The brutal Nicolas Winding Refn film is a heartstopper
This year's Comic-Con is in full swing down in sunny San Diego, and few panels have garnered as much positive Twitter buzz than the one that featured a look at Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" (and if you follow the tweets that come out of SDCC, you'll know that positive buzz is the name of the game, so saying that a panel came out on top in buzz - that's really saying something). I was lucky enough to catch the film at this year's Los Angeles Film Festival, and it's a beautiful - and brutal (a word I can't and won't overuse when it comes to this particular film) - piece of work.
The film stars Ryan Gosling as an unnamed driver - he's a grease monkey who sometimes gets sidework as a stunt driver on some Hollywood productions, but the real money comes in when he moonlights as a getaway driver for all manner of crimes, just so long as they hinge on getting away good and quick. Things change for him when he gets roped into a new job with two mobsters (played terrifyingly by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). And then things change again when he takes up with his charming new neighbor, Carey Mulligan, and her young son.
The red band trailer gives us a good look at the style the infuses the film's every frame, along with the violence that bursts out in increasing frequency. "Drive" may feature, well, lots of driving, but it's also surprisingly bloody and gun-heavy. It's a stunner, but it's one of those films people like to call a "hard-R," rife with complications and big blasts and pulpy twists that put other action flicks to shame. Yet for all that brutality, "Drive" also serves as just a continuation of Gosling's career, which is one that may see him take on all manner of roles, but roles bound by one common factor - outstanding, heartstopping performance.
American audiences are likely not familiar with Danish director Refn, but he won the Best Director prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival for "Drive," and there's no doubt why - the film is one of the most clear-eyed and well-directed projects I've seen all year. Refn is a startlingly assured director, and one of the few that could keep "Drive" rolling along on a straight track (forgive me). Refn previously directed Tom Hardy in a similarly eye-catching performance in "Bronson."
For now, check out the trailer over at IGN, and let us know what you think in the comments section. "Drive" opens on September 16.
Because of course he will
Zack Snyder's 'Man of Steel' moves to summer 2013
The film is a passion project for the 'Bridesmaids' star
It appears as if Annette Bening is looking to continue to beef up her resume with slightly kooky and generally lovable mother roles. Bening was recently nominated for an Oscar for her work in “The Kids Are All Right” as one half of a lesbian pair with a brood of two teenagers, and she’s currently filming a mother role in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ “He Loves Me” (that duo are also responsible for another great mother role – they directed Toni Collette in “Little Miss Sunshine”). Now Deadline reports that Bening is adding yet another maternal part to her slate – she will play Kristen Wiig’s mother in “Imogene.”
Wiig is executive producing and starring in the film, which has been touted as a passion project for the “Saturday Night Live” regular. Wiig has been championing the project for two years, and her recent pull after the tremendous success of “Bridesmaids” earlier this summer gave the film the boost it needed.
The script, penned by Michelle Morgan, has Wiig starring as a New York City playwright who attempts to win back in ex-boyfriend by way of a fake suicide attempt. The plan backfires spectacularly, and Wiig’s character finds herself in the custody of her mother, who has her own issues to deal with – she’s a gambling addict. But despite that somewhat bleak plotline, “Imogene” is supposedly more funny than sad. Bening and Wiig sound like a wonderful mother-daughter pairing for such a film. Bening has the experience and the mien to play this type of character, and Wiig has proven that she’s adept at striking the balance between funny and sad by way of self-exploration (her performance in “Bridesmaids” so struck me as delivering on that promise with aplomb).
“Imogene” is set to be directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (the pair have previously directed such varied fare as “Cinema Verite,” “American Splendor,” and “The Nanny Diaries”). “Imogene” is set to start filming in New York in August. Now we just need someone to play an ex-boyfriend worth faking suicide for (Ryan Gosling, anyone?).
Buys screen rights to 'A Discovery of Witches' novel
A Doc-Star talks About Cameras, Talking and Truth: 'Imagine if the Sumerians had FlipCams ...'
After the hard-hitting documentaries "The Fog of War" and "Standard Operating Proceedure" -- and earning an Oscar for "Fog" -- documentarian Errol Morris' latest, "Tabloid," promises both the rigor and refusal to look away he brought to his serious looks at war and the loopy, loony what-the-what? sense of possibility and play in his films "Fast, Cheap and Out-of-Control" and "Gates of Heaven." In '"Tabloid," Morris looks at a 1978 sex-and-power scandal where Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen, flew to England to retrieve Kirk Anderson, the lover she'd lost to the Mormon Church's missionary program; McKinney kidnapped Anderson, chained him to a bed and then either made love to him to bring him back to sanity -- or violated an unwilling man. Featuring plenty of McKinney's no-holds-barred sass and extensive interviews with the journalists who covered the "Manacled Mormon" story in the British press at the time, "Tabloid" is a fascinating, freaky look at what happens when private concerns become public narratives. We spoke with Morris in Los Angeles.
When you're conducting an interview as extensivley as you do, do you ever have a degree of awareness and sympathy for them where you think, 'Please stop talking?' You find yourself getting deeper and deeper? Or is that when you rub your hands together and say, 'Now it's getting good ...'?
Morris: I don't think it's either, really. I'm usually so focused on keeping an interview going, making sure that it's working, making it clear what they're saying; the story is emerging. All these competing, crazy concerns in an interview, I worry. I don't think that rubbing my hands together or cackling sounds quite right. There are things I hear in interviews which I think are pretty fantastic and I'm aware, 'Now this is something pretty damn good.' Usually it's something I become aware of after the fact: I become aware in the editing room. Usually it's not something that I'm aware of in the course of actually doing the interview, if you can believe it.
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!