The long Thanksgiving weekend brought major buzz for two potential Oscar contenders: Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and Kathryn Bigelow‘s action procedural Zero Dark Thirty. Both films are from recent Best Director Oscar winners so expectations were predictably high for each. However, while Les Mis is a known property, a dramatization of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is much more of a mystery, making the buzz out of those screenings even more intriguing.

Bigelow, along with Oscar-winning writer Mark Boal, was developing a film about the search for the most wanted man on the planet when United States military forces killed him. That completely changed their movie and made its completion even more time-sensitive. The film is now done, set for release December 19, with an all-star cast including Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler and Joel Edgerton. The first screenings took place over the weekend, and reactions to them were incredibly positive, with an eye on another Oscar run for Bigelow and Boal. Get some early buzz after the break. Read More »

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All preconceived notions about the supernatural thriller Mama fly out the window when Jessica Chastain walks in the room. Before that moment, the film could be an archetypal supernatural thriller with little girls, a spectral being and a strong female lead like Naomi Watts in The Ring, Nicole Kidman in The Others or Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. But when Chastain strolls into a conference room at Pinewood Studios in Toronto, Canada in October 2011, it’s immediately clear Mama is not that.

Instead of her usual warm, blond or red head look, Chastain has a short black pixie haircut, tons of eye shadow, torn purple Mistfits t-shirt, faded black hot pants and a full sleeve octopus tattoo on her left arm. This not your typical heroine. This is a punk rock chick who’d usually be dead 20 minutes into a normal horror movie. But in director Andy Muschietti‘s Mama, based on an award-winning short film of the same name, she’s the star, a rebel unwillingly forced to look after two haunted girls who’ve been found fending for themselves after being missing for five years.

It’s day 18 of 46 on the Toronto set of Mama, a supernatural thriller produced by Guillermo Del Toro opening January 18, and the wardrobe of the star is just one of the pleasant surprises Mama has in store for us. Read More »

Next week you’re going to learn a lot about Mama, Andy Muschietti‘s adaptation of his short film starring Jessica Chastain and produced by Guillermo Del Toro. I was lucky enough to be on the set of the creepy film and you’ll be able to read all about it on Tuesday. Until then, Universal has just released a second trailer for the horror film, scheduled for release January 18.

In this trailer you’ll see Chastain’s punk-rock character struggle with raising the nieces of her boyfriend (Game of Thrones‘ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, in a dual role) who are being haunted by the ghost of their mother. Check it out below and come back next week for much more. Read More »

The ad campaign for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the mission that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a Navy SEAL team, has been pretty low-key so far. But then, the studio hasn’t had to do much, as there has been a fair amount of publicity for the movie thanks to accusations that the original October release date was meant to remind audiences of President Obama’s role in the mission, just before the Presidential election takes place. There have been far more serious (but unproven) allegations that the film is based on access to classified data that was given illegally to the production.

Now it’s time to move beyond those talking points to look at the actual film. Derspite featuring Joel EdgertonJessica ChastainChris PrattKyle ChandlerMark Strong, and Jason Clarke, the teaser trailer showed few faces, and relied upon audio montage to set up the story of the hunt for Bin Laden. A few images later gave us a bit more. Now you can see a lot more of Bigelow’s follow-up to The Hurt Locker, in the full trailer below. Read More »

‘Mama’ Trailer: A Mother Never Forgets

The trailer for Mama doesn’t mess around — it gives you a feral child within seconds, and ultimately gets to some effectively creepy ghost scares by the time the title card hits, all without feeling like it has given away the entire film.

Jessica Chastain (decked out in a black bob and dark wardrobe that highlights her vague resemblance to a young Angelina Jolie) plays the woman who ends up being a surrogate mother for two children who lived alone in the woods after their parents were killed. But the childrens’ real mother may not be entirely gone, and she might not be entirely OK with the new family arrangement. See the trailer below. Read More »

Despite being based on true events that were extensively covered in the media, Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty has been shrouded in nearly as much secrecy as an actual military operation. But that’s all part of the film’s intrigue. Columbia’s having fun playing up that angle, even covering the first teaser poster with thick black censor marks.

What that means, however, is that we still have only the barest idea of exactly what angle Bigelow plans to take on the hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. We don’t know just what the impressively star-studded cast will actually be doing for two hours. We got only the briefest glimpses of Jennifer Ehle and Kyle Chandler looking worried in the first trailer. A new batch of photos show Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, and Nash Edgerton, with the latter two dressed in military garb. Check out the photos after the jump.

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Earlier today we showed you some B-roll behind the scenes footage from John Hillcoat‘s new film Lawless, which stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska in a bootlegging tale with support from Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman. Now there is a red-band trailer to advertise the film’s August 29 release. In truth, there isn’t too much here that wasn’t in the couple all-ages trailers we’ve already seen — a bit of nudity here and there is what marks this as “adults only.” But there is an appeal to this trailer beyond that, as it leaves behind some of the flashy and too-modern feeling editing elements that some audiences found distracting in previous trailers.

Check out the not entirely new, but still relatively fresh look at Lawless below. Read More »

After a long development process, which nearly resulted in the film being canceled overall, John Hillcoat‘s latest film Lawless (formerly The Wettest County and The Wettest County in the World) is about to hit theaters. We’ve seen a couple trailers, and some great info graphics that collate info about the film’s tale of bootleggers and rouge lawmen.

Now we’ve got two good collections of behind the scenes B-roll footage that shows Hillcoat on set with key actors Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy PearceMia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke, and Shia LaBeouf. Pete mentioned them in Page 2 yesterday, but some of this footage is too much fun to leave there. While some behind the scenes footage reveals how much trickery goes into making a film work (see the recent The Avengers gag reel and Captain America’s cheap-looking costume) other times we see just how legit some sets and costuming can look even without much post-production magic. That’s the case here. Check out ten minutes of footage below. Read More »

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