1-20 of 190 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
VOD is where it’s at these days. In recent weeks, various titles have been scheduled to land on-demand before opening in theaters, from Lars von Trier’s four-hour-long sex epic Nymphomaniac to the Sharlto Copley-starring mind-bender Open Grave. The trend seems like it’ll only continue growing through next year, with simultaneous VOD-theatrical release dates being added to the calendar on a daily basis.
One film taking that road to release is Reasonable Doubt, which stars Dominic Cooper and Samuel L. Jackson. Today, we have the first trailer for the movie, clearing up a few plot aspects and promising a very fast-moving thriller. Check it out below:
Though the film’s plot reminds me an awful lot of The Lincoln Lawyer, the presence of capable stars like Cooper and Jackson suggest that Reasonable Doubt might turn out decently. The trailer certainly plays up the cat-and-mouse angle, as well »
- Isaac Feldberg
A pregnant teenager flees life with her drug-addicted mother and ends up living on the street before being welcomed into her first real home in this gripping first trailer for Gimme Shelter, an extraordinary tale of survival and redemption inspired by actual events. Starring Vanessa Hudgens, the film will be in theaters January 24, 2014.
For 16-year-old Agnes “Apple” Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens), life has been a constant struggle to overcome the harsh reality of a subsistence existence with her abusive mother, June (Rosario Dawson), and June’s string of lowlife boyfriends. When she finds herself pregnant and alone, Apple temporarily takes shelter with her biological father, Tom (Brendan Fraser), a wealthy Wall Streeter living in a New Jersey mansion with his wife Joanna (Stephanie Szostak) and two young children. But Apple’s inability to adjust to her new circumstances, and her refusal to terminate her pregnancy, soon force her back onto the streets. »
- Michelle McCue
The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnolia Pictures announced today that they have acquired Us and Canadian rights to Frontera, starring Ed Harris (Snowpiercer, Pain & Gain, Phantom, Pollock, Apollo 13), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives, The Heartbreak Kid, The Sentinel), Michael Peña (American Hustle, End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer), Aden Young (Killer Elite) and Amy Madigan (Gone Baby Gone, Field of Dreams). The film was directed by Michael Berry, from a script he co-wrote with Juan Luis Moulinett III, and produced by Ocean Blue Entertainment and executive producer Eric Austin Williams.
In the vein of Traffic and Babel, Frontera is set in the dangerous area between the United States and Mexico. After crossing the border illegally for work, Miguel (Michael Peña), a hard-working father and devoted husband, finds himself wrongfully accused of murdering a former sheriff's (Ed Harris) wife. After learning of his imprisonment, Miguel's pregnant wife (Eva Longoria) tries »
By now, you know that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto sacrificed their bodies and dropped more than 30 pounds each to play their HIV-positive characters in Dallas Buyers Club. It’s understandable that those details have been obsessed over by the media in stories and reviews, but there’s more than a spartan diet behind both men’s convincing transformations into the homophobic redneck (McConaughey) who becomes a drug-dealing savior to the demoralized gay community in the mid-1980s and the delicate transsexual (Leto) who becomes his unlikely business partner.
Ron Woodroof was a real guy, a bull-riding, drug-snorting, womanizing bastard »
- Jeff Labrecque
Following supporting turns in films like Crash, End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer and Gangster Squad, Mexican-American actor Michael Peña is taking the lead in Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. As you might guess, in the film, Peña plays labor activist Cesar E. Chavez as he organizes the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history for farm workers' rights. Actor Diego Luna directs the film backed by Canana Films, the company behind Miss Bala (which was on our list of the 19 Best Movies You Didn't See in 2011). It looks like a great performance from Peña, but since it's arriving next spring, it isn't in the Oscar race. Watch it! Here's the first trailer for Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez: An American Hero from YouTube: Cesar Chavez: An American Hero is directed by Diego Luna (director of Abel, star of The Terminal, Y Tu Mamá También) and written by Keir Pearson »
- Ethan Anderton
Last year, Matthew McConaughey played a cowboy stripper named Dallas, and this week the Texas-bred actor portrays the man who started the real-life Dallas Buyers Club. But there won't be any scandalous shirt-ripping or butt-less chaps in this heavy drama.
"Dallas Buyers Club" tells the true story of Ron Woodroof (McConaughey), a homophobic Texas electrician who is diagnosed with HIV in 1986 and given 30 days to live. Unable to get effective medicine due to government legal restrictions, Woodroof smuggles drugs into the country and starts a Buyers Club to help other AIDS patients. McConaughey lost an astonishing 50 pounds for the role, which critics are already calling the best performance of his career.
While you've seen McConaughey do everything from tearing a courtroom apart to tearing his clothes off, you may not know everything about him. From his nude, bongo-playing arrest to his odd body hygiene choices, here are 20 things you probably don't know about Matthew McConaughey. »
- Erin Whitney
• Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who starred as the title character in Kick-Ass, is set to join The Avengers: Age of Ultron where he’ll play the part of Quicksilver — twin to the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and son of Magneto. According to the report, the British actor had to figure out his publicity duties for the new Godzilla (which also stars Olsen) prior to committing to the sequel, which reunites Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jeremy Renner. The Joss Whedon-directed sequel to 2012′s hugely successful The Avengers is set to hit »
- Lindsey Bahr
With Grand Piano getting rave reviews (read ours here), John Cusack is a hot commodity again; and he, Ryan Phillippe, Rachelle Lefevre, Jacki Weaver, and Luis Guzman are all starring in Reclaim, a suspense-thriller inspired by true events.
Phillippe ("Damages," The Lincoln Lawyer) and Lefevre ("Under the Dome," Twilight) play an American couple who head to Puerto Rico to finalize the adoption of their new seven-year-old daughter, a Haitian orphan named Nina. They take the time to explore the idyllic coast to bond as a new family, when Steven clashes with an intimidating local (Cusack, pictured above) and Nina disappears from her bed one night.
- Debi Moore
ABC and Hearst Entertainment vet Chad Hoffman will oversee the new division.
Lakeshore has already placed a few flags in the television space, selling a Sebastian Maniscalco project to NBC through Sony Pictures TV, and pilot “Blanco” to Cinemax with Fox TV studios. The indie production company noted that it brings “significant financing ability to the table,” as well.
“We will build on our successful feature formula of developing, financing, producing and owning carefully selected projects,” Lakeshore’s Chairman and CEO Tom Rosenberg said. “Being able to get quality projects made independently is one of the hallmarks of Lakeshore and we will expand that to television.”
Hoffman stated that he plans to sort through Lakeshore’s feature film library to find properties with TV series potential. »
- AJ Marechal
This time last year, Ben Affleck was riding an “Argo”-fueled high, with the pic generating awards buzz and solid box office receipts. Now, the Oscar-winning multihyphenate has come — and gone, it seems — quietly, starring alongside Justin Timberlake in the dismally reviewed action film, “Runner Runner.”
The $30 million-budgeted film, which Fox distributed, marks the follow-up to director Brad Furman’s 2011 hit “The Lincoln Lawyer,” though the former film never hit full speed in the lead up to opening weekend, grossing a meager $7.6 million, less than what even most rival studios had predicted.
See Also: Film Review: ‘Runner Runner’
“Runner Runner,” the poor-boy-tries-to-make-it-rich-only-to-be-double-crossed story, was overshadowed greatly by Warner Bros.’ fellow opener “Gravity,” which scored a record-setting October opening of $55.6 million. In fact, audiences had been buzzing »
- Andrew Stewart
This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. Brad Furman‘s latest movie, Runner Runner, has been getting terrible reviews. Like really, really terrible. I think we at Fsr even just avoided it entirely. That’s a shame because his first two narrative features, The Take and The Lincoln Lawyer, were pretty well received. And prior to that, his shorts were successful, too. His debut is called Fast Forward, and it involves the 1981 shooting of President Reagan. Rather than recreating the incident entirely, Furman takes the familiar TV footage, which millions of us have seen over and over before, and mixes it with peripheral reenactment where necessary for an added fictional component. Using the real material is for good purpose as the point of the film seems to be that the footage — and much of television like it — is confusing »
- Christopher Campbell
A critical digest of the week’s latest U.S. theatrical releases. Where applicable, links to longer reviews have been provided.
Distributor: Warner Bros.
About halfway through Alfonso Cuaron’s astonishing “Gravity,” Sandra Bullock, playing a lost astronaut stranded 375 miles above Earth, seeks refuge in an abandoned spacecraft and curls into a floating fetal position, savoring a brief respite from her harrowing journey. Of the many sights to behold in this white-knuckle space odyssey, a work of great narrative simplicity and visual complexity, it’s this image that speaks most eloquently to Cuaron’s gifts as a filmmaker: He’s the rare virtuoso capable of steering us through vividly imagined worlds and into deep recesses of human feeling. Suspending viewers alongside Bullock for a taut, transporting 91 minutes (with George Clooney in a sly supporting turn), the director’s long-overdue follow-up to “Children of Men” is at once a nervy »
- Variety Staff
Runner Runner is an enjoyable by-the-numbers tale of doublecross directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer). Scripted by Rounders and Ocean's 13 writers Brian Koppelman and David Levien, it stars Justin Timberlake as Richie Furst, a Princeton whiz-kid who gets in over his head when he travels to Costa Rica to confront Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), the online poker mogul who cheated him out of his college tuition.
Furman shoots from a handheld point of view with a narrow focus that makes the movie feel a little smaller than the lavish playboy surroundings where most of it takes place. The shaky-cam does little to liven up Affleck's wooden performance, which seems designed to prove his talents are best used behind the camera. At first jovial then progressively cruel, »
- Mike Saulters
Whatever his other gifts, Justin Timberlake has a hard time playing "hard."
Ben Affleck has no hint of sinister about him.
So the problems of the Internet gambling thriller "Runner Runner" are many and manifest. A thrill-free thriller with no urgency, scanty wit and limited sex appeal, it plays like just a paycheck for A-list actors who should know better.
Timberlake is Richie Furst, a Wall Street dropout whom we meet as he tries to hustle his way to a graduate degree at Princeton. But the online gambling he's using to finance college fails him, and a little number's crunching tells him he's been cheated. Somehow, he scrapes together the cash and the moxie to go to Costa »
Runner Runner is one of those movies that plays like it was based off its own trailer. Maybe director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and writing team Brian Koppelman and David Levien didn’t actually shoot a series of disconnected, pulpy clichés and then dream up the online gambling premise to hold it all together. It doesn’t really matter though, because watching Runner Runner makes [...] »
- Nathan Bartlebaugh
For a thriller about the duplicitous world of online gambling, Runner Runner has frustratingly little up its sleeve, and you can blame the writers for that. Though director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) does a great job of capturing the alternately glitzy and grimy feel of sunny gamblers’ paradise Costa Rica, and Ben Affleck sinks his teeth into his role with gusto, Runner Runner‘s familiar, lazily plotted script bogs it down with an overabundance of clichés.
In an opening slightly reminiscent of David Fincher’s The Social Network, viewers meet Richie Furst (Justin Timberlake), a brainy Princeton grad student in hot water for promoting gambling on campus. Furst, well-versed in the strategies of online poker, plays for his tuition money one night, only to find himself penniless after losing to an impossibly good opponent. Believing that he’s been swindled, he jets to Costa Rica to confront the site »
- Isaac Feldberg
Runner Runner is talking loud and saying nothing, and to think it's only 91 minutes long and feels as if it's three hours doesn't help. Even worse is how good this film could have been and how great Ben Affleck is at slow-playing not only Justin Timberlake's character, but the audience as well. There's a lot of smarts behind the screenplay, perhaps too much, and director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) knows what he's doing when it comes to developing his characters and playing the audience, but it ultimately becomes less a thriller and more a waiting game and a boring one at that. The only spark of life the film ever has is to watch Affleck's character slowly turn from a welcoming mentor to an alligator obsessed overlord. Too bad when I say "slowly" I mean slooooooooooowly. Using voice over, Timberlake introduces us to his character, Richie Furst, »
- Brad Brevet
While the conversation around the career rebound of Matthew McConaughey will continue this fall with "Dallas Buyers Club," many forget that it was 2011's "The Lincoln Lawyer" that gave the actor the first spring in his comeback step. On paper, it was a rather routine procedural, but it was elevated by director Brad Furman who shot it with some style and energy, and of course, McConaughey made his character leap off the page in the way few actors could. Which brings us to "Runner Runner," a movie that once again pairs Furman with a rather standard script, and though he does his best again to inject the proceedings with some spark and aided by a strong performance from a veteran actor, it doesn't quite graduate to the level of enjoyable pulp. Justin Timberlake leads the picture as the (ironically?) named Richie Furst, a less cocky version of his Sean Parker from "The Social Network. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
On a hot and humid evening last August, I spent the night on the San Juan, Puerto Rico set of director Brad Furman‘s (The Lincoln Lawyer) crime thriller Runner, Runner. The film stars Justin Timberlake as a Princeton student who is cheated out of his tuition money playing online poker and ends up traveling to Costa Rica to confront the on-line mastermind (Ben Affleck). The film also stars Gemma Arterton, Ben Schwartz, Dayo Okeniyi and Oliver Cooper and it was written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders). For more on the film, watch the trailer. During a break in filming, I got to participate in a group interview with Brad Furman. He talked about casting Affleck and Timberlake, what he knows about offshore gambling, how The Lincoln Lawyer opened up new doors in his career, filming in Puerto Rico, and a lot more. Hit the jump for the interview. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
It’s several weeks later now and the global stock market has more or less recovered from the news that Ben Affleck, of all the living human males ergonomically appropriate for cape-wearing, has landed the role of Batman in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” sequel. And it’s a good thing that the petition campaigns, the hunger strikes and the spate of protesters setting themselves on fire on the White House lawn have died down, as this week another Affleck-starring film gets its roll of the box office dice. “Runner Runner” is Brad Furman’s follow-up to 2011’s surprise hit “The Lincoln Lawyer” which performed the unlikely conjuring trick of jump-starting Matthew McConaughey’s now thriving career rehabilitation. Perhaps Furman will be a similar talisman for Affleck? The vehemence of the hatred for whom we have to say took even us by surprise after that casting announcement. In honesty, »
- Jessica Kiang
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