Some beneficent universal force is slowly balancing the cosmic scales, granting Alfonso Cuaron the awards mojo that should have been his back in 2007.
That was when Children of Men somehow squeaked by without the commercial or awards season love it so richly deserved. Now Cuaron's passion project Gravity has achieved both of those major recognitions denied its predecessor.
Cuaron was the big winner at the 66th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards last night, with Gravity earning him the prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film.
In my opinion, Drive is not only the best film of the last ten years, but one of the greatest movies of all-time!
I watched Drive three times in theaters, and I’ve now seen it countless times on DVD, Blu-ray, and Netflix. A big part of what made Drive so brilliant was the music of composer Cliff Martinez. Martinez also composed the music for one of my other favorite movies of all-time, director Steven Soderbergh’s underrated masterpiece The Limey. In fact, a bulk of Martinez’s work has been for Soderbergh on films like Kafka, Traffic, Solaris, and Contagion. He has also composed such films as Pump Up the Volume, Narc, The Lincoln Lawyer, Spring Breakers, and The Company You Keep. But recently, he has collaborated with director Nicolas Winding Refn on Drive, and his latest film Only God Forgives, which is available on Blu-ray beginning October 22nd.
Only God Forgives was written by Refn and follows Julian (Ryan Gosling), a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld who sees his life get even more complicated when his mother (Kristen Scott Thomas) compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's (Tom Burke) recent death. In addition to Gosling, Thomas, and Burke, the film also features Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm (The Hangover Part II).
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Cliff Martinez about his work on Only God Forgives. The accomplished composer discussed the new movie, how it is different than Drive, working with director Nicolas Winding Refn, creating the music for Only God Forgives, why music is so important to filmmaking, and my personal love for Drive!
Leland Orser is one of those great actors that you might not recognize by name but would definitely know if you saw his face!
He’s been acting on film and television for over twenty years and raises the quality of any project he is a part of. He’s appeared on not one but three different Star Trek series including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as having guest roles on a string of beloved series like The X-Files, ER, 24, and Scandal. However, Orser is probably best known for his excellent film work in such popular movies as Seven, Independence Day, Alien Resurrection, Saving Private Ryan, The Bone Collector, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil, Runaway Jury, The Good German, Taken, and most recently Taken 2. Now, after years of being in front of the camera, Orser is putting his focus behind the camera from a new film that he directed, wrote, produced, and also stars in called Morning, which opens in select theaters on September 27th.
Morning is based on Orser’s short film of the same name and takes a look at the life of an American couple immediately following the accidental death of their child. The movie follows the divergent paths of Mark (Orser) and Alice Munroe (played by Orser’s real life wife Jeanne Tripplehorn) as they deal with their heart-breaking grief before finally coming to grips with their shared loss. In addition to Orser and Tripplehorn, the film also stars Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson), Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven), Jason Ritter (The East), Kyle Chandler (Zero Dark Thirty), and Julie White (Transformers series).
I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking to actor turned writer/director Leland Orser about his work on Morning. The accomplished actor and first time filmmaker discussed his new movie, if he’s always had desires to direct, developing the screenplay, the process of getting the movie made, his terrific cast, working with his wife Jeanne Tripplehorn, directing himself, what he’s learned over the years from the amazing group of filmmakers he’s been fortunate enough to work with as an actor, and how his acting experience helped prepare him to direct.
Steven Soderbergh does indeed appear to be retiring from directing for the time being, but he's going out with Behind the Candelabra, a slice of decadent drama based on the real life relationship between Liberace and Scott Thorson.
HBO Films has rolled out an official trailer showing off Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as Mr. Showmanship and his lover in the telemovie, set to air on HBO this May 26th at 9pm/8pm Central.
Though the East Coast is currently buried under a whole lot of snow thanks to a blizzard that shares its name with an adorable fictitious Disney fish, nature couldn't keep Identity Thief from scoring the biggest opening weekend of the year so far.
Yes, it's still a very young year, but the performance of this comedy is nonetheless nothing at which to sneeze.
Scott Z. Burns has worn many different hats in Hollywood.
The filmmaker first gained attention for directing the 2006 film Pu-239, and would eventually go on to produce former Vice President Al Gore’s Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, as well as write the box office hit The Bourne Ultimatum. But it is his frequent collaborations with Oscar-winning director Steven Sonderbergh, including The Informant!, and Contagion, that has made everyone take notice.
Since then the scribe has penned a draft of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a sequel to Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as well as being attached to write The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which is based on the popular ‘60s spy series starring Robert Vaughn. But first, he has reunited with Soderbergh again on, what may be the director’s final theatrical film, a psychological thriller entitled Side Effects, which Burns wrote and produced, and will opens in theaters on February 8th.
Side Effects centers on Emily (Rooney Mara) and Martin (Channing Tatum), a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s Psychiatrist (Jude Law), which is intended to treat anxiety, has unexpected side effects. In addition to Law, Mara, and Tatum, the excellent cast of actors also includes Vinessa Shaw (Puncture), Mamie Gummer (The Ward), and Academy Award-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago).
I recently had a chance to speak with producer and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns about his work on Side Effects. The accomplished filmmaker discussed the new film, its unique concept, his research, plotting its twists and turns, why he writes every role for Matt Damon, the film’s impressive cast, collaborating with Steven Soderbergh, and if he truly thinks Side Effects will be the acclaimed director’s final theatrical film.
Side Effects, which hits theaters in just over one week, is likely to be the last theatrical feature from Steven Soderbergh, one of most prolific and fascinating auteurs. If that's not enough to get folks to pay attention to Side Effects, then the fact that the film looks like a twisty, sexy psychological thriller ought to do the trick.
Open Road Films has released a barrage of abbreviated trailers to promote next Friday's release, and one in particular demonstrates the potential of this drug-addled tale, giving a sense of just how propulsive and dangerous the story gets.
Synopsis: A provocative thriller about Emily and Martin, a successful New York couple whose world unravels when a new drug prescribed by Emily’s psychiatrist – intended to treat anxiety – has unexpected side effects.
With the film's debut just weeks away, Open Road Films is getting serious about drumming up anticipation for Side Effects, which may or may not be the final theatrical feature from Steven Soderbergh.
Today, the promotional effort means that we get to see the first clip of Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum in action, as well as a spoiler-filled TV spot that puts the focus on Jude Law's character.
Synopsis: In a story inspired by Channing Tatum's real life experiences as a male stripper, the film follows Mike as he takes a young dancer called The Kid under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.