17 items from 2014
It's been a busy fall for young actress Kaitlyn Dever, who appears in Lynn Shelton's Laggies, out Friday, and stars in Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children. Dever proved her formidable acting chops in last year's Short Term 12 playing an abused teen in a foster-care facility—look no further than the scene in which she reads a children's story her character wrote about an octopus. In the scene, Dever let's her character's disconnected, tough façade slip away. Her performance in that movie and The Spectacular Now got her labeled the "Summer's Indie It Flick Queen" by Teen Vogue. »
- Esther Zuckerman
By the end of its theatrical run, Jason Reitman's Internet drama "Men, Women & Children" will likely amount to the director's least financially successful picture. No, not every film can click with the zeitgeist like "Juno" and haul in $143.5 million. But when Reitman's Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin drama "Labor Day" tapped out at $13.4 million this past winter, analysts considered it a disappointment. This weekend's specialty box office reports pin "Men, Women & Children" just under $128,500 after its second weekend — something beyond mere disappointment for Reitman and Paramount Pictures. The silver lining: With "Men, Women & Children," Reitman found actors that ignite him and perhaps vice versa. The door for future collaborations appears to remain open, with the first already in motion. As part of his on-going live-read series with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Reitman is set to direct a staged reading of Alan Ball's Academy Award-winning script "American Beauty. »
- Matt Patches
Jason Reitman’s live read series is about to launch with the cast of his recent drama and a ’90s Oscar winner.
Reitman, who hosts a live read series every year in which actors perform classic scripts, has set his “Men, Women & Children” cast to perform the “American Beauty” screenplay for one night only. The performance will take place Oct. 16 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Adam Sandler will play Lester Burham, which nabbed Kevin Spacey an Oscar, and Rosemarie DeWitt will play Carolyn, originally portrayed by Annette Bening. Kaitlyn Dever has been cast as the couple’s daughter Jane (played in the film by Thora Birch), Olivia Crocicchia will play Jane’s friend Angela (played in the film by Mena Suvari) and Travis Tope will take Wes Bentley’s role as Ricky.
“I had a such a great experience working with the cast that I was looking »
- Alex Stedman
It's been 15 years since 1999, because that's how time works. 1999 is generally considered a great year for movies. Transformative, even: A diverse array of films, directed by a fleet of up-and-coming filmmakers, all arriving at the multiplex back when cable was lame enough and the internet was slow enough to make the multiplex a place that mattered. If you happened to be young in 1999—or young-ish—it was possible to feel like you were seeing the entire cinematic art form evolve in front of you. Fifteen years ago this month was Three Kings and Fight Club and Being John Malkovich, instant-cult »
- Darren Franich
Jason Reitman's L.A. Live-Read series is kicking off its new season with a cast swap. Each year, The Young Adult and Up in the Air filmmaker hosts a series of one-night-only live performances of classic movie scripts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a new round begins Oct. 17 with Alan Ball's Oscar-winning screenplay for American Beauty. The readings are like artistic science experiments, following the recipe of a previous film but mixing in new ingredients, so the twist this time is that Reitman has filled the roles with actors from his latest film, Men, »
- Anthony Breznican
How do actors create characters? Director Jason Reitman probes the question each year with his Film Independent at Lacma Live Read series. He will kick off the Fall season with a staging of "American Beauty." The iconic Oscar-winning screenplay from writer Alan Ball will be performed on Thursday, October 16, with a yet-to-be-announced set of actors. It's a hot ticket, and likely to sell out immediately. Film Independent staged a reading of "American Beauty" back at 2012's Tiff, with Bryan Cranston in the role of Lester Burnham (originally Kevin Spacey), Christina Hendricks as his pent-up wife Carolyn (Annette Bening), Mae Whitman as willful daughter Jane (Thora Birch) and Adam Driver as creepy-sensitive neighbor Ricky Fitts (Wes Bentley). Who will it be this year? Check out new poster art Little Rock-based artist Matt Owen, below. Jason Reitman's "Men, Women and Children" just played Tiff and opens limited on October 17. Meanwhile, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
2014 has turned out to be a landmark year for Scarlett Johansson. The double whammy of Spike Jonze's Her and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin saw her doing the best work of her career, in both cases playing a non-human being who develops consciousness and a soul through her contact with the world.
Then there was her fourth and best outing yet as Marvel's Black Widow. Her role in The Winter Soldier was so significant that the film could justifiably have been called Captain America & Black Widow, if not for the fact that that's a rubbish title.
And to cap things off this summer, Johansson's solo sci-fi Lucy debuted at number one at the Us box office, far outstripping the week's other major release Hercules.
With Lucy reaching UK screens this week, Digital Spy looks back on Johansson's five best roles to date.
Ghost World (2001)
While the role of »
Just as quickly as the long-rumored Hocus Pocus 2 started showing signs of life, with a report earlier today that Tina Fey is on board to produce, Variety reveals that the story is not true. Here's what the actress/producer's rep had to say, in debunking the rumor.
"Their report is not accurate - Tina is not developing a sequel to Hocus Pocus."
However, while Deadline's own report confirms that the actress is not involved with Hocus Pocus 2, they reveal that she is actually developing something new, a movie known only as the Untitled Witch Project for Disney. She is attached to both produce and star in this non-sequel.
The original story from earlier today claimed that Hocus Pocus 2 was to center on a housewife, »
There has been talk of Hocus Pocus 2 for several years, with Disney denying rumors of a follow-up entitled Hocus Pocus 2: Rise of the Elderwitch back in 2012. In April, The Tracking Board reported that the production is seeking two lead female actresses, "in the same vein as Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy." It isn't known yet if Tina Fey will take on one of these leading roles, but she is producing alongside Allison Shearmur, Bryan Oh and Stephen Meinen, along with Disney executives Jessica Virtue and Tendo Nagenda.
The original Hocus Pocus starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as the Sanderson Sisters, three immortal witches who are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. It's up to »
Seen HBO’s The Leftovers, and want to chat about how it compares to Tom Perrotta’s original novel? You’re in luck—so do EW’s Hillary Busis and Neil Janowitz. Their spoiler-heavy conversation—filled with thoughts on bleakness, the new Kevin, and creepy bronze baby statues—is below.
Hillary: So you know that part in This Is Spinal Tap, where the guys in the band see the cover of their latest album for the first time? It’s just this shiny, blank, dark square, an empty void Nigel describes thusly: “There is something about this that’s so black. »
- EW staff
Selena Gomez gave her own parents the boot as employees yesterday, and is looking for new management. But that's far from the oddest firing Hollywood has ever seen: Tom Cruise went the opposite way, firing his publicist in favor of a family member—in his case, he gave his Scientologist sister the job . But just eight months later, his sister resigned and he hired a new publicist. Sometimes it's the family members who get the stars fired: The New York Times reports that after Thora Birch 's father (a former "adult star" who became his daughter's manager) threatened one of »
- Evann Gastaldo
This upcoming month, there are two interesting genre titles playing on Fearnet that you should take note of; 'Eden Lake' and 'Dahmer.' Why? Because they both represent early movies for actors that have proved to be outstanding performers in the arts long before they honed their craft. In the case of 'Eden Lake,' the film is fronted by Michael Fassbender, long before he played Magneto in the 'X-Men' films, stole the show in Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds' & played the android David from 'Prometheus' with such cold, calculated perfection. Also, you can catch 'Dahmer,' the bio pic from director David Jacobson, which stars Jeremy Renner in one of his first cinematic lead roles. Now he's an Avenger in the Marvel Universe! So it got me thinking about other examples of successful stars you may have totally forgotten were in genre films. »
- Rob Galluzzo
Comic book movies are often seen as the domain of spandex-clad demigods who battle moustache-twirling villains, but if 300 and Sin City - which both originated on the pages of Frank Miller works - are anything to go by they're not essential to telling a great story.
With sequels to 300 and Sin City incoming, we take a look at 8 great examples of comic book-inspired films with no superheroes in sight.
Sin City (2005)
Co-directed by comic creator Miller and digital filmmaking pioneer Robert Rodriguez, this adaptation stayed faithful to the source material, with the filmmakers shooting actors on green screen and rendering the locations - almost exactly how they appeared on the page - in post-production.
Ghost World (2001)
Long before he was jousting with Shia Labeouf, comics »
Beverly Hills, Calif. — With the Independent Spirit Awards and the Oscars coming up this weekend, finally putting a bow on the year and wrapping up the kudos season, studios, agencies, production companies and anyone in between are feting those in their midst with skin in the game at this soiree or that. Thursday night, among other things, it was Paramount Pictures holding one of its big star-packed parties at Spago in Beverly Hills, everyone from Roger Corman to Jane Seymour turning out to honor the studio's Oscar nominees in films like "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Nebraska," "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" and "Star Trek Into Darkness." It was a two-hour event but some folks were just in and out. "Wolf" stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill made an appearance but didn't linger. "Nebraska" director Alexander Payne showed his face later in the evening. Martin Scorsese, however, held court in a »
- Kristopher Tapley
On Fox's Friday comedy "Enlisted," Chris Lowell plays Cpl. Derrick Hill, the middle brother of three -- Geoff Stults plays the oldest brother, Pete; and Parker Young plays baby brother Randy -- all stationed at the same Army base in Florida.
Luckily for show creator Kevin Biegel, both brotherly love and sibling rivalry broke out almost immediately.
"Kevin had this pipe dream of what he wanted the chemistry to look like," Lowell, decked out in full fatigues on the show's Los Angeles set, tells Zap2it. "He created these archetypes that he was hoping these actors would fall into, and then when the three of us first got together, it was just frightening how quickly we just adopted those roles.
"We quickly transcended our lines and became who we were with each other all the time. Being on set is almost like being stuck in a house when you're growing up with your brothers. »
Feature James Hunt 30 Jan 2014 - 06:25
Comic book movies are solid blockbuster fare now, but there are plenty of adaptations that didn't get the love they deserved...
You might argue that fans of comic book adaptations have had a pretty good decade or so. Between The Avengers movies, the Dark Knight trilogy, and multiple Spider-Man and X-Men films, some of the biggest-grossing action movies of all time have been based on comics. Not bad when you consider that only recently, the medium was considered the preserve of dateless man-children alone.
But here's the thing: not every comic book adaptation lends itself to being a summer tentpole CGI-fest, and just as many get overlooked or forgotten completely by the time the next one comes out. Comic adaptations are coming out thick and fast, and with so much forward momentum it's sometimes worth taking a moment to look back on what's come before. »
Daft Punk, Macklemore, Lorde Win Big at 2014 Grammy Awards. -
Gawker Answers Tarantino: Will Snark Site Suit Become Test Case For Leaked Scripts?
Thora Birch: how Hollywood’s darling disappeared.
The film critic in the Internet era.
23 Easter Eggs and References You Might Have Missed In Sherlock: “The Sign of Three”
The flashiest, emptiest Best Picture nominee, American Hustle.
Abrams on ‘Star Wars’ Secrecy: ‘There’s a Purity in Not Knowing’
Video: A Scorsese Tribute
A Scorsese Tribute from Super Frog Saves Tokyo on Vimeo.
17 items from 2014
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