Divergent

It’s probably not entirely fair to keep comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games. But given that they’re both female-led dystopian YA action franchises, and given that Divergent is very obviously aiming to be the successor to the Hunger Games throne, it’s pretty hard not to make the comparison.

Not that they’re exactly the same. Directed by Neil Burger and based on the book by Veronica Roth, Divergent takes place in a futuristic Chicago. Therein, each citizen, upon reaching adulthood, must ally him- or herself with one of five factions. Shailene Woodley leads the cast as Tris, who leaves behind Abnegation, where she was raised, to become one of the thrill-seeking Dauntless.

Hopefully the differences between the two series will become clearer as we see more from the film. Like this first bit of footage, in the form of a very brief teaser. Check out the video after the jump.

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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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Do you want to see a couple generations of today’s stars — Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, and many more — spouting dirty jokes? Then Movie 43, masterminded by Peter “One Half of the Farrelly Brothers” Farrelly, probably has something for you. The red-band trailer has turned into an essential component in marketing the R-rated comedy, and when the comedy is promised as a collection of particularly dirty, foul-mouthed sketches, nothing but the red-band will do.

So here’s a first look at Movie 43, which features over 20 comedy sketches from nearly a dozen directors, and a cavalcade of stars. Some of the stuff is so in line with people’s previous work that it doesn’t even seem transgressive; I think one of the Scary Movies pooped on me, so seeing Anna Faris ask for the same thing is just turnabout/fair play. But seeing Halle Berry in wild mode might be great, and it’s always fun to see Kate Winslet go blue. (Check out Romance & Cigarettes if you’ve never seen it — not a great movie, but lord, does Winslet let go there.)

Be ready for some dirty, but not off-puttingly filthy jokes in the not safe for work trailer below. Read More »

Even when James Cameron doesn’t have a new film in theaters, he’s not far from the headlines. This year saw the 3D re-release of his record-breaking 1997 success Titanic, which pushed the movie’s total gross over two billion dollars. Between that and Avatar, just two of Cameron’s movies have made him more of an economic power than many small countries.

With Titanic hitting DVD this week, Cameron is out stumping for the movie once again, and he’s being asked about his view of the film that challenged his earnings records earlier this summer: The Avengers. Read More »

Thanks to Garry Marshall, I can’t hear of any film with a holiday for a title without a brief flash of fear that it’ll be another cringeworthy sequel to Valentine’s Day. But no, Labor Day isn’t another star-studded romcom, it’s the next picture by Jason Reitman. And if his past track record — which consists of Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult — is any indication, it’s one you’ll want to keep on your radar for the next several months.

Josh Brolin has been circling the coming-of-age drama since all the way back in 2010, with Kate Winslet signing on last summer. As the start date approaches, Reitman’s rounding out the rest of the cast with Gattlin Griffith, James Van Der Beek, and more. Hit the jump for details.

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Briefly: As McG’s This Means War quietly slinks back from its Valentine’s Day debut to its original Friday opening, another, far more acclaimed romance is boldly shifting up a few days to a midweek opening. Paramount has moved the 3D release of James Cameron‘s Titanic up from Friday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 4, giving it a headstart on the Easter weekend box office.

Also opening that week are American Reunion and The Cold Light of Day, both slated for Friday. The Titanic re-release comes just over a week before the 100th anniversary of the actual sinking of the RMS Titanic, which occurred on the night of April 14-15, 1912. Titanic sees Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio playing… oh, you know the rest.

The historical drama isn’t the only picture Paramount has moved around lately. Back in 2008, Eddie Murphy reunited with his Norbit and Meet Dave director Brian Robbins for A Thousand Words, a comedy about a man who falls under a curse that allows him just one thousand words to speak before he dies. The film was savaged in test screenings (shocking) and sat on the shelf for years before finally getting a release date of January 2012, and then March 23, and then April 20. So what’s one more change? A Thousand Words is now set for March 9, where it will face off against Andrew Stanton’s John Carter and the Elizabeth Olsen-starring horror Silent House.

Starting with Being John Malkovich, Charlie Kaufman‘s scripts have generally attracted top-level talent, and a quick glance at the cast list indicates that Frank or Francis will be no exception. Elizabeth Banks and Paul Reubens have just become the latest additions to Kaufman’s Hollywood-skewering musical satire, joining Steve CarellJack Black, Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener, and Kevin Kline. Read more after the jump.

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Charlie Kaufman writes screenplays that are tricky and intricate, and they attract great actors who like to work with material that is both fun and challenging. Kaufman is planning to direct his second film, Frank or Francis, which he also wrote, and the movie has already lined up Steve Carell, Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, and Kevin Kline to play of roles that are characteristically Kaufman, which is to say: earnest and familiar but also exaggerated to a point of almost insane eccentricity.

Now the film has added Kate Winslet and Catherine Keener, both of whom have received Oscar nominations for performing in films written by Kaufman. (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich, respectively.) Read More »

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