house-of-cards-2-trailer

Here’s the full trailer for the second season of House of Cards, and it is just full of drama, scheming, anger, and all the devious political maneuvering that made the first season so great. There are even more hints of murder here — is a new victim going to be ground up in one of Frank Underwood’s ruthless power ploys, and not just in a political sense?

Season two once again stars Kevin Spacey as Underwood, who begins the season by assuming the office of the Vice President of the United States, and the supporting cast includes a mix of returning players and new faces: Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Michael Gill, Gerald McRaney, Michael Kelly, Mahershala Ali, Sebastian Arcelus, Kristen Connolly, Sam Page and Molly Parker.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

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David Fincher directing House of Cards

Briefly: Some of the best director commentaries out there are from David Fincher, whose discussions about each of his films are super-detailed and free of the “you had to be there” stories that make some commentaries little more than a genial hangout session with the filmmakers. Hanging out is great, but if you want a commentary you might learn from, Fincher is a good bet.

So it’s great that Netflix has added director commentaries to the first season of House of Cards, which Fincher produced, and which features him as director of two episodes. There are also commentaries from James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Joel Schumacher (The Client), Charles McDougall (The Good Wife), Carl Franklin (Homeland), and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos).

This is all a promo, more or less, for the second season of House of Cards, which will be available in its entirety on February 14. As promos go, it’s a great one. Get to the commentaries through the subtitle option on your Netflix portal of choice.

affleck-gone-girl-1

Briefly: That image above is your first look at Gone Girl, the new film from David Fincher. The director is adapting Gillian Flynn‘s novel about a man, played by Affleck, who turns into suspect #1 when his wife disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. There’s more to the story than that, of course, but if you don’t already know the plot, it’s best to either wait for the trailers or read the novel if you want more details.

The film also stars Rosamund PikeKim Dickens, Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick FugitCarrie CoonTyler Perry, and Emily Ratajkowski. This is a super-early look, as the movie doesn’t open until October 3, 2014. [The Playlist]

House-of-Cards-Season-2-Trailer

After editing my talk with Jacob Gentry, which featured conversation about the virtues of Kate Mara, I’m ready for the second season of House of Cards right now. The show features Mara as a wily, ambitious journalist that gets too close to a power hungry Congessman (Kevin Spacey), and the first season, overseen by David Fincher for Netflix, was a powerhouse of performances and tight, intricate plotting.

The second season will debut next year, and now we’ve got a long trailer that re-introduces the characters, and throws out a few big themes, too. It’s going to get ugly, and I can’t wait. Read More »

David Fincher

David Fincher‘s films have a very definite style, but he has developed a method of directing that seeks to wring some elements of style out of his actors’ performances. He has said, half-jokingly, “I hate earnestness in performance… usually by Take 17 the earnestness is gone,” and talked about wanting to break down scenes and dialogue to a granular level, to push performances to a point where they’re beyond second nature, to where they just happen.

The tool to achieve that, for Fincher, is the repeated take. He’s known for making actors run through a scene dozens of times. Some people respond well to that tactic, others do not. Ben Affleck, who other actors have described as passionate about his own work, and who has certainly been willing to ask unusual things of his own actors, is likely someone able to work with Fincher’s tendencies.

A good thing, as one report says that Gone Girl, the film in which Fincher is now directing Affleck, is running up more takes than is usual for the director. Read More »

David Fincher

Briefly: Release dates have been given to two major films either currently in production, or about to start. The big one is David Fincher‘s latest, Gone Girl, based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn It stars Ben Affleck as a husband accused of killing his wife, played by Rosamund Pike. Fincher is currently shooting and the film will be released October 3, 2014.

The second is Paul McGuigan‘s upcoming version of Frankenstein, scripted by Max Landis. Daniel Radcliffe is playing main character Igor while James McAvoy is Dr. Frankenstein. That film will be out January 16, 2015. [Film Stage]

black-hole-cover

It’s a good day for those who like to see films based on some of the more serious and/or challenging comics out there. We got word that a film adaptation of the first arc in Ed Brubaker’s great Criminal series is still in the works, now with Kim Jee-Woon (I Saw the Devil) directing. And now the once-dead adaptation of Charles Burns‘ wild and very unsettling graphic novel Black Hole is back on, with David Fincher again set to direct.

This Black Hole has nothing to do with space, or with a Disney sci-fi film. It is sourced from a serialized graphic novel in which Charles Burns visualized a set of Seattle high school kids who are all touched by “the bug,” a sexually-transmitted mutagen that has some pretty shocking effects on those that carry it. Picture a hybrid of Dazed & Confused and Less Than Zero filtered through early Cronenberg and you’ll kinda get the idea. Read More »

Emily Ratajkowski

Odds are if you own a computer and were alive in the past six months, you likely saw Robin Thicke’s music video for the hit song “Blurred Lines.” Pushing 200 million views on YouTube, it was one of the most talked about clips of the year, thanks in part to a model named Emily Ratajkowski. Now the London-born model is turning that buzz into a major acting gig. She’s been cast as Andie, an important supporting character in David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, which stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Read More »

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