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Sundance 2013: Robert Redford answers conservative critics

17 January 2013 9:14 PM, PST

In the Day 1 press conference to open the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford struck back at a conservative Utah group that suggested last week that the state should reconsider its funding of Sundance because the festival’s liberal leanings did not reflect the state’s values. “Sometimes the narrowest mind barks the loudest, and we’ve over time come to ignore it,” said Redford, who also reminded Utahans of the $80 million the festival attracts each year to the local economy. “We’re also offering a wide spectrum of choices. It’s up to the audience to choose … So I would »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Casting Net: James Franco to direct and star in biopic 'Beautiful People.' Plus: Liam Neeson lands action pic, Paul Dano to play Beach Boys' Brian Wilson

17 January 2013 7:07 PM, PST

James Franco is taking a break from his life of leisure and and media underexposure to star in and direct Beautiful People, a biopic about Jay Sebring, who built a hairstyling empire in the 1960s. He was also something of a famous international gadabout, including a romance with actress Sharon Tate, which eventually became platonic. Sebring was killed along with Tate in the infamous Manson Family murders, though it’s not clear if the screenplay by first-timer Lauren Wild includes that sad chapter of Sebring’s life. [Deadline]

• Liam Neeson, action star extraordinaire, is set to star in Run All Night, »


- Adam B. Vary

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'Red 2' trailer: Yes, Helen Mirren kicking ass still looks awesome -- Video

17 January 2013 6:10 PM, PST

A glibly violent lark about retired government secret agents — played by, among others, Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren — who find themselves thrust back on the job, the first Red had a great deal of fun staging action sequences with “older” actors at the center of them. Which is to say, they gave Helen Mirren a giant machine gun, and it was kinda amazing.

The sequel has a new director (GalaxyQuest’s Dean Parisot), the same screenwriters (Jon and Erich Hoeber, based loosely on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis), and, as the new trailer makes clear, the same »


- Adam B. Vary

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Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox in 'Emperor' trailer -- Video

17 January 2013 5:01 PM, PST

Who would you rather sit next to on a plane: General MacArthur or Tommy Lee Jones?

In the first official trailer for Emperor, Matthew Fox doesn’t really get a choice in the matter. The unlikely pair are on their way to Japan in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and must determine whether or not Emperor Hirohito is a war criminal. They only have ten days to do so.

Click past the jump to watch the trailer, and remind yourself that Tommy Lee Jones can look as unhappy as he wants at awards shows, as long as he »


- Lindsey Bahr

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Box office preview: 'Mama' may take Jessica Chastain to No. 1 (again) over holiday weekend

17 January 2013 4:22 PM, PST

Jessica Chastain is having a banner week. On Sunday, the statuesque actress won a Golden Globe for her performance in Zero Dark Thirty, which simultaneously topped the box office with $24.4 million. Tomorrow, Chastain will attempt to replace herself at the top of the chart with the Guillermo Del Toro-directed horror flick Mama. And she’s done all this while still performing in Broadway’s The Heiress!

Mama isn’t the only new entry this weekend. The Mark Wahlberg/Russell Crowe thriller Broken City will face the Arnold Schwarznegger vehicle The Last Stand in a quest to win over male action fans. »


- Grady Smith

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Mark Wahlberg and Ted to appear at Oscars -- Video

17 January 2013 2:11 PM, PST

Ted versus Stewie? It could happen at this year’s Academy Awards.

After over a 218 million dollar domestic box office take, it’s no surprise that the R-rated bear has fans. And apparently Academy members – and Oscars viewers — are going to get a second round of inappropriate hijinks. On a segment of Anderson Live airing Friday, Mark Wahlberg confirmed that he and Ted will be part of the Oscar telecast this year, which of course is being hosted by Ted creator/voice Seth MacFarlane. Jokes about the Best Actress nominees by the teddy bear with no boundaries? All but a guarantee. »


- Erin Strecker

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'Django Unchained' Quentin Tarantino's top grossing film in the U.S., but not worldwide

17 January 2013 2:09 PM, PST

The “D” may be silent in Django Unchained, but it clearly stands for “dollar signs.” Quentin Tarantino’s revenge Western has topped Inglourious Basterds as the writer-director’s top grossing film — in the United States. With $129.1 million as of Wednesday, the controversial riff on American slavery looks headed to top out somewhere close to $150 million, placing it well ahead of Basterds’ $120.5 million total domestic gross.

Whether Django Unchained can beat Basterds’ global total of $321.5 million, however, remains to be seen. The film is just arriving in overseas theaters this week (with Sony Pictures handling international distribution), and whereas a World »


- Adam B. Vary

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Brett Ratner's 'Hercules' gets summer 2014 release date

17 January 2013 11:13 AM, PST

Ever wonder if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson– who has glistened in such roles as The Scorpion King and The Tooth Fairy– could pull off playing Hercules, one of the greatest heroes of Greek mythology?

Well fear not!  Brett Ratner’s Hercules is set to hit theaters August 8th 2014, EW confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter originally reported the news.

The MGM and Paramount movie is based on Hercules: The Thracian Wars a graphic novel by Steven Moore. »


- Sarah Caldwell

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Susan Boyle helped spark 'Les Miserables' movie, says producer Cameron Mackintosh

17 January 2013 10:12 AM, PST

Without Susan Boyle, the Les Miserables movie might never have happened, according to theater producer Cameron Mackintosh. Mackintosh, who spearheaded the global Les Miz phenomenon (and is one of the film’s producers), says Boyle’s enormous worldwide success after wowing Britain’s Got Talent with her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” in 2009 had a lot to do with the movie getting made.

“The show was doing pretty well at the time, but it suddenly had a real kick into it,” says Mackintosh. “I could see a whole pile of new people who wouldn’t necessarily have thought to »


- Rob Brunner

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Sundance 2013: See 'Sons of Anarchy' star Maggie Siff in intimate indie 'Concussion' -- Exclusive Clip

17 January 2013 9:17 AM, PST

Congratulations, Concussion — you may have the Sundanciest plot summary in the history of Sundance.

To wit: “Abby is a fortysomething, wealthy, married, lesbian housewife who — after getting smacked in the head by her son’s baseball — walks around every corner of her suburban life to confront a mounting desire for something else. She takes on a new project and purchases a pied-à-terre in Manhattan. Walking around the city streets reminds Abby what it feels like to be sexy, and her pent-up libido shakes off its inhibitions. Her desire is not a take-home item for the minivan ride back home, so »


- Hillary Busis

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Sundance Film Festival's 13 must-see movies

17 January 2013 9:00 AM, PST

Awkward.

If there’s one word that unites many of the movies making their debuts at the Sundance Film Festival this year, that’s probably the best: Hilariously, beautifully, tragically awkward.

Imagine you’re a teenage kid in the merciless grip of puberty and your “new dad” turns to you one day and — by way of trying to help you manage your expectations with girls — informed you that, sorry …  you’re kind of ugly.

Awkward.

Or picture a 30-something, book-loving lonelyheart who ventures to a British resort where people are hired to reenact Jane Austen’s novels, and all you really, »

- Anthony Breznican

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'Spring Breakers' trailer: Good girls go bad with James Franco -- Video

17 January 2013 8:56 AM, PST

Guys, I don’t think we’re at Disney anymore.

That seems to be the idea behind the new trailer for Spring Breakers, starring a bikini-clad Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine as college girls who rob a bank and get into a ton of R-rated mischief all in the name of going on spring break…spring break….spring break, as voices in the trailer seductively repeat over and over again. Things get real out of control at :50, when a cornrow-and-grill-donning James Franco (of course) appears and declares: “Bikinis and big booties, yo! That’s what life is about! »


- Erin Strecker

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Charlie Sheen dies (well, sort of) in new poster for 'A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III' -- Exclusive

17 January 2013 8:47 AM, PST

Okay, that headline is shameless. But the new poster for writer-director Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III is sort of shameless, too. The period comedy follows the surrealistic misadventures of the titular playboy graphic designer (Charlie Sheen), whose buddies (Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman) try to help him heal his world-melting broken heart. The one-sheet plays off that story by picturing Swan with an arrow through his heart, but the image of an impaled Swan floating above Los Angeles is certain to evoke the persona of the man playing him for many moviegoers. Check »


- Adam B. Vary

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Sundance 2013: 'Stake Land' director Jim Mickle talks about his new horror film, 'We Are What We Are'

17 January 2013 6:30 AM, PST

When writer-director Jim Mickle was touring the festival circuit a couple of years back with his vampire-apocalypse epic Stake Land, he couldn’t help but be envious of another horror film then doing the rounds, Mexican filmmaker Jorge Michel Grau’s We Are What We Are. “It played every festival Stake Land did,” recalls Mickle. “I kept missing it but I was kind of jealous because it sounded like a great concept merged genre filmmaking with the intensely emotional. I was like, ‘Ah, s—, I wish I’d made that kind of movie.’”

And now Mickle has done exactly that »


- Clark Collis

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Sundance 2013: Ed Burns looks back on 'The Brothers McMullen' and the moment his life changed

17 January 2013 6:00 AM, PST

There will be plenty of huge Hollywood celebrities at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which starts today in Park City, Utah, but inevitably, the biggest star of the festival will be someone you probably don’t know yet. Every January, an artist — typically a young filmmaker — comes to Park City with a story to tell (and sell) and emerges as the Next Big Thing. It started with Steven Soderbergh when sex, lies, and videotape opened everyone’s eyes near the dawn of the independent renaissance in 1989, and it became an annual tradition as the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, »


- Ed Burns

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Sundance 2013: Juno Temple holds on by a thread in 'Magic Magic' -- Exclusive Poster

17 January 2013 6:00 AM, PST

In Magic Magic, Juno Temple and Emily Browning play best friends whose rendezvous in the Chilean countryside with some boys takes a turn for the worse when Temple’s Alicia is plagued by insomnia. Chilean writer-director Sebastián Silva has teased that it’s a disturbing psychological thriller that is meant to confuse the audience, so it’s a perfect movie for the Park City at Midnight slate at the Sundance Film, Festival, which begins today.

For Temple, who has three films at this year’s festival, playing unbalanced, unpredictable women is becoming something of a hobby. Her father, Julien, is »


- Jeff Labrecque

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Casting Net: Al Pacino and Brian De Palma to tell Penn State coach Joe Paterno's story. Plus: Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, Dylan McDermott

16 January 2013 7:10 PM, PST

• Al Pacino is reteaming with his Scarface director Brian De Palma for a biopic of the legendary rise and ignoble fall of Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno. The script will be based on the book Paterno by Joe Posnanski, but with the working title of Happy ValleyDave McKenna (American History X, Blow) is in talks to pen the screenplay. [Deadline]

• Patrick StewartCarla Gugino, and Matthew Lillard have all signed up to star in Match, an adaptation of the 2004 Tony-nominated play about a veteran dance instructor (Stewart) whose past comes back to haunt him when a couple (Gugino »


- Adam B. Vary

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Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring' gets a distributor

16 January 2013 6:56 PM, PST

It never seemed like a question of whether or not Sofia Coppola’s latest project would get a distributor, it was mainly a matter of who would pick it up. Wednesday it was announced that A24 had acquired the U.S. distribution rights for Coppola’s fifth film, The Bling Ring.

The New York-based A24 has only been around since last summer, but is already starting to carve out a niche for itself in the world of small, idiosyncratic celebrity indies, boasting a roster of films that includes Roman Coppola’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, »


- Lindsey Bahr

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Fox Searchlight re-releasing 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

16 January 2013 6:08 PM, PST

In the wake of its four major Academy Awards nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, Fox Searchlight Pictures announced Wednesday that it intends to re-release the bayou fable Beasts of the Southern Wild in theaters on January 18.

That date marks the one-year anniversary of the film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, where it picked up the Grand Jury Prize and Excellence in Cinematography Award. The stunning debut kicked off a banner year that included winning a Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. So far, Beasts has picked up over 120 awards from festivals and critics. »


- Lindsey Bahr

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Check out this adorable annotated script for 'Moonrise Kingdom'

16 January 2013 5:36 PM, PST

One of the delights of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom were all the tiny, Wes Anderson-y details tucked inside his star-studded story of young love on the run, like the sprawling New England home of Suzy Bishop, or the highly organized Khaki Scouts campground Camp Ivanhoe.

As part of the film’s awards season campaign — and to celebrate the Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for Anderson and Roman CoppolaFocus Features has created an annotated version of the script featuring props, costumes, set designs, and Anderson’s notes for some of his trademark elaborate tracking shots. It’s »


- Adam B. Vary

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