James Ponsoldt‘s wonderful film The Spectacular Now hits theaters August 2. It’s one of those serious, emotional, yet magical coming of age stories in the mold of films from the Eighties and Nineties. Films like Say Anything, Dazed and Confused, Almost Famous and The Breakfast Club. All four of those certainly influenced The Spectacular Now and they’re being screened to solidify that connection.
Nine cities across the country will be hosting four screenings on Tuesdays in July called The Spectacular Classics. The four films above will be preceded with an exclusive video introduction by Spectacular Now and 500 Days of Summer screenwriters Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter discussing the specific connections. And, if that’s not enough, audience members will also get a free ticket to see The Spectacular Now. Read More »
Dave, Devindra, and Joanna Robinson try to get excited about a new Terminator film, reflect on the last season of Mad Men, praise the spectacular Spectacular Now, and remember the late, great James Gandolfini.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 by Angie Han
In James Ponsoldt‘s last film, Smashed, binge-drinking helped tear two married people apart. In his new one, The Spectacular Now, it brings two very different teens together, albeit in an unexpected way.
Miles Teller stars as popular, hard-partying Sutter, who drinks himself to oblivion one night after getting dumped by his girlfriend. He wakes up on the lawn of a classmate, sweet sci-fi geek Aimee (Shailene Woodley). Despite their differences, the two find themselves inexorably drawn together.
That setup may not sound like much of anything special, but the rave reviews out of Sundance indicate that Ponsoldt makes the most of it. Check out the first trailer and poster after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2013 by Angie Han
Who’s ready to think about next year’s Oscar race? Paramount has just announced a November 15 release for Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, putting the crime drama right in the thick of prestige pic season. It already has some stiff competition lined up for that day, including Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate, Grudge Match, and The Best Man Holiday. Don’t be surprised to see that lineup shift again before we get there.
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life stockbroker Jordan Belfort, chronicling his dramatic rise and fall on Wall Street in the ’90s. Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, and Jean Dujardin also star.
After the jump, find out release dates for The Bling Ring and The Spectacular Now.
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Any film fan should make it a point to attend the Sundance Film Festival at least once. Words can hardly describe the beauty of Park City, the camaraderie of the attendees, the smooth running machine that plays dozens of movies a day on screens all over town. And those movies. Oh, those movies. Some of the best films of the past 25 years have debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The list has been well-documented and 2013 is likely to add at least a few to that incredible legacy.
At this year’s festival, I saw 34 movies. Not a staggering, superhuman number – remember I have to eat, sleep and write about these things – but a number to be proud of none the less. I saw comedies, dramas, foreign films, Hollywood films, sports films, happy films, sad films, black and white films, sex films, kids films. You name it; one of the movies I saw fits nearly any description you can muster.
I’ve picked my ten favorite films of the festival, with an asterisk. Though I saw 34 films, I missed probably 100 others, so this isn’t by any means definitive. But out of the movies that I thought looked interesting, or were buzzed about on the streets of Park City, these were the ten that I most enjoyed. Read More »
Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2013 by Angie Han
A few days after the kickoff the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, deal-making is in full swing. The well-reviewed drama The Spectacular Now, by Smashed director James Ponsoldt, is headed to newish distributor A24, while the crowdpleasing comedy Austenland, from Napoleon Dynamite writer Jerusha Hess, is nearing a deal with FilmDistrict. Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan‘s The Look of Love had a mixed reception, but that’s not stopping IFC Films from closing in on a deal; the distributor also released the pair’s last comedy together, The Trip. Meanwhile, Anchor Bay has picked up two narrative features so far, the Dermot Mulroney-starring The Rambler and Leland Orser‘s Morning. (The latter is not playing at Sundance.)
Over in the world of documentaries, music-centric films seem to be doing quite well. Showtime has acquired the broadcast rights to the two-part documentary History of the Eagles, which will air on the channel February 15 & 16. Also headed to television is Pussy Riot — A Punk Prayer, which has been snapped up by HBO Documentary Films. Finally, Twenty Feet From Stardom, which follows some of popular music’s greatest backup singers, will get a theatrical release by RADiUS-TWC. And in non-music news, AMC’s Sundance Selects has grabbed Dirty Wars, about America’s covert wars, and The Summit, about climbers scaling the most dangerous peak in the world.
Hit the jump to read descriptions of the films mentioned above.
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At the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, I was blown away by a film called (500) Days of Summer. When I interviewed director Marc Webb in Park City that year, he exclusively revealed that he was working with the 500 Days writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on a adaptation of Tim Tharp‘s The Spectacular Now. Then, hot off the success of Summer, Webb got pulled away to do some little superhero movie reboot.
Cut to the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Smashed became one of the top buzz films of the festival with a critically acclaimed tour de force performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and an incredibly raw filmmaking style that put director James Ponsoldt on our must-watch list. So when it was announced that Ponsoldt would be taking over as director on The Spectacular Now, we were excited. And the movie does not disappoint.
The Spectacular Now is everything I hope a Sundance movie to be. It has heart, many laughs, story twists that will jolt you from your seat, and most importantly, the film speaks to a deep truth. It is an honest coming of age film about growing up and facing the great unknown that comes after high school, something we can all remember and relate to. But it tells that story without the forced nostalgia of other Hollywood films.
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John Hillcoat‘s revived project The Wettest County in the World has Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy set to appear when the film shoots later this year, and there is word that Mia Wasikowska might grab the main female role if her schedule permits. While we wait for that to be sorted out, here’s word that Jason Clarke (The Fields, Public Enemies, Brotherhood) is in the picture as well. No word on his role, but with Mr. Hillcoat again directing from a script by Nick Cave (adapted from Matt Bondurant’s book of the same name) it might not even matter. [Variety]
After the break, the president of SAG gets a role in Clint Eastwood’s latest, and a Prom actor goes to The Spectacular Now. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
On Tuesday, we ran an exclusive news scoop about the next project from the director and writers of 500 Days of Summer — Marc Webb and writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are developing a big screen adaptation of Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now.
Tonight Hollywood tradepaper Variety is running the same bit of news with no source credit to /Film. This isnt a big surprise. This isn’t anything new. The ethics of Variety’s sourcing practices have been well documented. It’s just very disappointing.
Update: I’ve since had contact with Fox who claims that Variety was working on the story before I conducted my interview. But I’m under the belief that its not about who is working on a story first — it’s about who reports it first with verified confirmed information. In the real world, credit goes where credit is due. If The New York Times was working on a story and The Washington Post broke the story first, The Times piece would mention that the news broke to the public via the Washington Post. Yes, I know this isn’t watergate or some huge news story, but this is one story in a pattern of hundreds or thousands. Variety rarely, if ever, credits online sources for breaking news.
500 Days of Summer seems to be the big buzz film of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Yesterday I got a chance to sit down with director Marc Webb (full interview will be posted later in the week), who slipped a bit of news regarding his possible follow-up. Marc revealed that his is developing a big screen adaptation of Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, which is being written by 500 Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber:
“Neustadter and Weber are adapting a book called The Spectacular Now for Fox Searchlight,” Webb told /Film. “It’s a really fantastic novel about a 17 year old charm monger who drinks too much. And its about how he’s negotiating the world of growing up. It’s a very realistic portrayl of what it’s like to be a kid. And it has a very frank depiction of sex, alcohol and that sort of thing.”
Webb was clear to mention that it’s currently being written, and there is nothing “locked and loaded” for his next project, despite the Hollywood trade papers announcement that he will be making a film called Age of Rage, which was described as “Children of Men meets Lord of the Flies”.
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