Shia LaBeouf may be out of the Transformers franchise, but the young actor is hardly wanting for work. He’s wrapped John Hillcoat’s The Wettest County in the World, is currently shooting Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, and is now attached to star in an offbeat romcom going by the working title A Giant. Gil Kenan (Monster House) will direct from his own script, which revolves around a girl who’s unlucky in money and love. When she moves back home with her brother, she forms a relationship with her next-door-neighbor — “a 20-foot-tall man-child” (LaBeouf).

LaBeouf was reportedly in the running to star in Fox’s Frankenstein, which is being directed by Shawn Levy, but ultimately chose A Giant over the horror adaptation. No start date for A Giant has been announced, but LaBeouf’s involvement should help the project get going. [Variety]

After the jump, New Line picks up Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy, and Nic Cage remakes a French thriller.

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TIFF Review: What Doesn’t Kill You

Ten years ago, the Boston film scene was almost non existent. Most films that were set in the bay state were actually filmed on soundstages in Canada and Los Angeles. Good Will Hunting was probably the biggest modern film to have shot in the area, and even then, the lack of tax incentives pushed the majority of the production out of state. The occasional indie film like Next Stop Wonderland dared to do what Hollywood couldn’t, that is until Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese came to town. It’s funny how much things have changed in the last decade. As South Boston has taken the center stage, the Boston-story seems to have become a subgenre of the gangster film.

Brian Goodman‘s What Doesn’t Kill You is the latest entry of the Southie tales. Based on a true story of two childhood friends who turn to crime to get by. The film opens in a flash forward, with a trio of gangsters pulling a armored car robbery outside a small strip mall. But things go wrong when a Cop shows up. Paulie (Ethan Hawke) rips off his ski mask and walks towards the police man with his gun blaring. Freeze frame.

“One thing that always stuck with me on the street; Never do armored trucks.”

We then cut to many years earlier, and are told the non-glitsy story of how the brothers became involved in organized crime, which involves picking up an envelope and stealing boxes of cigarettes from the back of a delivery truck. The editing in the beginning of the movie is really incoherent, and I hate to say it, could probably have been better told through a montage. Fifteen years later Brian (Mark Ruffalo) is in a dysfunctional marriage with Amanda Peet, staying out until the later morning hours. Brian has become both an alcoholic and a druggie, trying to score some quick cash before the last batch runs out and the duo have been reduced to kidnapping a poodle for a $5000 pay day.

What Doesn’t Kill You begins like a really bad version of Goodfellas. I had pretty much given up on the film in the first 25 minutes because of it’s low-fi approach. Boy was I wrong. The problem is that the film isn’t a South Boston Gangster film, but instead a family drama that takes place in this Southie gangster setting. This becomes more apparent when Brian and Paulie are arrested and sentenced to five years in prison. What Doesn’t Kill You is about Brian’s return to the real world, and his struggle to stay clean for his wife and two children. You want Brian to find a legit job, but this is harder than it sounds when all you know is the quick score and all your friends are degenerates. And with the opening reveal of the armored car robbery, we know where the story must eventually head. The armored car robbery is the ticking time bomb underneath the table that Hitchcock always talked about.

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