There's a scene in "Here" — a beautifully shot travelogue of a movie starring Ben Foster that premiered at Sundance — in which Foster's character is detained at the Armenian border. He's a high-tech cartographer named Will Shepard, who is journeying across the country with his tour guide/love interest, and as guards with machine guns looks on menacingly, it's unclear if the movie is about to take a dark turn.
The production itself threatened to take a dark turn, as Foster told us at Sundance, when the film crew itself was detained. "We were pulled over by the KGB. We were shooting on the Iranian border," he explained. "We were locked down at the border. It was wild."
As "The Ledge" begins, Terrence Howard is having a really bad day. He's just discovered that he's actually not the father of his two young children and is sent up to a tall building to convince a suicidal man not to swan dive onto the street below.
But at the Sundance Film Festival last week, I'm quite sure no one was having a better time than Howard. He popped into MTV News HQ early and gleefully crashed our 50 Cent interview — turning the chat into a raucous and giggle-heavy affair — then began the "Ledge" conversation by showing off all the free gear he'd picked up — boots, watch, necklace, fur-lined coat — and instructed his castmates, "Get your swag, get your swag, get your swag!"
Yep, Howard was having a very good time. And it'd only get better, as IFC nabbed the rights to "The Ledge" shortly after our interview. For good reason. The film is a unique hybrid: part thriller, part philosophical treatise, part forbidden love story. It's the product of Matthew Chapman, the veteran scribe behind "Runaway Jury" and "Color of Night," who decided to see if he could take a familiar Hollywood genre and transform it into something fit for the art house. Read More...
Kevin Smith's now-infamous "Red State" post-screening antics, in which he announced he was buying back his film to distribute on his own, was the talk of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. But some of his "Red State" cast members opted to talk about Smith's next (and allegedly, final) project instead, "Hit Somebody."
During the "Red State" shoot, Smith talked with some of his young actors about appearing in the upcoming project, which is based on the Warren Zevon hockey ode of the same name. Nicholas Braun is playing the lead role of hit-happy Buddy McCracken and Kyle Gallner will portray a Gretzky-like hockey wiz. And correct us if we're wrong, but we don't believe Michael Angarano's involvement with the project has been previously reported. Until now.
"[Kevin"] said, 'Learn how to skate and learn how to speak in a Russian accent," Angarano told us.
In his breakout 2004 documentary "Super Size Me", filmmaker Morgan Spurlock attempted to show the world just how bad McDonald's is for you (particularly if you eat it all day, every day.) Now, Spurlock is going after all the big guns in his latest, "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold," an expose on the world of marketing, advertising and product placement.
Not so surprisingly, Spurlock couldn't get corporate sponsorship from many of the companies featured in the film (including his old friends at McDonald's.) Still, the ever-undeterred Spurlock sat down with MTV News at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to talk about what it was like getting turned down by some big corporations and, despite all that, how he still managed to make a "docbuster."
Hilariously sporting an entirely corporate-sponsored jacket (Hyatt, JetBlue, and Pennsylvania's "greatest convenience store you'll ever stop in," Sheetz — which is providing collector cups for the movie's impending release — were game with Spurlock's vision), the director explained to MTV News that the three biggest sponsors of the project benefited from a commercial spot inserted within the movie itself. "It's the first time ever there's a film that has commercial breaks inside of it that, literally, are [woven] seamlessly into the movie."
It's hard to decide which we like better: Paul Giamatti the comedian or Paul Giamatti the dramatic actor. Today we'll side with the comedian, just because his newest film, "Win Win," has gone over so well at Sundance. The actor and his co-star Bobby Cannavale caught up with MTV at the film festival to talk about the comedy.
"It's a very lovely comedic film about a man who cuts a moral corner in his life and then all the reverberations that come from that, positive and negative," Giamatti said. "It does not comment on [the middle class] in any way, it just shows it in a very real way."
Any film that stars Ed Helms and John C. Reilly is automatically on my list of movies to watch out for, but the fact that their upcoming flick, "Cedar Rapids," was asked to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival just makes it all the more intriguing. It's the first film to really feature Helms on his own, despite the fact that he has a great supporting cast. Best known for his roles in "The Office" and "The Hangover," it's nice to see Helms get his own starring vehicle.
And a starring vehicle, it should be noted, in which his character beds both Anne Heche and Sigourney Weaver. "My character in the movie does come out of his shell in some interesting ways," Helms told MTV News at Sundance. "He's a very stunted and sheltered man. [Co-star] Anne [Heche] drags him kicking and screaming into maturity."
FROM RAP FIX: Whether it’s a pipe dream or lofty aspiration, rapper, businessman and budding thespian 50 Cent wants to be viewed as a serious actor one day. Never one to set his sights low, the man born Curtis Jackson shared with MTV News last week at the Sundance Film Festival his Hollywood goals. When asked which actor's career he’d like to emulate, the G-Unit honcho’s choice was one of the most celebrated actors of all time.
"Well, Sidney Poitier. I’d like to, you know, be with the top, you know," a smiling 50 Cent said. "Shoot for the stars if you would do that."
Whether or not Fif has the chops to hang with the pioneering Oscar-winning actor from the Bahamas is up for debate, but there is an area where the "Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ " star may have some hope — comedy.
Continue reading "50 Cent Wants An Acting Career Like Sidney Poitier" at RapFix.MTV.com.
While James Franco might be the man out getting all the attention, his younger brother Dave has started to make a name for himself as well. The younger Franco (age 24 to James' 32) has starred in "Scrubs," "Charlie St. Cloud" and Noah Baumbach's latest, "Greenberg," in addition to the Funny or Die video series, "Acting with James Franco." And as Dave told us earlier this month, the brothers are also writing a script — in which they plan to star — that will have them playing versions of themselves and which will take place over the winter holidays in their hometown of Palo Alto, California.
So when MTV caught up with James at the Sundance Film Festival, we couldn't resist asking how close that project is to becoming a reality.
"If we do anything with that, that'll be down the road," Franco said.
But it wouldn't be the first time he incorporated his family into his projects.
Even though Ed Helms threw us for a loop when he informed us former president Bill Clinton won't be making a cameo appearance in "The Hangover 2," we did get at least one thing right: Paul Giamatti will.
The actor was in Park City, Utah to promote his film "Win Win" at Sundance, but when he talked to MTV News he let us know that his cameo in "The Hangover 2" was already in the can.
He filmed his scene in Bangkok a month or so ago, and seemed like he had a very fun time doing it. Fortunately he was also willing to shed some light on his previously unannounced role, especially when prodded by his "Win Win" co-star, Bobby Cannevale. His question: is Giamatti playing Mel Gibson's role, or Mel Gibson himself?
"I do, I play Mel Gibson," Giamatti teased, but then quickly retracted it. "No, I think Liam Neeson plays that."
Long distance relationships are difficult enough to master in real life; it's no wonder Hollywood has had trouble capturing their complexities on the big screen.
Thankfully, a Sundance gem called "Like Crazy," which has quickly become one of the buzziest entries at this year's festival, has just changed all that with a truthful and bittersweet portrayal of managing — and, as often as not, failing to manage — love from afar.
Directed by Drake Doremus, the mostly improvised movie follows a young couple ("Star Trek's" Anton Yelchin, 21 and relative newcomer Felicity Jones, 27, in what deserves to be a breakout role) and their relationship over the course of eight years.
MTV News got the two stars together for an interview to talk about the Sundance fav, as well as how they attained their rooted-in-reality on-screen relationship. "We went to a training camp on how to be friends," joked Yelchin, as Jones cracked back, "We hated each other at first, but we managed to make it work."