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In terms of manipulating an audience, few things are more reliable than sick or imperiled kids. With that as a given, Fox’s “Red Band Society” labors to feel uplifting, not depressing, by filtering a “The Breakfast Club”-like erosion of high-school caste systems through the leveling effect of a potentially fatal diagnosis. Narrated by a young boy in a coma (a device somewhere between “Reversal of Fortune” and “The Lovely Bones”), the pilot doesn’t do enough to establish these archetypal characters — adults or children. And there’s cause to doubt whether the show will have the time to effectively bridge that gap.
Developed by Margaret Nagle from a Spanish series, and counting the very busy Steven Spielberg among its producers, the program operates on two tracks: focusing on the children brought together by illness — creating an environment, as one helpfully notes, where “the walls break down” — and on »
- Brian Lowry
Read our Toronto International Film Festival review here.
Good Kill reunites Niccol with his Gattaca and Lord of War star Ethan Hawke, who portrays a drone pilot operating out of Las Vegas who begins to question the value of fighting in such a disconnected war. The rest of the cast includes X-Men: First Class stars January Jones and Zoe Kravitz alongside Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jake Abel (The Lovely Bones).
- Gary Collinson
Continuing our coverage of director John Suit’s feature The Scribbler (due out on September 19th via XLrator Media), here’s our interview from the set with the film’s lead, actress Katie Cassidy. Read on.
We visited the set of The Scribbler, an adaptation of the 2006 graphic novel of the same name scripted by Daniel Schaffer, back in June of 2012 while the production was shooting day eighteen of twenty at the infamous Linda Vista Community Hospital in downtown L.A.
Starring Cassidy (“Supernatural”, A Nightmare on Elm Street), Garret Dillahunt (The Last House on the Left), Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Eliza Dushku (Wrong Turn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones), Billy Campbell (“The Killing”), Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience) and Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede), The Scribbler centers on Suki (Cassidy), a young woman confronting her destructive mental illness.
Sitting down with Cassidy, »
- Sean Decker
To mark the release of The Sopranos 15th anniversary complete series on 8th September, we’ve been given 1 boxset to give away.
Tony Soprano (Gandolfini) is the head of two families and sometimes the pressure is too much to bear. As head of the Sopranos crime family, he deals with conniving underbosses, rival families, and the occasional dead body. As husband to his wife, Carmela, and father to his two children, Meadow and Anthony Jr., he deals with financial difficulties, infidelity, and trying to keep his “professional” life from colliding with his family life.
In addition to the outstanding performance from Gandolfini, The Sopranos features a critically acclaimed cast including Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellas, The Basketball Diaries) as Tony’s therapist Dr Jennifer Melfi, Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie, Copland) as Tony’s wife Carmela Soprano, and his mobster pals Michael Imperioli (Goodfellas, The Lovely Bones) as Christopher Moltisanti and Steve Schirripa »
Releasing September 19th through XLrator Media, the sci-fi action-thriller is an adaptation of the 2006 Image Comics graphic novel of the same name. Directed by John Suits and scripted by Daniel Schaffer, the production at the time was shooting day eighteen of twenty at the Linda Vista Community Hospital in downtown L.A.
Starring Katie Cassidy (“Supernatural”, A Nightmare on Elm Street), Garret Dillahunt (The Last House on the Left), Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Eliza Dushku (Wrong Turn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones), Billy Campbell (“The Killing”), Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience) and Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede), The Scribbler centers on Suki (Cassidy), a »
- Sean Decker
Virtually nobody at the start of the summer movie season predicted that the biggest film at the North American box office this summer would be Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a film full of mostly unknown characters that was opening in August in the normally dreadful-at-the-box-office genre of sci-fi comedy. Now, after a summer of muted returns for some of the most anticipated movies, all box office prognosticators look like a bunch of suckers.
Guardians of the Galaxy is officially the highest-grossing domestic film of 2014 – surpassing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, another Marvel film – and will probably remain so until Katniss Everdeen heats up the screen in November. It is also the biggest Marvel movie ever to not feature Peter Parker or Tony Stark. It kept its unstoppable box-office run going this weekend, too, taking in $16.3 million and the #1 spot. That is a tiny 5% drop from its gross last weekend, »
- Jordan Adler
A horrific road accident leaves a teenage girl stranded between life and death in “If I Stay,” a life-flashing-before-her-eyes melodrama that similarly hovers in a weird limbo between sensitivity and clumsiness. Out-of-body experiences and gooey romantic interludes aside, this adaptation of Gayle Forman’s 2009 bestseller hinges on the sort of relatably horrific worst-nightmare scenario that naturally invites, and rewards, a certain level of viewer empathy. But while many in the audience may well find themselves getting misty-eyed as the screen fades to white and softly crooned rock tunes flood the soundtrack, the overall execution is so pedestrian that it’s possible to feel more moved by the filmmakers’ good intentions than by the actual emotional content onscreen. Warner Bros.’ attempt to cash in on the current craze for mortality-obsessed Ya material — call it “The Fault in Our Cars” — should enjoy decent B.O. staying power among the book’s fans and beyond. »
- Justin Chang
A new mind-f#cking trailer for John Suits' 'The Scribbler' has been unleashed by XLrator Media. The gorgeous Katie Cassidy -below ('Arrow', 'Kill For Me') stars as Suki, a woman with multiple personalities who tries out an experimental machine to help cure her 'issues'. The movie is based on the 2006 graphic novel by Dan Schaffer and looks like it'll certainly bring the pages of the original to life. 'The Scribbler' also stars Michelle Trachtenberg ('Gossip Girl'), Eliza Dushku ('Dollhouse'), Gina Gershon ('Bound'), Sasha Grey ('Would You Rather') and Ashlynn Yennie ('The Human Centipede (First Sequence)'). Garret Dillahunt ('Winter's Bone'), Michael Imperioli ('The Lovely Bones'), Billy Campbell ('The Killing') and Kunal Nayyar ('The Big Bang Theory'). Check out the trailer below. »
Tammy Girl: Falcone’s Debut a Tepid Turkey
Rex Reed might have been better served to save his wayward disparagements about the cinematic talents of Melissa McCarthy for her turn in Tammy, even though his cacomorphobia and repellant misogyny would still have been best left for a conversation amongst a likeminded coterie. After box office hits with Identity Thief and The Heat in 2013, McCarthy’s star power has afforded her the chance to get her own vehicles off the ground. Pity then that her first major venture, co-written and directed by husband Ben Falcone, is so miserably underwhelming. Reminiscent of how Chris Farley’s comedic talents were often squandered on sub-par projects in the 90’s, McCarthy seems intent to repeat the trashy lass formula that’s served her so well, but her eponymous protagonist grates rather than skates above the mediocrity of the material.
Recently fired from her job in a fast food joint, »
- Nicholas Bell
They're talented, individual, but could, possibly, do with a bit of editorial guidance. Could these directors use a boss, we wonder?
In truth, we're a bit frightened about this one. Several times in pub/coffee shop/cider drinking in the park conversations, we've chatted about film directors who perhaps have got too powerful, that they seem to be able to get their own way without having someone to call bullshit on them - be it a good boss, or a very good friend that they trust and listen to.
This can be a very good thing. After all, we want film directors to be free to tell their stories. We don't want studio suits calling the shots. And some directors use their independence wondefully well, without losing what bought it to them in the first place (so, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and such like).
A new UK one-sheet for the return of those Hasbro heroes the 'Transformers' has landed. The poster gives us another look at the freshened up Optimus Prime and the trio of main cast members new to the franchise; Mark Wahlberg ('Ted'), Nicola Peltz ('Bates Motel') and Jack Reynor. The next chapter in the semi-rebooted series kicks off in theatres in a few weeks time hoping to revive some Autobot attention from audiences. The fourth installment also stars Stanley Tucci ('The Lovely Bones'), Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing ('Resident Evil: Retribution'), Titus Welliver ('Lost') and Kelsey Grammer ('X-Men: The Last Stand'). Check out the new poster below. »
Thirteen years since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, star Viggo Mortensen isn’t holding back in expressing his true feelings for the Peter Jackson trilogy. In a candid interview with The Telegraph, the 55-year-old actor calls the process of making the epic films an epic disaster.
Mortensen, who portrayed Aragorn in the trilogy, says Jackson and producers “were in a lot of trouble” before the first film proved to be a massive hit with both critics and moviegoers. “Officially, could say that he was finished in December 2000 — he’d shot all three »
- Amber Ray
Viggo Mortensen was never interested in returning for "The Hobbit" trilogy. He claims the reason is because his character doesn't appear in the books, but it seems that another reason is that he's not a fan of "Lord of the Rings." Actually, he likes the first film. But since director Peter Jackson blew most of his budget on it, there was a delay to finish the trilogy. And once more money was allocated, it was a rush to the finish line, with most of the effort going to special effects. "It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane," Mortensen explained. "In the first movie, yes, there's Rivendell, and Mordor, but there's sort of an organic quality to it, actors acting with each other, and real landscapes; it's grittier. The second movie already started ballooning, for my taste, »
Most filmmakers love technical toys, and Peter Jackson is a shining example of that. The New Zealand director aggressively pursues the latest in technology for his films, sometimes resulting in advancements for filmmaking across the board. Mostly it works, pretty much everything Weta has done has been gold for example, but sometimes it doesn't such as the push for higher frame rates.
The worry with any director who loves playing with new toys is if those toys are enough of a distraction that they interfere and/or hamper the narrative they are trying to convey. When the tech stops becoming a tool used for a function and starts being used just for the sake of being used, the result is often bloat or far more important aspects of the film (script, performances, pacing, etc.) suffering a quality drop from lack of adequate attention. The "Star Wars" prequels serve as an excellent example of that problem. »
- Garth Franklin
In an interview with The Guardian, Viggo Mortensen has gotten directly to the point when it comes to Peter Jackson and his films, particularly everything since The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring up to The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He's not exactly saying anything new as he notes Jackson's increasing interest and use of advanced filmmaking technology and how he believes it has replaced his earlier, more subtle work: Mortensen thinks - rightly - that The Fellowship of the Ring turned out the best of the three, perhaps largely because it was shot in one go. "It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane. But it's true that the first script was better organised," he says. "Also, Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, »
- Brad Brevet
If you thought the second and third installments in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" series -- "The Two Towers" and "Return of the King" -- were a little too CGI-ed, you're not alone: Star Viggo Mortensen thinks so, too.
Mortensen revealed his distaste for the latter two films in the blockbuster trilogy in an interview with The Telegraph, where he discussed the chaos surrounding the filming of the movies, and the uncertainty over whether or not the final two films would even get a theatrical release. According to the actor, Jackson had blown through his budget making the first film, "The Fellowship of the Ring," and it wasn't until that movie went on to score big at the box office that the other two were officially greenlit for the multiplex, and earmarked for extra cash to finish their effects.
"Fellowship" is Mortensen's favorite of the trio, he said, »
- Katie Roberts
New Transformers: Age of Extinction images have arrived online. In the movie, Mark Wahlberg plays a burgeoning inventor/family man who runs into trouble when he accidentally discovers a beat-up Transformer. These images feature Stanley Tucci and Li Bingbing, and according to TFW2005, Tucci plays arrogant designer while Bingbing is the head of the human-created Transformers program, Su Yueming. We still don't know much about the movie, but I know this: Stanley Tucci will probably come out unscathed. No matter how terrible the film, he's always great (e.g. Jack the Giant Slayer, The Lovely Bones). Of course, give him a great movie, and he's unstoppable. You can't go wrong with Tucci. Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars The film also stars Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, T.J. Miller, Titus Welliver, Han Geng, and Sophia Myles. Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in 2D, »
- Matt Goldberg
Mystery scribe Laura Lippman worked as a journalist before shifting her focus to fiction, just as filmmaker Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil,” “West of Memphis”) began in documentaries before adapting Lippman’s novel “Every Secret Thing.” The analogies end there, however, since Berg’s narrative debut lacks much in the way of either poetry or realism, leaving only the clunky dynamics of a fairly predictable missing-persons case — for which screenwriter Nicole Holofcener carries at least part of the blame. Despite its name cast, short of a significant re-edit, not much can save what feels like a Lifetime version of “The Lovely Bones.”
Though the title promises big revelations, “Every Secret Thing” delivers only two twists — one at the beginning, the other at the end. Eight-year-olds Alice and Ronnie (Brynne Norquist and Eva Grace Kellner) are the kind of girls who get picked on by the more popular kids in school. »
- Peter Debruge
Originally titled How to Catch a Monster, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut was just accepted into the Un Certain Regard selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival (see the lineup here) under the title Lost River and now we have our first look at two pictures from the upcoming fantasy, which Warner Bros. will release later this year. On top of directing, Gosling also wrote the screenplay, as for the actors, he's cast his Drive co-star Christina Hendricks in the lead role alongside his The Place Beyond the Pines co-stars Ben Mendelsohn and Eva Mendes and Saoirse Ronan, whom he would have starred with if he'd remained in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. Described as a fantasy/thriller, the film centers on a single mother (Hendricks) who's swept into a dark underworld, while her teenage son discovers a road that leads him to a secret underwater town. These images alone »
- Brad Brevet
I’m so used to seeing Chloë Moretz either kicking ass as a masked vigilante or with extraordinary abilities in a horror remake (Let Me In, Carrie) that it’s always a bit jarring to see the young actress play a, you know, regular teenager. The trailer for If I Stay, an adaptation of Gayle Forman’s bestselling novel, features Moretz caressing the cello and canoodling with boys. If that’s all this story had to offer I wouldn’t have bothered posting that cloying stuff to a site dedicated to all things geek. I haven’t read Forman’s novel, so just as I was about to close the window for the trailer, the supernatural/other plane aspect of the film kicked in. Here’s the synopsis for the movie to give you a clue as to what’s in store for you so you don’t make the »
- Eli Reyes
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