Brooklyn-based indie rock greats The National have just released their reliably excellent new LP, Trouble Will Find Me, and following a Letterman appearance earlier this week they continued their late-night rounds tonight on The Colbert Report. Frontman Matt Berninger sat down with Colbert for an endearingly awkward chat about perfectionism, aging and the band’s name, before the group — stately as ever — performed ‘Graceless’ for the show and single ‘Sea of Love’ as a web exclusive.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt took Sundance by storm earlier this year with his directorial debut Don Jon (formerly Don Jon’s Addiction), earning rave reviews and causing quite the bidding war. He stars as “Don Jon” Martello, a buff Jersey guy who only cares about “my body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls and… my porn.” His carefree lifestyle is complicated when he falls for Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and she discovers his porn addiction, which he claims is no different to her love of rom-coms. The supporting cast includes Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly and Rob Brown — as well as humourous cameos from Anne Hathaway and Channing Tatum in the movie-within-the-movie — and everyone involved seems to be having a blast. This looks like a slick, confident and charming debut from Gordon-Levitt, who has clearly been taking notes from director pal Rian Johnson, and I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a New Zealand release date.
Following a great teaser trailer – plus the unexpected news that director Edgar Wright is heading to NZ in July — two new posters and a full-length trailer arrived this week for The World’s End. We learn a little more about the central characters here — played by Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike — with Pegg in particular making a hilarious fool of himself throughout, while the Doctor Who-esque aliens are revealed to be some kind of blue ink-emitting robots. Wright’s film continues to look tremendously entertaining, and come July I will be the first in line for this one.
As anticipation continues to build for next month’s release of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, one final trailer has been released for the Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer-assisted Superman retcon. While the previous trailers have expertly teased the film’s grand scope, amazing visuals, stellar cast and impressive Hans Zimmer score, they have been rather light on dialogue and plot — not to mention Kryptonian villain, General Zod (Michael Shannon). That all changes here as Zod takes centre stage and reveals a menacing ultimatum for Kal-El/Superman (Henry Cavill) — you may want to avoid this if you would prefer to go in to the film cold — which has echoes of both J. Michael Straczynski’s recent Superman: Earth One comic and Nolan’s Dark Knight villains. This destructive, frenzied and action-packed trailer is a complete 180 from the elegiac teasers, and I’m very intrigued to see how it all stacks up. Man of Steel remains my most anticipated blockbuster of the season, and I’m hoping that in Michael Shannon’s Zod we finally have the first great villain of 2013.
Prolific genre-hopping filmmaker Ben Wheatley (Sightseers) delivers yet another departure with A Field In England, a black-and-white psychedelic drama that promises the unexpected. Set during the English Civil War, the film follows a small group of deserters who are captured by an alchemist (Kill List‘s Michael Smiley) and forced to aid in his search for hidden treasure amongst a vast mushroom field. Chaos ensues as the group descends into heated arguments and paranoia, and it becomes apparent that the treasure might be something other than gold. Despite the inclusion of British comedians Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen), there are no laughs on display here, and the film seems to aim for something akin to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s heady brand of surrealism. Wheatley has fast become England’s figurehead for provocative genre cinema, and his latest effort has aptly been endorsed by genre forebearer Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now), who praises the film as ”a wonderfully seductive piece of film-making.” A Field in England certainly looks to be a singular experience from one of the most exciting young filmmaking talents, and as always I can’t wait to see what he does next.
[WATCH] First trailer for Guillaume Canet & James Gray’s BLOOD TIES starring Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard & more
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.