“I'd made it this far and refused to give up, because all my life, I had always finished the race," wrote American World War II POW and Olympic long-distance runner Louis Zamperini in his autobiography "Devil at My Heels." It's a powerful line considering Zamperini's tragic life story, one the new trailer for "Unbroken" boils down the quote Sean Parker-style to its punchiest (and slightly nonsensical) bit: "All my life I had always finished the race." Sure, that sounds inspirational.
I never pictured Ron Howard as much of a Roland Emmerich guy, but that's the unexpected spirit exploding off the trailer for his latest film, "In the Heart of the Sea." The film tells the true story the American whaleship "Essex" and its ill-fated run-in with a mighty sperm whale in November 1820. The story became the basis for Herman Melville's contemplative novel "Moby Dick." Howard's version of the story looks more like that time the Kraken ate Jack Sparrow, a beefed up, seafaring 'Apollo 13.' That's not bad thing.
Movies give Pontius Pilate a bad wrap. Yes, he gave the orders to crucify Jesus Christ. But check canonical Biblical writing and one finds a tinge of reluctance, a man of power caving under the peoples' demands. Plus, would we still be talking about God's Son if Pilate didn't off him in the grisliest way possible? Silver linings.
Former Tony and Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris is extending his emcee portfolio to the Oscars: he's tapped to host the 87th annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22. Harris confirmed the news via Twitter like only he could...
"We all have the sense of Stephen Hawking, the icon," Eddie Redmayne says in an explanatory video for the science-minded biopic, "The Theory of Everything." What fewer people know, according to the Best Actor candidate, is the life before Hawking published "A Brief History of Time" catapulted the wheelchair-bound scientist to mainstream fame. For instance, Redmayne was not aware that Hawking's motor neuron disease only began inhibiting him while pursuing a doctorate in his twenties. We forgive you, Eddie — mostly because there's even more to discover in "Theory of Everything" than the straight-forward facts.
SANTA MONICA — Jake Gyllenhaal continues to move into an interesting stage in his career. His choices as of late have been outside the box, almost like the actor is searching for something. And indeed, spend a few minutes talking specifics with him, you'll quickly learn that's the case. He's marching to his own drum, eager to explore complexity in his performances, not just wear another character's skin for a little while.
And the other shoe drops on AFI Fest's major galas as Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" has been announced as this year's centerpiece. The film will be presented at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Nov. 8, and the festival will also feature a conversation with Paul Thomas Anderson.
Will Steve Carell fight for a Best Actor slot? Will Sony Pictures Classics give Channing Tatum the push he needs to make his way into an acting category? Will anyone hone in on Mark Ruffalo's brilliance?
Do not take "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence" at face value. What sounds like a horrifically arty student film is the latest from Roy Andersson, wry sociological observer and "Swedish master," as he's correctly touted in a press release announcing the film's acquisition. In "Pigeon," Andersson confronts the mundanity of life, humanity's strangest impulses, and the absolutes of death in Monty Python-like vignettes, realized with a painterly quality. With a distributor in place, audiences now have a deadline for digesting Andersson's previous work in preparation for this trilogy-capping "Pigeon," a true tragicomedy triumph.
There's the mischievous horrormeister Sam Raimi, the blockbuster wizard Sam Raimi, and the pensive character-observing Sam Raimi. The latter doesn't get enough work — welcome to Hollywood, folks! — but sturdy relationships from the "Spider-Man" director's past may put a high-profile, awards-friendly project at the front of his "to do" queue. Fans of the "A Simple Plan" and "The Gift," rejoice.