Magic Magic

Since breaking out on Arrested Development a decade ago, Michael Cera has gotten a lot of flack for his tendency to stick to the George-Michael Bluth type — awkward, timid, but fundamentally sweet. But just as George-Michael has matured into a more confident, independent young man in the new fourth season of the series, Cera’s started to branch out into darker, stranger material.

Among his intriguing recent work is Sebastián Silva‘s psychological thriller Magic Magic, in which he plays one of several jerks that poor fragile Alicia (Juno Temple) has the misfortune of getting stuck with during a Chilean vacation. Emily Browning, Agustín Silva, and Catalina Sandino Moreno also star. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Magic Magic is the second of two Sundance 2013 films from writer/director Sebastián Silva and star Michael Cera. This is the one that features Cera performing much of his dialogue — quite credibly, I believe — in Spanish. But Cera isn’t actually the lead here. That role belongs to Juno Temple, who very impressivly plays a young woman who goes completely out of her mind while visiting a cousin in Chile.

Programmed as part of the Midnight series at Sundance, there’s the implication that Silva’s film is a horror picture. And it is, to a certain extent, but it’s of the sort seen in Roman Polanski movies such as Repulsion and The Tenant. As with Stoker, this is a horror film where the monsters are simply people; here, they’re too selfish and short-sighted to see what damage they’re doing.

In its best moments, Magic Magic has far more power to unnerve than most horror. The disintegration of one girl’s psyche is rendered in such familiar, insistent terms that you might feel your own sanity crack slightly while the film runs.

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Briefly: As if the cast for Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For wasn’t impressive enough, three more stars have been added: a Goodfella, Catwoman’s accomplice and Ari Gold. Ray Liotta, Juno Temple and Jeremy Piven have been cast in the film joining the likes of Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dennis Haysbert and Jamie Chung.

Who exactly each will play, or exactly how large each role is, remains unclear. But when the sequel to the 2005 film hits on September 13, they’ll be there. [The Playlist]

It’s a fact of human nature that no matter how much we have, we want more. But how far we’re willing to go varies wildly from person to person. Some would rather be poor for the rest of their lives than hurt another, while others literally or figuratively kill to land a little extra dough.

In Ramaa Mosley‘s The Brass Teapot, a young couple played by Juno Temple and Michael Angarano find out where their limits lie. When they discover a magical teapot that promises to solve their financial problems, they’re ecstatic. The one catch, however, is that the teapot only spits out money when they hurt each other. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

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It’s fun watching Daniel Radcliffe try out strange roles in the wake of Harry Potter’s finale. His latest is Horns, from director Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes), based on the book by Joe Hill. Radcliffe’s character is Ignatiaus “Ig” Perrish, accused of the rape and murder of his girlfriend.

That’s a bad situation to be in, and from there things get weird. Ig wakes up one morning with horns growing from his forehead, and soon leans that they’re part of a new ability: Ig can force people to do things, and plans to use that power to uncover the real killer of his love. Read More »

Half a decade after we first heard about Bradley Rust Gray‘s Jack and Diane, the teen lesbian werewolf picture is finally making its way into theaters this fall. You may recall that the film was originally set to star Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby, then enjoying great buzz in the wake of Juno. But one setback after another plagued the project, and eventually the pair dropped out to be replaced by Juno Temple and Riley Keough.

The first official trailer for the film showcases its unusual combination of tender adolescent romance and gruesome body horror, the latter courtesy of some fantastic stop-motion work from the Quay Brothers. How well it balances the two is another question, but get a glimpse for yourself after the jump.

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Matthew McConaughey is one of those actors that isn’t afraid to try new things. He can go from iconic role (Dazed and Confused), to blockbuster leading man (A Time To Kill), anchor a romantic comedy (Failure to Launch), or give a stunning, award-worthy supporting performance (Magic Mike). And that’s not even the half of it. (Think Sahara, Tropic Thunder, We Are Marshall, The Lincoln Lawyer, etc. Actually, don’t think about Sahara.) You never quite know what he’ll end up doing next. In the case of William Friedkin‘s controversial thriller Killer Joe, the actor might end up sitting across from Juno Temple talking about mutilated genitalia.

That’s what you’re about to see in /Film’s exclusive clip from the shocking, NC-17 rated film version of the play by Tracy Letts. Killer Joe is about a young man played by Emile Hirsch who convinces his father (Thomas Hayden Church) to have a local policeman (the title character played by McConaughey) kill the mother of the family. The price? Cash, of course, and the virginity of the young sister, played by Temple. Yeah. It’s a screwed-up kind of movie, but that’s what makes it so insanely watchable. See for yourself on after the jump. Read More »

Disney’s live-action exploration of the hidden life of Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent has been on the docket for some time, but it seemed like a film that might never get made. That changed when Angelina Jolie‘s schedule opened up and she committed to the role in a serious way. (Thank her kids for that commitment, or don’t, depending on how you feel about the film.) Robert Stromberg is directing, and the film is under way now at Pinewood studios in London. (They were setting up when I was there to see some of Skyfall, but we couldn’t catch a glimpse of anything special.)

Now we’ve got the first image of Jolie in costume as the evil character, and a few new details thanks to a press release from Disney. Read More »

Juno Temple Boards Disney’s ‘Maleficent’

As the pieces fall into place for a summer start, Disney’s Maleficent is rounding out its cast with one more talented Brit actor. Juno Temple has just boarded the live-action project, which retells the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the perspective of its villainess (played by Angelina Jolie). Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning also have key roles. Hit the jump for further details.

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“Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap!” Wait. Hiring Matthew McConaughey to kill someone costs how much? Twenty-five grand? Ok, maybe not ‘dirt cheap,’ then. Anyway, The Exorcist director William Friedkin is back this year with Killer Joe, a Southern-fried thriller in which McConaughey is hired by Emile Hirsch to kill his mom (Gina Gershon). But complications arise when the killer wants money up front and the kid can’t pay. That’s where his sister (Juno Temple) comes in.

The film ended up being rated NC-17, and despite whatever intense stuff goes down to earn that rating, it seems like there’s a real appeal here when it comes to the performances from McConaughey and the supporting players. I’m thrilled, frankly, to see McConaughey getting a string of roles that really take advantage of his particular talents, and this one looks like a win for him. Check out a trailer below. Read More »