Mucho mas monster
If you missed it on IGN, here's the gory-fun graphic red band trailer for "The Thing" which reveals lots more of the monster effects and, honestly, way too many plot details as far as who gets eaten, smooshed, penetrated, etc.
I repeat: DO NOT WATCH THIS IF YOU ARE SPOILER ADVERSE.
On the other hand, if you've been curious as to the look of the effects in the film, and do not mind a few details about how each character gets assimilated, check it out.
I say "each character" because this is a prequel to the original John Carpenter "Thing", and in that movie they make a reference to no one surviving the events that came before? I may be mistaken, or they may choose to alter the reality of the first film. All's fair in love and remakes… er prequels.
A serious interview with a very funny star on the rise
When I met Jonah Hill, it was on the set of "Superbad," and that performance in that film was all about a certain type of confidence turned up to a fairly intense level. Having already gotten to know Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg a little bit, and realizing that Jonah and Michael Cera were playing comic versions of Seth and Evan, it was one of those meta-moments where you're not sure who you're really meeting.
Since then, our paths have crossed many times, and watching him increase in both craft and confidence in his work onscreen and how he handles himself off-screen has been a real pleasure. Hill is smart, but more than that, he strikes me as the kind of guy who is always observing, always watching the people he works with, growing in each new experience because of how open he is to different choices that other performers or filmmakers are making around him.
Latest sequel directed by 'Catfish' helmers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
Another Halloween, another "Paranormal Activity."
The third film in the found-footage franchise acts as a prequel, taking place roughly twenty years before the first film.
A brand new poster illustrates the upcoming film's trip down nostalgia lane: In a blurry still from a home video, two little girls sleep in their beds while a spectral shadow stands between them. The video's time stamp indicates that it takes place in the Reagan-Bush era, when endless horror films were dominated by cartoonish slashers like Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers.
What's most intriguing about "Paranormal Activity" is that "Catfish" directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman -- who know a thing or two about blurring the line between fiction and reality -- are at the helm, while original director Oren Peli is on board as a producer.
This week's podcast is stuffed with Midnight Madness discussion
I'll say this much… if you're a fan of the podcast at all, this is your lucky week.
This is the first of two full podcasts we recorded this week. The other will be up at some point tomorrow, and features one of my favorite segments from the two years we've been doing this.
Today, though, we've got a preposterous amount of material to share with you, and I decided to have Scott help me introduce four separate interviews I conducted over the course of the Toronto International Film Festival that just wrapped up.
One of the reasons I'm grateful for the Midnight Madness programming at the festival is because it would be easy to get worn down by the serious fare that the festival offers all day long, and Midnight Madness is always full of the most delightful lunatics. Where else are you going to see crazy Indonesian action, a dark killing spree comedy, creepy possession horror, and bizarre dark French fairy tales all in the same line-up?
Plus how big a role does baseball play in his real life?
Chris Pratt seems to be living a charmed life.
It would be lovely to report that he's a jerk who seems ungrateful and who is nowhere near as likable off-screen as he is on-screen, but that would be wildly untrue. Instead, we have to contend with the possibility that he's a genuinely nice guy who happens to be just the right combination of talented, hard-working, and lucky. I spent some time on the set of Nick Stoller's new film "A Five-Year Engagement" this summer, and I met Pratt for the first time there. He's got a major supporting role in the film as one of Jason Segel's best friends, and he struck me right away as a young guy who is still defining himself in this business, but who is grateful for every break he's had so far, and who understands that each new role is an opportunity to expand his range and prove what he can do.
We talked to the confident young star in Toronto
At this point, I think it's safe to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has carved out a space for himself as one of the most promising talents in his age range, and he's demonstrated a pretty remarkable range over the past twenty years in front of the camera.
Even as a kid on "Third Rock From The Sun," he managed to stand toe-to-toe with John Lithgow who was turned up to Full Ham. And Lithgow at Full Ham is like ten times anybody else at Full Ham. To stand there and play scenes with that when you're still in your teens is no easy feat, but Gordon-Levitt always made it look easy.
And as he's come into focus as an adult performer, he has been lucky enough to find collaborators that have helped him redefine himself with grace and style. I always wonder what would have happened to Kurt Russell if there was no John Carpenter, and likewise, I wonder about Gordon-Levitt if there was no Rian Johnson. "Brick" may not have been a giant box-office hit, but it was a key step in the way he evolved into a credible leading man, and without him playing that role, he might not have been given a shot at films like "The Lookout," "Stop-Loss," or "500 Days Of Summer."
Easy targets still pay off in some nice work by comic ensemble
- Critic's Rating B-
- Readers' Rating A-
We have reached an interesting and, frankly, depressing place in modern political dialogue, where even trying to tackle the subject guarantees that part of your audience will walk away angry. My first political memory involves the Watergate trials, so it's little wonder I've grown up in an increasingly cynical political atmosphere. I do wonder sometimes if it's even possible to fix things at this point, or if we are simply at the point where there will never be something like a middle ground again.
We ran a piece here about the statement that Harvey Weinstein sent along to be ready before the public premiere of "Butter" at the Toronto Film Festival last week, and while it drew some big laughs in the room and got some play in the press, I felt like it was yet another set of battle lines being drawn. And while there are many things I like about the film, which is definitely worth seeing, there's a chance that its merits will be ignored in the conversation over the easy targets that the movie singles out, especially in the climate as we're gearing up towards the 2012 election season.
A sassy parrot? As long as Kevin James isn't in it, that might work
When I was contacted about running a clip from an upcoming indie called "A Bird Of The Air," one thing got my attention right away, the name of co-star Rachel Nichols. Aside from the fact that she's adorable, I think she's interesting although still largely untested on film. She still hasn't had that breakthrough role or that big moment, and so instead, she's chipping away doing nice work in films like "P2" or "Conan The Barbarian" or on shows like "Alias."
Is "A Bird Of The Air" a different type of role for her? Maybe. I don't know much about it. The first time I heard of it was when they approached me with the clip. When I got home from Toronto, I found a screener of this one waiting on my desk, and at some point this weekend, I'll throw it in and take a look at it.
The film was written by Roger Towne, who is indeed the brother of screenwriting legend Robert Towne. Here's hoping this is more of a Beau Bridges situation than a Jim Hanks situation, where this is a brother with his own thing going on, and not just someone barely getting by on a last name. He did write a draft or two of "The Natural," so fingers crossed, right?
Plus a look at what's coming up here at Motion/Captured for the rest of the month
Welcome to The Morning Read.
By far, the most entertaining thing going on out there this morning is Joseph Kahn versus Jim Emerson on the subject of "The Dark Knight." Here we are, three years down the road from the release of the movie, and look at the passion this one sequence seems to inspire.
Kahn, of course, is the director of "Torque," as well as the upcoming "Detention," which has been playing the festival circuit, and he's got a commercial and video resume a mile long. He's got an active Twitter presence, and he's fairly blunt about his work and his opinion. I like the guy, and that's a real evolution from my position when "Torque" was released. I also like that "Detention" fiercely divided people when it screened at SXSW, and critics I like and respect reacted in an absolutely opposite fashion than I did when reviewing it. Lately, he's been engaging a lot in the discussion of fight geography and the use of sound in cutting action and defending the work of Michael Bay at length, and well. This piece he published today is the culmination of a lot of conversations over the last week or so, it feels like.
A republished review and an interview with the director of one of the year's best
- Critic's Rating A+
- Readers' Rating A-
If I'm being honest, one of my very favorite films that played at the Toronto Film Festival this year is something I saw in May at Cannes. At the time, I did an impromptu interview with the director of the movie, Gerardo Naranjo. At the time, I didn't run it, so I thought this morning, I'd publish the interview for the first time, and then republish the review I wrote. Since I published it with another review, and since we weren't doing letter grades at the time, I thought I'd take the opportunity to assign it the one it deserves now.
The thing is, there's a limited release of this film supposedly set for October 14th, but there's no ads for it yet, and we're only a month out. This film needs some time to build a head of steam, and it needs the support of the critical community to convince audiences to give it a try. I hope Fox really tries with this one in the US, and that this isn't a cursory release. Here's my original review, and I think you'll see just how enthused I was when I saw it. Nothing's changed almost five months later: