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Peter Jackson retitles The Hobbit part three The Battle of the Five Armies

41 minutes ago

Director calls previous sub-title There and Back Again redundant as 'Bilbo has already arrived there'

The final film in Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy has been retitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

The New Zealand film-maker made the announcement on his Facebook page following weeks of speculation surrounding the movie, which was previously titled There and Back Again. The third instalment of Jackson's adaptation of Jrr Tolkien's book is due in cinemas this December. The Oscar-winning director said the change had been made because the old title no longer felt right for a trilogy, having been conceived back when the film-makers planned a two-part adaptation of the 1937 fantasy fable.

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- Ben Child

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Lights, no camera, action: the joy of live film readings

49 minutes ago

Seth Rogen as the Big Lebowski? Mindy Kaling as the Princess Bride? Live reads of these films, plus Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, are proving a sellout success. They make for a great night of theatre

A week ago I was lucky enough to snag the hottest ticket of the week in Los Angeles. This meant I got to see 12 people sitting around on a stage clutching scripts and talking into microphones, shooting one another with finger guns, fake projectile vomiting, fake punching each other in the face, or playing dead for extremely long periods.

Conducted under the stewardship of director Quentin Tarantino, and under the auspices of Film Independent at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma), and its curator Elvis Mitchell, this was the world premiere of his new movie, The Hateful Eight. Or, rather, an enhanced "live read" of his screenplay, or to be more precise, »

- John Patterson

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My guilty pleasure: Eat Pray Love

1 hour ago

David Jenkins: Watching Juila Roberts take a year-long romp of global self-discovery, the thing most people miss is that the film is a pin-sharp mockery of Liz Gilbert's bestselling book

More from the guilty pleasures series

Writing a negative review of Eat Pray Love isn't like shooting fish in a barrel. It's like hauling out a fish, placing the barrel of a revolver against its slimy gills, then pulling the trigger while intoning a grave, possibly aquatic-themed, soliloquy. The irony being that Liz Gilbert, the character Julia Roberts plays in the film, would cheerily consume said fish. She would then go on to share some little-known and untranslatable foreign epithet that captures the indefinable feeling of consuming seafood that would have otherwise been destined for the chum bucket. I don't know what the exact term is, but it would probably ends in -delle, or -isimo, or -ante. And »

- David Jenkins

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Michael Fassbender: Frank and me

2 hours ago

The actor on why he's happy inside Frank Sidebottom's fibreglass head for Lenny Abrahamson's comedy about an eccentric band and his own teenage fantasies of rock stardom

A wooden cabin by a lake in the middle of rural Ireland. A freezing midwinter morning. Four musicians are in the living room. A bass guitar wobbles between two alternating notes. A complex drum fill crashes for half a bar, then stops. Two atonal synthesiser stabs, each from a different keyboard. From somewhere else in the cabin, a man's voice moans: "Again." The musicians go through the cycle again: bass wobble, drum fill, synth, synth. "Again," the voice wails, from a  different room. Bass, drum, synth, synth.

I'm watching the band play on a monitor from the room next door, huddled with other technicians out of shot. The man shuffles past us and shouts through the wall: "Again!" Bass, drum, synth, »

- Steve Rose

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Christopher Doyle: a legend in his own Y-fronts

3 hours ago

The straight-talking cinematographer rants about Martin Scorsese, raves about Juno Temple and christens himself the Keith Richards of the film world

Early evening in Hong Kong and Christopher Doyle is cracking open a beer in his studio. What's he been doing today? "I can't tell you!" Why? "I don't remember! But it was good. It was good for her. It was good for me. The usual stuff."

In Doyle terms, this is indeed the usual stuff. Throughout our one-hour Skype session he rants, raves, laughs (a lot, uproariously, mostly at his own jokes), gets angry, gets upset, and it's never entirely clear whether he's speaking on or off the record. A gloriously unbridled and candid interviewee, he can't get his words out fast enough.

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- Alex Godfrey

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Exhibition review Joanna Hogg creates a masterful cinematic enigma | Peter Bradshaw

3 hours ago

The anxieties of the bohemian classes are up for inspection in this sensual, brilliant film about about two dysfunctional artists

Joanna Hogg is an artist and film-maker who entrances and enrages. After the first wave of praise from fans (such as me), her movies tend to get a backlash of incredulity and scorn from those who would prefer the envelope unpushed and unmolested. In the runup to its release, this latest film has already provoked some giggles and putdowns online. Some of the tweets I've been getting have felt like seat-bangs from some derisive digital walkout. It only makes me love her more.

Exhibition is a superbly glacial and composed experiment in fictional cine-portraiture; a refrigerated study in domesticity and sophistication, mysterious and preposterous a movie that might claim its lineage from Rachel Whiteread's cast sculpture House, or David Hockney's painting Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy. Hogg uses »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Barbie to star in live-action movie

4 hours ago

Buddy comedy will team her up with an overworked bureaucrat, and play on Mattel-manufactured doll's passion for fashion

Barbie is set to hit the big screen for the first time in her own movie, with the debut instalment in a new live-action series tipped to enter production by the end of the year.

The Hollywood Reporter says the new film will team the doll, first marketed in 1959, with an overworked bureaucrat looking for an assistant. It is being billed as a contemporary buddy comedy and will be based on a screenplay by Jenny Bicks, sometime writer on the TV version of Sex and the City. Producers Walter F Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will work with studio Sony on the project.

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- Ben Child

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William Hurt quits Gregg Allman biopic amid latest claims over crew death

4 hours ago

Actor drops out of Midnight Rider day after blog reports that producer boasted: 'We make movies by our own rules'

William Hurt has quit the troubled biopic Midnight Rider following a fatal accident on a railway track in February, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The move comes amid fresh revelations surrounding the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, who was killed after being hit by flying debris during a shoot for the film in Jesup, Georgia. Hurt had been cast in the role of singer-songwriter Gregg Allman, the biopic's subject. The 64-year-old Us actor narrowly escaped injury during the accident and was reported to have been very shaken.

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- Ben Child

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The Hurricane: the facts of Rubin Carter's life story are beaten to a pulp

8 hours ago

Denzel Washington's compelling performance gives Norman Jewison's biopic punch despite its many inaccuracies

The Hurricane (1999)

Director: Norman Jewison

Entertainment grade: B

History grade: D

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who died this week, was a boxer in the United States. He was convicted of a 1966 triple homicide in two trials and became a cause celebre, inspiring Bob Dylan's song Hurricane. The convictions were set aside by a federal court in 1985, on the grounds that they had been "predicated upon an appeal to racism rather than reason".

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- Alex von Tunzelmann

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You & Me Forever review a brooding look at teen girls' friendship and desire

8 hours ago

Although it could have become a Nordic take on Blue Is the Warmest Colour, this well-acted Danish social drama deftly shows the blurry overlap of girlish sensuality and lesbian desire

This Scandinavian teen-centric film doesn't have the anarchic effervescence of Lukas Moodysson's We Are the Best!, last week's Scandinavian, teen-centric movie, but this more brooding work also astutely explores the subtle head games and micro-politics of adolescent girls, in this case that of 16-year-olds in suburban Denmark. When the story starts, Laura (Julie Andersen) and Christine (Emilie Kruse) are seemingly inseparable BFFs, but then Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to new girl Maria (Frederikke Dahl Hansen), a troubled sophisticate with a wild streak. Working with a semi-improvised script, director Kaspar Munk deftly shows the blurry overlap between girlish sensuality, with its experimental kisses and sleepovers, and outright lesbian desire. At one point, it looks like this will turn into »

- Leslie Felperin

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Meryl Streep: 'I thought I was too ugly to be an actress'

23 April 2014 8:51 AM, PDT

Three-times Oscar winner says that as student she thought being an actress was 'vain' and that wearing glasses would be obstacle to acting career

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has revealed that, as a student, she thought she was "too ugly to be an actress".

Speaking at Indiana University Bloomington, Streep said: "I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that. [At Vassar College] I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress. Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then."

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- Andrew Pulver

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Clip joint: dystopias

23 April 2014 6:57 AM, PDT

Five of cinema's most memorably grim depictions of mankind's future. What others belong on the list?

If cinema provides any indication of where humanity is headed, wed better start appreciating the here and now all too often, science fiction seems to tell us one thing: the future looks grim.

Dystopian futures are a genre staple, a glimpse into the fictional (and non-fictional) failures of urban life. Heres our pick of five iconic dystopias - what would your choice be to join the list?

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- Ben Travis

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My guilty pleasure: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

23 April 2014 6:33 AM, PDT

Playful, nauseatingly colourful and indisputably terrible, the second Charlie's Angel film was out of synch with its dark and moody times. Now it looks like a feminist masterpiece

As studios clamber to launch the first female superhero movie franchise, how quickly we forget that we had and spurned two movies featuring athletic, intelligent, near-superhuman female leads who kicked ass without letting it define their womanhood. Playful, nauseatingly colourful and indisputably terrible, the Charlie's Angels movies were made at the wrong time, in an era when action was supposed to be dark and moody, not light and fluffy. A decade or so later, and today's schlong-centric superhero output makes Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle look like a feminist masterpiece.

It may pass the Bechdel test with ease but it's difficult to argue that Full Throttle subverts the male gaze when director McG can't peel his lens off Cameron Diaz's butt. Instead, »

- Ali Gray

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Films based on foods - we want your high concept pitches

23 April 2014 6:18 AM, PDT

Open thread: As Peeps, the popular marshmallow candies, get their own movie deal, we'd like to hear what other foodstuffs you think deserve a chance to shine on the silver screen

We've had films based on toys (Transformers, GI Joe, The Lego Movie), films based on games (Battleship, Dungeons & Dragons) now it looks like films based on foods could be the next vaguely absurd trend on the horizon.

According to a report from Deadline, producer and director Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) has optioned the film and TV rights to Peeps, an animal-shaped marshmallow candy that's particularly popular with Us consumers at Easter time.

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- Adam Boult

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Bruce Lee possessions to go under the hammer

23 April 2014 4:48 AM, PDT

Stirling Cooper jacket, wristwatch, shoes and kicking shield belonging to martial arts movie star who died at height of his fame go up for auction

A jacket, watch and martial arts training equipment once owned by Bruce Lee are to be sold at auction in Los Angeles on 29 April, with fans also given the chance to bid online.

The highlight of the sale, at the specialist auction house Nate D Sanders, is expected to be Lee's Stirling Cooper grey cotton jacket, which features signatures and personal messages from the actor and martial artist's wife, Linda, and daughter, Shannon. The jacket, which was previously auctioned in 1993, will have a starting bid of $40,000 (£24,000).

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- Ben Child

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Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight lawsuit is thrown out for now

23 April 2014 4:02 AM, PDT

Judge rejects claim that Gawker's link to a leaked copy of Tarantino's screenplay 'crossed the journalistic line', but invites director to refile his case

The Hateful Eight liveread - review

Quiz: How big a Tarantino fan are you?

A Us federal judge has thrown out Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against the website Gawker for linking to his screenplay for the subsequently abandoned western The Hateful Eight. However, Us district court judge John F Walter yesterday invited the film-maker to refile his case by 1 May, signalling that the legal battle is far from over.

In his copyright suit for contributory infringement, Tarantino claimed Gawker "crossed the journalistic line" when it linked to a leaked copy of the 146-page screenplay in January. But Walter said the director had so far failed to make his case.

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- Ben Child

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Bryan Singer accuser's abuse claims denied by Hollywood executives

23 April 2014 3:42 AM, PDT

David Neuman, Garth Ancier and Gary Goddard reject alleged victim Michael Egan's accusations of a Hollywood sex ring

Three prominent executives accused of involvement in a Hollywood sex-abuse ring have strongly denied the claims against them.

David Neuman, Garth Ancier and Gary Goddard were named on Monday by alleged victim Michael Egan, who last week filed a suit against X-Men director Bryan Singer for allegedly abusing him as a 17-year-old in 1999, when Egan was trying to break into acting. The three men are now also the subject of civil lawsuits filed by Egan's lawyer, Jeff Herman.

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- Ben Child

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Star Wars: Episode VII likely to cost '$175-200m', says Disney boss

23 April 2014 1:54 AM, PDT

Disney chairman Alan Horn suggests a price range of $175-200m for each of the new Star Wars films, starting with Jj Abrams' Episode VII next year

More on Star Wars: Episode VII

Disney chairman Alan Horn has hinted that the new Star Wars movies will be the most expensive yet. They will cost a staggering $175-200m (£104-118m) per film.

Horn mentioned the figure in an interview with Bloomberg TV, before appearing to backtrack. "We actually don't even have the completed budget yet," he said. "But it will be in that range. These large, tent-pole kinds of movies, on the expensive side, are in the neighbourhood of $175-200m (£104-119m), that kind of a number some are more, some are less."

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- Ben Child

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John Turturro: 'There are positive things about what sex workers do'

22 April 2014 8:33 AM, PDT

The actor's latest film, Fading Gigolo, tells the story of a man who loses his job and turns to prostitution. He explains to Karley Sciortino why he chose to explore the 'real exchange' of sex work

Its not often that movies shed a positive light on sex work. Sex workers are typically depicted as down-and-out victims, winding up dead or diseased, because this is the narrative that society is most comfortable with. Yet as a sex writer, and someone who has interviewed sex workers in the Us extensively, in my experience, that depiction is often not the case. As Camille Paglia put it in her 1994 collection Vamps & Tramps:

Moralism and ignorance are responsible for the constant stereotyping of prostitutes by their lowest common denominator the sick, strung-out addicts, crouched on city stoops, who turn tricks for drug money. Every profession has its bums, cheats, and neer-do-wells. The most successful prostitutes in history have been invisible. »

- Karley Sciortino

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Home movie: how Joanna Hogg made Exhibition

22 April 2014 7:11 AM, PDT

Joanna Hogg's new film is about an artist couple who are selling their house. Danny Leigh visited the set and found that stars Viv Albertine of the Slits and artist Liam Gillick had moved in

Joanna Hogg interview: 'I'm going further into my dreams'

Exhibition first look review

In September 2012, Joanna Hogg was about to make her third film. Later it would be called Exhibition; its working title was the London Project. There was a budget, location, a story about a married couple in crisis. It just didn't have the couple. Ten days before shooting, Hogg had no actor for either role.

Bright-eyed and well spoken, she remembers it vividly. "I was getting desperate. I was at the point of approaching people in the street."

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- Danny Leigh

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