Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jorge Michel Grau's Mexican Horror Keep Quiet Adds Prince Caspian's Damian Alcazar

If you know the name Jorge Michel Grau, then you're probably familiar with the Mexican director's 2010 debut We Are What We Are, an extremely dark tale about a family of cannibals who must rise up and survive once their patriarch has died. Needless to say, it put Grau right into the consciousness of horror fans sick of teenagers trapped by psycho killers. Of course, Jim Mickle (Stake Land) already premiered his American remake at Sundance in January, but thankfully Grau is following his debut up with more original material, which may have found its star.

According to Variety, Mexico's Damián Alcázar is in talks for the lead in Grau's oddball thriller Keep Quiet. Alcázar is probably best known to American audiences from 2008's Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. It's rare for American horrors to hire 60-year-old American actors to take the leading role, but it's refreshingly common under the border.

Grau, who also scripted Keep Quiet, sticks to his guns when it comes to offering a unique angle on violence and other social issues plaguing Mexican communities. Should he sign on, Alcázar will play a father of a 14-year-old son who witnesses the rape and murder of his mother. The father moves the son to a new home in a run-down housing complex, and the decrepit situation fuels the son’s violent schizophrenic urges. Eventually he begins to believe that his father is a werewolf, and that he must be the one to kill him. It’s always interesting when psychological horror is taken beyond the stereotypical serial killer tripe and actually has a story to tell.

“The important thing about ‘Keep Quiet’ is its social context, the moment, its immediacy,” Grau says. “Family disintegration through violence has never been as common as it is today.”

Keep Quiet will begin filming in Celaya, Guanajuato later this year.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Tomb Raider Movie Reboot To Center On A Younger Lara Croft

One of the worst stereotypes there is about Hollywood is that when it comes to women the preference is always younger and prettier. Actresses hit a certain magic age and suddenly studios have no interest in sharing their gifts with the film-loving masses. And apparently even the fictional women of the movie world aren't immune to those preferences.

Variety is reporting that with the new Tomb Raider reboot video game now in stores, featuring a 21-year-old version of famed heroine Lara Croft (played by Angelina Jolie in the actions films Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life), the studios are now aiming to do the same thing with the long in-development reboot of the movie franchise. According to the trade, Crystal Dynamics is working closely with GK Films and is looking to generate something like Batman Begins or Casino Royale for the video game character.

Speaking with the site, , Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher said of working with GK Films “They are working from this new take that we’ve given them. It’s a good partnership. We’re seeing the challenges through the same lens.” He continued, "“It was important for both of us to have a cohesive version of the franchise. We didn’t want to see a film version that was a continuation of the old Tomb Raider films.”

The last we heard about the reboot was all the way back in May 2011 when Iron Man scribes Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby were hired to handle the screenplay, but Variety makes no mention of either one of them. So if the project is without a writer or a director, who would you like to see take a crack at it?

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Deadpool Director Tim Miller Will Conquer Space Action With Artemis

Every once in a while, when things feel like they're getting too crowded down here on Earth, it seems like there's no possible way anyone could fit yet another action thriller set on this planet. As filmmakers involved with certain children's and horror film sequels can tell you, sometimes you just have to send it into outer space.

And that’s about all the plot information given about the upcoming film Artemis, which Variety reports has been picked up by 20th Century Fox’s John Davis, who brought the studio Chronicle and all the Predator films. Artemis, which is only described as “a contained action thriller set in outer space,” will be directed by visual effects artist Tim Miller, based off of a screenplay to be written by newcomer Andrew Lobel. This is the second sci-fi film that Miller has set up recently, having been attached to the upcoming Joe Haldeman novella adaptation Seasons that he was announced late last year.

Depending on the kind of aesthetic and action Lobel’s script will entail, this could be a good match-up for Miller, who is still waiting to direct his first feature. He and his company Blur Studio have had a steady career working on a variety of effects-heavy films such as X-Men, X2, Night at the Museum and 2010’s The Wolfman, while also contributing to the opening credits of David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He worked on Gigli, too, but it won’t be held against him. Should the long-gestating Deadpool film from Marvel ever materialize, he’s also still attached to be a part of that.

Screenwriter Lobel worked on the recent Conan adaptation, and is set to pen the upcoming adaptation of the young adult series Tunnels for director Mikael Hafstrom.

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Resident Evil 6 Gets A Summer 2014 Release Date

While some fans clamor for a trilogy’s finale because their anticipation for the film has reached its unbearable apex, others are anxiously waiting for that franchise to be completely eradicated from the daily entertainment headlines. The Resident Evil franchise is the perfect example of both of these polarized viewpoints - though considering it’s nearing the end of its second trilogy, the voice of the naysayers are echoing loudly through the halls of the Umbrella Corporation and nobody seems to be listening.

Even though there’s almost no certifiable information about the project, a sixth Resident Evil film already has a release date set, giving fans and haters alike at least another year and a half to look forward to/dread yet another one of these action-horror romps. Shock Till You Drop reports the sixth entry in this franchise will see a tentative nationwide release of September 12, 2014, serving as the tepid coffee at the end of a hearty meal of summer blockbusters. No title. No casting, beyond Milla Jovovich’s automatic appearance. Just the fever dream that is Paul W.S. Anderson’s imagination, and the assumption that it will somehow follow the events of Resident Evil: Retribution, which left Alice and Wesker at the White House with all forms of shit soon hitting the fan.

If the film will see a release next September, that would mean that Anderson would be shooting for a filming schedule to start up this fall at the latest. Considering the recent news about Emily Browning joining Anderson’s long-gestating disaster flick Pompeii, it’s unclear what happens now. It doesn’t seem likely the big budget volcano epic – and that term is used very lightly – will see its entire production happen in the next six months, so expect some project shuffling from Paul W.S. Anderson in the near future.

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Anchorman: The Legend Continues Set Photos Show Will Ferrell And Christina Applegate

Earlier today, we learned that Harrison Ford will be making an appearance in the anticipated Anchorman sequel Anchorman: The Legend Continues. While many are likely eager to see how the actor fits in among the the other anchormen, some recent set photos from the film give us a look at two stars from the original film, Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, who will be reprising their roles as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone respectively.

E! posted the photos below (crediting, which were taken in Atlanta and show us Ferrell in full dress, hair and mustache for his role as the legendary Ron Burgundy, drinker of scotch ("…Scotchy, scotch, scotch…") and anchorman extraordinaire.

There's Ron Burgundy, dressed in his signature burgundy suit, his hair looking perfectly styled and we even get a profile shot of his mustached face. You can almost smell the Sex Panther from here. It's a formidable scent.

And here's a grainy shot of Christina Applegate, with perfect hair for her role as Veronica Corningstone.

Ms. Corningstone is looking good! And I bet her hair smells like cinnamon.

Anchorman: The Legend Continues is set to arrive in theaters December 20. Read the Harrison Ford casting news here. And find more information, news and photos for the film in our Blend Film Database .

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Ben Affleck And Olga Kurylenko Get Close On The Poster For Terrence Malick's To The Wonder

Terrance Malick will release To the Wonder on April 12, 2013, less than two years after the flowing narrative of the Academy Award-nominated Tree of Life, which makes this the most prolific period in the semi-cult director’s oeuvre. Seemingly trading in artsy philosophy for artsy romantic foils, To the Wonder could possibly have been called Terrence Malick’s Love Movie and no one would have batted an eye.

Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, the newest poster for To the Wonder has made its way to the public, and anyone expecting yet another poster of characters, in this case those of Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko, in close contact with one another will be patting themselves on the back. This completely safe for work image is admittedly more striking than the other posters have been, save for the creepy looking French poster focusing on Javier Bardem’s priest.

As well, this is the poster with a metaphorical appeal that goes beyond the simple lovey-doveyness. The plot concerns the relationship between Neil (Affleck) and Marina (Kurylenko), who meet on Mont Saint-Michel before moving back to Oklahoma, where a rift begins to grow between them. (Plus, the side plot involving Bardem’s priest who has lost the faith.) This poster stylishly makes this split literal, cutting off the section featuring the island where they met, signifying that they’ve moved on, and perhaps their half-embrace is something else entirely. Or maybe it’s just a clear rip off of the Criterion release for Malick’s The Thin Red Line. At least the font reflects a feeling of coldness in a way.

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Ricky Jay's Documentary Deceptive Practice Gets U.S. Distribution

Every year sees a number of biopics released to the public that take fictional liberties in glorifying or vilifying the film’s subject as per the filmmakers’ views. These films serve their purpose, generally telling a decent story while raking in the money. Far less often do biographical documentaries reach those levels of popularity, despite showcasing real stories told by the actual people involved. Is actor/magician Ricky Jay’s life more important than Abraham Lincoln’s? Perhaps not, but I can read a history book to find out Lincoln’s story.

Variety reports distributor Kino Lorber has acquired the U.S. rights to Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay, the documentary co-directed by Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein. The film, which garnered positive reviews at its New York Film Festival debut last year, will be released at New York’s Film Forum on April 17 before seeing its national release.

Deceptive Practice, which has been in development since 1999, will be told mostly by Jay himself, going back to his career origins as his grandfather Max Katz’s apprentice at age 4, and then chronicling Jay’s widespread career that includes a mastery of close-up magic, astonishing memory tricks, stage performing, and a decades-spanning film career that started with frequent collaborator David Mamet’s 1987 thriller House of Games. The documentary will feature some of his early television appearances and one-man shows, as well as input from friends and collaborators such as Mamet and Steve Martin. Did I mention Ricky Jay is a champion card thrower, able to embed an ace of spades inches deep into a watermelon? It’s surprising there isn’t a card-throwing documentary already out there.

Jay, always a humble and reserved guy despite his captivating stage presence, had this to say: “I’m making a concerted effort not to escape from the frames of the film before it is shown.”

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