Being a part of such a big production
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Following the success of Pitch Perfect, Kendrick was cast in the Walt Disney Pictures' big budgeted adaptation of Steven Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods. Set for Cinderella, Kendrick joined an ensemble that boasts A-Listers like Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, as well as celebrated character actors like Tracey Ullman, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski and James Corden. In the Rob Marshall-directed film due out December 25th, she'll perform the song heard below:
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So let me start with an apologist’s backpedal, behavior that is certainly familiar where the subject of slavery is concerned. Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is absolutely one of the greatest films of the year, if not many years past, and while I don’t know if can say I loved it, given the often unsettling narrative, I was completely riveted by the long and bruising path that Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was dragged down. The journey from beginning to end was a hard one, but it came across as well-earned by the time the credits rolled. I felt like I had experienced Northup’s trials and tribulations myself, stripped of my comparatively carefree life and sent into a world of tragedy and despair.
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How It Traumatized Us: The threat of terrorism is still a horrifying thought when boarding a plane. With all the increased safety measures put in place nowadays, it's one that is impossible to forget. But Non-Stop pumps our pulse even harder by presenting an alcoholic Air Marshal who might not be up to the job of saving the day. It is no easy task to stand here, covered in targets, claiming that one of the most important African American films in recent cinema is not the deserved Best Picture for this year’s Oscars. In the middle of Black History Month no less.
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It's not just the inspiration for our list; this in-flight thriller has definitely earned a spot on it. Liam Neeson stars as an Air Marshal who has grown weary of his job, but must muster fresh courage when a mysterious text message announces a terrorist plot demanding a fat ransom in exchange for the safety of all passengers on board. With a ticking clock counting down to the first threat of murder, this Air Marshal must make split-second decisions on who to trust and who to fear.
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I've written before about how horror movies have shaped my real-life fears. But for the release of Non-Stop, a mystery thriller set sky high on an international flight hijacked by an unknown terrorist, the Cinema Blend staff conferred on which plane-set movies have elevated our fear of flying. From tales of passengers gone wild to harrowing survival stories and paranoia-fueled plot twists, we break down the movies that messed with our heads and have us feeling less safe on flights than ever before.
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Writer-director Richard LaGravenese made the film with what Yahoo is calling a "shoestring budget", shooting on location in a New York City brownstone over 21 days. All this makes The Last Five Years sound like a fascinating film, but I'm tired just imagining the endurance required for this shoot. By our count, thrillers work best when they lock into a deeply held primal fear, like that of the unknown or of society thrown into chaos. The new Liam Neeson vehicle Non-Stop taps into both of these terrors while targeting one more: fear of flying.
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"This we did almost all live, because you have to, because the entire story is told through song. You either do that, or have a week of rehearsal and record it and then you’re stuck with these choices and you film it and you can’t even explore it and try new things. Because you’ve already done this one way of singing it, you can’t sing it another way, and that might have turned out great, but this gave us so much freedom."
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Kendrick stars opposite Jeremy Jordan from Broadway's Newsies. But the real challenge here was all about the singing. First off, the entire film is sung--no spoken dialogue. Secondly, all of the songs were recorded live, as opposed to pre-recorded in a studio and then lipsynced to on set. This means every take demanded her to sing at full force, take after drama-drenched take. Jordan explained:
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Despite all this, Kendrick still has Pitch Perfect 2 on the horizon. Reprising the role of acapella rebel Beca, Kendrick rejoins the cast of Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson and Anna Camp. Elizabeth Banks, who appeared in the first film, will helm the second. At this time, we have no plot details, but we do know Pitch Perfect 2 is set to sing out on May 15, 2015.
While it might have been intimidating being a part of such a big production, her follow-up was more demanding. The Last Five Years is an adaptation of an Off-Broadway musical that centers on the blossoming and eventual wilting of the romantic relationship between a struggling actress named Cathy, and a aspiring novelist names Jamie. Told from two perspectives, the man's begins at the beginning, moving forward, while the woman's starts at the end, progressing back.