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Box Office Report: 'Expendables 2' Stays Number One While '2016: Obama's America' Climbs

26 August 2012 1:52 PM, PDT

Here's your weekend box office returns (new releases bolded): 1. The Expendables 2 - $13.5 million 2. The Bourne Legacy - $9.3 million 3. ParaNorman - $8.5 million 4. The Campaign - $7.4 million 5. The Dark Knight Rises - $7.15 million 6. The Odd Life of Timothy Green - $7.12 million 7. Premium Rush - $6.3 million 8. 2016: Obama's America - $6.2 million 9. Hope Springs - $6.0 million 10. Hit & Run - $4.6 million "$15 or $16 million should be enough to win the box office next weekend as this year's summer season slowly comes to a close." That was the final line of last week's column. Turns out one only needed $13.5 million on back-to-school week for many people. That preordained $15-16 million was even more than the three new wide...

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- Erik Childress

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DVD Obscura: All the Best Indie and International Films New This Month

25 August 2012 12:25 PM, PDT

  New: A Documentary That Freed Three Innocent Men The Criterion Collection is known and revered for its exquisitely crafted DVD and Blu-ray editions of cherished classics, but that’s not to say they don’t feature new movies as well. One of 2011’s most acclaimed films that you might have missed at the theater, Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre (now available), makes its U.S. home video debut on the Criterion label. A charming tale about a grizzled Frenchman and his friendship with a young African refugee, Kaurismaki avoids the usual trite pitfalls of the “old white guy and cute kid of color” genre while also writing his own love letter to classic French cinema. The Criterion release comes loaded with interviews, essays and musical performances...

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- Alonso Duralde

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Ben Affleck Says He's Not Working on the 'Justice League' Movie (Update)

25 August 2012 10:05 AM, PDT

Update 8/25/12: While doing press for Argo, Ben Affleck said he is not working on the Justice League film, putting what looks to be a definitive end to the rumors that began circulating earlier this month. "I'm not working on the Justice League," Affleck told 24 Hours. "One of the problems with entertainment websites is that they need to fill pages, and that's how rumours get started." He added, " "Justice League sounds really exciting, but it's not something I'm working on." So now we're back to square one, with Warner Bros. needing to find a different director. Who should they choose? Sound off in our discussion thread on the topic over here. Original story posted below ... 8/8/12: Looks like Warner Bros. and...

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- Erik Davis

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Cine Latino: 'Premium Rush' Star Dania Ramirez, on Being a Latina in Hollywood

24 August 2012 9:00 PM, PDT

Cine Latino covers, well, all things relating to Latino culture and the movies, every Friday. Dominican actress Dania Ramirez stars in her first leading role in David Koepp's Premium Rush alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt as aggressive bike messengers trying to get from point A to point B by dodging speeding cars, New York City pedestrians and crazy taxi drivers. The athletic actress sat down with me in Beverly Hills to talk about Rush, being a role model for young Latinas, her recent collaboration with Voto Latino, and playing a maid in Devious Maids. Movies.com: There were times during the movie that I thought you were for sure going to land on top of a taxi. How challenging was it to stay on your course and not fall? Ramirez: There's not a lot of CGI and a lot of...

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- Elisa Osegueda

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The Weekend Rent: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Gets Extreme

24 August 2012 8:00 PM, PDT

"The Weekend Rent" offers quick-hit suggestions of what to watch at home to get psyched for new releases in theaters, on Fridays. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is having an action-packed summer on-screen. He can still be seen as John Blake—the young police officer who deduces Batman's true identity—in The Dark Knight Rises, and he now appears as Wilee the NYC bike messenger in the David Koepp action film Premium Rush, which opens in theaters today. Most people first noticed young Gordon-Levitt as Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun and from other TV appearances such as on Roseanne, but since then Gordon-Levitt has developed a taste for roles that are anything but boring. He had a small part in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later in which he checks out the house...

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- Robert B. DeSalvo

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Best of the Week: Tony Scott Tribute, Worst Rap Songs Written for Movies, and Hollywood Feminism

24 August 2012 7:00 PM, PDT

Monday, August 20 Criterion Corner Review: Two of the '90s' Best French Films Hit Blu-ray by David Ehrlich Box Office Report: 'Expendables 2' Opens Less Than the Original by Erik Childress Jobs That Are Way Cooler in the Movies by Perri Nemiroff New on Blu-ray: Seven Disney Animated Films Hit HD All at Once by Peter Hall Tony Scott's Greatest Moments, from 'Top Gun' to 'True Romance' by Christopher Campbell The Worst Rap Songs Written for Movies, Vol. 1 by Scott Weinberg   Tuesday, August 21 Dialogue: The Alamo Drafthouse's Tim League Explains the Importance of Film Preservation by Peter Hall Discuss: What's Your Favorite Summer Movie of 2012? by Christopher Campbell...

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- Peter Hall

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Which Summer 2013 Movie Are You Anticipating Most?

24 August 2012 6:30 PM, PDT

Continuing this week's discussion theme, we're wrapping up the 2012 summer movie season with a look back and now a glance forward. With The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Battleship behind us, we now anticipate the big blockbusters of 2013, particularly Iron Man 3, Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. In place of this year's remake of a Paul Verhoeven film, Total Recall, we'll get another remake of a Paul Verhoeven film, RoboCop. Filling the prequel slot that Prometheus held this year will be Pixar's Monsters Inc. flashback, Monsters University. And while the recent apocalyptic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World wasn't a smash hit, maybe next summer's End of the World will fare better. Will Smith's obligatory appearance next year...

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- Christopher Campbell

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The Best – and Worst – Movie Promos of the Week

24 August 2012 6:15 PM, PDT

With a handful of Toronto International Film Festival trailers making their way into the digital realm, the competition was tough, but a few particularly vivid selections were the standouts. The Best Stuff 1. The Impossible Trailer: Eight years is a long time, but the Thailand tsunami of 2004 is still fresh enough that all emotions come rushing back at the mere sight of anything related to the devastation. Not only does Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible have those very emotions at its core, but then he pairs them with startlingly beautiful and disturbing imagery. The Impossible is due out on December 21. 2. Resident Evil: Retribution 3D Trailer: Typically it’s easy to see past tacky tricks and roll our eyes at marketing gimmicks, but the new 3D trailer for...

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- Perri Nemiroff

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The Schmoes Know Movie Show: The Top 5 Bicycle Movies

24 August 2012 6:00 PM, PDT

Who are the Schmoes, and what exactly do they know? The Schmoes are a couple of regular guys, Kristian Harloff and Mark Ellis, who--like you--are the people for whom movies are made. They know movies, and will give you the straight scoop about 'em.  Each week, we're posting brand new video from the Schmoes that'll give their take on the new releases. In Premium Rush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a NYC bike messenger dodging pedestrians, taxis and, oh yeah, an insane killer, on his way to deliver a mysterious package. This of course got Kristian and Mark thinking about their favorite bike movies (that's bicycle, not motorcycle) for this week's Top 5. Can you guess what they might be?   Watch, comment, and don’t forget to check out all the...

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- Movies.com

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Rating the 'Premium Rush' Trailer: Find Out if It Spoils the Movie's Best Parts

24 August 2012 5:30 PM, PDT

Trailers these days are getting out of control with spoilers. But don't worry, we're here to sort out whether or not you should watch a certain trailer beforehand. We'll take a look at how accurate the marketing is to a film's tone and plot, as well as warn of any spoilers it might contain. Tone Premium Rush is fast. Almost everything about the film hinges on speed, and that flying through New York City traffic on a bike is cool. For the most part, the film feels like an '80s action movie, taking a basic hunt-and-chase kind of film and putting it in a new surrounding (the bike messenger world). Michael Shannon's Bobby Monday is over-the-top bad, while our lead Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is the best of the best... at delivering messages on his bike. The...

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- Jeff Bayer

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Watch: Seth Green's 'Detours' Reinvents 'Star Wars' as a Situational Comedy

24 August 2012 4:51 PM, PDT

With Star Wars Celebration VI currently happening in Florida, expect a whole bunch of random Star Wars-related announcements to arrive this weekend, beginning with the first trailer for Seth Green and Matt Grimes' new animated show, Detours. As you can see from the preview, the Robot Chicken creators were given the use of the entire Star Wars universe and all six films, and what they came up with looks sorta like an animated Star Wars sitcom, with the characters you all know and love -- Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader -- referencing things from the movies, but in a more comedic way. The fellas have also moved away from the Robot Chicken format with this being straight animation that makes slight, humorous changes to the characters that fans will either...

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- Erik Davis

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'Sinister' Is the Scariest Horror Movie of 2012 -- Find Out How to See It Early

24 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT

We've written about Tugg a few times, but in case you're unfamiliar with the relatively new startup here's the skinny on how the screening-on-demand service works: A user creates an event on Tugg.com, if enough people buy tickets to said event, Tugg then books the film and makes all of the screening arrangements. It's a cool, simple way to get hard-to-see movies in front of the precise audiences that are eager to see them on the big screen. Typically Tugg is used for repetory titles and indie films that haven't expanded beyond their limited markets, but the outfit is trying something new, and it just so happens to involve our favorite horror movie of the year; Sinister, directed by Scott Derrickson, written by C. Robert Cargill, and starring Ethan Hawke as a...

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- Peter Hall

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Watch Batman Fulfill a Terminally Ill Boy's Wish

24 August 2012 3:35 PM, PDT

With all the negative attention thrown at Batman this summer due mostly to the tragic shooting in Aurora, it's stories like this that prove the character is so much more of a hero than he is someone who inspires random acts of violence. Jayden Barber is four years old and he has terminal bone cancer. The doctors say Jayden doesn't have much time left, and so his parents and community are doing everything they can to give Jayden a lifetime's worth of memories before he dies. Since Jayden is a huge Batman fan, his hometown recently rallied around the youngster and put together an event that included a whole host of superheroes, including Batman, with helicopters, the Bat signal, an honorary key to his local township and a $200,000 Maserati Batmobile so that he can live...

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- Erik Davis

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The Real Story Behind Stan Lee's Marvelous Nude Centerfold

24 August 2012 2:49 PM, PDT

As card-carrying comic geeks, we love Stan Lee as much as anybody. The man behind Marvel Comics has done it all during his lengthy career – created some of the medium’s most enduring characters, worked in television, appeared in movies, and he was also the subject of a "tasteful" centerfold pinup photo sure to please the ladies. Bet you probably didn’t know that last part. Author Sean Howe recently shared a photo of Lee letting it all hang out as part of the lead-up to his upcoming book Marvel Comics: The Untold Story – and let me be the first to say “fathers, lock up your daughters… because Stan 'The Man' is on the prowl.”  Lee posed for the photo way back in 1983 for inclusion in The Marvel Fumetti Book &ndash...

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- Mike Bracken

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Someone Please Turn This Awesome Student Short into a Full Feature

24 August 2012 1:55 PM, PDT

Whenever we're a little fatigued by what Hollywood is currently churning out, it's always gratifying to know that there's so much amazing talent out there just waiting to be discovered, with most of it still in school. Take, for example, the animated short The Colors of Evil. This was created by students at the Ringling College of Art and Design, and while it's certainly rough around the edges -- not to mention that it'd probably work better in stop-motion -- the premise is kinda brilliant, and the execution of it is so much fun to watch that you're left itching to see a larger feature.  So what's it about? Well think along the lines of Drop Dead Fred, except this time it's animated and the little girl at the center of the story is visited by...

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- Erik Davis

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Doctors Use a Naked Darth Vader to Explain This Very Cool Scientific Discovery

24 August 2012 1:00 PM, PDT

Never underestimate the importance of a good headline. It's the first and perhaps only impression writers, editors and marketing folks have to make on prospective readers. There's a fine line between link baiting and communicating the gist of a story in a unique way. We'll let you be the judge of a recent headline we came across, via website io9. "'Naked Darth Vader' approach could tame antibiotic resistant superbugs," reads a press release from the University of Montreal. Well played, academics — you have our attention. The actual title of the paper? "Identification of the Binding Site of Brucella VirB8 Interaction Inhibitors." What reads like Martian to us, had us waiting with bated breath to find out, "Where the Star Wars...

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- Alison Nastasi

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What's the Difference Between 'The Apparition' and 'The Possession'?

24 August 2012 12:00 PM, PDT

When Hollywood does horror the results are mostly interchangeable. When Hollywood does PG-13 horror, things get even more homogenized. There's a fairly standard formula of girl + ghosts = opening weekend profits. Even still, there's usually a gap between rival studio's attempts to lure in gaggles of screaming teens. The Apparition and The Possession, however, not only come out a week apart, but they also happen to look remarkably similar. So what's the deal with each of them?   The Apparition  From the Studio That Brought You: Orphan, The Reaping, Gothika, Ghost Ship, House on Haunted Hill Release Date: August 24, 2012 Director: Todd Lincoln Cast: Ashley GreeneSebastian StanTom FeltonJulianna Guill, Rick...

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- Peter Hall

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See Concept Art from the Early '80s 'Silver Surfer' Movie That Never Happened

24 August 2012 11:33 AM, PDT

  Howard the Duck may have been the first Marvel comic book to make it to the silver screen, but if things had worked out for producer Lee Kramer, we would’ve seen Silver Surfer make it to the theaters in the form of a cosmic rock opera, as per these concept images from the scrapped production. Back in 1980, Kramer was jazzed about the idea of bringing the story of the Surfer to life. “We’re going to make an epic picture on the scope of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the kind of soundtrack that that film had, only using contemporary rock and roll,” Kramer said at the time. “It’s even conceivable that the Surfer might have a chant or a fanfare made up of one thousand electric guitars. Doing the Silver Surfer has always been a dream of mine...

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- John Gholson

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You Have to See How Crazy Nicolas Cage Looks in These 'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance' Deleted Scenes

24 August 2012 10:50 AM, PDT

No matter your feelings on this year's Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, the below 11-minute video of deleted scenes from the supernatural, antihero comic adaptation are worth watching for Nic Cage's crazy face alone.  Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor directed the story, which opens in a monastery featuring Idris Elba's priest Moreau. One of the cut scenes shows a tormented Johnny Blaze (Cage) turning into Ghost Rider while in a chapel. An onlooker shouts at him, "Demon!" In the movie, Moreau coaxes a reclusive Blaze out of hiding to help save a boy named Danny (Fergus Riordan). In exchange, Moreau promises Blaze he will restore his soul and remove the Rider curse once and for all. The supernatural curse was inflicted upon Blaze by Roarke (Ciarán...

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- Alison Nastasi

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'National Treasure' Writers Tackle 'Uncharted' Adaptation

24 August 2012 10:19 AM, PDT

Sony’s planned big-screen adaptation of the hit video game series Uncharted has been stuck in neutral for awhile now, but things may finally be moving forward with today’s announcement that new screenwriters are working diligently to get the project off the ground. National Treasure scribes Marianne and Cormac Wibberley have landed the job of bringing wisecracking treasure hunter Nathan Drake to a theater near you. The duo is an interesting choice for the project, given that both National Treasure films were lighthearted adventures, which fit in with the tone of the game series nicely. Current plans have the Wibberley’s penning a new script for the film. Once completed, Sony will shop it around to various filmmakers and see who’s interested. Director Neil...

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- Mike Bracken

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