‘Family Guy’ creator Seth MacFarlane brings his boundary-pushing brand of humour to the big screen for the first time as writer, director and voice star of ’Ted.’ In the live action/CG-animated comedy, he tells the story of John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who must deal with the cherished teddy bear who came to life as the result of a childhood wish…. and has refused to leave his side ever since. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale, Patrick Warburton, Giovanni Ribisi and Seth MacFarlane playing Ted through motion-capture, the R-rated comedy arrives in cinemas June 29th in the US and August 1st in the UK. Mila Kunis previously worked with Seth MacFarlane on ‘Family Guy’ as the voice of Meg Griffin.
Having worked with Seth MacFarlane for so long on ‘Family Guy,‘ what was it like for seeing him direct live-action?
Mila Kunis: It’s strange to have Seth be a director, because as much as I have worked with him on ‘Family Guy,’ I’m in one booth, he’s in another booth, and normally he has to explain to me what’s happening. When you record ‘Family Guy,’ you record it a year before anything’s drawn up, so I have no idea what I’m doing. He has to explain the plot, explain what happens, then you do it three or four times and move on. Seeing him actually be a visual director, explaining scenarios and characters, visually setting up shots, it’s been great. I couldn’t be prouder of him, I think he done an amazing job with ‘Ted,’ an amazing job.
A dramatic comedy set in the world of male strippers, ‘Magic Mike’ is directed by Academy Award-winner Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven) and stars Channing Tatum in the title role. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. Magic Mike seems like the perfect role model: he’s got a nice car, a nice apartment, and a seemingly endless supply of women. What’s his secret? He’s a male stripper, and when The Kid dives headlong into Magic Mike’s world, his mad dancing skills and hunger for excitement make for an unforgettable summer. Alongside Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer, ‘Magic Mike’ stars Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Mangianello, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough, Cody Horn, Kevin Nash and Adam Rodriguez. ’Magic Mike’ arrives in cinemas June 29th in the US and July 11th in the UK.
I’ve read that the idea of making a movie set in the world of male strippers had been intriguing for a while. How did the genesis for the idea and Steven Soderbergh’s involvement come about?
Channing Tatum: I mentioned that I’d worked as a stripper for eight months when I was 18 and 19 years old. I’ve always thought about doing a story about that life because whenever the subject comes up, guys always want to know about it, “How’d you get into it? What was it like? How much money did you make?” Then we read a magazine article that was a bit on me, and somebody had asked Steven Soderbergh if he would direct a movie on that, if it ever would become a film. He was like, “Absolutely.” So I read that and I was like, “Alright, he’s just sort of committed, now I can fully ask him if he would really do it.” (Laughs) Then I called him up and he was like, “Yeah,” he was serious. So we sat down over a hotdog – it was hilarious because it was a hotdog (laugh), and then he was like, “We should make this movie, you should act in it, I’ll direct it.”
Since ancient times, stories of epic battles and mystical legends have been passed through the generations across the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. In ‘Brave,’ a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition, destiny and the fiercest of beasts. Merida is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late. Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, Pixar’s ’Brave’ is released in cinemas from June 22nd in the US and August 17th in the UK.
Pixar are known for making visually stunning and hugely entertaining films for kids and adults alike. Also, there’s always relatable themes at the core of their films…..
Kelly Macdonald: Yeah. I think ’Brave’ has these great themes of family, fate and bravery. And I think everybody can relate to those things. Then you add this sweeping Scottish landscape, and then these really interesting, loveable characters. ‘Brave’ is set in a sort of medieval Scotland, it’s not very time specific. It’s a kind of magical kingdom. You get this strong sense of Scottish folk-lore, they’ve got these Will-o’-the-wisps that are talked about, but nobody believes in them. Merida sees one when she’s a young girl and knows that they’re real. So there’s this magical aspect to it as well. It’s really a young girls coming-of-age story. It’s that time, it’s time for her to grow up and she’s reluctant.
Three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone returns to the screen with the ferocious thriller ‘Savages,’ featuring the all-star ensemble cast of Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demian Bichir. The film is based on Don Winslow’s best-selling crime novel that was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2010. Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Aaron Johnson), a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary, run a lucrative, homegrown industry—raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Blake Lively). Life is idyllic in their Southern California town…until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partners with them. When the merciless head of the BC, Elena (Salma Hayek), and her brutal enforcer, Lado (Benicio Del Toro), underestimate the unbreakable bond among these three friends, Ben and Chon – with the reluctant, slippery assistance of a dirty DEA agent (John Travolta) – wage a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel. And so begins a series of increasingly vicious ploys and maneuvers in a high stakes, savage battle of wills. ‘Savages’ arrives in cinemas July 6th in the US and September 26th in the UK.
Can you tell us about your character Ben when we meet him in the story?
Aaron Johnson: When we come into the story, Ben and Chon are already kind of discovering their own paths, almost, away from this marijuana business that they put together. My character is already wanting to say goodbye to it, he wants to help people in Africa to set up water systems and water panels. He wants to go a bit more eco, whereas Chon really has nothing else to…. he has Iraq, but he wants to get away from that. He wants to keep the marijuana going. So they start to have their differences at the beginning, but then there’s that bond of friendship that’s been going since they were little kids. They’e brothers.
Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink (Dwight Henry), in The Bathtub, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack – temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother. Hushpuppy is not just the film’s heroine; she’s its soul. ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ exists entirely in its own universe: mythological, anthropological, folkloric, and apocalyptic. Benh Zeitlin’s first feature employs a cast of nonactors – reflecting its grassroots production – to fiercely portray the bond between father and daughter in a world where only the strong survive. Standing defiantly at the end of the world, Hushpuppy affirms the dignity of telling their own story: that they were once there. This remarkable film arrives in cinemas June 27th in the US and October 19th in the UK.
First of all, can you tell us the premise for ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’?
Benh Zeitlin: It’s about this little girl who lives in this little town called The Bathtub, which has been cut off from the world by a giant water protection system. She lives with her father off the grid. The story follows a series of environmental and mythic catastrophes that rain down on her. It’s a story about her trying to learn how to survive. Trying to figure out how to respond and how to live through this. When I was in college, someone at some point told me, “If your gonna make movies, don’t shoot on the water, don’t shoot with children, and don’t shoot with animals.” Our movie is really about children and animals, on boats (laughs).
Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Dominic Cooper Interview For ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’
With ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,’ visionary filmmakers Timur Bekmambetov (director) and Tim Burton (producer) present an original take on the United States’ 16th president and bring a fresh voice to the bloodthirsty lore of the vampire. When Abraham Lincoln’s mother is killed by a supernatural creature, it fuels his passion to avenge her death. Statesmen by day, hunter by night, President Lincoln sets out to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers. The screenplay for the film is by Seth Grahame-Smith, based on his own novel ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.’ The film stars Benjamin Walker as the titular Abraham Lincoln, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Rufus Sewell, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ is out now.
With the films basic premise summed up in its title, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,’ how would you personally describe this cross-genre hybrid?
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: I would basically say that it’s a historical, action, adventure, thriller…..(laughs) its basically quite a ride. And the title, ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,’ it’s not as crazy as it sounds, for me it’s really cool. I think it’s one of those things where you can’t quite grasp it until you see some little piece of footage from it. Then you kind of go, “Oh, that’s what this is.” It’s something that’s completely different from anything you’ve seen before.