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I honestly had very little to go one when I added A.J. Edwards’ The Better Angels to my predictions list and the fact that it has been included among the New Frontier offerings means that we’re in for something out of the ordinary, as the section has often challenged conventional form. Produced by Terrence Malick, and filmed in B&W, it features Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley and a newbie actor taking on the role of a young Lincoln. Here is the entire listing of five (plus installation projects), which will include Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s on-going Hit Record project.
The Better Angels / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: A.J. Edwards) — Set in the harsh wilderness of Indiana, this is the story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth. It tells of the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. »
- Eric Lavallee
When Sundance announced the films in competition for the 2014 festival yesterday, its organizers noted that they were impressed by the caliber of cinematic artistry — mostly due to technology — that freed up filmmakers to experiment with different genres. No category of the festival is more rooted in genre than Park City at Midnight, the late-night section that specializes in horror and the supernatural, and this year’s slate has several potential breakouts. “The Midnight lineup came together in a way that is about the strongest group we’ve ever had, top to bottom,” says Trevor Groth, Sundance’s director of programming. »
- Jeff Labrecque
“The Guest,” the latest effort from horror helmer Adam Wingard; “Killers,” a Web-based serial-killer thriller from Indonesia’s Mo Brothers; and “What We Do in the Shadows,” a mock-doc collaboration between New Zealand-based directors Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (of Flight of the Conchords) are among the eight oddball titles set to make their world premieres in Park City at Midnight at the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival.
Having noted that the dramatic competition lineups (unveiled Wednesday) contained a number of films with comedic and horror-thriller elements, festival director John Cooper pointed out that the distinctions between competitive and non-competitive titles were blurring more than ever.
“We considered all the Midnight titles for competition at one point,” he said. “It’s very fluid.”
- Justin Chang
Sundance Institute executives announced on December 5 that the festival will feature new work from artist Doug Aitken as well as Klip Collective’s external projections on the Egyptian Theatre.
An expanded New Frontier will showcase installations, performance, transmedia and panel discussion section. Most of the installations will be housed at a new, 5,000-square-foot location at the Gateway in Park City adjacent to Main Street.
“As human and machine, biological and media experiences blur and hybridise, the distinctions between them are also becoming irrelevant,” said curator of the exhibition and Sundance Film Festival senior programmer Shari Frilot.
“The digital and the organic integrally constitute a new primordial pool. What does creativity and storytelling look like if we revel in this new way of being?”
“This year’s expanded New Frontier allows artists to continue pushing the boundaries in telling their stories,” said Sundance »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Here are the five films playing in the New Frontier sidebar. The Better Angels / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: A.J. Edwards) — Set in the harsh wilderness of Indiana, this is the story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth. It tells of the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. Cast: Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley. World Premiere The Girl from Nagasaki / Germany, U.S.A., Japan, Italy (Director: Michel Comte, Screenwriters: Anne-Marie Mackay, Ayako Yoshida, Michel Comte) — This 3D feature film production of the classic Puccini opera Madame Butterfly is directed by world-renowned photographer Michel Comte. It's a modern-day tale that starts with the young madame emerging from the ashes of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki. Cast: Christopher Lee, Sasha Alexander, Michael Wincott, Michael Nyqvist, Robert Evans, Polina Semionova. International Premiere Hit Record On TV / U. »
50 Shades of Grey
Max Martini ("Pacific Rim," "Captain Phillips") is in negotiations to play the bodyguard of kinky billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) in Sam Taylor-Johnson's "Fifty Shades of Grey" film adaptation at Universal and Focus.
The story follows the relationship of 27-year-old billionaire Grey and college student Steele. Dakota Johnson, Luke Grimes, Eloise Mumford and Jennifer Ehle are also on board and shooting begins in early December. [Source: Variety]
Daniel Bernhardt ("The Matrix Reloaded," "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire") has been added to the cast of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch's revenge action thriller "John Wick". Bernhardt plays Kirill, a formal Russian military commander and the henchman to the villain Viggo (Michael Nyqvist).
- Garth Franklin
Another great week for the streaming services with some good watches from this year, last year, the year before and about ten or twenty years back. I struggle to believe we can keep up this kind of momentum and variety until Christmas but we will see what happens. At the moment this column is just a pleasure to write due to the variety of stuff available.
One thing that has amazed me this week is how a worthy and quite brilliant drama like Disconnect can just squeak out on to streaming with so little fanfare. Have things really changed that much? Is relevant, timely cinema worthy of discussion made independently really such an off-putting thing to studios and distributors? A few years back when the Mubi service was introduced on the PlayStation Network, it threatened to give us free and pay per view independent cinema that you couldn’t see anywhere else. »
- Chris Holt
Bridget Moynahan ("I, Robot") has joined the cast of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch's contemporary revenge thriller "John Wick". Derek Kolstad penned the script and filming has begun in the New York area.
Keanu Reeves plays a former hit man forced to return to action after thugs steal his car and kill his dog. Moynahan plays Reeves' wife. Willem Dafoe, Alfie Allen, Michael Nyqvist, Adrianne Palicki and Dean Winters also star. [Source: THR]
A Light Beneath Their Feet
- Garth Franklin
Reeves stars as John Wick in the film, an ex-hitman who is being targeted by his old friend (Dafoe), after being hired by a crime boss.
The British actor spoke to Digital Spy earlier this year about his BBC drama Case Histories. »
In John Wick, the film about a former hitman hired to kill his old friend, Keanu Reeves plays the gun for hire and Willem Dafoe is his unwitting acquaintance. Deadline reports that Jason Isaacs has joined the film, which is already shooting in Mill Neck, NY, and The Hollywood Reporter says Bridget Moynahan has signed on too. It’s not clear who Isaacs will play, but Moynahan stars as the wife of Reeves’s character, who is “forced to return to action after thugs steal his car and kill his dog. He finds himself going up against a Russian crime boss, played by Michael Nyqvist.” This "modern revenge thriller" is being directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch and is slated to land in 2014. »
- Delia Paunescu
Bridget Moynahan has joined the cast of John Wick, a contemporary revenge thriller starring Keanu Reeves, which began filming Monday in Mill Neck, N.Y. The film stars Reeves as a former hit man, who is forced to return to action after thugs steal his car and kill his dog. He finds himself going up against a Russian crime boss, played by Michael Nyqvist. The cast also includes Willem Dafoe, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki and Dean Winters. Moynahan plays Reeves’ wife. Wick is being directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch from a screenplay by Derek Kolstad. Producing are Thunder
- Gregg Kilday
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week:
What's It About? Joss Whedon's ("The Avengers") modern retelling of the Shakespeare classic follows two couples with different takes on romance. Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Beatrice (Amy Acker) are older and disdainful of their love, while the sweet young Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Hero (Jillian Morgese) are deeply absorbed by their love.
Why We're In: Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing" is a refreshing and charming take on the classic comedy for its unique blending of the Shakespearian dialogue with a contemporary setting and aesthetic. While it sticks to the original content and doesn't add anything wholly revolutionary, it's nonetheless an entertaining addition to the canon of Shakespeare film adaptations.
Rt & Follow to win @JossWhedon's #MuchAdo About Nothing on Blu-ray! @MuchAdoFilm arrives in stores on 10/8! Rules: http://t.co/QjgiJGpzN5
- moviefone (@moviefone) October 7, 2013 Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of »
- Erin Whitney
This week: All crime, including murder, is legal for one 12-hour period a year in "The Purge," a horror thriller in which Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey play a married couple that tries to keep their family safe during the annual event after an intruder gains access to their fortified home.
Box Office: $64 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 38% Rotten
Storyline: In the near future, crime has been reduced to a minimum as the New Founders have instituted the Purge: an annual 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) is a security-system salesman who feels pretty confident that his wife (Lena Headey) and two children will be safe during the Purge as they »
- Robert DeSalvo
Audiences have come to expect a certain degree of invention in Hollywood sci-fi, whether it’s hearing explosions in space or freezing as soon as you enter it without protection. Europa Report, an ultra low-budgeted found-footage thriller about a crew of astronauts sent into deep space to explore one of Jupiter’s moons, deserves respect for meticulously researching the real science behind its fictional story in order to produce the most unidealized movie about space travel since 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The film follows six astronauts sent by privately funded space exploration company Europa Ventures to explore the titular moon of Jupiter. Recently discovered underground lakes have piqued scientific curiosity, and the astronauts en route clearly believe finding life on Europa is not just possible, but probable. After an unexpected catastrophe results in the loss of communication with Earth and the death of a crew member, the remaining crew of »
- Isaac Feldberg
Written by Philip Gelatt
Directed by Sebastián Cordero
The world’s collective attitude and passion towards deep space exploration has petered out in the last few decades, and nobody, it seems, is more peeved about this than the makers of Europa Report. With grandiose talk of profound discoveries and changing the context in which humanity perceives itself, the sci-fi found footage film clearly has a polemic in mind, but what it has to say, and how Europa Report says it, sometimes makes for a messy story.
The narrative itself centers around a group of six astronauts (Daniel Wu, Anamaria Marinca, Christian Camargo, Karolina Wydra, Sharlto Copley, and Michael Nyqvist) on board a mission to a moon in Jupiter’s orbit called Europa, hoping to find signs of life. Told through closed circuit cameras and personal camcorder footage found on the ship, which are interlaced with post-mission testimonials »
- Justin Li
• Julianne Hough is going the horror route. The Dancing with the Stars alum will play a bride-to-be who deliberately crashes her car to escape a hitchhiker in Curve. Iain Softley, who directed Kate Hudson in The Skeleton Key, is set to direct for horror-masters Blumhouse Productions (Insidious). [Variety]
• Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer is set to star alongside Adelaide Clemens, Zachary Quinto, and Veep’s Timothy Simons in The Girl Who Invented Kissing, about a mysterious female drifter who enchants two brothers. Untamed Heart writer will Tom Sierchio will make his directorial debut on the project. [Variety]
- Lindsey Bahr
Mainstream audiences might have noticed a lack of Keanu Reeves at theaters following the disappointing sci-fi blockbuster The Day The Earth Stood Still. But after taking some time to focus on smaller features like Malcolm Venville.s dramedy Henry.s Crime, the filmmaking documentary Side by Side and the New York-set indie Generation Um., Reeves is returning to the kind of action-packed thrillers that made him a 1990s megastar. The latest of these is John Wick, a revenge thriller that will mark the directing debut of David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, professional stunt men who both worked with Reeves in the Matrix trilogy. Deadline reports The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.s Michael Nyqvist, Game of Thrones. Alfie Allen, Friday Night Lights.s Adrianne Palicki and Dean Winters, best-known by 30 Rock fans as Dennis Duffy, have signed on to join the cast that also includes Willem Dafoe. In the original »
Alfie Allen ("Game of Thrones"), Michael Nyqvist ("Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol"), Adrianne Palicki ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation") and Dean Winters ("30 Rock") have joined the revenge thriller "John Wick".
Keanu Reeves plays an ex-hitman who goes after the man who stole his car and killed his late wife's dog, only to become a target himself when the man turns out to be the son of a crime boss. [Source: Deadline]
The story follows an uptight documentary filmmaker and his wife (Ben Stiller, »
- Garth Franklin
Reeves stars as John Wick, an ex-hitman who is being targeted by his friend (Dafoe), after being hired by a crime boss.
Allen is best known for his role of Theon Greyjoy in HBO's Game of Thrones, while Nyqvist has appeared in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels. »
Disconnect tells the story of a group of people looking to form actual, personal relationships, in today’s technology-focused world. One is a hard-working lawyer who can’t find the time to communicate with his family. Another couple gets sucked into a dangerous situation when their secrets are exposed online. An ex-cop struggles to raise a son who cyber-bullies a classmate. A journalist finds out about a teen performing on an adult site and sees a career-making story in it. The stories of these people collide, showing the impact that today’s wired world can have.
In honor of the film’s release on Blu-Ray, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive special features clip. It features Paula Patton, who plays Cindy Hull in the film, talking about what drew her to the project. We also get to hear director Henry Alex Rubin briefly discussing what made Patton perfect for the role. »
- Alexander Lowe
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