Film News I Care About: First Trailer for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

At the Toronto International Film Festival last fall I had the opportunity to see the first ever viewing of the film, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY.  It was one of my most anticipated films of the fest, mainly because my favourite actress Jessica Chastain is in it.  It ended up being my favourite film of the festival and I gave it a 10/10 rating.  I’m really interested to see it again though, because sometimes at the festival when all the actors are in attendance it just makes films better.

What’s interesting about this film is that at the viewing I saw it was shown in two parts, HIM and HER.  I thought they were put together beautifully and is one of the reasons why I thought the film was so great.  Due to the two parts being over 3 hours long, they decided to make a shortened version titled THEM.  I’m so interested to see what that version is like, but considering how much I loved the two part version, I defiantly think that’s the way this story is meant to be viewed.

Can’t wait to see this one again, and I hope it gets some attention at next years Oscars.

Film News I Care About: First trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “The Interview”

I’m a big fan of both Seth Rogen and James Franco.  I’ll rarely pass on anything they do.  Rogen and Goldberg’s directorial debut, This Is The End was a big success, and I’d imagine The Interview will be too.  What I find intriguing about the film is how realistic and serious the subject matter is (the film isn’t going to be serious as it’s a comedy, but the subject matter is no joke in real life). Seth Rogen even tweeted upon the release of the trailer, “I am incredibly proud and a little bit frightened to present the first teaser for our next movie.”

Here’s why (the plot of the film):

From IMDB: Talk-show host Dave Skylark and his producer, Aaron Rapoport, score an interview with Kim Jong-Un, dictator of North Korea. But when the CIA asks them to kill Kim,they become the least qualified men to ever assassinate.

I’m sure there’s going to be tons of jokes about people who already hate the United States.  It will be very interesting to see how the world reacts to a film like this.

Seth Rogen and James Franco have amazing chemistry with each other and that’s what makes the two so enjoyable to watch.  From the short trailer, it looks like a mixture of Pineapple Express and This Is The End, and that can only lead to a good time.

interview-big

Review: Locke (2014) – Steven Knight

locke-poster1LOCKE: Directed by Steven Knight

From IMDB: Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.

     I’m a fan of Tom Hardy, so whatever he’s in, I’m there.  He’s created such a great filmography for himself, with the exception of THIS MEANS WAR.  A film that even he is sure to be embarrassed about.  LOCKE is very different from anything I’ve seen before.  For the entirety of the film, it’s just Tom Hardy sitting in a car talking to different people on the phone.  What makes this film different from any other one character centred film I’ve seen (some examples; ALL IS LOST, CAST AWAY) is that it takes place in a matter of hours on one night.  There are certain characters that he talks to over and over again on the phone, so the audience does get an understanding of who these people are and how they influence the life of Ivan Locke.

     The  success of the film is put on the shoulders of Tom Hardy, and he gives a great performance.  Even with the small amount of time spent with his character the audience is still able to get a great understanding of what kind of guy he is.  He even gives some notable scenes where he acts crazy like he did in BRONSON.

Locke_(film)

     Depending on how you watch this, everyone will have different thoughts, and will take something different from the film.  I found it easy to relate to the Locke character, and took it as a learning experience watching him make some tough decisions.  Thinking about it after made me love and appreciate it even more.  The message from his son about the football (soccer) match was truly heartbreaking, but even from reading some other reviews, many people didn’t understand the importance of the scene.  This is a story about a character who has made a decision in life and he’s not going back on it.  The decision is going to affect many other people, but he thinks it’s the right thing to do.  Sometimes in life, a small decision made by one person could change the life of someone else dramatically, and Tom Hardy’s Ivan Locke perfectly demonstrates this.

LOCKE: 8/10

Film News I Care About: First Trailer For Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’

This is definitely in my top three most anticipated films of 2014.  Even before the trailer was released, just knowing that Linklater had been working on this for 12+ years was enough to get me excited.  Linklater has made so many great films, and the story of Boyhood seems like it’ll be great as well.  I love films about growing up and coming-of-age, and that’s exactly what this is…literally.  Linklater started filming a long time ago and revisited shooting so we get to see the actual actors grow up in real life and in the film.  That’s crazy.

Here’s the trailer.  It’s amazing.  It also introduced me to a new band that I like very much now, ‘Family of the Year.’

Review: Noah (2014) – Darren Aronofsky (In Theatres)

noah-posterNOAH: Directed by Darren Aronofsky

A man is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission to rescue the innocent before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the wicked from the world.

– There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the film right now, with some countries even banning it.  That’s a little unfortunate.  Although everyone has their own religious beliefs, in the end this is just a film telling a story from the viewpoints of the writers.

– The story of Noah is very famous, and it’s a BIG story.  I give credit to Darren Aronofsky for taking on this project.  It shows what he’s capable of as a director because his two previous films (The Wrestler, Black Swan) are much smaller in scale compared to this.

– I’m not a fan of Russell Crowe, but the casting choice was perfect.  His presence is felt and his character does come across as someone who has lots of power and authority.  Crowe actually gives a good performance here that fans of his can enjoy, I just can’t get his Les Miserables performance out of my head whenever I see him.

– The supporting cast is filled with familiar faces; Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman.  None of the performances particularly stand out because they’re relatively small roles, but for the most part they do a solid job.  If I were to complain about one of them it would be Logan Lerman, but that could just be because his character was so annoying and weak.

– At the very beginning of the film they try and get you caught up with the story, but it moves very quickly.  It would be hard for younger kids to understand what was being talked about, and even though the film is PG-13, I think it should’ve been accessible to younger audiences because of how famous and well-known the story is.

– There’s some great CGI use, especially with the flood scene, but there’s also some parts that were a little iffy.  The talking rocks juts didn’t look right, or talk right.  I found them very similar to characters you’d see in a Transformers film, something I’d try and avoid at all costs.

naameh-jennifer-connelly-comforts-noah-russell-crowe-in-a-scene-from-noahI went into this film hoping to learn a lot about the Noah story, but it felt like they concentrated more on the visuals than telling the story.  For some, the ‘fight’ scene will be a huge thrill, but I have zero interest in watching giant rocks fight people.  It’s also a little long, which can be a huge turnoff for something that’s not fantastic.

NOAH: 6.5/10

Review: The Immigrant (2014) – James Gray

the-immigrant-posterTHE IMMIGRANT: Directed by James Gray

Ewa (Marion Cotillard), an immigrant from Poland, is on her way to the United States with her younger sister.  When her sister is held back because she’s ill, Ewa must do whatever she can to make enough money to get her sister into the country.  She meets a man named Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix), a complicated and dangerous man who uses her to his advantage.

– It’s been a long time since I saw Two Lovers, which is James Gray’s previous film before The Immigrant.  I remember liking it, and with a strong cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner, The Immigrant was something that I was excited for.

– I believe this is the fourth time that director James Gray and Joaquin Phoenix have made a film together (The Yards, We Own the Night, Two Lovers, The Immigrant).

– The film is set in 1920’s Manhattan, following the life of one immigrant, Ewa.  Even though the film is set in a time period such a long time ago, the film is very relevant and relatable today.  Everyday, everybody in the world is trying to accomplish something to give themselves a better life, chasing after the ‘American Dream.’  Ewa deals with a lifestyle that nobody deserves, but she does what she needs to do to make the money to get her sister a better life.

– Cotillard really carries the film.  She makes you feel for her character, which was so important in making this film a success.  Watching the pain and suffering Ewa goes through is really eye opening, and Cotillard’s delivery of her characters sadness, yet ‘never give up attitude’ was expressed perfectly.

– Ewa is completely damaged, having to resort to prostitution in a brand new country, without her sister, and working for a sick and dangerous man.  Aside from all of the negatives, Ewa has so much strength and willpower that can really capture the attention of an audience, which is the main reason why I think this film will be embraced by a wide range of people.

– In a way, Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix) is also after his own form of the ‘American Dream.’  Although what he does is not right, he’s just doing what he needs to do to make a living.  His character is very complex.  He clearly has strong feelings for Ewa, but he has no idea how to live a normal kind of lifestyle.

Critique-the-immigrant-une2

There aren’t many reviews of The Immigrant out there right now, and it will be interesting to see what the majority thinks when it does.  It’s fairly slow with little to no action, but it never felt like the run time was going by slowly.  With some solid performances from the leads and a story that anybody can relate to, The Immigrant is a film that should appeal to anybody that’s just trying to make a better life for themselves.

THE IMMIGRANT: 7.5/10

Film News I Care About: First Trailer For David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’!

Gone Girl is one of my most anticipated films of the year, so it’s very exciting to get a first look at it.  I recently finished reading all of Gillian Flynn’s novels, and especially with Gone Girl, I think it has the potential to be adapted into a terrific film.  Of course, having David Fincher as the director will help quite a bit.

gone-girl-poster

After three great films directed by Ben Affleck and an Oscar win for a film he both directed and starred in, it’s nice to see him in the lead role of another film that should get lots of award consideration.

I read that Gillian Flynn wrote a new ending for the film, so you if decide to read the novel before seeing the film, you won’t know the entire story.

Gone Girl comes out on October 3, 2014.  I can’t wait!

Enjoy the trailer!

Film News I Care About: First Trailer For ‘The Drop’, Starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini

I’ve been waiting for this for so long.  The only pieces of information you need:

Dennis Lehane, who wrote the novels Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island wrote the screenplay for The Drop, which is based on one of his short stories.  All three of those were adapted into great films, so hopefully this one will as well.

Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini play cousins.  Matthias Schoenaerts has a role as well.  Amazing!

The film is set to release September 19.  I wonder if this will be at TIFF?

Film News I Care About: New Harry Potter Trilogy Spinoff Coming

jk-rowlings-revealed-writer-cuckoos-calling-penned-under-pseudonym-robert-galbraith

Just when you thought that eight films was enough and the Harry Potter franchise was behind us, it’s been announced that there is going to be a trilogy based on the spinoff novel, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

I was a big Harry Potter fan.  The books and the films.  The book, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” never really caught my attention though, and I never ended up reading it.  I can’t believe they’re going to make three films out of this, but I guess they want to make as much money as possible of what Harry Potter magic they have left.  After all, the book was only 54 pages.

The first film takes place around 7 years before the start of “Harry Potter”, but it’s not necessarily a prequel.  Just a story that has to do with the same world everything else took place in.

ay_80728951

I don’t know how three films are going to be made off a 54 page book, but I guess they need to make as much money as possible.  Once again, the rich get richer.  The fact that J.K. Rowling is still making money off this franchise is unbelievable…good for her.  I also like that she’s not just sitting around doing nothing, as she’s written some decent novels that have nothing to do with Harry Potter.