Warrior is one of my favorite films of the year. Much more than just a movie about mixed martial arts, director Gavin O’Connor‘s film earns its stripes by spending time developing complex characters and familiar relationships that pay off in spades once the fighting begins.

Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton play estranged brothers who simultaneously, and unbeknownst to each other, begin training for a massive MMA tournament. Both have disowned their father (Nick Nolte in an Oscar-worthy performance), which creates another layer of tension when Hardy’s character enlists him to help with training. Edgerton goes the more traditional route and all of these threads come to a head under the bright lights of the octagon.

I’m not overstating my love for this film when I say Warrior does for MMA what Rocky did for boxing – it brings the sport into the hearts of the mainstream thanks to incredibly vivid characters and performances. It’ll make grown men cry, cheer and now you can see it early. After the jump, read how you can see the film a few days before its September 9 release. Read More »

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Nick Nolte Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Briefly: Here’s one more reason to be excited about Ruben Fleischer‘s upcoming ’40s-set LA ‘cops vs. mobsters’ story Gangster Squad. Nick Nolte is taking a role in the film; he’ll be Bill Parker, “the new chief of police in Los Angeles,” and a Chief who isn’t in the pocket of big-time LA gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). The character is a WWII vet and the guy who gives the gangster squad its mandate to bust Cohen and other organized crime goons.

Nolte joins a cast that also includes Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Peña, Mirielle Enos, Giovanni Ribisi, Holt McCallany, Robert Patrick, Frank Grillo and Sullivan Stapleton. I don’t know exactly what has Nick Nolte showing up all over the place lately, but I love it. He’s in the David Milch/Michael Mann HBO show Luck, as well as the upcoming films Warrior (pictured above), Parker and The Company You Keep. [Deadline]

We’ve got a diverse set of projects on which to report in this latest casting break: a political prestige project, a more routine-sounding thriller, and a dark comedy with quite a good pedigree. After the break, you’ll find:

  • Brit Marling seems to have settled on Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep as her next big role,
  • Gerard Butler will play a rogue former FBI agent in The Bricklayer,
  • and Natasha Lyonne joins Kristen Wiig’s passion project, Imogene. Read More »

Here’s one of several casting breaks to come your way in the next few hours, and this one is pretty damned good. Why? Because after the break you’ll find info on the following:

  • Nick Nolte takes a role in hard-boiled crime thriller Parker.
  • Jesse Eisenberg plays dopplegangers in The Double.
  • And Mark Ruffalo and Amanda Seyfried join the increasingly promising FBI vs magicians thriller Now You See Me. Read More »

Lots of casting news has been flying about for the past few days, and in the wake of Comic Con we’re still catching up on a few things. In this particular casting break you’ll find:

  • Nick Nolte will lend his wonderfully grizzled talent to Robert Redford’s new film.
  • A Stargate SG-1 actor gets a role in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Jay Chou stars in a new Chinese action film, complete with a teaser. Read More »

David Hasselhoff has become the latest actor to join Piranha 3DD, the sequel to last year’s Piranha 3D (which in turn was a remake of the 1978 film Piranha). The new cast looks just as enjoyably eclectic as the last one — in addition to returning stars Christopher Lloyd, Ving Rhames, and Paul Scheer, 3DD will also feature Katrina Bowden (30 Rock), Gary Busey (Point Break), Danielle Panabaker (The Crazies), David Koechner (Anchorman) and Matt Bush (Adventureland).

Here’s the plot synopsis — not that the premise is terribly difficult to figure out:

There’s something in the water . . . again. And this time no one is safe from the flesh eating fish as they sink their razor sharp teeth into the visitors of the best summer attraction, The Big Wet Water Park.

Piranha 3DD is currently shooting in Wilmington, NC under the direction of John Gulager (Feast). The film will open November 23, 2012. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump: A plagiarizer, an Italian bird scientist, and a host of Hollywood stars.

Read More »

I never thought I’d be this jazzed to see a horse-racing drama, but ‘jazzed’ only begins to capture how I feel after watching the first behind the scenes look at Luck, the HBO show from Michael Mann and David Milch that stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. This video is a relatively brief featurette on the making of the show, but it has enough tiny clips of the actors in action that I think you’ll walk away from it wanting to see a lot more. Read More »

Other than comedies, sports movies are probably ruined in trailers more than another other genre. Mostly that’s because sports movies are generally predictable and cheesy but, even with that caveat, the trailer for Warrior might cross the line. Directed by Gavin O’Connor and starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, the film follows two brothers who simultaneously, for different reasons, enter into the world of professional mixed martial arts. Just from that sentence alone you probably can venture a very educated guess as to what the film’s climax will be but does the trailer really need to not only show it, but blatantly state it?

Despite that, Warrior looks to be a potentially entertaining story of family and sport, much in the vein of The Fighter. Peter seemed to think so when he saw the film at CinemaCon and now you can judge for yourself. Warrior, which also stars Nick Nolte, is scheduled for release on September 9. The spoiler-filled trailer’s embedded after the jump. Read More »

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