Interviews

This Friday, Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas ride again, but apparently Dumb and Dumber To isn't a sequel.

"When you wait twenty years, a sequel becomes a she-quel,” Jim Carrey revealed at the Los Angeles press day for the long-awaited follow-up to Dumb and Dumber.

"It is a word. Look it up," agreed Jeff Daniels, who plays dumber than ever before in the "she-quel."

"If you work in advertising, I think I just coined a huge phrase," joked Carrey. "It is going to change everything for everyone."

However you classify it, Dumb and Dumber To revisits the imbeciles who captured America's heart in 1994, when the two Rhode Island idiots traveled across the county to deliver a missing piece of luggage.  In the new movie, which opens nationwide on November 14th, Harry and Lloyd once again set out on an improbable odyssey, this time searching for Harry's long-lost daughter, who may hold the key to her father's survival, as well as Lloyd's affections.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the Dumb and Dumber To LA press conference, where both Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey cracked wise, happily discussing the sequel's origins, returning to these beloved roles, working with Kathleen Turner, reuniting with directorial duo Peter and Bobby Farrelly, and possible future "she-quels."

Screenwriter David Hayter has helped write some of the greatest super hero movies ever made!

Hayter actually began his career as an actor and was the voice of Captain America on the Spider-Man animated series in the ‘90s. After transitioning into a career as a screenwriter, Hayter wrote Bryan Singer’s X-Men. He went on to co-write X-Men 2, as well as co-writing Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. He was also at one point set to write and direct a film based on the Marvel character Black Widow for Lionsgate, before Marvel Studios retrieved the rights to the character. Hayter finally makes his directorial debut with his new film Wolves, which he also wrote and opens in theaters on November 14th.

Wolves follows Cayden Richards (X-Men: First ClassLucas Till), who is forced to hit the road after the murder of his parents. Cayden wanders lost without purpose until he meets a certifiable lunatic named Wild Joe (John Pyper-Ferguson). Joe sets Cayden on a path to the ominous town of Lupine Ridge, to hunt down the truths of his history. But in the end, who's really hunting whom? In addition to Till and Pyper-Ferguson, the film also stars Jason Momoa (Conan the Barbarian), Kaitlyn Leeb (Total Recall), Merritt Patterson (The Hole), and Stephen McHattie (Watchmen). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with writer and director David Hayter about his work on Wolves. The accomplished screenwriter discussed his new movie, how he got involved with the project, making his directorial debut, his favorite werewolf movies, what he learned about directing from the filmmakers he’s collaborated with on past projects, casting Lucas Till, the current status of his Black Widow movie and why Watchmen is a masterpiece.

Opening in select theaters on November 7th is the new biopic The Theory of Everything, which is based on the life of Stephen Hawking and is already earning early Oscar buzz.

The new film takes a look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). Redmayne is best known for his work on My Week with Marilyn and Les Miserables, while Jones has appeared in such projects as Breathe In, The Invisible Woman, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The Theory of Everything was directed by James Marsh (Shadow Dancer), and written by Anthony McCarten (Death of a Superhero). 

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, along with a few other members of the press, to talk about their work on The Theory of Everything. The two talented young actors discussed their new film, why it’s not your standard biopic, what they found refreshing about the script, the advantages of shooting out of sequence, and the project’s Oscar-buzz. 

Writer and director Dean DeBlois is the mastermind behind the extremely popular animated film franchise How to Train Your Dragon

DeBlois began his career working on such animated projects as Mulan and Lilo & Stitch, but it was the Dragon series that put him on the map. ‘2010s How to Train Your Dragon earned almost $500 million at the box office and was nominated for two Academy Awards. Its sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2 earned over $600 million at the box office and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning November 11th. DeBlois is currently writing the conclusion of his trilogy, How to Train Your Dragon 3, which is scheduled for release on June 9th, 2017.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 takes place several years after the events of the first film. When Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his dragon Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Hiccup also discovers his long lost mother Valka, voiced by Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett. In addition to Baruchel and Blanchett, the film also features the voice talents of Gerard Butler (Olympus Has Fallen), Craig Ferguson (Brave), America Ferrera (Cesar Chavez), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (ParaNorman), T.J. Miller (Big Hero 6), Kristen Wiig (The Skeleton Twins), Kit Harrington (Pompeii), and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with writer/director Dean DeBlois about his work on How to Train Your Dragon 2, as well as an update on How to Train Your Dragon 3. The accomplished filmmaker discussed his latest movie, making the sequel darker than the original, why the audience is growing with Hiccup, Toothless and Hiccup’s relationship, the fate of Hiccup’s father, casting Cate Blanchett as his mother, concluding Hiccup’s journey in How to Train Your Dragon 3, its dragon-centric story, and when DeBlois will be done writing it. 

With this Friday's White Bird in a Blizzard, Shailene Woodley continues her year of exceptional performances in films based on novels.

The acclaimed young actress kicked off 2014 in blockbuster fashion starring in Divergent, the first in a series of franchise pictures based on a bestselling series.  Over the summer, she stuck the landing playing as in the adaptation of the enormously popular The Fault in Our Stars.

White Bird in a Blizzard is adapted from the book of the same name by Laura Kasischke, but it steps away from the Young Adult tone of both Woodley's other 2014 efforts.

She stars as Kat Connor, a teen experiencing a sexual awakening in 1988, just as her beautiful mother, frustrated by her daughter's blossoming and years in a loveless marriage, suddenly disappears without a trace.  As Kat attempts to track down her vivacious mom, she juggles her repressed father, her hunky but dim boyfriend, and the detective investigating her missing mother.

It's the latest from acclaimed indie auteur Gregg Araki.  With Woodley maintaining the film's center, White Bird in a Blizzard also stars Eva Green (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Christopher Meloni (Man of Steel), Shiloh Fernandez (Evil Dead remake), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious), Angela Bassett (American Horror Story), and Thomas Jane (The Mist).

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the White Bird in a Blizzard press conference in Los Angeles, speaking with Shailene Woodley about stardom, how she chooses a project, the awkwardness of onscreen intimacy, nudity, playing Kat, and the themes of White Bird in a Blizzard.

Swedish born actor Peter Stormare has become one of the most popular supporting actors working in Hollywood today. 

Stormare first gained attention for his role in the Coen Brothers classic Fargo, and has gone on to appear in such successful films as The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Armageddon, The Big Lebowski, Minority Report, Constantine, Pain & Gain, and 22 Jump Street. He is also known for his work on television playing mob boss John Abruzzi on Prison Break, and most recently appearing as main antagonist Berlin on The Blacklist. But now Stormare returns to the big screen with his new film Autumn Blood, which is available on DVD beginning October 14th. 

In Autumn Blood, a widowed mother dies and leaves her two children orphaned. Fearing being split up they keep their mother's death a secret. They survive until villagers destroy their innocence when they brutally assault the girl. Now the siblings must come of age to protect each other and survive. The film was co-written and directed by Markus Blunder, and in addition to Stormare, also stars Sophie Lowe (Adore), Maxmilian Harnisch (TV’s Fast Forward), and Gustaf Skarsgard (The Way Back). 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the great Peter Stormare about his work on Autumn Blood, as well as his recurring role on The Blacklist, and a possible sequel to The Big Lebowski. The veteran actor discussed his new film Autumn Blood, why he wanted to be in the movie, how he’s different than most actors, appearing in a film with very little dialogue, what he told Steven Spielberg would make Minority Report better, possibly returning for The Big Lebowski 2, and his recurring role on The Blacklist

Guillermo del Toro is uniquely endowed with the gift of gab.  A famously loquacious fellow, he’s a filmmaker who loves to talk.

Of course, moviegoers prefer to actually see his films, beautifully crafted, frequently phantasmagoric wonders that only del Toro could make, from Pan’s Labyrinth to the Hellboy, Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and most recently, Pacific Rim.

Not content just directing, he’s made himself a one-man empire.  One part of that empire finds del Toro producing films about which he’s passionate and using his blockbuster clout to help similarly passionate filmmakers realize their visions.

This Friday’s The Book of Life is one such film. 

Written and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, The Book of Life is an animated adventure quite unlike any other.  A Dia de los Muertos-styled fantasy, the story concerns a love triangle between three lifelong friends. 

Both Manolo (Diego Luna, Elysium), a dreamer who longs to abandon bullfighting to play guitar, and Joaquin (Channing Tatum, 22 Jump Street), a swaggering braggart, are madly in love with the spirited Maria (Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy).  They're so in love, in fact, that the gods wager on which suitor will win her heart.  Manolo's love sets him off a journey from the Land of the Living to fantastical realms the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten.

IAR’s Managing Editor, Jami Philbrick, was on hand at the Los Angeles press day for The Book of Life, where producer Guillermo del Toro discussed the animated movie’s purity, design, music, and meaning.  Since he’s such a talker, del Toro also happily provided updates on his next film as director, a musical stage version of Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim 2, season two of The Strain, and even the possibility of Hellboy III.

Ryan Phillippe has been acting professionally for over twenty years, and he can now add writer and director to his impressive resume. 

Phillippe began his career with roles in such films as Crimson Tide, White Squall, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and 54, but it was his performance in Cruel Intentions that made him a household name. He went on to appear in a string of critically acclaimed films like Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers, and the Academy Award-winning Crash, as well as the box office hit The Lincoln Lawyer, and the cult classic MacGruber. But now Phillippe makes his directorial debut with the new horror thriller Catch Hell, which he also stars in, co-wrote, and produced, and opens in theaters and VOD on October 10th. 

The film follows washed up Hollywood actor Reagan Pearce (Phillippe) who is kidnapped by thugs in Shreveport, Louisiana while on location making a movie. Trapped in a swamp hut, his kidnappers (Russ Russo and Stephen Louis Grush) torture and blackmail him, hijacking his twitter account and threatening to upload compromising material. Accused of sleeping with the wife of one of his kidnappers, Pearce must now face his own demons in order to escape his captors and regain his reputation.  

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan Phillippe about his work on Catch Hell, as well as returning for a possible MacGruber 2. The accomplished actor and first time director discussed his new movie, how he came up with the concept for the screenplay, why he decided to make Catch Hell his directorial debut, directing himself in the torture sequences, drawing inspiration from some of the legendary directors that he has previously worked with, what he learned about directing that he will apply to his next film, wanting to return for the recently announced MacGruber 2, and the long list of comedians who want to appear in the sequel. 

The Judge isn't on trial, but if it were, there's one thing it might be guilty of: stacking the deck.

The film, hitting theaters this Friday, has something for anyone and everyone, combining high-stakes courtroom drama, layered family portrait, estranged father-son conflict, delicate true-to-life comedy, and even earnest coming of age growth.

The cast, similarly, is an irresistible ensemble of heavyweight thespians, from Robert Downey Jr. (The Avengers) to Robert Duvall (The Godfather), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Vincent D'Onofrio (Marvel's upcoming Daredevil series), Jeremy Strong (Zero Dark Thirty), Dax Shepard (This Is Where I Leave You), Leighton Meester (That's My Boy), and David Krumholtz (This Is the End).

Current king of the superhero movie Downey Jr. stars in The Judge as Hank Palmer, a slick big city lawyer who returns home to his small town when his estranged father (Duvall), who suffers from Alzheimer's, is accused of murder. 

The wrinkle is that his father is, in fact, a notoriously inflexible local judge.  After decades of issuing stern justice, the judge may very well have run down a criminal with his car.  While grappling with their loaded relationship, Hank volunteers to defend his father from a zealous prosecutor, setting the stage for legal maneuvering and emotional catharsis.

At the Los Angeles press day for The Judge, IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick participated in a Q&A with Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, and Billy Bob Thornton, three Oscar-caliber actors who enthusiastically discussed their latest performances in director David Dobkin's drama.

Rapper turned actor Andre Benjamin, better known as Andre 3000, is one half of the extremely popular hip-hop duo OutKast. As an actor he has appeared in such films as Be Cool, Four Brothers, Revolver, Fracture, and Semi-Pro, as well as the groundbreaking TV series The Shield. Benjamin now takes on the coveted role of Jimi Hendrix in the new biopic Jimi: All Is by My Side, which opens in theaters on September 26th.

The film, which was written and directed by Academy Award-winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), follows the life of iconic musician Jimi Hendrix as he left New York City for London, where his career really took off. Imogen Poots (Need for Speed) plays Linda Keith, girlfriend of The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards, and the woman who discovered Hendrix and encouraged him to move to London to become a solo artist. The film is basically “Jimi Hendrix Begins,” and tells the origin story of how he came to be the legendary guitarist that we all know and love. In addition to Benjamin and Poots, the film also stars Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises), and Andy Buckley (Bridesmaids).

I recently had the pleasure of briefly speaking with Andre Benjamin about his work on Jimi: All Is by My Side. The popular rapper and actor discussed his new film, preparing to play Hendrix, how his research helped shape his performance, and the influence Linda Keith had on Hendrix’s life and career.

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