Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Check out the brand new Awards Circuit!

That's right, the relaunch of The Awards Circuit is finally here! We'd all like to thank each and every one of our readers for your patience and loyalty during this transition. There are still a few rough edges that will be sorted out through the rest of the week. Until then, enjoy our new home!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh no, where did The Awards Circuit go?!

No worries, folks. We're planning a big surprise for you all heading into the new awards season, but it'll require the site itself to be down for at least 48 hours. Until then, enjoy this classic Oscar parody video after the cut!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Will the Weinsteins still push Madonna's W.E. for Oscar consideration after it bombed in Venice?

Deadline has the news:

The signs are always the same when any studio knows it has a bomb. Executives won’t commit any opinion to email. Instead, phone calls from them pledging to “explain everything” are promised but never come. The suits deny up and down any truth to the inevitable leaks about a troubled shoot or creative friction or bad buzz. But when the studio is financially on-the-fence The Weinstein Co, and the film is Madonna’s first feature-length directorial effort W.E. about Walllis Simpson, and its debut is at the unforgiving Venice Film festival which has panned far bigger and more influential big names in filmdom, then not even the PR maestro Harvey Weinstein can downplay crushingly lousy reaction and reviews.

Fact is that the international press and its U.S. counterparts are having a field day killing Madonna’s movie in what can only be seen as the latest “Death In Venice”. Or maybe the more accurate way of saying this is “Death By Venice”. The Times of London claimed madonna had made an inadvertent comedy “screamingly, inadverdently funny in parts [that] had ‘em rolling in the aisles at Venice” The Guardian review was truly vicious under the headline, “Madonna’s jaw-dropping take on the story of Wallis Simpson is a primped and simpering folly, preening and fatally mishandled”. Only the Daily Mail gave it a thumbs-up. But my guess that probably has more to do with that newspaper’s long and troubled history with Madonna who in 2009 won a multimillion dollar lawsuit again the Daily Mail and whose legal reps have been threatening the paper repeatedly of more to come because of its nearly always negative coverage of her.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The 38th Annual Telluride Film Festival announces its lineup...

...and you can read all about it in this press release:

Telluride, CO (September 1, 2011) – Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5, 2011), presented by the National Film Preserve, announces its program for the 38th Telluride Film Festival. Featuring diverse programming from around the globe, TFF once again sets the stage for some of the year’s most highly anticipated films.

TFF opens its 38th year with over twenty-five new feature films plus special artist tributes, Guest Director programs selected by Caetano Veloso, Backlot programs, classics and restorations, shorts, student films, seminars and conversations, each introduced or proceeded with a Q&A by its filmmaker, actors, writer or producer. Telluride Film Festival opens Friday, September 2 and runs through Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

The slate is after the cut...

Margaret gets a Poster and a Trailer!

Hit the jump for the Trailer...

Did Paul Thomas Anderson already finish shooting The Master?

According to Damon Wise from Empire Online, yes:

Want to see Kevin Smith's Red State early? Now's your chance!

Indeed, the controversial filmmaker is bringing his latest work to the On Demand spectrum for a limited run following its Oscar qualifying run recently in L.A., all in advance of its slightly more standard theatrical debut and DVD/Blu-Ray release in October. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of this movie, and it's not everyday that you can essentially watch a film before it hits theaters. Check it out and join in on the conversation about one of my very favorite pieces of cinema in 2011!

-Thoughts on the film if/when you see it?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Christian Bale could be back in the Oscar race again this year?

Maybe so, according to The Film Stage:

After a few rumored titles, we can now officially call it Heroes of Nanking, as Hero and House of Flying Daggers director Yimou Zhang has made “the most expensive movie ever made in China” with this epic. The drama, costing $94 million, stars Christian Bale as an American priest named John who takes refuge in a church with 13 prostitutes and a group of innocent schoolgirls during the fighting between Chinese and Japanese troops in 1937.
Variety now reports when we can expect the film in theaters here stateside, after it bows on December 16th in China. Zhang tells us that he will “make a decision at the Toronto Film Festival about the North American distribution,” after studios have already drummed up interest, including Universal and Fox. The director hopes it will see a Christmas release here in the US, which would make it eligible for awards consideration.

The very first word on The Ides of March has begun trickling in today....

...and the general (if limited) consensus is rather positive, though neither are raves. The Playlist and Guy Lodge have been the first on the scene with their takes. You can find the former here and the latter here, though it might also be wise to wait until a few more people have seen it. That shouldn't be long, considering the festival season is officially underway, but do what you think is best.


A Dangerous Method gets a new Trailer!

-Joey's Two Cents: I'm still not sold, but it does look interesting...thoughts?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the week (8/30/2011)

This week there's a somewhat decent variety on DVD, though after the high level of last week's releases, this seems rather average by comparison (more in terms of quality than quantity). I can't say that I'm crazy about anything that's new this week, though I won't deny the quality of the top pick. There's also a few that I haven't seen, so that also keeps me from being too excited about the selections. That being said, my PICK OF THE WEEK is definitely highly regarded and worthy of the top spot. It's also this week's resident Academy Award winner, as well as perhaps the first foreign language film to ever get this honor from me (though don't get excited, it's more due to circumstance than anything else). It's:

In a Better World

Last year's winner of the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar, it's Susanne Bier's latest drama and it hits almost all of the right notes. For me, it's a little too melodramatic, but it's definitely an affecting work, with a moving story that does more right than it does wrong. I probably don't like it as much as most do, but it's easily the best of the week in terms of DVD releases. As it stands, it's worth checking out, especially if you like to have seen all of the Oscar winners in a given year. For those not with that particular predilection, it's still worth your time and money, though perhaps not quite as strongly so...

-The other recommendation worthy flicks this week include the acting showcase/suspense film Wrecked (Adrien Brody does fine work), the 80's coming of age drama Skateland, and the health documentary Forks Over Knives. None of these 3 are amazing, but each are just good enough to be worth giving a look to, in my humble opinion at least.

-The rest of the releases include the harmless but bland Disney flick Prom, the religious sports drama The 5th Quarter (which I haven't seen), as well as Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family (which I managed to miss as well). I have no interest in either of the ones I didn't see, but the other one is nothing special and probably not worth your time, outside of an opportunity to see an underrated actor in Nicholas Braun.

-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week's release of Apollo 18, is another found footage fright flick. It's The Blair Witch Project, and despite the mocking it gets these days, it still remains a deeply unsettling film for me. I really do find it one of the scarier movies ever made. It's well worth revisiting this week, at least in my eyes.

-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

The Ides of March gets a new Poster!

It's not nearly as good as the first one that debuted, but I still like it...thoughts?

Is it really such a good thing that the Telluride Film Festival keeps its lineup a secret?

The Hollywood Reporter says yes:

The guessing game is on as to what will be shown during the 38th edition of the Telluride Film Festival, the only major such event in the world that doesn't announce its lineup ahead of time. Such is the confidence in the Labor Day Weekend event that Tom Luddy — now in league with Gary Meyer after years of running the Show with Bill Pence — has built up over the years that audiences trust him implicitly to deliver a program that is more than worth the effort to get to the remote Colorado mountain town to spend three-and-a-half days in the dark when it's usually so gorgeous outside.

Virtually from the beginning, Telluride has performed an exquisite balancing act: Between old and new, foreign and American, the esoteric and the accessible, the expected and the unknown. As at a great restaurant, it's best to just place yourself in the chef's hands and sample what's served up. Some dishes are better than others, of course, but you can rarely say something was bad or a waste of time. Because of its limited duration, Telluride can afford to be picky and discriminating, which only works to the benefit of the viewer.
Because of its maverick, rarified status, Telluride never felt much need to publicize itself. It's never courted press, although a few journalists go every year, and it doesn't crow about world premieres, even though it's had some big ones. However, mostly due to changes in the culture and release schedules, it’s served as a perceived lucky charm for some major films and has, through little will of its own, become the much-sough-after first domestic stop for specialized films with Oscar dreams.

One of the first instances of Telluride playing a crucial role in the Oscar race came way back in 1992, when an completely unheralded British film called The Crying Game played there and in Venice over the same weekend. It has since been documented that Miramax had no clue what to do with this tricky sexual and political thriller until the enormous reaction at Telluride suggested that it held potential gold — monetary and honorary — in its hands.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Behold the US Trailer for The Skin I Live In!

Take a gander:
-Joey's Two Cents: It looks pretty weird, but I'm definitely interested in it...thoughts?

Box Office Actuals (8/26/11 - 8/28/11): "Help" holds on through a Hurricane...

Information obtained via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, Deadline, and other sources:

I will opt for a more softer tone than others who have glibly wrote about how this past weekend was the "Worst Box Office Weekend Of 2011" and irresponsibly reported that the industry is in a tailspin. Hurricane Irene, which swept up and through the East Coast, caused more than 40 fatalities across 10 states and left millions of people without power. Half of our Awards Circuit team were potentially in harm's way and thankfully, all of them came through the situation unscathed. Hurricane Irene did impact things significantly it appears overall, but if everyone is being honest, the selections for the final week of the summer box office were not projected to be strong performers and seldom, if ever, are. Attention has shifted to the fall - home to the prestige Oscar pictures - and the studios treated the past weekend's new arrivals as largely afterthoughts.


Topping the survey for a second straight weekend is the resilient "Help", which looks to perhaps have enough in its tank for a possible third consecutive weekend stay at the top of the heap. Dipping a mere 27 percent in its third weekend, "The Help" rolled along to a 19-day total of $96.8 million. Each weekend, Buena Vista has been adding more theaters and increasing the film's reach and "The Help" continues to deliver the highest per screen averages of any wide release. Curiously, the film has never played on 3,000 or more screens, almost a must for a film with this kind of appeal and success.

With the long-simmering thriller "The Debt" arriving in theaters nearly 9 months after it was originally set to be released, and the found-footage mockumentary "Apollo 18" and gauche "Shark Night 3D" arriving to deafening silence, "The Help" could make it a rare trifecta at the top. "Apollo 18" and "Shark Night 3D" are not being screened for critics, telling you likely everything you could ever want to know about their prospects this weekend.

Paul Rudd plays an "Idiot", Zoe Saldana opens her first film on her name alone, and one documentary continues to race circles around its competition. More analysis, The Weekend Breakdown, and The Top 40 Most Attended all after the cut!

Nick Nolte joins The Gangster Squad!

Deadline has the exclusive:

Nick Nolte continues his recent career resurgence. He’s been set to join the cast of the Ruben Fleischer-directed Warner Bros. drama The Gangster Squad. Nolte will play Bill Parker, the new chief of police in Los Angeles, and the first in a while who hasn’t been corrupted by Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn).

The chief, a Purple Heart recipient at Normandy, is the one who starts the Gangster Squad, a crack team designed to bring down organized crime. Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Mireille Enos and Anthony Mackie star.

Nolte stars in the Gavin O’Connor-directed Warrior, and he just wrapped the Taylor Hackford-directed action film Parker for FilmDistrict opposite Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez and Michael Chiklis.

Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globes...and the Oscars?!?

That’s what he says, though it could just be a goof. Deadline has more:

Ricky Gervais had Hollywood buzzing in January with his no-holds-barred hosting stint on NBC’s Golden Globes telecast. He ripped enough folks — from Charlie Sheen to Robert Downey to Johnny Depp to God — that few thought the host Hollywood Foreign Press Association would want him back for a third.

Apparently, though, NBC has other ideas about it: The British comedian said at the Edinburgh International Television Festival today that the network has asked him to host again, saying he is considering it “but I shouldn’t do it.” NBC declined to comment on the matter.

“I love NBC, I love the fact they stuck by me through it,” Gervais said, adding, “I don’t think I should do it. What am I going back as?” Gervais wasn’t done yet at the annual TV confab.

He also revealed that he was approached about hosting the Oscars, though it’s unclear whether that was before or after the Academy announced Brett Ratner and Don Mischer would produce the Oscarcast — normally the producers make the call on the host.

Did you miss the VMAs last night?

Don't worry, it was a disaster, but here's the teaser for The Hunger Games for anyone interested:

Get More: 2011 VMA, Music

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ghostbusters 3 could go forward without Bill Murray?

Apparently so, according to Coming Soon:

After years of rumors, it appears that Ghostbuster 3 is finally moving forward and will likely do so with or without Bill Murray's involvement. Dan Aykroyd appeared on The Dennis Miller Show to discuss the project, dropping specific details about the sequel, hinting that the plan is to film in Spring of 2012 no matter what happens casting-wise.

"Yes, we will be doing the movie and hopefully with Mr. Murray," he says, "That is our hope. We have an excellent script. What we have to remember is that 'Ghostbusters' is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributive to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold [Ramis], myself and Sigourney [Weaver]. The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of 'Ghostbusters 3' is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood."

Circuit Round-Up, 08/28

* Last week, Joey Magidson and I closed the book on the summer of ’11. How did you feel about the last three months?

* I previewed the final summer films almost certainly destined to fail in the wake of Irene’s destruction.

* Joey’s DVD Picks of the Week was one of his most joyous installments yet, with his two of his favorite films of the year so far hitting shelves.

*Finally, Mike Ward reported on The Help’s box office dominance and ponders how far it'll go at the multiplex.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

So just how bad a hit will the box office take due to Hurricane Irene?

About as bad as can be expected (with many theaters near me in New York closing shop this weekend), according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Hurricane Irene could result in box office losses of as much as $30 million for the weekend as movie-going comes to a standstill up and down the East Coast.

Domestic box office revenues for the frame were on track to reach $120 million, but the massive storm could reduce that number by as much as 25%. By Friday afternoon, the news was grim. “Its horrendous,” one distribution executive noted.

Across the board, films were posting lower than expected results, including three new titles—the Luc Besson-produced action pic Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana and distributed by TriStar, the Weinstein Co.’s R-rated ensemble comedy Our Idiot Brother headlining Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer, and the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, distributed by FilmDistrict and starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce.

Ben Affleck casts Kyle Chandler in Argo!

Via The Playlist:

Kyle Chandler is one of those actors who is a journeyman, logging time on a number of television shows—“Homefront” and “Early Edition” among them—and appearing in small roles in a number of films before finally landing what would be his star-making turn in “Friday Night Lights.” The critically acclaimed show struggled for survival throughout its five seasons, but it was a launchpad for folks like Taylor Kitsch, Adrianne Palicki and Minka Kelly and for Chandler as well, it put him firmly on the radar thanks to his turn as Eric Taylor. J.J. Abrams made a great choice in slotting him in “Super 8” and now Chandler will see his stock rise with a role in another highly touted pic.

Bullock and Reynolds also planning to reunite?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, yes:

Pals Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds are poised to reunite on screen.

Though Bullock's deal has not closed, the former Proposal co-stars are in talks to lead the voice cast of And Then There Was Gordon, from Reynolds and Allan Loeb's production shingle, Dark Fire, and 20th Century Fox TV.

The news comes one week after Dark Fire sold its first project, Guidance, a high school set buddy comedy starring Mad Love’s Tyler Labine, to Fox.

In this case, the animated comedy project is about an ordinary child surrounded by brainiac siblings. It received a presentation order from Fox, home to Sunday evening's animation domination block of such shows as The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Looks like DiCaprio and Scorsese are once again teaming up...

Deadline has the exclusive:

In what shapes up as a reteam for the writer, director and star of the Oscar-winning The Departed, Leonardo DiCaprio is attached to star in The Gambler, a Paramount remake of the 1974 drama.

James Caan starred in the original as an academic whose gambling addiction begins to get the best of him.

William Monahan is writing the script as a potential directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese.

DiCaprio recently completed the Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar, and he’s playing Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s remake of The Great Gatsby for Warner Bros, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic. DiCaprio then takes a villainous turn in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Django Unchained for The Weinstein Company.

Friday, August 26, 2011

So what exactly did the first part of the year give us in terms of Oscar contenders?

Well, this article from Deadline gives sort of a primer on just that:

OK, I’ll say it: If the Oscars were held today (nearly two-thirds of the way through 2011) Woody Allen could have another Best Picture winner. Of course the 84th Academy Awards aren’t being held yet and we are still four and a half months away from the end of eligibility. But as I embark on the fall season beginning with the Venice + Telluride + Toronto film festivals it’s time to take a look at where things stand and where things are going. First up in this series of posts: Is there anything released so far in 2011 with a realistic chance to ultimately win Best Picture? Or at the very least earn a nomination? Remember, new rules say from 5 to 10 films could benominated, meaning each nominee can’t get there without receiving at least 300 first place votes in the nominating process. Conventional wisdom is that films released in the first 8 months of the year are at a tremendous disadvantage to those coming out in the fall and holiday season. Last year no eventual winner in the top 8 categories was released before October — and 7 of those winners came out on or after Thanksgiving. Then again some recent Best Pic winners like The Hurt Locker (2010) and Crash (2005) came from the first half of their respective years. Other classic Best Pic champs like Patton, The Godfather, The Silence Of The Lambs, Gladiator, Braveheart, and yes, Woody Allen’s first Best Picture, Annie Hall (1977), were all released in the first 5 months of their respective years so it would be foolish to downgrade the chances of movies we’ve already seen this year. Or would it? Indeed 4 of last time’s 10 Best Picture nominees were released in June and July.

But other than animated films like Rango and Rio there were no solid Best Pic possibilities until we hit the Cannes Film Festival in May. Slowly simmering Best Picture talk was sparked by the fest opener, Allen’s rapturously received Midnight In Paris and Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or winner The Tree Of Life which both went on to later May domestic releases. The Allen film has become his most financially successful film ever and it will hit the $50 million benchmark this weekend. Its official Academy screening was packed to the rafters (“the best turnout I have seen in years”, according to one member) and was extremely well received. “I liked it but some members I know got mad at me because I didn’t love it,” another voter told me. ”I haven’t seen anything that’s gotten that kind of response.”

In Time gets a new International Trailer!

-Joey's Two Cents: I think this could be a very entertaining flick...thoughts?

Robert Zemeckis drops out of directing the time-travel drama Replay...

...which I honestly was really hoping he'd do. Here's the article from /Film:

With the amount rumor running around Hollywood, it’s hard to believe a movie is actually getting made until a filmmaker calls “Action” on set. That said, it seems after considering a number of projects, Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis has settled on his next film and it’ll be one of the many he was previously attached to. That film is called Flight and stars Denzel Washington as a pilot who saves his plane after a malfunction and is labeled a hero (Think Sully Sullenberger). However, as the investigation moves on, it becomes apparently that he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol and he must then deal with keeping the secret and the guilt of being an undeserving hero.

As a result of choosing to direct Flight next, Zemeckis has dropped out of the Groundhog Day/Back to the Future influenced Replay.

Deadline broke all this Zemeckis news. Their article says the producers of Replay, which once had Ben Affleck attached, are trying sell the Jason Smilovic scripted project to another filmmaker. It shouldn’t be a problem with a premise that’s as great as this. I can’t be the only one bummed that Zemeckis is NOT doing this film:

Want to see more Zoe Saldana?

The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive:

Just as her action movie Colombiana opens across the country, Zoe Saldana has set up the supernatural thriller Dominion at Paramount.

The pitch hails from Dean McCreary and Chester Hastings and while plot details remain sketchy, the story centers on a woman (Saldana) who is half-human, half-angel.

Saldana will also serve as a producer on the project, alongside Robbie Brenner. Brenner is a producer on the Gerard Butler drama Machine Gun Preacher, and it was on that project where he first met McCreary and Hastings, who worked on the screenplay early on.

Hastings and McCreary, both repped by Gersh, co-wrote You’re My Angel, a thriller from 4 Horsemen Films that is in development. They also co-wrote Fanboy, a short film about a video store employee who is the world’s biggest Sam Raimi fan. The unreleased comedy features turns from Raimi and J.K. Simmons, who play themselves.

Behold the trailer for The Rum Diary!

Looks like a fun time, at least:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trailer day continues with a glorious one for The Artist!

Right on the heels of a great look at Drive, we now have this trailer for The Artist:
-Joey's Two Cents: It looks rather beautiful to me. I can't wait to see it...thoughts?

Drive gets an International Trailer

Speaking of Ryan Gosling, Nicholas Winding Refn, and Carey Mulligan, here's the newest look at their buzz-laden upcoming flick:
-Joey's Two Cents: It just looks like a real good time to me, and hopefully even more...thoughts?

Could Ryan Gosling be in Terrence Malick's new film, thus delaying Logan's Run?

Well, The Playlist seems to believe it's a possibility:

Is Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling‘s upcoming modern adaptation of classic sci-fi “Logan’s Run” set to be delayed by a teaming between the latter and renowned auteur Terrence Malick? Apparently so, according to Film School Rejects, who were on hand at a Q&A with the director for his latest effort “Drive.”

Refn and Gosling are already set to reunite later this year for the Bangkok-set noir “Only God Forgives” and had planned to directly follow that up with “Logan’s Run.” Refn, however, now reveals that his love affair with Gosling will be set aside for the actor to squeeze in a film with Malick between his two projects.

What Malick project might Refn be referring to? The short answer is: we’re not sure. Earlier this week, it was reported that Christian Bale will himself be reuniting with Malick for a new, mysterious project that is said to feature a cast smaller than even his untitled next effort aka “The Burial.” It was noted at the time, though, that the film would “center around two leads, one male (Bale) and one female.” Whether this is the same project Gosling is being linked to now is anyone’s guess really but it’s definitely safe to say the once-dormant director is well and truly back in the game.

Behold the trailer for Tyrannosaur!

The performances are supposedly phenomenal:

5 ways that Steve Jobs changed movies and the industry forever...

...courtesy of The Moveable Fest:

When it was announced Wednesday that Steve Jobs would step down from his post as CEO of Apple, Peter Sciretta at SlashFilm prefaced his report by suggesting the news might be outside the scope of the movie site. It's understandable since there are those who only know of Jobs as an innovative executive always wearing those turtlenecks at tech conferences or even if they were aware, he once owned Pixar, they might only think his role was crunching numbers. But his impact on our experience as moviegoers has been profound well beyond his role as a savvy businessman, even if it’s not immediately recognized (nor should it, considering his gift for making the complex simple). Here are five ways that Jobs has and will continue to shape the production, the distribution and our enjoyment of movies.

Behold the trailer for Blackthorn!

Courtesy of Apple Trailers:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Artist gets a rather elegant new Poster


The First Annual Hell's Kitchen Film Festival will offer a rare chance to see Ken Park...

...if that's something you're into. Well, here's the press release if you're interested:

Producers’ Club owners and New York Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival (NYHKFF) co-founders Alfred and Ernest Tollja proudly announce the full lineup for the Manhattan neighborhood’s first film foray. NYHKFF will host over 140 features and shorts during the 10 days, including a special 10th Anniversary Retrospective Gala of Larry Clark’s rarely screened film Ken Park. The famed director will be in attendance with actress Tiffany Limos for a Q&A following the screening on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7:30pm.

My Week with Marilyn gets a Poster


Ben Affleck is planning his next directorial endeavor already?

So it seems, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Just as Ben Affleck gears up to begin production on his thriller Argo, the filmmaker-actor is already targeting his follow-up.

Affleck is in negotiations to star in, direct and produce Line of Sight, an action project at Warner Bros. that is being produced by Joel Silver and Andrew Rona.

The idea, conceived by Silver Pictures'Alex Heineman (who also exec produces), centers on an elite commando squad transporting cargo while dealing with a global threat. One of the conceits of the movie is that it tells the tale from a point-of-view akin to a first-person shooter game. The script was recently worked on by Peter O’Brien, the man who wrote the game Halo: Reach for Xbox 360.

It's time for the Gurus of Gold to chime in...


Behold the teaser for The Lady!

Possible Best Actress contender? Take a look:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Joey's DVD Picks of the week (8/23/2011)

This week, we have one of the best groups of films hitting shelves in quite some time. Literally two of my top ten films of 2011 so far are coming out today, and that very rarely happens. For me, it's pretty exciting, as there's no dearth of things to write about. In fact, there's nothing but good releases this week. Even the worst of the group is still a very passably entertaining endeavor. It may in fact be the best DVD week of the year. Week's like this are why I do the column. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I didn't have a hard time choosing which movie to feature. Up until very recently, it was my #1 film of the year. The flick is all but perfect. It's:

The Beaver

Until I saw Bellflower, this was my favorite film of 2011. Director/co-star Jodie Foster does her best work behind the camera, while Mel Gibson and Anton Yelchin do their best work in front of the camera and gave nomination worthy performances. Factor in a brilliant screenplay by Kyle Killen and a subtly heartbreaking supporting turn by Jennifer Lawrence, and I absolutely adored this flick. It has emotional peaks and doesn't skimp on the comedy, making it the rare movie that manages to balance out the melodrama with the humor. It had a depressingly quick death in theaters after Gibson's antics, but I urge everyone to see this movie regardless of how they view the leading man (in my mind, if you avoid it because you have an issue with him on a personal level, how can you enjoy sports as well, since that's full of far worse people...but that's not for here), as it's truly something special. Anyone who complains about not having enough original works to choose from would do well to pick this up. It's all but assured of a high spot on my year end top 10 list. It's just that good!

-Coming in a somewhat close second place is Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, the satirical drama Sympathy for Delicious. It deals with some very interesting topics, and while not everything works in it, Ruffalo has a very clear vision of what he wants his film to be, and shows some strong aptitude behind the camera. He also turns in a nice supporting role, while writer Christopher Thornton captures your attention in the lead. The cast also includes Orlando Bloom, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, and John Carroll Lynch. It's another flick that made almost no money at the box office, so this is where you can finally support an original work (notice a pattern this week?) that deserves to be seen...

-Also out this week is the satisfying Morgan Spurlock documentary POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the calm dramedy Win Win, the decently entertaining romantic comedy Henry's Crime, and the foreign fantasy flick Troll Hunter. I haven't seen the latter yet, so expect a review soon on that one, but the other 3 are worth your time. The doc is normal Spurlock, the dramedy is not as good to me as it is to most, though still definitely good, and the rom com does more right than it does wrong. Like I said earlier, it's a real strong week, and there's something for everyone.

-My Vintage pick, in honor of this week's release of Our Idiot Brother, is an underrated Paul Rudd film. It's The Shape of Things, and it shows Rudd in a very different light than you're likely used to seeing him in. It's also a gut punch of a movie, one of Neil LaBute's best. If you haven't seen it, make it your business to do so. It's well worth it.

-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

The "other" Jeff Buckley biopic has gotten its lead actor?

Apparently so, according to Deadline:

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Darkstar Reeve Carney has signed on to play Jeff Buckley in the untitled film about the late musician that Welcome to the Rileyshelmer Jake Scott is putting together for a November shoot. Carney, who performed the Bono/The Edge-pennedSpider-Man single Rise Above 1 at the American Idol finale, will do all the singing to bring to life the music of Buckley, who was just getting started as a solo artist when he drowned at age 30.

Considering that Buckley had only released a single album when he died in 1997 after getting caught in the wake of a passing boat in Tennessee’s Wolf River, it seems amazing that there are not one but three feature films about him. The first one to start production will be Greetings From Tim Buckley, the Dan Algrant-directed indie film that starts a four-week shoot Monday in Brooklyn. Conventional wisdom that the first film out of the gate wins doesn’t necessarily apply here; these two projects tell very different stories about Buckley. Scott is making a biopic, while Greetings From Tim Buckley stars Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley as a pre-fame Jeff Buckley who reconnects with his estranged father Tim by singing at a tribute concert for his folk-singer dad. In Algrant’s film, that short adventure forged Jeff Buckley’s own solo aspirations. The other Buckley film is called A Pure Drop and it is being mounted by Mad Bastards director Brendan Fletcher. The title comes from the book A Pure Drop: The Life of Jeff Buckley.

Carney will star in what Scott hopes will be a definitive film about Jeff Buckley’s life, and WME is raising funding. They have exclusive rights to Buckley’s music and personal archives, including the nod from Sony to use Leonard Cohen’sHallelujah, which is perhaps Buckley’s best-known tune from his first albumGrace. A second album, Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, was released after Buckley died. Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, has also thrown in with Scott’s project and is executive producer. The script by Ryan Jaffe (The Rocker) was informed by the David Browne book Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley.

Take a gander at the Trailer for The Way!

-Joey's Two Cents: That actually looked pretty great to me...thoughts?

A sequel to 'The Last Exorcism' is in the works?

It apparently is, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

The producers of The Last Exorcism are moving ahead with a sequel, tapping writer Damien Chazelle to write the follow-up to the surprise summer 2010 hit.

The PG-13 Exorcism, from production company Strike Entertainment (Children of Men) and directed by Daniel Stamm, grossed $62.5 million worldwide on a budget of $1.6 million. The found-footage Lionsgate release was written by Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko. A sequel was probably a given considering the profitability of the first film.

Studio Canal is financing the follow-up and production is slated to begin this fall.

Exorcism centered on an Evangelical preacher, played by Patrick Fabian, who, after years of performing exorcisms, decides to allow a documentary crew to film the last exorcism he plans to perform, in order to show his work is a fraud.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Box Office Actuals (8/19/11 - 8/21/11): A little "Help" goes a long way...

Information obtained via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, Deadline, and other sources:

In a weekend full of nostalgic reboots and remakes, audiences shunned leftovers and opted instead for the buzzworthy movie of the moment as “The Help” held off all challenges to the #1 spot at the weekend box office. Taking that rare climb into the #1 spot, only the third film to achieve such a feat since December 2009, “The Help” saw a minimal decline in attendance (-23.1%) and earned a strong foothold in the marketplace as a formidable box office draw.

The subject of much controversy and debate, including this article by our own Robert Hamer, “The Help” began to generate discussions reminiscent of the box office breakout that “The Blind Side” experienced in the fall of 2009. Projected to be a mid-level achiever, “The Blind Side” blossomed and drew rave reviews from audiences across all demographic and geographic locations. Shot for a mere $29 million, “The Blind Side” concluded its theatrical run with a $256.0 million haul, earned nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress, and saw lead actress Sandra Bullock win her first Oscar.

Tracking to this point shows that “The Help” does not have that same far-reaching appeal…yet. Where “The Blind Side” gained audiences in its first few weeks, “The Help” has dipped slightly, amassing a 12-day total of $71.3 million stateside. “The Blind Side” had just left $100 million in the dust at the end of its 10th day in theaters.

Reports indicate that DreamWorks are settling in for a nice, long run into the fall with “The Help” and have already indicated steps are in place for a huge Oscar push targeting Best Picture, Director, Lead and Supporting Actress (but whom and where?), Adapted Screenplay, and technicals including Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Song, and Original Score. Those dismissive of the film's stability over the coming weeks should look forward. Doing so, you will find films that may find a tough time unseating the racially-themed drama.

Guillermo del Toro’s produced remake of “Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark” could draw a nice opening, but as this weekend proved, audiences have likely reached saturation with remakes and reboots and are seeking out fresher material. The Weinstein Company’s R-rated comedy, “Our Idiot Brother”, starring Paul Rudd is playing fine with critics but is suffering with a lackluster marketing campaign.. Elsewhere, Zoe Saldana’s “Colombiana” is drawing dismal buzz thus far and with two films, potentially not screened for critics, arriving in the first week of September (“Apollo 18” and “Shark Night 3D”), “The Help” might see robust success for some time.

For the second consecutive weekend, four films drop into theaters and this weekend, virtually all of them were met with disinterest from the populace. What happened, where and why they went wrong, as well as analysis regarding a handful of indies that are performing strong, The Weekend Breakdown, and Top 40 Most Attended Films after the cut!

Woody Allen's next film is going to be set in Munich?

The Hollywood Reporter says that it just might:

Woody Allen is doing his version of the grand European tour.

His Midnight in Paris is still in theaters, the director is still shooting The Bop Decameron, set in Rome, but Allen is already making plans to head to Germany for his next project.

Bavaria studios in Munich is in negotiations with Allen to play the backdrop for his next, still-untitled project, which would shoot next summer.

Bavaria is set to come on board as a co-financier for the film, said to be budgeted at around $25 million.

As is always the case with a Woody Allen film at this stage in pre-production, plot and potential cast are top secret.

Allen's Midnight in Paris opened this year's Festival de Cannes to rave reviews and has gone on to become the director's most commercially successful film, earning more than $50 million in North America alone.

The Bop Decameron boasts an even-more impressive cast than Midnight headliners Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, featuring Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin among its ensemble cast.

-Joey's Two Cents: It's no secret how much I enjoy Allen's work, so seeing where this newfound resurgence takes him is very intriguing to someone like me who finds even the least regarded Woody work to be worth my time...thoughts?

Djimon Hounsou is the Angel of Death!

I must say, I do enjoy coming up with Paradise Lost casting headlines. Variety has the exclusive:

Djimon Hounsou is the latest heavenly figure to join the cast of Paradise Lost for Legendary.

Alex Proyas is on board to helm with Bradley Cooper and Ben Walker set to star.

Based on the 17th century poem by John Milton, the story revolves around the epic war in heaven between archangels Lucifer (Cooper) and Michael (Walker), including the latter's role in Adam and Eve's fall from grace. Hounsou will play Abdiel, the angel of death.

Legendary's Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Vincent Newman via his Vincent Newman Entertainment banner.

Stuart Hazeldine developed the primary draft of the screenplay, originally written by Byron Willinger and Philip de Blasi. Lawrence Kasdan provided a polish as well as Ryan Condal, who delivered the most recent draft.