Amongst even the most fervent Quentin Tarantino fans, the subject of Death Proof is touchy — is it a good film, or not? I love the movie, seeing it as precisely the sort of grindhouse movie that it hoped to replicate, with a layer of commentary thrown in for good measure. But Tarantino stirred up new conversation about the film today with comments in a long interview about the fact that he hopes Death Proof ends up judged as the least of his films.
The beginning of awards season each year sees THR assembling talent in one room for great roundtables, and this year the director roundtable features Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, and the dominating presence of Tarantino.
The comment about Death Proof may have been the most attention-getting thing Tarantino said, but he had a lot more to offer, from a breakdown of his own writing and directing process, to plans to write books (novels and film criticism) after he stops actively directing. And the end of his directorial career seems prompted by technological change, as the move to digital projection leaves him cold.
And there’s a lot more, too — while Tarantino tends to dominate the conversation, each of the participants has great stuff to add about the business of directing. It’s worth an hour of your time to watch the whole thing. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 by Angie Han
Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis‘ The Canyons was never going for subtlety or elegance, and the marketing seems to be having some fun playing up that fact. The first trailer was cut to mimic grindhouse and exploitation movies of the ’70s, whereas the latest one has been done up like black-and-white ’50s pulp. No indication yet on what style the actual movie will take — presumably it’ll be something a bit more contemporary — but for now we can give them kudos for trying something a little different with the teasers.
What we might not be able to give them credit for, if these trailers are any indication, is making a good movie. All the cheeky wink-winks can’t cover up the fact that The Canyons looks genuinely terrible. Perhaps we should’ve expected that when Schrader and Ellis cast porn star James Deen and the notoriously troubled Lindsay Lohan as the leads. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012 by Angie Han
Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land became a surprise awards contender when Focus Features decided relatively late in the game to give it an Oscar-qualifying limited run, but this first trailer suggests it’s more than worthy of the competition. Matt Damon stars as Steve, a likeable corporate salesman who arrives in a small rural town to pick up drilling rights. The locals, struggling to recover from the economic recession, initially appear more than eager to oblige — until a grassroots campaign against the purchase, led by Dustin (John Krsasinski) and local teacher Frank (Hal Holbrooks) starts picking up steam.
OK, I’ll admit that the synopsis sounds pretty dry when described that way. But between Van Sant’s steady direction and Damon and Krasinski’s engaging performances, Promised Land looks like a powerful, thought-provoking piece. Frances McDormand and Rosemarie DeWitt round out the excellent supporting cast. Check out the trailer after the jump.
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Danny Elfman often seems to be everywhere, and this year in particular he’s omnipresent with several films under his belt in 2012 already. (Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie; Men in Black III; and Silver Linings Playbook.) And while he’s already set for some films that hit in the next few months, like Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful, Elfman is still lining up more films.
Two new movies that will bear music from Elfman are Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land, starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski, and Hitchcock, which chronicles the efforts by the Master of Suspense to make Psycho. Read More »
Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2012 by Angie Han
A few titles have lately dropped out of the ultra-competitive year-end release calendar, but now one more has jumped into the fray. Gus Van Sant‘s Promised Land is getting a limited NY / LA release in late December, in order to give it a shot at the next Oscar race. The film will then roll out to additional markets starting in January.
Promised Land has mostly flown under our radar the past several months, but now that it’s set a release date the talent involved should attract some attention. Matt Damon and John Krasinski wrote the script based on a story by Dave Eggers. The pair also star, along with Frances McDormand, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook, Scoot McNairy, and Titus Welliver. More details after the jump.
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Johnny Depp and Rob Marshall are working to make a new version of The Thin Man, the Dashiell Hammett novel about drunk detective socialite Nick Charles, his charming young wife Nora and the unusual family mystery in which they become embroiled.
The question is: who plays Nora? Deadline says there is a shortlist that will begin to meet with Warner Bros. next week. Names on the list include Eva Green, Amy Adams, Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Kristen Wiig, Emily Blunt and Isla Fisher. That is, just about every smart actress with free time in her schedule and an interest in starring opposite one of the few semi-legit movie stars in the business. And without knowing more about what Marshall, Depp and WB are specifically looking for, it seems pointless to try to play the guessing game based on a list that long.
The original The Thin Man, released in 1934, spawned a series of comic detective films and, later, even a TV show, and that precedent is fueling fire that the material might become a hit once again.
After the break, Albert Hughes’ film Motor City might finally have a lead, and Hal Holbrook joins Gus Van Sant’s new film Promised Land. Read More »
Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2012 by Angie Han
After starring with Ben Affleck in last year’s The Company Men, Rosemarie DeWitt is now set to work with Affleck’s BFF Matt Damon in Promised Land. DeWitt has landed the female lead in the “Capraesque” tale, which Gus Van Sant will direct. The script comes from Damon and John Krasinski, based on a story Krasinski cooked up with Dave Eggers. As previously reported, Damon will lead the cast as a sales exec who begins to question his whole life after arriving in a small town, while Krasinski will play a rival exec. DeWitt’s role has not been revealed at this time.
DeWitt’s other upcoming roles include three films due out this summer: Your Sister’s Sister, Neighborhood Watch, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. In addition, she has a role in the drama Nobody Walks, which also stars Krasinksi and is expected to hit theaters this year. [Deadline]
After the jump, Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones get involved in Jennifer Lawrence’s war against Bradley Cooper.
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Matt Damon has been planning his directorial debut for months now — the film would be one he wrote with John Krasinski, based on a timely story that Krasinski cooked up with Dave Eggers. But just this week Damon backed out of directing the film, because scheduling issues, personal and professional, made the project impossible for him.
But the currently untitled film will still get made, and with Damon in the starring role. Krasinski will co-star, with he and Damon playing “rival corporate executives” in what is being called a Capraesque story. And now, Gus Van Sant will direct. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 by Angie Han
For a while there, it looked like Taylor Lautner was going to make his name as a young action star, landing high-priced deals in projects like Stretch Armstrong. But after the critical and commercial disappointment of Abduction, Lautner is now exploring a different path. The Twilight star is finalizing a deal to produce and star in auteur director Gus Van Sant‘s next directorial effort, a small-budget picture based on a New Yorker article that Lautner optioned. More after the jump.
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