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Bradley Cooper Eyes Role As Lance Armstrong In J.J. Abrams-Produced Biopic

27 January 2013 2:07 PM, PST

Ask, and ye shall receive. Or something. In the wake of all that noise around Lance Armstrong's confession that he doped, Bradley Cooper told the BBC he'd be interested in playing the disgraced cyclist. "I remember Matt Damon was going to do his autobiography at one point years ago," he said. "I remember thinking, that would be a great character, I'd love to play that character. I would love to do something, I think he's pretty fascinating." Well, it just might happen. On the list of things J.J. Abrams is doing besides directing "Star Wars: Episode 7," at some point in the indeterminate future is a biopic on Armstrong, a project that surfaced just over a week ago. And it seems Cooper and Abrams have already been in touch. "[Cooper] sent me an email and we've been talking," Abrams shared with Et. And that's it. We'd say it's probably too »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Göteborg Review: Norway’s Oscar-Nominated 'Kon-Tiki' Is A Fun Tale Of High Adventure But No More Than That

27 January 2013 12:10 PM, PST

Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 raft trip from Peru to Polynesia, which forms the story of “Kon-Tiki,” the opening film of the Göteborg International Film Festival, is already the stuff of legend – particularly in this part of the world. Heyerdahl’s own 1950 book was an international bestseller (indeed this writer remembers a battered paperback knocking around her childhood home), and the documentary he filmed during the trip itself won an Academy Award back in 1951. Which makes it a pleasing narrative to have this film, over six decades later, achieve a similar feat in getting nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar. But we have to wonder if there’s a certain sentimentality at play there (Hollywood does love a self-referential story, after all) because there is little more to “Kon-Tiki” than a fun, handsomely-mounted, old-style adventure story. And as impressive a feat as that is to achieve, especially outside of Hollywood, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Sundance Review: 'Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes' Is A Frustrating Sea Of Clichés

27 January 2013 9:11 AM, PST

There is a widely held stereotype that the Sundance Film Festival is just dour, depressing films – dramas about addiction and family dysfunction and infidelity and incest and on and on – and outside of the occasional “Little Miss Sunshine”-type breakout, the festival wouldn’t really hold much interest for a large portion of the viewing public. Of course festivalgoers know this is not the case at all and if you dig deep enough into any category you’ll find a wide array of films from comedies to dramas to science fiction to any combination thereof. This year’s U.S. Dramatic competition (known for producing past hits like “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “Winter’s Bone”) featured a surprising number of comedies, for example, which shows that the programmers are always interested in mixing things up. Unfortunately, if you see enough films at the fest, on occasion you’re »

- Cory Everett

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Box Office: 'Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters' Tops Slow Weekend

27 January 2013 8:53 AM, PST

So, did the big fairy tale boom happen? “Alice In Wonderland” burst out of the gate with a billion dollar gross, leading the way for two Snow White movies that performed respectably, if not powerfully. And here in January, we have another, the R-rated “Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters.” The fact that it was this weekend’s number one box office attraction still clouds the question as to whether the fairy tale movement actually happened, is happening, or was nipped in the bud: this was a January dump, and it’s doubtful the picture’s going to have legs at all. But hey, for three days, they’re number one! “Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters” was scheduled and re-scheduled, settling on this weak slot with deadly reviews potentially damning the picture to obscurity. But there was business to be done, and Something had to open at number one, »

- Gabe Toro

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Sundance Review: David Sedaris Adaptation 'C.O.G.' Features Fine Performances But Might Work Better As An HBO Series

27 January 2013 8:15 AM, PST

Based on an essay in “Naked,” David Sedaris' hugely popular collection of autobiographical short stories, “C.O.G.” is notable for being the very first film adaptation of the author's work. Though he’d previously turned down all other offers to adapt his stories, the essayist was impressed by writer/director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s pitch as well as his previous film “Easier With Practice” and decided to let him have a shot. Whether this adaptation is successful or not may depend on your familiarity with the source material. While some have found the film to be a bit of a letdown, as someone mostly unfamiliar with Sedaris’ writing, I found it to be a sharp and well-made, if a bit of an episodic dramedy. The film opens with Ivy League college grad David (Jonathan Groff) setting off across the country. As an aspiring writer, David assumes he must accumulate some »

- Cory Everett

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J.J. Abrams Hasn't Agreed To 2015 Release Date For 'Star Wars: Episode VII,' Film Could Be Pushed

27 January 2013 8:06 AM, PST

May the wait be longer... With J.J. Abrams now officially on board to direct "Star Wars: Episode 7," and Disney confirming the news late last week, fans are now patiently waiting for 2015, the date that was first tossed out for the potential release. But it looks like that may not be set in stone. In fact, Disney's press release announcing Abrams made no mention of a release date at all, and this is perhaps why.... THR reports that while Abrams is on to direct, he "has not committed to that release date, meaning the date could be changed if the development process requires it." This is hardly a big surprise. Abrams pulled the same move with Paramount when negotiating to helm "Star Trek Into Darkness." They wanted the followup for a 2012 bow, but Abrams refused to rush and pushed the movie back to 2013. And there's something admirable about that. With »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Is The Oscar Best Picture Next? Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Takes Top Prize At Producers' Guild Awards

27 January 2013 5:05 AM, PST

Is Ben Affleck about to have the last, perhaps bittersweet, laugh this year? The director was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earler this year and failed to earn a crucial Best Director nomination for the 85th Academy Awards Nominees but his third picture, the political thriller, "Argo," did pick up seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and then began a late day surge in the awards field. Affleck ironically won Best Director at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards making this latest win feel like a fait accompli. After a bit of a breather from the awards season due to the Sundance Film Festival (in recent years, Oscar noms are announced during the festival, but the Academy moved it up this year), barely minutes elapsed between the Sundance awards ceremony and the first of an upcoming wave of precursors awards ceremonies. Last night was the Producers Guild Awards, »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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'Fruitvale' Takes Grand Jury & Audience Award Prizes At Sundance Film Festival

26 January 2013 8:22 PM, PST

...and just like that, the Sundance Film Festival has closed for another year, and tonight at Park City, the awards were handed out with one hotly buzzed film taking two major titles. Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale" took the Grand Jury Prize and Dramatic Audience Award, which is great news for The Weinstein Company who made the picture their first buy of the festival earlier in the week. Led by a much talked about lead performance by "Chronicle" star Michael B. Jordan, the film tells the story of the hours leading up to New Year's Day in 2009, when the 22-year-old Oscar Grant was pulled off a rowdy Bart train at the Fruitvale station and was shot in the back, dying from his wounds. However, cell phone footage captured the entire event, leading to the sentencing of Officer Mehserle to two years in prison. With these two prizes, you might as well »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Kevin Feige Confirms 'Doctor Strange' Part Of Marvel Phase Three, Says Edgar Wright Key To 'Ant-Man'

26 January 2013 1:29 PM, PST

Marvel's making like a kid loaded with candy, aren't they? Their slate takes them all the way to 2015's double-fisting of "The Avengers 2" on May 1st and "Ant-Man" that November 6th. Speaking to MTV recently, Kevin Feige revealed that the Edgar Wright-directed "Ant-Man," which will have been in development for eleven years by the time the film hits the screens, will launch what the company considers "Phase Three." "I've known Edgar since our first lunch together at Comic-Con in 2004," Feige revealed. "He asked me what Marvel was doing with 'Ant-Man' — we weren't even a studio then; what a difference eight years makes! It's very much an 'Ant-Man' origin movie from the perspective of Edgar Wright and his co-writer Joe Cornish. It will of course be firmly planted in the McU, but a different corner than we've seen before." And while it's been a long time coming, »

- Gabe Toro

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

26 January 2013 1:03 PM, PST

Well, it looks like the gang's all here. Rumors ran rampant that Bryan Singer's "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" would be bringing back a number of the series' more well-known characters, with Hugh Jackman confirmed to appear alongside Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan. But Bryan Singer has confirmed via Twitter that, not only are they looking to bring back as many cast members as possible from the original trilogy, but that Brett Ratner's lambasted "X-Men: The Last Stand" is definitely canon. "Very excited to welcome #annapaquin, @ellenpage & @shawnrashmore to #XMen #DaysOfFuturePast - thank you, @BrettRatner for letting them live!" he tweeted. Anna Paquin and Shawn Ashmore are veterans of the series, having played lovers Rogue and Iceman through the first three movies. And while many don't remember this, before earning an Oscar nomination for "Juno," Ellen Page played fan favorite Kitty Pryde in Ratner's third »

- Gabe Toro

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Lincoln Center’s Film Comment Selects Festival Includes New Films From Takashi Miike, Michel Gondry, Ben Wheatley & More

26 January 2013 9:53 AM, PST

The Film Society of Lincoln Center, which is responsible for the highly regarded New York Film Festival, also peppers the entire calendar year with exciting mini-festivals, including in February, their Film Comment Selects Festival built around oddball choices from the Society’s Film Comment magazine. This year’s lineup emphasizes its eclectic collection of varying tastes within the magazine, with editors and contributors selecting a wide array of movies, including new features by Takashi Miike, Michel Gondry, Ben Wheatley, and a retrospective comprised of two oddball Howard Zieff movies.  The festival opens with the New York premiere of “Simon Killer,” the thriller from “Afterschool” writer/director Antonio Campos, about a psychopath (Brady Corbet) in Paris who becomes obsessed with a prostitute, and closes with the U.S. premiere of “The We and the I,” an experimentally free-wheeling new Michel Gondry movie that was shot »

- Drew Taylor

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That Didn't Take Long: Watch The 'Star Wars: Into Darkness' Trailer Mashup

26 January 2013 9:14 AM, PST

The conversation for basically the next two years will be just how J.J. Abrams will approach "Star Wars: Episode 7" now that he's officially confirmed to direct. We've already discussed five things he may be bringing to the table, and suggested ten ways he can ensure the next sequel is great. But given the shroud of secrecy he puts on all of his projects, Abrams won't tell us anything until he's damn well good and ready. So until then, to the mashups! In what is the first of what will likely be many following the announcement of Abrams landing the gig, the interwebs has brought forth a trailer for "Star Wars: Into Darkness." Essentially it's the mood and tone of the trailer for the "Star Trek" sequel with imagery, scenes and dialogue from the original trilogy of films. We might've made some different editorial decisions, but it's perhaps a sense of what a "darker, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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5 New Images Of Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko & Javier Bardem In Terrence Malick's 'To The Wonder'

26 January 2013 8:10 AM, PST

If there's anything at all to gather from these new images from Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," it's this: love is a bummer. And indeed, things don't really go well for Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in the film, but at least they look pretty damn good. Five more images from the upcoming movie have arrived, giving yet another tortured look at the cast in some pretty great surroundings. The story chronicles the quick rise and longer fall of a newly married couple (Affleck and Kurylenko), as the woman in the relationship struggles to adjust to life in the United States after moving from France. McAdams is a former flame who comes briefly back into the picture as a temptation, while Bardem's role as the priest tackles the larger, spiritual themes at play. "To The Wonder" opens in the U.K. on February 22nd and in the U. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Terry Gilliam & John Landis Hang Out Together In London In 1-Hour TV Special

26 January 2013 7:57 AM, PST

The German series "Durch die Nacht mit..." ("Into The Night") is the gift that keeps on giving. The show, which gets two artists together and then just shoots them as they hang out and talk over a single day, has already yielded a great episode featuring Harmony Korine and Gaspar Noé (which you can watch right here). And now, making another case that a U.S. broadcaster (IFC maybe?) should snap up the rights and bring it over stateside, the show that aired this summer featuring Terry Gilliam and Jon Landis has made its way online. It's been banging around the web for a bit but missed our attention, and thanks to a helpful reader, we figure it might make a good weekend watch. And yeah, these two guys look like they're having a blast spending some time wandering around, and it's pretty great to be fly on the wall, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Second Season Of David Fincher's 'House Of Cards' Will Begin Production In The Spring

26 January 2013 7:20 AM, PST

Do you have plans next weekend? Well, you might want to cancel them. In case you forgot, on February 1st, Netflix is dropping the David Fincher-produced and directed (well, the first two episodes anyway) political drama series "House Of Cards" in its entirely. That's right, every episode will be available. If there's a better way to beat the winter cold than with a marathon of that show, we don't know what it is. But morever, it appears that Netflix is in for the long haul on this one. A recent press release regarding the upcoming projects of executive producer, showrunner, writer and co-creator Beau Willimon revealed quite simply: "The drama’s second season is due to begin production in spring 2013." The news is surprising at first, but less so when you stop and think about it. With Netflix looking to become a content provider to rival the likes of cable networks such as HBO, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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J.J. Abrams Will Produce 'Star Trek 3,' Develop New 'Mission: Impossible' Movie; Pilot With Alfonso Cuaron Ordered

26 January 2013 6:55 AM, PST

Happy New Year, J.J. Abrams! As January winds to a close, the events of the past week have basically suggested that Abrams is essentially the new Steven Spielberg. Last night, Disney officially confirmed the news that J.J. Abrams has signed on to direct "Star Wars: Episode 7" (see press release below). But of course the big question is what becomes of Abrams relationship with Paramount? He's been a key figure at the studio directing and producing "Mission: Impossible 3" and "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" respectively, but more importantly, he's rebooted their "Star Trek" franchise to great success, but if you think the shift to Disney means he out of those series, guess again. “J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new ‘Mission: Impossible,’ and he is committed to produce another ‘Star Trek,’” Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told Hero Complex. Of course, the »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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McG To Direct Pilot For Modern 'Romeo And Juliet'-Esque Show 'Venice'

26 January 2013 6:27 AM, PST

Ah, McG. Just mention of the name alone is enough to get the vitriol pumping through the veins of Internet movie nerds. The early dislike for the director hasn’t dissipated in recent years after first disappointing the fanboys of one movie franchise with “Terminator Salvation” (although personally we’d have loved to see his much darker ending make the final cut) then returning last year and squandering a fantastic cast (Pine! Hardy! Witherspoon!) on the way to delivering a woefully inept comedy with “This Means War.” Next up for the director on the big screen is the Luc Besson-produced thriller “Three Days to Kill” (currently set to star Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen), but it also looks like he has plans for a project on the small screen. “Venice” has been given a pilot by ABC, which McG will direct and produce via his »

- Joe Cunningham

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2 New Posters For Danny Boyle's 'Trance' Will Mess With Your Mind

25 January 2013 2:48 PM, PST

Danny Boyle's last two films were rousing pieces of big entertainment, the crowd pleasing "Slumdog Millionaire" and the survival tale "127 Hours." Both chased Oscar glory (the former doing much better than the latter, obvs) but what does Boyle do to wind down? Deliver something a little leaner and a bit pulpier. Welcome to "Trance." As the movie continues to gear up for its U.K. release (and as we continue to be left in the dark stateside), two more poster have arrived. One, your standard U.K. quad with all the leads, James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. And the other, a nifty teaser that will have you hypnotized. Why all the mind tricks? Well, the story centers on a heist gone wrong, and the man who is the key to unlocking it all...has amenesia. So a therapist tries to help him remember with a little bit of hypnotism, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Parker' & 'Hansel & Gretel' Have A 'Knife Fight' For 'The Taste Of Money'

25 January 2013 2:26 PM, PST

Park City may be aflutter with cinematic thrills, but it's still January in the rest of the country. Which means we have another weekend of lackluster studio releases banking on the bevy of visuals distracting you from the fact that they were written by a robot without feelings. On the other hand, the schedule is punctuated by a few vibrant indies and flicks from overseas. Emphasis on the few, but still: beggars, and all that jazz. So, fellow panhandlers -- what's getting your hard-earned dollar bills this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!   "Parker." Directed by Taylor Hackford. Starring Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Wendell Pierce, Michael Chiklis and Clifton Collins Jr. Our review: "Instead of being the swiftly constructed thriller it ought to be, a pulpy blast of all killer/no filler fun, it seems to be almost exclusively made of the fatty excess that these kind of stories immediately dispense with. »

- Emma Bernstein

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Watch: John McClane Gets Into Traffic Trouble, Doesn't Speak Russian In Clip From 'A Good Day To Die Hard'

25 January 2013 2:06 PM, PST

Almost like it was ripped out of a moldy file from a leftover box of studio notes from the 1980s, John McClane is back and this time he's going to...Russia? Okay, fine. That seems to be the hawt new blockbuster place with both "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" and upcoming "Jack Ryan" visiting the country. And so it goes for "A Good Day To Die Hard" and will there be some fish out of water comedy? You betcha! In the first clip from the film our hero stops a car in the middle of traffic and then slaps the driver of a Mercedes SUV (product placement!) because he doesn't understand what he's yelling about as he steals his car. Ha ha. He then drives it off a bridge and over some cars before ramming it into a military vehicle, while some generic action music plays and....omg why does everything look so blue? »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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