Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trailers: The Iceman and The Company You Keep

Michael Shannon is finally starting to take grasp of some serious leading roles. After his Oscar-snubbed performance in last year's psychological thriller Take Shelter, Shannon sees himself in the spotlight once again in The Iceman. Based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski (played by Shannon), The Iceman chronicles the husband and family man responsible for over 100 contract murders over a 30+ year span. With an all star cast also including Ray Liotta, James Franco, Chris Evans and Winona Ryder, you can check out the trailer for The Iceman below.

Even in his old age Robert Redford is still going at it. The 76 year old actor/director returns to action in his latest thriller The Company You Keep. Starring alongside Redford in the film are Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci and many more. The Company You Keep follows a former activist (played by Redford) who's forced to go on the run when a journalist (played by LaBeouf) discovers his true identity. With a lengthy A-List cast and a legend like Redford at the helm, The Company You Keep is definitely an intriguing trailer. Check it out below.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Film: Lawless

Starring: Shia LaBeouf (Transformers), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Guy Pearce (Animal Kingdom)

Director: John Hillcoat (The Road)

U.S. Release: August 29th, 2012 (Rated R)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 115 minutes

Author Matt Bondurant spent his childhood raised in Alexandria, VA, just hours away from his grandfather Jack's residence in Franklin County. His ancestor's wild tales of prohibition-era bootlegging and invincibility fascinated him enough to turn the family folk lore into his own 2008 novel The Wettest County in the World. And with the aid of up and coming director John Hillcoat, Bondurant's grandfather and granduncles will now have their story told on big screens everywhere.

Set during the prohibition-era in Franklin County, Viriginia, Lawless follows a trio of brothers known for bootlegging moonshine. The Bondurant boys, consisting of Jack (played by LaBeouf), Forrest (played by Hardy) and Howard (played by Jason Clarke), run a flourishing low key bootlegging operation in rural Virginia. That is until crooked politicians from the city swoon in on their territory and demand a piece of the action. But after refusing to work out a deal with local authorities, Charlie Rakes (played by Pearce) and the strong arm of the law attempt to put an end to the Bondurant's business.


John Hillcoat's Lawless is a fascinating blend of drama and action that entertains and hooks the audience with effortless precision. As part Western and part Gangster movie, Lawless places the viewer at the forefront of prohibition in the rural setting of Franklin County. Backed by an astonishing cast that's as talented as any other I've ever seen, Hillcoat's brand of violent, yet mesmerizing, filmmaking leaves nothing to the imagination. Shia LaBeouf heads the brilliant cast and delivers a momentous performance. As the story's central character, LaBeouf's role is essential to the success of the film. Without a hitch or a reason to doubt, the young talented actor takes control of the picture and carries Lawless from start to finish, However, it goes without saying that the entire cast deserves quite a bit of recognition as well. Tom Hardy shines as the brute force of the Bondurant brothers as well as Guy Pearce, the weaselly big shot trying to shut down the non-cooperative moonshine operation. Thanks to such a gifted cast, Lawless offers memorable scene after memorable scene and catapults itself into Gangster Movie stardom.

Coinciding with the film's glowing cast is the smooth crisp screenplay by Nick Cave. Lawless is far more than a violent crime movie, Cave's honed skills help to create a surprisingly comical affair with massively effective subplots. The laughs are unexpectedly consistent and the intriguing dissection of the sibling psychology is authentic and honest. We see Jack Bondurant as the ambitious but non-physical brother desperate to gain the respect of his older siblings. It's minor details such as these that flourish and give depth to an otherwise slightly generic Gangster film. And while some will criticize that Lawless offers nothing new to Mob movie genre, I'll argue that its character development, light-hearted comedy, and effective subplots come together to make it a complete film.

Considering how much I wanted to enjoy Lawless, I can honestly say that John Hillcoat and his entire team exceeded my lofty expectations. Although the film feels like it runs longer than its hour and 55 minute runtime, Lawless never skips a beat. The feature is both engaging and fun on every level imaginable, proving that Lawless is one of 2012's best efforts. If you believe that you can stomach the violence and gore that occurs throughout the entire duration of the film, then you're sure to love Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce and everything else that Lawless has to offer.

Stars: 3 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: A-

Monday, August 27, 2012

Recap: "A Night of Short Films" at the Troc

I spent my final Sunday evening before the start of the Fall semester in the City of Brotherly Love at the Trocadero Theatre checking out "A Night of Short Films" presented by Average Super Star Films. It was a fun-filled affair featuring many young (and old) talented actors, actresses, and directors. Here's just a quick review of last night's festivities.

Unfortunately, I arrived fashionably late and missed a few of the early showings. Luckily though, I arrived in time to catch Good Fortune. As a Lion's Head Production, Good Fortune follows a coffee shop employee who finds himself in a bit of bad luck after his girlfriend dumps him and asks him to move out. The breakup also leads to an altercation that ends up costing the heartbroken man his job. Lonely and desolate the protagonist stumbles across a lamp, hoping it will be the key to a lifetime of good fortune. Incorporating a strong dose of comedy and an interesting premise, Good Fortune left a stellar first impression on the evening.

Two other noteworthy shorts that premiered last night were Love and Business and Welcome Home. Love and Business, written and directed by Loren W. Lepre, tackles the mob genre as the film's protagonist is forced to decide between the woman he's fallen in love with and the dirty work that he's spent his entire life doing. Also, Welcome Home proved to be one of the most intense films of the evening. This clever take on "found footage films" centers around a teenager's video documentation of his brothers arrival home from the war in Iraq. Director Danny Donnelly brings together a nightmarish world that none of us would hope to encounter. Captivating and emotionally draining, Welcome Home was a shockingly realistic adventure into the mental struggles that our young men and woman face while fighting on the front lines overseas.

The headlining film yesterday was an epic sci-fi adventure called Infinite (trailer above). Written and directed by Daniel Speers, Infinite centers around Earth's last hope, Major Adam Fossy. On a mission to find extraterrestrial life, Fossy is awaken from a long slumber by his robot companion and forced to come terms with a failed mission. However, the team's next plan of attack will be an internal struggle between fact and faith. With remarkable special effects and a mind-blowing premise, Infinite far exceeds the traditional student film and ventures into the realm of epic fantasies.

In addition to Infinite, another top 3 film for me was That Voodoo You Do by Andrew Bennett. The riotous talkie centers around a man trying to resurrect his deceased brother. But in order to do so, he searches out the help of a witch doctor who uses voodoo to bring the brother back to life. Constant hilarity, praiseworthy writing and top notch acting help propel That Voodoo You Do to the forefront of the evening.

Finally, my favorite film last night was another Daniel Speers directed short called Guests of a Nation (trailer above). Based on a short story, Guests of a Nation takes place during the Irish War for Independence in the 1920s. Two Irish soldiers hold two British POW's secure at a remote home and ironically become good friends. But when news breaks of Brits massacring the Irish in a nearby town, someone must pay for the bloodshed. Proving that no one wins in war, Guests of a Nation is a gut-wrenching and thought provoking journey into 1920s Ireland. Containing brilliant acting by the entire cast and phenomenal direction by Speers, Guests of a Nation stands out as a true masterpiece.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Premium Rush

Film: Premium Rush

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) and Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)

Director: David Koepp (Ghost Town)

U.S. Release: August 24th, 2012 (Rated PG-13)

Genre: Action

Runtime: 91 minutes

David Koepp is no stranger to Hollywood. The writer/director first arrived onto the scene in the late 1980s and spent a large part of the next decade penning some of Hollywood's most memorable films. Koepp is best known for writing screenplays such as Jurassic Park, Carlito's Way, and Mission: Impossible. As the natural order goes, the success of Koepp's scripts opened the door for him to try his hand at directing. And now Koepp's latest effort arrives in the form of Premium Rush, a high octane action-thriller starring The Dark Knight Rises' own Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Wilee (played by Gordon-Levitt) is an aggressive bike messenger operating in Manhattan, New York. It's all in a day's work for Wilee, where he can be found cruising around the city dodging cabs and pedestrians on a single gear bike with no braking system. Although flying around New York City at suicidal speeds is nothing new for him, one premium rush delivery proves to be more than he can bargain for when he discovers that a not-so-good cop (played by Shannon) is willing to kill him for the letter.

Premium Rush is a disengaging, formulaic and unrealistic attempt at the modern day action-thriller. With hopes of heart pounding chase sequences and a believable backstory, Koepp's final product never feels as action-packed or authentic as it should. At first thought, transforming a bicycle-themed movie into a full fledged action film appears to be a daunting task. Koepp gives a valiant effort, but Premium Rush is too impractical and one-dimensional to hook the audience. One of the most troubling aspects of the feature is its complete disregard for realism. Premium Rush is almost solely centered around a chase, and I can recall at least two instances where Michael Shannon lackadaisically allows Joseph Gordon-Levitt to get away. Considering the scenario the movie creates for its central villain, there's no way that Shannon's character would give up so easily on catching him. Furthermore, in one scene where Gordon-Levitt's character is known to have a fractured rib cage, we see Wilee perform X-Games style bike stunts that would give Evil Knievel goosebumps. As a result, Premium Rush displays poor writing and an utter disregard for reality.

Despite the feature's lack of credibility at times, Premium Rush does provide a pair of strong performances from two of Hollywood's most unappreciated actors. Before The Dark Knights Rises was even a microcosm of a thought in Christopher Nolan's brain, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a well established actor living under the radar. His early work in films like Brick and The Lookout are beyond commendable, but it wasn't until JGL's recent efforts in Inception, 50/50 and The Dark Knight Rises that he was fully embraced by the masses. In a similar fashion, Michael Shannon is a brilliant performer who is well deserving of some recognition. His masterful portrayal in last year's Take Shelter was one of the year's finest roles, yet Shannon became entirely forgotten throughout the awards season. Although these clearly are't anywhere near their best onscreen performances, both of these under-appreciated actors show up, deliver and help keep Premium Rush a modestly fluent picture.

David Koepp's Premium Rush is a lackluster addition to the action-thriller genre. It fails at adequately entertaining the audience and its 91 minute runtime feels more like a marathon than a sprint. There's really no need to rush out to theatres to see Premium Rush, you're better off just seeing The Dark Knight Rises ... again.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C

Friday, August 24, 2012

Butter Trailer

About ten months ago I attended my first Philadelphia Film Festival. Out of nowhere and by sheer luck, I crossed paths with a last minute entry into the Festival called Butter. So last minute that the film couldn't even find its way into the guidebook's schedule, Butter caught the entire audience by surprise. The politically-incorrect R-Rated comedy frequently played to uproarious laughter and a well deservedovation as the closing credits rolled. Starring big names such as Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, and Rob Corddry, Butter tells the hilariously absurd story of a little orphan's attempt at winning an annual state butter sculpting competition. However, her biggest rival is Laura Pickler (played by Garner), the ambitious wife of a newly retired butter carving legend. Slated to hit theatres in a limited release on October 5th, you can click below to view the trailer for Butter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Impossible Trailer

With "Oscar Bait" written all over it, Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible has released its latest trailer. Premiering in September at the Toronto Film Festival, The Impossible stars Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts in the remarkable true story about a family's struggle for survival during the 2004 Tsunami that hit Southeastern Asia. Due to hit U.S. theatres on December 21st, check out the trailer for The Impossible below.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Compliance: Actual People Involved

Below is a news interview with the real-life store manager and employee for which the events of Compliance are based. Feel free to check out the true story below.

WARNING: This will contain SPOILERS for the film Compliance


Film: Compliance

Starring: Ann Dowd (The Informant!) and Dreama Walker (Gran Torino)

Director: Craig Zobel (Great World of Sound)

U.S. Release: August 17th, 2012 (Limited- Rated R)

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 90 minutes

How often do you hear that a film is "inspired by actual events" or "based on a true story"? There's just something about those taglines that intrigues moviegoers and creates a widened sense of curiosity. However, most features that claim real life authenticity manage to only be loosely accurate, if that. Director Craig Zobel's Sundance Film Festival phenomenon, Compliance, also boasts such a tagline. The only difference being, Compliance is about 90% accurate and 100% shocking.

Becky (played by Walker) is a teenage counter girl at a local fast food joint in Ohio. On a busy Friday evening, the restaurant manager Sandra (played by Dowd) receives a surprising phone call from a man identifying himself as "Officer Daniels". The believed law enforcement agent claims that Becky has stolen from a woman's purse earlier in her shift, but that he's too busy to come down there himself. Then, "Officer Daniels" asks Sandra to do the unthinkable, strip search Becky and find the stolen money. This leads to a series of unfathomable events that raises questions of personal rights and individual privacy.

Compliance is an overwhelming and disturbing look into a real life situation gone awry. Zobel transforms a young girl's horrific experience into a big screen feature by meticulously examining a maddening sequence of events. The content is skin-crawling and uneasy to witness at times, yet, the fact that it's true adds an alarming sense of realism to the film. And while Compliance is sure to make you feel anger, despair, and disbelief, it raises a lot of questions about our society and how we respond to authority. To its benefit, the movie uses a regrettable real-life scenario to convey a meaningful message to an entire nation. It's okay to question authority and to stand up for what is moral and good. Compliance uses strong acting and excellent direction to keep the experience genuine. Sporting a virtually unknown cast, Ann Dowd stands out as a lifelong B-List actress who rarely garners the praise she deserves. Dowd is utterly convincing and shockingly similar to the real-life woman she portrays. Also, Zobel's direction warrants a great deal of recognition. Because of Zobel's attention to detail, Compliance is a well shot and accurate account of the true events that transpired in the restaurant on that soul-less evening.

Although Compliance is a mind-blowing feature, there are many downfalls to the film. The dim-witted and idiotic actions of the characters, despite being true, are infuriating. During my screening of the film, there were  handfuls of audience members yelling at the screen. It's a frustrating movie to sit through and you'll feel tainted upon its conclusion. Furthermore, Compliance is slow paced and perhaps too content with settling for "shock value". The picture lacks any real sense of entertainment and solely looks to surprise, and educate, the audience. Re-telling this horrific true story may be better suited for an hour long news special rather than a feature length film.

The indie hit Compliance has a voice and a meaning, making it a worthwhile film to see. However, the 90 minute duration is sure to irritate, infuriate, and stun the audience. It's not a comfortable journey, but its larger message is one that's worthy of being told. While I wouldn't rush to theatres to see Compliance, it's worth checking out eventually as long as you can withstand idiotic decisions and disturbing realism.

Stars: 2 and a half stars out of 4

Grade: B-

*** Spoiler Alert: Posted above is an actual news interview with the real life people involved in this story. I won't suggest watching it before you see the movie, but knowing the validity of the film adds to the viewing experience.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trailers for 3, 2, 1 ...Frankie Go Boom and Red Dawn

3, 2, 1 ... Frankie Go Boom is a screwball comedy about a pair of off-the-wall brothers whose practical joke lands them in an unusual predicament. Starring Charlie Hunnam and Chris O'Dowd, 3, 2, 1 ... Frankie Go Boom will be out in limited release on October 12th. Check out the trailer below.

Brace yourself for another remake as Chris Hemsworth and company plan to tackle the 1984 action film Red Dawn. In this newest interpretation a group of young men and women find themselves on the front lines when their country is invaded by hostiles. Expected to reach the big screen on November 21st, check out the trailer for Red Dawn below.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Robot & Frank

Film: Robot & Frank

Starring: Frank Langella (Unknown), Susan Sarandon (Jeff, Who Lives at Home), and the voice of Peter Sarsgaard (An Education)

Director: Jake Schreier

U.S. Release: August 17th, 2012 (Limited - Rated PG-13)

Genre: Drama/Comedy

Runtime: 90 minutes

Lately, it feels as though Hollywood has hit a lull with respect to creativity. The result is an onslaught of remakes and recycled ideas that become beaten to death and rarely appealing the second or even third time around. Perhaps time is all that these writers need to work out the kinks and deliver a stunningly original script? Just ask Christopher D. Ford, writer of the 2012 Sundance hit Robot & Frank. Ford, along with first time director Jake Schreier, initially imagined the idea for Robot & Frank while attending film school at NYU in 2002. A decade later and the duo's touch of creativity has been brought to the big screen, just in time to remind us all that there's still some clever ideas floating around Hollywood.

Set in what's described solely as "the near future" we're introduced to Frank (played by Langella), a divorced and elderly man living alone in Cold Springs, New York. After a lengthy stretch of displaying signs of dementia, Frank's son Hunter (played by James Marsden) shows up at his home with a robot butler. The robot is intended to improve Frank's physical and mental well being, but Frank comes up with a better idea. The retired cat-burglar manipulates the robot into helping him pull off a few heists, which is all well and good until local law enforcement begins to catch on.

Robot & Frank is a spectacular film that tackles its science fiction themes with an enormous amount of humanity. As the Alfred P. Sloan winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival (which recognizes the festival's best independent film with a sci-fi backdrop), director Jake Schreier gives an award-winning debut with the aid of his scribe Christopher D. Ford and his leading actor Frank Langella. Langella proves to be the glue that keeps everything so closely connected. Deserving of some serious awards season buzz, Langella delivers a masterful performance. When we're first introduced to the main character Frank, we quickly see his lapses in memory. This clever approach by the writers helps to form a strong sense of sorrow for Frank, who then starts to demonstrate some terrible qualities as well. This is where the real genius of Langella's work becomes evident. The gifted actor brings to life an immensely flawed being who treats his children poorly and has been incarcerated for theft. However, Langella's brilliant work somehow forces the audience to forget about the negatives and focus only on the charming aspects of his character. There may be no greater feat in acting than humanizing a "bad" person, and Langella does so effortlessly. Frank becomes such an endearing character that, as an audience, we root for the success of his heists. Robot & Frank is the delightful and lovable kind of film that's easy for anyone to enjoy.

Although Langella is magnificent and the story is both fun and engaging, there's a few noticeable disconnects with Robot & Frank. Upon its conclusion, you may find yourself questioning the purpose of the film. It's a fair inquiry that may not seem so obvious at first, but I took away a few messages from the feature. First, there's a major underlying theme revolving around our world's growing dependence on technology. By describing the movie's setting as "the near future", we're introduced to a world much like our own with very few differences. The one major contrast being the use of robots as a staple in every day life. Throughout the film we see the diminishing need for libraries because technological advancements create no purpose for things like books, compact discs, and DVD's. It's a startling realization that quickly becomes believable thanks to the film. Another, more meaningful, theme revolves around Frank's struggle to accept his mental illness. We constantly see and hear the lead character disregard any notion of his mental instability, often with the phrase "I'm fine". This is where the robot's connection with Frank helps ease the unwelcoming reality for the main character. Yet, while the picture works its way through a heartfelt resolution, it becomes difficult to accept certain areas of the conclusion. Given Frank's described history and on screen actions, many aspects of the ending seem unrealistic. There's a handful of plot holes and head-scratchers with Robot & Frank, however, the whole experience is far greater than the tiny miscues that manage to detract from the film.

Robot & Frank is an indie diamond in the rough that will, unfortunately, go unseen by many. The movie packs a lot of heart and a lot of fun into a mere 90 minutes of screen time. Sure to hit a wide span of cities all over the country this month, I highly recommend taking a chance on Robot & Frank. You'll be happy that you did.

Stars: 3 stars out of 4

Grade: B

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Campaign

Film: The Campaign

Starring: Will Ferrell (The Other Guys), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), and Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses)

Director: Jay Roach (Meet the Parents)

U.S. Release: August 10th, 2012 (Rated R)

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 85 minutes

When news broke of the potential collaboration between comedic powerhouses Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, all ears perked up. And once director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents and Austin Powers) hopped on board, we cautiously wondered if The Campaign would do permanent damage to all of our funny bones. The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, until August 10th finally arrived. The only problem being that 2012's newest comedy doesn't live up to the grand spectacle we all hoped it would be.

The Campaign centers around a four-term North Carolina Congressman named Cam Brady (played by Ferrell) who expects to run unopposed in the upcoming election, even after his adulterous phone sex scandal hits the national media. However, once a pair of greedy tycoon CEO's feel the need for influence in Brady's North Carolina district, they decide to finance an opponent to the incumbent. Their choice is Marty Huggins (played by Galifianakis), the director of a local tourism center.

Jay Roach's The Campaign is a depressingly mediocre political satire that spares no expense. What begins as a clever mockery of the fallible political campaign process, turns into a surprisingly overlong and redundant film. I wish I could tell you that The Campaign is a rebirth for comedian Will Ferrell, yet we're forced to sit through the same old nonsensical banter that helped launch his career into stardom. But after almost ten years of the same routine, it's about time Will Ferrell offers a fresh set of new ideas. Unfortunately, we'll have to keep waiting. And while his counterpart Zach Galifianakis delivers a smaller sense of unseen originality, it's not quite enough to help carry the film. In addition to the mediocre work of its leading stars, The Campaign contains a massively contrived subplot that crosses the line of ridiculousness. Although the feature attempts to have a have a central purpose, any semblance of meaning is completely drowned out by the myriad of irrationality shoved down our throats. All in all, The Campaign is an obvious letdown that never amounts to the greatness that we all envisioned.

Despite the picture's apparent shortcomings, The Campaign still packs a colossal comedic punch. The jokes are plentiful and the absurdity never wavers. You're sure to experience a handful of outrageously funny scenes that you'll remember forever, and die-hard fans of Ferrell and Galifianakis can certainly find solace in much of the film. However, there's nothing groundbreaking in The Campaign and it's important to not expect a revolutionary comedy. With a collection of secondary characters that leave almost no lasting impression, the film is surely no masterpiece. To get the most out of your viewing experience it's in your best interest to temper expectations and accept The Campaign for what it really is, another run of the mill effort from Will Ferrell and company. Personally, I recommend waiting for DVD, but it never hurts to catch a comedy on the big screen.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C+

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Trouble with the Curve Trailer and The Avengers 2 News

After the monumental success of Marvel's The Avengers, it didn't take a genius to know that there'd be a sequel. But a larger and ever more important question still loomed, would writer and director Joss Whedon be attached to the second installment? Well we can all breathe a sigh of relief as Disney officially announced that Whedon will resume both his writing and directing roles for the highly anticipated sequel. After months of publicly wavering back and forth on the issue, the idea of returning for a sequel and the lofty price tag I'm sure he'll command helped prompt Whedon's decision to have another go around. As of now, The Avengers 2  is set to hit theatres in 2015. Let the wait begin.

Despite what you've felt about Clint Eastwood's last two directorial efforts (J. Edgar and Hereafter), there's no doubt that the man can act. And with the release of the Trouble with the Curve trailer (above), we get to see Eastwood match his acting talents with the likes of Amy Adams, John Goodman, and Justin Timberlake. In the film Eastwood stars as a baseball scout who returns for one last job all while trying to fix the somewhat broken relationship he has with his daughter (played by Adams). Check out the trailer for Trouble with the Curve, which is due to hit theatres on September 21st, 2012.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nobody Walks and The Big Wedding Trailers

Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Nominee Nobody Walks boasts a cast of romantic comedy stars including John Krasinski, Rosemarie Dewitt, and Olivia Thirlby, however, there's not much to laugh about here. Nobody Walks follows a married couple who agree to take in a female house guest as she finishes up a film that she's been working on. But upon her arrival, each character experiences a damning sense of desire that is sure to test them all. Check out the trailer below.

Also, there's the new comedy The Big Wedding which centers around a long-time divorced couple who's forced to pretend that they're still married in order to accommodate a certain guest at a wedding. Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, and Robin Williams star in this off-the -wall comedy. Check out the theatrical trailer for The Big Wedding below.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Prometheus Sequel and Jersey Boys Confirmed

After grossing north of $300 million worldwide, 20th Century Fox has granted the wish of Ridley Scott and Alien franchise lovers all across the globe by green lighting a sequel to Prometheus. With Scott tied up to direct The Counsellor, Prometheus will have to linger on in the background for the foreseeable future. 20th Century Fox has announced that they expect the sequel to hit theatres sometime in 2014 or 2015. I guess patience is a virtue.

Rumors had been swirling about Jon Favreau taking the reins of a Jersey Boys movie, and now they've been confirmed. The film, which is based off an award winning Broadway musical, chronicles the rise and fall of the Four Seasons. Having seen the musical, I can honestly say that it's an absolute crowd-pleaser and I hope that Favreau can translate the same feeling to the big screen. Favreau, who's also very busy in the near future, plans to start filming in early 2013 in New York and northern New Jersey. No rough estimate for a release date has been announced.

Killing Them Softly Trailer

After premiering to strong reviews at this year's Cannes Film Festival in France, director Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly has finally released a trailer. The movie centers around a hitman named Jackie Coogan (played by Brad Pitt) who's asked to investigate a lucrative heist that occurred during a mob-filled poker game. Alongside Pitt, the film also stars Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, and James Gandolfini. Earlier this month we learned that Killing Them Softly would have its theatrical release pushed back to October 19th, marking a very calculated move to increase the picture's Oscar hopes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 2012 Poll Recap

The people have spoken, and in surprising fashion voters overwhelmingly selected 21 Jump Street as the funniest film of 2012 (so far). The cop bro-mance featuring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum walked away victorious claiming 61% of the votes. I was a little shocked to see that the Seth MacFarlane comedy Ted finished as the first runner up, claiming only 23% of the votes. Finally, the third place ribbon went to the brutal ice hockey comedy Goon which tallied 15% of all votes.

As always, thanks for all of your participation in the monthly polls. Be sure to check out August's poll question (located in the upper right hand corner) asking, "Which film in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy was your favorite".