Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Trailer for TIFF-headed 'Martian' sends you out of this world

The first sighting of "The Martian" is here!

Featuring a star-studded cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover, the Ridley Scott film is based on a best-selling novel by Andy Weir. 

You can watch the NEW trailer here

"The Martian" will have its world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 10-20) and hits theaters on Oct. 2.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vallee's 'Demolition' to open 40th annual TIFF

 The Toronto International Film Festival today announced that Jean-Marc Vallée’s "Demolition" will open the 40th annual event on Sept. 10.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts in a lighter moment from "Demolition."
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper and Judah Lewis, "Demolition" will have its world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall. “Over the years the Festival has been proud to present Jean-Marc Vallée’s feature films. including 'Black List,' (festival favorite) 'C.R.A.Z.Y.,' 'Café de Flore,' 'The Young Victoria,' 'Dallas Buyers Club,' and 'Wild,' " said Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “Vallée is a proud Canadian with a distinct and powerful filmmaking voice and we can’t wait to share his latest film with festival audiences on Opening Night.”

“Vallée has a tradition of presenting strong characters who are on journeys to self-discovery and redemption and is the only filmmaker in our history to present both an opening and a closing night film at the festival,” added Cameron Bailey, the festival Artistic Director. "This film tells the story of a man who deals with loss in unexpected ways, and is brought to life on screen through sensitive and commanding performances by Gyllenhaal, Watts, Cooper and newcomer Lewis.”

In "Demolition," a successful investment banker (Gyllenhaal) struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law to pull it together, the man continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions.

About 50 other films for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 10-20, also were announced today at a press conference moderated by Handling and Bailey. They include movies starring last year's Oscar-winning Best Actor and Actress, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore.

The latter co-stars with Ellen Page as a lesbian couple fighting for their rights and work benefits in the world premiere of "Freeheld," while Redmayne plays the title character in director Tom Hooper's transgender drama, "The Danish Girl."  Redmayne's and Moore's award-winning roles were featured at last year's TIFF in "The Theory of Everything" and "Still Alice," respectively.

Moore also stars in another world premiere at this year's TIFF, "Maggie's Plan" from director Rebecca Miller.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

'Entourage' movie crew evolves toward maturity

Hey, we all mature with age, don't we? I mean, even the "Entourage" crew, which takes takes its HBO cable series to the big screen on Wednesday, sounds as if they're growing up, despite an array of temptations offered in Hollywood.

During a recent L.A.-based press conference, here's what the four principal members of the cast had to say on how their characters have changed since the popular TV show ended its eight-year run in 2011:

Adrian Grenier (Vincent Chase):  "One thing about this crew that's so special is that even after all this time -- despite all the changes, despite all the ups and downs -- is that they remain steadfast in their loyalty to each other. Vince certainly has inspired a generosity amongst them and now they get to give back a little bit and support Vince as he takes the next step in his career as a director."

Kevin Dillon (Johnny "Drama" Chase): "My character probably has changed the least amount. It's all about fame, but not fortune so much, and he's still striving for that. But that's what I love about him. I don't want him to change too much because he's a lot of fun. I've actually had other actors come up to me and tell me how they love the way he stands up to producers. In the end, though, he's really about all the fellas and would do anything for them."

Jerry Ferrara ("Turtle"): "I feel that Turtle was the last to start that evolution process. I like to go back to the very, very early years -- when he told girls that, if they make out with him, he'll show them where Vince eats breakfast in the morning -- to then basically becoming a millionaire. I used to joke around and ask Doug all the time, 'When is Turtle going to grow up a little bit?' He always told me, 'in Season 8,' but I don't think he ever thought we'd get to Season 8. Then it was time, and I love how this guy has evolved. I got to grow up with this guy and, as he matured, I've matured. I still say I'm a little more mature than he is, though."

Kevin Connolly (Eric "E" Murphy): "I think all the characters have evolved. When you look at Season 1 and compare it to Season 8 -- at a different pace -- even Drama has changed. In fact, I think he's become more of his own man. I mean, if Johnny Drama had a resume on IMDB, it would be pretty impressive. And, with my character 'E,' he and Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui) are taking the big step by bringing a tiny new character into the 'Entourage' family. It's certainly a big step for anyone in real life, so for my character and Sloane, having a baby is really a big deal."

For more on "Entourage," check out our story about all the film's celebrity cameos.

Then learn how this current entourage compares to producer Mark Wahlberg's tough crew of Boston-bred buddies.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Actors say scientists signed off on 'San Andreas' script

"The Rock" says the very scary stuff that happens in his big summer disaster flick, "San Andreas," could actually occur. Paul Giamatti agrees.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gets ready to roll in "San Andreas."
The former, a WWE wrestler now better known as Dwayne Johnson when it comes to making movies, plays a very active search and rescue pilot trying to save the West Coast, mostly Los Angeles and San Francisco, during a series of monster earthquakes. Giamatti co-stars as a Cal Tech professor attempting to warn as many people as he can.
"There is the element of the first responders and the family element," Johnson said during a recent L.A.-based press gathering, "but just as important is the anchor you have with the scientific side of the movie. Prior to Paul coming on board, we had the top scientists challenge the script, before finally saying that all this could happen. 
"We hope it doesn’t, but it could. And having top scientists give it that stamp, and having someone on board to apply it and act it in a way with such conviction gives it the credible heart that Paul did."
Archie Panjabi and Paul Giamatti prep to warn TV viewers.
These (scientists) are amazing," Giamatti added. "They’re not just intellectuals. It’s a real concern for these guys. It’s not just a discipline. They’re deeply committed to trying to find a way to deal with these things.
"I’m from Connecticut, so the only disasters we have there are purely economic," the Oscar-nominated actor quipped. "It actually taught me to call Dwayne if anything happens."
Concluded Johnson. "Hey, it taught me to send a voicemail."
"San Andreas," which opens wide Friday after some Thursday night preview screenings, also stars Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and Archie Panjabi. Read about their exploits in the film here.
Meanwhile click here to read more on what The Rock says

Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Boyhood' or 'Birdman'? Your surefire Oscar winners are here

Way back on Nov. 17, yours truly had the downright gall to write (on a different web site) that three of the four 2014 Academy Award acting winners already had been decided.

And you know what? Things have not changed much, since the predicted choices
in those races for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor and Actress remain the
same as the names listed in those categories below. Now, however, we've added a
few more picks to the mix in anticipation of Sunday's 87th annual Oscar show,
which brings up the curtain at 8:30 p.m. on ABC-TV (WEWS Channel 5 in northeast Ohio).

Though we've sprinkled in a few possible surprises, don't expect any real shockers this
year since the only really battle looms between Best Picture favorites "Birdman"
and "Boyhood." It's the technical complexities of show biz versus the profoundly
simple story of growing up in America. And the winners are:

Richard Linklater (right) and Patricia Arquette lead the "Boyhood" charge. 
Best Supporting Actor -- Robert Duvall, “The Judge”; Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”; Edward Norton, “Birdman”; Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”; J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Will Win: This one has belonged to longtime character actor J.K. Simmons practically since "Whiplash" walked off with a handful of awards from the Sundance Film Festival way back in January 2014. No one else stands a chance, even in this very strong field.
Should Win: Simmons, whose performance as a semi-psychotic professor of music is simply mesmerizing.

Best Supporting Actress -- Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”; Laura Dern, “Wild”; Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”; Emma Stone, “Birdman”; Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Will Win: Once again an easy choice, with Patricia Arquette, ever maternal and equally real and troubled in "Boyhood," dominating a category featuring much bigger names than hers.
Should Win: Arquette deserves all the praise she's getting for being the character engine that could in a film that delivers after more than a decade in the making.

Best Actress -- Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”; Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”; Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”; Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”; Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Julianne Moore in "Still Alice."
Will Win: Like Simmons and Arquette, Julianne Moore has won every other award she's been eligible for up till now, and Mr. Oscar certainly won't elude her, either.
Should Win: Moore, movingly elegant as a career wife and mom diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. The rest are also-rans, including Pike whose riveting lead role will be left in the dust, too.

Best Actor -- Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”; Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”;
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”; Michael Keaton, “Birdman”; Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne, a fine actor and well-received young Brit, has delighted
everyone he meets during the months-long awards season. His late stretch run for
this prize should be enough to defeat early frontrunner Michael Keaton, who basically
plays himself in "Birdman."   
Should Win: Oh yeah, Redmayne actually soars as acclaimed and stricken scientist Stephen Hanwking in a role reminiscent of  Daniel Day Lewis' Oscar-winning tasks in "My Left Foot."
Upset Alert: If there is a surprise in any of the four acting categories, it could come here from the popular Bradley Cooper. He's easily the best thing in "American Sniper," whose surprisingly strong box office has heightened its profile immensely in the last month or so. 

Best Director -- “Birdman, ” Alejandro G. Iñárritu; “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater; “Foxcatcher,” Bennett Miller; “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson; “The Imitation Game,” Morten Tyldum
Will Win: Flip a coin here, but my pick is Richard Linklater to edge the favored Iñárritu, who already has won this year's coveted Directors Guild award. I just think Academy voters will reward the "Boyhood" auteur for actually masterminding a life project along the way of an already long and creative career.  
Should Win: Linklater, whose grand concept for a movie 12 years in the making might have been a disaster instead of the masterpiece it truly became.

Best Picture -- “American Sniper,” “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Whiplash”
Will Win: "Boyhood," by a mere whisker over "Birdman," an equally grand film which, it says here, remains just a little too weird for Academy voters to give it their top prize.
Should Win: I'd vote for "Whiplash," which I still believe to be 2014's most purely entertaining movie. Alas, besides Simmons' supporting actor honors and possibly the film's precise sound, its best chances for an Oscar could come in adapted screenplay and/or film editing categories, where it likely will have to upset "The Imitation Game" and "Boyhood," respectively. 

Best Original Song -- “Everything Is Awesome” ("The Lego Movie”); “Glory” (“Selma”); “Grateful” (“Beyond the Lights”); “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” ("Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”); “Lost Stars” (“Begin Again”)
Will Win: "Glory," the stirring anthem from Common and John Legend that closes the powerful "Selma."
Should Win: "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," the Glen Campbell Alzheimer's ballad with the most meaningful words in any movie song this year.

Best Foreign Language Film -- "Ida,” “Leviathan,” “Tangerines,” “Timbuktu,” “Wild Tales”
Will Win: This one's a two-horse race between Poland's "Ida" and Russia's bureaucratically daunting "Leviathan." Look for politically savvy voters to go with Poland.
Should Win: I'd go with Argentina's aptly named "Wild Tales," a funny and fascinating film focusing on the absurd.

Best Documentary Feature -- “CitizenFour,” “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Last Days in Vietnam,” “The Salt of the Earth,” “Virunga”
Will Win: In this sketchy field, which doesn't include the brilliance of the Roger
Ebert doc, "Life Itself," "CitizenFour" looks like the clearcut choice.
Should Win: "CitizenFour" follows the trail of infamous whistle-blower Edward Snowden, with paranoia running very decisively deep.

Best Animated Feature -- “Big Hero 6,” “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Song of the Sea,” “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
Will Win: It's another head-scratching year in an ever-mediocre category with "The Lego Movie," the year's most universally praised animated film, not even nominated. That leaves a battle between huge money-makers "Big Hero 6" and How to Train Your Dragon 2,” I'll go with the latter. Just because.
Should Win: "The Boxtrolls" is the only one that kept me smiling from beginning to end, but it doesn't have a prayer.
 Upset Alert: Maybe "Princess Kaguya" stands a chance. After all, it did win here in voting by the Los Angeles Film Critics. Then again, there really hasn't been a truly deserving animated feature Oscar winner since "Toy Story 3," and that's already five years ago.

The rest of your winners:

Adapted Screenplay: "Whiplash"; Original Screenplay: "The Grand Budapest Hotel";
Original Score: "The Theory of Everything"; Costume Design" "The Grand Budapest Hotel"; Production Design: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Cinematography: "Birdman"; Visual Effects: "Interstellar"; Film Editing: "Boyhood";
Makeup and Hairstyling: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"; Animated Short: "Feast";
Live-Action Short: "The Phone Call"; Documentary Short: "Crisis Hotline, Veterans Press 1

Sound Mixing: "Whiplash"; Sound Editing: "American Sniper"

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brolin bashes Phoenix and both live to tell about it

LOS ANGELES -- According to Josh Brolin, working with fellow actor Joaquin Phoenix and writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is a totally unique filmmaking experience. In "Inherent Vice," Brolin, as burly and bonkers L.A. cop Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen, is the mortal enemy of Phoenix's eccentric private eye, a '70s stoner still very much hung over from the psychedelic '60s.
Brolin explains during a December interview: "The one thing about working with Joaquin and Paul was that, if an instinct entered the room, the instinct was usually manifested. Now, whether it worked or not was a completely different conversation."
Doc Sportello and Bigfoot Bjornsen square off again.
The best example of that dynamic shows up in the very first scene shot for the film, which is adapted from the very trippy and funny Thomas Pynchon novel. 
"Now remember," Brolin continues, "you're working with Joaquin, who is somebody you know can take it. But that first shot in the movie -- the first time Joaquin and I ever worked together -- was a simple dialogue scene of confronting each other, with me in the car and him outside. 
"Then Paul said something like, 'Why don't you not say any dialogue, confront each other and, anytime you want to talk, make it a dance move instead?'
"I think a bit of that actually showed up in the movie somewhere, at least a moment of it, and then that turned into something violent.
"There was one take that I even pushed Joaquin into a wall, and we didn't know it was fake. So, he went through the wall and then down some stairs. Of course, I felt bad, but it's Joaquin! And Joaquin is like a little baby. He's just rubber. He doesn't even react."
Naturally, the ever-resilient Phoenix remembers it much differently, not to mention a little less dramatically, and with a surprise ending.
"Oh, yeah, I completely forgot about that," he says during a separate interview.
"I don't think that I fell through, because I don't think I'd be here if I did. Besides, it wasn't a wall, it was almost like aluminum siding.
"Anyway, it was just this barrier for this little garden, and I got pushed and part of me went through. Then," Phoenix concludes, "we walked around and looked down and we saw that it was a complete drop way down to the basement.
"It was just one of those things and wow, one week into shooting and there would've been some broken bones."
With "Inherent Vice" opening wide this weekend, you can read more about Phoenix and his character, Larry "Doc" Sportello, here right now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Early critics choices number 13 flights for 'Birdman'

Keaton (left) and Norton lead the "Birdman" fight for awards.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association has announced the nominees for The 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, with “Birdman” leading the way with 13 nods, including Best Picture, Michael Keaton for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, Edward Norton for Best Supporting Actor, Emma Stone for Best Supporting Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Alejandro G. Inarritu for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Comedy, and Best Score.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” also impressed with 11 nominations: Best Picture, Ralph Fiennes for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, Tony Revolori for Best Young Actor/Actress, Best Acting Ensemble, Wes Anderson for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design and Best Comedy.

Winners will be revealed at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which will broadcast live on A&E from the Hollywood Palladium at 9 p.m. Jan. 15, the same day the Academy Award nominations are announced.  This is the first year that the BFCA will partner with A&E to broadcast the show.


Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars
Mackenzie Foy – Interstellar
Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent
Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie
Noah Wiseman – The Babadook

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay – Selma
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
Unbroken – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
Wild – Nick Hornby

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Interstellar – Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins

Birdman – Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Inherent Vice – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Snowpiercer – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator

Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter
Interstellar – Lee Smith
Whiplash – Tom Cross

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

American Sniper
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow
Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Brad Pitt – Fury
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy
Shailene Woodley – Divergent

The Grand Budapest Hotel
St. Vincent
Top Five
22 Jump Street

Jon Favreau – Chef
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Chris Rock – Top Five
Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street

Rose Byrne – Neighbors
Rosario Dawson – Top Five
Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

The Babadook
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Under the Skin

Force Majeure
Two Days, One Night
Wild Tales

Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes
Everything Is Awesome – Jo Li and the Lonely Island – The Lego Movie
Glory – Common/John Legend – Selma 
Lost Stars – Keira Knightley – Begin Again
Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Super Bowl Champion and New York Giants Hall of Famer Michael Strahan will serve as the annual awards show’s host this year.  He is the co-host of the popular morning talk show “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” and an Emmy-nominated “Fox NFL Sunday” analyst. 

As announced previously, Kevin Costner, Ron Howard and Jessica Chastain each will receive special honors at the ceremony.  Costner, winner of two Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award, will be honored with the "Lifetime Achievement Award," celebrating more than three decades of incredible work in film.  The LOUIS XIII Critics’ Choice Genius Award, established to honor an icon who has demonstrated unprecedented excellence in the cinematic arts, will be presented to multiple award-winning director, producer and actor Ron Howard. Chastain will receive the inaugural "Critics’ Choice MVP Award," which recognizes an extraordinary actor for work in several standout movies throughout a single year.  She is being saluted for starring in the films Interstellar, Miss Julie, A Most Violent Year (which also earned her a nomination this year), and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.