“Do you have any idea what a Thompson submachine gun does to a mortal?”

Oh, man, here we go. We’ve waited a long time to see footage from John Hillcoat‘s new film Lawless, formerly titled The Wettest County. Based on Matt Bondurant‘s book The Wettest County in the World, the film had a long pre-production history and nearly didn’t happen, until Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures saved the day.

And so Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke are the bootlegging Bondurant brothers who have to contend with the attentions of some powerful and jealous authorities, with Guy Pearce looking like he’s having the time of his life as the agent on the trail of the boys. Gary Oldman has his part, too, and Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and more fill out the cast.

A trailer has just hit for Lawless, and it looks fantastic.

Update: Seems like Yahoo posted the trailer too soon, because they pulled it briefly. The embed below seems to be working for most people now, however.

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A couple years ago John Hillcoat (The Road, The Proposition) stared the process of adapting Matt Bondurant‘s novel The Wettest County in the World. The film stars Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain and many more in the story of a bootlegging family. The title was soon shortened down to The Wettest County. But now, just a bit prior to the film’s August 31 opening, the movie has a new title: Lawless.

Trouble is, Lawless is what Terrence Malick had been planning to call one of his two films he’s shooting this year with Christian Bale. The good news is, Hillcoat’s team asked for the name, and Malick graciously gave it up. Read More »

Russ Fischer’s 10 Most Anticipated Films of 2012

Enough about 2011; let’s look ahead to 2012. This past year was good about offering a diverse set of films that catered to many tastes, especially crowds that wanted something out of the range of standard multiplex fare. But 2012 looks like a much stronger year. We can almost always look ahead to a new year and say that there is a great batch of new films from established favorite filmmakers, movies with wonderful casts,  giant event movies and promising indies. But 2012 looks like it has more of those than usual. It’s going to be a good year for movie watchers.

After some deliberation (which no doubt has still allowed me to overlook something for which I’ll facepalm later) here is a list of ten films that I’m very excited to see in 2012, followed by a full page of discussion about a whole bunch of other movies that didn’t make my personal cut but are still bright spots on the 2012 calendar for various reasons. This list could change a lot in the next couple weeks, as Sundance (and then Cannes in May) could reveal a good many new films that will be bright spots on the calendar in ’12.

I’ve also exercised a certain hopefulness here, as there are a few films that don’t yet have official 2012 release dates. Let’s hope they don’t slip. Read More »

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