"I'll send you to hell!!!" promises John Cusack, playing a gun-toting, crime-solving Edgar Allan Poe, in the new TV spot for the historically accurate action-drama The Raven, which EW debuted today:
(Quoth the raven: Give me a freaking embed.)
The Raven co-stars Luke Evans, Alice Eve, and Brendan Gleeson, and is directed by James McTeigue. It opens April 27, 2012.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
In This Means War – a stylish action/rom-com hybrid from director McG – Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Chris Pine (Star Trek) star as CIA operatives whose close friendship is strained by the fires of romantic rivalry. Best pals FDR (Pine) and Tuck (Hardy) are equally accomplished at the spy game but their fortunes diverge dramatically in the dating realm: FDR (so nicknamed for his obvious resemblance to our 32nd president) is a smooth-talking player with an endless string of conquests while Tuck is a straight-laced introvert whose love life has stalled since his divorce. Enter Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) a pretty plucky consumer-products evaluator who piques both their interests in separate unrelated encounters. Tuck meets her via an online-dating site FDR at a video-rental store. (That Lauren is tech-savvy enough to date online but still rents movies in video stores is either a testament to her fascinating mix of contradictions or more likely an example of lazy screenwriting.)
When Tuck and FDR realize they’re pursuing the same girl it sparks their respective competitive natures and they decide to make a friendly game of it. But what begins as a good-natured rivalry swiftly devolves into romantic bloodsport with both men using the vast array of espionage tools at their disposal – from digital surveillance to poison darts – to gain an edge in the battle for Lauren’s affections. If her constitutional rights happen to be violated repeatedly in the process then so be it.
Lauren for her part remains oblivious to the clandestine machinations of her dueling suitors and happily basks in the sudden attention from two gorgeous men. Herein we find the Reese Witherspoon Dilemma: While certainly desirable Lauren is far from the irresistible Helen of Troy type that would inspire the likes of Tuck and FDR to risk their friendship their careers and potential incarceration for. At several points in This Means War I found myself wondering if there were no other peppy blondes in Los Angeles (where the film is primarily set) for these men to pursue. Then again this is a film that wishes us to believe that Tom Hardy would have trouble finding a date so perhaps plausibility is not its strong point.
When Lauren needs advice she looks to her boozy foul-mouthed best friend Trish (Chelsea Handler). Essentially an extension of Handler’s talk-show persona – an acquired taste if there ever was one – Trish’s dialogue consists almost exclusively of filthy one-liners delivered in rapid-fire succession. Handler does have some choice lines – indeed they’re practically the centerpiece of This Means War’s ad campaign – but the film derives the bulk of its humor from the outrageous lengths Tuck and FDR go to sabotage each others’ efforts a raucous game of spy-versus-spy that carries the film long after Handler’s shtick has grown stale.
Business occasionally intrudes upon matters in the guise of Heinrich (Til Schweiger) a Teutonic arms dealer bent on revenge for the death of his brother. The subplot is largely an afterthought existing primarily as a means to provide third-act fireworks – and to allow McGenius an outlet for his ADD-inspired aesthetic proclivities. The film’s action scenes are edited in such a manic quick-cut fashion that they become almost laughably incoherent. In fairness to McG he does stage a rather marvelous sequence in the middle of the film in which Tuck and FDR surreptitiously skulk about Lauren's apartment unaware of each other's presence carefully avoiding detection by Lauren who grooves absentmindedly to Montel Jordan's "This Is How We Do It." The whole scene unfolds in one continuous take – or is at least craftily constructed to appear as such – captured by one very agile steadicam operator.
Whatever his flaws as a director McG is at least smart enough to know how much a witty script and appealing leads can compensate for a film’s structural and logical deficiencies. He proved as much with Charlie’s Angels a film that enjoys a permanent spot on many a critic’s Guilty Pleasures list and does so again with This Means War. The film coasts on the chemistry of its three co-stars and only runs into trouble when the time comes to resolve its romantic competition which by the end has driven its male protagonists to engage in all manner of underhanded and duplicitous activities. This Means War being a commercial film – and likely an expensive one at that – Witherspoon's heroine is mandated to make a choice and McG all but sidesteps the whole thorny matter of Tuck and FDR’s unwavering dishonesty not to mention their craven disregard for her privacy. (They regularly eavesdrop on her activities.) For all their obvious charms the truth is that neither deserves Lauren – or anything other than a lengthy jail sentence for that matter.
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I think John Cusack really took Chuck Klosterman's words to heart. The former archetypal dreamboat of the American big screen has taken to playing death row inmates, washed up misanthropes, and the artist with the darkest, most sinister connotations in our nation's history: Edgar Allan Poe. Sure, Cusack plays a heroic Poe in the upcoming film The Raven, wherein the poet embarks on a quest to find and stop a killer who was inspired by his own writing. But the menacing glare, the deadly overtones, the scraggly self-grooming...let's just say, I don't think we'll be seeing him holding a stereo outside of Virginia Clemm's window.
Still, The Raven captivates. Cusack, a promising collection of costars including Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, and Luke Evans, director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta and Ninja Assassin), and a writing team that includes a woman whose last name is Shakespeare promise nothing but the best. The story is an interesting take on an interesting man, whose works have persisted as iconic American reading.
The Raven opens Apr. 27.
Director James McTeigue's first two films sold me on his fun-with-brains style. He revved up the intellectual comic book adaptation V for Vendetta with slick action scenes and turned Ninja Assassin into a purposefully over-the-top, slice-and-dice romp. The man has an eye for adult entertainment and in a sea of kid friendly entertainment, it's quite welcome.
His next film is The Raven, a thriller that adapts the crime procedural model to the gothic world of Edgar Allan Poe. The film follows the famed author as he's roped in to a series of crimes seemingly based on his own works. A tad goofy perhaps, but the first poster made a splash with its creepy, rorschach artistry and the new trailer looks like heaps of fun. John Cusack stars as Poe, who teams with a detective (Luke Evans) to track down the killer.
Following suit with McTeigue's previous works, The Raven looks sharp and stylish. Cusack looks appropriately stern and corny, taking the whole thing with the just the right amount of seriousness. If the movie can pepper as many Poe quotes and puns as possible across its mystery storyline, it's already a success.
The Raven hits theaters March 9.
In the romantic comedy What’s Your Number? Anna Faris plays Ally Darling a fun-loving 30-something who learns via a magazine article that a woman’s chances of marrying become infinitesimal if she’s slept with more than 20 men – a number which just so happens to be Ally’s exact tally. Apparently the highly suggestible sort she accepts the magazine’s somewhat dubious findings at face value. Loath to embrace a spinster future she gives up sex and concocts a scheme to revisit each of her past lovers to see if any of them might actually be The One enlisting the aid of Colin (Chris Evans) a crass but amiable ladies’ man from across the hall who dabbles in detective work to track them down.
The immutable laws of rom-com dynamics dictate what happens next. One by one Ally pursues each of her exes to see if any of her old flames might be worth reigniting even as it becomes increasingly obvious that she and Colin are meant for each other. Ally’s quixotic endeavor lands her in one awkward and humiliating situation after another. True love eludes her; laughter eludes us. Faris is one of the most skilled comedic actresses in Hollywood today but even her formidable talents can’t do much with the hackneyed scenarios proffered by Gabrielle Allan and Jennifer Crittenden’s middling script.
Faris and Evans make a pleasing pair and their chemistry is one of the few aspects of What’s Your Number? that doesn’t feel forced. It’s what keeps it afloat in between each unfunny gag. Sure Ally and Colin’s eventual union is telegraphed from the opening frames but that isn’t necessarily a problem. What is a problem is the story’s slavish adherence to formula which renders not just the outcome but also the preceding plot points achingly predictable.
What’s Your Number?’s R rating and saucy subject matter portend raunch but in truth the film’s humor is actually quite tame save for a handful of filthy lines. For all its flaws the script is not without wit. There just isn’t nearly enough of it.
Celebrity chef Donatella Arpaia received an extra special present on her 40th birthday on Thursday (15Sep11) - she gave birth to a baby boy. The Iron Chef America judge and her husband Dr. Allan Stewart welcomed the tot at a hospital in New York, reports People.com.
Deadline reports that James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) is in talks with Relativity Media to direct Ness/Capone, a movie that will present a "new spin" on Eliot Ness' quest to bring down Al Capone's gangster fiefdom in the 1920s. Predictably, the "new spin" involves casting Ness as the bad guy; according to Deadline, the film will cast the lawman as a adrenaline-starved publicity hound whose flashy ways draw the ire of his gangster adversaries. Capone, meanwhile, will be depicted as a law-abiding small-business owner who never contracted syphilis. Sounds fun!
McTeigue is currently putting the finishing touches on The Raven, a fictional account of author Edgar Allan Poe's last days, starring John Cusack. Click on the image below to check out our huge John Cusack gallery:
The pair, who have been friends for more than a decade, joined forces for hit romantic comedy The Proposal in 2009, and have helped each other through their splits from respective partners Jesse James and Scarlett Johansson.
Now they are supporting each other in a professional project - they will voice and produce animated series And Then There Was Gordon for America's Fox network, according to Deadline.com.
The series focuses on an ordinary child surrounded by his extraordinary siblings and his neurotic mother.
Reynolds will help write the series with Allan Loeb, while Bullock takes on an executive producer role.
Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock have teamed up on the small screen, with positive results, and now they're set to do the same on TV.
The Proposal duo will lend their voices to an upcoming animated Fox sitcom, And Then There Was Gordon.
Reynolds co-wrote the pilot with in-demand writer Allan Loeb (The Dilemma, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, upcoming Fox series Terra Nova); it'll be a key project for their recently launched TV company, DarkFire.
Reynolds and Bullock will also be reuniting on the big screen in Most Wanted, with The Proposal's writer and direct returning as well.
Click on the image below to see more photos of Ryan Reynolds!
Though ostensibly successful 2009’s The Final Destination represented to many a horror franchise on its last hackneyed legs. Rote uninspired and humorless it scored a (modest) hit only by virtue of the novelty -- and added ticket price -- of its 3D transfer. Two years later Final Destination 5 arrives with a slightly tweaked formula a beefed-up storyline actors you might actually recognize and genuine honest-to-goodness 3D. It’s still schlock mind you -- but artful schlock and a marked improvement over the preceding entry.
The story begins in familiar fashion with a cursory introduction to the characters followed by a grisly premonition that sees them perish wholesale. An assortment of cubicle-dwellers at a paper factory are being bused to a corporate retreat when one of them Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto perpetually bug-eyed) dreams of a massive bridge collapse in which he and his co-workers are impaled beheaded bisected crushed by cars singed by tar -- however many ways a suspension bridge can kill a person the film’s opening set-piece explores it gruesome detail. Sam awakens duly horrified and demands the bus be evacuated. Seconds later the employees watch in horror from the sidelines as Sam’s vision comes to fruition.
You know what happens next. One-by-one death stalks the survivors who meet their fate in a series of elaborately-staged incidents. Some are relatively straightforward; others involve fiendish head-fakes and red herrings. The range of victims is older and more colorful than in previous Final Destination films in which death preyed exclusively on attractive nubile teenagers but the end result is invariably the same. (Not to give anything away but those considering acupuncture or laser eye surgery would be wise to avoid the film entirely.) As death’s scheme becomes achingly evident Sam his lachrymose girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) and his increasingly unhinged buddy Peter (Miles Fisher) become increasingly desperate. Enter the ever-ominous Tony Todd returning to the franchise after (wisely) taking the previous film off offering a potential way out. But is it genuine or just another of death’s cruel tricks?
Director Steven Quale a James Cameron protege hired principally for his 3D expertise takes full advantage of the added dimension delivering some of the most vivid and immersive 3D sequences in recent memory. Unlike The Final Destination which seemed little more than a amalgam of crude one-liners Final Destination 5 feels like a real movie one with a discernible plot an element of suspense and a handful characters who are more than just punchlines. Most of the actors are surprisingly competent save for Fisher a credible doppelganger for Tom Cruise (he parodied him 2008’s Superhero Movie) who imbues every line with couch-jumping intensity.
Final Destination 5 ends with a twist that while genuinely unexpected feels like a Hail Mary for a franchise that can’t forestall its inexorable descent into stale irrelevance despite the best of efforts from Quale. Its trademark formula has simply lost its potency -- a problem no amount of cosmetic upgrades however welcome can fix. That the film is bracketed by two pointless and time-consuming montages -- the first an animated sequence that hurtles various hazardous objects at the audience the second a greatest hits compilation of memorable kills from previous Final Destination films -- is a telltale sign that the saga’s creativity is on life support. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug.