Prince Avalanche

Though David Gordon Green broke out with quiet indie dramas like All the Real Girls, since 2008′s Pineapple Express he’s stuck mostly with studio comedy projects. But now he seems ready to transition back, with the indie Prince Avalanche as the first step. Funny but sweet, the film strikes a pleasing balance of both Green’s serious and goofy sides.

A remake of the Icelandic film Either Way, the film centers on two very different men, pensive Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s dim brother Lance (Emile Hirsch), as they spend the summer together painting road lines in remote areas of Texas. Magnolia scooped it up shortly after its Sundance premiere in January and has now released a first trailer. Watch it after the jump.

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With the Toronto Film Festival set to get into full swing Thursday, we’ve already begun to see trailers and clips from all sorts of interesting independent releases. The latest is Twice Born, directed by Sergio Castellitto based on a novel by Margaret Mazzantini. Penelope Cruz stars as a mother who brings her 16-year-old son back to the city of his birth, Sarajevo, and is forced to relive the trials and tribulations she and her family faced during the wars of the 1990s. Emile Hirsch co-stars and, after the jump, you can see the first trailer for the film which premieres this week in Toronto. Read More »

In July, Oliver Stone is going back to his lurid daylight noir style (think U-Turn) with his adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel Savages. The film features Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a couple of pot growers whose business ends up in the crosshairs of a more powerful Mexican drug lord (Salma Hayek). Her henchman (Benicio Del Toro) kidnaps the guys’ shared girlfriend (Blake Lively), which leads to a pretty intense confrontation.

After the break, we’ve got an exclusive behind the scenes video showing the setup and filming of one of the movie’s action setpieces. We’ve also dropped in some of the other videos from the film that have hit in the past couple days. Read More »

Sneaky, sneaky. While we’ve been wondering when David Gordon Green might return to the indie fare that earned him so much acclaim in his early days, it turns out Green himself has already done so in secret. Green, along with stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, has just wrapped the low-budget road trip comedy Prince Avalanche, an Austin, TX-set remake of the Icelandic film Either Way (A annan veg). More details after the jump.

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“Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap!” Wait. Hiring Matthew McConaughey to kill someone costs how much? Twenty-five grand? Ok, maybe not ‘dirt cheap,’ then. Anyway, The Exorcist director William Friedkin is back this year with Killer Joe, a Southern-fried thriller in which McConaughey is hired by Emile Hirsch to kill his mom (Gina Gershon). But complications arise when the killer wants money up front and the kid can’t pay. That’s where his sister (Juno Temple) comes in.

The film ended up being rated NC-17, and despite whatever intense stuff goes down to earn that rating, it seems like there’s a real appeal here when it comes to the performances from McConaughey and the supporting players. I’m thrilled, frankly, to see McConaughey getting a string of roles that really take advantage of his particular talents, and this one looks like a win for him. Check out a trailer below. Read More »

Yesterday we saw the first bit of footage from Oliver Stone‘s new film Savages, in which the girlfriend (Blake Lively)of two pot growers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, the better to get said growers to work for the bigger outfit.

The film features the sort of cast you’d expect to see Stone pull together: in addition to the leads there are Benicio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Demian Bichir, Salma Hayek, Joel David Moore and Emile Hirsch, and it is shot in a style reminiscent of a few of his lurid ’90s entries such as U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. (Speaking of ’90s films, is Salma Hayek cosplaying as Thurman’s Pulp Fiction character Mia Wallace?)

Now we’ve got the full trailer, which sets up the story, offers a little bit of sex and violence, and shoves a knife through John Travolta. Check it out below. Read More »

Think back to the Oliver Stone films of the 1990s. Not so much JFK and Nixon; more like U-Turn, Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday. Those films had a stylized, hyper-saturated color palette that clearly gave Tony Scott some ideas. For instance, on U-Turn, Stone’s cinematographer Robert Richardson shot on reversal film stock — which becomes a transparent positive when developed, rather than a traditional negative — and then cross-processed it as negative film, increasing contrast and color saturation. Tony Scott and Daniel Mindel used the same technique for Domino almost a decade later.

Point is, Stone seems to have gone back to that exaggerated look for his new film Savages, which adapts Don Winslow‘s novel about two small-time pot dealers (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) whose mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped in an attempt to strong-arm them into working with a Mexican drug cartel, which counts Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro amongst its members. John Travolta is also in the film; Stone borrowed him from Tony Scott.

If you saw the first poster for the film when Pete ran it in Page 2 yesterday you’ll know something about the look Stone is going for. But now there is a brief montage of footage showing off that stylish, colorful look the director first relied on almost 20 years ago. I have to say, I like it quite a bit. Read More »

Good news for those eager to find out exactly why Benicio del Toro is picking on Blake Lively in that first image from Savages: Universal has just shifted the opening date for Oliver Stone‘s latest from September 28 to July 6. Savages is the only film currently scheduled to go up against Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which hits three days before on Tuesday, July 3. It’s a bold move on the studio’s part, but it may also be a smart one — Savages could be ideal counter-programming to the comedies, actioners, and superhero flicks due out around the same time this summer.

Based on a book by Don Winslow, Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a pair of small-time pot dealers who get roped into working for a Mexican cartel that kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Lively). The impressive cast also includes Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, and Emile Hirsch.

After the jump, new release dates for Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve, Drafthouse Films’ The FP, and lesser known Oscar nominees Bullhead (also from Drafthouse Films) and Chico & Rita.

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