1-20 of 97 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Truly great “coming-of-age” movies may only hit our screens once in a blue moon, but when they do, they have the potential to make for some of the most life affirming 2 hours (or so) you could spend. Providing a break from the recent disappointments, such movies as Easy A and Superbad proved you can combine hilarity with heart-warming love scenes, all without being too cheesy or replacing authenticity with an obviously fabricated sense of reality. It’s a shame such films are so rare, as they can be quite incredibly special when they are done right.
One woman hoping to join the (not so long) list of successful creators of these tales is 25-year-old Leah Rachel. She’s never written a full length feature before, but that hasn’t stopped Mandate Pictures (Juno, Stranger Than Fiction, 50/50) from picking up her script for distribution. It is pitched as “coming-of-age comedy about the delusion, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Stranger Than Fiction has released their official winter schedule for the new year, beginning on January 31st with “Girl with Black Balloons,” the full-length documentary debut from director Corinne van der Borch about a legendarily beautiful artist living in her secluded studio. In Stf fashion, screenings in the series will take place every Tuesday night at New York’s IFC Center. Highlights of the rest of the slate includes Woody Allen’s pseudo-doc “Zelig” on Valentine’s Day and a treat for Bruce Springsteen fans, “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town.” David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s “Girl Model” will round out the season on March 20th. Highlights from the Stranger than Fiction Winter Season with descriptions and information provided by Stf Doc: [For a full lineup and more information, visit the Stf Doc website.] "The Girl with the Black »
Montclair, NJ, has 37,669 residents - one of them is Stephen Colbert - but no film festival. Until now, that is. The inaugural Montclair Film Festival will launch May 2nd and it is moving closer to its deadline by adding two important contributors -- its directors: Raphaela Neihausen and Thom Powers, best known for starting up New York's documentary film festival Docnyc as well as the IFC Center's documentary series Stranger than Fiction (Powers is also a programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival). The board of directors also includes Colbert and his wife Evelyn McGee-Colbert. The festival will include both fiction and documentary films and Colbert told The New York Times that it was likely he would be participating in plenty of festival events. Colbert hosted the festival's first major benefit last week at Montclair's Wellmont Theater. The Montclair Film Festival board, chaired by Wnet VP Bob Feinberg, was established. »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers? Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel Trailer If there ever was a team-up I know I'll never be able to see it would be »
- Christopher Stipp
The living room-sized lobby of the IFC Center was teeming with people over the past two weeks as Doc NYC concluded its second year. With more days, more films, more panels and more filmmakers in attendance, the festival was a veritable feast of documentaries.
Among the faces passing through the crowd — including Albert Maysles, Werner Herzog, D.A. Pennebaker and Barbara Kopple — were those of festival directors Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen. Wearing the titles of artistic director and executive director, respectively, the husband and wife team conceived Doc NYC from their Manhattan apartment. Though involved in their own endeavors — Powers is the documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival; Neihausen is an independent film producer — the couple’s weekly documentary series “Stranger Than Fiction” has established them as a creative force.
Throughout Doc NYC’s nine days, Powers and Neihuasen were ubiquitous. When they weren’t introducing the festival’s 52 features and 40 shorts, »
- Daniel James Scott
Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to worthwhile titles currently available on Netflix Instant Watch. This week we offer alternatives to Immortals, Jack and Jill & Into the Abyss alternatives.
On Friday muscle-bound men of legend face off against a duplicated doofus in drag and a striking new crime doc from Werner Herzog. But if these flicks can’t satisfy your thirst for mythic conflicts, gender-bending gut-busters and terrifyingly true tales, we’ve got you covered with a selection of tantalizing movies available online.
The Fall director Tarsem Singh returns with the tale of Theseus, a warrior of ancient Greece (played by Man of Steel Henry Cavill) chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) to rise against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke).
Ancient-era adventure awaits!
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
"At first I was a bit surprised by the tearjerker ending of Jeff Who Lives at Home, mainly because it seemed like such a blatantly Hollywoodesque attempt to tug at the audience’s heartstrings. But as time passed, it dawned on me that Jeff Who Lives at Home is essentially commenting on the concept of writers and directors playing god, albeit with significantly more subtlety than The Truman Show and Stranger Than Fiction. As the Duplass brothers toy with Jeff, they simultaneously play with the viewers’ emotions, thus reminding us of the highly manipulative powers of filmmakers." -Don Simpson Be sure to check out our interview below with Jay and Mark Duplass in support of their upcoming film Jeff Who Lives at Home, from the 2011 Austin Film Festival in Austin, Texas: »
- Dave Campbell
Everybody likes some version of Will Ferrell. Whether it.s the version we see most--the over-the-top caricature he plays in almost every film--or the more subdued actor we see in films like Stranger than Fiction that are more understated and quirky than in-your-face and slapstick. Ferrell.s talent is boundless, and he.s taken that talent overseas with Casa de mi Padre. The film was recently picked up by Lionsgate.s Hispanic arm, Pantelion, for distribution here in the Us, making it the label.s largest release yet. The film follows Ferrell.s Armando Alvarez who is tasked with solving his father.s financial troubles at his ranch, but a love for his brother.s fiancee and a war with Mexico.s most feared drug lord get in his way. Padre, directed by first-timer Matt Piedmont, bends nationalities with Ferrell a bit since his family is Irish, but the rest »
Since I’ve never attended the Toronto International Film Festival, or the long-running doc series Stranger Than Fiction, I was shamefully late to discover the curatorial wizard behind-the-curtain by the name of Thom Powers. But ever since Powers’s programming became, for me, the highlight of this year’s Miami International Film Festival he’s been firmly on my cine-radar. So when I noticed he’d be returning as artistic director of Doc NYC (which runs Nov. 2-10) I thought, “Oh, no.” I didn’t have time to cover Doc NYC right before I flew to Amsterdam to tackle the mother of all nonfiction fests Idfa! (Doc NYC’s close proximity to Idfa and also Cph:dox is the worst thing one can say about it.) I couldn’t squeeze in its 100-plus events, panel discussions, 52 features and 40 shorts. I didn’t have the hours to spare for the opening night »
- Lauren Wissot
Long after the dust settles on his career, Will Ferrell will probably be best remembered as the star of Anchorman, or for his perpetual manchild routines in Talladega Nights or Step Brothers or Old School, and his more serious roles like the excellent, underrated Stranger Than Fiction will no doubt take a back seat.
Everything Must Go is a melancholic, bittersweet portrait of man who has lost everything: a relapsed alcoholic, he loses his job at the outset, and subsequently discovers that his wife has left him over his drinking and an implied incident of adultery at a work convention – he is a man cut out of life, in the process of being erased, and unable to fight for his own survival.
Nick isn’t necessarily an innocent victim – the film in fact takes great effort to say that he is at fault for almost everything that goes wrong for »
- Simon Gallagher
Everything Must Go, 2010.
Directed by Dan Rush.
After losing his job and his wife, an alcoholic holds a yard sale in an attempt to start over and meets a new neighbour who may be the key to his return to form.
This film wasn’t supposed to be surprising. We all knew Will Ferrell was capable of this. Come on. Stranger than Fiction was only five years ago, we can’t have forgotten the incredible pathos he brought to the role of Harold Crick. The man aced that film without so much as an improv-session or a poop joke, and we respected him that much more for broadening his cinematic horizons.
The novel long preceded the short story, and in his celebrated history of the short story Walter Allen calls Walter Scott's "The Two Drovers", written in the early 19th century, the first fully achieved example of the genre. It is a more difficult form to master, as well as being generally less lucrative; journalists who've made a name writing for newspapers seek publishers' contracts to write novels rather than try their hands at short stories.
Paradoxically, perhaps, short stories are better suited to the cinema than novels are, whether they conclude with O Henry-style twists in the tail or Chekhovian epiphanies to be absorbed. John Huston, who took on both The Bible and Moby-Dick in his prime, had his two greatest late successes with film versions of classic stories, »
- Philip French
Will Ferrell is hardly the first actor who springs to mind as ideal casting for the role of an unemployed, beer-sozzled suburbanite whose life is in freefall, yet watching him in that very role here, an adaptation (or rather an “adding on”) of a short story from famed Us writer Raymond Carver, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else bringing as much conviction and such an understated beauty to the part.
This is the comedy superstar by way of Bill Murray in Lost In Translation, and even if the film has failed to connect to a similar-sized audience, state-side, to the one who flocked to see that Tokyo-set May to December romance, Ferrell’s second foray into (semi)serious territory (following 2005’s Stranger Than Fiction) delivers his strongest performance to date, and one of the year’s very best films.
Ferrell is Nick Halsey, a veteran salesman who is »
- Adam Lowes
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
(Shaun’s review from last year’s London Film Festival re-posted as the film is released in the UK tomorrow)
Since ‘Stranger than Fiction’, it has seemed inevitable that Will Ferrell would have another stab at a serious role. The film was broadly well received but it didn’t quite reach the heights that perhaps it could, and so there must have been a niggling doubt that maybe he should give the whole drama thing another go. Particularly as the comedies were getting more and more derivative and less and less popular.
The drama that has landed on Ferrell’s doorstep is ‘Everything Must Go‘, a tale loosely based on a (very) short story by Raymond Carver called ‘Why Don’t You Dance?’ It centres on Nick Halsey, a sales executive and a former alcoholic. Except we join Nick as he is becoming an ex-sales executive »
- Shaun Munro
Last week Us comic Will Ferrell had the opportunity to take centre stage and discuss his Hollywood career as part of BAFTA’s Life In Picture Series.
Like many of his contemporaries in the field of comedy, Ferrell came to prominence as a regular on famed Us sketch show Saturday Night Live, before making his mark on the big screen in such universally-loved fare as Elf, Zoolander, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Step Brothers and perhaps his most iconic role to date as the hopelessly shallow and breezily chauvinistic newscaster in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
HeyUGuys were fortunate enough to grab a couple of minutes with the star before heading in for the hour-long Q&A hosted by BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme presenter, Francine Stock (more on that below). The talk was followed by a screening of Ferrell’s new film Everything Must Go »
- Adam Lowes
Hungarian police swarmed warehouse to seize stash of guns being used on set.
By Gil Kaufman
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/ Getty Images
Onlookers may have thought that the intense police action was part of the plot, but when Hungarian police and a Swat team descended on the set of Brad Pitt's film "World War Z" on Monday, it was not a scripted event.
According to Us Weekly, the Swat team raided a Budapest warehouse where weapons were being stored for use in the epic zombie flick, with anti-terrorism officers seizing 85 guns. The firearms, which were supposed to be nonfunctional, were automatic, military-style assault rifles that were in good working order.
The guns were confiscated at an airport near the film's set, where they were being stored.
"This morning a private plane brought guns wrapped in »
Every couple of years, Will Ferrell makes a movie that reminds his detractors that he can act. Stranger Than Fiction is my favorite of these more serious ventures, but Everything Must Go is definitely no slouch film. The one warning that I must give to Will Ferrell's usual fans is that Everything Must Go is a much darker and slower-paced film than most of his other work. There are laughs, but his character is deeply flawed and tougher to love. Viewers that go in with an open mind, however, will be rewarded with a great character piece about a man who has lost everything and is forced to re-examine his life.
- Rachel Kolb
Sam Childers (Gerard Butler) was a drug-dealing ex-con who found God after he seemingly hit rock bottom. As a result he established a church in his hometown and, as fate would have it, made his way to East Africa. There he would eventually set up the Angels of East Africa rescue organization where he rescued hundreds of orphaned children and established his own militia to help fight against Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (Lra). Machine Gun Preacher adopts Childers' nickname and sets out to tell his story in what ends up being an emotionally impactful, somewhat manipulative and quite scattered movie. If I sound conflicted... I am.
My gut reaction was to be far more interested in the man the film was about rather than the film itself. A brief search online tells me several of the film's establishing moments aren't entirely true and the way this savage ex-con goes »
- Brad Brevet
In his new comedy-drama, Everything Must Go, Will Ferrell joins the ranks of movie characters to succumb to a spectacular midlife crisis. He's been there before - who can forget Ron Burgundy's epic post-kvwn meltdown? - but here he's not so much trapped in a glass case of emotion as stuck in his front yard with all his earthly belongings and his life in tatters. Ferrell plays an alcoholic salesman who gets served his papers at work and heads home only to discover that his wife has kicked him out too. Down and desperate, he decides to hold a yard sale of all his possessions and start over. Click here to check out the trailer.Based on 'Why Don't You Dance?', a short story by the great chronicler of suburban American life, Raymond Carver, Everything Must Go looks like the straightest thing Ferrell's done since Stranger Than Fiction. Joining »
Judging by his filmography since his 2001 breakthrough “Monster’s Ball,” director Marc Forster seems unwilling, if not incapable, of repeating himself. That film’s soul-baring drama offered no hints at the delicate beauty of his follow-up, “Finding Neverland,” and neither film suggested he was capable of the melancholy whimsy of “Stranger Than Fiction,” or later, the visceral intensity of “Quantum of Solace.” In his latest film, “Machine Gun Preacher,” Forster tackles the life of Sam Childers (played by Gerard Butler), a former ne’er-do-well who finds God but who falls back into his violent ways after taking on the responsibility of protecting… »
1-20 of 97 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
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