Joe Carnahan

Following a solid box office performance by The Purge, Universal is getting back into business with Blumhouse Productions for another microbudget genre pic. Only this one falls a bit outside Jason Blum‘s usual horror wheelhouse.

The studio is set to distribute the Blum-produced, Joe Carnahan-directed Stretch, an action comedy starring Patrick Wilson. Ed Helms and Chris Pine have also signed on in recent weeks, and now Brooklyn Decker has come aboard as well. Get details on her character and the new release date after the jump.

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Ed Helms Cedar Rapids

UPDATE: A few minor tweaks have been made to this story since it was first published.

Preliminary details on Joe Carnahan‘s latest film, a small budget thriller produced by horror guru Jason Blum, have now been revealed. We already knew it was called Stretch and that Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Watchmen) would be the star. Now Ed Helms, whose summer scheduled freed up when Vacation was put on hold, has been cast. According to reports, Wilson plays a down on his luck chauffeur who takes a risky job driving around a mysterious billionaire to settle some debts. Helms plays a colleague, of sorts, to Wilson and Chris Pine also stars. Read More »

Star Trek Into Darkness - Spock and Kirk

It’s in theaters now, and all the secrets are out in the open. Star Trek Into Darkness, the second Trek film from J.J. Abrams, has been locked (mostly) in the producer/director’s “mystery box” for over a year. For hardcore fans, at least, the secrecy around the precise nature of the character played by Benedict Cumberbatch has been a big part of the marketing allure, but the energy Abrams and his cast brought to their first outing on the Enterprise has been enough to make a huge audience curious about their encore.

And in the end, the irony is that, while there was a type of secret to preserve with respect to the character, in the end he plays a weird role in the plot. (There’s a certain kinship to Iron Man 3 in that respect.)

Abrams has said that he wanted to make Star Trek for people who aren’t Star Trek fans, and in that respect he might have succeeded. Into Darkness has a few well-executed setpieces, and loads of the same winning cast presence that made the first Abrams Trek a success. But does it work? Does the film’s wide divergence from many well-established Trek characteristics fly, and does it even really matter who Cumberbatch is playing? Weigh in below, where full spoilers are in force. Read More »

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Sequels are a tricky thing. In the best cases, they transcend the original work by adding emotional depth and context, elevating the entire story arc. In the worst cases, they’re a carbon copy of the original with perhaps a bigger “wow” factor. Star Trek Into Darkness, like many sequels, falls into the middle ground. It expands and broadens the scope of the original while duplicating most of the elements that were already in place from the 2009 film.

To follow his first Trek revival, director J.J. Abrams has made a much more visually impressive and exciting action film, and one worthy of the Star Trek franchise. It simply lacks the inspiration that made his first film so special.

After the jump, read the rest of this review and see a video blog with some differing opinions. Read More »

Amanda Seyfried

In a post-apocalyptic world, one girl believes she’s the last human alive. Then she sees some smoke on the horizon, and a man appears. She and the man fall in love, assuming they’re all that’s left. Then another man emerges. That’s the plot of Robert C. O’Brien‘s ’70s sci-fi novel, Z For Zachariah, which is about to get the big screen treatment.

Directed by Craig Zobel (of the amazing Compliance), produced by Tobey Maguire and adapted by Nissar Modi, Amanda Seyfried will play the young girl, Chiwetel Ejiofor the man she falls in love with and Chris Pine the mysterious stranger. Filming should occur later this Summer. Read More »

Gyllenhaal Pine

Director Rob Marshall has just cast two princes for his Disney musical Into The Woods. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine and Brokeback Mountain‘s Jake Gyllenhaal are in talks to join an increasingly star-studded cast set for the fairy-tale blending musical. Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp are already attached as the film’s main witch and a sultry wolf, while Pine and Gyllenhall would be Cinderella and Rapunzel’s princes. It’ll mark the first time either has sung on screen. Read More »

Star Trek Into Darkness - Pine, Quinto, Abrams 1

Most of us will never get to visit a J.J. Abrams set. The director is simply too protective about his work to let anyone not directly involved with the production linger as cameras roll. Thankfully, Paramount has released a seven-minute video from the set of Star Trek Into Darkness that puts the viewer right on the bridge of the Enterprise.

The video is a long montage of the film’s production, featuring actors like Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine when they’re not filming, Abrams directing various scenes, all kinds of different camera set ups, and more. It’s a fascinating snapshot of Abrams and the Enterprise crew in action. Read More »

ZZ22138C2F

At movie junkets, the cast and crew of movies sit in a chair all day while hundreds of interviewers rotate in, most asking the same exact questions. The result is that the talent begin repeating the same soundbites over and over again. So much so that it almost becomes a script. Sometimes you go into one of these rooms, asking a different question that no one else has asked, and the tired actor might just try to find a way to work one of the dozen now-scripted soundbites as the answer, never really touching on your question. I always try to ask questions that aren’t asked by other journalists, but I try to stay away from the tv interview set-ups as they create an environment of recycled soundbite with not enough time to delve into any real substance.

But I do enjoy watching the tv interviews from the few journalists that find a way to keep the talent on their feet, and out of the soundbite zone. Daniele Rizzo is a German comedian who we’ve featured on the site in the past, usually working fun sketch interviews in at international film junkets. This time around Rizzo has shown up at the Star Trek Into Darkness junket as “Spocko”  to grill both cast and crew on the details of their missions. He also showed up at the Iron Man 3 junket to ask Robert Downey Jr & Gwyneth Paltrow the important questions in full costume as Italian Iron Man. He may not get any serious answers or scoops, but its fun to watch.

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