First Look: Machine Gun Preacher, Shame & Margin Call

Hi all, can I just say for the record that I LOVE Twitter!! I get most of my news from there and it keeps me informed even when I’m out and about on holiday… and in turn I can also inform folks of what’s going on right at that very second something is happening (i.e. when I was at Comic-con). Ok now, before you accuse me of working for Twitter, I just wanna highlight three brand spankin’ movie updates that are worth a look.

MACHINE GUN PREACHER

I can’t believe it’s been exactly a year ago that I posted these behind-the-scene photos of Gerry Butler on the set of Machine Gun Preacher, and we still haven’t got a trailer!

The only official thing they’ve released is this photo of him in Africa as Sam Childers, the former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who’ve been kidnapped and pressed into duty as soldiers in the Lord’s Resistance Army. The story is based on Childer’s autobiography, Another Man’s War: The True Story of One Man’s Battle to Save Children in the Sudan, and Butler has personally met with the preacher and both of them are promoting the film together, I posted a photo of both of them here.

I found the photo from USA Today, in which Butler described Childers as ‘a guy of our times.’ “There is more complexity in a modern-day character who’s a drug addict and a biker turned businessman, missionary and soldier. You don’t get roles like this very often,” the actor said. Director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger Than Fiction) explained his rationale for picking Butler to portray the flawed hero, “He’s one of those movie stars today that I feel is a real man. There are very few around. He has this incredible rawness.” I absolutely agree! I know a lot of people doubt Butler’s talent as an actor but I feel that this year is his moment to shine and prove those people wrong.

I’m also happy to report that both his films Coriolanus and this one will premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) starting September 8th, you can see the full program here. According to the film bio, Machine Gun Preacher runs 123 minutes and Butler also serves as executive producer. This film opens on limited release on Sept. 23, hope it’ll open nationwide not too long after that.

SHAME

This is another film that’ll premiere at TIFF. It stars the ubiquitous Michael Fassbender as a New York man who’s confronting his sexual compulsions and the self-destructive acts of his sister (Carey Mulligan). This is his second collaboration with Hunger director Steve McQueen (the British filmmaker, not the famous classic actor).

Check out the photos below courtesy of SlashFilm:

As you know, I like Fassbender and he’s really on a roll right now. Obviously Hollywood loves him and he’s in the right age where there are tons of roles available to him. It’s great to see him maximize his versatility to the fullest, playing anywhere from a superhero villain in X-Men: First Class, a historical character Carl Jung in Dangerous Method, a bad ass spy in Haywire and now this. I also admire Carey Mulligan after seeing her in An Education and Never Let Me Go. The subject matter isn’t very appealing, but depending on the trailer and reviews, I’d be willing to give this one a shot.

MARGIN CALL

I had never even heard of this one until I saw this trailer today.

Woof! That looks mighty intense. On initial viewing, it kinda reminds me of Wall Street + The Insider and seeing Demi Moore there, a bit of Disclosure. I always appreciate a smart, taut thriller and this one certainly looks promising I’m not good at all with numbers though, so there’s a chance the plot might go a bit over my head.

The ensemble cast is impressive: Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy IronsStanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Penn Badgley, and Demi Moore. Ok so I’ve never seen anything Badgley does so he’s probably the only odd man out in this list. I had just seen Tucci in Captain America, and he’s always excellent despite his brief appearance, so he probably will be just as compelling here. Spacey seems to be drawn into ‘office’ type roles lately, I see him in business suits an awful lot, whilst Jeremy Irons seems to struggle with his American accent. He always sounds like Jeremy Irons no matter what movie he’s in 🙂

I find Quinto to be the most interesting one to watch here, he’s definitely the most promising actor out of NBC’s Heroes. FirstShowing said this movie is one of his favorites from Sundance, “…a dramatic thriller that does put you on the edge of your seat while waiting to see how everything plays out on the eve of a financial meltdown that we’re all very familiar with. Not only is it timely, not only is it entertaining, but it’s just riveting to watch.”

A good thriller doesn’t always need to have a car chase or shootout in it, it’s the impact of what a certain discovery might bring that puts you at the edge of your seat.


Does any one of these interest you, folks? Anyone going to TIFF this year?

25 thoughts on “First Look: Machine Gun Preacher, Shame & Margin Call

  1. Ted S.

    Out of all three films, I think the one that really interest me is Margin Call. I like those corporate thriller type of films and since I worked at a financial firm around the time the film was based on; it sort of bring back some memories of long hours and nights I had to stay at the office. I remember one Sunday afternoon while watching a football game, my boss called me and told me I have to go in the office and update some contents on the site because we have to them ready by Monday morning when the stock market opens. I do not miss those days at all.

    Anyhoo, I might give Machine Gun Preacher a rent. As for Shame, I’m with you, the subject just doesn’t sound that interesting to me.

    1. Yeah, Margin Call looks intriguing doesn’t it? I’ve never even heard of it until now, but I like that sort of thriller and it looks pretty well-acted. I think people are going to relate to the story in one form or another, that industry is quite brutal.

      I hope you give MGP a shot, Ted, and not only because I love GB. I think Childers is doing a great cause for the sake of those poor kids. I probably rent Shame just because of the cast.

  2. I’m looking forward to both Machine Gun Preacher and Shame. Evidently Butler is getting some possible awards talk for his lead role in the former.

    1. Hi Red, yes I am super excited about all the award buzz, I knew he has it in him and hopefully this is the moment he’ll prove everyone. It’d be awesome if Fassbender and Butler are nominated in the same year the fact that they’re both in 300.

  3. The same as Ted I am quite up for the final in the trio you have shown here. I will look into MGP just for you Ruth, we all know you love the Gerry.

    Hope you are well my friend!

    1. Just for me, Custie? Aww, you’re sweet. I don’t know how familiar you are with Butler’s work (I’m guessing not?) but I know in my heart he will do well in this role. I think it’s tailor-made for him so I think Forster made the right choice!

  4. There’s no stopping that Gerard Butler. I do quite like him – I think he play macho as well as more fragile characters and he’s equally good at comedy.

    I’m looking forward to Shame – Carey Mulligan is brilliant.

    1. I knew I’ve always liked you Dan, but I LOVE you for that comment about Butler. Yes, he’s great in all of those different types of roles you mentioned. If you’ve never seen this BBC miniseries The Jury, perhaps you want to check it out. He plays a recovering alcoholic which showcases his dramatic side, so yeah, he can definitely portray fragility but still retains his machismo.

      Agree about Mulligan, she’s become my top favorite actresses of late.

  5. I just heard about Shame a couple of days ago, and I could be on the bandwagon depending on how the trailer looks. I do think both Mulligan and Fassbender are pretty darn awesome, so I have high hopes. I’m going to mention another movie I heard about at the same time, called The Deep Blue Sea. It’s about the wife of a British judge who is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot. Stars? Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. I am so in.

    1. Yeah, those two actors together are awesome indeed. Oh yeah, I did see The Deep Blue Sea, I was gonna include it but I kind like things in threes 🙂 Looks pretty romantic. I still can’t believe Rachel is now married to Daniel Craig! I think Hiddleston is gonna be a force to be reckoned with as he can look so different from role to role.

  6. Hi, Ruth and company:

    Is it just me, or does ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ sound a heck of lot like the 1974, Elmore Leonard penned, Charles Bronson vehicle. ‘Mr. Majestyk’? Where a guy who’s been around the block a few times goes to war on his terms with the evil drug dealers.

    With Butler in the lead. It sounds cool enough to see either at home or in the theater.

    ‘Margin Call’ does have a great cast and a decent premise. Always curious to see Simon Baker. And if Paul Bettany can catch the lightning he handled so well opposite Russel Crowe in ‘Master & Commander’ once again. Also want to see how kindly or unkindly time has treated the over rated Demi Moore.

    1. Hi Jack (as in the most polite commenter on the blogosphere :D)!

      I just read the synopsis of Mr. Majestyk. Though there is a bit of similarity in regards to ‘ordinary man turned hero’ I think the premise is entirely different. Mr. Childers weren’t exactly affected (at least tangibly) by what the Lord’s Resistance Army did to these poor children, but when he went to Africa he felt compelled to help them and save them from this extreme atrocity. I think his motive isn’t vengeance so much as compassion and to live up to this verse from Matthew 25:40: “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

      I’m just ok about Bettany, but he was great indeed in M&C.

  7. ha, I also posted Margin Call on my page today for “Trailer Time Thursday!” as soon as I saw Paul Bettany I knew I had to post it for Novroz’s sake! 🙂

    I’ll be honest, at this point in time, I’m still not that interested in Machine Gun Preacher or Shame, but perhaps that might change.

    still not on twitter. almost thou persuadest me! 😉

    1. Hi, scarletsp1der and company:

      After re-reading Ruth’s review and write-up of ‘Shame’. The more I see Hollywood going back to the well of ‘Looking For Mr. Goodbar’, to find a corner stone (Diane Keaton’s sexual compulsion and self-destructive decisions) upon which to build a film.

      Just a thought.

    2. @ Scarlet – Somehow I knew you would! 😀 I didn’t even see Bettany as I was engrossed by Quinto. He’s definitely one to watch of the new crops of young actors, I think there’s more to him than just Sylar or Spock.

      Not interested in MGP?? Oh I hope you at least give it a chance, T. Somehow I thought the subject matter should at least interest you given what I know about you.

      1. I def intend on giving it a shot. It just doesn’t have a major appeal to me yet. That’s all. I am waiting for more to see abt it. 🙂 plus, u know I have to support your GB addiction! 😉

        Hello Jack Deth, yes u r right. Hollywood loves fishing from that well often. I wonder if Diane Keaton is a fan.

    1. Hi Ronan, yeah and the story is cool, too! It’s actually the actual nickname for the real life character, believe it or not.

  8. Let’s hope Machine Gun Preacher turns out to be good! There is a lot of potential with that kind of story and character and hopefully, it doesn’t turn into some mindless sequences of action set-pieces for no reason.

    1. Yes, lets! I am cautiously optimistic about it and as I said several times previously on that topic, I hope they’re being true to Childers’ journey to becoming who he is today instead of glossing over the faith part and just make this into a shoot-em-up rescue mission. I think they’re filming this on location in Africa, Michigan, etc. instead of on a set so that should help with the authentic/realistic look of the film.

  9. PrairieGirl

    I think the role Butler has in MGP is going to be one of his very best. So glad he carefully chose it… especially when he says “roles like this don’t come around very often.” He’s going play the many sides of Childers expertly. And I know we’ve both known from the very beginning of his career that the director’s assessment of Gerry as a “real man”… and that he has an “incredible rawness..”. is so spot on! I’m on pins and needles waiting for this film.

    1. You said it, PG! I think he was drawn to this role for good reason, and sounds like it’ll be a role he can truly be proud of.

      Ahah yeah, I think that’s one thing even a guy would acknowledge about Butler. I always say he’s a macho guy with a big heart 🙂

  10. As far as MGP, at the very least, I gotta rep the D. Mr. Butler is like an adopted one of us 😉

    I’m likely to see Shame because of Fassbender but I have yet to see Hunger, and I must admit both seem pretty grim. I am not yet a big fan of Mulligan, but all i’ve seen of her is part of An Education. (PS: Someday I want to see Saoirse Ronan and Michael Fassbender play siblings or cousins. Can anybody here make this happen?)

    Margin Call has a pretty great cast. Loved Quinto in Star Trek (2009) & Tucci is always worth a look.

    I don’t know if i’m just not too picky or what, but I’ll probably go see all of these in the theatre.

  11. I only just heard about ‘Margin Call’ today! I feel behind but it looks like it’s one of those that people kind of just stumble across….and hopefully get blown away by good it is! I mean the trailer makes it look great!

    It looks like what ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ SHOULD have been, instead of the bloated mess that it was.

    I will most definitely be there when it gets released Down Under!

    1. Hi there Russell, no worries, I wouldn’t have heard about it had it not been from one of those movie blogs’ tweets 😀 Yeah, it does look good doesn’t it… I hope the movie lives up to it.

      I haven’t seen Wall Street 2 but I think I’m more interested to see this than renting that. Suffice to say that one didn’t live up to the original huh. Anyway, I hope this’ll get at least a limited release in Sydney.

      P.S. Btw my aunt lives in Riverwood which is in Southern Sydney right? I’ve been dreaming of visiting her one day.

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