The Counselor

A film directed by Ridley Scott, scripted by Cormac McCarthy, and starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and John Leguizamo can’t possibly help but come with sky-high expectations. Happily, the first teaser for The Counselor isn’t letting us down.

To be fair, it’s tough to tell exactly what’s going on here since the audio is Russian. For all I know, Pitt’s dubbed voice could just be reciting the opening lines of One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. But the movie looks utterly intense and very, very gorgeous, and if anyone’s earned the benefit of our doubt it’s this group. Hit the jump to watch the footage.

Update: We’ve now got the English-language version of the teaser. Read More »

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Idris Elba

Fans of The Wire have long insisted that Idris Elba was destined for A-list stardom — indeed, that in a just world, he’d be a household name already. And while he’s not quite there yet, he seems to be inching closer and closer.

His latest new gig, in the politcally inclined action-thriller Gunman, puts him in the company of director Pierre Morel (Taken) and stars Sean Penn and Javier Bardem. Jasmine Trinca was also recently added to the cast. Hit the jump to learn more about their roles.

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to-the-wonder-poster

In the twenty years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick was elevated from director who salvaged Days of Heaven only after years of editing, to cinematic messiah. His aesthetic approach was canonized, and actors flocked to work with him, no matter how small the part. Now, with two movies in less than two years (and at least two more on the way) Malick is being brought down to Earth once more. This is a good thing. Once again, he’s just a guy who makes movies. Fortunately, he makes movies in a way that is unlike most others, and thanks to his improvisational process he still carries the trust of talented actors.

I’d very much like to love his latest film, To the Wonder. I do appreciate it quite a lot, which is something different. As if designed to be a miniature of his career, this movie describes a tension between the glorious and prosaic. It is not a conventional narrative, but rather a look over Malick’s shoulder as he feels his way towards an idea.

That idea is a portrait of our relationship to the divine, as expressed through four interconnected lives that sketch a difficult romantic relationship. Whether that “divine” is God or nature, or some ineffable truth, doesn’t really matter. Malick seeks to balance the first brush with wonder and the difficult process of sustaining it though the grind of everyday life. Read More »

‘To the Wonder’ Trailer: What Is Love?

“Prolific” isn’t a word you would’ve associated with Terrence Malick for the first forty years of his career, which yielded just five films. But it’s coming to define the next stage of it. Since 2011′s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll, with some four films due out in the next few years.

The first of those will be To the Wonder, which hits next month. The dreamy romantic drama stars Ben Affleck as Neil, a man caught between two loves: the French Marina (Olga Kurylenko), who moves with him to Oklahoma, and the all-American Jane (Rachel McAdams), who was his childhood sweetheart. Javier Bardem also stars, a priest suffering a crisis of faith. Hit the jump to check out the latest trailer.

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Terrence Malick has traditionally been one of the most reclusive American filmmakers. He does few interviews, and makes his films shrouded in as much secrecy as possible. But it’s very difficult to make a movie in a vacuum of late, and so we see occasional behind the scenes glimpses.

For To the Wonder, his most recent film, we’ve now got behind the scenes footage released through official channels ahead of the film’s opening. Here the actors, (Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem) discuss how there was really no script, and that their characters were shaped by Malick describing them, and that there was essentially a syllabus that included novels and philosophy.

There’s a lot here about shooting on location and the way the director likes to use light. One thing is noticeably absent in this footage, however: Terrence Malick. If you’re hoping for interviews with the still-reclusive director, forget about it. Still, this long featurette is worth a look. Read More »

Superheroes aren’t the only ones showing off their goods today. A batch of new photos have dropped for a trio of highly anticipated releases that don’t involve flowing capes or secret powers (at least, that we know of): Ti West‘s The Sacrament, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis, and Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder. Check them out after the jump.

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It took Terrence Malick three decades to release his first four features, but since 2011′s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll. He has four more films due out in the next few years, the first of which will be April’s To the Wonder.

We’ve already seen a couple of images from the film, but our best look yet comes in the form of this new trailer. It’s pretty much what you’d expect: a voiceover ruminating on love, meaningful shots of nature and lots of graceful frolicking. Olga KurylenkoBen AffleckRachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem star. Watch the video after the jump.

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Director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig may be the big marquee names of Skyfall, but the real driving forces behind the Bond franchise have long been Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The half-siblings are the daughter and stepson, respectively, of late producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli — the man who, along with producer Harry Saltzman, first brought Ian Fleming‘s now-iconic spy to the silver screen in 1962 — and have been involved with the series since the Roger Moore era.

At a recent Skyfall press day in New York, I got to speak with the pair about what Mendes brings to the franchise, the advantages of having Craig on board, the importance of interesting female characters, and whether perennial fan favorite Christopher Nolan might ever direct an installment. Hit the jump to read on.

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