White Bird in a Blizzard

Shailene Woodley rocked the Sundance Film Festival last year with James Ponsoldt’s lovely The Spectacular Now, and she’ll hope to do the same next year with Gregg Araki‘s White Bird in a Blizzard. Based on a 1999 novel of the same title by Laura Kasischke, the drama stars Woodley as a teenager whose life is thrown into chaos by the mysterious disappearance of her mother (Eva Green).

While most Sundance films haven’t released much more than a still image, if that, White Bird in a Blizzard has just put out its first trailer. Check it out after the jump.

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When you watched Evil Dead II, did you feel pain when Bruce Campbell cut off his own hand, not because of any empathy for the horror, but because Sam Raimi didn’t show the chainsaw actually hitting flesh? If so, then stop reading and order a ticket to Evil Dead, because Fede Alvarez‘s remake is the movie for you. Drenched in gore, the movie doesn’t ever flinch away from violence.

Raimi’s original The Evil Dead was calculated to appeal to drive-in audiences, but his irrepressible personality shone through the exploitation effort. With star Bruce Campbell and producer Robert Tapert, he produced a blend of horror and physical comedy — splatstick, working from an underlying principle that proclaimed “the gore, the merrier!” — that had obvious roots in Three Stooges and Buster Keaton comedies. Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert set out to make the screen run red with blood, but ended up creating something more unique than another horror quickie.

All of which is preamble to set up the fact that Fede Alvarez’s skill with effects shines in his own Evil Dead. But look away from the gore and you’ll see a confused movie that lurches in different directions from one step to the next. It barely establishes a personality of its own beyond the brutal gore.  Appropriately for a film that traffics in bodily dismemberment, Evil Dead ’13 is less than the sum of its parts. Read More »

In purely practical terms, it’s unlikely that Fede Alvarez‘s Evil Dead remake will live up to the marketing promise that it’s “the most terrifying film you will ever experience.” But even if it fails to meet that high bar, it’s clearly trying its hardest to push that envelope.

The first red-band trailer was packed end to end with disturbing, blood-drenched images, to the point that it made Sam Raimi‘s 1981 original look mild and mellow in comparison. The green-band trailer, for obvious reasons, is far tamer, but it’s still pretty spooky. And because it can’t show off the really shocking moments, it gives away much less about the film. Check it out after the jump.

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After an early snag that saw Lily Collins landing the lead and then dropping out three weeks later due to scheduling issues, casting on Fede Alvarez‘s The Evil Dead is now rolling along smoothly. Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood) and Lou Taylor Pucci (Beginners) boarded the project last month, as Jane Levy (Suburgatory) stepped up to replace Collins.

Now the newest addition to the roster is Elizabeth Blackmore (Legend of the Seeker), while Jessica Lucas (Melrose Place) has entered talks. The actresses will play two more pals who get wrapped up in the horrors released by the Necromonicon. More details after the jump.

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The latest actor to sign on to Ben Stiller‘s remake of the imaginative Danny Kaye comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is Adam Scott. He joins stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine and Patton Oswalt in the story of a LIFE magazine photo editor (Stiller) who daydreams his way out of a dull reality. No word on Scott’s role at this point, but given that Kristen Wiig plays Mitty’s workplace crush, I wouldn’t be surprised to find him playing another LIFE staffer who competes for her attention. [Deadline]

After the break, The Evil Dead finds a new potential victim and the sci-fi thriller Oblivion gets a Game of Thrones player. Read More »

That new version of The Evil Dead is still pulling together a cast, after Lily Collins dropped out of the lead role. Collins would have played a troubled girl who, with her brother and some friends, goes to a remote cabin to detox, where supernatural forces are awakened to threaten the group.

With Collins out of the picture the film still needs a female lead, but it now has a male lead. Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl, Skateland, Red Riding Hood) will play one of the film’s key roles.

Update: Just after we published this article, Jane Levy (Shamesless, Suburgatory, Fun Size) was revealed as being in talks to take the role formerly held by Lily Collins. More info follows. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Nicole Kidman‘s Blossom Films and Olympus Films have teamed up to acquire the movie rights for Kevin Wilson‘s bestselling book The Family Fang, which they plan to develop as a starring vehicle for Kidman. The two companies previously collaborated on Rabbit Hole, for which Kidman received a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Wilson’s debut novel centers around a couple of performance artists who regularly incorporate their unwilling children into their bizarre acts. Years later, misfortune prompts the now-grown son and daughter to return home, where they find their parents gearing up for one final masterpiece. [Deadline]

After the jump, New Line pulls together an intriguing shortlist for Burt Wonderstone‘s female lead, and The East‘s terrorist organization gets one more member.

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There’s a reason this article is illustrated with a ten-year old image of Nicole Kidman in The Others: she’s not quite a stranger to making low-budget chillers, and now she seems to be tapped for a new one. Saw and Insidious director James Wan is putting together a movie called Spectre, and a throwaway mention in a Variety report on Cannes sales mentions that Nicole Kidman  is in talks to star. We don’t know what the film is, but knowing James Wan’s general M.O. I’ll let you guess the basics. Nicole Kidman already has one thriller in the can for this year (Joel Schumacher’s Trespass, with Nic Cage) and may be Park Chan-Wook’s Stoker and/or Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful. But I’ll admit: fond memories of The Others make me hope this comes together.

After the break. Mark Strong gets ready to punch, and Amber Heard is in a film called Syrup. Read More »

Skateland

MTV has released the official movie trailer for Anthony Burns‘s feature film directorial debut with Skateland, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival . Skateland is a coming-of-age story which takes place in the early 1980s in small-town East Texas. Dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager named Ritchie (played by Deadgirl‘s Shiloh Fernandez) to look at his life in a very new way.

“Skateland explores the rupture of charismatic Ritchie Wheeler, brother and sister Brent and Michelle Burkham, and wise-cracking lady-killer Kenny Crawford’s seemingly complacent existence as they struggle with the collapse of their tumultuous home lives, the alcohol-induced idling of reckless adolescence, and the wane of their hometown hangout, the local roller rink. A story syncopated with moments of violent turbulence, of heartbreak and of new beginnings, Skateland immerses the audience in the brutal, but beautiful vastness of East Texas blue skies and the emotional claustrophobia of the bible belt. Enveloped by the brooding melodies and incendiary rock riffs of the early 80’s, Skateland is a place where aging values wrestle with contemporary pop culture to create a paradoxical balance between old and new.”

The movie also stars Ashley Greene (Twilight), Heath Freeman, Taylor Handley, AJ Buckley, and Haley Ramm. I’m usually a sucker for coming-of-age stories, and growing up in the 1980’s makes this all the more appealing. However, I screened this at Sundance this year and only mildly liked it.  Watch the trailer now after the jump.

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