In terms of message, there isn’t really much to The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. It’s a film about love and the trials and tribulations we endure for it. Which, in a way, is pretty much the theme of half the movies ever made. What makes the film so entertaining is that it’s kind of insane. Shia LaBeouf plays the title character, who ignores society and goes on a seat of his pants adventure across Bucharest, embracing every impulse and never knowing what’s coming next. The audience can probably see what’s coming next, but getting there is a wild, frivolous ride.

Making his feature film debut, commercial director Fredrik Bond has made a visually impressive, thematically pointless joyride tainted with drugs and blood. And if that sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll love The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Read More »

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There are two “Die Hard in the White House” movies set for release this year. One is Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. The other is Antoine Fuqua‘s Olympus Has Fallen, which features Gerard Butler as a secret service agent, Aaron Eckhart as the President of the United States, Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House, and a whole bunch of Asian antagonists.

Here, Butler’s agent pulls the POTUS from a wrecked limo just before it plunges off a bridge… with the First Lady inside. He’s removed from service, but ends up back in action when the White House is taken over by terrorists while he’s inside. As the President is held hostage and Butler works his violent magic from inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,  Morgan Freeman’s Speaker manages the situation from the outside. It’s all very explosive, and even the Washington Monument takes a hit.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Here’s the first official poster for Oblivion, the new film from Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. The movie casts Tom Cruise as a drone repairman who is stationed on an Earth that has seen better days, to put things mildly. The first image sells a grand vision of an almost fossilized Manhattan, with Cruise in the now-standard poster stance. After Tron I’m not certain about Kosinski’s storytelling chops, but I know he can deliver visual spectacle, and this poster certainly promises big imagery.

Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Melissa Leo also star, with the script by William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, and Michael Arndt based on a graphic novel that Kosinski created.

The trailer will hit on Sunday, but for now you can see the poster below. Read More »

This eclectic edition of Sequel Bits covers everything from the Lifetime Channel to Machete Kills. After the jump:

  • Javier Bardem says he was offered Bond way back when
  • Carrie Fisher would be interested in doing Star Wars VII
  • Melissa Leo and Octavia Spencer join Lifetime’s Five 2
  • Spy Kids star Alexa Vega is all grown up in Machete Kills
  • See Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit
  • Here’s where you can watch The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Read More »

If you’re in a good mood and want to preserve it, might want to put watching this trailer off for later. Francine stars Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Treme) as a recent ex-con who isn’t having the best time adjusting to life after prison. The trailer doesn’t give too many details of just what she does after getting out of the joint, but that seems to be true of the film, too. What it does do is present a series of relatively quiet scenes that quickly lead to the impression that things are really very wrong. In spite of the relatively banal content of most of this footage, the end result is an impressive sense of unease.  Read More »

Things are super busy in Panem this week. Earlier today, Amanda Plummer was officially cast in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Lionsgate let it slip that both halves of the third film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, are moving so fast, they’re already looking for new directors as Francis Lawrence won’t have time to do it.

Now Variety says the first sequel has three major actors close to filling three major roles with filming scheduled to begin in a few months. Sam Claflin, last seen in Snow White and the Huntsman, is up for the highly coveted role of Finnick Odair, Oscar winner Melissa Leo is up for the role of Mags and Tony Shalhoub is on the list for Beetee. Read about each of the roles and more after the jump. Read More »

When the comedy Why Stop Now? premiered at Sundance back in January it was called Predisposed. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as a responsible young piano prodigy who holds the family reins because his mother (Melissa Leo) is a drug addict. Her need for drugs leads Eisenberg’s character to the home of her dealer (Tracy Morgan) and into an adventure that has elements reminiscent of Eisenberg’s film 30 Minutes or Less and the recent comedy The Sitter.

So does the film work? There’s a lot of Tracy Morgan doing what Tracy Morgan often does, but Leo and Eisenberg both look strong. Check out the new trailer after the break. Read More »

After years spent directing mo-capped animated films, Robert Zemeckis has returned to live-action with Flight. The film casts Denzel Washington as an airline captain who lands a plane that is about to crash, only to be forced to face his own demons as the investigation into the crash goes on.

This is a pretty thrilling trailer, as it intercuts moments from the crash and its aftermath with the fallout that takes place afterward. And Denzel’s particular brand of cocky command is just right for a capable pilot. I hope this film pushes him out of the comfort zone he’s been in for a while; the trailer suggests it might. It also seems to give a lot away, so we’ll hope it is less revealing than it first appears. Read More »

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