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From Tommy Lee Jones directing himself and The Swank we turn to another far more accomplished actor-turned-director. Clint Eastwood has won four Oscars in his career from two films (Unforgiven & Million Dollar Baby) but the 83 year old director has had a bit of a rougher run than usual in recent years, critically speaking. He's back with Jersey Boys based on the Broadway jukebox hit about the Four Seasons.
Let's divvy up our reactions to the trailer.
• There will be a lot of music
• Counterprogramming in the blockbuster realm of summer movies could help with critical reception so that's a smart move.
• Newish handsome actors in plum star-making position (if the movie is good and they ace it)
- NATHANIEL R
The first trailer for director Clint Eastwood's hotly anticipated "Jersey Boys," adapted from the celebrated musical about iconic '60s rock group The Four Seasons, has landed. Like the smash jukebox musical written by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice -- who also wrote the film's screenplay, alongside cowriter John Logan -- Eastwood's film revolves around the rise and fall of the band led by Frankie Valli, whose entanglements in the mafia and rough-and-tumble days on the streets of New Jersey came to define, and complicate, their image. After a long casting process, stage actor John Lloyd Young finally got to reprise his role as Valli, who he also played when the musical opened on Broadway in 2005. Christopher Walken costars. This is 83-year-old Eastwood's first film as a director since 2011's divisive biopic "J. Edgar"; it's produced by Graham King's Gk Films. And it's director Eastwood's first musical (he »
- Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio
The iconic Clint Eastwood turns 84 years old this year, and while he has largely retired as an actor – last seen in front of the camera in 2012′s Trouble with the Curve, the feature debut of his longtime first assistant director Robert Lorenz – as a director he has shown no signs of slowing down.
In the decade since the Best Picture Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood’s diverse (and sometimes uneven) output included two great World War II films (Flags of our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima), a massive blockbuster hit with Gran Torino (over $269 million worldwide) and Invictus, which starred Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela.
The director’s first film since 2011′s biopic J. Edgar is an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys, which follows the story of the legendary pop group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Watch the first ...
Click to continue reading Clint Eastwood »
- Anthony Vieira
Clint Eastwood's output as of late has been pretty uneven: for every triumph ("Letters from Iwo Jima"), there's a major disappointment ("J. Edgar") or outright dud ("Hereafter"). When given great material, though, Eastwood can really make it shine, and there's some potential in his adaptation of the hit musical "Jersey Boys," which just released its first trailer. Eastwood's first musical as a director (following his aborted attempt to remake "A Star is Born" with Beyonce), "Jersey Boys" tells the story of the Four Seasons (later known as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) as they went from rags to riches, and as their personal troubles became greater, including debts, mob involvement, strained friendships, and Valli's relationship with his troubled daughter. The pedigree here is huge: the jukebox musical won three Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actor for John Lloyd Young (who reprises his role as Valli here »
- Max O'Connell
Clint Eastwood has hit a bit of a rough patch in his directing career. Since getting his last Oscar nomination in 2007, his work has ranged from the underwhelming (Changeling, Gran Torino, Invictus) to downright bad (Hereafter, J. Edgar). Given the the star's status as a Hollywood icon, one truly hopes that he can turn things around before he is ready to retire, and today we get our first look at his latest effort. Apple has debuted the premiere trailer for Eastwood's upcoming musical Jersey Boys, and you can watch it embedded above. Based on the true story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and starring John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, and Christopher Walken, Jersey Boys is an adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name. The story begins in 1960s New Jersey and follows the various members of the rock group as they came together »
The highly anticipated and critically acclaimed political drama, House of Cards: The Complete Second Season, produced by Media Rights Capital, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD June 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The series returns with two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, Best Actor in a Leading Role, 1999; The Usual Suspects, Best Actor in a Supporting Role; 1995) as the newly appointed Vice President of the United States, along with Robin Wright, this year's Golden Globe winner for her role as his wife, Claire Underwood (Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama). This series continues to sizzle with intensity as the ruthless Underwoods stop at nothing to climb the political food chain.
All 13 episodes will be available on the four-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets for House of Cards: The Complete Second Season with stunning collectible packaging on both releases, along with five bonus featurettes. »
Now, before I turn this into a proper town hall meeting about Leonardo DiCaprio's dance moves at Coachella, a disclaimer: We can't 100% confirm this is Leo since his back is turned in the footage, but we do have a lot of photographic evidence that he attended Coachella, wore the polo shirt and board shorts you see here, and covered his face with that inventive wrap technique usually reserved for Blanket Jackson. So in other words: It's almost certainly, nearly definitely Leonardo DiCaprio, star of J. Edgar and Marvin's Room. Watch the above video. Experience Leo's dancing. Also experience his lunging, punching, thugging, and thrusting. Guys, wow. What. What is he doing here. What is he achieving. How did this. What is. Who? What. A who-what now. Stop. How. Go. He begins with traditional Caucasian bopping. I'm on board. But not for board shorts. That's not what I said. I'm just on board. »
- Louis Virtel
Justin Chang: Scott, I know it will come as little surprise to you that when Peter Debruge and I sat down to discuss this year’s Oscar nominees for best supporting actor and supporting actress, we spent almost as much time talking about the performances that should have been nominated as we did talking about the ones that actually were. This is hardly a new ax for any critic to grind, but it bears repeating: Those who vote on the Academy Awards are largely in the business of making movies — not seeing them, thinking about them and writing about them week in and week out. No wonder this organization’s choices often strike us as so pedestrian and provincial, less engaged by the boundary-expanding possibilities of cinema than beholden to the power of hometown hype.
See Also: Oscars Picks: Variety Critics on Who Should Win Best Supporting Actor »
- Justin Chang and Scott Foundas
Hollywood's going to make Adam Driver happen. It's not a question of "if," but just a question of "when." Variety reports today that Driver is in talks to join "Star Wars: Episode VII," and they suggest that his character will be a major villain in the film. Driver was one of the names in the mix to play Lex Luthor for "Man Of Steel 2," which ran contrary to earlier reporting that he was being considered as Nightwing, and it looks like he's being viewed as a candidate for bad guy roles in a number of these big movies right now. I certainly think he has the right charisma to make a character like that interesting, but I hope that's not the only way Hollywood sees him. He's more interesting than that. It's always interesting to see how Hollywood tries to figure out an actor once they've made that first big splash. »
- Drew McWeeny
With filming set to begin in April, Disney has made its first casting revelation for Star Wars: Episode VII. According to Variety, Girls star Adam Driver is in final talks to play the villain role that will be in the vein of the franchise's iconic villain, Darth Vader. Disney was also rumored to have been looking at Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving for villain roles. Though he currently stars on HBO's Girls, the 30-year-old Driver has been busy on the big screen as well. His recent credits include Lincoln, Inside Llewyn Davis, Frances Ha and J. Edgar. He also has a number of films currently in production that will be released over the next two years. Star Wars: Episode VII will begin filming in London and more casting announcements are likely in the coming...
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"Girls" star Adam Driver has done the auteur thing—Clint Eastwood ("J. Edgar"), Noah Baumbach ("Frances Ha"), Steven Spielberg ("Lincoln"), Coen Brothers ("Inside Llewyn Davis") and soon Martin Scorsese in "Silence"—but now's getting his blockbuster shoes on, joining the biggest damn franchise in the planet galaxy. Variety reports that the actor has bagged the villain role in J.J. Abrams' "Star Wars: Episode 7." Since he is the first actor to be officially signed on to the sequel, naturally, plot details are being kept under wraps, though he is said to be playing a character in the vein of Darth Vader (though let's hope he's not related to him in some way). Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving were also named as contenders for the part, but for whatever reason, they did not nab the role. Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams have penned the script, taking over from Michael Arndt last fall, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
If Oscars were given out for consistent box office performance (there's already a prize for that and it's called "money") Julia Roberts would have won her Oscar in the 1990s when everything she churned out was a $100 million slam dunk and Leonardo DiCaprio would have followed suit right about now for a long run of the same incredible trick. Most of Julia's big triumphs were in the popular thriller or romantic comedy genres but Leo seems to be a special case making practically anything (save the dimly lit dim of wit J. Edgar) into a $100 million grosser whether it's a foul-mouthed 3 hour comedy, a mixed review prestigious literary adaptation, or any other genre really. He might be the only mega star who is worth his full asking price given that his marketability doesn't seem to be tied to anything but his beloved creased-brow face.
Julia and Leo both, who received »
- NATHANIEL R
In decades of tracking the Academy Awards, I honestly can’t recall any category, in any year, when a race was as fiercely, thrillingly white-hot competitive as this year’s Best Actor race. Just think about it: Not one, not two, not three, but four of the nominees each stands a very real chance of winning. Consider each scenario, and you’ll realize it’s true. When Jennifer Lawrence gets up to present the Best Actor award and tears open that envelope, if she ends up saying, “And the Oscar goes to…Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave,” it will not be a shock, »
- Owen Gleiberman
By Michael Russnow As Oscar voters continue to mark their ballots until this Wednesday, I wonder what goes into their thinking? Do they vote specifically for what they believe is the best achievement of last year, a surprising performance and accomplishment or is it a cumulative assessment of someone’s career? For all these reasons, and not just one, I’m going against the grain of what appears to be the general consensus and strongly suggest that Leonardo DiCaprio deserves the Oscar this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, even more than favorite Matthew McConaughey. This doesn’t in any way diminish McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club. It was terrific, and the subject matter of the film made it that much more compelling. However, DiCaprio’s execution, in my view, was even more powerful, in particular as it was a totally different characterization and portrayal than we »
Longtime Warner Bros. exec Sarah Schechter has exited her post and joined Berlanti Productions, the prolific Warners-based film and TV banner run by writer-producer Greg Berlanti. Schechter was a highly respected senior production vp who is known for working with Clint Eastwood, working with the esteemed filmmaker on films such as Invictus and J. Edgar. Most recently, she had been shepherding the studio’s Peter Pan tentpole titled Pan, which Berlanti is producing. Story: Warner Bros. Promotes Ana de Castro to Senior VP, Deputy General Counsel At her new gig, she will head both the film and television divisions as
- Borys Kit
• Russell Brand, Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars), and Austin Abrams (The InBetweeners) are reportedly in talks to star in Vernon God Little for director Werner Herzog (The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans). Based on Dbc Pierre’s Booker Prize-winning novel, the story is a dark, satirical portrait of a Texas town in the aftermath of a school shooting told from the point of view of its 15-year-old protagonist. [The Wrap]
- Lindsey Bahr
Here's the latest casting news out of the Berlin International Film Festival: Vera Farmiga will star in writer-director Evan Greenburg's ballet-themed relationship comedy, Prima. Clea DuVall (Argo), Sheryl Lee (Winter's Bone), Emily Alyn Lind (J. Edgar), and Ryan Bingham (Crazy Heart) join writer-director Ami Canaan Mann's drama, Your Right Mind, starring Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes. Jeremy Sumpter (Friday Night Lights), Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals) and Sebastian Koch (A Good Day to Die Hard) are in talks for Jim Gillespie's young-adult thriller, Take Down. Hit the jump for more. Check out the full details on each film via the following press releases with synopses in bold: Prima Vera Farmiga To Star In The Allegiance Theater’S Ballet Comedy “Prima” Highland Film Group (Hfg) to Handle Worldwide Sales at Efm in Berlin Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 6, 2014 – The Allegiance Theater and MediaBiz International announced that Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air, »
- Dave Trumbore
Clea DuVall ( Argo , pictured), Sheryl Lee ( Winter's Bone ), Emily Alyn Lind ( J. Edgar ), and Academy Award Winning musician/actor Ryan Bingham have joined the cast of the contemporary romance Your Right Mind starring, Katherine Heigl ( Knocked Up ) and Ben Barnes ( The Chronicles of Narnia ). Ami Canaan Mann ( Texas Killing Fields ) is directing her script with principal photography currently underway in Utah. Molly Hassell is producing with Ami Canaan Mann and John Jencks. Jon Avnet ( Black Swan ), Rodrigo Garcia ("In Treatment"), Highland Film Group's (Hfg) Arianne Fraser and Delphine Perrier, and Main Street Films' Craig Chang are serving as executive producers. Hfg represents the worldwide rights and will continue to shop it to buyers at Efm in Berlin. Your »
When the 86th Annual Academy Awards nominations were announced today, Dallas Buyers Club landed five nods, for Best Picture, Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto), Best Original Screenplay (Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews). On the heels of this big news, Focus Features has released a behind-the-scenes featurette that will be included on the Blu-ray and DVD release arriving February 4. Watch as Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner discuss their experiences on the set of this critically-acclaimed drama based on an incredible true story. You can also take a look at the special features details for the Blu-ray and DVD release.
Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sees his free-wheeling life overturned when he's diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Determined to survive, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands by tracking down alternative »
The Oscar nominations are in, and if you haven’t glanced at the Best Actress category, you’re in for a star-studded explosion. Collectively, the five chosen actresses have been nominated 38 times for Academy Awards, so any member of this esteemed quintet could run off with the gold.
But every great actor is an entitled to a mediocre performance or two. Here are my least favorite performances by the five nominated actresses of 2014.
Amy Adams: Julie and Julia
I actually appreciate that Julia and Julia was half-about the tribulations of a blogger trying to establish herself. Scaring up pageviews in order to sustain a living is an unusual situation, and I haven’t seen that explored in many movies. But Amy Adams is a pile of quirks and unfunny dialogue in this movie, and I’ve never seen her so flatly perky. You miss Meryl when she’s not »
- Louis Virtel
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