A production spokesman for the Allman Brothers biopic has spoken out about an onset tragedy, which claimed the life of an unnamed camera operator's assistant. The Midnight Rider crew member was killed in a train accident in Wayne County, Georgia on Thursday (20Feb14).
Reports suggest a train unexpectedly travelled down the tracks while the crew was carrying out camera tests for the film, killed the woman and left seven other crew members injured. Two were left with serious injuries, and transported to a local hospital.
A spokesman for the film tells WENN, "All of us on the production team are devastated by the tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our crew member.”
The film, based on Gregg Allman's New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, officially begins filming on Monday (24Feb14). It features William Hurt and Tyson Ritter as the older and younger Gregg Allman and Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane.
A crew member for the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic Midnight Rider was killed in a train accident in Wayne County, Georgia on Thursday (20Feb14). An unnamed woman working as a camera operator's assistant on the film was struck and killed while filming a scene on a railroad trestle.
A law enforcement official confirms to TheWrap.com that a train unexpectedly travelled down the tracks while the crew was doing camera tests for the film.
Seven other crew members were also hurt in the accident, two with serious injuries, and transported to a local hospital.
The film, based on Gregg Allman's New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, officially begins filming on Monday (24Feb14), and stars William Hurt and Tyson Ritter as the older and younger Gregg, Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane, and also features Eliza Dushku, Bradley Whitford, and Zoey Deutch.
Movie veterans Kathy Baker and Charles Dutton have joined the cast of the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic, Midnight Rider. The Saving Mr. Banks star will portray the Allmans' mother, while Alien actor Dutton has been slated to play Gregg Allman's best friend, confidant and assistant Chank Middleton.
The duo joins a cast that includes William Hurt and Tyson Ritter as the older and younger Gregg, Wyatt Russell as his brother Duane, Eliza Dushku, Bradley Whitford, Joel David Moore and Zoey Deutch.
Director Randall Miller tells WENN, "This cast is a dream come true."
The film, based on Gregg Allman's New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, will start shooting in Savannah, Georgia later this month (Feb14).
Beautiful Creatures star Zoey Deutch has landed the female lead in the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic, Midnight Rider. The young star will play a rock groupie called Mae, who became Greg Allman's love interest as his band was starting out.
She joins Tyson Ritter, Wyatt Russell and William Hurt in the Randall Miller movie.
Ritter and Hurt will both play Greg Allman in the film, while Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's son Wyatt will portray his brother Duane.
Director Miller tells WENN he's thrilled with the latest casting news: "Zoey's freshness and intensity blows me away. She is both young and wise. I can't wait to work with her."
Midnight Rider will be an adaptation of Gregg Allman's bestselling biography My Cross To Bear.
Welsh actor Michael Sheen took on the infamous role of Stifler's Mom opposite Sharon Stone as Jim's Dad in a gender-swapping live-read of teen movie American Pie in Los Angeles. The Frost/Nixon star and the Basic Instinct actress were among the cast for a live performance of the film on Thursday night (16Jan14) as part of director Jason Reitman's regular series of star-studded read-throughs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The American Pie show featured the actors swapping gender roles, with Sheen taking on the feisty femme fatale played by Jennifer Coolidge in the original film and Shannon Elizabeth's part of Nadia.
Stone played the role of Jim's Dad, originally played by Eugene Levy, Twilight star Anna Kendrick tackled Seann William Scott's Stifler, and Spider-Man 3 actor Topher Grace channelled Tara Reid to play Vicky.
Other stars in the production included Olivia Wilde as Kevin, Krysten Ritter as Finch, John Cho as Heather, and Ari Graynor as Jim.
Sheen shared his news with fans following the performance in a series of posts on Twitter.com, writing, "Tried my best to get inside Shannon Elizabeth and Jennifer Coolidge tonight. A gender-reversed reading of American Pie at LACMA. Huge fun!... I was of course playing Nadia and Stifler's Mom! Sitting between Sharon Stone as Jim's Dad and Anna Kendrick as Stifler. Marvelous!!!"
Oscar winner William Hurt has been aded to the cast of the upcoming Allman Brothers biopic as the older Gregg Allman. All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter was cast as the younger Allman at the end of last year (13), while Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn's son Wyatt will portray Duane Allman in the film.
And on Monday (06Jan14), Hollywood veteran Hurt signed on to play the current day Gregg in director Randall Miller's movie, titled Midnight Rider.
Miller tells WENN, "I am a tremendous fan of William’s work. I can’t wait to work with him."
The director's wife and screenwriter Jody Savin adds, "William Hurt actually helped start Randy’s career years ago. He made an anonymous monetary donation to Randy’s AFI thesis film. And when his identity was revealed, he even agreed to do the voice-over on the film.”
The film is based on Gregg Allman’s New York Times bestselling biography My Cross To Bear, and the blues-rocker insists the husband-and-wife filmmakers have their work cut out on the project.
He tells Rolling Stone, "The script will damn sure change, because I have veto rights over everything. Think about it, man. If you had them doing your life story on the big screen, wouldn't you want to be able to erase anything out of there that you didn’t want? I can pull the plug on it any time."
The Amazing Spider-Man would prefer if you didn't call it the fourth Spider-Man movie. See this ain't the Spider-Man your older brother knew from ten years ago — it's a reboot. The latest adventure to feature the comic book webslinger throws three movies worth of established mythology straight out the window swapping the original cast with an ensemble of fresh faces and resetting the franchise with a spiffy new origin story. "New" in the loosest sense of the word — the highlights of ASM mainly a sleek new design and spunky reinterpretation of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and gal pal Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) are weighed down by overpowering sense of familiarity. Nearly a beat for beat replica of the 2002 original with some irksome twists of mystery thrown in Amazing Spider-Man fails to evolve its hero or his quarrels. The film has a great sense of cinematic power but little responsibility in making it interesting.
We're first introduced to Peter Parker as a young boy watching as his parents rush out of the house in response to a hidden danger. Mr. and Mrs. Parker leave their son in the care of his Aunt May (Sally Fields) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) who raise him into Andrew Garfield's geeky cool spin on the character. Parker's a science whiz but faces the challenges of every day life — passing classes talking to girls the occasional jock with aggression issues — but all of life's woes are put on hold when the teen discovers a new clue in the mystery behind his parents' disappearance. The discovery of his dad's old briefcase and notes leads Peter to Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) a scientist working for mega-conglomerate Oscorp and his Dad's old partner. When they cross paths Connors instantly takes a liking to the wunderkind and loops him into the work he started with his father: replicating the regeneration abilities of lizards in amputee humans (Connors is driven to reform his own missing arm). But when Parker wanders into Oscorp's room full of spiders (a sloppily explained this-needs-to-be-here-for-this-to-happen device) he receives his legendary spider bite that transforms him into the hero we know.
Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) desperately wants Amazing Spider-Man to work as a high school relationship movie but with the burden of massive amounts of plot and mythology to introduce the movie sags under the sheer volume of stuff. Stone turns Parker's object of affection Gwen Stacey into a three-dimensional character. Whenever they happen upon each other an awkward exchange in the hallway a flirtatious back-and-forth in the Oscorp lab (where Stacey is head…intern) or when the two finally begin a romantic relationship the two stars shine. They're vivid characters chopped to bits in the editing room diluted by boring franchise-building plot threads and routine action sequences. Seriously Amazing Spider-Man another mad scientist villain who uses himself as a test subject only to become a monster? And another bridge rescue scene? Amazing Spider-Man desperately wants to disconnect from the original trilogy but it's trapped in an inescapable shadow and does nothing radical to shake things up. Instead it settles for the same old same old while preparing for inevitable sequels instead of investing in its dynamic duo.
There's a sweet spot where the film really hits his stride. After discovering his spider-abilities Peter hits the streets for the first time. He's superhuman but still a headstrong teen full of obnoxious quips and close calls with shiv-wielding thugs. The action is slick small and playful Webb showing us something new by melding his indie sensibilities with big scale action. If only it lasted — the introduction of Ifans reptilian half The Lizard implodes Amazing Spider-Man into incomprehensible blockbuster chaos. A gargantuan beast wreaking havoc around New York City promises King Kong-like escapades for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man but the lizard man has other plans: to rule the world! Or something. Whatever it takes to get Lizard and Spider-Man fighting on the top of a skyscraper over a doomsday machine — logic be damned.
Amazing Spider-Man peppers its banal foundation with great talent from Denis Leary as Gwen's wickedly funny dad and the police captain hunting down Spider-Man to Fields and Sheen as two loving adults in Peter's life to Garfield and Stone whose chemistry demands a follow-up for the sake of seeing them reunited. But it's all at the cost of putting on the most expensive recreation of all time with new demands imposed by the success Marvel's other properties (except that franchise teasing worked). Amazing Spider-Man introduces too many ideas that go nowhere undermining the actual threat at hand. No one wants to be unfulfilled but that's the overriding difference between the original movie and the update. You need to pay for the sequel to know what the heck is going on in this one.
The Five-Year Engagement is an ambitious film by Hollywood rom-com standards. The script by director Nicholas Stoller and lead actor Jason Segel aims for charm and pain and laughs and truth. The presentation is slick with the beauty of San Francisco and small town Michigan backdropping the comedy captured with above-average photography that screams "This isn't your run-of-the-mill Katherine Heigl flick!" Five-Year Engagement is a shotgun blast of grand ideas every element spread so thin it ends up being not that charming not that painful not that funny and not that truthful.
Tom (Segel) a professional cook and his girlfriend Violet (Emily Blunt) a hopeful psychology student have been dating for one year before the question is finally popped. They seem perfect for one another understanding the other's perspectives sharing sensibilities and helping each other loving life to the fullest. The couple's wedding planning process is slow and steady but when the date is finally in sight Violet finds herself with an offer to attend the University of Michigan. The wrench in the life plan sets the nuptials back much to the chagrin of Violet's mother (Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver) who pushes her daughter to tie the knot before all the grandparents are dead. The potential move doesn't sit well with Tom either — leaving San Fran means quitting a high profile cook job and saying goodbye to his best bud Alex (Chris Pratt) and Violet's sister Suzie (Alison Brie). But the compromise is eventually made and Tom and Violet find themselves driving into the cold snowy unknown of Michigan.
Five-Year Engagement maximizes Segel's and Blunt's inherent charisma (and really they're two of the gosh darn nicest on-screen people in recent years) by making them kind loving and flawless. To give the movie a reason to exist problems for their relationship are then randomly conjured up. Slowly but surely their relationship suffers strain from all the bending over backwards. The archaic conceit of why these two actually need to get married to profess their love isn't really addressed — they just have to and life is standing in their way. Tom can't find a cooking job; Violet's professor plays devil on her shoulder about marriage; Tom hates Michigan but turns out to be too nice to say anything; Violet sees shades of her psychological experiments ripping apart Tom's exterior. After meeting them in the beginning the hurdles the central couple faces throughout their five year engagement are nonsensical. They're perfect for each other they're just written to have rom-com problems.
The movie earns a few chuckles. Pratt and Brie steal the show as the friend and sister who quickly fall in love tie the knot have kids and foil Segel and Blunt's relationship. The two leads are comedically proficient too — a conversation between Blunt and Brie performed with Cookie Monster/Elmo voices is pure genius. But it's a movie of moments diluted by a non-action arc that's simply a bore. Halfway through the movie Segel's Tom goes full-on cartoon character embracing a mountain man persona who's obsessed with venison and brewing his own honey mead. The jokes could work in another movie but not in Five-Year Engagement which strives for something more.
Time is essential to Five-Year Engagement but it's unclear how many months have passed between the movie's scatterbrained scenes. Alex and Suzie visit Tom and Violet with kids then magically they're all grown up when a year (maybe) has passed. And when did Tom go crazy? How quickly did they put their third marriage attempt together? The film's timeline is key but never feels established — even with a run-time of over two hours. Much like Tom and Violet the audience waits and waits and waits and waits for the couple to finally tie the knot in Five-Year Engagement. Tom Petty was right: the waiting is the hardest part.
After garnering widespread praise (and an Oscar nomination for screenwriting) for his 2000 directorial debut You Can Count on Me Kenneth Lonergan was in-demand. In September 2005 the writer/director began production on a follow-up feature: Margaret which touted Anna Paquin Matt Damon Mark Ruffalo Matthew Broderick Allison Janney as well as legendary filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) as producers. The movie wrapped production in a few months time. The buzz was already growing.
Now six years later the movie is finally hitting theaters. So…what took so long?
The journey to this point hasn't been an easy one and it shows. If a film's shot footage is a block of granite and the editing process is the careful carving that turns it into a statuesque work of art Margaret feels like it was attacked by a blind man with a jackhammer. The film is a cinematic disaster a mishmash of shallow characters overwrought politics and sporadic tones. The story follows Lisa Coen (Paquin) a New York teenager who finds herself drowning in chaos after distracting a bus driver (Ruffalo) causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Janney). Initially Lisa tells the police it was all an accident but as time passes regret takes hold and the girl embarks on a mission to take down the man she now regards as a culprit. That's just the tip of the iceberg–along the way Lisa deals with everyday teen stuff: falling for her geometry teacher (Damon) combating her anxiety-ridden actress mother losing her virginity dabbling in drugs debating 9/11 and the Iraq War cultivating a relationship with her father in LA and more. There are about eight seasons of television stuffed into Margaret but even a two and a half hour run time can't make it all click.
For more on Margaret check out Indie Seen: Margaret the Long Lost Anna Paquin/Matt Damon Movie
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.