If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

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One of the best films of 2011 is coming soon and we’re happy to exclusively premiere its eye-catching poster. Jonathan Levine‘s 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the story of a young man diagnosed with cancer at 27 and given a 50/50 chance of survival. Don’t fret, though, 50/50 isn’t some kind of down-trodden, depressing film. It was actually written by Will Reiser, the person the film is inspired by, and blends a poignant commentary on mortality with some raunchy humor and a touching love story. Scheduled for release on September 30, it co-stars Seth Rogen (who also produced the film), Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston and Bryce Dallas Howard. Hopefully you’ve seen the trailer, now check out the poster which takes the above photo one step further. Read More »

The creative team behind September’s fantastic film 50/50 have already agreed to make another movie together. Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonathan Levine and Will Reiser will once again collaborate on the road-trip comedy called Jamaica for Mandate Films. Everyone will be filling the same roles they did in the making of 50/50: Levine will direct, Reiser will write, Rogen and Goldberg will produce the film, which is based on a vacation Reiser took to the Caribbean island with his grandmother when he was only fourteen. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Anyone with reservations about whether or not they’ll enjoy a cancer comedy can check those feelings right now. Summit has just released the first trailer for the fantastic new film 50/50, the true story of a young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who is diagnosed with cancer at 27 and given a 50/50 chance of survival. The studio is obviously aware that “cancer” and “comedy” generally don’t mix so they’ve been screening the film early and I’m happy to say that 50/50 (formerly titled I’m With Cancer) is hilarious and poignant. Director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) is able to balance the serious with the funny in an incredibly accessible and entertaining way. It’s one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year.

Written by Will Reiser, the person the movie is about, 50/50 also stars Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston and Bryce Dallas Howard. It’s scheduled for release September 30. Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »

I was a huge fan/supporter of Jonathan Levine‘s 2008 film The Wackness, which premiered years ago at Sundance and got dumped at the box office by Sony Pictures Classics. Levine has had some tough luck in terms of distributors — his debut feature, the critically acclaimed horror film All The Boys Love Mandy Lane premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, yet has still never gotten a US release (both theatrically and even on dvd/blu-ray). But as they say, the third times the charm, right?

50/50 (originally titled I’m With Cancer) is an autobiographical story based on the experiences of Will Reiser, a producer on HBO’s Da Ali G Show and VH1’s Best Week Ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old who is diagnosed with cancer, and his sometimes funny “struggle to beat the disease.” The film, funded with Summit Entertainment’s giant pile of Twilight money, co-stars Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston. 50/50 won’t hit theaters until September 30th 2011, probably after a film festival run. We should see a trailer next week.

I’ve heard some amazing buzz about the film, and now I have something in print. /Film Reader Ben has seen a completed cut of the film, and has filed a reader review (much in line with what I’ve heard). Read his thoughts after the jump.

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No, the guy who directed The Wackness and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is not remaking the Ridley Scott movie starring Tom Cruise and a unicorn. Too bad about that. He is, however, working with Twilight producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey to adapt Marie Lu‘s novel Legend to film. Read More »

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Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and witches, sure — but how do you make a zombie sexy? Well, it probably helps if he looks like Nicholas Hoult, to begin with. Summit Entertainment announced yesterday that the Skins star (that’d be the original U.K. version, not the U.S. one) had been cast as the lead role in Jonathan Levine‘s zombie romcom Warm Bodies, based on the novel by Isaac Marion. While it’s sure to follow some of the same beats as all of those other star-crossed paranormal romances, the idea of a zombie love story is just unusual enough to pique my curiosity. Read more details after the jump.

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Producer/star Seth Rogen‘s cancer comedy has endured at least two title changes, two directors and two lead actors. So it seems fitting that its new, and final, title is 50/50 and Summit will release it on September 30. Directed by Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) the film stars Rogen as well as Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the title role, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Philip Baker Hall and Angelica Huston. 50/50 is based on the true story of Will Reiser (who also wrote the screenplay), “a producer on Da Ali G Show and Best Week Ever, who was diagnosed with cancer in his mid-20s and successfully battled the disease over several years.” Michael Giacchino is rumored to be writing the score as well. There’s more information after the jump. Read More »

Jonathan Levine, the director of The Wackness, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and the upcoming dramedy Live With It, has submitted his list of the top 10 movies of 2010. Levine’s list is the most unique I’ve seen from a filmmaker this year, including a few selections I haven’t seen on any filmmaker or critic top ten list this year. Read the list after the jump.

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