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With early, festival-driven campaigns already ramping up (see: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”) and sleeper candidates generating buzz (major question marks like Amy Adams in “Big Eyes”), the 2015 Best Actress race is tightening up. Is there room for surprises? Jennifer Aniston hopes so. Words has arrived through the wire that Cinelou Films’ distribution fledgling Cinelou Releasing has picked up the actress’ dramedy vehicle “Cake” for release before the end of the year. The film played to mixed reviews at September’s Toronto Film Festival, but clearly Cinelou bigwigs Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon see awards potential. A press release indicates that the movie will have a one-week qualifying run in December before rolling out in January. Based on a blacklisted script by Patrick Tobin and directed by "Phoebe in Wonderland" and "Beastly" director Daniel Barnz, “Cake” follows Claire (Aniston), a divorcee suffering from chronic back pain, the lingering effects of »
- Matt Patches
Thornton, 59, and Jolie, 39, met on the set of 1999's Pushing Tin and married in 2000 after a whirlwind two-month courtship. Things only got weirder from there until they divorced in 2003.
"I mean, it was a crazy time," Thornton told The Hollywood Reporter at a Loyola Marymount University School of Film & Television event on Oct. 15. "I've never been fond of it."
Photos: Angelina Jolie's Sexiest Black Red-Carpet Gowns
He also elaborated on the infamous blood vials the two used to wear around their necks, revealing the "romantic" thought behind the necklaces.
"Vial of blood is very simple," Thornton explained. "You know those lockets you buy that are clear and you put a picture »
The Fargo actor has signed up for a follow-up to the 2003 festive comedy, and despite looking forward to filming, he isn't sure it will match the original.
"We're just waiting for a script," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're never gonna beat the first one, but you got to get as close as you can. You just can't go and do it halfway so we're waiting for something that's close enough.
"It'll do real well, I imagine, and people will say, 'Well, it wasn't as good as the first one' and we'll say, 'Yeah, we knew it wouldn't be', but I think it should be fun and I think people who liked [the first one] will enjoy it and hopefully we'll get it off."
It feels like we've been writing about a potential sequel to Bad Santa for a good few years now, without any sign of the film itself moving forward. It's become one of those projects that gets talked about, but is looking decreasingly likely to happen.
Speaking at Loyola Marymount University, Thornton said that "we're just waiting for a script", adding that "we're never going to beat the first one, but you got to get as close as you can. You can't just go and do it half way, so we're waiting for something that's close »
Prepare for the return of Willie T. Stokes! Since its release back in 2003, the holiday comedy Bad Santa has developed a sizable cult audience, and, as a result, it looks like a follow up is actually going to happen. Billy Bob Thornton himself has teased that Bad Santa 2 is currently in the early stages of development. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thornton was recently part of a special Q&A at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television, and revealed that there are indeed plans to make a follow up to the Terry Zwigoff-directed Christmas dark comedy. The actor said that he thoroughly enjoyed crawling into Willie's skin because it allowed him to display his talents in a broad comedy that went out of its way to play for big, crude laughs. When the topic turned to a possible Bad Santa 2, Thornton assured the audience that it »
I liked Bad Santa when I saw it in 2003. I actually haven't seen it since then so I have no idea how it ages or holds up or any of that, but apparently there's an appetite for a sequel. Makes sense, I guess I'd probably check out Bad Santa 2 if it happens. A few years back Steve Pink was going to helm, but then those duties fell to Doug Ellin. Ellin is still busy wrapping up the artistic juggernaut of the Entourage movie, so even though there's a chance his Kubrickian penchant for perfection will keep him in the editing room for another few years on that project, one could also reasonably assume he'd make time for this sooner or later. If the script is good. That's what they're waiting on. Even though Billy Bob Thornton himself wisely admits there's no way they can top the first one (the »
- Evan Dickson
2003’s debauched yuletide comedy, Bad Santa, dashed any misguided notions that those who dress up to play the jolly chap are without issues. Billy Bob Thornton’s take on the rotund fellow completely veered away from saccharine stereotypes of a happy man who only wants to deliver cheer to everyone. Instead, his store-front Santa was a drunken slob who chased women and shirked his duties whenever possible.
In short, it was brilliant, and thus, rumours began to circulate about a second trip in his kinky sleigh for Bad Santa 2. The latest news we’ve had on the project landed in May 2013, when Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink apparently vacated the director’s chair to make way for Entourage creator Doug Ellin. At the time, Ellin was also reported to be working on a re-write of Johnny Rosenthal’s original script, which brings us up to date with the status of the project. »
- Gem Seddon
Ever since its release in 2003, Bad Santa has become a Christmas staple for those seeking something a little bit more vulgar than the likes of Elf or It's A Wonderful Life. In a recent discussion at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television, Billy Bob Thornton confided that there were still plans for a Bad Santa 2, and he has very realistic expectations for it. Thornton on a sequel to Bad Santa: We're just waiting for a script, ya know? »
- Sean Wist
A sequel to the 2003 cult classic Bad Santa might be in the works, actor Billy Bob Thornton told a gathering of students October 15 at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film & Television. In a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from his early days living in dire poverty to his overnight fame following 1996's Sling Blade to his horrified reaction living the life of celebrity during his years married to Angelina Jolie, Thornton said he was a great fan of his broad comedy as a nasty Santa. As for the sequel, "We’re just waiting for a script,"
- Tim Appelo
Written & Directed by Theodore Melfi
You know you have star power when an entire theater sits through the end credits just to watch you water a potted plant. Such is our national obsession with Bill Murray. Whether it’s a raised eyebrow or an awkward pause, you’re just waiting for him to do something funny. Sadly, St. Vincent keeps you waiting for most of its running time. This watered-down Bad Santa is too busy being a benign crowd pleaser to deliver much of a kick.
Vincent (Murray) is the ball of hate that lives next door. He curses at passersby in the street, and his only friends are a cat and a pregnant exotic dancer with an outrageous Russian accent. Even his house looks like an ancient, yellowing cigarette butt. But he’s also got his soft spots. Like continuing to visit his wife in the nursing home, »
- J.R. Kinnard
On the grand scale of lovable-curmudgeon-befriends-impressionable-youth movies, St. Vincent probably ranks somewhere around the middle — slightly better, perhaps, than the self-important Gran Torino, but not nearly as good as Rushmore or Bad Santa (which itself was a spoof of such movies). It’s hard to judge films like this: The destination is often familiar and not always particularly interesting, but the ride itself isn’t always so bad, especially when you’ve got Bill Murray along for company.Murray plays Vincent, a potty-mouthed alcoholic and compulsive gambler in Sheepshead Bay undergoing a pretty rough time: He’s totally broke; his house is worth less than his mortgage; he’s in massive debt to a loan shark (played by an engagingly tremulous Terence Howard, doing what he can with a throwaway role); and his loud new neighbors just wrecked his fence as they were moving in. Said neighbors turn out to be Maggie (Melissa McCarthy, »
- Bilge Ebiri
Briefcases full of cash, double-crossing, exotic locations, sophisticated suits and talk of the one last fabled con are all there in the first trailer for Will Smith's thriller Focus. The heist film, also starring Rodrigo Santoro (300) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), sees Smith as a veteran con man. The teaser for the film alternates between breezy criminal scenes to hints of when things go wrong. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writers of Bad Santa and I Love You Phillip Morris, are directing the title. Focus is set for release on Feb. 27,
- THR Staff
In Focus, Will Smith is an experienced con man who leads a well-organized ring of criminals. Then he meets an up and coming grifter played by Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and the con games get complicated for both of them. Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa writers and Crazy Stupid […]
- Russ Fischer
It has been a long time since Will Smith has made a movie that wasn't a sequel, an action movie or a grim faced drama; Maybe you'd have to go all the way back to 2005's "Hitch." But the Fresh Prince is back with something a bit lighter in "Focus" (at least initially) and the first trailer for the movie is here. Co-starring "The Wolf Of Wall Street" star Margot Robbie and written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa ("Bad Santa," "I Love You Phillip Morris"), the film tells the tale of an older grifter who takes a newcomer to the trade under his wing, but things get complicated when they fall in love. It's a project that has been long in the works and at various times had Ryan Gosling, Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart and Emma Stone attached. But the Smith/Robbie version is the one made it in front of cameras, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Ah, “Bad Judge.” If ever a title lent itself to ridicule, it’s this one, although the show works pretty hard to earn the gibes. Kate Walsh plays the robed dispenser of justice, who, when not on the bench, has sex in her chambers, shows up to work hung over and generally behaves like a college sophomore on perpetual spring break. Walsh’s mix of comedy chops and sex appeal do as much as an actress could to sell such a role, but even generous acceptance of the show as broad farce makes it difficult to return a favorable verdict.
In a way, the series is a one-note joke, in the same way “Bad Santa” or “Bad Teacher” sort of said it all about the movie. But if you’re really going to go that route, it practically requires a pedal-to-the-metal approach that isn’t pursued – or perhaps even possible to the extent necessary, »
- Brian Lowry
Even in the era of Walter White, Don Draper and the gang from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," broadcast network executives are still obsessed with the idea of likable and admirable heroes, especially when it comes to comedy. You'll occasionally find your questionable morality in network dramas like "Scandal" and "The Good Wife," but sitcom protagonists tend to have their rough edges sanded off as quickly and artlessly as possible. One new network comedy debuting this week illustrates why the suits tend to freak out about likability, while another demonstrates the pitfalls of trying to tone down bad behavior. ABC's "Selfie" (Tuesday at 8 p.m.) features a heroine so obnoxious that one wishes the network had stepped in to soften her up, while NBC's "Bad Judge" (Thursday at 9 p.m.) stripped away many of its heroine's most questionable traits from the original pilot and didn't bother replacing them with anything worth watching for. »
- Alan Sepinwall
Johnny Knoxville already became a Bad Grandpa in the Jackass spin-off film from last year, but now Robert De Niro may become a Dirty Grandpa. THR has word that the legendary actor is in early talks to play a perverted former Army general who thinks his grandson is about to marry the wrong woman, and so he tricks him into driving down to Florida for spring break where, as we all know, there's plenty of sexy action. Zac Efron is also in early talks to take the role of the grandson with I Give It a Year director Dan Mazer getting behind the camera. The project was at Universal, but is now being shopped at Tiff by Qed. A couple of years ago, Michael Douglas and Jeff Bridges were said to be circling the project written by Bad Santa writer John Phillips, but that was when the project had a studio home. »
- Ethan Anderton
Pretty Little Liars has been promising a “fatal” summer finale for weeks, and on Tuesday, it finally delivered — big time.
The victim, as many suspected, ended up being poor Mona Vanderwaal, who was brutally murdered at her home by a mysterious (and seemingly blonde) assailant. Fortunately, Mona was able to call Aria first to inform her that Alison lured Bethany to Rosewood in the first place.
But let’s back up a bit…
The nail-biting hour began with a massive switcheroo: »
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.] Show: "Bad Judge" (NBC) The Pitch: From the title/narrative construction that brought you "Bad Santa" and "Bad Teacher" comes... "Bad Judge"! Quick Response: NBC's "Bad Judge" is the last Take Me To The Pilots entry for a show premiering this fall on a major network. I've saved it until the end for two good reasons: 1) As the title accurately teases, it's bad. 2) I'm reasonably sure that the pilot sent to critics in May isn't going to be the pilot that's going to air on NBC this fall. I think NBC liked the idea of doing a show with Kate Walsh and they liked the idea of ordering two pilots produced by Will Ferrell and they liked that the title is an easy sell. So Liz Brixius has been brought in to run the show and two major roles have been recast and another role is being pushed from the »
- Daniel Fienberg
As Yuletide offerings go, Charles Poekel’s “Christmas, Again” might as well be called “It’s a So-So Life” — a downbeat but never outright depressing reminder that the holidays tend to look a lot less jolly from the vantage of those peddling Christmas cheer. Whereas David Sedaris made the same point with considerably more wit in “The Santaland Diaries,” this quiet, observational portrait of a taciturn young Christmas tree salesman stuck spending another December camping out on the streets of New York offers modest, VOD-scale pleasures, but is probably best viewed in the warmer months as the curious indie-movie anthropology study that it is.
In the tradition of such Diy day-job dramas as “The Happy Poet” and “Beeswax,” Poekel’s debut was inspired by three years its writer-director spent hustling evergreens to hipsters in Greenpoint, Brooklyn — a job that transformed the normally festive month of December into a surreal state of semi-homelessness, »
- Peter Debruge
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