18 items from 2015
Our weekly feature in which a writer answers the question: If you could force your friends at gunpoint to watch one movie or TV show, what would it be? Released in 2006, Tarsem’s “The Fall” is a gorgeous celebration of storytelling that reveals how stories touch and change the people they are told to and those who tell them. It’s an ode to the very specific mode of storytelling of film. A few minutes into 1915-set “The Fall,” a character played by a pre-stardom Lee Pace attempts to explain to a five-year-old girl, “Pictures, y’know, flickers: moving pictures.” The girl, Alexandria, responds, confused, that she’s never seen one. With a hint of a sly smile, Pace’s Roy replies, “Oh you’re not missing much” – a line that strikes with irony, considering Tarsem’s clear passion for filmmaking and the fact that were “The Fall” to go unwatched, »
- Emily Rome
Alex Garland, screenwriter of “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine” and “Never Let Me Go,” makes an impressive directorial debut with cerebral sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina” (in theaters today), but Garland waves off the achievement of leaping to directing as “just next in a continuum.” “The truth was that there was no epiphany moment about directing, because I just don’t dignify the directing role the way we’re supposed to,” the British filmmaker told The Dissolve. “There are a few people — like Woody Allen, he’s an auteur, and I’m cool with that. But for me, directing is about collaboration.” Whether directing is a logical next step or a hard-sought achievement for screenwriters, it’s often done by telling studios, “Hey, here’s my next screenplay. You can have it as long as I get to direct.” Preston Sturges — at the time the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood — is noted for »
- Emily Rome
With the new film Woman in Gold out this past weekend, it’s a wonder to think what factors casting agents take into account, especially when pairing a revered British actress with a (some would say) mediocre snarky comedic actor. Obviously Reynolds has lately been taking roles that require more dramatic skills than comedic ones. However, this trend of pairing Reynolds with actors above (or below) his caliber has been a thing for a while. Sure it’s something that’s done all the time with other actors, but this specific casting choice of Mirren/Reynolds sticks out in particular. So why not look at some past odd Ryan Reynolds’ pairings to see if this trend is a good or bad thing.
- Sarah Pearce
Ok, so we all know that movie logic increases the median attractiveness of everybody on screen by at least 50%, and we accept it. But what happens when an actor is just too attractive for suspension of disbelief to work in a particular role?
Mae Whitman being cast as the eponymous "designated ugly fat friend" in this weekend's The Duff is a fine example. Thankfully the film (which is kind of great, by the way) does take pains to emphasise that even perfectly attractive people can be the Duff in their friendship group, because Duff is a state of mind. Or something.
Digital Spy takes a look back at seven more actors who were too attractive for the part, most of whom still got cast anyway.
Last year, mere months after Four Weddings celebrated its 20th birthday, Hugh Grant dropped the bombshell that nobody »
The repeated horn blasts in the above trailer certainly remind one of "Inception," but otherwise "Self/less" looks pretty original. Directed by Tarsem Singh ("The Fall"), "Self/less" is the story of a wealthy but ill older man (Ben Kingsley) whose consciousness is magically scientifically transferred into the body of a younger, fitter man of mysterious origins (Ryan Reynolds). Premiering July 31, "Self/less" also stars Victor Garber and Michelle Dockery. Read More: Exclusive: Awesome Retro Poster for SXSW Thriller 'The Frontier' »
- Elizabeth Logan
Focus Features has debuted the first trailer for Tarsem Singh’s latest effort, Self/Less. As usual, the esoteric filmmaker appears to have conjured up what the official synopsis describes as a ‘provocative psychological’ sci-fi thriller. Ben Kingsley stars as a man dying from cancer, who pays to have his soul placed into the body of a young, healthy chap played by Ryan Reynolds.
Taking a look at the trailer for his next effort, it seems that Singh is on track to deliver another similar caper. Self/Less appears to be providing us with another cautionary tale – as brainy sci-fi flicks often choose to do. This time the futuristic “what if?” comes to us through Singh’s visually adventurous eye, calling to mind two of his previous works, The Cell and The Fall, which developed some stunningly original ideas.
Thematically, it seems to veers close to what Black Mirror offers »
- Gem Seddon
Last time we saw director Tarsem Singh, he was tackling fairy tales with Mirror, Mirror (which followed such visually stunning projects like The Cell, The Fall, and Immortals). Now, he's handling body swapping in sci-fi thriller Self/Less, which sees an extremely wealthy man (Ben Kingsley), dying of cancer, undergo a radical procedure to transplant his consciousness into a younger body (Ryan Reylonds). But, of course, he finds out that a secret corporation peddling immortality isn't all it seems. Self/Less is as high concept as they come, but this first trailer does a great job of selling the story, and hints at deeper psychological aspect to the plot that should shake thing up nicely. Singh's trademark visual style seems to be missing, but no doubt it'll make it self known when the movie takes an inevitable turn for the crazy. Released: July 31st »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Tarsem Singh has always been one for visually dazzling films. His latest output, from Immortals and Mirror Mirror, have been messy disappointments compared to the whimsical charms of the underrated gem The Fall. His latest however places him firmly in thriller territory rather than fantasy spectacle. Self/less stars Ben Kingsley as a wealthy, powerful, successful man who wishes to transfer his mind into a younger body, played by Ryan Reynolds. But the doctor responsible for this procedure (Matthew Goode) is hiding a sinister secret as to the origins of Reynolds’s past life and to the procedure’s side effects.
Granted, the last time Ryan Reynolds starred in a body switch movie it was called The Change-Up. This thankfully looks nothing like that. Self/less is released July 31 and also stars Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber, and Derek Luke. Watch the trailer below:
The post Tarsem’s ‘Self »
- Brian Welk
Following the viral video released yesterday, that shed some new light on "consciousness transfer" specialists Phoenix Biogenic, Focus Features has debuted the first trailer for Self/less. Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley lead an all-star cast in the latest from director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Fall). Arriving in theaters July 31 from Focus Features, this sci-fi thriller gives new meaning to the term "out-of-body experience."
In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body's origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Derek Luke and Victor Garber round out the supporting cast.
In addition to the trailer, »
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Tarsem; he is the mono monikered director behind “The Fall” and “The Cell.” After being absent for a few years, he made up for lost time in 2011/2012 with the almost one-two punch of “Immortals” and “Mirror Mirror” — both films were released within five months of each other. And while neither did much to quell the criticism that Tarsem is style over substance, they did decent enough worldwide business to keep the Tarsem brand in business. And so his latest is the biogenic sci-fi thriller “Self/Less,” which is about an extremely wealthy man dying from cancer, who undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. Of course things like this don’t always go according to plan. Ben Kingsley stars as the older scion, Ryan Reynolds his younger self, and the movie also co-stars Matthew Goode, »
- Edward Davis
A consistently underrated expert of the visual medium, Tarsem might not always have the material to back up his story, but The Fall, Immortals, and, yes, even Mirror Mirror showed he can defy expectations. His latest film, Self/Less, teams him with Ryan Reynolds (who with The Voices has shown he’s looking for something a bit different) and today the first trailer has arrived. The story follows a […] »
- Leonard Pearce
Focus Features’ original plan was to release Self/Less in September of last year but, at some point, the decision was made to punt it back to Summer 2015. We’ll now be seeing it on July 31st.
The film has been directed by Tarsem Singh, the stylist behind Rem’s Losing My Religion, cult-movie The Fall and J-Lo embarrassment The Cell. He’s only ever as good as his scripts, and sometimes not quite, but Self/Less at least has the benefit of a screenplay by David and Alex Pastor.
- Brendon Connelly
I absolutely hate the fact Focus is using the backslash in the title for Tarsem Singh's new movie Self/less. It's about as clever as the vanity plate I saw a week ago on a Toyota Prius that read Imirnmn. Yeah, don't think so. Nevertheless, I really like Singh's work, yes, primarily for his visuals, but when he matches the narrative up to those visuals, as he did with The Fall, it really works. As for Self/less, it's described as a psychological science fiction thriller, in which an extremely wealthy man (Ben Kingsley) is dying from cancer and undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body's origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, »
- Brad Brevet
It has not been an easy week. At the start of the week, we had our editorial meeting here at HitFix, as we do every Monday, to talk about both the week ahead and longer-term projects as well. For fairly obvious reasons, there was a fair amount of talk about Valentine's Day content, and I mentioned a few different ideas that I might write about, including one that I'll end up publishing at some point about Steve Martin. But even as I pitched a few ideas, I found myself uncomfortable with the entire idea of writing about romantic films right now. Honestly, I was hoping to spend this week with my head down and then just sail right through this weekend without writing about love at all, because for the first time in my adult life, I am no longer sure what I think about it. After all, I was with my wife for 14 years. »
- Drew McWeeny
I'm not sure there is anything specific to saw about this episode as it is pretty much all over the board. We have a few drops to play courtesy of Mitch, we spend some time talking about the Super Bowl and the trailers and commercials that played during the game and discuss the box office draft and the new DVDs and Blu-rays out this week. Finally we play our usual allotment of games, we answer a couple questions and send you on your way. We hope you enjoy. 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. »
- Brad Brevet
We must apologize for what turned out being a rather delirious episode. Laremy traveled to Washington D.C. before today's episode and I had just gotten back from a late night movie and neither one of us was operating at full capacity. That said, we did get in some conversation about the Screen Actors Guild Awards, we discussed the new DVD and Blu-ray releases, played some games and Laremy giggled through pretty much the entire episode. Hope you're able to get something out of it. 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. »
- Brad Brevet
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
David Fincher's latest dark 'n' twisty drama stars Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck as a pair of beautiful people who do terrible things to each other. This adaptation of Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel is worth it just for the scene in which Tyler Perry, as a high-powered lawyer who specializes in cases where men are accused of murdering their wives, throws gummy bears at Affleck's head.
This German film is for those with particularly strong stomachs, but if you're up for it, this is a wild ride. »
- Jenni Miller
A veteran screenwriter and native Angeleno, Gilroy may be a first-time helmer, but between movie-star wife Rene Russo, Pulitzer-winning dad Frank D. Gilroy (“The Subject Was Roses”), writer-director brother Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) and film-editor twin John Gilroy (“Salt”), he’s also Hollywood royalty. None are easy acts to follow, yet at age 55, Gilroy is living up to his legacy with “Nightcrawler.”
Until he penned the provocative thriller two years ago, “I’d never felt, ‘This is something I have to direct,’ ” he says, “so I was very confident that I’d picked the right vehicle.” A writer’s touch is evident in the story of a sleazy opportunist (Jake Gyllenhaal) selling crime-scene footage to an L.A. news producer (Russo) and its harsh commentary on “hyper-capitalism” and the media — an arena the former Variety reporter knows well. “I have a strong desire to communicate what I feel about the world. »
- Gregg Goldstein
18 items from 2015
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