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Entries in Anna Kendrick (22)

Thursday
Nov062014

Yes No Maybe So: Into the Woods

After a number of official still images, a lovely teaser, rumblings of behind-the-scenes drama, an extended featurette, a bunch of EW covers, and plenty of anticip... ation, the trailer for Rob Marshall's take on Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's classic musical, Into the Woods is here! More so than the teaser, this trailer introduces us to the main conceit that brings all these characters together: the search for a way to have a curse reversed, something that can only be accomplished by, as the Witch tells us, going into the woods and getting,

One: the cow as white as milk,
Two: the cape as red as blood,
Three: the hair as yellow as corn,
Four: the slipper as pure as gold.

Will the Baker and his Wife (the lowly, unfairy-tale couple at the heart of the show) be able to break the curse and survive the treacherous woods? If you've seen the show, you know "happily ever after" only takes you to the end of Act 1. But enough exposition, here's Manuel playing YES NO MAYBE SO, trying to keep our excitement for this Disney property in order.

YES

- Meryl Streep.
- Meryl Streep. Singing. Sondheim. Need we say more?
- Meryl Streep looking amazing..
- (I can’t help it, she’s front and center in the marketing material. They know what they’re selling and what we’ll be buying; I appreciate the pandering, embrace it, even!)
- Can we talk about how lush and gorgeous Sondheim’s score sounds?
- “I was raised to be charming, not sincere.” Chris Pine, delivering the line of his life.
- “Oh dear, how uneasy I feel.” Runner-up for best line reading in the trailer; Lila Crawford nails the droll delivery (both wistful and jaded) required for this piece to work.
- There's music! Finally a musical billing itself as a musical and not playing the bait-and-switch game (remember Sweeney Todd?)
- Colleen Atwood and Dion Beebe are definitely bringing the pretty (in another version of this post I would merely put up hundres of screengrabs: That popping red cape! Those thorny branches! That golden Cinderella dress! Those amazing step-sister outfits/hairstyles! The Witch’s makeover look! Kendrick on the steps of the castle! Wet princes running our way!)


- I actually love the ethereally earthy (can I trademark that?) look of the piece, at once grounded in the grime and mud of the woods while also using metallics to connote the necessary element of fantasy that pervades this world.
- I love so many of these ladies (Kendrick! Baranski! Ullman! Blunt!), but then we probably all said the same about Marshall’s last musical. Indeed, I’m crazy about the entire cast except for...

 

NO

- ...Johnny Depp. Obviously the biggest deterrent (and that costume isn’t helping matters, is it?) The Red/Wolf scene is going to be particularly hard to pull off; has it been defanged by Disney execs and/or by Depp’s cartooney take on the Big Bad Wolf?
- The CGI-ness of it all gives me pause; might it overwhelm the material?
- I can’t decide if “Be careful what you wish for” is barely serviceable or merely uninspired.
- I promise I'm trying to find other things to notch as NOs, but I'm afraid I'm besotted by this trailer.

 

MAYBE SO

- Whither be our Billy Magnussen? (get out of the way, bushes!) I know he can’t get any type of billing, but there’s not enough of that big hunk of man in this trailer. #Agony
- I’m curious and hesitant about Blunt; this is a tricky part (one which fellow Streep co-star Amy Adams had trouble with a couple of years ago in Shakespeare in the Park)
- Am I the only one noticing that Meryl may not be the best at lip-syncing?
- That giant is… giving me Bryan Singer's Jack the Vampire Giant Slayer vibes.
- It’s still unclear how the numbers will be staged (thankfully away from Marshall’s tried and true stage-as-fantasy conceit) and whether Marshall & co. have managed to ‘open up’ the musical without sacrificing the dramatic beats that make Sondheim and Lapine’s piece work so well on stage. We get a glimpse of Meryl’s number but I’m more curious to see that first ensemble piece play out; the proximity of all these characters is what makes those group numbers sing; can it be replicated on screen?

Ed. Note: Watch it below (and thanks to Anonny for reminding me that in my stupor I'd forgotten to include the trailer itself!)

Unsurprisingly, I’m a "YES! I wish I could have this film in front of me now!" (Though maybe I should be careful what I wish for?) I love the material and this trailer shows there’s potential for greatness. Am I blinded by my love for Streep? By my obsession with Sondheim? By the pretty pretty pictures? Chime in! Calling all the Sondheim purists, the Marshall skeptics and the “I’m over Meryl”s, bring me down from my Into the Woods-induced high! Point me to things that should temper my giddy excitement!

Wednesday
Sep172014

The Link Graze

okay, more like The Link Gorge because there's so much of it. But how long has it been since we did a link roundup? whoopsie daisy. Chew away on these blog cuds today

good reads
New York Times amazing thinkpiece on the death of adulthood in American culture with notes on Mad Men, YA fiction, seminal premium cable series like Sopranos and Sex & The City and more... 
In Contention five things we learned from Anna Kendrick about The Last Five Years and Into the Woods
NPR has a story on the making of Gone With the Wind. Expect a lot more of that film in the next few months all over the web given its 75th anniversary 
Gawker "The Skeleton Twins and the Crafting of Modern Gay Character"
Mike's Movie Projector remembers the Oscar-winning Separate Tables (1958) and other versions of that play. I have such issues with that movie. I think it's Deborah Kerr's worst performance for one. 

TIFF roundups
You may be exhausted by our TIFF coverage (i have final notes tomorrow and then maybe a podcast so get interested again!) but here are some pieces elsewhere to give you a little more variety...
Girish Shambu names his best and worst 
The Wire Joe Reid picks 15 best performances from Al Pacino (?!?) through Julianne Moore
The Film Stage really fine review of Wild. I liked it more than Sky here, but this is a very smart review 
The Dissolve critics pick their best and worst with Duke of Burgundy up top and Thomas McCarthy's The Cobbler with Adam Sandler down below. I'm sad that the gifted Thomas McCarthy has his first critically reviled movie but maybe that's what you get by working with Adam Sandler.
Mind of a Suspicious Kind Jordan Ruimy's recap. I gave him a hard time for his comment on Eddie Redmayne...

 

 

...but it was super nice to meet him at the fest finally after chatting online
HitFix loved Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler (I skipped that one but only because it was opening in October) and Julianne Moore 
Little White Lies does a TIFF top ten from to Force Majeure to A Pigeon Sat on a Branch
The LA Times proves that not everyone loved TIFF as much as I did complaining about the final week 
RogerEbert.com interviews Liv Ullman finally back behind the camera with Miss Julie
The Matinee wraps up quickly with superfast notes on Top Five, The Duke of Burgundy, and Jena Malone 

amusements
Cigarettes and Vines apparently Paul Thomas Anderson and Bennett Miller both hate digital filmmaking and text each other about it 
Cracked 8 actors who look the same on every movie poster. Did you know that Denzel Washington always avoids eye contact, Tom Cruise always goes profile, and Eddie Murphy can't help cocking an eyebrow? 
CHUD celebrates the really ballsy cameramen on Mad Max: Fury Road. Dangerous filming there 

Oh ohhhh! 

This obviously happened during TIFF so I was unaware but not blissfully! Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell (his hilarious 22 Jump Street co-star) doing The Dick Graze and the Booby Meeting. Juvenile? Sure. Hilarious? Yes. 

news in brief -icym these stories
Electronic Urban Report have you heard about the 'black Magic Mike'? They're recasting the lead in Chocolate City but some filming has already begun
Gothamist Batman and Spider-Man were arrested for fighting in Times Square
Us Magazine Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling have now officially spawned. No word on the baby girl's name yet. Will Ryan Gosling make good on his promise to quit making movies when he starts making babies? I hope not. That terrible life decision has already destroyed too many actresses!  
In Contention George Clooney getting the Cecil B DeMille prize at the Golden Globes this year
EW big gallery of American Horror Story: Freak Show images. So Jessica Lange does have arms afterall. I maintain that her character has no arms on that painted poster. I have stared and stared at it. They aren't there! But this is a good thing because at least 50% of Jessica Lange performances are hand gestures so she needs them!
AV Club Nurse Jackie's seventh season will be its last. I always think shows should end at five seasons. The fifth season finale of Nurse Jackie was just incredible and a perfect note to end on. I can't imagine what they'll do now though I still watch the show
Gawker such a horrible story. Django Unchained actresses harassed by police for prostitution after kissing her white husband 

P.S. via W Magazine...

Gugu photographed by Caitlin-Cronenberg

Gugu Mbatha-Raw* is really pretty. The end.

*I keep almost typing her name wrong via Star Wars Batmanny influences "Gugu Bantha-Ra"! or simple dyslexia Gugu Mbaw-Ratha is my other preferred misspelling. But one of these days I will get it right without having to double check.

Monday
Sep082014

TIFF: The Last Five Years

Nathaniel's adventures in Toronto. Day 3

The first thing you see in The Last Five Years is a white brownstone. It looks almost like a ghost in the middle of a New York City block. As the notes begin to play, the camera drifts upwards to peer into windows and search for its movie star within them. No, that's not her.  Not her either. Ah, there she is. Anna Kendrick sings the entirety of "Still Hurting", moping around a dark apartment, crying. The camera moves around her (in strange patterns) and her voice is just beautiful. And then I realize I've forgotten to breathe and am gripping my armrest.

I have a strange relationship to modern movie musicals. We're about 14 years into the movie musical's modern resurgence after two decades of a major drought but it's still hit and miss as to quality and success (not necessarily related). I always desperately want them to be great since there are so few. The fact is, though it's grossly unfair, each of them bears far more responsibility in keeping an entire genre alive than any action, horror, drama, epic or comedy out there. I have trouble relaxing watching them because of all this pressure and only when the film is gobsmackingly great or confident (like a Moulin Rouge!) do the "ohmygodpleasedontkillthemusical" nerves subside and just let me thrill to what's in front of me. 

more...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug142014

An Epic Link Roundup

We haven't gathered links in a few days so we're way behind on news and such. Here's a few handfuls for ya...

Must Read
The Wire David Sims measures the cast of Expendables 3 by every conceivable metric
Decider Tyler Coates on Holly Hunter's polka dot dress in Broadcast News 
The Hairpin 'The only Throwback Thursday that matters.' Amen 

Other Goodies
Balder & Dash Teo Bugbee has a massive two part essay on the films of the Coen Bros for your reading pleasure
IndieWire interviews Michael Fassbender and gets him to say "size doesn't matter" -ha!


Comics Alliance "Thanos is really bad at being a supervillain" - I thought I was insane when GotG premiered and everyone was endlessly raving. How do you rave about a heroes movie when the villains suck? I've noticed more and more people are complaining about Marvel's shitty track record with the baddies. Hopefully they can course correct. People won't put up with bad villains forever
The Credits how do you film in torrential downpours and 100 mph winds? The cinematography of Into the Storm had to

Newsy
Empire Tom Hiddleston wanted for Ben-Hur remake
TMZ Reese Witherspoon dances to I Will Survive
Empire apparently Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is back on (here we go again) and trying to cast... Lily James & Jack Huston anyone?
Variety Michael Fassbender and Rachel Weisz will costar in The Light Between Oceans, a period drama from the director of Blue Valentine. Interesting pairing, right?
THR Patti LaBelle joining American Horror Story
E! Online by now you've heard Emma Stone is going to put on Sally Bowles garters on Broadway...
The Film Stage first stills for some hotly anticipated movies in the new Entertainment Weekly. Check out this great grabby alternate cover image...

And Still More...
The Dissolve Marvel is moving forward with The Inhumans. The only one of them I ever cared about was 'Medusa' but since this is Marvel I expect she'll be a minor character... and the only token 'girl' 
Gawker Anna Kendrick is dating Theon Greyjoy! UPDATE: This was a false alarm
THR Aquaman might happen as a standalone movie. Two screenplays are being written 

WTF
Boy Culture did you know that Teen Wolf Tyler Posey was JLo's son in Maid in Manhattan
MNPP I heart "especially random nonsense"
Buzzfeed Jason Statham once appeared in an Erasure video painted silver! Another thing I did not know but should have

Still Mourning
Guardian sassy smart Lauren Bacall's best quotes
Variety Lauren Bacall's greatest role: Herself
Variety The Academy's Robin Williams "Genie, you're free" has come under criticism from suicide prevention groups. I can actually see why. I found it a strange sentiment 
Sheila O'Malley on Robin Williams (RIP)
By Ken Levine remembers Robin Williams 
The Wrap a cast member of Hook remembers Robin Williams 
TV|Line Robin's wife reveals that he was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease which he had not yet disclosed publicly 

Sunday
Aug102014

Linkages

Flavorwire Christina Hendricks tries to function in a modern office
Hollywood.com Why Anna Kendrick would make an awesome girlfriend 
Skullflake Studios "maybe superheroes aren't for girls, mom"
/Film puts together a comprehensive look of superhero films coming in next few years. So many
VF Helen Mirren twerking 
Towleroad first look at James Franco as an ex-gay activist in new Gus Van Sant picture 

 

Vulture Groot should remake a bunch of movies 
Empire Universal bought up the rights to Anne Rice's entire Vampire Chronicles. I swear to god if they dont just deal with the sexuality this time, what will be the point? We've already had True Blood. You can't keep homogenizing everything to make it risk-averse
Coming Soon Michael Fassbender seems to like this Justin Kurzel person a lot. His MacBeth director is also guiding him in the film adaptation of the video game Assassin's Creed
Awards Daily Kristen Stewart in Camp X-Ray trailer. This actress is really trying to change perceptions of herself this year. 
Pajiba the cast of HBO's Westworld remake all announced. I'm sad that Yul Brynner cannot be resurrected. I love me some Yul Brynner
Variety Amazon fighting with Disney over DVD/Blu-Ray sales
Variety Lucy is a huge hit in France. No surprise really since Luc Besson directs and France is basically adopting Scarlett Johansson now that she's soon to birth a French baby. 
LA Times Jennifer Lee, one of the directors of Frozen (I met her this season and she was very sweet) will write the screenplay for the adaptation of the YA novel A Wrinkle in Time. I swear that movie has been in development for my entire lifetime 
Variety Lizzy Caplan will play Joseph Gordon Levitt's love interest in an untitled Christmas movie from his 50/50 director

Oh and I forgot to post this great UK poster for Maps to the Stars.

I love quad posters but we only get the vertical ones here in the US. I'm getting so desperate to see this movie. 

Tweet of the Week!
Satiric truth. Tell it

 

 

 

Thursday
Jul312014

Thoughts I Had... while looking at new "Into the Woods" images

If there is one thing in life that's certain at TFE beyond daily postings, Actress mania, Oscar chart delays, and time-jumping movie coverage, it's this: if Meryl Streep is featured there are a bajillion comments. And yet the last two Streep attacks, a look back at 2009 and a subliminal Hours reunion proved the exception. Is this merely summer doldrums or a sign of the Streepocalypse? Or were people just waiting for Into the Woods news? If so, it has arrived.

UPDATE: And the Teaser too!

Yesterday a bunch of new images surfaced from the movie and you know how this goes. We look at the image and we list off thoughts as they come without self-censorship to keep the brain loose and the words flowing and to not be too mundane about what this actually is - free advertising for Disney and regurgitated photo sharing.

Meet Rapunzel
• I always forget her in Into the Woods because she's immobile and shares her scenes with the Witch (Meryl Streep) who invariably steals them.
• So annoying when movie studios release one image with different proportions than the others. Rapunzel gets a vertical rectangle. Is this to show off the hair? 
• I love Tangled.
• When I was a wee boy it was my dream to make a Rapunzel movie because it was the only fairy tale I loved that DIDN'T have a Disney movie and also because my big sister had long hair and Crystal Gayle was still famous and yes that makes me an ancient - shut up! #40somethingisthenew30something
• Mackenzie Mauzy is literally the only Into the Woods cast member I don't know from anything. I guess she was on soaps? Are you familiar?

10 more photos after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul182014

Pitch Perfect 2 is Almost Done Shooting!

Anna Kendrick posted this last night, with this note:

All these bitches wrap tomorrow and leave me behind...... I totally H💖TE them.

Pitch Perfect wasn't a perfect movie but it turns out to be highly HIGHLY rewatchable. A cable perfect pleasure. I could watch it back-to-back and nearly have. I love "Fat Amy" and every single whispered line delivery from Hana Mae Lee as Lilly. Plus every moment when Anna Kendrick sings.

So pleased that Anna is doing three musicals in one year (see earlier post). That's some commitment to the genre that we haven't seen from literally any other contemporary star.