Film Friday: This Week's Movie News and New Trailers

  • Publish Date: September 16, 2011
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A first look at Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo

It has been six years since Elizabethtown 45 underwhelmed critics and fans and ten years since Vanilla Sky 45, but Cameron Crowe is back with two films this year. His documentary, Pearl Jam Twenty, will open September 20 in theaters and then premiere on PBS October 21, but it’s We Bought a Zoo that many hope will showcase the skill Crowe exhibited in creating 2000’s Almost Famous 90. Adapted from Benjamin Mee’s memoir of the same name, Zoo tells the story of a widowed father who moves his family to the countryside after purchasing a rundown zoo. Matt Damon stars along with Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, John Michael Higgins, and J.B. Smoove. While the trailer begins with pieces of Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More," it fittingly ends with a bit of Sigur Rós, since that band's Jónsi will be supplying the film’s soundtrack. We Bought a Zoo comes to theaters December 23.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1: Trailer 1

It’s almost here, Twilight fans: marriage, human/vampire sex, and a baby. In this fourth Twilight film, Bill Condon (Dreamgirls 76) takes over directing duties from David Slade, but the cast returns intact with the love triangle of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner leading the way. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 hits theaters November 18, and then it’s only a year minus two days before Part 2 completes the story.

Another funny parody trailer for The Muppets

The team behind the Muppet parody trailers deserve a raise. After having a little fun earlier this year with The Hangover’s “Wolf Pack” and the Green Lantern, they return this week with an homage to David Fincher’s trailer for the “Feel Bad Movie of Christmas," The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Enjoy the trailer (and the poster) and hope that the film is just as clever and funny. The Muppets, starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, and many more, opens November 23.

Django Unchained: A net gain

This week, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained subtracted Kevin Costner from its cast, but added Gerald McRaney. News of Costner’s departure due to scheduling conflicts was delivered via a tweet from Variety staffer Justin Kroll. Costner was in talks to play the right hand man to Leonardo DiCaprio’s villain, Calvin Candie. Variety reports that McRaney, who played the intimidating George Hearst on Deadwood, is in talks, but it’s The Playlist that guesses at his possible role, that of slave owner Spencer “Big Daddy” Bennett, whom Jamie Foxx’s Django must confront on his quest to free his wife. Django Unchained is set for a December 25, 2012 release.

The trailer for Premium Rush has been delivered

In this new take on the ticking-time thriller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a Manhattan bike messenger assigned to deliver an envelope that a dirty cop, played by Michael Shannon (the future General Zod), would prefer doesn’t reach its destination. David Koepp directs from a script he co-wrote with his Ghost Town 72 partner, John Kamps. The supporting cast includes Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez, and Aasif Mandvi. Premium Rush hits theaters January 13.

The intense red band trailer for The Raid

Another adrenaline-fueled trailer of the much more violent sort (trust me, much more) premiered this week for Indonesian action film The Raid. The film’s tagline tells you all you need to know: “1 Ruthless Crime Lord, 20 Elite Cops, 30 Floors of Hell." Written and directed by Gareth Evans, the film features the silat fighting style in the form of star Iko Uwais. Reviews have been solid since its screening in Toronto, with FirstShowing calling it “one of the best action films in years” and Variety claiming “moviegoers may wish the projectionist could replay some of the spectacular sequences in this incredible and incredibly violent cop-vs.-gangster fight-athon.” Plans are for Sony to release the film in 2012. Until then...

An international trailer for a hockey Goon

Seann William Scott stars as an enforcer on a semi-pro hockey team in this film based on the true story of Doug Smith who, along with Adam Frattasio, wrote the book Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey. Actor Jay Baruchel (Undeclared) makes his feature screenwriting debut with Evan Goldberg (Seth Rogen’s writing partner on Superbad 76, Pineapple Express 64, The Green Hornet 39). Along with Scott, the film stars Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, Kim Coates, and Alison Pill. Michael Dowse (Take Me Home Tonight 42) directs. Goon was purchased in Toronto by Magnet, so expect to see it in theaters in 2012.

Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage

From 1993 to 2003, Takeshi Kitano (aka Beat Takeshi) made Sonatine, Fireworks, and The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi 75, among other films, but after that he turned inward to examine himself in odd films like Takeshis’, leaving his fan base yearning for a return to that ten-year peak. Outrage premiered at Cannes 2010 to solid but not spectacular reviews, but it was a welcome return to the violent, deadpan flicks of his past. The film will finally get a US release on December 2, and a sequel is already in production.

13 trailer

Writer/director Géla Babluani gathered an eclectic cast for the American remake of his award-winning 2005 film, 13 Tzameti 61. In the new version, Sam Riley plays the titular 13, who assumes the identity of a dead man only to find himself in a high-stakes game of Russian roulette. The film also stars Jason Statham, Ray Winstone, Alexander Skarsgard (featured more prominently in this trailer than the previous), Mickey Rourke, Michael Shannon, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and 50 Cent. The film has been on the shelf for over a year, so don’t expect a Metascore all that much higher than the film's title when 13 gets a limited release October 28.

Red Lights teaser

There’s not much to this teaser for Red Lights (unless one enjoys seeing Robert De Niro turn around). Writer/director Rodrigo Cortés follows his 2010 thriller Buried 65 with the story of a psychologist, played by Sigourney Weaver, whose study of paranormal activity leads her to investigate a famous psychic played by De Niro. The cast also includes Elizabeth Olsen as Weaver’s assistant, Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones, and Joely Richardson. Expect it in theaters in 2012.

Check out John Madden's next: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Based on Deborah Moggach’s novel These Foolish Things, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tells the story of a group of British retirees who decide to spend their remaining years in Bangalore, India. John Madden, who currently has the very different The Debt 65 in theaters, directs a cast that includes Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, and Dev Patel. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes to theaters March 9, 2012.

Better late than never: Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut

Continuing the retiree theme, THR reports that Dustin Hoffman recently began shooting his directorial debut. The film is based on the Ronald Harwood play, Quartet, and tells the story of the residents of a home for retired opera singers. Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, they give a concert to raise funds for their home, but this year, a new singer disrupts the group, sparking old rivalries. The film stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, and Michael Gambon.

Quick notes: Rumors, release dates, casting news and more

  • I feel the need, the need for 3D. That’s right, Top Gun is coming to theaters in 3D in 2012. Cue the Kenny Loggins. - THR
  • The Farrelly brothers’ The Three Stooges starring Sean Hayes as Larry, Will Sasso as Curly, and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, will be released April 4, 2012.
  • David Chase, the man behind The Sopranos, will have his feature writing and directing debut come to theaters October 19, 2012. The still-untitled film is a rock-n-roll coming of age story set in New Jersey.
  • Vanessa Hudgens will star opposite Nicolas Cage and John Cusack in Frozen Ground, the story of Alaska’s most notorious serial killer, Robert Hansen. Hudgens will play the one victim that survived. - Deadline
  • Men in Black III will be released May 25, 2012 in IMAX 3D - THR
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone will eventually adapt The Book of Mormon to film; just don’t hold your breath, as it could be several years away. - EW
  • How dare they remake Point Break. - Deadline
  • Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and Mike Epps will star in a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle, which was loosely based on the story of The Supremes. - THR
  • Hugh Grant has joined the cast of Cloud Atlas, Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis' adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel. - Screen Daily
  • Dave Franco, Analeigh Tipton (Crazy Stupid Love), and Cory Hardrict (Battle Los Angeles) will join leads Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer in Jonathan Levine’s adaptation of the human/zombie love story Warm Bodies. - Variety
  • Ashley Greene will star in a new modern take on the story of Oliver Twist called Oliver Twisted. - Variety
  • Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep continues to build an impressive cast. This week, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper joined Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, and Brit Marling. - Screen Daily
  • Submarine director Richard Ayoade, who also starred on The IT Crowd, will play the role of Jamarcus opposite Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch. Will Forte has also joined the cast. - Variety & THR
  • J.J. Abrams is confirmed as the director of Star Trek 2. - Vulture
  • Isla Fisher is in talks to replace Amanda Seyfried in Louis Leterrier’s magicians-pull-off-a-heist film, Now You See Me. - Variety
  • Who ya gonna call? This October call Ghostbusters, because it’s heading back to the big screen. - Facebook
  • Snoop Dogg will star as blues singer, guitarist, and pimp Fillmore Slim in the biopic The Legend of Fillmore Slim. - Deadline
  • Who will replace George Clooney in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.? - The Wrap
  • Listen to director Nicolas Winding Refn comment on a scene from Drive before you see the film this weekend. - /Film & NY Times
  • Are these the 100 best comedies of all time? - Time Out London

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