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7 items from 2012

'Iron Man 3' casts top Chinese actor as Marvel ramps up for more shooting

9 December 2012 4:35 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Already several months into production, Marvel has just announced the addition of a new cast member to "Iron Man 3." Chinese actor Wang Xuequi ("Yellow Earth," "The Big Parade") has joined the superhero follow-up as a supporting character named Dr. Wu, according to Deadline. Though Xuequi's involvement has been rumored for awhile now, word was that he would be playing Chen Lu, also known as the supervillain Radioactive Man (a role that Hong Kong singer/actor Andy Lau was previously reported to have backed out of). However, Wu appears to be a different character altogether. Marvel will begin a weeklong shoot in »

- HitFix Staff

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‘Iron Man 3′ Casts China’s Wang Xuequi As New ‘Dr Wu’: Beijing Filming Starts Monday

9 December 2012 4:16 AM, PST | Deadline Hollywood | See recent Deadline Hollywood news »

Exclusive: Marvel starts filming several Iron Man 3 scenes in Beijing on Monday. And I’ve learned from my Chinese-based movie biz sources that the studio has just cast leading Chinese actor Wang Xueqi as a new character playing “Dr. Wu”. The highly secretive Marvel has been prepping for the shoot for a week in Mainland China. Dmg Entertainment is Iron Man 3’s Chinese distributor, and is working to help staff the shoot on the ground. Marvel still intends to file for co-production status – but apparently they have a permit to film and are ready to go on that front. It was rumored a few months ago that Hong Kong actor Andy Lau would be joining Iron Man 3 as an ally of billionaire inventor Tony Stark, but he quickly backed out. Then several online comic book sites claimed 64-year-old Xueqi would be a last minute addition taking on »

- NIKKI FINKE, Editor in Chief

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Il Cinema Ritrovato 2012 #4

5 July 2012 8:16 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Max Ophüls' Komedie om geld. Image courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna.

The 26th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato is over—like the end of a dream. If you are lucky enough, and not so fond of sleeping and eating, and also have little social bonds that allow you the minimum of lingering with fellow cinephiles, then you would be able to see only 10 percent of the films shown at the festival. As much as it's a festival of discovery and cinephilia, it’s also a festival of guilt and regrets since you ineluctably miss many things.

Il Cinema Ritrovato is a miniature of life that among all the beautiful things you have to choose, and every decision grants you a piece of the truth. But all the images, all the pieces of this broken mirror in which we see ourselves is as valid as what the person next to me, »

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Breaking the Bank: Six of Hollywood’s Lost Old-School Epics

28 June 2012 8:36 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal.  I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months.  Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.

Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:

5/4:  Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million

5/11:  Dark Shadows —  $150 million

5/18:  Battleship — $209 million

5/25:  Men in Black 3 — $250 million

6/8:  Prometheus — $120-130 million

7/3:  The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million

7/20:  The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million

7/31:  Total Recall — $200 million

8/5:  The Expendables 2 — $100 million

For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions »

- Bill Mesce

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Ten silent super-stars facing the advent of 'talkies'

7 March 2012 7:02 AM, PST | Shadowlocked | See recent Shadowlocked news »

The great movie pioneer D.W. Griffiths once said “we do not want now and we shall never want the human voice with our films.” Shame he failed to realise that film-making is a technical medium that will always develop. In the last 100 years we have had the introduction of colour, trick photography, 3D and CGI, among other numerous innovations such as CinemaScope - and even Smellovision. But none of these compare to the most revolutionary of cinematic changes: sound.

The silent era of the twenties holds little more than curiosity-value for many modern film fans. Other than a few notable exceptions such as Nosferatu (1922) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925), it’s become a long-forgotten part of cinema history. But back then we had the Brad Pitts and Angelina Jolies of their day! Big stars and talented actors who sadly failed to survive the test of time.

The coming of sound was controversial, »

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Ten Terrific War Movies You Probably Never Heard Of

27 February 2012 6:19 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

I’ve always been a war film buff, maybe because I grew up with them at a time when they were a regular part of the cinema landscape. That’s why I read, with particular interest, my Sound on Sight colleague Edgar Chaput’s recent pieces on The Flowers of War (“The Flowers of War Is an Uneven but Interesting Chinese Ww II Film” – posted 2/20/12) and The Front Line (The Front Line Rises to the Occasion to Overcome Its Familiarity” – 2/16/12) with such interest. An even more fun read was the back-and-forth between Edgar and Sos’s Michael Ryan over the latter (“The Sound on Sight Debate on Korea’s The Front Line” – 2/12/12), with Michael unimpressed because the movie had “…nothing new to add to the war genre,” and Edgar coming back with “…‘new’ is not always what a film must strive for. So long as it does well what it set out to do… »

- Bill Mesce

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The history of MGM: the silent era

10 January 2012 3:25 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

In the first part of a new series, Zoe takes a look back at the history of MGM, one of Hollywood’s oldest and most notable studios...

Studios have come and gone since the birth of cinema, and the film business is an unpredictable one, as the history of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer reveals. Founded in 1924, its name conjures up images of lavish musicals, sweeping historical epics, glamorous stars and its mascot, Leo the lion.

It’s fair to say that MGM is one of the most famous and influential studios in Hollywood, and certainly one of the most iconic studios to come out of American film industry. But where did it all begin?

The story begins in the early 1920s. Vaudeville, previously one of the most popular forms of entertainment, is beginning to dwindle, as movies capture the public’s imagination. Enter Marcus Loew, a theatre chain owner. What Loew wanted was »

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