Kristen Wiig & Matt Damon Shrink Themselves In ‘Downsized’

 

Honey, they shrunk Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig. That’s the premise of the new adult version of our favorite childhood movie about shrinkage and giant ants.

In Alexander Payne’s new film Downsized, Damon and Wiig take part in a scientific process known as “downsizing” that literally shrinks people to fight overcrowding. Think: the weird dystopian comedy of The Lobster, but instead of getting turned into an animal, you get reduced to 0.364% of your body mass.

After playing to warm reviews at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, the first trailer is finally out and, honestly, it makes shrinkage look pretty chill. There are giant bottles of vodka, $52,000 is equivalent to $12.5 million, and you get to hang out with Christoph Waltz and Jason Sudeikis. Sign us up.

 

5 Celebrity Friendships We Wish Were a Little Less Platonic

The Supreme Court didn’t technically edit the constitution like a rough draft and deem same-sex couples all over the United States the right to marry. Buuut, it did decline the prospect of ruling it unlawful. Couples in the five states immediately affected were rushing to the courthouse to officially unite their love.

In honor of the growing triumphs in the gay community, we put together a collection of same-sex celebrity best friends that should take advantage of the ruling.

1. Cara Delevingne & Rihanna BFA_10052_1212416Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

If these two tied the knot it would be the ultimate it-girl power couple. Rihanna’s killer vocals along with amazing personal style combined with Cara’s model-status and eyebrows make these BFFs the ideal couple. The pair have tendencies to run around in bikinis on yachts together and that’s a site we’d never get tired of seeing.

2. Matt Damon & Ben Affleck Screen-Shot-2014-10-06-at-9.15.43-PMPhotos: Benjamin Lozovsky/BFAnyc.com & Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

There are two milestones a couple accomplishes in their life. One is winning an Oscar together and another is getting married. These two obviously have already won the Oscar together for “Good Will Hunting” so naturally it’s time to tie the knot.

3. Tina Fey & Amy PoehlerScreen-Shot-2014-10-06-at-9.24.32-PMPhotos: Reed Blackwater/BFAnyc.com & Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

If Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got married and had a child it would be the next Joan Rivers. These two funny ladies pack so many laughs and talent, their holy matrimony would be truly historical.

4. Kanye West & Jay-ZBFA_2381_254916Photo: David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com 

I know the marriage of sir Jay-Z and Queen Beyoncé brings a whole new meaning to the term power couple, but could you imagine if Jay decided to tie the knot with long time BFF Kanye West? They could easily drive to Illuminati meetings together and even share Givenchy tees.

5. Beyoncé & Gwyneth Paltrow Screen-Shot-2014-10-06-at-9.46.42-PMPhotos: Billy Farrel/BFAnyc.com & Julian Mackler/BFAnyc.com 

You didn’t think we’d leave Beyoncé in the dust, did you? Of course it only makes sense that she and kale-loving BFF Gwyneth Paltrow do the world a favor and unite as what would clearly be the world’s most powerful and gorgeous couple. Maybe Gwyneth is saying sayonara to Chris Martin in hopes of getting closer to Queen Bey. One can dream.

 

 

Ranking The Most Ridiculous Accents In ‘Elysium’

5. Matt Damon (Spanish): Not actually too bad, to my ears? But what the hell do I know. All I can say is that it was not entirely distracting, hearing Matt Damon speak Spanish. Maybe he does in real life! Thank god I will not live a hundred years and be forced to finally learn Spanish by living in the techno-slums of Los Angeles.

4. Jodie Foster (French): This definitely had some problems, though I’m also of course in favor of making all sci-fi villains somewhat French for no solid reason—they are anti-immigration bastards, let’s be real. Even so, this lacked a guttural quality, way too American. Would have been laughed out of her host home for study abroad in Lyons.
 
3. Sharlto Copley (Afrikaner South African): Totally unbelievable and therefore totally real. My god, I had forgotten that the white people down there sound like this—and somehow the dialect that made him sound weak and puny in District 9 becomes the creepiest thing in the world. The “I’m sorry we crashed the ship … and ruined somebody’s lawn” moment should be in the hall of fame for “Insane Movie Characters Trying to Keep Their Cool.”
 
 
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2. Jodie Foster (English): Seriously, why did they bother. She’s already an ice-blonde in a severe suit who speaks French. She’s evil! We get it!
 
1. Droids (American): You’re telling me that a century and a half from now we still won’t have robots that don’t sound like robots? Wouldn’t a robot with smooth speaking patterns be easier to design than a robot capable of policing a population of indigent unemployables? No? Maybe there’s a message board where I can start an argument about this.   

The Pulse-Pounding Trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’

Originally slated for release in March of this year, Sony has pushed Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s second film, to August, so that it may become the mega-blockbuster it appears to be. Blompkamp’s debut, District 9, reminded us of science fiction’s satirical edge, andElysium looks to be no less politically explosive.

Here’s what we know: a century and a half in the future, earth is a garbage planet (more so than it is right now). The ultra-rich live in an Arthur C. Clarke-like spinning space colony that caters to their every desire. Jodie Foster is the blonde ice queen/realtor of this domain, which cybernetically enhanced everyman Matt Damon must break into on some mysterious mission, wreaking havoc all the while.

However this ambitious work pans out, I think we can take solace in the visual effects from Avatar being put to better use.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter

See a Wonderful New Trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Behind the Candelabra’

This past Saturday I had the great pleasure of watching Steven Soderbergh moderate a Q&A with Shane Carruth after a sold-out mid-afternoon screening of his incredible new film Upstream Color. Of course, Soderbergh, "retired director" asked a sprinkling of serious questions about the film but also went on to question such things as: for all the pigs in the film, why were there no cats? And so on. But when not interviewing beloved young directors for awestruck audiences, Soderbergh is currently putting out the highly-anticipated Liberace drama for HBO, Behind the Candelabra. In an interview back in January, he said that the film was, "really fun. The world of it was just bananas. It was great to see Michael [Douglas] and Matt [Damon] jump off the cliff together. Nobody can accuse them of being shy. They just went for it. It’s pretty gay." 

Douglas and Damon take center stage in the film that focuses on Liberace and Scott Thorson—his companion/lover/friend. And with wonderufl a new trailer released, this looks to surely surpass the glitz and chintz, as the actors provide a deep emotional base for the story as they disappear into their characters. We also get a look at Rob Lowe as a plastic surgeon, Dan Aykroyd as Liberace’s manager, and Debbie Reynolds as Frances Liberace. And although it will be premiering on HBO on May 26th the film will have its debut at Cannes earlier in the month as well.

Check out the new trailer and stills from the film, thanks to The Playlist.

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A Look at ‘Behind the Candelabra,’ HBO’s Fantastically Coiffed Liberace Biopic

Several weeks ago, we were all aflutter at the prospect of David Mamet’s HBO biopic of producer Phil Spector, featuring Al Pacino donning an enormous ‘fro, and then when it aired, we were left shrugging our shoulders about it all. But HBO’s not out of the biopics-of-enigmatic-musical-figures-with-amazing-hair game yet. Over the weekend, we saw another brief but intriguing look at Behind the Candelabra: The Secret Life of Liberace, Steven Soderbergh’s long-brewing made-for-TV film about the life and work of the legendary pianist and entertainer. 

Michael Douglas plays the singer, awash in pompadours and sequins, seen in the teaser grinning and showing off his plumage and trying to channel the charm that made the masses fall in love. But it’s Matt Damon, who plays Liberace’s boyfriend Scott Thorson (who wrote the memoir upon which Soderbergh’s film is based), who steals the trailer, even if he barely says a word. It’s the hair. Somewhere between Starsky and Hutch and Bon Jovi, it’s a sight to behold, staying intact under Sgt. Pepper-style military hats and even while he’s in a hot tub with Douglas, drinking champagne. Man, the ’70s were quite a decade, weren’t they? Watch the teaser for the film, which premieres May 26th, below. 

Casey Affleck Becomes Creative Advisor for Boston’s Independent Film Festival, Obviously

Casey Affleck: model citizen of New England. And of course, as Boston’s finest cinematic gem—save his multi-Oscar-winning brother and/or Matt Damon—Affleck has taken on the job of Creative Advisor to the city’s Independent Film Festival. For IFFBoston, which kicks off this year on April 24,  the actor, director, and writer will “offer programming output, reaching out to studios, filmmakers and talent, connecting the festival with local charities, and advising on it’s growth into a ‘a world-class film festival.’

And speaking to the partnership, Adam Roffman, the IFFBoston program director had to say that Casey, “Casey has exemplified the kind of artistic and risk-taking choices in his work that we strive to champion each year at the festival, and we are very excited to welcome him into the IFFBoston team." Well, you can’t argue with them apples!

So, to perk up your day, let’s just watch some videos of Casey throughout the years.

Steven Soderbergh Says Film Criticism is Like Air Guitar and His Liberace Movie is ‘Pretty Gay’

Steven Soderbergh isn’t going anywhere. He may be quitting Hollywood to pursue other artistic ventures but the director who has given us 26 films since his 1989 debut, still has a lot to say for himself. "Just to be clear, I won’t be directing ‘cinema,’ for lack of a better word. But I plan to direct—theater stuff, and I’d do a TV series if something great were to come along," Soderbergh told Mary Kate Schilling in an extensive and thought-provoking interview with the 50-year-old director in conjunction with the release of his second to last film (possibly ever) Side Effects.

The article offers a pretty fascinating look into the mind of someone who has not only made some of the best films of the last few decades but has been able to morph his aesthetic into whatever genre his films play into while always giving us his signature fierce, layered, and thrlling sense of life that continues to intruige audiences. Although I reccommend you read the interview in its entirely, here are some of the highlights.

Soderbergh’s thoughts on film criticism:
It’s what Dave Hickey said: It’s air guitar, ultimately. Was it helpful to read Pauline Kael’s work when I was growing up? Absolutely. For a teenager who was beginning to look at movies as something other than just entertainment, her reviews were really interesting. But at a certain point, it’s not useful anymore. I stopped reading reviews of my own films after Traffic, and I find it hard to read any critics now because they are just so easily fooled. From a directorial standpoint, you can’t throw one by me. I know if you know what you’re doing, and, “Wow, critics”—their reading of filmmaking is very superficial. Look, nothing excites me more than a good film. It makes me want to make something good. But I have certain standards, and I don’t grade on a curve. If you want to be a director, I’m going to treat you like I treat everybody. So it’s frustrating when critics praise things that I feel are not up to snuff.

I think [Kael] reading of that stuff was pretty superficial as well. She had a great gift for setting movies in cultural context, but what set her apart from most critics—and especially a lot of critics today—was that she was at her absolute best when she loved something. And that was exciting to read. Nowadays, I find critics to be very facile when they don’t like a film, but when they do like something they get tongue-tied.

On being a filmmaker:
On the few occasions where I’ve talked to film students, one of the things I stress, in addition to learning your craft, is how you behave as a person. For the most part, our lives are about telling stories. So I ask them, “What are the stories you want people to tell about you?” Because at a certain point, your ability to get a job could turn on the stories people tell about you. The reason [then–Universal Pictures chief] Casey Silver put me up for [1998’s] Out of Sight after I’d had five flops in a row was because he liked me personally. He also knew I was a responsible filmmaker, and if I got that job, the next time he’d see me was when we screened the movie. If I’m an asshole, then I don’t get that job. Character counts. That’s a long way of saying, “If you can be known as someone who can attract talent, that’s a big plus.”

The worst development in filmmaking—particularly in the last five years—is how badly directors are treated. It’s become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen, to put it bluntly. It’s not just studios—it’s anyone who is ­financing a film. I guess I don’t understand the assumption that the director is presumptively wrong about what the audience wants or needs when they are the first audience, in a way. And probably got into making movies ­because of being in that audience. But an alarming thing I learned during Contagion is that the people who pay to make the movies and the audiences who see them are actually very much in sync. I remember during previews how upset the audience was by the Jude Law character. The fact that he created a sort of mixed reaction was viewed as a flaw in the filmmaking. Not, “Oh, that’s interesting, I’m not sure if this guy is an asshole or a hero.” People were really annoyed by that. And I thought, Wow, so ambiguity is not on the table anymore. They were angry.

On transitioning to directing theater:
We’ve talked about what skill set is transferable from one to the other. But whatever I do in the theater, the pieces have to be original pieces. In order for me to take advantage of what I can do, it would be pointless for me to do straight plays or revivals. The projects have to be something that I’ve been involved in creating from scratch, so I can use the sensibility I’ve developed as a filmmaker. I don’t have the background in pure stage craft. 

I just saw this great production at the Irish Rep—“A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” starring Julian Sands.  I like Pinter a lot, maybe because his work reminds me of my own home growing up. There was all this unspoken heaviness going on, but everything happened off camera. We knew my parents weren’t getting along, but they kept it to themselves, which was in fact a very generous thing for them to have done. And good for my career!

On the inspiration for Magic Mike and Matthew McConaughey’s character:
Saturday Night Fever was our model. It’s one of those movies people remember differently than what was actually true. Going back, we were startled by how dark it gets. This girl is being raped in the back seat of the car, and Travolta doesn’t really do anything, he just drives around. He does things that you probably wouldn’t want your protagonist doing today.

Matthew understood the part so well and had such good ideas that I had no desire to box him in. So I just said yes to everything, which turned out to be the right way to go. I think the only note I gave him, when I first pitched him the part on the phone, was that his character believed in UFOs…It wasn’t a way of diminishing the character. It was actually the opposite. My mom was a parapsychologist, so I grew up around that stuff.

On his upcoming HBO film Behind the Candelabra:
It was really fun. The world of it was just bananas. It was great to see Michael [Douglas] and Matt [Damon] jump off the cliff together. Nobody can accuse them of being shy. They just went for it. It’s pretty gay.

On other filmmakers he’s interested in:
Shane Carruth. He did the film Primer, and he’s got a terrific new movie at Sundance. And I’m acting as a presenter on the new Godfrey Reggio film [Visitors], which is exciting. I mean, this is a guy who doesn’t build a film based on other things he’s seen, like I do. It’s his own thing.

Everyone works in their own way. And as is often the case with people who are unique, the problem isn’t Terrence Malick or Quentin Tarantino, the problem is all the people who came after them and want to be Terrence Malick and Quentin Tarantino. But that’s the way it’s always been.

On his work as a painter:
I go back and forth between portraits and abstracts. I’m not really interested in landscapes or still life. I’m more attracted to faces. In fact, whenever I think of a film I’m about to make, I see a face with a certain expression on it. For my photography, I’ve been studying the work of Duane Michals. He’s famous for these photo ­sequences, which tell stories in a cinematic way. I bought a few of his books, and I’ve begun to think about sequences of my own that suggest a narrative.

I’m always curious to hear how something was made—though I have no interest in why an artist did something, or what his work means. Like with Jackson Pollock: I’m always interested in what kind of paint and canvas he used, I just don’t want to know what he meant. You’re supposed to expand your mind to fit the art, you’re not supposed to chop the art down to fit your mind.

Read the rest here.

Matt Damon: Fame ‘Emotionally Retards’ Actors, Would Discourage Daughters From The Biz

The Hollywood Reporter held a roundtable discussion for six "leading men," including Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Matt Damon. All of them are both thoughtful and humble. But interestingly, Matt Damon emerges as the guy most critical of the business and with the most feminist observations about how Hollywood stamps an expiration date on its women.

While discussing the childrens’ involvement in the acting business, Damon, whose daughters are pre-school age, pipes up that he wants to keep his kids out of Hollywood.

I would try to steer my daughters away from acting. Women are in a different business than we are. It is just brutal for women. For us, the roles get really good at 40 and beyond. And that’s really when you start doing your best work.

Gere then interjects with a but-what-about-Susan-Sarandon? comment, but Damon continues undetered, comparing aging actresses to aging athletes who are no longer the hot shit:  

It’s like being a pro athlete: I have friends who were athletes and are now retired. They’re my age, and they talk about the frustration of knowing more about their craft and suddenly they’re not able to play anymore.

The actors also discussed how fame changes a person, particularly regarding how people treat you differently. Damon continued to be critical of how the business works:

When we started [writing] Good Will Hunting, I was 22 and Ben [Affleck] was 20, and it came out when I was 27 and Ben was 25. I always had this theory that you kind of retard emotionally at the moment you become famous: It’s not that you change; the world changes in its relationship to you. So your entire reality shifts. And that’s a jarring experience and hard to prepare for.

It’s certainly an interesting theory and would explain the likes of, say, Chris Brown and Britney Spears, who always seem like overgrown high school sophomores. "Retard[ing] emotionally" at 27 isn’t the worst thing in the word to happen to you, Matt Damon. 

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.