Tag Archives: Stanley Tucci

Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers_Age_of_Extinction_PosterAt one point, a “Transformers: Age of Extinction” character delivers this gem – “I also have a saying; I don’t care.” Why isn’t that the tagline of this movie? Or the whole “Transformers” film franchise for that matter?

“Age of Extinction” takes place five years after “Dark of the Moon.” Even though the Autobots helped save mankind in Chicago, the US government classifies all Transformers as dangerous fugitives, forcing the Autobots to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is desperately trying to earn enough money to keep his home and send his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz), to college. Trouble is, none of his inventions work very well and he doesn’t make much money fixing CD players and other random things. However, a dilapidated truck Cade gets his hands on is another story because it isn’t just a truck in need of fixing; it’s Optimus Prime.

This part of “Age of Extinction” isn’t all that bad. The idea of the government shunning the Autobots for helping us win a battle we never could have won on our own is a little ridiculous, but it’s well worth the fun of getting the chance to discover the Transformers all over again. The human characters involved in that discovery, however, are so devastatingly poorly written, they almost extinguish the thrill of the Autobot reunion.

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Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The_Hunger_Games_Catching_Fire_PosterBetween the prime source material, built-in fan base, epic star power and increased budget, Francis Lawrence’s adaptation of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” had all the potential in the world, but that also shrouded it in an exorbitant amount of pressure and expectation, so it’s a good thing Lawrence rose to the occasion.

The second installment picks up shortly after the events of the first. Katniss and Peeta (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson) are home sweet home in District 12, but still suffer from the repercussions of surviving the Hunger Games, one of which is participating in the Victory Tour. Even though the Capitol’s beloved star-crossed lovers travel from district to district professing their devotion to Panem, there’s no stopping what they started. With a rebellion on the horizon, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) opts to hit the districts where it hurts, targeting their resources, safety, and their Hunger Games victors.

Scoff at the “Hunger Games” craze all you want; this is a franchise that earns every ounce of attention, press and profits. Not only did Gary Ross’ film do the pre-release hype justice by kicking off the series with a riveting, well-composed and highly effective adaptation, but now Francis Lawrence and writers Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt build upon Ross’ success by taking the budget boost and funneling it into quality talent, stunning visuals and creating an all-consuming experience.

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Interview: Some Velvet Morning’s Alice Eve & Stanley Tucci

Some_Velvet_MorningWARNING: The only way to experience the full effect of Some Velvet Morning, is to walk into the film knowing nothing at all. You have been warned.

After putting colossal productions like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on their resumes, Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci opted to do a complete 180 with Neil LaBute’s Some Velvet Morning.  Eve and Tucci are the only two actors in the film, the entire narrative plays out in a single location and in real time, over the course of 83 minutes.  Hit the jump for more.

Tucci is Fred, a man who opts to ditch his wife for his mistress, Eve’s Velvet. After years apart, Fred shows up at Velvet’s door, confident she’ll be thrilled that he’s finally all hers. However, in the process of trying to tap back into their romance, tempers flare, passion ignites and hopes are crushed in a back-and-forth that slowly exposes the layers of their unusual relationship.
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Interview: Some Velvet Morning Writer-Director Neil LaBute

Neil_LaButeWARNING: The only way to experience the full effect of Some Velvet Morning, is to walk into the film knowing nothing at all.

Now that you’ve been warned, not only did Neil LaBute give himself the challenge of working with just one location and two actors for his latest feature, Some Velvet Morning, but he also tested his ability to support one heck of a grand finale twist while also ensuring that the film in its entirety is engaging and authentic.  Four years after indulging in a steamy affair, Fred (Stanley Tucci) shows up at Velvet’s (Alice Eve) door to tell her that he finally left his wife and now they can live happily ever after. In real time, LaBute peels back the layers of their relationship, unveils their darkest secrets and highlights the foundation of their lust as Fred and Velvet rekindle their romance and try to figure out if it’s possible to sustain it in the future.

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Review: Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack-the-Giant-SlayerTim Burton hit it big with “Alice in Wonderland,” but the fairy tale-to-film effort is still a horrifyingly expensive crapshoot.

As children, both Jack and Isabelle took a liking to the legend of the giants of Gantua. However, now young adults, neither is remotely close to achieving any degree of adventure, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) stuck working on his uncle’s farm and Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) forced to be a proper princess, staying within the walls of Cloisters. However, after a mix-up at the market, Jack accidently winds up with a sack full of magic beans. Coincidentally, later that evening, Isabelle opts to sneak out of the castle and winds up at Jack’s door seeking shelter from a storm. Little does Jack know, one of his beans slipped through the house’s floorboards, right along with the rainwater that triggers them to grow.

After a failed attempt at saving Isabelle, she’s lifted up into the land of the giants while Jack comes crashing back down to Earth. When King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) hears of what’s happened to his daughter, he commissions Elmont (Ewan McGregor), the leader of the king’s guard, and his men to scale the beanstalk with Jack in tow to bring Isabelle home.

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From the Set: Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack-the-Giant-Slayer-PosterWe’ve already seen Alice in Wonderland and a double dose of Snow White, but with Maleficent, Pan,Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and possibly more fairy tales-turned-big screen epics hitting theaters in the coming years, perhaps Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer will actually wind up slipping in at just the opportune time.

The project is a long time coming for Singer. He first signed on to direct back in September of 2009, but didn’t get the green light until just over a year later after which he went through a lengthy pre-production process before finally bringing the project to set in the spring and summer of 2011. Even then, the film still wasn’t in the clear, getting ousted from its original Summer 2012 drop date, settling back in on March 22nd, only to be moved up to March 1, 2013.

Will the tale of Nicholas Hoult’s Jack, a lowly farm boy who scales a beanstalk to save Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) from a brigade of giants eager to destroy King Brahmwell’s (Ian McShane) kingdom, be worth the wait? With the latest release date locked in place and now just a month away, we’ll find out soon enough, but if the final product sucks you into the world with even a fraction of the force the experience standing on set during production did, Singer’s time will have been well spent.

Click here to read the full set visit and here for additional interview highlights.

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Review: Margin Call

Sure, it’s awful that we’re still suffering through financial gloom and doom, but, on the bright side, it does make movies like Margin Call all the more compelling. So perhaps that’s a lame attempt at staying optimistic, but if you do have the funds to drop on a weekend movie, it’ll do your hard earned cash some justice.

It’s a rough day at the office, but, lucky for Peter and Seth (Zachary Quinto and Penn Badgley), they merely have to watch as co-worker after co-worker is ushered out, cardboard boxes with the trinkets from their desks in hand. However, one of their superiors, company veteran Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), isn’t as fortunate and thanks to his ranking and long-term employment, he’s considered a security risk and is not only escorted off the premises, but must leave every single bit of his work behind. But, just before the elevator doors shut for Eric for good, he manages to slip Peter a thumb drive holding the contents of an important project he was working on.

When the office clears for the day, Peter burns the midnight oil to investigate the information, filling in the holes of Eric’s work. What results is evidence that a piece of the investment firm’s formula for success is faulty and that that error will inevitably drive the company into the ground, taking every employee and potentially the whole economy with it.

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Interview: Margin Call Star And Producer Zachary Quinto

It’s tough enough wearing one hat on a film set, but now, seemingly more than ever, actors are donning two or more, whether it be both actor and producer, actor and director or just about any combination of titles for that matter. In Zachary Quinto’s case, he starred in and produced Margin Call via his company, Before the Door.

Quinto is Peter Sullivan, a young analyst in a New York City investment bank’s risk management department. When his boss, Eric (Stanley Tucci) gets the boot amongst many of his co-workers during a mass downsizing effort, Eric leaves an unfinished project for Peter. Turns out, the companies job cuts are the least of its problems. When Peter fills in the holes of Eric’s work, he discovers an error that could not only bring the company down, but the whole economy.

While J.C. Chandor’s script certainly resonated with Quinto and his team at Before the Door when they first took it on and still when they shot the film about a year and a half ago, it was a bit up in the air in terms of whether or not Margin Call would still be relevant when it finally hit theaters. Well, the time has come and courtesy of Occupy Wall Street, not only was Quinto’s first instinct justified, but now he’s got one of the timeliest films possible.

In honor of that March 21st release, Quinto took the time to run through the details from the very beginning and taking on Chandor’s script to attracting top notch talent and then having to switch gears and pull the reigns on the producing to focus a bit more on his work as an actor. Hear it all for yourself and much more straight from the man himself in the video interview below.

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‘The Hunger Games’ Countdown: What To Watch While You Wait

The Hunger Games may have gone without a Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con this year, but not only did it make an impact on the event with a booth on the convention floor, Lionsgate’s been able to maintain a bit of a ripple effect, keeping the film in the spotlight with the help of Entertainment Weekly. Like with Jennifer Lawrence, EW had the honor of debuting both Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) on the cover of their August 5th issue as well as some exclusive stills and behind-the-scenes photos inside. Click here to catch the cover as well as the general consensus on the image, and here to see three of the photos from inside, two of which are The Hunger Games’ first official stills.

Just the other day, we tracked down official still #3 and #4. While they don’t offer too much more in terms of details on the costume and set design, they do provide up close and personal looks at Katniss and Peeta in the arena. You can see those and read about the announcement ofCatching Fire’s November 22nd, 2013 release date right here.

In terms of unofficial photos, one popped up online that’s of interest: an image of some extras killing time before shooting a scene in the Capitol. Nailing the looks of the District 12 residents and the Hunger Games tributes are one thing, but the costume design for Capitol folk is undoubtedly a bigger challenge. Crazy hairstyles, dyed skin, odd piercings, outlandish makeup – I’d like to bet designer Judianna Makovsky is having a field day. Thanks to the Charlotte Observer we have an early taste of what she’s working on via a photo snapped while a small group of extras headed into the Duke Energy building for filming. It’s hard to pass judgment just yet as these actors are clearly not big-screen ready, but it seems as though Makovsky is heading in the right direction.

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Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

So far, so good for The Avengers this summer. Thor’s a pretty cool guy and now it’s Captain America to show off what he’s got. Sure, he comes with the superhero standards – buff body, noble intentions and a sleek costume – but other than that, he’s nothing more than a poster boy for Marvel movies. Steve Rogers makes for a better propaganda symbol than superhero.

Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, a Brooklyn native desperate to serve his country. Sadly, his intense determination isn’t enough to make up for his slight stature and asthma, amongst other physical deficits, and his enlistment application is stamped with a big red F, time and time again. It isn’t until Steve crosses paths with Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci) that he finally gets the chance to prove himself, well, an enhanced version of himself. Erskine straps Steve to some high tech contraption, pumps him full of glowing blue fluid and so Captain America is born.

Meanwhile, Hitler is building the ultimate weapon for himself, or so he thinks. The Nazi regime funnels resources into their deep science division, Hydra, in hopes that the unit’s leader, Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving), will deliver a power the Allies cannot defeat. Problem is, Schmidt is obsessed with some sort of otherworldly power, a power his cohorts don’t believe in. When Hitler attempts to shut Hydra down, Schmidt, or Red Skull, is ready to take the reigns and conquer the world for himself. The only one who can stop him? Guess who.

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