When Whiplash exploded at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on the way to this 2015 Academy Awards, it wasn’t a huge surprise to some. The year prior, director Damien Chazelle had presented a short version of the film. It won the Short Film Jury Prize at the festival for “its wicked sense of humor, fantastic ensemble acting and razor sharp directing.”
Based on the strength of that short, Chazelle funded the feature length version and got into Sundance the next year. The rest is history. The feature, which stars Miles Teller and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance then rode that success to multiple awards all the way to multiple Oscars.
Until now, the short that started this all has not been online. But with the Blu-ray of Whiplash being released last week, the short is now available for everyone to see. Watch the Whiplash short film below. Read More »
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When it comes to superhero movies, fans are sticklers. They don’t want the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films to link to the Tobey Maguire films. That wouldn’t make sense. They get angry when a studio casts the Human Torch as Captain America. How can one actor be both? The lone exception in all of this might be J. Jonah Jameson, played by J.K. Simmons. There’s no other character and actor pair that fans are not only willing to accept crossing film “universes” — they demand it.
The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb got around this by not including the character in his films at all, but in a new interview, Simmons said he’s heard Spider-Man might be coming back. And he’d love to return, too. Read and listen to the J.K. Simmons Spider Man quotes below. Read More »
When we heard Jordan Vogt-Roberts‘ Kong: Skull Island was going to be a prequel to the already known King Kong stories, everyone assumed it would be set in the (possibly) distant past. Maybe even a Land of the Lost type thing. It would have to be, right? If Kong hasn’t yet become the King, and we know he gets taken to New York City in the 1930s, you’d assume the story would have to be how he became the ruler of Skull Island. And that would’ve happened a long time ago.
Well, we now have our first clue that Kong: Skull Island isn’t going to be what we thought. At all. In a new interview, one of the film’s co-stars, Oscar frontrunner J.K Simmons, said part of the movie will take place in 1970s Detroit. Could that be the basis for a flashback? Is the whole Kong myth being revamped? Who knows, but we’ll explore the Skull Island movie news below. Read More »
Jason Reitman‘s live-read series has been a hot ticket at LACMA for a few years. The director chooses a new cast to read a well-known, sometimes classic script live on stage as a one-time performance. (We’ve covered many of these events in the past.) This year, among other films, Reitman has chosen one script with a particular appeal: The Empire Strikes Back. Most of the scripts chosen for live reads are oriented very much around character and dialogue; the event is just a bunch of people sitting on stage, after all. But the Empire Strikes Back live read will be one of the few to feature a script that is effects-heavy — meaning the audience will have to imagine a lot of what’s going on as the actors read the pages.
But the cast of characters is still tremendous, and some of the actors have now been revealed. They include Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, and J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader. Read More »
Spider-Man/Juno/Whiplash star J.K. Simmons is the second actor to be officially cast in Universal and Legendary Pictures’ King Kong reboot Kong: Skull Island. Hit the jump to learn more about the JK Simmons Skull Island news.
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One of the best reasons to see the upcoming Terminator sequel/reboot Terminator: Genisys may be J.K. Simmons. The actor will blow your mind in Whiplash, and he’s likely to be a great addition to the Terminator series as well. (Because, really, when is Simmons ever not welcome? He’s entertaining even in the relatively woeful The Ladykillers.) Now Simmons is speaking up about Terminator: Genisys. He reveals something that probably won’t be too surprising for anyone who has been following along with the sci-fi series: this reboot is a love story. Read More »
As the domineering music conservatory teacher at the center of Whiplash, J.K. Simmons spews vile, mean, even brutal dialogue. Most of it is aimed at the the young drummer and would-be jazz great played by Miles Teller. Is the teacher just using a bit of old-school motivation, or is he really out of his mind? The guy’s propensity to throw things suggests the latter, but the student isn’t exactly balanced either. Each drives the other a little further over the edge.
This Whiplash international trailer isn’t rated “red” by the MPAA, because it comes out of France rather than the US. But it does feature some of the cursing Simmons spits at Teller. This is just the barest hint of how ugly he gets, though. Seriously, if you’re a fan of Simmons, especially when he shows his mean side, this movie is an absolute must-see. Read More »
J.K. Simmons torments Miles Teller in Whiplash, pushing the kid beyond his breaking point in the name of excellence. Teller plays a young drummer who aspires to greatness; Simmons plays the elite music academy instructor whose teaching methods are anything but gentle. Miss a beat, and he’ll spin a cymbal at your head like Captain America throwing his shield. This great first Whiplash trailer starts to show audiences the situation Teller’s character gets into when he attempts to rise to a level of performance that will satisfy the teacher. Read More »
Traditionally, when a movie wins either the Grand Jury and Audience Dramatic Awards at Sundance, it’s meant for big things. Then there are some really special films that win both. Precious and Fruitvale Station are two recent examples. This year’s Sundance opener Whiplash is another.
Directed by Damien Chazelle, Whiplash tells the dramatic story of Andrew (Miles Teller), a highly ambitious young drummer who finds himself under the wing of the most demanding, intimidating and influential music teacher in the country. That’s Terence Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons. Those dueling passions sets up a battle of the wills as Andrew tries to prove himself for Fletcher, hoping he doesn’t have to face the frightening truth that he’s just not good enough.
You can read Russ’s Sundance review here, but in lieu of a trailer for the October 10 release, the first Whiplash clip has now made it online. In it, you’ll get a sense of the film’s incredible tension and powerful performances. Read More »