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Tag: Steven Soderbergh (1-10 of 29)

Steven Soderbergh donates $10K to Spike Lee's Kickstarter campaign

Spike Lee’s nascent Kickstarter campaign to fund his yet-untitled movie about “human beings who are addicted to blood” just got a big-ticket backer: Steven Soderbergh.

The Oscar-winning director pledged $10,000 to Lee’s campaign, garnering him access to some Spike-centric-prizes (hype-typed by Lee in all-caps, of course), including dinner with Lee and a seat next to him at a Knicks game (score!).

Lest the prizes overshadow Soderbergh’s good will, his manager had this to say:
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Cannes 2013: 'Behind the Candelabra' is more than a dark Liberace kitschfest. It's a creepily moving love story

Behind the Candelabra, Steven Soderbergh’s backstage drama about Liberace, the fur-and-sequin-clad, ivory-tickling kitsch maestro of “wonderful” entertainment, and his relationship with Scott Thorson, the dewy hunk who became his romantic partner in the late 1970s, is a movie that I’ve been eager to see for many months. Nevertheless, when it was announced that the film wouldn’t just be playing at Cannes, but that it would be part of the hallowed roster of films shown in competition here, it raised my eyebrows.

Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time that a movie set to premiere on American television — in this case, HBO — has been honored with a competition slot at Cannes. The festival, of course, has a long-term relationship with Soderbergh, going back to 1989, when sex, lies and videotape took the Palme d’Or. But it also struck me that the Cannes programmers were making a kind of cultural-political statement. Behind the Candelabra isn’t being released theatrically in the U.S. because, reportedly, no studio wanted a part of it — the word is that a number of executives thought it was “too gay” to be commercial. And let’s be clear: That’s insane. A movie about Liberace starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon? It may not be Iron Man 3, but plenty of people, I’m convinced, would want to buy a ticket to see that. It’s hard to say what’s worse about the shunning of the movie by film studios: the implicit homophobia, or the insult to cinema. The Cannes programmers have obviously done their bit to right that wrong, and in doing so they have made a second statement as well. They have now acknowledged, from their perch of prestige, that “cinema” can thrive on TV. READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh on the State of Cinema: Yeah, he's really retiring from Hollywood -- VIDEO

It’s totally fair to call Steven Soderbergh’s keynote address on the State of Cinema at the San Francisco International Film Festival a rant. After all, he did. The filmmaker, who came of age during the halcyon Down and Dirty Pictures days of 1990′s nascent indie movement, has expressed his increasing frustration about being boxed-in by the studio’s increasing reliance on blockbuster tentpoles. “I’ve been in meetings where I can feel it slipping away, where I can feel that the ideas I’m tossing out, they’re too scary or too weird,” he told the festival audience. “I can tell: It’s not going to happen, I’m not going to be able to convince them to do this the way I think it should be done. I want to jump up on the table and scream, ‘Do you know how lucky we are to be doing this? Do you understand that the only way to repay that karmic debt is to make something good, is to make something ambitious, something beautiful, something memorable?’ But I didn’t do that. I just sat there, and I smiled.”

Soderbergh’s vowed to retire from directing, and is actively seeking other outlets for his creativity. But his speech yesterday was a passionate clarion call for the industry and the art form he senses is slipping away. Here are 10 important takeaways, followed by video of his speech. READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh working on 12-hour adaptation of 'The Sot-Weed Factor'

Let’s just say Steven Soderbergh’s idea of retirement doesn’t include a lot of shuffleboard. The Oscar winning director, who has said that the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra (airing May 26 on HBO) will be his last conventional feature film for the time being, tells EW that he is now at work developing a 12-hour miniseries based on John Barth’s 1960 novel The Sot-Weed Factor.

“I’ve had this on my shelf for a while,” says Soderbergh. “I was going to do it as a movie, but I couldn’t figure it out. So now I’ve had it adapted as 12 one-hour episodes.” Set in the late 1600s, the satirical story follows an English poet who moves to Maryland to take over his father’s tobacco farm. A 1960 New York Times review of the book called it “a bare-knuckled satire of humanity at large” that is “so monstrously long that reading it seemed nearly as laborious as writing it.” In other words, this isn’t exactly The Da Vinci CodeREAD FULL STORY

Matt Damon on (maybe) returning to 'Bourne' and playing Liberace's lover in 'Behind the Candelabra'

Matt-Damon

When HBO airs Behind the Candelabra on May 26, the world will get to see Matt Damon play Liberace’s drug-addled, surgically enhanced lover – a role about as far from Jason Bourne as it gets.

But Damon, who sat down with costar Michael Douglas to talk with EW for this week’s cover story, says he isn’t ruling out a return to his blockbuster spy franchise despite the fact that he handed the reins over to Jeremy Renner in last year’s The Bourne Legacy. That movie rebooted the series by introducing the idea of a world with multiple Bourne-style secret agents — which means the original Jason Bourne could still be out there somewhere.

Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first one and the second one, came up with an idea: I think they look at it as kind of the reverse of X-Men,” says Damon, who opted not to sign on for a fourth film because he and director Paul Greengrass “couldn’t figure out” a script. “Whereas with X-Men, you get a giant bunch of superheroes and then do the Wolverine spinoff, I think Tony pitched it as, ‘OK, we started with the Wolverine spinoff. Now let’s try to make the X-Men. So I’ll create all these other programs, and you can have your evergreen that way. There’ll be other agents.’”

So does this mean Damon and Renner might share the screen in a Bourne movie someday? READ FULL STORY

Box office update: Soderbergh's 'Side Effects' is no match for 'Identity Thief'

Identity Thief persevered in spite of winter storm Nemo, with an $11.2 million Friday opening. The R-rated Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy vehicle from director Seth Gordon opened wide in 3,141 theaters, and may be on track for a $35 million weekend. Bateman and Gordon scored big with Horrible Bosses, which had a $9.9 million Friday opening in July and went on to gross $117.5 million domestically. This is McCarthy’s first starring role, and could bode well for The Heat, which was pushed back to a June release. McCarthy also recently started a production company with her husband Ben Falcone and already has three projects in the works.

Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects fared less well, opening Friday in 2,605 theaters at $2.8 million–almost exactly on track with Soderbergh’s Haywire, which opened in late January 2012 with a $2.9 million Friday and a $8.4 million weekend. Channing Tatum’s last three movies, 21 Jump Street (March), The Vow (February), and Magic Mike (June), all had Friday grosses exceeding $10 million. Rooney Mara’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opened decently the weekend before Christmas in 2011, but fizzled after that.

The area affected by Nemo represents about 12% of the country’s box office. AMC alone closed 43 theaters in the northeast corridor including in Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. New York theaters will attempt to open Saturday night, but Boston theaters are planning to remain closed through Sunday.

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Steven Soderbergh: Why he SHOULD retire. And then come back

Over the last few weeks, I can’t tell you how many people have asked me if Steven Soderbergh is really retiring, and the short answer I generally give them is, “Of course not.” Not that I’m questioning Soderbergh’s sincerity. He has said for several years that he plans to stop making feature films once he turns 50, and now that the big birthday has arrived (it was Jan. 14), he has clung, quite directly, to that public plan, discussing his new psycho-pharmacological Hitchcockian thriller, Side Effects, as if it’s the last movie of his that you’ll see in theaters. (Behind the Candelabra, his juicy-sounding late-career Liberace biopic starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, was turned down by all the major studios, who were scared of the subject matter — are they nuts? — which is why it will be seen this spring on HBO.) I believe Soderbergh when, in his recent wide-ranging interview with New York magazine, he talks about what he plans to do now: continue to “direct,” but in more offbeat mediums (and maybe on television), and to pursue his love of painting. One of the painters he idolizes is Lucien Freud — in the same way, perhaps, that he reveres and even deifies Richard Lester as a movie director. Soderbergh has always been a creature of role models, a guy who emulates from the outside more than he obsesses from the inside, and that may be one of the reasons that he’s such a chameleon as a filmmaker. He has many subjects that stoke his momentary passion (corporate chicanery, Che Guevara, male strippers, antidepressants), but none, perhaps, that rouse him to the point of consuming him. He dives in, then moves on. I like that about him, but a part of me hopes that it’s one of the things his retirement changes. READ FULL STORY

Steven Soderbergh's 'Side Effects': A 'Hitchcock mindf--' says writer Scott Z. Burns

In the noir-ish trailer for Side Effects – the medical thriller from director Steven Soderbergh starring Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, and Jude Law — a young woman (Mara) is suspected of a murder that has frightening implications for the makers of her mood-altering prescription medication. Or at least, that’s what it looks like. “There’s a lot more to it than that,” says screenwriter Scott Z. Burns, who previously teamed up with Soderbergh on Contagion and The Informant. “If you believe that’s what the trailer says, I’m not going to disabuse you of that. But I think there’s two or three more layers on top of that.” According to Burns, those layers include hints of Roman Polanski, Vladimir Nabokov, and Alfred Hitchcock. In other words, get ready to be more than a little disturbed.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did the idea for Side Effects come from?
SCOTT Z. BURNS:
Antidepressants are some of the leading-selling drugs in the country. When you start looking around the world at your friends, your family members who struggle with depression, who take these drugs — and the fact that the medical community doesn’t even know how these drugs work, it becomes an area that I think is ripe for some pretty interesting stories.

What was your first step in dramatizing that?
I’m not going to give you a lot of plot…  There’s a certain kind of complexity to human behavior, and when you layer in the fact that now we have the camouflage of drugs that can change your mood state, that was where we started. We wanted to make a movie that was sort of in the tradition of a Hitchcock mindf—.

Were any other movies or filmmakers on your mind while you were writing this?
The Roman Polanski movie from the 1960s, Repulsion. The operating principle in that it’s really hard to know what goes on inside another person. So for me, there was a bit of Repulsion, there’s a bit of Lolita going on.

In what way?
This was in some ways a kindred spirit and sequel to what Nabokov may have been doing in Lolita. Obviously Rooney isn’t that young; she’s not a teenager in this movie. But I think that when girls get sexualized as teenagers and then they get older, there’s a whole set of behaviors that they learn that allow them to manipulate the world around them. And they’re given those tools largely by men who want to be manipulated.

Side Effects arrives in theaters Feb. 8.

Read more:
‘Side Effects’ trailer: Steven Soderbergh takes on love and other drugs
Steven Soderbergh Gets Busy: Why this movie might be his last
‘Magic Mike’ on Blu-ray: It’s not a grind, guys — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

'Side Effects' trailer: Steven Soderbergh takes on love and other drugs

Could this moody, pulpy thriller about a depressed woman (Rooney Mara) and her possibly murder-inducing anxiety medication be the last feature Steven Soderbergh ever directs? Possibly — which is why it’s fitting that Side Effects, formerly known as Bitter Pill, functions sort of like a reunion film for Soderbergh vets. Look, it’s Contagion‘s Jude Law, Traffic‘s Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Channing Tatum — a.k.a. Magic Mike himself! (Bonus points: Tatum also starred in Soderbergh’s Haywire.) Too bad it seems like things aren’t going so well for any of their characters this time around.

Catch up with the gang from Soderbergh High by watching the trailer here:

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Matthew McConaughey: He's a star reborn, and newly laid bare, in 'Magic Mike'

Matthew McConaughey, as a Tampa strip-club owner-manager named Dallas, spends a lot of time in Magic Mike giving tips and pep talks to his team of on-stage stripper-studs. Instructing Adam (Alex Pettyfer), the new kid on the block, in some of the basic moves, as the two look into the mirror of a workout gym, he shows him how to tease the women in the audience, with slow grinds that grow more and more seductive (if that’s the right word to use for gestures that make it look like someone’s pantomiming a porn film), until, at last, the time arrives to deliver the money shot, a pure hard thrust of the crotch — bam! — that leaves no room for suggestion. Dallas, narrating his own sinewy movements, lets us know that he’s done all of this a hundred thousand times before, and that it’s pure performance, but also how much he relishes the sheer sexy works-every-goddamn-time effectiveness of it, the incredible control it gives him. Late in the movie, he gets up on stage at the Xquisite Male Dance Revue, and he makes good on his lessons. He puts on a mesmerizing strip show, with just the right move for every moment. He’s like a cowboy who’s his own bucking bronco. Yet as you watch his knowing, serpentine maneuvers, you can see that one reason Dallas is so good at this stuff is that he’s been doing it longer than forever. READ FULL STORY

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