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Weekend Box Office: Hansel and Gretel Take Top Spot On Disappointing Weekend

27 January 2013 3:16 PM, PST

It was a lame weekend for audiences as Hollywood unloaded three major stinkers into theaters. All three newcomers bombed with critics and they could barely score a positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes if you added all three of their percentages together. All three movies dodged critics by not holding review screenings, a bad start for a less than promising weekend. If there was ever a time for we could use a money-back guarantee promise on movies, it would have been this weekend. But the movies still drew enough audience attention for one of them to make the top box office spot. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters took number one with $19 million. The movie's bizarre premise and lame marketing, including a lack of previews for critics which might have allowed for some buzz to generate, resulted in little audience interest despite the presence of newly minted action star Jeremy Renner. »

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Find Out Why Fruitvale Was Sundance's Biggest Film And A Future Awards Contender

27 January 2013 11:43 AM, PST

Fruitvale began earning huge buzz from pretty much the moment it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last Friday. Really, we should have seen it coming. Yes it's directed by a newcomer, 26-year-old writer-director Ryan Coogler, and yes it doesn't feature any of the kind of huge names that send festival audiences flocking. But it promised a leading man turn from Michael B. Jordan, the star of Friday Night Lights and The Wire who's never been anything but great, and supporting work from Octavia Spencer, still not even a year off that Oscar win for The Help. Add that to a compelling, infuriating true story, and how on earth was Sundance not going to embrace this one? It also helps, of course, that Fruitvale is very, very good, a naturalistic and emotional recounting of the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland man who was shot »

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Slamdance Dispatch #3: What Halley And Ryan Learned At Slamdance

27 January 2013 11:20 AM, PST

Up at the top of Park City's Main Street, Sundance's younger, funkier cousin stakes its annual claim alongside the larger festival. The Slamdance Film Festival happened right alongside Sundance, and for an insider look at what it's like to bring your film there-- and how hard you have to work to promote it-- we've got Halley Feiffer and Ryan Spahn to bring us dispatches about their film, He's Way More Famous Than You, which premiered last Sunday at Slamdance. In the film Feiffer plays a version of herself, a fame-seeking aspiring actress who will do anything-- including kidnapping the Karate Kid-- to hit it big. She co-wrote the film with Ryan, and it's directed by Michael Urie, who you might know from Ugly Betty. For more on He's Way More Famous Than You, click here, and to see their first festival dispatch, click here. In today's final installment, Halley and »

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This Rotten Week: Predicting Bullet To The Head And Warm Bodies Reviews

27 January 2013 8:55 AM, PST

I.m still working off this chill from sub freezing temperatures over this last week but its time to warm up these magic fingertips and get to the movies of the week. This time around its warm bodies and bullets to the head. Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer. Bullet to the Head In the sports world there's quite a dialogue about performance enhancing drugs and how they destroy the integrity of competition. (I.m looking at you Lance) Oh the outcry, the humanity, the pundits preaching down from on high condemning anyone who tries to gain a competitive edge. But not in the movie world. Who cares what actors and actresses do to .enhance performance.. (Boob jobs, Botox, and maybe the occasional muscle builder) Granted I »

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True Story Drama Fruitvale Tops Sundance Awards With Grand Jury And Audience Prizes

27 January 2013 8:39 AM, PST

The last film to win both the Audience Award and U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival was Precious in 2009, almost exactly a year before it went on to become a Best Picture Oscar nominee. Now history may be ready to repeat itself, with the intense drama Fruitvale taking both of those top prizes at last night's Sundance awards ceremony. As former Fox chairman Tom Rothman said when presenting the prize, "This will not be the last time you guys walk to a podium." There were plenty of other winners last night, though-- there were jokes going around that Sundance is basically like the awards handed out at the end of a Little League team's season, giving everyone a chance to be recognized. With Fruitvale taking up the top two prizes for the U.S. Dramatic category, the jury came up with ways to award a »

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Anna Paquin, Ellen Page And Shawn Ashmore To Return For X-Men: Days Of Future Past

26 January 2013 1:18 PM, PST

It's supposed to be a sleepy Saturday, but it turns out X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer couldn't resist breaking a little news. Returning to the franchise he kicked off with X-Men and X2: X-Men United, Singer is in pre-production on the hotly anticipated sequel, and confirmed today that three familiar faces from his original trilogy will be making a comeback. Here's what he tweeted: Very excited to welcome #annapaquin, @ellenpage & @shawnrashmore to #XMen #DaysofFuturePast - thank you @brettratner for letting them live!. Bryan Singer (@BryanSinger) January 26, 2013 He's thanking Brett Ratner, of course, because he took over the franchise for X-Men 3, and kept all three of those younger X-Men faces in the fold for perhaps this very reason. We've already learned that the new X-Men film will involve time travel, with older versions of the characters traveling back in time to warn their younger selves about a potential »

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Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters Take #1 At Friday Box Office

26 January 2013 1:09 PM, PST

None of the weekend's new releases got anything even remotely close to good reviews-- the closest is Parker, with a 35% Rotten Tomatoes score-- but the people need something to see, and it seems they've chosen Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Well, sort of. The R-rated revisionist fairy tale brought in $5.9 million on Friday, on track for a $17 million weekend and first place-- though not nearly the kind of numbers you might expect for something action-packed and in 3D. Coming in behind it wasn't either of the other new releases but Mama, which made $3.8 million and, according to Deadline, will have a total gross of $47.5 million by the end of the weekend. You have to go all the way down to #5 to find the next new release, Jason Statham's Parker, which made $2.1 million, and right behind it is Movie 43, which brought in $1.8 million. That one actually only cost $6 million, »


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Sundance Video Blog #7: The Guerilla Disney Movie Escape From Tomorrow And Harrowing Fruitvale

26 January 2013 12:43 PM, PST

The Sundance Film Festival is finally coming to a close, with the awards ceremony scheduled for tonight and the closing night film, Ashton Kutcher's jOBS, premiering last night. It's finally come time to start taking stock of what we've seen over these breathless 10 days, which we did last night in the Eccles Theater-- the festival's biggest venue-- while waiting for the start of jOBS. The first faces you'll see in this video aren't, in fact, me or my intrepid colleague Matt Patches, but some fellow online writer friends Germain Lussier of Slashfilm and Alex Billington and Bradford Oman of First Showing. Then Patches and I jump in to discuss two of the most interesting and provocative movies we've seen at the film festival-- the surrealist Escape From Tomorrow, shot guerrilla style inside Disney theme parks, and the fact-based drama Fruitvale, about the murder of a young man at a »

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James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley And More Added To JFK Assassination Drama Parkland

25 January 2013 11:07 PM, PST

When the cast of an in-development movie includes names like Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Zac Efron and Marcia Gay Harden, you'd think that it would be done adding top line stars. After all, there's only so much space available on a poster for a bunch of heads. But today the upcoming JFK assassination drama Parkland has revealed that those names are only part of the bigger picture. With production on the movie beginning this week Exclusive Media Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East have announced that James Badge Dale, Jackie Earle Haley, Colin Hanks, David Harbour and Ron Livingston have all signed up for parts in the true-life drama. Based on the book "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" by Vincent Bugliosi, and adapted and directed by journalist and novelist Peter Landesman, the film takes audiences away from the streets of Dallas on November »

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jOBS Review: Ashton Kutcher Does Well, But The Movie Fails To Think Different

25 January 2013 9:29 PM, PST

For the last decade of his life the public image of Steve Jobs was the same every year: a man standing in front of a large crowd, showing them some incredible piece of technology, and reveling in the massive applause. Ideally in a biopic you're going to see something more, but jOBS starts off with that scene exactly-- Jobs showing the Apple team the iPod for the first time in 2001-- and repeats it a half dozen times. A biopic about a great man that's way too aware of his greatness, jOBS tells us a lot about the genius of Steve Jobs, but doesn't show us much of anything that actually reveals it. As the closing night film of this year's Sundance Film Festival, jOBS takes a spot shared by less-than-auspicious titles like last year's The Words or Joel Schumacher's Twelve. It's much better than both of those movies, »

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J.J. Abrams Confirmed As Star Wars Director

25 January 2013 9:15 PM, PST

We were skeptical when the news first broke yesterday, but now it's all official. J.J. Abrams will indeed be directing the next chapter of the Star Wars adventure, with Disney announcing the news via press release this evening. Sadly there's not any more information in there to go on-- Abrams, famous for his secrecy, is sure to guarantee that the details of where the Star Wars universe will go will be kept very much under wraps. He did provide a statement for the release, though, hinting at his lifelong status as a Star Wars obsessive: "To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,. J.J. Abrams said. .I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid."  Kathleen Kennedy, now the head of »

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J.J. Abrams Will Still Be A Producer On Future Star Trek Movies

25 January 2013 6:26 PM, PST

When it was announced yesterday that J.J. Abrams has been selected as the director of Star Wars Episode VII, nerds around the world immediately began to question the decision...and with good reason. After all, Abrams was the director responsible for bringing Star Trek back to life in 2009 and as long as both franchises have existed their fans have been at war with one another. But the situation does pose another interesting question: if Abrams is now fully invested in the Star Wars universe, what does that mean for his future connection to Star Trek? According to the L.A. Times and Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, the relationship will continue, though it looks as though Abrams won't be coming back to direct the follow-up to Star Trek Into Darkness, which will be out this summer. In a statement to the paper, Moore not only confirmed that the filmmaker »

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New Host Video Focuses On Saoirse Ronan's Two Characters

25 January 2013 5:36 PM, PST

"I was really excited about the idea of getting to play two characters in one film," The Host star Saoirse Ronan says in the new Host featurette. "It's the actor's dream, really, to do that." Ronan is featured in the latest video promoting the upcoming movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's alien body-snatcher story The Host. The story follows Ronan's characters Melanie and Wanderer in a world where aliens have taken over most of the human race. Melanie's the human who belongs to the body that alien "soul" Wanderer has inhabited. The two characters exist in one body, which means Ronan's playing two different people. The video below, courtesy of Fandango, introduces us to Wanderer, revealing the moment when she's first inserted into Melanie's body. Stephenie Meyer also appears in the video and praises Ronan's performance in the film. Not only does the video do a decent job of laying »

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The Spectacular Now's Miles Teller And James Ponsoldt On High School And Weird Sexual Tension

25 January 2013 4:29 PM, PST

One of the earliest and most universally well-loved hits at this year's Sundance FIlm Festival was The Spectacular Now, which honestly, we all should have been coming. It's directed by James Ponsoldt, who made last year's very well-liked Smashed, and stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, two of the best young actors working right now. It had all the potential in the world, and it delivered, telling a touching but unconventional story of teenage romance with more than enough darkness stirred in to the mix; the audience was laughing uproariously at the beginning of the film, and most of them were in tears by the end. The movie has been picked up by upstart distributor A24 films, with a release planned for this July, and it's a strong contender to be one of the prizewinners at tomorrow's festival awards ceremony. You can read much more about the movie in my »

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Operation Kino 98: The Sundance Film Festival And The End Of Fringe

25 January 2013 3:23 PM, PST

This week on Operation Kino, we're throwing out the usual format for plenty of reasons-- none of the week's new releases screened in time for us to see them, David is off recovering from surgery, and Katey and Patches are still (yes, still) at the Sundance Film Festival, where nightmares like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters can't hurt them. So we're devoting most of this week's show to Sundance, discussing the festival with special guest Brian Moylan, and then tossing in a bonus tidbit from Da7e as he talks about the series finale of Fringe. Take a listen below and find your downloading options; for more from all of us, you can follow our special guest Brian Moylan (@brianjmoylan), the show (@opkino), Da7e (@da7e), David (@davidehrlich or @CriterionCorner), Patches (@misterpatches) and Katey (@kateyrich) on Twitter. To download the file directly, click Here [ Subscribe With iTunes ] 00:01-01:35 Star Wars »

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Doctor Strange, Ant-Man Confirmed As Marvel Phase Three Films

25 January 2013 2:03 PM, PST

According to Marvel Studios, the doctor is in, and he.ll be ready to see you in the company.s planned Phase Three of programming. The .Phases" are the way that Marvel President Kevin Feige has been breaking up the stages of Marvel movies. Phase One consisted of the various origin stories for Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. It included Iron Man 2 and concluded with Joss Whedon.s The Avengers. Filmmakers are hard at work on Marvel.s Phase Two, from Shane Black delivering Iron Man 3 to Alan Taylor hammering away at Thor: The Dark World. But Feige just confirmed a serious hint as to who might be gearing up for a standalone movie in Marvel.s eventual Phase Three: Doctor Strange. The Marvel executive tells MTV News that a Doctor Strange movie .is definitely one. of the movies planned in that stage of release, joining Edgar Wright »

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Star Wars Episode VII Could Have Starred Chloe Moretz

25 January 2013 1:26 PM, PST

Yesterday we got the answer to one of the most burning questions in Hollywood: Who will direct Star Wars Episode VII? In a controversial move, given that he is also the director of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J. Abrams was hired by Disney and LucasFilm to make the next chapter in the sci-fi saga. But what if someone else, say, Matthew Vaughn, had been hired to direct the movie instead? Well, apparently it would have raised the chances of Chloe Moretz starring in it. A few weeks ago /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta sent out a mysterious Tweet that said, "Who said the lead character in Star Wars Episode VII is going to be a male star? :)" While at the time he didn't elaborate, when it was announced yesterday that Abrams had gotten the job the message was explained In /Film's write-up of the Abrams news it »

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A Good Day To Die Hard Featurette Counts How Many Cars McClane Can Wreck

25 January 2013 12:38 PM, PST

Brace yourself for a movie-marketing tie-in that walks the razor-thin line between movie coverage and blatant commercial propaganda. Mercedes-Benz no doubt paid a lot of money to see their cars get banged around in the latest Die Hard movie, titled A Good Day to Die Hard. But one of the perks of being a presenting sponsor of a major studio blockbuster is the ability to share a behind-the-scenes look at how your expensive automobiles were used. So while this is a commercial for both Mercedes and Die Hard, the new featurette does give some unprecedented looks at the making of the latest John McClane adventure. Peep it below: It.s always fun to hear stunt coordinators elaborate on the different ways they.ve cooked up to destroy a vehicle. And while there is some obvious (and probably unavoidable) green-screen work on display in the clip, it primarily looks like A »

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Julian Assange Calls Bill Condon's Biopic The Fifth Estate A Massive Propadanda Attack

25 January 2013 12:29 PM, PST

Benedict Cumberbatch certainly looks the part in The Fifth Estate, in which he is playing notorious journalist Julian Assange, but apparently his subject is none too happy about the film. On Wednesday night Assange spoke during an Oxford Union debate via videolink and took part of his time to slam the upcoming movie, which is being directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Bill Condon. According to Deadline, when the subject turned to the new DreamWorks film Assange called the project a "massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff." He claims to have read a copy of the script - though offered no evidence that he has one - and said that the project will be .fanning the flames. of international conflict due to the fact that the movie reportedly begins "inside a military complex in Iran with the suggestion a nuclear bomb is being built." Production on »

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What If Dogs Starred In This Year's Best Picture Nominees?

25 January 2013 11:41 AM, PST

Every movie ever made can be improved by replacing the original stars with dogs. Talking dogs, preferably. There.s an entire Air Bud franchise that backs it up. This isn.t opinion. It.s science. And so while we.re wiling to admit that this year.s crop of Oscar-nominated films . from Lincoln and Argo to Zero Dark Thirty -- are fine movies in their own right, there.s no way that the current versions are better than what we might have seen if the Best Picture nominees were cast with dogs. The geniuses at TheFW.com did us an enormous favor by adding dogs to the posters of the Best Picture nominees. So Quentin Tarantino.s Django Unchained becomes Django Unleashed, and Ben Affleck.s thriller becomes Arffgo. Hysterical. These are my three favorites. Click here to see the rest. Because I.m a Schnauzer owner, I.m thrilled »

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