LABOR DAY

Briefly: John Hillcoat (Lawless, The Proposition) can dredge whatever material he wants up out of the depths of his mind and it probably won’t generate the ridiculous controversy set in motion by his thoroughly non-controversial Super Bowl Coke ad. So the film Triple Nine, about “a group of crooked cops who plan to kill one of their own so they can cover up a major heist,” probably won’t move the needle in a way even vaguely like the Coke ad did.

But it will have a great cast: Kate Winslet has signed on for the long-gestating picture. She joins a cast that still includes Casey Affleck and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who have been attached to the film for a while. Matt Cook scripted, and as far as we know his draft remains the basis for the film. [Variety]

Update: Michael B. Jordan, who had been linked to the film last year, has also been confirmed as being in talks, and Deadline reports that Aaron Paul, Teresa Palmer, Gal Gadot, and Michael Pena are also in talks to join.

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Casey Affleck / Michael B Jordan / Chiwetel Ejiofor

Three of this year’s hottest stars are teaming up for director John Hillcoat. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, and Casey Affleck have just boarded Hillcoat’s crime drama Triple Nine, joining the previously announced Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett.

That’s a cast to rival Hillcoat’s last star-studded affair, the bootlegging pic Lawless. Which is really saying something, since the roster for that one included Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Dane DeHaan, and Guy Pearce. More about Triple Nine, including Ejiofor, Jordan, and Affleck’s roles, after the jump.

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Out of the Furnace

Woody Harrelson‘s last feature role was as a time-traveling turkey in the animated family flick Free Birds, but don’t let that trick you into thinking he’s lost his edge. The new TV spot for Scott Cooper‘s Out of the Furnace has arrived, and he’s full-on terrifying in it.

The gritty drama stars Christian Bale as Russell, a steel mill worker whose Iraq vet brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) falls into the criminal underworld and eventually disappears. When the police fail to find Rodney, Russell sets out to discover the truth for himself. Check out the new video after the jump.

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out-of-the-furnace-header-2

Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper returns this winter with Out of the Furnace, a crime thriller that features an all star cast including Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody HarrelsonForest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoë Saldana and Sam Shepard.

The first trailer made the film look great, and this new one outlines the story a bit better, so if you watch this you’ll start to know how brothers played by Bale and Affleck run afoul of a local criminal played by Harrelson, and how that sets up a conflict that will probably mess everyone up in the end. Read More »

lowery-affleck-saints

With every month that passes this year only seems to get better for David Lowery. The guy kicked off ’13 with three Sundance films in which he had a hand, the most notable being his turn writing and directing Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. (In theaters and on VOD now.) That led to deals to write and/or direct several other projects: a new version of Pete’s Dragon, the thriller Torso, and The Old Man and the Gun, with Robert Redford.

Now Lowery and his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints star Casey Affleck are set to team once more on an adaptation of the Paul Broks short story To Be Two or Not To Be. The film, simply called To Be Two, will be a sci-fi affair that is drawing tonal comparisons to Looper. There’s teleportation, inter-planetary travel, and a host of ethical and criminal issues that arise when those elements are linked. Read More »

Note: This review originally ran during the Sundance Film Festival in January. It is based on a cut of the film that is slightly different than what opened limited last weekend and expands this week. 

The best way to revitalize a well-worn story concept is often to approach it openly and honestly, but from an unusual angle. That’s what writer/director David Lowery does with the ages-old conflict between an outlaw, a lawman, and the woman between them, in the exceptional modern western Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.

Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara are the people crossed at a crucial point in time. You’ve heard the story before, or at least seen the setup: one guy pulls a criminal job, and is caught in a fight with sheriff’s deputies as a result. His girlfriend is stalwart and sticks with him, even when the consequences of his criminal actions hit hard. But life is complicated, and plans go right to hell.

Deliberately paced and more interested in aftermath than big action scenes, a shorthand caption for Ain’t Them Bodies Saints could be “Cormac McCarthy by way of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” Each role is acted with calm precision, and directed with a measured hand. Lowery never falls to the temptation of overplaying a scene. It is one of the best films I’ve seen at Sundance 2013, and a must for fans of the slow burn or directors Andrew Dominik and John Hillcoat. Read More »

out-of-the-furnace-trailer-header

Here’s the trailer for Out of the Furnace, the new film from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. The film features Christian Bale as a Pennsylvania steelworker whose brother (Casey Affleck) gets in trouble with a backwoods but powerful criminal (Woody Harrelson). The rest of the supporting cast is impressive, with Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepard playing big roles, all of which are given a few moments here.

This trailer is solid. In fact, just so long as you’re willing to have Pearl Jam’s ‘Release‘ in your head for the rest of the day, I think it’s a pretty terrific trailer, and one that will set the movie up as a must-see for a lot of people who might not have known what to expect before now. Read More »

Casey Affleck

Christopher Nolan sure knows how to pick ‘em. Like most of his movies, Interstellar boasts an all-star lineup that combines old Nolan favorites with exciting Nolan newcomers. The Dark Knight RisesMichael Caine and Anne Hathaway represent the former, while Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, and now Casey Affleck are among the latter. The Gone Baby Gone star confirmed his casting in a magazine interview published this month. Hit the jump for details.

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