Matthew McConaughey has been jumping back and forth between romantic comedies and dramas for years now, but he seems focused on taking more serious roles these days. Next week, he opens The Lincoln Lawyer, a gritty legal thriller that seems to be a step in the right direction (even though the film looks pretty bland), but he's not just going back to the Failure To Launch's of the world after branching out. In fact, The LA Times says that he's next going to take on what could be his most risky role to date.
According to 24 Frames, McConaughey is helping the long-gestating Dallas Buyer's Club find new life in Hollywood. He'll play Ron Woodroof, a heterosexual Dallas electrician who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986. Even though doctors gave him just six months to live, he refused to accept his mortality and spent his remaining years smuggling experimental medication (which eventually became illegal medication) into the country for as many AIDS patients as he could help. He wound up living six more years and saved or prolonged the lives of countless others.
Though this is the first new development I've heard of on The Dallas Buyer's Club in a few years, it's hardly a new project. Many big-name writers, directors and stars have tried get the topical tale off the ground, from Brad Pitt to Ryan Gosling to Babel scribe Guillermo Arriaga to director Craig Gillespie. Where they failed, McConaughey and director Jean Marc Vallee (The Young Victoria) hope to succeed.
"It's not exactly the movie that studios are throwing money at these days," McConaughey told the source, adding that "It's a great script and a great story and I think it can be a great movie." I'm a supporter of all films with social commentary, and this story sounds like one that could not only be gripping, but will test McConaughey's range as an actor and push him to new extremes physically and emotionally. We know he looks good without a shirt; let's see what happens when he pulls a Christian Bale and has to lose 40 pounds to play an AIDS patient.
Looking forward to seeing how The Dallas Buyer's Club proceeds...
Source: 24 Frames
Animation particularly when it comes out of the Disney/Pixar stable is one of those areas of filmmaking that regularly inspires the phrase "They don't make them like they used to." In the case of Toy Story 3 however it's more accurate to say "They have never made them like this." It's certainly not unheard of for an animated film to be good for a Pixar film to be great or for the third film in a trilogy to be outstanding (though that's the rarest of the three) but in the case of Lee Unkrich's film the sheer degree at which it exceeds at all three is not just rare it's unprecedented.
Eleven years have elapsed since Woody (Tom Hanks) Buzz (Tim Allen) and all of Andy's favorite playthings had their last adventure -- rather 11 years have elapsed since Andy stopped playing with his toys. Buoyed by Woody's never-failing devotion the gang is all optimistic that Andy will elect to bring them with him to his first year of college but as that fateful empty-nest day approaches it becomes clearer and clearer that the only toy that will be making the trek to school is Woody. The rest are all by a series of unfortunate events consigned to live out their remaining days at Sunnyside daycare. Things are actually looking up for the neglected entertainers until they realize just how careless the ankle-biters are when it comes to playing with toys.
Unfortunately there is no escape in sight for the lovable personalities Pixar has been refining for over a decade. Lotso Huggin' Bear (Ned Beatty) runs a tight ship at Sunnyside; the new toys are just going to have to be sacrificed to the aggressive toddlers so the old veterans can have a relaxing time with their more mature counterparts. Eventually Woody catches wind of what kind of life his old pals are being forced to live and Toy Story 3 quite brilliantly becomes a riff on classic prison escape movies as Woody seeks to breach Lotso's security measures and bring his bunch back to Andy where they belong. And while this on-the-run chunk of the film is some of the most thrilling material Pixar has ever delivered it's also some of the most touching.
Unlike most sequels not a moment of Toy Story 3 feels artificial. There's no sense that Pixar decided to make a third film because it knew that the box office would gladly support another entry; no sense that this is a cash grab (unlike a certain green ogre's most recent trip to the big screen). All of those typical sequel pitfalls are carefully avoided by a swelling sense of finality. Toy Story 3 isn't just another adventure with these characters -- there is in fact no doubt that this is their final adventure their final hoorah together. Director Lee Unkrich and screenwriter Michael Arndt meticulously lead the audience along with bated breath the entire time culminating in a life-or-death scenario for the toys that is more heartfelt and genuine than most live-action films can ever muster.
It's astonishing how the creative team at Pixar can make you forget that what you're watching is all a bunch of digital wizardry. Maybe it's the 3D this time around maybe it's that this is the studio's most accomplished technical feat to date (there are single shots at a landfill that pack in richer detail than the entirety of the pioneering first film) that makes Toy Story 3 such an immersive experience. Or maybe it's simply because Pixar treats its property which is ostensibly for children with the utmost sincerity. The result is an overwhelming success the rare kind of film that were it a human being would be your best friend.
One could reasonably make the case that Toy Story 3 is the single best animated film ever made. I wouldn't outright agree with such grandiose claims but it's certainly not a baseless proposition that you'd be laughed at for bringing up. However with part three now tucked under Pixar's belt one could present an even better case that Toy Story is the best film trilogy ever made -- a claim I am far more comfortable signing on the dotted line for.
Once upon a time, Brad Pitt and director Darren Aronofsky were aiming to team up on an sci-fi adventure that would span all of space and time to tell an epic love story. That project became known as The Fountain and went on to star Hugh Jackman as the interstellar traveler, ending the proposed collaboration between Pitt and the acclaimed filmmaker.
That team-up may action happen now, as Variety reports that the duo is eyeing an adaptation of John Vaillant's upcoming non-fiction book The Tiger. The action adventure story takes place on the Siberian plain, where human development is encroaching on the tigers' habitat -- and one tiger turns on the intruders. With townspeople being tracked and hunted with an almost supernatural power, a conservationist game warden must face down the tiger. It is a fight that only one of them can win.
The Tiger, which will be produced by Pitt's Plan B and Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures, is being developed as a potential starring vehicle for the star at Focus Features. Writer Guillermo Arriaga will pen the screenplay. He previously worked with Pitt on 2006's Babel.
Man vs. nature always makes for an interesting story and the pairing of Pitt and Aronofsky is many years in the making, so I'm happy to see where this production takes the principles. Of course, both parties have numerous projects in development, so I'm not holding my breath for a release date.