ENJOY THE SHOW
A few years back, for the release of his new film, director David Lowery of Ain't Them Bodies Saints (great film) hosted a social media giveaway where they would send prizes to anyone who saw four indie films in one weekend. They sent out some truly one-of-a-kind prizes, including signed scripts and props from the films, but above all just wanted to remind people to support indie films. Well, another filmmaker by the name of Riley Stearns is launching a brand new "Indie Film Giveaway" for three new features that were just released: Lawrence Michael Levine's Wild Canaries, Joel Potrykus' Buzzard and Stearns' Faults. Similar to Lowery's fun giveaway, it's as simple as photographing your ticket stubs and emailing them in.
"I think, therefore I am Chappie." Third times the charm. South African sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp is back with his third feature, titled Chappie, following District 9 and Elysium over the past six years. While he is certainly adept at building one-of-a-kind science fiction worlds, and crazy characters to inhabit them, the stories in each of his three movies have been completely different and often times, unfortunately, the weakest link. Chappie, while on one hand a violent R-rated action film, sorta seems like RoboCop-for-kids designed for teens to go crazy over whenever they finally somehow see it. It's a lot more fun, totally wild at times, occasionally absurd, and much more charming than I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way.
"I was eight the night they were killed and suddenly I was famous" For those unaware, Gillian Flynn is the author behind the book turned into last year's Gone Girl adaptation by David Fincher, which caused quite a stir. This book, Dark Places, was written before Gone Girl and deals with a different story about a woman who survives her family being killed. The adaptation stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Chloë Moretz, Christina Hendricks and more. This was made kind of under-the-radar by French filmmaker Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and while it doesn't necessarily look bad, it does feel a little generic. Watch?
"Do I look old to you?" Local New York-based filmmaker Noah Baumbach has two new films coming out this year, the first being the wacky While We're Young about a couple growing older (see the trailer), and the other being Mistress America, a sort-of-sequel to his 2012 film Frances Ha. In honor of the upcoming release of While We're Young this spring, a nationwide screening series has launched called "Growing Up Baumbach" recapping at least four of his indie gems from the past decade. This includes The Squid and the Whale (still my favorite Baumbach film so far) and Kicking and Screaming, plus a few other films. Read on.
Ah yes, it's time to delve into the cinephile mind of Edgar Wright. What films have influenced him as a filmmaker, which are his favorites? Edgar (follow him on twitter @edgarwright) recently stopped by the Criterion Collection offices in New York and raided their DVD closet, as all respectable filmmakers must do. In the video they released, he talks about 3 specific films that he pulls from the shelf. However, Criterion has also published his list of Top 10 films to compliment the DVD/Blu-ray selections. Do you think you know his favorites already? Find out and discover more films from Edgar's Criterion raid. Order your Criterion here.
"It could be a game changer," but they're afraid of it. Here we go again with movie theater chains. Earlier this week Netflix announced they're acquiring and distributing the new film Beasts with No Nation, a feature from Cary Fukunaga starring Idris Elba as the commander of a group of guerrilla fighters in Africa. Despite Netflix starting out as a DVD company, they've grown considerably. Beasts with No Nation will not only be released on the Netflix platform, but it will be released in theaters by the company, with a "vigorous push in Oscar season." Their release strategy of going to theaters and VOD at the same time still scares some movie theater owners, and the big chains have backed out of releasing this film altogether. Ugh.
"We're about to start an investigation…" Roadside Attractions has unveiled the first teaser trailer for Mr. Holmes, the wonderfully charming adventure from director Bill Condon starring Ian McKellen as an aging Sherlock Holmes. The film just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this month, where I fell in love with it after screening it at the festival - here's my 9.5/10 review. McKellen as Holmes, retiring out in the countryside, thinks back to his last case while befriending the young son, played by Milo Parker, of the caretaker. This is an odd teaser, with very sudden music changes a few times, but it's still a lovely movie that I can't wait for everyone to enjoy. Hopefully the next few trailers will be a bit better, but have at it anyway.
Would you take a life to live forever? After sending out phones to movie bloggers yesterday, today Focus Features has sent out a link that goes straight to the trailer for Self/less. Indeed, this was what it was all for - a promotion for the upcoming Tarsem sci-fi movie Self/less, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley. Kingsley is an old man who wants his consciousness transferred into Ryan Reynolds. So he goes to Phoenix Biogenic and begins the process. All seems to go well, except things get a little hazy part of the way through. Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber and Derek Luke also star. This looks pretty good, though the visual look of the dual minds isn't as trippy as I was expecting. Fire it up.
We have a delivery. Arriving at the offices of a number of prominent movie bloggers all over the country are LG cell phones with a personalized introduction and instructions to wait for more information tomorrow (Wednesday, March 4th). Mysterious… We also received a phone here. No other info was included, aside from a memo from "Phoenix Biogenic", the same name on the box the phone came in. The note talks about feeling immortal and the chance to get a new body, which connects with the plot in the new Tarsem psychological sci-fi film Self/less. From here, we have to wait until we all get an update tomorrow morning. But in the meantime, this is our first viral look at the new Self/less movie. They definitely have my attention.
They'll never leave… Our good friend and producer/co-host of The Golden Briefcase podcast Tim Buel has completed his first feature film, titled In Residence, and it's now available to watch online for free. Early last year we supporter his Kickstarter for the project, which billed the film as a "shoestring horror flick" that they would shoot on their own for $5000. They got all the funding, and now little more than a year later, they've completed work. And to show it off they've released the entire horror film online for free for your viewing pleasure. Just don't forget to support the guys who made this - Tim and Cody Rhyse, since they put everything into this. And it's truly an independent, shoe-string budget film made by passionate filmmakers.
Ever since Iñárritu's Birdman won Best Picture (and a bunch of other Oscars) a week ago, the film has received plenty of criticism and negativity. I, however, will defend the film as I think it's an exciting and original look at the struggles of artistry, told through the opening of a stage performance. One of my other favorite films in recent year was another Oscar winner, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, and it is very similar to Birdman in many ways. Thanks to a tip from Film School Rejects, an editor named Miguel Branco has cut together a video showing side-by-side visual comparisons between Birdman and Black Swan. It's rather mesmerizing to watch set to Alexandre Desplat's lovely "Wong Chia Chi's Theme" from Lust, Caution.
Now this could end being up awesome. Hear me out. Not all car movies are going to turn out the same, but if they have Joe Kosinski at the helm that's pretty much guaranteed. THR's Heat Vision is reporting that Joe Kosinski, director of Tron Legacy and Oblivion, is now in talks for the Gran Turismo movie developing at Sony based on the racing video game. We've reported on it before, a few years ago when it was first picked up and when writer Alex Tse of Watchmen was attached. It has the right team to turn out kind of amazing for a video game movie, here's to hoping they pull it off. Kosinski is also attached to a few other projects.
A brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse. Even though it's about to be available on Blu-ray next week, a newly remastered version of The Breakfast Club is set to screen as a world premiere at 2015 SXSW Film Festival later this month. The film is celebrating it's 30th anniversary, which is also why the Blu-ray is getting re-released for the 30th, and the festival premiere will be part of that promo. Cast members Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy will also be in attendance for a special Q&A. If you're a big fan of this film and live in Austin (or are attending SXSW) this is the ideal event for you. Art in the teaser by Michele Rosenthal.
This could be a great film if actually comes together as planned. Only time will tell. Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros has closed a deal on an adaptation of the memoir It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life Of Love And War, which was a popular project as many different studios/actors were interested. The package that Warner Bros has closed on apparently has Steven Spielberg attached to direct and Jennifer Lawrence attached to star. That's quite a line-up. Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex, American Sniper, Mortdecai) will be producing. Of course, we know that both Spielberg and Lawrence are attached to a bunch of other projects as well, ranging from the sci-fi Passengers (for Lawrence) to another Indiana Jones (for Spielberg).