manchester by the sea trailer

When Manchester by the Sea premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, it was met with near universal acclaim from all who saw it. Many attendees declared it an early frontrunner for the best film of 2016. It started the 2017 Oscar conversation before the 2016 awards could even occur. The film was quickly purchased by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions. Director Kenneth Lonergan, whose Margaret famously endured all kinds of hell on its way to release, was now responsible for a movie that looked like it could play far beyond an audience of faithful cineastes and critics.

The first Manchester by the Sea trailer has arrived and it’s full of drama and bittersweet laughs and glimpses at complex performances from the likes of Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. Oh, and there are Massachusetts accents. Oh boy, are there Massachusetts accents.

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Michelle Williams in the greatest showman on earth

Hugh Jackman has been attached to the P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman on Earth for almost seven years. Every once in a blue moon, we’d get an update saying the project, which centers on the founder of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, is alive and well. After years of development, the project is maybe more alive than ever, as another actor, Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea), may finally join Jackman in The Greatest Showman on Earth.

Below, learn more about the biopic and who Michelle Williams might play.

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Bradley Cooper

There’s a showdown brewing in the kitchen. Years ago, David Fincher was attached to direct a film called Chef. His version never happened, but John Wells, whose film adaptation of Osage: Orange County just debuted a trailer, is going to make the movie from the script by Steven Knight. The Weinstein Company is behind the film, and they’ve just landed Bradley Cooper as the star. Good job, guys!

But while that Chef was floundering, before Wells and Cooper came on, Jon Favreau wrote his own indie called Chef, and has recruited actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Sofia Vergara (and possibly Scarlett Johansson) to join him. He plans to shoot the film this summer.

So who gets the title? The film that had it first, or the movie that shoots first? How about the one with the more powerful lawyers? Read More »

Now that a director’s been locked in for Episode VII, the big question is who’ll get to star in it. And that’s what today’s Star Wars Bits is all about. After the jump:

  • Disney CEO confirms the original trio is in talks to return
  • Billy Dee Williams has also been asked to come back
  • Warwick Davis is “definitely” looking to do more Star Wars
  • New details revealed for Star Wars: First Assault game
  • Eli Roth, JGL, Mila KunisStanley Tucci and more weigh in

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Oz the Great and Powerful, Sam Raimi‘s first Disney film, is oddly two-faced. Here we have a director who made his name with low budget horror, who became a household name when he infused the superhero genre with his do-it-yourself, energetic visual style. And then there’s Oz, a massive film that gives Raimi the most toys he’s ever had to play with, but also the commitment to make a movie that’s fun for all ages. The result is a Sam Raimi movie wrapped up tightly in a Disney package. And the Raimi elements are willing themselves out.

There’s not a frame of Oz The Great and Powerful that doesn’t bear Raimi’s mark. The production design, the camera moves, the pulpy performances, everything screams his name. I mean, the movie is basically Army of Darkness, right? (Normal guy lands in magical land, is forced to go on quest to save that land.) But just when you see that kinetic, signature style starting to unleash, the story forces the film back into its Disney shell to play to the masses. We’re left with a film that’s entertaining, a little scarier than you’d expect, but extremely inconsistent. Read More »

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Super Bowl Spot

Disney isn’t showing off as much new stuff in the Super Bowl commercial for Oz the Great and Powerful as it did for The Lone Ranger , but here’s a quick look at the March release.  We know pretty much what to expect from Sam Raimi‘s Oz prequel, but if you need a refresher check out the spot below.

Watch other 2013 Super Bowl spots at these links: Iron Man 3World War ZStar Trek Into DarknessThe Lone Ranger, Fast & Furious 6.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

In October 2011, I got to visit the wonderful world of Oz and watch director Sam Raimi direct his preboot (prequel/reboot) of the classic L. Frank Baum book series. I learned much on the set of Oz: The Great and Powerful. Most fascinating to me was some of the things Disney had to do satisfy legal concerns over possibly violating copyrighted imagery from the classic 1939 film adaptation, owned by Warner Bros.

And while trailers for the film focus on wholly computer-generated worlds and characters, you might be shocked to learn the lengths that Sam Raimi went through to shoot a lot of the film practically. For example, it was interesting to see Raimi inventing new practical solutions to help the supporting actors create and react to live performances for characters who would eventually be created in CG — and I’m not talking about performance capture.

After the jump you can watch a video blog we recorded talking about the visit, followed by many more things I learned while on the set.

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A few weeks ago, Disney dropped a striking poster featuring the Wicked Witch of the West, adding fuel to the ongoing debate about whether it’s Evanora (Rachel Weisz) or Theodora (Mila Kunis) who goes green in Oz: The Great and Powerful. A new batch of posters doesn’t answer that question, but it does give us a closer look at who the individual players in the movie are. Hit the jump to see individual characters for Evanora, Theodora, Glinda (Michelle Williams), and of course, the Wizard himself (James Franco).

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So far, most of Disney’s promos for Oz: The Great and Powerful have played up the lush fantasy world created by Sam Raimi, or perhaps the epic tale of James Franco‘s Oscar Diggs. The newest featurette, however, delves into the movie’s more comedic aspects.

Or perhaps that should be “comedic,” in quotes, since the jokes are more groanworthy than funny. And they’re definitely not any better when delivered by a CG flying monkey. On the bright side, the video does offer some better insight into who the three witches (played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams) are, and what makes each one tick. Watch it after the jump.

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