17 items from 2015
'Still Alice' and 'Maps to the Stars' box office: Julianne Moore Oscar helps only one movie (photo: Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore in 'Still Alice') (See previous post: "'The Lazarus Effect' Box Office: Olivia Wilde Horror Movie Arrives Comatose.") The Oscars do matter. As mentioned in the previous post, Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman was up an estimated 125 percent this weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, following its four Academy Award wins – including Best Picture. Also up a hefty 24 percent – after adding 553 locations – is Sony Pictures Classics' Still Alice, which earned Julianne Moore the year's Best Actress Oscar for her performance as a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. True, an Oscar win – or key nominations – may not create mammoth blockbusters like Francis Lawrence's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, or Clint Eastwood's American Sniper. For that, »
- Zac Gille
This potent brew of discomforting black humor and sublimely exaggerated melodrama revels in an unnervingly frigid tone that is not all that dissimilar from David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis. Maps to the Stars is stiltedly hyper-real reflection on reality that accentuates the inherent falsities of the cinematic medium. A bit heavy-handed at times, Cronenberg's film is a Freudian analysis of the perversity of Hollywood inbreeding and the self-perpetuating cycle that dehumanizes people and turns them into psychotic monsters. Just like these characters, Hollywood is self-obsessed and entranced with its glamorous history, always looking back rather than progressing into the future. A Canadian director with an unrivaled panache for creating unsettling films that are poised in sharp opposition to Hollywood, Cronenberg has certainly earned himself every right to make this judgment. »
- Don Simpson
This doesn't bode well. For the second film in a row, David Cronenberg has made a stinker. Yes, there were some bits in Cosmopolis that didn't suck, but it was hardly vintage DC. As I mentioned in my review for that other Robert Pattinson-in-a-limo movie, my biggest disappointment of late isn't that Cronenberg is trying new things (applause!), stepping outside for the last decade or so from his bread-and-butter genre flicks. But I am really not along for the ride with his latest foray into somber, clinical and dreary character pieces. I could go on and on about how Crash's captivating and nihilistic ennui has been replaced of late with a glossy and laconic moping that seems characteristic of this latest phase. As before, I...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
What’s the Matter with Havana?: Cronenberg’s L.A. Story a Hot Mess of Tangled Ideas
Couched within its episodic instances of harpooning Hollywood stereotypes, there is a rather interesting tale in Maps to the Stars contending as a wobbly family saga of vacuous types tainted by their desperate attempts to maintain a certain visibility within celebrity culture. But it’s an idea lost in its own maddening attempt at actually engaging in the mythos pointedly laid out in its own subtext as pertains to provocative motifs like incest, nepotism, and (literally) ghosts from the past. The result is a maudlin brew of wacky circumstances and over-the-top flourishes that sometimes work, but, more often than not, fall flat the longer running the time wears on. While it very much feels like a Cronenbergian endeavor, its pointed critique of a particular empty headed culture ends up feeling like a series of wink-wink potshots, »
- Nicholas Bell
This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Real talk: it's been quite a while since David Cronenberg made something truly satisfying. "Cosmopolis" has a few defenders, "A Dangerous Method" not so much, and while there's stuff to like in "Spider," "A History Of Violence" and "Eastern Promises," all felt compromised to some degree or other. Indeed, the truly unfiltered Cronenberg picture, one where bits fall off people or people try to have sex with orifices not traditionally used for any sexual act, seems like something of a distant memory at this point. But good news is here, because the Canadian director's latest, "Maps To The Stars," just premiered at Cannes, and while it's substantially different from the "Videodrome"s and "Crash"es of the world, and probably rather more disposable, it's certainly the director's most twisted, and as a consequence, most deliciously »
- Oliver Lyttelton
For someone so hung up on the body, David Cronenberg sure has a way with words. Amongst all those blooming wounds, moist openings and jagged cavities, it’s often the mouth that’s the most persuasive orifice of all. Whether slogans which feel like rallying cries or individual words rendered hypnotic by repetition, Cronenberg’s mantras echo so long in the mind they often encapsulate the films they inhabit: for what would Videodrome (1983) be without the new flesh, Naked Lunch (1991) without the Interzone? While many of his dialogues draw on languid repetition to create the same sense of dreamy, heightened unreality that envelops his entire oeuvre, there are certain cases where his mantras seem to work their magic on the narrative itself, itemising its key components, ushering in shifts between different levels of reality or even mimicking its very structure. And yet this approach too is in continual flux, shifting »
- James Lattimer
Quite hilarious in a deeply disturbing way that you won’t want to look straight on at, lest it forever ruin you as a lover of movies. I’m “biast” (pro): mostly like Cronenberg’s work, love the cast
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Oh, did you have dreams of going to Hollywood, becoming a star, and living happily ever after? Maps to the Stars will put paid to them. This is one of Canadian horror auteur David Cronenberg’s (Cosmopolis, Eastern Promises) least trippy films: it’s hardly surreal at all. Which makes it all too plausible as it looks askew at the living nightmares that are the lives of the Weiss family of Los Angeles, all of whom are deeply entrenched in the industry. Except the one thing they think is horrific — and it’s pretty bad »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Even though we've seen plenty of footage from Maps to the Stars, thanks to the Canadian trailer, the United Kingdom trailer and most recent Us trailer (just to name a few), we have one more quick, wild red band trailer for the skewering of Hollywood as only director David Cronenberg can deliver. It's not all that crazy of a red band trailer, with only hints of nudity and one f-bomb dropped by Mia Wasikowska, but it's certainly frenetic and full of some weird imagery, including one curious shot of Robert Pattinson. But it's Oscar nominee Julianne Moore stealing the trailer with her crazy actress character again. Watch! Here's the final red band trailer for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars from Yahoo: You can still watch the Us trailer for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars right here. Maps to the Stars is directed by David Cronenberg (Scanners, »
- Ethan Anderton
Director: David Cronenberg
Running Time: 90 minutes
Cronenberg’s early film Rabid, reminds me of why and when he was at the peak of his great talent. I can’t stand his last two efforts, with both Cosmopolis and Maps To The Stars wallowing in weirdness for the sake of atmosphere, and failing to have any pay off or real sense of what they were doing. Rabid is a simpler affair, but one that explores the mutilation and mutation of one’s body that Cronenberg is well-known for.
Set in Canada, the film begins with a peculiar bike crash in which a number of people come to the scene. An injured woman (Chambers) is taken to hospital where she undergoes cosmetic surgery to correct some of her wounds. This leaves her with a strange infection that causes her to attack people, »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Robert Pattinson’s latest outing in Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” with Nicole Kidman and James Franco, has left critics parched at the Berlin Film Festival. Has RPatz bombed, again? Since the “Twilight” franchise made him an international star three years ago, Pattinson has focused his career on a string of indie flicks. He’s starred in a string of films such as “Cosmopolis,” “Water for Elephants,” “Bel Ami,” “The Rover,” “Maps of he Stars” and now “Queen of the Desert.” ...Read More »
#1. "Maps to the Stars" (Feb 27)(Film Page) Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Evan Bird, Robert Pattinson, Olivia Williams Distributor: Focus World Criticwire Average: B Why is it a "Must See"? Cronenberg's followup to 2012's "Cosmopolis" (and the first project by the Canadian director shot in the United States) does a far better job of skewing capitalism's discontents by exploring their manifestations in the American movie business. Every missive hits its target hard with a comedy-horror combo aimed squarely at the kind of commercial stupidity that Cronenberg has avoided throughout his 45-year career. Now we know why. #2. "Wild Tales" (Feb 20) (Film Page) Director: Damian Szifron Cast: Ricardo Darin, Oscar Martinez, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Erica Rivas, Rita Cortese, Julieta Zylberberg, Dario Grandinetti Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics Criticwire Average: A- Why is it a "Must See"? »
1. Dead Ringers
Two Jeremy Irons doing anything would be scary: his turn in 1988’s Dead Ringers as good gynaecologist, bad gynaecologist is truly terrifying. Irons plays identical twin doctors Beverly and Eliot Mantle with dizzying ease and effect: you give up looking for the special effects, because you forget there are any. Genevieve Bujold’s Claire gets far more than she bargained for: sinister is heaped upon tragic when she goes to their clinic because of her infertility and is drawn darkly downhill into the brothers’ world of women-sharing, paranoid delusions, assault against patients and an abundance of prescription drugs. Beverly and Eliot’s souls are so close that they have grown interdependent and tangled, like the branches of trees planted too close together. Body horror is given a stark slant when Beverly attacks a patient with a specially-made medical tool, and the spectre of partly hidden female genitalia hangs »
- Juliette Jones
Focus World has released the brand new U.S. theatrical trailer & poster for Maps To The Stars, directed by David Cronenberg & starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska with John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.
Cronenberg is equally known for not flinching from any subject, and for making films that are as challenging and substantial as they are suspenseful and visually compelling. Early in his career, he made a series of vivid, fantastical thrillers including Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, eXistenZ and Spider. More recently, his filmmaking has become even more expansive with the high-style crime thrillers A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, the psychological, sex- infused historical drama about Freud and Jung, A Dangerous Method, and his adaptation of Cosmopolis which takes place almost entirely in a billionaire’s limousine on one fateful trip through the city.
For Cronenberg, Maps To The Stars was another chance to switch »
- Michelle McCue
Robert Pattinson has reteamed with his Cosmopolis director, David Cronenberg, for a movie that looks even stranger than the 2012 thriller. The trailer for Maps to the Stars has been released, and it's pretty stressful. Mia Wasikowska stars as Agatha, a pyromaniac recently released from a mental hospital. Her father (John Cusack), a Hollywood self-help guru, hears about her release from a client (Julianne Moore, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance) and vows not to let his daughter mess things up for his family again. Pattinson plays a limo driver (who eventually ends up getting sexy with Moore), and Olivia Williams plays Cusack's wife. This whole thing is bizarre, and it will be out on Feb. 27. Get a peek below! »
David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis really rubbed me the wrong way, so much so that I do not really care what he has to offer next. That is a shame because I generally really like his filmography. But... I just cannot get interested in Maps to the Stars. It has been even more polarizing than Cosmopolis, and Brad's review certainly does not help its case. Well, for those of you eagerly awaiting it, still undecided about it, or that just like trailers, a new domestic trailer is below for you to watch, along with a new poster for the film. I will admit, the new poster is pretty awesome. I am fully prepared to call this a good film if it ends up being one. I know Cronenberg is capable of that, and with a cast that includes Julianne Moore (who won Best Actress at Cannes for this film), Mia Wasikowska, »
- Mike Shutt
"Now that you're in Tinseltown, what are you gonna do?" Everyone has their own idea of the glamor in Hollywood, but David Cronenberg's version of the home of movies in Maps to the Stars is anything but wonderful. Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson star in this ensemble of four people who seem to just be wandering through life in Hollywood. This trailer paints a pretty intense picture, almost like a thriller, which is exactly what we would expect from Cronenberg. The performances seem to be the driving force behind the odd drama, but here's hoping the story is just as good. Here's the Us trailer for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars from Focus Features: Check out the previous Canadian trailer right here and a UK trailer right here. Maps to the Stars is directed by David Cronenberg (Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Eastern Promises, »
- Ethan Anderton
How's this for racy?
Singer Fka Twigs is showing off her flawless physique on the cover of V magazine's 93rd issue, going topless and sporting nothing but a nude pair of undies and a strategically placed necklace.
Photos: Stars In Their Underwear
The usually private 26-year-old singer talks to V about her unique sound, and gets defensive about her music being labeled "alternative R&B."
"'Alternative R&B' is patronizing to R&B," she says, via E! News. "R&B is R&B -- it doesn't need an alternative. There are plenty of artists now experimenting with electronic music, manipulating sounds. We can make a train into a synth. We can make drips into hi-hats. I can record sounds on my phone and make a »
17 items from 2015
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