Hugh Jackman once again returns to the big screen, playing Blackbeard in the fantasy film Pan. Directed by Atonement filmmaker Joe Wright, the picture is a visually sumptuous retelling of Peter Pan’s (Levi Miller) origin story. Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy) co-stars as Pan’s friend James Hook who aids him in his quest to defeat Blackbeard.
Jackman, who brilliantly embodies the role, says Pan is first and foremost an adventure story. He also adds that audiences are going to see a completely new vision of Pan’s journey, and at its heart the movie should strike a deep emotional chord for fans of the Peter Pan universe. (Click on the media bar below to hear Hugh Jackman explain the everlasting appeal of Pan)
Pan opens in theaters October 9.
Posted by AC
Audiences are enthralled with the new CBS series Limitless, which many, including the cast and producers, view as a sequel to the hit film of the same name. Bradley Cooper who appeared in the first episode and starred in the box-office hit, is also one of the executive producers of the series. His hands on involvement with the show includes the casting of Jake McDorman as Brian Finch, the latest individual whose abilities are heightened thanks to the addicting NZT-48 drug.
Though many A-List stars produce television shows, a healthy share of actors aren’t as hands on as Cooper, who enthusiastically pitched the show to McDorman during Oscar season. (Click on the media bar below to hear Jake McDorman & series creator Craig Sweeny discuss Cooper’s efforts in getting Limitless off the ground)
Catch Limitless 10/9c.on CBS.
Posted by AC
Hell and Back is a stop motion animated feature that centers on Remy (Nick Swardson) and Augie (T.J. Miller), two slackers who must rescue their friend Curt (Rob Riggle) from hell after he unwittingly broke a blood oath. Bob Odenkirk also serves as the voice of the Devil, with Susan Sarandon voicing Barb the Angel, the object of Satan’s affections.
During our interview with Rob Riggle and Nick Swardson, the actors discussed their involvement in Hell and Back, a project that was developed by ShadowMachine, the animation studio best known for the successful series Robot Chicken.
“We improvised a lot,” said Swardson. “(Co-director) Tom Gianis, he got everybody in the movie that were the best improvisers in the world. He just got people who knew what they were doing. I don’t even remember the script - it’s been so long and it went through so many incarnations of just improvising and doing more re-recordings. It’s a three year process.”
In the clip below, Rob Riggle elaborates on making up “some funny” in to Hell and Back:
Hell and Back, which also features voice work from Mila Kunis and Danny McBride, opens Friday, October 2.
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
Now in its 9th season, The Voice, continues to be the best music competition series on television. The show continues to draw big audiences, and many have different theories on the program’s monumental success.
The Voice judge Pharrell Williams has a few different theories of why The Voice continues to be successful. Williams, a prolific producer and artist in his own right, is passionate about nurturing the eclectic talent on his team, talks about why The Voice is such a “rare thing.” (Click on the media bar below to hear Pharrell discuss the cool “domino effect” of the show)
Do you agree with Pharrell? Why do you do think The Voice is so successful? Let us know!
The Voice airs Monday & Tuesday nights 8/7c.on NBC.
Posted by AC
Michael Fassbender already has one Academy Award nomination under his belt and seems to be sure bet for another nomination for his portrayal the genius behind the success of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the biopic Steve Jobs.
While there have been many biographies about Jobs, this film is blessed with the words of Academy Award winning scribe Aaron Sorkin, the brilliant mind behind The Social Network and the Emmy winning TV series The West Wing. With so many biographies that have been already made whether it be for books or television, many question why did there need another bio made of Jobs? Fassbender explains that it’s important for the world to see the passionate visionary who has changed the way the “world works.” (Click on the media bar below to hear Michael Fassbender)
Steve Jobs, co-starring Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen, opens in Los Angeles and New York October 9.
Posted by AC
When The Big Bang Theory debuted, many thought the show would simply center on four nerds who were into comic books and sci-fi movies, but as the show evolved we got to know the added dimensions behind these likable individuals. Even with the show’s success, some viewers still view Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj as nerds. However, Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre said he never viewed the show’s protagonists as nerds. (Click on the media bar below to hear Chuck Lorre)
The Big Bang Theory airs on Mondays 8/7c on CBS.
Posted by AC
The freshman series Blindspot centers on an amnesiac (Jaimie Alexander) who is found naked in Times Square. Her body is adorned with tattoos, one of which has the name of FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton). The pair form an unlikely bond as they attempt to uncover a mysterious past that is linked to a grand conspiracy.
Stapleton, who was previously best known for his work on the Cinemax TV series Strike Back, wasn’t an actor by trade at an early age. In fact, the ideas of working in Hollywood was probably a long shot for the Australian native.
Click on the media bar below to hear Stapleton, who also worked on sets as a grip (including The Elephant Princess, The Pacific, and the TV series Rush) talk about his acting journey:
Sullivan, whose film credits include 300: Rise of an Empire and Animal Kingdom, will be seen next year in the Luc Besson (The Professional, La Femme Nikita) penned action film The Lake.
Blindspot airs tonight on NBC (10/9c).
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
99 Homes weaves a spellbinding tale of survival that’s set in the Sunshine State. It’s 2010, and the foreclosure crisis is devastating families who can’t make their mortgage payments. Nattily dressed to the nines opportunist Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) evicts people from their homes and is paid handsomely for his troubles. Evictions are never an easy process, and Carver always carries a gun just for his own protection.
His latest eviction comes in the form of construction worker Dennis Nash (Andrew Garfield), a single dad who’s struggling to support his mom (Laura Dern) and son (Noah Lomax). Though Dennis and his family are immediately kicked out and move to a decrepit motel filled with previous homeowners, hope isn’t completely lost after Dennis actually lands a job with Carver. Initially tasked with fixing homes (Dennis even repairs the air conditioner in Carver’s domicile), Dennis gradually becomes Carver’s protegee and starts handling his own evictions.
Director/writer Ramin Bahrani’s exploration of what one will do for the sake of family is at the heart of his 2012 drama At Any Price, which had farmer Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) struggling to keep his wayward son Dean (Zac Efron, in his best performance to date) on the straight and narrow path. With 99 Homes, the father figure leads the protagonist down a different path, as making easy money, even if it’s at the expense of other families, is still a huge temptation.
Sporting a slight tan, donning tailor made suits and smoking electronic cigarettes, Michael Shannon is blessed with the narrative’s showiest performance. Rick Carver is fine with making a profit from a person’s misfortune, even if it means getting his hands dirty and, as witnessed in the film’s viscerally charged opening moments, a little bloody. It’s hard to watch 99 Homes and not be reminded of Michael Douglas’ Oscar winning work as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street, as Carver has taken a few pages from Gekko’s “greed is good” ethos. Thankfully, neither the narrative or Shannon’s performance exist in a derivative universe, as Bahrani infuses this ripped from the headlines story with a steady dose of realism.
The film’s various evictions, as we witness people being dispassionately extricated from their residences, feels like a true documentary as Bahrani’s love for neorealism, an aesthetic that’s applied to his earlier work (including 2007’s Chop Shop) is in full effect. Amidst its documentary and two hander drama stylings, however, lies the beating heart of a thriller that never loses its grip.
While Carver is an unforgiving force of nature, Dennis is a tortured soul searching for a way out of the morass, and Garfield perfectly embodies his character’s seemingly inescapable desperation. It’s understandable that his work may be overshadowed by Shannon’s charismatic turn (the always plugged-in Laura Dern is also a scene stealer), but Garfield’s steadying hand gives this addicting potboiler a subtle sense of gravitas.
Bahrani’s passion for social injustice and humanity’s ambiguous dance with good and evil is evident in his body of work, but since he’s also a lifelong movie buff (he was a good friend of Roger Ebert and is featured in the documentary Life Itself), he’s also energized by the possibilities of cinema. During interviews he’s mentioned Wall Street, Dog Day Afternoon, and On The Waterfront as inspirations for the film, and the merging of social drama with white knuckled storytelling is effectively rendered in 99 Homes.
Powered by a finely tuned acting ensemble and assured direction from Bahrani, 99 Homes is a cinematic punch to the gut and one of this year’s best films - even if those eviction notices are an unwelcome sight.
99 Homes is now playing in New York and opens October 2 in Los Angeles.
Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi
Opening in theaters today, THE GREEN INFERNO tells the story of a group of self-absorbed student activists who travel to the Amazon in an effort to save the rain forest and an indigenous tribe from destruction by an unconcerned lumber company. It’s not long until the clueless kids are trapped by the very bloodthirsty cannibals they were on a mission to save and the results are anything but pretty. An homage to the jungle massacre classic CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, THE GREEN INFERNO pushes a whole lot of envelopes when it comes to blood and gore.
Directed and co-written by ELI ROTH, the film stars LORENZA IZZO (aka Mrs. Eli Roth), ARIEL LEVY, AARON BURNS, KIRBY BLISS BLANTON and IGNACIA ALLAMAND in what might just be the most disturbing horror film of the year.
During a recent press conference to promote the film, ROTH talked about his motivation and how he sees THE GREEN INFERNO as more than just a mindless bloodbath. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
THE GREEN INFERNO open in theaters today.
Posted by Bob Healy
Throughout his film career Matt Damon has worked with some of the best directors the big screen has ever seen. A few of the talented filmmakers that Damon has collaborated with include Academy Award winners Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker), and Martin Scorsese (The Departed). Now you can add another Oscar winner Ridley Scott who directed him in the upcoming sci-fi thriller The Martian.
Damon who is one of the best actors working in movies today, said working on the epic film with Scott, a talented visualist whose imagination knows no bounds, was a truly great experience. (Click on the media bar below to hear Matt Damon)