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Review: Diablo Cody's Insipid & Cloying Directorial Debut 'Paradise'

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • October 17, 2013 6:06 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Paradise, Julianne Hough, Diablo Cody
​The prestigious fall film festival, in which anyone who remotely mattered in cinema (or Hollywood), trotted about their latest vehicle. But one name, an Academy Award-winner with a brand spanking new movie, was conspicuously absent. While plenty of unknowns, first-timers and even actors-turned-directors turned up at fests at home and abroad, famed screenwriter Diablo Cody quietly unveiled her feature-length debut on the little-seen DirecTV cable channel in August. And unfortunately it seems like Cody's feature directorial inauguration, "Paradise," was tucked away for good reason: it’s an insipid confection of cloying hopefulness, bubblegum teen spirit and self-reflexive clever quips.

Surprises, Oscar Clout & The "Magical Negro" Trope: Diablo Cody, Octavia Spencer & Julianne Hough Talk 'Paradise'

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • October 15, 2013 1:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments
For such a notable first-time event from one of our favorite screenwriters, Diablo Cody's directorial debut “Paradise” certainly stuck a soft landing. First popping up under the title “Lamb of God” with an odd blend of cast members—Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer, and Julianne Hough—it then promptly disappeared before Cody announced on Twitter its DirecTV world premiere with the changed title. Following a young Christian woman (Hough) in Montana as she loses her faith after a horrific burn accident and travels to Las Vegas to transgress, the film is in fact one of Cody's sweeter efforts, away from the bitter laughs of “Young Adult” or the horror comedy of “Jennifer's Body.”

"What's The Magical Negro" Narrative Convention? Watch The First 2 Clips From Diablo Cody's 'Paradise'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • September 27, 2013 5:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Paradise, Diablo Cody, Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
"Young Adult" rules, the wry '80s teen horror homage "Jennifer's Body" would have fared far better with another director, and "Juno"—regardless of what you think of that film and its pop-culture referencing protagonist—has become an indie film classic (haters, let us remind you it won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Lead Actress). So with screenwriter Diablo Cody making her directorial debut, "Paradise," it's time to get excited, right?

Review: Diablo Cody’s Directorial Debut ‘Paradise’ Is A Cloying After School Special

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 5, 2013 2:52 PM
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  • 8 Comments
​The prestigious fall film festival season is in full swing and anyone who remotely matters in cinema (or Hollywood) is represented in some shape or form—especially at the celeb-friendly Toronto International Film Festival which accepts over 250 films. But one name, an Academy Award-winner with a brand spanking new movie is conspicuously absent. While plenty of unknowns, first-timers and even actors-turned-directors (like Jason Bateman) are about to make their first-time feature bow at Toronto this week, in contrast, famed screenwriter Diablo Cody quietly unveiled her feature-length debut on the little-seen DirecTV cable channel last month (look for the number of reviews; there aren’t many). And unfortunately it seems like Cody's feature directorial inauguration, "Paradise," was tucked away for good reason: it’s an insipid confection of cloying hopefulness, bubblegum teen spirit and self-reflexive clever quips.

Watch: Trailer For Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise' Explores Worldly Pleasures

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 4, 2013 10:56 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Diablo Cody has carved out a niche for exploring the crises of young women. Whether it's the sudden onset of pregnancy in "Juno," midlife travails in "Young Adult" or high school horror in "Jennifer's Body," Cody brings her own unique perspective to these situations. And for her directorial debut "Paradise," it's faith that's shaken and opens the eyes of its lead character.

Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise' To Premiere On DirecTV Next Week

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • August 1, 2013 12:49 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Honest to blog? Diablo Cody just tweeted that "Paradise," her directorial debut that stars Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer, Russell Brand, Nick Offerman and Holly Hunter, wouldn't bow theatrically in October, but rather would get its big premiere on satellite channel DirecTV next week. The tale of a young woman (Hough) who loses her faith following a horrific plane crash (she's badly burned) and travels to Las Vegas to experience all the seediness the town has to offer, was originally scheduled for an October 18th release date but will now debut on August 8th in your living room.

First Images Of Julianne Hough, Octavia Spencer & Russell Brand In Diablo Cody's Directorial Debut 'Paradise'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 26, 2013 8:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Though you might think the directorial debut from an Oscar winning screenwriter might be surrounded by a bit more hoopla, things have been relatively quiet around "Paradise" (formerly known as "Lamb Of God") from Diablo Cody. Shot last year, things seem to have been kept on the down-low...until now. It turns out it's heading to theaters in just a couple months and we'd wager a stopover at festivals in Toronto and New York probably isn't out of the question, but at either rate a batch of new images has arrived from the movie.

Abbie Cornish, Olivia Wilde & Julianne Hough Also In The Mix For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 17, 2013 5:17 PM
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  • 24 Comments
You could think the female lead in "Gone Girl" was on the level of pop culture phenomenon Lisbeth Salander -- and who knows, maybe it could be when all is said in done -- but it speaks to the allure of David Fincher, that seemingly every major actress in Hollywood is throwing elbows to get a chance for the gig. Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Emily Blunt have already been named as contenders, with Rosamund Pike emerging as a frontrunner earlier today, but it's hardly a done deal as more actresses are surfacing.

Watch: Trailer For Nicholas Sparks' 'Safe Haven' Will Manipulate Your Heart Into A Soggy Organ Of Tears

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 23, 2012 9:07 PM
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  • 6 Comments
It's almost that time again.... Arriving like clockwork, it seems every year or so we get another Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation (in 2010 we were lucky enough to get two movies based on his books!). And for his fanbase that likes to hear a variation on the same mediocre, manipulative story over and and over and over and over again, "Safe Haven" will be a warm, vanilla pillow of familiarity and fake emotion.

First Look: 4 New Photos Of Julianne Hough & Josh Duhamel In 'Safe Haven'

  • By Edward Davis
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  • October 20, 2012 3:17 PM
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  • 2 Comments
From the filmmaker behind the star-crossed lovers fromage of "Dear John" (director Lasse Hallström) and the author of "The Notebook" (Nicholas Sparks, who also wrote "Dear John") comes the latest in Harlequin-esque romance for the screen, "Safe Haven." Starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough with a supporting cast that includes Cobie Smulders and David Lyons, "Safe Haven" is being touted as a romantic thriller, or according to distributors Relativity Media, an "affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again." Color yourself intrigued.

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