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'Chef', 'Search Party' and 'Whiplash' in Today's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

6 hours ago

I just walked in the door after seeing Jon Favreau's Chef (which I really enjoyed), so I'm not at all to see the R rating for this little family, road trip comedy as the F-bombs fly quite freely throughout. And I have to tell you, after Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, I have to assume there is a lot of negative energy Favreau is working out in this film and the end result is a lot of fun to watch. Also in today's ratings bulletin is Damien Chazelle's Whiplash, which was just announced this morning as part of the Director's Fortnight selection at the Cannes Film Festival (full lineup here) following its breakout Sundance premiere. And I hadn't heard of this one until just now, but Universal will release Search Party this September, which is directed and co-written by Old School screenwriter Scot Armstrong and stars the likes of Alison Brie, »

- Brad Brevet

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Jessica Chastain Cast as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's 'Blonde'

7 hours ago

I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention to realize Naomi Watts was no longer attached to star as Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' imaginary Marilyn Monroe memoir Blonde, but that's the case and today a replacement has been found in Jessica Chastain. The Wrap reports the news and while the script, written by Dominik, is said to be good to go, the film is still without a start date. It would however, seem a safe bet that filming would begin this year as I would also expect additional casting will be announced shortly. With the Cannes Film Festival coming up it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the film shopped around the Marche du Film, looking to lock up international distribution as Brad Pitt's Plan B is set to produce. As for the story, Oates is said to have. »

- Brad Brevet

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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Casting Near Complete, Budgeted at $175-200 Million

10 hours ago

Pretty much all Star Was: Episode VII news as of late has come via Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn as of late and the same continues today as he discusses the anticipated sequel with Bloomberg. First off, some paparazzi shots from Abu Dhabi showed some second unit photography on the film had already begun, which Horn confirmed saying, "We did some second unit work in Abu Dhabi and other places, because we have all these locations we have to film and we have to give it that Star-Warsian look." Principal photography, however, has yet to commence. As for the casting, Horn says, "It's almost complete. We're not prepared to announce it yet, but we will be very shortly," which continues to lead me to believe we'll have an announcement on May 4th... You know, "Star Wars Day". When it comes to the budget number in the headline, that's straight »

- Brad Brevet

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Trailer for Russian Hockey Documentary 'Red Army'

11 hours ago

Red Army (directed by Gabe Polsky) will play the 2014 Cannes Film Festival (full lineup here) and the first trailer is online and it looks excellent. The footage of Don Cherry and Ronald Reagan alone make me want to see it. Here's the official synopsis: Following the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, Red Army tells the story of the nation's famed Red Army hockey team through the eyes of its captain Slava Fetisov. Whether he was pitted against enemies in the political arena or on the ice, Fetisov's story provides a rare glimpse behind the Iron Curtain of the 1970s and '80s by mirroring the social and political forces at work in the world around him. While helping pave the way for his nation to cross over into the next century, this one man demonstrated how sports could not only be an avenue for creative expression »

- Brad Brevet

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'Foxcatcher' Lands November Release Date

11 hours ago

I think the newly announced November 14 release date for Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher suggests we can probably expect it to play either Toronto, Telluride, Venice or all three before it makes what can only be expected to be a strong run at Oscar. The official unveiling will come in May as it plays in competition at the Cannes Film Festival where critics will get the first look at the film starring Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo as Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark and Dave Schultz whose relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune, leads to murder. In other release date news, the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler comedy, The Nest, at Universal has been slated for a December 18, 2015 release. Now here's the trailer for Foxcatcher, which I've already placed highly on my early Best Picture predictions chart. sb id="858301" height="281" width »

- Brad Brevet

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Podcast: 'Transcendence' Flops and We Argue About It and Answer Some Voice Mails

12 hours ago

Transcendence flopped over the weekend and so we must discuss as we bring on Vince from FilmDrunk.com and Kevin from The Playlist to see if we can figure out why it failed as well as get into spoiler territory when it comes to the film's overall critical reception. On top of that we answer your questions and voice mail, play some games and discuss whatever else comes to mind. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add those to the show and respond directly. »

- Brad Brevet

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Watch: Explore the Bloody Effects of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives'

12 hours ago

This visual effects breakdown reel showing how they made Nicolas Winding Refn's eternally bloody Only God Forgives even bloodier is a wonderful look at some visual effects wizardry, supervised by Martin Madsen. Included is a look at how you chop off an arm, slice a neck, chop a man's torso in half, digitally remove dolly tracks, add some bullet holes and gunfre and stab a man in the eye. Oh, yeah, it's pretty gory and probably not safe for work, but when you get a chance give it a watch. »

- Brad Brevet

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First Five Minutes from 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Plus New Pictures

15 hours ago

Dreamworks has released the first five minutes from their upcoming, sure-fire animated hit How to Train Your Dragon 2, which is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival before hitting theaters on June 13. The sequel brings back all the familiar voices beginning with Jay Baruchel as Hiccup who reintroduces us to Berk in the first five minutes from the film, featured at the bottom of this post. Back for more with Baruchel are the voices of Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Christopher Mintz-Plasse along with newcomers Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington and Djimon Hounsou whom I'm sure are more than happy to get in on this gravy train. Check out the first five minutes from the film directly below, followed by several new pictures and I've added a bunch of character posters on page two. sb id="917461" height="360" width="640" Check out a »

- Brad Brevet

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Two New Pictures of Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer'

15 hours ago

So far we've seen an early first look at Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and, more recently, a teaser poster, and today USA Today has revealed two more images from the film along with our first look at Chloe Grace Moretz as the young girl Washington's character comes out of retirement to rescue. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film finds Denzel playing McCall, a former black ops commando who has faked his death to live a quiet life in Boston. When he comes out of his self-imposed retirement to rescue a young girl, Teri (Moretz), he finds himself face to face with ultra-violent Russian gangsters. As he serves vengeance against those who brutalize the helpless, McCall's desire for justice is reawakened. If someone has a problem, the odds are stacked against them, and they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. The film is set for a September 26 release and co-stars Marton Csokas, »

- Brad Brevet

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David Cronenberg Wrote a Book Titled 'Consumed', Here's the Nsfw Trailer

15 hours ago

David Cronenberg will be in attendance at the Cannes Film Festival with his latest film, Maps to the Stars starring Robert Pattinson, Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Sarah Gadon, Mia Wasikowska and Olivia Williams and in-between directing feature films it seems he's managed to finish his debut novel, "Consumed", and boy does it sound like quite the ride. Here's the official synopsis: The exhilarating debut novel by iconic filmmaker David Cronenberg: the story of two journalists whose entanglement in a French philosopher's death becomes a surreal journey into global conspiracy. Stylish and camera-obsessed, Naomi and Nathan thrive on the yellow journalism of the social-media age. They are lovers and competitors--nomadic freelancers in pursuit of sensation and depravity, encountering each other only in airport hotels and browser windows. Naomi finds herself drawn to the headlines surrounding Celestine and Aristide Arosteguy, Marxist philosophers and sexual libertines. Celestine has been found dead and mutilated in her Paris apartment. »

- Brad Brevet

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'Sorcerer', 'Riot in Cell Block 11' and 'Big Bad Wolves' Lead Today's New DVD and Blu-ray Releases

15 hours ago

Sorcerer My number one pick of the week is obviously the newly remastered Blu-ray release of William Friedkin's Sorcerer, which I already reviewed. The only issue with this one is that it doesn't come with any additional features, but the film alone is enough to consider adding this one to your collection. Read my full review right here.

Big Bad Wolves Big Bad Wolves gained notoriety when Quentin Tarantino declared it the best film of 2013. It's an interesting movie, but I wouldn't say it was the best of last year or any year for that matter. Here's a snippet from my review: Big Bad Wolves ... raises questions of "How far is too farc" and questions a victim's rights for revenge. I like that. I like those shades of grey. I like the idea of not knowing, the question of regret if you don't follow your instinct versus the voice »

- Brad Brevet

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So That 'Point Blank' Remake, 'The Target', isn't the 'Point Blank' Remake I Thought It Was

15 hours ago

When I heard The Target was a remake of Point Blank, I immediately thought it was a remake of the 1967 film from John Boorman starring Lee Marvin as a man who was double-crossed by his wife and friend and left for dead. Nope. It's actually a remake of a 2010 French film I don't remember ever hearing about, but I guess it's a pretty big deal as not only is there a Korean remake that will be playing Cannes, but apparently a U.S. remake in the works. The version hitting Cannes is directed by singularly named Chang and the first trailer has just arrived and it's one of those countdown movies -- "They have 3 days!". Here's the synopsis: Once a skilled mercenary, Yeo-hoon now leads a normal life. One day he goes on an errand and enters an office to discover a man murdered. The killers also attack and chase »

- Brad Brevet

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2014 Summer Box Office Top Ten Predictions, Global and Domestic

16 hours ago

I've been asked by another site to list what I think will be the top ten films at this summer's global box office. No small task, but maybe it will be a little easier than predicting domestic results because only the most popular will be considered while films like Sex Tape, 22 Jump Street, Tammy and Think Like a Man Too don't really stand a chance. All that said, what this will definitely do is help me prepare for the Summer Box Office Challenge on the podcast where the draft for the months of May-August is coming up shortly. Taking a look at the obvious contenders we have The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Age of Extinction, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy and probably Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And that's seven so we only need three more. »

- Brad Brevet

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Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio Target Steve Jobs Biopic

21 April 2014 3:34 PM, PDT

After the news David Fincher would not direct the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs biopic at Sony, I though a great replacement would be Bennett Miller, but Sony seems to have already set their sights on a different filmmaker and may even have a star to go with him. THR reports Danny Boyle (127 Hours) is in talks to direct with Leonardo DiCaprio eyed to star in the title role. Had Fincher taken the gig he was reportedly determined to get Christian Bale as Jobs. This would serve as a reteaming for Boyle and DiCaprio who worked together on The Beach 14 years ago, of which I revisited just last year. Personally I love the pairing, but I'm not immediately sold on DiCaprio as Jobs. Then again, I haven't read the script and am not overly familiar with Jobs to say whether or not DiCaprio would be a good fit. Of course, »

- Brad Brevet

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First Preview for the Final Season of 'True Blood'

21 April 2014 3:20 PM, PDT

HBO has released the first look at the seventh and final season of "True Blood", set to premiere on June 22. If I'm not mistaken we left off with Eric (Alexander Skargard) naked and bursting into flames on a snowy mountain top in Sweden, oh, and a bunch of infected vampires are going bonkos. Now, HBO will deliver the final season and hopefully they can turn this ship around as it has really gone off the rails. It has always been a ridiculous piece of entertainment, but it has just been rather boring for the last three seasons or so, all of it largely building up to just one big episode rather than cool moments throughout. Check out this first tease for the upcoming season and see what you think. Personally I'd love it if it went entirely apocalyptic and everyone died. I mean... why notc sb id="917285" height="281" width="500" »

- Brad Brevet

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New Trailer and Featurette for 'The Giver' Starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep

21 April 2014 3:01 PM, PDT

The Weinstein Co. has released a new 60-second trailer for The Giver and I also have for you a featurette for the young adult adaptation that was released last week. The fact it's a young adult adaptation definitely causes me to raise an eyebrow, wondering just what kind of attempt at a movie we're going to get, but the director being Philip Noyce and with a cast that includes Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep is definitely worthy of notice. The film is an adaptation of Lois Lowry's 1994 Newbery Medal winning novel and centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Alexander Skarsgard, Taylor Swift (ugh) and Katie Holmes co-star. The film is set »

- Brad Brevet

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Soderbergh Offers Butcher's Cut of 'Heaven's Gate'

21 April 2014 2:32 PM, PDT

Steven Soderbergh posted, under the pseudonym Mary Ann Bernard (his mother's name), an edited version of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate on his official website, Extension 765 admitting an obsession for the film with the following reasoning for what he's done: As a dedicated cinema fan, I was obsessed with Heaven's Gate from the moment it was announced in early 1979, and unfortunately history has shown that on occasion a fan can become so obsessed they turn violent toward the object of their obsession, which is what happened to me during the holiday break of 2006. This is the result. The reason it's called the "butcher's cut" is because it runs only 108 minutes, exactly 108 minutes shorter than the recently released Criterion version. Included at the opening is a note saying, "I acknowledge that what I have done with this film is both immoral and illegal." And there is no embed so you'll have »

- Brad Brevet

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Box Office Actuals: 'Heaven is for Real' Moves into Second Behind 'Captain America 2'

21 April 2014 2:20 PM, PDT

Captain America: The Winter Soldier held the top spot at the box office this weekend for the third weekend in a row, but newcomer Heaven is for Real was able to leapfrog Rio 2 and score a second place finish with a $22.5 million Easter weekend, and a total of $29.5 million since its Wednesday opening. In fourth was Transcendence, slipping even further, down to $10.8 million for its opening frame followed by A Haunted House 2, which also slipped from estimates, down to $8.8 million for the weekend. The weekend's other new wide release was Disneynature's Bears and it seems people must not like bears as much as they like chimps, African cats, oceans or the Earth as this is the worst opening for a Disneynature film yet at only $4.7 million. I've listed the current top ten from the points and accuracy leaderboards directly below and you can find the full leaderboard here. »

- Brad Brevet

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The Singularity: 'Transcendence' is Much More than Just Another Man vs. Machine Movie

21 April 2014 11:54 AM, PDT

I was as skeptical as anyone before walking into Transcendence. I figured I knew exactly where it was going to go: man (Johnny Depp) is uploaded into a computer, wife (Rebecca Hall) believes it's still him to a damaging degree, computer man gets drunk on power, harms humanity and wife is eventually forced to pull the plug. And, if you look at it simply on the surface level, that's exactly what Transcendence is and the filmmaking and love story is largely detrimental to the overall quality, but there is so much more to grasp onto than this film is given credit for. Whether offering ideas and discussion points makes a movie worth seeing I won't argue, but I felt a need to lay out exactly what I took away from Transcendence in hopes it might make people look at it a little differently or at least give it a chance »

- Brad Brevet

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From Tribeca to You, Joss Whedon's 'In Your Eyes', Now Available Online

21 April 2014 9:10 AM, PDT

This past weekend the new Joss Whedon-scripted film In Your Eyes, directed by Brin Hill (Ball Don't Lie) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and immediately after the screening the film was made available around the world online with a special announcement from Whedon himself (see video below). Starring Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey and Steve Howey the film is set amidst the frozen East Coast winter. Rebecca (Kazan) is withering away in a life of cocktail parties and lonely nights as the sheltered, soft-spoken wife of a successful doctor. Across the country in sun-drenched, arid New Mexico, charismatic ex-con Dylan (Stahl-David) is struggling to find his footing and a fresh start. When these polar opposites realize they share an inexplicable connection, a unique metaphysical romance begins. In preparation for the worldwide release, the film is being released with Spanish, German, Portuguese, French and »

- Brad Brevet

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