Venice Film Festival lineup: Pacino, Pacino, Franco and Andrew Niccol

While North American fall festivals like Toronto, New York and presumably Telluride struggle to heighten their Oscar race relevance by any means necessary, one of Europe’s most prestigious film shindigs, Venice, keeps swimming against the tide with yet another roster of eclectic, linguistically diverse, mostly low-profile fest participants. Sure, they had “Gravity’s” world premiere there more »

Jess meets Jess in ‘New Girl’ season 4 premiere as Biel circles back to TV

Jessica Biel’s once flourishing big-screen career, back in the days of “The Illusionist”, “Cellular”, even “Elizabethtown”, took hit after hit recently (“Valentine’s Day”, “The A-Team”, “New Year’s Eve”, “Total Recall” and, oh my, “Playing for Keeps”), so sooner or later, the 7th Heaven whiz-kid was bound to need TV again to help pay the bills. more »

Miles Teller stoically endures J.K. Simmons’ abuse in ‘Whiplash’ trailer

They say appearances can be deceiving, and Miles Teller’s Andrew Neyman alter ego in the upcoming indie drama “Whiplash” learns that particular lesson the hard way. A young, aspiring, fairly talented but far from flawless instrumentalist, Andrew is at first encouraged by his music school teacher to “relax”, not worry about “the numbers” or what more »

Alicia Keys joins NBC’s ‘The Voice’ season 7 as Pharrell’s consultant

Newly recruited The Voice coach Pharrell Williams is in this to win, by the looks of it, and helping him carry Usher’s baton is fifteen-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, pianist and record producer Alicia Keys. Keys just revealed on Twitter her “friend Pharrell” invited her to be his team’s mentor on the upcoming seventh season more »

Little-loved MacFarlane hires universally-loved Azaria for ‘Bordertown’

(Reluctantly) love him or (vocally) hate him, but controversial actor, animator, comedian, writer, producer, director, singer and, yes, Oscar nominee and emcee Seth MacFarlane is poised to remain in the spotlight, both on the small and big screen, for at least a little while longer. No, his disgraceful boobs-centric Oscar song isn’t enough to bury more »

‘Nightcrawler’ trailer: Gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal works his ass off to reach the top

After (too) many years of alternating critically acclaimed, creatively rewarding work in cult classics like “Donnie Darko” or “Zodiac” and Oscar hits such as “Brokeback Mountain” with second-rate blockbuster would-bes “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Prince of Persia”, Jake Gyllenhaal seems to have finally settled on his right path to cinematic history. The Academy Award more »

Jessica Chastain plays with fire, Colin Farrell in ‘Miss Julie’ trailer

With dozens of obvious Oscar contenders, and perhaps as many not so obvious, on the official slate for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, getting noticed and building healthy buzz ahead of the fest’s debut isn’t exactly a walk in the park. But if a steamy, provocative, riveting trailer starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell more »


Loaded Toronto Fest lineup includes ‘The Judge’, ‘The Drop’ and ‘Good Lie’

As much as on-the-rise, smaller shindigs like Telluride or New York continue to chip away at Toronto International Film Festival’s prominence and relevance in the build-up to the Oscars, TIFF remains a barometer of often low-budget cinematic excellence and virtue. Case in point, the just-announced 2014 roster, consisting of no less than 37 (mostly) high-profile world more »

Still-untitled Cameron Crowe project moves from December 2014 to May 2015

Unless you’re Woody Allen, it’s seldom a good sign when you’re unable to think of a name for a movie with a debut mere months away. Apparently, that just dawned on Columbia Pictures, which decided to give Oscar-winning director Cameron Crowe a bit of extra time to baptize his untitled next project. Unless the star-studded more »

‘Birdman’ spreads its wings to embrace New York Film Festival closing spot

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s first “Birdman” teaser barely hinted at the titular superhero’s powers and abilities, but apparently, one of the character’s super strengths is miraculous film festival appeal. Quite an unusual skill, and one that many A-list filmmakers and producers in Hollywood would kill for, as it’s often an ideal first step en route to more »

Riveting ‘Imitation Game’ trailer debuts, tells Alan Turing story

The Oscar race is a marathon rather than a sprint, so while contenders like “Birdman”, “Foxcatcher” or “Gone Girl” may have got a head start thanks to promptly released trailers and various early festival debuts, nothing’s lost just yet for competitors such as The Weinstein Company’s “Imitation Game”. With the support of two highly skilled more »

Ruth Wilson, Dominic West star in hot, hot, hot ‘The Affair’ Showtime teaser

It feels a little early for Showtime to start teasing a series with a premiere scheduled for October 19, which is still three full months away, but I guess the premium cable network is just too proud of its stellar The Affair cast to hold off the hype-building. I mean, even by today’s towering cable more »