Labor Day

If Jason Reitman‘s first four films – Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult — had one thing in common, it was a sharp sense of humor. Even when things got emotional, there was always room for a hamburger phone or a cancer/”can sir” pun.

It’s surprising, then, that he takes such a different turn with his fifth. Labor Day is an earnest drama about a boy (Gattlin Griffith), his mom (Kate Winslet), and the escaped convict (Josh Brolin) who seeks shelter with them over a long weekend. While a trailer has yet to come out, the first clip offers a peek at how dramatically this film differs from his earlier work.

Happily, the risk he takes in stepping out of his wheelhouse seems to pay off. Labor Day has mostly received strong reviews on the festival circuit, with several reviewers going so far as to call it his best work yet. Read the early buzz and watch the clip after the jump.

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The same game is played out over and over again when it comes time to promote a remake of a well-liked film. It’s always a balancing act where audiences are convinced that all the things they liked from the original film will be in place, or not done poorly, but that there will be new angles to make the remake worth their time and money.

And so we turn an eye to Spike Lee‘s version of Oldboy. There’s a great cast, anchored by Josh Brolin, who plays a man mysteriously imprisoned for 20 years. Upon his release he meets a young woman played by Elizabeth Olsen, and is given some vague guidance towards the reasons for his time locked away from society.

We’ve been told that this version draws as much from the manga that inspired the original film as it does the original Park Chan-wook movie, and that there’s a lot of surprising stuff in store. But the first trailer used a lot of familiar moments, and now some new photos feature elements that could be considered the visual signatures of the story. Check them out below. Read More »

Jason Reitman

With the actual Labor Day just a few weeks away, the first still from the movie Labor Day has started making the rounds. (In fact, it kinda made the rounds a week or so ago, when TIFF ran it by accident. But now it’s official.)

Directed by Jason Reitman and based on the novel by Joyce Maynard, the drama stars Kate Winslet and Gattlin Griffith (Changeling) as a mother and son who take in an escaped convict (Josh Brolin) over a weekend.

With names like that, Labor Day already sounds like a serious awards contender. Paramount apparently thinks so too, as it’s slotted the pic right in the heart of awards season. See the image after the jump.

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Batman Standing Dark Knight Rises

It wasn’t so long ago that Christian Bale donned those pointy Bat ears for the very last time. With a Batman vs. Superman movie now in the works, though, the time has come to recast the iconic superhero yet again.

Last week, we got word that Warner Bros. was looking to cast an actor in his late 30s or early 40s. This week, the talk is getting a little more specific. According to a new report, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Matthew Goode, Joe Manganiello, Richard Armitage, and Max Martini are among those being wishlisted for the part. Hit the jump to get the details.

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hunchback-1

Briefly: Warner Bros. has been developing Quasimodo for a while, with Josh Brolin attached to star and produce. The idea, as the title implies, is to present a new vision of the title character drawn from Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We don’t know who Brolin would play, or what direction the story is taking. But there’s a script (one draft is by Kieran and Nichele Mulroney) and now there’s a director. We told you about this back in 2011, when Tim Burton was rumored to be in the picture to direct. That never quite came together, but the film hasn’t died.

Zhang Yimou (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern, House of Flying Daggers) is now in talks to make the movie. While Yimou’s last film, The Flowers of War, recreated WWII China, this could be an opportunity for the director to exercise some of his visual flair as seen in his crowd-pleasing wuxia films. [Variety]

 

 

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It’s never happy news when a project loses Christian Bale, but on the bright side, Baltasar Kormákur is getting a hell of a consolation prize. His survival drama Everest has just added Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, with Jason Clarke negotiating to take over Bale’s old slot. Hit the jump to get all the details.

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Oldboy header

It seems like we’ve been talking about the potential for a remake of Park Chan-wook’s film Oldboy for years. Spike Lee finally came on to direct, with Josh Brolin in the title role, playing a man who is kidnapped and held in a strange prison for 20 years. Released just as unceremoniously as he was taken, the man is encouraged to find the identity of his kidnapper, and in so doing eventually comes face to face with uncomfortable truths about his past.

The first trailer for the film — a red-band look at the footage — is out now, and you can see it below. We’ve heard a lot about how this film was going to try to ride the line between being faithful to Park’s film and going back to the manga upon which it was based (with a few new ideas thrown in for good measure) but what we see in this trailer looks like a pretty faithful recreation of Park’s film.

That said, there are a few details that do appear to set this version apart. I’m left wondering how this one will really be different, and what stamp Spike Lee will have imprinted upon it. To me, this trailer says “we know what you expect to see, so here’s a highlight reel to prove we know the material.” That’s well and good, but I hope this isn’t a note-for-note cover song. Read More »

Oldboy header

Over the past several years, Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy has been established as a modern classic. The intense, surprising and violent revenge story of one man mysteriously imprisoned for years, then released out of the blue, has struck a chord with audiences worldwide. In America, however, a foreign film can unfortunately only gain so much popular traction, which is (part of) why Spike Lee was hired to direct a remake. That remake, out October 25, starts its marketing this week with a trailer on Wednesday and a poster right now.

The poster isn’t just some artistic rendering, however. It’s a still from the film of star Josh Brolin finally being released after years of captivity. Check it out in full below. Read More »

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