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The Mill Valley Film Festival, opening today and running through October 12, will naturally feature several of this year's awards season contenders: Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game and so on. But the spotlight will be on local talent as well: Rob Nilsson's A Bridge to a Border, Erica Jordan's In Plain Sight, Christopher Beaver's Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste, William Farley's Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish and Helen S. Cohen and Mark Lipman's States of Grace. We're collecting previews. » - David Hudson »
Turning an ageless 37, the Mill Valley Film Festival, which open tomorrow (runs until October. 14th), continues to beat to a tune of its own. With the four members of Metallica serving as the Artists in Residence, thematically this year is “heavy” on award season content. While Telluride, Tiff, Nyff serve as major fall season tastemakers, Mvff is the most important one in the Bay Area in terms of visibility and campaigning due to the number of Academy members living in Northern California. And while Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman starring Hillary Swank paired with Jones and Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children are receiving spotlight showings, it’s titles such as Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Jean Marc Vallee’s Wild, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, Theodore Melfi’s St.Vincent, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler and Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash that are receiving further traction. »
- Yama Rahimi
Is an intro really necessary here? It's "Taken 3." No, Forest Whitaker and Liam Neeson haven't remade "The Fugitive," and I certainly haven't seen "Taken 3;" but watching the below trailer, "The Fugitive" (itself based on the 1960s television series of the same name) immediately came to mind, although this time with Whitaker playing the character Tommy Lee Jones originated on the big screen, and Neeson as Harrison Ford's Dr. Richard Kimble. "Taken 3" is set for a January 2015 theatrical release. Watch: »
- Tambay A. Obenson
What if Doctor Richard Kimble was less a doctor and more an ex-cia operative with a "particular set of skills?" That seems to be, at least on the face of it, the direction the "Taken" series is going with the upcoming "Taken 3" (or "Tak3n" if you prefer). With the movie opening in January, the time has come for the first trailer to arrive. You can see up above just what returning director Olivier Megaton and Liam Neeson have in store for us come the new year. In short, the plot of "Taken 3" centers on Neeson's Bryan Mills going after the murderers of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen). The world, naturally, believes that Mills himself is guilty of the murder and Forest Whitaker is taking on the Tommy Lee Jones role, tracking Mills down. Because this is in fact "Taken 3" and not "The Fugitive," there doesn't seem to be a one-armed man in the new trailer, »
- Josh Lasser
Part of the Mill Valley Film Festival’s charms is how it reflects both the local community’s roots and its forward-thinking spirit. Situated just beyond Sausalito as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge northbound from San Francisco, Mill Valley is many things to many people: part dot-com millionaire bedroom community, post-hippie enclave, Arcadia for Bay Area rock royalty and bucolic getaway in the midst of the redwoods.
And even though it doesn’t have the surprise factor of Telluride, or the market flurry of Toronto and Cannes, Mill Valley — like Santa Barbara later during awards season — has been increasingly favored by Hollywood, which looks at such desirable destinations relatively close to home as hassle-free platforms to showcase prestige product. That the festival, presented by the nonprofit California Film Institute and now in its 37th year, can boast of having screened five out the past six Oscar best picture winners »
- Steve Chagollan
Douglas Cook and David Weisberg's script follows a dangerous prison inmate (Costner) implanted with the memories and skills of a dead CIA operative in hopes of stopping a diabolical plot. [Source: Heat Vision]
Antonio Banderas is set to star in Hugh Hudson's English-language period drama "Altamira" which begins shooting in Cantabria, Spain this week. Olivia Hetreed ("Girl With a Pearl Earring") penned the script.
The story is set in 1879 and charts the story of an amateur archaeologist (Banderas) and his daughter who discover early cave art. At first celebrated, the family is thrown into crisis following a backlash against them led by the Catholic Church, scientists and other powerful forces. [Source: Screen]
Katheryn Winnick has joined the cast of »
- Garth Franklin
Man of Steel's Antje Traue is the latest to join Criminal, a thriller from Millennium Films that will star Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and others. The film follows a dangerous prison inmate (Costner) implanted with the memories and skills of a dead CIA operative in hopes of stopping a diabolical plot. It'll be directed by The Iceman helmer Ariel Vroman from a script by The Rock scribes Douglas Cook and David Weisberg. Traue will play a terrorist's henchwoman. Read more Man of Steel: Film Review The actress, repped by UTA and Troika in the UK, will next be seen
- Austin Siegemund-Broka
Four months into its existence, Saban Films made a serious statement at the Toronto Film Festival as it bought three films — John Travolta’s “The Forger,” Taylor Lautner’s “Tracers” and Hayden Christensen’s “American Heist.”
Bromiley should know. Before signing on to the Saban post in the spring, he’d been the key acquisitions exec for Image Entertainment.
“We’ve stuck to our business plan by focusing on commercial high-quality product, with ‘The Homesman’ being a prestige title.”
Bromiley also said he was a bit disappointed over the overall quality of films for sale at Tiff — with one notable exception: forereclusure drama “99 Homes, »
- Dave McNary
USA Today just posted a long chat with Liam Neeson about the next entry in the Taken franchise, and the only thing you absolutely have to know right now is that the piece claims that the movie will be called Tak3n, in the grand number-as-letter title tradition of Se7en and Thir13en Ghosts and 5tar War5: Epi5ode V–The Empire Strike5 Back and Star Trek In2 Darkness and Step Up 2 The Streets, which is technically a full sentence because the 410 dance crew were symbolically “stepping up” to the competition.
It’s unclear if anyone will actually get taken in Tak3n. »
- Darren Franich
The film festival, running Oct. 15-19 in Carmel, Ca., will also include a tribute to “You’re Not You” actress Emmy Rossum and a DreamWorks Animation panel with the filmmakers of “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”
“We’re excited about our film slate this year,” said Thomas Burns, festival president and founder, in the announcement.
This year’s fest is expected to draw over 24,000 attendees and will include over 120 features, shorts and documentaries.
More information can be found on the festival’s website.
Main program lineup:
• 2 Days, 1 Night
• You’re Not You
• 10,000 Km
• 5 to 7
• Learning to Drive
• Merry Friggin’ Christmas
• Catch Hell
• Dare to be Wild
- Variety Staff
This is the Entertainment Geekly Mailbag, where I respond to comments, questions, and angry clarifications. (You can email me at email@example.com.) This week: Everyone takes issue with my brutally accurate assertion that Kirby is one of the worst players in Super Smash Brothers.
You sir are right on all accounts except one: Kirby. Is. Awesome. And is my go-to character in Smash Bros. If you’d like me to demonstrate why he should be ranked higher on your character list, Ill happily play a round with you ;)
I would never dream of insulting anyone’s choice of Go-To Character, »
- Darren Franich
Directed by Michael Berry.
An illegal Mexican immigrant gets accused of murdering the wife of a former sheriff while crossing the border into Arizona.
In an effort to seek a better life in America, two Mexicans take a well-known passageway for illegal immigrants to Arizona where they encounter a woman riding a horse. Pleasantries are exchanged between them and they go their separate ways only to be fatally brought together again. Three high school boys have some fun shooting at the new arrivals in an effort to scare them away only to accidentally kill the lady who turns out to be the wife of a former sheriff. One of the Mexicans gets charged with the murder; however, the husband of the victim begins his own investigation as he has doubts about the guilt of man being held in custody. »
- Trevor Hogg
A batch of new posters for possible Oscar contenders have arrived over the last 24 hours including posters for Tommy Lee Jones' The Homesman starring Jones and Hilary Swank, St. Vincent starring Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy and The Imitation Game (read my review) starring Benedict Cumberbatch, but it's the Brazilian poster for Whiplash that really catches my eye. Arriving via Cinemarcado, the orange and white poster harkens back to the '70s with a tagline that translates to "The road to the top can take you to the limit". Simply fantastic and a film I truly hope finds its way into Oscar voters' hearts. I can't wait for you to see it. Here's a snippet from my review: Whiplash is one of those rare films where you need to understand the intention or you'll find yourself rolling your eyes more than once as writer/director Damien Chazelle turns the volume not up to ten, »
- Brad Brevet
By Anjelica Oswald
For some actors, it is a natural progression to move from using their talents in front of the camera to testing their skills behind it. Though actors have been making the transition for years, 2013 was a particular popular year for actors-turned-directors. Among some of the releases throughout the year were Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Lake Bell’s In A World…, her directorial debut. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival was the directorial launching pad of Jason Bateman’s Bad Words and Mike Myers’ Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, and the festival also screened Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon and Ralph Fiennes‘ The Invisible Woman.
- Anjelica Oswald
And Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon to the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor races as Ramin Bahrani's "99 Homes" has landed domestic distribution after playing the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Indie upstart Broad Green Pictures has landed the film stateside with an aim to release in the spring of 2015. The film will not, however, be competing for Oscars consideration this year, despite early reports to the contrary. I missed "99 Homes" in the four-day Telluride sprint, but HitFix's Greg Ellwood caught up to it and was highly impressed. "At first, Ramin Bahrani's drama feels like it might be slightly preachy, but it soon turns into a gripping drama that succeeds partially thanks to the amazing work from Garfield and Shannon," he wrote, before going on to declare the actors' performances to be two of the very best of their careers. Prior to that, at Venice, Catherine Bray was slightly less convinced, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Becoming a man of "true grit" earned John Wayne his only Oscar back in 1970. Could the same broken heroism push Tommy Lee Jones into the Oscar conversation? Adapted from Glendon Swarthout's novel and directed by the actor-turned-filmmaker, "The Homesman" pairs Jones with two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank for a dangerous western mission with a layer of gender politics. Shacked up with three mentally unstable women, Mary Bee Cuddy (Swank) employs George Briggs (Jones), a claim jumper she finds dangling from a tree in a noose, to escort the band of lone ladies from the Nebraska Territories to a new home in Iowa. In 1854, it's a mission only a fool would take. Our first official look at "The Homesman" has the makings of a solid western, gruff dialogue and deadly circumstances turned mesmerizing by "Argo" and "Babel" cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto's lush vistas. Jones and Swank have that Rooster Cogburn/Mattie Ross appeal, »
- Matt Patches
The race for Oscar is akin to a political campaign, and the first three Fall film festivals have made a significant impact on all the major races. Consider that Venice, Telluride and Toronto take place within three weeks of each other and you have a huge indicator of how the season will progress. With that in mind, here are eight major takeaways that are still buzzing in our heads as the Oscar race begins. "The Imitation Game" just got a huge head start. Harvey's had a tough year at the box office. He isn't going to have a tough year with Oscar. "The Imitation Game" was the hit of Telluride and took the People's Choice Award at Toronto (something The Weinstein Company movies seem to have an awful amount of luck with). It's not quite the slam dunk that "The King's Speech" or "The Artist" were because it "appears »
- Gregory Ellwood
The second trailer for the Tommy Lee Jones written, directed and starring western drama The Homesman offers more of what we’ve seen in the first one. George Briggs, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is a claim jumper (miner who violates another man’s claimed land) left to hang. As luck would have it, a woman passing […]
Having received a warm reception at Cannes 2014 in May, The Homesman will be hitting theaters stateside in a prime awards season spot - November 14th.
In his Variety’s review, critic Peter Debruge wrote, the film is a “sturdy cross-country Western.”
The Homesman stars Academy Award-winners Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank, with a supporting cast featuring Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Tim Blake Nelson, Academy Award-nominees John Lithgow and Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader and Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep.
When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her.
The unlikely pair and the three women (Grace Gummer, »
- Michelle McCue
Welcome back to Best Movie Trailers of the Week, a column where we handpick the best new movie trailers that have arrived online over the past week. The Homesman This new trailer for Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman is a little slow to start, but once we meet Hilary Swank’s Mary Bee Cuddy and discover what she’s all about, the appeal of the narrative takes hold. Simply put, the piece will make you wonder how they make it through this seemingly impossible trek alive... and the famous faces they meet along the way don’t hurt either. Who’s going to pass on a film starring Jones, Swank, Meryl Streep, John Lithgow, Hailee Steinfeld and more? Maps to the Stars Thanks to her Best Actress win at Cannes, we’ve known that Julianne Moore delivers...
- Perri Nemiroff
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