Monthly Archives: February 2012

Hunger Games: Lionsgate Announces 24 Advance Screenings

Lionsgate has done a masterful job of promoting the countdown until The Hunger Games premiere. Movie Fanatic participated in the 100-day countdown poster, then gave away tickets to the Los Angeles premiere with the 50-day countdown. And now, since there are only 24 days until Suzanne Collins’ story hits the big screen, the studio announced there will be 24 select advance screenings before the film’s official premiere of March 23.

The Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence
Here’s the news from Lionsgate with all the details on how to get into the most anticipated movie of 2012 early:

In celebration of another milestone in the countdown to the release of The Hunger Games with under 24 days until the film’s release mirroring the 24 tributes in the story, Lionsgate has announced 24 Advance Screenings brought to you by Nook by Barnes & Noble.   
Fans can show their support for #HungerGames24 by visiting this site and tweeting a unique hashtag assigned to their closest city to unlock advance screening locations. Starting tomorrow, March 1, the top four cities with the most Twitter volume will be announced each day and fans will then be able to enter to win tickets to those locations.
In addition, Barnes & Noble is giving Nook fans in select cities the opportunity to gain exclusive access to see The Hunger Games before its official theatrical release. On March 10, while supplies last, the first customers to purchase any of Barnes & Noble’s award-winning Nook devices — including Nook Tablet, Nook Color or Nook Simple Touch — at select Barnes & Noble stores will receive two complimentary tickets to the official advance screening on March 21.
In the story, Tributes are sponsored based on their first impression at the opening ceremonies, training scores, impressions made in the interviews, performance in the arena, as well as a number of other factors. Donations from sponsors range from medicines to food to weapons and more. Because of this, Lionsgate brought on 12 District Sponsors to each host two of these advance screenings and offer 24 fans the chance to win a pair of tickets. 
The digital campaign follows those for #HungerGames100, #HungerGames74, and #HungerGames50 which marked milestones in the campaign with similar interactive fan activities.
Be sure to register for a District here and learn more about how to impress your sponsors on Facebook.

Fans who don’t have an advance screening near them may be able to meet and greet the cast at their local mall during the National Mall Tour beginning in March. Visit the film’s Facebook events tab for more information.

Hunger Games: Seven Super Images

Lionsgate has released a slew of images from a little movie they have coming up called The Hunger Games. On the heels of their character stills, these new shots feature more looks at Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch and our favorite heroine of 2012 in action. The film hits theaters March 23 and judging by its latest trailer and all the clips Movie Fanatic has seen, fans of the Suzanne Collins blockbuster book series have nothing to worry about in director Gary Ross’ bringing the story to the big screen.

Hunger Games Star Jennifer Lawrence

Hunger Games Star Woody Harrelson

The Hunger Games: Jennifer Lawrence Stars

Cast of The Hunger Games

Hunger Games: Jennifer Lawrence

Katniss is Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games Still Starring Jennifer Lawrence

Project X Stars Speak: Three Unknowns, One Huge Party

The stars of Project X, Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown, are relatively unknown to mass audiences. That is exactly how Todd Phillips (The Hangover movies) wanted it. “That’s what works about found-footage movies. You don’t want any recognizable faces,” Phillips told Movie Fanatic. “We’re selling a movie that is made by these kids essentially. It lends itself to being all new faces.”

The Stars of Project X
Enter Mann, Cooper and Brown as the trio of actors who portray the three teens central to throwing the most epic party of all time. Project X follows their rarely-seen friend who is filming the guys while celebrating Mann’s character’s 17th birthday at his house while his parents are away. What happens next will blow the mind of even the most experienced “party movie” fan.

“I think the reason this movie was made is because it’s a party that no one has ever seen before,” Mann said in our Movie Fanatic interview. “It’s so spontaneous. It happens over one night which is what makes it such a cool victory for the guys. I don’t think I remember any parties being like this.”

Mann’s character serves as the lead, and as the film begins, his father coyly tells his mother not to worry about any kind of shenanigans, because “he doesn’t have it in him.” Cooper and Brown, as the friends, were able to be in one mode throughout shooting — frenzied fun — while Mann had to tackle many serious scenes amongst the chaos.

“Oliver and I got to have, for the most part, consistent fun or just run around and get involved in all kinds of debauchery and bad juvenile behavior. Thomas had to carry most of the dramatic weight,” Brown said. “He did a fantastic job at that while still managing not to be sappy. The cool thing about this movie is there are a lot of teen party movies like Can’t Hardly Wait where there’s a side scene with the guy and the girl he likes. Everyone’s thinking, ‘Alright, can we get back to the party now?’ But in this movie it’s much more natural and much more comfortable. If anything, the scenes with Thomas (Mann) and Kirby (Bliss Blanton) and Alexis (Alexis Knapp) are almost like a breather. That’s saying something because that’s a not-calm scene.”

“The energy was always through the roof, but it was hard to play the scenes where I had to be stressed out and worried about my dad calling,” Mann added.

One aspect that makes Project X work is how the extras truly took their roles seriously. You have your main leads and then hundreds of party-goers that were charged with keeping an insane level of intensity up over the two-month shoot. “I met this one extra on set who would do the most extreme sexual grinding that I’ve ever encountered in my life, just extreme, graphic dancing maneuvers,” Brown recalled. The actor eventually offended the extra when they met later. She took the part of background player to heart in her effort to further her own acting career.

“I saw her at a party, and she was like, ‘Oh, hi, remember me?’ I said, ‘Yeah, totally, you’re the girl who does the really great grinding.’ She goes, ‘I’m an actress!’ And then she walked away! I was like, ‘Sorry.’ She was just in her character and I did not mean to imply that she was of loose morals or anything like that [laughs]. She was very offended.”  
The guys all laugh at Brown’s innocent insensitivity and then turn reflective as they realize that it is this type of realism that makes Project X the new standard-bearer of party films. “They were method,” Mann added of the extras.

Mann’s most trying scene, he admitted, was the scene where the object of his lust is actually giving him a chance with her. They begin getting intimate, and the actor found what other performers have described prior: Sex scenes are awkward. “They’re tricky. You’ve got to get to where both people are comfortable and you just have to kind of laugh your way through it. Otherwise it’s just too weird and you never know how the other person is feeling about it,” Mann said. “You don’t want to seem too into it. The last thing I want her to think is, ‘Oh, great. I’m making out with this pervy little kid.’”

As three actors are set to make their unknown monikers disappear with the premiere of Project X, we wondered what their party movie standards are — now that they have joined that esteemed film genre. “Animal House,” Brown immediately said. “Can’t Hardly Wait was also one I really loved.”

Project X Stars
Cooper concurs on Animal House. “I’m a huge fan of John Belushi,” he said.

For Mann, his tastes are more 1980s and 1990s. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Dazed and Confused,” he stated.

The trio of soon-to-be stars hope that audiences enjoy the Project X experience for what it is. “There’s an exaggeration to this,” Cooper said. “I don’t think there’s much truth. Every kid in high school has a house party, but no one is going to bring a flame thrower like in ours.”

Emma Watson Scores Role in Sofia Coppola’s Bling Ring

Emma Watson has easily moved past her Hermione Granger Harry Potter persona as we saw in My Week with Marilyn and from the stills of the upcoming The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She has just been cast in a film that we think is absolutely perfect for the young British actress. Watson has been tapped to star in The Bling Ring, the latest feature from filmmaker Sofia Coppola.

Emma Watson Picture
The film is based on the true life ring of rich kid robbers, aka the Bling Ring, who spent 10 months burglarizing the rich and famous of Beverly Hills. Stars such as Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and even Paris Hilton were taken for over $3 million in belongings.

What Is Robert De Niro’s Top Film?

Robert De Niro stars in Being Flynn as the most challenging character the Oscar winner has tackled to date. Yes, that’s saying something. He stars opposite Paul Dano as a father who doesn’t talk with his son for 20 years and then one night shows up at the homeless shelter where Dano works.

Robert De Niro in Being Flynn
Our review arrives March 2 when the film hits theaters, but in the meantime, considering the power and challenge of the role for De Niro and knowing his esteemed history onscreen, we wanted to ask our readers:

What is your favorite Robert De Niro film?