A Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman thriller, directed by Joel Schumacher should be the type of high concept film that opens a box-office weekend.  However, that’s not the case when the film is Trespass, Mr. Schumacher’s cinematic riff on the home invasion genre (done best, of course, with the 1955 Humphrey Bogart feature The Desperate Hours).

Since Trespass received a scant theatrical release (it also hit VOD during its October 14th theatrical debut), one assumes the result is a creative train wreck.  At a digestible 90 minutes, that’s far from the truth, especially if you keep your expectations at a moderately low level.

As Kyle, a married businessman with a specialty in diamonds, Nicolas Cage has the meatiest role, and the destructive (and scenery chewing) game of chess between him and the lead thief (Ben Mendelsohn, the terrifying villain from Animal Kingdom) elevate Trespass from a once perceived narrative abyss.

Nicole Kidman is Kyle’s wife Sarah, a woman just isn’t on the same page with her hubby or her rebellious daughter (Liana Liberato who, as in her work in Trust, gets put through the ringer).  When their wealthy abode is crashed by several crooks (including Twilight’s Cam Gigandet and Dash Mihok), the family does whatever it takes to survive the night.

In the five minute featurette (Trespass: Inside The Thriller), Schumacher briefly talked about the “cross-currents” of secrets and lies within the family and the thieves, and that’s another interest aspect of the film.  Shooting a picture mainly inside a house (the picture was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana) must have been a welcome challenge for Schumacher, as well as his desire to reunite with Cage (8 MM) and Kidman (Batman Forever).

When armed with pulpy material, it behooves filmmakers to push a perceived sub standard genre on a visual level.  David Fincher was up to the task with his own home invasion film, Panic RoomRoman Polanski’s claustrophobic touch is felt in such thrillers as Repulsion and The ApartmentSchumacher, who has directed his share of first rate work (Tigerland, Falling Down, Phone Booth), is on visual auto-pilot with this outing.

Based on the requisite twists that come with the story and the action sequences, Trespass is definitely watchable.  If seeing Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage get beaten and bullied for an hour and a half is your cup of tea, then you need a therapist.  Until then, Trespass, should fit the bill.

Trespass: Rated R, 90 minutes. Sound: 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround.  Special features: Five minute featurette which contains interviews with Schumacher, Cage, Liberato, Mendelsohn, Gigandet, and Kidman. The film comes in DVD and Blu-ray versions.  A Blu-ray & DVD combo pack also includes a free digital copy.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


separation101 Director Alexander Payne’s latest movie, The Descendants, has received its share of accolades, including a Gotham Award nomination for Best Feature (it’s competing against Meek’s Cutoff, Take Shelter, Tree of Life, and Beginners).  But along with being a revered filmmaker, Payne is also a diehard movie buff (during the Sideways interviews back in 2004, I remember the director waxing poetic on filmmaker Anthony Mann, a diverse artist known for such muscular Westerns as Winchester ’73 and The Naked Spur).

While promoting The Descendants, Payne showered praise for A Separation, Iran’s official selection for the Oscars’ Best Foreign Film Category.  The picture, which received the Golden Bear for Best Film earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, opens in New York and Los Angeles December 30th.

Listen to Alexander Payne offer his thoughts on A Separation:

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The Descendants, starring George Clooney, opens December 16th.

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During the weekend press junket of Immortals, Stephen Dorff joked that he ate cheeseburgers to prepare for his role as Stavros, Theseus’ right hand man in the Tarsem directed feature.  And since this writer’s imagination is not as vivid as Tarsem or Mr. Dorff, you, dear reader, were inflicted with the inane headline (my apologies!).

In the following clip, Dorff delves into the training process for Immortals, as he got into “crazy shape” for the role: 

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If fans can’t wait until November 11th (Immortals’ opening date) to see Dorff in tip-top shape, I suggest renting director Mike Figgis‘ 2003 thriller Cold Creek Manor.  It’s far from Figgis’ best work, but Dorff delivers a suitably menacing performance as a former house owner who wreaks havoc on the property’s new inhabitants (which include Sharon Stone, Dennis Quaid, and Kristen Stewart).  If my disjointed memory serves me right, he sports a six-pack in the film.

But anyways, it’s too early in the day for me to be thinking about Dorff’s abs, so here’s the trailer for Immortals (opening Friday), check out Cold Creek Manor if you’re into guilty pleasures, but if you really want to see a quality Dorff project, last year’s Somewhere is a great place to start.

What are some of your favorite Dorff movies?  Please tell me it’s not Feardotcom or Alone in the Dark!  Are you excited for Immortals or does it resemble a 300 knockoff?  Give us your opinions!!

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Funny Guy Tracy Morgan Steps Out Of His Comfort Zone For ‘Son Of No One’

son_of_no_one_ver4We caught up with comic TRACY MORGAN (30 ROCK, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) a few months ago at The Beverly Hilton Hotel to talk about his decision to take a major dramatic role in the gritty big screen crime drama, SON OF NO ONE. Directed by DITO MONTIEL (A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS) and featuring a cast that includes CHANNING TATUM (DEAR JOHN), AL PACINO (THE GODFATHER), RAY LIOTTA (DATE NIGHT), JULIETTE BINOCHE (BEE SEASON) and KATIE HOLMES (PIECES OF APRIL), the film will be a real change for MORGAN. During his Q and A with reporters, he talked about working out of his comfort zone. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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SON OF NO ONE opens in limited release Friday

According To Depp, Thompson Would’ve Seen Through The Flaws Of ‘The Rum Diary’

johnny_depp_rum_diaryCurrently in theaters (and in the box office top five), THE RUM DIARY is based on an early autobiographical novel by iconic “gonzo” author HUNTER S. THOMPSON. Telling the story of a young writer who leaves the concrete jungle of Manhattan to write for a newspaper in Puerto Rico, the book was set in the ’50s, written in the ’60s and not actually published until 1998. Adapted for the screen and directed by BRUCE ROBINSON, the cast includes JOHNNY DEPP (who also produced), AARON ECKHART, MICHAEL RISPOLI, AMBER HEARD, RICHARD JENKINS and GIOVANNI RIBISI.
A longtime admirer and personal friend of THOMPSON, DEPP recently talked to reporters about how he thought the legendary author would feel about the movie. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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THE RUM DIARY is in theaters now