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The last few years have seen a great career upswing for Woody Allen, as his film Midnight in Paris helped re-ignite broad audience interest in his movies, and became his greatest commercial success. Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett, had a good run earlier this year, and now Allen is finishing his next film.

The new movie takes place in southern France and spans a couple of decades, roughly through the ’20s and ’30s. It stars Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, and Jacki Weaver. Now the title has been revealed to be Magic in the Moonlight (cringe) and the first production stills have also been unveiled. That’s one, above, and there’s a good shot of Firth below. Read More »

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I may not have been wild about Park Chan-Wook‘s English-language debut, Stoker, but there are definite pleasures within. Among them are the performances from the supporting cast. Jacki Weaver shows up for a bit, as does Dermot Mulroney. Neither has featured in a big way in the marketing so far, as each has a relatively small part to play in the film. But this featurette, which offers a behind the scenes look at the greater Stoker family, gives each some time in front of the camera. (Of course there’s plenty from the films star cast, too — Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.) Read More »

To coincide with its long-awaited Sundance debut, Chan-wook Park‘s Stoker has just unveiled a new international trailer. The first English-language outing from the Oldboy auteur stars Mia Wasikowska as India, a teenage girl mourning the death of her father (Dermot Mulroney). The unexpected arrival of her mysterious Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) further complicates matters, especially as he seems to have taken an unhealthy interest in both India and her chilly mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). Watch the new video after the jump.

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The title Stoker suggests vampirism, as a play on the name of Dracula creator Bram Stoker. But the monsters in this film are purely human — people warped into terrible shapes by neglect and jealousy.

For his English-language debut, Oldboy direcotor Park Chan-Wook chose Stoker, a script by actor Wentworth Miller that revolves around a family suffering the pain of change after a significant death. Evie Stoker and her daughter India barely have a moment to come to terms with the untimely passing of husband/father Michael, when his long-lost brother Charlie shows up. Charlie is so long-lost that the rest of the family barely knew of his existence. But it isn’t long before he has insinuated himself into the broken household, and is toying with the affections of lonely Evie and rapidly maturing India.

There’s an influence from Hitchcock – the imposition of a long-lost Uncle Charlie can’t help but conjure thoughts of Shadow of a Doubt — but Stoker doesn’t feel like a Hitchcock film at all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel much like a classic Park film, either. There’s lush cinematography to spare, and a strikingly vivid color palette, yes. As a story or character portrait, however, Stoker is resoundingly hollow. Read More »

Park Chan-Wook‘s Stoker is one of the film’s we’re most keen to see in the early months of 2013; the English-language debut of the director behind Thirst and the “Vengeance Trilogy” (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) holds a lot of appeal. That’s in part due to Park’s wonderful work with the camera and actors, as seen in most of his previous films. But there’s also the appeal of him tackling a story with explicit Hitchcock references and a talented cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode, the three of whom play a strange family unit that comes together in the aftermath of a death in the family.

The first teaser poster for the film artfully brings together some of the story elements, and corrals them in a stark frame of thorny growth that aptly visualizes the characters’ twisted entanglements. Check it out in full below, along with a video showing the poster’s creation. Read More »

Finally! We recently saw some footage from Stoker, which is the English-language debut from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, best known for the “vengeance trilogy” of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

Stoker appears to be a thriller in the Hitchcock/De Palma vein, with a good dose of heated psycho-sexual tension, and some of Park’s characteristically lush visuals. After the death of the Stoker family patriarch, the women of the family, mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and daughter India (Mia Wasikowska), are visited by Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). Things get intense, and really weird.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

I’m not going to assume that this is true for everyone, but I think a lot of people in my generation and the one or two that follow me have had the “it’s just different now” marriage conversation with some elder family members. For many couples, it takes a lot longer to get to the point where marriage seems like the best step to take, and even after getting engaged, the path to the altar isn’t always a short one.

So here are Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel, the team behind Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the co-writers of The Muppets, to toy with that generational attitude towards marriage in The Five-Year Engagement. Based on this new trailer, the film appears to take a gently comic approach to telling the story of a couple (Segel and Emily Blunt) whose nuptials are continually preempted by other life events. Check it out below. Read More »

Sharon Stone was a big deal in the ’90s thanks to Basic Instinct in 1992, but she’s got a lower profile lately. She’s been working very steadily, but it doesn’t feel that way. I can’t remember the last time I saw a memorable Stone performance. Probably either Broken Flowers (’05) or Alpha Dog (’06). Law & Order: SVU fans would probably point to her recurring role on that show. I don’t know if anyone would point to Basic Instinct 2 (’06) even though the image above makes her appearance in that one look like a different version of the X-Men’s Emma Frost.

She might get more attention playing the mother of a porn star. Stone is now set to play the mother of Linda Lovelace (possibly played by Amanda Seyfried) in Lovelace. That’s one of two Linda Lovelace films in development right now, and the one that will be directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Howl). Peter Sarsgaard is in talks to play Lovelace’s husband an accused pimp and abuser Chuck Traynor. Andy Bellin and W. Merritt Johnson scripted based on the book The Complete Linda Lovelace by Eric Danville. [AP]

(The other Linda Lovelace film is Matthew Wilder’s Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.)

After the break, find casting info for an indie called Wild Oats, and Ezra Miller’s denial that he has anything to do with WB’s Akira. Read More »

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