Here’s why you should go out to the movies on a Friday evening: last night at the Aero, in Santa Monica, audiences who turned up to see The Shining were told that Kubrick’s movie would be followed by a surprise double-feature. That second film was Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, and it was projected in 70mm.

What a cool move on Anderson’s part — not a test screening, but just a low-key surprise for people who were in the right place at the right time. (This is a bit like his choice to premiere There Will Be Blood at Fantastic Fest, when that festival was a lot smaller.) Opinions are starting to filter out about the movie, and while they’re largely from people we don’t know — so we don’t know their taste in film in general — there are some comments that you’ll probably want to read. Read More »

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‘The Master’ Theatrical Trailer

The first teasers for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master were just that — teasers. They offered tantalizing glimpses of the two main leads, religious leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his acolyte Freddie Sutton (Joaquin Phoenix), but little more than that. And as fantastic as they were, it was only a matter of time before the studio released a more conventional trailer for theatrical release.

Fortunately for us, the first full-length trailer offers a better idea of the plot and general set-up without sacrificing too much of the unsettling moodiness that made the first teasers so striking. Plus, it offers much better looks at some of the other talents that fill out the cast, including Amy Adams as Dodd’s wife and Jesse Plemons as his son. Check it out after the jump.

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That There Will Be Blood helmer Paul Thomas Anderson is back with a new feature after five long years is exciting enough. Toss in the fact that his latest reunites him with frequent collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman, and it’s no wonder The Master is one of our most highly anticipated movies of the year.

The first teaser was a beautifully crafted, deeply unsettling clip centered on a Navy man named Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), and the second offers us a much better look at the titular Master himself, religious leader Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman). Not surprisingly, it already appears to be one hell of a performance. Amy Adams, who plays Lancaster’s wife, makes a brief showing as well. Watch it after the jump.

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We’ve already got the villainess (Angelina Jolie), the young princess (Elle Fanning), her father (Sharlto Copley), and the three fairies (Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Juno Temple), and now, at long last, we have the prince. Young Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites has just boarded Robert Stromberg‘s Maleficent, a Sleeping Beauty retelling seen from the perspective of its big bad.

Thwaites is almost totally unknown in the U.S., though he’s a little more famous in his native country. He first broke out with a starring role in the Australian drama series SLiDE, and has since done a stint on the long-running soap Home and Away. (As have the likes of Guy Pearce, Heath Ledger, Naomi Watts, and Chris Hemsworth before him.) He’ll next appear in the Lifetime Channel’s Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, but I’m betting that the Maleficent casting means this kid will be attracting some much higher-caliber projects soon. [Deadline]

After the jump, Olivia Wilde teams up with Spike Jonze.

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A week after getting our first glimpse of Philip Seymour Hoffman as religious leader Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master, we now have a first teaser to go with it. We don’t get to see much more of Hoffman here, but what we do get is a nice long look at Joaquin Phoenix’s Freddie, a charismatic young drifter who becomes Hoffman’s second in command. Watch it after the jump.

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Spike Jonze has been plenty busy cranking out short films over the past few years, but he hasn’t directed a full-length feature since 2009′s Where the Wild Things Are. That’s about to change, though, and he’s already lining up quite an exciting cast for his return to feature filmmaking. Samantha Morton, Amy Adams, and Carey Mulligan are reportedly in talks to star with Joaquin Phoenix in the untitled romance, which was also written by Jonze. Read more after the jump.

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An Education wasn’t Carey Mulligan‘s first film, but it’s the one that launched her to the top of every director’s wishlist. Since that coming-of-age tale opened in 2009, she’s been picking up one juicy role after another. This year saw her starring opposite Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and earning praise for her bold performance in Steve McQueen’s Shame, and she’s currently at work playing the ultimate girl who got away in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

Now she’s lining up her next two jobs, and they sound every bit as promising as her previous gigs: the Coen BrothersInside Llewyn Davis, and an untitled Spike Jonze picture. More details after the jump.

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Yesterday director George Sluizer claimed that he would soon finish and release his film Dark Blood, which was originally in production in 1993. The movie starred River Phoenix, and was shooting at the time of the young actor’s unfortunate death in LA. The movie halted there, and little has been heard of it in the nearly twenty years since.

So there was a ripple of surprise and excitement yesterday when Sluizer claimed that he would finally finish and release the film, and that he had the blessing of the Phoenix family. The director’s idea was to possibly enlist Joaquin Phoenix to provide voice-over in character as the role played by his late brother. Trouble is, the Phoenix family now says it has not talked to the director, and isn’t interested in working with him at all. Read More »

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