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Posts Tagged ‘James Marsden’

Death at a Funeral – Poster and trailer

Posted by LiveFor on April 22, 2010

Still find it crazy that they remade the 2007 film, but there you go. It is a classic british style farce and here is what happens when Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence have a go at it.

Made up Peter Dinklage is playing the same character from the original and James Marsden can be surprisingly funny. Danny Glove is always cool. Have a look at the trailer.

It is out in the UK and Ireland on 2nd June.

Posted in Comedy, Film, news, Poster, Trailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Box, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on April 19, 2010

Director: Richard Kelly
Starring: James Marsden, Cameron Diaz, Frank Langella

Score: 8 / 10

Richard Kelly was behind the phenomenal Donnie Darko and the confusing flawed epic Southland Tales. Both featured deep far reaching ideas and, although the execution in the latter was a bit out of whack, you were left thinking about them for a long time.

The Box is no exception to this. It deals with choice and the dark places they can take you. Based on Richard Matheson’s short story, “Button Button” and with a healthy dose of Philip K Dick paranoia, the film opens up in the Seventies were Cameron Diaz and James Marsden are a happy couple with a young son. She is a teacher, he is an engineer at NASA hoping to become and astronaut and that set up is based on Richard Kelly’s life.

To upset the apple cart comes a disfigured Frank Langella with the titular box. Inside the box is a button and he informs the couple that if they press the button they will get $1,000,000 (Dr Evil would be so happy), but someone they don’t know will die.

The first part of the film deals with their decision about what to do with the button and fleshing out their world. It is this aspect that I thought Kelly handled really well. You get the feeling of their family and events going on around them. My problem with lots of films, especially high concept ones like this, is that it takes place in a tiny place with just the people involved. You don’t always feel as if the world is moving on a around them. Kelly gets by this by having quite a large cast of good supporting actors and setting it in the Seventies may also help that. It puts you in mind of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives.

The scarred face of Langella is just part of the strangeness that slowly creeps into the film. People stare at Diaz and Marsden before suffering nosebleeds, events turn against them meaning they current lifestyle is at risk, and elsewhere a man shoots his wife and goes on the run.

I can’t go into the plot of the film too much without spoiling it, but needless to say the button is just the first choice they are given.

Marsden does an excellent job and gets further away from the cardboard cut-out that was Cyclops. Diaz does okay, but the accent she puts on gets in the way, yet you feel her anguish very well in some later scenes.

The main praise goes to Kelly for the whole look and feel of the film. Some standout scenes are the ones in the library – Marsden walking between the desks – and all of the ones with Langella who is just superb. We don’t get given an explanation as to what exactly is going on or who is behind it all, but what information is dripped to us sets light to the imagination as you try and figure out the purpose of the choice and what it means to us all.

I could go on, but run the risk of spoiling it for you. Go and watch it, then think about it and watch some more.

Would you push the button?

The Box (DVD) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (Blu-Ray) – Amazon.co.uk
The Box (DVD) – Amazon.com
The Box (Blu-ray) – Amazon.com

Posted in Film, news, Review, Sci-Fi, Thriller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Death at a Funeral – Trailer for the Chris Rock remake

Posted by LiveFor on December 5, 2009

The original Death at a Funeral was only made back in 2007 by Frank Oz. It was an okay comedy, well more of a farce really and I’ve never been that big a fan of those. However, it made me laugh in places an had some good performances. Peter Dinklage as the person who gets it all started was excellent (as he always is).

As you may or may not know Chris Rock decided to remake it and the trailer is below.

The remake stars Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan, Danny Glover, James Marsden, Luke Wilson, Zoe Saldana and Peter Dinklage in the exact same role he played in the original.

It is directed by Neil Lebute and is out on 16th April 2010.

I think Martin Lawrence’s expression in the above photo sums it up.
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The Box – A clip from Richard “Donnie Darko” Kelly’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on October 29, 2009


Here we see James Marsden take a strange car ride with a mysterious woman.

For some reason this scene reminds me of the bit from the first X-Men film when Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is driving and talking to Rogue (Anna Paquin) and then Sabretooth attacks. Just me then?

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The Box – Early review of Richard Kelly’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on October 22, 2009

boxRichard Kelly is the bloke behind the brilliant Donnie Darko (the director’s cut sucked though). He then made Southland Tales which was a huge flop (although Jinja tells me it is not quite as bad as everyone said, just a bit of a mess).

As previously reported Kelly’s next film is based on the Richard Matheson story – Button, Button – now retitled The Box. It stars James Marsden (X-Men, 27 Dresses, Hairspray) and Cameron Diaz (Charlie’s Angels, The Mask).

Hollywood Elsewhere had a review from an Australian Critic called Don Groves and unfortunately it looks as if The Box may be more Southland Tales than Donnie Darko.

“This period sci-fi thriller (i.e., set in the mid ’70s) suffers from a complete lack of logic and woeful miscasting of the lead roles — and, worse, is almost totally devoid of tension.

“Inspired by ‘Button, Button,’ a 1970s short story by Richard Matheson, the film flounders on its preposterous premise: What would you do if someone offered you a million bucks to press a red button that would cause someone, somewhere — a person you didn’t know — to die?

“Anyone with half a brain would tell the crackpot making this offer to shove the box where the sun don’t shine, but not schoolteacher Norma (Cameron Diaz) and her NASA engineer husband Arthur (James Marsden). They’re short of money, you see, because Norma has just learned she won’t get the employee discount to enable her to keep their son in the private school where she works, she’ll have to postpone reconstructive surgery on her mangled foot, and Arthur’s application to become an astronaut is rejected after he failed the psych test.

“So they toy with taking up the offer from the mysterious Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), an elegantly-dressed, courteous chap with a horribly disfigured face. “I assure you I am not a monster, just a man with a job to do,” he intones gravely. The next day, Norma impetuously presses the button, and, across town in Virginia, a woman is shot dead.

“Steward duly delivers the loot and departs to tempt some other hapless couple. Not once does this well-educated, middle-class couple ask him if anyone died as a result of Norma’s succumbing to temptation. Is that plausible?

“The rest of the movie is an incoherent mess filled with clues, red herrings and non-sequiturs. Random people keep getting nosebleeds. There’s a creepy student, a tormented babysitter, inept efforts by Arthur’s cop father-in-law to investigate these peculiar events, and some psychobabble about the ‘path to salvation.’

“Who employs Steward and has orchestrated his mission? All is revealed, sort of, but little of it makes sense. In essence, Kelly appears to be using a muddle-headed morality play to remind us we’re all responsible for the consequences of our actions. Like, who needs reminding?

“Affecting an annoying Southern accent, Diaz struggles to make Norma seem remotely interesting or worthy of sympathy, despite the predicament she precipitates. Marsden lacks the authority to be believable as a NASA engineer and is barely adequate as a husband and father who’s faced with a cruel dilemma. There is almost zero chemistry between them, which makes it hard to believe they’re a loving couple. Old pro Langella is suitably creepy and menacing, but his efforts are wasted.

“To reflect the 1976 setting, Kelly and his cinematographer Steven Poster drained much of the color, resulting in a cold, flat and uninviting look — rather like the film itself. And was wallpaper of that era really so ugly?”

Posted in Film, Horror, news, Review, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Trailer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Straw Dogs – On the set of the remake

Posted by LiveFor on October 3, 2009

katejames
The always excellent Jeffrey Wells visited the set of the Straw Dogs remake and took these cool photos.

Kate Bosworth and James Marsden (above) play Amy and David Sumner.

Visiting the exterior of the farmhouselocated in the fictional Mississippi town of Blackwater, that David and Amy Sumner (James Marsden, Kate Bosworth) move into, live in and then, during the third act, defend in a violent siege by five locals (James Woods, Alexander Skarsgard, Drew Powell, Rhys Coiro, Billy Lush).


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The Box – Richard Kelly speaks and Cameron Diaz gives the game away

Posted by LiveFor on July 27, 2009

I am looking forward to this film. I love a bit of Twilight Zone shenanigans.

Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) are faced with a terrible dilemma when a mysterious glass box turns up at their door. If they press the button inside the box, they’ll get enough money to save their ailing son, but in exchange, someone, somewhere in the world will die. When the temptation to save their beloved son becomes too much to bear, Norma pushes the button. Immediately, a gunshot rings out somewhere nearby. Consumed with guilt, Norma must do everything in her power to solve a murder she has knowingly caused. The Box is director Richard (Donnie Darko) Kelly’s latest thriller.

The Box is due out on 30th October 2009.

MovieWeb had this chat with director Richard Kelly.

Cameron Diaz has also been talking about the film (via Filmstalker) and has given what could be huge spoilers. They are in invisitext below so click and drag the mouse if you want to read them.

The first is about the origin of the box, it’s from another planet, a race from Mars no less.

The second is that this Martian race is testing humankind for some reason, and the box is the test.

I’m not sure what to make of that. May be true, may not be. Could work or it could suck. If you read the spoilers what do you think of it? Beware there could be spoilers in the comments.

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UPDATED: The Box – Trailer for Richard Kelly’s latest film

Posted by LiveFor on June 25, 2009

Have a look at this trailer as I think it is very good. The Box is based on the short story “Button, Button” by Richard Matheson and was used in an episode of The Twilight Zone. It is the one where a couple are given a box with a button. They are told that if they press the button they’ll get a million dollars, but someone they don’t know will die. Bit of a moral dilemma.

Now Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, Southland Tales) has adapted it into a full length feature starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, and Frank Langella. It looks as if Kelly is back to his Darko goodness after the disappointing and confusing Southland Tales.

The film is set in the 70s and in a way is autobiographical as the two main characters are based on Richard Kelly’s own parents.

Let me know what you thought of the trailer. Would you press the button?

UPDATE: I found the story about the film being semi-autobiographical. It was an interview with Richard Kelly over on AICN. Well worth a read as he talks about technical aspects of the film as well as developing the story. This is what he had to say about his parents being an influence on the film.

The short story is six pages long, and Arthur and Norma… there wasn’t time for their backstory. So I thought, “Here’s this amazing premise about greed and responsibility and so many things that you can’t put into words. There’s this button, and being responsible for the death of another human being, and what constitutes responsibility.” And I thought, “We want to tell this story and expose this premise to two characters, let them be very moral people, very likable people.” And I figured that I felt that way about my parents, and that this is the type of movie they would love. They exposed me to Alfred Hitchcock when I was a young teenager; they showed me REAR WINDOW and THE BIRDS and PSYCHO. So I thought, “What if I take their love story and life in Richmond, Virginia as an upwardly middle class couple in 1976, and place them into Richard Matheson’s short story?” And that’s what I did – which all of a sudden made it the most personal film I’ve ever made. (Laughs) They have a son [in the film] who’s ten or eleven. I obviously would barely be one year old in 1976, but you could argue that their single child is maybe a representation of me in the story. So all of a sudden I feel like I’m making this profoundly personal film, which, at the same time, is this mainstream studio thriller with this high-concept premise. So it was sort of an interesting merger of my parents’ story with Matheson’s story, which was written before I was even alive but that I discovered on THE TWILIGHT ZONE in 1986. I was in my parents’ bedroom watching THE TWILIGHT ZONE with my dad when I saw “Button, Button” for the first time. So to think that I’ve taken them and plugged them into this Matheson concept is… to this day, I can’t believe that we pulled it off.

So that’s why Jimmy and Cameron spent a lot of time around my parents. Cameron listened to my mom talk for forty-five minutes and recorded it. She recorded a phone conversation of my mom talking about her life. And then she went to a dialogue coach to learn how to do my mom’s Texas accent. Meanwhile, Jimmy did a Virginia accent because my dad’s from Virginia. Their Southern accents are slightly different. And when my parents came on set for five or six shooting days, they were just freaking out. They felt like they had stepped into a TWILIGHT ZONE episode by being on set. It’s very meta. You have my parents feeling like they’re in a TWILIGHT ZONE episode watching James Marsden and Cameron Diaz portray very personal, autobiographical things about their life with their son directing it in this amazing Richard Matheson story that we’ve all grown up with. (Laughs It was really, really interesting.

Then we shot at NASA down at Langley for a week, which is where my dad worked for fifteen years. Marsden drives a silver Corvetts in the film – and my dad didn’t drive a Corvette; he drove a Pontiac. But Marsden drives into this press conference at the NASA campus facility down there where my dad attended the press conference for Viking. He also used to play basketball for the NASA basketball league. But literally my dad is looking at a younger version of himself driving to work in the same exact manner that he did at a place that hasn’t changed since the ’70s. The Langley facility down at NASA has not changed at all since the ’70s; it’s like you’re in a time warp down there. So it was really pretty surreal. It really gave Jimmy and Cameron homework to do. That’s one thing: you want your actors to leave your meeting with a big stack of books, because then they come back to you with so much and so many questions. You get a lot of the direction out of the way, so when you’re on set you can focus on the details. Everyone’s not trying to play catch up.

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Straw Dogs remake to star James Marsden

Posted by LiveFor on April 23, 2009

According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Marsden (X-Men, Superman Returns, Enchanted, 27 Dresses, Hairspray and The Box) is headlining Screen Gems remake of the 1971 film Straw Dogs.

Rod Lurie is writing and directing.

The film is a remake of the 1971 thriller that starred Dustin Hoffman. The original revolved around a young American and his English wife (Susan George) who move to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

In this new film Marsden plays an LA screenwriter who moves with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. Suddenly, tensions develop in their marriage and “old conflicts” start up again with the local residents.

Sam Peckinpah co-wrote and directed the original film. Both the old and new film are based on Gordon Williams’ book, “The Siege at Trencher’s Farm.”

Not sure about this. The original is a classic although not a film I really enjoyed, however Dustin Hoffman was brilliant in it. Marsden is a pretty good actor, although he has never really had a chance to shine. What do you think about the casting of Cyclops?

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First poster for Richard Kelly’s The Box

Posted by LiveFor on April 4, 2009

Richard Kelly is the guy who made the excellent Donnie Darko and the not so special Southland Tales. As you may or may not know he is making a film called The Box. It is based on on the short story “Button, Button” by screenwriter and novelist Richard Matheson (Duel, I am Legend). Quiet Earth dug up this first poster for it.

Norma Lewis (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden) are a suburban couple with a young child who receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world…someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

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