20 items from 2014
There are plenty of awkward moments in film, especially in comedy. That makes sense because awkwardness, when intentional, is just pretty funny. Think of Ted getting his penis stuck in his zipper in There’s Something About Mary, the moments in American Pie when Jim’s father wants to talk about sex, or hell, most of the scenes in Meet The Parents. The recent comedy That Awkward Moment is even dedicated to the awkwardness of dating, even if it isn’t very good.
Not only comedy seems to be fond of awkwardness. It’s everywhere. An example many people would like to erase from their memory – Nicole Kidman masturbating in front of John Cusack in The Paperboy. Painfully awkward, but effective. People really dig awkwardness.
A scene can also be awkward while the director’s intention was to make it moving, sad, or shocking. Sometimes it’s awkward »
- Julie Putseys
John Cusack has not exactly been the A-list star he used to be. His last big studio film was the lackluster The Raven. He has steadily appeared in a lot of movies in supporting roles including The Paperboy and Grand Piano, but nothing quite on par with his career resurgence in the late 1990s. But, Cusack did find moderate success in the Stephen King hotel horror movie 1408 and is currently set to star alongside Samuel L. Jackson in another King adaptation, Cell. But, there is another »
- Alex Maidy
It may not be to most actors’ tastes, but Matthew McConaughey is sounding oddly happy about his smaller paydays.
“For the first time in my career, I lost money! No joke!” the actor says.
Then again, McConaughey has reason to smile; his choice to reject big mainstream movies, ultimately in favor of gritty roles in independent films, represents a dramatic career shift –— and has garnered widespread recognition — for the 44-year-old Texas-born father of three.
His performance in “Dallas Buyers Club,” as the real-life Ron Woodroof, a homophobic good ol’ boy who became a health crusader after being diagnosed with AIDS, smuggling life-saving drugs into the U.S. for himself and fellow patients, has earned him top honors at the Golden Globes and SAG awards, and brought him his first Oscar nomination.
It is one of several complicated characters that McConaughey has boldly portrayed recently — from the hard-edged drifter in “Mud »
- Jenelle Riley
What the hell has happened to John Cusack? Remember the glory days of Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity and Being John Malkovich? Now he is giving us nonsense like The Raven, The Paperboy and this, Drive Hard. Above is the first trailer for Drive Hard, a crime thriller fronted by Cusack and Thomas Jane, that somehow stayed completely off our radar until now. It's a buddy comedy that follows the wild ride of a mysterious thief (Cusack) who kidnaps a race car driver turned driver's ed instructor (Jane), so he can be a reluctant getaway driver. Along the way, this odd couple will cross paths and piss off cops and gangsters. Damien Garcey, Christopher Morris, and Zoe Walker co-star. The Playlist has unearthed a couple of stills from the film, which you can see below. The first one has Cusack double-fisting a pair of guns, and in a »
Actor known for swashbuckling, wisecracking roles has muscled in on Hollywood's top table with role in Dallas Buyers Club
With the Academy Awards taking place on 2 March, a once almost unthinkable name has edged to the front of the best actor pack: Matthew McConaughey, once the bronzed clown prince of the romcom. His film Dallas Buyers Club, which hits British cinemas this weekend, has already won him top prizes at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards. The Oscar narrative, for what it's worth, has his name pencilled in.
He plays Ron Woodroof, a roguish character with Aids who starts importing drug treatments, and generated many faux-concerned tabloid headlines for his gaunt appearance. His performance is far more than mere body shock, however.
- Ben Beaumont-Thomas
Trying to figure out the Academy’s reasoning for why they pick certain performances, tech aspects and films to honor is to court chaos. Just when you think a film like Saving Mr. Banks or Lee Daniels’ The Butler has a good shot at making the field, The Lone Ranger gets more nominations than both of those films combined.
The aforementioned scenario isn’t uncommon over the history of the Oscar as many films that have buzz are replaced by the next buzzy title and forgotten or just not even considered at the Oscars. This is what makes it all the more interesting when a badly reviewed movie manages to pick up a nomination. There are several films in contention this year, from Jackass presents Bad Grandpa to Pacific Rim.
Determining what’s a bad movie/performance/tech is an incredibly subjective process that varies from voter to voter. »
- Terence Johnson
Zac Efron movies: ‘That Awkward Moment’ box office disappoints on Super Bowl weekend - though grosses may surpass budget Zac Efron can be seen this weekend, January 31-February 2, 2014, in That Awkward Moment, a romantic comedy directed by Tom Gormican, and co-starring Miles Teller (the star of Sundance 2014 double winner Whiplash), Michael B. Jordan (the star of Sundance 2013 double winner Fruitvale Station), and Imogen Poots. (Photo: Zac Efron in That Awkward Moment.) Released by Focus Features at 2,809 North American locations as a sort of "counter-programming" to the Super Bowl, That Awkward Moment had a disappointing debut on Friday, collecting an estimated $2.94 million, according to estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Chances are things aren’t going to get all that much better on Saturday before the film plummets — like just about every other movie out there — on Super Bowl Sunday. ‘That Awkward Moment’ box office: Good news and bad news Now, »
- Zac Gille
Proving he can do more than just sing and be really, really good-looking, the California native has taken on several dramatic roles in the past several years, from "Me and Orson Welles" to "The Paperboy," to positive reviews. This Friday, however, Efron shows off his comedic chops in the raunchy rom-com "That Awkward Moment," opposite pals Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan.
Whether or not you've had a chance to see Efron of late, there's still much to know about the fast-rising star. From his unexpected hobby to his run-in with Hayden Panettiere, here are 17 things you probably don't know about Zac Efron.
1. Efron's father encouraged him to start acting when he was 11, which led him to high school plays and, later, singing lessons.
2. He was »
- Jonny Black
Five years after the curtain dropped on the High School Musical series, Zac Efron is looking all grown up. Well, sort of. He's certainly dirtied up that squeaky clean image in The Paperboy and now in this raunchy rom-com, but it's his emotional immaturity that throws up a lot of awkward moments as 20-something lothario Jason. If you see this with a date, be wary of nervous chuckles...
Jason is living the dream. He has a cool apartment in Manhattan, a cool job designing book covers and an even cooler attitude to women - dating them "in rotation" to ensure there's always someone to warm his bed. Early on he finds himself in a rather tricky position the morning after the night before, getting dumped by a girl who makes »
There aren’t that many romantic comedies aimed at the bro crowd, but That Awkward Moment is trying to fill that gap. The film stars Zac Efron (The Paperboy), Miles Teller (21 & Over) and Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle) as three friends living out their mid-twenties in New York City; when young doctor Mikey (Jordan) finds that his marriage is imploding, it sends him back out into the world of singles and dating, where his longtime friends Daniel (Teller) and Jason (Efron) promises an oath of solidarity: They will remain single as long as Mikey needs wingmen.
However, as the universe would have it, as soon as the boys swear off love they find that love comes calling for each of them. Before long, guy code has each of guy fronting like he’s still single and ready to mingle, even though each man’s heart has been stolen by a ...
- Kofi Outlaw
Zac Efron wants to put his teen-idol past behind him in the most aggressive way possible. He tried fightin’, drinkin’, drivin’ and lovin’ as an unconvincing Midwestern farm boy in “At Any Price,” and he let Nicole Kidman empty her bladder on him in “The Paperboy.” Efron tries to up the R-rated stakes in “That Awkward Moment,” a supposedly raunchy comedy about dudes and babes and relationships, but despite his frequent near-nudity, he’s saddled with a particularly bland and butterscotch-hearted tale about guys who boast about being single and care-free but who, deep down, want to find the right girl. »
- Alonso Duralde
Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.
- Darren Franich
Down in the lint of God's pocket rests Leon, a flick-knife wielding toerag so disreputable that when a co-worker snapped and conked him on the head, everyone swore blind it was an accident. But Leon's mum (Christina Hendricks) knows something's not right about her little boy's death, so her luckless husband (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is sent off to look for clues and enough cash to put the little bastard in the ground.
Mad Men star John Slattery's directional debut roots around in familiar muck. His depiction of God's Pocket - a fictional South Philly neighbourhood crawling with drunks, hucksters and vagabonds - near weeps with the blue collar romanticism of David O Russell's The Fighter. But it's in digging out the black humour in the petty criminal's scrap to survive that Slattery distinguishes himself. »
- Henry Barnes
John Slattery, best known for his role as the debonair "Mad Men" star Roger Sterling, makes the shift from actor to director with his feature length debut "God’s Pocket," adapting (with co-writer Alex Metcalf) the novel by Peter Dexter (whose work was most recently brought to the screen as Lee Daniels’ deliriously gonzo "The Paperboy"). This isn’t Slattery's first time sitting in the director’s chair, as the silver-haired star cut his teeth by handling five episodes of “Mad Men." The results hinted at the presence of a confident storyteller capable of maintaining a delicate mood. Yet the promise shown in those entries makes it all the more disappointing that Slattery's first feature is a disjointed mixture of screwball comedy and urban strife that never coalesce into a satisfying whole. Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines a formidable roster of actors as Mickey Scarpano, a thief-with-a-heart-of-gold who lives in the »
- Robert Cameron Fowler
The absurdist black comedy drawn from daily life in a blue collar Philadelphia neighborhood registers about half-way in God’s Pocket. Based on the first novel (1983) by Peter Dexter, whose The Paperboy got rather roughed up when it became a film two years ago, this first feature from Mad Men actor John Slattery only partly succeeds in its aim to derive outrageous humor from its hardscrabble setting, ultimately playing like a movie by the Coen Brothers directed with one arm tied behind their backs. Theatrical outlook is iffy, although it could go over nicely as an offbeat home screen
- Todd McCarthy
Ah, January: the month that sparkles with revived possibility and unspoiled options. Unless, of course, you're a Netflix subscriber. Groggy revellers browsing the streaming service in search of hangover entertainment from New Year's Day onward will have found the selection somewhat smaller: owing to licensing expirations and financial constraints, nearly 500 titles, ranging from Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps to Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream, had vanished from the virtual shelves by 5 January.
The addition of 80-odd new titles, many of them disposable, doesn't exactly cushion the blow. Still, there are some welcome new arrivals, among them Andrea Arnold's stunning formalist revision of Wuthering Heights, Lee Daniels's lovably lurid potboiler The Paperboy and this week's clear streaming highlight: Ridley Scott's The Duellists. An inspired, literate Joseph Conrad adaptation, »
- Guy Lodge
Feature James Clayton 10 Jan 2014 - 06:24
The new year brings with it a wave of sombre dramas. James provides a solemn guide to these serious movies...
Real talk: it's high time you wiped that silly smile of your face, sunshine. We're in serious and sombre season and a cheery disposition is inappropriate during this difficult period. Please show some respectful decorum and put on your best po-face. Act accordingly, for these are grave times and we're grappling with grave issues.
Now that you've adopted the expression of an Easter Island statue you're ready to trip off to the cinema and watch all the sobering films that are being screened. Indeed, if you look at the release schedule for the next few weeks you'll found that there are a lot of solemn affairs on the slate and making their way into movie houses to exert an ominous presence. Expect much »
Man is there a lot of new content on streaming services this week. There are literally hundreds of new titles available for your viewing pleasure, I couldn’t possibly have written about all of it because I would be writing into next week! Just know that there is something there for everyone whether your bag is comedy, drama, action or horror.
Most impressively this week, Netflix have stepped up to the plate and unleashed a full load of good stuff. They have also announced that they are going to add an audio commentary to their original show House of Cards, which can only be good news for those holding on to their physical media love and may mean that this most valuable of DVD extras is not going away but will instead be reborn in a different guise.
This week’s new titles are as follows:
- Chris Holt
To mark the release of The Frozen Ground on 13th January, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
Directed by Scott Walker, The Frozen Ground features an all-star cast including Nicolas Cage (Bad Lieutenant, Kick Ass), Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers, Sucker Punch), John Cusack (The Paperboy, 2012) and global hip-hop legend Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
When teenage prostitute Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens) is found by police officers – beaten and pleading for her life – in an Alaskan motel room, everyone is quick to dismiss her version of events. However, Us state trooper Sgt. Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage), soon comes to believe that Cindy is the only surviving victim of a local serial killer, Robert C. Hansen, responsible for a series of murders of young women in the past decade. Lacking the support of his department, Halcombe must find Cindy, gain her trust and form an unlikely partnership in order to »
FilmDistrict has debuted four character featurettes for their upcoming romantic comedy That Awkward Moment, which we have for your below courtesy of Yahoo! Movies.
The film stars Zac Efron (The Paperboy), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) as three best friends who vow to maintain their single status for as long as possible when one of them is involved in what can only be called a messy break up. Their plan begins to hit bumps when each begin to fall in love and have to attempt to work around their pledge. All three are featured in the promos, along with Imogen Poots (Filth) who plays Zac Efron's girlfriend.
- Gary Collinson
20 items from 2014
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