Gary Oldman To Receive Desert Palm Achievement Award At PSIFF

DARKEST HOURGary Oldman, who’s receiving praise this year for his work as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, will be honored with the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 29th annual Paul Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, takes place January 2nd at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Gary Oldman brings to screen one of the most powerful performances of this year as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour,” said Fest chairman Harold Matzner. “Portraying Britain’s steadfast leader during the tumultuous era of World War II, he has already earned rave reviews from critics and is sure to garner awards attention this season. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present Gary Oldman with this year’s Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor.”

Previous recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Casey Affleck, Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Brad Pitt.

PSIFF runs January 4-15.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Blu-Ray Spotlight: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps moving along in the right direction, and one of the main reasons for their success is their ability to creatively think outside the box. Case in point is the choice of Super filmmaker James Gunn to direct 2014’s mega-hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Gunn’s character and genre driven sensibilities seamlessly blended into the film’s epic visual scale and narrative.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could have been a rehash of the original, and fans would have probably forgiven the sequel if Gunn solely relied on the eye catching special affects and the pure chemistry of the leads. Though the heart of this story centers on Star-Lord’s (Chris Pratt) relationship with his long lost father Ego (Kurt Russell), the rest of the Guardians are given ample time to develop their respective arcs (one surprising element features the growing bond between Drax and Mantis). As evidenced by Gunn’s prominent use of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 centers on the importance of family, and the film doesn’t chintz on developing meaty back stories for its seemingly most incidental characters. The aforementioned Mantis (Pom Klementieff), gold-faced antagonist Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), Gamora’s vengeful sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), and returnee Yondu (Michael Rooker, delivering the film’s most memorable performance) all get their chance to shine. Instead of littering his 136 minute film with wall to wall action, Gunn also spends time developing the relationships among the Guardians and the extended family who may either break their chain or enhance their lives. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may take a few more left turns than its predecessor, but these seeming detours pay off with a resonant final act.

Along with several informative special features that delve into the making of the film, the Blu-ray also comes with five minutes worth of deleted scenes. One sequence is an expansion of an end credits sequence that, without giving too much away, displays Pratt’s improvisational gift. Another deleted scene, which again is an extended version of a scene that’s in the film, offers up a bit more screen time to Mantis and it’s also worth a look if you’re a fan of the character.

Thankfully Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 doesn’t suffer from the sophomore slump and as one of the end credits teased the Guardians will have an even more interesting villain to face them in the future.

Click on the media bar below to hear Zoe Saldana discuss Gamora’s bond with Star-Lord:

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is now out on Blu-ray.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Zoe Saldana Happy To Go Green With ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Family

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Having already been part of the huge James Cameron film Avatar (and its succeeding sequels) and the Star Trek flicks, Zoe Saldana scored another creative hit with Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. The sequel takes places three to four months after the events of the original, and Saldana was extremely happy to be reunited with her collaborators.

“Getting back to seeing everyone was the most exciting part of doing the sequel,” said Saldana. “I wasn’t looking forward to the five hours of green make-up. But it’s so funny, I never really did look forward to it but as soon as I was on set, I was happy and I would forget that I had been there since 2:30 in the morning. I always felt like I was playing with my friends, you know?”

Click on the media bar below to hear Saldana talk about Gamora’s special bond with Star-Lord (Chris Pratt).

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, co-starring Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, opens nationwide May 5.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ Teaser Trailer Debuts In Brazil!

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Director James Gunn (Slither, Super) was the highlight of this weekend’s Comic Con Experience in Brazil, as he premiered the new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. The filmmaker, whose career has skyrocketed thanks to the overwhelming success of Guardians of the Galaxy, was so overwhelmed with the response to the trailer that he admitted that he almost cried onstage.

Though most teasers usually don’t give too much away, it’s great to see the trademark banter from the original doesn’t feel shopworn or tired with the sequel. The chemistry between Zoe Saldana and Chris Pratt is still evident, and even baby Groot comes off as entirely endearing (even if Groot is mishandling a potentially dangerous bomb!). Guardians of the Galaxy made $773 million worldwide, and the sequel should eclipse that mark.

Co-starring Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Laura Haddock, and Kurt Russell, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits stateside May 2017. Gunn also penned the screenplay. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Outbreak on the Big Screen: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Dwayne Johnson + More

Warner Bros. will remake the ’70s classic film A Star is Born with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga starring in the Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand roles. Deadline reports that Cooper will also direct the film, which is set to debut in theaters on Sept. 28, 2018.

Dwayne Johnson will reunite with San Andreas director Brad Peyton in a big screen update of the ’80s arcade game Rampage. The New Line film is expected to arrive on April 20, 2018.

Edgar Ramirez, seen already this year in Hands of Stone and The Girl on the Train, has signed on for the fantasy thriller Bright, which will be directed by David Ayer. According to Dark Horizons, the film stars Will Smith as a human who teams with an Orc (Joel Edgerton) who unite to protect a magical wand from cops, criminals and other supernatural beings. Ramirez will play an elf named Kandomere, who works for the FBI’s magic division.

According to Deadline, Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) is set to star in and produce Painkiller Jane, based on the graphic novel series. In the film, Chastain will star as New York street cop Jane Vasko who is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a drug and human trafficking ring. But after a near death experience, Jane develops regenerative capabilities that allow her to seek revenge and wreak havoc on those who destroyed her life.

Can you tell me how to get, how to get Sesame Street to the big screen? Dark Horizons reports the longtime favorite children’s TV series appears to have found a new home after a previous attempt to adapt a film stalled. According to producer Shawn Levy, the film has moved from 20th Century Fox to Warner Bros. Pictures and a treatment is in the works for a movie.

According to Deadline, Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson will be back in theaters on March 17 with the new film Free Fire. The film earned raves at the Toronto Film Festival with a plot about a group of guys and a gal (Larson) who are left in a warehouse full of guns after an arms deal goes bad. Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley also star in the film.

Rosario Dawson will return to the big screen as activist Donna Hylton in a movie based on her biography A Little Piece of Light. According to Deadline, the actress and Hylton are working together to find a female screenwriter and director to work on the project. Hylton was sold to an American couple as a 7-year-old and subjected to sexual abuse from her adoptive father. She was later jailed after her involvement in a kidnap and murder plot, but began to put her life together behind bars and became a women’s rights activist upon her release.


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