TIME movies

Watch Steve Carell in the Creepy New Foxcatcher Trailer

The film, which also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, already has Oscar buzz

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There’s been a lot of buzz about Channing Tatum’s turn as the Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz in the upcoming Bennett Miller movie Foxcatcher. But the latest trailer teases a down-right chilling performance from Steve Carell.

The film is based on the true story of how millionaire philanthropist John du Pont mentored amateur wrestlers, including Schultz, and eventually was driven to murder his brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo). The latest trailer for the movie, which has already garnered Oscar buzz after it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in May, focuses on Carell’s du Pont, as he ruminates over the athletes he’s trying to shape — and perhaps manipulate.

“There are some psychological issues that we need to take care of,” says Carell’s character says, in one particularly ominous moment. It’s a role unlike any other that The Office star has taken on before, but if the trailer is any indication, he has the sinister, deranged du Pont nailed.

The film hits theaters on Nov. 14.

TIME movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Is 2014’s Biggest Movie So Far

The Marvel sci-fi flick has brought in more money in U.S. ticket sales than any other film this year

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All hail, Guardians of the Galaxy! The sci-fi blockbuster was already the hit of the summer and Vulture reports it’s also now the highest-grossing film of 2014 in the U.S.

The film, which opened across the U.S. on Aug. 1 and took in $94,320,883 in its opening weekend, has now raked in around $274,610,000 at the domestic box office alone as of this Labor Day weekend. That leap puts the film ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which has brought in $259 million at the U.S. box office — to become the highest-grossing movie of the year in the U.S.

The film has also been a hit internationally, taking in more than $273 million. Guardians is also expected to be the first film of 2014 to cross the $300 million mark at the domestic box office.

But 2014 has not been a blockbuster year at the box office. Despite Guardians‘ seemingly successful run, the film is still among the lowest-grossing number one summer films in the U.S. over the past decade, according to Box Office Mojo’s figures. And movie ticket sales are down across the board.

[Vulture]

TIME Television

See Photos of Houdini Being Houdini

Re-live the legendary magician's greatest feats

Harry Houdini, born Erich Weisz, was a Hungarian-American magician best known for his seemingly impossible escape acts. Houdini, a two-night miniseries by the History Channel, stars Adrien Brody as the revered magician and premieres on Sept. 1.

Take a look back at some photos of the original Houdini’s mind-boggling feats that made him famous throughout the world.

TIME movies

Movies Are Having Their Worst Summer Since 1997

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, from left: Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, 2014.
Dave Bautista and Chris Pratt in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Disney

It's partially because there's a dearth of new movie ideas out there

If you can’t remember the last time you went out and saw a great movie, you’re not alone.

North American box offices are having their worst summer season in 17 years, and it’s because no one is particularly excited about the flicks that have occupied the silver screen for the past several months.

Ticket sales in the United States and Canada are expected to total roughly $3.9 billion between the first weekend in May through the end of August, a 15 percent decline from the same stretch last year, the New York Times reports.

Sequels that were expected to rake in cash at the box office by adhering to tried-and-true formulas ended up bombing. Tom Cruise’s sci-fi Edge of Tomorrow looked kind of like Oblivion (2013, also starring Cruise) and sounded kind of like The Day After Tomorrow (2004). It brought in $99.4 million, but Warner Bros spent at least $250 million on production and domestic marketing.

Amazing Spider-Man 2, Step Up All In, and Hercules, all with familiar themes, did poor to middling in ticket sales.

The No. 1 movie of the summer, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, sold more than $258 million in ticket sales, at least partially for offering something new to moviegoers: a 1970’s-era soundtrack and eclectic range of lesser-known comic book heroes (including a talking raccoon voiced by Bradley Cooper) materialized into solid ticket sales.

Here’s to new ideas and better sales next summer.

[NYT]

TIME movies

Al-lelujah! A Pacino Double Feature at Venice

Al Pacino in The Humbling Allstar/Millenium Films

The veteran star plays two versions of a deposed king in Manglehorn and The Humbling

Al Pacino is still at it. At 74, four decades after the first two Godfather films, and more than a decade since his last starring role in even a minor hit (2003’s The Recruit), he remains eager for work. Any job that requires his surly majesty, in movies of modest budgets or minimal artistry, is an offer he can’t refuse. Last year he played a deranged version of himself, wandering off into the faux-reality of his most famous characters, in the Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill. Al Pacino and Adam Sandler! Michael Corleone would give them both the fatal kiss of dismissal.

Yet Pacino’s unflagging search for good roles makes him an endearing figure, especially at the Venice Film Festival, where three years ago he presented his finest recent work. Wilde Salome is a documentary of his stage production of the Oscar Wilde play (starring Jessica Chastain, in her first film work, as Salome), with charming side trips into Wilde’s biography. On opening night, the star charmed the audience with an impromptu monologue, some of it in Italian. The film never secured a theatrical release and, despite Pacino’s lingering star quality, it never played another film festival.

(READ: How Pacino wowed ‘em at Venice with Wilde Salome)

Venice, which is loyal to its favorite directors and stars, has brought Pacino back for a double feature tonight: Barry Levinson’s The Humbling and David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn. Each of his directors could use a hit, even a succès d’estime, as much as their star: Levinson’s last film in theaters, The Bay, grossed a total of $30,668; and Green’s Joe, which premiered at Venice last year, fell short of $400,000. A generation apart, the filmmakers deserve a break, especially when teaming with the bantam battler Pacino.

“Crazy emperors sort of work for me,” Pacino said about his Herod in Wilde Salome. That’s the role he’s played forever — either raging violently or sinking into monarchial despair — and gets to reprise in tonight’s films. In Green’s film he’s A.J. Manglehorn, a locksmith still pining over an affair he had a decade earlier with a woman named Clara; he still writes daily letters to his lost love. That leaves him little emotional energy to expend on his businessman son (Chris Messina), his tanning-salon friend (Harmony Korine) or the nice lady at the bank (Holly Hunter) who’s interested in pursuing a relationship but whose flirtation skills have rusted over: her conversation ascends quickly from “I like your shirt” to “Let’s take a bath together.”

Each of the main supporting character gets two big scenes — one edgy, one friendly — while Manglehorn lavishes what’s left of his love on his cat Fanny and his granddaughter Kylie (Skylar Gasper). This pensive, logy movie veers occasionally into magic realism: a couple (Tim Curry and Monica Lewis) singing the hymn “Love Lifted Me” when they meet at the bank; a mime who offers Manglehorn a special key to the film’s resolution. The rest, with Pacino in pensive mode as a deposed king of the heart, never reaches the tenderness or intensity of Green’s work with Nicolas Cage in Joe.

(READ: Corliss on Joe at the 2013 Venice Film Festival)

In The Humbling, based on Philip Roth’s 2009 novella, he’s Simon Axler, once among the greatest stars of the classical stage, who has lost his mojo, finding himself incapable of a powerful or even coherent performance, and resolved to end the fear and shame by killing himself. As Simon says in the book, “Suicide is the role you write for yourself. You inhabit it and you act it. All carefully staged — where they will find you and how they will find you. But one performance only.” One thinks of Robin Williams, who staged his last great scene with his death earlier this month.

(READ: TIME’s cover story on Robin Williams’ life and death)

Levinson, who directed Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, Toys and Man of the Year, also directed Pacino as Jack Kevorkian — the doctor who allowed his patients to achieve a calming form of suicide — in the 2010 TV movie You Don’t Know Jack. Simon could have used Kevorkian, since he is incapable of pulling off even his own last curtain call. He has kept a shotgun in his Connecticut retreat, even though “I’m not a gun person,” as a tribute to Hemingway. Yet when the big moment comes, he can’t quite reach the trigger. (“Hemingway must have had longer arms.”) The failure sends him to a psychiatric residence, where a woman (Nina Arianda) whose husband sexually violated their eight-year-old daughter begs Simon to shoot the brute dead. Can a man who botched his own death be persuaded to kill someone else?

The Humbling could pass as a love story: Simon has a twilight affair with Pegeen (Greta Gerwig), a woman half his age whose actor parents (Dianne Wiest and Dan Hedaya) were once Simon’s close friends. Pegeen is taking a break from 17 years as a lesbian to act out her childhood crush on Simon, but her adventurous sexual appetite abrades against Simon’s erotic conservatism.

But this is a movie less about the death of love and more in love with death. Having the 72-year-old Levinson directing a screen adaptation by the 83-yar-old Buck Henry of a novel that Roth published when he was 78 almost guarantees an old man’s meditation on dying as the final act in life’s tragicomedy. Will it be played the second time as farce or as great escape? Simon’s affair with Pegeen was a test to determine if life is worth living. Like Michael Keaton’s desperate, aging actor Riggan Thomson in Birdman, which opened the Venice festival on Wed. and is playing at Telluride this weekend, Simon makes his ultimate grand gestures on the Broadway stage — Riggin as a Raymond Carver character, Simon as King Lear.

(READ: Corliss’s review of Birdman)

With mixed results, Levinson juggles the awful and the amusing aspects of Simon’s life; The Humbling shifts without warning from tales of horror to deadpan comedy, until the ending, when Pacino, the street kid who loves Shakespeare, gets to play the Bard’s maddest monarch and achieves a trace of tragic grandeur. In the unlikely event that this Al Pacino double bill plays at a theater near you, see both films, and decide which Al sinks into your soul.

TIME movies

REVIEW: Spider-Man Has a Housing Crisis in 99 Homes

Hooman Bahrani

Andrew Garfield as a displaced home owner finds a shady mentor in Michael Shannon in this fiery social parable

A man slouches on his bathroom toilet, dead from a gunshot wound, on the day he and his family are to be evicted from their Orlando home for overdue mortgage payments. The bloody scene doesn’t faze Rick Carver (Michael Shannon), a skilled, amoral repo man designated by the banks to take over forfeited homes. Joking that the man killed himself because he ordered pizza and his wife wanted Chinese, Carver brusquely instructs his gang to clean up the place, to escort the dead man’s survivors outside and dump their possessions onto the front lawn. Trespassers in their own home, the family has an hour to clear up and clear out.

This three- or four-minute shot opens 99 Homes with cool, brutal elegance. Set in 2010, Ramin Bahrani’s sharp drama, which has its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and will play this weekend at the Telluride festival, casts the recent and lingering housing crisis as a tense social parable of the domineering one percent and the imperiled 99. Much more cogent and coherent than Bahrani’s At Any Price, which investigated the ethical dilemma of a farmer driven to corruption, the new movie sets up a Faustian bargain with the Mephistopehelia Carver. His Faust is Dennis Nash, played by Andrew Garfield. Mothballing his Spider-Man Spandex, Garfield slips into the skin of a dispossessed tradesman who can save his family only by learning, and perhaps joining, the forces of evil.

Dennis, his mother Lynn (Laura Dern) and his son Connor (Noah Lomax) are among Carver’s eviction victims, forced to move everything they still own into a small room in a motel packed with the dispossessed. To earn desperately needed money, and with the hope of repurchasing his home, he goes to work for Carver — first as a day laborer literally sweeping up the shit from a backed-up toilet, then as his boss’s mentor and executioner. Think of It’s a Wonderful Life, and imagine that, to get his home back, Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey had gone to work for Lionel Barrymore’s evil Mr. Potter. Then think of 99 Homes as a social parable in Exorcist terms: Can Dennis learn the brutal details of repossessing homes without letting the demon Carver possess his tender soul?

Somebody had to profit from the Great Recession that forced millions from their homes, and Carver is one of them. You could call him a vulture circling the carcass of the American dream of home ownership; he’d say he’s pursuing a (mostly) legal business, to which he applies a coroner’s dispassion and icy skill. Another unpaid mortgage, even if it leads to a man’s suicide, means another job for him. “Don’t get emotional about real estate,” he says. “They all got a sob story, but the law’s the law.” One might agree with Mr. Bumble in Oliver Twist, that “If the law supposes that… the law is a ass — a idiot.”

A spiritual cousin to the sensitive, fretful young men Garfield played in The Social Network, Never Let Me Go and The Amazing Spider-Man, Dennis at first doesn’t have the patter down when he knocks on doors to evict homeowners. He apologizes for, doesn’t command, the situation; and unlike Carver, he is loath to make eye contact with his marks. But he’s smart, and knows that making good money often requires a soiled conscience. He’s a bit like Eddie, the debt-ridden gambler in the 2008 Vegas: Based on a True Story (also shown at Venice, and directed by 99 Homes co-scripter Amir Naderi), who is told that robbers may have buried $1 million in his highly mortgaged property. As Eddie went prospecting for gold in his own backyard, so Dennis tries to reclaim his own home by throwing people just like him out of theirs.

Beginning and ending with a forlorn man’s gunplay, the movie sometimes uses the blunt tools of melodrama to make its points; and Garfield can get adolescently dewy in skirmishes with his Manichan mentor. But it’s a great showcase for Shannon, who magnetizes all eyes, like a cobra in the corner. “America doesn’t bail out losers,” he says. “America bails out winners.” Shannon as actor and Carver as charismatic scoundrel are winners, and neither needs a government bailout to possess every minute of 99 Homes.

TIME movies

6 Movies Set on Labor Day That You Can Watch This Weekend

It's not quite as illustrious a group as those set on July 4th, but they'll certainly get the job done if you're looking to get in the end-of-summer spirit

Labor Day

Synopsis: It’s a rather apt way to start the list. The 2013 romance-drama starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin follows the plot of your typical, average Labor Day weekend: caring for your teenage son while beginning an affair with a ruggedly handsome escaped convict. We’ve all been there.

Where to watch: Rentable from Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, others.

Dirty Dancing

Synopsis: 1987. Dancing. Sexual awakenings. Patrick Swayze. Abortion. Lenny Briscoe from Law & Order. An investigation into the matter of whether Baby can actually be put into a corner. It all culminates on Labor Day weekend — in case you’re wondering how your summer might end.

Where to watch: Streaming on Netflix until Labor Day (Sept. 1) itself.

A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy

Synopsis: The 2011 ensemble comedy featuring a bunch of 30-something actors that you’d likely recognize (Jason Sudeikis, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Will Forte, etc.) is more or less about what the title indicates. If they were 20-somethings, it would have been on July 4th weekend rather than Labor Day.

Where to watch: A trip to your good, old-fashioned video rental store will be required (or you can buy a copy, including this one selling for $299)

Picnic

Synopsis: The 1955 film tells the story of what can happen in just 24 hours when one former college football star-turned-army man-turned-failed-actor (William Holden) visits a small Kansas town on Labor Day. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won for Best Film Editing and Best Art Direction-Set Direction.

Where to watch: See above (minus the $299 option).

Peyton Place

Synopsis: Unlike some of the others, 1956’s Peyton Place wasn’t set entirely on Labor Day, but it makes up for that by having Lana Turner and earning nine Academy Awards (not to mention inspiring a popular TV series that began in 1964).

Where to watch: Rentable from Google Play and others.

A Place in the Sun

Synopsis: The first of the Hollywood classics to be set on Labor Day, A Place in the Sun (1951) was an early twist on the classic love triangle tale. Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, it was nominated for nine Oscars and won six, including for Best Screenplay and Best Director.

Where to watch: Streaming for free via Amazon Prime Instant Video.

 

TIME movies

Watch the Trailer for Jon Stewart’s Directorial Debut Rosewater

Gael García Bernal plays a journalist imprisoned during the 2009 Iranian election

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Iranian-born Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was imprisoned, interrogated and tortured on spy charges for 118 days after covering the 2009 Iranian election.

Written and directed by Jon Stewart — yes, the host of The Daily Show, making his directorial debut — Rosewater tells the story of Bahari’s ordeal, which he also recounted in his 2011 memoir Then They Came for Me.

Mexican actor Gael García Bernal plays Bahari, who in real life landed in hot water with the Iranian authorities partly because of a mock interview he did on Stewart’s show back in 2009. That segment was later used against him as evidence of seditious activity.

TIME celebrities

Here’s the French Château Where Brad and Angelina Wed

The Chateau Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by US actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France on May 31, 2008.
The Château Miraval, a vineyard estate owned by U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Le Val, southeastern France, on May 31, 2008 Michel Gangne—AFP/Getty Images

Ooh la la

Brangelina have made it official. The couple married in a small, private ceremony last weekend, it emerged on Thursday, surrounded by family and friends.

But after years in the limelight as one of the world’s most-watched couples, it was obvious that not just any wedding venue would work. So the couple chose to get married close to home. Or, at least, close to one of their homes.

The Associated Press reports that Pitt and Jolie tied the knot in the south of France, at the Château Miraval, a wine château not far from Aix-en-Provence. Back in 2008, the couple moved their family into the château and apparently haven’t looked back, spending their summers nestled in the 1000-acre estate.

Back in the 1970s, the sprawling estate was home to the jazz pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, who built a recording studio on its grounds. Since then, Pink Floyd, Sting, Sade and the Cranberries have all recorded music there. And it seems that the Pitt-Jolies have carried on the tradition. According to the Château Miraval’s website, the couple “have given impetus to the heart of the estate as a place dedicated to the arts — music, cinema, theater, local food and fine wine.”

Even those who don’t frequently read gossip pages might recognize the Château Miraval name: it’s also home to Brangelina’s wine, the Côtes de Provence Rosé Miraval, which won plaudits last year from Wine Spectator magazine.

TIME celebrities

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Got Married in France Last Weekend

Finally

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Superstar couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were secretly married in France on Saturday, a spokesperson told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The duo reportedly first came together on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith about a decade ago, but they were only engaged in 2012. Now, their marriage is official.

Jolie and Pitt were married in Château Miraval in the south of France in a small ceremony attended by family and friends, including the couple’s six children, the AP reports.

The couple is set to get back together on the screen next year in a drama that Jolie wrote and will direct called By the Sea, set for release next year.

[AP]

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