Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby

No year in cinema ever shapes up exactly the way we’d expect. In fact, it’d be boring if one did. Still, when faced with the promise of a whole new year of movies, I can’t help try and predict which ones I’ll love or hate. I put my best guesses in list form last year, and I did it again this year.

Now, in the spirit of journalistic integrity (or, less charitably, critical solipsism), it’s time for me to look back at my most anticipated films of 2013 and see just how reality measured up to expectation. Hit the jump to see how great or terrible I was at guessing what’d be my favorite films of 2013.

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Paradise (8)

In Paradise, Julianne Hough stars as a young woman who renounces her faith after a plane crash leaves her scarred. She travels to Las Vegas to indulge in all the behaviors that sh has avoided in life, and runs across characters played by Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer and Nick Offerman. The film is written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult), who also makes her directorial debut.

Some of the weirdest news of last week was that Paradise would debut this week (on Thurs, Aug 8) on DirecTV. The plan has been in the works for a while, says the LA Times, to which Cody said, “I don’t know a director who is in on the distribution strategy, or if it’s necessarily ever OKd with the filmmaker. But they believe in my movie, and I’m excited to be trying something a little different. I think VOD is a pretty good place for an indie rom-com right now.”

So Paradise is an unexpected trailblazer for a certain sort of distribution, and you can bet that if it turns out well for the film and DirecTV we’ll see more releases like this in the future. For the time being, you can see the first trailer below. Read More »

Paradise - Diablo Cody (header)

How has the movie business changed in the past decade? For one, VOD and streaming video have changed the stigma once attached to films debuting at home before they hit theaters, and movies now routinely can be seen on the small screen before they open on the big one.

But the distribution scheme for Diablo Cody’s first turn as a director is still a bit unusual. The movie is Paradise, starring Julianne Hough as a devout young woman badly burned in a plane crash, who travels to Las Vegas to immerse herself in sin city. Octavia SpencerRussell BrandNick Offerman and Holly Hunter also appear.

Cody said today that the film will premiere on August 8 on DirectTV. A theatrical release will still take place in October, and in other responses to questions Cody said that the film will hit other VOD services after theatrical. Get her comments below.  Read More »

Paradise - Diablo Cody (header)

Diablo Cody has written some of the sharpest female-led dramedies of the past several years, and now she’s taken the next step by helming her own.

The Juno scribe makes her feature directing debut this fall with Paradise, a comedy about a sheltered young woman (Julianne Hough) taking a walk on the wild side. Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Nick Offerman, and Holly Hunter also star. Check out the first pics after the jump.

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There’s some big news on Ridley Scott‘s two-part prequel to his 1979 film Alien. First up, time to kill off the rumor that the project has been delayed: Fox says that there is no delay. (The interesting reason for the rumor is after the break.)

But more important, a report says that the first film is called Paradise, and that cast sought by Ridley Scott includes Michael Fassbender and Michelle Yeoh. More info on the character details and plot of the film are also after the break. And note that there are possible spoilers in the info that follows. Read More »

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