WOAH! That was intense. Coming from the man who gave us Children of Men how could I expect anything else. Alfonso Cuarón co-wrote Gravity with his son Jonás. The 51-year-old also directed, produced and co-edited the film. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a cameo in the film somehow.
Though Sandra Bullock and George Clooney headline the film, they weren’t the original choices. During pre-production numerous stars were attached and offered the roles including Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively and Marion Cotillard for Bullock’s role and Robert Downey Jr. for Clooney. Personally, I’m glad we ended up with the two that we have. Love them both.
Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a medical engineer on her first Space Shuttle mission and is accompanied by veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney), who is in command of the shuttle flight, due to be his last. Due to a spacewalk gone wrong, the two astronauts find themselves drifting alone in space after debris crashes into their space shuttle. Poor Canadarm never saw it come. The film follows them as they attempt to return to earth. Check out the intense Gravity teaser trailer below.
The reviews are mixed on Baz Luhrmann’s take of The Great Gatsby, which opens in theaters today and kicks off the Cannes film festival next week. But while some critics have panned the film, I was LIVING for it the entire time.
In case you never read the book, the story is told by Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) who, while chasing success in the roaring 20s stock market boom, rents a modest cottage on long island only to find that he has moved next door to the home of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), an extravagant mansion that hosts extremely lavish parties.
The DOXA Documentary Rilm Festival is well underway in Vancouver and there are two films right before the ending that we are checking out and can’t be more excited about it, and they are screening at the same day in the same theater. So much easier on my poor old joints.
The first one is I Am Divine, which is a documentary about the legendary drag performer DIVINE. Here’s the write up:
From rather humble beginnings, Divine became an iconic symbol of filmic and sexual anarchy, a larger-than-life diva who shocked audiences and critics alike. As one interviewee puts it, “She was simultaneously sexy and monstrous and terrifying. Is she gonna screw me or eat me?” Possibly both, since Divine came to fame for putting some truly shocking stuff in her mouth. From the earliest collaborations of Eat Your Makeup, which featured a reenactment of the Kennedy Assassination, to Multiple Maniacs, which was capped off with a sexual assault by a giant lobster to Pink Flamingos (1972), the film that firmly launched Divine as an underground sensation (a.k.a. “The filthiest woman alive!”), John Waters and his leading lady created a new form of transgressive cinema. But behind the giant fright wigs, and eyebrows to the sky, was a soft-spoken soul who mused philosophically about people’s need to be shocked. Director Jeffrey Schwarz (Vito) has fashioned a deeply affectionate homage that recreates those heady days.
You know me, I LOVE my drag movies and Divine is probably one of the most famous performers in the history of drag. This is definitely a movie not to miss. Also once you’re there you definitely want to make it a double bill because right after the highly anticipate James Franco documentary Interior, Leather Bar is screening. You’ve heard of this one right? It’s like a what if movie about the 40 minutes of footage that was lost during the filming of Cruising.
This latest outing from modern-day Renaissance Man, James Franco, is a rather curious documentary hybrid. The apocryphal story of the lost 40 minutes of footage cut from Cruising, the Al Pacino/William Friedkin film, forms the jumping-off point. But really that is only the beginning. Reality and fiction make for interesting bedfellows. One intermingles with the other until it is hard to say where documentary leaves off and fiction begins.
Director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) finally has all three major players in his upcoming live action adaptation of Disney’s Cinderella all secure. Richard Madden joins previously announced Cate Blanchett and Lily James who are playing Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, and the titular princess respectively. The 26-year-old Scottish actor has been tapped to tackle the lead male role aka Prince Charming.
Madden is best known for his role as Robb Stark in the hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones. His previous on-screen credits include the Eddie Redmayne-led TV drama Birdsong and Channel 4′s short-lived Sirens where he played a gay character. Speaking of which, there’s this hot scene where he picks up a construction worker at a church and the two get it on in the toilets. Check out the video below, along with several pictures of Madden.
The Butler doesn’t even hit theaters in limited release until October 18, but the film is already generating Oscar buzz. Given the talent behind and in front of the camera, plus the Weistein Company in its corner, the film’s future during the 2013-14 Awards Season is looking pretty bright. Those Weinsteins really know how to launch an Oscar campaign.
Most likely benefiting from that will be Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Whitaker plays a man who served as a White House butler for eight American Presidents over three decades. It’s based on the true story of Eugene Allen, who came to the White House in 1952 until his retirement in 1986. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.
Along with Winfrey and Whitaker, the film also stars Alex Pettyfer, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard, James Marsden, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Melissa Leo, Minka Kelly, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jesse Williams, Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey, David Oyelowo, and Lenny Kravitz. Check out the newly-released trailer below.
If your favorite part of The Hunger Games was watching kids engage in war, you’re going to love this. Based on a best-selling novel written by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game follows a series of young recruits being trained to fight aliens and save the human race. No pressure.
The film, which arrives on November 1, boasts an impressive cast of previous Academy Award nominees including Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld and Ben Kingsley. Speaking of the latter, he looks pretty menacing with his extremely tattooed face in the film. Hard to imagine this is the guy who once played Gandhi. Rounding out the cast in the Gavin Hood-directed film is Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin. You can tell by his name he’s the main focus of the film. Check out the first trailer narrated by Ford below after the official synopsis from Summit Entertainment.
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham, all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Graff and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin, a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.
When Rihanna passed on an offer to appear in Fast & Furious 6 due to scheduling conflicts, producers naturally pursued the next best thing- Rita Ora. After all, the Kosovo-born singer has often been labeled the British Rihanna. Universal Pictures just released a clip from the racing film highlighting Ora’s motion picture debut.
In the clip, Dom (Vin Diesel) is confronted by his presumed dead ex-girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez). He challenges her to race on the streets of London. Cue Rita Ora. She plays the “pivotal” role of “starter girl”- head girl of a London racing crew. I wonder if her character even gets a name in the flick. “This is London, baby,” she says, before finally letting the two start driving their cars. Watch the clip below. Fast & Furious 6 hits theaters on May 24 in the US and May 17 in the UK.
Typically the opening of a third film in a franchise is fully dependent on its predecessor. IMHO, Iron Man 2 wasn’t nearly as good as the first film and I don’t think I’m alone with that sentiment. Luckily for Robert Downey Jr. and company, last summer’s The Avengers was so well-received and loved that anticipation for this film was huge. Everyone wants to know what all the superheroes are up to after the events of that blockbuster.
As expected Iron Man 3 opened heroically. It raked in an enormous $175.3 million. Though falling short of the all-time record held by The Avengers ($207.4 million), it’s strong enough to land at No. 2. It pushes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 ($169.2 million) and The Dark Knight Rises ($160.9 million) down to third and fourth respectively. Internationally, Iron Man 3 continued to impress raising its total to $504 million overseas for a worldwide total of $680 million. I’m pretty sure an Iron Man 4 is on its way soon. Check out how the rest of the films fared given the Marvel film’s dominance.