Weekend Movie Preview: September 9, 2011

Contagion hopes to spread the fear, Warrior compels while Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star aims to send audiences into a fit of funny as three new films debut this weekend.

Matt Damon Contagion Still

Contagion features an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law and is directed by Steven Soderbergh — so count on several definites: Stellar acting and a brilliant director at his best.

Bucky Larson Born to be a Star has Nick Swardson coming into his own as the funnyman co-wrote and co-produces the latest comedy from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison productions.

Warrior stars Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte in a film that is being called a Rocky for our times.

Contagion: Soderbergh has weaved a web of thrills and complete terror as no horror movie could achieve because it is so real. What would happen if a woman (Paltrow) came back from a trip to Asia infected with a Contagion that would wind up killing millions of people? It could happen and that is what makes Contagion so compelling, besides the fact it is expertly made.

Contagion Teaser Trailer

Bucky Larson Born to be a Star: Swardson takes the title as the most awkward porn star wanna-be that audiences actually pull for to succeed. Bucky Larson heads to Hollywood when he learns his parents were porn stars in the 1970s in hopes of continuing the family legacy while fulfilling his destiny.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star Trailer

Warrior: Edgerton and Hardy are MMA fighters and brothers whose careers and lives are on a collision course to the ultimate face-off in the ring where fate and family collide.

Warrior Trailer

Bucky Larson Exclusive: Nick Swardson Video Interview

Nick Swardson is ready for his close-up in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star. The supporting player in Adam Sandler films (Just Go With It) and 30 Minutes or Less opposite Danny McBride is front and center in the film that features him as a co-writer, producer and full-on star.

Nick Swardson and Christina Ricci in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star
Swardson is visiting with Movie Fanatic for an exclusive video interview at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills and is sitting awaiting us in the very same room where I interviewed Jim Carrey. With his performance as a dim-witted Iowa boy who heads to Hollywood with dreams of being a porn star, we for one, hope this comedian possesses the same star trajectory that Carrey has enjoyed.

Watching Swardson in Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star, in his buck toothed, bowl haircut style, is a piece of pure joy. There’s an innocence to Swardson’s characterization of Bucky Larson that brings a sweetness to a film that could otherwise be nothing but a naughty comedy trip.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star lands in theaters September 9 and features a cast that is all game for bringing Swardson’s silliness to the masses including Kevin Nealon, Stephen Dorff, Christina Ricci and Don Johnson.

Bucky Larson: Nick Swardson Exclusive Video Interview

J. Edgar: Clint Eastwood’s Film to open AFI Fest

Before anyone has even seen a frame of footage, the Clint Eastwood directed, Leonardo DiCaprio starring J. Edgar is considered a front-runner to earn Best Picture honors at this year’s Academy Awards. The American Film Institute must have thought so as the flick is set to open their annual film festival.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars as J. Edgar

DiCaprio stars as the notorious leader of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. The man held the position longer than anyone in history. His tenure is littered with controversy and rumors as to his personal life. We hope every inch of his story appears in Eastwood’s biopic.

The president of AFI, Bob Gazzale, commented on the selection of J. Edgar for leading his film fest. “Clint Eastwood is an American icon — one whose work as a director, actor, producer and composer not only stands the test of time, but also continues to add new, rich chapters with each passing year.”

This is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the AFI fest, which gets going in Los Angeles on November 3.

TIFF Preview: Movie Fanatic Heads to Toronto

The annual Toronto Film Festival is upon us and Movie Fanatic has packed our bags for Canada to bring our readers all the action from one of the most esteemed film festivals of the year.

TIFF LogoJust to give you a preview of what we’ll be covering film-wise, here is a little snippet of what we have on the schedule, so far!

Moneyball: Brad Pitt stars in the true tale of how the Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane managed to create a team of misfits who set records and made baseball history by working within the framework of a team payroll that was the lowest in Major League Baseball.  We’re checking out the film and scored video interviews with its cast!

Machine Gun Preacher: Gerard Butler headlines this true story of a former drug addict who heads to Africa in an effort to save the youngest citizens of that continent from strife, war and famine. Movie Fanatic is set to see the film Friday and chat with the cast over the weekend.

Martha Marcy May Marlene: We’ve already had the pleasure of an advance screening for this stunner that should make its star, Elizabeth Olsen, a superstar. Movie Fanatic has exclusive interviews scheduled with the film’s cast including Sarah Paulson and Hugh Dancy.

Restless: The latest film from the visual maven, Gus Van Sant, stars Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper. Restless is the story of a terminally sick girl (Wasikowska) who falls in love with a boy with the most interesting of hobbies: He enjoys attending funerals. Restless is a classic film festival entry and with Van Sant directing, it should be as powerful as anything he’s ever shot.

The Ides of March: Ryan Gosling and George Clooney star in this political drama that already has some serious Oscar buzz going for it. The Ides of March is based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon and also stars Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei. The film is the latest directorial effort from Clooney and don’t miss our exclusive interview with star Max Minghella.

The Ides of March Poster
Anonymous: Director Roland Emmerich asks: What if Shakespeare was a fraud? Movie Fanatic is most excited to witness this story in Toronto and chat with the film’s stars including exclusive interviews with Jamie Campbell Bower and Rafe Spall. The all-star cast also includes Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave.

50/50: An astounding piece of filmmaking, 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon Levitt as a twenty-something man who discovers he has cancer. Immediately doctors give his chance of survival at the titular figure. As his co-star Seth Rogen says so eloquently in the trailer, “If you were a Vegas game, you’d have the best odds.” It’s that kind of optimism that is peppered throughout 50/50 and it is easily one of the best films of 2011. Look for our Movie Fanatic chat with Gordon Levitt, Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and the writer of the film — whose story the film is based on — Will Reiser.

This preview is merely the beginning of our Toronto Film Festival coverage. Don’t miss a moment with Movie Fanatic as we head to Toronto to bring you the very best film has to offer in 2011.

Dark Knight Rises Set Photos: Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway are Dapper

The Dark Knight Rises continues to buzz its fans with photos and video from the film’s set. The latest photos show its stars, Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway, out of their Batman and Catwoman costumes looking quite elegant in their “street” clothes.

Anne Hathaway on the Dark Knight Rises set
The photos are from JustJared and illustrate that even when it comes to wardrobe, Christopher Nolan has assembled a fantastic team worthy of continuing the legendary, and Oscar-winning, franchise.

Below, the always amazing Bale gets suited up as Bruce Wayne and above, we have Hathaway as Catwoman’s alter ego, Selina Kyle.

Christian Bale is Bruce WayneThe Dark Knight Rises will rise in theaters in July 2012.