24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Video

'Martha Marcy May Marlene': Elizabeth Olsen on role prep [Video]

October 17, 2011 | 12:57 pm

John Hawkes, Elizabeth Olsen, Louisa Krause and Christopher Abbott appear in "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
This year's Envelope Screening Series kicked off Friday night with a showing of "Martha Marcy May Marlene" followed by a Q&A with the film's writer-director, Sean Durkin, and three of its stars, Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes. One of the breakout hits to emerge from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the film has since accomplished the rare feat of also screening at the Cannes, Toronto and New York film festivals.

The film covers the initiation and aftermath of a young woman (Olsen) being inducted into and escaping from a small, back-to-nature cult (though that word is never used) overseen by a darkly charismatic leader (Hawkes). Once she makes her getaway, the woman lands with her long-estranged sister (Paulson), who has no idea what her sibling has been through.

Powerfully quiet and disconcerting for its nerve-jangling sense of unease, the film purposefully leaves viewers with questions as to just what has happened to the girl -- how and why did she end up there in the first place -- as well as whether she is now, or will ever be, truly free of her torments. In the clip below, Olsen and Paulson talk about how they grappled with the delicacies of crafting performances that would allow open spaces for viewers' own interpretations.

RELATED:

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Sundance 2011: "Martha Marcy May Marlene" breaks out -- and faces some obstacles 

-- Mark Olsen
Twitter.com/indiefocus

Photo: From left, John Hawkes, Elizabeth Olsen, Louisa Krause and Christopher Abbott in a scene from "Martha Marcy May Marlene." Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures


The week in film: 'Hugo' and 'Footloose'

October 14, 2011 |  3:42 pm

Footloose
It's been a week of realigning the old with the new. Director Craig Brewer takes on his favorite movie from the 1980s in his revival approach to redoing "Footloose," while veteran helmer Martin Scorsese seems to successfully tackle 3-D in his upcoming kid flick "Hugo."

Nicole Sperling and Steven Zeitchik discuss the first screening of Scorsese's "Hugo" at the New York Film Festival where the auteur's mastery of 3-D was lauded by critics. In the hands of an accomplished filmmaker, does 3-D have a better chance at a resurgence? And what are the commercial prospects for "Footloose," a remake of a popular film, one that doesn't feel all that different from the original?

 

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Craig Brewer: Keeping it 'Footloose'

Scorsese's unfinished 'Hugo' shows 3-D's promise for NYFF crowd

Photo: The remade "Footloose." Photo credit: K.C. Bailey/Paramount Pictures.

 


The week in film: Steve Jobs, 'Tower Heist' and 'Ides' [Video]

October 7, 2011 |  5:41 pm

 

Towest
As the world mourned the passing of Steve Jobs this week, Hollywood also reflected on the legacy the Apple and Pixar co-founder left on the movie world. Meanwhile, Universal announced a bold experiment under which the Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller movie "Tower Heist" will be available on-demand three weeks after it arrives in theaters.

The Times' Rebecca Keegan and Steven Zeitchik offer their thoughts on what Jobs meant to Hollywood, as well as on the viability of the "Heist" experiment and this weekend's release of George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March."

RELATED:

Steve Jobs' Apple had another role: Movie star

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Would you pay $60 to watch Eddie Murphy from home?

-- Steven Zeitchik

 Photo: Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick and Eddie Murphy in "Tower Heist." Credit: Universal Pictures


Box office: Uplifting, religious films perform strongly [Video]

October 3, 2011 |  2:04 pm

Dolphin Tale was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend"Dolphin Tale," a 3-D family film that debuted at No. 3 the weekend of Sept. 23, rose to the top of the box office in its second weekend of release. The movie was one of three holdovers that resonated with audiences this past weekend, including the baseball drama "Moneyball" and a 3-D version of the animated classic "The Lion King."

In a somewhat unusual turn of events, all three older pictures beat out four fresh ones at the box office, including the so-called cancer comedy "50/50" and the costly supernatural thriller "Dream House." Of the new films to hit theaters this weekend, the Christian drama "Courageous" got off to the strongest start. The movie is the latest uplifting flick to catch on with religious audiences, as I explain in this week's box-office video report.

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'Dolphin Tale' rises to the top

Hollywood shines a light on the spiritual

Review: 'Courageous,' from Alex Kendrick

-- Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Nathan Gamble plays with a sea creature in "Dolphin Tale." Credit: Warner Bros.


Box office: 'Lion King' No. 1 again, tops Pitt, Lautner [video]

September 26, 2011 |  2:32 pm

Brad Pitt's new film Moneyball was No 2 at the box office this weekend

Hollywood was surprised when a 3-D version of "The Lion King" took the top spot at the box office last weekend. But few distribution executives predicted the movie would be No. 1 again this weekend with $22.1 million, beating out four new and diverse movies that debuted in theaters.

The 17-year-old animated classic beat out "Moneyball," a critical darling that still got off to a decent start with around $20 million. The baseball drama starring Brad Pitt has earned the actor some of the best reviews of his career, and Sony -- the studio behind the film -- is confident that positive word of mouth will make it successful in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Taylor Lautner had his debut as an action star in "Abduction," which grossed only a so-so $11 million. What does this say about his future as a leading man on the big screen? Check out this week's box-office video report for thoughts on the teen hunk and Hollywood's most recent hits and flops.

RELATED:

'Moneyball' is a hit, but 'Lion' is box-office king

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Box office: 'Lion King' rules, Sarah Jessica Parker flops [Video]

--Amy Kaufman

twitter.com/AmyKinLA

Photo: Brad Pitt stars in "Moneyball." Credit: Sony


Box office: 'Lion King' rules, Sarah Jessica Parker flops [Video]

September 19, 2011 |  5:24 pm

The Lion King was the No 1 film at the box office this weekend
A 3-D version of "The Lion King" ruled the box office this weekend — 17 years after the original animated film was released in theaters. How did the Disney flick pull off a win against three new releases?

In our inaugural weekly box office video report, staff writer Amy Kaufman breaks down which movies did well and which tanked in theaters over the weekend. While "The Lion King" may have roared to the top of the charts, actress Sarah Jessica Parker didn't have as much to celebrate. Her latest film, the romantic comedy "I Don't Know How She Does It," sold a paltry $4.5 million worth of tickets.

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Box Office: 'Lion King' climbs to No. 1 again after 17 years

As "Lion King" goes 3-D, cast and filmmakers recall making

Photo: "The Lion King" Credit: Disney


Harrison Ford decapitates a Smurf [Video]

August 2, 2011 |  9:06 am

Audiences still love "Cowboys & Aliens" star Harrison Ford, as evidenced by this clip from "Conan" on Monday night. And they still love to hate on family films, as the laughter also suggests. So why can't Ford come up with a hit? And why do animation-driven family films routinely beat films with movie stars? This video raises those questions.

Or maybe it just suggests that Conan has a really good warm-up act.

RELATED:

Cowboys & Aliens: Five lessons to take away

What happened to Harrison Ford?

In a surprise, Smurfs rivals Cowboys & Aliens

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT


Harry Potter's Rupert Grint: 'It's weird that next year there won't be one of these' [Video]

July 12, 2011 |  9:08 am

If you're worried about experiencing withdrawal symptoms after the "Harry Potter" franchise takes its final bow this weekend, there might be some comfort in knowing that Rupert Grint is feeling some of those symptoms too. The man who plays pure-blood wizard Ron Weasley in the Hogwarts franchise says that he's become so accustomed to shooting and watching these films that he's not sure he can imagine a Potter-less world.

"It's weird to think that next year there won't be one of these," he told 24 Frames from the red carpet at the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" premiere in New York on Monday night. "These films have become quite a big part of people's lives. It's been their childhood as much as it's been ours." (You can check out video from our interview with Grint below.)

Photos: New York premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2'

Grint says that even though the production of the film has been a maturation process, he can't get his head around the fact that so much time has passed.  "I can still see the year 2000 Dan and Emma," he said, referring to costars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, adding, "I can't believe I'm 23 this year. It seems to have gone so quickly."

RELATED:

Hero Complex: Full Harry Potter coverage

With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 trailer, Harry begins his final wand wave

Should Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 have come out in 3-D

-- Steven Zeitchik in New York

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT


Harry Potter's Emma Watson: I've become a better actress playing Hermione [Video]

July 12, 2011 |  7:00 am

One of the joys of the Harry Potter franchise has been the chance to watch performers such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint go from novice child actors to experienced adult ones.  At the "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" premiere in New York on Monday night, 24 Frames talked to several of these actors and their directors.

Emma Watson said that her own interest in the character of Hermione increased as the series went on.  "As the material got darker, it got more challenging," she said. "When that started happening, I started to take more of an interest." (You can watch the full video of Watson above). She also expressed surprise that fan investment in the series grew as more films were made. "The following just seems to get bigger," she said. "That doesn't really happen with franchises."

Photos: New York premiere of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2'

Meanwhile, David Yates, Watson's director on four of those films, said he observed a change in Watson as she grew "more committed to" and "more passionate about" her acting in the time between 2007's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to the final film. "Their acting's improved as they've gotten older," he said of the cast. (He also said that Radcliffe's jokes got better.)

As for his own evolution, Yates said he found a huge difference between helming "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on the one hand and the final two films on the other. "My previous movies ended with commas rather than full stops, and 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' finishes with a really nice, fat full stop," he said

Check out the video from Yates below, with more to come from the series' other stars.

RELATED:

With "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" trailer, Harry begins his final wand wave

Hero Complex: Full Harry Potter coverage

Should "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1" have come out in 3-D

-- Steven Zeitchik
Twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

 


Meryl Streep flashes her mettle in 'Iron lady' [Video]

July 7, 2011 |  1:47 pm

There's something deliciously clever about the way the teaser for "The Iron Lady" delays the money shot of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and focuses instead on her handlers plotting an image makeover; it's a piece of movie marketing that takes the "tease" part of its name seriously.  When the spot finally does give us a glimpse of the iron one, it's worth the wait -- Streep is composed and convincing as the former British prime minister, and her facility with voices only enhances the effect. The context of the scene is surprisingly effective too -- it manages to convey both the attempts to manipulate Thatcher and her willingness to push back.

All of which is enough to forgive the teaser's needless shout-out to the production company and whet the appetite for a winter release.

RELATED:

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Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep could make more movie magic

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

 


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