Happy 30th Birthday to The Sundance Film Festival! A whole host of stars and celebrities flocked to have their pictures taken at Sundance.
The Sundance Film Festival is currently in full swing, having begun on 22nd January, and wrapping up on 1st February. This year, something particularly special is in the air at Salt Lake City, as the festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. That's right, the Sundance Film Festival has been running for 30 years! Starting out back in 1985, Sundance screened 86 films with the help of 13 staff members. Last year, the festival showcased 186 films of 12,218 that were submitted. That sort of growth has helped Sundance become one of the biggest independent film festivals in, not only North America, by the world.
Kevin Bacon at The Sundance Film Festival, 2015 (Credit: Larry Busacca - Getty Images)
This year, 54 first-time filmmakers are having their films premiered at the festival, but there are plenty of well-known faces there, as well, as 200 films are being shown this year for the monumental anniversary. For the 12th year running, The Village at the Lift has been set up in Park City with a café, restaurant, nightclub and photo studio. And this photo studio has seen a host of celebrities for the festival flocking in to pose for pictures in promotion for their various films, taken by Larry Busacca.
Kevin Spacey will swap Democrats for Republicans, Frank Underwood for Richard Nixon in 'Elvis and Nixon'.
Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon have been cast as Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley in Elvis and Nixon - a historical drama based on a real meeting between the legendary musician and one-time President.
Kevin Spacey will play President Richard Nixon in Liza Johnson's 'Elvis and Nixon'
The movie is set to be directed by Liza Johnson (Hateship Loveship, Return) from a script from actor Cary Elwes and Hanala and Joey Sagal.
Nick Offerman has directed a music video for Tweedy.
He's best known for playing the grumpy breakfast loving Ron Swanson on NBC's 'Parks and Recreation', but Nick Offerman has turned his hand to another profession: music video director. He's overseen the delightfully weird video for Tweedy's song, 'Low Key', which also features a host of celebrity cameos.
It's a different gig for the actor, usually seen in front of the camera
Tweedy is the latest project from Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, comprised of himself and his son Spencer Tweedy. 'Low Key' is the first single from their first album, 'Sukierae', and the offbeat video shows them going door-to-door in attempts to sell their record to disinterested members of the public. Man of Steel actor Michael Shannon features as the assistant of the record label boss, whilst Melissa McCarthy, Conan O'Brien, Andy Richter and Chance the Rapper feature amongst the bemused homeowners who are visited by the band. There's also a very strange twist at the end of the video, but we won't ruin the surprise!
Continue reading: Nick Offerman Has Directed A Music Video And It's Full Of Celebrities
How do you spoof a genre that's already a joke? Filmmakers David Wain and Michael Showalter clearly think the answer is to go for broke with a nonstop barrage of silliness, because some of the jokes are bound to stick. They did the same thing for teen summer-camp comedies more than a decade ago with Wet Hot American Summer, which stars many of the same actors. And while this movie is just as hilarious, it never quite transcends its own jokiness. Because as a rom-com it's never very engaging.
The story plays out as Joel and Molly (Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler) meet up with their friends (Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper) and regale them with the story of their romance. Everything about their courtship is just like in the movies, from the meet-cute to the fact that New York is another character in their story. Molly runs an adorable candy shop, while Joel is a "not too handsome or too Jewish" corporate raider sent to shut her down, but they hit it off, engage in a wildly energetic first sexual encounter, then go through the usual montage sequences on their way to the usual rough patches ("Your dreams don't pay the rent!"), breakups and mad-dash reunions.
Since it's told in flashbacks, the film feels almost like a collection of comedy sketches, most of which are ridiculously funny. The jokes are clever and pointed, with riotous side characters including sassy best friends, inappropriate relatives, idiotic coworkers and clingy ex-lovers. So every scene is a zany mixture of goofy slapstick, surreal visual gags and hysterically overstated emotion. Thankfully, the cast is more than adept at wringing every moment for laughter. Rudd and Poehler have impeccable timing, and they're supported by a terrific cast of seasoned comical actors, including amusing cameos from the likes of Adam Scott, Michael Shannon and Norah Jones.
Continue reading: They Came Together Review
Watch the short but sweet teaser below
HBO have given us a first peek at Boardwalk Empire’s fifth and final season, which is set to air this September. A menacing sense of violence tingles through the 38-second trailer as Nucky, Chalky, Al Capone, Luciano, George Mueller all play a central role.
And if the stakes could get any higher following season 4’s finale, then the great depression certainly goes a long way towards raising them. Michael K. Williams has already confirmed that HBO’s period gangster drama will take place 7 years after season 4’s ending. Watch the teaser here.
'Boardwalk Empire' star Michael Shannon and 'Weeds' actress Mary Louise Parker were seen arriving at the Esquire 80th anniversary celebration in New York, which also celebrated the launch of the magazine's brand new TV network. The channel will air TV shows on a range of subjects that are currently discussed in various sections of the publication.
The new film has the potential to be one of the biggest and best superhero films for some time, but will it live up to the hype?
The Man of Steel is the latest foray onto the big screen from arguably the comic book-world's biggest star; Superman. There is often a sense of anticipation surrounding a new Superman adaptation whenever one is made, but now it seems as though anticipation levels are in over-drive, and with good reason too, as the latest big screen take on the man who wears his underwear on the outside of his trousers has the potential to be one of the biggest comic book movies to date. However that doesn't necessarily mean that the film will be a hit, as this overview will try to explain why the film could be as big a disappointment as Superman Returns.
There are two names hanging above Man of Steel that seem to indicate big things for the movie: Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan. Snyder has been lauded since his take on Frank Miller's 300 graphic novel and his work with Supermna is the first time he has had the chance to work with a proper superhero, and he now has the chance to bring something new to the Superman tale, a chance he is sure to take. As tempting as Snyder's name is, the real excitement is surrounding Christopher Nolan, the man who remade Batman and turned comic book movie-making into what it is today, and with the Brit filmaker on hand to write the story for the film, the chance to see a Superman film that retains the dark, seriousness of The Dark Knight shouldn't be one that you would want to pass up too easily. What usually happens when two greats come together though is usually a little underwhelming,a nd with Man of Steel this might be the case again - and the critical reception the film has so far received seems to indicate just that.
Continue reading: Is The 'Man Of Steel' Really The Superhero Movie We've Been Waiting For?
Is Man of Steel as good as first assumed?
Today, Friday 14 June 2013, marks the day when the world falls back in love with Superman as the Man of Steel flies into cinemas across the globe as the man in the bright red underpants has been reinvented for the big screen once again and this time we might have a reboot worthy of rivalling the 1970’s movie series. At least, that’s what the movie execs behind the film are hoping for, however the expectations of movie producers is rarely met by audiences and critics and with Man of Steel, we may have another case of a rather disappointing foray into film by the planet Krypton’s most famous son.
On the whole, the critical response to the film has been mostly lukewarm, and only on occasion has a critics staunchly defended the film and said that it is the summer blockbuster we’ve all been waiting for (since The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises at least). After a week of critical response to the film, it currently holds the rather underwhelming 58% on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, however the film does have a much more appealing 82% approval rate from audience, with a number of people commending the film for being a successful enough spectacle to make the occasional detours into generic blockbuster territory barely discernible. With such a stark contrast between the two percentages, it might leave a few people scratching their heads and wondering whether it will be worth seeing or not, but the only real way to see who has the better opinion of the film would be to go see it yourself.
The overall criticism with the film, it seems, is that the overall spectacle that Zack Snyder has created is too erratic and all-over-the-place, rarely giving the story or development of the characters room to breath. But still, it is a spectacle and one that is still highly entertaining to watch, even if it is pretty hard to follow (think of a smarter version of Transformers). David Sexton’s review for the London Evening Standard seems to summarize the film pretty competently, saying; “some films make you wish you were 12 again so you could appreciate them as they deserve.”
Continue reading: What’s The Final Word On Superman ‘Man Of Steel’?
Superman gets the Dark Knight treatment, as Christopher Nolan offers a much grittier, more intensely personal look at the biggest superhero of them all. It's a flawed film that feels far too violent for its own good, but the pungent story holds us in its grip all the way through, cleverly weaving the character's back-story into a series of emotive flashbacks along with massively thrilling action sequences. And along the way there are resonant ethical dilemmas, family issues and pointed political drama.
Some 30 years ago, scientist Jor-El (Crowe) packed his infant son Kal-El into a pod and sent him to Earth to escape certain doom as the planet Krypton imploded after centuries of ecological abuse. This enrages the viciously tenacious General Zod (Shannon) who spends three decades searching for the child. Meanwhile, Kal-El (Cavill) was raised as Clark in Smallville, Kansas, by the Kents (Lane and Costner), who taught him to keep his powers in check. But when he activates a downed Kryptonian ship, he alerts Zod to his whereabouts. And just as nosey journalist Lois Lane (Adams) learns Clark's secret, Zod arrives to launch a full-on attack.
This is a film about internal conflicts, and everyone has to face up to their own desires and responsibilities. Even Zod, whose dedication to his people means that he is willing to wipe out humanity in order to recreate Krypton on Earth. So Kal-El is caught between protecting his adopted planet and being loyal to his birth species. Lois is struggling with keeping a big secret or reporting the news. All of this provides plenty of gristle for the actors to chew on, even if the dilemmas aren't actually that difficult. And even though they sometimes seem consumed by the elaborate sets and costumes.
Continue reading: Man Of Steel Review
Much more involving than the usual hitman thriller, this film takes a deliberately personal approach to its characters that makes it unusually involving. Of course, since it's a film about mafia assassins, none of the characters are hugely likeable. But we're able to identify with them because the cast and crew help us see their souls. And of course, this kind of character brings out the best in Michael Shannon.
He plays Richie, who in the early 1960s has settled down with his new wife Deborah (Ryder) in New Jersey. She thinks his job involves dubbing Disney cartoons, but his projects are actually part of an illicit mob-run porn network. And when local boss Roy (Liotta) asks Richie to work as his henchman, Richie proves to be surprisingly adept at murder. This is mainly because he's so good at compartmentalising his life: keeping his family and work completely separate. But when things with Roy start turning sour, and Richie turns to a rival killer (Evans) for more work, Richie's two worlds begin to collide.
Based on a true story, the film is chilling in its matter-of-fact depiction of a family man who ruthlessly bumps off anyone who falls afoul of the mob. And as the clashes in Richie's life begin to escalate into something personal, the film cranks up the tension to unbearable levels. Shannon is mesmerising in the role, letting us see cracks in Richie's dispassionate surface as he's required to kill friends and colleagues (including Franco in a memorable cameo). So when his wife and daughters are threatened, he's like a tamed wild animal pushed into the corner. We know what he's capable of doing to protect them.
Continue reading: The Iceman Review
The world is facing the biggest global threat that it has ever come across as the Kryptonian villains General Zod and his assistant Faora attack with vengeance in their hearts searching to destroy a lost member of their race. Clark Kent is a journalist for the Daily Planet, adopted as a baby by a loving Kansas family and, though he has always been aware of his extraordinary powers of strength, speed, flight and not to mention intelligence, he has rarely sought to use them preferring to make an attempt to fit in with the rest of human civilisation. However, when his existence threatens the destruction of mankind, he finds he must embrace his true identity and use it to defend the world that has become his home.
Continue: Man Of Steel - International Trailer
Clark Kent was born on the planet Krypton to two loving parents in the midst of its impending destruction. In a bid to save his life, his parents blast him safely to Earth where he is adopted by a Kansas couple named Martha and Jonathan Kent who raise him as their own son. As he grows older, however, he becomes an outcast having developed extraordinary superpowers that allow him to accomplish great feats of strength. He attempts to conceal his abilities to fit in as a budding journalist for the Daily Planet, but when a threat of galactic proportions threatens to destroy the Earth, he is forced to venture on a path of heroism and become the planet's saviour.
Continue: Man Of Steel - TV Spot
Writer-director Nichols continues to get inside the heads of his characters with this involving but overlong dramatic thriller. Like his previous film Take Shelter, this is another fable-like movie, this time harking back to Huck Finn with a boys' adventure story set on the waterways of rural Arkansas. It's impeccably shot and edited, with terrific performances even from side characters. But at over two hours, the long running-time tries our patience.
Our hero is Ellis (Sheridan), a shy but steely 14-year-old who dreams of one day escaping his backwoods community. For entertainment, he explores the rivers with his pal Neckbone (Lofland), and when they hear rumours of a boat stranded in a tree, they have to investigate. Sure enough, there it is, then inside it they discover the fugitive Mud (McConaughey). Even though he's wanted for murder, they decide to help free the boat so he can escape with his battered girlfriend Juniper (Witherspoon), who's hiding in a local motel. But Ellis and Neckbone need some help with this elaborate plan, so they turn to the scary old man (Shepard) who lives across the river.
Cinematographer Adam Stone beautifully captures both the evocative settings and the expressive faces of the actors, who all bring an introspective touch to their characters. Sheridan and Lofland are excellent in the lead roles, which are pretty demanding as these two teens have to grow up quickly. And McConaughey and Witherspoon dive fully into their much flashier roles, constantly surprising us with sparky details that take these people in unexpected directions. There's also a telling smaller role for Nichols' regular Shannon as Neckbone's haunted, sidelined guardian.
Continue reading: Mud Review
Ellis and Neckbone are two young boys from Mississippi who spend their time exploring the wilderness and river near their home. When they discover a sizeable motor boat stuck in a tree after a flood, they think they've hit the jackpot of all discoveries and claim it as their own. However, they soon notice that food has been left there, leading them to believe that someone has been sleeping there. Unnerved, they leave to find their boat and venture home, only to come across a new neighbour on the isolated island, Mud. Mud is hiding from some bounty hunters who want to arrest him for killing a man in Texas who attempted to steal his girlfriend Juniper. Initially, wary of him, the boys soon warm to him and agree to bring him food if he helps them mend their motor boat before Juniper arrives to meet him. However, things aren't as easy as they seem when the boys start becoming suspicious of Mud and Juniper has problems of her own.
Continue: Mud - Clips
Ellis and Neckbone are two fourteen year old boys from Mississippi who, after crossing a river in a small boat on one of their regular explorations, discover a larger motor boat stuck in a tree on an island after a previous flood. They claim the boat as their own but soon begin to discover that someone has been sleeping there and they come across Mud. Mud is a man who has been hiding from a group of bounty hunters who have been hired by the family of a man he murdered in Texas for attempting to steal his beautiful girlfriend Juniper. The boys are sympathetic and captivated by him and agree to help him mend the boat while he makes plans to meet Juniper, who is hiding out in a motel, and run away with her. Things don't go as smoothly as planned and deceptions and suspicion causes tensions to rise between Mud, Juniper and the boys.
'Mud' is an emotional journey tackling issues about right and wrong and good guys and bad guys. It has been directed and written by Jeff Nichols ('Take Shelter', 'Shotgun Stories') and received a last minute nomination for the Palme d'Or award on its showing at the Cannes Film Festival. It is set to hit cinemas on April 17th 2013.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Continue: Mud Trailer
With an impressive cast, including James Franco, Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta and Winona Ryder, The Iceman is a movie adaptation of the true story of the hitman Richard Kuklinski. Between 1964 and 1986, Kuklinski killed 100 people, whilst working as a hitman and simultaneously upholding a life as a perfect family man.
Not only does The Iceman look to be an impressive return to form for Winona Ryder, whose output has been scant of late (she plays Kuklinski’s wife), but the rest of the cast appear to be on top form, too, with Ariel Vromen in the director’s seat to guide them through the action and high drama. Reviews for the movie are positive, so far, with The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney writing “The redoubtable Michael Shannon leads a superb cast in Ariel Vromen's compelling portrait of New Jersey career criminal Richard Kuklinski.”
Shannon’s performance seems to be one of the highlights of the movie, with Robbie Collins of The Daily Telegraph commenting “Michael Shannon embodies Kuklinski down to the bone: there are shades of Paul Muni's Scarface in his lighter moments, although for most of the film he looks as if his face might have been hewn from granite.” The Iceman is released on May 3, US and June 7, UK.
Continue reading: Trailer: Impressive Cast For Hitman Adaptation 'The Iceman' (Video)
Richard Kuklinski is a contract killer who has murdered over 100 men for a variety of criminals. He's very good at his job and rarely leaves any traces behind, though his ethics extend at least to a refusal to kill a woman or a child - even if they are key witnesses to a terrible crime. Whilst earning enough as a hitman to live a more than comfortable life, he is a family man with daughters and a beautiful wife who he truly dotes upon. They have no idea about his questionable career and he intends to keep it that way, but with constant reminders that he's not the loving family man he tries so hard to be and ever more dubious jobs being put upon him, he is set to lose everything .
'The Iceman' is the true story of the real Richard Kuklinski who was arrested in 1986 after his prolific work as a hitman for several major crime rings. It has been adapted by Ariel Vromen ('Danika', 'Simple Lies'), who co-wrote the screenplay with Morgan Land ('Simple Lies'), with the story being taken from Anthony Bruno's book 'The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer' and the Jim Thebaut documentary 'The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer'. It is set to hit cinemas on June 7th 2013.
Director: Ariel Vromen
Continue: The Iceman Trailer
In New York, Leonardo Dicaprio, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Johnson and a bald-shaven Christoph Waltz attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, joking with the photographers as they posed for them. And Tarantino even turned up with his Kill Bill star Uma Thurman on his arm.
Meanwhile in London, the first part in Peter Jackson's new trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, had its royal film performance this week with much of the cast in attendance, including Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, who watched the film alongside Prince William. The film is in cinemas now, with the following chapters scheduled for next Christmas and the summer of 2014.
Clark Kent is a young reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper. He was adopted when he was a child after planetary disaster caused him to be sent down to Earth when his home planet Krypton was destroyed. His adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, brought him up in the rural town of Smallville in Kansas. Throughout his life, his super-abilities isolated him from the rest of the population; he had to make a choice about what kind of man he wanted to become equipped with these powers. Naturally, he transforms himself into the Superman, a new found alter-ego, and uses his astonishing faculties to defend the planet when it comes under attack from an evil force that could prove to be a match for his abilities.
'Man of Steel' is the epic DC comic book movie rebooting the original 'Superman' film series from the 80s. It was directed by the award-winning Zack Snyder ('300', 'Watchmen', 'Sucker Punch') and produced by his wife Deborah Snyder (who co-produced many of his movies) alongside 'The Dark Knight' trilogy producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Charles Roven. Based upon characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in DC Comics and written by David S. Goyer, 'Man of Steel' was filmed mainly in Plano, Illinois with Chicago and Vancouver as backdrops. It is set for UK release on June 14th 2013.
Continue: Man Of Steel Trailer
Paul Rudd isn't often associated with words such as 'Grace' or, for that matter, 'tact', with roles in great contemporary-classic comedies such as 'Anchorman', 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall', or in the flop 'Dinner For Schmucks', but it seems that Broadway's 'Grace', in which he's currently starring, is exactly what Rudd needed bring attention to his own grace. Plus, his pairing with Ed Asner (Disney Pixar's 'Up') in this brand new American four person stage-play, that also stars Michael Shannon ('Boardwalk Empire', 'Revolutionary Road') and Kate Arrington (Broadway veteran), certainly seems like a match made in heaven.
'Grace' has been described on Playbill.com: "In alternating scenes of hilarity and poignancy, life turns surreal for an eclectic foursome whose destinies collide in the Sunshine State... A wide-eyed young couple (Rudd & Arrington) head south with big plans to open a chain of Gospel-themed motels. When an agitated rocket scientist (Shannon) and a prickly pest-control man (Asner) enter the picture, the couple's ordered world is thrown into utter chaos."
In response as to whether this 'utter chaos' finds any kind of aesthetic stage value one tweeter said of 'Grace': "It's brilliant. It made me laugh, cry and contemplate grace. Ed Asner is a national treasure." To celebrate the play and its themes, a whole host of special events have been organised around it, included a series of three 'talkback' evenings. October 10th, 17th and 24th will see a variety of speakers from critics, members of the cast as well as members of the clergy meet to discuss themes of the play, focussing particularly on the aspects of faith that it probes.
Continue reading: Paul Rudd And Ed Asner Find 'Grace' On Stage
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