The Wolfpack is back for one last adventure in mayhem
It was strange being at Caesar’s Palace to talk to cast members of “The Hangover, Part III.” When the first “Hangover” movie premiered in June 2009, nobody had ever heard of the Wolfpack or witnessed the crazy antics of Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stuart (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis). Much of the action of the first film took place at that luxury hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The next film in the trilogy bypassed Las Vegas for Thailand where the gang, accompanied by the hapless Doug (Justin Bartha) and the lunatic Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), got into major trouble yet again. In the third and final film in writer/director Todd Phillip’s raunchy trilogy, “The Hangover, Part III,” the Wolfpack returns to Caesars’s Palace for an appropriately raucous conclusion. But these days, the real Caesar’s Palace is full of signs of the series' success: movie-themed slot machines, Wolfpack t-shirts and visors, whole souvenir shops dedicated to the films’ outrageous shenanigans. Not to mention the groan-producing tourists who daily ask at the front desk, “This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace, is it?”
The first two films in the franchise have already earned more than a billion dollars worldwide. The new critic-proof film promises to add significantly to that jackpot. I spoke with several of the film's stars, including Heather Graham who played Jade, the sweet stripper who was briefly married to Stu in the first film and is back to bid her old buddies a fond farewell. In the new film, Phil, Stu, and Doug hold an intervention for struggling Alan, who finally agrees to go to rehab only if his friends drive him there. But, oops, the guys don’t quite make it to their intended destination. Leslie Chow has escaped from prison in Bangkok and some shady dealings he had with a notorious mobster (John Goodman) set events in motion that cause our friends to make a madcap detour to Sin City where they end up at their old Caesar's Palace haunting grounds.
Since it’s the final outing, I asked the cast what they’ll miss most about playing these characters. You can see their answers (after the break) including Heather Graham’s interesting speculation on how Jade may find financial success in the years to come.
Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, and Rooney Mara deliver
While a quick sketch of David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" might make it sound like the sort of film most mainstream audiences would go for in a big way - Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star as Bonnie and Clyde outlaw types who eventually get caught, sending one to jail and one to live without the other - the Sundance hit is a highly meditative, deeply beautiful drama that will likely divide audiences who wander in to see it expecting something simple.
It was also one of the most impressive films to debut at the festival this year.
Affleck and Mara star as Bob Muldoon and Ruth Guthrie, a couple on the run after a really ill-fated crime spree that leaves one person dead and one person injured. While engaged in a shootout with local police, Ruth ends up putting a bullet in an officer (Ben Foster), a crime that Bob takes the blame for, landing him an extended prison sentence.
Guilty but free, Ruth waits for Bob's return as she also tries to raise their young daughter, born when her pop was already in the big house. Bob does eventually get free, but circumstances have changed - many of them thanks to Foster's cop, who is still around (and getting closer to Ruth by the year). Sound like a standard drama with a love triangle? It's not, and it's all the better for it.
The film's first trailer is a uniquely well-made one, as its slow pace, beautiful photography, and sudden bang-bang-shoot-em-up style quite effectively mirrors the look and feel of the final film. It's a rare bit of marketing, a really truthful one, because if you like this trailer, you'll love this film. That's not something you read every day. Check out the first trailer for "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," thanks to The Film Stage, after the break.
She joins Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, and Adam Driver
Move aside, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber
The concert film has been back on the rise in a big way lately, with full-scale concert features chronicling such young-skewing talents as Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, the cast of "Glee," and Katy Perry taking over movie theaters everywhere (and guaranteeing that audiences don't need to set foot into an arena to hear the ear-splitting screams of adolescent fans). But what about music fans who aren't into the dulcet tones of the pre-pubescent?
Not to worry, as Metallica has something completely different planned for their fans with their new concert film, "Metallica Through the Never." Not just a 3D IMAX concert film, not just a look inside Metallica's most ambitious tour yet, not just an ear-blasting and eyeball-bursting musical outing, "Metallica Through the Never" also blends a narrative section into its groundbreaking take on the "concert film."
Even better? The narrative portion of the film also stars one of Hollywood's genuine rising stars, Dane DeHaan ("Chronicle," "The Place Beyond the Pines," the upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"). DeHaan stars as Trip, a roadie for the band who is dispatched on an "urgent mission" to pick up a mysterious package in the middle of the band's show. Trip's night takes a turn when he's hit by an out of control driver, but things only get much worse (and much more weird) when he emerges from his totaled van to find himself in the middle of a full-on riot. Oh, and there's also a masked guy on horseback who seems to have it in for the police, the rioters, and Trip.
Basically, it's wild, and so is this first trailer for the film.
Check out the rockin' first trailer for "Metallica Through the Never" below!
'American Horror Story' star will play Quicksilver, Magneto's son
Project has been compared to Broadway show 'Wicked'
Family and fast cars, evolution and Euro-destruction ...
Looking back, hiring Justin Lin -- at the time an indie sensation who'd made an uneasy leap to big-studio films with "Annapolis" -- to take over the "Fast & Furious" films with the third installment must have seemed like a risk at the time; in retrospect - and after films 4 and 5 gave the franchise new life by returning to old friends -- it was a stroke of genius. The "Fast" films have become commercial and critical successes - and it's all Lin's work, in many ways. We spoke with the director in London about shooting in that great city, forging a family out of characters and why his Aston Martin has a unexpected after-market add on in the back seat ...
MSN Movies: I mean, how strange is it to be in charge of a franchise where people are actually looking forward to part six of anything? I mean, is that testament to the work you've done on this series?
Justin Lin: (Laughs) All I can say is when I first signed on my dream was to hopefully change the sensibility, embrace the characters, and hopefully help them evolve, you know? And through their evolution the obstacles are going to shift. And I remember pitching to the studio and Vin back in '05 about like what we've built -- a mythology -- and where we should go with it. And so to be sitting with you here eight years later, it means that a lot of the stuff I've been talking about since eight years ago has now come to life.
Do you know geographically where you're going from film to film? Do you think? Do you just throw a dart at a map and go, "Oh London, we'll blow up that city next"? I mean how do you pick the locations?
(Laughs) Well I get the perks of the job to travel around the world you know? And I act like it's really hard so I get to travel more.
But Rio just felt like it was the right location for all the characters to come together for the first time. And I think after "Fast Five" I knew it was probably going to be somewhere in Europe, and I flew around and I really hung out at different countries. And there are some beautiful cities, but as soon as I landed in London I felt like this is the right place. It's a huge city. It's diverse. But there was something about even the quality of the sun. Like, even on a sunny day like this it's not fully sunny, at least from someone from L.A. you know? And that tone just felt right for what we're about to do to culminate everything.
And I know you used Glasgow to double in some of the street racing scenes, but this one of the most crowded urban areas in the world. I mean you drive for 50 minutes here, you're in Belgium. How do you get around the logistics of shooting here? Is that a challenge?
It's a huge challenge. I mean I tend to pick cities that are impossible to shoot driving scenes in, but what I love about my job is that that should not be an obstacle. You know I think my job is to just come up with ideas, and I have the best crew in the world to help execute. So the example here is that I remember seeing Piccadilly Circus and saying that it'd be great if you had this iconic Dom car coming right through, and they're like, "You're probably not going to get it." But I think having once we settled and were able to talk to the right people about why that needs to happen. We became only the third film they allowed to shoot in Piccadilly Circus.
Videodrone's take on the biggest, best, coolest and culty-ist releases of the week
"Side Effects" (Universal), medical drama-turned-psychological thriller with Jude Law and Rooney Mara, is ostensibly the last feature film from Steven Soderbergh, and it's a pretty sharp piece of filmmaking. Kind of like an updated Joe Esterhaus thriller from the nineties, only smarter and without any ice picks in sight. Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand. Videodrone's review is here.
"Beautiful Creatures" (Warner), the latest teen romance with a supernatural setting, stars Alice Englert as the new girl in town with magical powers and Alden Ehrenreich as the local boy entwined with her fate. Apparently it wasn't popular to spawn a franchise. Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand.
On the more traditionally action-oriented front, there is "The Last Stand" (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and at Redbox), the Arnold Schwarzenegger come-back film, and "Parker" (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and at Redbox), with Jason Statham as the brutal anti-hero of the Richard Stark's crime novels. Skewing older is "Stand Up Guys" (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, and at Redbox), the geriatric gangster buddy film with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin.
"The ABCs of Death" (Magnet, Blu-ray and DVD) is an indie anthology horror film with 26 short pieces, "The Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane" (Eagle Rock) looks back on the first two decades of the legendary band, and the Israeli drama "Yossi" (Strand, DVD) toplines the foreign list this week.
Most releases are also available as digital download and VOD via iTunes, Amazon, and other web retailers and video services.
TV on Disc:
"True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season" (HBO) is the final season of HBO's gothic pulp vampire melodrama supervised by Alan Ball, and he goes for broke with the most extreme season yet: more blood, more conspiracies, more transformations, and way more internal wars within and between the species. A little too much for many fans, but it's still addictive supernatural soap opera for many others. Oh, Sookie! 12 episodes on Blu-ray and DVD, plus commentary tracks, featurettes, and other supplements. Videodrone's review is here.
"Teen Wolf: Season 2" (Fox), MTV's entry in the supernatural teenager series, is turning out to be one of the best of the genre and a much more interesting and engaging series than "True Blood," as far as I'm concerned. 12 episodes on two discs on DVD. Reviewed on Videodrone here.