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“There ain’t no sin, there ain’t no wrong, there’s just things people do,” opines a washed-up detective (Jason Isaacs) to an unemployed insurance adjuster (Wes Bentley) turned armed robber in what is, remarkably, one of the least heavy-handed moments from “Things People Do,” a wildly overwrought and frequently preposterous recession-era morality play that marks the feature directing debut of veteran film editor Saar Klein. Burdened with absurd plot twists and two-ton metaphors (including a Chekhovian gun and a swimming pool more symbolic than Gatsby’s), this depressive drama about the desperate measures called for by desperate times will need its own strongarm tactics to see any significant theatrical exposure following its Berlin and SXSW premieres. Midrange name cast portends brisker ancillary traffic.
Lest we harbor any doubt about what kind of movie this is going to be, “Things People Do” opens with Bentley’s Bill Scanlin poking »
- Scott Foundas
Director: Terrence Malick
Writer: Terrence Malick
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Imogen Poots, Cate Blanchett, Teresa Palmer, Joe Manganiello, Nick Offerman, Wes Bentley, Nicky Whelan, Antonio Banderas, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Jason Clarke, Shea Whigham, Katia Winter, Thomas Lennon, Ryan O’Neal, Kevin Corrigan
There aren’t too many filmmakers turning up twice on our list, but Knight of Cups and the formerly titled Lawless (#81) are in a traffic jam of their own, hopefully getting a green light at some major film festival where the final guest list shall let us know who made the final cut.
Gist: This is about celebrities and excess.
Release Date: Cannes or Venice.
- Eric Lavallee
2014 is upon us and film geeks around the world are eagerly anticipating the release of a whole slew of big-budget sci-fi and fantasy extravaganzas, all made with the aim of blowing your mind and renewing your faith in the awesome power of cinema. While some may say this isn’t really different from any other year, we’d beg to differ.
Sci-fi in particular is coming back in a big way. Like heavy metal, it seems to come and go in cycles, but this year is set to be particularly massive, with Gravity likely to get a lot of love at the Oscars 2014. Here are three films we're really looking forward to:
The most famous kaiju of all is to return in a new update, directed by Gareth Edwards, who shot to fame for his ultra low-budget, but critically acclaimed, sci-fi film about aliens invading Mexico, Monsters. Forget Roland Emmerich’s disastrous, »
- Gary Collinson
Matthew McConaughey is having a stunning time at the moment with stellar roles recently in Dallas Buyers Club, Mud and The Wolf Of Wall Street – he’s the man that’s hot property and has divulged a few words about his involvement in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar – released in November. Obviously, he couldn’t talk about the plot but he did have this to say:
“Here’s what I can tell you…It’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever done. And he’s done some ambitious stuff.”
But it seems Nolan may have had him in mind before this project, and beneath the secrecy beyond secrecy – Did Nolan set this up a long time ago and how is he on-set?
“He came up to me and said, ‘“Mud.” I love that movie,’?” McConaughey then met up with him in La at a later date, and revealed: “I sat »
- Dan Bullock
Matthew McConaughey's career has enjoyed a huge resurgence over the past few years, and could culminate with an Academy Award next month for his acclaimed role as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. And the actor is showing little signs of slowing down; along with the hit HBO series True Detective, his next film will see him venturing to the far reaches of space as part of Christopher Nolan's sci-fi epic Interstellar. During an interview with Variety, McConaughey has spoken about the upcoming film, stating that it's Nolan's "most ambitious" project to date - no small feat when you consider his past films include the likes of The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception.
"Here’s what I can tell you," states McConaughey. "It's the most ambitious thing [Nolan] has ever done. And he’s done some ambitious stuff. He came up to me and said, ‘Mud. »
- Gary Collinson
Nolan's first film since The Dark Knight Rises stars McConaughey as a man who travels across the universe through a newly-created wormhole in space.
"It's the most ambitious thing he's ever done," McConaughey told Variety. "And he's done some ambitious stuff."
The Warner Bros and Paramount co-production has previously been described as "a heroic interstellar voyage to the furthest reaches of our scientific understanding".
Interstellar will open on November 7. »
The McConaissance is well underway and shows no signs of slowing down. Arguably, Matthew McConaughey is one of the most in demand actors currently working in Hollywood and with his seemingly unstoppable hot streak looking to continue into the foreseeable future, things are only going to get bigger and brighter for him.
In a recent interview with McConaughey, which we highly recommend that you check out as it’s a very good read, Variety managed to sneak in a question about one of the actor’s upcoming films, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Of course, he wouldn’t reveal much, but McConaughey did tell them that it’s the most ambitious thing that Nolan has ever done, which is certainly saying a lot.
“Here’s what I can tell you, It’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever done. And he’s done some ambitious stuff. … There’s no fucking around on set. »
- Matt Joseph
The movie will be produced under their banner Smokehouse Pictures, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
"Pioneer" is a conspiracy thriller set in the early 1980s during Norway's oil boom and it is centered on a man who, along with his brother, is laying pipeline in the North Sea, diving deeper than anyone else had before.
- Amith Ostwal
SXSW is less than a month away and ShockYa.com is thrilled to announce that we’ll be on the ground in Austin, Texas for the event. There are loads of films on the line-up we’re aiming to catch, one of which is Academy Award nominated editor Saar Klein’s directorial debut, “Things People Do.” The film stars Wes Bentley as Bill Scanlon, a man who loses his job and can’t bring himself to tell his wife (Vinessa Shaw). Rather than risk losing his family, he opts to cover up the issue by becoming a criminal. Soon after taking the plunge and getting his hands a little dirty, Bill starts to enjoy the [ Read More ]
- Perri Nemiroff
The original report notes that Clooney is not attached to direct at this stage, and the absence of any mention otherwise presumably means the same goes for Heslov.
Skjoldbjærg’s Pioneer was released in Norway at the tail-end of last summer, before touring the festival circuit with stop-offs in Toronto, Helsinki, London, Chicago, and more. Aksel Hennie leads the original cast alongside Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang, and Stephanie Sigman, with the following synopsis:
Set in the early 1980s during the Norway’s oil boom, Pioneer follows a man who, along with his brother, is laying pipeline in the North Sea, »
- Kenji Lloyd
While their film The Monuments Men is currently playing in theaters, George Clooney and Grant Heslov will set their sights on a new project. Sony is currently in negotiations to acquire the remake rights for Norwegian thriller Pioneer, with Clooney and Heslov producing through their Smokehouse company. Directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and starring Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley and Stephen Lang, Pioneer centered on a worker laying oil pipeline in the North Sea. When a tragic accident occurs, he attempts to determine its cause and soon finds himself at the center of a sinister conspiracy. Hit the jump for more. THR reports that Clooney and Heslov will produce the Pioneer remake, and stress that Clooney is not attached to direct at this time. Sony's Elizabeth Cantillon, Clooney, and Heslov will now look to hire a writer for the English-language remake. Take a look at the trailer for the Norwegian film below (and don't worry, »
- Dave Trumbore
Sony Pictures is in negotiations for the English-language remake rights to Norwegian conspiracy thriller "Pioneer". George Clooney and Grant Heslov will produce though their Smokehouse production company.
Two brothers are laying pipeline in the North Sea, diving deeper than anyone ever before. When a tragic accident strikes, one of them tries to learn the truth and realises his life is in terrible danger.
Though producing, Clooney is not attached to direct at this stage. A writer is currently being sought.
Source: THR »
- Garth Franklin
George Clooney and Grant Heslov are two of Hollywood’s most interesting producers. Under their Smokehouse Pictures banner they have given us great films such as The Ides Of March and last year’s best picture winner, Argo. Their latest, The Monuments Men, may not have been as well received as some of their other titles, but it looks like the duo is moving right onto their next project as there’s now word that Sony is negotiating the remake rights to the Norwegian thriller Pioneer, for Smokehouse to produce.
The original released last year in Norway and also played at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Set in the 1980s during the country’s oil boom, the film tells the story of Petter, a professional diver who is obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. With his brother Knut, he seems ready to take on this dangerous mission, »
- Alexander Lowe
Just days after their latest true-story drama The Monuments Men opened in theaters, producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov are teaming with Sony Pictures to remake the Norwegian thriller Pioneer. At this time, George Clooney is not attached to direct, with the studio currently seeking a screenwriter for this English-language version.
Erik Skjoldbjærg directed the original Pioneer, which opened in Norway last year after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival. The story is set in the 1980s, at the height of the Norwegian Oil Boom, following a man and his brother who are tasked with laying a pipeline through the North Sea, diving deeper than anyone had ever gone before. When tragedy strikes, the man becomes determined to find out the truth about what really happened, while realizing his life is in danger.
Not every film he produces can deliver the way Argo did. So George Clooney is always on the lookout for new material that interests him and could provide fodder for Smokehouse Productions, the company he runs with Grant Heslov. Sony thinks it has something they’d want to be involved with, picking up the remake rights to Norwegian thriller Pioneer.The original is a conspiracy thriller set in the early 1980s during Norway’s oil boom. It focuses on a man who, along with his brother, is laying pipeline in the North Sea, diving deeper than anyone else has before.When a tragic accident strikes, he digs deeper into what happened, soon realising that there’s a bigger plan afoot, he’s in way over his head and that his life is in serious danger. Erik Skjoldbjaerg directed that film which starred Headhunters' Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley and Avatar’s Stephen Lang. »
Breaking: Gary Sanchez Productions, the film and television production company founded by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy, has hatched a sister label. Gloria Sanchez Productions will generate female-driven film and TV projects. Longtime Gary Sanchez exec Jessica Elbaum will head the label and will court female voices for its projects. “When Jessica came to us with this idea, we thought it was fantastic,” said McKay and Ferrell. “She has worked with some of the great female voices in comedy and has proven herself as a gifted producer who has a keen eye for material. Elbaum has been with Gary Sanchez since its formation in 2006 and she has been a producer on such films as Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Casa De Mi Padre and Bachelorette, the latter of which fits the template for the kind of fare Gloria Sanchez wants to make. She also guided Ferrell’s 2008 stage show You’re Welcome America, »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
This is a teaser trailer for the Terrence Malick-produced film The Better Angles, which follows the life of a young Abraham Lincoln. The film was written and directed by A.J. Edwards, and the cast includes Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley, and Braydon Denney. Edwards has worked with Malick on films such as The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and you can see the influence of those in the trailer for this movie.
Indiana, 1817. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is still raw. Men and women must battle against nature and disease to survive in log cabins. This is young Abraham Lincoln’s world. Spanning three years of the future president’s childhood, The Better Angels explores his family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. »
- Joey Paur
Aiming to be the kind of restrained, grown-up ethical drama that we don't see a great deal of anymore, "Things People Do" from editor-turned-director Saar Klein, premiered unassumingly at the Berlin Film Festival, as though aware it was predestined to be almost immediately eclipsed by showier, punchier titles. Which is probably a little unfair, as the film does boast a lot of strong elements: unusually expressive cinematography; a well-rendered sense of place; Jason Isaacs. And in general it nearly succeeds in delivering on its gently moralist ambitions. However, its failings are all the more glaring for being in the realm of characterization, which is kind of crucial if a film of this kind is to transcend the potential limitations of the indie drama ghetto. Unfortunately "Things People Do" scuppers its own chances by having people do things we just don't ever, ever believe they would. Bill (Wes Bentley) and Susan (Vinessa Shaw) are happily, »
- Jessica Kiang
Like a condensation of the plot and themes in "Breaking Bad" without the meth, director Saar Klein's impressive debut "Things People Do" puts a criminal spin on suburban discontent. Aided by a grave, committed performance by Wes Bentley in the lead role, Klein's story treads familiar territory but doesn't take its appeal for granted. The story of settled insurance salesman Bill (Bentley), who turns to robbery after losing his job and hides it from his wife, "Things People Do" makes its dramatic material stick -- despite a few screenplay imperfections -- by upping the tension with ample restraint: guns are brandished but rarely fired, voices almost never raised. Klein maintains the intensity while delivering the heavy-handed themes with a whisper. Bentley's sad-eyed gaze becomes the movie’s central image early on, when Bill is laid off by his superior for lacking the ability to succeed at his job. The »
- Eric Kohn
Director: Shira Piven
Writer: Eliot Laurence
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
The reasons for penciling in Shira Piven’s sophomore feature definitely have nothing to do with her supporting acting talent and direct relationship to Adam McKay and has more to do with the combo of a promising premise and the screen crush we have on an actress (Kristen Wiig) who continually takes on atypical/challenging roles as most recently seen in The Skeleton Twins.
Gist: A year in the life of Alice Klieg, a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who wins Mega-millions, quits her meds and buys her own talk show.
Release Date: Filming began »
- Eric Lavallee
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