cannes films are in the fest, including Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Hereafter is written by Peter Morgan and features Damon as a reluctant psychic dealing with issues with his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard) while Cecile De France plays a TV journalist who has a near-death experience during the 2004 tsunami. Their lives all come together along with a young boy dealing with the death of his twin brother. Early reports pegged it as a more supernatural film than it really seems to be. Rather, the movie is about loss and grief, and Eastwood has called it his ‘chick flick.’

After the break, the entire NYFF program as it currently stands. Read More »

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The Entertainment Weekly fall preview issue is a bonanza of first looks and new images. Scans from the magazine are showing up online, and they have the first official still from the Coen Bros. remake of True Grit, new images from Let Me In and Buried, and the first look at Clint Eastwood‘s drama Hereafter. In addition, there’s a spy pic of Kristen Stewart on the set of On the Road, which is finally shooting after years of development by various filmmakers. Read More »

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