1-20 of 26 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Clinton Moisey (Fran Kranz), the man-child in Murder of a Cat, calls his sleuthing alter ego Doghouse Reilly, after Philip Marlowe's jokey alias in The Big Sleep. This choice sums up the tone of Christian Magalhaes and Bob Snow's screenplay (on the 2010 Black List), which sprinkles hard-boiled detective jargon onto a comic mystery that mostly reveals Clinton's obliviousness to the world outside his mother's basement. Director Gillian Greene's debut feature plays up these elements with Deborah Lurie's full-throttle film noir score, but she never gets heavy-handed, even when things take a dangerous turn. The death of his beloved Mouser (played by a cat named Bogart) triggers Clinton to leave his comfort zone and begin investigating, albeit in a bathrobe instead of a tre »
The Sting Called Love: Christensen’s Debut Rife with Melodramatic Cliché
Shawn Christensen, who won an Academy Award for his 2013 short film, Curfew, expands his award winning triumph to feature length with Before I Disappear. Something gets a little lost in the translation, however, in this tale about a vagabond hipster loser who actually inspires less empathy the more time we experience his dilemma on screen. It takes the right blend of melancholy personality to strike the correct balance of the loveable, love-struck loser (i.e., Joaquin Phoenix in Her) and Christensen, who casts himself in the lead, doesn’t feel quite right, though character and narrative development are partially to blame for the ambivalence as well. It’s a tale that requires a strong, emotional component to be successful, and its glaring absence only becomes more and more apparent as it shuttles us off into the vacuum of the hopeful ending. »
- Nicholas Bell
There are about a million smart and clever ideas packed into the runtime of Drew Goddard's brilliant horror movie The Cabin in the Woods, but perhaps the film's greatest is the coffee mug water pipe. Used by Marty, the pot head character played by Fran Kranz, the plastic and metal container looks like a normal thermos, but in reality it actually extends like a telescope and has a detachable hollow handle that can be reinserted in the bottom. To own one of these thermos bongs would be to own the best possible prop replica from The Cabin In The Woods - and the best news of all is that fans will soon get their chance to purchase one. While there's no actual mention of The Cabin In The Woods on their website - perhaps just for legal reasons - the company Iron Man Designs LLC has revealed that they »
Some independent movies are worth seeking out. Others remain obscure and hidden for a reason, and that seems to be why we haven't heard anything about Murder of a Cat, an indie comedy starring Cabin in the Woods scene stealer Fran Kranz along with an interesting mix of supporting players. The film follows a harmless oddball who is thoroughly upset that someone has just murdered his best friend, a cat named Mouser. J.K. Simmons is the investigating officer, and he soon learns that the cat was seemingly leading a double life. Yeah, it's about as stupid as it sounds. Pretty much everyone in this movie is better than this. Here's the trailer for Gillian Greene's Murder of a Cat, originally from Apple: Murder of a Cat marks the feature directorial debut of Gillian Greene, working from a script by Robert Snow & Christian Magalhaes (both of the series"New Girl"). Produced by Sam Raimi, »
- Ethan Anderton
The distributor has picked up North American rights to Gillian Greene’s feature directorial debut starring Oscar contender Jk Simmons. Separately, Cinedigm and Moguldom Studios have entered into a multi-year, multi-title deal for Moguldom’s slate.
Gravitas brokered the deal with CAA and will distribute across theatrical and digital platforms on December 5.
The deal between Cinedigm and Moguldom Studios calls for a minimum of 10 new films a year. Cinedigm has also acquired distribution rights to seven catalogue titles from the Moguldom Studios’ library and will get certain Us distribution rights to the films, including digital »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
The trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron was reportedly leaked on the internet, in poor quality, resulting in Marvel Studios releasing the official version early. It was originally scheduled to debut with Marvel's Agents of Shield, which would have been obvious brand synergy, as well as casting a spotlight on the awesomeness of that show. (Bad Rising Tide! Pop culture reference, sorry.)
But the official trailer is here now, and it's stunning in its melancholy beauty. This is somewhat atypical for a superhero blockbuster, though increasingly common in recent years (c.f. Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight trilogy). With the trailer for The Avengers, director Joss Whedon seemed to be taking after the epitome of blockbuster bombast, Michael Bay (Transformers); whereas with the trailer for the follow-up, Avengers: Age of Ultron, he seems to be taking after the master of visual and emotional film-making poetry, Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers »
An interesting choice was made on Jack Bryan‘s film The Living—one that occurred before the camera rolled. If you’re familiar with Fran Kranz‘s emotionally fractured science nerd Topher from Dollhouse and Kenny Wormald‘s coolly confident Ren from the Footloose remake, you’d probably have a pretty good idea of who would play who inside a plot dealing […] »
- Jared Mobarak
White Collar star Tim DeKay has signed on for a pivotal guest-starring role in Season 2 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., playing Senator Maynard Ward, the abusive older brother of Hydra operative Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).
The character will debut in the sixth Season 2 episode, entitled "A Fractured Rose", who may be the "Senator with deep pockets" that General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) referred to in last night's episode, "Heavy Is the Head". Maynard was also referenced during Season 1, when Grant told Skye (Chloe Bennet) stories about how his older brother would beat him up, including an incident where Maynard pushed Grant into a well.
Their contentious sibling relationship will also help explain how Grant became loyal to Hydra in the first place. Zap2It reports that Grant burned down his parents' home while Maynard was still inside. Maynard survived and pressed charges, which lead to Grant being sentenced to a juvenile detention facility, »
A tweet sent out (and swiftly deleted) by longtime Whedonverse actor Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods, Dollhouse) may have just revealed the identity of another Marvel Comics character headed to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Robbie Baldwin, a.k.a. Speedball.
For those unfamiliar, Robbie Baldwin was bombarded with inter-dimensional energy and gained an exterior shell of kinetic energy. As Speedball, he became a member of Marvel’s New Warriors and is part of what leads into Marvel’s Civil War story arc. He later ditches the Speedball moniker, joins the Norman Osborne-led team Thunderbolts, and starts going by Penance.
With many speculating that Marvel may one day adapt the Civil War storyline for film, Speedball’s possible appearance is sure to raise some eyebrows. Franz may have deleted his tweet, but the folks over at Oh No They Didn’t managed to get »
- James Garcia
Actor and frequent Joss Whedon collaborator Fran Kranz (Cabin In The Woods, Much Ado About Nothing) recently tweeted (and then deleted) and interesting list of names. Luckily, the guys over at OhNoTheyDidnt were able to screencap the tweet. Needless to say, it's Very intriuging. Robbie Baldwin became known as Speedball after his body was bombarded with interdimentional energy during a freak accident. Gifted with an exterior shell of kinetic energy, Speedball eventually becomes a member of the New Warriors, a team of young heroes including Night Thrasher, Namorita, Nova, Marvel Boy and Firestar. The team would later be involved in a reality show gone wrong which results in the destruction of a small neighborhood and leads into Marvel's Civil War. In a fit of guilt for surviving the incident, Baldwin ditches the Speedball moniker and takes up the name Penance as a member of Norman Osborne's Thunderbolts In other speculatory news, »
4 Minute Mile
Director: Charles-Olivier Michaud
Sales: Double Dutch Intl.
Director: Eran Creevy
A young American couple is caught between two ruthless criminals.
Sales: Im Global
Director: Shawn Christensen
Feature based on 2012 Oscar-winning short “Curfew,” about a man forced to look after his precocious 11-year-old niece. Market premiere.
Sales: Electric Entertainment
Director: A. J. Edwards
The story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth. Market premiere.
Sales: Electric Entertainment
Director: Tod “Kip” Williams
Producers: Richard Saperstein, »
- Variety Staff
The 3rd Annual "King of Shorts" has arrived. The New York Short Film Festival runs May 27-29 at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema in New York City. Over 60 films from 11 countries will be participating in this international competition. showcase shorts featuring "Bingo Night," starring Mindy Sterling ("Austin Powers"), "The Lord of Catan," starring Amy Acker ("Much Ado About Nothing") and Fran Kranz ("The Cabin in the Woods"), "The Parting Glass" produced by NY agency Opperman Weiss, "What Cheer?" starring Richard Kind ("Spin City," "Argo"), and "Joan's Day Out," starring Sally Kellerman ("Mash"), Tara Lynne Barr ("God Bless America"), and Betsy Franco ("Broken Tower," "General Hospital"). For the full lineup, go to www.NYshortsFest.com »
- Taylor Lindsay
Wasting the talents of such reliable veteran performers as Greg Kinnear, Blythe Danner and J.K. Simmons, Murder of a Cat is the sort of would-be satirical comedy that substitutes forced quirkiness for humor to relentlessly grating effect. Gillian Greene’s debut feature produced by her husband Sam Raimi and receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival woefully fails in its attempt at being a comic, modern-day noir. It also features one of the most irritating lead characters in recent memory in the form of Clinton (Fran Kranz), a twenty-something man-child who still lives with
- Frank Scheck
“Murder of a Cat” is that rare post-“Little Miss Sunshine” laffer that could actually stand to be quirkier. Somehow, despite all the eccentric bathrobes and vintage sweaters and bad wigs, despite the involvement of “Sunshine” star Greg Kinnear and “Juno” vet J.K. Simmons, this weird little detective story never quite manages to establish its own personality. After years of watching hubby Sam Raimi direct, first-timer Gillian Greene plucked a script off the Black List and made a go of it, and the result feels like someone won a contest where the grand prize meant getting to make a movie.
Actually, the real winners here are co-writers Christian Magalhaes and Robert Snow, whose well-loved spec script made the rounds in Hollywood and helped land them staff writing gigs on “New Girl.” At a moment when douchebag comedy is king, these guys serve up unapologetically dorky counterprogramming, where the main character »
- Peter Debruge
Any story that centers around a murder of a cat and is a comedy is going to be a little offbeat.
But that kind of tone was exactly what attracted Nikki Reed (Twilight) and Fran Kranz (Cabin In The Woods) to Murder of a Cat, which is screening this weekend as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. When someone murders his beloved cat, Clinton (Kranz) demands justice. Taking it upon himself to solve the case, he teams up with an unlikely ally, Greta (Reed), and the two set out to find the culprit lurking in their small suburban town.
- Erin Strecker
Fortress Features (The Collector, The Collection, The Hunted ) is in pre-production on the indie flick Bloodsucking Bastards, directed by Brian James O’Connell, and the first casting news has arrived.
According to the Tracking Board, the horror comedy was pitched as “The Office” meets Shaun of the Dead.
A down-on-his-luck cubicle worker must deal with the horrible reality that everyone in his office is turning into vampires.
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- Steve Barton
For the distribution of his latest film, In Your Eyes, Joss Whedon has taken a page from Beyonce's "surprise digital release" playbook. After the film made its world premiere Sunday night at New York City's Tribeca Film Festival, Whedon and the film's crew have made In Your Eyes available for a $5, 72-hour rental at Vimeo On Demand.
"It's exciting for us because it means we get to explore yet another new form of distribution »
Gillian Greene's TV star father had an adage about career arcs that was applicable to any actor: "Who's Lorne Greene?" "Get me Lorne Greene!" "Get me the next Lorne Greene!" "Who's the next Lorne Greene?" At the moment, the next Gillian Greene is Gillian Greene, whose first feature, "Murder of a Cat" premieres next week at the Tribeca Film Festival. The off-beat comedy stars Fran Kranz (Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing" and "The Cabin in the Woods") as a manchild with a proto-Bieber haircut, various delusions, and who lives at home with his mother (Blythe Danner). Just coincidentally, all of Greene's children, ages 7 to 20, live with their mother. "Yeah, people are surprised I have so many kids, but I started kind of young," said the fledgling director, whose father was a star of the longtime NBC western "Bonanza" and, later, the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series. She met her husband, »
- John Anderson
He furnished a major new piece in "Like Father, Like Son," Monday's (March 31) tellingly titled episode of TNT's "Dallas." The hour opened with him confronting Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) about her collusion with Bobby (Patrick Duffy) to deny him the permit to drill on Southfork Ranch.
He claimed he wasn't emotionally involved with Emma (Emma Bell) and only using her to get the ships the company needs. but Sue Ellen countered about his wife (Julie Gonzalo): "You think it's going to hurt any less when Pamela finds out?" Accused by his mother of being "drunk with power," he retorted, "I may be ... but you? You're just drunk."
Advising John Ross to go easy on Sue Ellen, who wanted to keep him off "the J.R. road," Bobby »
Anyone who sets out to make a documentary film about the history of zombie cinema is in a no-win situation: if you stick with the obvious stuff, then the hardcore horror fans will get bored, impatient, and very annoyed. But if you focus mainly on the oddest and most obscure information regarding cinematic zombiedom, then you're leaving out all the newbies -- or the geeks who only pretend to know White Zombie from Rob Zombie.
Fortunately the movie-obsessed documentarian Alex Philippe -- his film The People vs. George Lucas is recommended to any hardcore Star Wars nut -- knows how to cover a lot of bases in a short amount of time, and the result is a light and amusing film about some of the grossest movies you'll ever see. Without rattling off all the statistics, let's just say that Mr. Philippe and his team manage to touch on all »
- Scott Weinberg
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