Opening this weekend
New trailers and updates for upcoming films
The Cobbler: Not quite movie magic
When the first reviews came in for The Cobbler, some movie fans wondered if it could be as bad as critics were saying. Yes, Adam Sandler is the star—never a good sign—but director Thomas McCarthy is following a string of well-received films, including Win Win, The Visitor, and The Station Agent. Well, by the looks of the first trailer, McCarthy decided to write and direct an Adam Sandler vehicle. The fantasy follows Max Simkin (Sandler), a shoe repairman who discovers he has the ability to step into the lives of his customers when he puts on their shoes (as long as they are size 10.5 and fixed on a special stitching machine). Hijinks ensue with Dustin Hoffman, Method Man, Steve Buscemi, Dan Stevens, and Ellen Barkin all getting involved. In case you were wondering, a release date has not been announced.
Another night, another museum
Following the success of 2006’s Night at the Museum and 2009‘s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, director Shawn Levy and star Ben Stiller are back to complete (?) the trilogy (?) with Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Opening on December 19th, this third installment in the series sends Stiller’s Larry Daley to London on a quest to revitalize the magic of the life-giving tablet. Joining him on his journey are Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt, Rami Malek as Ahkmenrah, Owen Wilson as Jedediah, Steve Coogan as Octavius, and Mizuo Peck as Sacajawea. Joining the fun for the first time are Dan Stevens as Sir Lancelot, plus Rebel Wilson and Ben Kingsley.
Johnny Depp and his mustache still star in Mortdecai
Johnny Depp plays Charlie Mortdecai in this adaptation of the fourth book in Kyril Bonfiglioli’s Mortdecai series (Craig Brown wrote the last chapter after Bonfiglioli’s passing). The movie follows the titular art dealer’s attempt to track down a stolen painting that could lead to a stash of Nazi gold. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn, Paul Bettany, Jeff Goldblum, Aubrey Plaza (Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever), and Oliver Platt have supporting roles in this movie that has a madcap energy quite different from director David Koepp’s first collaboration with Mr. Depp, Secret Window. Mortdecai opens on January 23, 2015.
Fifty shades of blah
This second look at Fifty Shades of Grey now features a song by Beyoncé, but not much else is new except that Jamie Dornan’s shirtless chest seems to be taking a more prominent role. (Sorry, John Oliver.) As consumers of media know, Dornan took over the role of Christian Grey after Charlie Hunnam backed out. He’s joined by Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in this adaptation of E.L. James’ novel scripted by Kelly Marcel and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Look for it in theaters beginning February 13, 2015.
Marion Cotillard has Two Days, One Night
One of the surprises of this year’s Cannes Film Festival was that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne did not walk away with an award for Two Days, One Night. Almost unanimously praised by critics, the film stars Marion Cotillard as Sandra, a woman recovering from depression who must convince her co-workers to decline their bonuses so she can keep her job. While it might not have won the Palme d'Or, like the Dardennes' Rosetta in 1999 and The Child in 2005, or even the Grand Jury prize like their last film, The Kid with a Bike, this appears to be another Dardenne gem worth seeking out when it begins to roll out to North American theaters on Wednesday, December 24th.
Exodus: Water & Chariots
With Exodus: Gods and Kings, director Ridley Scott takes on the story of Moses (Christian Bale) and his CGI-enhanced struggle to lead hundreds of thousands of slaves out of Egypt. His nemesis is Ramses, played by Joel Edgerton with a bald head and a healthy tan. The supporting cast includes Aaron Paul, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sigourney Weaver. The film combines old Hollywood scale with cutting-edge special effects and clocks in at 142 minutes (better than the originally reported 200). Catch it on the big screen beginning December 12th.
Escobar: Paradise Lost
The directorial debut of Andrea Di Stefano stars Benicio del Toro as Pablo Escobar and Josh Hutcherson as Nico, a surfer who comes in contact with the notorious drug lord after he falls in love with Escobar’s niece (Claudia Traisac). Reviews from its premiere in Telluride praised Del Toro’s portrayal of Escobar, but critics also had good words for Di Stefano’s assured directing. Escobar: Paradise Lost hits theaters on January 16, 2015.
Heard this one before?
Writer-director Kate Barker-Froyland’s feature debut stars Anne Hathaway as Franny, an archaeologist who returns home after her brother Henry, a musician played by Ben Rosenfield, ends up in a coma after a car accident. Using his journal to reacquaint herself with her brother, Franny tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester (Johnny Flynn), for whom she soon develops feelings. With music composed by Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, Song One earned mixed reviews when it premiered at Sundance. Look for it on demand and in theaters beginning January 23, 2015.
Paul Blart: casino cop?
This totally unnecessary sequel to 2009’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop finds Kevin James’ titular Blart heading to Vegas to attend a security guard convention with his college-bound daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez). When he stumbles on a heist led by Neal McDonough’s Vincent, it’s up to Blart and his fellow security guards to stop it. Directed by Andy Fickman (Parental Guidance) from a script by James and Nick Bakay, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 comes to theaters on April 17, 2015.
Want to watch the entire Hobbit trilogy in one sitting two days before the final film officially opens? (Is that even physically possible?) Then clear December 15th for a visit to an IMAX theater. Until then, here’s the official trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Here’s the first teaser for The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Robert Schwentke (RED) takes over directing duties from Neil Burger, but Shailene Woodley is back (just with a lot less hair). Look for it in theaters March 20, 2015.
Want to see more of Avengers: Age of Ultron? Here’s another extended trailer for the film.
News and notes
- Christoph Waltz will play an “extremely cunning ... nemesis of sorts” in Bond 24. - Daily Mail
- Robert De Niro is in talks to reunite with Jennifer Lawrence and director David O. Russell for Joy, the real life success story of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. - THR
- Emmy winner Michelle MacLaren, who directed some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad (and has also done excellent work on The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones), is in talks to direct the standalone Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot, due in theaters on June 23, 2017. - Variety
- Collider reports that Margot Robbie will play Harley Quinn in director David Ayer’s Suicide Squad adaptation, and Variety claims Jai Courtney is in talks to play Deadshot.
- Disney set 2016 release dates for two upcoming animated features. Zootopia will hit theaters on March 4, and Moana will follow on November 23rd.
- M. Night Shyamalan’s horror film The Visit, starring Kathryn Hahn, will be released on September 11, 2015. Or will it? (Yes, it will.)
- The Conjuring 2, with returning director James Wan and stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, will hit theaters on June 10, 2016.
- Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, will open on April 24, 2015.
- Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart will star in the buddy action-comedy Central Intelligence for We’re The Millers director Rawson Marshall Thurber. - Variety
- Lucasfilm announced a January 23, 2015 release for Strange Magic, an animated musical inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream. The film will use popular songs from the last six decades to tell a story of goblins, elves, fairies and imps.
- Lee Daniels will direct the horror film Demon House, based on the real life claims of demonic possession by Latoya Ammons and her family. - TheWrap
- Park Chan-wook (Stoker, Oldboy) will direct David Jagernauth’s script Second Born, a futuristic thriller that takes place in a world where human consciousness can be stored on a microchip and swapped between bodies. - Variety
- Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty) is writing a draft of Seth Gordon’s upcoming adaptation of the popular video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, but there’s still no word on who will star. - Heat Vision
- After the success of The LEGO Movie, was it inevitable that a Playmobil movie would follow? - Variety
- Deadline reports that director Justin Lin could return to the Fast & Furious series for a multipart finale to the franchise.
- Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons are in talks to join Ben Affleck in the assassin thriller The Accountant. Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) will direct from a script by Bill Dubuque. - Variety & THR
- Matt Damon confirmed that he will return to the Bourne series along with director Paul Greengrass. E! News