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Meet some of the best directors working today, who haven't gone down the blockbuster movie route...
Ever find it a bit lame when the same big name directors get kicked around for every high profile project? Christopher Nolan, Jj Abrams, maybe the Russo Brothers? With so much focus on blockbuster films these days, getting a major franchise job seems like the main acknowledgement of success for a filmmaker. And yes, both the financial and creative rewards can be great. But there are plenty of other directors out there, doing their own thing, from art house auteurs to Dtv action specialists.
Here are 25 examples.
Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve probably seen Lee Hardcastle’s ultraviolent claymations shared on social media. He first started getting noticed for his two-minute remake of The Thing, starring the famous stop motion penguin Pingu. Far from just a cheap one-joke mash-up, »
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Avengers: Age of Ultron (superhero sequel; Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson; premieres 10/2 on cable Mod and Blu-ray/DVD; rated PG-13) Entourage (comedy spin-off of TV show; Adrian Grenier, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly; rated R) Poltergeist (horror remake; Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams; rated...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
[Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "Digging for Fire," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] Read More: Rosemarie DeWitt on How Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Reflected Her Own Life Experience The unearthing of a rusty gun and dirty bone from a backyard bank seems like a surface setup to a murder mystery, but as the latest entry in Joe Swanberg's oeuvre, "Digging for Fire" has an ulterior motive. Swanberg has always explored relationship dynamics in his films, from long-distance challenges ("Lol," "Nights and Weekends") to ambiguous workplace romances ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," "Drinking Buddies"), but none of his films have been as symbolically meaningful or emotionally mature as this one. "Digging" »
- An Banh
Digging for Fire, 2015.
Directed by Joe Swanberg.
The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.
Digging for Fire is somewhat of a bait and switch; the brief synopsis from the studio above market the film as husband and father Tim (Jake Johnson) unintentionally stumbling across both a buried gun and potential human bone while doing some gardening at the house of the friend he, his wife Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt), and toddler child (actually played by director Joe Swanberg’s son, Jude Swanberg) are vacationing at during their absence, and this discovery triggering an already expanding rift in their marriage. You can’t say they lied, but the summary sure is misleading.
After being »
- Robert Kojder
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
"Mad Max: Fury Road"
Tuesday, September 1 will be a lovely day -- oh, what a lovely day! -- 'cause that's when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases "Fury Road" on 2D Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and DVD. Here are the special features on both Blu-ray editions: "Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road," "Mad Max: Fury on Four Wheels," "The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa," "The Tools of the Wasteland," "The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome," "Fury Road: Crash & Smash," and deleted scenes. The "Mad Max 4-Film Blu-ray Anthology" will also be on sale September 1, including "Mad Max," "The Road Warrior," "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" on Blu-ray, plus the documentary "Madness of Max" on DVD, and "Mad Max Anthology" trading cards. »
- Gina Carbone
A version of this story first appeared in the “Down to the Wire” issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine. Christina Hendricks was “Mad Men’s” most improbable breakout star. She failed the audition to play Don’s junkie artist lover, Midge — Rosemarie DeWitt got that plum role instead — but landed another small role as Joan Holloway, head secretary at the Sterling Cooper ad agency. But the brainy bombshell part got bigger and bigger, and Hendricks, 30, has earned six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, plus two Critics’ Choice Television Awards. In the pilot, Joan was supposed to be. »
- Tim Appelo
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Aloha (comedy-drama; Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams; available with bonus gag reel; rated PG-13) Digging for Fire (drama-comedy; Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom; available now on cable On Demand and in theaters; rated R) Where Hope Grows (drama; Brooke Burns, Kris Polaha; rated PG-13) Queen of Earth (drama-thriller; Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston; premieres 8/26 on cable Mod and in theaters...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
Read More: Rosemarie DeWitt on How Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Reflected Her Own Life Experience If you're not familiar with Joe Swanberg (and if you call yourself an indie film fan, for shame), you should know that his films are largely unscripted and freewheeling explorations into relationships in which — let's be honest — nothing much happens. Whether you label his films, which include "All the Light in the Sky," "Drinking Buddies," "Happy Christmas" and most recently, "Digging for Fire," mumblecore or not, the fact is they rely on likable, flawed characters who talk...a lot. Over the years, Swanberg has formed an inner core of collaborators who have grown increasingly more established, which may be why his latest film "Digging for Fire" has been pegged as his "most mainstream." The film, which premiered at Sundance last January, stars Rosemarie DeWitt and Jake Johnson as a married couple with a. »
- Paula Bernstein
Read More: Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Marks a New Stage in His Career Collaborating with indie stalwart Joe Swanberg once more after the success of "Drinking Buddies," Jake Johnson turns in one of his best performances to date in "Digging For Fire." The actor stars opposite Rosemarie DeWitt in the story of a married couple who have separate adventures over the course of one eventful weekend. During the New York City premiere of the film on Tuesday, August 18, Johnson joined Rooftop Films at Brooklyn's Industry City for a humorous post-screening Q&A. In the exclusive video above, the actor reveals what it's like working with the mumblecore filmmaker, from acting opposite his son, Jude, to some of his singular on-set habits. "Digging For Fire" is now playing in select theaters. Read More: Rosemarie DeWitt on How Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Reflected »
- Zack Sharf
It’s nice to see that as Joe Swanberg is able to attract more robust, big-name casts, his no-frills style of filmmaking still remains focused. Presumably, that’s what drives these actors to collaborate with Swanberg. He gives them a chance to create drama, tension, romance, and – most importantly – a sense of realism, through nothing but sharpened character work. Swanberg forces actors to bring their A-game, which translates into heartfelt and sincere performances yet again in his latest film, Digging For Fire - an exploration of yet another conflicting crossroads that most of us will eventually come to, told with the understanding and beauty of life’s purity.
Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt star as a couple in need of some relief, so they seek sanctuary at a desolate hideaway owned by one of Lee’s (DeWitt) clients. Tim (Johnson) should be spending the weekend finalizing taxes, but when Lee »
- Matt Donato
Read More: Review: Joe Swanberg's 'Digging for Fire' Marks a New Stage in His Career The staycation takes an awkward turn in Joe Swanberg's latest feature, the star-packed "Digging for Fire." Lead by Swanberg's co-writer, Jake Johnson, "Digging for Fire" chronicles what happens when one seemingly secure La couple -- Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt -- have their worlds upended by a buried bone and a rusty gun. The film opens with the long-married pair settling into a swanky home for an extended stay, the residence of one of Lee's (DeWitt) yoga clients, an actress with an apparent taste for dark wood and seclusion. Along with their baby (Swanberg's own son, Jude Swanberg), Tim (Johnson) and Lee try to soak up as much relaxation as possible, a plan that's pretty much thrown out the window when Tim finds a bone and a gun on the property. As »
- Kate Erbland
Dem Bones: Swanberg’s Mellow Examination of Married Life
A married couple’s weekend apart turns into the sort of mildly enterprising exploration of what happens when the cat’s away in Digging For Fire as two people fantasize about the possibilities now mostly unavailable after time delivers them into the routine of marriage and the presence of children. At times grasping a sort of quiet wisdom in its representation of identities rebelling against the sanctions of social expectations, Joe Swanberg’s film is also equal parts breezy and ominous (thanks to a central metaphor used to appealing effect) in its suggestions. A cast packed to the gills with notable indie names, comedians, and stars of more enduring celebrity, Swanberg’s managed to move well beyond the roughhewn Mumblecore technical trappings for which he’s been routinely criticized and has lodged himself firmly as a notable name in the American indie scene. »
- Nicholas Bell
This was previously reviewed as part of JoBlo.com's Sundance 2015 coverage. Plot: The discovery of a human bone and an old gun sends a husband (Jake Johnson) and wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) on separate adventures over a few days in L.A that will test the strength of each partner's marital devotion. Review: It's not Sundance without Joe Swanberg, right? An insanely prolific director, the... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
Chicago – Actor Jake Johnson is expanding his presence in movies, and much of that has to do with his collaboration with director – and Chicago native – Joe Swanberg. Johnson and Swanberg have teamed up for their second film, after the success of 2013’s “Drinking Buddies, and are listed as co-writers in “Digging for Fire.”
“Digging for Fire” is a character study of Tim and Lee – portrayed by Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt – at some serious crossroads. They are in their thirties, have been married for a number of years and have a child, but both seemed stalled in the “is that all?” syndrome. When Lee’s wealthy client asks them to housesit, a series of events take place that separate them for a night, and allows them the freedom to explore some other possibilities. The film is filled with symbolic purpose, questions of life that are familiar to couples in that age range, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Read More: Podcast: Joe Swanberg and ‘Jurassic World’ Are Kindred Spirits. No, Really. The unearthing of a rusty gun and dirty bone from a backyard bank seems like a surface setup to a murder mystery, but as the latest entry in Joe Swanberg's oeuvre, "Digging for Fire" has an ulterior motive. Swanberg has always explored relationship dynamics in his films, from long-distance challenges ("Lol," "Nights and Weekends") to ambiguous workplace romances ("Hannah Takes the Stairs," "Drinking Buddies"), but none of his films have been as symbolically meaningful or emotionally mature as this one. "Digging" finds Swanberg taking a different narrative tack by pitting Jake Johnson against Rosemarie DeWitt in an adventure tale about marriage, parenthood, and complacency. Tim (Johnson) and Lee (DeWitt) are a married couple with a three-year-old son named Jude (Jude Swanberg), house-sitting for a colleague in the country for a weekend. »
- An Banh
Let’s get it out of the way immediately: Joe Swanberg’s “Digging For Fire” has been dubbed a more indie-oriented, small-scale “Eyes Wide Shut.” While the prolific filmmaker’s latest is also about the anxieties common to marriage and is dedicated to the memory of relationship-curious filmmaker Paul Mazursky (“An Unmarried Woman,” “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”), the funny/sad “Digging For Fire” finds Swanberg using different approaches to track some similar ideas. Set in Southern California, married couple Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt) are two East L.A.-side dwellers who decide to house-sit for one of Lee's yoga clients. They use the empty modern house in the Hollywood hills as an excuse for a weekend retreat, bringing their three-year-old son (played by Jude Swanberg, stealing just as many scenes as he did in his father's previous film “Happy Christmas”). As a yoga instructor, Lee is spiritually inclined, »
- Rodrigo Perez
And now, another installment of What Would Jake Johnson Do? This week's scenario comes courtesy of the new Joe Swanberg–directed film Digging for Fire (out August 21 in theaters and August 25 on VOD), in which Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt play a married Los Angeles couple offered the chance to house-sit for one of her wealthy clients. They're keen on the idea, but not long after they've moved in for the weekend with son Jude in tow, our couple discovers two odd items hidden in the yard: a rusty old gun, and what seems to be a bone. So what should Jake Johnson do about it? Should he ignore those clues and knuckle down on the family taxes like he promised his wife? Or should he pursue these mysterious items and see where they lead? Press play on this exclusive clip, and watch as Johnson and DeWitt argue their positions. »
- Kyle Buchanan
Exclusive: Rosemarie DeWitt has joined the cast of Lionsgate’s La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s musical film set in contemporary Los Angeles and starring Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as the aspiring actress he falls in love with. Dewitt is set to play Gosling sister in the pic, which follows Gosling and Stone’s characters as they discover that balancing love and art in such the cutthroat climate of La isn't easy. The Lionsgate/Summit pic has already set a… »
Director Gil Kenan and producer Sam Raimi's Poltergeist remake starring Sam Rockwell (Moon), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Jane Adams (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is headed to Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital HD and DVD on a simultaneously September 29, 2015 release date in plenty of time for Halloween.
The Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and Digital versions of Poltergeist (2015) on home video will include the extended cut that adds approximately seven minutes back into the film, pushing the run time from 94 minutes to 101 minutes. The DVD edition will not including the extended cut, while both Blu-ray combo packs offer options to watch the theatrical or extended editions. The 3D version is exclusively the theatrical cut.
Even more excised footage can be found in the bonus features where an alternate ending awaits. Here's the extras rundown:
Poltergeist (2015) will be presented »
Lead actor Johnson teamed up to write the screenplay with mumblecore godfather Swanberg, who turned Digging for Fire into his most star-studded feature yet.
The duo previously teamed up on Drinking Buddies back in 2013.
Digging for Fire opens on July 25 in the Us. A UK release is yet to be set. »
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