11 items from 2015
Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2014 discoveries”…
Chris Bergoch: I really enjoyed the pre-Broadway run of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the La Jolla Playhouse. I try to keep up with all of Walt Disney Theatrical’s stage adaptations and I think this is their best yet. The show is dark, more in line with Victor Hugo’s novel, the new songs from Alan Menken fit seamlessly into his brooding 1996 soundtrack and the cast is brilliant — hope they make it to The Great White Way. Speaking of, I loved Idina Menzel in If/Then — she’s exhilarating to watch live. I thought Universal raised the bar for theme parks with the debut of Diagon Alley in Orlando last summer. It’s the single most immersive themed environment I’ve ever had the pleasure of being whisked away to and it’s also quite a stimulating place to sit down and write. »
- Eric Lavallee
It seems like everything is moving along swiftly for Edgar Wright after his abrupt departure from Marvel’s Ant-Man as now the British director has released the first synopsis for his next film, which includes the possible leading man.
Variety reported the first synopsis for Wright’s Baby Driver on Friday, which is a project that the director has been working on for a long time. According to the site, the film “follows a talented, young getaway driver who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.”
The site adds that this “young getaway driver” could be Fault in Our Stars and Men, Women, and Children star Ansel Elgort, who is said to be in early talks for the role. »
- Zach Dennis
Ahead of its premiere in March, A&E has released the first trailer for The Returned, a remake of the French TV series Les Revenants, which we have for you below along with a batch of promotional images from the show…
The Returned focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people, who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, bringing with them both positive and detrimental consequences. As families are reunited, the lives of those who were left behind are challenged on a physical and emotional level. Interpersonal relationships are examined with intrigue and depth as strange phenomena begin to occur.
The Returned premieres on March 9th and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Mark Pellegrino (Lost) , Jeremy Sisto (Six Feet Under), India Ennenga (Treme), Sandrine Holt (House of Cards), Agnes Bruckner (24), Sophie Lowe (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), Tandi Wright »
- Gary Collinson
It’s not even halfway through January, dear readers, and we’ve already seen trailers for many of the year’s big movies. Such is the case with this week’s Trailer Trashin’ column, which examines our first look at Marvel’s upcoming July release Ant-Man.
Premise: Petty thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must aid his mentor Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) in safeguarding the mystery of the Ant-Man technology – which allows its user to decrease in size but increase in strength – from various new threats, and plot a heist that will save the world.
My take: It’s been a long, strange journey to the silver screen for Marvel’s size-changing hero Ant-Man. Marvel Studios began developing the project way back in 2006, when they hired English filmmaker Edgar Wright – the man who brought us Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), and The World’s »
- Timothy Monforton
When Edgar Wright and Marvel parted ways in a very public split related to script changes for Ant-Man, the beloved British helmer soon announced that he’d be taking on a much smaller-scale project for his next gig: crime-thriller Baby Driver, which Wright wrote for Working Title Films. Now, that film has taken a major leap forward with word that The Fault in Our Stars lead Ansel Elgort is in discussions to star.
Elgort, who came out of absolutely nowhere to co-star in the Carrie remake then quickly snag major roles in the Divergent franchise, teen sensation The Fault in Our Stars and Jason Reitman’s (meritless) Men, Women & Children, will play a getaway driver who relies on his own soundtrack to make him the best driver in the game. When he ends up in over his head working for a crime boss, he finds that the doomed heist he »
- Isaac Feldberg
When “Parks and Recreation” signs off on NBC at the end of next month, fans will say goodbye to the colorful residents of Pawnee. But there won’t be a need to bid farewell to the actors who played the characters they grew to love.
Even though “Parks” never emerged from Nielsen’s ratings cellar or garnered the industry awards it richly deserved, its exceptional ensemble has nonetheless made a huge mark in Hollywood. What launched as a star vehicle for Emmy-nominated “Saturday Night Live” veteran Amy Poehler quickly became a showcase for breakout talent Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari and Rashida Jones.
“We collected a group of people at a really important time,” Poehler says. “I am the least surprised at how fancy and famous everyone is and has become. I felt that way about them and their talent since day one.”
From movies to standup to publishing, »
- Geoff Berkshire
Directed by Edgar Wright
UK, USA, Japan 2010
When the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim was released in 2010, it was like an explosion of colour and two-tone jingles. To the casual eye, the film is a classic – albeit awkward – love story between Scott (Michael Cera), a loveable loser, and the intriguing yet aloof Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). In order to date her, Scott has to defeat the League of Evil Exes - Ramona’s exes. All seven of them.
Scott Pilgrim’s overindulgence of video game references – both retro and lesser-known – not only places the film in a different league to the conventional comic-book/video-game film adaptation, but its distinctive blend of styles manages to bridge the generation gap, widening its appeal.
When we talk about arcade games, the memories of tiny joysticks, frantic shuffling in pockets for »
- Katie Wong
Considering it is the halfway point in this current decade of ours, 2014 is about as good a time as many to begin making "Best of the Decade (So Far)" lists -- which I have actually attempted to do over on Letterboxd -- and it seems the fine folks over at streaming site and film blog Fandor agree, as just yesterday video essayist Kevin B. Lee posted a video that counts down the 26 best films of the decade so far, as determined by a poll he took of "290 film critics and movie lovers on Twitter and Facebook." Lee took to Slate yesterday to explain the results a bit more in-depth, including the importance of social media played in the poll, how Cannes was a better predictor than the Oscars, how movies' fortunes rise and fall over time, and more. It's an interesting read, so if you want to check it out, »
- Jordan Benesh
Exclusive: Zac Efron and Robert De Niro are getting more company in their Lionsgate road trip pic Dirty Grandpa. Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza has signed onto the comedy about an uptight twenty-something (Efron) who embarks on a road trip before his wedding to bond with his recently widowed grandfather (De Niro) only to find that his grandpa is a foul-mouthed lunatic on a mission to get laid during Spring Break.
Plaza will play Lenore, a savvy, beguiling party girl looking for fun on Spring Break.
Dan Mazer (Da Ali G Show) is directing from a screenplay by John Phillips, while Bill Block, Jason Barrett, Barry Josephson and Michael Simkin are producing. Zoey Deutch joined the cast last month and Dermot Mulroney also stars. Lionsgate has already set an August 12, 2016 release for the Qed and Ninjas Running Wild comedy. Erik Feig and Jim Miller are overseeing for the studio. »
- Jen Yamato
It may be too soon to say, but I believe 2015 to be the year of Anna Kendrick. Having established herself as a great support actress in the Twilight Saga, she’s gone on to steal the show in numerous films, including Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Paranorman and End Of Watch, managing to the pull the limelight away from her more central co-stars.
This year sees the release of six new titles starring Kendrick, the first being the live-action Disney musical Into The Woods, and to celebrate we are looking back at five of Anna’s greatest career choices.
(Dir: Joe Swanberg, 2013)
Drinking Buddies saw Anna star alongside Olivia Wilde, Ron Livingston, and New Girl favourite Jake Johnson, in an almost fly-on-the-wall look at how friendships play out between men and women – particularly when they are best friends and co-workers – and their respective partners. Anna features as Jill, »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
Nearly 13 months after it was first revealed that Paul Rudd would suit up in Ant-Man, a two-minute teaser trailer is offering the first real look at Marvel's microscopic superhero. Presented as a heist film packaged within a superhero saga, the Ant-Man clip also showcases some of the humor you'd expect from a movie starring Rudd.
In the film, Rudd portrays Scott Lang, a small-time thief who's recruited by Michael Douglas' Dr. Henry Pym to "become the hero" and "be the Ant-Man;" Pym himself creates the technology but is too old to wear the suit. »
11 items from 2015
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