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Nacho Vigalondo‘s first film, Timecrimes, had some wild stuff, and dressed up one character in a simple but unforgettable outfit. His new movie, Open Windows, premieres next week at SXSW, with Elijah Wood and Sacha Grey in the lead roles. Wood plays a super-fan of Grey’s actress character, and is given the voyeur’s dream: a total and disembodied visual window into her life. And then it gets weird.

How weird? Check out the getup sported by someone — seemingly Wood — in the film’s official poster. It’s not the sort of thing someone just out for a casual evening’s activity. Read More »

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‘Grand Piano’ Alternate Poster Debut

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Grand Piano was one of the most entertaining films I saw in 2013 — its premiere screening at Fantastic Fest last year had the crowd roaring with delight, and was the thing everyone talked about for the rest of the fest.

Coming from director Eugenio Mira, who did the music for Timecrimes; star Elijah Wood; and screenwriter Damien Chazelle (whose directorial debut Whiplash was just a big Sundance hit) the film is a technical tour de force that puts Wood in the hot seat as a killer targets him during a tense musical performance. The film has a delightfully composed visual style which indulges in De Palma-esque touches to manipulate suspense as the action unfolds. The underlying concept may be somewhat silly, but the execution is excellent.

The film is on iTunes and VOD now, and we’ve got an exclusive alternate poster below, along with a behind the scenes featurette and a clip. Check it all out, and revisit the trailer, after the break.  Read More »

Cooties cast

If the idea of a bunch of zombie kids disemboweling their teachers sounds like fun, Cooties is the movie for you. Elijah Wood stars as Clint, a substitute teacher who ends up at the wrong school on the wrong day. He’s joined by Allison Pill, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad and Leigh Whannell, all of whom play teachers tasked with trying to stop a quickly spreading virus that turns kids into rabid flesh eaters.

Whannell, best known for the Saw and Insidious franchises, also co-wrote the film and it pops with hilarious one-liners and disgusting violence. The second act slows down the action considerably, however, and some of the plot holes are massive, but that doesn’t take away too much from the good provided by first time directors Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion. Read More »

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People joke about being able to perform with a gun to their head, but that’s literally the crux of Grand Piano. Directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia), the film stars Elijah Wood as a famous concert pianist who returns from a hiatus only to have his life threatened while on stage. If he plays one note wrong, a watchful assassin (John Cusack) will shoot him in the head.

Grand Piano comes on demand January 30 and to theaters March 7. Watch the official trailer below.  Read More »

The Wind Rises

Briefly: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having a big news day. He’s attached to adapt Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and he’s now officially been revealed as the lead voice in Disney’s English-language release of Hayao Miyazaki‘s final film, The Wind Rises.

Gordon-Levitt will voice Jiro Horikoshi, a talented engineer who spends his life building planes, only to realize he can’t fix everything. The actor will be joined by an impressive list of names including his Looper co-star Emily Blunt, her husband John Krasinski, as well as Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog (!), Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Elijah Wood and Ronan Farrow.

The English dubbed version will be released February 21. [USA Today]

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Elijah Wood has spent the last couple years doing new stuff. He toplined the gruesome and controversial remake of Maniac, and this year is in two thrillers from Spanish directors. We just saw the trailer for the first, Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows, and now here’s a look at the other.

Grand Piano is directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia), and sees Wood as a skilled concert pianist who is performing under threat of death. Though this first trailer is entirely in Spanish, you can easily sense the threatening tone, and get an idea about how the somewhat ridiculous premise might turn into a pretty neat thriller. And why does John Cusack have a rifle? Find out below. Read More »

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The biggest surprise of Nacho Vigalondo‘s latest film isn’t its unique visual language. It’s that the director of Timecrimes and Extraterrestrial is finally telling a story grounded in reality. After tackling time travel and apocalyptic love stories with his first two films, the filmmaker now brings us the computer thriller Open WindowsElijah Wood stars a super-fan of an actress played by Sasha Grey. When he’s given direct access to her computer, he finds himself positioned to try and save her life as a mysterious man prods him to push the access further.

A cool story to be sure but Vigalondo is rarely that simple. To give the film a Nacho twist, Open Windows is told in real time and totally through a computer screen. We’d previously seen a glimpse of what this might mean but now a first trailer for the thriller is out. Read More »

Maniac Poster header

Though there have been multiple trailers released for Franck Khalfoun‘s remake of Maniac, and we’ve even seen the first few minutes of the movie, this marks the first time the official US release gets some love.

On June 21 IFC Midnight will release the film, which stars Elijah Wood as a deranged killer whose point of view makes up most of the movie. They’ve now released a trailer and brand new poster. Check them out below. Read More »

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