1-20 of 42 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
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
In If I Stay, Chloe Moretz plays a talented musician on the cusp of auditioning for The Juilliard School. She’s got all the happiness that being 17 can afford, but it’s all taken away by a severe car accident that leaves her in a coma. While she hangs on the edge of death, she has an out of body experience that allows her present life (with all the threat and promise of its future) to flash literally in front of her eyes. It shares a surface-level spiritual connection to the recent Heaven is For Real, but it more obviously resembles The Lovely Bones. Hopefully that won’t hold it back. Check out the trailer for yourself: The Lovely Bones is strong with this one. Sincerely. Except she’s not in Heaven. Unfortunately, that means that it will always teeter on the edge of schmaltz. The trailer isn’t doing it any favors on that soft focus »
- Scott Beggs
"Life is this big, fat, gigantic, stinking mess, and that's the beauty of it, too..." Warner Bros has debuted the first trailer for R.J. Cutler's If I Stay, an adaptation of Gayle Forman's novel of the same name about an aspiring musician who must overcome great tragedy and make an impossible decision. Chloe Moretz stars, along with Jamie Blackley as the boy, plus Mireille Enos, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, Aisha Hinds and Stacy Keach This looks like a heartbreaker to compete with Fault in Our Stars, but, maybe by the end, a heartwarmer, too. The footage looks solid, nothing like The Lovely Bones thankfully. Take a look. Here's the first trailer for R.J. Cutler's adaptation of If I Stay, direct from MTV's YouTube: Synopsis for If I Stay, adapted from the novel by Gayle Forman. Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) thought the hardest decision she would ever »
- Alex Billington
After the contentious likes of “Noah” and “God’s Not Dead,” Hollywood’s season of Christian-themed cinema continues in relatively innocuous fashion with “Heaven Is for Real,” a bland, earnest yet appreciably restrained adaptation of Midwestern minister Todd Burpo’s inspirational bestseller about his young son’s miraculous glimpse of eternity. Audiences not inclined to suspend their disbelief, let alone take a leap of faith, will have no use for the film’s corn-fed sincerity or its clean-scrubbed celestial visions. Still, it’s something of a relief to report that the movie isn’t quite the vomitous bucket of spiritual saccharine the ads would suggest, and those willing to engage may be pleasantly surprised by some of its understated virtues: a carefully open-minded appeal to skeptics, a wry sense of humor that wards off sententiousness at key moments, and a fine cast of name actors (led by Greg Kinnear) who »
- Justin Chang
After being rumored, debunked and reaffirmed, it appears Benedict Cumberbatch won't be taking a role in Star Wars: Episode VII after all. The actor's name first surfaced last fall, but the actor completely debunked those rumors while appearing at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. But the source of the rumor reaffirmed their story a couple weeks later when they reported Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, The Grand Budapest Hotel) had auditioned for a role. But now Cumberbatch says that he will not be in the film, but seemingly confirms that he was in the running for a role, at least at one time. More below! Speaking with Australian outlet The Iris (via ComingSoon), Cumberbatch revealed: "I would've liked a part in Jj's new 'Star Wars' but it won't happen sadly." It sounds like Cumberbatch definitely talked to his Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams about a role, »
- Ethan Anderton
As with any Michael Bay popcorn blockbuster we should expect a high level of uber-action and effects to draw in the crowds. And without a doubt this Summer's latest 'Transformers' installment 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' is bound to pack them in. With a whole new rack of characters and actors involved in this potential new trilogy of action features based around the Hasbro franchise there'll be a ranging flurry of assets heading our way over the next few weeks. One of which is this latest one-sheet from the Paramount feature which serves as the official IMAX poster. The next chapter in the series stars Mark Wahlberg ('Ted'), Nicola Peltz ('Bates Motel'), Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci ('The Lovely Bones'), Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing ('Resident Evil: Retribution'), Titus Welliver ('Lost') and Kelsey Grammer ('X-Men: The Last Stand'). Check it out below. »
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