This week, the Criterion Collection is releasing a double bill of the mid-‘60s Westerns The Shooting and Ride the Whirlwind, a treat not only for fans of revisionist Westerns and director Monte Hellman, but also for those who admire Jack Nicholson, here seen in two terrific performances that predate his breakthrough in Easy Rider. There’s a specific kind of pleasure in revisiting the early work of actors who would later become famous — not the roles that made them stars, but their earlier, quieter gigs, in which we glimpse an actor just trying to do good work, yet already exhibiting the spark that would mark them for fame. Here are a few of our… Read More
Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a movie that, by the looks of it, was supposed to be one of the summer’s big hits: Blended, the third onscreen teaming of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Their first film, 1998’s The Wedding Singer, reshaped Sandler into a romantic lead and got him less-vicious-than-usual reviews, while grossing $80 million domestic; its follow-up, 2004’s 50 First Dates, did $120 million. But stars can fall over a decade, and Sandler and Barrymore’s big reunion was a big disappointment, only pulling $46 million total (barely more than First Dates’ first weekend). In other words, lightning doesn’t always strike twice, and for every Hope and Crosby or Redford and Newman, there are plenty of cinematic reunions that didn’t quite pan out. … Read More
If you’re an X-Men fan, you’re used to seeing Halle Berry in space-y suits, doing sci-fi stuff. You might also… Read More
Happy President’s Day, folks! Have you purchased a new car or a new mattress today? More importantly, have you been reading the internet? Here are some links just for you! … Read More
Paramount’s upcoming film adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z was already smelling like a stinker — the $125 million production was originally slated for release this Christmas, only to be pushed back until next summer to accommodate an additional seven weeks of shooting and a third act rewrite by Damon Lindelof (because that’s what that guy’s best at, wrapping things up). That rewrite was eventually done not by Lindelof but by Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard, and with the reshoots complete, the studio released its first trailer for the film last week. And the Internet went apeshit.
Responses on Twitter and film blogs were swift, damning, and nearly universal. The crux of them was that, simply, the film being advertised appeared to bear little to no resemblance whatsoever to the book it was ostensibly based on. “It’s not always wise to judge a movie by its trailer,” writes Film School Rejects’ Robert Fure, “but from our first look it seems Hollywood has screwed the pooch in the most Hollywood way imaginable.” The book’s multi-narrative structure and elements of social commentary are, it seems, gone; the film’s story of a single protagonist taking on an army of fast-moving zombies looks less like World War Z than I Am Legend.
We’ll have to wait until next June to find out if this controversial trailer reflects the entirety of the film — and if the already poison buzz surrounding World War Z will crash its box office chances. But what has become clear over the past two decades is that the explosion of online film culture can hurt a film’s build-up as much as it can help it; though movie geek sites, Twitter, and even Wikipedia can help amass an audience, they can also keep one away. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that the Internet may well have smothered in their sleep. … Read More
It is easy to go in to Cloud Atlas intimidated. It’s a sprawling, nearly three-hour adaptation of a novel many thought unfilmable, stitching together six seemingly unrelated narratives simultaneously; it’s been preceded by both positive and negative buzz that it’s too ambitious and potentially confusing for the average Saturday night moviegoer. Let’s put those fears to rest right off the bat: this is not a film to fear. It is, in fact, a film that’s easy to approach and even easier to engage. No, the greater danger — what is, in some quarters, already happening — is a resistance to its audacity, a refusal to turn oneself over to this grandly sincere, and occasionally overwrought, cavalcade. It is, make no mistake, a film filled with flaws. Try as I might, I cannot force myself to give a damn about them. … Read More
Tomorrow, Lee Daniels’ Precious follow-up The Paperboy hits theaters; it’s a film that’s received a lot of attention since its Cannes premiere last May, not all of it positive. And make no mistake, the movie is a mess, but Kidman goes all out in her portrayal of a bleach-blonde sexpot who gets hot and bothered for dangerous men. In honor of Kidman’s risky performance, we took a look back at some of our favorite instances of terrific actors indulging their trashy side on film. Our top ten are after the jump. … Read More
Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. This week’s nine new trailers include new films from Ang Lee, Tom Tykwer, and the Wachowskis, and feature the likes of Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Halle Berry, Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Isla Fisher, Allison Janney, Oliver Platt, Gerald Butler, and Juno Temple. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments. … Read More
1. The first full trailer for Ang Lee’s film adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Life of Pi has arrived online, and while it doesn’t reveal much about the plot, boy oh boy is it pretty.