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Following supporting turns in films like Crash, End of Watch, The Lincoln Lawyer and Gangster Squad, Mexican-American actor Michael Peña is taking the lead in Cesar Chavez: An American Hero. As you might guess, in the film, Peña plays labor activist Cesar E. Chavez as he organizes the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history for farm workers' rights. Actor Diego Luna directs the film backed by Canana Films, the company behind Miss Bala (which was on our list of the 19 Best Movies You Didn't See in 2011). It looks like a great performance from Peña, but since it's arriving next spring, it isn't in the Oscar race. Watch it! Here's the first trailer for Diego Luna's Cesar Chavez: An American Hero from YouTube: Cesar Chavez: An American Hero is directed by Diego Luna (director of Abel, star of The Terminal, Y Tu Mamá También) and written by Keir Pearson »
- Ethan Anderton
Sacramento, Calif. (AP) — Kumar Pallana, an Indian character actor with small parts in movies such as "The Terminal" and "The Royal Tenenbaums," died suddenly Oct. 10 at the home he shared with his son in Oakland. He was 94. "He lived life to the fullest," said his daughter Sandhya Pallana of Dallas, who confirmed the death to The Associated Press. "It was really wonderful how well he was received and how well he was liked and that people appreciated his unique and creative style." Pallana was a yoga instructor living in Dallas when in the mid-1990s he met »
- Tracie Cone (AP Staff)
Kumar Pallana, an Indian character actor with small parts in movies such as The Terminal and The Royal Tennenbaums, died suddenly Oct. 10 at the home he shared with his son in Oakland, Calif. He was 94. "He lived life to the fullest," said his daughter Sandhya Pallana of Dallas, who confirmed the death to the Associated Press. "It was really wonderful how well he was received and how well he was liked and that people appreciated his unique and creative style." Pallana was a yoga instructor living in Dallas in the mid-1990s when he met Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, »
- Associated Press
Indian-born actor who brought his ingenuous charm to the hit films of Wes Anderson
Some film-makers have lucky-mascot actors who are occasionally to be spotted in small roles in their movies – for instance Dick Miller in the work of Joe Dante or Jack Nance returning repeatedly to David Lynch. It's a film geeks' in-joke, a cinephiles' game of Where's Wally? For Wes Anderson, one of the most original Us film-makers to emerge in the last 20 years, that position was filled on four occasions by the delightful and guileless Kumar Pallana, who has died aged 94.
Pallana appeared in Anderson's first three, reputation-forging movies. He played the useless safecracker Kumar in the director's 1996 debut, Bottle Rocket ("Man, I blew it," he sighs memorably as the police close in. "I blew it, man.") He was the school caretaker Mr Littlejeans in Rushmore (1998), Anderson's masterpiece. And he took his most prominent role as Pagoda, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Tom Hanks’ ‘Captain Phillips’ weekend box office: One of Hanks’ biggest domestic openings in the past decade Starring two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks in the title role — though you wouldn’t know it by looking at the film’s poster — Paul Greengrass’ inspired-by-real-life-events Captain Phillips grossed an estimated $8.5 million from 3,020 venues on Friday, October 11, 2013, including $600,000 from Thursday night showings, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Captain Phillips chronicles the adventures of the titular captain of an American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. (Photo: Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.) Budgeted at $55 million — not including marketing and distribution expenses — Captain Phillips should collect anywhere between $23-25 million by Sunday evening. A major Saturday surge and a strong Sunday hold could lead to even higher results, but for now that’s mere speculation. Either way, Captain Phillips has absolutely no chance of topping this weekend’s domestic box office chart, »
- Zac Gille
Actor Kumar Pallana, best known for his roles in Wes Anderson's films, died yesterday at the age of 94. Pallana was a memorable presence in nearly all of Anderson's films, starting with his debut "Bottle Rocket" and continuing in "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "Darjeeling Limited." He also played an Indian emigre janitor in "The Terminal," starring Tom Hanks. Critic Matt Zoller Seitz, author of the just released "The Wes Anderson Collection," paid tribute to Pallana over at RogerEbert.com, writing about how Anderson and Owen, Luke and Andrew Wilson first met Pallana when they were all living in Dallas in the early 90s. Seitz wrote: (Owen) Wilson and Anderson wrote Kumar the safecracker in "Bottle Rocket" for Kumar specifically. The project started out as a black-and-white independent film that was supposed to be shot piecemeal over a period of months, but after James L. Brooks and Columbia Pictures took »
- Paula Bernstein
A frequent supporting player in Anderson’s films, Pallana appeared in small but memorable parts as Kumar in Bottle Rocket, Mr. LittleJeans in Rushmore, Pagoda in The Royal Tenenbaums, and as the Old Man in The Darjeeling Limited. The director met Pallana as a customer at a coffee shop owned by Pallana’s son, called Cosmic Cup in Dallas, and first cast him in 1996′s Bottle Rocket. Pallana went »
- Jennifer Arellano
Dubbed an “Anderson stalwart” by Variety, Pallana made an impression in the helmer’s pics, from “Bottle Rocket” to “Rushmore” and “Darjeeling Express,” but he was also a scene-stealer in Tom Hanks starrer “The Terminal” as an Indian emigre janitor who takes perverse pleasure in watching people slip across his freshly waxed floors.
Born in India to a car salesman, Pallana immigrated to the U.S. in 1946 after a reversal in family fortunes following Indian independence. Hollywood, however, cast him as a different kind of Indian in oaters such as “Viva Zapata.”
Although Pallana was an extra, he also worked as a juggler, a singer and a yoga instructor among other trades. He was running the Cosmic Cup coffee shop, which friends Anderson, and Luke and Owen Wilson frequented in Dallas, »
- Shalini Dore
Every actor has a discovery story. Sometimes it's crazy, and sometimes it's just about being at the right place at the right time. In the case of Kumar Pallana, the Indian actor who had small but memorable roles in Wes Anderson films like The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, The Darjeeling Limited and Rushmore, he was at a coffee show owned by his son when the quirky filmmaker took notice. Though he didn't become a box office sensation, his participation in Anderson's films got him noticed. But today, we say goodbye to Pallana, as The Av Club has learned that he sadly passed away yesterday at age 94. Read on. Pallana is perhaps best known as Gene Hackman's sidekick in The Royal Tenenbaums, seen here: But in addition to his work with Wes Anderson, Pallana had the honor of working with Steven Spielberg in a significant supporting role in The Terminal. »
- Ethan Anderton
Anderson, who discovered Pallana at a diner that he and confederate Owen Wilson frequented, cast him in his feature film debut "Bottle Rocket" (Pallana was 80 at the time). Pallana would follow up that performance as the groundskeeper Mr. LittleJeans in "Rushmore" and Gene Hackman's sidekick and spy Pagoda in "The Royal Tenenbaums." He later had a brief role in Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited."
As the Av Club notes, Pallana was born in colonial India and first made a name for himself as a vaudevillian known as Kumar of India, appearing on "Captain Kangaroo" in 1961 (he was spinning plates, of course). By the time Anderson rediscovered Pallana he was working in his son's coffee shop in Dallas, Texas.
- Drew Taylor
Critics are hailing Captain Phillips as featuring one of Tom Hanks' greatest performances. He will likely receive his sixth Oscar nomination for Best Actor if not also his first win in 18 years. But will it be anyone's favorite Tom Hanks movie or role? Sure, one of his most beloved performances is his second to be honored with an Academy Award -- Forrest Gump -- but many of us will still always have a soft spot for that loud, wacky comic actor who bobbled his skinny little head around in movies like Bachelor Party and Volunteers. He's gotten more serious as his head has gotten bigger (I mean more physically than egotistically), even when he's playing ridiculous parts, like those in The Terminal and Cloud Atlas. I was dying for him to make some sort of return to...
- Christopher Campbell
Washington -- Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on widespread government snooping, is viewed by a younger generation as "some kind of Jason Bourne," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) offered on Fox News Sunday. He referred to Matt Damon's portrayal of the fictional character, who becomes a hunted enemy of a secretive U.S. government agency as he learns of its unconstitutional activity.
The character, created by novelist Robert Ludlum, is chased around the globe by U.S. agents.
While Snowden's most recent experiences may have been more reminiscent of Tom Hanks' character in "The Terminal" who was perpetually stuck in an airport, McCain said that the leaker had become something of a folk hero for young people mistrustful of the government.
He added that Russia's decision to grant Snowden a reprieve is indicative »
- Ryan Grim
With Hugh Jackman's latest X-Men outing set to open in cinemas this week, we chat with production designer Francois Audouy about how he created the distinctive look of The Wolverine, filming on the streets of Tokyo and remote Japanese fishing villages, designing the spectacular sets and working with director James Mangold...
Darker than ever before, Logan/Wolverine has lost his connection to the world at the start of James Mangold’s compelling film, which is more film noir than classic comic book movie. A man unmoored, deeply troubled, angry and in crisis, Logan, played once again by Oscar nominated actor Hugh Jackman, has lost everyone he has ever loved and no longer has a purpose or reason to live. Summoned to Tokyo by Master Yashida, an influential Japanese businessman, he is immediately involved in the complex web of intrigue surrounding the powerful family.
“It’s a journey picture in »
- Flickering Myth
Organizers of San Diego’s annual Comic-Con Intl. have focused on programming panels that help educate attendees on how to produce comicbooks, toys, videogames, animation or other forms of entertainment, but Hollywood has long overshadowed the event turning it into a star-studded promotional vehicle for its films and TV shows.
While upcoming tentpoles like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “Godzilla” and Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” are expected to have a big presence at the show, the filmmaking community has also stepped up to help put a spotlight on Comic-Con’s educational aspects.
Notable members of the Art Directors Guild and Casting Society of America will pull back the curtain on how Hollywood makes movies, hosting separate panels, some for the first time, at Comic-Con. Event takes place July 18-21 in and around the San Diego Convention Center.
See Also: Comic-Con: Harrison Ford Returns »
- Marc Graser
You recognize the warning from the fine-print at the bottom of every financial investment mailing you’ve ever received: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
It applies to Hollywood, too. Tom Hanks made The Terminal, Harrison Ford did K-19: The Widowmaker, and Julia Roberts starred in The Mexican (a romantic comedy with Brad Pitt!) — three disappointments that featured huge stars in vehicles tailor-made for their proven brand of character. No one is immune to an inevitable hiccup, and last weekend, it was Will Smith’s turn.
After Earth, Smith’s futuristic science-fiction adventure, was pronounced a flop after »
- Jeff Labrecque
Aye, directors, plural. Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Mystical, Nautical Subtitle Tbd will come from Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, the Norwegian team behind 2012's Kon-Tiki, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Rønning and Sandberg beat out Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders for the gig. "This is a game-changing job for a director or directing team, and it’s a case of these guys getting hot at exactly the right time," Deadline writes, adding of Kon-Tiki, "They made a lot of movie with a little money and showed they knew how to shoot on the water." Pirates 5 will come from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson, who wrote Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, and Tower Heist. Fair warning, though: Nathanson also worked with George Lucas on the story for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. »
- Zach Dionne
Photo by Pooneh Ghana/NME Theo and Sasha Spielberg, two of Steven Spielberg's children with Temple of Doom star Kate Capshaw, have formed a band called Wardell and they're about to release their first Ep, Brother/Sister. Obviously the only reason we're writing about them is because they're the children of one of the most famous filmmakers of all time, but thankfully for our ears they're pretty talented musicians. In particular Sasha, who has appeared in some of her father's movies as well (The Terminal, Munich and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), has a lovely set of pipes. It's not hard to imagine their first released song, "Opossum," popping up in a darling little indie movie. And while that sounds like a complaint, we mean that in a good...
- Peter Hall
It seems rather coincidental that earlier this week Dread Central had the opportunity to speak with Hitchcock director Sacha Gervasi while we're in the midst of celebrating Indie Horror Month right now.
After all, Gervasi's latest project explores the Master of Suspense's personal and professional life while making Psycho- one of the most influential and successful independent horror movies of all time - and the UK-born filmmaker himself found much success on the festival circuit with his often moving and hilarious documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil, which he produced independently back in 2008.
During our chat with Gervasi, we heard more about his involvement with Hitchcock and the parallels he found between himself and the legendary director's career paths. Gervasi also discussed the controversy of tackling such a well-known figure like Alfred Hitchcock, his upcoming project about "Fantasy Island" star Hervé Villechaize (Tattoo) with Peter Dinklage, and much more. »
The Oscar-nominated actor has admitted he does not enjoy working on CGI and 3D films, despite starring in the new 3D movie Jack the Giant Slayer
I know him. Isn't he that guy from that thing? Yes. He's Stanley Tucci.
Stanley Whocci? You know, the actor. Bald, charming, does a good job in a supporting role in 43% of American movies.
You're exaggerating for comic effect, right? Of course I am. The true percentage has not yet been calculated. So far he has done Prizzi's Honor, Road to Perdition, Lucky Number Slevin, The Lovely Bones, The Devil Wears Prada, Captain America, Beethoven, The Hunger Games, The Terminal, Burlesque, It Could Happen to You, Julie and Julia, Space Chimps, Robots, The Pelican Brief, Space Chimps 2 …
By Joey Magidson
Whenever Steven Spielberg decides to take up a new directorial endeavor, he doesn’t do it alone. He gets his stock company of talent on the phone, and once he has the gang together, they go off and make a movie. It’s certainly not the same as when Spielberg was making little films in his backyard as a kid, but in a way the spirit is still the same. One big difference, though, is that when these movies get made, Oscar often takes notice.
Spielberg films almost always receive Academy Awards attention. On his own, he has 15 nominations (one of which came for just producing Letters from Iwo Jima, which he didn’t direct), while his crew has gotten dozens of nods. The last film of his not to get at least a nom was The Terminal, and before that it was Always. Believe it or not, »
- Joey Magidson
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