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True Story

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Here’s what looks like the surfer version of Dogtown and Z-Boys. The Australian film Drift is based on a true story of brothers who moved from surfing into the manufacture and sales of surf gear. It’s a ’70s-set tale of enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, with Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel in the lead roles, and Sam Worthington in a wig for a supporting role as the photographer who pushes them forward, but might also direct them towards the seductive potential of crime.

Morgan O’Neill and Ben Nott co-directed from a script by O’Neill. The last shot is pretty impressive, but there’s enough in the trailer as a whole that Drift looks like it’s worth a look. Check out the trailer below.

Thanks to Twitch for the trailer. Drift opens in Australia in 2013, and will have a US date announced in the near future. Here’s a long synopsis:

Australia, 1970s. The Kelly brothers, Andy and Jimmy, have one great passion: riding big waves. As kids, their mother escaped from Sydney to Margaret River, a sleepy coastal town with some of the world’s most challenging and dangerous waves. For the next 12 years, the boys perfected their surfing skills, always searching for the perfect ride. Free-spirited Jimmy is a gifted surfer and innovator but he starts to slip toward a life of crime to help the family out of debt. Andy makes a big decision. Quitting a stable job, he bets on Jimmy’s surf inventions and his own business skills and launches a backyard surf gear business. They rethink board design, craft homemade wetsuits and sell their merchandise out of their van.

Encouraged by their new friends, travelling bohemian surf photographer and filmmaker JB (Sam Worthington) and his gorgeous Hawaiian surfer companion, Lani, who stirs the two brothers’ hearts, they start to seek ways to expand. After they get mixed up with a local drug dealer, it looks like everything they built up, will be ruined… Set in breathtaking locations and inspired by the true story of Australia’s legendary surfwear moguls, the film chronicles the rise of surf brands and the expansion of the laidback surf attitude as a global lifestyle. A story of passion and corruption, friendship and loyalty, deadly addictions and fractured relationships, DRIFT tells a tale of courage and the will to survive against all odds.

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The ad campaign for Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which chronicles the mission that led to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a Navy SEAL team, has been pretty low-key so far. But then, the studio hasn’t had to do much, as there has been a fair amount of publicity for the movie thanks to accusations that the original October release date was meant to remind audiences of President Obama’s role in the mission, just before the Presidential election takes place. There have been far more serious (but unproven) allegations that the film is based on access to classified data that was given illegally to the production.

Now it’s time to move beyond those talking points to look at the actual film. Derspite featuring Joel EdgertonJessica ChastainChris PrattKyle ChandlerMark Strong, and Jason Clarke, the teaser trailer showed few faces, and relied upon audio montage to set up the story of the hunt for Bin Laden. A few images later gave us a bit more. Now you can see a lot more of Bigelow’s follow-up to The Hurt Locker, in the full trailer below.

There’s some good stuff in there: Jason Clarke’s intro, the shot of James Gandolfini, and Kyle Chandler looking like he plays a companion role to his presence in Argo. I wonder about putting Chastain’s character front and center, and how she’ll work as the backbone to the entire story. This looks like the same sort of reality/fiction blend that worked very well in The Hurt Locker, and with that in mind, how much will the degree to which this might inevitably deviate from reality matter in the long run?

Apple has the trailer. Zero Dark Thirty‘s opens on December 19.

For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar(R) winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man.



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As the source is somewhat less than airtight, you should probably take the following with the biggest grain of salt you can get your hands on — but on the off chance there’s some truth to it, this rumor is too wild not to repeat. A new report claims that George Clooney and Noah Wyle are vying for the lead role in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, which is being developed at Sony based on Walter Isaacson‘s bestselling biography. More details after the jump.

The story comes from the UK tabloid The Sun (via Cult of Mac), which reports that the former ER co-stars are competing against each other to play the late Apple co-founder. There probably aren’t many times I’d vote for Wyle over Clooney, but in this case Wyle actually seems like the better choice. For one thing, he’s already played Jobs once, in 1999′s Pirates of Silicon Valley. (Joey Slotnick also starred, as Steve Wozniak, while Anthony Michael Hall played Bill Gates.) For another, while I’m usually in favor of casting Clooney in just about anything, the suave leading man seems like an odd fit for Jobs’ charismatic but prickly demeanor.

Of course, one very likely outcome is that it’ll turn out this entire report is BS and it’ll turn out that neither actor was ever seriously considered for the role. That the studio would be eyeing Clooney seems somewhat believable, if only because the biopic is bound to be big and Clooney’s the kind of huge movie star they might want on their top-tier team. But I’d be very surprised if the powers that be tapped Wyle — who’s doing just fine, but is hardly the first guy you turn to when you’re loking for A-list talent — to reprise his Pirates of Silicon Valley role. In any case, Sony’s scrambling to get the project together quickly, so expect to hear more casting rumors flying around in the coming weeks. Who do you think would be a good fit to play the tech legend?

Just for kicks, here’s a video of Wyle doing his best Jobs at the 1999 Macworld expo:

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June 19-20, 1982. Two dates that will live in infamy for Star Trek fans. Those were the dates of Ultimate Fantasy 1982, a Houston-based convention that turned into an epic debacle eventually dubbed The Con of Wrath. It was mere days after Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan hit theaters, a high point for Star Trek fandom, and the event was billed as one of the first times the entire main cast of Star Trek were appearing together. But everything that could have gone wrong at the con did.

Trek enthusiast Larry Nemecek is producing a documentary about this convention, also called The Con of Wrath, and has created a trailer to help raise awareness about its existence and to help get it completed. Watch the trailer and read more after the jump.

Thanks to Film School Rejects for the heads up on this project. Here’s the trailer.

And here’s the description of the film from the official site,

This one weekend in June 1982 saw the rise, and fall, and rise again of a dream, wrapped up in one of our most retro-cool moments in film history: How one ambitious Houston fan and his band of friends sold the dream—the first-ever, all-cast Star Trek extravaganza … complete with laser shows, orchestral hoopla and a revolving arena stage—and then just failed to sell the tickets.

Or … was it really that simple?

It’s a car wreck of a story about a mysterious “sellout” status told to would-be ticket buyers … con staff who go into shock when the truth is revealed … fans wrongly kicked out of their hotel rooms … dealers who “pass the hat” to keep the doors open … the incredible “burning planet” … and the unsuspecting Hollywood folk who walk into this potential PR nightmare.

And it’s also a personal story: my first coming-of-age con road trip—and I’m thrilled, after all this time, to preserve it for the ages in my first film project, “THE CON OF WRATH.”

It sounds like a blast and I can’t hear more about this debacle (the convention, not the movie). If you’d like to contribute, either financially or with personal experiences, there are links over at

Have you experienced anything like that before?

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Clint Eastwood and Warner Bros. decided to skip this fall’s festival circuit with the biopic J. Edgar. While a good many of the other major fall studio releases have been seen and reviewed in the past three weeks via Telluride, Venice and TIFF, we’ve seen nothing from this biography of America’s most powerful lawman, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.

Now the shroud is off the film as Warner Bros. released the first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays the FBI chief and Armie Hammer (The Social Network) appears as his second-in-command and rumored love, Clyde Tolson. See the trailer below.

The trailer opens with an in-character narration by DiCaprio as Hoover, before going into a montage of Hoover’s young life and early days with the Bureau. Clyde Tolson is shown as a starry-eyed fan of Hoover, but their relationship isn’t so one-sided, as suggested by a later shot. We see Hoover’s obsession with information and the power it gives him over political figures. In all: looks like more or less the biopic one would expect.

And, just in case you thought Clint Eastwood might change up the measured, calm style he has practiced in the past, forget it: this is pure, deliberate Eastwood. In this case, that’s probably a good thing. Too early to judge the overall impact of the film based on just this bit of footage, but the period recreation appears to be spot-on without feeling put on.

Apple has the HD trailer.

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Don’t let the cheery title fool you: Oranges & Sunshine actually tells a harrowing tale that’s all the more distubring for being true. In the first feature by director Jim Loach (son of The Wind That Shakes the Barley helmer Ken Loach), a social worker named Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) encounters a woman seeking answers about her past. As Humphreys digs deeper, she uncovers a massive conspiracy to deport thousands of abandoned kids from British children’s homes to brutal work camps in Australia. Hugo Weaving and David Wenham also star.

Though it sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, the events are actually chillingly recent — the real-life Humphreys conducted her investigation in the ’80s and learned that these injustices had taken place during the ’50s and ’60s. Watch the trailer after the jump.

[via Thompson on Hollywood]

The U.S. trailer involves much of the same footage as the earlier trailer, but seems to downplay the tearjerker aspects somewhat in favor of showing off more of the film’s dramatic side. I think the new video looks much more exciting, because you get a better sense of what Humphreys was really up against.

Oranges & Sunshine was recently picked up by Cohen Media, and is expected to hit U.S. theaters sometime next month. The film has already opened in several countries, to mostly positive reviews.


On a dank night in Nottingham, Margaret Humphreys, a British social worker, is cornered by an angry Australian woman. It is 1986. The woman, Charlotte, tells Margaret, ‘I want to find out who I am.’ She says that she was in a Nottingham children’s home when she was put on a boat and, at just four years of age, sent to Australia. There were several hundred other kids like her. Margaret can barely believe her story. A week later, Margaret learns of a man who was taken to Australia as a boy on another ship full of children. She starts to look more closely at the archives. What begins as an attempt to help Charlotte find her mother, soon turns into the discovery of thousands of other lost sons and daughters… and one of the most significant social scandals of our time.

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Cameron Crowe might have been MIA for a few years but he’s back in full force in 2011 with two documentaries and his latest narrative movie, We Bought A Zoo. The film stars Matt Damon as a single father who decides to move his family to a downtrodden zoo. Based on a true story, We Bought A Zoo also features Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins and more. It’s scheduled for release December 23. Check out the first trailer after the jump.

Check out the trailer in HD at Apple or watch the embed below.

You can almost hear the weeping in the theater already, right? Crowe certainly looks like he’s going for the heartstrings with this one, complete with the music, the inspirational dialogue, the adorable kids and he even draws on Jerry Maguire with Damon’s “I quit” speech.

While this has long been one of my most anticipated films of the year, I must admit, this first trailer didn’t blow me away. Everything looks exactly as warm and pleasing as one would expect but the basic story of “Man moves family to zoo, improves life in unexpected ways” seems to be it. Where’s the meat? Of course, I trust Cameron Crowe unconditionally and this is just the first trailer but after my first look at the film, I’m not as hooked as I’d hoped I’d be.

What do you think?

Here’s the official plot description of the film based on the Benjamin Mee memoir.

This holiday season, acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) directs an amazing and true story about a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo. With the help of an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, the family works to return the dilapidated zoo to its former wonder and glory.

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Though Knuckle premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, it didn’t generate quite the same buzz that many of its fellow documentaries did. But well before the film showed up in Park City, several outlets were already interested in purchasing the film so they could remake it. Knuckle, directed by Ian Palmer, follows a real life feud between two families in Ireland. The feud, which has been raging for decades, is documented over the course of 12 years. It fairly regularly culminates in violent bare-knuckle brawls between family members. It’s a riveting and upsetting film that, in the end, sort of loses steam.

HBO acquired the rights to Knuckle at the festival and are now developing it into a new drama series. Irvine Welsh, the writer of the novel Trainspotting, has been hired to write the pilot and Jody Hill, director of Observe & Report and co-creator of Eastbound & Down, will direct. Read more after the break.

Deadline broke the news of the new writer and director. There’s no timetable on when this show might see the light of day, but 2012 or even 2013 is fairly likely. HBO has enough shows returning, and currently in production, to fill at least a year’s worth of Sunday nights. Plus, they’d have to be sold on the pilot before ordering a full series order.

Having seen Knuckle, I think it’s an absolutely perfect film to turn into a television series. The actual people are incredibly rich and interesting but they’re also very private. Many of the film’s flaws arise from the fact that Palmer doesn’t always get the subjects to open up about why they are fighting, the origins of this feud or several other secrets. Plus, many times, he’s not even able to film the fights. Turning the story of real, blue collar families who put almost everything on the line because of a long standing feud, and settle the feud by beating the crap out of each other, works better in a fictional world. By using the reality as the basis, there are no mysteries, no restricted access. You can slowly develop characters and make the fights feel more important than they do in the actual film.

Have you seen this movie? Would you want to see it before a TV show comes out?

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Generally, art is created, displayed and then sold. That tends to be the normal way of doing things. With the street artist Banksy, though, nothing is normal. Much of his work is displayed in public for all to see, and while it would ideally remain there as something beautiful as well as provocative, governing bodies don’t consider the outdoors an open canvas. Therefore, Banksy’s work regularly get painted over, removed or, in some cases, stolen.

That last case is the most interesting one because you can’t just drive down their street and steal a painting. Banksy’s work, however, is there for the taking. Stealing a Banksy with the express desire to resell it is the subject of How To Sell A Banksy, a documentary by Alper Cagatay and Christopher Thompson. Check out the trailer after the jump.

Thanks to The Awesomer for the heads up.

I imagine Banksy is sitting somewhere in Los Angeles right now (because he was nominated for an Oscar for his directorial debut Exit Through the Gift Shop) laughing at the media coverage and obsession with his work. (Not to mention several films about him that he didn’t direct.) Due to the huge critical acclaim bestowed on his film, plus some well-placed pieces of art around Hollywood in recent weeks, he’s got everyone talking about a variety of different things.

Which is exactly the point, isn’t it? Banksy is meant to provoke. He wants you to steal his art because there’s a moral conundrum there, he wants you to think he created Mr. Brainwash, he wants you to find pieces of art that he didn’t do but could have. This all plays into the questions like “What is art?” “Is art important?” and “Who is an artist?” that permeate in Exit Through the Gift Shop.

And, from this trailer, it looks like those questions and more will be discussed in How To Steal A Banksy. Is it okay to just take this art off the street? And is it your right to make money off of something that you had nothing to do? And what, if anything, is it worth?

Here’s the plot description of the film from its official site. No words on upcoming screenings but we’ll keep an eye out.

Banksy’s work now reportedly changes hands for millions. But he puts up his street art for free. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you got your hands on one of these? Does it mean you’ve found a winning lottery ticket or just scraped some worthless crap off a wall?

Going up against the Art Establishment, Critics, Auction Houses, Gallery Owners and Authentication Boards in a quest for the elusive meal ticket, two filmmakers unwittingly gatecrash the murky and protective world of Banksy.

“HOW TO SELL A BANKSY” raises questions of ownership, authentication and the true value of art itself. Through all the chaos and incompetence comes a modern-day, true-story, crime-theft, comedy-caper.

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