The best non-fiction film I saw last year — and maybe the best film I saw, period — was The Shining documentary Room 237. Directed by Rodney Ascher, the movie showcases the theories of five unseen Shining obsessives about what Stanley Kubrick really intended with his 1980 Stephen King adaptation. The end result is at least twice as entertaining — and at least five times funnier — than that synopsis might indicate. (My colleague Owen Gleiberman did a much better job of summing up the movie when, in the course of writing about his favorite movies of 2012, he described it as “a veritable Kubrickian Da Vinci Code that’s really about the power that conspiracy theory now holds over our thinking.”)
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After the tragic shooting death of ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle this past week, Bradley Cooper is moving forward with American Sniper, a movie based on the autobiography of Kyle. Cooper bought the rights to American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History last spring, he told NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday.
In the wide-ranging interview (which you can listen to in full), Cooper discussed how he wanted to fast-track the project, which has obviously generated more public interest with recent events. “I couldn’t believe it. Jason Hall, who’s writing the script, called me an hour after it happened…,” Cooper explained about how he heard about the death. “The first draft was coming in this week, and Thursday I was at Walter Reed hospital meeting with veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, among many other ailments; and then all of a sudden I hear this thing and I just can’t believe it. This man has two children, and he is an advocate for putting guns back in veterans’ hands, as a way of therapy.” READ FULL STORY
Beautiful Creatures hopes to introduce the world to a new kind of witch and warlock — or casters as they prefer to be called in the world of the Ravenwoods and Duchannes — when the movie adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s best-selling YA novel hits theaters Feb. 14. These characters join a long list of pop-culture conjurers including Disney’s many diviners and the spell-spinners of J.K. Rowling’s universe. So when the cast and crew gathered for the world premiere of Creatures last night at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre, we wanted to find out which witch had charmed their way to favorite status and why.
While many famous folk were enchanted by Bewitched‘s Samantha Stevens, read on to see which other famous witches left them spellbound: READ FULL STORY
As Tom Clancy’s legendary Jack Ryan, Chris Pine is boldly going where no man has gone before — except Alec Baldwin…and Harrison Ford…and Ben Affleck. (But who remembers The Sum of All Fears anyways?) Thus far, we haven’t seen much from Pine’s Jack Ryan, which is still filming. But in case you’re feeling desperate for your next Ryan fix (he did look good on that motorcycle), here are two new images (courtesy of USA Today) of Pine in character, including one featuring Kevin Costner as Ryan’s mentor. (Irony alert: Costner was initially offered the Ryan role that went to Baldwin for The Hunt for Red October.)
Jack Ryan serves as an origin story of sorts for the CIA analyst, who’s previously appeared in Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and the lackluster Sum of All Fears. The movie centers on a young Ryan as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot headed up by a Russian oligarch played by none other than Kenneth Branagh (who is also the film’s director). Check out the two new pics below: READ FULL STORY
Yes, up-and-comers Alice Englert (pictured) and Alden Ehrenreich play the protagonists of Beautiful Creatures, a young adult southern gothic tale that’s like a cross between Twilight and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (So the time is… I don’t know, around 9 p.m.?)
But the real star of the film may turn out to be Emma Thompson — who’s clearly having a blast playing the campy “Bible-thumping bigot” Mrs. Lincoln.
Thompson’s over-the-top southern accent is the best part of this exclusive featurette, which introduces Beautiful Creatures‘s main players and teases the main beats of its plot. Then again, the accent has a bit of competition from Emmy Rossum’s deliciously wicked Ridley and the few glimpses we get of the movie’s spooky special effects. Watch it for yourself, but be forewarned: If you don’t want a fairly important revelation about Thompson’s character to be spoiled, you might not want to press “play.”
David Fincher, the man behind creepy procedurals Zodiac and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, might be turning his camera toward Gillian Flynn‘s blockbuster 2012 novel Gone Girl. According to Variety, the director is in early talks to tackle the project, which is being produced by Reese Witherspoon (no word yet on whether she’ll also appear in the film). Flynn’s dark mystery — about a husband dealing with his wife’s sudden disappearance — was one of 2012’s biggest (and best) novels. The author, a former Entertainment Weekly TV critic, is writing the screenplay. If Fincher does end up signing on the timing of the project is unclear, since the director is already reportedly attached to a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie and might still take on Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel The Girl Who Played With Fire.
'John Dies at the End': Paul Giamatti and director Don Coscarelli talk about their demented horror-comedy
Director Don Coscarelli is best known for the Phantasm horror series—about folks getting their brains drilled out by silver spheres—and 2002’s Bubba Ho-Tep, about a nursing home showdown between an Egyptian mummy and a man, played by Bruce Campbell, who believes himself to be Elvis. Doesn’t the filmmaker ever dream of making a nice, romantic-comedy? Seemingly not. Coscarelli’s latest offering is John Dies at the End, which stars Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes as a pair of slacker-types who gain the ability to travel to different dimensions after consuming a drug called “soy sauce” and Paul Giamatti as a journalist Williamson’s character recruits to tell their bizarre tale. And “bizarre” seems the appropriate word for a movie whose outlandish sights include a flying moustache, a door handle turning into penis, and a monster made from cuts of meat.
In C.O.G., the first-ever movie adaptation of a David Sedaris story that premiered last night at the Sundance Film Festival, there’s a scene in which a proselytizing Christian named Jon (Denis O’Hare) counsels Samuel, his young fine-crafts protege (Jonathan Groff) — and non-believer — that only God can make him happy. “[Happiness] is not going to drop in your lap,” he says. “You have to ask for it.”
If Samuel’s only half-listening, it’s advice that 29-year-old writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez took to heart. He pursued Sedaris — delicately but aggressively — even showing up at one of Sedaris’s book readings in Irvine, Calif., to present the best-selling author and NPR humorist with a copy of his first movie, 2010’s Easier With Practice. The gamble paid off. “I liked Easier With Practice and then I just liked how enthusiastic he was,” said Sedaris, who chatted with reporters after seeing the movie for the first time. “There’s a way that people [in Hollywood] talk and you just get the idea that it’s just bullsh-t, and he didn’t sound like that. He seemed like the real thing to me; he seemed like an artist.”
In the movie, which is based on a story from Sedaris’s 1997 collection, Naked — C.O.G. stands for Child of God — Groff’s conceited college student heads to Oregon to “get his hands dirty” on an apple farm and see how the other half lives. But his intellectual prowess quickly proves a liability and his real education to the ways of the world is alternately helped and hindered by the farm’s curmudgeonly owner (Dean Stockwell), a romantically interested co-worker (Midnight in Paris‘ Corey Stoll), and Jon, who builds clunky jade clocks shaped like the state of Oregon. READ FULL STORY
Fans of the thrilling post-apocalyptic graphic novel series Y: The Last Man can rejoice that New Line has officially hired a director to helm a movie adaptation.
Dan Trachtenberg, mostly a commercials director, is set to direct the film, a New Line spokesperson confirmed to EW. The screenplay is by Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia.
“Y: The Last Man is the saga of Yorick Brown — the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent and a brilliant young geneticist, Yorick sets out in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on Earth,” according to a New Line statement.
The comic book series, written by Brian K. Vaughn and drawn by Pia Guerra, is filled with action, violence, and a ton of mystery and great female characters, with backdrops ranging from Boston to Tel Aviv. Who will be cast as handsome, at first dopey, and ultimately courageous Yorick, paired in the comic with a sidekick pet monkey named Ampersand, remains to be seen.
For more entertainment and film news Follow @solvej_schou
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