When a famous television explorer goes missing in the Amazon, his wife and son vow to find out what really happened to him. Funded by the same reality TV company that provided the financial backing for Dr. Cole prior to his disappearance, the expedition becomes a tug-of-war for exclusive, full-access to the family’s grief and the increasing uncertainty every step of the way. But the farther they venture into the deep, treacherous jungle, the more everyone begins to realize that this journey is not just about a missing man — but what he found out there.
Tensions continue to rise as a few jumpy cameramen, fragile family members strained by not knowing what happened, and some genuinely spooky events take them to the breaking point. When traveling that far into the untamed wilds of the Amazon, no one knows exactly what they will find. That was Dr. Cole’s quest. He wanted to find out what was at the ends of the earth – what secrets does the lush overgrowth cover from the prying eyes of outsiders? Is it a lost tribe, haunted spirits, or something else entirely? One thing is for certain: nothing is exactly what it seems and it is much, much more dangerous.
The series features Leslie Hope as Tess, the estranged wife of Dr. Emmet Cole (played by Bruce Greenwood) and Joe Anderson as Lincoln, their adult son with troubles of his own. Aiding in their quest is Paul Blackthorn as Clark, the television producer who is more determined to protect the unaired, exclusive footage of those final days leading up to Dr. Cole’s disappearance and anything else they can get on film while on this perilous journey. Unwilling to rely only on Clark’s empty promises, they also recruit the help of a bodyguard Captain Kurt Brynildson (Thomas Krestchmann) and Dr. Cole’s former crew Emilio (Daniel Zacapa) and Lena (Eloise Mumford). The journey is about trust, alliances, and never being sure who is working against them.
But as more people turn up missing, the series takes on a darker, more sinister tone. Someone or something is out there in the darkness, lurking and waiting to strike. With such a lush and realistic setting, the show is stunning to watch. But that realism is a double-edge sword, it will make your skin crawl and look around to make sure you are still alone as you watch from the comfort of your living room.
Tiffany Vogt blogs at The TV Addict.
Previous trailers for Illumination Entertainment’s 3D animated treatment of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax have focused on selling the film as a brightly colorful flick with a child-friendly sense of humor, but also one that retains the themes of the good “doctor’s” original illustrated environmental parable.
Buzz surrounding Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is pretty positive for that reason, in combination with the news that the minds behind the popular feature-length CGI version of Horton Hears a Who! are likewise giving cinematic life to Seuss’ eponymous speaker-for-the-trees. The new Super Bowl XLVI TV promo for the film should only further improve its image as a quality piece of entertainment for the whole family.
Here is an official synopsis for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax:
The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.
Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic young boy who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Ashley, the girl of Ted’s dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O’Hare, and beloved actress Betty White will portray Ted’s wise Grammy Norma.
Now, have a look at the Super Bowl promo for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, below:
Be sure to check out our Edit Bay Report on Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax for more information about the film in general – along with a more intimate behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of adapting a famous children’s book for the big screen.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
Ravenous “Hunger Games” fans got another look at the upcoming March movie with the release of a new theatrical trailer yesterday, which will also air during the Super Bowl Sunday.
The movie adaptation is set to be released March 23, and three other movies, adapted from the next two books in the “Hunger Games” trilogy by author Suzanne Collins, are also planned.
Much like earlier teaser and theatrical trailers, the new one, which is a minute and eleven seconds in length, begins by introducing the important choice of heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). In Collins’ novels, it’s a dystopian future where the government forces two children, or young adults, from each area in the country to participate in deadly games. Only one contestant makes it out alive each time.
The trailer shows Katniss volunteering to go in her younger sister Prim’s place when Prim is chosen as the female contestant for that year. We also see a glimpse of Donald Sutherland as the powerful President Snow, projected on a video screen before the contestants are selected, and Elizabeth Banks playing Effie Trinket, a peppy announcer decked out in thick, white makeup.
This latest preview also details Katniss’ friendship with her hunting partner, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), whom she implores to provide food for her family while she’s gone, and shows Katniss with Cinna (Lenny Kravitz), the man hired to be Katniss’ stylist who also becomes her supporter. Brief training sequences as the contestants prepare for the games are shown as well as the Games' participants running through the forest after the contest has begun. And a blue-haired Stanley Tucci conducts an interview with Katniss as Caesar Flickerman, a Capitol resident who talks with all the Games contestants.
That eerie, whistling musical theme that ends the preview is bound to get any fan wishing it was March 23 already.
Check out the latest trailer below:
Found-footage films have become an increasingly bankable and a low risk prospect for movie studios. Audiences continue to fill theater seats in search of the next compelling found-footage franchise – even if a film doesn’t sport high production values or recognizable actors. That said, the genre has typically enjoyed its biggest successes with horror fans – and is mostly untested in other film categories.
With Chronicle, first time feature-film director Josh Trank tries to deliver compelling character drama and entertaining onscreen action – as well as prove that there’s more opportunity in the genre than just spooky jump scares.
As moviegoers become more selective about the never-ending flood of superhero and found-footage “me too” projects available to them, it would be easy to write-off Chronicle as just another trendy cash-grab. However, after a string of less-than-satisfying faux “documentaries” (such as The Devil Inside) and high profile, but ultimately uninspired hero flicks (such as Green Lantern), it’s safe to say that Chronicle is poised to genuinely surprise a lot of moviegoers with intriguing characters, cool visuals, and an increasingly gripping central storyline.
Following the exploits of average teens Andrew (Dane DeHaan), Steve (Michael B. Jordan), and Matt (Alex Russell), Chronicle begins when the friends encounter a mysterious entity that – after afflicting them with days of bloody noses – results in the trio developing advanced telekinetic abilities. The boys quickly discover that their newfound super powers can be manipulated, honed, and strengthened – resulting in the ability to control larger objects, as well as mimic other traditional enhanced “abilities,” such as flight and invulnerability. However, as their powers increase, so does their potential to unintentionally (or intentionally) cause harm to others. Ultimately, the friends agree to keep their abilities in check, but it’s a delicate balance that one member of the group – the proverbial loner who has suffered physical and emotional abuse at home and at school – isn’t as ready to accept.
While there’s no shortage of awkward ways in which the events of Chronicle are caught on film (especially in the last act, where none of the primary characters have time to carry actual cameras around), some of the implementations represent a major step up for the genre. Early on, Andrew perfects the ability to move the camera with his telekinetic powers – resulting in much more dynamic and fluid cinematography that subsequently allows all the characters to be in various scenes, instead of always having one hiding behind the camera. While that method obviously can’t be applied to other found-footage films, it doesn’t detract from the creativity of the Chronicle filmmakers, who were especially methodical in delivering both an entertaining and unique movie that’s made better because of its found-footage format.
Another area where the film excels above similar genre fare is the trio of super powered protagonists. Chronicle doesn’t try to strong-arm audiences from action sequence to action sequence, and actually takes the time to build a cohesive character journey for its characters. Instead of flat and shallow protagonists, Andrew, Steve, and Matt each have interesting interpersonal dynamics and arcs that flourish as they explore both their abilities and their newly formed friendships. While the succeeding events might be somewhat familiar to comic book movie regulars, the characters offer plenty of entertaining and believable moments – even after the movie starts to take a dark turn.
Watching the guys discover and revel in their abilities never gets old, and the “rules” of the film open up a lot of fresh opportunities as the friends grow stronger and more capable – resulting in increasingly interesting super-power sequences, as well as a lot of fun nods to traditional superhero source material. That said, while the movie presents plenty of cool visuals, it is Chronicle‘s dedication to its characters and their experiences that truly elevates the experience. The end result is a surprisingly charming and humorous ride for the majority of the proceedings.
As mentioned, the overarching narrative arc is also pretty dark and touches on some disturbing elements that could be challenging for some moviegoers expecting a more whimsical superhero film. Andrew endures a number of realistic bullying and abuse scenarios – which are not at all understated. While it’s unfair to criticize a PG-13 film for being “dark,” events in the third act do come fast and furious, representing a pretty sharp shift in tone that some viewers might not feel is entirely “earned” – even if the proceedings are believable and successfully grounded in the larger storyline.
Though some of the character moments might prove to be too intense for younger superhero enthusiasts, Chronicle offers an intense and riveting finale that is on par with plenty of bigger budget action films. The use of camera phones, security footage, and police surveillance tapes might seem like a hokey way to showcase the final climactic moments of the film, but surprisingly that doesn’t actually distract from the strength or success of the final set piece. There’s no doubt that Chronicle will raise the bar for visual spectacle in future found-footage movies.
Director Josh Trank, paired with a cast of likable actors, has definitely proved potential naysayers wrong – Chronicle is not a genre mash-up cash grab. Due to some truly creative thinking and intriguing cinematography, the filmmaking team has shown that “found-footage” doesn’t have to be relegated to thin story lines and flat characters who do nothing more than move audiences from jump scare to jump scare. Chronicle isn’t just a unique found-footage movie or superior superhero film, it’s a truly enjoyable blend of the best each genre has to offer.
Ben Moore blogs at Screen Rant.
With Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest offering from this eclectic quartet, there are so many musical styles at work that it should sound like a jumble, a curious train wreck best quietly forgotten. If music executives had come up with this Big Concept, they would have been shown the door, or perhaps shoved out the open window of the 87th floor.
Thankfully, it was the musicians themselves who found each other on their own musical journeys, and found in each other kindred spirits for making music that was fun, bluesy, and utterly original.
I’ve been to classical concerts, and I’ve spent many a fine afternoon swatting mosquitoes at late-summer bluegrass festivals. Goat Rodeo Sessions somehow encapsulates both of those worlds, and blending them into a musical whole that makes sense. All without the smell of a porta-potty.
Judging from the long line waiting to get into Boston’s House of Blues, this week, to attend a live performance of Goat Rodeo Sessions, there are a lot of people who get what it is that Ma, Meyer, Thile, and Duncan are trying to do. And judging from the crowd’s call for more – and one young fan’s unsolicited marriage proposal to Thile, wisely turned down – the crowd liked what they got.
From their first number, a bluesy number called “Quarter Chicken Dark,” you realize this is new musical territory, and there’s so much more to explore. Meyer’s bass provides the heart-beat that keeps toes tapping. Duncan’s violin provides the melody that one hums for days afterward. Yo-Yo Ma somehow manages to work in incredibly rich cello solos, while keeping it all together with eye contact with each player. Thile is the kid genius, swiveling like Elvis, and ripping through mandolin solos that would make Hendrix consider switching instruments.
What Ma, Meyer, Thile, and Duncan are doing, of course, is not entirely revolutionary. Antonin Dvorak and Aaron Copland and George Gershwin also incorporated American folk melodies in their compositions. But I suspect they didn’t have as much fun as Ma, Meyer, Thile, and Duncan.
In a phone interview, Duncan says he was thrilled when Chris Thile called him up to suggest the Goat Rodeo project. He just had one question: What in the world would they have in common to play.
“Before I had the chance to say, ‘wow, we’re going to have to pretty much write everything ourselves,’ Chris says, ‘….and the plan is to write everything ourselves.’”
Duncan, who has played 25 years with the Nashville Bluegrass Band, said he found that the differences between the musicians had more to do with personality type than with musical genres.
“The big surprise was how effortless it all was for Edgar and Chris,” says Duncan, “and maybe because they’re math guys. Well, Edgar is a calculus guy, like, he reads it for fun. He and Chris did the entire recording without music, in fact. That’s something both Yo-Yo and I did not do. We’re both sheet music people. I think Yo-Yo Ma, he’s like me but from a different angle. Being able to read something as well as he can, but still no matter, it takes a while to where you feel comfortable with the music.”
I’ve listened to this album dozens of times now, and I still don’t know which song I like the best. But I love the urgency of “Here and Heaven,” sung by Chris Thile and featured vocalist Aoife O’Donovan. In the midst of the House of Blues, I found myself closing my eyes, and being transported. Yeah, that’s the good stuff. (Here’s a clip, recorded at James Taylor’s barn-studio in the Berkshires, where the album was produced.)
(The Goat Rodeo Sessions, performed at House of Blues on Jan. 31 was simultaneously broadcast live in 430 cinemas around the country, thanks to NCM Fathom and Sony Masterworks. The program was also taped by WGBH and is expected to be re-broadcast on PBS stations later this year.)
The Woman in Black is the third major film to be produced under the Hammer banner in the past few years (the other two being The Resident, starring Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Christopher Lee, and Let Me In, the English language remake of Let the Right One In), and in a many ways it feels like the Hammer horror films of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to talk with Daniel Radcliffe about starring in The Woman in Black — out this Friday — Hammer horror movies, being skeptical about ghosts and the supernatural, and playing Allen Ginsberg in the upcoming Kill Your Darlings.
On his favorite thing about stepping back in time and into the role of Arthur Kipps, Radcliffe said:
“On a completely superficial level? The costumes. If I could wear that stuff all the time, I really would. […] When you put [one of those costumes on], it makes you stand differently – it kind of ages you slightly, actually. It’s quite helpful in that effort.”
Indeed, one of the most jarring things about the opening moments of The Woman in Black is seeing Daniel Radcliffe – the boy who lived, Harry Potter – in the role of father and widower. Granted, this film takes place at a point in history when young men (Radcliffe is 22-years-old) were already well on their way toward grandfatherhood. Still, it’s initially difficult to break free from our preconceived notions of the actor as anything but a boy wizard, since we’ve known him almost exclusively as such for the past decade.
On the subject of the period of the film, Radcliffe continues:
“What’s kind of great about that period is that it came […] after five thousand years of [England] being a completely pagan nation. We fell out of love with any kind of spirituality as soon as Christianity came in. [Then], in the Victorian era, [England suddenly] started to come around to the idea of spirits and demons and the notion of there being [an] afterlife.”
On whether or not he was paying tribute to the Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee Hammer horror films of yore – The Woman in Black is a Hammer film – Radcliffe said:
“Absolutely. Peter Cushing was the still center of all those films around which that chaos could develop. So yes. [And if I wasn’t] actually paying tribute, I was certainly aware that had this film been made in a different time, Peter Cushing would’ve got the part.”
Cushing was, of course, later known for his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, but his most prominent work was with Hammer Film Productions – as Baron Victor Frankenstein in The Curse of Frankenstein, as Van Helsing in Dracula, as John Banning in The Mummy, and as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, amongst others.
On the topic of Hammer Film Productions, Radcliffe continued:
“The Hammer banner is wonderful, it’s a fantastic thing for […] me particularly because, having been in the British film industry all my life – if you’re not working with people who actually worked the [Hammer] films, you’re working with their kids. The person who did my makeup on all the Potter movies, her dad, Eddie Knight, did all the original Hammer makeup. So, growing up in the industry in the England, you’re always very aware of those films and the importance they had and what they did for the industry […] in England.
“[It’s also great] because we can push the horror a little more, because Hammer’s there. We can have go back to old standards of creepy toys and a haunted house and all those kind of things that recur. And because it’s Hammer, […] nobody questions it.”
Easily one of the best things about The Woman in Black is its reliance on practical cinematic trickery and effects as opposed to CGI or digital enhancement. The film, for the most part, is a truly old-fashioned haunted house film. There are times when it feels too much like something we’ve seen before – the ending, for example, will likely come across as predictable – but where the scares and cinematography are concerned, its aged style is ironically a breath of fresh air.
On whether or not Radcliffe drew from the Susan Hill novel on which The Woman in Black was loosely based, he said:
“Obviously, I did read the book and, you know, [our film and the book] are very different in terms of how the story is framed. This is a very different adaptation, but also, I find some comfort in the fact that every adaptation of this book has been very different. [The story] has had to be changed in some way to fit the medium in which it’s going into.”
The Woman in Black has now been adapted four times — once for television in 1989 on Britain’s ITV network, twice for BBC Radio in 1993 and 2004, and now by way of film. The story of the film is very, very different from the book, which utilized a much less conventional ending, and arguably a sadder one.
As for whether or not Radcliffe based his portrayal on the book version of Arthur Kipps, he said:
“It was the same when I played Harry – I go off the script. Here’s the thing, if I go home and I read the book and I say, ‘Oh, that’s great, that’s really, really good, I like that a lot,’ and then I come in [on the set] the next day and I say to James [Watkins, the director], ‘Can we try and put this in somewhere?’ Then it will mean James will have call Jane [Goldman], the writer, and Jane will have to speak with Susan and [et cetera, et cetera]. So […] rather than cloud issues, it’s best to just go off the script, on a day-to-day level.”
On the biggest scare, in his opinion, of The Woman in Black, Radcliffe said:
“I think it’s the hand going up to the window. When I touch the window and the face [of the Woman in Black] appears [in the reflection]. And that was one I knew was there, and it still got me. [...] Actually, when I was filming, I didn’t know – you know that shot in the trailer [where I’m looking out the window and she appears behind me]? That shot, which is brilliant — I had no idea that that’s what was eventually going to happen […], so when I saw the trailer for the first time, I did go [lurches backward, makes indescribable frightened noise].”
On the status of his own belief in ghosts, Radcliffe said:
“[It’s] nonexistent. I don’t have any belief in ghosts or the supernatural or anything like that, unfortunately.”
On why his character stays in the house of the Woman in Black to do, essentially, paper work, despite the fact that there is a terrible and ghastly ghost woman in black tormenting him:
“One of the first questions I asked James was, ‘Why does [Arthur] stay there?’ The moment you read the first page [of the script], you know it’s going to end badly. Get out of there, idiot. I had that question, too. And there’s that great line where I say to somebody, ‘Oh, no, it’s fine, I’ll just work through the night.’ [Laughter.] So I said to James, ‘Why does he stay in the house, what’s that about?’ And James said, ‘Well, here’s a young man who has lost his wife and he goes to this house and he suddenly starts seeing the – what he thinks is – the ghost of a dead woman. To have any kind of confirmation that that is what he is seeing would mean that he would be able to confirm the fact that there is an afterlife which means he will perhaps one day see his wife again.’ So he’s staying there for some kind of sense of conciliation, I suppose.”
On Misha Handley, Daniel’s real-life godson, playing Arthur Kipps’ adorable young son, and whether or not he wants to be an actor as he gets older, Radcliffe said:
“I don’t think he [wants to be an actor] now. He’s four. He wants to be everything [and that’s] changing every day. You know, he has no ambition whatsoever in this area, to my knowledge. I think he had a really good time on the film [and] I think he’d do it again, but not for any other reason than ‘that got me out of school for a few days.’ I mean, yeah, it was fantastic having him there. I became totally protective of him. And, like, just worried, because he was four when we filmed it. And I was hoping, the first time he stepped on set, it would be like a really nice day and he’d have a fun time – no, it was a night-shoot, it was freezing cold, we were on a train platform somewhere. He had a nice time for like the first two hours and then he was like, ‘It’s cold, can I go to bed now.’ […] I was so obsessed with [him having a nice time] at the time that I didn’t really notice that he actually gave a really nice performance and he’s really sweet and good in the film.
“What was really great about it was, he didn’t really know what we were doing there. It would get to the point where he’d have to say a line and he’d just not say anything. I’d give his hand a little squeeze and he’d look up at me, like, ‘What?’ And I said, ‘Say hello, Sam.’ [And he said], ‘Hello, Sam.’ And he’d look at me again, like, ‘Happy now?’ The way I kind of told it to him was, like, ‘I’m playing a dad in this, so I need you to help me.’ So he was just – helping Uncle Dan. And that was what he thought he was doing.’”
On the subtext of the film, Daniel Radcliffe said:
“That was one of the things I felt about it, was that [the subtext] felt unusual for the genre. [‘The Woman in Black’ is] unashamedly a horror film, but it’s character-driven and it does have some really strong themes. For me, the film was about what happens to us if we don’t move on from a loss. If we can’t move on. Arthur is somebody who has been devastated by his loss and has become devastated from the world, from his son, from his life. The Woman in Black has had a terrible wrong done to her during her life and has, of course, been unable to move on from that and [was] consumed by grief and rage and has carried that desire for revenge into the afterlife with her. Then there’s the fisher’s marriage, which has all gone wrong. [There’s] the fact that Ciaran [Hinds] is in denial [about his son’s death] and Janet [McTeer, who plays Ciaran’s wife], is having visions. Everybody is reacting to grief in a different way in this film.
“And if you like the kind – the ‘battle’ in the film, as it were, between Arthur and the Woman in Black, it’s kind of a fight for closure. A fight for who can move on first. […] They’re the two most extreme reactions to a death.”
On whether or not he’s a fan of horror films, Radcliffe said:
“I would [consider myself a fan], but I wouldn’t consider myself an aficionado in any way. I’m not one of those guys that will just see a trailer and [say], ‘Oh, I’m going to go see that.’ […] I’m like that about some [genres], but not about horror, I’ve never had that [obsession] about this particular genre. Which comes, in part, from the fact that I could never cope with gore or anything like that.”
On whether or not he’s more comfortable acting on stage or screen:
“The audience is really easy to forget about [on stage]. The camera is not. That’s what I find hard. I also find hard the broken up nature of filming, which is odd, because I’ve done it all my life, so it should be natural. And these, by the way, are conclusions I’ve come to very recently. […] On stage, I don’t have to think about [the intention of the scene] because the whole story’s being told in one go, and all I have to do is get on stage and listen, which is what I’m very good at. Listening, being engaged – I have no problems with. […] Whereas on film, because it’s so broken up, it can sometimes mean you come back to a scene [and be] slightly unsure of what exactly you should be doing.”
On what he’s looking most forward to with regard to playing Allen Ginsberg in the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings, a 2013 film about murder and the great poets and writers of the beat generation:
“What’s been wonderful so far is doing all the research. I’ve been looking into his childhood and his life and I’m reading the journals at the moment. I’m about to read the biography. It’s fantastic. He’s obviously an extremely interesting character. […] What’s interesting about him — the more I learn about him, in his life, he was more or less the most placatory person you could ever have met. He was all about trying to keep peace and trying to keep any situation calm. His mother had a deep personality disorder, so he was at home a lot of times as a kid just watching – just trying to make sure everything was okay. […] Which is why it’s intriguing that he was so confrontational in his poetry. It was like that side could never come out in any kind of actual social interaction. [I’m] mainly [looking forward to] working with the director. It’s his first film. He’s a young guy called John Krokidas. I think he’s going to make a fantastic, fantastic movie. He’s co-written it as well. He’s just really super-smart.”
On whether or not he has a dialect coach yet to get his non-British accent up to snuff, Radcliffe said:
“Oh, absolutely. I’m working on my New Jersey Jew at the moment.”
Ben Moore blogs at Screen Rant.
Game of Thrones was arguably the most well-received and critically-acclaimed new genre show of the last year – and now that the 2011 Emmys and the Golden Globes have come and gone, you can add award-winning to that list, as well.
Since closing out its first season way back in June, fans of the HBO fantasy series – based on the popular A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R. R. Martin – have been waiting impatiently for their first glimpse of Season 2.
Check it out below:
The trailer does a perfect job of giving fans of the series just enough information and imagery to temporarily satisfy our nigh-on insatiable Game of Thrones cravings while still remaining mostly vague.
We see, amongst other things:
- Catelyn Stark, with her knife drawn on Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish — the man who betrayed her husband in the previous season, ultimately leading to his beheading.
- Princess Daenerys, ever-seeking her rightful throne, by violence if necessary (where are her adorable dragon babies?)
- King Joffrey, torturing the helpless Sansa Stark because her brother’s Northern armies are proving to be difficult in battle.
- Cersei Baratheon (formerly Lannister), hated by the people she essentially rules over, perhaps to the point of being in danger.
- Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s illegitimate son, on the search for his missing uncle on the other side of The Wall – where the monstrous White Walkers lurk.
- Arya Stark, growing hardened and more cynical as a result of her father’s unjust murder, talking about how “anyone can be killed.”
- And most prominently, the trailer features Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), leading us to believe that he’ll play an important part not only in the show, but also in the political world of Westeros.
The trailer shows but a glimpse of Stannis Baratheon (played by Stephen Dillane) – brother to the ex-king and (arguably) the rightful heir to the throne – even though his voiceover was the only thing heard in the previous teaser. One can assume he’ll play a more impactful role over the course of the new season than he does in the trailer.
Are you excited for Season 2 to return in little more than two months? Let us know in the comments.
Game of Thrones Season 2 premieres April 1st, 2012. And no, that is not an April Fool’s joke.
Ben Moore blogs at Screen Rant.
Honda has recently been teasing its upcoming Super Bowl XLVI ad, which features actor Matthew Broderick (sort of) reprising his iconic turn from the John Hughes classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The two-minute long TV spot not only features several shout-outs to the most famous lines and moments from that 1986 comedy, it was also directed by none other than The Hangover franchise helmer, Todd Phillips.
For those of you who only tune in to the aforementioned National Football League game each year in order to watch advertisements like this – and everyone else ready to see Broderick take another day off – you can now watch an extended version of the promo, online.
No need for further introductions – check out the “Ferris Bueller” Super Bowl ad below:
While neither this commercial as a whole nor Broderick’s “performance” are exactly the most inspired things ever, there is something fun about hearing the man recite some of the more famous “Buellerisms” about living life to the fullest. If nothing else, you can at least enjoy catching the number of visual references to the most iconic moments in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – be it the bit with Broderick staring avidly at a setup in the natural history museum, his constant near-encounters with his boss, or the concluding shot where the actor once again tells viewers to go do something else (now that the show is over).
On a side note – Broderick may not be so convincing a charmer now as he was back in his Ferris Bueller days, but can anyone truly deny the everlasting coolness that is Yello’s 1985 single, “Oh Yeah”?
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.
When stylized action director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team and Smokin’ Aces) began preparing a no-holds barred man-versus-nature film in the wilds of Alaska, more than a few cinephiles scratched their heads.
Then, when word began to spread that Carnahan’s dramatic thriller film, titled The Grey, was being positioned as Oscar-bait for star Liam Neeson, while at the same time promising an intense and “horrific” survival story, potential moviegoers began to take serious note.
It’s easy to see how The Grey collaborators ultimately affected the final onscreen result – as the film excels in a number of ways (tense and gripping life or death scenes as well as a noteworthy performance from Neeson) but also falls short in several others (such as character development). While plenty of filmgoers enjoyed Carnahan’s A-Team and Smokin’ Aces, there’s no doubt that the over-the-top tone of those films would have been out of place in The Grey. As a result, it’s encouraging to see the director stretch his comfort zone a bit – even if the final result isn’t flawless.
The Grey follow the story of John Ottway (Liam Neeson), a deeply depressed hunter-guard at an isolated oil refinery in Alaska. Ottway is a rough around the edges type who spends his days traversing the perimeter of the refinery killing wild animals that, if unchecked, could threaten the plant’s various workers. That is, until Ottway and an entire plane full of refinery employees (en route to Anchorage for leave) crashes in the middle of the Alaskan wilds. While most of the passengers die instantly in the crash, a few survivors emerge from the wreckage – only to discover that not only are they going to have to fight the elements to reach safety alive, they’re being hunted by a pack of ruthless and unrelenting wolves. While a few of the men are initially skeptical of Ottway, the group ultimately agrees to follow him away from the plane wreckage and into the elements – in the hopes of finding safety.
As a result of the isolated locale, The Grey is a combination of character-focused exchanges as well as chilling and intense nature/wolf action encounters. Unfortunately, as with other Carnahan projects, the character moments are somewhat of a mishmash. There are numerous standout opportunities for Neeson and other actors, such as Frank Grillo (Diaz) to shine but, aside from a few primary characters, most of the other survivors are presented with thin (and even manipulative) emotional padding. While there’s no doubt that audiences can “explain away” some of the filmmaker’s attempt to humanize other survivors, it’s obvious that Carnahan had quick and dirty go-to solutions for investing viewers in each person – i.e. this one will have a kid, etc. Even though there’s a lot of time spent on character backgrounds, with the exception of Ottway and Diaz very few of the survivors are anything more than The Grey‘s version of potential (no spoilers) “Red Shirts.”
That said, a lot of moviegoers will likely find that certain characters and their various interactions are ultimately enough to carry the film – at least from action set piece to action set piece. Neeson offers his usual subtle but likable intensity – whether attempting to rally his fellow survivors into conquering the elements or stamping out insurrections. While Ottway is still a pretty straightforward character, Neeson’s portrayal coupled with some compelling (but not overdone) flashback material, makes him a worthwhile focal point for the unfolding events.
However, it’s those unfolding events that truly make The Grey a riveting moviegoing experience. While survival experts and especially outdoorsy types will likely be able to poke holes in a number of the man versus nature scenarios depicted in the film, any potential inaccuracies aren’t likely to affect regular viewers. Maybe ignorance is bliss?
For the rest of us, The Grey presents a number of unique and equally tense set-pieces for the survivors to encounter – keeping the tension up without simply watching the wolves take down one survivor after another. The wolves are definitely responsible for a lot of carnage in the film (a controversial depiction itself); however, their overarching function in the story is to keep the survivors moving – forcing less-capable characters into dangerous life or death scenarios. Without listing (and spoiling) the set-pieces, it’s fair to say that Carnahan definitely utilizes a variety of potential challenges the survivors would face in the Alaskan wild – leading to a couple of truly intense moments.
Between the (sometimes thin) character interactions and the riveting action set-pieces, Carnahan also injects a number of philosophical ideas (about death, love, and nature) that may entice some moviegoers, but most of which are never entirely wrapped up in a way that makes the added effort really sing. As a result, the end of the film itself could be somewhat of a sore spot for audiences – as certain elements of the finale are earned, while other aspects are jumbled together without any real payoff.
The Grey is ultimately at odds with itself – and at times, over-extends its reach. Fortunately, even if there are problems, Carnahan’s ambitions help The Grey be a better film than his earlier efforts. Another noteworthy performance from Liam Neeson keeps most of the character moments engaging (in spite of thinly formed supporting roles) and the man versus nature scenario offers a number of memorable set-pieces (even if the director chose compelling action over uncompromising believability from time to time). The Grey might not be the next Alive – but there’s no doubt it raises the bar for future character-driven survival thrillers.
Ben Kendrick blogs at Screen Rant.
Giving credence to the old idiom that you can’t keep a good man down, Kiefer Sutherland returned to television Wednesday night in Tim Kring’s 'Touch.' Cooler still, much like his most famous small screen ego that saw him defeat evildoers twenty-four-hours at a time, the artist formerly known as Jack Bauer will once be asked to save the world. Except this time, as widower Martin Bohm, he’ll be doing so through a [misdiagnosed] "autistic" son [David Mazouz] whose obsession with numbers may turns out to be a ... lot more than meets the eye.
When an actor has had the type of success you had with such a groundbreaking series like 24, they rarely come back to television so quickly. What was it about 'Touch' that enticed you to return so soon?
Kiefer Sutherland: It was a combination of things. I had an unbelievable experience on 24, we shot 198 episodes and I was as excited about shooting the 198th as I was the first. And so that combined with this script, it wasn’t even really a choice anymore. It was something that I knew I had to do. I remember thinking about it really strongly when I was crossing the street in New York and the person who I work with Susan, I remember saying to her if we don’t do this, how are we going to feel in September watching it knowing all of its potential and how great we both think it can be. And that answered my question for me. I didn’t want to be sitting there watching this fantastic show in September if I had had the opportunity to be a part of it.
In terms of the script, at what point did you connect with this new character of Martin Bohm?
I identified with him out of the gate. There was something interesting because obviously this is very different than 24. Yet there is a real similar through line in the kind of character of the man. Jack Bauer would be faced with unbelievable circumstances in the course of a day and he would never win completely and this guy is never going to win either. He’s never going to have the quintessential relationship of a father and a son. Yet he perseveres and that’s a great kind of character statement and so I identified with him greatly on that and I think as a parent as well just the sense of responsibility combined with not knowing what to do all the time. Even though this is again a heightened experience, I think every parent feels that.
For audience members out there who are so used to associating you with Jack Bauer on 24, how do you convince them that this is going to be just as entertaining, just as interesting and intriguing as that series was?
I don’t know if there is convincing. I think that ultimately almost in the way that 24 started, people that are initially interested, whether they’re a fan of Tim Kring or a fan of mine or like the trailer, they’ll watch it and then if they feel strongly about it, they’ll tell friends and we have to rely on that. For me personally I feel that there is a great deal of suspense within the context of the show, even in the not knowing what the numbers are and the narrative where the audience actually knows more than the lead character. So I think that even though we’re not blowing things up, I think that there is enough excitement around the drama of this show, that people will not be that thrown by it who enjoyed 24. And we really do rely on you guys telling people about it and hopefully it will be something that grows.
Could you talk a little bit about working with you on screen son David and forming that on-screen bond with him when he doesn’t talk back to you?
Davids’ an amazing young actor and he’s an amazing young man. He does something that is really I don’t—I think it would be impossible to try and teach an actor to do. He has very limited physical response to anything that I do. He doesn’t talk and yet I can feel his presence even if he’s not looking at me. I can always sense that he’s listening and I think that comes across to the viewer as well. That’s a real gift. He was the first boy out of about 25 young people that I read with and I remember thinking because I was doing the play at the same time, so I could only do five or six or seven kids a day. I remember thinking wow, this kid is amazing. If the other kids are going to be like this, we’re going to find an amazing kid. And I remember it was around the tenth kid, I was still thinking—and all of the kids I have to say were fantastic, but there was something really special with … and then obviously we should just hire the first kid and I’m thinking around 20, I say no, the first kid was still better. And then I read with close to 30 kids and I was finally like would you guys just please hire the first kid. He was just amazing and so that bond kind of started right away. He works a lot of hours with us, and I’ve just been completely amazed by how focused and attentive he is and interested in it. I think that’s a big thing. He’s not being made to do this. I think he actually really does enjoy it and he’s very curious about how to get better and it’s been a phenomenal experience. I really, really do love working with him.
What can you tease about the kind of journey Martin will go on in this first season? I could tell you a lot. But I think at the beginning of the story we discover Martin who has a son named Jake who in the course or our story we realize has been misdiagnosed with severe autism and in fact is actually just a truly, truly evolved human being that is years and years beyond where my character is and our society is at. And in an effort to communicate with my son, I discover that he has this unbelievable skill set that allows him to interpret numbers and symbols in a way that kind of explain our past and to some degree predict our future and that’s where we start the show off. My journey, very much like the Chinese fable that the story is based on, which was called, “The Red Thread” and the red thread is basically a red thread that is loosely looped around the ankles of all the people that are supposed to come in contact with each other over the course of a lifetime. This thread can stretch and it can bend, but it cannot break, and somehow in our society we have broken this and my son is taking me on a journey to try and put the thread back together.
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.