Winter's Tale

Winter’s Tale doesn’t lack for sincerity. It’s genuinely invested in the idea of eternal love, and the notion that everything happens for a reason, and the possibility that miracles are happening around us every day, and it tries its very hardest to sell us on these pleasant beliefs. What Winter’s Tale lacks is sense.

Akiva Goldsman‘s directorial debut is thought-provoking in that it raises lots and lots of questions, but they aren’t of the deep, meaningful, existential variety. Rather, they range from the amusingly trivial (why is Satan wearing a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt in 1915 Manhattan?) to the thoroughly confounding. (Seriously, what is the point of this supposedly epic battle between good and evil?) By the time it was all over, the magical flying horse-slash-guardian angel felt like the most comprehensible thing I’d seen in the past two hours.

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Briefly: Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, who directed Alps and Dogtooth, is making his first English-language feature. The Lobster is “an unconventional love story” that has been coming together for a while now. What makes it unconventional? The fact that it is set in a dystopian future isn’t all that odd in the days of rampant YA adaptations, and the fact that this particular future makes it “a matter of life or death” to find a life partner isn’t even the unusual bit. No, there’s something in the script about people being transformed into animals if they don’t fit in. Yeah, that’s the unusual part.

Most of the cast has been set since last fall, but Jason Clarke seems to have dropped out, and Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are now on board. They join the previously cast Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed and Aggeliki Papoulia. Lanthimos wrote with frequent collaborator Efthimis Filippou, and we can’t wait to see what weirdness they’ve cooked up. [THR]

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After decades spent writing and producing, Akiva Goldsman is finally trying his hand at feature directing. His first effort is Winter’s Tale, an epic fantasy romance based on Mark Helprin‘s novel of the same title.

Colin Farrell stars as Peter Lake, a thief attempting to rob a mansion in turn of the century New York. Once inside the home, however, he discovers a charming young woman named Beverly Penn (Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay) who is dying of consumption. The two develop a love powerful enough to span across the ages and maybe even overcome death.

Also starring are Jennifer Connelly as a modern-day woman who gets wrapped up in Peter’s tale, and Russell Crowe as a disgruntled gang boss who’s out to get Peter. Watch the latest trailer after the jump.

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Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman makes his directorial debut next Valentine’s Day with Winter’s Tale. Based on a novel by Mark Helprin, it’s the story of two people whose love mysteriously travels through the ages.

Or something like that. It’s a bit difficult to put together the pieces from the first trailer, which has just been released. And maybe that’s a good thing. The film stars Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay. Check out the romantic fantasy trailer below. Read More »

World of Warcraft

Briefly: Legendary may have showed off some proof of concept footage for Duncan Jones‘ upcoming Warcraft at Comic Con, but the film isn’t actually cast and shooting just yet. Production is expected to kick off for real early in 2014, and so the movie is starting to hit the casting process now.

The first report we’ve got about possible actors for the film says that Paula Patton is in talks for one lead role and that another has been offered to Colin Farrell. We still know nothing about the script, by Charles Leavitt, so it is impossible to say precisely what sort of characters the actors could end up playing. Patton is evidently pretty far along in the casting process, while Farrell isn’t yet set, and could still end up not taking the gig.

Update: A shortlist for the film also includes Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Prisoners), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels), and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night). [Deadline]

SAVING MR. BANKS

There’s a certain kind of stress that comes with watching a favorite book get adapted into movies, and I can only imagine that the process must be even more nerve-wracking for the authors of those books. It can’t be easy for them to see their work chopped up and rearranged, or to find that what soars on the page drops with a thud on the screen.

In Saving Mr. Banks, writer P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) tries to save herself that grief by refusing to hand over the film rights to her Mary Poppins books. But Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) doesn’t give up easily, and, well, if you’ve ever tried to wrap your mouth around the nonsense word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” you can probably guess how that goes. Watch the first trailer for the fact-based drama after the jump.

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Epic

Sure, it’s got noble warriors, a vicious villain, a graceful queen, and an old, bitter feud, but the most epic thing about Epic may be the voice cast. Amanda Seyfried leads as Mary Katherine, an ordinary girl who somehow gets shrunk down and finds herself involved in the grand yet very, very tiny battle between the protectors and the destroyers of the forest.

The characters she meets along the way are voiced by the likes of Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Blake Anderson, Steven Tyler, Beyoncé Knowles, and Pitbull. Jason Sudeikis voices her father. The latest trailer makes sure the emphasize just how many celebrities have gone into the making of this movie. Watch it after the jump.

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A star-studded cast works wonderfully as a marketing gimmick, but as films like New Year’s Eve and Movie 43 have proven, it’s no guarantee of quality. Fortunately, Blue Sky Studios’ animated adventure Epic seems to have a little more going for it.

Amanda Seyfried voices Mary Katherine, a normal girl who gets caught up in an old and bitter battle between the protectors of the forest (voiced by Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, and others) and the destructive forces led by Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). Beyoncé, Pitbull, Steven Tyler, Judah Friedlander, Aziz Ansari, and Blake Anderson also star. Watch the second trailer after the jump.

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