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12 items from 2013

Interview: Harry Lennix on Digital Release of ‘Mr. Sophistication’

25 November 2013 10:37 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – One of the more unique independent films that worked the festival circuit in 2012 and ’13 was the drama “Mr. Sophistication.” The main character was Ron Waters, a comedian described as “Richard Pryor’s protegé.” Actor Harry Lennix took on the character, breathing in both the drama of the show business story and the particular style of stand-up.

The film was recently released in downloadable and DVD formats. While on that festival circuit, Harry Lennix and the production crew – writer/director Danny Green and producers Jon E. Edwards and Albena Dodeva – stopped by Chicago, and spoke to them about the film.

Actor Harry Lennix, Portrays Ron Waters in “Mr. Sophistication

Harry Lennix and Robert Patrick in ‘Mr. Sophistication

Photo credit: Mr. Smoothie Company You were born in Chicago and have the Chicago influence in the story of Ron Waters. How important was it to give Ron a »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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The Man Who Brought Beatles, Bond & More to Movies

3 October 2013 12:09 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Who's that man posing with the Beatles? He's the Hollywood producer who signed the Fab Four to star in A Hard Day's Night before they touched down in America for the first time. He's also the guy who launched the James Bond movie franchise by giving the green light to make Dr. No, then saved it by luring Sean Connery back for one more movie. He also discovered the likes of Steve Martin and Woody Allen on the stand-up circuit and started their movie careers. Many movers and shakers in the entertainment industry are hidden in the fine print and not seen in the spotlight, and now legendary producer David Picker is stepping out with a new memoir – Musts, Maybes, and Nevers: A Book About the Movies – and sharing some Hollywood tales with ETonline.

Pics: Hollywood's Hottest Movie Posters

"I've been a very lucky guy," says Picker. "I wound up in a situation where I was able »

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Latest Superman Reboot Passes Major Milestone at Domestic Box Office

3 July 2013 7:44 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Man of Steel 2013 box office: $250 million milestone in North America (photo: possibly after his Man of Steel workout, Henry Cavill chats with director Zack Snyder) Directed by Zack Snyder, and starring Henry Cavill, Man of Steel passed the $250 million milestone at the North American box office on Monday, July 1, 2013. On that day, Man of Steel added $3.04 million, for a domestic cume of $251.62 million, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. After adding another $2.78 million on Tuesday, July 2, the Superman reboot’s domestic total currently stands at $254.4 million. Not adjusted for inflation, Man of Steel is no. 28 on Box Office Mojo’s chart of the fastest movies to reach $250 million at the North American box office: 18 days. The no. 1 title is Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, with 6 days. Other movies that also took 18 days to reach $250 million — years ago, when ticket prices were lower — are Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers »

- Zac Gille

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Comparisons Between Superman Movies, Cavill's 'Lost' Roles and Upcoming Projects

16 June 2013 10:27 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Henry Cavill Superman: Man of Steel vs. Superman movies of years past [See previous post: "Man of Steel Trailing Original Iron Man in Ticket Sales."] As mentioned in our previous posts, the $225 million-budgeted Man of Steel grossed an estimated $113.08 million this past weekend, including $9 million from Thursday midnight screenings. Directed by Zack Snyder, the 2013 Superman reboot stars Henry Cavill as Clark Kent aka Superman. (Photo: Henry Cavill in Man of Steel.) Released in late June 2006, Bryan Singer’s $270 million-budgeted Superman Returns, starring Brandon Routh as Superman, debuted with $52.53 million, or about $64 million today. Even taking into account that Superman Returns lacked the box-office-boosting advantage of 3D surcharges, Man of Steel is obviously a much bigger hit than its immediate predecessor. Superman Returns eventually reached $200.08 million in North America, plus a slightly more modest $191 million internationally. Man of Steel will not only easily surpass Superman Returns at the domestic box office, but it’ll also earn at the very least twice as much as Superman Returns internationally. »

- Zac Gille

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Superman to Trail Iron Man 3 (and Possibly the Original Iron Man)

16 June 2013 12:19 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Henry Cavill Man of Steel to trail Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 [See previous post: "Man of Steel Weekend Box Office: June Record May Not Be Broken."] As long as it grosses at least $100 million by Sunday evening — and that’s a given — Zack Snyder / Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel will boast the second-biggest opening of 2013, behind only Shane Black / Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man 3, which collected $174.14 million in early May according to Box Office Mojo. As mentioned in the previous post, Man of Steel is expected to score anywhere between $115-$140 million. Note: Figures for both Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 include Thursday evening shows. (See updated posts: “Man of Steel trailing Original Iron Man” and “Man of Steel vs. Superman movies of years past.”) (Photo: Henry Cavill Superman in Man of Steel.) For comparison’s sake: without the advantage of box-office-inflating 3D surcharges or Thursday evening screenings, the Jon Favreau-directed Iron Man debuted with $98.68 million »

- Zac Gille

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Comparing the Superman Flicks at the Domestic Box Office

15 June 2013 12:11 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Man of Steel vs. Superman Returns (photo: Amy Adams as Lois Lane in Man of Steel) [See previous post: "Man of Steel Box Office: June Record Likely (Sort of)."] Released in late June 2006, Bryan Singer / Brandon Routh’s Superman Returns opened with $52.53 million, or about $64 million today. Even taking into account that Superman Returns lacked the advantage of box-office-inflating 3D surcharges, Man of Steel will clearly soar much higher. (See updated post: “Man of Steel to Trail Iron Man 3: Box Office” — and possibly to trail the original Iron Man as well.) Superman Returns cumed at $200.08 million in North America, in addition to $191 million internationally. Considering the exponential growth of the international market in the last decade, expect Man of Steel to earn much more outside of than in North America. Remember, without the international market, movies that cost $225 million (not including marketing and distribution expenses) would likely never, ever get made. Directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve in the title role, »

- Zac Gille

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Al Pacino talks about why he didn't take the role of Han Solo in Star Wars

4 June 2013 10:59 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

With all the news for Star Wars: Episode: VII falling fairly quiet as of late (apart from getting a director of course), it's nice to see some stories about the original trilogy coming into our news desk.

During An Evening with Al Pacino this last weekend in London, the actor talked about how the role of Han Solo in Star Wars was his "for the taking" but he didn't take it because "I didn't understand the script".

Which certainly makes for an interesting 'what if'. Not sure what was so complicated about the script though…

The role of course went to Harrison Ford which kick started his career. Ford wasn't always George Lucas's first choice as he didn't want to work with someone he'd worked with previously (the two collaborated on American Graffiti) and he had Jack Nicholson, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray down as other potential Solos. »

- luke-o

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Cannes 2013: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz – review

24 May 2013 4:27 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This revival of the 1974 adaptation of Mordecai Richler's novel proved a wonderful shop-window for the young Richard Dreyfuss

Just a year shy of its 40th anniversary, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz has been proudly spruced up and reissued; an act of reclamation, in some level, for a film that back in the early 70s, was one of the first Canadian features to make an international impact. Adapted from Mordecai Richler's 1959 novel set in a Jewish area of Montreal about a bustling young man furiously angling to get ahead – the missing link, if you will, between Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run and Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus – Duddy Kravitz is an affectionate picaresque detailing the push-pull impact of the new world on émigrés from old Europe. Clan loyalty contends with ruthless self-advancement; expediency with tenderness; ambition with gullibility.

The film also provided a tremendous showcase for a mid-20s Richard Dreyfuss, »

- Andrew Pulver

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Jim VanBebber Talks The Manson Family, Gator Green, and True 70's Style Grindhouse Cinema

26 March 2013 11:52 AM, PDT | | See recent Dread Central news »

A true grindhouse maverick who hates happy endings, Jim VanBebber has made a name for himself in the world of low-budget, independent exploitation cinema as a writer/director and sometimes actor.

Since his first feature, Deadbeat at Dawn (1988), his gritty, outlaw style of filmmaking has generated films that are unapologetic in their realism and singular in their vision.

In 2004 VanBebber took on Charlie Manson. Shot over four years, The Manson Family is a documentary-style (though semi-fictional) look at the Manson cult filled with lurid sex, shocking violence and murderous flower power. For its 10th anniversary The Manson Family is being unleashed nationwide complete with VanBebber's Kickstarter-fueled short Gator Green (get theater listings here). A special edition Blu-ray release will follow on May 7th by Severin Films, which will include the short and a documentary on the making of The Manson Family, entitled The VanBebber Family.

Jim recently took time to »

- Heather Buckley

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Two Multiple Best Actor Winners to Present at 85th Academy Awards: Complete List

22 February 2013 7:16 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Nicholson and Hoffman: 85th Academy Awards list of presenters completed Multiple Oscar winners Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson have been added to the roster of presenters at this year's Academy Awards show, Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced. (Pictured above: Academy Awards ceremony in 1980, with winners Stanley R. Jaffe, Robert Benton, Meryl Streep, and Dustin Hoffman.) Dustin Hoffman's Academy Awards nominations Hoffman has been nominated for a total of 7 Best Actor Oscars. He won twice, for Robert Benton's broken-family drama Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), with Meryl Streep, and Barry Levinson's fraternal drama Rain Man (1988), with Tom Cruise. Hoffman's other Academy Award nominations were for the following movies: Mike Nichols' comedy The Graduate (1967), with Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross; John Schlesinger's social drama Midnight Cowboy (1969), with Jon Voight; Bob Fosse's psychological drama Lenny (1974), with Valerie Perrine; Sydney Pollack's comedy Tootsie (1982), with Jessica Lange »

- Anna Robinson

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Top 10: “Best Picture” classes of all time

19 February 2013 8:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Article by Dan Clark

We all have our good years and we all have our bad years. The same can be said for the  Oscars. There are certain years that you look at the films chosen for Best Picture and wonder if they should have just cancelled the show. Then there are the years that are so jam packed with all time greats it’s nearly impossible to go wrong when choosing the winner. Those are the years that this blog will focus on.  I looked through all the Best Picture Classes to determine the Best of the Best. Overall quality, influence, and longevity were all taken into account when constructing this list of the Top 10 Best Picture Classes of All Time.

10.  Class of 1959

Movies Nominated: Anatomy of a Murder, Ben-Hur, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Nun’s Story, and Room at the Top.

Best Picture Winner: Ben Hur »

- Guest

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Has Django Unchained defused the 'n-bomb'?

14 January 2013 9:26 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Quentin Tarantino's movie is latest twist in debate on racial epithet, but some believe controversy could help race relations

What's "the filthiest, dirtiest, nastiest word in the English language"? According to one of the prosecutors in the Oj Simpson trial, there was no question. It's what many still dare refer to only as "the n-word". Deputy district attorney Christopher Darden submitted that learning that a detective had uttered this six-letter abomination would strip the jury of their judicial faculties.

Elsewhere, courts have ruled that letting slip this word is as understandable a provocation to violence as dealing a physical blow. Libraries and bookshops have purged their shelves of volumes such as Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which the word appears 213 times, has been banned from many schools; to overcome this problem, a new edition was published last year with the »

- David Cox

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