"It's all part of the bigger picture, Pam! Philanthropy. The academy. My foundation. The restaurants. The boats. The hotels..."
Jack Abramoff is an American legend. Not necessarily of the best kind. Charming the hell out of everyone he met, Abramof took money as a lobbyist from the country's biggest firms. And then pocketed it for himself. And now Kevin Spacey will bring that man to life. And you can see him in action in the new trailer for Casino Jack.
Directed by George Hickenlooper, Casino Jack follows on from a documentary about Abramoff (called Casino Jack and the United States of Money). So you can see how fascinating a figure Jack was. It helps, of course, that he and partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) ended up on the wrong side of the mafia before the Feds descended to investigate his dodgy dealings.
"Inspired by" Jack's story, the film will fictionalise the facts a tad, but only in honour of making it an entertaining movie. Which, let's face it, it already is. Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, Casino Jack's now in prison.
The trailer's online over at Apple, but you can read on for the full video.
There aren't many Hollywood actors who have had a career as tumultuous as Joaquin Phoenix. Born to a family who named their children "Rain", "River" and "Summer", the third oldest Phoenix child has gone from Gladiator's success to M Night Shyamalan's The Village without blinking. Until now.
Years after being rescued from a car accident on Sunset Boulevard by Werner Herzog, he's spent 18 months of his life trying to become a rapper. Being followed around with a camera by brother-in-law Casey Affleck, I'm Still Here claims to be a documentary of Joaquin Phoenix's "lost year".
Not since the revelation that actor Russell Crowe was actually a figment of John Nash's schizophrenic hallucinations has there been such a captivating look at someone's mental breakdown. But Joaquin has something that Russell Crowe's mathematician didn't: a GREAT BIG BUSHY BEARD.
Was Joaquin always all there? Is he simply still crazy after all these years? Let's take a look back at the ups and breakdowns of his movie career...
Joaquin Phoenix has been attached to the film Big Shoe. As an actor - not a rapper. Following Casey Affleck's documentary about Joaquin's year of meltdown/retirement/career change into hip-hop, it seems that the star is still here. And accepting meetings about acting roles.
Big Shoes is the new project from Steven Shainberg, the man who gave the world the warped but sweet Secretary, which starred a messed up James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Continuing such bizarre ideas from the director's mind, Big Shoe would involve Phoenix playing a "foot and shoe fetishist who is also an amazing footwear designer".
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the actor-turned-rapper has had meetings about the indie comedy-drama. But Joaquin has dipped his toes in more than just Big Shoe - he was also in talks over The Raven with Jeremy Renner, before Renner jumped onto Mission: 4mpossible and the role passed to John Cusack.
The speculation is that Phoenix (or "JP") is waiting to see how I'm Still Here performs before he looks to return to acting. Magnolia are releasing the picture today in America (check out the trailer). It hits cinemas here on Friday 17th September. And it's absolutely fascinating.
Director: Daniel Stamm
Cast: Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, Louis Herthum
Handheld horror rears its head once again with The Last Exorcism, a faux-documentary set in a post-Exorcist world. But while the Eli Roth-produced film is pitching itself as a cross of William Friedkin's classic and The Blair Witch Project (or Paranormal Activity, depending on who's doing the pitching), that kind of sells it short: The Last Exorcism is very much its own beast.
There aren't many people more disturbed or twisted than Eli Roth - the guy who gave the world Cabin Fever and both Hostel films. His latest creation, The Last Exorcism, is his own response to both the handheld craze of Paranormal Activity and the long-lasting reputation of The Exorcist. Which he first saw when he was six - something that might explain quite a lot.
In the run-up to The Last Exorcism's UK release, we sat down with Eli Roth (producer) and director Daniel Stamm to ask them about making a modern movie about possession. The resulting discussion covered everything from religious fundamentalism and District 9 to bashing cats to death with video cameras...
I'm Still Here
Director: Casey Affleck
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix
Release Date: Friday 17th September
The directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actor Casey Affleck, I'm Still Here is a striking portrayal of a tumultuous year in the life of internationally acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix. With remarkable access, I'm Still Here follows the Oscar-nominee as he announces his retirement from a successful film career in the fall of 2008 and sets off to reinvent himself as a hip hop musician.
Sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, and always riveting, the film is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads. Defying expectations, it deftly explores notions of courage and creative reinvention, as well as the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye.
We're here, Joaquin Phoenix is still here, and now the trailer is here as well. Yes, the trailer for I'm Still Here has popped up online, and now we all know whether Joaquin Phoenix is now faking it, serious, or just mentally disturbed.
Only kidding - we still don't have a clue. The teaser for the mockumentary/rockumentary/mental breakdown documentary, directed by Casey Affleck, doesn't answer the question at all.
Instead, we get shots of Joaquin running between hotels, running on stage, running off stage, and generally being all weird and heavily-bearded. On top of it all, a highly philosophical voice-over ("That's you - a drop of water on the top of the mountain...") which just makes things more confusing.
It's distributed by Magnolia Pictures in the US (no-one's stepped up to do the job in the UK yet), where it'll be released on Friday 10th September. Then we'll find out what's going on. Or at least confirm what we knew all along: Joaquin Phoenix is sliding down the mountain. And is clearly completely off his rocker.
The trailer's online over at Yahoo! Movies, but you can read on for the full video.
After years of uncertainty and weird publicity stunts, the world is still making up its mind over whether Joaquin Phoenix is a rapper, a faker, or just a nutjob. Well, now you can take an even closer look at the actor's uber-hairy face with the new poster for I'm Still Here.
The mockumentary/documentary/mental breakdown movie directed by Casey Affleck is still not blinking, happy to play mysterious now Magnolia Pictures are behind it. It even has a dramatic subtitle: "The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix".
Following Joaquin's career change (from Oscar contender to self-style rapper), Casey Affleck's fly-on-the-wall film gives us an insight into Joaquin's rhyming skillz and hairstyle decisions (or lack thereof). Gearing up for its distribution, Magnolia describe it as: "a portrait of an artist at a crossroads, exploring the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye."
Whether that means it's a hoax or not is another matter. But maybe the new poster can help you decide until we get answers from the US on Friday 10th September. Read on for the full-scale photo of Phoenix's face.
I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix now has a distributor, in the form of Magnolia Pictures. The mockumentary-documentary-nervous-breakdown-rap-video is still a strange project, with no-one quite sure what to make of it. But Magnolia Pictures seem pretty happy with what they've seen. So happy that they'll be spreading Casey Affleck's directorial debut around cinemas. As in, actually trying to get people to go watch it.
Is it real? Well, Sean Combs says it is. Casey says it is. The Weinsteins? Well, they weren't so sure. But Magnolia's CEO is confident: "No matter what I thought coming in," he told Deadline, "I came out feeling this was a pretty amazing piece of work: jaw dropping but dimensional. It's going to get a lot of attention, but it is not some cheap stunt... It is extreme behavior but it's in the context of the insanity of being in Joaquin's life for that period of time. It is a unique piece of work that is going to surprise people in different ways. It's really good filmmaking."
Expect the US reaction somewhere around Friday 10th September. The rest of the world won't be far behind. As for Phoenix, well it looks like Hulk probably was just his new rapper name. Word.
Director: Michael Moore
Cast: Michael Moore
He's back. 20 years after Roger and Me, Michael Moore returns to the world of corrupt corporate finance. Shambling around the stock exchange in his hat and coat, he's the people's Columbo, uncovering the cost of the government's rescue package for the American economy. Approaching brokers, teachers, priests and people, his question is simple: "what the fuck happened?" Capitalism: A Love Story is anything but.