Category: Lionsgate Films
Taglines: Remember who the enemy is.
The film begins as Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a Victor’s Tour of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow (Donald Sutherland) prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games, The Quarter Quell – a competition that could change Panem forever.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is anAmerican science fiction adventure film based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian novel, Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games trilogy. The film is the sequel to The Hunger Games, and the second installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. Francis Lawrence directed the film, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arndt. Francis Lawrence took over from Gary Ross as director. Adding to the existing cast, the supporting cast was filled out with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer, Alan Ritchson, and Meta Golding.
The plot of Catching Fire takes place one year after the previous installment; Katniss Everdeen has now returned home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Throughout the story, Katniss senses that a rebellion, against the oppressive Capitol, is simmering through the districts. Filming began on September 10, 2012, in Atlanta, Georgia, before moving to Hawaii.
About the Story
One year after the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return home to District 12. After a hunt in the woods with her friend Gale Hawthorne, Katniss is visited at her home by President Snow. He tells her that her decisions in the arena have triggered rebellions, especially in District 8, and also warns her to use the upcoming Victory Tour to show Panem that her acts of rebellion in the arena were just to show love towards Peeta. She reluctantly accepts.
During the first visit in the Victory Tour, which is held in District 11, an old man holds up the three-fingered sign that’s occasionally used in District 12 to show respect and admiration for someone. Peacekeepers interpreted this as an act of rebellion, and dragged the man to the front of the stage in the square and shoot him dead with a pistol, much to the horror, shock and dismay of Katniss. Haymitch angrily tells her “you never get off this train” which means that Katniss and Peeta are mentors for the District 12 tributes and act as a “distraction” to the districts so that the people of Panem will forget “what the real problem is.”
Katniss, Peeta, Effie and Haymitch return home and Katniss quickly goes to Gale. They both devise a plan to run away, but fail. The Capitol sends Peacekeepers to District 12 to crack down on the citizens. The new head Peacekeeper, Romulus Thread, whips Gale after Gale attacked Romulus to stop him from killing an old woman. Haymitch convinces Thread to leave Katniss, Peeta and Gale alone as they are loved ones to the country. While Katniss is watching TV with her family, she, Peeta and Haymitch learn that the previous victors from each district will be selected for the 3rd Quarter Quell. At the reaping, Effie draws Katniss and Haymitch’s names, but Peeta volunteers to take Haymitch’s place.
The victors from each district visit President Snow’s palace for a royal dinner party. While having a dance, Katniss meets new head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee. After the dinner party, the victors are sent to the training center and a hotel. Haymitch warns Katniss that the tributes are furious at being returned to the games and advises a reluctant Katniss to make allies. During the interviews with Caesar Flickerman, Katniss wears a wedding dress, but her stylist Cinna rigs it to transform into the representation of a mockingjay. President Snow witnesses this and sends Peacekeepers out to kill Cinna before Katniss is elevated into the arena.
Katniss and Peeta make alliances with the District 4 tributes, Finnick Odair and Mags, a few minutes into the games. Finnick saves Katniss by throwing a trident into a male from District 5 who was trying to kill Katniss. While the group is trudging through the jungle, Peeta accidentally hits his machete against the force field, electrocuting him and stopping his heart. Finnick resuscitates him.
Before going to sleep, Katniss notices a poison fog coming for them at a fast pace, and the group flees. When Peeta is incapacitated by the fog, Mags walks into it, sacrificing herself and allowing Finnick and Katniss to carry Peeta to safety. After fleeing from a group of wild and extremely ferocious mandrills, Katniss, Peeta and Finnick escape to a beach where they ally with Wiress and Beetee from District 3, and Johanna Mason from 7.
Wiress is in shock from a blood storm and repeatedly says “Tick-Tock.” Katniss realizes that the arena is set up like a clock, with disasters occurring every hour and lightning striking at midnight. The group is then attacked by the Career pack in which Wiress is killed in the fight but Katniss and Johanna kill two of the Careers, sending the surviving Careers back into the jungle. Beetee devises a plan to electrocute the last two Careers by combining a spool of wire and lightning, sending Katniss and Johanna to help prepare the trap.
The women are ambushed by the remaining Careers; Johanna attacks them, incapacitates Katniss and slits the tracker out of her arm before disappearing. Shaken by Johanna’s assault, Katniss returns to the tree and finds Beetee knocked out next to a metal tipped spear wrapped with the wire. Katniss is now suspicious of potential secret foes and attempts to kill Finnick, but he reminds her to ‘remember who the real enemy is,’ as Haymitch had advised her prior to the games. Seeing that the lightning is about to strike, Katniss attaches the remaining wire to an arrow and shoots it into the force field just as the lightning hits, taking down the dome’s force field as well as the Capitol’s surveillance.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer
Screenplay by: Simon Beaufoy
Production Design by: Philip Messina
Cinematography by: Jo Willems
Film Editing by: Alan Edward Bell
Costume Design by: Trish Summerville
Set Decoration by: Larry Dias
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: November 22, 2013
Taglines: Deliver them to evil.
There are demons so terrible that no mortal man of God could successfully drive them back to Hell. The only option is for the exorcist himself to invite possession and then commit suicide, dragging along the demon to damnation – so the Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints – or Hellbenders – was formed. A group of elite, highly-trained exorcists, they live in a constant state of debauchery so they will be ready to go to Hell at any moment. When an infernal Norse demon called BLACK SURTR escapes into New York City intent on cracking open the gates of Hell, the Hellbenders must use every ounce of their debauchery to battle the demon and save the planet from eternal damnation.
I’m just barely old enough to have experienced the anxiety of possible nuclear annihilation. In the early ‘80s we still had bomb drills at my Catholic school outside Washington, D.C. I’ve always been grateful for the nightmares of slow, rotting death via radiation poisoning, if only for giving me the context to later understand what an awesomely inspiring movie DR. STRANGELOVE is.
Kubrick treats nuclear war as absolutely real, dangerous and terrifying, but still manages somehow to laugh at it. It’s thrilling and cathartic, a premise filled with amazing visuals and the kind of ecstatic, paradoxical misbehavior that pulls iconic performances from its cast. I can only imagine what a frightening and inspiring movie it must have been in ’64.
I’ll let other filmmakers pretend they can grow up to be Stanley Kubrick, and I don’t think HELLBENDERS is as scary as STRANGELOVE – I’d rather face demonic possession than nuclear annihilation, and to be honest, I’d probably rather face Hell than total oblivion. (This is a director’s statement about a comedy, I promise.)
It’s now 2012, and more Americans believe in The Devil than they do the Theory of Evolution, and by a widening margin. The Devil is real in America and exorcism is a film conceit that can still frighten a jaded movie-going audience.
When the extended cut of THE EXORCIST made a theatrical run in 2000, I attended a screening at Radio City Music hall and watched it with more than a thousand people. It was still effective twenty‐seven years later, and I don’t think anybody in the audience was less than terrified. The most remarkable part of the experience for me, though, was how much the audience laughed. I can’t imagine anybody thought the movie was ridiculous; I think it was laughter as release, a communal cry of “Uncle!” We had all just been so thoroughly emotionally pummeled, so overstuffed with sensory input that we would have opened any valve we could. As an audience, as a crowd of strangers at the mercy of the same overwhelming spectacle, laughter was all we could reach for. (I laugh and cringe at UFC fights by the same instinct.) But does that mean THE EXORCIST is a funny movie? I kind of think it does.
I don’t remember how the concept for HELLBENDERS first landed on me, the idea that a preacher would necessarily need to court sin and debauchery in order to be spiritually prepared for total war with Hell, but once I had it, it was impossible to think about an exorcism story on any other terms. And I thought that was really, really funny.
There’s been no shortage of exorcism movies in the past few years and the conceits are starting to stretch pretty thin. But when you make all those ideas explicit ‐ all of the rules, the discipline, the antispiritual bureaucracy of any church -‐ it gets ridiculous enough to be fun.
And it’s such an opportunity for character. It was great fun thinking of the kinds of ministers and priests who would end up as Hellbound Saints; the compulsively-‐ sinful man the church wouldn’t take in any other branch, the overly‐pious man who hates sin and sinning but will make that sacrifice to fight Satan, the female minister who wants to be doing spiritual battle on a scale she couldn’t with the Unitarians. The entire cast (Clifton Collins Jr! Dan Fogler! Andre Royo!) was so good and so clearly got the fun and weird innocence of the concept. I grew up thinking of Clancy Brown as the heaviest of the heavies; he spends half this movie wearing nothing but a rug and a woman’s purple bathrobe.
But HELLBENDERS isn’t satire. I don’t have any interest in camp. The hardest part of the movie was balancing the gonzo characters and real idea of violence, both spiritual and physical. From the few small screenings we’ve had so far, the hardest laughs and biggest reaction we’ve had came from Catholics, people who were raised on a weekly diet of church.
What I hope is funny about HELLBENDERS is what’s scary about THE EXORCIST- Hell might be real. Our kind and benevolent Creator may be holding the threat of eternal damnation and unimaginable suffering over our heads until the day we die. Hilarious!
Directed by: J.T. Petty
Starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Clancy Brown, Andre Royo, Robyn Rikoon, Macon Blair
Screenplay by: J.T. Petty
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language, sexual content and drug use.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Pistol-packing grandma, Mabel “Madea” Simmons (Tyler Perry) gets coaxed into helping her best friend Eileen (Anna Maria Horsford) pay her daughter Lacey (Tika Sumpter) a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, but the biggest surprise is what they’ll find when they arrive. As the small, rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Jubilee, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested while Madea dishes her own brand of Christmas Spirit to all.
A Madea Christmas is a Christmas comedy-drama film directed, written, produced by and starring Tyler Perry. This is the first Christmas themed film from the prolific writer-director; and also adapted from his play of the same name. This is the seventeenth film by Perry, and the seventh in the Madea franchise. It was released in theaters on December 13, 2013.
Filming began in the beginning of January to late-March. Filming took place in the towns of McDonough, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia, and at Tyler Perry Studios. In keeping with his support of local businesses, numerous props were sourced locally. For example, the 6 ft tall nutcrackers and large gift boxes came from Eclectia.net on Howell Mill Road.
Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas
Directed by: Tyler Perry
Starring: Tyler Perry, Chad Michael Murray, Tika Sumpter, Alicia Witt, Kathy Najimy
Screenplay by: Tyler Perry
Production Design by: Eloise Crane Stammerjohn
Cinematography by: Alexander Gruszynski
Film Editing by: Maysie Hoy
Costume Design by: Johnetta Boone
Music by: Christopher Young
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual references, crude humor and language.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Taglines: The future must be won.
Ender’s Game is an American science fiction action film based on the novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card. Written and directed by Gavin Hood, the film stars Asa Butterfield as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military academy in outer space to prepare for a future alien invasion. The supporting cast includes Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Ben Kingsley.
In the future, humanity is preparing to launch an attack on the homeworld of an alien race called the Formics who had attacked Earth fifty years earlier and killed millions. Gifted children are trained to become commanders of a new fleet for this attack.
Cadet Andrew “Ender” Wiggin draws the attention of Colonel Hyrum Graff and Major Gwen Anderson by his aptitude in simulated space combat. They order the removal of his monitor, signifying the end of the cadet program. Ender is beaten up by Stilson, a student he defeated in the combat sim, but Ender fights back and severely injures him. Ender confesses his grief to his older sister Valentine, but is harassed further by their older brother Peter. Graff arrives to announce Ender’s entrance into Battle School. Graff places Ender with other cadets his age, but treats him as extraordinary, ostracizing him from the others.
Among other studies, the cadets are placed in squads and perform training games in a zero gravity “Battle Room”. Ender quickly adapts to the games, devising new strategies older students have not yet seen. Graff reassigns Ender to Salamander Army, led by Commander Bonzo Madrid. Bonzo is resentful of the new addition and prevents Ender from training. Another cadet, Petra Arkanian, takes Ender and trains him privately. In one match, Ender goes against Bonzo’s orders and working with Petra, achieves a key victory for his army.
Meanwhile, Ender plays a computerized “mind game” set in a fantasy world aimed to present difficult choices to the player. In one situation, Ender creates a solution to overcome an unsolvable problem. Later, he encounters a Formic in the game, and then a simulated image of Valentine entering the ruins of a castle. Inside, he finds another image of Valentine but as he nears, it turns into an image of Peter before the game ends.
Graff promotes Ender to his own squad, made from other students that have gained Ender’s trust. They are put in increasingly difficult battles. In one match against two other teams including Bonzo’s squad, Ender devises a novel strategy of sacrificing part of his team to achieve a goal, impressing Graff. Bonzo accosts Ender in the bathroom after the match, but Ender fights back and mortally harms him. Distraught over this, Ender prepares to quit Battle School, but Graff has Valentine speak to him and convince him to continue.
Graff takes Ender to humanity’s forward base on a former Formic planet near their homeworld. There, Ender meets Mazer Rackham, who explains how he spotted the shared-mind nature of the Formics to stop the attack fifty years prior. Ender finds that his former squad members are also here to help him train in computerized simulations of large fleet combat; Rackham puts special emphasis on the fleet’s Molecular Detachment (MD) Device that is capable of disintegrating matter.[note 1] Ender’s training is rigorous and Anderson expresses concern they are pushing Ender too fast, but Graff notes they have run out of time to replace Ender.
Ender’s final test is monitored by several of the fleet commanders. As the simulation starts, Ender finds his fleet over the Formic homeworld and vastly outnumbered. He orders most of his fleet to sacrifice themselves to protect the MD long enough to fire on the homeworld. The simulation ends, and Ender believes the test is over, but the commanders restart the video screens, showing that the destruction of the Formic homeworld was real and Ender had been controlling the real fleet this time. Despite Graff’s assurance he will be known as a hero, Ender is furious as everyone will remember him as a killer.
As Ender struggles with his emotions, he recognizes one of the Formic structures nearby similar to the ruined castle from the game, and believing they were trying to communicate with him, races out towards it. He follows the path set by the game, and encounters a dying Formic queen who has been protecting another queen egg. As the movie concludes, Ender writes in a letter to Valentine that he is heading to deep space with the egg, determined to colonize a new Formic world with it.
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Starring: Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis
Screenplay by: Gavin Hood
Production Design by: Sean Haworth, Ben Procter
Cinematography by: Donald McAlpine
Film Editing by: Lee Smith, Zach Staenberg
Costume Design by: Christine Bieselin Clark
Set Decoration by: Peter Lando
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.
Studio: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Films
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Taglines: The door may be locked, but it won’t protect you.
One of the smartest and most terrifying films in years, YOU’RE NEXT reinvents the genre by putting a fresh twist on home-invasion horror. When a gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers descend upon the Davison family reunion, the hapless victims seem trapped… until an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.
You’re Next is an American black comedy slasher film directed by Adam Wingard, written by Simon Barrett, and starring Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, A. J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg. The film had its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness program. The film was released on August 23, 2013 in the United States to positive reviews and grossed over $25 million at the box office, surpassing its budget of $1 million.
About the Story
The film opens with a brief scene of Erik Harson and his girlfriend Talia having sex. After taking a shower, Erik discovers “You’re Next” written in blood on the living room’s sliding glass doors, beyond which lies the dead body of Talia. He is killed by Lamb Mask (L.C. Holt).
Erin (Sharni Vinson) accompanies her boyfriend, Crispian (A. J. Bowen), to his family’s reunion at their Missouri vacation house, next door to the scene of the still-undiscovered murders. Also present are Crispian’s parents Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) and Paul (Rob Moran); his brother, Drake (Joe Swanberg); Drake’s wife, Kelly (Margaret Laney); his other brother, Felix (Nicholas Tucci); Felix’s girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn); and his younger sister Aimee (Amy Seimetz) and her boyfriend Tariq (Ti West).
During an argument at the dinner table, Tariq and Drake are shot with a crossbow by an unknown assailant; Drake survives but Tariq dies. Aimee discovers their cell phones are jammed and attempts to escape the house to get help but runs into a garrote wire, killing her. Aubrey suffers a breakdown over losing Aimee, and is brought by Paul upstairs to rest and grieve. Fox Mask pops out from under the bed and hacks Aubrey’s face with a machete. The rest of the family hear her screams, and go upstairs to find her dead. Erin becomes defensive of the family.
While scouting the premises, she encounters Tiger Mask, who attempts to slit her throat but is able to escape Erin’s near counter. Kelly returns to the bedroom and discovers Fox Mask, whereupon she panics and runs to the initial crime scene area, is punched by Lamb Mask through a glass door, and gets hacked to death with an axe. Drake blacks out when the arrow on his back hits the garrote wire which killed Aimee earlier.
Tiger Mask once again attempts to murder Erin, but she manages to kill him with a tenderizer. Lamb Mask appears to witness the death of his partner, who is later revealed to be his brother. Lamb Mask then finds Drake and attempts to kill him but is saved by Erin just in time. She stabs him with an ice pick, although Lamb Mask escapes again. While exploring the house, Paul finds empty water bottles in a closet and realises the killers were in the house before anyone else arrived; he is then killed by Fox Mask.
It is revealed that Felix and Zee hired the assassins so they could inherit the family’s riches. Felix then brings Drake to the basement, where he reveals Kelly’s death and eventually stabs Drake to death with screwdrivers. Meanwhile, Erin and Zee set up traps for each other; Zee attempts to kill Erin but fails. Erin overhears an argument between Felix, Zee, Fox Mask and Lamb Mask, and takes the chance to attempt an escape from the house. Lamb Mask pursues Erin until she fatally stabs him in the eye. Fox Mask follows Erin to the house, before Erin sets up a trap in the front door. Fox Mask instead enters through a window, while Erin hides in the basement. Fox Mask follows her, but is smote to death by Erin.
Zee and Felix return to the house, Zee armed with the crossbow. Erin knocks it out of her hand, but is stabbed in the shoulder by Felix. Erin manages to kill both of them in the ensuing struggle. Felix’s phone rings and Erin answers. The caller is Crispian, who reveals his involvement due to student loans. He returns to the house and tries to tempt Erin with money and the promise of a better life before she kills him.
A policeman (Calvin Reeder) arrives as she stabs Crispian and shoots her in the shoulder. He calls for medics and backup, and attempts to enter the house. Despite Erin’s attempt to warn him, he goes through the booby-trapped front door and an axe hurtles towards his face.
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, Amy Seimetz, A. J. Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Barbara Crampton
Screenplay by: Simon Barrett
Production Design by: Thomas S. Hammock
Cinematography by: Andrew D. Palermo
Film Editing by: Adam Wingard
Costume Design by: Emma Potter
Set Decoration by: Lanie Faith Marie Overton
Mads Heldtberg: Jasper Lee, Kyle McKinnon
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality / nudity.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Taglines: The hunter becomes the hunted.
The Frozen Ground is based on the true story of Alaskan detective Glenn Flothe (called Sgt. Jack Halcombe in the film). Halcombe sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen, a serial killer who has silently stalked the streets of Anchorage for more than 13 years. As the bodies of Anchorage women start to add up, Sgt. Halcombe goes on a personal manhunt to find the killer. When 17-year-old Cindy Paulson escapes Hansen’s unspeakable violence, she believes the law will take him down. Instead she finds herself, once again, fighting for her life. With his only ally, Cindy Paulson, Sergeant Halcombe is determined to bring the serial killer to justice.
The Frozen Ground is an American thriller film written and directed by Scott Walker, based on the real-life 1980s Alaskan hunt for serial killer Robert Hansen. Hansen stalked and murdered between 17 and 21 young women, kidnapping them and taking them out to the Alaskan wilderness where he shot and buried them. The film stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, Katherine LaNasa, Radha Mitchell and 50 Cent. The film was released in theaters and on demand on August 23, 2013.
The Frozen Ground
Directed by: Scott Walker
Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, Katherine LaNasa, Radha Mitchell, 50 Cent
Screenplay by: Scott Walker
Production Design by: Clark Hunter
Cinematography by: Patrick Murguia
Film Editing by: Sarah Boyd
Costume Design by: Lynn Falconer
Set Decoration by: Monique Champagne
Music by: Lorne Balfe
MPAA Rating: R for violent content, sexuality/nudity, language and drug use.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Taglines: Inside a revolution.
Set in a remote town on Australia’s spectacular and rugged coastline in the early ’70s, Drift tells the story of two brothers at the genesis of the modern surf industry.
Determined to escape a life of factory work and petty crime, headstrong older brother Andy (Myles Pollard) and his wayward surf prodigy younger brother Jimmy (Xavier Samuel) form a volatile alliance. With their seamstress mother Kat (Robyn Malcolm) they fashion custom-made Drift wetsuits and new shorter surfboards out of their back yard garage.
Their fledgling business generates a powerful buzz amongst the hard-core local surfers, but the brothers’ progressive ideas are soon at odds with their conservative town and find themselves embroiled in a violent feud with a drug-dealing biker gang looking to manipulate Drift’s early success.
Enter JB, an infamous surf filmmaker (Sam Worthington) and Lani (Lesley-Ann Brandt), his gorgeous Hawaiian companion who drift into town just as the brothers’ business and troubles begin to escalate. The travellers embody the era’s anti-establishment vibe and are skeptical, but soon realize if the brothers can survive and stay true to their surfing roots, they might be part of something greater than they ever imagined.
Based on true stories from the era, Drift is the action filled story of a complex family of outsiders who struggle to escape their troubled past to forge a successful future…stumbling upon the worldwide multi-billion dollar cultural movement we know today.
Directed by: Ben Nott, Morgan O’Neill
Starring: Sam Worthington, Xavier Samuel, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Robyn Malcolm, Myles Pollard
Screenplay by: Tim Duffy, Morgan O’Neill
Production Design by: Clayton Jauncey
Cinematography by: Geoffrey Hall
Film Editing by: Marcus D’Arcy
Costume Design by: Mariot Kerr
Set Decoration by: Christine Lynch
Art Direction by: Emma Fletcher
Music by: Michael Yezerski
MPAA Rating: R for language and drug content.
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: August 2, 2013
Former CIA black ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) has spent his life dealing with bad guys. Hand-to-hand combat, diplomatic intrigue, jumping out of moving things, are his tools of the trade. Only when it came to a burgeoning relationship with Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker) did things get shaky for him.
Frank is now content in their quiet life but Sarah is worried that he hasn’t killed anyone in months and that things are getting a little stale between them. She wants to mix things up a little so that their lives are filled with adventure, romance and danger—things they can do as a couple.
Sarah is about to get her wish to “be one of the guys” and Frank learns that keeping the girl is a lot more work than getting the girl and while saving the world can be hard, relationships are ridiculously hard.
Summit Entertainment presents a di Bonaventura Pictures production, Red 2 stars Bruce Willis, Academy Award® nominee John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker and Academy Award® winners Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Directed by Dean Parisot from a screenplay by Jon Hoeber & Eric Hoeber and based on characters created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, the movie also stars Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox, and Neal McDonough and is produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian. .
The high-octane action-comedy sequel to the worldwide hit of 2010 finds Frank Moses and his old partner Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich) still in the not-so-sedate life of retirement, but are now being dragged into a whirlwind as a next generation weapon—Nightshade—from the Cold War that went missing on Frank and Marvin’s watch has apparently resurfaced. And everyone now thinks that the two of them know its whereabouts.
MI6 has given Frank and Marvin’s buddy, deadly sharpshooter Victoria (Helen Mirren) a contract to eliminate the duo. In addition, a corrupt U.S. official (Neal McDonough) is sending another contract killer Han (Byung Hun Lee) after them which is music to Han’s ears, since he has an old score to settle with Frank.
Their mission has them hop scotching the globe from London to Paris to Moscow where they cross paths with Frank’s old flame Katja (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and all of them are trying find a long-ago locked away genius scientist Edward Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) who might be able to unravel the mystery of Nightshade, save themselves and save the world.
About the Production
The filmmakers were cognizant that in order to hold onto the comedic elements of the story they had to commit to the action and adventure first and then “the concerns of the characters which at times seem ludicrous become believable,” says director Parisot. “The structure is of an action movie but the characters are comedic because they can’t resolve their absurd issues which are happening during a lot of extreme violence.”
While the movie is filled with exotic locations, a car chase through Paris, and action galore, at its core it’s a relationship movie and the difficulty of lifer in the Black Ops game (Frank) and him wanting to do the right thing keep his fragile china doll (Sarah) safe. She wants the opposite and finds an ally in Marvin.
“Frank is ill-equipped to handle a basic relationship and Marvin is only too happy to dispense advice on how to make a relationship work, yet there’s a good chance Marvin knows nothing about the subject,” says Willis.
“The old adage ‘a stopped clock is right twice a day’ is applicable here because Marvin is most likely idiotic about relationships and any knowledge he thinks he has probably came from a self-help book because I can’t see Marvin in a relationship,” notes Malkovich.
Frank gets a more sophisticated and educated angle on relationships from Victoria who is well versed in mixing work and romance. “I think Victoria is in charge of Frank’s emotional life to a certain extent,” says Helen Mirren who reprises her role as Victoria. “Marvin may advise Frank, but Frank pays attention to Victoria who actually has had relationships in the context of her work. “She’s balanced in a strangely perverse way but understands that you could die at any time, so you have to commit and move forward,” notes Parisot.
“The great thing about all these characters is that while they lead the most extraordinary lives they have very ordinary problems and are saddled with the same inefficient inadequacies that the rest of us have,” says Mirren.
On the other hand, Sarah, while more emotionally stable, is not all together when it comes to her spy skill set. “She’s not a good liar; not very crafty and just doesn’t have a lot of valuable traits at her disposal,” says Parker. And when she meets Frank’s ex-flame (Katja) and sees the polish sophistication and sheer sultriness…Well, Sarah has her work cut out for her. “She just wants to be one of the gang and for a while all she can fall back on is her earnestness.”
“From the beginning, our goal was to provide the audience with a bigger, more expansive experience than the first movie,” says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “But one of the dangers with sequels is that they can get too silly and soft and Bruce and myself were very cognizant of that during the development. Frank Moses is still a hard guy who’s going to pull a gun before he asks a question and Bruce was always grinding, pushing, analyzing because he wants the best out of the movie.”
What remains from the first movie, however, is the almost retro feel of the dialogue between Frank and Sarah. “Bruce and me always thought that our interplay should have a 1930s screwball comedy feel to it,” says Parker.
The interplay between the two actors gave Parisot a lot of options in the editing room: “Mary- Louise and Bruce play off of each other so brilliantly that I chose to go with a lot more two-shots than singles because I didn’t want to cut away from either of them,” says Parisot. “It’s a lot like the chemistry of the old Tracy-Hepburn movies and it was great fun watching them on set get to a fantastic place in the scene.”
With Morgan Freeman’s character dying in the first movie, the creative team had a challenge of more than just setting scenes in London and Paris; they needed firepower within the story and the cast to fill it. “We have powerhouse actors with Bruce, Mary-Louise, Malkovich, Helen and Brian Cox from the first movie, so we have to cast actors who can hold the screen with these folks and also create roles that challenge everyone as actors,” says producer Mark Vahradian.
Without tripping the gag on Anthony Hopkins’ character of Edward Bailey, Hopkins reached back into British history to create an armature for his character. “Tony was sending me emails a couple months before production trying to create this character and it was detailed as to what shoes Bailey would wear,” recalls Parisot. “He reads the script over and over and slowly evolves a character that is so much more than what was written.”
“I do go a bit overboard in reading the text… at least a couple hundred times,” says Hopkins. “But I do it so that I have a framework for improvising because you can open your brain up and not worry about the text because you know it cold. That’s when acting gets fun,” says Hopkins.
Zeta-Jones took the cliché of the female Russian spy and turned it on its head by adding comedy and quirkiness to tilt the character. “My goal was not to make it one dimensional—the type we’ve seen in Bond movies,” she notes. “When I read the script the first thing I did—well, after saying yes—was to go through scores of fashion magazines and send them off to Dean so we could visualize what Katja was about.”
Her scenes on the streets of Paris certainly were worthy of the iconic reputation the city has won for its history of fashion. “There was something wildly intense and eccentric what Catherine wore for the scene where she and Bruce’s character track down David Thewlis’s character of The Frog,” says Parisot. “Along with our costume designer Beatrix Pasztor, the two of them found the character in the wardrobe.”
David Thewlis also starting working on his character of The Frog in pre-production by sending Parisot photographs. They settled on a James Joyce look for his character of The Frog, a misanthrope who has the goods on any and all nefarious activity around the globe. He uses his ill-gotten knowledge to fund his devotion to the most expensive wines.
The anticipated sequel began production Sept. 14, 2012 in Montreal at the Olympic Stadium. Built for the 1976 summer Olympic Games, the facility, like nearly all the multi-use stadiums built in the
United States during the 1970s, is rarely used. The concrete dominated structure’s concourses have a very “bunker-like” look, so it dovetailed nicely with the need for the British government’s MI6 secret location.
Production continued for 14 shooting days with locations including a spectacular home that doubled for “The Frog’s” Paris apartment. Built in 1914 by famed architect Jean-Omer Marchand it is located on Wood St. in Montreal’s fashionable Westmount section. Other Montreal locations include a former branch of the Royal Bank of Canada in Old Montreal; St.-Andrew’s church in Chateauguay; the opening scene of the movie was shot in a Costco; the City of Montreal’s Finance Building stood in for the Kremlin’s headquarters and north of the city in St-Colomban was the set for Hank’s Internet Café, which 30 years earlier was the resort the Colford Inn.
Five scenic days were then shot in Paris (as opposed to movies which will have an establishing shot of the Eiffel Tower, then cut to interior shots). “It was important to us to shoot in Paris,” notes di Bonaventura, “because Paris gives a sense of romance and the romance between Frank and Sarah is looking for its footing. She wants adventure and to be in Paris on a mission is beyond romantic for her.”
The city was also chosen because it’s the place where Frank and Katja see each other for the first time and it gives an insecure Sarah a reason to “up her game” and buy clothes in Paris to at least try and close the gap between her and her perceived rival.
The first day, October 10, was in front of and inside of the Hotel Regina, facing Jardin des Tuileries (The Tuileries Garden) and the Louvre immediately around the corner. A couple hundred onlookers watched from the across the street and for the day the shoot became yet another tourist attraction in Paris.
Much of the Paris shoot revolves around a car chase involving the characters of Willis, Malkovich, Parker, Zeta-Jones and David Thewlis’ quasi-man-of-mystery character “The Frog” on Pont de la Tournelle on the east side of the majestic Gothic masterpiece, Notre Dame. A specially retrofitted Citroen was rigged so that it could drive down the steps to the bank of the Seine.
On October 12, the car chase sequence moved to neighborhood in the shadow of the Pantheon on Rue St. Etienne du Mont on the Left Bank and a day later moved around the corner to Rue de la Montage Ste Genevieve which the locale for Midnight in Paris when Owen Wilson’s character caught his nightly other worldly taxi tide. For Red 2 the scene of Frank and Katja reminiscing over a dinner at an outdoor café was mere yards from the Woody Allen movie. “When we scouted the location it was during the day and it was not until we came to shoot at night did we realize where we were,” notes Parisot.
The company moved on to London with the first scene shot featuring Willis, Malkovich, Parker and Mirren on a Thames riverboat cruise. London’s Fishmonger’s Hall was utilized as the Iranian embassy in its courtyard and the ornate Banqueting Hall.
A street in Moscow was created on October 27, a quiet Saturday in the shuttered financial district in central London that, appropriately enough, had a chill factor in the 20s when the day began.
Closed since 1994 as the realization that the Cold War was truly over, RAF Upper Heyford in Oxfordshire posed as a Russian airfield with the Dunsfold aeropark (another shuttered RAF base) the locale for the German airfield.
The scenes that take place in Paris’ Hotel George-V was done with a variety of London locations; the Langham Hotel, the stately Hedsor House in Taplow and the Luten Hoo estate which has been used for such movies as Four Weddings and a Funeral, War Horse and Eyes Wide Shut.
The inner sanctum of the Kremlin was built in East London at Tobacco Dock. Built in the early 18th century as a warehouse for the storage of tobacco from the New World, the most recent incarnation of the building was a shopping mall until it shuttered a few years ago. The ground floor of arching brick passageways made it ideal to give of a sense of foreboding for the scenes.
Directed by: Dean Parisot
Starring: Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins
Screenplay by: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Production Design by: Jim Clay
Cinematography by: Enrique Chediak
Film Editing by: Don Zimmerman
Costume Design by: Beatrix Aruna Pasztor
Set Decoration by: Lisa Chugg, Suzanne Cloutier
Music by: Alan Silvestri
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for pervasive action and violence including frenetic gunplay, and for some language and drug material.
Studio: Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate Films)
Release Date: July 18, 2013
Taglines: Insanity runs in the family.
Imogene (Kristen Wiig) is a failed New York playwright awkwardly navigating the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year’s News. After both her career and relationship come to a halt, she’s forced to make the humiliating move back home to New Jersey with her eccentric mother and younger brother.
Adding further insult to injury, there’s a strange man (Darren Criss) sleeping in her old bedroom and an even stranger man sleeping in her mother’s bed (Matt Dillon). Through it all, Imogene eventually realizes that as part of her rebuilding process she must finally come to love and accept both her family and her Jersey roots if she’s ever going to be stable enough to get away from them.
Girl Most Likely is an American comedy film directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. Based on a screenplay by Michelle Morgan, the film stars Kristen Wiig as a playwright who stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother, played by Annette Bening. Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Darren Criss co-star.
The film was screened under its original title Imogene at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The same month, Lionsgate bought the US distribution rights following its Toronto premiere and released it with Roadside Attractions on July 19, 2013.
Upon its festival release, Girl Most Likely garnered generally negative reviews from critics. Christopher Schobert from film blog The Playlist called the film “a big-screen sitcom, elevated by Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening”. He wrote that Wiig’s “likability oozes from every scene in Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s occasionally winning, a touch too sitcom-y, but often very funny look at one woman’s offbeat family and her attempts at discovering just what went wrong on the road to success. It is not, to be sure, Bridesmaids-style humor, and never reaches that blockbuster’s belly laugh count. But the film doesn’t lack for moments of inspired comedy, and I expect it to find an audience.”
Deborah Young, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, also felt that “the film’s great strength is its intuitive casting. The actors interact so well that it’s hard to single out one performance, though it’s perhaps Bening who wins the day for the sexy humanity she gives to the former go-go dancer Zelda. Morgan’s screenplay is full of intelligent dialogue that got real laughs from the audience on its Toronto bow.”
In his review, Justin Chang from Variety felt that “an able cast, led by Kristen Wiig’s prickly lead turn, saves this uneven, excessively quirky but ultimately ingratiating story […] Offering another sly snapshot of the filmmakers’ native New York, a la The Nanny Diaries and The Extra Man this soft-bellied crowdpleaser should post modest numbers in specialty play and DVD / VOD rotation.
Girl Most Likely
Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon, Christopher Fitzgerald, Darren Criss
Screenplay by: Michelle Morgan
Production Design by: Annie Spitz
Cinematography by: Steve Yedlin
Film Editing by: Robert Pulcini
Costume Design by: Tom Broecker
Set Decoration by: Shannon Finnerty
Music by: Rob Simonsen
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and language.
Studio: Lionsgate Films, Roadside Attractions
Release Date: July 19, 2013
Taglines: It’s never too late to start acting like a family.
The Big Wedding is an American comedy film written and directed by Justin Zackham. It is an American remake of the original 2006 Swiss / French film Mon frère se marie (My Brother is Getting Married), written by Jean-Stéphane Bron and Karine Sudan. The film stars a large ensemble cast including Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams. It was released on April 26, 2013 by Lionsgate in the United States and Canada.
With an all-star cast led by Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, The Big Wedding is an uproarious romantic comedy about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a full blown family fiasco.
To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (De Niro and Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son’s wedding after his ultra conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present and future – and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process.
The Griffins Request the Honor of Your Presence
This Spring, when an all-star, multi-generational cast led by Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams gathers together for The Big Wedding, you can bet a hilarious family fiasco is about to ensue. That’s exactly what happens in this uproarious romantic comedy about the ties that bind, as long-divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin are forced to pretend they are still happily married at their son’s wedding. Among all their family and friends, the hoax snowballs, culminating in a series of surprising outcomes on the way to “I do.”
It all begins as the sprawling Griffin clan prepares for the nuptials of their adopted son Alejandro (Barnes). But what should be an occasion of pure bliss soon turns into sheer lunacy as the bride and groom try to make everyone happy — including Alejandro’s highly traditional, Colombian birth mother who has never been to America… nor been told that Don and Ellie are no longer married.
Now to get her blessing, Don and Ellie will have to act out their long-forgotten roles as a contented couple, while Don’s girlfriend Bebe (Sarandon) watches their performance in dismay. As the wedding weekend gets under way, love is in the air, but little white lies are tripping everyone up. In the mix, old flames will ignite, new romance will erupt, secrets will be outed and in-laws will be upended but, if they can all just avoid killing one another, the entire Griffin clan might just find themselves united in their own version of harmony.
The film’s cast of actors, accomplished in both comedy and drama, was drawn to a modern wedding story with a screwball twist: a family in the perilous, hilarious situation of pretending to be something they’re not, and discovering who they are in the process. Says Robert De Niro, who as Don Griffin finds himself in compromising positions in the midst of the celebration: “Every wedding has tension and stress. There’s always drama because everyone wants to plan everything perfectly, to get it right, to make everyone happy — but that’s especially true in this movie!”
Modern weddings seem to bring out the crazy in people like no other life event; perhaps in part because modern families bring with them to the big day so many amusingly complicated twists on love: from divorce to re-marriage to families that go well beyond the nuclear. This is the quirky contemporary reality that screenwriter-director Justin Zackham taps into with The Big Wedding, a story of some very knotted nuptials. . . and a family who will do the most outlandish things for one another’s happiness.
Zackham, who previously wrote the screenplay for Rob Reiner’s The Bucket List, set out to combine classic elements of screwball comedy — the barbed dialogue, the outrageous situations, the mix of sincerity and slapstick — with characters and family dilemmas that are strongly identifiable right now. But he never imagined that his script would bring him together with a star-studded cast mixing Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe winners with fresh-faced newcomers — all of them ready, much like their characters, to go to hilarious lengths for love.
It all started when Zackham saw the French-Swiss comedy Mon Frere Se Marie (My Brother Is Getting Married). The comic possibilities of the film’s concept — a long-divorced couple is asked by their adopted son to pretend to still be happily married for the sake of his biological mother — hit home instantly with Zackham. He loved the circular idea that the harder a divided family tries to keep up the appearance of blissful perfection, the more their conflicts start bubbling to the surface . . . and the more you get to really see what really holds them together underneath all the friction.
Zackham was already well acquainted with how weddings can push perfectly ordinary people to the edge. He recalls that his own wedding hit a snafu when his then-fiancee refused to elope because “it would upset her mother” and instead spent a year and a half in a mind-boggling planning frenzy. So he began re-imagining Mon Frere Se Marie as it might play out on his home turf in the fashionable suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut, where many Manhattanites escape from the city to raise their families. While bucolic on the outside, Zackham was well aware that Greenwich is filled with charmingly eccentric clans of all kinds.
“I grew up watching all these crazy but wonderful families interacting — and I saw them both falling apart and coming together and that was something I always wanted to write about,” he says. “So with The Big Wedding, I saw a chance to do a comedy that is not only a lot of fun but also has some real emotional truth to it — real anger, real surprise and most of all real love between family members who are very different kinds of people. I like comedy that comes out of characters wanting something so badly that they put themselves in strange and unnatural positions. That’s what happens to the Griffin family when Don and Ellie have to pretend to be married — yet they do it because they truly love their son.”
That motivation was the key to Zackham’s screenplay. Because as outrageously dysfunctional and disjointed as the Griffins might be underneath their harmoniously married “act,” Zackham also saw the family as bound together at their roots. “When Robin Williams asks Diane Keaton ‘Which kind of love are you feeling right now?’ she says ‘All of them,'” he points out. “And that idea was as important to me as the humor — that there’s a real affection between these people and for this one weekend, they are going to find a way to be a family, whatever it takes. In the middle of it all, you see all the different kinds of love that are work in any modern family.”
When Zackham’s childhood friend and long-time producing partner Clay Pecorin read the screenplay, he was moved by the recognizable characters, but found a great deal of humor in it as well. “It’s a very funny script,” Pecorin says. “I’m married, and have been to several weddings, so I know how they can become train wrecks. Everybody gets freaked out. You’re putting together families who don’t know each other, who might not really like each other, but they all have to figure out how to be together, and all of that comes out in a hilarious way in this story.”
Producer Richard Salvatore had a similar reaction: “When I read the script, I laughed out loud on every page which is very rare. You’ve got three levels of comedy going on — with the marriage, the reunion of Don and Ellie and then Lyla’s story — and it’s all very funny and silly but also heartfelt and loving. I’d done other comedies but this really had so much heart, I felt we’d be able to put together a very strong cast.”
That proved to be very much the case when Diane Keaton came aboard early on, then brought Robert De Niro along, starting a kind of domino effect of casting coups. “Diane really liked the script and was amazing in helping us put the film together,” recalls Pecorin. “Then Bob [De Niro] came on and suddenly everybody wanted to work with them and be a part of this project. We were pinching ourselves; we never expected to be this fortunate.”
Continues Salvatore: “We all felt Bob would be the perfect Don to hook up with Diane and that opened the floodgates. Then Katherine Heigl said she would be interested in working with Bob and she met Justin and the love fest started to grow.”
That love fest, Salvatore notes, was sustained by Zackham throughout the production. “The tone on the set starts at the top and if you have a director who cares about his actors, then the actors care more about the movie. Justin was always able to convey his passion for the project and every person on the movie brought their A game.” Once on the set, Zackham could have been intimidated by a cast this diverse and accomplished, but he says the opposite was true: their talent set him at ease. “Everyone from Bob, Diane and Susan to Katie, Amanda, Ben and Ana were so prepared and feeding off each other, that I realized the most important part of my job was just not to screw that energy up,” the screenwriter-director muses. “I’ve never had so much fun in my life.”
The Big Wedding
Directed by: Justin Zackham
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes, Christine Ebersole, Patricia Rae, Megan Ketch, Christa Campbell
Screenplay by: Justin Zackham
Production Design by: Andrew Jackness
Cinematography by: Jonathan Brown
Film Editing by: Jon Corn
Costume Design by: Aude Bronson-Howard
Set Decoration by: David Schlesinger
Music by: Nathan Barr
Studio: Lionsgate Films
Release Date: April 26, 2013