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James Franco makes cameo appearance in Apes sequel without his knowledge

32 minutes ago

Franco played Will Rodman in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but unbeknownst to him, he's appearing in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as well

James Franco: I invented the Oscars selfie

Franco supports Shia Labeouf

James Franco will soon appear in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes without even knowing it.

Franco played human protagonist Will Rodman in 2011's franchise reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With the sequel set 10 years on from the events of the first film, which *spoiler alert* saw the majority of the human race catch a bad case of the simian flu, the likely assumption was that Franco's character would have quickly perished.

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- Ben Travis

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Robin Williams to star in Mrs Doubtfire sequel

1 hour ago

Follow-up in the works to 1993 comedy about a divorcee who impersonates a Scottish nanny to be closer to his kids

Robin Williams is set to return in a sequel to Mrs Doubtfire, the 1993 comedy about a divorced dad who impersonates a Scottish nanny to be closer to his children, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Williams played a struggling actor who dons drag to become the no-nonsense Euphegenia Doubtfire in Chris Columbus's film. The role which won him the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy or musical two decades ago. The sequel's screenplay is by Elf director David Berenbaum, and the new production would also see Columbus return to the director's role.

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- Ben Child

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Oliver Stone: China's film-makers need to confront country's past

1 hour ago

Stone causes controversy by telling Beijing international film festival audience that Chinese directors fail to make movies about Mao Zedong's damaging legacy

China Film Group part-funds Warcraft film

China may relax foreign film quota

Hollywood's habit of allowing Chinese censors to cut offending material from blockbuster movies has led to accusations of artistic surrender from some critics. But at least one Us film-maker has clearly not been reading the script: Oliver Stone has told an audience in Beijing that the world's most populous nation desperately needs to confront its past on the big screen if its burgeoning film industry is to be taken seriously.

Speaking at the Beijing international film festival, Stone caused huge embarrassment for organisers when he began to discuss the failure of local directors to confront the damaging legacy of the country's revered founder Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution a half century ago. The outspoken film-maker »

- Ben Child

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Transcendence: 'A sleek but insubstantial thriller' first look review

2 hours ago

This cautionary tale of artificial intelligence suffers from telling an overly familiar story, while the life drains out of 'digitized Oz' Johnny Depp

One of the things that tell us that Johnny Depp has ascended to the first rank of movie stars is that he gets to speak in his own peculiar, hybridised accent. A lot of movie actors from the Golden era forged their own unique vocal patents, from Cary Grants transatlantic mockney to Kate Hepburns high society bray; towards the end of his career, Brando slipped in and out of the British accent he first perfected for Mutiny on the Bounty as if donning a favored pair of slippers. Depp, ever the Brando fan, seems to be following similar course. In his new movie Transcendence, which was directed by Christopher Nolans cinematographer Wally Pfister, and produced by Nolan, Depp plays Dr Will Castor, a rockstar AI scientist with tortoise-shell glasses, »

- Tom Shone

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 review appealing leads and zappy scraps, but a sense of deja vu

2 hours ago

The webslinger and his conspicuously male adversaries have some zappy scraps in this reboot sequel, but the most intriguing clashes here are between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy

Here is the second new Spider-Man film or the fifth, if you are tactless enough to remember the once colossal Sam Raimi-directed trilogy that finished in 2007, quickly to become the boringly obsolete boot to this reboot a sobering lesson in consumer capitalism and franchise movie-making.

This latest Spidey, written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner and directed by Marc Webb, is high-energy entertainment; Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker has rangy charm and there is a genuine romantic spark between him and Emma Stone, as sharp as ever playing Gwen Stacy. Webb at one stage conjures a beautiful seasons-passing montage of Peter Parker's unhappy loneliness that reminded me of the relationship comedy (500) Days of Summer, which made his name. But despite sensational new backstory developments, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Cannes 2014 lineup: 'A mouth-watering selection'

3 hours ago

The Guardian's film critic, Peter Bradshaw, gets his teeth into a Cannes programme that includes new films from David Cronenberg, Olivier Assayas and Ken Loach

The announcement of the Cannes competition list is an event that becomes more tinglingly tense and exciting every year. These are the films that will, for good or ill, dominate world cinema conversation in the coming 12 months. They're an alternative canon to the English-language "awards season" movies that emerge after Venice and Toronto in the autumn. With films by big-hitters including Cronenberg, Godard, Hazanavicius, Ceylan and the Dardenne brothers, this is likely to be the case once again.

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- Peter Bradshaw

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The force of law: Prisoner claims persecution for Star Wars faith

4 hours ago

'I fear retaliation from the dark side', says anonymous prisoner at London's Hmp Isis, alleging widespread intolerance of Jedis

A British prisoner who claims to be a practicing Jedi says he faces persecution from authorities unwilling to recognise the Star Wars religion.

The unnamed prisoner has written to prison newspaper Inside Time, asking editors not to publish his name or other details "as I fear retaliation from the dark side". In a letter published on the newspaper's website, he writes: "I recently put in an application asking that I be allowed to practise my religion freely I am a Jedi. The written reply said, 'whilst Jedi is a recognised religion according to the UK census, it is not recognised by the National Offender Management Service, and we cannot change your religious record because of this.'"

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- Ben Child

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Tribeca film festival 2014: the most anticipated films

4 hours ago

The 13th Tribeca film festival is expected to be the best one yet. From grown men who love My Little Pony to Irish horror, here's a roundup of the ones to watch

In the past, the Tribeca film festival, the event founded in the wake of September 11 by Robert De Niro and his producing partner Jane Rosenthal, had a less than sterling reputation among industry professionals and viewers. There was a feeling that many of its world premieres were selected from whatever was left over after bigger, more established festivals had cherry-picked the best titles available. But now in its 13th year, Tribeca is quietly gaining in stature and respect for the much improved quality of its programming (thanks in part to the hire in 2012 of Frédéric Boyer, former head of Cannes's Directors' Fortnight, as artistic director). The word from New York City is that this looks like it might »

- Leslie Felperin

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Cannes 2014: competition presents Mike Leigh v Ken Loach showdown

6 hours ago

British directors will go head-to-head at 67th Cannes film festival, which will also welcome new work from Jean-Luc Godard and the directorial debut of Ryan Gosling

With the announcement of the lineup at this year's Cannes film festival, the stage is set for a showdown between perhaps the two most venerable British directors working today. In the red corner: Ken Loach, presenting his final feature film, Jimmy's Hall. And in the blue: Mike Leigh, whose biopic of the painter Jmw Turner had been tipped by many to premiere at Venice later in the summer, but was today revealed to be debuting on the Croisette.

Leigh's film, Mr Turner, will compete with Loach's Jimmy's Hall for the Palme d'Or. A biopic of Jmw Turner that stars Timothy Spall, it could feasibly prevent Loach from winning his second Palme d'Or. Jimmy's Hall a drama about the Irish political activist James Gralton is »

- Henry Barnes

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Bryan Singer accused of sexually abusing 17-year-old in 1999

7 hours ago

Lawyer for director of Usual Suspects and X-Men describes claims that the film-maker raped a teenage aspiring actor as 'absurd and defamatory'

Bryan Singer, the director of the X-Men films and The Usual Suspects, has been accused of raping a 17-year-old boy and forcing him to take cocaine in 1999 via a civil lawsuit filed in Hawaii.

Plaintiff Michael F Egan III, who has waived his right to anonymity, claims he was abused by Singer and others in Los Angeles and Hawaii during a period in which he was trying to make an acting career for himself in Hollywood. His lawyer Jeff Herman, who handles sexual abuse cases across the Us, is due to hold a press conference in La later today.

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- Ben Child

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Apollo 13: In space, no-one can see you exaggerate

7 hours ago

Ron Howard's take on the crew of the stricken Apollo 13's fight to get back to earth introduces chaos into Nasa's well-rehearsed damage control

Apollo 13 (1995)

Director: Ron Howard

Entertainment grade: B

History grade: A

Apollo 13 was a 1970 moon landing mission mounted by Nasa's Apollo Space Program, which ran from 1961 until 1972. It ran into trouble after an oxygen tank exploded, leaving crucial systems damaged.

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- Alex von Tunzelmann

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Why Wrinkles is the one film you should watch this week - video

9 hours ago

Peter Bradshaw recommends you head to the cinema to watch the Spanish animation Arrugas (Wrinkles). The English language version has Martin Sheen voicing Emilio, a retired bank manager who has been shuffled off to an elderly care home after developing Alzheimer's. Wrinkles, which is out in the UK on Friday, is a touching film that plays like the gentlest of prison dramas, says Peter Continue reading »

- Peter Bradshaw and Henry Barnes

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My guilty pleasure: Mission: Impossible II

10 hours ago

Cliche, excess, unintentional hilarity Tom Cruise's second outing as Ethan Hunt is utterly awful. But to revisit the film without enjoying it? That really would be mission: impossible

More from My guilty pleasure series

Tom Cruise hanging off a cliff. No safety net, just the shaggy-haired Scientologist at one with the elements. The spectacular opening of Mission: Impossible II (or M:i-2, as the punctuation-happy marketing department would have it) is daftly brilliant for having nothing to do with the rest of the film, and is in some ways symptomatic of the film's car-crash appeal it's a magnum opus of action cliches, excess upon excess upon excess. Why should we start with Cruise hanging on a cliff? Well, why shouldn't we?

Mission: Impossible II, directed by action auteur John Woo, is a bad, bad film an overflowing volcano of prime gruyère. The whole thing appears to have been put together »

- Ben Travis

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Only Lovers Left Alive  everything you need to know

12 hours ago

Starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two vampires, Jim Jarmusch's film arrives on Australian screens this week. Get your fangs into the Guardian's coverage so far

Almost a year after it debuted at the Cannes film festival, where Peter Bradshaw gave it a middling review, describing its romantic name-dropping it as "studenty", Jim Jarmusch's "crypto-vampire love story" Only Lovers Left Alive arrives on Australian screens. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two vampires engaged in a centuries-old love affair, it took Jarmusch seven years to make after his American backers dropped out. Ironically, his reason for making it in the first place was because he'd heard that vampire films equalled big box office.

She has an ability to prioritise what's really important in life. Once I was listening to her, I think we were at lunch with Patti Smith, and I thought: 'Oh boy, if all culture breaks down, »

- Guardian Staff

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The Sea review glum psychodrama adapted from Booker winner

20 hours ago

John Banville reduces his Booker prizewinner to jumbled pound-shop Proustisms in this choppy adaptation

Reading on mobile? Click here to view The Sea trailer

More proof that writers should be kept from adapting their own work comes with Stephen Brown's glumly listing psychodrama, in which John Banville reduces his Booker prizewinner to jumbled pound-shop Proustisms. Grieving scribe Ciaran Hinds's return to the coastal getaway of his youth strands us amid oddly artificial, advert-coloured flashbacks; there, we're left waiting for some formative trauma to reveal itself, while rent-a-rake Rufus Sewell struggles to pull off an Adge Cutler-like hat-and-neckerchief combo. Hinds is a strong, wounded presence, but the laboured structure cuts insistently around him to get at a psychology mostly scrambled in translation. This Sea's just too choppy.

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- Mike McCahill

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Five ways Mean Girls could have been a very different film

22 hours ago

A decade after its release, the director has revealed some of the plot twists, casting shockers and zingers that never made it

It's a decade since Mean Girls, the film that explored the Machiavellian inner workings of "girl world" and spawned a mini-universe of quotes, gifs and internet-worship, was released. As if to celebrate, director Mark Waters and Daniel Franzese (who played Damian) have been giving interviews revealing some of the secrets behind the making of the movie. Here's what we've learned:

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- Priya Elan

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Borowczyk's Grandma's Encyclopedia: watch a restored clip ahead of the Kinoteka Polish film festival - video

16 April 2014 7:09 AM, PDT

With Grandma's Encyclopedia Walerian Borowczyk made an artform out of animating cutouts from a Victorian reference book. In this clip A is for Automobile as a field of wacky racers attempt to best each other on the track. Grandma's Encyclopedia is showing as part of retrospective of Borowczyk's work, which is playing at the 12th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival at the BFI Southbank (1-30 May) and Institute of Contemporary Arts (Ica) Fox Reading Room (20 May - 29 June). 'Camera Obscura: The Walerian Borowczyk Collection will be released by Arrow Academy on DVD and Blu-ray on 30 June Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Clip joint: the five best drumming scenes in film

16 April 2014 6:15 AM, PDT

From anger management for Animal to doomed Spinal Tap drummers, here are five great movie drumming moments. Tell us which others you think are a hit

What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A drummer. Or so goes the joke. It is a depreciative attitude towards those skilled in the art of tub thumping that has largely been reinforced through popular cinema, as can be seen in most of the clips featured here. The other clip couldnt be more different in tone, the only non-Hollywood film in the list, and one that demonstrates the awesome force of drums as, literally, "instruments of war".

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- Nick MacWilliam

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Ice Cube: Paul Walker and Vin Diesel won MTV duo award on sympathy vote

16 April 2014 6:08 AM, PDT

Rapper turned actor says that Ride Along deserved to win, but award was given to Fast & Furious 6 out of sympathy

News: MTV awards debut clips from this summer's blockbusters

News: Hunger Games wins MTV Movie awards

Ice Cube has laid into film fans for handing the MTV movie award for best on-screen duo to the late Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, calling it a "sympathy" vote.

According to USA Today, the rapper turned actor believes he and Kevin Hart should have picked up the prize on Sunday night for their performances in losing nominee Ride Along. Instead, Walker and Diesel won for Fast & Furious 6.

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- Ben Child

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Leonardo DiCaprio will make his return in The Revenant

16 April 2014 4:35 AM, PDT

The star is set to play a fur trapper in a period revenge thriller directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

More on Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio will star as a fur trapper who is left for dead in the wilderness of early 19th century North America in the period revenge thriller The Revenant, directed by the Oscar nominee Alejandro González Iñárritu, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film will be DiCaprio's follow-up to the critically acclaimed but controversial Martin Scorsese black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Revenant, based on Michael Punke's 2002 novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, has been a twinkle in Iñárritu's eye since 2011, but has been in development for more than a decade in total. It now has a screenplay by the director and Mark L Smith, the writer of Vacany and The Hole.

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- Ben Child

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