sylvester stallone jim mickle

After turning in the best performance of his career in Creed (and earning an Oscar nomination for his troubles), it certainly looks like Sylvester Stallone plans to keep that quality streak going. Why else would he team up with director Jim Mickle, one of the most interested and unheralded filmmakers around at the moment, if he didn’t want to make something that is, you know, really good? The aging action star and the Cold in July director are teaming for an untitled thriller and while this collaboration is still in the early stages, you should put this one on your radar.

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Hap and Leonard (1)

Jim Mickle’s movie Cold in July brought Joe R. Lansdale’s writing back to the big screen. The only previous movie adaptation was the horror comedy Bubba Ho-Tep, but Mickle, along with cowriter Nick Damici, captured Lansdale’s hard boiled southern crime thriller. Now that team is bringing Lansdale to series television with Sundance Channel’s Hap and Leonard.

James Purefoy plays Hap Collins and Michael K. Williams plays Leonard Pine, two out-of-work men in the ’80s. When Hap’s ex Trudy (Christina Hendricks) brings them the location to a sunken stash, Hap and Leonard agree to help her find it. And everything goes according to plan and they part as friends, right? We sat down with Mickle before Hap and Leonard’s panel for the Television Critics Association to discuss the new show, which premieres this week on SundanceTV.  Read More »

Cold in July trailer

Michael C. Hall‘s days as a serial killer may be behind him, but his days as a more ordinary, accidental kind of killer are not. In the first Cold in July trailer, the former Dexter star shoots down a burglar in self-defense. This act sets off a whole series of events, starting with the dead guy’s father’s quest for revenge.

Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are) directed and Sam Shepard and Don Johnson also star. Watch the Cold in July trailer after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we take another look at an Australian gem, remake a movie about cannibalism  get swole while asking the eternal question of whether you lift bro and top it off with an uplifting story about boys growing into men.    
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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IFC Midnight and Dark Sky Films have released a new image and official plot synopsis for Stake Land, one of my favorite films from Fantastic Fest 2010. The movie is a combination of Children of Men. 28 Days Later, The Road, and Y: The Last Man, set in the not too far future, in a post apocalyptic world overrun by vampires. Somewhat episodic, the movie was made on an incredible low budget but they were somehow able to create a world which feels more expansive than most Hollywood films of the same genre. Hit the jump to see a new photo from the film, followed by an official plot synopsis.
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Fantastic Fest Review: Stake Land

Last night I screened Stake Land — the best film I’ve seen thus far at Fantastic Fest. Stake Land premiered last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, and was completely off my radar until it won the audience award in the Midnight Madness category.

Imagine a film which is a combination of Children of Men. 28 Days Later, The Road, and Y: The Last Man.  The movie takes place in the not too far future, in a post apocalyptic world overrun by vampires.

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127-hours-5

Last night we got a brief preview of some of the films that will appear in the always-entertaining Midnight Madness lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Now we’ve got the full nine, which in addition to the three announced last night (Super, Bunraku and The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman) include John Carpenter‘s The Ward, Brad Anderson‘s Vanishing on 7th Street and Insidious, by James Wan.

But TIFF isn’t stopping there: a whole host of other high-profile films were announced for the fest today. They include Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, Casey Affleck‘s I’m Still Here, Matt ReevesLet Me In, Dustin Lance Black‘s directorial debut What’s Wrong With Virginia? and the Will Ferrell dramedy Everything Must Go, along with confirmation of Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours, for which there’s a new photo. (Above.) This year’s TIFF looks like a good one: check info about all the films after the break. Read More »