Movie Trailer: ‘Beastly’

If /Film is anything, it’s a breeding ground for High School Musical fans. So we were all very understanding when Beastly, which stars HSM alum Vanessa Hudgens, was bumped from its original Summer 2010 release date to make way for Charlie St. Cloud, which stars Hudgens’ boyfriend, and fellow HSM alum, Zac Efron. Inside, we all breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to let our box office dollar reveal our true alliance to either Team Gabriella or Team Troy (which, in case you don’t know, are their High School Musical character names).

Well Charlie St. Cloud came and gone and now it’s Beastly’s chance to shine. The film is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, if it was influenced by She’s All That and The Craft. Written and directed by Daniel Barnz, it stars Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Neil Patrick Harris and Peter Krause and opens March 18. Check out the trailer below and official plot description below. Read More »


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The impending existence of the film Beastly, a modern and teen-centric version of Beauty and the Beast, had escaped me until now. But with the power of the teen dollar once again having been reasserted over the weekend, it’s time to get the promotions cranking for films that might siphon off a bit of that cashflow. And so here’s a brief teaser for Beastly. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Read More »


On Monday, Entertainment Tonight will have an early premiere of the teaser trailer for M Night Shyamalan‘s The Last Airbender (likely complete with the annoying announcer talking over everything… ugh). The trailer officially premieres with Transformers on Tuesday night. /Film reader Diego V sent over a promo they ran on Friday’s show which shows a few select moments of The Last Airbender trailer along with a promo for their visit to the set of the Beauty and the Beast redo Beastly starring Vanessa Hudgens, Mary-Kate Olsen and Alex Pettyfer. Check out the promo after the jump.

Read More »

The Wackness Official Movie Trailer

The Wackness

Sony Pictures Classics has released a new trailer for one of my favorite films of the year – The Wackness. They’re calling it the “official trailer”, and I actually like it much more than the the previously released teasers. It plays equal attention the relationships between Peck, Thirlby, and Kingsley, the 1990’s nostalgia, and the incredible soundtrack. I could have done without the Mary-Kate Olsen button at the end, but I understand she might be a selling point.

Hunter points out that they probably should have played up some of the great critical reaction the film has gotten on the festival circuit. But at the same time I can understand that the target audience might not care about quotes from movie critics. I’m still waiting for the inevitable red band trailer. As I’ve said before, this film is a tough film to sell. Director Jonathan Levine told me that SPC was planning on doing a lot of word of mouth screenings to raise awareness. I think the best thing they could do is pack a theater with people and show them the film, as they will surely recommend it to ten of their friends.

[flv: 470 196]

Watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. The Wackness hits theaters on July 3rd 2008.

The Wackness Movie Poster

The Wackness Movie Poster

Previously, Slashfilm lashed into Sony Pictures Classics for releasing a full-length trailer for The Wackness, a fave upcoming flick of the site, that shamefully sold the film as just another navel-ring piece of garbage starring an Olsen twin. Knowing full well who was in the movie, I still anticipated a cornrowed Bijou Phillips popping up and shaking her ass in the trailer at any second. Today, Cinematical received the new one-sheet for the little indie that should send director Jonathan Levine (All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) trail blazing a la Jason Reitman, and thankfully it’s not a complete disaster.

One of the marketing aspects that SPC needs to stress and failed to with the trailer is the film’s 1994 time period. The poster clearly does a better job of this with the taglines, the retro color scheme and the appropriately corny off-kilter cityscape. I’m not sure the cassette title design could be worked in here, but I hope it’s played up more in the weeks up to come. While this one-sheet could always benefit from a “Don’t believe the trailer, this movie’s really great!” Slashfilm pull quote, at least Mary-Kate isn’t hovering over skyscrapers frozen in a dance routine like a malnourished Mick Jagger. The Wackness opens July 3rd. Click the poster above to enlarge.

Heath Ledger Dead at 28

Note: This story will remain on the top of /Film for the next day.

Actor Heath Ledger, who plays the Joker in this summer’s The Dark Knight, died today at around 3:30 p.m. EST. Ledger was reportedly found naked in bed in a state of cardiac arrest by a housekeeper who promptly called 911. He was found in a Manhattan apartment, in SoHo; police formerly reported that Mary-Kate Olsen was the owner of the apartment, however this info has been proven incorrect. Police do not suspect foul play. Two bottles of sleeping pills, one prescription and one over-the-counter, were found near the body and some reports had them scattered around the room. Ledger has one child, a 2-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose, with his wife the actress Michelle Williams. Ledger and Williams are said to have still been separated at the time of his death. An autopsy is now scheduled for Wednesday.

In 2006, Ledger was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. He was currently working on The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, his second film under the direction of Terry Gilliam.


UPDATE: In an interview published in the NY Times in November, Ledger is attributed with a few alarming quotes and behavioral tics that could be interpreted as warning signs for severe distress and anxiety…

….as often happens when he throws himself into a part, he is not sleeping much.

“Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” he said. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” One night he took an Ambien, which failed to work. He took a second one and fell into a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing.

Even as he spoke, Mr. Ledger was hard-pressed to keep still. He got up and poured more coffee. He stepped outside into the courtyard and smoked a cigarette. He shook his hair out from under its hood, put a rubber band around it, took out the rubber band, put on a hat, took off the hat, put the hood back up. He went outside and had another cigarette. Polite and charming, he nonetheless gave off the sense that the last thing he wanted to do was delve deep into himself for public consumption. “It can be a little distressing to have to overintellectualize yourself,” is how he put it, a little apologetically.

Also, in the following video interview in correlation with his press days for I’m Not There, he seems disoriented and possibly under the influence. Click here to view.

UPDATE 2: An NYPD spokesman now reports that there was no “obvious indication of suicide.” The pills and pill bottles found at the scene were reportedly sleeping pills, one a prescription medication, the other over-the-counter.

Update 3: Unfortunate news comes this Wednesday that police also found a 20-note with narcotic residue and several drug packets in the bedroom where Ledger was found. In the following article, Jack Nicholson is said to have told a reporter on Tuesday that he had recently “warned” Ledger.

Update 4:  Previous reports by CBS News that drug packets were found along with a 20-note with traces of narcotic residue in the apartment at the time of Ledger’s death are now proven to be false. A rolled-up 20-note was found but tests for narcotics have come back negative. Really careless reporting by the mainstream media on this story, eh? You may remember that the New York Times first reported (rather quickly) that it was Mary-Kate Olsen’s apartment, also false.

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Sundance Movie Review: The Wackness

The Wackness

Every year at Sundance I see a film during the first weekend that I absolutely fall in love with. Because it’s only the opening weekend, I try not to claim that a film is the best of this year’s festival. But usually my emotions win out and I make such a claim in a non-direct kind of way, which may explain this opening paragraph. Because this year The Wackness is that film.

Jonathan Levine’s second feature is set in the hot summer of 1994, when gangsta rap was beginning to penetrate into mainstream culture and a young depressed drug-dealer named Luke (Josh Peck in a career making performance) sets off on a journey to get laid before he goes off to college. Problem is that Luke is a combination loser/loner (what I like to call – “Loneser”). His only friend is his oddball psychiatrist Dr. Squires (a Harvey Keitel-looking Ben Kingsley) is suffering from a late-middle age crisis, and takes pot for trade for therapy sessions. Luke falls in love with Squires’ step-daughter Stephanie (Juno’s sexy supporting star Olivia Thirlby), while Dr. Squires makes out with a hippied-out Mary-Kate Olsen (yuck) in a phone booth.

The Wackness has the polish of a hip music video with the rawness of a gritty documentary. Imagine if Michael Bay shot a dramatic indie film. The Squid and the Whale for the NES generation, filled with Sex, Drugs and Rap music. The film perfectly captures the mood of the early to mid 90’s, referencing anything and everything from gameboys to Biggie Smalls, Giuliani’s overhaul of New York City to the fantastic 90’s compilation soundtrack. Levine takes chances, intercutting fantastical dream and musical sequences with a realistic dramatic story.

The Wackness is such a refreshing take on the coming-of-age story. Jonathan Levine has solidified himself as a solid next gen filmmaker, following in the talents of Paul Thomas Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, and Wes Anderson. See Kingsley like you’ve never seen him before, and Olivia Thirlby in her first breakout leading role. While this movie might not be as easily accessible as Little Miss Sunshine or Juno, the film will strike a strong connection with it’s targeted demographic (which I just so happen to fit into). The Wackness is the film to see at this year’s Sundance, and is already an early contender for this year’s top 10.

/Film Rating: 9 out of 10