by Matt Goldberg Posted: December 18th, 2010
With director Dominic Sena’s Season of the Witch opening on January 7, we’ve been given 9 movie clips and an exclusive TV spot. Here’s the synopsis:
Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his closest friend who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Plague. The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.
Hit the jump to check out the movie clips and the TV spot:
Here’s the movie clips:
Here’s the TV Spot:
http://collider.com/season-of-the-witch-movie-clips/65302/Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, Ghost Rider) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hellboy II, Sons of Anarchy) star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his closest friend who return home after decades of fierce fighting, only to find their world destroyed by the Plague. The church elders, convinced that a girl accused of being a witch is responsible for the devastation, command the two to transport the strange girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. They embark on a harrowing, action-filled journey that will test their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s dark secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.The years of brutal warfare in the name of God have stripped Behmen (Cage) of his taste for bloodshed-and his loyalty to the Church. Looking forward to a quiet retirement, Behmen and his comrade-in-arms Felson (Perlman) are bewildered to find their homeland deserted, unaware that Europe has been decimated by the Black Plague.While searching for food and supplies at the Palace at Marburg, the two knights are apprehended and called before the local Cardinal (Christopher Lee) to explain their unscheduled return from the East. The dying Cardinal threatens the pair with prison for desertion, unless they agree to a dangerous mission. The Cardinal’s dungeon holds a young woman (Claire Foy) accused of being a witch who brings the Plague with her. They can redeem themselves only by accompanying the girl to a distant abbey where she is to stand trial.The girl’s brutal mistreatment in prison and powerlessness against the accusations of church officials move Behman. Convinced she is merely a convenient scapegoat and fearing she will be condemned without a fair hearing, he agrees to escort her on the treacherous journey.In addition to his loyal companion Felson, he is accompanied by a well-traveled conman who knows the countryside (Stephen Graham), an eager young man who aspires to knighthood (Robert Sheehan), a bitter knight who has lost his family to the Plague (Ulrich Thomsen) and a naïve priest (Stephen Campbell Moore).The route is long and arduous, made even more challenging by increasingly disturbing events, and takes the group through uncharted territory, across sheer-walled gorges and deep into wolf-infested forests. One by one his fellow travelers meet with misfortune, and the embattled Crusader finds himself facing his most terrifying adversary.Season of the Witch stars Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, Ghost Rider), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, “Sons of Anarchy”), Stephen Campbell Moore (The Bank Job, History Boys), Claire Foy (“Going Postal,” “Little Dorrit”), Stephen Graham (“Boardwalk Empire,” Public Enemies), Ulrich Thomsen (Centurion, The International), Robert Sheehan (Cherrybomb) and Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland).The film is directed by Dominic Sena (Gone in Sixty Seconds, Swordfish) from a screenplay by Bragi Schut (“Threshhold”). Producers are Charles Roven (The Dark Knight, Get Smart) and Alex Gartner (Get Smart, The Bank Job). Director of photography is Amir Mokri (Fast & Furious, Vantage Point). Editors are Mark Helfrich (X-Men: The Last Stand, Rush Hour 1, 2 & 3) and Dan Zimmerman (Predators, Max Payne). Production designer is Uli Hanisch (The International, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). Original music is by Atli Övarsson. Costume designer is Carlo Poggioli (Miracle at St. Anna, Cold Mountain). Executive producers are Ryan Kavanaugh (Robin Hood, The Fighter), Alan G. Glazer (The International, Get Smart), Steve Alexander (Swimming with Sharks), Tom Karnowski (The Illusionist, Max Payne), and Tucker Tooley (McGruber, Dear John).
by Bill Graham Posted: December 19th, 2010
Rabbit Hole is simplistic on the outside. But once opened, the honest portrayal of grief can leave one with a myriad of emotions that strengthen the further you get from the film. Recovering from the loss of a child is a process that people deal with in different ways, and that strain can pull the fibers out of a marriage and fray the family around them. Yet, riding performances that examine the depth of real human emotion and dimension, this isn’t the one-trick pony that it could have been. Instead of treating the theme with nothing but morose sadness, director John Cameron Mitchell utilizes levity and threads it throughout with an earnestness that is at once unfamiliar yet comforting. So hit the jump to follow me further down Rabbit Hole.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) lost their son eight months prior, and their relationship is strained as Becca struggles to recover. Becca’s mom, Nat (Dianne Wiest), has a familiarity with the grief, but the two are constantly clashing; they come from different mindsets despite their blood connection. Becca is trying to move forward in her own way; she contains the storm of emotions within herself instead of displaying them to the outside world. To the people around her this seems like she isn’t grieving at all. The world continues to move forward despite the loss, and Howie and Becca’s relationship is pulled in various directions. Will Becca finally find resolution — if there is such a thing — or will the grief destroy her bond with her husband irrevocably?
Based on the Tony-nominated Broadway play by David Lindsay-Abaire, who adapted it for the screen, Rabbit Hole explores the typical paths of recovery, but group therapy sessions and talk of a greater purpose from God set Becca on edge. Instead of giving easy answers, the film questions how you can move on without those common mainstays. They aren’t for everyone, and Becca has to forge her own path. However, the film never assaults you with those typical paths of resolution; they are briefly touched on and then the narrative pushes onward. Helping to propel the film forward are the performances from Wiest, Kidman, and Eckhart.
Cinema often shows one side of people, and they are generally painted with broad brushstrokes; good or bad, closed off or open, sympathetic or cold. Yet, the three main characters in Rabbit Hole are shown to have some flaw or blemish that defines them while also having appeal. Howie has a powerful love for his wife, but their struggles emotionally and physically test his loyalty and he shows he has a quick temper. Eckhart has two stunning scenes where he blows his cool and there is an eerie calm after the storm. He is trying to help Becca move forward, but struggles to grasp her method. Meanwhile, Kidman displays inner strength and stubbornness that make her endearing, yet she is prone to displays of physical and verbal aggression. These moments are powerful because they shatter her calm and collected demeanor.
Everyone seems to be walking on eggshells around her, and she constantly has to reassure her friends and family that what they said didn’t offend her — that she’s fine — when she is still in turmoil on the inside. Yet, the one person she never reassures is her own mother, who has suffered similar grief. Nat is prone to speaking her mind and when under the influence of alcohol, perhaps oversteps her bounds. There is a very specific difference between their common losses, but Nat has an inspired dialog that puts things in perspective towards the end of the film that leaves a haunting visual.
Meanwhile, humor is intelligently used to both touch and relieve the audience at various points. Laughter can be a coping mechanism, and telling a funny story can give a brief respite from the burden of loss. When Nat tells a light story to Becca, and they both end up laughing about it, you can see how close they can be at times. When Becca and Howie are at group and someone brings up God’s plan, she lets out a brief tirade that leaves audiences snickering at the morose situation. These are the small touches that lend the film earnestness uncommon for such a dramatic theme.
Another small touch that is utilized brilliantly is the music by Anton Sanko and how it can disappear in the middle of intense scenes. A quiet moment in the park is accented by chirping birds and breezes. Additionally, after a few explosive scenes there is a notable lack of score, emphasizing the ups and downs of the journey. All of these tiny details are what round out the experience of Rabbit Hole, and while based on a play, the film never feels like anything less than a well-funded drama.
Each emotional peak in Rabbit Hole is earned and steadily built up, and the performances are rich and multi-dimensioned. While a number of clichés are thrown at the couple, the navigation of those bumps is what keeps the film from feeling on rails. Humor can go a long way to soften blows, but the emotional core is never sacrificed in the search for a laugh. This isn’t an uproarious film by any means, but the short runtime coupled with the interwoven lightness creates a potent dramatic narrative that leaves a lasting impression. Rabbit Hole is currently in limited release and will continually expand in the coming weeks.
by Matt Goldberg Posted: December 20th, 2010
This past year, we’ve seen the rise of “Interactive Trailers”, which allow viewers to stop the trailer and go deeper into the film, whether it’s with director’s commentary, photos, or fun facts. The “i-Trailer” was done well with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Social Network, and for those films, both of which reference interactive mediums (video games and the Internet, respectively), an interactive trailer makes sense. Why Universal decided to make an interactive trailer for Little Fockers makes somewhat less sense. Unless one of the behind-the-scenes clips is someone handing Robert De Niro a paycheck, I don’t think anyone really needs to go deeper into Meet the Parents universe.
But if you’re just bonkers for this franchise, then hit the jump to check out the interactive trailer. Little Fockers stars Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner, Owen Wilson, Teri Polo, Barbara Streisand, Jessica Alba, and Dustin Hoffman. It opens December 22nd.
Here’s the official synopsis for Little Fockers:
The test of wills between Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) and Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) escalates to new heights of comedy in the third installment of the blockbuster series-Little Fockers. Laura Dern, Jessica Alba and Harvey Keitel join the returning all-star cast for a new chapter of the worldwide hit franchise. It has taken 10 years, two little Fockers with wife Pam (Polo) and countless hurdles for Greg to finally get “in” with his tightly wound father-in-law, Jack. After the cash-strapped dad takes a job moonlighting for a drug company, however, Jack’s suspicions about his favorite male nurse come roaring back. When Greg and Pam’s entire clan-including Pam’s lovelorn ex, Kevin (Owen Wilson)-descends for the twins’ birthday party, Greg must prove to the skeptical Jack that he’s fully capable as the man of the house. But with all the misunderstandings, spying and covert missions, will Greg pass Jack’s final test and become the family’s next patriarch… or will the circle of trust be broken for good?