Screen Junkies » Francis Lawrence http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 05 Dec 2014 19:25:26 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 No CGI Philip Seymour Hoffman In ‘Hunger Games: The Mockingjay – Part I: The First One’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/no-cgi-philip-seymour-hoffman-in-hunger-games-the-mockingjay-part-i-the-first-one/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/no-cgi-philip-seymour-hoffman-in-hunger-games-the-mockingjay-part-i-the-first-one/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 21:57:12 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267450 Nightmares avoided.

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Fans of creepy attempts at bridging the uncanny valley will have only Paddington to scratch their itch this holiday season, as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I: The First One’sfilmmakers have opted not to digitally recreate actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

When the beloved actor died earlier this year, it was unknown how his appearance in the Mockingjay films would be handled. He was still in the midst of shooting at the time of his passing and there were reports that digital technology might be employed to finish his remaining scenes. Thankfully, the filmmakers decided to do the tasteful thing and not unleash the horror of a computer-rendered Hoffman on the world.

“He had two scenes with dialogue that were left and we decided we didn’t want to try any digital trickery with him, so we rewrote his scenes and gave the dialogue to other actors,” said director Francis Lawrence. “I just think to try to fake a Philip Seymour Hoffman performance would have been catastrophic and I would never want to do that.”

Also, Andy Serkis wasn’t available. (Huffington Post)

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‘The Hunger Games’ Cat Has Been Recast For ‘Catching Fire’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-hunger-games-cat-has-been-recast-for-catching-fire/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-hunger-games-cat-has-been-recast-for-catching-fire/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 16:31:27 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=257975 Thank goodness!

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We tried to keep you as up-to-date as possible while casting was announced for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, however, recent screenings of the film have revealed one controversial performer from the original film has been recast. Garry Ross’s The Hunger Games had its share of problems. Amongst them was the director’s BONKERS decision to cast Buttercup the cat as a tuxedo cat. The fan outcry was enormous and thanks to author Suzanne Collins and new director Francis Lawrence, Buttercup is now played by a yellow cat who likely has less than fifteen seconds of screen time.

This one’s for the fans, guys. (io9)

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Natalie Dormer Will Do That Thing With Her Mouth In ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/natalie-dormer-will-do-that-thing-with-her-mouth-in-the-hunger-games-mockingjay/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/natalie-dormer-will-do-that-thing-with-her-mouth-in-the-hunger-games-mockingjay/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 21:20:17 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=256594 Is she chewing her cheek or something? I just don't get it.

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Catching Fire hasn’t hit theaters yet but the final film(s) in the series are a foregone conclusion. Might as well get that sumbitch casted up.

Thus, Game Of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer will join The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as Cressida, the crooked-mouthed video director who follows Katniss around to film her rebellion against the Capitol. And hopefully a little bit in the shower. (The Wrap)

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Columbia Hires Scott Frank To Make ‘Houdini’ Appear http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/columbia-hires-scott-frank-to-make-houdini-appear/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/columbia-hires-scott-frank-to-make-houdini-appear/#comments Tue, 24 May 2011 23:37:59 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213468 In this version, Houdini falls victim to a con artist. 'Harry Houdini: Rube'

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Like Snow White, there seem to be approximately 912 dozen Harry Houdini pics on the horizon, of varying levels of veracity and supernatural-ness. Somewhat surprisingly, the most biographical one, titled simply Houdini, seems to be the one getting the most traction, having already signed on a director in Francis Lawrence, and now in talks with screenwriter Scott Frank to pen the script.

The film would follow Houdini as he tries to reveal a spiritual woman as a fraud, only to get sucked in by her mystique, eventually falling for her charms and possibly getting conned. Frank has cut his teeth on Minority Report and Out of Sight earlier, so he’s proven adept at adapting, if not creating original work. Again, the script hasn’t been written yet, but Frank’s previous work includes Marley & Me, so let’s not hold our breaths for a happy ending. (THR)

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Review: Water For Elephants http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-water-for-elephants/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-water-for-elephants/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2011 22:58:48 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=208116 Looks great, but feels just like all the other historical epic romances.

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Water for Elephants has great production value. It’s a period piece that takes you back to Depression era circus road shows like old time Hollywood productions. It’s also just like all the other historical epic romances. Coming of age, forbidden romance, oppressive older generation and present day bookends because nobody thinks they can just start the story in the past.

Jacob Jankowsky (Hal Hobrook and then Robert Pattinson) wanders up to a closed circus in present day and starts telling the story of how he remembered the great Benzini Bros. tragedy of 1931. Back in ’31, Jacob (Pattinson now) had everything going for him, about to graduate Cornell veterinary school, until his parents die in an automobile accident.

The banker is blatantly insensitive, criticizing Jacob’s generous father for helping people without pay. That’ll teach him to put a lien on his business for his son’s tuition. Jacob hops a train that happens to be the Benzini Brothers’. August (Christoph Waltz) gives Jacob a Training Day about the circus, only it’s over the course of the movie so it’s not really a Day.

August’s wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) is the star performer, an acrobat who works with the horse Silver Star. Jacob’s first act as circus vet is to put Silver Star down, so he bonds with Marlena over that heartbreak. Marlena already hates her husband, and rightfully so because he’s abusive, but it’s just artificially constructing a “forbidden” love. Except for a mutual affection for animals, Marlena and Jacob don’t have any real connection. They’re just there to be the romance.

Every theme in the movie is spelled out for you. The college boy has no real world experience. The boss works people and animals to death, literally. Did you forget the bookend with old Jacob? There’s a tragedy coming too.

To replace Silver Star, August buys Rosie the elephant. Rosie does some amazing stunts in one take, some with Witherspoon doing acrobatics herself. It’s just dressing up a domestic abuse story. August gets violent with Rosie and then cries apologetically. Jacob tries to save Marlena like she’s Rose in Titanic. Still, when Jacob threatens August’s life, I never for a moment believed he was going to go there.

By the time we see the tragic circus disaster, it’s revealed already in progress which is an interesting way to present it. Water for Elephants actually has the ending I wanted Titanic to have, but no, I never wanted it as saccharin as the final bookend makes it.

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Water for Elephants http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/water-for-elephants/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/water-for-elephants/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2011 22:39:57 +0000 Reza F. http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=27231 Director: Francis Lawrence Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christopher Waltz, Hal Holbrook Synopsis: A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as...

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Director: Francis Lawrence

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christopher Waltz, Hal Holbrook

Synopsis: A veterinary student abandons his studies after his parents are killed and joins a traveling circus as their vet.

Release Date: April 22, 2011

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Richard LaGravenese To Write Crazily True WWII Survivor Story http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/richard-lagravenese-to-write-crazily-true-wwii-survivor-story/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/richard-lagravenese-to-write-crazily-true-wwii-survivor-story/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 04:05:22 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=204423 'Unbroken' is about Louis Zamperini: Olympic athlete, Air Force pilot, and Japanese POW camp survivor. I'd also be interested in playing the video game.

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Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (Water For Elephants) is adapting another historical novel and re-teaming with Elephants director Francis Lawrence. They say history has a way of repeating itself, and now there’s proof to support that adage.

This time, LaGravenese will pen the film version of Laura Hillenbrand‘s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption for Universal. Boring title, great sounding true story.

Unbroken is about Olympic athlete / Air Force pilot Louis Zamperini. (It’s hard to think of two cooler occupations to top a resume.) He was on the 1936 U.S. Olympic track team, and proved to be an amazing survivor. When his plane was shot down into the ocean, he spent 47 days in the water before getting picked up by the Japanese Navy. Then Zamperini did time in a Japanese POW camp, where he was brutally tortured. After he was freed, then he suffered through a long bout with post-traumatic stress disorder, but managed to survive that with help from evangelist Billy Graham and his wife.

And I complain when they don’t have the right kind of nacho cheese at Ralph’s. (Hollywood Reporter)

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Harry Houdini Is The New Julian Assange http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/harry-houdini-is-the-new-julian-assange/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/harry-houdini-is-the-new-julian-assange/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 23:44:24 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=203306 Despite being dead for 85 years and the fact that nobody really cares about magicians, the illusionist is now the subject of a third film currently in development.

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Despite being dead for 85 years and the fact that nobody really cares about magicians, Harry Houdini is now the subject of a third film currently in development.

Francis Lawrence is at the helm of a period biopic about the late wizard for Sony. Wait. He’s not a superhero and he doesn’t have a wise-cracking buddy? Booooooring.

I will say that all of these projects could be good news for Robin Williams. Look at that newspaper illustration. Dude, is straight up Mork! Of course, should they not consider Williams for the role that would be a pretty big insult. If he gets sad and climbs up into that tree house that the Jack production designer let him keep, it may be weeks before we get him to come down. (Variety)

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Robert Pattinson Breaks Circus Law In New ‘Water For Elephants’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/robert-pattinson-breaks-circus-law-in-new-water-for-elephants-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/robert-pattinson-breaks-circus-law-in-new-water-for-elephants-trailer/#comments Fri, 04 Mar 2011 05:17:08 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=37924 When you break a circus law, you pay the circus price.

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When yo break a circus law, you pay the circus price. And circus court is on a fast-moving circus train. Also: circuses.

Here’s another trailer for the Robert Pattinson / Reese Witherspoon romantic period drama Water For Elephants. In the trailer, we see that Pattinson’s parents both die suddenly, so naturally my first reaction was, “does he become a Batman?” Sadly, no. The would-be doctor joins the circus, makes the wife of the circus boss (Witherspoon) a Team Edward die-hard and trouble ensues. Director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) helmed the adaptation of author Sara Gruen’s book.

Water For Elephants drives its clown car into theaters April 22nd. Will Twilight fans in theaters scream “Bella” every time Pattinson kisses Witherspoon? It’s a risk I’m not interested in taking.

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Cathartic News: Robert Pattinson Gets Beaten Up In ‘Water For Elephants’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/cathartic-news-robert-pattinson-gets-beaten-up-in-water-for-elephants/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/cathartic-news-robert-pattinson-gets-beaten-up-in-water-for-elephants/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:37:28 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=27967 If you've ever thought, "it'd be fun to beat the sh*t out of Robert Pattinson," you'll be jealous of a few lucky actors cast in 'Water For Elephants.'

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If you’ve ever thought, “it’d be fun to beat the shit out of Robert Pattinson,” you’ll be jealous of a few lucky actors cast in Water For Elephants. Directed by Francis Lawrence’s (I Am Legend), co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Pattinson tells an Entertainment Tonight reporter (ugh) that he’s gonna get his sparkly vampire butt kicked in the film.

Anytime there’s any sort of love scene or anything, I always end up getting beaten up… Our most romantic moment [in the movie] is me getting beaten up by about ten guys.

If you can withstand the full-on “glitz” of ET – I literally cringed all the way through – you can see the whole interview above.

If you’d rather see Legally Blonde get into a cat fight, that may or may not happen to Pattinson’s new love interest in the movie. However, in real life, hundreds of crazy Team Edward tweens are probably waiting for Witherspoon to let her guard down in a parking lot, where they will mercilessly pounce on her, attempt to suck her blood, then get tazed by her bodyguard, who was just in the Starbucks for, like, a second.

Below is the synopsis for Water For Elephants, stampeding over Pattinson and into theaters soon. (Collider)

Veterinary school student Jacob (Pattinson) meets and falls in love with Marlena (Witherspoon), a star performer in a circus of a bygone era. They discover beauty amidst the world of the Big Top, and come together through their compassion for a special elephant. Against all odds – including the wrath of Marlena’s charismatic but dangerous husband, August (Christopher Waltz) – Jacob and Marlena find lifelong love.

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