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Already blazing a brutal and bleak trail in the Us, we in the UK must wait until early in the New Year for writer/director Scott Cooper’s harsh revenge thriller Out Of The Furnace. The superbly cast violent crime flick sees Christian Bale’s Russell Baze on the ruthless warpath to locate his beloved war veteran brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) after becoming mixed-up with Woody Harrelson’s local organised crime figure.
From Scott Cooper, the critically-acclaimed writer and director of Crazy Heart, comes a gripping and gritty drama about family, fate, circumstance, and justice. Russell Baze (Christian Bale) has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell’s brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime »
- Craig Hunter
Scott Cooper's last film was the Oscar-winning (for Jeff Bridges) Crazy Heart, an all-American story of a country musician fallen on hard times. Now he's staying in the heartland - or rather the rust belt - to tell the story of a family of blue-collar factory labourers fallen on similar tribulations. Here's the new poster for the film.The story focuses on Christian Bale's Russell Baze, a factory worker with a girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) and a relatively bright future. His younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) is a soldier shipped back to Iraq under the stop-loss policy. But after a car accident, Russell's life is thrown off-track and he emerges from prison to find a very different life waiting to greet him. Rodney's in trouble with Woody Harrelson's Harlan DeGroat, and Russell's own plans are in tatters. brightcove.createExperiences();It's not the most feelgood of stories, then, but »
This story appeared in OscarWrap: Director/Best Picture/Screenplay/Animation. Craig Borten can rattle off the major actors and directors who were supposed to make “Dallas Buyers Club” like a gathering of old friends. Dennis Hopper agreed to direct it at one point. Woody Harrelson was going to star. Brad Pitt was attached when the project moved to Universal. Ryan Gosling’s name weaseled its way in at some point. But for two decades, every time the writer thought his movie was going to get made, somebody got cold feet. It’s not hard to see why — a drama about a man dying of. »
- Lucas Shaw
On paper, Out of the Furnace looks like it should be an Oscar contender all the way. The pedigree is all there. With producers who include Leo DiCaprio (Appian Way) and Ridley Scott (Scott Free), the film is written and directed by Crazy Heart’s Scott Cooper and features six Oscar-nominated actors (two winners): Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker and Willem Dafoe. Not surprisingly, in terms of production, almost every area of execution was impeccable. And yet, when the screen went to black I was left with a confounding sense of apathy. It was obvious that »
"Jim's struggle to control his new life is put into perspective as Cogliostro reveals the secrets of the Dead Zone. From the temptations of Eden to the wars of today, the whole of human history has been tainted with conflict. While Cogliostro's motives may not be clear, his first lesson for Jim just may change his life...and alter the course of Heaven and Hell's eternal war...Forever!!!"
So...what is the Dead Zone? That's the question Todd McFarlane left us with at the end of last month's issue. According to Cogliostro (and most of #238 is according to Cogliostro), the Dead Zone is from where sin first leaked into our world; greed, pride, wrath, etc. Those deadly seven are a hot topic in comic books right now. Just a few months prior, most of the DC Universe were warring over their containment in Trinity War.
- Oliver Davis
At 6 feet 8 and 320 lbs., John Fetterman isn’t your average politician. Back in 2005, the mayor of Braddock, Pa., inked the town’s zip code, 15104, on his left forearm. Since then, he has tattooed the dates of every murder committed in the small industrial town on the underside of his right arm. Braddock also happens to be the location of Scott Cooper’s new film, “Out of the Furnace.” In a Variety exclusive, Fetterman offers his take on Relativity’s revenge drama, which has recently struggled at the box office. It’s also worth noting that star Christian Bale has the same zip code tattooed on his neck in the film.
During my career, Rolling Stone labeled me, Mayor of Hell; the New York Times, Mayor of Rust. Last month, the voters of my community again honored me with the simple Mayor John, for what will be my 3rd consecutive term in office. »
- Variety Staff
This year’s Oscar race has had bloggers buzzing about the most cutthroat best actor category in years — with at least seven “locks” for five slots — but there’s an even bigger logjam in the supporting actor contest. When the nominees are announced in January, the Academy won’t be able to avoid snubbing some of the best performances of the year.
The one sure bet for a nomination is Jared Leto, electrifying as a cross dresser with AIDS in “Dallas Buyers Club.” Leto picked up both the New York Film Critics and L.A. Film Critics prizes, and he could very well win the Oscar, which would thrill fans of “My-So Called Life” and his band 30 Seconds to Mars. That’s one way to keep the Oscars young, even if many Academy voters have never heard of Jordan Catalano.
As a corrupt stockbroker in “The Wolf of Wall Street, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
‘American Hustle,’ ‘Gravity’: AFI Awards 2013 – big-studio movies rule once again (photo: Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper in ‘American Hustle’) The American Film Institute has released AFI Awards list featuring the Top Ten Movies of 2013. As usual, the AFI Awards mostly focus on mainstream, popular fare from the big studios; in fact, they’re a sort of more upscale, Oscar-friendlier People’s Choice Awards, i.e., no Twilight, no The Fast and The Furious, no Adam Sandler, scattered super-hero movies, mostly bypassing Harry Potter. (You’ll see why they’re so big-studio-friendly once you scroll down a bit to check out the list of this year’s AFI Awards’ jury members.) Six of the AFI’s Top Ten 2013 movies come courtesy of the Hollywood majors: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Her, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Wolf of Wall Street. Additionally, 12 Years a Slave was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, »
- Anna Robinson
What else can we possibly say about "True Detective" at this point except that the few weeks left to 2014 seem far too long given our anticipation for this series. As always, HBO continues to quicken our pulse for this one with more great promos for the show. A couple have dropped over the past few days, playing up the ominously foreboding vibe of the limited series. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson lead the show as Louisiana detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, whose lives collide and entwine during a 17-year hunt for a killer, ranging from the original investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 to the reopening of the case in 2012. And as you'll see, it takes quite a toll on both men in different ways and frankly, we'd just watch those two dudes do just about anything. "True Detective" premieres on Sunday, January 12th. Watch below.
- Kevin Jagernauth
What else can we possibly say about "True Detective" at this point except that the few weeks left to 2014 seem far too long given our anticipation for this series. As always, HBO continues to quicken our pulse for this one with more great promos for the show. A couple have dropped over the past few days, playing up the ominously foreboding vibe of the limited series. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson lead the show as Louisiana detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart, whose lives collide and entwine during a 17-year hunt for a killer, ranging from the original investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 to the reopening of the case in 2012. And as you'll see, it takes quite a toll on both men in different ways and frankly, we'd just watch those two dudes do just about anything. "True Detective" premieres on Sunday, January 12th. Watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
What the hell am I going to watch after something like Breaking Bad? There's several options. I've got some shows on the back burner, and then there are promising new ones like True Detective. The HBO series is a drama directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre, Sin Nombre) and stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The last trailer gave us more insight into what we were in-store for. These two new promos for the show deliver on the same level, but don't give too much away. The focus on »
- Niki Stephens
The side character needs more attention, and this week for the Film Face-off we're going to focus on two of the best. John Goodman continues his wonderful work with the Coen brothers new film Inside Llewyn Davis. At this stage, it always feels a little sad if Joel and Ethan Coen don't employ Goodman for one of their films. Woody Harrelson is slowly entering in Goodman's territory. I'm not talking about his size, though his presence has felt larger than life at times, and that continues with Out of the Furnace. When you see the credits role, and either one of their names appears after the lead, there is a relaxation that happens. You know you're in good hands. So, overall, who's hands are better to be in? That's the question in this week's Film Face-off...
- Jeff Bayer
Can Disney's winter-wonderland offering fend off the impending arrival of The Desolation of Smaug?
• Frozen - review
• Oscar Isaac on the Coen brothers and Inside Llewyn Daves
Holiday season hit-making
'Tis the season when studio chiefs with the right movies rub their hands/smart phones in glee, manage a half-smile and issue impersonal notes of thanks to the minions for all their hard work. Holiday season means hits and Frozen has the makings of one. Not every Disney animation is a dead cert these days – to wit, Planes – but the latest release from the production line appears to have what it takes to become a blockbuster. It climbed to top spot in North America in its third weekend, reaching an estimated $134.2m (£81.9m). Really, this figure should be viewed as a two-weekend result because the opening session was limited to a single theatre.
The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug arrives »
- Jeremy Kay
Audiences were more into animated family-friendly fare this weekend than they were the second installment in The Hunger Games franchise as Disney's Frozen toppled Catching Fire from the top spot on the weekend box office chart. Horrible winter weather didn't affect the overall performance of films in theaters, with the box office take actually higher than the same weekend last year (historically a down weekend at the box office). However, the goodwill felt by moviegoers toward Frozen and Catching Fire didn't extend to Out of the Furnace starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, and Willem Dafoe. The dramatic thriller from director Scott Cooper posted a disappointing $5 million at the domestic box office and isn't likely to pick up business over the coming weeks. But while Out of the Furnace isn't a winner for Bale, he does still have David O. Russell's American Hustle coming to theaters this month. »
The first weekend in December is a notoriously weak one at the box office, and, true to form, most movies faced harsh declines this weekend after the record-breaking Thanksgiving frame. But Disney’s animated musical Frozen managed to score a not-so-severe 53 percent fall to $31.6 million this weekend, which sent it past Catching Fire and straight into the No. 1 spot on the chart.
Frozen has earned $134.3 million after 12 days in wide release, 39 percent more than 2010′s Tangled, which had earned $96.6 million at the same point in its run. The film will match its $150 million budget by this time next week, and »
- Grady Smith
Winner Of The Week: Estrogen. Female-driven movies sold nearly $60 million worth of tickets this weekend. The princesses of Frozen snowballed past the gladiators of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, ending the latter's two-week chart reign, but both movies did ridiculously well, with Frozen grabbing an estimated $31.6 million and Catching Fire an estimated $27.0 million. After two weekends in wide release, that amounts to $134.3 million for Frozen, while three-week-old Catching Fire boasts a total of $336.7 million so far.
Loser Of The Week: Testosterone. The weekend after Thanksgiving weekend tends to be a dead spot for new releases, »
Scott Cooper transitioned from small-time actor into big-time director when his debut film Crazy Heart earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Oscar in 2009. It has taken five long years for his follow-up film, Out of the Furnace, to be made and released -- and that was partially due to Cooper's insistence that Christian Bale play the lead role of Russell Baze, a long time steel miner in rural Pennsylvania struggling to make the best out of his life.
Russell has a beautiful girlfriend named Lena (Zoe Saldana) and works hard to make the lives of those around him better, checking in on his ailing father every morning before work and bailing his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) out of his gambling debts even though he doesn't really have the money. Rodney has been on four tours to Iraq and has no interest in following in his brother's footsteps of working for a living. »
- Matt Shiverdecker
As expected, overall box office numbers dropped sharply, as they always do the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday.And the severe Arctic blast, which has affected most of the country, even as far south as Los Angeles County, no doubt didn’t help things either. That being said, people somehow managed to go the movies; and this weekend the Disney animated film Frozen grossed some $31.6 million, edging out The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for the No 1 slot, with Fire coming in at No. 2, earning some $27 million.The one major release this weekend, Out of the Furnace with Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana, didn’t fare so well with under $5.4 million. But »
Now playing in theaters is writer/director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) drama Out of the Furnace. Shot entirely on location in and around Braddock, Pennsylvania, the film stars Christian Bale as an ex-con steel worker who seeks vengeance when his brother (Casey Affleck) disappears after getting involved with a local crime ring. Out of the Furnace also stars Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Willem Dafoe and Forest Whitaker. For more on the film, watch the trailer or read all our previous coverage. At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Harrelson and Cooper. They talked about the way they collaborated to flesh out Harrelson's character, the film Cooper was trying to make, the characters, deleted scenes, and more. Hit the jump to watch. Woody Harrelson and Scott Cooper: How the film shows characters that are having the layers peeled off. Cooper talks »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
The frame’s top contenders are a familiar pair as they dominated the box office last weekend with a wide margin of victory. The only difference this time is it appears Disney’s “Frozen” will slip past “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” for first by Sunday with about $28 million.
Friday, however, Lionsgate’s “Catching Fire” still held the lead. It took $7.7 million to “Frozen’s” $6.8 million. And Lionsgate projects the “Hunger Games” sequel to take in about $27.5 million in three days, within licking distance of “Frozen,” though rival studio estimates have its haul closer to about $25 million.
Either result would be a strong third weekend performance for the actioner, which will have a domestic cume upwards of $330 million by Monday.
- Michael Sullivan
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