Watch This: Will Mad Max: Fury Road Be Worth the Wait?

Mad Max: Fury Road, movie, poster, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, George Miller, trailer

All signs point to… HELL YES!

I won’t rehash yet again what a long, strange trip this film has taken from inception to completion. It’s been well-documented by myself and many, many others. What I will say, after finally seeing the first full-length trailer for “Mastermind” George Miller‘s Mad Max reboot, is that it is my belief that this is Max Rockatansky as Miller had always envisioned. Technology (and his budget) has finally caught up to that vision.

Take a look:

There does not appear to be anything, at least in this first 2 1/2 min. bit of Fury Road, that would be out of place in the Mad Max canon, but it all still manages to push the boundaries. Everyone is still filthy; gasoline is still worth more than a life; boys still like to play with motorized toys; rebels still wear makeup like refugees from a Mexican Day-of-the-Dead fiesta and lots of stuff still gets blowed up. But for all of this throw-back appeal, it still manages to look fresh. It’s gritty and yet vibrant.

I CAN’T FREAKIN’ WAIT!

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

Mad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy as Max, Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult as Nux, Zoë Kravitz as Toast, Rosie Huntington-Whitely as Splendid, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe, Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus, and Riley Keough as Capable opens in the US and the UK on May 15, 2015.

Far From the Madding Crowd is Too Far From a Release Date!

Far From the Madding Crowd, movie, Thomas Hardy, based on novel, Carey Mulligan, photo, Matthias Schoenaerts

…because I want to see it now! (Yes, I totally sounded like Veruca Salt in my head as I typed that).

Fox Searchlight has finally given us the first teaser trailer for the latest version of Thomas Hardy’s classic story of a love “quadrangle”, Far From the Madding Crowd. I say finally because it was filmed in early fall 2013, and there’s been barely a whisper about it since it was announced that Carey Mulligan would play Bathsheba Everdene for Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, making his English language debut following the Oscar nominated The Hunt (with Mads Mikkelson).

Mulligan’s suitors are played by Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak, Tom Sturridge as Sgt. Frank Troy and Michael Sheen as William Boldwood.

Take a look:

Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene, who attracts three very different suitors: sheep farmer Gabriel Oak, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy, a handsome and reckless soldier; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

Vinterberg’s is the fourth big screen version of the story. The first was a 1915 silent. The most well known, however, is John Schlesinger’s which came out in 1967 with Julie Christie, Terence Stamp (Troy), Peter Finch (Boldwood) and Alan Bates (Oak) and a screenplay by Frederic Raphael (Two for the Road, Eyes Wide Shut).

This version was written by David Nicholls (Starter for 10, One Day and the Mike Newell version of Great Expectations). Craig Armstrong (The Great Gatsby, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Love, Actually) did the score. The film also features Juno Temple as Fanny Robin and will make its world premiere in Denmark on April 23 and open in the UK and the US on May 1, 2015.

shut-up-and-take-my-money

Gorgeous AND Comfortable! Watch: 1st Full Trailer for Branagh’s Cinderella.

Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, movie, poster, Lily James, Disney

This first trailer for Disney’s live action version of Cinderella just landed, promising a beautiful heroine, a handsome hero, but most importantly, that elusive thing that every girl truly craves, yet despairs of ever finding, a gorgeous and “really comfortable” pair of shoes!

After just one viewing, this two minutes, forty seconds of footage will make you feel like the Grinch standing atop Mt. Crumpet and listening to the town of Whoville on Christmas morning. Any vestige of cynicism will melt away and your heart will grew three sizes. (All of which is complete hyperbole, of course. Anyone who used to be a little girl at some point in their lives was already in. The rest of you will probably be dragged against your will to accompany a girl no matter how old she is.)

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella whose merchant father remarries following the tragic death of her mother. Keen to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother Lady Tremaine and her daughters Anastasia and Drizella into the family home. But, when Ella’s father suddenly and unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella since she used to work in the cinders, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” She will not give in to despair nor despise those who abuse her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an employee at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears as if her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming “Kit.” Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand as a kindly beggar woman steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin and a few mice, changes Cinderella’s life forever.

That this looks familiar is not just down to the fact that the original fairy-tale is centuries old, but that the film was designed to look a lot like the animated version we grew up with, right down to Ella’s (Lily James, best known for a stint on “Downton Abbey”) blue gown. I will say that Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother doesn’t look much like the cartoon version (who looked and sounded like Maureen Stapleton), but she does look delightful (and I love that the director both gave his ex a juicy role and allowed her to look pretty. Something her current paramour rarely does).

Can we talk about Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother? This is going to be delicious!

Speaking of which, Richard Madden as the charming prince certainly appears to be so. (And it’s a fair bet that he’ll end up wearing the crown so hideously denied him in “Game of Thrones”, am I right?)

The rest of the cast is pure gold as well. Hayley Atwell, whom a lot of you know as Marvel’s Agent Carter, looks ethereal as Ella’s dearly departed mother (and like she could be related to James). And yes, that was Ben Chaplin seen briefly as her father. The stepsisters are played by Holliday Grainger (“The Borgias”) and Sophie McShera (another Downton regular). We also get Stellan Skargård, Nonso Anozie, and Derek Jacobi. (Dead Again reunion! Woot!) I can’t wait!

Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh, from a script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and Chris Weitz (About a Boy) opens in the US on March 13 and in the UK on 27th March, 2015.

Can you believe Emma Watson turned this down?

Jason Momoa Smelled Trouble As Soon As Lucas Till Walked In – New Clip from Wolves

Wolves, movie, poster, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

There’s a new clip from David Hayter’s directorial debut, Wolves, which is finally opening tomorrow, November 14. While I’m still baffled by the missed opportunity of a Halloween release, at least we’ll have something to go see if Interstellar or that Jim Carrey/Jeff Daniels flick-that-shall-not-be-named is sold out.

The clip, which is exclusive to MovieWeb (and can be found at the link), features Lucas Till (whom you’ll remember as from the two latest X-Men films) as main character Cayden Richards (Cayden? Who wrote this, Christine Feehan? No, actually it was David Hayter. He also wrote X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Scorpion King, and Watchmen), as he is attempting to enjoy a beer in solitude and failing badly. So we get Cayden, bartender Angelina, and their “meet-cute”. It’s worth noting that the teensiest glimpse of Jason Momoa as Connor, the bad-ass alpha of the local wolfpack, is so much more interesting and hints at some major lycan shenanigans still to come. (You know I’ll be buying a ticket looking for the fulfillment of that promise.)

Wolves, movie, photo, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

See?

Speaking of which, check out this clip.:

Uh yeah…”boy” vs “animal”…

Wolves, movie, photo, Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, David Hayter

I’d know that drop-shouldered strut anywhere

Once a popular high school student, Cayden Richards wakes from a horrific nightmare, only to realize that he’s living it. He is changing into something vicious, unpredictable and wild. Forced to hit the road after the brutal murder of his parents, Cayden tries to hunt down the truth of what he is. He finds the answers he seeks in the mountain town of Lupine Ridge, where he discovers others just like him, including the beautiful Angelina (Merritt Patterson), a young woman caught between two ancient clans of wolves.

Just for kicks, here’s the official trailer #2:

Wolves with Lucas Till, Merritt Patterson, Jason Momoa, John Pyper-Ferguson and Stephen McHattie opens in the US on November 14.

Disney Drops Teensiest Musical Breadcrumbs Hoping to Lure Us Into the Woods

Into the Woods, movie, musical, poster, Meryl Streep, Disney, Sondheim

Back at the beginning of August, when I shared the first trailer for director Rob Marshall’s big screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, I wondered where the music was for this lavish movie musical, and why the producers were keeping it from us.

Well, now there’s a new featurette that lets us know that there will be music, but they’re still not ready to give us the “full Monty”, as it were. (Or the full Meryl for that matter). Streep has a lovely singing voice, but I’m still not convinced she possesses the power and range needed for the role – unless her best songs have been cut. Why the hell aren’t they leading with “Children Will Listen”? (They are, however, using a snippet of “Stay with Me”, another showstopper, but we only get the intro.)

We also get a better look at Johnny Depp as “the Wolf”.

Featurette:

Oh dear. Captain Jack has a brand new bag.

The brilliant minds at HitFix have said all there is to say about our first look at Depp’s latest paycheck grab role. Their ten best reactions are…priceless:

1. “Into the Woods” is going to feel like an Evanescence video directed by Tim Burton.
2. I’m guessing the Wolf’s parents are a Steven Tyler mic stand and a Stevie Nicks yard sale.
3. Can Russell Brand or Keith Richards sue Johnny Depp? Do they have to sue each other first?
4. When did Johnny Depp become an airbrushed Mickey Rourke?
5. I think he’s about to cry.
6. Little Red Riding Hood is looking at us like, “Can you believe I’m supposed to be scared of this freakish art dealer?”
7. Furry sleeves? He looks like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer dyed turquoise.
8. You know Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter sit around dreading the day they’ll have to play each other.
9. It’s so easy to picture Meryl Streep laughing at this.
10. “Wolf” is code for “Willy Wonka’s sassy aunt.”

What are your thoughts? Do you agree?

INTO THE WOODS is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

You can find clips of the original Broadway cast of the show, here.

Into the Woods opens in the US on December 25, and 9th January in the UK. The cast includes Streep, Emily Blunt, James “The new Craig Ferguson” Corden, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Mackenzie Mauzy, Daniel Huttlestone, Lilla Crawford, Tracy Ullman, Annette Crosbie, Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, Simon Russell Beale, Billy Magnussen and Christine Baranski.

Watch Ben Barnes in 1st Trailer for Boston Crime Thriller, By the Gun

By the Gun, movie, poster, Ben Barnes, Leighton Meester, Boston, crime drama

So it looks like Ben Barnes, he of Dorian Grey and Prince Caspian fame, and Leighton Meester (of “Gossip Girl” fame) came to Boston last winter to make a movie. As if that pairing wasn’t high enough on the “improbable meter”, then how about we add Harvey Keitel and Toby Jones, who are both along for the ride. Wait…what?

Yes, it’s yet another Boston crime thriller about a guy who longs to be a “made man”. Of course, as soon as that box is ticked on the old bucket list, he meets the girl of his dreams and then wants out of the life.

By the Gun (original title God Only Knows) is written by Emilio Mauro (who is no Dennis Lehane, nor even Chuck Hogan, though he would seem to have borrowed tropes from both – among many others). Speaking of Hogan, director James Mottern is no Ben Affleck (who directed The Town based on Hogan’s book). Mottern did, however, make a pretty good directorial debut with Trucker back in 2008. (Didn’t see it? You’re certainly not alone, which is a shame. It gave Michelle Monaghan the role of her life.) He hasn’t directed anything since, but Trucker gives him the benefit of the doubt. (Provided he isn’t responsible for Meester’s casting.)

Nick Tortano (Barnes) is a smooth-talking, ambitious criminal from the streets of Boston. After years spent working for and idolizing the Italian gangsters he finally proves himself to the boss and becomes a made man. However, once inside, Nick conflicts with a moneymaker for the Mafia and begins to drive a wedge between him and the Boss.

Take a look at this first trailer:

I don’t think Mottern and Mauro are tilling any new ground here, but I’m a sucker for the genre and it’s set in my city, so there’s one ticket sold.

By the Gun also stars, Paul Ben-Victor, Slaine (Yes! A Lehane AND Affleck connection – Ben discovered Slaine for Gone Baby Gone. He is becoming the face of Southie.), and other assorted faces you’ve seen in a lot of wise-guy flicks, like Richie Coster, Michael Yebba, Jay Giannone (Gone Baby Gone, The Iceman and the upcoming Black Mass), and Damien DiPaola, plus former New England Patriots linebacker Tully Banta Cain making his film debut, and Kenny Footloose” Wormald. (Hey at least he was born in Boston. Maybe he helped with the accents.) Millennium Entertainment will give the film a limited theatrical and same-day VoD release on December 5. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away from this. Maybe I’ll go hang out at the red carpet premiere* on December 1 and totally fan-girl out!

*Actually, if anyone reading this is in the Boston area, tickets to the premiere and after-party can be had and the proceeds go to charity. Details here.

Watch Bradley Cooper Grapple with a Tough Choice in 1st Trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper

Clint Eastwood, American Sniper, Bradley Cooper, movie, photo, trailer

Just yesterday I posted the first two pics of a beefed-up Bradley Cooper in Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. (Over on Facebook) Warner Bros. has now released the first trailer for Eastwood‘s much-anticipated war drama. Based on a true story, Cooper plays decorated Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who is credited with the most sniper kills in U.S. military history.

Sienna Miller plays as Kyle’s wife Taya Renae, while Cory Hardrict, Jake McDorman, Luke Grimes and Kyle Gallner play his comrades along with several real-life Navy SEALs, including Kyle’s actual friend Kevin “Dauber” Lacz.

Eastwood directs from a script by Jason Hall (Paranoia), based on Kyle’s book. Eastwood produced along with Cooper, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar and Peter Morgan. (If Morgan had written it, I’d be even more excited.)

Take a look. The tension in just this 1:45 bit of film is palpable.

This is actually the UK version of the trailer. I wonder what the US version will be like.

American Sniper, which also stars Eric Close, and Owain Yeoman, is the second Eastwood film we’re getting in the same year (after Jersey Boys. Yeah, I nearly forgot, too). There are, of course, rumblings that this will be a major player come awards season. Cooper could end up with his third nomination. The movie will get a limited, awards-qualifying release on December 25 before going wide on January 16, 2015.

Eastwood has proven that knows his way around a battlefield. The subject matter of American Sniper might not be to everyone’s liking and might still be too raw, but I’ve no doubt the execution, based on this trailer alone will be masterful. What do you think? Are you in or are you out?