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July 15th, 2011

I recently sat down with Crispin Glover to talk about his one-man vaudevillian show, his many books and illustrations, the current two entries in his self-financed IT trilogy (which he also partly wrote, directed, edited, and starred in), and his eclectic, genre bending filmography that spans almost 60 films.

Well, I should clarify...I know for certain that I was sitting when I typed the questions and sent them to him using this quaint little invention known as email...and I can only assume that he too was sitting when he typed his answers and sent them back to me (coincidentally also using email).

Being that this is the second time I have interviewed the renaissance man, I am without a doubt that he is one of the nicest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of conversing with. For proof of this, attend Crispin Hellion Glover's Big Slide Show (which you can absolutely do tonight or tomorrow night if you are in the DFW area). I am also equally certain that he is in fact a genius. For proof of this, get absorbed in the following interview (something you will definitely want to do if you are interested at all in the independent, self-financing of films). (more...)

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July 15th, 2011

David Mackenzie started his 2011 with some festival buzz for one talent-packed film (that would be the Ewan McGregor and Eva Green-starring PERFECT SENSE that bowed at Sundance), but it was Mackenzie's other festival flick that caught my attention. That other film was YOU INSTEAD, a rough-and-tumble indie-feeling flick that premiered at this year's SXSW Film Festival. I ended up in a randomly timed and sparsely attended screening, so imagine my surprise when I fell totally in love with YOU INSTEAD.

The film takes place at Scotland's giant T in the Park music festival, and Mackenzie filmed it on location last summer. The film stars Luke Treadaway (who you may recognize from another SXSW film, ATTACK THE BLOCK) and Natalia Tena (Tonks from the HARRY POTTER films). The two play members of two different bands who hate each other on sight - so it's unfortunate when they're handcuffed together for a wild night at the festival. Back in March, I finished my SXSW review of the film by explaining, "While YOU INSTEAD does not necessarily surprise in terms of plot, it does surprise when it comes to just how delightful, joyous, and charming it is." The first trailer for the film captures a bit of that essence, and I genuinely cannot wait to see this film again.

After the break, check out the UK trailer for YOU INSTEAD, along with the first poster. (more...)

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July 15th, 2011

As I type away at my keyboard trying to file this story, this writer is still very much basking in the beautifully brooding glory that was David Yates’ capper to this generation’s franchise, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART II.

Easily my favorite film of the franchise, Yates is arguably the main reason why. Sure, the cast is one of the best collections of talent that we’ve seen in the past, say, decade, but Yates gave each frame of his POTTER films a deep sense of emotion and, as mentioned above brood, making it a wonderfully dark bit of cinema.  And now, he’s being rewarded. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

Editor's note: This review was originally published as a Sundance Film Festival review on January 28, 2011.

Writers: Douglas Stone (screenplay), George Ratliff (screenplay), Larry Beinhart (novel)
Director: George Ratliff
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Marisa Tomei, Ed Harris

The world of over-the-top evangelism is brought to a new frenetic high as we watch egotistical Pastor Dan Day (Pierce Bronson) use his church as a potential business opportunity rather than a place of worship. Followers such as Gwen (Jennifer Connelly) and Carl (Greg Kinnear) are clearly drawn in by Pastor Dan’s undeniable charisma, while Gwen’s father Billy (Howard Hesseman) is more interested in getting on the ground level of the church’s expanding business model.

This mix of over-exaggerated spiritualism alongside capitalism creates a church that is selling more than saving. Pastor Dan has no problem taking on disbelievers and willingly debates local professor Dr. Paul Blaylock (Ed Harris) with unfortunately tragic results. A witness to this event, recently “saved” ex-Deadhead Carl’s faith is rocked and he reacts with rational thinking to the situation whereas Pastor Dan turns to his version of God to validate his actions. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

Editor's note: This review was originally published as a SXSW Film Festival review on March 20, 2011.

Director: Errol Morris

In 1977, former Miss Wyoming World Joyce McKinney travelled to England where the man with whom she was in love, Kirk Anderson, was engaged in Mormon missionary work. The pair ended up in a small cottage, Kirk chained to a bed, and having sex. Depending on who you ask, the trip was either consensual or a kidnapping. In Errol Morris' (GATES OF HEAVEN, THE THIN BLUE LINE) new film, the life of Joyce McKinney and the "Mormon sex in chains case" is explored and used as a jumping ground to make a powerful statement about our tabloid obsessed culture.

Joyce McKinney appears in TABLOID to recount her own story. The way she tells it, she went to England to save Kirk, who she says was being brainwashed by the Mormon church. The details she provides indicate that Kirk went with her to the cottage by his own volition but was later made to recant his story when church leaders were able to talk to him once again. The plot thickens when, after being arrested, McKinney and her alleged co-conspirtor Keith May, fled the country in comical disguises. Through additional interviews with McKinney and her cohorts, the enigma of Joyce McKinney becomes increasingly complex, with her kidnapping story being only the very beginning. In typical Morris fashion, the filmmaker has gathered a comprehensive set of photographs and videos to punctuate interviews that he once again manages to make leaps and bounds better than talking head footage in almost any other documentary. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

WINNIE THE POOH

Editor's note: This review was originally published as a Los Angeles Film Festival review on June 27, 2011.

Writers: Stephen J. Anderson (story), Clio Chiang (story), Don Dougherty (story), Don Hall (story), Brian Kesinger (story), Nicole Mitchell (story), Jeremy Spears (story), A.A. Milne ("Winnie the Pooh" works), Ernest Shepard ("Winnie the Pooh" works), Paul Briggs (additional story material), Chris Ure (additional story material)
Directors: Stephen J. AndersonDon Hall
Cast: Jim Cummings,  John CleeseJack BoulterBud LuckeyTravis OatesCraig FergusonTom KennyKristen Anderson-Lopez

Everyone has a toy, cartoon, or comic book from their childhood that still brings a smile to their face, even years later. WINNIE THE POOH is a story many of us grew up with and one that still holds a special place in our hearts. With a theater full of adults looking to revisit their old friends, along with children watching a movie in the theater for the first time, the air was full of anticipation as we waited to visit the Hundred Acre Wood.

The film opens with the camera panning over Christopher Robin’s (Jack Boulter) real-life bedroom, pausing on the toys and objects that have been noted throughout the “Winnie the Pooh,” series from the red balloon to his collection of books. These layered details worked to not only inspire nostalgia in those familiar with the world of WINNIE THE POOH, but to also create that magical world for those experiencing it for the first time. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

We’ve teamed up with MSN FilmFan to discuss the films opening this weekend. We’d love to hear your input on what you’re most interested in seeing and why.

In this week's MSN FilmFan video, Sami Jarroush discusses the current biggest film franchise coming to an end, HARRY POTTER, and the first WINNIE THE POOH feature to hit theaters in over five years.

I've seen HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 and I must admit I felt somewhat underwhelmed. This being the last film in the franchise, every crucial scene should feel like an eyegasm. My opinion should be taken lightly, as I have not read the novels. You can read Kate's review, where she discusses some of the flaws in the film - she's most definitely read the books.

I haven't seen WINNIE THE POOH (GATW's Allison did) but I'm a bit turned off by Jarroush's discussion of the easily unrecognizable voices from some of our beloved characters.

DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2 is now playing in theaters and WINNIE THE POOH opens tomorrow.

Watch the video after the break. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

In THE PERFECT AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL, Peter Fonda plays August West, roadie driver and band manager to the aspiring young rock 'n' rollers, Spyder, Eric, and Rose (Kevin Zegers, Jason Ritter, and Taryn Manning, respectively) on their journey through self-discovery on Route 66.

SenArt Films and Entertainment One has sent us an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette with Peter Fonda talking about the three young stars who lead the film and the how the feel of shooting was just like being *on the road. THE PERFECT AGE OF ROCK 'N' ROLL blares into theaters and On Demand, August 5th. Check out the featurette after the break. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

A trailer for Scorsese's fantasy arrives

Not too long after a teaser poster for Martin Scorsese’s fantasy HUGO hit earlier this week, we have a trailer for the film that you can check out at Apple.

Like most every other trailer out there, the 30 Seconds to Mars track “Kings and Queens” is played in the background. However, it sets itself apart from those other trailers with wondrous imagery and an engaging story.

To say that the film will be fantastical seems to be a drastic understatement based on what we see here. Scorsese takes an absolutely gorgeous world of fantasy and brings it to life. The fact that he was so keen on making it a 3D feature left tons of room for worry, but HUGO actually looks like one of those rare films that might be enhanced by 3D technology. (more...)

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July 14th, 2011

The actor will star in GANGSTER SQUAD

Coming off of the acclaimed FX drama Lights Out, Holt McCallany is working on the Walter Hill film HEADSHOT with Sylvester Stallone, but he's also been grabbed for another project.

According to Deadline Hollywood, McCallany will star in Ruben Fleischer’s GANGSTER SQUAD, playing Mickey Cohen’s primary enforcer and bodyguard; Sean Penn is set to play Cohen, while Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Anthony Mackie, among others, are on board for other roles in the feature. (more...)

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