Actor Jon Hamm and director Craig Gillespie struggled to get the perfect take while filming Million Dollar Arm on the streets of India, because crowds of locals would constantly walk in front of the cameras. The Mad Men star portrays sports agent J.B. Bernstein in the new film, which chronicles the real-life story of two Indian cricketers who became baseball pitchers in America, and although Hamm insists residents were "the most pleasant, friendly, welcoming people" he has ever encountered, he admits it wasn't easy shooting in such populated areas like the city of Mumbai.
He tells Entertainment Weekly, "Crowd control doesn't exist. On our first day of shooting, it's 6.45am and it's already 90 degrees.
"The door opens to the van, and they point halfway down the block to where I'm supposed to go. But there are 90,000 people between me and (the cameras). Cows are walking through the set. It sounds like a joke, but it wasn't."
Crowding wasn't the only problem the Million Dollar Arm cast and crew faced - everyone except Hamm fell ill during their stay in India and the actor is convinced it is because he stuck to a simple diet.
He says, "All I ate was rice and lentils. And I only drank beer."
Funnyman Asif Mandvi has joined Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin and Life Of Pi star Suraj Sharma in new baseball movie Million Dollar Arm. Mandvi and Shah will play a pair of real-life Indian cricket fans who won the chance to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates after taking part in a talent contest.
Craig Gillespie will direct the drama, which starts shooting in India next week (beg06May13).
Appearing on U.S. news programme The Daily Show, on which Mandvi is a regular contributor, Hamm says, "It's a true story. One of the guys is still in the Major Leagues at the Triple A level.
"They found these two kids, 16 and 17 years old, took them out of India, they didn't speak any English, they'd never played baseball, but they had the raw tools to bring it."
Life Of Pi star Suraj Sharma has joined the cast of new baseball movie Million Dollar Arm. The newcomer, who had never acted before landing the lead in Ang Lee's Oscars hit, will play one of two Indian cricket fans who won the chance to pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates after taking part in a talent contest.
Craig Gillespie will direct the drama, which will also feature Alan Arkin and Jon Hamm as sports agent J.B. Bernstein.
I suppose a film that serves as little more than two hours of pure schlocky entertainment doesn't really need a whole lot of special features to make it worth your while. And that seems to be the philosophy that the folks behind the Fright Night Blu-ray seem to adhere to. The viciously violent perfectly B-level movie is enough of a romp on its own and the few special features provided are just enough to complement it.
Fright Night is a remake of the 1985 classic wherein Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) moves in next door to Las Vegas teen Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) and his mom (Toni Collette). Unfortunately he's a vampire. Things get really messy when Charlie's best friend (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his girlfriend (Imogen Poots) are brought into his wicked web and Charlie needs to enlist the help of famous Vampire expert and Las Vegas illusionist Peter Vincent (David Tennant) to defeat the demonic Jerry. While in theaters the film draws much of its cheesy charm from the excessive use of 3-D effects the high-def picture on the Blu-ray still managed to communicate the ridiculousness of it all. Of course if you're lucky enough to have a 3-D television I'd suggest you use it to watch this film. There's nothing quite like spurts of blood jumping out at you.
As for the features as I said they're rather slim. If you're looking for a director's commentary you're out of luck. Then again I doubt it would be hard to figure out why Craig Gillespie made any of the choices that he did. Visual gags abound and when in doubt blood and fire are always good for a shock or two. As for featurettes and videos the best options of the five selections have to be the mini-documentary called Peter Vincent: Come Swim in My Mind. It's the best part of the Blu-ray but mostly because Tennant is the best part of the film. A close second is the full unedited copy of Squid Man the film that Charlie and his best friends made as tweens in the film. It's really a few minutes of Yechin and Mintz-Plasse goofing around like schoolkids but it's endearing and entertaining. They had to actually make it there's no reason we can't enjoy the pieces we didn't see in the movie. To top this all off the disc offers a "How to Make a Vampire Movie" guide which is cute but not all that interesting and the requisite blooper reel which is always fun. It also includes a Kid Cudi video but there's nothing exciting about that in the time of YouTube and Vevo.
Essentially the only reason to pick up the special edition 3-D Blu-ray DVD combo pack is if you have the means to watch the film in 3-D. Otherwise you're better off the with regular old run of the mill Blu-ray. And believe me this film is just as much fun in that format.
Director Craig Gillespie has exited the forthcoming adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, following David O. Russell and Mike White, who were both previously brought on to helm the movie.
Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, Fright Night) reportedly walked after he and the studio, Lionsgate, couldn't quite agree on casting. The split is said to be amicable.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is based on Seth Grahame-Smith's uber-gory, zombified reimagining of Jane Austen's 1813 classic novel Pride and Prejudice.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has it all. Pride. Prejudice. Probably some even cooler third thing. So, why does no one want to be in it?
A couple of weeks back, we reported that tacked onto the list of big name actresses approached to play the lead role of Elizabeth Bennett in Craig Gillespie's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was Blake Lively, who is most notable for Gossip Girl, but also for films including Green Lantern, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, Accepted and The Town. However, PAPAZ (best acronym ever) will not be Lively's next step towards big screen prominence: she declined the starring role in Gillespie's film.
There's no word as to why Lively passed. All those attached have primarily good reputations. Director Gillespie was responsible for the outstanding Ryan Gosling starrer Lars and the Real Girl. David O. Russell, director of The Fighter and the very promising film-in-development The Silver Linings Playbook, wrote the script. And its producer is Natalie Portman...do we really even need to sing her praises?
Even so, it seems this film can't find a lead actress. Others who have passed on the role include Portman herself, Anne Hathway, Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson and Rooney Mara. And the search continues...
Pretty much every actress with whom pretty much everyone in America is at least somewhat in love with—Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska, and the illustrious Natalie Portman—has been in discussion for the lead role in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Those are all some pretty high-profilers. Keeping that in mind, director Craig Gillespie has opted for a slightly smaller name, but not necessarily a smaller talent: Blake Lively.
Lively's biggest fanbase comes from her Gossip Girl viewers. She has also won over audiences with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, Accepted, Green Lantern and The Town. And you know what? She seems like a pretty nice person. So I'm in her corner.
Granted, Natalie Portman fighting zombies in Victorian England would indubitably be the greatest thing to happen to our decaying planet. But Blake Lively would be a fine choice, too.
If Blake Lively does get this role, it could be her big start toward something virtuous. Up until now, she has been more of a "Oh, yeah, her... I like her," type of actress. But a Jane Austin adaptation/apocalypse flick could be the right step toward a multifaceted, adventurous acting career for the young performer. Go, Lively, go. Embrace your talents. We know you are capable of more than we've seen. We hope to see it soon.
Is there such a thing as a successful remake anymore? After seeing Fright Night the answer is (surprisingly) a resounding “Yes.” Craig Gillespie’s shiny reimagining of the 1985 kitsch classic is very much its own movie but like any good spawn it doesn’t forget where it came from.
The film’s plot is not born of a novel concept. Las Vegas teenager Charlie (Anton Yelchin) is doing just fine. He managed to shake his nerd image he’s got a hot girlfriend (Imogen Poots) and he even puts the de facto cool kids to shame on occasion. Life’s pretty great until he meets the neighbor: Jerry (Colin Farrell). People are disappearing and Charlie’s old friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) has a theory: Jerry’s a vampire. Armed with only the vampirical evidence doled out by Criss Angel reincarnate Peter Vincent (David Tennant) Charlie is forced to defend himself his mother (Toni Collette) and his girlfriend from the silver pointy clutches of Jerry the vampire’s endless blood-lust. And a suspenseful hilarious time ensues.
Fright Night is successful in large part because it keeps things simple. Charlie: good. Jerry: 16 shades of blood-curdling evil. Game set match. It’s scary and gory with a dash of humor – essentially a good old-fashioned senseless horror flick with a glossy big-budget cover. It’s cleverly self-aware and expends great effort to lend a sense of quality to something that promises to be nothing more than a bloody slasher flick. But the bottom line is that it works.
And the cast is big part of that. Farrell’s bloodsucker is the antidote our Twilight-riddled generation so desperately needs; this is what vampires are supposed to be. His twitchy growling yet somehow seductive vampire successfully strikes a precarious balance along the sexy-scary line and while the role doesn’t demand a great deal of Farrell's talent he’s fully committed to his psychotic relentlessly violent character and the result is deliciously despicable.
As for our band of plucky good guys Yelchin is perfectly adequate as our hero. He’s likeable he’s trustworthy and he holds his own amongst onscreen presences that threaten to drown him – Mintz-Plasse Farrell and Tennant are tough acts to outshine. Collette is generally wasted – anyone could play her part but she does what she can with the material she’s dealt. Poots really shines here; it’s almost surprising that she’s able to bring such much power to the typical girlfriend role but she manages to make her character more than just a love interest. But of course the one man who stands above the entire cast is Tennant who’s all but eliminated from the trailers for the film. The former Doctor Who star jumps into the mainstream as Peter Vincent Las Vegas performer and vampire expert extraordinaire and every minute he’s onscreen is comedy gold. His timing delivery stature and expressions are all pitch perfect. His performance alone is worth giving Fright Night two hours of your time.
Of course Gillespie makes some very stark choices with the film. The dark scenes are almost too dark; it takes a few scenes to adjust to the lighting much like being suddenly shut in a dark room. And while it’s probably not great for anyone’s ocular health it really heightens the element of fear. Then there’s the element of 3-D which is thoroughly used throughout. At first it borders on schlocky but when the vampy action gets going everything from blood to holy water to fire comes bursting out of the screen and lends an enjoyable but decidedly B-movie flair to the whole ordeal.
While the story wheels out of control leans heavily on ridiculously convenient solutions and generally has only two goals – fear and bloodshed – the film itself is so much fun that those elements don’t really matter. If you’re looking for something to stimulate your intellect run like hell from this movie but if you want two hours of unadulterated messy creepy fun look no further than Fright Night.
Being a teenager is stressful enough without the added hassle of living next door to the undead. That’s what Anton Yelchin’s youthful protagonist, Charley, faces in Fright Night – Craig Gillespie’s (Lars and the Real Girl, Mr. Woodcock) remake of Tom Holland’s 1985 horror-comedy classic – when he learns that Jerry, his handsome, amiable neighbor, is in actuality a vampire. And Jerry’s no sensitive and mopey Twilight-type, either; he’s a vicious, nasty fellow, and he’s none too pleased when he finds Charley snooping about his business.
We recently sat down with Gillespie, Farrell, Yelchin and Fright Night co-stars Imogen Poots and Christopher Mintz-Plasse to talk about their experience remaking a film many consider to be a minor genre masterpiece:
Colin Farrell and Craig Gillespie
Fright Night is one of the most buzzed about horror remakes of recent and the amazing cast descended into San Diego to treat Con-goers with a Q&A and sneak preview. On hand were stars Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Imogen Poots, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, director Craig Gillespie, and screenwriter Marti Noxon. Obviously missing is the Tenth Doctor himself David Tennant, but the remaining cast easily made up for his absence.
Here's what we saw:
Moderator Chris Sarandon (star of the original Fright Night) asked Craig why he wanted to direct Fright Night. He said he could visualize the movie very easily and wanted to combine horror and comedy like in the original movie.
Writer Marti Noxon said the original had interesting relationships that could evolve 20 years after the original film. She wanted to write a vampire who had a viciousness and sexuality.
First Clip: Very funny clip that pokes fun at Twilight with Mintz-Plasse and Yelchin.
Yelchin was attracted to this character "because he goes on a mission to find himself and battle a vampire at the same time.".
Second Clip: short clip of Farrell's character intimidating Yelchin's character.
Third clip: Farrell's vampire pursues Yelchin and his GF played by Imogen Poots and his mom played by Toni Collette. Car chase ensues and they run over Farrell and he winds smashing his hand through the bottom of the car.
Final clip has Yelchin going to David Tenant who plays a magician in Vegas to get tips on how to kill a vampire.
Yelchin: What's it like to play a character that has been played before (he did so in Star Trek, Terminator Salvation and now Fright Night)? He says it's fun to do the research on the character and then add something to it. He says he's been lucky to play these characters and respects them.
Farrell says he's reconnected with the reason he became an actor in the first place, particularly in the last 5 years.
The movie was shot in 3d and the camera weighs 90 lbs and the car chase choreography took two months to work out.
Mintz-Plasse wants to make a follow up to Kick-Ass, but all the actors are too busy right now.
Colin Farrell went to audience to sign an autograph and when he bent down the camera caught his plumbers butt and the audience erupted in laughter. He was a good sport!
A well-made, spooky, fun, 3D horror film with an impressive talented cast? Count us in!