Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw

Jake Gyllenhaal has had a really excellent run over these past few years, culminating in a career-best performance with Nightcrawler. But it’s not over. He seems poised to continue his winning streak with Southpaw, if the first trailer is any indication.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter, Southpaw stars Gyllenhaal as a boxer who’s lost everything — up to and including his daughter, who’s been taken away by Child Services. He begins the painful process of putting his life back together the only way he knows how, by re-entering the ring.

Rachel McAdams plays his beautiful wife, Forest Whitaker his strict coach, and Oona Laurence his cute kid. Check out the Southpaw trailer after the jump. Read More »

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Dope review

Four days in, Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope is the best film I’ve seen so far at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A coming of age story for the “post hip hop generation” best described as a mix of three films: Doug Liman’s Go, Greg Mottola’s Superbad and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood.  I’m posting this review the morning after the premiere and its being reported that six studios are rabidly bidding to distribute this film — its insanely accessible movie for a Sundance film and will sure to be a hit that lives on past its festival and theatrical runs. Read my Dope review after the jump.

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Tak3n first look

Liam Neeson has gone on record saying he “can’t see” making another Taken after Taken 2. But apparently a hefty paycheck has gone a long way toward correcting his vision, because that’s definitely Neeson back in action again in the first images from Taken 3.

To be fair, it seems to be the “taken” part of the movie that Neeson took issue with, and Taken 3 has no taking. There’s so little taking, in fact, that the film is actually called Tak3n. And according to Neeson, it’ll be the one to close out the franchise. Hit the jump for your Tak3n first look and plot info.

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Of the five nominees up for the Best Animated Feature Oscar this year, Ernest & Celestine is likely the least known. But it looks every bit as worthwhile as the other contenders, with a pleasingly old-fashioned animation style that stands in stark contrast to the slick CG works by Disney, Illumination, and DreamWorks.

This new trailer isn’t the first look we’ve had at the interspecies buddy comedy, as a French-language promo hit all the way back in 2012. But it’s a fresh cut, with English dubbing and everything. Mackenzie Foy (The Conjuring) voices Celestine the mouse, and Forest Whitaker voices Ernest the bear. Check it out after the jump.

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Forest Whitaker in Out of the Furnace

Although Liam Neeson initially seemed completely disinterested in Taken 3, he eventually came around after a bit of soul-searching and an offer for $20 million. Now the other pieces of the puzzle are falling into place around him.

Olivier Megaton will return to direct the third installment of the thriller franchise, while Forest Whitaker could join Neeson in front of the camera. More details after the jump.

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Out of the Furnace

Woody Harrelson‘s last feature role was as a time-traveling turkey in the animated family flick Free Birds, but don’t let that trick you into thinking he’s lost his edge. The new TV spot for Scott Cooper‘s Out of the Furnace has arrived, and he’s full-on terrifying in it.

The gritty drama stars Christian Bale as Russell, a steel mill worker whose Iraq vet brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) falls into the criminal underworld and eventually disappears. When the police fail to find Rodney, Russell sets out to discover the truth for himself. Check out the new video after the jump.

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Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper returns this winter with Out of the Furnace, a crime thriller that features an all star cast including Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody HarrelsonForest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoë Saldana and Sam Shepard.

The first trailer made the film look great, and this new one outlines the story a bit better, so if you watch this you’ll start to know how brothers played by Bale and Affleck run afoul of a local criminal played by Harrelson, and how that sets up a conflict that will probably mess everyone up in the end. Read More »

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Here’s the trailer for Out of the Furnace, the new film from Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper. The film features Christian Bale as a Pennsylvania steelworker whose brother (Casey Affleck) gets in trouble with a backwoods but powerful criminal (Woody Harrelson). The rest of the supporting cast is impressive, with Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepard playing big roles, all of which are given a few moments here.

This trailer is solid. In fact, just so long as you’re willing to have Pearl Jam’s ‘Release‘ in your head for the rest of the day, I think it’s a pretty terrific trailer, and one that will set the movie up as a must-see for a lot of people who might not have known what to expect before now. Read More »

Forest Whitaker

Having won an Oscar for portraying one historical leader, Forest Whitaker is preparing to tackle another. Only while The Last King of Scotland‘s Idi Amin was a ruthless dictator, Memphis‘ Martin Luther King Jr. was, well, Martin Luther King Jr.

Paul Greengrass is directing the Scott Rudin-produced film, which is now going the indie route after being dropped by Universal a couple years back. Hit the jump to get the details.

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