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2 items from 2004

'Sex's' Davis makes another date with HBO

9 August 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Sex and the City co-star Kristin Davis is staying in bed with HBO. Davis, who is up for Emmy honors this year for her role as the idealistic Charlotte in the final season of HBO's Sex, has inked a seven-figure series development deal with the premium cable channel. HBO plans to field pitches from a range of writers for starring vehicles for Davis. The actress is said to be leaning toward a comedy project but is open to other concepts, sources said. Davis, who has spent the past six years on Sex, most recently toplined the TNT telefilm The Winning Season along with Matthew Modine. Her other TV credits include the Fox drama Melrose Place and the telefilms Three Days, Atomic Train and Take Me Home: The John Denver Story. Davis also is set to boost her profile -- and enter the realm of celebrity spokesperson -- through a sponsorship pact that calls for her to become the new face of Maybelline New York cosmetics. Davis is repped by Endeavor, Mosaic Media Group's Dave Fleming and attorney Jason Sloane. »

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Hollywood North

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Winchester Films

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Perhaps a little too insiderish for its own good, this debut directorial feature from producer Peter O'Brian ("The Grey Fox") well lampoons both the absurdities of filmmaking in general and the intersection between Hollywood and Canada specifically. While the stellar cast -- including Alan Bates, Matthew Modine and Jennifer Tilly -- guarantees a certain amount of interest, "Hollywood North" will best be appreciated by those already in the business. The film received its U.S. premiere at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

Set in the late '70s, the film stars Modine as Bobby Myers, a fast-tracking Toronto entertainment lawyer eager to branch out professionally by becoming a movie producer. To that end, he purchases the rights to "Lantern Moon", a beloved, best-selling Canadian novel telling the tale of a young girl's coming of age in quaint Prince Edward Island.

Needless to say, he soon runs into bureaucratic pressures, not to mention the need for a bona fide movie star in the lead. Guided by a profane, fast-talking Hollywood agent (Saul Rubinek), he secures the latter in the form of Michael Baytes (a hilarious Bates), a washed-up Hollywood star and two-time Oscar nominee reduced to living in a trailer. The paranoid Baytes, obsessed with Muslims, cocaine and guns, soon proves more trouble than he's worth, especially after he demands script rewrites that have the formerly sensitive piece turned into an action film with the new title "Escape From Bogota".

That's only the beginning of the fledgling producer's problems, which soon grow to include a hack director (John Neville), hired only because of the need for a Canadian; a sexed-up starlet (Tilly) who immediately sets out to seduce her leading man; and a documentary filmmaker Deborah Kara Unger) ostensibly doing a behind-the-scenes profile of the production but actually siphoning off the sets and film stock for her own directorial project.

The screenplay by Barry Healy, John Hunter and Tony Johnston veers off in too many directions at once, including a poorly developed subplot involving the burgeoning romance between Modine and Unger. And the humor at times becomes unnecessarily broad, like the over-the-top climax in which the deranged movie star literally goes ballistic. But it also features more than a few laugh-out-loud howlers, and its knowing jokes involving the pressures of Canadian filmmaking and the idiosyncrasies of Hollywood players well demonstrates the filmmakers' obvious experience and familiarity with the scene. »

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