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20 items from 2008

Bryan Singer’s ‘Valkyrie’ With Tom Cruise Mistakes Morose For Intense

25 December 2008 8:07 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Tom Cruise can be a powerfully vibrant actor in the right material but he’s horrendously miscast in Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” a casting decision amplified by poor direction that drains this true story of an assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler of its inherent power.

Rating: 2.0/5.0 Tom Cruise can be a powerfully vibrant in the right material but he’s horrendously miscast in Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie,” a casting decision amplified by poor direction that drains this true story of an assassination attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler of its inherent power.

When he’s in the right material, like his great work in “Magnolia,” “Minority Report,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” and “Rainman,” Cruise can be impossible to take your eyes off. He’s a generally underrated actor who has watched his off-screen antics steal the thunder from his actual talent.

Read Brian »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Movie Review: Valkyrie

24 December 2008 9:40 PM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

Dec 25, 2008  

In the right material - Magnolia, Born on the Fourth of July, Minority Report - Tom Cruise can be a powerfully vibrant actor. But there's a resonance, a gravity that some actors bring to the big screen that Mr. Cruise simply does not have. I like Cruise, but actors need to know their strengths and, in the wrong material, Tom too often mistakes morose for serious and looks drowsy instead of intense. That sensation pervades Valkyrie, a film that needed to have a crackerjack ...Read more at MovieRetriever.com »

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American Film Market 2008 Part Three: More Reviews

17 December 2008 2:03 PM, PST | Fangoria | See recent Fangoria news »

In the final part of my 2009 American Film Market report and review roundup, I tackle another 11 movies that I caught during my annual Santa Monica moviegoing orgy. For an overview of the trip, see here; the first batch of reviews can be found here. And for more information on the Afm, held each November in Los Angeles, go here.

Not Quite Hollywood: Fans of “Ozploitation” will jump over the barbie for Mark Hartley’s winning documentary on exploitation films produced in Australia since the ’70s, tackling everything from Patrick to Wolf Creek. Just about anyone ever associated with an Australian genre film is interviewed here, including actors (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stacy Keach on Road Games; Dennis Hopper on Mad Dog Morgan), directors (George Miller, Brian Trenchard-Smith, the late Richard Franklin), screenwriters (Everett De Roche, who wrote almost every Aussie fright flick) and producers (Antony Ginnane, who wrangled financing for »

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Against the Dark, Screamers 2 Art

10 December 2008 4:08 PM, PST | DreadCentral.com | See recent Dread Central news »

The great website DVD Active has unveiled the artwork for two Sony DVD releases arriving in February that seemed to have caused a bit of a stir: Screamers: The Hunting and the Steven Seagal vampire hunting flick Against The Dark.

One look at the box art for Against the Dark and you can clearly see Steven Seagal (with his katana sword of doom) is being touted as the star of this tale of commandos battling mutant vampires on the loose in a hospital. Hate to be the one to splash some cold water on everyone but from looking into this movie everything I've found seems to indicate that Seagal's role is a relatively minor one. Unless something changed, from my research, the real star of the film is the guy played "Toa" on the new "American Gladiators" and Seagal's role is slightly more than a glorified cameo being used to help market the movie. »

- Foywonder

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Scott Frank Turns 'Apes' into 'Cesar'

2 December 2008 7:58 PM, PST | Comicmix.com | See recent Comicmix news »

Genesis: Apes, the reported remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, was acknowledged as a live project by Fox president Tom Rothman and now 20th Century Fox has turned the project over to Scott Frank (Minority Report).  The writer/director has already renamed the film Cesar and told Chud that the film is an original story and not a remake.

The movie, the site notes, “will not feature talking monkeys, and it will not end with chimpanzees running wild in the streets, taking over the world. But it isn't entirely divorced from the world of Planet of the Apes, either. In fact, Frank sees his movie as the opening chapter in a saga that could span the thousand years between today and a world where apes rule.”

Scott explained that he’s been researching modern day science and extrapolating what it would take to evolve common apes into »

- Robert Greenberger

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Resurrection of the Planet of the Apes?

1 December 2008 11:40 AM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

A few months back I was discussing Fantastic Fest with Sir Devin Faraci, and he professed to me that one of the films he was most looking forward to -- was something 25 years old! Yes, Devin is a Huge Planet of the Apes fan, so he was elated to see the "unseen cut" of J. Lee Thompson's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Mega-geeked, in fact.

So when it comes to new info on this long-running franchise, I put much stock in Faraci's ravings. Here's the short version: It looks like there will be an Apes prequel that starts off before the original film. And by "original film," I assume they mean the 1968 one. And then we hear from Cinema Blend (who got it from Production Weekly) that not only is the prequel a go, but also that Fox has hired a director. Namely, Scott Frank, who wrote »

- Scott Weinberg

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Planet of the Apes Prequel Coming

29 November 2008 8:00 PM, PST | MoviesOnline.ca | See recent MoviesOnline news »

Prequel.. Sequel.... call it what you want. Hollywood is once again out of ideas and turning to rehashing old classics. This go around Planet of the Apes is getting the remake treatment in a prequel to Tim Burtons remake ( of sorts )

From HorrorMovies.ca comes word that the film will be directed by Scott Frank who is best known to me for his work writing the screenplay for Minority Report.  The film will tell the story of how the apes came to power and is currently titled... Ceaser. »

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'Terminator: Salvation' One of the Coolest Posters of All-Time?

25 November 2008 12:28 PM, PST | bloody-disgusting.com | See recent Bloody-Disgusting.com news »

I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but Minority Report has come to life here in Los Angeles as more and more electronic billboards are being erected - could bus stop posters be the next to follow? If you click on over to Yahoo!, you can check out what might possibly be the coolest poster of all-time. At the site you'll find the international "online" one sheet for Warner Bros. Terminator: Salvation, which features an animated apocalypse right one the poster. I'd love to see this around town (if it's even possible yet). Directed by McG, the end of the world begins on May 22, 2009. »

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Parkes, MacDonald extend with D'Works

12 November 2008 2:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The new DreamWorks Studios has begun staffing up its producing roster, extending the tenures of mainstays Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald by signing them to a new two-year, first-look deal.

The producers and former Dw co-presidents have often been the caretakers of Dw principal Steven Spielberg's directing projects, including "Catch Me If You Can," "Minority Report" and "The Terminal." Parkes and MacDonald also shepherded "Gladiator," "Men in Black," "The Kite Runner" and "Sweeney Todd" for the studio.

As the first producers brought into DreamWorks' new Reliance Big Entertainment-backed venture, Parkes and MacDonald are running point on several of the projects taken along after the studio's recent split from Paramount. Among these are the Oni Press graphic novel adaptation "The Damned"; the Jay Roach-directed comedy "Dinner for Schmucks"; the Billy Ray-scripted thriller "Motorcade"; the Western "St. Agnes' Stand"; and the biopic "The Trial of the Chicago 7," which has several high-profile directors, »

- By Jay A. Fernandez

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Our ‘In2ition’ Tells Us Something’s Different With Take180’s New Series

29 October 2008 1:54 PM, PDT | Tubefilter.com | See recent Tubefilter News news »

"For nearly 150 years, The Program has pursued its secret mission to identify and develop the 'abilities' of individuals with paranormal powers." This is the introduction to In2ition, the new interactive supernatural conspiracy thriller from Take180, which has produced three original web series since its soft launch in July. Hope Fox, played by up-and-comer Emily Pennington, has abandoned friends and family to go on the run when The Intuitive Genetics Program abducts her boyfriend Zain (Hector Bucio), using her special powers to guide her—think Bourne Conspiracy meets Minority Report, except she needs your help. In an interactive twist characteristic of Take180's web series, the plot of In2ition is guided by audience participation. From the site: "As Hope goes on the run, the only people she can trust are Belinda and the members of Sage—a small group of resistance fighters who oppose the The Program. By participating in challenges, »

- Drew Baldwin

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Hitchcock's Legacy DVDs: 'Psycho', 'Rear Window' and 'Vertigo'

28 October 2008 12:41 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

You can never get too much Hitchcock, especially in October. Celebrating the spookiest month of the year wouldn't be complete without taking a look at some of the Master of Suspense's best works, and with Universal re-releasing a whole bunch of them on DVD as part of their ever-expanding Legacy Series most of these films have never looked or sounded better. Recently I was given three of the Hitch's best -- 1954's Rear Window, 1958's Vertigo and 1960's Psycho -- to take another look and it's doubtful fans will be disappointed. While the transfers themselves are no different than the ones found on the Special Editions released just a few years ago, the sound quality (on one) and the special features (on all three) have been decidedly improved. Let's take a bit closer look at each title separately: Rear Window Easily one of Hitchcock's most enduring (and most popular) titles, »

- Sara Michelle Fetters

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Spielberg picks up rights to John Wyndham's CHOCKY

26 September 2008 9:45 AM, PDT | QuietEarth.us | See recent QuietEarth news »

<img src="http://www.quietearth.us/img/c/chocky.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="2" class="pictureborder" />What the... I don't know how I missed this yesterday but Spielberg's picked up the rights to an amazing novel by one of my all time favorite authors called "Chocky." "Chocky" was written by British novelist John Wyndham, who's also responsible for some amazing novels including "Day of the Triffids," "The Chrysalids," and "The Midwich Cuckoos" (which we all know now as The Village of the Damned). News of the acquisition broke through <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i7d59466b16c8ffd18d331d0f65a0b023">THR</a>, so needless to say their article is rife with more news and gossip surrounding Dreamworks' current problem with unfinished projects and their just-ended Par deal than it is with actual info about the project. No word on who's directing at this point but I for one wouldn't be totally unhappy if Spielberg took it on. I don't have quite the hate on for the director that some do. Indiana Jones is untouchable, I loved Minority Report, »

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Interview With Knb's Greg Nicotero!

1 September 2008 10:18 AM, PDT | bloody-disgusting.com | See recent Bloody-Disgusting.com news »

This weekend we posted a very special exclusive chat with FX guru Greg Nicotero, co-founder of the infamous Knb Effects. We chatted briefly with Nicotero, who is hard at work prepping for Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, which begins shooting later this month. Click here to read the interview where Nicotero talks about his favorite films, what inspired him and much, much more. "The List Goes On And On.In 20 Years Howard Berger and I have had our hands in Closer To 700 Filmseverything From The Green Mile and Grindhouse to Men In Black, Reservoir Dogs, Transformers and Minority Report. Some of the best memories come from films like Day Of The Dead, Evil Dead 2, The Mist, From Dusk Till DAWNall of those shows had a tremendous amount of work...." »

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Weekend Movie News Wrap Up: July 20, 2008

20 July 2008 8:50 AM, PDT | ScreenRant.com | See recent Screen Rant news »

So The Dark Knight has finally been released and it’s kicking all sort of Box Office butt. It’s great news, the bad news (for me at least) is that I don’t get to see it until Friday!!

However, don’t worry - we’ll always have the Weekend Movie News Wrap Up!

This week:

We have more news on the new RoboCop movie, we take our Tom Cruise news with a pinch of Salt, Christian Bale does some Terminating, we look at another X-Files poster, and Rob Cohen remakes The Monster Squad.


1. Last week I brought you news that Darren Aronofsky was helming the RoboCop remake. Well it looks like the film isn’t a remake after all. The film appears to be more of a sequel to the original films. Bloody Disgusting report that the logline of the film (a logline is the plot - in »

- Niall Browne

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Chris Gorak to write, direct 'Sis' for Warners

19 July 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warners Bros is setting an Eta on "Sis."

The studio is developing the acronym-inflected project, a cop drama in the vein of "Training Day." Chris Gorak, a noted art director whose credits include "Fight Club" and "Minority Report," is attached to direct and pen the screenplay. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian will produce.

Casting is presently under way for the project, which is described as having a soft greenlight. Jessica Goodman and Matt Milam are overseeing for Warners.

"Sis" began life several years ago as "In-Crime," with Kurt Sutter, a showrunner on FX's "The Shield," penning the first draft of the script and initally attached to direct. Russell Gewirtz, who wrote the Spike Lee hostage film "Inside Man" and Overture Films' upcoming Robert De Niro-Al Pacino cop drama "Righteous Kill," also subsequently wrote a draft of the screenplay.

Sis stands for special investigations section, a unit of the police force built to combat some of the most brutal criminals while they are in the midst of committing crimes, and often operates under looser restrictions than a traditional police unit. The feature will center on characters in the Sis unit of the Lapd.

Gorak made his writing and directorial debut in "Right at Your Door," an action picture about a man who discovered a nuclear weapon in modern-day Los Angeles, which Roadside and Lionsgate released in 2006. »

- By Steven Zeitchik

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In Bruges

27 April 2008 8:48 AM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

In Bruges Directed by: Martin McDonagh Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes Time: 1 hr 47 mins Rating: R Plot: When a targeted kill goes wrong and leads to an accidental death, a hitman (Farrell) and his partner (Gleeson) have to lie low in Bruges, Belgium. Who’s It For? There's definitely some violence, but it is mainly the matter-of-fact conversations from Farrell that will have people talking. Expectations: There was a strong buzz for this film, yet this was McDonagh's first feature film, so you never know. Plus, Farrell is either on or off, there's no in between. Scorecard (1-10) Actors: Colin Farrell as Ray: Farrell is "on" with this role. He's able to be carry around some terrible stereotypes and be likeable. Farrell can act, as Tigerland, Cassandra's Dream, Minority Report and now In Bruges have proved, it's »

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Morton 'Stalker' Cleared

29 March 2008 6:56 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

A man has been cleared of harassing actress Samantha Morton - but ordered to stay away from the star.

Noel Watts, 42, was said to have imagined a "fantasy relationship" with the Minority Report star, after becoming infatuated with her when he began dating one of her friends in the 1990s.

During the trial, Morton told the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court how Watts bombarded her agent with "angry" letters, calls and texts declaring his love for her.

Watts escaped the harassment charge, because Morton only ever received one text message. However, he was given a restraining order to stop him from contacting her.

But Watts was convicted of harassing Morton's agent Nicola Van Gelden after "frightening" her with texts and phone calls meant for the star.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for this offence, but will not serve as he has already spent 62 days on remand. »

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Morton 'Stalked' By Childhood Pal

12 March 2008 12:08 AM, PDT | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Samantha Morton has told a London court how she was stalked by a childhood friend who predicted her death in a phone call.

Noel Watts, 42, was said to have imagined a "fantasy relationship" with the Minority Report star, after becoming infatuated with her when he began dating one of her friends in the 1990s.

On Tuesday, Morton told the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court how Watts bombarded her agent with "angry" letters, calls and texts declaring his love for her.

She also admitted she felt "intimidated by his friendliness towards her".

Morton recalled, "The person said he was in love with me and if I won an Oscar I should thank him for it."

Watts denies two counts of harassment. The trial has been adjourned. »

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Samantha Morton Reveals She Suffered a Stroke

10 March 2008 7:15 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Oscar nominee Samantha Morton has for the first time revealed that in spring 2006 she suffered a stroke so debilitating that she was "near to death" and forced to retreat to the shadows for 18 months, for fear of word about her condition affecting her career. The actress, 30, also tells the new issue of Observer Music Monthly that the paralyzing attack forced her to spend more than a year learning how to walk again. "I was near to death," Morton is quoted as saying. "I had a stroke at the beginning of 2006." The stroke is believed to have been triggered by a »

- Caris Davis and Stephen M. Silverman

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Hartnett kicks in for 'Bunraku'

1 February 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Josh Hartnett has battled savage vampires in Alaska. Now the actor will be entering a new world of martial arts in Bunraku for indie producers Snoot Entertainment.

Although the film takes its name from a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, Bunraku is a live-action telling a classic story of a stranger coming to town in the tradition of spaghetti Westerns, samurai movies and gangster flicks.

Guy Moshe (Holly) is writing and directing. Snoot's Keith Calder and Jessica Wu, Nava Levin of Picturesque Films and Ram Bergman are producing.

Hartnett will plays the Drifter, a man set on revenge who finds himself in an even bigger fight than he bargained for.

The film is set in an original universe a la Sin City and draws from a mixed bag of genres including puppets, origami, comic books, video games and German expressionism, according to the film's producers.

Production designer Alex McDowell (Minority Report) is co-producing.

Producers are eyeing a spring start date in Europe.

CAA reps Hartnett and Moshe. »

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20 items from 2008

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