Hobbit Battle Five Armies character posters

So many sequels, so little time. So let’s get to it. After the jump:

  • Channing Tatum isn’t so sure about 23 Jump Street
  • Magic Mike XXL could be in 3D (but probably won’t be)
  • Adam McKay is still planning to make Step Brothers 2
  • Producer Malek Akkad has a Halloween 3 update
  • Rumor has it Frank Grillo will lead Skyline 2
  • Jason Reitman offers a suggestion for Ghostbusters 3
  • See the Lorde-curated soundtrack list for Mockingjay
  • Billy Boyd will sing the final Hobbit credit song
  • Check out the new banner for Horrible Bosses 2

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American Beauty Header

It’s a shame only 600 people got to see Jason Reitman‘s Live Read of American Beauty on Thursday. If more people saw it, they’d be lining up to see Men, Women and Children this weekend. The cast proved they are wonderful together.

As the kickoff to the 4th season of Live Reads at LACMA, Reitman presented Alan Ball‘s Oscar-winning 1999 script. For all the roles, he chose actors from his latest film. (Which happens to open wide this weekend.) In the role of Lester Burnham, for which Kevin Spacey won an Oscar, Reitman cast Adam Sandler. The wife Carolyn, originally played by Annette Benning, was played by Rosemarie DeWitt. Their daughter Jane, originated by Thora Birch, was played by Kaitlyn Dever. Her best friend Angela, originated by Mena Suvari, was played by Olivia Crocicchia. Buddy the real estate king, first played by Peter Gallagher, was read by Phil LaMarr. Next door, the Colonel, played by Chris Cooper, was read by Dean Norris. DeWitt doubled as his wife (Allison Janney) and their son, the pot-dealer Ricky was Travis Tope. Wes Bentley originated the role.

With a script as good as Ball’s, an infant could read it and it would sound like poetry. What Reitman showcased with his latest cast is prove that good words are one thing, but chemistry and talent are something entirely different and wonderful. Below, read more about the American Beauty Live Read presented by Film Independent at LACMA. Read More »

New Men Women and Children trailer

In the new Jason Reitman film, Men Women & Children, technology really isn’t making our lives easier. Instead of bringing us together, social media, gaming, online dating and other tech advancements too often provide methods to emphasize our fears and insecurities, and all the other things that cause pain and drive us apart. In this new Men Women and Children trailer, we see a dazed young guy played by Ansel Elgort, the girl he’s interested in (Kaitlyn Dever), her tech-paranoid mom (Jennifer Garner) and a host of other characters who either can’t connect, or choose the worst possible ways in which to reach out through technology. Read More »

Men, Women & Children trailer
Jason Reitman‘s latest film Men, Women & Children has screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, and we have compiled the tweets coming out of the first Press & Industry screening. Its a mix of mostly positive (18 people) but also negative (10 people), with some critics like Owen Gleiberman and Ed Douglas touting it as a complex return to form while others like Jeff Wells calling it “soulless” and Ben Lyons leaving the screening tweeting that the film made him “very, very angry…”. The public premiere happens at the Ryerson theatre tonight, and I expect we’ll see a more positive response from the non critic/industry audience.

Many didn’t respond to Reitman’s last film Labor Day, which I enjoyed – connecting with the coming of age stuff, which was filmed near my hometown and set in the period of my upbringing. But unlike Jason’s previous films, Labor Day didn’t have a lot to say about us. I’m excited for Men, Women & Children because it looks like its more in line with what I connected to in his previous films. You can read all of the compiled tweets and reviews after the jump.

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Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children teaser poster

Its no secret, I’m a huge Jason Reitman fan. I’ve been following his career since his short films were released by Atom Films (remember that site?). His movies have dramatically changed my life, the amazing effect of powerful storytelling. I’m sadly not taking the trip to the Toronto International Film Festival this year, and will likely be missing the debut of his newest movie Men, Women & Children. The film, again, looks fantastic. I love how Reitman’s teaser trailers almost feel like their own short films/mood pieces, spotlighting characters, ideas and situations that resonate within all of us (you can watch the teaser trailer for Men, Women & Children here).

Jason’s teaser posters have also been some of the most artful marketing from big studios. Unfortunately it seems like the home video art and or theatrical one-sheet are more under the tight control of the marketing departments. The Men, Women & Children teaser poster is another great illustration. Hit the jump to check out the Men, Women & Children teaser poster.

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Men, Women & Children trailer

Because Paramount stuck Labor Day in the doldrums of January, we’re getting not one Jason Reitman movie this year but two. The second is Men, Women & Children, an ensemble piece about the way technology has changed the relationships between, well, men, women & children.

Adam Sandler, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever, Judy Greer, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, and Dennis Haysbert are among the faces who populate the small town where the action takes place. The first Men, Women & Children trailer has just hit, and you can watch it after the jump.

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The Graduate Live Read

Early on in The Graduate, there’s that iconic moment. Ben Braddock, a recent college grad, is talking with the beautiful older family friend Mrs. Robinson. Ben says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” It’s iconic thanks to director Mike Nichols’ choice of angle, the delivery of the line by Dustin Hoffman, and the way that one sentence sets the entire story into motion.

At Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the season, actor Jay Baruchel played the role of Ben Braddock. When he got to that line, delivered next to his Mrs. Robinson, Sharon Stone, the 32-year-old actor broke character, cocked his right arm on his side and whispered, “Yes!” He was excited, not just because he nailed the legendary line, but maybe he got the feeling what was to follow was going to go very well. Reitman’s casting of Baruchel as the nervous, unsure, yet charming and likable Ben couldn’t have been more perfect. The same could also be said for Sharon Stone, whose Mrs. Robinson was sexy, confident and cool.

Though both actors were merely sitting in chairs, reading lines of dialogue, their body language created an electric chemistry that turned the combination of a great cast and a flawless script into a memorable event. Below, read more details about the Film Independent at LACMA Live Read of The Graduate. Read More »

Groundhog Day Live Read

10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.

But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.

That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »

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