The weekend following the extended Thanksgiving break is never really gangbusters at multiplexes, but this year, it managed to exceed the corresponding frame last year by a solid 42%. That upswing is attributable pretty much exclusively to holdovers, as the box office estimates show a top ten that looks very much like last weekend's, with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part, Skyfall, and Lincoln in first, second, and third place, respectively.
Currently playing in theaters and earning rave reviews is director Steven Spielberg's historical epic Lincoln, which stars Academy Award-winner Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood) as our 16th President. The film was written by Tony Award-winner Tony Kushner based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," and is already a front runner in this year's Oscar race. In addition to Lewis, the film features an amazing cast that includes Oscar-winner Sally Field (The Amazing Spider-Man), Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black 3), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), David Strathaim (The Bourne Legacy), James Spader (Secretary), Hal Holbrook (Water for Elephants), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Tim Blake Nelson (The Incredible Hulk), Jared Harris (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Lee Pace (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2), Gloria Rubens (Timecop), David Oyelowo (Middle of Nowhere), Bruce McGill (Law Abiding Citizen), Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), and Walton Goggins (Cowboys and Aliens).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had a chance to sit down with director Steven Spielberg's long-time Production Designer Rick Carter, and Costume Designer Joanna Johnston about their work on Lincoln. The two Department Heads discussed the acclaimed film, how long they have both been working on the movie, their extensive research, working with Daniel Day Lewis and his impressive performance, shooting on the actual battle fields where the Civil War took place, recreating the war scenes, creating the authentic costumes, and Spielberg's passion for this project.
Dane DeHaan is having one hell of a good year! The actor, who until this year was best known for his roles on the HBO series In Treatment and True Blood, has had not one but three major movies released in 2012.
DeHaan first gained attention earlier this year for his role as a teenager that gains super powers and then travels to the dark side in the surprise hit, found footage film Chronicle. He was next seen in director John Hillcoat’s critically acclaimed ensemble film Lawless, which will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning November 27th and stars Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. Not to mention, that DeHaan can also currently be seen in a small role as a soldier in director Steven Spielberg’s historical epic Lincoln. If that wasn’t enough, the actor has several high profile projects on the horizon including The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, Devil’s Knot about the West Memphis Three, and a possible role as Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, while that is still a rumor and has yet to be confirmed.
In Lawless, which is based on the novel “The Wettest County in the World" by Matt Bondurant, DeHaan plays Cricket Pate, the crippled best friend of Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf). Jack and his older brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) run a profitable depression-era bootlegging business that is threatened by a crooked law officer named Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce). In addition to DeHaan, LaBeouf, Hardy, Clarke, and Pearce, the film’s impressive cast also includes Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), and Academy Award-nominees Jessica Chastain (The Help), and Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Lawless was directed by acclaimed filmmaker John Hillcoat (The Road) and was written by his frequent collaborator, Australian musician Nick Cave.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor Dane DeHaan about his work on Lawless, as well as Lincoln, and the upcoming films Devil’s Knot, and The Place Beyond the Pines. The talented young actor discussed making Lawless, working with John Hillcoat, Tom Hardy’s unusual performance, creating his character, researching the prohibition era, reading the book, how he became friends with Shia LaBeouf, shooting his most powerful scenes with Guy Pearce, as well as Lincoln, what its like to work on a Steven Spielberg set, his role in Devil’s Knot, and collaborating with director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) on The Place Beyond the Pines.
This week, Chris Hemsworth stars in his third movie of 2012, the Red Dawn remake which he filmed well before being anointed the God of Thunder in Thor. Contemporary invasion action aside, Hemsworth is talking up his famous character now, dropping some insights on the currently filming Thor: The Dark World and even Steven Spielberg's next movie Robopocalypse.
So this weekend saw wide releases for two movies, one a historical portrait from director amongst directors Steven Spielberg, the other the climactic installment in the massively profitable Twilight franchise. While Lincoln solidly expanded into nationwide release, audiences this weekend were considerably more focused on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.
Actor James Spader has been entertaining film and television audiences with his impressive and offbeat style of acting for almost thirty years!
The actor first gained attention in the ‘80s for a string of roles in classic movies such as Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero, and Wall Street, but it was his role in the groundbreaking Sex, Lies, and Videotape that made him a household name. Since then he has accumulated an impressive resume of film work that includes True Colors, Wolf, Stargate, Crash, 2 Days in the Valley, and Secretary, as well as winning an Emmy on TV for Boston Legal and a recent recurring role on The Office. During his illustrious career, Spader has worked with such legendary film directors as Oliver Stone, Steven Soderbergh, Mike Nichols, and David Cronenberg, but now the actor can add another iconic filmmaker to that impressive list … Steven Speilberg! After several years of working on television, Spader finally makes his triumphant return to the big screen in Lincoln, which opened in limited release on November 9th and opens wider on November 16th.
In the film, which is based on the novel Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by author Doris Kearns Goodwin, Spader plays Democratic Party operative William N. Bilboe who helped President Lincoln (brilliantly portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis) in abolishing slavery and saving the union. As the Civil War continues, Bilboe joins Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathaim), and fellow lobbyists Colonel Robert Latham (John Hawkes) and Richard Schell (Tim Blake Nelson) in assisting our 16th President to pass the Thirteenth Amendment. The movie is already a frontrunner in the Oscar race for Best Picture, as well as Best Director, and there has been talk of possible acting nominations for Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones … and even Spader himself.
I recently had the rare opportunity of sitting down with James Spader on the Disney lot to talk about his work on Lincoln. The eccentric actor discussed the new film, the correlation between the script and the novel it is based on, the research he did into the life of his character, discrepancies between the film and actual history, and what it was like working with Spielberg and Lewis on the epic project.
Yes, Skyfall is a leaf on the wind, and many a headline this morning attests to the fact that the film is indeed soaring commercially. Daniel Craig's third outing as Ian Fleming's unstoppable British spy was the only new wide release this weekend, and it predictably dominated the box office ins its first domestic frame.
Since Disney dropped an atomic newsbomb last week by 1. Buying Lucasfilm and 2. Setting Star Wars: Episode VII for 2015, uncountable words have been written speculating as to just who would write and direct the first film in an entirely new Star Wars trilogy. One of those questions may have an answer, as Michael Arndt is reportedly is the current favored candidate to pen the Episode VII screenplay.
Set your emotional state to nostalgic, because a theatrical trailer for next year's 3D re-release of Jurassic Park has debuted, and it parties like it's 1993.
The stovepipe hat. The humble log cabin. The beard. The fateful trip to Ford's Theatre. These are all elements of a our mythic image of Abraham Lincoln, a view of the sixteenth U.S. President as an idol, a remote figure of unapproachable greatness who can all too easily eclipse our regard for the man himself, a gifted leader with flaws, grit, intelligence.
Lincoln, opening in selected cities this Friday, November 9th before expanding nationwide a week later on November 16th, aims to present a vision of Lincoln that is immediate and human. It does so not by immersing the audience in the details of Lincoln's comprehensive biography, but instead by presenting four months of political maneuvering and emotional turbulence in the midst of the Civil War. Specifically, Lincoln follows the efforts of the President and his political allies to ensure the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery in the United States.
The film is a meeting of two of the most respected figures in movies, as Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. Though Day Lewis leads Lincoln, Spielberg assembled a remarkable ensemble cast that includes Sally Field (Norma Rae), Tommy Lee Jones (No Country For Old Men), David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck), Hal Hobrook (Into the Wild), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), James Spader (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), John Hawkes (The Sessions), David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Lee Pace (Ceremony), and Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen).
At the Lincoln press conference, both Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis graciously answered questions from the assembled entertainment press, discussing their personal awareness of Abraham Lincoln prior to the film, the mythology surrounding Lincoln, the President's sense of humor, the process of developing the script, convincing Day-Lewis to join play the character, and the timing Lincoln's release.