Movie News gives you EXCLUSIVE access to MOVIES, FILM & TELEVISION with an Attitude! View Upcoming Movie Trailers & Clips, Insider TV & Movie News, the BEST Movie Reviews, Interviews and Contests…Join our Film Community! Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:43:43 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb B.O. Roundup, April 18-20: 'Captain America 2' Still on Top over Easter Weekend B.O. Roundup, April 18-20: 'Captain America 2' Still on Top over Easter Weekend

The box office Easter Egg hunt went quite well for a patriotic superhero, a bunch of blue macaws, and a family-friendly drama about the afterlife.

It didn't go quite so well for Johny Depp.

After narrowly beating out Rio 2 last week, Captain America: The Winter Soldier cleanly took the top spot for the third consecutive frame, earning an estimated $26.6 million from 3,825 locations in North America.  The well-reviewed Marvel Studios sequel has now crossed the $200 million mark with $201.5 million domestically.

Internationally, Cap's second solo adventure continues to rake it in, bringing its worldwide total to $586.6 million.  This weekend's second-place movie, Rio 2, is itself on the cusp of breaking $200 million in foreign markets.  At home, Rio 2 landed in second place with an estimated $22.5 million from 3,975 theaters, bringing its ten-day domestic total to $75.3 million.

In third place is Heaven is for Real, a drama based on the bestselling book of the same name.  Starring Greg Kinnear and Kelly Reilly, the film played exceptionally well to religious audiences, but TriStar opted to market Heaven is for Real to a wider audience.  It paid off, as the movie debuted in third place, grossing $21.5 million from 2,417 locations, according to estimates.  Since the film got a jump on the weekend by opening last Wednesday, Heaven is for Real has now collected $28.5 million.

Then there's Transcendence, the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister starring Johnny Depp and a formidable ensemble.  Despite Depp's profile, Transcendence opened disappointingly, bringing in an estimated $11.5 million from 3,455 theaters.

Following The Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows, and The Rum Diary, this marks the fourth-consecutive disappointing debut from a Depp vehicle.  Given that Transcendence had a production budget in the neighborhood of $100 million, its an inauspicious holiday weekend for both Depp and Pfister, particularly since the movie is taking a critical shellacking.

In fifth place is another new release, the sequel A Haunted House 2.  The latest in a long line of horror spoofs starring Marlon Wayans debuted in 2,310 locations, from which it drew an estimated $9.1 million.  Last year's A Haunted House opened to over $18 million, suggesting that this franchise is running out of gas already.

Here are the top ten movies in America for the Easter weekend:

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier..............................$26.6 million...............$201.5 million

2. Rio 2....................................................................................$22.5 million...............$75.3 million

3. Heaven is for Real..............................................................$21.5 million...............$28.5 million

4. Transcendence...................................................................$11.5 million...............New Release

5. A Haunted House 2............................................................$9.1 million.................New Release

6. Draft Day............................................................................$5.9 million.................$19.5 million

7. Divergent............................................................................$5.7 million.................$133.9 million

8. Oculus.................................................................................$5.2 million.................$21.1 million

9. Noah...................................................................................$5.0 million.................$93.2 million

10. God's Not Dead...............................................................$4.8 million.................$48.3 million

The upcoming Friday finds several new films opening in wide release, led by the Paul Walker parkour extravaganza Brick Mansions.  Also dropping soon are The Other Woman and The Quiet Ones.

Box Office Sun, 20 Apr 2014 18:48:05 +0000
Dragon Sports: Dizzying 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Clip Dragon Sports: Dizzying 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' Clip

Big sequels are obliged to include more of everything that people loved in the first movie.

A new clip from How to Train Your Dragon 2 promises that the second installment in a planned trilogy doubles down on the dizzying dragonriding action.

Historically, the inhabitants of Berk had a contentious relationship with dragons.  The island's entire culture revolved around the slaughter of the giant reptiles, actually.  Since inventive misfit Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) proved that humans and dragons can be buddies in How to Train Your Dragon, Berk has undergone huge changes, embracing dragons wholeheartedly and riding dragons here, there, and everywhere.

Now, instead of brutal dragon-wrangling, the premiere spectator sport in Berk is a dragonriding competition, one where riders attempt to dunk sheep.

This clip, courtesy of Yahoo! Movies, rides shotgun for a spirited round of "Black Sheep," sampling a whirlwind flying scene and showcasing some characters other than Hiccup and Toothless.  There's Astrid, (America Ferrera), competing against Fishlips (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), and Tuffnut (T.J. Miller) while Stoic the Vast (Gerard Butler) cheers from the crowd.

While everybody else is enjoying dragon sports, Hiccup and his Night Fury BFF are off exploring, charting entirely new lands previously unseen by Vikings.  The first How to Train Your Dragon 2 clip found the heroes dedicating themselves to cartography on just such a frontier.

In their long-distance flying, they run into Valka (voiced by series newcomer Cate Blanchett), a dragonrider with even more knowledge and skill than Hiccup.  She's been attempting to save as many dragons as possible from the clutches of Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), a warlord building a massive dragon army.  In order to save Berk and its dragons, Toothless and Hiccup must team up with Valka.

A theatrical trailer released earlier this month indicated that director Dean DeBlois may very well deliver a sequel that lives up to the original.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens nationwide on June 13th.  DreamWorks Animation is already cracking on the third entry.  Like Cressida Cowell's children's books on which the franchise is ostensibly based, How to Train Your Dragon 3 will ultimately explain what happened to all the dragons.

Movie News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:53:52 +0000
Trippy First Look at 'Lost River,' Ryan Gosling's Directorial Debut Trippy First Look at 'Lost River,' Ryan Gosling's Directorial Debut

Ryan Gosling's first movie as director, now titled Lost River, will premiere at next month's Cannes Film Festival.

As such, the first official look at this trippy tale have hit online, with two strange images and one behind the scenes image of the hunky former Mouseketeer providing our first look at Lost River.

As an actor, Gosling has established that he's full of surprises, pretty much always zigging when you expect him to zag.  As a director and writer, it seems that he's keeping with that style, channeling the surreality of David Lynch and the phantasmagoric morbidity of his own band Dead Man's Bones.

The plot descriptions of Lost River, formerly titled How to Catch a Monster, are fairly incomprehensible.  The story follows Billy, a single mother who gets involved in a strange fantasy landscape while her grown-up son discovers a secret road to an underwater town.

Mad Men MVP and Gosling's Drive co-star Christina Hendricks plays Billy, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. standout Ian De Caestecker as her son, Bones.  The cast also includes Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Barbara Steele, and Eva Mendes.

De Caestecker said to Empire recently, “It’s about this family living in a town called Lost River, which is perhaps a place that was once full of family and happiness and love, and is now this town that’s slowly descending into a place without any hope. This family is holding onto the foundations of their house and everything they think they need to hold onto.”

The first two images featuring Hendricks certainly lean on the weird:

The film is set to debut at Cannes next month out-of-competition in the "Un Certain Regard" category.  There's no domestic release date as of yet, but expect Lost River already has domestic distribution from Warner Bros., a studio that wants very badly to stay in the Ryan Gosling business, the very same studio that asked him to be Batman in Batman vs. Superman.

Thanks to The Film Stage, we also have this look at Gosling directing his heart out:

Movie News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:56:00 +0000
'Godzilla' Director Interview Nugget and Spoilery Kaiju Toy Pictures 'Godzilla' Director Interview Nugget and Spoilery Kaiju Toy Pictures

Director Gareth Edwards says all the right things in an interview snippet promoting next month's Godzilla.

A crop of new tie-in toy pictures, meanwhile, reveal the appearance of the kaiju opponent destined to get smacked around by the King of All Monsters in the big-budget reboot.

This second attempt at an Americanized rejiggering the iconic Toho monster has had a very effective marketing effort, one that plays up real contemporary fears of natural disaster and civilization pushed to the brink by natural disaster.  The appearance of Gojira himself has been slyly alluded to but largely kept mysterious.  Instead, we've seen a lot awestruck reactions from the cast, which includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, and Juliette Binoche.

It all looks very, very serious.  But that's appropriate, as Ishiro Honda's 1954 original had none of the cheesiness of subsequent kaiju romps.  In this quick interview snippet, Monsters director Edwards not only understands the monster's role as nuclear metaphor, but also alludes to the suspense and mystery of Spielberg joints like Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

"In this day and age, it's very easy to get seduced by the visual effects," says Edwards. "And with my background in computer graphics, the honeymoon period with that was well and truly over.  So I hope we got the balance right, really. It's one big visual foreplay, I think, in terms of trying to give the audience goosebumps when they watch this stuff."

Edwards's approach is so built upon coyness that we've only gotten a handful of decent looks at Godzilla himself.  The best look by far was an image that hit online a week ago, but that is mostly just his handsome mug.  For his full appearance, a bunch toy pictures have been the best bet so far.

The toys have struck again, providing our first real look at the monster with whom Godzilla will go toe to toe at some point in Godzilla.

Thanks to SciFi Japan (via Total Film), we have some images of this Cloverfield-style beast that presumably gets its ass handed to it by Gojira.

Godzilla opens nationwide on May 16th, playing in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D.

Movie News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:21:32 +0000
First Look at 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard First Look at 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard

The first two official images from next year's Macbeth show two excessively pretty people getting down to exceedingly ugly business in one of William Shakespeare's most aggressive tragedies.

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star as the Scottish lord and his lady in this all-Scottish production of the play.

Well, almost all-Scottish.  Cotillard is, of course, French. "We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent," Fassbender told the Daily Mail, where these images debuted. "It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court."

Shakespeare's play takes place in the 11th century and follows Macbeth, a Scottish general who three witches prophesy will become king.  Consumed by his lust for power, Macbeth ultimately murders King Duncan, but his paranoia leads him to rely on further violence to retain the throne.  Eventually, the story comes to civil war and madness.

This take on Macbeth comes from Australian director Justin Kurzel, whose approach leans on historical verisimilitude and psychological realism.  His leading man is certainly taking it seriously.  Asked how evil his character is, the actor who last appeared in 12 Years a Slave and next shows up in X-Men: Days of Future Past, replied, "I always have a problem with that word. It never gives me any information, or helps me in any way. I like to find a character’s motivation. I don’t think Macbeth is evil. I think he’s damaged."

"When we meet him, he’s a man who’s as good as his circumstances will allow.  He serves his king loyally and looks after his soldiers," the actor explained.

"He’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder,’ Fassbender said of Macbeth. "It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head. This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth’s days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies."

"He’s having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace."

As for Macbeth's relationship to his wife, Fassbender said, "He’d been away fighting and when he returns, we see it’s a relationship that’s broken down. They lost a child, and there wasn’t time for them to grieve because he’s been away campaigning. Lady M is desperate for that reconnection, and briefly they do. And, of course, the doorway has been opened to darkness and to violence."

This Macbeth also stars Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, and Jack Reynor, who also stars in this summer's Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Macbeth is expected to open in UK cinemas early next year.  With this cast, we imagine it will end up in American theaters at some point in 2015.

Movie News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:43:21 +0000
IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Rebecca Hall Talks 'Transcendence' IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Rebecca Hall Talks 'Transcendence'

English actress Rebecca Hall first gained attention for her work in films like The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town, Frost/Nixon, and last summer’s Iron Man 3. But she can now be seen in the new movie Transcendence, which stars Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) and opens in theaters on April 18th. 

The film revolves around Dr. Will Caster (Depp), an artificial intelligence researcher who strives to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence. Extremists who oppose technological advancement target him, shooting him and other researchers with radioactively tainted bullets so that the poisoning will kill them even if the assassination fails, but their actions drive him toward his goal. Caster also wants to become part of the new technology, and his wife Evelyn (Hall) and his best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), also researchers, question the wisdom of this drive. When his mind is uploaded into a computer to try and save his life, Caster's goal to acquire knowledge becomes one to acquire power, and he seems to be unstoppable. In addition to Depp, Hall, and Bettany, the cast also includes Kate Mara (TV’s House of Cards), Cillian Murphy (Red Lights), Cole Hauser (Olympus Has Fallen), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Hellbenders), and Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman (Now You See Me). Transcendence marks the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises). 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rebecca Hall about her work on Transcendence. The talented actress discussed her new film, what she liked about the screenplay, why it’s similar to Frankenstein, acting with Johnny Depp, and working with first time director Wally Pfister

Here is what Rebecca Hall had to say about Transcendence:

IAR: To begin with, Transcendence not only deals with technology, but also with themes of love and mortality. Were those the aspects of the story that you connected with when you first read the screenplay?

Rebecca Hall: I think what I liked about it was that it was an unconventional take on what was essentially a quite conventional love story about a marriage's permutations, survival and all the rest of it. But the primary thing that I found interesting was this notion that technology as we know it right now is rapidly accelerating, rapidly shifting and whatever societal changes happen in the industrial affect us as a race. That has massive ramifications and we're not so aware of it because we're adjusting to it as rapidly as the technology is moving in a way. So we're not necessarily looking at the ethical questions of it, which I think is really interesting. How much can we integrate with computers? It sounds like a farfetched notion, but it's not. Already we're living half of our lives in this, so the question is how far does that go before we lose what makes us essentially human? Or is that just another step along the lines of evolution and is that human? Is that fundamentally human because we created it? That's the dynamic. The catch-22 is that you can't really define it one way or another, but it's happening. It's not going to stop. I think the fact that the film discusses that, and throws up some flag points, I found really interesting. For as much as technology is probably our only hope in terms of saving the environment and saving and us as a race from extinction, it's also going to throw out whole new problems that we can't even imagine right now, which I find fascinating.

The film reminded me of Frankenstein in a lot of ways. Not only is your character similar to Dr. Frankenstein, but Johnny Depp’s character is also like Dr. Frankenstein and his monster as well. Was that an idea that was talked about while making the movie?

Hall: No, not in those terms, but I did think it. I mean for sure that was one of the most interesting things about Evelyn for me, was that she's not a passive victim who has terrible things happen to her. She makes a very bold and essentially ethically and morally questionable decision. I thought that was fascinating to try and portray, and understand someone who would do that. Then you realize when you get into it that it's completely comprehensive because when faced with losing someone you love it's our survival instinct that kicks in. On behalf of the other person you'll do anything to keep them present.

Evelyn does anything she can to keep Will Caster alive, and at the core of the film is that love story. Can you talk about the relationship between those two characters and how that drives her through the course of the movie?

Hall: They're a perfectly matched couple that work together, share a life together, that at the start of the film they're on a path of healing the world. They're the vanguard of this scientific research and they're trying to change the future for the better and they're full of ideals and they have a great partnership and a great love between the two of them. It's very quickly established before it all goes horribly wrong.

Through most of the movie Johnny Depp’s character only appears on a monitor, so did you have a chance to actually act with him, or did you have to perform those scenes by yourself?

Hall: Here's the really interesting thing about the making of this film. This is the story for me from my perspective of making it, was that when I read the script I assumed as you would assume that Johnny was going to come in and do it all in post. I'd have a week with him and then I'll be basically running around a desert for four months trying to act with the script supervisor. I spoke to Wally (Pfister) and I said, "I think the story's great and she's a really fascinating, driven character that has a fantastic evolution and I'd love to play her, but I'm not so good at doing that whole kind of acting with nothing business." So he talked to me about that and he went, “Oh no, I thought of that and I don't want it to be like that. What we're going to do is we're going to build sets that have a room next to the sets where Johnny will sit. He will have a TV and he will be able to see exactly what you're doing next door. There will be a camera on hand that shoots him that will beam him live into the set into all the monitors and so we will be shooting it live with him in the monitors. So you will always be acting with him and we will shoot conventional coverage with him on a screen.” That's another thing that was kind of actually unprecedented weirdly. But nobody's really done that live so what ended up happening was that Johnny and I would have earwigs in so we could hear each other. We'd spend the whole day chatting to each other and I'd be chatting to him on a TV screen. Then occasionally I'd run around the corner and actually see him in the flesh. But the surreal level of that was that when I first met him we were doing a test to see how this worked and then he went into his little booth. They hadn't quite finessed it yet so he basically sat in a black box and it was basically the set up you get in EPK interviews or TV interviews. It looked like he was doing a junket so I had this completely surreal moment. I was like, this is how I'm used to seeing Johnny Depp in interviews on television, but I'm actually talking to him and nobody else is. I don't quite understand how to, and then it became silly after all and I'd have to run around and visit him in the flesh because it just got too weird. But it was completely conventional and unconventional at the same time. We were acting together, we were reacting off each other and I think it shows. I do think it shows because it looks like we're having conversations because we were. I wasn't doing it with the script supervisor and then he was beamed in after.

Finally, Wally Pfister has an amazing background as a cinematographer but Transcendence marks his directorial debut. As an actor, what was it like working with Pfister on his first film as a director?

Hall: I always think the key to film directing in terms of how you deal with actors is 90% getting their trust. It's not about telling them exactly what to do. It's about somehow giving them freedom to do their job and be creative. There really is a formula for that and God knows what it is. For a lot of first time directors it's tough to get that trust because you haven't got the breath of the films that an actor knows. I think a lot of first time directors sort of over egg the pudding as it were and there's a kind of nervousness in it. For Wally it was very easy to get that trust because he has such a range of experience already. He has watched actors work and in many ways the DP observes that stuff closer than many of the people on the film set because they're either there or they're just quietly watching the whole process all the time. He gets it. One of the things that struck me about this film and fascinated me about it was the fact that it's a big action thriller, but it's also essentially a very emotional story. I think a lot of that comes from Wally. He's a big-hearted guy that cares about an emotional narrative. That reflected in the way he spoke to actors because he knew that's where he'd get that. 

Transcendence opens in theaters on April 18th.

To read our interview with Johnny Depp about Transcendence, please click here

Interviews Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:16:14 +0000
First Trailer and Poster for 'Jersey Boys,' Clint Eastwood's Jukebox Musical First Trailer and Poster for 'Jersey Boys,' Clint Eastwood's Jukebox Musical

Warner Bros. has unveiled the first theatrical trailer and poster for Jersey Boys, a jukebox musical chronicling the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in the early 1960s.

As a director, Clint Eastwood's tastes appear to run towards the heavy.  Over the last decade, for example, he's overseen movies about the Pacific theater of WWII, death, paralysis, murder, racism, child abduction, and even J. Edgar Hoover.

So it's a little surprising that he's tackling a full-blown musical here.  He was attached to a remake of A Star is Born starring Beyonce a few years back, though, so it's not a total shock.

The stage show, which premiered on Broadway in 2005, has proven exceptionally popular around the world and even won four Tony Awards in 2006.  The play features music by Bob Gaudio with lyrics by Bob CreweMarshall Brickman and Rick Elice, meanwhile, were responsible for the book.  Onstage, Jersey Boys is divided into four distinct seasons, allowing each member of the band to narrate directly to the audience.  Interestingly, Eastwood has retained this narration, with multiple character speaking directly to the audience.

Check it out in the trailer below or in high definition over at Apple.

The story here follows the rise and fall of pop sensations the Four Seasons, all of whom are, as the title suggests, from New Jersey.  The group was responsible for familiar tunes such as "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Working My Way Back to You," and "Sherry," all of which are included in the musical itself.

The film stars relative unknowns John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza, and Michael Lomenda as Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy Devito, and Nick Massi, respectively.

Christopher Walken, meanwhile, plays a guy called Angelo "Gyp" DeCarlo.

Jersey Boys opens nationwide on June 20th.  Check out the first official poster below:

Movie News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:54:50 +0000
Live Stream an 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Q&A with the Director and Stars Live Stream an 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Q&A with the Director and Stars

We live in a fabulous modern age.

It's an age of technological miracles in which you can participate in a live Q&A session with the director and stars of a major event movie whilst also picking up The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tickets and buying the sequel's soundtrack.

On Monday, April 21st, at 2:00pm PST/5:00pm EDT, Sony Pictures is hosting the first-ever "Google+ shoppable Hangout" related to an upcoming film.  Director Marc Webb will be joined by stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, and Dane DeHaan, all participating in a thirty-minute live promotional Q&A with fans and moviegoers.

You can submit your questions via social media before the hangout by using the #SpiderManHangout hashtag.  And since this Hangout is "shoppable," you can catch up with the franchise by renting or purchasing the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man on Google Play straight from the video chat.

The second installment in a trilogy directed by Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 picks up with Peter Parker about to graduate from high school and loving his secret life as Spider-Man, New York's favorite webslinging superhero.  Despite the promise he may to her dearly departed father, Peter can't quit Gwen Stacy, who is planning to move abroad for college.  His personal life is complicated by the arrival of his childhood best friend, heir to the Oscorp empire Harry Osborn.  And his mettle is tested by Electro, a meek engineer turned into an electrical demigod by an Oscorp accident.

To partake in the promotional kaleidoscope of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, join the Google+ Hangout and check back to this page to watch the live stream on Monday:

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in many international markets this week, but doesn't arrive in U.S. theaters until May 2nd.

Sony Pictures has already scheduled The Amazing Spider-Man 3 for June 10, 2016.  Additionally, the studio is developing Venom and Sinister Six spinoffs for unspecified dates down the line, with Alex Kurtzman and Drew Goddard attached to direct.

Despite the plan to build a Marvel Studios-style constellation of franchises, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't include a Marvel Studios-style credits teaser for the continuing adventures of Spider-Man.  Instead, we found out yesterday that the sequel features a credits teaser for X-Men: Days of Future Past, which 20th Century Fox is releasing on May 23rd.  Variety has explained that this strange instance of extra-studio promotion is the result of Webb's contractual obligation to Fox Searchlight after his feature debut, (500) Days of Summer.  It's interesting stuff.

Perhaps Webb himself will comment during the Google+ Hangout next week.

Movie News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 23:10:07 +0000
Brutal 'The Rover' Trailer: Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson on Scorched Earth Brutal 'The Rover' Trailer: Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson on Scorched Earth

It takes a tough trailer to quote poetry yet still pack the visceral punch of a barbed-wire uppercut. 

A new look at The Rover is just such a trailer, dropping a bit of Yeats and dislocating the audience's jaw with its brutal, spare depiction of a near-future gone to hell.

This year's Cannes Film Festival roster was just announced, and The Rover made the cut as a midnight screening.  A24 was ready to deploy a new theatrical trailer and two posters featuring the film's leads, Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson

The Rover is part of a proud Australian tradition: the post-apocalyptic highway western.  This isn't a silly zombie apocalypse, though.  It's a plausibly desolate scorched landscape in which savagery and hopelessness are constant.  Ten years after civilization gave way and anarchy was loosed upon the world, a hardened loner called Eric (Pearce) wanders the outback on his own.  When a gang steals his car, they leave an injured compatriot, Rey (Pattinson), who Eric then uses to help in his relentless pursuit of the thieves.

This is bleak, bleak stuff.  It also looks beautiful, meditative, and mournful.  Any sense of lyrical elegy is complimented by raw meanness, though.

David Michod's last movie, Animal Kingdom, basically drips dread from start to finish, and that one's not even set in a world gone so catastrophically wrong.  Animal Kingdom brought Michod global attention and got a whole lot of eyes on Joel Edgerton, Sullivan Stapleton, and Jacki Weaver around 2010.  Since then, Michod has directed an episode of the HBO series Enlightened, but The Rover marks his return to feature-length fare.

Michod wrote the screenplay from a story he cooked up with Edgerton.

The Rover premieres at Cannes next month, then opens in limited release stateside on June 13th.  Finally, the film expands to a whole lot more theaters a week later on June 20th.

Check out the posters of Pearce and Pattinson as Eric and Rey:

Movie News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:25:40 +0000
'Maleficent' Featurette: Angelina Jolie as the 'Sleeping Beauty' Villain 'Maleficent' Featurette: Angelina Jolie as the 'Sleeping Beauty' Villain

"It's a reinvention, not just a retelling of the same story," screenwriter Linda Woolverton explains in the first featurette promoting Maleficent, a live action take on the animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Unlike next year's Cinderella, this isn't simply a live action remake of a familiar tale.  Instead, Maleficent presents the story from a different angle, the angle of the titular villain, played with obvious relish by Angelina Jolie.  In telling the tale from Maleficent's perspective, the movie also acts as an origin story for the villain, following her from her days as a pure-hearted young protector of her native realm and showing how a betrayal turned her bitter and dark.

"I watched the movie and came up with some ideas that revealed more about the character, created a past for her that led to the moment where she curses Aurora then takes us past that moment from Maleficent's point of view," says Woolverton, who also wrote The Lion King and Tim Burton's recent Alice in Wonderland.

This featurette, courtesy of CBM, makes the visual connection to Alice in Wonderland obvious.  Maleficent is the latest from producer Joe Roth, who has been making hay with big budget fantasies based on public domain properties like Alice, Oz the Great and Powerful, and Snow White and the Huntsman

Disney spent some time courting Burton to direct Maleficent, but when he opted against another such fantasy, the studio went with Robert Stromberg.  The Alice in Wonderland and Avatar production designer makes his feature directorial debut on this big budget event movie.

Jolie, meanwhile, is currently in post-production on her sophomore film as director, Unbroken.  Based on Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller, Unbroken tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner and WWII bombardier who spent 47 days adrift on the Pacific before getting tossed in a Japanese POW camp.  Like her debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, Unbroken ought to be a heavy time at the movies.

As an actress, however, she's keeping it relatively light with MaleficentElle Fanning also stars as Princess Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty, and the supporting cast includes Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Miranda Richardson, Brenton Thwaites, and Lesley Manville.

Maleficent opens in 3D and IMAX 3D on May 30th, squaring off against Seth McFarlane's western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Movie News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:35 +0000