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

  • Publish Date: September 28, 2012
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Will there be awards for Promised Land?

Co-written by co-stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, Promised Land tells the story of a corporate salesman (Damon) and his partner (Frances McDormand) who come to a small town to acquire gas drilling rights to several properties, only to find resistance from a local teacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a campaign led by a former farmer played by Krasinski. Damon was originally slated to direct the film as well, but he decided to hand the reigns over to his Good Will Hunting 70 and Gerry 54 director, Gus Van Sant. The film, recently moved to an awards season release date of December 28th, also stars Rosemarie DeWitt as a teacher who comes between Damon and Krasinski.

A first look at Stoker

It looks like Oldboy 74, Lady Vengeance 75, and Thirst 73 director Park Chan-wook will continue his investigation of dark themes with his first English-language film, Stoker. Working from a script by Wentworth Miller, the director tells the story of India (Mia Wasikowska) whose father dies in an automobile accident bringing her estranged uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) back to the family to exert his will over her mentally unstable mother (Nicole Kidman). Little is given away in this first trailer, but it exhibits the director’s distinct eye for creating creepy images. Check it out in theaters beginning March 1, 2013.

The first trailer for Identity Thief

This new comedy from Seth Gordon re-teams him with his Horrible Bosses 57 star Jason Bateman to tell the story of the troubles one man gets into when he tries to reclaim his identity from the woman who stole it. (Since that woman is played by Melissa McCarthy, expect many, many troubles.) Supporting players include Jon Favreau, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Genesis Rodriquez, Robert Patrick and Eric Stonestreet. Identity Thief hits theaters February 8, 2013.

A new international trailer for Life of Pi

Adapting Yann Martel’s best-selling, Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi, has proven difficult, but Ang Lee looks to have been a good choice to tackle the story of a shipwrecked Indian boy named Pi who is stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Newcomer Suraj Sharma plays Pi in what hopefully will be a return to form for Lee after the disappointing Taking Woodstock 55. This new trailer gives a little time to the framing story featuring Rafe Spall and Irrfan Khan, and a lot of time to music by Coldplay. Life of Pi comes to 2D and 3D theaters on November 21st.

Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel books two more guests

Bill Murray revealed to Vulture this week that he will have a role in Wes Anderson’s new film The Grand Budapest Hotel. This will be the seventh collaboration between the actor and director (though Murray’s role in The Darjeeling Limited 67 was just a cameo). He joins a cast that already includes Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and Angela Lansbury. Lansbury’s participation was revealed in an interview with the U.K. magazine The Gentle Woman (via The Film Stage) in which she said, “I’m playing a woman of mystery, it’s a minuscule role. I’m on the screen probably for less than 5 minutes.” Surely an enjoyable five minutes none the less.

The details on The Details

Elizabeth Banks and Tobey Maguire play a married couple in this dark comedy about infidelity from writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes (Mean Creek 74). The film originally premiered at Sundance back in 2011, and The Weinstein Company will finally give it a limited release on November 2nd. The strong supporting cast includes Laura Linney, Kerry Washington, Ray Liotta, and Dennis Haysbert.

Heckerling and Silverstone reunite for Vamps

It’s rarely a good sign when a film comes to DVD just 11 days after it starts its limited theatrical run, but that is what’s happening with Amy Heckerling’s latest comedy. The director, who guided Fast Times at Ridgemont High 67 and Clueless 68, has lost her touch recently, and the trailer for Vamps, while not without its charms, doesn’t make it look like she’s back on track. In the film, Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter play un-dead party girls enjoying life in the big city until Ritter falls for Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), whose father happens to be a vampire hunter played by Wallace Shawn. Comedic turns by Malcolm McDowell, Sigourney Weaver, Justin Kirk, and Richard Lewis could make for a good time when the film comes to theaters November 2nd and DVD and Blu-ray November 13th.

Who will play Girls Like Us?

Variety reports that Sony’s adaptation of Shelia Weller’s book Girls Like Us is gaining the attention of many young actresses. The book traces the impact of singers Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon on the 60’s folk scene and generations of female musicians. Taylor Swift is already slotted to play Joni Mitchell, and director Katie Jacobs, making her feature debut with a script by John Sayles, will have plenty of other women to choose from for the roles of King and Simon. Allison Williams (Girls), Jessica Pare (Mad Men) and Analeigh Tipton (Crazy, Stupid, Love) are all in the running to play Carly Simon, and Alison Pill (Goon), Olivia Thirlby (Dredd 3D), Ari Graynor (For a Good Time, Call) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) are up for the role of Carole King. Who would you choose to round out the cast?

Not 1, not 2, not 3, but Paranormal Activity 4

Catfish 65 directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman return for their second Paranormal Activity film following the success of 2011’s Paranormal Activity 3 59. Plot details are currently limited, but it looks like the film picks up in 2011 after Paranormal Activity 2 53 (rather than the third film’s prequel storyline) and follows Alice, played by Kathryn Newton. The found-footage franchise begun by Oren Peli in 2007 with Paranormal Activity 68 had it’s biggest money-maker with the third film, so if number four does well. expect a fifth. Early reviews tended toward the negative at a recent workprint screening at Fantastic Fest, but perhaps the filmmakers will "find" some better footage before it hits theaters October 19th.

Is The Comedy funny?

Rick Alverson’s The Comedy divided critics when it premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where THR summed it up as, “Either remarkably sustained or unrelenting, depending on your point of view.” The film stars Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric Awesome Show fame and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. Heidecker plays an aging Brooklyn hipster who pushes the boundaries of acceptable behavior to the limit as he is about to inherent his father’s estate. The Comedy, like other work from Tim and Eric, will probably alienate plenty of people, but for some, it could be a hidden gem. Look for it on VOD October 24th and in limited release beginning November 9th.

A first look at Parker Posey in Price Check

Parker Posey has been stealing scenes as a guest on TV shows like Louie and New Girl lately, and she looks to be doing the same thing in this independent comedy from writer/director Michael Walker. The film follows Pete (Eric Mabius), a happily married man with rising debt and a job he hates, whose life gets thrown into a blender when Posey becomes his boss and pushes him to perform. Price Check arrives on VOD October 11th and in limited release starting November 16th.

Nicolas Cage, defender of the 1st Amendment

Richard Kelly’s directing career began with 2001’s Donnie Darko 71, a film that even got a theatrical re-release in 2004 in the the form of Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut 88. His next two directorial efforts, Southland Tales 44 and The Box 47, split critics and audiences, but Variety reports that Kelly will write and direct a film based on an incredible true story that could win back fans he might have lost. Spanning 25 years, Amicus looks at the murders committed by Lawrence Horn, a Motown Records exec who hired a hit man, James Perry, to murder his wife, quadriplegic son, and his son’s nurse to get the $2 million trust his son acquired by winning a malpractice suit after becoming paralyzed. During the murder investigation, detectives discovered that Perry used a book, Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors, to plan the murders, and as a result the families of the victims brought a class-action lawsuit against the publisher of the book. This is where Nicolas Cage’s character comes into the story. He’ll play Rodney Smolla, an attorney and First Amendment scholar who consulted on the case. Kelly will use Smolla’s book, Deliberate Intent: A Lawyer Tells the True Story of Murder by the Book, as a source as well. This film takes the place of Kelly’s other upcoming project, Corpus Christie, which remains in development. Filming for Amicus is slated to begin in January in Atlanta.

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

  • The new James Bond film, Skyfall, will be released one day early (November 8th) on IMAX screens.
  • Len Wiseman, who recently remade Total Recall, has been tapped to direct Universal’s update of The Mummy franchise. - Deadline
  • Anne Hathaway and Ben Wishaw could join Chris Hemsworth in Steven Spielberg’s Robopocalypse. The film will begin shooting in early 2013 for an April 25, 2014 release. - THR & Variety
  • Tom Hardy is in talks to play mountain climber George Mallory in Doug Liman’s adaptation of Jeffrey Archer’s book Paths Of Glory, Everest. The script comes from the pen of Sheldon Turner (Up In The Air). - Deadline
  • James Gandolfini and Steve Carell are developing a comedy about a pair of paleontologists in the late 1800s called The Bone Men. - Showbiz 411
  • Matt Bomer, Eva Marie Saint, and Lucy Griffiths have joined Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Will Smith, Russell Crowe, and William Hurt in Akiva Goldsman’s adaptation of Mark Helprin’s novel, A Winter’s Tale. - Deadline
  • Rachel Lefevre (Twilight) will play Channing Tatum’s ex-wife in White House Down and a school psychologist in the Jason Statham-starring Homefront. - THR
  • Gina Carano (Haywire) is attached to star in a female version of The Expendables. - Variety
  • Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland, the upcoming Gangster Squad) will direct Spy Hunter, based on the original 1983 video game. There's no word yet on who will play the oil slick. - Vulture
  • Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) is looking to bring Tom Hardy’s classic novel, Far From the Madding Crowd, to the screen once more. Carey Mulligan is wanted to play Bathsheba. - The Wrap
  • Barry Sonnenfeld is in talks to direct Dwayne Johnson in an adaptation of the graphic novel Lore. - Deadline
  • With director Rupert Wyatt leaving Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the search is on to find his replacement, and the names at the top of the list are Matt Reeves (Let Me In), Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later), Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), and Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter). - Deadline
  • Justin Timberlake is looking to play a functioning alcoholic in The Last Drop, a drama with Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) attached to direct. - Variety
  • Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank are attached to star in The Homesman, Tommy Lee Jones' next directorial effort. - The Wrap
  • The Master thanks its fans with an extended (and NSFW) trailer.

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