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

  • Publish Date: September 21, 2012
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The latest trailer for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Peter Jackson’s first of what will now be three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is subtitled An Unexpected Journey, and that roughly defines Jackson’s involvement with the Tolkien series during which he has changed the idea of the blockbuster franchise (shooting multiple films at once) and pushed technology to advance so he could get the results he wanted on screen. The story of Bilbo Baggins was originally set to be directed by Guillermo del Toro, but once he left Jackson stepped in to complete what will be a total of six films set in Middle Earth, the previous of which, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 94 won the Oscar for best picture. Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Richard Armitage’s Thorin Oakenshield are at the center of the new story, with returning players Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. There has been some controversy about Jackson’s decision to shoot in 48 FPS 3D (especially the look of it), but the film will be projected in multiple formats, so audiences can find the version they want to see beginning December 14th. Until then, enjoy the new trailer and the alternate endings which appeared on the official website.

A first look at Beautiful Creatures

Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You 39, Freedom Writers 64) writes and directs this adaptation of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s best-selling young adult novel Beautiful Creatures, the first in the Caster Chronicles series. Set in South Carolina, the story revolves around Lena (Alice Englert) whose 16th birthday marks the day when her magical powers are claimed by either the Light or the Dark. Having just moved to a new town, she catches the eye of Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) who is determined to save her from becoming evil. Emmy Rossum plays Ridley, Lena’s cousin who wants her to join the dark side. The supporting cast includes Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, and Viola Davis. Beautiful Creatures comes to theaters February 13, 2013.

A Gambit from the pens of the Coen brothers

Joel and Ethan Coen wrote (but did not direct) this remake of the 1966 film originally starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine about a thief who enlists the help of a dancer to pull off the perfect heist. Caine’s thief character is now an art curator played by Colin Firth, and MacLaine’s dancer is now a rodeo queen played by Cameron Diaz. They are out to swindle Alan Rickman, as Lionel Shabanar, England’s richest man. Michael Hoffman (The Last Station 76) directs, and Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman have supporting roles. Gambit open in the U.K. on November 21st and in the U.S. sometime in 2013.

42: Jackie Robinson's life, the baseball universe, and everything

The life of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, is an inspiring story that could make for great cinema. Chadwick Boseman, in his first feature-leading performance, plays Robinson, with the veteran support of Harrison Ford as Dodgers exec Branch Rickey, John C. McGinley as announcer Red Barber, Christopher Meloni as skipper Leo Durocher, and Nicole Beharie as Robinson's wife. 42 is written and directed by Brian Helgeland (The Order 21, A Knight’s Tale 54) and will hit theaters April 12, 2013.

Nature Calls, but you might not want to answer

There’s plenty of screaming and cursing in this red-band trailer for Nature Calls, a comedy about two brothers, Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville, whose rivalry escalates after Oswalt takes Knoxville’s son on a camping trip. Rob Riggle and Patrice O’Neal supply their own anarchic humor to the mix, and Darrell Hammond and Maura Tierney show up in supporting roles. Writer/director Todd Rohal, whose The Catechism Cataclysm 47 has some fans, has not been getting good reviews for his latest work. See it on VOD starting October 4th or in theaters November 9th.

Not-so-great expectations for this trailer

A minor disappointment from the fall film festival circuit was the reception of Mike Newell’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. With a classic story and a strong cast that includes Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, and Jeremy Irvine as Pip along with Holliday Grainger, Sally Hawkins, Jason Flemyng, and Robbie Coltrane, many thought the film would be a success, but it seems to have been undone by being too conventional a telling. The film opens in the U.K. on November 30th but doesn’t have a U.S. release date as of yet.

The Collection

This sequel to 2009‘s The Collector 29 continues the story of a serial killer whose booby traps are intended to kill in gruesome and creative ways. The action begins at a warehouse party where Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick) is taken captive. Arkin, played by Josh Stewart, is one of the few to survive the collector’s menace, so Elena’s rich father (Christopher McDonald) hires Arkin and a group of mercenaries to find his daughter in the killer’s lair. Marcus Dunstan returns as director and co-writes with Patrick Melton. These two also wrote Saw IV-VI and Feast I-III, so they know what to give horror fans. Prepare to be scared beginning November 30th.

A Sinister new trailer

After directing the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still 40, Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose 46) returns to the horror/thriller genre he made his name in with Sinister. The film stars Ethan Hawke as a crime novelist who stumbles upon a very creepy story about the family who used to live in the house his family now occupies. Vincent D’Onofrio plays a professor with knowledge of the supernatural, and Fred Thompson plays the town sheriff. Sinister will begin freaking people out on October 12th.

Featurettes for three upcoming releases

Coming off great buzz from its premiere at TIFF, Rian Johnson’s Looper looks to be a surprise breakout at the box office this fall. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as the same man, a looper, ... well, let the featurette explain it all, and go see it next weekend when it hits theaters.

Skyfall, the latest James Bond film to star Daniel Craig, comes to theaters November 9th. Sam Mendes directs a cast that includes Javier Bardem, but also two “Bond Girls” played by Naomi Harris and Bérénice Marlohe. Take a look at the new, modern take on this iconic movie role in the latest peek behind the scenes.

Tom Hooper follows-up his best picture winner The King’s Speech 88 with this ambitious big-screen musical adaptation of Les Misérables. Check out the featurette below for a look at the unique methods used to capture the performances of stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Samantha Barks, and Eddie Redmayne. Les Misérables now comes to theaters December 25th (over a week after its previously announced date).

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

  • Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire, will come to theaters May 10, 2013.
  • Pain and Gain, Michael Bay’s first non-Transformers movie in awhile, will hit theaters April 26, 2013. What’s it about? Check out the first poster.
  • Hitchcock, from Anvil: The Story of Anvil director Sacha Gervasi, will be get a limited release beginning November 23 with a goal of generating Oscar buzz for Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of director Alfred Hitchcock. How does he look?
  • The first set photos of the new Robocop hit the web this week. This has caused some fans to give up on the movie already.
  • Melissa McCarthy will have a cameo in The Hangover Part III. - Variety
  • Underrated '80s movie The Flamingo Kid is getting a Brett Ratner-produced remake. - Deadline
  • Bill Paxton is in talks to join Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Doug Liman’s adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need Is Kill - Variety
  • Jenny Slate, former SNL star and creator of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, will write a new hybrid live-action/CG Looney Tunes movie. - THR
  • Melissa Leo will star alongside Hugh Jackman in Prisoners for director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies). - Variety
  • Roman Polanski’s next film will be a French adaptation of the play Venus in Fur starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Louis Garrel. - Coming Soon
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman will make Ezekiel Moss his second directorial effort. The story concerns a young boy in small town Nebraska who befriends a drifter with the ability to talk to the dead. - Variety
  • Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy, the upcoming Stoker) is attached to direct Corsica 72, a Corsica-set period drama about a love triangle that forms between two best friends, one an average working man and the other a gangster, and their mutual love interest. - Variety
  • Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones) is set to direct a remake of the Icelandic crime drama Jar City. - 24 Frames
  • In Race to the South Pole, Casey Affleck will star as explorer Robert Falcon Scott in the true story of the race to be the first man to reach that remote part of the world. The early 1900s-set drama will be produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. - THR
  • Kate Bosworth has joined Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, and Frank Grillo in Homefront, the Sylvester Stallone-penned story about an ex-DEA agent and his feud with the meth dealer that disturbs his peaceful retirement. Gary Fleder will direct. - Heat Vision
  • Allen Hughes, the half of the sibling filmmaker duo that recently completed Broken City (not the one whose Motor City just got shut down), is attached to direct a remake of A Bittersweet Life, a revenge tale originally directed by Jee-woon Kim (I Saw the Devil). - Deadline
  • Jorma Taccone (MacGruber) will direct Spy Guys, a comedy about a CIA operative who, while attending a friend’s wedding in Europe, is framed for a crime and must reveal his identity to his buddies to enlist their help. - Heat Vision

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