Although state-of-the-art in its rendering of textures, movement and stereography, DreamWorks’ latest 3D toon, The Croods, adopts a relatively primitive approach to storytelling with its Flintstonian construction of stock, ill-fitting narrative elements. Part family adventure story, part romance and part eye-popping thrill ride, this tale of a prehistoric family seeking a new home in a dangerous and geologically volatile environment won’t have the broad appeal of DreamWorks’ Shrek and Kung Fu Panda pics, or Fox’s own B.C.-era Ice Age franchise. But it should prove a solid earner after its March 22 release in a frame relatively free of rival predators. more »
There is apparently no end to Lilo & Stitch creator Chris Sanders' talents, from doing a great Nicolas Cage impression to braving the bitter cold at the NYC premiere of The Croods - with no jacket! more »
I'd almost forgotten that Nicolas Cage was once slated to star as Superman in the Tim Burton-directed Superman Lives, but now I want to be reminded of every bizarre detail. With Zack Snyder's Man of Steel looking like it will give Warner's Superman franchise the dramatic heft and substance of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, The Venture Bros. director Jon Schnepp wants to take us back to a much cheesier time in Superman's history with a documentary about what he says could have been "the weirdest Superman movie ever made." more »
Matt Damon and Frances McDormand starrer Promised Land by Gus Van Sant is one of six films that will screen in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival. Also starring John Krasinski and Rosemarie DeWitt, the film is one of two American titles the festival announced Thursday. Also joining the group is animated feature The Croods, playing out of competition. The title includes voices from Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.
Promised Land centers on Steve Butler (Damon) a former farm boy turned big city business guy who teams up with Sue (Frances McDormand) to sell financial prosperity to a struggling Pennsylvania town that has rich deposits of natural gas deep underground. The sales execs offer up easy cash in return for drilling rights on their property, but the process of extraction - known as fracking - divides the town.
Other titles included in the initial lineup of six films hail from Austria, Chile, France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Romania and Spain. The 63rd Berlinale takes place February 7 - 17.
The first six Berlinale '13 titles follow with information provided by the festival.
By Sebastián Lelio (La Sagrada Familia, Navidad, El año del tigre)
With Paulina García, Sergio Hernández
Nugu-ui Ttal-do Anin (Nobody's Daughter Haewon), Republic of Korea
By Hong Sangsoo (Night and Day, Hahaha, In Another Country)
With Eunchae Jung, Sunkyun Lee
Paradies: Hoffnung (Paradise: Hope), Austria/France/Germany
By Ulrich Seidl (Dog Days, Import Export, Paradise: Love)
With Melanie Lenz, Vivian Bartsch, Joseph Lorenz, Michael Thomas
Poziţia Copilului (Child's Pose), Romania
By Călin Peter Netzer (Maria, Medal of Honor, Zapada mieilor)
With Luminiţa Gheorghiu, Bogdan Dumitrache, Florin Zamfirescu
Promised Land, USA
By Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Milk)
With Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook
The Croods - animated film in 3D, USA
By Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon)
With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds
World premiere / out of competition
Unter Menschen (Redemption Impossible) - Documentary, Germany
By Christian Rost, Claus Strigel
Producer Avi Lerner dropped a handful of big names when asked which action heavyweights are being courted for the inevitable Expendables 3; I'm willing to bet at least one of them (*cough* Snipes *cough*) takes him up on the offer. "We've approached Clint Eastwood to be one of the guys, we've got a character in mind for him," Lerner told Total Film. "We're talking to Harrison Ford. [And we want] Wesley Snipes when he comes back from prison. I'll give you one more name, we've got Nicolas Cage to play [one of the characters]... And we're going to bring Mickey Rourke back, if he won’t be too crazy." Which begs the question: When has Mickey Rourke not been "too crazy?" Is he still Mickey Rourke if he isn't acting just a little insane? [Total Film]
Nic Cage re-teams with Con Air director Simon West (Expendables 2) in Stolen, which is the most-est '90s-est classic Nic Cage genre vehicle we've seen in a long time. (Yes, but is it very nouveau shamanic?) The overly complicated plot involving a burned ex-partner and millions in stolen booty! The estranged daughter with an Anne Parillaud haircut! AND OH DEAR LORD IS THAT REALLY JOSH LUCAS OUT-NIC CAGING NIC CAGE? Sigh. It is. Your Friday Fun Time has arrived.
I've always had a weak spot for Andy Samberg's impression of Nicolas Cage on SNL's Weekend Update, which the show revived over the weekend to help pimp the NBC Universal property Battleship. This called for the appearance of that film's co-star Liam Neeson — or Neese's Pieces, or Tall Bono, or Leslie Nielsen, or whatever else Cage felt like calling the actor when he wasn't wondering, "Which Jewish masseuse do I have pork to get a gig in this town?"
Movieline received many varied submissions in our John Cusack-themed 10-word review contest, inspired by films from Say Anything... to Grosse Pointe Blank to Bullets Over Broadway and beyond. "Alas!" quoth the raven. "There can only be one winner!" (That's how the old Edgar Allan Poe saying goes, right?) Hit the jump to read the winning submission and congratulate the lucky Movieliner that gets to attend the L.A. premiere of Cusack's The Raven next week.
St. Patrick's Day was not exactly lucky for Nicolas Cage, whose aromatic new thriller Seeking Justice bowed in 231 theaters to a gravely underwhelming $260,000. That would make for a per-screen average of $1,125 and change — by far the worst opening of Cage's 30-year career.
In Seeking Justice, a man whose wife is assaulted and raped makes a deal with a mysterious vigilante organization that exacts revenge on his behalf but demands from him a favor to be named later. If you're thinking that sounds like something that will turn out to be a bargain he regrets, you are correct!
When you're not going to win on points, you may as well try to shoot the moon — that seems to be the thought process behind Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the sequel to Marvel's 2007 Ghost Rider. Realizing that their stunt rider who turns into a flaming skeleton-monster character and their star who turns in what are less performances than performance art were unlikely to result in a film that could be thought of as good in any traditional sense, the studios have aimed instead to make something that embraces its own lunacy.
Whatever you say, Nicolas Cage: "I think that if you go about making movies to win Oscars, you're really going about it the wrong way. I think that it's... right now, what I'm excited about is trying to create a [pauses] kind of a cultural understanding through my muse that is part of the zeitgeist that isn't motivated by vanity or magazine covers or awards. It's more, not countercultural, but counter-critical. I would like to find a way to embrace what Led Zeppelin did, in filmmaking." [Moviefone]
Traditionally a "guilty pleasure" is something you'd be embarrassed for the world to know you secretly enjoyed or for your Facebook friends to see you clicked on, but you know what? Around here we embrace the bad-to-godawful movies we love, and besides; what the heck does it even mean to like something ironically, you insufferable hipster? Toss away your pretentious hat, sit down in the circle of trust, take a deep breath, and join Movieline in unabashedly celebrating the inane, misguided, off-the-mark, and downright B-A-D but nevertheless shamelessly entertaining movies of the year - the Top 9 Not-So-Guilty Pleasures of 2011. Because we all love some terrible things, don't we?
This week, Movieline's favorite honey badger of directors, Tarsem (The Fall, The Cell), unveils his spin on Greek mythology in Immortals, a fantasy actioner that blends artistic influences as vast and varied as Caravaggio, classics, and Henry Cavill's abs. So who better to invite to a round of My Favorite Scene than the visionary filmmaker, who managed to pinpoint the uncanny cinematic parallels between the 1992 Belgian mockumentary Man Bites Dog, a Cannes Film Festival awardee, and that one episode from the "brilliant" first season of COPS.
There's no stopping Joel Schumacher, the 72-year-old filmmaker who returns to screens this week with the thriller Trespass. Though to invoke his name in some circles is to invite wishes he would stop; Schumacher has never been an especially popular director among the critical elite, and his latest film, a wild home-invasion potboiler co-starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, won't necessarily change things. But you know what? That's a good thing -- at least for Schumacher.