If you’re a fan of Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka and Scream Queen’s Emma Roberts, then this week’s episode of CinemAddicts is worth checking out.
Kat (Shipka) is a teenager who is left alone at school while most of the other students have just left for vacation. Rose (Lucy Boynton), a fellow student, is also left behind but for different reasons. When a strange force influences Kat, the lives of the people at the school as well as Rose are immediately threatened. Emma Roberts is Joan, a troubled woman who is determined to get to Kat’s school at any cost. Directed by Oz Perkins, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is an atmospheric thriller that’s filled with a memorable final act. As Kat, Shipka proves she can anchor her own movie, and she, along with Boynton and Roberts, are very good in the film.
Directed by Logan Sandler, Live Cargo centers on Nadine and Lewis (Dree Hemingway and Lakeith Stanfield), a grieving couple who travel to a remote Bahamian island for a bit of comfort. Roy (The Wire’s Robert Wisdom) is the island mayor who’s had a big influence on Nadine’s life. He also attempts to serve as a surrogate parent to a homeless teenager named Myron (Sam Dillon). Unfortunately Myron is seduced into the human trafficking operation that’s being conducted by a criminal named Doughboy (Leonard Earl Howze). Shot in black and white, the picture is powered by a memorable performance from Wisdom and Dillon. Live Cargo initially had a release date of March 31, but this week it was pushed back to April 7.
Last but definitely not least, we also talk about the 15th anniversary release of Donnie Darko. Arrow Films spearheaded a 4K restoration of the film which was supervised by Donnie Darko filmmaker Richard Kelly. Check out this week’s episode of CinemAddicts below!!
Move over Eddie Murphy, there’s a new doctor in town. Variety reports that Robert Downey Jr. will take on the popular role of Dr. Dolittle in the upcoming film The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle. Stephen Gaghan will direct the film, which finds Downey in the titular role as the doctor with a knack for being able to communicate with animals.
Could we sell you on a film starring Kyle Chandler and Jason Bateman as siblings? Deadline reports that Game Night stars Chandler as Brooks, the more successful brother of Max (Bateman), who end up getting entangled in a real-life murder mystery during a gathering of couples. Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Kylie Bunbury and Lamorne Morris have also been cast in the film, which is being created by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein.
Steve Carell, Amy Schumer and Nicole Kidman have all signed on for She Came to Me. Deadline describes the film, written and directed by Maggie’s Plan director Rebecca Miller, as a comedic dramedy set in the world of contemporary opera and tug boats that cuts into the layer cake of American society with wit and heart.
Speaking of Amy Schumer, the actress-comedian has bowed out her plans to star in a live action film about the popular doll Barbie. Scheduling issues came into play, but Schumer has expressed her enthusiasm of the movie making it to the big screen.
Deadline reports that Kristen Wiig is in negotiations to star in Richard Linklater‘s upcoming film, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? The film centers on a once famous architect who becomes a recluse, so much so that when she disappears, her husband and 15-year-old daughter conduct a search to determine her whereabouts. Wiig would play a high strung neighbor of Bernadette’s in the film
Karl Urban, Sofia Vergara and Andy Garcia have all been cast in Bent, a new film written and directed by Bobby Moresco. According to Deadline, the film follows discredited narcotics detective Danny Gallagher (Urban), who is out for revenge agains the man who framed him and killed his partner. Vergara stars as a ruthless government agent whose motives are unclear, while Garcia is Gallagher’s lifelong mentor who has fought corruption throughout his career.
Oscar-winner Brie Larson is now attached to star in Victoria Woodhull for Amazon Studios. The Room thespian will play the titular suffragette, who became the first female candidate to run for the presidency of the United States. Larson will also serve as a producer on the film.
Chris Evans, soon to be seen in Gifted, is set to star in Red Sea Diving Resort. Deadline reports that the Gideon Raff-directed drama revolves and the transport of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1981, with Evans playing the Israeli agent Ari Kidron who assembled the tame to help with the exodus on the ground.
Tika Sumpter, who turned heads as a young Michelle Obama in Southside With You, has joined the cast of The Old Man and the Gun. The film centers on a police officer (Casey Affleck) who becomes fascinated with a career bank robber (Robert Redford) with a history of prison breaks and the commitment from a woman who loves him despite his profession. Sumpter will star as Affleck’s wife in the film. Danny Glover and Sissy Spacek have also been cast in the movie.
Issa Rae, the breakout star of HBO’s Insecure, has landed a role opposite Bill Hader in the new film Empress of Serenity. Hader plays a man named Sheldon whose attempts to woo back his ex-wife get derailed when his widowed father guilts him into a cruise. Rae plays Michelle, a reclusive kindred spirit who both aids and becomes an obstacle in Hader’s plans.
Julianne Nicholson, Emma Roberts and Zachary Quinto have all joined the cast of Who We Are. Deadline reports that Matthew Newton is directing the film, which centers on convicted felon (Nicholson) who strikes up an alliance with a public defender (Roberts) that comes in handy when she decides to try to get back the son she lost when she went to prison for manslaughter.
Edward James Olmos has joined the cast of the upcoming Predator reboot. Shane Black, who helped pen the original film decades ago, will be directing the movie, which stars Boyd Holbrook, Sterling K. Brown, Trevante Rhodes, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key and Jacob Tremblay among others.
Mike Epps and Bruce Willis are set to star in Acts of Violence, their second film together in the past year. The action flick centers on vigilante brothers who infiltrate a human trafficking ring to free a loved one. Cole Hauser, Shawn Ashmore, Sophia Bush and Melissa Bolona also star in the film.
Variety reports that Nicolas Winding Refn is set to produce a remake of the 1988 cult classic, Maniac Cop. The film would be set in present day and would focus on one cop’s attempt to uncover the truth about one of her fellow officer’s role in the murders of several innocent people.
The Libertine is on hold! According to director Brett Ratner, the film about a 2011 incident involving French politician Dominique Strauss, has been put on hold while star Johnny Depp deals with events in his personal life. Ratner told EW, “That was a movie I was going to direct next. I put it on hold. Johnny had some issues with his divorce and stuff. So we pushed it off. There’s another movie I’m going to direct. I’m hoping in 2017. I’m very excited about that. I know what it is but don’t want to say what it is yet.”
Denise Richards and Mischa Barton have signed on to star in the horror film The Toybox. The supernatural thriller centers on a family on a cross-country trip who get stranded in the desert by a force that is slowly picking them off. According to Deadline, Richards plays the mother of the family, while Barton is another traveler who gets caught up in the carnage.
With such films as Angel Heart and The Wrestler as his most notable films, one shouldn’t forget Mickey Rourke also displayed a light touch in such movies as Diner and Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (I may be the only one who liked this flick).
With Ashby, Rourke turns on the charm once again as a reclusive and retired CIA assassin who bonds with Ed Wallis (Paper Towns star Nat Wolff) a teenager who’s trying to fit in with his fellow high school classmates. Ed’s latest homework assignment is to interview an elderly person and learn about their life, and Ashby Holt (Rourke) fits the bill.
Older-younger mentoring films have always been a personal favorite (Star Wars, St. Vincent, and Rushmore top my list), and the trailer for Ashby looks promising enough. Sarah Silverman as Ed’s mom seems like a great casting choice from director Tony McNamara, and Emma Roberts is always good in whatever project she tackles.
Ashbyhits theaters and is available On Demand September 25. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!
Recording artist and darling of the Disney Channel, SELENA GOMEZ, is about to give fans something a little contrary to the image for which she’s become famous. Enjoying star-studded screenings last week at both the Venice and Toronto film festivals, SPRING BREAKERS is an extremely dark caper drama centering on four college girls who turn to crime to fund their spring vacation. Written and directed by eccentric filmmaker HARMONY KORINE, GOMEZ shares the screen with EMMA ROBERTS, VANESSA HUDGENS, HEATHER MORRIS, ASHLEY BENSON, RACHEL KORINE and JAMES FRANCO. During the promotional press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival, GOMEZ acknowledged appreciation for her younger fans and admitted that SPRING BREAKERS might not be for them but explained that, sometimes, she needs to do one for herself.
Now playing in New York and Los Angeles, Celeste and Jesse Forever centers on a couple who remain best friends even though their marriage is headed for divorce. Rashida Jones, who co-wrote the script with Will McCormack, is Celeste, an ambitious owner of her own media consulting company. Andy Samberg is Jesse, a thirtysomething who would rather catch the morning wave than land a regular job. Although Jesse’s main passion in life is Celeste, her Type A personality (as well as Jesse’s career inactivity) puts a wedge in their storybook ending.
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, the picture starts off with a romantic comedy premise but evolves into a deeper examination of relationships. With a budget of less than $1 million, Celeste and Jesse Forever has surprisingly excellent production value, and much of my questions to Mr. Krieger were based on the technical aspects of the feature. Here’s my 20-minute Q&A with the filmmaker.
Outbreak: Can you talk about designing the visual look of this movie? Did you use a lot of storyboards?
Krieger: Rashida and Will have a very visual way of writing, I think probably in part because they’ve been working as actors for so long (and they’re both) cinephiles. A lot of the style was in the material. Anything visualized I’d consult with David Lanzenberg, my cinematographer who deserves the vast majority of credit here. He’s got an amazing eye and he’s super talented. I’m not a huge storyboard person I think probably in large part because the two films I’ve made haven’t required a lot of visual effects work. Generally speaking I only storyboard stuff that has a lot of action. I do shot list everything, though. You want to go in with a plan to remember scenes and the patchwork of the whole thing because it’s easy for that to get lost in the machine of production. You can forget it because the beast of production can get in the way.
But the shot list is always very important for us and David and I wanted the movie to feel like a specific part of L.A., because L.A. is so expansive. You look at a movie like Greenberg and it looks like a big slick movie but it also doesn’t look too glossy. It looks very real and I think that was our desire.
Outbreak: The movie captures, in a subtle way, the difficulty of connecting with people in Los Angeles. Celeste’s new guy Paul (Chris Messina) may just live over in Westwood, but in L.A. that could be an entire world away from her environment.
Krieger: We hope that idea certainly resonates, but it’s certainly a subtle one. (Paul) is a little bit of a square, he’s a little bit clean cut, he thinks of himself as kind of a lothario but he’s a genuine guy. He is Jesse’s polar opposite in every capacity. Whereas Jesse is an artist and doesn’t have his s**t together, he’s also got a great eye and a good taste in decorating and where to live, and Paul really doesn’t.
As far as the photography is concerned as to how to make those ideas translate, for us it was just important for us to pick our locations as wisely as one can in L.A. with no budget – which I will add is very difficult. (Los Angeles) is probably the least film friendly on the planet, and I don’t mind saying that. L.A. deserves a slap on the wrist because they are really awful to filmmakers, low budget ones in particular.
Outbreak: The location shooting really stands out in the film, even though it was filmed on a low budget. Did you steal your share of shots during production? I’m assuming the scenes at the Walt Disney Concert Hall were stolen?
Krieger: Oh yeah absolutely. There’s a lot of (scenes) in the movie that are stolen. There’s a whole (sequence) in San Francisco (where we had) a skeleton crew – that was all stolen. There was not a single permit for that. All of the stuff with Rashida on the boardwalk, where she is hugged by the bear, that’s all stolen. Her on the Venice Beach sidewalk – that was stolen. A lot of our car stuff…there’s a…
Outbreak: What about the opening car sequence shot in Downtown Los Angeles?
Krieger: That was a process trailer. So with that you can’t get away with because you need police escorts and we had a grid that we were permitted for, (but) surprisingly that’s not quite as expensive as the police or the process trailer. You mentioned the Walt Disney Concert Hall – that scene at the end where they walk in front of the Disney Hall, we permitted the sidewalk where we were shooting. We couldn’t afford to shut traffic down or even have traffic control. That was a big mistake for us. We were shooting (that scene) late on a Saturday night and people are driving by the whole time through that scene yelling because they’re all drunk or whatever.
Emotionally it was probably the most difficult scene in the movie and also it was the end of the movie and we had to nail it or else we’re f**ked. It was so difficult (for Rashida and Andy) and they did a great job but we ended up having to loop the entire scene with the exception of one of Andy’s lines that we just hit so perfectly.
But addressing the notion of stealing stuff; we didn’t steal it necessarily but we couldn’t afford to permit it properly the way a real movie would have and as a result we are literally shooting (the scene) and people are just walking through our set and driving ten feet away from us while we’re rolling. That kind of thing is frustrating (laughs), but it also feels very alive and very real.
Outbreak: The film definitely has a lot of layers – it’s not just some simple romantic comedy.
Krieger: Sure. You start with something that feels like it could be a big broad comedy and you end up (with) really a movie about heartbreak. It’s not just a boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl kind of thing. I think it works against some audiences who are more comforted by the garden variety beats in a romantic comedy. For me that was the most attractive part – that it was different. You feel like you’re going into something fluffy and you get something that’s hopefully very real and very honest and that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to heartbreak. Will and Rashida talked about this a lot where they really wanted to write about heartbreak and take you through the six stages of grief. Being heartbroken before, (this story) really struck a chord in me. That was the story I was interested in telling.
Outbreak: Do you think couples can still remain the best of friends after a divorce?
Krieger: Yeah, I do. Five or ten years ago I wouldn’t have said that. But I do. I think it needs to be two people who truly have a love and respect for each other and both parties need to treat the other well in the breakup and be respectful. I think with two of the right personalities and the right kind of breakup, and in the right time, two people can remain friends. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing where if six weeks after a breakup and you’ve been in a relationship for six years you can be buddies and talk about who you’re dating. But with the right amount of time, absolutely.
Outbreak: What advice would you give to filmmakers who want to make their film look great but have a limited budget?
Krieger: That’s a big question. I think absolutely the way technology is moving really the past five years, especially with the 5D and with the Arri Alexa, it has given us the opportunity to make stuff that feels expensive. You look at Like Crazy which was shot on 7D for very little money. I think the one constant here is you still need a great story.
You still need great performances, and you need to execute that story. That won’t ever change. I’m hoping that the upside to technology becoming cheaper and more accessible is that people will go, “Okay well now it’s not solely about production value anymore.” Production value alone can’t guarantee you success. The storytelling and the performances have to be paramount. You can go out and make a movie that was shot on video, that was shot even on an iPhone, and if the story and the performances and the storytelling are really compelling, people will be into it.
For people who feel they can’t shoot a movie for a certain budget – it depends on the material they’re trying to do. I do think there are filmmakers who think they can’t shoot anything under ten million bucks but the reality is there are many stories you can tell for fifty grand. Remember when Pulp Fictioncame out and everyone wanted to make another Pulp Fiction? They tried to make it with $100,000. It’s not a one size fits all game…whatever your story is you’ve got to go in and tell it responsibly. Otherwise why go through all the trouble.
Outbreak: So you shot your film on what camera?
Krieger: We shot it on the Arri Alexa.
Outbreak: Ten years from now, when you look back on your work, will there be a theme that resonates in your work?
Krieger: I’m definitely going to go back to directing my own material. I made a conscious effort not to take on material that’s been sent my way and there’s been some really great opportunities. The Vicious Kind was my first film. I wrote that and directed it and I want to do that again. In ten years, my guess would be the thing that would remain a constant for me is I love really strong, really active protagonists who also have the capability of being very vulnerable and even very volatile. Adam Scott’s role in The Vicious Kind is that. Rashida Jones’ role in Celeste and Jesse Forever is that. Generally the stuff that I’m writing or the material that I’m interested in – that tends to be the one common denominator. I’d like to explore different genres and explore different sides of the canvas with more scope than I’ve been working with.
* Celeste and Jesse Foreveralso stars Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, and Ari Graynor.