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7 items from 2005


Imax putting A-list voices on 3-D 'Moon'

30 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- Giant-screen exhibitor Imax Corp. on Tuesday added a number of A-list voices to its upcoming Tom Hanks-narrated project, including Gary Sinise, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey and John Travolta. Toronto-based Imax said the space-themed "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D," a Playtone/IMAX production, also will feature the voices of Paul Newman, Rita Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Bill Paxton, Donnie Wahlberg, John Corbett, Barry Pepper, Bryan Cranston, Scott Glenn, Rick Gomez, Frank John Hughes and Tim Matheson. "Magnificent Desolation", which uses NASA footage, live-action and computer-generated imagery to tell the story of the only 12 astronauts to walk on the moon, will bow in Imax theaters Sept. 23. »

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Imax putting A-list voices on 3-D 'Moon'

30 August 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TORONTO -- Giant-screen exhibitor Imax Corp. on Tuesday added a number of A-list voices to its upcoming Tom Hanks-narrated project, including Gary Sinise, Matt Damon, Matthew McConaughey and John Travolta. Toronto-based Imax said the space-themed "Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D," a Playtone/IMAX production, also will feature the voices of Paul Newman, Rita Wilson, Morgan Freeman, Bill Paxton, Donnie Wahlberg, John Corbett, Barry Pepper, Bryan Cranston, Scott Glenn, Rick Gomez, Frank John Hughes and Tim Matheson. "Magnificent Desolation", which uses NASA footage, live-action and computer-generated imagery to tell the story of the only 12 astronauts to walk on the moon, will bow in Imax theaters Sept. 23. »

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Johnson gets one-year deal at NBC Uni TV

8 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Director Clark Johnson has inked a one-year deal with NBC Universal TV Studio. Under the pact, Johnson will develop, direct and executive produce series projects for the studio. In developing new projects, Johnson will partner with producer Sean Ryerson. The deal with NBC Uni TV comes on the heels of Johnson directing the studio's drama pilot for NBC NY-70 this past development season. Written by Rand Ravich, NY-70 was based on the experiences of The French Connection detectives Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan and starred Donnie Wahlberg and Bobby Cannavale. »

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Goldwyn steps in on 'Dancing'

29 March 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Samuel Goldwyn Films said Monday that it has acquired North American rights to Randall Miller's Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School. The film, which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival, stars Robert Carlyle, Marisa Tomei, John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Sean Astin, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny DeVito. Samuel Goldwyn Films will release the film in September. Based on a short film created 15 years ago by Miller and wife Jody Savin, Dancing centers on a widowed man's life that is turned upside down when he embarks on a journey to find a dying man's long-lost love. The film also stars David Paymer, Adam Arkin, Sonia Braga, Ernie Hudson, Miguel Sandoval, Elden Henson and Camryn Manheim. It was produced by Miller, Savin, Morris Ruskin and Eileen Craft. Executive producers are Art Klein, Ronald Savin, Eduardo Castro, Carlos Gidi, Kevin Reidy, Lon Bender and Jeffrey Lampert. Co-producers are Randi Hiller and Sarah Finn. The deal was brokered by Samuel Goldwyn Films president Meyer Gottleib and head of acquisitions Peter Goldwyn. CAA and Shoreline Entertainment brokered on behalf of the filmmakers. »

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Incentives cited as N.Y. greets pilots

23 February 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg welcomed five new television pilots currently filming at Queens-based Silvercup Studios in a press conference Tuesday on the set of the Fox series Jonny Zero. The mayor attributed the filming to his Made in New York tax-incentive program he signed into effect in early January, which he expected to bring more than $15 million into the city. "New York City's production industry employs 100,000 New Yorkers and generates $5 billion for the city annually, and we are committed to expanding our share of this vital industry," Bloomberg said. Among the pilots lined up at Silvercup are NBC Studios' NY-70, a cop-drama set in the 1970s starring Tony Lo Bianco, Bobby Cannavale, Kat Foster and Donnie Wahlberg. »

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Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School

27 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

PARK CITY -- "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School" is a film for anyone who has ever longed to revisit a childhood sweetheart.

Although that's not exactly what happens, the film is an elegiac journey to a sweeter, more civilized place in the heart. Predictable and decidedly old-fashioned in its sensibility, the film is likely to win over audiences if not critics.

The story is a fairy tale of sorts, the kind that happens when you meet someone unexpectedly who changes your life. Frank Keane (Robert Carlyle), a baker, is a lost soul going through life on automatic pilot. He is consumed by his wife's unexplained suicide; his closet is still full of her clothes, and he greets her ashes every morning.

On a delivery run one day in his circa-1960s truck, he happens upon a car wreck. The man inside, Steve Mills (John Goodman), is crushed behind the wheel. To keep him alive, Frank gets him to talk about his life. Steve was on his way to a rendezvous with his childhood girlfriend, whom he hasn't seen in 40 years but has sworn to meet at the Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, the place they first met as kids, on the fifth day of the fifth month of the fifth year of the new millennium.

As Steve relates his life story between gasps and Frank reveals some of his own experience, the wheel of fate turns. To be sure it's oiled by a heavy dose of syrup, but it is hard to resist a dying man's wish. Steve wants Frank to keep his appointment and go to the school to meet his girlfriend Lisa in his place. Unfortunately, she's a no-show. But Frank stays for class anyway and the magic of dance starts to take effect.

As dispensed by Marienne Hotchkiss (Mary Steenburgen), evoking the ghost of her dead mother, Marilyn, it's a spell she says can release the deepest hidden feelings and color your life magenta (yes, she says that) if you are prepared to accept the responsibilities. And, of course, there's a girl (Marisa Tomei) there to help the process along.

Naturally, there are some bumps on the road to love -- an irate step-brother (Donnie Wahlberg) who punches out Frank -- and a few hidden secrets, but nothing that would constitute a surprise. Director Randall Miller, who expanded the material from a short he made 15 years ago, tends to go for the easy surface feelings rather than tapping the deeper stuff. Carlyle is light on his feet and easy on the eyes, but Goodman is the closest thing to a big country ham onscreen this year.

The adventures of these people, including Frank's men's group, who eventually turn up at the dance class, could be the stuff of a TV sitcom. But holding disbelief in check and cynicism at bay, one can almost follow Marienne Hotchkiss in her stunning blue-sequined gown slit up one leg as she evokes the mood and manners of the '50s. Guiding her class through the lindy hop or the merengue, Steenburgen has a grace and lightness of touch the rest of the film could have benefited from.

MARILYN HOTCHKISS BALLROOM DANCING AND CHARM SCHOOL

Unclaimed Freight Prods., Charm School, Shoreline Entertainment

Credits:

Director-editor: Randall Miller

Screenwriters: Randall Miller, Jody Savin

Producers: Randall Miller, Jody Savin, Morris Ruskin, Eileen Craft

Executive producers: Art Klein, Ronald Savin, Eduardo Castro

Director of photography: Jonathan Sela

Production designer

Dawn Synder

Music: Mark Adler

Costume designer: Kathryn Morrison

Editor: Randall Miller

Cast:

Frank Keane: Robert Carlyle

Meredith Morrison: Marisa Tomei

Steve Mills: John Goodman

Marienne Hotchkiss: Mary Steenburgen

Randall Ipswich: Donnie Wahlberg

Blake Rische: Ernie Hudson

Rafael Horowitz: David Paymer

Lisa Gobar: Camryn Manheim

Gabe DiFranco: Adam Arkin

Tina: Sonya Braga

Samson: Elden Henson

Matthew Smith: Miguel Sandoval

Booth: Danny DeVito

No MPAA rating

Running time -- 103 minutes »

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Wahlberg, NBC getting connected

27 January 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Donnie Wahlberg is in negotiations to star opposite Bobby Cannavale in NBC's untitled '70s cop drama from writer-producer Rand Ravich, which Clark Johnson is on board to direct. Set in New York, the project is based on the real-life experiences of NYPD Detectives Sonny Grosso and Eddie Egan, the cops behind one of the biggest drug busts in U.S. history, which became the subject of the Oscar-winning 1971 feature The French Connection (HR 11/18). Wahlberg will play the character loosely based on Egan. In the movie, the role earned Gene Hackman an Academy Award. »

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7 items from 2005


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