Why Is Steven Soderbergh Working on Hunger Games?

Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest work, Contagion, spellbounds its way into theaters September 9. While Soderbergh was visiting with the press to promote the film — and stay with Movie Fanatic for our chat with the esteemed helmer this week — word arose that he had served as a Second Unit Director for The Hunger Games.

Steven Soderbergh Picture

Seems Soderbergh and Hunger Games director Gary Ross are old pals. According to reports, Ross needed help in August for a few days with his second unit. Contagion was in the can, the Channing Tatum male stripper movie Magic Mike was nowhere near cameras rolling, so Soderbergh took his friend’s request and flew to the East Coast to be a Second Unit Director — one the Hunger Games director could trust to score movie gold.

“If I’ve done my job properly, I hope I did — by design, you won’t be able to tell what I did,” he said. “Because it’s supposed to cut seamlessly into what they’re doing, that’s the whole point. That’s why he asked me to come down, because he knew that I would be rigorous about matching what they were doing.”

Apparently the effort took Soderbergh back to the beginning, an exploratory experience like film school. “I was really back to that situation of being the person who has to please someone else — as opposed to pleasing myself. That made me really anxious. You know, I wanted to do a good job… Gary is a friend of mine.”

Warrior Trailer Shows Why Movie Inspires

Warrior arrives in theaters September 9 with an incredible amount of buzz, many critics comparing it to a modern day Rocky.

Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy in Warrior

In Warrior, Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton portray brothers who are Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters. Both are incredibly talented and are on a collision course to an enormous fight that will pit brother against brother.

Nick Nolte plays the fighters’ father, a former boxer who fell into a pool of alcohol and self pity that tore apart their family bond. Now, with the brothers on the verge of fighting greatness, will what ripped their family keep them from their destiny? Or perhaps, could it be possible that the brothers’ father will find it in his soul to pull himself together and become a part of the triumphant story instead of the reason for its failure?

Warrior Trailer

Shark Night 3D Movie Review: Does It Bite?

Is America ready to get back into the movie water when sharks attack in Shark Night 3D? Jaws famously established the standard for the shark movie genre with Steven Spielberg crafting one of his best. Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis has taken the sharp-toothed underwater king of film terror tool and brought it into the 21st century, complete with the “all the rage” 3D format. The big question is: Does it have teeth?

Dustin Milligan in Shark Night 3D

Shark Night 3D has a good-looking cast ready for the folly of Ellis’ vision. The film is led by Sara Paxton and Dustin Milligan as a group of college kids from Tulane. The pals head to Paxton’s character’s family home that lies on an island in a salt water lake and yes, shark attacks ensue pretty much immediately.

First they meet a pair of unsavory locals that ought to make Louisiana natives a little annoyed at the stereotypical archetype that Shark Night 3D not only employs, but places at the center of its scare. Having its “villains” (out of the water at least) be so transparent is only the first strike against Shark Night 3D.

Given the film’s title, all the action must inherently take place in one single evening of complete horror and mayhem. The timeline established causes us to call strike two on Shark Night 3D for its unbelievability. It simply makes no sense in any realm or reality — cinematic suspension of disbelief or not.

The movie is a killer shark film, but it also is an ensemble piece with a cast that shows signs of talent, yet is never able to fully flex its muscle due to the weak script, over-bloated action sequences and the same “ham” acting that led to the Ellis directed Snakes on a Plane laughability. Like Snakes on a Plane, Shark Night 3D has a good premise that in the right hands could have resulted in one terrifying and thrilling piece of kitsch filmmaking. And also like Snakes on a Plane, the cast and supporting players are up for a game that is never allowed to become what it could be.

From American Idol alum Katharine McPhee to Avatar star Joel David Moore, the signs of promise not only lie in the film’s premise, but also in its players’ ability to hit a home run. The only problem is Shark Night 3D gets a strike three for its inability to take all the promising pieces and assemble them in a manner that is equally thrilling as it is terrifying. Shark Night, you’re out on called strikes.

In the end all shark movies require the same question upon completion: Does the film have bite? Bite, in the most positive of ways one hopes, and unfortunately, Shark Night 3D bites in a bad way.

New Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Clip: Spy Game On!

In real life, gone are the days of Cold War type espionage, so why not relive the conduit to great suspense with the upcoming Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? In anticipation of the film’s arrival in the fall, we’ve got a new clip from the film sure to tantalize.

Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The clip features the always astounding Mark Strong (Green Lantern) and the UK acting legend John Hurt in the dawn of the 1970s as the Cold War is at one of its iciest moments.

Hurt and Strong aren’t the only stellar players assembled to bring author John Le Carre’s literary stunner to the screen. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy also stars recent Oscar winner Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Ciaran Hinds (The Debt) and Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises).

The story follows George Smiley (Oldman) who is coaxed out of retirement from MI6 to weed out a Soviet spy in the British spy service.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is premiering this weekend at the esteemed Venice Film Festival and opens in the U.K. September 16, yet doesn’t arrive on American screens until December 9.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: New Clip

Killer Joe Poster Premieres: Matthew McConaughey and His Gun

Audiences haven’t seen Matthew McConaughey in his career wielding a gun too often and in the new poster for his film Killer Joe; the Texas native has one front and center.

Killer Joe Poster

Director William Friedkin’s Killer Joe follows the story of a drug dealer (Emile Hirsch) who gets deep in trouble with the wrong people, thanks to his mother of all people. Enter McConaughey’s titular character Joe Cooper, a hit man who will make Hirsch’s problems all go away — thus the film’s tagline of “Murder never tasted so good.”

Killer Joe also stars Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church, Juno Temple and is written by Tony Award winning playwright Tracy Letts. Thanks to ComingSoon.net for the poster.