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In a key leadership transition, Warner Bros. worldwide marketing and international distribution chief Sue Kroll is expanding her duties, as domestic distribution head Dan Fellman prepares to step down after nearly four decades at the Burbank studio.
Kroll will become president of worldwide distribution, adding North America to her portfolio. As part of the management shift, international distribution chief Veronika Kwan Vandenberg will take over Fellman’s day-to-day responsibilities, continuing to report to Kroll. Her title will be president of domestic and international distribution.
Fellman, who will stay on until the end of the year and then consult for the studio and other clients, is widely respected both within the creative and exhibition communities, and is considered an effective broker in the disagreements that periodically flare-up between studios and theater owners over movie terms. He has been with the studio since 1978, overseeing the successful releases of such hits as “The Dark Knight” trilogy, »
- Brent Lang and James Rainey
Directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.
If Antoine Fuqua has succeeded in any way by making Southpaw, it’s confirmation that we do not need another boxing drama anytime soon – or at the very least not one as lifeless, predictable and uninspired as this. It sullies the name of the great ones to even mention Southpaw in the same review.
Having said that, there is no easy way around the pitfalls of the movie without drawing comparisons as to why similar pictures work so well; after all, our appreciation of such stories is driven by what we’ve seen before and »
- Gary Collinson
Ever since two men slipped on gloves and sparred in a squared space, boxing has been a popular subject for mass media. I mean it’s a perfect venue, one man battling another, for everything from the legitimate theatre (the stage classic “Golden Boy”) and comic strips (“Joe Palooka” was a media sensation). But it seems to have been tailor-made for cinema, since it can cross over from “sports flick” to many other genres. It’s been a setting for laughs with screen comedians from Buster Keaton to Kevin James dancing about the canvas (plus The Main Event was a boxing “rom com”). And there are boxing biographies from Gentleman Jim to Ali. One modestly-budgeted 1976 smash turned into a huge franchise with Rocky (which will soon continue with Creed). But boxing’s biggest impact may be in prestige dramas, with Wallace Beery earning an Oscar as The Champ to the »
- Jim Batts
Michael Pena is an actor whose career I've been intently following for the past 10 years. After popping up in small but impressive roles in back-to-back Best Picture winners Million Dollar Baby and Crash, and in a wonderful arc on my favorite TV show ever, The Shield, the actor started coming into his own with solid supporting roles in Shooter, Lions for Lambs, Observe and Report and American Hustle. After his fantastic scene-stealing performance in Marvel's Ant-Man (check out my full Ant-Man review), the actor is primed for a huge career leap.
The actor portrays Luis, a longtime friend and criminal cohort of Scott Lang, who gives him a place to crash after his release from prison. Luis also sets up the heist that essentially introduces him to Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), setting him on a path to become the Ant-Man. When Scott is tasked with pulling off an improbable heist, »
Star of Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby says she has ‘passed’ on roles to help look after her father after his lung transplant
Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank says she has been turning down roles in Hollywood to concentrate on caring for her elderly father.
The 40-year-old star of Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby told Huffpost Live she was happy to take time out to spend time with Stephen Swank, a former chief master sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard who recently underwent a lung transplant.
Continue reading »
- Ben Child
I've been a big fan of actor Michael Pena for the past decade or so, after he started popping up in memorable supporting roles in Best Picture winners Million Dollar Baby, Crash and my favorite TV series ever, The Shield. Over the past few years, he's put in some of the best work of his career in two fantastic David Ayer movies, End of Watch and Fury, and his career will hopefully be taken to the next level with his scene-stealing performance in Marvel's Ant-Man, in theaters July 17. I recently had the chance to sit down with the actor to discuss Ant-Man. Given his strong working relationship with David Ayer, I had to ask if he was ever in contention for a role in the filmmaker's Suicide Squad adaptation, which is currently shooting in Toronto. The actor revealed that, despite getting calls from the director for his past three movies, »
You can practically smell the blood, the sweat and the fierce actorly commitment rising from Jake Gyllenhaal’s bruised and tattooed body in “Southpaw,” a bluntly conventional melodrama about a champion boxer forced to undergo a grim crucible of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering. Yet the undeniable intensity of Gyllenhaal’s bulked-up, Method-mumbling performance may leave you feeling more pummeled than convinced in this heavy-handed tale of redemption, in which director Antoine Fuqua once more demonstrates his fascination with codes of masculine aggression, extreme violence and not much else. Creakily plotted over the course of its rise-and-fall-and-rise-again trajectory, this partly Chinese-funded production may land enough visceral blows to catch on with audiences on its July 24 release through the Weinstein Co., but seems less likely to attain the prestige-hit status of superior efforts like “Million Dollar Baby” and “The Fighter.”
That didn’t stop exec producer Harvey Weinstein from loudly speculating »
- Justin Chang
Another controversy for Clint Eastwood. The actor and director joked about Caitlyn Jenner during the Spike TV Guys Choice 2015 awards on Saturday, June 6. Eastwood, 85, was at the awards show in Culver City, Calif., to introduce San Andreas actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. According to reports, the Million Dollar Baby director brought up The Rock in the context of athletes who've made their way into the world of acting, much like "Jim Brown and Caitlyn somebody..." Eastwood, however, appeared to be the only one laughing in [...] »
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is introducing a major expansion to the studio’s popular tour opening July 16, 2015, anchored by the addition of the brand new feature “Stage 48: Script to Screen” (a brand new interactive journey behind-the-scenes of the production process). The announcement was made May 27, 2015 by Danny Kahn, Executive Director, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. Additional features of the expansion will include significant enhancements throughout the popular backlot tour.
“These new enhancements will allow our guests to go even further behind-the scenes of the production world and enjoy an insider’s view of Hollywood in a fun, interactive way,” said Kahn. “Stage 48: Script to Screen brings a completely new dimension to the Studio Tour and offers guests an opportunity to see how their favorite movies and TV shows were made – right on the studio lot where so many of them were created.”
This innovative new addition to the Studio Tour, »
- Mike Tyrkus
In honor of Memorial Day, The Hollywood Reporter highlights five veterans-turned-actors that starred in projects including Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Svu). [readmore:790758] Morgan Freeman In 1955, Morgan enlisted in the United States Air Force after turning down a scholarship to Jackson State University. The actor rose the ranks to Airman 1st Class after nearly four years in the service before he left the military to pursue an acting career. He appeared on-screen for the first time in the 1964 TV series Another World and took home the best supporting actor Oscar
- Natalie Stone
Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress -- at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite. In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments. The Olympic Auditorium Project Tweetable Logline: A documentary about L.A.'s late great fight mecca, told through the voices of fighters, musicians, insiders and fans. Elevator Pitch: We're making a feature-length documentary that chronicles the action at the Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles' late, great boxing, wrestling, roller derby and music arena. The Olympic hosted a who's who of 20th century icons: Muhammad Ali, Andre the Giant, Johnny Rotten, Clint Eastwood, Joan Didion and many more. It was home for roller derby and a tribal gathering point of the hardcore punk scene. "Rocky," "Raging Bull" and "Million Dollar Baby" were shot there. And did we mention that »
“T-Rex” involvingly charts the path of a teenager from hard-luck Flint, Mich., to becoming the very first Olympics gold medalist in women’s boxing. This first feature from co-helmers Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari has been a crowdpleaser at festivals (it just won both a special jury prize and the audience award at San Francisco), and should have a bright future primarily in broadcast exposure.
Claressa Shields, aka T-Rex or Ressa, is a 16-year-old when we first meet her, and the first distaff boxing protegee of local coach Jason Crutchfield, whose own promising boxing career ended when he quit to take care of ill parents. (He trains kids for free, day-jobbing as an electrician.) When she started at age 11, he “didn’t agree with female boxing,” but her evident talent and determination won him over. Now they’ve got their eye on qualifying for Team USA in the first-ever women »
- Dennis Harvey
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty on the Oscars' Red Carpet Best Actress nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty Smiling radiantly, Best Actress Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty are seen above as they arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre, located in the world-renowned (but locally not all that prestigious) Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood. Annette Bening was in the running for her performance as a lesbian companion/wife to Julianne Moore and mother/adoptive mother of Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Bening lost the Best Actress Oscar to Natalie Portman for her mentally unbalanced ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. See also: Pregnant Natalie Portman on the Oscars' Red Carpet. Annette Bening: Four Oscar nominations The Kids Are All Right was Annette Bening's fourth Academy Award nomination. »
- D. Zhea
Going green! Morgan Freeman voiced his affinity for marijuana in a bold new interview with The Daily Beast. The Oscar winner, 77, revealed that he is a big supporter of the drug, and regularly uses it in a variety of ways. He championed the medicinal qualities of marijuana, and emphasized the benefits of legalizing it. "They used to say, 'You smoke that stuff, boy, you get hooked!'" Freeman told The Daily Beast. "My first wife got me into it many years ago." The Million Dollar Baby star married his [...] »
'Being Julia' movie: Annette Bening and Shaun Evans 'Being Julia' movie review: Annette Bening showcase tells us a little about Avice A little Being Julia movie background: In Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1950 Oscar-winning classic All About Eve, Bette Davis plays Margo Channing, a major Broadway star who, despite her talent, wit, and some forty-odd years on this planet, falls prey to the youthful, ambitious wannabe Eve Harrington: sweet, soft-spoken Anne Baxter on the outside; ruthless, poisonous gargoyle on the inside.* More than a decade earlier, in 1937 to be exact, W. Somerset Maugham had written Theatre, a novel about West End diva Julia Lambert. In Maugham's tale, Julia, despite her talent, wit, and some forty-odd years on this planet, succumbs to her vanity when she falls madly in love with Tom Fennel, a handsome – and deceptively innocent-looking – American half her age. Through Tom's "special friendship" with the renowned Julia, an ambitious young actress, »
- Andre Soares
Hilary Swank Oscar dress Hilary Swank on Oscars' Red Carpet Pictured above is Hilary Swank, wearing an Oscar dress consisting of (what looks like) tons of frills and feathers, on the 2011 Academy Awards Red Carpet this past Sunday, Feb. 27. Swank wasn't nominated for anything, but she acted as a presenter of sorts at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. How so? Well, she introduced last year's Best Director winner, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), who then presented this year's Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has taken home two Best Actress Oscar statuettes. Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999). Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004). These were her only two nominations as well. Both times she beat Annette Bening, who was in the running this year once again for her role as a lesbian wife and mother in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, »
- D. Zhea
'Sideways' movie, with Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church 'Sideways' movie review: California winery tour follows conventional road to male maturity With the 1999 Matthew Broderick-Reese Witherspoon vehicle Election, Alexander Payne displayed a flair for satirical comedy the likes of which would have turned Billy Wilder greener (with envy) than the Sideways poster found further below in this commentary. With the 2002 Jack Nicholson star vehicle About Schmidt, Payne demonstrated that his comedic flair could go the way of Wilder's in fluff like Sabrina and Love in the Afternoon: artificial, cutesy, bland.* In Sideways, Payne opted for the safer About Schmidt route – which may explain the film's enormous popularity with critics and audiences alike. For my part, I found his adaptation (with Jim Taylor) of Rex Pickett's novel to be an overlong, moralistic, and thoroughly unconvincing effort. (Warning: This Sideways movie review contains spoilers. »
- Andre Soares
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
Trent Reznor and wife Mariqueen Maandig Trent Reznor and wife Mariqueen Maandig at the Oscars Sporting an ultra-cool look, Trent Reznor and wife Mariqueen Maandig, both members of the hip, experimental band How to Destroy Angels, arrive at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Trent Reznor, formerly the frontman of the alternative rock group Nine Inch Nails, and fellow How to Destroy Angels band member Atticus Ross went on to share the Best Original Score Oscar for their work on David Fincher's Facebook movie The Social Network. After Reznor's Oscar win, "I want to thank you like an animal" became a Twitter hit – in reference to a similar-sounding line found in the Nine Inch Nails' 1994 song "Closer." Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' Oscar 2011 competitors were: Hans Zimmer, at one point the favorite for the Best Original Score Academy Award, for »
- D. Zhea
The film marks Hare’s first feature script since 2008 drama The Reader, for which he was Oscar-nominated.
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
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