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When The Master actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent drug overdose earlier this year, the fate of the actor’s planned Showtime series Happyish was suddenly thrown up in the air. Though the network had ordered the half-hour comedy to series back in April, the entire show and the filmed pilot were based around Hoffman’s performance. With his death, it seemed for a time that Happyish would simply be swept under the rug. Now, however, Showtime has announced a replacement to lead the series – Philomena star Steve Coogan.
With the Oscar and Golden Globe nominee on board, Happyish will shoot a new pilot in New York this December. If all goes well, Showtime will then order nine additional episodes to complete the show’s first season. Currently, Happyish is in the process of being written, and it will have to be somewhat reworked to accommodate Coogan. Additionally, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Serena is one of two films from director Susanne Bier screening at the 2014 London Film Festival, and the other is a Danish-language film titled A Second Chance. While both of these have a lot to say about babies only one of them is completely enthralling from its opening scene to its end while the other bores for at least an hour before shifting into a high-tension ending. Sadly, despite the well-established chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, Serena is the latter film. Cooper plays George, a lumber baron whose finances are starting to wear thin right around the time the sheriff (Toby Jones) decides that George’s land would be best utilized as a national park. George also has some untouched land in Brazil, but he’s uninterested in selling either piece of property. Just as his financial worries begin, George meets Serena (Lawrence), an independent woman whose entire family died in a fire years ago »
- Emily Estep
Philip Seymour Hoffman's death left a gaping void in the acting world, and there are so many more roles it would have been wonderful to see him tackle. Among his planned projects was Happyish, a 10-episode half-hour comedy series for Showtime created, written, and executive produced by This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander (who also wrote the terrific book Foreskin's Lament). The series is described as "a soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place." The project was in stasis following Hoffman's death, but Showtime has decided to move forward by casting Steve Coogan in the lead role of "Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like 'digital,' 'social' and 'viral.'" The series was also set to star Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans, »
- Matt Goldberg
Showtime is still moving forward with the Shalom Auslander–created dark comedy Happyish, the network announced today. Initially, the show starred Philip Seymour Hoffman as a middle-aged guy grappling with misery in the wake of professional frustration. After Hoffman's death in February, the future of the show was unclear, but Showtime has cast Steve Coogan in the main role. Coogan's version of the pilot will shoot in December, though it's not clear yet if the supporting cast from the previous version — including Kathryn Hahn as Hoffman's character's wife and Rhys Ifans as his boss — will be back. »
- Margaret Lyons
While Showtime has been quiet for a while on any news following its decision to move forward with its show Happyish after the death of its star Philip Seymour Hoffman, the network has finally announced a replacement for the show's main role. Steve Coogan has been revealed as the new star of the Showtime half-hour comedy, with a new pilot to be shot in New York City in December of 2014. A pilot had previously been shot with Hoffman in the starring role, backed by a supporting cast that included Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans. Ten episodes of the show had »
- Jonathon Dornbush
Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Zach Galifianakis star in the much buzzed about dark comedy Birdman, which also marks the return of its star Michael Keaton to the big screen. While the film deals with an aging star’s struggle with his career, ego, and personal life as he tries to mount a Broadway show, one of the most memorable scenes in the movie has Keaton running around Times Square with only his tighty whities to support him.
In honor of this cinematic spectacle, we challenged the cast (which also includes Naomi Watts, rising star Andrea Riseborough, and The Office’s Amy Ryan) to identify other actors who dared to bare their briefs on screen, including Tom Cruise, Jason Segel, Rhys Ifans, and Birdman’s own Zach Galifianakis, who believes he’s very skilled at ID-ing his own body. »
- Lauren Elizabeth Thompson
Directed by Susanne Bier.
Newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton plan to start a timber empire in North Carolina in the late 1920s. Powerful and unrelenting, Serena earns the fear and respect of the working men in her husband’s command. Yet their unstoppable hurricane of a love faces a storm when Serena attempts to convince George to eliminate everyone who stands in their way—including George’s illegitimate son, Jacob.
Filmed in 2012 in the forests of the Czech Republic, Serena is an epic story of love and loss, framed by beautiful tall trees and fog set in the Us of the late 1920s. George Pemberton (Bradley Cooper, American Hustle) is a privileged man who uses his family’s fortune to build a timber empire. He’s a man’s man through and through, »
- Kat Kourbeti
Director: Susanne Bier
Running Time: 109 minutes.
Jennifer Lawrence. Bradley Cooper. A stunning backdrop. High drama and rustic glamour. Serena certainly looks on paper to be one of the biggest films of the festival and yet it was so well hidden that you’d be forgiven for having missed it entirely.
The film has been a long time coming, caught up in post production hell for far too long while the kinks were ironed out. At the post-film Q&A, the director, Susanne Bier, even admitted she wasn’t sure it would be ready in time for the festival (but was clearly delighted that it was).
- Amanda Keats
Before Serena makes its world premiere at the London Film Festival today, StudioCanal UK has released a new clip and photos from director Susanne Bier's drama, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Tensions rise when George (Bradley Cooper) introduces Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) to the workers as an equal to any man and demands she is treated as such, in this scene from the Depression-era drama.
Set in the year 1929, Serena follows newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton, as they travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains-but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or »
After sharing the screen in American Hustle and more substantially in Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have a rapport that pays dividends in a sepia-hued adaptation of Ron Rash's novel Serena. Without their combined starriness, this period love story would sink into a slushy bog.
Danish director Susanne Bier is behind the camera and she's certainly earned her right to marshal a big Hollywood production with credits that include the original Brothers (remade with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire) and her 2002 Dogme film Open Hearts. She usually handles high emotion with a light touch, and does so once again here (for the most part) against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina.
Mist gets in the eyes of George Pemberton (Cooper), the »
On Demand DVD New Releases Oct. 13-19 Another Me A gripping psychological thriller about a teenage girl whose once seemingly perfect life is upended when her father becomes ill and a mysterious double begins inserting itself in her life. Rhys Ifans, Sophie Turner (Pg-13, 1:23) 10/14 Life After Beth Beth returns from the grave as a zombie, but that doesn’t mean she and her boyfriend can’t stay together, does it? Life as a couple has some challenges, including Beth’s urge to literally eat her boyfriend. Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly (R, 1:29) 10/14 Mr. Peabody & Sherman (3-D) The smartest guy … Continue reading →
The post On Demand DVD New Releases Oct. 13-19 appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Meredith Ennis
But the parts he’s played of late not only underscore the illustrious thesping company he keeps, but just how far Latinos have come in sloughing off Latino type-casting.
Santoro wrapped two weeks ago his first TV series, playing an outlaw on the pilot for HBO’s “Westworld,” helmed by Jonathan Nolan for Bad Robot and Warner Bros. TV, and a series inspired in concept by the Yul Brynner movie classic.
He features in Steven Bernstein’s “brilliantly written” “Dominion,” produced by Richard Gladstein, with Rhys Ifans as Welsh bard Dylan Thomas, living out his last day on earth, and John Malkovich as his doctor, shot over the summer in Montreal. Santoro plays “a mysterious character who will reveal himself.” Santoro’s character is called Carlos, »
- John Hopewell
Sneak Peek the first clip of footage, plus the original trailer from "Serena", starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Sam Reid, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones and Sean Harris, opening in North America March 27, 2014:
"...in the North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920', 'George' and 'Serena Pemberton' are love-struck newly-weds, who begin to build a timber empire.
"Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness.
"With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton’s passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Serena"...
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- Michael Stevens
Magnolia has released the first Serena clip online, and it gives a bit of a hint as to why the movie has sat on a shelf for so long despite starring two of Hollywood's hottest actors, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. They play Serena and George Pemberton, newlyweds trying to build a timber empire. The business takes off thanks to Serena’s ability and ambition, but when she uncovers the truth of George’s past, it threatens the stability of their marriage and business. While I enjoy hearing Bradley Cooper talk about mahogany as the next guy, this clip is passionate scene without much passion, except when they kiss and the handheld camera swooshes around like it's trying to get a better shot. Hit the jump to check out the Serena clip. The movie also stars Sam Reid, Rhys Ifans, Toby Jones, and Sean Harris, and will premiere at the »
- Matt Goldberg
The fall TV season is just kicking off and it’s time to begin crafting a weekly TV-viewing schedule that fits your needs, genre preferences, and tastes, and that hopefully includes something old, something new, and something that’s been around for a while that you’ve been meaning to check out. Following up on Sound on Sight’s coverage of the fall’s new network series, contributor Claire Hellar will be recommending her top choices, by genre, of the networks’ returning shows.
As a general rule, the procedural is a TV genre in which there are too many rather than too few to choose from, though that doesn’t imply an embarrassment of riches. Middling, perfectly competent procedural series abound and differences in quality spring not so much from what certain shows do differently, but rather how they deliver the same set of elements. It’s nearly impossible to choose between mid-line series, »
- Claire Hellar
As the final acquisition deals roll in on Toronto’s 2014 film festival movies, a couple of overriding themes emerged that bode well for the appetite for indie fare and have sellers smacking their lips for Afm, Sundance, Berlin and beyond. In a fest where Harvey Weinstein left his checkbook home and didn’t make a single splashy deal, I have never seen so many new players make statement buys at a festival than happened in Toronto.
The other intriguing development came on the fest’s biggest deal, when Paramount Pictures swooped into the auction of the Chris Rock-directed comedy Top Five, and blew buyers out of the water by paying $12.5 million for worldwide rights. It was the second straight fest where Paramount did this, after the studio made a precedent-setting pre-buy Cannes deal for the Denis Villeneuve-directed Amy Adams sci-fi film Story Of Your Life. Some established indie »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Peter Bogdanovich's ensemble screwball comedy She’s Funny That Way is selling to U.S. distributor Clarius Entertainment in a deal valued at $4.5 million. The movie, which screened privately for buyers at the Toronto Film Festival following Venice, stars Owen Wilson as a married film and Broadway director who falls for a prostitute-turned-actress (Imogen Poots). Jennifer Aniston plays a therapist whose mother is in rehab. She's Funny That Way, receiving mixed reviews and marking Bogdanovich's first film in 13 years, co-stars Will Forte, Kathryn Hahn, Rhys Ifans,
- Tatiana Siegel, Pamela McClintock
Based on the novel by Ron Rash, the period film follows newlyweds George Pemberton and his new bride, Serena, as they maintain a close watch over a burgeoning logging empire in Depression-era North Carolina, ruthlessly ruling the woodlands while fighting off the efforts of environmental activists to turn their land into a national park.
Bier’s latest film, A Second Chance, had its world premiere Tuesday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Bier won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for In A Better World (2010) and was also nominated for After The Wedding (2006).
Serena is scheduled for a UK release on October 24. Count on a U.S. release date to be announced soon so it doesn’t miss a bid for awards consideration at year’s end.
The post »
- Michelle McCue
In the North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s, George and Serena Pemberton begin to build a timber empire.
In the North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s, George and Serena Pemberton, love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pemberton’s passionate marriage begins to unravel leading toward a dramatic reckoning.
Today we have the trailer for the upcoming "Serena" film, re-teaming Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. It's directed by Susanne Bier and co-stars Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones. Check it out below. Plot: The story follows newlyweds George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence) who travel from Boston to the mountains of North Carolina where they begin to build a timber empire in 1929. Serena soon shows herself to be the equal of any man: overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving a man's life in the wilderness. Together, this king and queen rule their dominion, killing or vanquishing all who stand in the way of their ambitions. But when Serena learns that she can never bear a child, she sets out to murder the woman who bore George a son before his marriage. And when she starts to suspect that George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage begins »
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