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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sheldon Turner makes directorial debut on "By Virtue Fall"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Sheldon Turner, who wrote "The Longest Yard," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," "X-Men Origins: Magneto," and also co-wrote "Up in the Air" with director Jason Reitman, will make his directorial debut on a thriller titled "By Virtue Fall."

Turner wrote the script for the movie, which is police thriller about a young ATF agent Matt Vinette, who is framed by his partner , a corrupt cop Danny Sloane, for a crime he did not commit and sent to prison. When he gets an early release from prison, he seeks to exact revenge on his former partner.

Nicolas Chartier, the producer of "The Hurt Locker" who was banned from the recent Oscars for e-mails he sent urging academy members to vote for his movie, will work with Creative Artists Agency to finance the movie, which he will produce through his Voltage Picture banner. Jennifer Klein will also co-produce with Turner.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in September.

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Stephen Dorff has joined "War of the Gods"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Stephen Dorff ("Blade," "Public Enemies") has joined Kellan Lutz, Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto in Relativity Media's Greek mythology war epic "War of the Gods."

Tarsem Singh ("The Cell," "The Fall") will direct from script by Jason Keller, which is about a young warrior Theseus who leads his men into battle with the immortal Greek gods to defeat evil elder gods of the Titans in order to save mankind.

Dorff will star as Stavros, the master thief who joins Theseus on his quest. Henry Cavill plays the heroic Theseus, Kellan Lutz plays Poseidon, lord of the sea, Mickey Rourke plays the ruthless King Hyperion and Freida Pinto plays Phaedra, an oracle priestess.

Hollywood Gang Productions' Gianni Nunnari will produce alongside Atmosphere Entertainment's Mark Canton and Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh. Executive producing are Relativity's Tucker Tooley and Hollywood Gangs'Craig Flores. Universal will handle distribution.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in early April in Montreal. Release date for the movie is set for Nov. 11, 2011.

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Cotillard and McAdams join Woody Allen Summer Project

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose,""Nine") and Rachel McAdams ("The Time Traveler's Wife," "Sherlock Holmes") are set to join Owen Wilson ("Marley & Me," "Little Fockers") in Woody Allen's upcoming feature tentatively known as Woody Allen Summer Project (WASP).

The story line and characters for the part-period, part-contempo comedy are still being kept under wrap.

The movie is one of the three features from the three-pic financing deal Allen's Gravier Productions made with Spanish media conglom Mediapro.

Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts and Antonio Banderas starrer "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" is the first movie that came with that pact.

Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer in Paris.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Legendary makes way for the return of "Godzilla"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Legendary Pictures, which previously collaborated with Warner Bros. on movies included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover," is set to work together again in co-producing and co-financing for "Godzilla" feature.

Legendary Pictures' chairman and CEO Thomas Tull announced the return of "Godzilla" movie franchise after the company obtained feature rights from Japan's Toho Co., which has produced 28 "Godzilla" movies. Toho will release the movie in Japan.

A director for the movie will be announced soon by Legendary.

Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers will produce the movie, while Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will executive produce.

Tull was quoted as saying, "Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise. Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

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Box Office Mar. 26-28 Results

1 How to Train Your Dragon - $43,300,000
2 Alice in Wonderland (2010) - $17,300,000
3 Hot Tub Time Machine - $13,650,000
4 The Bounty Hunter - $12,400,000
5 Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $10,000,000
6 She's Out of My League - $3,526,000
7 Green Zone - $3,350,000
8 Shutter Island - $3,175,000
9 Repo Men - $3,048,000
10 Our Family Wedding - $2,200,000

Source: Boxofficemojo.com
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Box Office Mar. 27-28 Results (Japan)

1 Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Mermaid Legend (JPN.Animation) - Toho
2 Pretty Cure All Stars DX
Ray of Hope Save the Rainbow Jewel (JPN.Animation) - Toei
3 SHERLOCK HOLMES - WB
4 Liar Game The Final Stage (JPN.) - Toho
5 AVATAR - FOX
6 CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT - Toho Towa
7 NINE - Kadokawa/Shochiku
8 G-FORCE - Disney
9 THE HURT LOCKER - Broadmedia Studio
10 Memoirs Of A Teenage Amnesiac (JPN.) - Toei

Source: Cinemanavi.co.jp
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Monday, March 29, 2010

"Alice" stands at No. 1 internationally for fourth week

Source: thehollywoodreporter

Director Tim Burton's Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" 3D version sits in the International throne for the fourth week straight.

THR reports that 3D "Alice" collects $46 million on the weekend from 7,170 screens in 51 markets for an offshore earning of $363 million, with worldwide gross total stands at $656.1 million.

Paramount's release of DreamWorks Animation's "How To Train Your Dragon," drew $31 million from 5,594 locations in 35 markets, of which 32 are new. Overseas earning for the 3D animation are $42 million, with worldwide tally stands at $85.3 million.

Although "Dragon" opened No. 1 domestically, it will finish in the No. 2 spot behind "Alice" on the foreign circuit.

Biggest boost for "Alice" were openings in France (generating $14.9 million from 746 screens) and in China ($5.1 million from 450 locations). "Dragon," which opened No. 1 in Brazil, Mexico and Spain, did best in its second weekend in Russia ($6.4 million for a market earning of $16.7 million).

For its part, "Avatar" drew another $7.6 million on the weekend from 2,600 situations in 63 markets, pushing its overseas gross total to an unprecedented $1.950 billion. Director James Cameron's blockbuster ranks No. 4 on the weekend, behind the No. 3 title, director Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," which grossed $10 million from 46 territories handled by Paramount and other distributors.

The Paramount portion of "Shutter Island's" run accounted for $8.1 million from 2,697 screens. The period drama starring Leonardo DiCaprio has grossed a total of $125.6 million overseas to date.

No. 5 was Warner Bros.' "The Blind Side" starring Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, which opened No. 3 in the U.K. ($2 million from 369 sites) for a total of $6.7 million on the weekend from 9,600 screens in 28 markets for a foreign earning to date of $22.4 million.

Director Andy Tennant's "The Bounty Hunter," Sony's romantic comedy costarring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, laughed all the way to $6.1 million from 1,705 screens in 31 markets. Total overseas take after 10 days on the foreign circuit is $16.8 million.

Opening No. 1 in Korea was "Green Zone," which grossed $2 million in the market (via Sierra Pictures) from 276 situations. Overall on the weekend, Universal's Iraq War drama starring Matt Damon tallied $6 million from 2,100 sites in 27 territories for an international earning of $28.8 million.

Topping the U.K. market on the weekend was Universal's release of Working Title Films' sequel "Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang," which generated $4 million from 510 locations. The distributor says that is 4% more than the opening boxoffice figure compiled in the market by the original 2005 "Nanny McPhee."

The family romp starring Emma Thompson as a benign governess with magical powers also played dates in Ireland, Iceland and the Netherlands, and grossed overall $4.3 million from 614 sites.

Summit International's "Remember Me," a romantic melodrama starring Robert Pattison, drew an estimated $4 million from 1,944 screens in 29 markets. Foreign earning stands at $9.9 million.

Finishing in second place in France was Universal's local language coproduction, "L'arnacoeur" ("Heartbreakers"), which grossed in its second round an estimated $3.5 million from 379 situations. The romantic comedy, which opened a strong No. 1 last round, has generated a 12-day market cume of $10.7 million.

Opening third in France was Pathe's "Tout ce qui brille" ("All that Glitters"), a family comedy co-directed by actress Geraldine Nakache and Herve Mimram about the adventures of two young women on the town in Paris. Debut tally was an estimated $2.3 million from 340 screens.

At the opposite end of the content spectrum is "L'immortel" ("22 Bullets"), a crime caper reuniting producer Luc Besson and actor Jean Reno, who plays an ex-mobster whose attempt to go straight is interrupted by his attempted assassination. The EuropaCorp. Distribution release finished No. 4 with $2.2 million drawn from 650 sites.

Finishing fifth was Gaumont's "La Rafle" ("The Roundup"), the historical drama about French police collaboration with the Nazis, which grossed $2.7 million in its third stanza at 650 locations for a market cume so far of $14.1 million.

Read more...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Morgan and Binoche are joining "Son of No One"

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Tracy Morgan and Juliette Binoche are joining Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, and Katie Holmes in police thriller "Son of No One."

Dito Montiel, who directed Tatum in the 2009 action feature "Fighting," will direct the movie, which is about a young officer (Tatum) with an old secret assigned to a precinct in the working class neighborhood where he grew up, but the life of him and his family are threatened when the secret resurface.

Morgan will play Vinnie, a pal of Tatum's character, Binoche plays a reporter.

Hannibal Pictures is co-producing with Nu Image/Millenium Films, and will also co-distribute the movie. Producer of the movie is Holly Wiersma.

Shooting is scheduled to begin next week in New York.

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John Singleton to direct Taylor Lautner in "Abduction"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood," "Four Brothers") has signed on to direct Lionsgate's thriller feature titled "Abduction," which will star Taylor Lautner "Twilight film series."

Singleton will direct from script written by Shawn Christensen, which centers on a young man who finds a baby picture of himself on a missing persons website, and starting to realize that his parents are not his biological parents.

The Christensen's script caused a bidding war last month, with Lionsgate winning the bid with $1 million.

Gotham Group, Vertigo Entertainment and Lautner's Tailor Made are producing the thriller.

Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman of Gotham Group, Roy Lee and Doug Davison of Vertigo, and Tailor Made's Dan Lautner are co-producing, while Vertigo's Gabriel Mason executive producing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in July in Pittsburgh.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Matt Bomer, Ari Graynor in talks for "What's Your Number?"

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Matt Bomer ("Flightplan," "White Collar") and Ari Graynor ("Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Whip It") are in talks to join Anna Faris and Chris Evans in Regency's romantic comedy "What's Your Number?"

Director Mark Mylod "Entourage" will direct from script written by Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan.

Based on Karyn Bosnak's book "20 Times a Lady," story centers on a young woman (Faris) who, with the aid of her womanizing next door neighbor (Evans), decides to re-visit all her ex-boyfriends in the hopes of finding the man of her dreams. Bomer will play Faris' dream guy, and Graynor will play her sister who is getting married.

Producing the movie are Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson ("Journey to the Center of the Earth," "The Guardian"). Faris will executive produce.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in May.

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Jennifer Love Hewitt signed on for "The List"

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Jennifer Love Hewitt, who popularly starred in "Ghost Whisperer t.v series," has signed on to the leading role in Lifetime's tentatively titled feature "The List," reports THR.

Director Eric Laneuville "Ghost Whisperer" will be directing from the script written by Suzanne Martin "Frasier."

The movie is set in a small Texas town, and centers on a former beauty queen (Hewitt), a now married mother of three who faces certain foreclosure on her home after an injury sidelines her husband from working. Convinced that no one as pretty as her deserves to be poor, she takes a job at a massage parlor, only to learn that the clients expect more than a rubdown.

Jaffe/Braunstein is producing the movie, which is scheduled to begin shooting in the spring in Vancouver for release this year.

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Angela Bassett has signed on to "Green Lantern"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Angela Bassett has signed on star alongside Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong and Blake Lively in Warner Bros.' superhero live-action movie "Green Lantern."

Bassett will star as Dr. Amanda Waller, a government agent. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a second-generation test pilot, an ordinary man who was given the power ring and lantern. Peter Sarsgaard ("Boys Don't Cry," "Shattered Glass") plays the villain Dr. Hector Hammond. Mark Strong plays Sinestro, a Green Lantern and Hal Jordan's mentor who later becomes his nemesis. Blake Lively "Gossip Girl" plays Hal Jordan's love interest, Carol Ferris.

Martin Campbell is directing from the script written by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Michael Green, and rewritten by Michael Goldenberg.

Greg Berlanti is also co-producing with Donald DeLine.

Shooting started recently in New Orleans, with a release date set for June 17, 2011.

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Buck Rogers awakes on big screen in 3D

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Classic hero character Buck Rogers will be taking flight on big screen, with Paul W.S. Anderson set to direct.

Screenwriters Art Marcum and Matt Holloway "Iron Man" wrote the script for the action/adventure movie.

Paradox Entertainment, which together with Incognito Entertainment and Randall Emmett/George Furla Productions, acquired the movie rights from the Dille Family Trust, will produce the movie.

Lawrence Abramson, Jeremy Bolt, Fredrik Malmberg and George Furla will co-produce, while Anderson and Flint Dille will executive produce.

Variety reports that the movie plotline is being kept under wraps, but will essentially revolve around a relatable present-day hero flung into the future.

Following the latest theatrical craze for 3D movies, Buck Rogers could be released on 3D.

Buck Rogers has been credited with helping to bring the concept of space exploration into popular media, and introduced Americans to outer space as a familiar environment for swashbuckling adventure.

Anderson was quote as saying, "Buck has already been such a huge influence on action-adventure franchises like 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones,' so for me it is a thrilling opportunity to be allowed to return to the source and relaunch such an epic character."

Buck Rogers, first introduced in 1928 as Anthony Rogers, was a fictional character that originated in two short stories by Philip Francis Nowlan, "Armageddon 2419 A.D." and "The Airlords of Han" published in Amazing Stories in 1928. The character was renamed Buck Rogers when John F. Dille, president of the National Newspaper Syndicate arranged for Nowlan to turn it into comic strip for for syndication. On January 7, 1929, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century A.D., the first science fiction comic strip, debuted.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

South Korean "Mother" won Best Film at the Asian Film Awards

By Siewaun
Reference: asianfilmawards

South Korean thriller by BONG Joon-ho, "Mother," won the Best Picture award at the Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong yesterday. "Mother" took home the most awards - Best Film, Best Actress, Best Newcomer, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenwriter, and Best Visual Effects.

But Hong Kong/China's "Bodyguards and Assassins" which has a total of 19 nominations took home only two awards - Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.

Let's take a look at the full winners list:

BEST FILM:

Mother (South Korea)

BEST DIRECTOR:

LU Chuan / City of Life and Death (China)

BEST ACTOR:

WANG Xueqi / Bodyguards and Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

BEST ACTRESS:

KIM Hye-ja / Mother (South Korea)

BEST NEWCOMER:

NG Meng Hui / At the End of Daybreak (Malaysia / Hong Kong / South Korea)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Nicholas TSE / Bodyguards and Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

WAI Ying-hung / At the End of Daybreak (Malaysia / Hong Kong / South Korea)

BEST SCREENWRITER:

PARK Eun-kyo / BONG Joon-ho / Mother (South Korea)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER:

CAO Yu / City of Life and Death (China)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGNER:

Alain-Pascal HOUSIAUX / Patrick DECHESNE/ LEE Tian-Jue / Face (Taiwan)

BEST COMPOSER:

LO Ta-Yu / Vengeance (Hong Kong)

BEST EDITOR:

Lee CHATAMETIKOOL / Karaoke (Malaysia)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

YI Zeon-hyoung / Thirst (South Korea)

BEST COSTUME DESIGNER:

Christian LACROIX / Anne DUNSFORD/ WANG Chia-Hui / Face (Taiwan)

The recipients of the special awards of the 4th AFA are:

The Asian Film Award for Outstanding Contribution to Asian Cinema:

ZHANG Yimou

The Asian Film Award for Lifetime Achievement Award:

Amitabh BACHCHAN

The Asian Film Award for 2009’s Top-Grossing Film Director:

John WOO

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Chris Evans to star as Captain America

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four franchise," "The Losers") has signed on to play Captain America for Marvel Entertainment in at least three movies.

Evans' first Captain America starring role is in Joe Johnston's "The Wolfman" directed feature "The First Avenger: Captain America," which will be released on July 22, 2011, and distributed by Paramount.

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the script for the feature.

Evan will then reprise the role in "The Avengers," the movie that will unite Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth's Thor and Edward Norton's the Incredible Hulk. Movie is scheduled for May 4, 2012 release.

Evans' Captain America will likely to make cameo appearances in Marvel's other movies, a bonding marvel world which Marvel created starting from "Iron Man."

Created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Captain America was the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a sickly young man who was enhanced to a perfect human weapon by an experimental serum, to aid the United States war effort against the Nazis. Captain America wears a costume that bears an American flag motif, and is armed with an indestructible shield that can be thrown as a weapon.

Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard will co-produce the feature, while David Maisel, Stratton Leopold, Louis D'Esposito and Stan Lee will executive produce.

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Kellan Lutz is Poseidon in "War of the Gods"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Kellan Lutz ("Twilight," "Nightmare on Elm Street") has signed on to join Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and Freida Pinto in Relativity Media's Greek mythology war epic "War of the Gods."

Tarsem Singh ("The Cell," "The Fall") will direct from script by Jason Keller, which is about a young warrior Theseus who leads his men into battle with the immortal Greek gods to defeat evil elder gods of the Titans in order to save mankind.

Lutz will be starring as Poseidon, lord of the sea, Henry Cavill ("The Tudors," "Tristan & Isolde") plays the heroic Theseus, Mickey Rourke "The Wrestler" plays the ruthless King Hyperion and Freida Pinto "Slumdog Millionaire" plays Phaedra, an oracle priestess.

Hollywood Gang Productions' Gianni Nunnari will produce the feature alongside Atmosphere Entertainment's Mark Canton and Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh. Executive producing are Relativity's Tucker Tooley and Hollywood Gangs'Craig Flores. Universal will handle distribution.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in April.

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McDormand, Malkovich, Jeong have joined "Transformers 3"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Frances McDormand ("Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day," "Burn After Reading") and John Malkovich ("In the Line of Fire," "The Great Buck Howard"), and Ken Jeong "The Hangover" have signed on to co-star in Michael Bay's third Transformers franchise.

Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox are returning as the lead characters. Josh Duhamel, Ramon Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson also return to reprise their starring roles, and Peter Cullen, who voiced Optimus Prime in the first and second franchise, will again voice Prime.

Bay announced during a Ferrari charity event that the newest Autobot to join Transformers is the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Ehren Kruger, who co-wrote the script for "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," also wrote the script for "Transformers 3". Plotline is still being kept under wraps.

"Transformers 3" which is set for July 1, 2011 release, is scheduled to begin shooting sometime in April, 2010.

Movie will be shot on location at various places around the world including Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Florida, Africa, Moscow and China.

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Box Office Mar. 19-21 Results

1 Alice in Wonderland - $34,509,000
2 Diary of a Wimpy Kid - $21,800,000
3 The Bounty Hunter - $21,000,000
4 Repo Men - $6,151,240
5 She's Out of My League - $6,015,000
6 Green Zone - $5,962,940
7 Shutter Island - $4,755,000
8 Avatar - $4,000,000
9 Our Family Wedding - $3,800,000
10 Remember Me - $3,278,000

Source: Boxoffice.com
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Jennifer Lopez in talks for "Overboard" remake

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Jennifer Lopez is in negotiations to star in the remake of the 1987 Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn starrer romantic comedy "Overboard."

Leslie Dixon ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Hairspray") wrote the script for the 1987 version, which was directed by Garry Marshall ("The Princess Diaries," "Valentine's Day").

The version's story is about a very rich, spoiled woman who falls off her yacht in the harbor of a small Oregon town, and taken in by a local carpenter whom she's previously maligned. When she wakes up with amnesia, he convinces her that she is his wife and the mother of his four boys.

Adam Cooper and Bill Collage are writing the current script, which Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment will be producing for Columbia. Smith will produce with his Overbrook partner James Lassiter.

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Jamie Foxx plays James Lynch in "Kane and Lynch"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Jamie Foxx ("The Kingdom," "Law Abiding Citizen") has signed on to play the rage-prone killer James Lynch in the feature adaptation of the Eidos videogame "Kane and Lynch: Dead Men," joining Bruce Willis who signed on in 2008 to play mercenary Adam "Kane" Marcus, for Lionsgate and Millennium Films.

Simon Crane, a British stuntman, stunt co-ordinator, second unit director, will make his directorial debut directing this feature.

Adapted by Kyle Ward ("3 Rounds," "Fiasco Heights") the live-action feature revolves around Kane and Lynch, who are forced to pair up and have 72 hours to travel the world and recover a doomsday device before Kane's kidnapped wife and daughter are killed by the criminals who broke them out of prison.

Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter will produce alongside David Willis (Bruce Willis' brother), Stephen Eads and Millennium.

Production is scheduled to begin in August.

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Facinelli to star in a pair of movies

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Peter Facinelli "Twilight" has signed on Verdi-Corrente Productions' two movies - drama-comedy "Loosies" and biopic "Paz."

Michael Corrente ("American Buffalo," "Federal Hill") will direct both movies.

Facinelli, who wrote "Loosies," will be starring in the movie as a successful pickpocket in the New York subways living the outlaw lifestyle until confronted with an old one-night stand who informs him that she is pregnant with his child.

Movie "Paz," which is based on the life of boxer Vinnie Pazienza, will revolves on Pazienza's comeback from a near-fatal car accident that left him with a broken neck. Told by doctors he would never walk again, Pazienza trained in secret and was able to re-enter the ring.

Facinelli, will co-produce both movies with Chad A. Verdi.

Production is scheduled for mid-summer for "Loosies," while "Paz" is aimed for early next year start.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ivan Reitman to direct "Friends With Benefits"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Veteran producer and director Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters series," "I Love You, Man") is set to direct a romantic comedy titled "Friends With Benefits - working title" for Paramount Pictures, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.

Written by Elizabeth Meriwether, Variety reports that "storyline generally revolves around the ease with which men and women become sexually involved, but have a far more difficult time establishing emotional bonds."

Reitman's Montecito Picture Company, in association with Portman's handsomecharliefilms and Kutcher's Katalyst, is producing with Paramount. Paramount are co-financing with Cold Spring Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment.

Reitman will produce alongside Montecito's Jeffrey Clifford, Joe Medjuck and Ali Bell. Montecito's Tom Pollock, Spyglass Entertainment's Roger Birnbaum, Portman, Gary Barber and Jon Glickman will executive produce.

Movie is set to be relesed on the 7th of January.

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Mays and Azaria joins "The Smurfs"

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Jayma Mays ("Glee," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop")and Hank Azaria ("The Simpsons - voice," "The Birdcage") have joined Neil Patrick Harris "Doogie Howser, M.D." in Sony's live-action/CGI-animated feature "The Smurfs."

Mays will play the female human lead, joining Patrick Harris who will play the male human lead. They will play the human husband and wife character, while Hank Azaria will be voicing the animated character of Gargamel, the sworn enemy of the Smurfs.

Raja Gosnell ("Big Momma's House," "Beverly Hills Chihuahua") will direct the feature from script by J. David Stem and David N. Weiss.

Movie is produced by Jordan Kerner, and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sigourney Weaver to play vampire queen in "Vamps"

By Siewaun
Reference: heatvisionblog

Sigourney Weaver has joined Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter in romantic horror-comedy "Vamps."

Amy Heckerling ("Look Who's Talking," "Clueless") will direct from her own script, which is about two beautiful young vampires (Silverstone and Ritter) that are living the good nightlife in New York until love enters the picture and have to make choice, to give up their immortality for love. Weaver will play the the bloodthirsty queen vampire Ciccerus who turned the girls into vampires.

Producing the movie are Red Hour, Lucky Monkey Pictures' Lauren Versel and Molly Hassell. Shooting is aimed for an April start.
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Jennifer Garner is set to produce "Butter"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Jennifer Garner is set to co-star in comedy "Butter," which she will also produce through her Vandalia Films' banner alongside Michael De Luca ("The Love Guru," "Brothers"). The Weinstein Co. was reportedly also joined the project.

Jim Carrey and Kate Hudson are in talks to star in the movie, which Jim Fields Smith "She's Out of My League" will direct from the script by Jason Micallef.

Movie is about an 12-year-old adopted girl who discovers her talent for butter carving and finds herself pitted against an ambitious local woman (Garner) in their town's annual butter-sculpting contest.

"Butter" will be Vandalia Films' first project, and Garner was quoted as saying, "I can't wait to start churning."

Shooting is scheduled to begin in Louisiana next month.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Newcomer Jing Tian is the female lead in "Warring States"

By Siewaun
Reference: english.cri

Chinese newcomer actress Jing Tian, whose acting credits include the lead role in a stage rendition of Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution," has been cast as the female lead in Chinese period war epic "Warring States."

Director Jin Chen was quoted by the "Straits News" that "casting a new face could avoid aesthetic fatigue."

Jing Tian will star as love interest of Sun Bin (played by Sun Honglei "A Simple Noodle Story"), while Francis Ng ("Infernal Affairs II," "Tracing Shadow") will star as Pang Juan. Kim Hee-sun plays Pang Juan's younger sister. Other cast includes Jiang Wu "The Robbers," and Japanese actor Kiichi Nakai "When the Last Sword is Drawn"

The story revolves around the confrontation of military strategists Sun Bin and Pang Juan. Wikipedia describes that Sun Bin and Pang Juan are sworn brothers serving the Wu state as military strategists, but later Pang became jealous of Sun, and framed him for treason. Sun Bin would later escape from the Wei state to the Qi state, and was appointed chief military advisor of Qi state.

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Forest Whitaker in talks for "Little Treasure"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Forest Whitaker "The Last King of Scotland" is in talks to star as one of the leading role in indie drama "Little Treasure."

Michael D. Olmos "Splinter" will direct the movie from script written by Josh Goldstein ("Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Jamie Foxx Show").

Movie follows an American couple who returns to the wife's homeland of China, and have to deal with prejudices, humor, cultural differences and self-discovery while meeting a Shanghai street kid who changes their lives. Whitaker will play the husband, while the role for the wife is still unknown.

The project which are financed by Belltower Entertainment and Amalgamation Entertainment, will shoot on location in Shanghai.

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Box Office Mar. 13-14 Results (Japan)

1 Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Mermaid Legend (JPN.Animation) - Toho
2 SHERLOCK HOLMES - WB
3 Liar Game The Final Stage (JPN.) - Toho
4 AVATAR - FOX
5 PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF - FOX
6 THE HURT LOCKER - Broadmedia Studio
7 DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? - SPE
8 THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG - Disney
9 Hana No Ato (JPN.) - Toei
10 About Her Brother (JPN.) - Shochiku

Source: Cinemanavi.co.jp
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Box Office Mar. 12-14 Results

1 Alice in Wonderland (2010)BV - $62,000,000
2 Green Zone Uni. - $14,535,000
3 She's Out of My League Par. - $9,600,000
4 Remember Me Sum. - $8,300,000
5 Shutter Island Par. - $8,140,000
6 Our Family Wedding FoxS - $7,600,000
7 Avatar Fox - $6,600,000
8 Brooklyn's Finest Over. - $4,290,000
9 Cop Out WB - $4,230,000
10 The Crazies Over. - $3,650,000

Source: Boxofficemojo.com
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Monday, March 15, 2010

'Mission: Impossible' star Peter Graves dies in LA

Source: Associated Press

By BOB THOMAS
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Peter Graves, the tall, stalwart actor likely best known for his portrayal of Jim Phelps, leader of a gang of special agents who battled evil conspirators in the long-running television series "Mission: Impossible," died Sunday.

Graves died of an apparent heart attack outside his Los Angeles home, publicist Sandy Brokaw said. He would have been 84 this week.

Graves had just returned from brunch with his wife and kids and collapsed before he made it into the house, Brokaw said. One of his daughters administered CPR but was unable to revive him. Graves' family doctor visited the house and believed he had a heart attack, Brokaw said.

Although Graves never achieved the stardom his older brother, James Arness, enjoyed as Marshal Matt Dillon on TV's "Gunsmoke," he had a number of memorable roles in both films and television.

Normally cast as a hero, he turned in an unforgettable performance early in his career as the treacherous Nazi spy in Billy Wilder's 1953 prisoner-of-war drama "Stalag 17."

He also masterfully lampooned his straight-arrow image when he portrayed bumbling airline pilot Clarence Oveur in the 1980 disaster movie spoof "Airplane!"

Graves appeared in dozens of films and a handful of television shows in a career of nearly 60 years.

The authority and trust he projected made him a favorite for commercials late in his life, and he was often encouraged to go into politics.

"He had this statesmanlike quality," Brokaw said. "People were always encouraging him to run for office. But he said, 'I like acting. I like being around actors.'"

Graves' career began with cheaply made exploitation films like "It Conquered the World," in which he battled a carrot-shaped monster from Venus, and "Beginning of the World," in which he fought a giant grasshopper.

He later took on equally formidable human villains each week on "Mission: Impossible."

Every show began with Graves, as agent Phelps, listening to a tape of instructions outlining his team's latest mission and explaining that if he or any of his agents were killed or captured "the secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."

The tape always self-destructed within seconds of being played.

The show ran on CBS from 1967 to 1973 and was revived on ABC from 1988 to 1990 with Graves back as the only original cast member.

The actor credited clever writing for the show's success.

"It made you think a little bit and kept you on the edge of your seat because you never knew what was going to happen next," he once said.

He also played roles in such films as John Ford's "The Long Gray Line" and Charles Laughton's "The Night of the Hunter," as well as "The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell," "Texas Across the River" and "The Ballad of Josie."

Graves' first television series was a children's Saturday morning show, "Fury," about an orphan and his untamed black stallion. Filmed in Australia, it lasted six years on NBC. A western, "Whiplash," also shot in Australia, played for a year in syndication, and the British-made "Court-Martial" appeared on ABC for one season. In his later years, Graves brought his white-haired eminence to PBS as host of "Discover: The World of Science" and A&E's "Biography" series.

He noted during an interview in 2000 that he made his foray into comedy somewhat reluctantly.

Filmmakers Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker had written a satire on the airplane-in-trouble movies, and they wanted Graves and fellow handsome actors Lloyd Bridges, Leslie Nielsen and Robert Stack to spoof their serious images.

All agreed, but Graves admitted to nervousness. On the one hand, he said, he considered the role a challenge, "but it also scared me."

"I thought I could lose a whole long acting career," he recalled.

"Airplane!" became a box-office smash, and Graves returned for "Airplane II, The Sequel."

Born Peter Aurness in Minneapolis, Graves adopted his grandfather's last name to avoid confusion with his older brother, James, who had dropped the "U" from the family name.

He was a champion hurdler in high school, as well as a clarinet player in dance bands and a radio announcer.

After two years in the Air Force, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota as a drama major and worked in summer stock before following his brother west to Hollywood.

He found enough success there to send for his college sweetheart, Joan Endress. They were married in 1950 and had three daughters - Kelly Jean, Claudia King and Amanda Lee - and six grandchildren.

Graves credited the couple's Midwest upbringing for a marriage that lasted more than 50 years in a town not known for long unions.

"Hollywood or New York ... can be very flighty and dangerous places to live, but the good grounding we had in the Midwest ethic I think helped us all our lives," he said.

---

Associated Press Writer Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.

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'Alice' wins weekend with $62 million

Source: thehollywoodreporter

Disney's 3D fantasy "Alice in Wonderland" shrank just a bit in its second weekend but again topped domestic rankings in eye-popping fashion with an estimated $62 million tally in the latest frame.

Tim Burton's newest Johnny Depp starrer fell a scant 47% from its week-earlier opening, while pushing cumulative boxoffice to a surreal $208.6 million through just its first 10 days. Enjoying a simultaneous rollout in about 60% of the international marketplace, worldwide cume on "Alice" now totals $430 million.

Four pics opened wide on Friday, with Universal's Paul Greengrass-helmed "Green Zone" proving the strongest of a ho-hum group. The Matt Damon-toplined Iraq War thriller rung up $14.5 million, to bow about as expected in second place.

Paramount's romantic comedy "She's Out of My League" grabbed the weekend bronze medal with $9.6 million in its first frame, while Summit Entertainment's Robert Pattinson starrer "Remember Me" bowed faintly with $8.3 million in fourth place. Fox Searchlight's Forest Whitaker starrer "Our Family Wedding" registered $7.6 million from 1,605 playdates to open in sixth.

Overture Film's cop thriller "Brooklyn's Finest" dropped a big 68% in its sophomore session to $4.3 million in ninth place, with a $21.4 million cume.

Collectively, the top 10 grossers in the first post-Oscars weekend rung up $129 million, or 53% more than top performers in the comparable frame last year, boxoffice tracker Rentrak said.

Among notable platform campaigns, Sony Pictures Classics doubled distribution of its French thriller "A Prophet" to 60 engagements and grossed $218,546, or an acceptable $3,642 per playdate. "Prophet"cume reached $786,315.

Fox Searchlight's music-filled drama "Crazy Heart," for which Jeff Bridges earned a best-actor Oscar, added 87 theaters for a total 1,361 and grossed $3.1 million, or $2,296 per venue. "Crazy" cume hit $34.2 million.

Disney distribution boss Chuck Viane touted the broad demographic appeal of "Alice" for its remarkable second-session hold. Imax screens contributed $7.9 million to the latest "Alice" tally.

Produced by Working Title and co-financed by Relativity Media, "Green Zone" attracted audiences comprised 54% of males and 67% of patrons aged 30 or older.

With a negative cost of at least $100 million, the R-rated pic's smallish opening means only an unusually leggy run will put "Green Zone" in the profit zone. But execs waxed philosophically, in light of the low-grossing track record of other Iraq War films.

"We did better than most pictures about this subject matter," Universal distribution president Nikki Rocco said.

Also rated R, "League" drew audiences comprised 52% of females, with 50% of patrons under age 25.

"The opening was at the higher end of what expectations were," Paramount exec vp distribution Don Harris said. "We're pleased."

Rated PG-13, "Remember" skewed a whopping 84% female, with 53% of patrons under age 25.

"It was along the lines we expected," Summit distribution topper Richie Fay said. "We'll end up OK."

Rated PG-13 and targeting urban moviegoers, "Wedding" attracted audiences comprised of 60% females, with 35% of patrons under age 25.

"It played largely to an African-American and Hispanic audience, and we're happy with this opening," Fox senior vp distribution Bert Livingston said.

Looking ahead, three wide openers are set for Friday: Fox's family comedy "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," Sony's actioner "The Bounty Hunter" and Universal's scifi thriller "Repo Men."

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Kim Hee-sun to star in chinese period war epic "Warring States"

By Siewaun
Reference: english.cri

South Korean actress Kim Hee-sun "The Myth," who has not starred in any movie since giving birth to her daughter in 2007, has been cast in Chinese period war epic "Warring States."

Hee-sun will star alongside the leading cast of Sun Honglei ("Blood Brothers," "A Simple Noodle Story") and Francis Ng ("Infernal Affairs II," "Tracing Shadow"). Jiang Wu "The Robbers" also stars in the movie.

Honglei and Ng will portray the historical military strategists rivals Sun Bin and Pang Juan. Hee-sun's character has not been announced, and so is Jiang Wu's.

The story plot of the epic has not been revealed yet, but Wikipedia describes that Sun Bin and Pang Juan studied under Guiguzi. They became sworn brothers, but when Sun Bin enter the service of Wei state and he became Pang's colleague, Pang who was then a military general, was secretly jealous of Sun, and framed him for treason. Sun Bin would later escape from the Wei state to the Qi state, and was appointed chief military advisor of Qi state.

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Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan lead in "Win Win"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan are set to star in the leading role in writer-director Tom McCarthy's comedy-drama "Win Win." Melanie Lynskey "Up in the Air", Bobby Cannavale "The Station Agent" and Jeffrey Tambor "Arrested Development" also star in the movie.

McCarthy, who has written and directed both "The Visitor" and "The Station Agent," co-wrote the script with Joe Tiboni.

Movie centers on a struggling attorney (Giamatti) who moonlights as a high-school wrestling coach. All aspects of his complicated life are thrown up in the air when he becomes the legal guardian of a client whose grandson shows up on the doorstep.

Fox Searchlight and New York philanthropist Lisa Maria Falcone via Everest Entertainment, co-financed the movie.

Falcone is co-producing alongside Michael London's Groundswell Productions and Mary Jane Skalski. Everest's Tom Heller is executive producing.

Shooting is scheduled to begin March 15 in Gotham.

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Reynolds and Bateman are going for "The Change-Up"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Ryan Reynolds ("The Proposal," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine") and Jason Bateman ("State of Play," "Couples Retreat") will star in David Dobkin's body-switching comedy "The Change-Up" for Universal Pictures.

The movie, which was written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore "The Hangover," is about a responsible family man (Bateman) who accidentally switches bodies with his lazy best friend (Reynolds).

Dobkin "Wedding Crashers" will also co-produce with Neal Moritz ("I Am Legend," "Made of Honor").
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Warner Bros. picked up actioner Leonardo da Vinci

By Siewaun
Reference: thehollywoodreporter

Warner Bros. picked up producer Adrian Askarieh's original idea of "Leonardo da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever," with a search for a writer still ongoing.

Askarieh is producing through his Prime Universe banner, and alongside Vertigo Entertainment‎'s Roy Lee and Doug Davison. Jon Berg is overseeing for Warners.

The feature re-imagines Da Vinci, who is considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time, best known as a painter of "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper," and inventor, as a member of a secret society who falls headlong into a supernatural adventure that pits the man against Biblical demons in a story involving secret codes, lost civilizations, hidden fortresses and fallen angels.
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Clint Eastwood eyeing J. Edgar Hoover biopic

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Clint Eastwood is eyeing a biopic feature of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, which was written a year ago by Dustin Lance Black "Milk."

Eastwood is collaborating with Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer and Ron Howard who will be producing the feature.

John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972. Hoover is credited with building the FBI into a large and efficient crime-fighting agency. Late in life, and after his death, Hoover became an increasingly controversial figure with critics accusing him of using the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders.

The feature was initially set up at Universal, but it would most probably ends up at Warner Bros., where Eastwood's Malpaso shingle are based, as a Malpaso-Imagine production.

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Actor Corey Haim dies of drug overdose

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Corey Haim, a Hollywood teen star of the 1980s who became as famous for his struggles with substance abuse as his acting, died in Los Angeles of an apparent drug overdose, police said on Wednesday. He was 38.

Haim, who rose to the fame alongside fellow teen star Corey Feldman and became known for his hard partying ways, was pronounced dead at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank early on Wednesday, according to Los Angeles police.

"It was an apparent overdose," said Sergeant Frank Albarren of the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Station, adding the "type of medication" was unknown.

In the 1980s, the Canadian-born Haim first came to international prominence in the 1986 movie "Lucas," alongside Charlie Sheen and Winona Ryder, followed by his biggest hit, "The Lost Boys," with Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and Corey Feldman, as well as "License to Drive," also with Feldman.

He became known for his on-screen partnership and off-screen friendship with Feldman, who also struggled with drug abuse and they often were called "The Two Coreys."

The pair starred in a reality TV series of the same name on American cable television in 2006, but it was canceled before finishing the second season.

According to U.S. media reports, Haim was found unresponsive in his apartment and an investigation is continuing.

After battling a drug habit for years, he openly talked about overcoming his addictions around the time he was promoting his reality television series and said that he had become clean and sober.

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Kevin Macdonald will direct "Murder Mystery"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland," "State of Play") will direct Tower Hill Entertainment's first feature film titled "Murder Mystery."

James Vanderbilt "Zodiac" wrote the script, which is about an American couple honeymooning in Europe who are implicated when they witness a murder and wind up embroiled in international intrigue.

William Shively, who owns the Florida-based Tower Hill Insurance Group, and Dixiana Farms in Lexington, Kentucky, will finance the feature.

Vanderbilt is producing alongside ContraFilm's Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson, Tower Hill's A.J. Dix and Shively.

Dix was quoted as saying, " 'Murder Mystery' is pure entertainment. It's exciting, suspenseful and romantic."

The movie will be shot on location across Europe, and casting is now ongoing.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

De Niro to star as legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Robert De Niro will be starring as legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi in the feature biopic "Lombardi" for ESPN Films, Andell Entertainment and the NFL.

Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") is now writing the script, which is focusing on the coach's career during the years he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the worst team in the NFL into five-time champions in 1961, '62, '65, '66, and '67.

De Niro and his Tribeca Production partner Jane Rosenthal are producing alongside Chris Olsen. ESPN Films and Andell Entertainment, which acquired Lombardi's life story rights via his estate and Vincent Lombardi Jr., are also producing with the NFL.

Rosenthal was quoted as saying, "We've had an extraordinary relationship with ESPN for five years through the Tribeca Film Festival, and now we're able to extend that association into production."

Producers are looking to release the feature on the weekend between the AFC and NFC Conference Championships and the Super Bowl in 2012.

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Faris and Evans are asking "What's Your Number?"

By Siewaun
Reference: Variety

Anna Faris ("Scary Movie series," "The House Bunny") and Chris Evans "Fantastic Four" will be starring in Mark Mylod's R-rated romantic comedy "What's Your Number?" for New Regency.

Director Mark Mylod "Entourage" will direct from script written by Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan.

Based on Karyn Bosnak's book "20 Times a Lady," story centers on a young woman (Faris) who, with the aid of her womanizing next door neighbor (Evans), decides to re-visit all her ex-boyfriends in the hopes of finding the man of her dreams.

Producing the movie are Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson ("Journey to the Center of the Earth," "The Guardian"). Faris will executive produce.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in May.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Box Office Mar. 5-7 Results

1 Alice in Wonderland - $116,300,000
2 Brooklyn's Finest - $13,500,000
3 Shutter Island - $13,300,000
4 Cop Out - $9,145,000
5 Avatar - $7,700,000
6 The Crazies - $7,016,000
7 Percy Jackson and the Olympians - $5,100,000
8 Valentine's Day - $4,270,000
9 Crazy Heart - $3,350,000
10 Dear John - $2,850,000

Source: Boxoffice.com
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Winners at the 82nd annual Academy Awards

Source: Oscar.com

Best picture: The Hurt Locker

Actor: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart

Actress: Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side

Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker

Supporting actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Supporting actress: Mo'Nique - Precious

Animated feature: Up

Art direction: Avatar

Cinematography: Avatar

Costume design: The Young Victoria

Documentary feature: The Cove

Documentary short: Music by Prudence

Film Editing: The Hurt Locker

Foreign Language: El Secreto de Sus Ojos

Make-up: Star Trek

Score: Up

Song: The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)

Animated short: Logorama

Live action short: The New Tenants

Sound editing: The Hurt Locker

Sound mixing: The Hurt Locker

Visual effects: Avatar

Adapted screenplay: Precious

Original screenplay: The Hurt Locker

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'Hurt Locker' wins big at Oscars

Source: Variety

In a history-making night for Hollywood, Summit Entertainment's "The Hurt Locker" dismantled the competition at Sunday's 82nd annual Academy Awards ceremony, winning six Oscars including best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow -- the first female helmer ever to receive the honor.

"There's no other way to describe it, it's the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow said in her acceptance speech for director.

After dedicating her prize to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bigelow didn't even have time to leave the stage before she was called back to accept the picture Oscar with fellow producers Mark Boal and Greg Shapiro.

In what industry watchers had often framed as a David-vs.-Goliath battle between the low-budget Iraq War actioner and Fox's 3D sci-fi juggernaut "Avatar" -- and also between ex-spouses Bigelow and "Avatar" helmer James Cameron -- it was the smaller film that emerged victorious, also winning for original screenplay, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.

The awards, handed out at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, not only capped a remarkable run for "The Hurt Locker" but also repped a vindication of sorts. After riding a nearly unflagging wave of awards-season momentum, pic weathered several last-minute controversies over the accuracy of its portrayal of military life, as well as a widely aired Academy campaign violation by producer Nicolas Chartier, who was barred from attending the festivities but was singled out for praise in Shapiro's speech.

With just under $15 million in domestic grosses as of Sunday, "The Hurt Locker," as the lowest-grossing film to win best picture in modern history, reps an ironic choice in the year the Academy had expanded the category from five to 10 nominees, seeking to boost ratings by accommodating more populist fare. "Locker" prevailed over not only "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time, but also crowdpleasing hits including Warner Bros.' "The Blind Side," Sony's "District 9," the Weinstein Co.'s "Inglourious Basterds" and Disney/Pixar's "Up," as well as solid performers "Precious" (Lionsgate) and "Up in the Air" (Paramount). The only best-pic nominees that grossed less than "Locker" were specialty-division dramas "An Education" (Sony Classics) and "A Serious Man" (Focus Features).

Besides "Locker," the only picture nominees to score more than one win were "Avatar," with three, and "Precious" and "Up," which took two apiece. "The Blind Side" and "Inglourious Basterds" each drew an acting nod, while "District 9," "An Education," "A Serious Man" and "Up in the Air" were shut out. Though it wasn't nominated for picture, Fox Searchlight's "Crazy Heart" came away with two awards.

Geoffrey Fletcher won adapted screenplay for "Precious," based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire, upsetting presumed favorite "Up in the Air." Fletcher, fighting back tears onstage while "Precious" helmer Lee Daniels fought back tears in the audience, dedicated his win to "precious boys and girls everywhere."

By contrast, no surprises were to be found in the acting categories, with the wins captured by thesps who'd already claimed prior guild and critics' prizes. Lead actor honors went to "Crazy Heart's" Jeff Bridges and "The Blind Side's" Sandra Bullock, while the supporting actor prizes went to Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious") -- all of whom had previously swept the Critics' Choice Awards (where Bullock tied with Meryl Streep), the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards.

While Bullock, Waltz and Mo'Nique were first-time nominees, Bridges won on his fifth try, having previously received a lead nomination for "Starman" and supporting noms for "The Last Picture Show," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and "The Contender."

"My mom and my dad, they loved showbiz so much," said Bridges, accepting for his performance as a hard-drinking, has-been country musician. "This is honoring them as much as it is me."

"Crazy Heart" also picked up the original-song prize for Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett's tune "The Weary Kind."

Taking the stage after winning for her turn as football mom Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side," Bullock asked the audience, "Did I really earn this, or did I just wear you all down?" She went on to praise her fellow nominees individually, then teared up as she thanked her mother, Helga Bullock.

Mo'Nique drew a standing ovation when she accepted the supporting actress trophy for her much-feted turn as a horrifically abusive mom in "Precious."

"I would like to think the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics," Mo'Nique said, in a subtle dig at those who had critiqued her apparent reluctance to campaign. She also saluted Hattie McDaniel, who won the Oscar in the same category 70 years ago for "Gone With the Wind," "for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to."

Waltz nabbed the supporting actor Oscar for his turn as a supremely eloquent Nazi in "Inglourious Basterds."

"Oscar and Penelope," Waltz said upon receiving his trophy from last year's supporting actress winner, Penelope Cruz. "That's an uber-bingo."

A clue to a potential "Locker" sweep arrived early on when Boal won for his screenplay, which was drawn from his experience as a journalist embedded with an American EOD team in Iraq. "You honor me and humble me with this," said Boal, who, like Bigelow, dedicated his award to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the memory of his late father.

Boal became only the fourth person to win Oscars for original screenplay and picture for the same film, joining Billy Wilder ("The Apartment"), Marc Norman ("Shakespeare in Love") and Paul Haggis ("Crash").

Later in the evening, "Locker" defeated "Avatar" in three technical categories, winning editing and both sound awards.

"This is a little embarrassing," said Paul N.J. Ottosson after taking the stage twice in rapid succession to accept for sound editing and, with Ray Beckett, sound mixing.

"Avatar" did come away with a clutch of craft and technical wins, including cinematography, visual effects and art direction. Rounding out the strong showing for sci-fi in the tech categories, "Star Trek" received the first Oscar ever given to the durable franchise, for makeup.

"Up" picked up prizes for Michael Giacchino's original score and for animated feature (it was the only film in that race also nominated for best picture). Disney/Pixar now has a three-year winning streak in the animation category after its wins for "Ratatouille" and "Wall-E," and holds the record with five overall.

One of the night's hardest-to-call races, foreign-language film, ended in victory for Argentina's crime thriller "The Secret in Their Eyes." Only the second Argentinean pic to win, after 1985's "The Official Story," "Secret" beat out Israel's "Ajami," Peru's "The Milk of Sorrow" and two heavily favored Cannes prizewinners: Germany's "The White Ribbon" and France's "A Prophet."

"I would like to thank the Academy for not considering Na'vi a foreign language," helmer Juan Jose Campanella said in a rambling speech.

The Oscar for costume design went to "The Young Victoria's" Sandy Powell, a two-time past winner for "Shakespeare in Love" and "The Aviator." Powell dedicated her third Oscar to costume designers on contempo-set pics, whom she said were underrecognized. "This is for you, but I'm gonna take it home tonight," she said.

Scooping up the documentary feature prize was "The Cove," helmer Louie Psihoyos and producer Fisher Stevens' expose of dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan.

The animated-short prize was given to French toon "Logorama," accepted by producer Nicholas Schmerkin, who, after apologizing for his accent, thanked "the 3,000 non-official sponsors that appear in the film."

"Logorama" beat out Brit animator Nick Park's latest "Wallace and Gromit" entry, "A Matter of Loaf and Death," marking the first instance in four-time winner Park has lost in this category to a filmmaker besides himself.

"Music by Prudence," directed by Roger Ross Williams and produced by Elinor Burkett, drew the nod for documentary short. "The New Tenants," directed by Joachim Back and produced by Tivi Magnusson, won for live-action short.

In keeping with the night's overall heavy emphasis on genre fare, the Academy included a montage of clips from classic horror films, as well as a brief look at the making of "The Dark Knight" before the announcement of the sound awards.

For the first time, the Academy handed out its Governors Awards at a separate ceremony. John Calley received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman and Gordon Willis received honorary awards on Nov. 4.

The Academy Awards were broadcast live on ABC. Event was produced by Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic, and hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

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Film Reviews: The Wolfman

Today we take a look at the remake of the 1941 classic, The Wolfman Starring Benicio Del Toro in the title role. If you are into dark classical films this movie is definitely for you (Oh and did I mention werewolves galore?)
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Produced by: Benicio Del Toro, Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn, Sean Daniel
Written by: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self, Curt Siodmak (original screenplay)
Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin
Music by: Danny Elfman
Studio: Relativity Media
Distributed by: Universal Studios
Release date(s): February 12, 2010
Running time: 112 mins
Point system:
Up to ten points for each category.

Story: [10 points]
Remakes are tricky business. I say tricky because if a remake deviates too far from the original, you can’t really consider it a remake. However if a remake stays too true to the original film, then it’s little more than a copy. Sadly I cannot base how true or not true it stays to the original since I’ve not seen it, so we will focus on the story which in my opinion was excellent. It did a fantastic job of introducing all the main characters and the plot of the movie stayed on point. Like most horror movies, it didn’t take moving into the film’s final 15 minutes of the movie to reveal what plot devices it had and for you to actually see the beast. So it gets a full ten points.



Acting: [10 points]
The acting was superb. Benicio del Toro’s (Traffic, 21 Grams) portrayal of the title character Lawrence Talbot is dark, mysterious, and at times frightening. Now if you’ve read any of my other articles you’ll see that I talk a lot about the importance of acting jobs in films, over all the acting in this film was spot on. The characters interacted with each other naturally which made the view interact the characters and not the actors. Some actors and films have a serious problem with the interaction between characters which leads to the lines being spoken at each other as oppose to being spoken to each other. The Wolfman pulls in a perfect ten for acting.

Gore and scare factor: [10 points]
If you have a weak stomach, do avoid this movie. We’re talking tons of blood, tons of guts, tons of gore! In terms of whether it was scary, I would lean more towards it was freaky. You know, the kind stuff that makes you go “ewww….”, and with that said, it garners ten points.

Dramatic Effect/level of action: [10 points]
Normally a movie only gets either the scare factor/gore category or this category but for The Wolfman, we’ll make an exception and add it due to the films intense dramatic elements. The only gripe about the film’s dramatic elements was the fact that sometimes the score didn’t fit some of the scenes in the movie, such as a conversation. The music sometimes was a wee bit too fast and/or suspenseful. But other than that tiny blip, the level of drama in the film was very intense but not so intense that it becomes boring or too much. The interactions between del Toro, Blunt, and Hopkins’ characters are what give the film its dramatic emotion mostly. For that, it receives a ten.

Film Score: [10 points]
Now, again if you have read the other reviews you’ll see that I am keen on the score of a film. There are movies where the score at times will deviate from the emotion of a particular scene, be nonexistent where it should be, or the score of the entire movie is wrong in general. The music is what gives a movie its emotion; it’s what depicts the emotion between two people in a movie. The Wolfman’s score was not only a great score, it also fit the tone of the film and aside from some parts being too suspenseful in some areas, over all the film gets a ten for movie score.

Overall movie enjoyment: [10 points]
I enjoyed watching this movie from start to finish. However it’s the type of movie where the viewer needs to be a fan of lycanthrope lore and themed movies for it to truly be appreciated. If you are into those two things, oh and into lots of gore and blood, then this movie is definitely for you.

Final score: 60 out of a maximum of 60 points (this movie is full of win!)

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Prolific actress Nan Martin dies at 82

Source: L.A. Times

Nan Martin, a stage, TV and film actress who played Ali MacGraw's snobbish mother in "Goodbye, Columbus" and was a mainstay on the Southern California theater scene for decades, has died. She was 82.

Martin, who suffered from emphysema, died Thursday at her home in Malibu, said her son Casey Dolan.

Among Martin's Broadway credits are a Tony-nominated role in Archibald MacLeish's "J.B." (1958-59), directed by Elia Kazan; "Under the Yum Yum Tree" (1960-61); and Tennessee Williams' "The Eccentricities of a Nightingale" (1976).

She also was a mainstay actress in Joseph Papp's Shakespeare in the Park productions in New York in the early 1960s.

For 50 years, beginning in 1955, Martin amassed scores of television credits -- including episodes of "The Untouchables," "The Twilight Zone," "NYPD Blue" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

She also played the supporting role of Mrs. Louder on "The Drew Carey Show" and appeared in more than two dozen films, including "Toys in the Attic," "For Love of Ivy" and "Shallow Hal."

In the 1969 comedy-drama "Goodbye, Columbus," Martin played opposite Jack Klugman as Mrs. Ben Patimkin, MacGraw's unflattering, nouveau-riche mother, who despises her daughter's unambitious new boyfriend, played by Richard Benjamin.

"She was so aloof with me during the shooting," MacGraw said of Martin in her autobiography, "Moving Pictures," "that it wasn't until the last day that I realized her behavior had all been in character."

Mothers, in all their diversity, became a staple of Martin's career, which also included playing lawyer Douglas Brackman's dying mother on "L.A. Law" and fiendish Freddy Krueger's mother (Sister Mary Helena/Amanda Krueger) in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors."

The maternal roles frequently extended to the stage. In reviewing "The Eccentricities of a Nightingale," then-New York Times critic Clive Barnes wrote that Martin "glitters like a bejeweled snake as the awful mother."

In 1986, she found herself juggling her role as the mother in Sam Shepard's "Buried Child" at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa with daily rehearsals as the mother in a Los Angeles Theatre Center production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons."

Martin appeared numerous times on the South Coast Repertory stage, including in a leading role in "Odd Jobs" in 1992, for which she won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award.

One of her other notable roles at SCR was that of Miss Helen in South African playwright Athol Fugard's three-person play "The Road to Mecca" in 1989. That led to her playing the same role -- opposite Fugard himself as the preacher -- at Washington's Kennedy Center. Her performance earned her that city's Helen Hayes Award.

"She was one of our superstars," Martin Benson, artistic director at South Coast Repertory, told The Times. "She did a lot of television and all that, but her real love was theater. You could always dangle a part in front of her, and she'd jump at it."

Added Benson, who directed Martin in a number of productions: "She was a grand lady. She had a very elegant, queenly-like bearing about her, and yet underneath it all she was just a big kid."

Born in Decatur, Ill., on July 15, 1927, Martin was reared in Santa Monica. She was attending UCLA part time when she was chosen for a role in a campus production of "The Gentle People."

Working as a model for fashion designer Adrian, she saved enough money to go to New York, where she made her Broadway debut in 1950, playing a supporting role in the short-lived "A Story for a Sunday Evening."

Martin was married twice. Her first husband, whom she divorced, was screen composer Robert Emmett Dolan, with whom she had a son, Casey.

Besides Casey, she is survived by her second husband, architect Harry Gesner; and their son, actor-producer Zen Gesner; as well as three grandsons.

dennis.mclellan @latimes.com

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Ronnie Yu casts top Asian actresses in "The Lady Generals"

By Siewaun
Reference: channelnewsasia

Director Ronnie Yu, famed for directing "The Bride With White Hair" series, is set to direct "The Lady Generals of the Yang Family," and has gathered top Asian actresses such as Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun, Tang Wei and Michelle Yeoh for the historical epic feature.

Orange Sky Golden Harvest Holdings Ltd and Japanese entertainment giant AVEX will fund the US$20 million movie.

The movie,which will be Yu's second mandarin spoken movie after Jet Li in "Fearless," tells the story of the women from the Yang family of Song dynasty who went to battle to avenge their warriors husbands that died while fighting the invading Xia army after being betrayed by a traitorous Song official.

According to CNA, the story will reportedly depart significantly from the series of novels it is based on and does not focus too much on the themes of loyalty. Instead, it will focus on the heroism of the titular Lady Generals.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in May, according to Orange Sky.

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