While we patiently wait to hear more about James Gray’s highly anticipated Cannes hopeful The Immigrant, another project that bares his fingerprints has screened out of competition there this week — Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties. Gray co-wrote the film with actor-turned-filmmaker Canet (Tell No One, Little White Lies) – a remake of the 2008 French thriller Les liens du sang (which starred Canet) — and it looks to have several of the We Own the Night director’s touchstones. Set in 1970s Brooklyn, the film follows the story of two brothers on either side of the law and features a stellar cast: Clive Owen plays a ex-con trying to go straight, Marion Cotillard (aka Canet’s wife) is his prostitute ex/mother of his children and Mila Kunis is his new love interest, while Billy Crudup is his cop brother enters into a romance with Zoe Saldana after putting away her violent ex, Matthias Schoenaerts. Noah Emmerich, James Caan and Lili Taylor also co-star. It sounds a little convoluted and early reviews seem to suggest the sprawling narrative doesn’t quite work, which is a shame because this first trailer is rather promising and it’s great to see Owen in a rare decent leading role.
Following the hilarious ‘Spring Break Anthem‘ and last week’s kind-of-amusing slow jam ‘I Fucked My Aunt’, The Lonely Island have dropped yet another track from their forthcoming LP The Wack Album. ‘Diaper Money’ is a gangsta-rap parody in the vein of Turtleneck & Chain‘s ‘We’re Back!’, in which they boast about having babies, being married and being a “grown ass man”. The highlight? Andy Samberg’s hilarious tombstone reading: “RIP YOUMG SANDWICHE”.
[WATCH] Intriguing first trailer for Sebastián Cordero’s space thriller EUROPA REPORT starring Sharlto Copley
The first proper look at Sebastián Cordero’s much-hyped sci-fi Europa Report arrived this week, with a new trailer showcasing some stunning imagery and an eclectic cast. The film follows a crew of international astronauts — including Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Michael Nyqvist (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) — on a privately-funded mission to Jupiter’s icy fourth moon, Europa, to investigate the possible existence of alien life (anyone who has read Warren Ellis’ Ocean may find this a little familiar). Anamaria Marinca, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra and Christian Camargo also star. Employing a found footage-style approach, this intriguing first trailer promises some convincing realism — rare for science fiction thesedays, and seemingly appreciated by the science community based on the pull quotes — as well as some impressive outer space visuals. Much of the plot and characters still remain a mystery, thankfully, but this tense thriller certainly looks like one space film worth getting excited about.
Increasingly prolific director/producer J.J. Abrams paid a visit to The Daily Show tonight to promote his great new film, Star Trek Into Darkness. Evasive as ever, he danced around the subject of his upcoming Star Wars VII when Jon Stewart brought it up, and Abrams admitted that he wasn’t a Star Trek fan growing up. The pair touched on the differences between the two iconic sci-fi series, and Stewart joked about a Jedi role for himself and fished for filmmaking advice for his upcoming directorial debut Rosewater during the web exclusive second part of the interview.
With the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis set to debut at Cannes next week, a new red band trailer has arrived to build some hype — although it comes with the disappointing news that the rest of the world will have to wait over half a year to see the film. This new trailer is not much different from the somewhat dour and underwhelming first look we saw earlier this year — barely earning its red band label with the inclusion of a couple of curse words — although we do get to see glimpses of Justin Timberlake this time around. While the Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan-led cast continue to look impressive, I’m still not seeing anything here to get terrifically excited about — which is rare for a Coens film — although that may change once we get to see more footage and, crucially, hear some of T Bone Burnett’s much anticipated soundtrack.
[WATCH] Stunning first trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY starring George Clooney & Sandra Bullock
This one has been a long-time coming: Alfonso Cuarón’s space epic Gravity will finally be released in October, seven long years on from his dystopic masterpiece Children of Men. Following a series of casting rumours and much hype over last year’s test screenings, the film’s existence was at last confirmed to the wide world today with a captivating first trailer. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as two astronauts fighting for survival on a remote space station after debris wipes out their crew and ship. This footage looks visually stunning — as one would expect from cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life) — and I’m salivating over the prospect of seeing this on IMAX scale.
Dong-hoon Choi’s The Thieves set box office records last year, becoming the second highest-grossing film in Korean history. Boasting a star-studded cast of Korean and Hong Kong actors – including Kim Yun-seok (The Yellow Sea), Johnnie To regular Simon Yam (Vengeance), Park Chan-wook regular Dal-su Oh (Thirst), Lee Jung-Jae (The Housemaid), Kim Hye-Soo and Gianna Jun — this slick film is a sexy action caper in the vein of Ocean’s Eleven, with two crews of professional thieves uneasily banding together for one big score locked away in an impenetrable casino vault. Fans of Korean cinema will clearly relish this entertaining piece of escapism, and A Fistful of Culture is providing you an opportunity to win one of three Blu-ray copies thanks to Madman.
[WATCH] Gripping first trailer for Paul Greengrass’ Somali pirates drama CAPTAIN PHILLIPS starring Tom Hanks
Following 2010′s underwhelming Green Zone and years of pesky Bourne 4 rumours, Paul Greengrass looks to be back in fine form with Captain Phillips. Based on the 2009 real-life story, the film stars Tom Hanks as the courageous titular character who surrendered himself to Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his crew after his ship was hijacked — the first American cargo ship to be seized in 200 years. The supporting cast includes Catherine Keener, Max Martini, Yul Vazquez, Michael Chernus, Chris Mulkey, Corey Johnson, David Warshofsky, John Magaro and Angus MacInnes. We’ve previously seen how well-suited Greengrass’ doco-drama style is to such material in 2006′s United 93, and the hijacking scenes teased in this trailer are absolutely riveting. Hanks looks to be at the top of his game here too, with a heroic role that could be yet another Oscar contender for the two-time Best Actor winner, and this is surely one of the most anticipated dramas of the year.
Earlier this week, “world-renowned fake rappers” The Lonely Island announced their third LP The Wack Album will be dropping June 11, and in the build-up to its release they will be releasing a new clip every Wednesday as part of their ‘Wack Wednesdays’ series. The album will feature contributions from the likes of Solange, Pharrell Williams, T-Pain and Billie Joe Armstrong, as well as the previously released Kendrick Lamar collab ‘YOLO‘. ’Wack Wednesdays’ kicked off today with ‘Spring Break Anthem’, which hilariously begins as an episode of Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns as he interviews Spring Breakers star James Franco (“Of all the art projects you’ve done, what has made people roll their eyes the hardest?”), before cutting to the trio’s clip. It’s a step-up from the relatively disappointing ‘YOLO’, and there’s one unexpectedly awesome cameo which I won’t spoil for you here.
David Bowie reunites with his ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)‘ director Floria Sigismondi and Basquiat co-star Gary Oldman in the video for ‘The Next Day’, the title track and third single from his splendid recent album. “Written and conceived” by Bowie himself, the clip is full of Christian iconography and co-stars Marion Cotillard — previously seen opposite Oldman in The Dark Knight Rises – as a stigmata-afflicted prostitute. It’s another artful and challenging piece from Bowie and Sigismondi (featuring some slightly NSFW material), and here’s hoping this fruitful collaboration continues.