Tag Archives: Amber Heard

‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: Dream Casting ‘Catching Fire’

In August of 2010 I posted “Daring to Dream: Casting ‘The Hunger Games’ Movie” on Cinematical. Not a single person I named was cast and I still stand by my choices to the point, but I must concede Gary Ross and Lionsgate did a much better job. However, that’s not stopping me from dream casting the sequel, Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games Vets

Of course there are quite a few characters from round one that will not return, but we’ve got quite the handful that are not only still in the spotlight, but consuming more of it. Catching Fireis Katniss Everdeen’s story just like The Hunger Games, so Jennifer Lawrence’s return is top priority. Sure this whole X-Men: First Class 2 thing put a little strain on the Catching Fireproduction schedule, but Lawrence needs to be front and center and the studio’s got to make that happen in any way it can.

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Review: The Rum Diary

Critically, Johnny Depp has been all over the map for the past few years, however, one thing remains consistent, the guy is dedicated. Give him an icon like J.M. Barrie, someone more eccentric like Jack Sparrow or even an animated character like Rango and Depp seizes the opportunity and gives the role everything he’s got. Then again, you can’t forget that acting is only one aspect of the moviemaking puzzle and while Depp stands tall yet again in The Rum Diary, he can’t keep the rest of the piece from crumbling around him.

Depp is Paul Kemp, a failing novelist in need of a quick buck. He relocates from the mainland to Puerto Rico where he snags a gig at the failing local newspaper, The San Juan Star. No matter what he’s doing – attempting to write horoscopes, report on the latest local bowling championship or just rolling around in his co-worker Sala’s (Michael Rispoli) defunct car – Kemp is drinking rum – lots and lots of rum.

Kemp’s booze bubble is invaded by a local real estate mogul. Hal Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) is out to turn a section of lavish land into a hotel property. Nice for tourists, but not for the natives. Sanderson proposes that Kemp puts his writing skills to use to dupe the public into thinking that building the hotel is the best case scenario, citing the example that if a government official proposes a tax hike far higher than necessary and then barters with the public, they’ll think they’re getting a deal, but that official will get what he or she needs. The problem is, the plan is illegal and despite his tendency to drink his life away, Kemp has a conscience.

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Interview: The Ward’s Lyndsy Fonseca

Lyndsy Fonseca has been around for quite a while, but over the past few years, her career isn’t just on the rise, but on a rocket. In 2010 we saw her in Hot Tub Time Machine, the a few months later as Katie in Kick-Ass and now she’s about to get to work on the sophomore season of the CW show Nikita. She’s certainly been busy, but nestled in there was yet another feature film, John Carpenter’s The Ward.

After wrapping Hot Tub Time Machine, Fonseca stepped into the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital as Iris, a rather intelligent and welcoming resident eagerly awaiting what she hopes to be her final evaluation. However, when a young woman named Kristen (Amber Heard) is thrown into the ward, strange things start to happen and the girls realize it’s not their freedom they need to be fighting for, but their lives.

Not only is The Ward Fonseca’s very first horror film, but it’s her first horror film with renowned director John Carpenter. Perhaps it was intimidating at one point, but now, Fonseca has only the best to say about Carpenter, attributing quite a bit of this fantastic experience to him. With The Ward’s July 8th release fast approaching, Fonseca took the time to chat about working on the film, her upcoming projects, the status of Kick-Ass 2 and even a little about The Hunger Games.

(And yes Nikita fans, I am now kicking myself for starting to watch the show after conducting this interview rather than before. Oh well; until San Diego Comic Con! For now, check out my interview with Fonseca on The Ward.)

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Interview: The Ward’s Danielle Panabaker

Danielle Panabaker is easily becoming one of my favorite actresses to interview, not just because she’s a nice and insightful person to talk to, but also because she tends to work on the kind of films I’m drawn to – horror films. And not just any horrors film, rather, pieces that offer a fun kind of scare. Back in 2009 she starred in the remake of Friday the 13th and then, last year, in one of my favorite films of 2010, The Crazies, and now she’s in John Carpenter’s The Ward.

Panabaker plays Sarah, one of four patients Kristen (Amber Heard) meets when she’s unwillingly admitted to the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital. Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca) is bright and welcoming, Zoey (Laura-Leigh) a little on the shy side, Emily (Mamie Gummer) a bit too friendly and then there’s Sarah who’s, well, not particularly nice to anyone. Regardless, when a malicious entity makes its presence known, the girls must work together to survive.

To promote the film’s July 8th release, Panabaker took some time to tell us all about her experience making The Ward from working with Carpenter and her co-cast to her own personal preparation and feelings about the horror genre in general. Check it all out and more below.

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Interview: The Ward Director John Carpenter

It’s been about ten years, but director John Carpenter is finally back behind the lens of a feature film and we’ve got Showtime’s Masters of Horror to thank. With dozens of titles to his name, Carpenter felt the need to take a step back from directing. However, when Masters of Horror summoned him to helm yet again, the experience reinvigorated the passion that, well, has terrified us all for years.

Carpenter makes his return with The Ward, a story from Michael and Shawn Rasmussen about Kristen (Amber Heard), about a young woman thrown into a psychiatric hospital. There, she not only meets the other patients, Emily, Sarah, Zoey and Iris (Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Laura-Leigh and Lyndsy Fonseca), but the ward’s resident evil entity, too.

After so many years, you’d think Carpenter would have this down to a science. While he does to a point, he also emphasizes the fluidity necessary when making a film. When it comes to working with a cinematographer, his actors and even burning houses down, an abundance of planning is great, but ultimately, it depends on the situation and it’s vital to be able to adapt. In honor of The Ward’s July 8th release, Carpenter told me all about his process starting with finding the right script to taking the footage to the edit bay. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Review: The Joneses

Advertising a new product is a tricky task. It’s one thing to just list the device’s assets, but when it comes to getting the consumer to trust the company enough to lay down the cash, there’s nothing better than a face-to-face pitch. But consumers are smart. They know the guy from Sony is going to say his camera is best and so is the guy from Canon. But if the brand is removed from the equation entirely, we get the ultimate sales team: a seemingly average family, The Joneses.

The Joneses appear to be the new folks in town, but they’re actually employees of a stealth marketing company. Rather than use commercials and magazine ads to increase intrigue, they put the finest Yves Saint Laurent dress on Kate (Demi Moore), the hottest golf club in Steve’s (David Duchovny) hand, the trendiest scarf around Jenn’s (Amber Heard) neck and latest portable gaming device in Mick’s (Ben Hollingsworth) pocket. They look like your typical family, but have a hidden agenda to make you want what they have.

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Review: The Stepfather

TheStepfatherPosterIf you’re going to trade in the blood and guts for a PG-13 rating, at least make an exhilarating movie. The horror genre has diverged into two paths; the brutally gruesome and the suspenseful. The Stepfather clearly is going for the latter category, which would have been fine if it were in fact thrilling. The premise is strong and the characters are appealing but the movie is missing the one element that will garner it its audience, terror.

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