Like Tim Burton's Ed Wood, Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men works because it takes a usually frenetic, high-octane filmmaker, and brings him down a few notches to the level of real, human storytelling. A film revolving around con men - Roy (Nicolas Cage) and Frank (Sam Rockwell) - is bound to be clever and comedic, but what sets Matchstick Men apart is the emotional payoff and the realizations the characters make by the end of the film.

Friday, May 28, 2010

'Mr. Nice' Trailer

IGN has debuted the trailer for Mr. Nice, an upcoming indie biopic written and directed by Bernard Rose. Rhys Ifans, who gives one of the year's most overlooked supporting turns in Noah Baumbach's Greenberg, stars as the infamous British drug smuggler Howard Marks. The film will also feature the Oscar-nominated Chloe Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry), David Thewlis, Elsa Pataky, Andrew Tiernan, and Christian McKay (Me and Orson Welles). 

Mr. Nice will have a limited release beginning on May 28th.

I must confess that I had never heard of this project until the trailer below popped up online, but my interest regarding Taylor Hackford's (The Devil's Advocate, Ray) Love Ranch has been instantly piqued. Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren will star as Charlie and Grace Bontempo, a married couple who open up Nevada's first legal brothel. Sergio Peris-Mencheta will play a heavyweight boxer who complicates things once Charlie tries to use him to expand his empire. Bryan Cranston, of "Breaking Bad" fame, will also have a supporting role.

Although the film is set for a limited release on June 30th, it has the potential to be in Oscar discussion as 2010 begins to wind down. Pesci's role seems like it will share similarities with the likes of Goodfellas and Casino, but the fact that he is the lead character this time around should change things up a bit. Give the trailer a watch below and let me know if you are as impressed as I am.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

'Morning Glory' Trailer

News regarding the teaser trailer for J.J. Abrams' Super 8 has been circling the web with authority ever since the theatrical release of Iron Man 2. However, Abrams, working under his production house Bad Robot, also has another project in the works: Morning Glory. This is a romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams as a television producer who is hired to revive a struggling morning show by dealing with the antics of hosts Mike (Harrison Ford) and Colleen (Diane Keaton). Patrick Wilson will also co-star as a possible love interest for the McAdams character.

A romantic comedy may seem like uncharted territory for Abrams, but the project also has other credible filmmakers on board. Roger Michell, who made Notting Hill, is set to direct the film from a script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada). The film, which was shot mostly in New York, is set to be released on November 12th by Paramount Pictures. You can watch the embedded trailer below, or see it in HD over at Apple.

Monday, May 17, 2010

5/17: News Updates

Here are some news updates I've compiled over at The Film Stage during the past few weeks:
  • First Look At Saoirse Ronan In Joe Wright's 'Hanna' [Click Here]
  • New Images From Robert Redford's 'The Conspirator' [Click Here]
  • Summit Acquires 'The Impossible' [Click Here]
  • Trailer For Joe Dante's 'The Hole' [Click Here]
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt In Talks For 'Premium Rush' and 'Looper' [Click Here]
  • Details Revealed For Woody Allen's Paris Project [Click Here]
  • Fincher Trying To Decide On Female 'Dragon Tattoo' Star, To Film In October [Click Here
  • New Photo From Matt Reeves' 'Let Me In' [Click Here]
  • Robert De Niro and Yvonne Strahovski Join 'The Killer Elite' [Click Here]
  • [First Look] David Cronenberg's 'Cosmopolis' Teaser Poster [Click Here
  • Darren Aronofsky To Produce Sean Gullette's Debut Thriller [Click Here]

The trailer for George Nolfi's The Adjustment Bureau has been released via Yahoo, and I think it is one that deserves a look. Nolfi, who wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, will be making his directorial debut with this film, which is based on a Philip K. Dick short story. Matt Damon will star as a promising young United States Congressman who finds his life spinning out of control when he discovers inexplicable forces trying to keep him away from his love interest, who will be played by Emily Blunt.

This Manhattan-based story was shot on-location in New York and will be released September 17th. Some of the co-stars include Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Terence Stamp, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. 

The most memorable superhero sequels usually have memorable villains, and that is where Jon Favreau's Iron Man 2 makes its most critical mistake. The character of Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) still puzzles me. Rourke is a physical specimen; Ivan is a supposed Russian physicist, perhaps even a genius. Is Mickey Rourke the first person that comes to mind when you think of an actor that can play a braniac? No offense to Rourke, who does a solid job with the role, but I just do not get where the casting directors or the filmmakers are coming from there.

The third trailer for Christopher Nolan's Inception, which played in front of most showings of Iron Man 2 this weekend, is a bit more by-the-numbers in terms of laying out the story's groundwork, but the breathtaking visuals and delicious set pieces make it something to relish. Zack Hemsey's custom track plays throughout, and the more pulsating moments of it will probably remind many of Robbie Robertson's work on Shutter Island.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who we have seen in all of the trailers thus far, will star as some type of expert dream thief. The trailer provides a first glimpse of many of the supporting characters played by Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Ellen Page. It does also, by the way, feature the same tagline: "Your mind is the scene of the crime."

Inception, which opens on July 16th, should surely be on the top of everybody's must-see list. Nolan has not had a non-Batman film be a monstrous box-office hit so far; let's hope this one marks a change. Be sure to bookmark the Nolan Fans website for all of the latest Inception updates. 

Courtesy: Dailymotion

There has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me, a film that stars Casey Affleck as John Ford, a small-town sheriff who also reveals himself to be a sadistic murderer. The buzz has stemmed mostly from the horrific violence that Affleck's character commits towards the women in this film, particularly a prostitute (Jessica Alba) and Ford's schoolteacher girlfriend (Kate Hudson).

The film will receive a limited release on July 18th courtesy of IFC Films, who have handled so many controversial films in the past, from Y Tu Mama Tambien to Antichrist. Give the brief, but admittedly impressive trailer (courtesy of Dailymotion) a watch below. This one is definitely on my summer radar.

Mickey Rourke's recent comeback has certainly increased his amount of public appearances, and this is something I am really grateful for. I had a ball watching him cruise the awards circuit during his campaign for The Wrestler. His speeches at the BAFTAs and the Independent Spirit Awards were some of the most entertaining in recent memory, and I personally think the Academy blew it big time when they snubbed this guy, if only for the memorable speech he would have given.

I'd say that alongside Christopher Nolan's Inception, Anton Corbijn's The American is one of my most anticipated films for the rest of the year. I have yet to see Corbijn's acclaimed debut Control, although I will make a point to see it in the coming weeks.

George Clooney's character, Jack, is an assassin who plans to finish his last job in Italy, but along the way he ends up forming strong bonds with Clara (Violante Placido) and Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli). Cinematographer Martin Ruhe, who did some startling work in Harry Brown, worked as Corbijn's director of photography here, and from the looks of things, this appears to be a beautifully shot film. Ruhe also worked with Corbijn on Control, and from what I have heard, he did a great job in that film as well.

The release date for this Focus Features product is currently set for September 1st. Will Clooney find himself in the thick of the Oscar race once again?

Courtesy: Yahoo

Nash Edgerton is the real deal. He has been a first-rate stuntman for quite some time, and The Square marks his feature debut, one of the best in recent years. Edgerton is a director that has an affinity for "shock" moments. These aren't the cheap thrills seen in most modern thrillers; they are real and unpredictable because the director knows when to employ them. There is not a man lurking behind the wall every two or three minutes like there was in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Edgerton aligns his shocks few and far between, a technique that ensures constant suspense in what otherwise may seem like a rather slow-moving film.

A Nightmare on Elm Street very nearly put me to sleep. I doubt that is what Samuel Bayer, in his first feature film effort, had in mind. I must confess that I am not a huge fan of Wes Craven's 1984 original. That film, like this reboot, did nothing to frighten me, but at least Craven was able to form some type of entertainment. Bayer's version, on the other hand, feels much longer than it should, and when you realize by the end that it only ran for 90 minutes, that is really saying something.

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