September 23, 2015
        Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling - "The Big Short" enters 2015 and could shake the Oscar race up                "Room" wins the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival                “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?        

Tag Archives: Paul Rudd

Hollywood Fest to Honor Zach Galifianakis and Jennifer Lawrence at the Hollywood Awards Gala The 14th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Awards, presented by Starz, are pleased to announce that the star of “Due Date” Zach Galifianakis will receive the “Hollywood Comedy Actor Award” and actress Jennifer Lawrence will be recognized with the “New Hollywood Award,” at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony.
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the Hollywood Awards Gala.
Previously announced honorees for this year’s Hollywood Awards Gala include: Sean Penn for the “Humanitarian Award”; Sylvester Stallone for the “Career Achievement Award”; Annette Bening for the “Actress Award”; Robert Duvall for the “Actor Award”; Helena Bonham Carter for the “Supporting Actress Award”; Sam Rockwell for the “Supporting Actor Award”; Andrew Garfield for the “Breakthrough Actor Award”; Mia Wasikowska for the “Breakthrough Actress Award”; Morgan Freeman and Lorie McCreary for the “Innovator Award”; Danny Boyle and Chris Colson for the “Producer Award”; Tom Hooper for the “Director Award”; Aaron Sorkin for the “Screenwriter Award”; Disney/Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″ and director Lee Unkrich for the “Animation Award”; Hans Zimmer for “Film Composer Award”; Wally Pfister for “Cinematographer Award”; Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall for the “Editor Award”; Paramount Pictures’ “Iron Man 2″ and visual effects supervisors Ben Snow and Janek Sirrs for the “Visual Effects Award”; and Robert Stromberg for “Production Designer Award.”
Zach Galifianakis will soon be seen in Todd Phillips’ “Due Date,” co-starring Robert Downey Jr.. He moved to New York City after failing his last college course by one point at North Carolina State University. He got his start performing his brand of humor in the back of a hamburger joint in Times Square, graduating to doing stand-up at night in clubs and coffee houses in the city. While working as a busboy, he got his first acting job on the NBC sitcom “Boston Common.”
Galifianakis’ breakout role came in Todd Phillips’ blockbuster hit “The Hangover,” the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. He will reunite with Phillips and castmates Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha in “Hangover 2,” slated for a 2011 release.
He also stars in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” which premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. Recently, he also co-starred with Steve Carell and Paul Rudd in Jay Roach’s comedy “Dinner for Schmucks.” Galifianakis’ additional film credits include the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced hit “G-Force”; the indie feature “Youth in Revolt,” with Michael Cera, Steve Buscemi and Ray Liotta; a […]

Elizabeth Banks to step out on “Ledge” with Worthington

By Sean O’Connell How much room do they have on that ledge?
We’ll find out soon enough once Asger Leth releases his thriller “Man on a Ledge” in 2012. The drama – about an ex-cop threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop – already has lured Sam Worthington, Amy Adams, Jamie Bell and Anthony Mackie of “The Hurt Locker.” Now we’re learning that beautiful Elizabeth Banks will join the growing ensemble, according to Variety.
The script has a role for a female psychologist, who must talk down the disturned cop. But up to this point, I assumed that would be Adams. Maybe it’s Banks? Maybe one of them will play the cop’s love interest?
Banks certainly has plenty on her plate. Her “30 Rock” character figures to play a major role now that she’s carrying Alec Baldwin’s baby. And according to IMDB, Banks also has roles in “My Idiot Brother” with Paul Rudd as well as Paul Haggis’ “The Next Three Days” with Russell Crowe. But those films are in post-production, so Banks has time to climb out on that “Ledge” with Worthington.
More news as it comes!
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TRAILER PARK: New clips for “How Do You Know,” “Dagenham”

By Sean O’Connell A lot of new regarding potentially engaging fall pictures hitting the Hollywood News radar this morning. This post offers up two trailers which are worth a look.
The trailer for James L. Brooks’ “How Do You Know” played before my “Eat, Pray, Love” screening this week, so it’s no surprise to learn it has made its way online. (Yahoo Movies as a pristine copy of the clip, so click here to view for yourself.)
In the film, Reese Witherspoon plays a headstrong D.C. gal torn between the jerk she’s currently dating (Owen Wilson) and the sweet lunk who’s interested in her affections (Paul Rudd).
The trailer captures perfectly what each actor brings to a project: Witherspoon’s beauty and command, Wilson’s casual humor and edge, Rudd’s smarmy appeal. What it doesn’t solidify, however, is whether this is closer to “Terms of Endearment” and “As Good As it Gets” or “Spanglish.” The editing is a little drawn out, the doorman gets the biggest laugh, and Witherspoon wears the same off-the-shoulder blue sweater in every scene. I can’t figure that out. Anyway, “How Do You Know” opens Dec. 17.
And then there’s “Made in Dagenham,” a British drama from Nigel Cole, who directed Helen Mirren and Julie Walters through “Calendar Girls.” Based on true events, “Dagenham” tells of a labor strike during the late 1960s, where female workers at the Ford Dagenham car plant protested against sexual discrimination.
Could be “Norma Rae,” or could be “The Full Monty.” The trailer is loaded with dependable Brits, from Miranda Richardson and Rosamund Pike to Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. “Dagenham” will be at Toronto ahead of a planned Nov. 19 release date in the States.
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Reese Witherspoon will croon as Peggy Lee After catching the music icon bug on “Walk the Line,” Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon is in talks to headline a Peggy Lee biopic to be written and directed by Nora Ephron.
Witherspoon scooped up the rights to Lee’s story from her estate. Variety says that Witherspoon met with Lee’s granddaughter Holly Foster-Wells.
Witherspoon plans to produce with Marc Platt.
The actress sought out Ephron, who happened to be a fan of Lee.
Lee’s career lasted seven decades. Variety writes:
She rose to prominence during the big band era and had her first hit, “Somebody Else is Taking My Place,” in 1941. She recorded a series of hit albums and songs, including “Fever” and “Is That All There Is?” during the next 30 years. She’s regarded as one of the most influential jazz vocalists of all time.
Lee also was a prolific songwriter. She penned a number of songs and voiced several characters in Disney’s 1955 animated hit “Lady in the Tramp.” In the early 1990s, Lee won a landmark case against the Mouse House for royalties from homevid sales of the pic.
Her career extended to television and the bigscreen, where her credits included the 1952 redo of “The Jazz Singer” and “Pete Kelly’s Blues.”

Witherspoon’s next film is the James L. Brooks drama-edy “How Do You Know?” opposite Paul Rudd which will bow in December. She will star alongside Robert Pattinson and Christoph Waltz in “Water for Elephants” slated for April.
Photo Credit: WP Content
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‘Anchorman 2′ not greenlit due to actors’ paychecks If you’re scratching your head wondering why “Anchorman 2” was never greenlit at Paramount, it’s because the actors’ salaries would have been through the roof.
In talking to Collider, Will Ferrell revealed “If you’re getting myself, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and probably a bunch of other people who would line up to be in that movie, it’s going to cost a certain amount.
“We were basically begged to for years and years, like, ‘Would you guys ever do a sequel? Would you ever do a sequel?’ We warmed up to the idea and we were like, ‘That could actually be a lot of fun’.”
He added: “And we got everyone together and then they were basically like, ‘Great! We can’t believe it! But you have to do it for this amount’. And we were like, ‘Oh, well there’s no way we can do it for that’. Right now the ball is in their court.”
Despite Ferrell’s inside info, Digital Spy reminds us of Adam McKay’s quote on Twitter: “So bummed. Paramount basically passed on Anchorman 2. Even after we cut our budget down. We tried.”
Photo Credit: DreamWorks
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This Week In Movies – ‘Dinner For Schmucks,’ ‘Get Low’

By Pete Hammond Although boxoffice was up compared to this week a year ago and Christopher Nolan’s remarkable “Inception” remains the number one movie for the third week in a row with an estimated $27 million and only a 36% drop week to week, it does seem like the dog days of August are upon us already even though the last month of the summer moviegoing season just officially started on Sunday. “Dinner For Schmucks”, a so-so remake of a so-so French comedy fortunately stars likeable Steve Carell and likeable Paul Rudd so it was able to almost reach $24 million this weekend becoming the only good news among wide openers. People are starved for comedy so it performed better than it had any right to. Zac Efron who was described by some panting middle-aged female reviewers on Friday anywhere from “dreamy” to “swoony” managed to open his new drama, “Charlie St. Cloud” that day to an estimated $5.6 million thanks to what the industry is referring to “frontloading” from his young fans who then proceeded to abandon it in droves on Saturday when it dropped a horrendous 30+ % . OUCH. With just about $12 mil for the 3-day period this weakly reviewed spiritual opus is already hurting , although not as much as Warner Bros. “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore,” the nine–years-in-gestation sequel to “Cats And Dogs” which drew an abysmal 15% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and also about $12 million for the weekend despite being on 1000 more screens than Zac. Its Cinemascore of only B- does not bode well for good word of mouth either for this bow wow of a bow.

Perhaps the most impressive performer of the weekend was Robert Duvall’s best-reviewed lead performance since “The Apostle” in the quirky comedy/drama “Get Low” which Sony Pictures Classics opened on a limited basis in LA and NY to a very strong estimate of nearly $23,000 per on 4 screens. Duvall and co-star Sissy Spacek who each have an Oscar and six nominations appeared on Wednesday for a Screen Actors Guild screening at the Landmark in Los Angeles which was so packed people had to line the aisles just to get a spot in the theatre. Duvall admitted he never thought the movie (which was in development for eight years) would ever really get made but is now delighted to have […]

‘Inception’ three-peats as ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ opens well, but ‘Cats and Dogs 2′ tanks

By Steve Mendelson ‘Inception’ was number one for the third straight weekend, as it fended off three challengers and neared the $200 million mark. Dropping just 35%, the Chris Nolan thriller grossed another $27.5 million for a new total of $193 million. It will likely cross the $200 million mark on Tuesday, its nineteenth day of release. By Wednesday, it will surpass the $205 million gross of ‘Batman Begins’ to become Nolan’s second-highest grossing domestic grosser, behind the $533 million earned by ‘The Dark Knight.’ At this point, ‘Inception’ is having a slightly leggier run than ‘Star Trek,’ with smaller drops to compensate for a lower opening weekend (it too ended weekend three with $191 million). So it would appear that the audience-pleasing mind-bender should finished between $260-300 million, depending on how well it handles the direct demo competition in the next few weekends. Ironically, it will lose at least some of its IMAX screens a little earlier than expected, as ‘Avatar’ has a planned re-release on August 27th in IMAX and 3-D theaters. There’s not really much more to say aside from repeating the fact that the film has already recouped its budget in domestic numbers and is slowly expanding overseas (it’s worldwide total is now $363 million).
The big new release was Paramount’s ‘Dinner For Schmucks,’ which had an unusually low screen count of just 2,911 screens. While the reviews were decidedly mixed and the marketing was almost low-key, the picture still proved the drawing power of Steve Carell and/or Paul Rudd, as the film opened with $23.3 million anyway. This remake, of a French comedy, underwent a bit of a makeover following disappointing test screenings, apparently to add more heart and compassion to an inherently mean-spirited story. We won’t know whether the changes had an effect until next weekend (opening weekends are about marketing, second weekends are about audience reaction), but my dad didn’t care for it one bit (‘a movie for schmucks’). Regardless, this proves that star power is not completely dead, as pretty much anyone who saw this went because of one of the big names involved (I’m sure the appearance of Zach Galifianakis didn’t hurt).Regardless, the film cost a somewhat reasonable $69 million (remember when only big-budget action films cost more than $50 million?), but it’s probably going to get hammered next weekend, when the all-star (Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. […]

Steve Carell is the “Hollywood Movie Star of the Week”

By Anthony D’Alessandro It’s been said that death is easier than comedy; however, Steve Carell wears the genre as feasibly as a glove. Some of the best comedic actors make a living by portraying offbeat characters; however, some of the better clowns can segue between the straight man and wacky guy with ease. Carell is in the latter category.
Earlier this year, as a suburban father/husband, Carell weathered urban shenanigans with Tina Fey in ‘Date Night.’ On the other side of the spectrum, Carell voiced the character for Gru, a sinister Russian-sounding villain with a heart of gold in the hit animated comedy ‘Despicable Me.’

And Carell doesn’t just excel at his craft, but remains a bankable actor as well, evident in the budding box office returns for his latest laugh entry ‘Dinner for Schmucks.’ This year alone, Carell’s three films, ‘Date Night,’ ‘Despicable Me’ and the Friday sales from ‘Schmucks,’ have raked in over $350 million worldwide.
In ‘Schmucks’ Carell plays Barry, a loveable goof who is amazed by the simple. Barry possesses an absurd skill for recreating famed paintings from stuffed dead mice. Though he’s the butt of Tim’s (Paul Rudd) prank, a guest for a dinner of schmucks that his boss is hosting. Barry’s sincerity awakens Tim to his own shortcomings. Yet, the best moments in ‘Schmucks’ are Carell’s scenes with fellow zany man Zach Galifianakis, who plays a crazed mind-controller, hysterical sequences which come off like Bob Newhart and Andy Kaufman playing an aggressive game of kick the can.

For his ability to always make audiences laugh as well as his down-to-earth likeability, it is our honor to crown Steve Carell the Hollywood Star of the Week.
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Hollywood Movie Roundup: ‘Schmucks’ looks to kick ‘Inception’ auds awake Three films are attempting to stir moviegoers to the fact that there are other films at the multiplex other than the blockbuster “Inception.”
Paramount bows Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks” starring Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Zach Galifianakis – a much needed comedy in a summer that has only touted two to date: “Get Him to the Greek” and Adam Sandler’s “Grown Ups.”
Those looking for laughs have allegedly shelled out $10 million to “Schmucks” on Friday night, putting the film ahead of “Inception” which made close to $8 million. However, when Sunday comes, it looks like both films could have a photo finish for No. 1.
Critics have been split on the comedy which is a remake of the 1998 French Film “The Dinner Game” directed by Francis Veber.
“Schmucks” follows a budding finance executive played by Rudd who in order to peg his way up the corporate ladder must attend a dinner hosted by his boss. The demands of the event require that each guest bring an idiotic person with him. Rudd’s character Tim befriends Barry (Carell), an earnest, but aloof guy who recreates famed paintings with dead mice.
Rotten Tomatoes critics are split on “Schmucks” with a 52% score. The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr serves up an even take: “A number of bits don’t work, some of the characters wear out their welcome, but the whole suckers you into an agreeable state of idiot bliss.”

Also vying to take a bite out of the box office is Universal’s Zac Efron weepy romancer “Charlie St. Cloud.” Efron plays Charlie, a guy so overridden with grief from the death of his younger brother, he takes a job at the cemetery where the body resides. As Charlie connects with the ghost of his brother, he also falls in love with a girl and must choose between the two. “Charlie St. Cloud” has a low 24% score on the Tomatometer with such critics like the Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt blasting “An unstable mix of youth romance, metaphysical idealism and tropes that seemingly belong in a horror film.”
In early estimates, “Charlie St. Cloud” made just over $5 million Friday. Kate Basinger co-stars.
Warner Bros.’ kid pic “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore” enters a crowded family market with an estimated $4.3 million Friday and a low Tomatometer rating of 13%. To its advantage ultimately is the […]

REVIEW: Saggy main course almost dooms “Dinner for Schmucks”

By Sean O’Connell Dinner for Schmucks (**1/2 out of 4 stars)
Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks” starts strong. It even ends strong. It’s that saggy, aimless middle section that might leave an unsatisfied taste in your mouth.
The cringe comedy tears out of the gate riding a stream of consistent, uproarious laughs as it establishes its premise, which Roach lifted from Francis Veber’s French comedy “Le Diner de Cons,” which he admires. Paul Rudd plays Tim, a ladder-climbing financial analyst with a gorgeous girlfriend (Stephanie Szostak) and realistic dreams of graduating from his company’s sixth floor (where the minions grumble) to the seventh (where the elite rub elbows).
To get there, Tim must participate in his boss’s cruel game: Find a fool and bring him or her to dinner so the supposedly superior can chuckle at their misfortunes. Initially Tim balks, believing the practice to be, as he says, “messed up.” But the game changes once he runs, literally, into Barry (Steve Carell), a clueless dweeb with a passion for taxidermy — resulting in the film’s funniest running joke — but a lack of social aptitude or a verbal filter.
Carell’s presence usually enhances the comedic potential in a situation. Not so with “Schmucks.” The actor’s approach to Barry is so bizarre, so off-the-rails, it sufficiently separates Tim’s predicament from the tiny corner of reality it once occupied.
There is a dichotomy in “Schmucks” that bears exploring. Tim believes Barry is his ticket to a better life. Of course, the longer Tim lingers in Barry’s presence, the more destruction — both personal and physical — this senseless stranger creates.
And yet, as Barry throws out Tim’s back, scares off his girlfriend, invites a lingering stalker (Lucy Punch) into the mix, and tosses him to the IRS for an unfortunate audit, we find ourselves wondering if anyone — even someone who is supposed to be an idiot — would behave this way. Roach sets up a scene where Punch chases Carell around Rudd’s apartment. She’s obsessed with Tim, and wants to make him jealous by pretending to sexually spank Barry. Before long, she is throwing wine bottles at Barry’s head, shattering glass shelves and picture frames. Carell disrupts her amorous charge by playing dead, and Punch simply walks out. The scene works up a good deal of energy before going nowhere.
A number of scenes in “Schmucks” follow the same template, […]

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