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Tag: Sundance 2014 (1-10 of 76)

'Skeleton Twins' director: Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader really are like siblings

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Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader play a pair of estranged siblings who are reconnected at a particularly dark moment for both in the Sundance drama The Skeleton Twins. And, when a depressed Milo (Hader) leaves Los Angeles to live with a similarly depressed Maggie (Wiig) and her earnest, goofy husband (Luke Wilson), it’s not exactly a seamless homecoming, with fights, lies, and past traumas weighing on the once-inseparable twins throughout.

But writer-director Craig Johnson didn’t cast two of today’s most likable comedians to just destroy them with melodrama. There are moments of pure joy, too, including a standout sequence, teased in the trailer, where Milo and Maggie break into a cheesy ’80s classic to ease a particularly tense moment. As Owen Gleiberman wrote after the film’s Sundance premiere, “This is a tenderly sincere, and smart, and beguiling, and penetrating movie about the way that ordinary messed-up people can wind up stumbling through their lives.”

EW spoke to Johnson about directing Hader and Wiig and how that whole Starship sequence came together.

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Video: Young-at-heart retirees party in Iceland in 'Land Ho!' clip

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Just because you’ve hit retirement age doesn’t mean you can’t still have adventures. In the utterly charming Land Ho!, two ex-brothers-in-law decide to take a spur-of-the-moment trip to Iceland—and, of course, in the vein of all the classic buddy comedies, they’re polar opposites.

Colin (Paul Eenhoorn) is a soft-spoken man still reeling from a recent loss while Mitch (Earl Lynn Nelson) is a bawdy, larger-than-life character who’s always ready for a good time, whether it’s bathing in a glacial spa or partying in a Reykjavik nightclub. “We wanted to make a comedy that was sort of an ode to comedies that we loved growing up, like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Uncle Buck,” co-director Martha Stephens told EW after the film’s premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Though both characters are nearing retirement, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the movie is just about age. “What’s happened to us also happens to every age group. You have a person who dies. You get fired from your job, you get divorced, you have financial problems. Hell, I’m 71 years old and I’m not ashamed of that,” Nelson (Stephens’ cousin) added. Land Ho!, he said, is “much more than two old farts having to be put out to pasture.”

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'Fargo'-inspired 'Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter' gets U.S. distribution

Amplify has acquired the U.S. rights to Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, a stunning folk tale of a lonely, isolated Japanese woman (Rinko Kikuchi) who unearths a warped VHS tape of Fargo and takes it for truth, putting her on an epic, continent-spanning quest to find the money that Steve Buscemi’s Carl Showalter buries in the Minnesota snow in the Coen brothers’ 1996 masterpiece.

A release date has yet to be announced for the film, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and is loosely inspired by an urban legend. “We’re incredibly proud of Kumiko, it has been a labor of love for Nathan [Zellner], our producing partner Chris [Ohlson], and myself for many years,” said director David Zellner. “It’s a cinematic quest made for the big screen and we can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.”

Producer Cameron Lamb added: “Kumiko is a captivating journey from start to finish—with a performance by Rinko that is daring and inspirational while devastatingly mesmerizing, set alongside a stunningly visual landscape.”

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Top Sundance documentary 'Rich Hill' spotlights small-town poverty and adolescence

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Rich Hill, Missouri is not unlike other towns. In some ways, it’s an everytown—a microcosm of the many once-thriving areas that have become irreparably blighted in the last half century.

But for documentary filmmakers and first cousins Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo, Rich Hill happened to be where their grandparents lived and their parents grew up. Their collective ties to the area allowed them to use their documentary—named for the town—to tell a story that was unique and hyper-personal, and one that paints a portrait of adolescence in America’s forgotten towns.

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Sundance hit 'Whiplash' snares fall release date

Whiplash, the award-winning Sundance film that stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer at the mercy of J.K. Simmons’ tyrannical music teacher, will open in theaters Oct. 10. The film, written and directed by Damien Chazelle and championed by producers Jason Blum and Jason Reitman, was based on Chazelle’s short of the same name and went on to win two top prizes at Sundance. Reitman described the movie as “Shine meets Full Metal Jacket,” and Simmons’ performance as a terrifying bully of a mentor is one that could garner award consideration. Sony Pictures Classics’ decision to release the film in October, as opposed to the summer, certainly helps his candidacy.

Click below to see a clip of Simmons in action: READ FULL STORY

'Dinosaur 13': See the trailer for the Sundance T. rex doc that roared -- EXCLUSIVE

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In 1990, paleontologist Peter Larson and his team discovered the biggest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever recorded in the badlands of South Dakota. Named Sue — after Susan Hendrickson, the woman who initially found the first fossils — the skeleton became a major tourist attraction for Larson’s Black Hill Institute. But in 1992, the FBI arrived with a warrant and the National Guard — and confiscated Sue, claiming that the scientists had stolen her off private property. It seems everyone wanted a piece of Sue. Over the next 10 years, Larson’s team would have to fight in court, not only for their right to keep Sue but also for their own freedom.

Directed by Todd Douglas Miller, Dinosaur 13 was a crowd-pleaser at Sundance, where it debuted earlier this year. It was quickly picked up by Lionsgate and CNN Films, and it will open in theaters and VOD on Aug. 15.

Click below for the film’s exclusive trailer: READ FULL STORY

'They Came Together' trailer: Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd are ready to charm their way into your heart

Get ready for the romantic comedy (parody) of your dreams.

After premiering at Sundance earlier this year, the Amy Poehler/Paul Rudd rom-com send-up They Came Together finally has a full trailer — and a release date.

The silly movie reunites the two stars with director David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer), as well as a pretty impressive list of Comedy People We All Enjoy, including Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Chris Meloni, Ken Marino, Cobie Smulders, and Max Greenfield.

Molly (Poehler) owns a small-business candy shop; Joel (Rudd) works for a candy conglomerate (Sweetums?) that wants to put her out of business. Molly’s a single mom; Joel’s just been jilted by his icy girlfriend. But when they meet, sparks fly. “‘We threw in every element: the opposites-attract story line, the Jewish-but-not-too-Jewish funny leading man, the klutzy woman whom you kind of love, the sassy best friend, the black best friend, the wise old grandmother,” Wain told EW. ”Anything we could think of, we found a place for it in there.”

Watch the trailer below: READ FULL STORY

'Obvious Child' trailer: Jenny Slate hits rock bottom in Brooklyn -- VIDEO

Jenny Slate’s Donna Stern is having a rough time. She’s a 27-year-old struggling stand-up comedian. Her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. She’s resorted to stalking him in her desperation. And she’s just found out she’s pregnant from a one night stand, and the only date available for an abortion happens to be Valentine’s Day.

Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and co-stars Jake Lacy (as the possibly too nice one night stand), Gaby Hoffman (as Donna’s supportive, manic friend), and David Cross (as a fellow stand-up).

Check out the first trailer after the jump and watch as Donna goes on a drunken rant on stage, pees in public, and generally tries to get through the mess of being a twenty-something with the help of a little wry humor.

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John Slattery on 'Mad Men,' Philip Seymour Hoffman, and 'God's Pocket' -- EXCLUSIVE POSTER

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John Slattery thought the Mad Men pilot was brilliant, but it wasn’t until the show was well into its first season that he began to realize that he might be part of something truly great. “You shoot the thing very quickly, so it’s about a week-and-half and then you’re onto another story and then another,” says the actor. “I think it was Elisabeth Moss that I asked, ‘Is it me or do these scripts keep getting better?’ Week to week, with a rushed schedule, this thing just kept getting better and better and better — and year after year, I think it got better. I’ve never seen any show do that.”

Like Roger Sterling, Slattery has evolved during his six-plus seasons on Mad Men. He’s directed five episodes, including the Bobby Kennedy assassination episode “Man With a Plan.” The experience gave him the confidence to direct his first feature, God’s Pocket, based on the Pete Dexter novel about a Philadelphia man caught between a rock and hard place when he has to dispose of his crazy stepson’s body after a construction-site “accident” — without his wife knowing the truth. “Mickey I found a very endearing character,” says Slattery. “A guy who doesn’t feel sorry for himself, who doesn’t have the easiest row to hoe. And just tries to do the right thing for his wife, and can’t seem to get it to go his way.” READ FULL STORY

Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' gets summer release date

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, a movie 12 years in the making, will open in theaters on July 11.

Back in 2002, Linklater had the idea to make a movie about childhood — but rather than telling a story about a singular moment or chapter from growing up, he decided to cast a 6-year-old (Ellar Coltrane) and film him a little bit every year until he went to college. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette play the boy’s parents, and Linklater’s daughter, Lorelei, plays the boy’s sister.

IFC Films agreed to produce and distribute the film at the outset, and their faith was rewarded when Linklater’s daring, unconventional film wowed audiences at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film went to receive more accolades at the Berlin Film Festival and SXSW.

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