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3 items from 2007

First deal is 'Sexiest' at Hamptons

18 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- In the first pickup from the Hamptons International Film Festival slate, ThinkFilm has nabbed North American rights to Thursday's world premiere My Sexiest Year.

Writer-director Howard Himelstein's autobiographical coming-of-age story follows Jack Stein (Frankie Muniz), a 17-year-old aspiring writer who lives with his mother (Frances Fisher) in Brooklyn. When her health declines, she sends him to live with his horse-racing handicapper father (Harvey Keitel) in Miami.

Jack soon becomes distracted by new friendships with a rich druggie (Dan Levy) and his sister (Haylie Duff) and the famous model (Amber Valletta) Jack falls for. Ryan Cabrera plays Jack's high school nemesis. Christopher McDonald and Karolina Kurkova also star.

The pickup reunites ThinkFilm with producers Michael Cerenzie and Paul Parmar, part of the team behind its upcoming Sidney Lumet thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Himelstein directed Power of Attorney and scripted Myriad Pictures' upcoming Oscar Wilde adaptation A Woman of No Importance.

Cerenzie and Christine Forsyth-Peters' of CP Prods. will produce Russell Mulcahy's Zen and the Art of Slaying Vampires.

ThinkFilm U.S. »

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'Evil' scores franchise's best opening

25 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Summer might be over, but the threequels keep coming, and this past weekend Sony's Screen Gems unit racked up another sequel success as its Resident Evil: Extinction opened in the top spot.

The third film starring Milla Jovovich and based on the video game franchise about viral zombies, the R-rated Extinction, directed by Russell Mulcahy, bowed to $23.7 million in 2,828 theaters for a bloody good per-theater average of $8,380.

In doing so, it vaulted ahead of the original Resident Evil, which grossed $17.7 million during its opening weekend in March 2002, and squeezed ahead of Resident Evil: Apocalypse, which grabbed $23 million (on a wider count of 3,284 theaters) when it made its appearance in September 2004.

Predictably, the movie drew a crowd of rabid, younger males. According to CinemaScore's polling of the opening-weekend audience, 55% were younger than 25 and 65% were males. The audience was a tough sell, though, and awarded the movie a grade of B-minus.

Pulling into the No. 2 spot for the weekend was Lionsgate's comedy of dating errors, Good Luck Chuck, directed by Mark Helfrich and starring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba. »

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Resident Evil: Extinction

24 September 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- All too eager to please their fanboy base, the makers of Resident Evil: Extinction begin the third installment of their successful sci-fi/horror franchise with a naked shot of comely star Milla Jovovich.

After that, it's pretty much more of the same from the first two films, with Jovovich -- here accompanied by a sturdy band of actors familiar from the worlds of film, television, music and comedy -- kicking a lot of zombie butt. The film opened Friday, naturally without being screened in advance for the press.

The rudimentary plot centers on the villainous corporation that spawned the zombie generation now looking for a cure. Hence their pursuit of the genetically altered Alice (Jovovich), whose blood apparently holds the key to the virus. Between their so-far-failed attempts to clone her (if only!), they pursue her and her band of fellow renegades, who are desperately trying to reach the safe regions of Alaska.

Along the way, they make a pit stop in Las Vegas, now reduced, as anyone who has seen the ubiquitous trailer knows, to a ghost town overrun by the desert sands. Meanwhile, thousands of rampaging zombies, all of whom seem to have been hitting the gym regularly, attempt to literally eat them for lunch.

Fast-paced and filled with brisk action sequences -- including a nifty attack by a horde of CGI zombie crows and a lengthy up-close-and-personal battle between Jovovich and hundreds of zombie extras -- the film should reasonably satisfy the devotees.

The actress, wielding a pair of swords like a chef from Benihana, remains a striking action heroine, though she's more convincing visually -- those taut thighs are weapons unto themselves -- than vocally. Director Russell Mulcahy has assembled a diverting ensemble of supporting players, including the charismatic Oded Fehr (Showtime's Sleeper Cell), Ali Larter (NBC's Heroes), hip-hop star Ashanti and comedian Mike Epps.

Reprising his role as the evil Dr. Isaacs is Iain Glen, providing further evidence that the official retirement plan for distinguished British stage actors apparently is appearing in cheesy American B-movies.

Needless to say, the film hedges its bets by ending with a nifty setup for the next edition.


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3 items from 2007

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