The title Stoker suggests vampirism, as a play on the name of Dracula creator Bram Stoker. But the monsters in this film are purely human — people warped into terrible shapes by neglect and jealousy.

For his English-language debut, Oldboy direcotor Park Chan-Wook chose Stoker, a script by actor Wentworth Miller that revolves around a family suffering the pain of change after a significant death. Evie Stoker and her daughter India barely have a moment to come to terms with the untimely passing of husband/father Michael, when his long-lost brother Charlie shows up. Charlie is so long-lost that the rest of the family barely knew of his existence. But it isn’t long before he has insinuated himself into the broken household, and is toying with the affections of lonely Evie and rapidly maturing India.

There’s an influence from Hitchcock – the imposition of a long-lost Uncle Charlie can’t help but conjure thoughts of Shadow of a Doubt — but Stoker doesn’t feel like a Hitchcock film at all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel much like a classic Park film, either. There’s lush cinematography to spare, and a strikingly vivid color palette, yes. As a story or character portrait, however, Stoker is resoundingly hollow. Read More »

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Tim Burton’s 2010 3D version of Alice in Wonderland was a unexpected mega hit for Disney, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Its success is credited with kickstarting the ongoing trend of live action adaptations of fantasy/fairy tale classics such as Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman as well as the upcoming Maleficent, Oz the Great and Powerful and more. Surprisingly, after all that, it’s taken two years for Disney to finally get the ball rolling on a follow-up.

Linda Woolverton, a long time Disney writer who not only wrote the first film, but also The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Homeward Bound and more, has just been hired to write Alice in Wonderland 2. It’s a sequel to the 2010 film, which itself was a sort-of sequel to the original animated Alice in Wonderland. The story in Burton’s film took place after Alice’s first trip to Wonderland, even though they shared the same title. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Park Chan-Wook‘s Stoker is one of the film’s we’re most keen to see in the early months of 2013; the English-language debut of the director behind Thirst and the “Vengeance Trilogy” (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) holds a lot of appeal. That’s in part due to Park’s wonderful work with the camera and actors, as seen in most of his previous films. But there’s also the appeal of him tackling a story with explicit Hitchcock references and a talented cast that includes Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode, the three of whom play a strange family unit that comes together in the aftermath of a death in the family.

The first teaser poster for the film artfully brings together some of the story elements, and corrals them in a stark frame of thorny growth that aptly visualizes the characters’ twisted entanglements. Check it out in full below, along with a video showing the poster’s creation. Read More »

The core of the US trailer for Stoker, from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook, was a wonderfully hateful little speech from Nicole Kidman as the threatened matriarch of the Stoker family. That speech is in this new UK trailer, but thrown toward the end, truncated, and cut up with other footage. The core here, instead, is the nature of her daughter, played by Mia Wasikowska. This trailer turns her character, India, into more of a sinister figure, and an overt threat. The effect is to heighten my already elevated interest in the film, not that it needed much help given the talent involved.

Stoker hits early next year, but you can get a new taste of it below. Read More »

Finally! We recently saw some footage from Stoker, which is the English-language debut from South Korean director Park Chan-wook, best known for the “vengeance trilogy” of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.

Stoker appears to be a thriller in the Hitchcock/De Palma vein, with a good dose of heated psycho-sexual tension, and some of Park’s characteristically lush visuals. After the death of the Stoker family patriarch, the women of the family, mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and daughter India (Mia Wasikowska), are visited by Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode). Things get intense, and really weird.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

It’s not a proper trailer — in fact, this is one of those irritating footage presentations on Entertainment Tonight where the talking heads yammer over the top of scenes from a film. But it is the first footage from Stoker, which marks the English-language directorial debut from acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, responsible for Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Thirst.

What we see here sets up the story: Nicole Kidman is mom to Mia Wasikowska, and after the death of Mia’s father, her uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) comes to visit, and some sexual power games begin. The Hitchcockian overtones are obvious (“Uncle Charlie” being a carryover from one of Hitchcock’s most praised films, Shadow of a Doubt) but the camerawork and style are all Park, and Kidman looks like she’s giving her best work in a while.  Read More »

Earlier today we showed you some B-roll behind the scenes footage from John Hillcoat‘s new film Lawless, which stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, and Mia Wasikowska in a bootlegging tale with support from Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman. Now there is a red-band trailer to advertise the film’s August 29 release. In truth, there isn’t too much here that wasn’t in the couple all-ages trailers we’ve already seen — a bit of nudity here and there is what marks this as “adults only.” But there is an appeal to this trailer beyond that, as it leaves behind some of the flashy and too-modern feeling editing elements that some audiences found distracting in previous trailers.

Check out the not entirely new, but still relatively fresh look at Lawless below. Read More »

After a long development process, which nearly resulted in the film being canceled overall, John Hillcoat‘s latest film Lawless (formerly The Wettest County and The Wettest County in the World) is about to hit theaters. We’ve seen a couple trailers, and some great info graphics that collate info about the film’s tale of bootleggers and rouge lawmen.

Now we’ve got two good collections of behind the scenes B-roll footage that shows Hillcoat on set with key actors Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy PearceMia Wasikowska, Jason Clarke, and Shia LaBeouf. Pete mentioned them in Page 2 yesterday, but some of this footage is too much fun to leave there. While some behind the scenes footage reveals how much trickery goes into making a film work (see the recent The Avengers gag reel and Captain America’s cheap-looking costume) other times we see just how legit some sets and costuming can look even without much post-production magic. That’s the case here. Check out ten minutes of footage below. Read More »

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