There’s a first time for everything. At a Cannes showing of Blue Is the Warmest Color, a three-hour French drama about a young woman who falls into a romance that digs its hooks in and won’t let go of her, the audience sat raptly as Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a quietly precocious 17-year-old Paris high school girl, goes to bed with Emma (Léa Seydoux), the painter and Fine Arts graduate student she met at a lesbian bar. It’s Adèle’s first experience with another woman — but ever since the late ’70s, there have been plenty of lesbian-awakening dramas, most of them on the soft and dewy side. In this case, when the sex scene was over, after what felt like it must have been 10 minutes of writhing, moaning erotic hunger, people in the audience burst into whoops of approval and applause — something I have never in my life seen happen after a sex scene. It’s not so much that the audience was being cute, attempting to acknowledge that the scene was “hot” (although yes, it seriously was). What they were applauding was the authenticity: the fact that the heat was real, and thus the heat had become the drama. Very Last Tango, except minus the perversity. READ FULL STORY »
The Fast & Furious franchise doesn’t engage in too much narrative trickery. The plots are straightforward — and by straightforward, I mean there are cars and people who drive those cars and those people use their cars to fight other people in cars. Carfight! But there’s a surprisingly complicated aspect of the films’ chronology, and that aspect is the character Han, played by actor Sung Kang.
Han was introduced in the third film, Tokyo Drift, as a wise mentor figure for that film’s lead; Han also died in Tokyo Drift. But that film’s final scene made it clear that Han had, once upon a time, run with Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto. Weirdly, the three films that followed Tokyo Drift all wound up exploring that “once upon a time” period. In the fourth film, Fast & Furious, Han was alive again — although he mentioned that he was planning to move to Tokyo. He was back in Fast Five, romancing Gal Gadot’s Gisele; at the end of the film, they joked about moving to Tokyo, although all Han said was that they’d get there “Eventually.” (To further complicate matters, Han was actually originally introduced in Better Luck Tomorrow, the debut film by Justin Lin; Lin imported the character into Tokyo Drift.) SPOILERS BELOW. READ FULL STORY »
After exploring how children’s electric cars and remote-controlled jets were instrumental for creating the sounds of Iron Man’s suit in Iron Man 3, the second installment of our new series Sounds Like a Summer Movie takes a look at how music is used for dramatic impact in Star Trek Into Darkness. And it is used a lot: Sound mixer Will Files, who first worked with director J.J. Abrams on Cloverfield, estimates there’s music over 75 to 80 percent of the film. Once again, Abrams used longtime collaborator Michael Giacchino, who won an Oscar for scoring Up. “J.J. and Michael take a pretty classic approach to scoring a film in that it’s more about the emotional beats in a scene and trying to figure out which character’s perspective you are trying to play in that moment, who you are trying to connect the audience with,” Files says. “Because of that, you end up with something that is not quite as generically action movie-oriented. You have a score that’s much more lyrical because it’s playing these broader strokes of emotion rather than the minutia of the actual action that’s happening on the screen.” READ FULL STORY »
Even tallest-building-in-the-world-climber action star Tom Cruise has his limits. The guy cannot be in two places at once. Cruise was set to star in the Warner Bros. big screen adaptation of 1960s spy series Man from U.N.C.L.E., but his role as another secret agent in another franchise based on a mid-century TV show is getting in the way. He has dropped out of Man from U.N.C.L.E. due to Mission: Impossible 5 scheduling, EW has confirmed. Deadline first reported the news.
This isn’t the first time the long-in-development Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie has had a talent change-up. At one point, George Clooney was attached to star, with Steven Soderbergh directing. Now Guy Ritchie is gearing up to direct the project, about a pair of agents work for the international agency U.N.C.L.E, or, United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Armie Hammer (The Social Network) is still attached to the film. READ FULL STORY »
Casting Net: Amanda Seyfried in talks to join Noah Baumbach film; Plus, Gael Garcia Bernal to star in Jon Stewart film
• Amanda Seyfried may have started out playing teenage bombshells, but she’s defied the trap of typecasting and translated those beginnings into an interesting and diverse career including the high-profile Les Miserables and the upcoming porn-star biopic Lovelace. Now, she’s in talk to join director Noah Baumbach’s (Frances Ha) next project While We’re Young, alongside Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts (The Impossible), and Adam Driver (Girls). Seyfried would play Driver’s partner in the film, about an older couple who befriends a younger, more free-spirited duo. [The Wrap]
• Jon Stewart has cast Gael Garcia Bernal (No) as the lead in Rosewater, the comedian’s directorial debut, based on Maziar Bahari’s memoir Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Capacity, and Survival. The film will tell the story of a journalist (Bernal) assigned to cover the Iranian Presidential elections who ends up in captivity for 118 days. Stewart co-wrote the script with author Aimee Molloy, who co-authored the book with Bahari. [The Wrap]
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This weekend is the summer’s biggest box office head-to-head, with both The Hangover Part III and Fast & Furious 6 opening. Well, technically Hangover is opening on Thursday. (And we can’t forget about Epic!) Both films come out of multi-multi-million dollar franchises; both cost multi-multi millions to make. And both have a really good chance of making more than $200 million at the box office. But now that the actual weekend has arrived, it’s safe to say that one will emerge the clear winner…and it’s going to be Fast 6.
Here’s how the box office may play this weekend:
Bryan Singer is at it again! The director of the highly anticipated X-Men: Days of Future Past is quickly becoming a social media mastermind. After tweeting out numerous first looks at the cast, Singer’s latest tweet confirmed that Evan Peters will be joining the film as Quiksilver, the super-fast son of Magneto, whose twin sister, Scarlet Witch, can manipulate probability. READ FULL STORY »
Cannes 2013: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' is very minor Payne (but still a pleasure). Plus, my Palme d'Or prediction
Alexander Payne has become one of those figures who isn’t just a film director — he’s a genre. As much as I love Election, his 1999 breakthrough film, the Payne movie that really kicked off the Payne format was About Schmidt (2002). The leisurely, semi-planted version of the road-trip structure; the classically framed images of a falling-down American middle class that Hollywood is no longer in touch with and no longer knows how to show us; the earnest, damaged heroes with their family ties and family demons; the arcs that are built not out of screenwriting-class “story points” but, rather, out of experience — arcs that serve as emotional bridges from one state of being to another. Not every Payne film conforms to every one of these traits (The Descendants wasn’t a road movie — though I’d argue it was a road movie of the spirit), but Payne Land is still, by now, a familiar and even cozy place, with its own off-kilter humor and skewed, knuckleball humanity. READ FULL STORY »
Returning to 'Jedi': Ewok down memory lane with Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, Eli Roth -- VIDEO
EW approached filmmaker Kyle Newman (Fanboys) with a simple proposition: Will you make us a short film that collects famous voices talking about Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi and their feelings about the film as it reaches its 30th anniversary?
After sweet-talking him with promises of no money and too-little time, we mentioned that he was our only hope and, weirdly, that worked. The result is The Return of Return of the Jedi: 30 Years and Counting, which shows elite geeks — among them Kevin Smith, Seth Green, Chris Hardwick, Jaime King, Topher Grace, Fall Out Boy, Eli Roth, and Jason Mewes — revisiting the movie in which tribal Teddy Ruxpins put down an Imperial invasion force with rocks, logs, and other Gilligan’s Island-esque props. Who saw that coming?
Universal Pictures announced Wednesday that it plans to reboot the time travel action movie Timecop in a partnership with production company Global Produce.
Based on Mark Verheiden’s Dark Horse Comics title Time Cop, the original film imagined a world where time travel would be possible and where police regulate its usage. Peter Hyams’ 1994 film starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as an officer who tries to go back in time to save his wife from being killed — and stymie the endemic corruption that has emerged as a result of time-travel technology.
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