Maps to the Stars trailer

It’s a good day when you get to see footage from one of your most anticipated films of the year, and this Maps to the Stars trailer is our first look at real footage from David Cronenberg‘s new movie. The film stars Mia Wasikoska as a young woman who bears a visible external scar, and probably some pretty serious internal damage as well. She turns up in Hollywood and scores a job as personal assistant to an actress played by Julianne Moore, but we soon learn that the girl has more on her mind than just doing her job well. Check out the trailer below for hints of much stranger stuff to follow.

Update: A second trailer has been released. It is even less safe for work than the first, but it is also actually a proper trailer rather than a sales reel. Both are embedded below.

Update 2: The sales trailer has been pulled.

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Drive Hard

A former racing champion turned driving instructor is forced into being a getaway driver in Drive Hard, the latest film from the director of Leprechaun 4: In Space. But before you back away slowly from this post while laughing madly, know that the race-car driver is played by Thomas Jane and the bank robber is played by John Cusack.

Directed by cult filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith, Voltage Pictures will release Drive Hard later this year and a trailer has now come online. Check it out below. Read More »

‘Grand Piano’ Alternate Poster Debut

GrandPiano-elijah-wood

Grand Piano was one of the most entertaining films I saw in 2013 — its premiere screening at Fantastic Fest last year had the crowd roaring with delight, and was the thing everyone talked about for the rest of the fest.

Coming from director Eugenio Mira, who did the music for Timecrimes; star Elijah Wood; and screenwriter Damien Chazelle (whose directorial debut Whiplash was just a big Sundance hit) the film is a technical tour de force that puts Wood in the hot seat as a killer targets him during a tense musical performance. The film has a delightfully composed visual style which indulges in De Palma-esque touches to manipulate suspense as the action unfolds. The underlying concept may be somewhat silly, but the execution is excellent.

The film is on iTunes and VOD now, and we’ve got an exclusive alternate poster below, along with a behind the scenes featurette and a clip. Check it all out, and revisit the trailer, after the break.  Read More »

grand_piano

People joke about being able to perform with a gun to their head, but that’s literally the crux of Grand Piano. Directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia), the film stars Elijah Wood as a famous concert pianist who returns from a hiatus only to have his life threatened while on stage. If he plays one note wrong, a watchful assassin (John Cusack) will shoot him in the head.

Grand Piano comes on demand January 30 and to theaters March 7. Watch the official trailer below.  Read More »

Samuel L Jackson Robocop

John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson are following up 2007′s 1408 with another Stephen King thriller. Jackson has just signed on to star with Cusack in Cell, not to be confused with 2000′s The Cell. This one centers on the idea that cell phones can kill you, and we don’t mean via brain cancer. Hit the jump for the latest details on this project.

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grand_piano

Elijah Wood has spent the last couple years doing new stuff. He toplined the gruesome and controversial remake of Maniac, and this year is in two thrillers from Spanish directors. We just saw the trailer for the first, Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows, and now here’s a look at the other.

Grand Piano is directed by Eugenio Mira (Agnosia), and sees Wood as a skilled concert pianist who is performing under threat of death. Though this first trailer is entirely in Spanish, you can easily sense the threatening tone, and get an idea about how the somewhat ridiculous premise might turn into a pretty neat thriller. And why does John Cusack have a rifle? Find out below. Read More »

v-hudgens-frozen-ground-trailer

The last time we saw anything from The Frozen Ground, in which Nicolas Cage plays a detective on the trail of a serial killer played by John Cusack, it was an artless sales trailer that didn’t do the film any favors. Made it look like a direct to DVD throwaway, in fact. This theatrical teaser is a better look at the movie, if only because it leaves some mystery for the story to reveal.

Surprisingly, this also minimizes the presence of Vanessa Hudgens, who plays a prostitute who escaped the killer’s clutches and is working with the cops to capture him. A cheery intro from Hudgens contrasts with the chilly, creepy tone of the trailer, but we’ll have to wait to see how much she really plays into this telling of the true crime story. Read More »

butler-trailer-header

Left to his own devices Lee Daniels makes films that are eccentric and sometimes just way the hell out there. (The Paperboy) But he has called his newest film, The Butler, “a big compromise” and explained that the film might be “the closest I will come to as a work-for-hire.” Does that mean that, on the relative scale of whackadoo films, The Butler will be far closer to “normal” than anything else he’s made?

Hard to say at this point, but the first trailer suggests that there’s some weird stuff going on here. There’s the parade of cameo players appearing as a string of US Presidents. Among them is John Cusack‘s turn as Richard Nixon, which is… interesting. Then there’s Alex Pettyfer playing an uber-douchebag cotton farm overseer, and the digital effects and makeup that shave a few decades off lead Forest Whitaker in some scenes.

Whitaker plays Cecil Gaines, who served several different President as the White House butler, and the trailer suggests the film traces his entire life story, using it to frame the sweep of the civil rights movement. It’s a good story, but this trailer looks a lot like a parody that might show up on SNL. So we’ll see — maybe The Butler will be just as crazy as the rest of Daniels’ work. Read More »

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