Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns have spent the last couple years making genre films with prestige casts to explore modern anxieties in a unique manner. The Informant! tackled fears of impotence and mediocrity through the story of a guy who envisions himself as a powerful insder agent. Contagion charted paranoia about the ever-closer proximity in which we live with others, using a tagline that warned “Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t touch anyone.”
Now the two finish out an informal anxiety trilogy with Side Effects. The film wraps a thriller structure around a look at the insidious pharmaceutical industry, and the ways in which we rely on it, often blindly. A short new trailer for the film dropped today. It’s a brief edit, just a minute long, but the effect is much bigger than the short running time as a husband and wife (Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara) deal with the fallout of the woman’s use of medication. More than a few things are obscured in this trailer, but there’s enough here to get my attention. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 by Angie Han
Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement may be imminent, but over the past couple of years he’s been busy as ever. Where most directors might’ve opened one film between 2011 and 2012, he’s released three: Contagion, Haywire, and Magic Mike. Now, for his final (at least for now) act, he has the thriller Side Effects due out early next year, followed by his final effort, Behind the Candelabra.
Rooney Mara, in her first post-Dragon Tattoo role, stars as a woman struggling with anxiety over her husband’s (Channing Tatum) recent release from prison. She turns to a new brand of anti-depressant, prescribed by a doctor (Jude Law) who apparently harbors a not entirely professional interest in her. Before long, everything is spiraling badly out of control. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, October 12th, 2012 by Angie Han
Is it time to look ahead to 2013 already? After the jump:
- The Hangover 3 will shoot in Orange County, CA
- Paul Walker is recovering from a Fast Six injury
- Monsters Inc.‘s Mike is Billy Crystal‘s favorite role
- Liam Neeson collected $10 million for Taken 2
- Matt Damon probably won’t play Bourne again
- Roberto Orci defends the one-second Star Trek clip
- Over-the-hill movie stars team up in Red 2 set photos
- See a new photo from Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines
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What does a high-wattage star cast and a high-concept thriller premise do for you? Broken City, from Allen Hughes (one half of the Hughes Brothers) features Mark Wahlberg as a disgraced/retired cop hired by the NYC mayor (Russell Crowe) to find the man sleeping with the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). When Wahlberg is successful at this task, he is drawn into a dangerous situation in which the mayor holds evidence of his past against him.
This first trailer for the film makes Broken City look like a pretty standard thriller that works just to leverage our knowledge of the cast. That said, all three of the leads look like they’re fully committed, and Crowe is a natural for this sort of heavy-handed politician. Does the script (by Brian Tucker) go deeper into ideas about what was done to clean up New York City in the Giuliani years, or does it just sit on the surface for thrills? Probably the former, but we’ll see what happens in January. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
When a holiday movie schedule is as crowded as this year’s promises to be, it’s actually kind of a relief to see a trailer for a year-end release that looks like lighthearted, feel-good entertainment with no apparent aspirations of picking up a little gold man come February.
The romantic dramedy Playing for Keeps (formerly Playing the Field) stars Gerard Butler as onetime pro athlete George Dryer, who’s still struggling to adjust to adult life. In an attempt to do right by his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and their child, he signs on to coach the boy’s soccer team — but finds himself tempted at every turn by gorgeous soccer moms like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer. (Because in Hollywood, your average suburban cul-de-sac is populated by parents who look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer.) Dennis Quaid also stars. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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“Nothin’ But a Good Time” promises the tagline of Rock of Ages, referencing one of the two dozen or so classic ’80s rock songs its cast energetically deflates into innocuously pleasing sing-a-longs. It’s an admirably honest proclamation of the film’s limited aspirations, one which it fulfills with all the grace of a monkey hurling its own feces at the screen.
Credit where credit is due, Rock of Ages stops just shy of having literal monkey shit flung at its audience; although monkey sight gags are in fact a primary source of the film’s humor, should we choose to accept that the innumerable moments in which a trained monkey behaves contrary to that of an untrained monkey qualify as humor. Said hilarity includes but is not limited to: monkey wearing a dictator outfit, monkey throwing stuff, monkey not throwing stuff, monkey grinning, monkey screeching loudly, monkey having a silly name, monkey serving drinks, monkey not serving drinks, monkey doing other things that resemble what humans do, and homosexuality. That last one has nothing to do with any monkey related shenanigans, but apparently it’s just as noteworthy, as was evident from the fits of hysterical laughter that surrounded me when two male characters share an out-of-nowhere romantic musical number together — complete with obligatory make-out session. (A gay guy directed the film, so it’s okay to laugh!)
If all that, and Tom Cruise in assless chaps, sounds like a promising night of fun and laughs to you, Rock of Ages should prove more than serviceable. Granted, of course, that you’re also an advocate of the recent surge of jukebox musicals, none of which lend themselves very well to things like “story” and “character development”, but all of which feature songs you already know and enjoy and can sing the lyrics to, so who gives a fuck, right? Read More »
What’s the latest Batman Internet meme? Will The Dark Knight Rises be screening at midnight in the UK? Who will Catherine Zeta-Jones be playing in Red 2? Want to watch several featurettes from The Amazing Spider-Man? Does Malcolm McDowell like The Avengers? Is Teen Titans coming back to TV? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 by Angie Han
Stephen Frears‘ record may not be flawless, but his hit to miss ratio’s high enough that I generally look forward to his movies. His newest project, Lay the Favorite, started out looking as promising as any other. The filmmaker collected a likable cast, including Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones for the dramedy, an adaptation of a favorably reviewed memoir by Beth Raymer about the strange world of sports betting.
Unfortunately, early reviews suggest that the result hasn’t lived up to that promise at all. The new trailer offers some hints as to what exactly went wrong, starting with a strangely off-putting performance by the usually charming Hall. Check it out after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 by Angie Han
Even if you’ve long since outgrown summer vacation, there’s just something about warmer weather that makes it tempting to put aside the heavy, thought-provoking stuff and look for a good, lighthearted laugh instead. If you’re curious what the upcoming season has in store for you on that front, hit the jump to check out new posters for The Dictator, Rock of Ages, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Neighborhood Watch.
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