April 17, 2014

Tag Archives: films

Woody Harrelson, “Rampart” get one-week qualifying run – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Woody Harrelson started receiving raves for his searing performance in Oren Moverman’s “Rampart” right after the film world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Certain Oscar bloggers have been championing Harrelson’s inclusion in the Best Actor race, a category that appears to be relatively crowded with assumed nominees like George Clooney (“The Descendants”), Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and Brad Pitt (“Moneyball”).
Millennium Entertainment believes in Harrelson, and the film. They’ve scheduled a one-week qualifying run for the police drama at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 in Los Angeles beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23. “Rampart” then will open wider on Jan. 27, hopefully with some awards heat.
“Rampart” reunites Harrelson with his “The Messenger” director for a story of police corruption on the LAPD. The Oscar nominee plays Officer Dave Brown, a Vietnam vet and a Rampart Precinct cop who isn’t opposed to crossing the lines of decemcy if it means maintaining his reputation and “hero” worship.
Moverman directs his modern noir from an original screenplay by James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”). The hard-hitting thriller co-stars Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube, Ben Foster, Ned Beatty, Steve Buscemi, Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche.
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Taylor Lautner: body won’t change just because ‘Twilight’ is over

HollywoodNews.com: Taylor Lautner has become known for his rock-hard body thanks to all his shirtless scenes in ‘Twilight,’ but just because the film franchise is ending it doesn’t mean that his body will change.
While the star admits ‘Twilight’ had him working hard to maintain the look, he believes he will be able to keep it up in his normal life, states UsMagazine.com.
“I’ve pretty much always been a pretty healthy eater and I don’t pig out. If I occasionally want ice cream or something, I can have it. I’ve always been really active. I grew up playing sports, so I’m always shooting hoops or throwing the football with my friends,” Lautner said about what will keep him in shape.
Do you think he’ll maintain his look?
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George Clooney talks about contemplating suicide years ago

HollywoodNews.com: George Clooney may seem like he has the perfect life, but at one point things were so hard for him that he actually contemplated committing suicide.
While filming ‘Syriana’ in 2005, Clooney tore his dura and almost couldn’t live with the pain, states Hollyscoop. “I was in a hospital bed unable to move, having these headaches where it feels like you’re having a stroke … I started to think, ‘I may have to do something drastic about this,’” Clooney told ‘Rolling Stone.’
Clooney was apparently in such pain that he didn’t think it was something he could live with: “I was in a place where I was trying to figure out how to survive.”
Are you surprised to hear this about him?
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Oscars: Michel Hazanavicius talks Frank Capra, the Coens Brothers and “The Artist” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “The Artist” shouldn’t work in 2011.
At a time when giants of the cinematic art form such as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese are experimenting with cutting-edge 3D technology, Michel Hazanavicius turns back the clock, delivering a black-and-white, predominantly silent ode to Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The story involves legendary silent film star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) being pushed out of the spotlight by the arrival of the “talkies.” But it also rekindles in audiences all of the whimsical reasons they flock to the movies.
“The Artist” has been charming audiences since Cannes, and continued winning over fans at AFI Fest in Los Angeles this week. Hazavanicius and I started with that meaningful screening when we sat down for a lengthy chat, where we got into Frank Capra films, the visual panache of the Coen Brothers, Mary Pickford’s legacy and the joy of winning multiple Audience Awards. Here’s “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius:
HollywoodNews.com: How have you enjoyed AFI Fest?
Michel Hazanavicius: It’s excellent. It’s a little bit tiring, because yesterday we screened the movie, and so last night I didn’t get that much sleep. But that’s OK. [Laughs] I can’t complain.
HollywoodNews.com: Do you still get energized when a new audience sees the film?
Yeah, and especially for us yesterday, we screened at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, so it was really special. Part of the crew was there, and they hadn’t seen the movie before. It was a very special screening. The history of that theatre … it’s really like we finished the circle, in a way. But also, because we were in Hollywood – where we shot the movie last year – we’re now coming back to screen it. It was a mixture of a lot of different emotions.
HollywoodNews.com: Your film captures a bygone era of Hollywood. It’s set in the late 1920s, and yet you make modern-day Los Angeles look timeless.
Well, this is my third period movie [after two “OSS 117” films]. What I think, from a production standpoint, is that the less you do, the better. I don’t try to prove that we are in the ‘20s. And sometimes, a simple white wall is really “period.” If the story’s good, and the way you shoot it is choreographed with your story … I mean, you don’t have to put evidence in every scene that you are in the 1920s. The less you [...]

“Transformers,” “Paranormal Activity” sequels in the works

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Studios rarely put the kibosh on lucrative franchises. If anything, they’re more in the habit of running moneymaking movie series into the ground before letting a cash cow head out to pasture with its dignity intact. So it’s little surprise that sequels to the valuable “Transformers” and “Paranormal Activity” franchises reportedly are moving forward.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said on Thursday that Paramount Pictures currently is “developing ideas for ‘Paranormal Activity 4’” and a fourth Transformers movie, while also confirming that a “Star Trek” sequel should hit theaters in 2013, according to THR.
Dauman says “Star Trek” director J.J. Abrams is “focused on developing the next installment of [the] franchise” for a potential release in 2013. While addressing stock holders, COO Tom Dooley said that Paramount is developing a live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, as well.
The Turtles, which were featured in several films in the past, are coming to Nickelodeon in 2012 in animated form.
All of these moves sound like no-brainers in light of recent box-office figures. The third “Transformers” movie earned more than $1 billion … and that isn’t even touching on merchandising. The latest “Paranormal” film is coming close to crossing $100M, proving there’s still an audience for the franchise that, so far, has delivered a sequel once a year in time for Halloween. The fans are voting with their ticket-buying, and the studios, largely, are just responding.
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Robert Pattinson talks about his future wedding

HollywoodNews.com: ‘Twilight’ star Robert Pattinson goes through his character getting married in the next film, but he isn’t necessarily looking for the same thing.
Pattinson recently opened up about weddings and what he wants in the future, states UsMagazine.com. “I just don’t want to have to wear a silly outfit,” Pattinson admitted about being a groom one day.
Luckily for his future bride, he is going to leave everything else up to her: “It’s whatever your wife decides to do!”
Do you agree or should men be involved?
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Mark Wahlberg in international “Contraband” trailer

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: We’re witnessing a refreshing swing back to old-fashioned, mano-a-mano action in the film industry.
Brad Bird’s “Mission: Impossible” sequel appears to shift back to organic stunt work, with Tom Cruise dangling from the side of the world’s tallest skyscraper. Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” has been grabbing the majority of the headlines out of AFI Fest. And today, an international trailer has hit for Mark Wahlberg’s January release “Contraband,” and I think it’s going to fall in line with the hard-hitting action we’ve recently enjoyed seeing.
We have it below.
In the film, Wahlberg plays a former crook who’s been out of the “life” for years. He gets pulled back into the dirty biz – surprise, surprise – so he can defend a family member who falls in with some bad dudes. Wahlberg’s cut from this cloth, and is ideal for the role. Kate Beckinsale co-stars as his luscious wife, while Giovanni Ribisi (always welcome) pops by as what appears to be Wahlberg’s rival.
But it’s the stunts that catch my eye in this new clip. Check it out. It looks solid.
“Contraband” will be in theaters on Jan. 13, 2012. What do you think?
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This Week In Movies by Pete Hammond – Tower Heist, Puss In Boots

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: The Best laid plans.
This was supposed to be the weekend that Tower Heist would rule the boxoffice roost and easily claim the number one spot while in resurrecting Eddie Murphy’s languishing career in the process. Instead that conniving little latino cat, Puss In Boots was the one who pulled off the heist, stealing the primo spot away after initially trailing on Friday night. In the end it was no contest. Puss took it away by more than $8 million leading Eddie, Ben Stiller and friends $33 million to $25 million, that was only a 10% week one to week two drop for the Dreamworks ‘toon but a $10 million shortfall for Heist, at least according to analysts projections. Like I said, ‘the best laid plans’. When I spoke to Dreamworks Animation honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg Saturday night he seemed more than relieved at the strong hold and continued business for Puss In Boots. “This is best second week for a movie in 15 years,” he told me. That ought to calm Wall Street which was concerned about the film’s performance , even though it easily opened in first place. Last week heavy snows on the east coast killed a lot of potential business but this week’s sunnier results more than made up for the shortfall.
As for Tower Heist this should have done better. It’s just a terrific caper film in the tradition of Ocean’s 11 and The Hot Rock. In fact it all started with Murphy who had an idea to do an all-black cast Ocean’s style heist movie , but as things often happen in this business that morphed into something quite different although I still think Murphy’s original idea had merit. Surprisingly audiences were lukewarm on this version even though it is a lot of fun and critics seemed to like it for the most part. ‘Heist’ got a 68% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes but only a middling ‘B’ cinemascore audience satisfaction rating. That doesn’t bode well for great word of mouth for a comedy that deserves better than it is getting here. A few months ago director Brett Ratner told me he fully expected this film to spawn a brand new film franchise along the lines of his wildly successful Rush Hour series but that would seem to be in doubt unless the [...]

Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” moves its release date – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: With the AFI Fest happening in Los Angeles and other awards hopefuls making plays in other markets, this weekend was incredibly busy with Oscar news. Let’s try and catch up with the major headlines in today’s Awards Alley Oscar roundup:
Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” has moved its release date to Dec. 30. That’s cutting it awfully close, since films in Oscar contention have until midnight on Dec. 31 to begin their one-week qualifying run. Will “Lady” be ready in time?
“The Adventures of Tintin,” “Puss In Boots” and “Rango” are among the 18 films deemed eligible for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Speaking of family friendly fare, Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” screened for L.A. critics over the weekend and earned off-the-charts raves. Steve Pond at The Wrap even says it played like gangbusters at an official Academy screening.
Another awards screening missed its mark. Jeff Wells’ noble attempts to screen Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur,” particularly to show off the searing performance of Olivia Colman (who’s fantastic), only attracted a handful of eyeballs. The ball’s now in your court, Strand. Can you get this movie in front of enough influential voters?
“My Week with Marilyn” screened Sunday night at AFI Fest, but outside of a few puff pieces regarding Michelle Williams’ red-carpet look, I can’t find any reactions.
The other film leaping onto Oscar’s radar this weekend was Oren Moverman’s “Rampart,” which reportedly features an awards-worthy performance by Woody Harrelson playing a corrupt LAPD cop. But Hitfix says the respected actor likely will find himself on the outside of the Best Actor race looking in.
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James Marsden in the Spotlight at Savannah Film Fest

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: James Marsden moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 to pursue a career in acting. He’s currently 38.
“So I just realized that I’ve been doing this for half of my life, exactly,” Marsden told me during a casual one-on-one Friday evening.
Those years spent honing his craft explain why organizers at the Savannah Film Festival chose Marsden as the recipient of this year’s Spotlight Award, which was handed to him on stage at Trustees Theater prior to the Director’s Choice screening. A montage of clips highlighting Marsden’s work emphasized his range: Stoic superhero in the “X-Men” trilogy; Easter Bunny guardian in “Hop;” exuberant dance-show host in “Hairspray,” and; henpecked husband pushed to the brink in “Straw Dogs.”
“You won’t find more polar opposites than that,” he says with a laugh. “I do think I have been afforded the opportunity to play in a number of different sandboxes.”
Marsden started acting professionally in 1993. He received ample amounts of support from family and friends. “In the luck department,” he tells me, “everything sort of lined up for me. I didn’t have to go and get an agent. My father knew somebody who was a casting director before I moved to L.A., so I had representation when I moved there. I had two parents who were extremely supportive of me. That’s really lucky. And then beyond that, you have to be prepared, have an ability, and perseverance. You just kind of have to get it, I guess.”
Marsden gets it. He has worked consistently since starting in 1993, balancing TV gigs with feature films. Yet the actor says he never really felt like he “belonged” to the professional acting community until recently.
“I’ve always believed that as soon as you get comfortable, you’re done,” he said. “I’ve come to terms with that a little bit as I’ve gotten older. I’ll tell myself, ‘OK. You’re going to find work. You’re going to be fine.’ But as an actor, you can go at any time. And that drives you, too, that one day you can wake up and they’ll say, ‘OK, we’re done with you. We’ve seen everything.’ And thinking of that is a nightmare. Realistically, I think I’ve gotten to a point where I can relax.”
Not too much, though. He has five films in the pipeline, including the recently wrapped “Robot and Frank” and the 2012 comedy “As Cool [...]

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