In July, Oliver Stone is going back to his lurid daylight noir style (think U-Turn) with his adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel Savages. The film features Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a couple of pot growers whose business ends up in the crosshairs of a more powerful Mexican drug lord (Salma Hayek). Her henchman (Benicio Del Toro) kidnaps the guys’ shared girlfriend (Blake Lively), which leads to a pretty intense confrontation.

After the break, we’ve got an exclusive behind the scenes video showing the setup and filming of one of the movie’s action setpieces. We’ve also dropped in some of the other videos from the film that have hit in the past couple days. Read More »


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Yesterday we saw the first bit of footage from Oliver Stone‘s new film Savages, in which the girlfriend (Blake Lively)of two pot growers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, the better to get said growers to work for the bigger outfit.

The film features the sort of cast you’d expect to see Stone pull together: in addition to the leads there are Benicio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Demian Bichir, Salma Hayek, Joel David Moore and Emile Hirsch, and it is shot in a style reminiscent of a few of his lurid ’90s entries such as U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. (Speaking of ’90s films, is Salma Hayek cosplaying as Thurman’s Pulp Fiction character Mia Wallace?)

Now we’ve got the full trailer, which sets up the story, offers a little bit of sex and violence, and shoves a knife through John Travolta. Check it out below. Read More »

Think back to the Oliver Stone films of the 1990s. Not so much JFK and Nixon; more like U-Turn, Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday. Those films had a stylized, hyper-saturated color palette that clearly gave Tony Scott some ideas. For instance, on U-Turn, Stone’s cinematographer Robert Richardson shot on reversal film stock — which becomes a transparent positive when developed, rather than a traditional negative — and then cross-processed it as negative film, increasing contrast and color saturation. Tony Scott and Daniel Mindel used the same technique for Domino almost a decade later.

Point is, Stone seems to have gone back to that exaggerated look for his new film Savages, which adapts Don Winslow‘s novel about two small-time pot dealers (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) whose mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped in an attempt to strong-arm them into working with a Mexican drug cartel, which counts Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro amongst its members. John Travolta is also in the film; Stone borrowed him from Tony Scott.

If you saw the first poster for the film when Pete ran it in Page 2 yesterday you’ll know something about the look Stone is going for. But now there is a brief montage of footage showing off that stylish, colorful look the director first relied on almost 20 years ago. I have to say, I like it quite a bit. Read More »

Good news for those eager to find out exactly why Benicio del Toro is picking on Blake Lively in that first image from Savages: Universal has just shifted the opening date for Oliver Stone‘s latest from September 28 to July 6. Savages is the only film currently scheduled to go up against Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which hits three days before on Tuesday, July 3. It’s a bold move on the studio’s part, but it may also be a smart one — Savages could be ideal counter-programming to the comedies, actioners, and superhero flicks due out around the same time this summer.

Based on a book by Don Winslow, Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a pair of small-time pot dealers who get roped into working for a Mexican cartel that kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Lively). The impressive cast also includes Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, and Emile Hirsch.

After the jump, new release dates for Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve, Drafthouse Films’ The FP, and lesser known Oscar nominees Bullhead (also from Drafthouse Films) and Chico & Rita.

Read More »

Mark Steven Johnson, the director of the first Ghost Rider film, as well as of Daredevil, Simon Birch and When in Rome, is now set to direct a movie called Killing Season. This will be the first film to team Robert De Niro and John Travolta, and the two actors will face off in a pretty classic adventure scenario. Read More »

The film Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father has had a difficult path from development to screen. In fact, it looks like the project has fully stalled out before cameras were even able to roll.

While Barry Levinson came on board a few months ago (replacing Nick Cassavetes) and a cast had started to shape up with deals for John Travolta, Al Pacino, Ben Foster, Kelly Preston and possibly Joe Pesci, the time has come when some of those people were meant to be paid. And if reports are correct, there is no money to pay them. As a result, the movie has been put on hold. It almost certainly won’t make a planned January start date, but we don’t know if the project will die altogether. Read More »

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The last time we had good word on The Expendables 2, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger had been confirmed for meaty roles alongside returning star Sylvester Stallone and presumably returning actors Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li.

Donnie Yen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and John Travolta have all been rumored as well, with one report seeming to confirm the participation of classic ass-kickers Norris and Van Damme. (And Travola, too, though he’s less of an ass-kicker.) Now we’ve got word, straight from Stallone, that Norris, Van Damme are indeed in the film, and a Nicolas Cage and John Travolta will show up if things can be worked out. Read More »

It’s an action/thriller casting break this evening, featuring the return of some classic actors to familiar old stomping grounds. So after the break you’ll find:

  • Peter Stormare is a bad guy in Arniold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand,
  • Anthony Hopkins will hunt a serial killer in Solace,
  • and Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Travolta may be confirmed for The Expendables 2.

Read More »

Here’s something that’ll get me into the theater for The Expendables 2 right quick, if it pans out: Donnie Yen, one of the current champion fighters on film, has been offered a role in The Expendables 2. That’s according to Twitch, which says that producer Avi Lerner offered Yen a “tailor-made” role in the film, which should shoot in October. Yen’s own people confirmed the offer, but didn’t give any indication of whether he’s likely to take it. Read More »