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! Wed, 26 Nov 2014 09:12:41 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dean Cain Talks ‘The Three Dogateers’ and Why Superman Shouldn't Kill‘the-three-dogateers’-and-why-superman-shouldn’t-kill.html‘the-three-dogateers’-and-why-superman-shouldn’t-kill.html IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dean Cain Talks ‘The Three Dogateers’ and Why Superman Shouldn't Kill

For a particular generation, Dean Cain will always be Superman!

The actor, who also appeared in such films as Rat Race, Out of Time, 5 Days of War, and God’s Not Dead, is best known for playing the man of steel in the ‘90s series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. But Cain has also appeared in a surprising amount of Christmas movies (The Case for Christmas, A Christmas Wedding, Defending Santa), as well as films featuring talking dogs (Aussie and Ted’s Great Adventure, The Dog Who Saved Halloween). Now Cain combines the two genres with his latest movie The Three Dogateers, which will be available on DVD and digital download beginning November 18th. 

The Three Dogateers follows three little dogs that are left on their own a few days before Christmas. A couple of no-good burglars have made off with all of the family's presents and decorations, and it's time for the Three Dogateers to unite and set off on a journey to sniff out the bad guys. But with the world's meanest dogcatcher hot on their tails, they may need a little help from Santa Claus (Richard Riehie) himself to save Christmas! It’s basically the canine version of Home Alone. Cain plays Matt, the husband of the dog’s owner who needs to find his wife’s pets before she returns for the holidays. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Dean Cain about his work on The Three Dogateers, as well as being part of the Superman legacy. The talented veteran actor discussed his new film, talking dog movies, the challenges of acting with animals, how to make a classic Christmas film, performing broad comedy, why he feels honored to have played Superman, DC’s new “no jokes” policy for their upcoming movies, and why Superman shouldn’t kill!

Here is what Dean Cain had to say about The Three Dogateers and why Superman shouldn’t kill

IAR: To begin with, I have to confess that I am a sucker for a talking dog movie. The Three Dogateers is not the first time that you have appeared in a talking dog film, how do you feel about the genre?

Dean Cain: I have done a number of talking dog movies, so I am a fan obviously. My son was very young when I did my first one. That is part of the reason why I did it. One of the things that he liked to watch was an animal on screen talking. He was just drawn right in. Something about that really gets to the kids. I do not know what it is, but I started making these dog movies. I made a number of them, and he and his friends kept watching them. I would go to his classes visiting the kids and teachers, and they would say, “You are the guy in that dog movie.” These kids only know the dog movies. I played Superman at some point in time, but they know me from the dog movies. I think for kids it is an awesome thing. My son is now 14 so he is like, “Dad, I am too old for this now.” But he will watch it anyway. 

Now that your son is 14, maybe it’s time to show him Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He’s probably old enough now to appreciate that his dad was Superman. 

Cain: That is it, I agree. It is a good call. I have the DVDs, so I will do it.

What were some of the challenges of working with three dogs as your co-stars?

Cain: The thing about working with animals is that you may have your best take, and you hit your mark and do exactly what you are supposed to do, but the dog is nowhere to be seen. So you have to be ready to change at a moments notice. You have to find ways to adapt and compromise. It is just like being a parent. I have done dog movies where there are attack dogs. I have done movies where you have to become friends with the dogs. I just think it is a lot of fun.

In addition to appearing in a lot of talking dog movies, you’ve also appeared in a lot of Christmas films. What do you think is the secret to making a classic holiday movie?

Cain: I adore Christmas movies. I think the secret is in one of my favorite movies: It’s A Wonderful Life. You have to have heart, family and people who care. It does not necessarily need to be family, but family is what you make of it. In It’s A Wonderful Life it was the community that came together for these guys who did so much for everyone else. When he finally needed them, they were all there. I like a little bit of magic. I would say the key elements are family, community, some magic and a whole lot of love.

The Three Dogateers is a very broad comedy. What was it like for you as an actor to appear in a broad comedy, as apposed to some of the more dramatic projects you’ve done in the past?

Cain: Broad comedy stuff is just great. My doing that comes much more from being a parent. You do the silliest stuff as a parent just to get your kid to laugh. You will do whatever it takes. You do a lot of the broad comedy stuff just to get the kids to laugh. It becomes fun. In the broad comedy stuff, you literally look stupid, but if you are afraid of that, you better get into a different business.

Finally, there is an entire generation that associates you with Superman because of your work on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. How do you feel about forever being linked with the iconic superhero?

Cain: I adore it, I love it, and I embrace it. I am so proud and honored to have played that character and be Superman for a generation. I am very happy. I dig it. However, sometimes expectations are high when you step on the court to play a basketball game. Everybody has it out for you. “Come on, Superman. What have you got?” But I thought it was just great. I really enjoyed it. I think we sort of cornered the market on the humor and the romance, and I think those are two of the most enjoyable aspects of those characters. I am just as proud as can be to forever be associated with that character.

You just mentioned the humor that your series injected into the Superman mythology. How did you feel about Man of Steel, and the new “no jokes” policy for upcoming DC Comics movies?

Cain: I think it was exactly that. He was an angst-filled alien Superman who did not really belong on this earth. I think he was devoid of romance or humor, and I do not think that is the focus of the film. I just do not think they were going for any of that. I think he is a very heroic, tough, darker character. I think Henry (Cavill) did a great job, but it certainly did not go for any humor or any romance. When it did sort of move into the romance a little, I do not think it worked. I think it worked great as an angst-filled alien-fighting movie. I do also wish they did not blow up so many buildings as they were fighting. The idea of Superman killing so many people and not trying to save them was just so foreign to me as a Superman fan and obviously a former Superman. Every time he threw a guy through a building I was wondering if he was going to catch all the innocent people who fell out of it. That is what my Superman would have done. There are people dying in those buildings!

(Spoiler Alert!!!) What did you think about Superman killing General Zod at the end of Man of Steel?

Cain: He did kill the villain, which I was against. I was surprised. It was different. They clearly made a choice. Again, the movie worked great. Henry did a fantastic job. We will see what happens in the next one.

The Three Dogateers will be available on DVD and digital download beginning November 18th. 

Interviews Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:40:00 +0000

In a classic Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer wonder aloud, "Kill my boss?  Do I dare live out the American dream?"

Three years ago, a trio of cinematic imbeciles attempted to live the dream, and though nothing went according to plan, the bumbling heroes of Horrible Bosses emerged better off.

In this Wednesday's Horrible Bosses 2, Nick, Dale, and Kurt are once again trying to live out a transgressive dream, this time through kidnapping.

No longer subject to their nightmarish employers, they now work for themselves, sinking their savings into the Shower Buddy, a hygienic accessory.  When an investor bilks them out of their business, however, they dip their toes back into the waters of criminality, kidnapping the villain's grown-up son for a hefty ransom.

Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Charlie Day (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and Jason Sudeikis (We're the Millers) all return in Horrible Bosses 2.  This time, they're squaring off against Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) as Bert Hanson, the slimy investor.  Don't worry, Jennifer Aniston (Life of Crime) is also back as the insatiable Dr. Julia Harris, DDS.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick was on hand for the Horrible Bosses 2 press day in Los Angeles, where the stars enthusiastically discussed the comedy sequel during a press conference.

Often, sequels are built upon shaky premises, playing out improbably with the same characters in the same almost-impossible scenarios.  Horrible Bosses 2 doesn't fall into this trap, Bateman said, because, "These guys are so stupid that really everything’s on the table. And they have just enough intelligence to create a justification in their own minds for doing it. But all the lack of intelligence to actually execute it."

Nick, Dale, and Kurt may be morons, but audiences enjoy spending time with them because of the chemistry shared by the comedic stars playing them.

"The first time we worked together was on the table reading of the first film and these guys were shooting in Pittsburgh?" Bateman joked to Day, riffing on the title of his FX series, to which Day chimed in, "Philadelphia."

"Close! And they were on like an iChat type of thing and we knew right then," Bateman continued, "even on a Facetime iChat type device, it was working."

Together, the three leads, all of whom have spent years in comedy, are formidable improvisers.  So much so, in fact, that two-time Oscar winner Waltz was surprised.  He said was accustomed to sticking to the script and, "At first I thought they were doing that same thing. Doing what was in the script."

"I found myself somewhere in a dark corner. So I just resigned to staying in the dark corner and watching them. They do something that I detest. They improvise. I hate improvisation," he continued.

"You would come to the set with that rubber chicken and those chattering teeth," Day joked. "And we would say, 'No, Christoph, that’s not the type of comedy we’re trying to do.'"

After kidnapping Bert's son Rex, the heroes of Horrible Bosses 2 slowly find themselves allied with Rex, who takes to being kidnapped with opportunistic glee.  In effect, their new accomplice becomes a four member of their incompetent criminal gang, meaning Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness) spent a lot of time riffing with the returning stars.

"I think there was a concern bringing anyone into it, since we had a chemistry that we knew we could rely on," said Day. "So you hope that you didn’t get someone who was either unfunny, or trying to be funny too much. But I always thought Chris was extremely funny as Captain Kirk in those movies. He delivers the action, but he also has great comedic timing. So I really wasn’t worried about it. And then, he’s such a great actor, like working with Christoph or Jen or any character that comes into the scene, if they’re a great actor, they’re only making the scene better."

Sudeikis agreed, saying, "Yeah, he came a lot from the dramatic point of view. Like, what you would feel if your dad did this. He wasn’t trying to hit the joke, he was just trying to hit the reality of it because the funny’s already sort of in there. Or we hope by us doing our thing and reacting to him and being in over our heads. Yeah, he stayed on a thing and didn’t try to do what we did. He did his own thing, which was both charming to the characters and also really effective as far as the scenes were concerned."

"And that's what's funny," Aniston added.

"And because he's a peer when we were able to really make him break," said Day. "t was satisfying because you know that’s sort of our target audience, in a sense. He’s sort of our comedy barometer."

Pine plays a new accomplice, but Jamie Foxx (Annie) makes his second appearance as Mother****er Jones in the sequel.  Bateman had nothing but praise for the actor, saying Foxx is the "Greatest guy in the world."

"On the first movie, he was kind of in and out," said Day. "It was fun for us, but we were like, 'Man, that guy was cool.' And he came and he went. The second movie he’s around for a lot more of it. I personally just had a great experience working with him. I liked him as much as a performer as I do as a human being. And he’s so cool. He’s very cool."

"Fun to make laugh," Sudeikis agreed of Foxx. "Or, you don’t make him laugh as much as you will hear, maybe something’s funny, Charlie and Jason get on a riff or something, he’ll just go, 'Hil-arious.' Charlie, he'll go on a rip or something. He'll just go, 'Hil-arious. Hilarious.' He makes it real."

Also back for another round of workplace dissatisfaction and criminal shenanigans is Aniston as the sexually omnivorous dentist who tortured Dale with her attentions in Horrible Bosses

This time, Julia Harris is even more outrageously sexual, Aniston said, recalling, "Honestly, I think the writers called just to say, 'How far can we go with Dr. Julia?' I basically said, 'Go as far as you can go. As long as we’re not insulting or offending too many people.'”

When the gang first re-encounters Dr. Julia, it's because Nick accidentally ends up in a support group for sex addicts.   For Julia, Aniston said, "Well, I think the intention was to maybe seek help, but I think what she ultimately found out was that this is just like chum for her."

The misunderstanding that ensues is one of the sequel's highlights, and though it involved improv, Aniston said, "The structure of it was there and then we would throw in little – as we were doing the volley back in forth of what my demands were for the description of what it was that he was admitting in the group kind of took on different little variations from take to take."

"The dialogue was great, and the situation, where you meet her in the AA, or the sex A, what do you call it? SA group. I think it just lent itself to great humor and situations," she said. "And I was just psyched. Yes I did think about her, throughout all the films I’ve done since. She’s a hard one to let go of. I didn’t get enough of her."

Naturally, since the title of the movie is Horrible Bosses 2, the stars were asked about any experiences they've had with especially horrible bosses.

"I have a problem with authority so every boss is a bad boss," said Waltz.

Sudeikis referred to his years at Saturday Night Live, joking, "That Lorne Michaels can sure wreck a life. I'm just trying to have a nice existence in Kansas City doing improv comedy, and then this. Comedian son of a gun says, 'Come here and do this TV show.' No. I haven't really had too many. Any bad boss I had probably was because I was a bad employee. Just something that Charlie and I both realized throughout being asked that question."

"Yeah, I get asked that and the more I think about those experiences, the more I realize how justified those people were. In their horribleness, yeah," said Day.

So what about their bosses on the film?  Bateman sang the praises of the sequel's new director and producer, saying,"Sean Anders and John Morris deserve all the credit in the world for delivering this film. However, they were very inclusive in the whole process of developing this script and making it what it is. And we knew that that was a privilege, and so we took full opportunity, full advantage of that opportunity."

"We spent a lot of time working on the script and kind of making sure that this was something that was at least as good as the first one, and hopefully better because we were proud of the first one," said Bateman. "We sat on the phone for a long time and talked about, should we? And I'm glad that we did because for my money, this is a lot better than the first one, and I loved the first one."

For Sudeikis, it was important to revisit the first movie in order to live up to it.  "In pre-production when we were going through the script and rehearsals with Sean and John, we watched it in my trailer that day," he said. "Because that’s one of the things of doing a sequel is that, one element of sequelitis is how things were, how things came to be. And when you actually sit there and watched the movie that we’re basing the second one on, you’re like, 'Oh, that’s right. Oh okay.' It was really funny. I know for me, it got me fired up to do it again."

So if Horrible Bosses 2 is a hit like its predecessor, would Nick, Dale, and Kurt get in hot water yet again with a possible Horrible Bosses 3?

"Look, for this second movie, we really thought long and hard about how to do it. It was a very inclusive process where we had a lot of conversations about it, and we didn't just kind of go out on a limb and say, 'All right. Now we're in Acapulco,'" explained Day. "We put some serious thought into it. I think if we going to even consider doing a third one, we'd have to do the same process. There are so many bad sequels made, and we just really didn't want to be a part of that. And I sincerely believe that we didn't do that. So hopefully, if we're going to do a third one, it's a movie worth watching."

Horrible Bosses 2 opens nationwide this Wednesday, November 26th.

Interviews Tue, 25 Nov 2014 21:43:49 +0000
Ridley Scott No Longer Directing 'Blade Runner' Sequel Ridley Scott No Longer Directing 'Blade Runner' Sequel

For a few years, the most interesting thing about the Blade Runner sequel was that Ridley Scott planned on directing.

Well, Scott's opted against hunting for Replicants and existential answers a second time. 

According to the prolific 76-year-old, Blade Runner 2  is likely to start shooting within the next year, but he won't be in the director's chair, deciding instead to produce the follow-up to his 1982 scifi classic.

Scott signed up for Alcon Entertainment's Blade Runner follow-up back in 2011.  Producers were keen to have him hunting replicants after dallying with xenomorphs on Prometheus, but Scott instead jumped at the chance to direct The Counselor.  Then he went Biblical for next month's Exodus: Gods and Kings

Any Scott-directed projects jockeying for position in his docket were delayed by The Martian, which stars Matt Damon as a resourceful astronaut stranded on Mars.  That project has a really cool cast and starts shooting any minute now.

If you've had your fingers crossed that Scott would hop in a spinner after The Martian, Variety has some bad news buried in a profile on the ever-busy helmer.

He's not directing, but Scott did develop the screenplay alongside Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote Blade Runner. “We talked at length about what it could be, and came up with a pretty strong three-act storyline, and it all makes sense in terms of how it relates to the first one,” says the director.

Having surfed an atomic blast in a refrigerator as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford is going for the trifecta: he's getting behind the wheel of the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and he's going to play Rick Deckard again in this as-yet untitled sequel.

“Harrison is very much part of this one, but really it’s about finding him; he comes in in the third act,” Scott explains.

Since Scott has subsequently gone on record and answered the previously-intriguing question of Deckard's humanity, we'll speculate that Blade Runner 2 follows a new Blade Runner as he attempts to hunt down and retire Ford's gruff skinjob, making Deckard the Kurtz to a younger character's Willard.

By the time The Martian hits theaters in just under a year, Scott will probably have gotten some momentum behind an entirely different project, but he has been cooking up a sequel to his Alien prequel Prometheus for some time now too.  Michael Green, who also worked on the Blade Runner 2 script, contributed to the Prometheus follow-up. 

"That’s the problem,” Scott said just a few months back, when he was still planning on directing Deckard's next round. “I’ve got a lot of ducks in a row. But they’re all written.”

With Blade Runner 2 written but Scott removing his posterior from the director's chair, Alcon must be searching high and low for a helmer to take over the sequel to Scott's masterpiece ostensibly based on Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.  Who would you like to see direct a Blade Runner sequel if not Ridley Scott?

Movie News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:46:01 +0000
Keaton's Comeback: 'Birdman' Leads the 2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominations Keaton's Comeback: 'Birdman' Leads the 2015 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

You turn your head for one minute and suddenly it's awards season all over.

The longest season of the year is in full swing once again: Film Independent announced the full list of nominees for the 30th Annual Independent Spirit Awards.

Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance leads the pack with six nominations total, including nods for Best Feature, Best Director (Alejando Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Male Lead (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Female (Emma Stone), and Best Supporting Male (Edward Norton).  And, of course, the clever one-take illusion snagged Birdman a Best Cinematography (Emmanual Lubezki) nomination, too.

The screed against superhero movies has plenty of competition for Best Feature, with Selma, Love is Strange, Whiplash, and Boyhood also securing nominations for the big prize as well.

Held in a bigass tent a few hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean, the Spirit Awards are like the cooler younger sibling of the Oscars.  Though the big nominees increasingly tend to overlap between this awards show and the Academy Awards, the Spirits still provide a showcase for many gems that tend to be overlooked by the many, many other awards programs.

Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, for example, earned a few nods, as did Justin Simien's Dear White People.  These movies deserve a bigger audience, as do fellow nominees Obvious Child (go, Jenny Slate, go!), Blue Ruin, and Force Majeure.

It's a relief to see that Damien Chazelle's remarkably gripping Whiplash getting plenty of love.  JK Simmons is a force of nature in that movie, and his is the kind of performance that's too often overlooked during this season of pomp and circumstance.

Here's the full list of nominees for the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards, courtesy of The Film Stage:

(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John LesherArnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Producers: Richard LinklaterJonathan SehringJohn Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland

Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas JoaquinLars KnudsenIra Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

Producers: Christian ColsonDede GardnerJeremy KleinerOprah Winfrey

Producers: Jason BlumHelen EstabrookDavid LancasterMichael Litvak


Damien Chazelle

Ava DuVernay

Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater

David Zellner
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter


Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Big Eyes

J.C. Chandor
A Most Violent Year

Dan Gilroy

Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive

Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
Love is Strange

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin BegnaudSina Sayyah

Dear White People
Director/Producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. BrownAnn LeJulia LebedevAngel Lopez, Lena Waithe

Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer FoxTony GilroyJake GyllenhaalDavid LancasterMichel Litvak

Obvious Child
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm

She’s Lost Control
Director/Producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye AsherKiara C. Jones


Desiree Akhavan
Appropriate Behavior

Sara Colangelo
Little Accidents

Justin Lader
The One I Love

Anja Marquardt
She’s Lost Control

Justin Simien
Dear White People

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.

Blue Ruin
Writer/Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers:  Richard PeeteVincent SavinoAnish Savjani

It Felt Like Love
Writer/Director/Producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari SatheLaura Wagner

Land Ho!
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina JenningsMynette LouieSara Murphy

Man From Reno
Writer/Director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel ClarkMichael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori

Writer/Director/Producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin


Marion Cotillard
The Immigrant

Rinko Kikuchi
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Julianne Moore
Still Alice

Jenny Slate
Obvious Child

Tilda Swinton
Only Lovers Left Alive                    


André Benjamin
Jimi: All Is By My Side

Jake Gyllenhaal

Michael Keaton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

John Lithgow
Love is Strange

David Oyelowo


Patricia Arquette

Jessica Chastain
A Most Violent Year

Carmen Ejogo

Andrea Suarez Paz
Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Emma Stone
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


Riz Ahmed

Ethan Hawke

Alfred Molina
Love is Strange

Edward Norton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

J.K. Simmons


Darius Khondji
The Immigrant

Emmanuel Lubezki
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Sean Porter
It Felt Like Love

Lyle Vincent
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Bradford Young

BEST EDITING                  

Sandra Adair

Tom Cross

John Gilroy

Ron Patane
A Most Violent Year

Adam Wingard
The Guest

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)

20,000 Days on Earth
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson

Director/Producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Stray Dog
Director: Debra Granik
Producer: Anne Rosellini

The Salt of the Earth
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
Producer: David Rosier

Director/Producer: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)

Force Majeure
Director: Ruben Östlund

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski          

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Director: Xavier Dolan         

Norte, the End of History
Director: Lav Diaz

Under the Skin
(United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer   

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD - (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh BrolinMartin DonovanJena MaloneJoanna NewsomJoaquin PhoenixEric RobertsMaya RudolphMartin Short Serena Scott ThomasBenicio Del ToroKatherine WaterstonMichael Kenneth WilliamsOwen WilsonReese Witherspoon


Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony BregmanMegan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max FryeDan Futterman
Actors: Steve CarellMark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.

Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia

The Retrieval
Director: Chris Eska

20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.  The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.

Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder

Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe

The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss           

The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa

Movie News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:49:52 +0000
Return to Neverland for the First Time with the 'Pan' Teaser Trailer Return to Neverland for the First Time with the 'Pan' Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for Pan makes it clear that Joe Wright's Peter Pan prequel isn't a whisper.

Instead, it's a full-throated shout, a barbaric yawp of riotous color, fantasy visuals, CGI setpieces, and origin story chicanery.

Warner Bros. unveiled the trailer for next summer's would-be blockbuster, along with a battery of character posters featuring Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard.

Jackman channels Nicholas Cage, mega-acting with aplomb, but the focus of the trailer is definitely on Peter himself.  Newcomer Levi Miller plays the Boy Who Never Grew Up before he leads the Lost Boys. 

Since Pan is an origin story, it doubles back to Peter's days of Dickensian squalor as an orphan in London, where he causes all manner of trouble until he's abducted by Blackbeard's flamboyant crew and taken to Neverland on a flying pirate ship.  Once there, Peter and his fellow orphans are forced as salve labor in mines, but Peter's destined to lead a revolution thanks to the pan-flute necklace he wears.  In order to strike back against Blackbeard, Peter teams up with Tiger Lily and a pre-Captain Hook.

Speaking of Hook, who knew that prior to mincing about as a villainous pirate, he was a suave Indiana Jones-like miner?

That's just one of many striking choices in the first Pan trailer, which goes for broke and establishes a pretty audacious tone in the process:

Wright undoubtedly has chops as a director, overseeing classy adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, as well as an admirable take on Anna Karenina.  On the more popcorn side, he infused Hanna with whirligig style, breathless action, and allegorical meat.

His first crack at a studio event movie, Pan looks expensive and appropriately lavish.  Visually, it actually channels PJ Hogan's flawed but beautiful take on J.M Barrie's classic tale, creating a lush and transparently fake Neverland that ought to be fun to explore.  Storywise, though, the script by Jason Fuchs has a ring of prequelitis about it.

Miller looks like a solid Peter Pan.  And yes, that is Amanda Seyfried as Mary, his mother seen briefly early in the trailer.

Warner Bros. has scheduled Pan to go head to head with Marvel's Ant-Man in theaters on July 17, 2015.

Yesterday, WB rolled out the first character poster featuring Miller, now the new Pan has company from Hedlund, Mara, and Jackman, whose villainous vandyke is on display in yesterday's first look images.

Movie News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:53:10 +0000
Full 'Jurassic World' Trailer Opens the Park, Unleashes a Dino-Monstrosity Full 'Jurassic World' Trailer Opens the Park, Unleashes a Dino-Monstrosity

Prepare to ride shotgun in the Bubblecar.

The full trailer for Jurassic World reveals that the sweetest ride on Isla Nublar is actually called the Gyrosphere.  The trailer shows off some healthy competition with a motorcycle, though, a boss hog the rider of which gets company from the scariest dinosaurs on the island.

Vehicular coolness aside, Universal Pictures unveiled the Jurassic World trailer early today, jumping the gun on a planned Thanksgiving debut.

And we're thankful for the early premiere, because this trailer is a humdinger.

From the jump, this peak at next summer's Jurassic Park sequel establishes that this is a different deal than the last two installments or even Steven Spielberg's 1993 original.  While that one was a disastrous test run for the dinosaur park and the second two were romps on the wild Site B, Jurassic World takes place in a fully operational theme park.

"It sees more than 20,000 visitors every day," director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow explained recently. "You arrive by ferry from Costa Rica. It has elements of a biological preserve, a safari, a zoo, and a theme park. There is a luxury resort with hotels, restaurants, nightlife and a golf course. And there are dinosaurs. Real ones. You can get closer to them than you ever imagined possible."

The park is open and mankind is in control.  Until, of course, scientific overreach brings disaster in the form of a D-Rex, a genetic hybrid that's too damn ferocious.  To hunt a creature nature never made, Chris Pratt's going to need his gang, the most dangerous posse in the park:

Why oh why would anybody genetically smoosh together the unseen D-Rex?

"This creation exists to fulfill a corporate mandate—they want something bigger, louder, with more teeth. And that’s what they get," Trevorrow said.

"What if, despite previous disasters, they built a new biological preserve where you could see dinosaurs walk the earth…and what if people were already kind of over it?" the Safety Not Guaranteed director asked. "We imagined a teenager texting his girlfriend with his back to a T-Rex behind protective glass. For us, that image captured the way much of the audience feels about the movies themselves. 'We’ve seen CG dinosaurs. What else you got?' Next year, you’ll see our answer."

We don't know about you, but we're on board.  We were on board even before we saw Chris Pratt tearing around the jungle alongside a gang of raptors.  Now that's a "holy shit" trailer moment for anybody whose childhood psyche was jacked up by the velociraptors.

Pratt leads a new cast that includes Bryce Dallas Howard, Omar Sy, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Irrfan Khan, Lauren Lapkus, Nick Robinson, and Ty Simpkins. This trailer reveals that Judy Greer's "small but poignant" role is Robinson and Simpkins's mom back on the mainland.

The only actor returning from previous installments is BD Wong, who appeared in Jurassic Park as geneticist Henry Wu.

Jurassic World is set for June 12, 2015.  For the first time since 1993, we're excited to go back to the park.

Movie News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 17:09:57 +0000
Michelle MacLaren Directing 'Wonder Woman' with Zack Sndyer as Producer Michelle MacLaren Directing 'Wonder Woman' with Zack Sndyer as Producer

It took a while, but the day has finally come when a woman directs a major superhero movie.

Michelle MacLaren has signed on to direct Wonder Woman, the first solo live action movie for the most famous superheroine in the history of comics.

The superhero age of blockbuster cinema has been going on for about twelve years, so it's about damn time that a female director got a fair shake at one of these mega-movies.  Patty Jenkins was on board Thor: The Dark World for a bit and Lexi Alexander helmed the ludicrous little Punisher: War Zone, but Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic superheroes on the books, one who has been hasn't even been under-served onscreen.  She's never been served at all, let alone under-served.

Obviously, this is kind of a big deal for a number of different reasons, all of which we ought to be excited about.

The most exciting thing, though, is that MacLaren is a hell of a director.  She made some of the very best episodes of AMC's Breaking Bad, which is saying a lot.  An executive producer on that rightly popular show, she also recently directed a handful of episodes of two other beloved series, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

She's been the frontrunner to direct Wonder Woman for spell, beating out a crowded field of candidates that also included The Babadook director Jennifer Kent and Lesli Linka Glatter, a producer and director on Homeland.

MacLaren is fully on board Diana Prince's first solo event movie as director, and according to THR's Heat Vision, she's not just a hired gun: she's actively working the as-yet unspecified writer or writers to develop the Wonder Woman story.

Zack Snyder is producing, which everybody assumed because the DC Cinematic Universe that Warner Bros. has been whipping up is basically the Snyderverse.  Also producing is his longtime producing partner and significant other Deborah Snyder, along with Charles Roven of the Dark Knight movies.

Gal Gadot is set to star as Wonder Woman, making her live-action cinematic debut in Snyder's 2016 super-slugfest Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Though Diana Prince didn't make the cut on the Batman v. Superman title, she's a major player in the quasi-Man of Steel sequel, sporting her full-blown costume and joining Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck in onscreen fistcuffs.  Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, and Ezra Miller are expected to have cameos teeing up Aquaman, Cyborg, and The Flash.

Wonder Woman is set to open in theaters on June 23, 2017, more than a year before Marvel finally makes a female superhero movie with Captain Marvel.    Gadot will then reprise the role in Justice League: Part One (November 12, 2017) and Justice League: Part Two (June 14, 2019).

If one rumor is to be believed, Wonder Woman has an unexpected setting, starting out on Paradise Island before taking Diana into the world of the 1920s.  Could be a fascinating approach to the character, one that could really underline the notions of female empowerment that have long been given pop-art expression by Wonder Woman.

Speaking of which, Jill Lapore's The Secret History of Wonder Woman is now in hardcover.  It's a pretty remarkable look at the character's history and the life of her creator, William Moulton Marston, a psychologist who contributed to the invention of the polygraph machine.  A man with vital (and almost unbelievable) connections to the suffrage movement, Marston meant for Wonder Woman to personify female power, but also deliberately modeled her after pin-up models and never hesitated to indulge in kinky shenanigans through her.

Movie News Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:24:40 +0000
IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant Talk 'Reno 911!: The Complete Series' DVD and the Future of the Franchise IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant Talk 'Reno 911!: The Complete Series' DVD and the Future of the Franchise

Finally available on DVD beginning November 7th is Reno 911!: The Complete Series, which has become one of the most popular shows in Comedy Central history. 

Viva Variety and The State alumni Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant, the duo that also wrote Night at the Museum and directed Hell Baby, created the popular comedy series. Originally conceived as a satire of Cops, Reno 911! ran for six seasons on Comedy Central from 2003-2009 and also spawned the popular film Reno 911!: Miami. In addition to starring Lennon as Lieutenant James “Jim” Ronald Dangle, and Garant as Deputy Travis Junior, the series also featured Kerri Kenney-Silver (All About Steve) as Deputy Trudy Wiegel, Cedric Yarbrough (Get Smart) as Deputy Sergeant Class II Sven Jones, Carlos Alazraqui (Justice League: Doom) as Deputy Sergeant Class III James Oswaldo Garcia, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Bridesmaids) as Deputy Sergeant Class I Clementine “Clemmy” Johnson, Niecy Nash (The Proposal) as Deputy Raineesha Williams, Mary Birdsong (The Descendants) as Deputy Cherisha Kimball, Ian Roberts (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) as Sergeant Jack Declan, and Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad) as Deputy Frank Salvatore Rizzo. 

I recently had the absolute pleasure of speaking with the hilarious Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant about Reno 911!: The Complete Series DVD and the future of the franchise. The two actors/series creators discussed their new DVD set, the origins of the series, developing the characters, the success of the show, DVD extras, and possibly returning for a Reno 911! Comedy Central Christmas special.

Here is what Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant had to say about Reno 911!: The Complete Series DVD and the future of the franchise:

IAR: To begin with, Thomas I’ve heard you describe the creation of Reno 911! as “coming out of desperation” when you were working on another pilot. Can you talk about that and the birth of the popular series?

Thomas Lennon: Oh, we so painted ourselves into a corner. We did a couple of pilots that all failed. Then we were doing a sketch show for Fox, and we had cast Niecy (Nash), Cedric (Yarbrough), Carlos (Alazraqui), Wendi (McLendon-Covey) and all these people. We wrote like 90 sketches and honed it down to the best 12 or 13. Then we did a table read for Fox. They were like, “That is all funny, but you know what? We are going to cancel your show right now.” So we had broken new territory by getting cancelled at the table read, which was pretty amazing.

Robert Ben Garant: We had spent a lot of our funding. We rented a stage, and they had started construction. We had $300,000 left of $700,000. So we could quit or we could try to think of an idea we could shoot for $300,000.

Lennon: I guess it is the classic “when life gives you lemons” scenario. Over the weekend, we were kind of just looking at the Fox lineup. Our original spot for the sketch show would have been right after Cops. We thought, fuck it. What if we just did a sketch show that literally is Cops?

Garant: It would be a companion piece.

Lennon: In the original, I clarified that it really was a sketch show. We played all of the cops and all of the criminals, so it was truly like Little Britain. Everybody character was one of us, which was very trippy and not a good idea.

Garant: It was very distracting.

Lennon: It was cool, but it was very BBC. It was very strange.

Garant: Fox hated it. The younger executives loved it, and the executives in charge hated it. So they put it on a shelf, and it sat there for three years. We are buddies with Jim Sharp at Comedy Central. He produced The State back in the day. We were having drinks with him, and he said, “Hey, do you guys have a show that is cheap and that fits Comedy Central’s budget?” We gave him that tape of the Fox pilot and showed him how cheap it was. It was great.

Lennon: As we developed it, we stopped playing al of the characters. Although there are a couple of cases where we do still play the criminals. There were a couple of characters that we always kept playing. At the time we were not sure, but their instinct was to make it realer. So having us play everybody was a little distracting and you did not need it. The show is good enough without that element, and they were right so that went away. It really was also very interesting because we tested it with Fox and Comedy Central in front of audiences, and audiences really liked the soap opera aspect of it, which we had not really counted on. People wanted to know where these characters were going to go and if they were going to get back together or not. That lasted us for years. People really liked that stuff and it was a new thing for us that we really enjoyed. 

Did you two create the characters and then cast the actors to play them, or cast the actors you wanted first and then let them develop their characters?

Lennon: We literally gave the actors nametags. There was no discussion about who anybody was going to be. In the two days we had to prep the pilot, we just picked a bunch of names that would look good on nametags.

Garant: Garcia and Jones.

Lennon: Yeah, and we had no other real interest other than that. We sat down with people, put them on camera and said, what is your name?

Garant: If you want a lesson on how under thinking things really works and may be better than development, we were shooting and it was not even the first day. We realized that we needed some sort of interstitials to get you from one scene to the next scene. We thought, well in Cops they just drive around with the cops, and the cops talk about being cops. So we put all seven cast members in the car with a camera and asked them, “What is your name? How old are you? How long have you been a cop? What did you like about Dangle? What did you like about Wiegel? How you do feel about Jones?” They did not know we were going to do that, so they answered those questions off the top of their heads and those characters stuck for six years. The whole thing about Garcia having a crush on Raineesha, and Jones being a racist all came pretty spontaneously out of the cast on the second and third day of shooting. It totally worked I guess because everybody was just playing it straight.

Have you been surprised by the success and the cult status the show has achieved, and how do you feel about the overwhelming support you’ve received from your fans?

Lennon: It is nice. Even this last month, so many people sent me pictures of their Dangle Halloween costumes. I think the reason why this show is so loved is that it is loved by hardcore stoners and by law enforcement. Most cops really love Reno 911! I think the reason simply is because we are being sincere. No matter what we are doing in the show, no matter how stupid it is, no matter how egregiously farfetched the scenarios are, we are sincere. Even if we are licking cocaine off each other’s faces, or sitting in a police car doing whip-its, I think the thing that gave us staying power is that we were very sincere.

Garant: The characters are not really trying to be funny. The characters are really just trying to get home alive and get laid. I think there is something about that is very relatable about that.

Lennon: Yeah, it is very relatable.

Garant: We had done a couple of really far out pilots before Reno 911!, but this was actually not far out. This is our sensibility, which is sometimes really stupid stuff and sometimes really smart stuff all mixed together. We thought this was a pretty broad concept. You do not have to have watched a whole bunch of BBC to understand what we were doing. I think we had a weird sense while we were doing it that this might resonate with more people than our previous projects did.

Can you talk about the extras that are included on the Reno 911!: The Complete Series DVD collection? Are there deleted scenes included and do you guys do commentary on any of the episodes?

Lennon: Oh my God. There is a lot of stuff. Yeah, there are two different kinds of commentaries. There is the commentary by us, the actors, the writers and creators, and there are also a couple of episodes of commentary by the characters, which is worth the price of admission alone. 

Garant: What is great is that we really do not do outtakes per say because nobody ever really breaks character, but you get to see some of our full takes. There is a full 29-minute scene of Tom and I picking up guns off the highway from a toy donation box accidentally left on the side of the road. So you get to see the full 29-minute process we do. I think that fans are going to love it. I think everybody is going to think it is really cool just to see it. “Wow, they just act like they are doing their job and they do it for a full half hour!” It is all pretty funny. Some of the long takes to me are much funnier.

Lennon: We would do scenes where the camera is in the main room and people could just come and go. Basically we were doing a play. 

Finally, are there plans to do another movie or a revival TV series, or have we seen the end of the Reno 911! franchise?

Lennon: I have heard of a possible Comedy Central Christmas special. I would be very surprised if at some point we do not do something, without saying too much.

Reno 911!: The Complete Series will be available on DVD beginning November 7th. 

Interviews Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:33:33 +0000
'Star Wars' Rumor: First Spinoff Follows Bounty Hounters on a Death Star Heist 'Star Wars' Rumor: First Spinoff Follows Bounty Hounters on a Death Star Heist

So this Friday, the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives to give our first good look at 2015's sequel kicking off the Disney era of Star Wars.

But what about the still super-secret 2016 Star Wars movie, the spinoff directed by Gareth Edwards?

According to a new rumor, the first Star Wars spinoff is a heist movie, one that features a group of familiar bounty hunters on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

Disney is going big with a galaxy far, far away.  Not only is JJ Abrams launching a whole new sequel trilogy next year, but with spinoffs, we'll have a new space opera every single year.

Edwards, who most recently helmed Godzilla, is overseeing the first spinoff with a script by The Book of Eli scribe Gary Whitta.  If this rumor reported by Slashfilm is true, then their standalone takes places back around the time of Star Wars: A New Hope, and fills in the blank of just how the Rebel Alliance got their mitts on the blueprints for the Empire's planet-destroying space station.

Turns out it wasn't thanks to Bothans or Rebel spies, per se, but to a Dirty Dozen-style assembly of bounty hunters.  According to Slashfilm, the idea is sort of "Seven Samurai or Suicide Squad meets Ocean’s Eleven in the world of Star Wars."

Since early 2013, it's been pretty much accepted as fact that one of these first spinoffs would focus on fan favorite Boba Fett

The character is in no way confirmed to be involved in this story, which is also wholly unconfirmed. By teaming Fett with a bunch of mercenaries, though, this approach would smartly avoid having the monosyllabic bounty hunter carry his own movie while still banking off his lucrative image. 

The ensemble would presumably feature other bounty hunters seen briefly in The Empire Strikes Back, guys like Bossk, Dengar, and IG-88.

While none of those guys, including Fett, are included in the rumor, Slash's source does specify that a character introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens plays a part in the spinoff.  That would mean the character is quite old by the time of the sequel, set thirty years after Return of the Jedi, so speculation has naturally swayed towards Max Von Sydow.  Since we don't know who or what he plays in The Force Awakens, however, it's hard to say one way or another.

Here's a wrinkle: apparently the Millennium Falcon may be featured prominently, though Han Solo is unlikely to appear.  So do the bounty hunters steal his ride?  Or are they in league with Lando Calrissian?  What gives?

Don't expect a comment from Lucasfilm in the near future, but let your imagination run wild for awhile nonetheless.

This Star Wars spinoff is scheduled to open nationwide on December 16, 2016. 

Last month, we learned that Zero Dark Thirty and Foxcatcher shooter Greig Fraser is set to serve as cinematographer on the movie.  "It does have a working title but I don't know if it's up to me to tell you what that is," Fraser teased in October.

Stay tuned to find out more about this Star Wars spinoff, as well as the other spinoff to be directed by Chronicle helmer Josh Trank.

Movie News Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:34:33 +0000
Oscar Isaac Bringing the Apocalypse to 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Oscar Isaac Bringing the Apocalypse to 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

X-Men: Apocalypse has found its Apocalypse.

The one and only Oscar Isaac is set to play the most fearsome villain our mutant heroes have ever faced in the 2016 sequel.

The man is an acting machine with charisma to spare.  Last year he was robbed of awards season attention for his remarkable turn as the title character in Inside Llewyn Davis.  You'll recognize him from supporting roles in Drive, Robin Hood, and The Bourne Legacy (he was the director's first choice to play action hero Aaron Cross, a role that ultimately went to more recognizable star Jeremy Renner).

Isaac isn't yet a household name, but it's only a matter of time. 

He's currently earning all manner of acclaim for A Most Violent Year in which plays against Jessica Chastain.  In April he stars in Alex Garland's scifi mindfuck Ex Machina.  More importantly, he plays a major role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which hits next December.

Isaac's on a blockbuster franchise with gravy train wheels.  He's on board to follow up Star Wars with the next X-Men.

According to Variety, the actor is committed to starring as Apocalypse, the bad guy teased in the post-credits sequence of X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Also known as En Sabah Nur, is a heavy hitter in the X-universe, possibly the heaviest.  An incredibly powerful mutant with a wide range of powers including superstrength, teleportation, and supersmarts, Apocalypse could actually be the first mutant; he's been kicking up dust since the days of the pharaohs.

Apocalypse deals with ancient mutancy," director Bryan Singer said over the summer. "What would humans have thought mutants were? What would mutants think humans were? You’re dealing with gods and things like that. And what if one survived and what if that found its way into our world?”

Since Apocalypse himself is so powerful, this sequel introduces the sort of large-scale mega-destruction that so far hasn't been a big part of X-franchise.

Isaac faces off against returning players James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult, with Evan Peters expected to reprise his Quicksilver role as well.  After the Sixties setting of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past going (partially) Seventies, X-Men: Apocalypse heads into the go-go Eighties, meaning we'll see young version of some familiar X-Men, including Jean Grey and Cyclops.

Last week we heard that Singer's looking at the likes of Chloe Grace Moretz and Elle Fanning for Jean, with lesser-known actors as Cyclops.

X-Men: Apocalypse is set to begin production in April 2015, with Fox releasing the sequel on May 27, 2016.

Movie News Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:17:24 +0000