The Joss Whedon-produced horror flick might just come out by the time Joss Whedon's 'Avengers' does
Third entry in franchise aims to serve as explanatory prequel
Few people could have foreseen the massive success of homespun, made-on-the-super-cheap horror film "Paranormal Activity" in 2009. Oren Peli notoriously made the film in his own home with a pair of unknowns, and by way of some clever "but is it real?" marketing a la "The Blair Witch Project" and a grassroots campaign to get the film into theaters, the film ultimately made almost two hundred million dollars worldwide and spawned an unlikely franchise. The film used a found footage format to amp up tension and provide myriad scares, but it didn't quite place an emphasis on actual story.
The second film sought to capitalize on the massive success of the first film, but with a plotline that tried to shoehorn in some big explanations about why the terrors of the first film happened specifically to leads Katie and Micah. It was a standard approach to translating one film into a franchise, but it never quite fit for me. Part of the horror of "Paranormal Activity" was the unknown, giving it a mythology later on that seemed created just to continue the films didn't win any kudos from me. Which is why I am not particularly excited about "Paranormal Activity 3." The third film in the franchise is digging even further back in the past to explain why housebound entities are targeting sisters Katie and Kristi.
"Paranormal Activity 3" is set in the late '80s, and is presented in the form of home movies that document the childhood of Katie and Kristi (the respective female stars of the first two films). Instead of setting up a camera to document strange happenings, this footage shows us a happy family and two mischievous little girls who happen to tap into something that will terrorize them not only as kids, but later in life.
What's always been fun to me about the "Paranormal Activity" films is replaying their trailers in search of clues. Whereas the trailer for the second film required more than a couple of looks to capture all the hidden bits and latent scares, this one is not so subtle. But what "Paranormal Activity 3" does have is a more interesting team behind the camera - it's helmed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who had their own bout of unexpected buzz with their supposed-documentary "Catfish," which hit theaters last year. "Paranormal Activity 3" is ostensibly their first feature, but they are more than comfortable using handheld footage and putting together films that at least feel "real." Could they reignite my interest in this franchise? Maybe. The film opens on October 21.
You can check out the trailer below. Are you interested in seeing "Paranormal Activity 3"? What did you think of the first two films? Thanks to Trailer Addict for the video!
Could 'The Silver Linings Playbook' join her other literature-based roles?
Young Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence burst onto the scene with her tremendous performance in Sundance darling “Winter’s Bone” back in 2010. Her stellar work in that dark Appalachian drama garnered her that aforementioned Oscar nom, along with catapulting her straight into one-to-watch territory, territory that included a role in this summer’s X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and her very own franchise based on a bestselling YA novel series. “Winter’s Bone,” for all its buzz, has a background that’s not often mentioned – namely that it was adapted from Daniel Woodrell’s 2006 novel of the same. And it looks as if Lawrence may star in yet another book-to-film adaptation with some tough subject matter (that, however, takes things a bit lighter).
Deadline has the exclusive news that Lawrence is the frontrunner to grab the leading lady role in the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel “The Silver Linings Playbook.” Other actresses that were apparently in the running include all the standard young-star-on-the-rise names, including Rachel McAdams, Anne Hathaway, and Blake Lively. The film has an excellent pedigree – it will reteam cinematic best buds David O. Russell to direct and Mark Wahlberg to star.
The novel follows Pat Peoples, a misguided former high school history teacher who has just gotten out of a mental institution and must now return home to be looked after by his own mother. Pat attempts to reconstruct his life, which ends up including a nebulous friendship with another emotionally damaged person – Tiffany, the widowed sister-in-law of his own best friend. Wahlberg will play Pat, with Lawrence gunning for the interesting and offbeat role of Tiffany.
Of course, Lawrence also recently landed the coveted leading role in “The Hunger Games,” the first film adaption of Suzanne Collins’ young adult series about a post-apocalyptic America where teens are plucked from their homes and sent in to an annual battle to the death. Though there are three books in the “Hunger Games” series, Lionsgate has signed the cast for a four-film option (a move I reported on last month over at Gordon and the Whale). Despite this, the studio is still hedging its bets a bit, as the continuation of the franchise seems to hinge on how the first film does. I’ll go ahead and call it now – they will finish out the series. In the wake of the imminent end of the “Twilight” franchise, the YA set is desperate to throw their cinematic dollars at something else and “The Hunger Games” is not only a widely selling book series, it’s also (shock!) incredibly well-written.
But as big as “Hunger Games” could be (and should be), it looks as if Lawrence would have time enough in her schedule once the first “Hunger Games” film wraps to squeeze in the potential “Silver Linings” role. The film is expected to start production this fall.
Have you read "The Silver Linings Playbook"? Is Lawrence a good fit for Tiffany? If not, who else did you imagine in the role?
Mila Kunis uses body double in 'Friends with Benefits'?
These young ladies came in and they were in a casting room and I was there with the casting directer and make-up artist. These lovely women had to show us their derrieres and the chosen one resembled my body the most without looking like it's fake.
I showed side-boob, and I figured I can't just give away everything all at once. I have to let out little pieces here and there.
Coincidentally, 'Captain America' comes out tomorrow
"I drew that s**t before I even walked in the room!"
Beyond the obvious 'Why?' 'Who?' and 'Whaa?'
The acclaimed director's first film following his recent house arrest
Director Roman Polanski has completed his first new film since he was detained by Swiss authorities because of a decades-old sex abuse charge involving Polanski and a 13-year-old girl. At the time Polanski accepted a plea bargain but he fled the United States in 1978 just before his sentencing and he’s managed to resist extradition to the United States ever since. Although Polanski has been living and working in Europe for the past three decades, the recent incident re-ignited the controversy and sent much of Hollywood into two separate camps regarding how Polanski should be dealt with this many years after the fact.
Will Polanski’s scandal affect the reception of this film? “Carnage,” based on the Tony Award-winning play “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza, features a dream cast of Oscar favorites including John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, and Kate Winslet. It tells the story of two sets of parents who meet up after their young sons are involved in a schoolyard fight.
The sheer star power of the cast may outweigh any reservations among those who are unsympathetic to Polanski’s defenders. I am particularly excited about seeing Winslet in this meaty role, her first film outing since her double tour-de-force three years ago in “Revolutionary Road” and “The Reader.” She’s currently a favorite to win a Best Actress Emmy for her hard-edged portrayal of “Mildred Pierce” in the HBO mini-series and I can’t wait to see her back on the big screen. But then again, I’m such a fan of Winslet’s that I’d be first in line if she were doing a one-woman show based on the debt ceiling hearings.
“Carnage” will screen later this summer at the Venice Film Festival and will open in the United States on November 18. It remains to be seen how much the press will focus on Polanski’s legal problems in its coverage of this highly anticipated film.