Friday, January 31, 2014

Jennifer Lawrence May Reunite With Director David O. Russell for Third Movie


jennifer lawrence david o russell



Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!



That seems to be Jennifer Lawrence's philosophy when it comes to career choices. Deadline reports the Oscar-winning actress may re-team with her "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" director David O. Russell.



Russell is eyeing a deal to rewrite and direct a film about Joy Mangano, who went from struggling Long Island single to the successful inventor of the Miracle Mop. And, naturally, he wants Lawrence to star in it.



Since he's directed her to one Academy Award win and one nomination, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Lawrence to take on the role. Then again, the in-demand actress has a full plate -- she's filming the last two installments of the "Hunger Games" franchise, will be promoting "X-Men: Days of Future Past" this spring, and is set to reunite with director Gary Ross for "East of Eden" and "Burial Rites" adaptations. Whew!



But this is Jennifer Lawrence we're talking about. If anybody can bend the laws of time and space, it's her.





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Liam Neeson Taking Martin Scorsese's 'Silence'

liam neeson martin scorseseJust because he's a major action star now doesn't mean Liam Neeson doesn't still itch to flex his dramatic muscles.



Deadline reports that the "Taken" star is reuniting with "Gangs of New York" director Martin Scorsese to star in "Silence," an epic saga set in 17th-century Japan.



Neeson joins Andrew Garfield and Ken Watanabe in the adaptation of Shusaku Endo's novel about Jesuit priests who face persecution while spreading Christianity throughout Japan. Scorsese (after a legal battle with the film's producer) is set to begin shooting this summer.



In the meantime, Neeson might fit the filming of "Taken 3" before then. He is reprising his butt-kicking role from the first two hit movies, joined by Maggie Grace and newcomer Forest Whitaker.





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'Thor: The Dark World' Gag Reel Reinforces Tom Hiddleston's Adorableness (VIDEO)


Thor the dark world bloopers



We didn't think we could be more in love with Tom Hiddleston, but we were wrong!



A gag reel from "Thor: The Dark World" was released online and proves just how lovable the British actor and the entire cast is. Chris Hemsworth goofs around after the head falls off his hammer. Natalie Portman does a little dance in the street. And then there's Hiddleston pumping his fist up and grinning.



Swoon!



"Thor: The Dark World" hits DVD on Feb. 25.










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Teller and Tim Jenison on 'Tim's Veneer' and the Divide Between Art and Science


Film Review Tims Vermeer





"Tim's Vermeer" is one of those magical documentaries. It's a film that makes you see the world in an entirely different way. Directed by Teller, the taciturn member of the famed magician duo Penn & Teller, the film follows the artistic and scientific experiments of Tim Jenison.



Jenison is a respected pioneer in computer graphics, as well as an avid tinkerer. The film follows his investigation of a hypothesis -- that Dutch master Vermeer used optics to aid in creating his photo-realistic art. Along the way, Jenison's investigation gets to the core of artistic expression and engineering ingenuity, and how the split of art and science may not be quite as stark as many believe.



Moviefone Canada sat down with Teller and Jenison during last September's Toronto International Film Festival.



Moviefone Canada: This may be the definitive statement about what you do as Penn and Teller. This is a reflection upon exposing the technique and still finding it magical even if you know how the trick works. Was it this aspect that drew you to this story?

Teller: What ensnares one in a project is not what one ends up experiencing from it. Life doesn't have a topic sentence. You don't set out at the beginning of your essay and say this is what we're about to accomplish.



It didn't have to do with making a statement, but part of what [P&T] have always done is put out there what we believe. One of the things that I believe is that when there's a magic trick, there's two ways to approach it. You can say well, here's the way to explain it in a sentence, which is disappointing. Or, you can tell the full story, all of the technology, all of the psychology, all of that stuff, and when you do that, it then becomes completely fascinating.



What Penn and I do on stage is a sort of a hybrid, it's a sort of cheat. When we explain magic tricks on stage, they're not real magic tricks as people would do, they're magic tricks that we've created for the purpose of explaining them. But you're right that our joy in simultaneously appreciating the amazingness of something and how it's done certainly feeds into this movie.



As the subject of a film that gives such remarkable and precise insight into your own proclivities, how are you affected by watching yourself as the character in this film?

Jenison: I can't be objective about it at all. It's Teller and the rest of the team who made the film. I did the experiment, and the experiment was a very different experience than watching the film.



The film kind of gives you a flavour of it, but it was a really long, sometimes boring, sometimes painful but gratifying process because I thought I figured out how Vermeer painted those pictures. To see a Vermeer materialize on this canvas, having never painted before, that's what kept me going and it was just so cool. But there was also an insane amount of stress because at one point, before I started painting, Teller said, if this experiment doesn't work, it's going to be a very different movie. I said it's not going to be a movie if it doesn't work, and he said, "Oh, yes, it is!" That drove me to solve some almost insurmountable problems.



There must have been considerable time between the experiment not working and overcoming those challenges.

Teller [to Jenison]: You were sick in that period too, weren't you? You were hospitalized?



Jenison: Yeah, it was the sheer stress of Teller threatening me. Something that's really important is that I was in Vermeer's room, trying to solve the problem that he was trying to solve. If I'm right, Vermeer did this. If I hadn't built that room, if it was a thought experiment, I never would have discovered this.



This comes back to what P&T do with their magic. What this is a celebration of is human ingenuity, technology and the ability to create art, that itself is art, it doesn't need to come from anywhere else.

Jenison: Well, there is a supernaturalism about Vermeer among art historians. They're just unapproachable, they are larger than life. Normal people can't do what they do, and Penn and Teller debunk things quite often, like Houdini did, and I think this movie debunks the mysticism of Vermeer. It makes him into a real human being, a human being that I admire, because he's a technologist trying to make a beautiful image. That's what we do with computer graphics. I think Vermeer's a 17th century nerd.



Teller: Houdini took ... [the] idea of escaping, but made it open, made it part of reality. [He] said what I'm doing is escaping and that in itself is amazing. I want to slap people who say that Vermeer was supernatural. Give Vermeer some f**king credit!



Tim, you start the film by saying, "I'm not a painter," and yet we see you paint. In the same way, Teller, you could claim that you are a performer, not a director, and here you've made a remarkable film. What's the difference between one who is actually executing it and the bigger thing of how one identifies oneself as a creative artist?

Jenison: I'm not a painter. It's semantic. I made a painting, and I guess that's one definition of a painter, but I couldn't sit in front of a canvas and paint anything like that.



But you did. And so did Vermeer. Is Vermeer still a painter if he used your technique?

Jenison:
I stole Vermeer's painting. I stole his composition. So I wasn't doing what Vermeer was doing. Vermeer was a great artist. Even if I'm right and he was using this machine, he made 40-odd fantastic pictures. And they're beautiful people in beautiful settings perfectly done.



Teller: His compositions are really extraordinary. One of the things I noticed, Tim deliberately made his painting different from Vermeer's. He had the same furniture and the same characters, but there were lots of things that were changed just enough because we didn't want to be accused in the end of Tim copying the Vermeer. So the idea that maybe Vermeer is slightly different from what we thought he was, maybe he was the first serious art photographer using technology that was proprietary in those days, still puts him in an enormously elevated position.



Tim, do you appreciate Vermeer more or less after having done the painting, and Teller, do you appreciate Tim more or less after having done the film?

Teller: Tim is an awe-inspiring individual. Tim's inventions tend to do that, they tend to be world-changing, so that's really important. My admiration for him has always been great. It is now greater and in working with him on this, I've learned more about his heart. He's been so extremely generous and informative at every step of the way.



Jenison: Before, when Vermeer was this supernatural being that suddenly made these pictures appear on the canvas, that's just incomprehensible. Now he is a talented geek. He is more understandable and more human. I admire him a great deal and I feel a great kinship with him.

I feel like I've been through part of his life, it is a kind of time travel. The whole process has just been so gratifying from start to finish, especially spending more time with Penn and Teller. They are interested in everything and the smartest people I know.



"Tim's Vermeer" opens in NY and LA on January 31, wide in the U.S. on February 7, and in Canada on February 21.











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Oscars 2014: What Are the Best Picture Nominees?


Oscars 2014 Best Picture Nominees



Yes! It's finally time for... *drumroll please*... the Oscars!



As January comes to an end, we turn our attention to our favorite night of the year. First, there's the pageantry: beautiful stars dressed to the nines, rubbing shoulders with other A-listers on the red carpet. Then, the opening monologue: all eyes on the host to see if they can step it up on the biggest stage of the year. Finally, the winners are (slowly) announced, and the heartbroken runners-up are caught do their best to appear gracious on camera. The new golden statuettes may bronze the stars into Oscar history... or an awkward speech could just thrust them on the news for the wrong reasons. Whatever it is, it's Oscar night.



This year, there are nine movies up for Best Picture: "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Nebraska," "Captain Phillips," "American Hustle," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "12 Years a Slave," and "Philomena." All of the films are, we're sure, just honored to be nominated, but only one movie will walk away with the coveted Oscar. So far, in January, "12 Years a Slave" has taken home the Best Picture award at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards, making it the favorite heading into Oscar night. As we all know, though, anything can happen come Oscar night, and we couldn't be more excited to see what March 2 has in store!



With more than a month until the big night, there's plenty of time to get to know the Oscar-nominated films a bit better. Click through the slideshow below for some quick info about the year's nominees.





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Jeff Barnaby, 'Rhymes for Young Ghouls' Director, on His Dark Native Coming-of-Age Film


rhymes for young ghouls, rhymes for young ghouls movie



"Rhymes for Young Ghouls" is one of the most harrowing, effective films to come out of this country in some time. It's an incredibly strong feature debut by Jeff Barnaby, who has previously achieved quite a bit of notice for his compelling short films.



"Rhymes" is an almost fable-like tale that uses the tragic history of the residential school system as a backdrop for a dark coming-of-age film. This impressive work was selected as one of Canada's Top 10 at TIFF, and after its successful festival run is making its way to Canadian theatres.



Moviefone Canada spoke with Barnaby about the film, its reception and the way that genre cinema can tell fundamental truths under the guise of entertainment.



Moviefone Canada: The film seems to be doing quite well.

Jeff Barnaby: It's so interesting to see the reaction. I think it's been so positive in Canada because it was such a non-Canadian movie, if that makes any sense. It's not as cerebral as an Egoyan movie, or a Cronenberg movie. We definitely went out to make a popcorn movie, to make a Canadian exploitation movie that's different than "The Reanimator." There's definitely a lot of stuff going on in that film to think about.

After you shot the movie, you went back and incorporated more explicit allusions to the school?

Yeah, because nobody knew what residential schools are. That blew my mind because, well, it's like saying that you don't know what the Holocaust is. Are you crazy? You're supposed to know this stuff. I was naive in thinking that Canadians would educate themselves about our shared history and that's just not the case. That's what I get for thinking the best of people! [Laughs]



To have something that's this pure evil in the history of Canada, when this country is regarded as always being so polite, and all of the clich├ęs you hear coming out of the talk shows in the States. The idea that the Canadian government, that the first Prime Minister of Canada would institutionalize the murder and sexual abuse of children to the point where they were churning them out by the thousands, is insane. My solution to that was: I'm just going to present it as what it is, and focus on the kids and focus on what they're going to try to do in order to combat it.



When you have a corrupt system, the system itself corrupts everybody in different ways.

Including the bad guy.

The bad guy is playing a role within the system.

To me he was one of the casualties of the budget. There was a much bigger back story to him, his history with the school, why he was the only white guy at a residential school. It's just one of those things that you wish you had more time with, but if you've got to pick between do we watch the bad guy or do we watch the characters, as the central focus of the film, you kind of have to go with your good guys or anti-heroes, your main characters.



One film it actually reminds me of is "Pan's Labyrinth."

Yeah, we looked at that, all of Guillermo Del Toro's films. You've gotta look at "Pan's Labyrinth," "Devil's Backbone" ... that's what we were looking for in terms of tone.



Could you talk about getting the performances out of this remarkable ensemble, getting the cast and crew together, and just the fundamental challenges of making a film given the restrictions that you had?

We've been making high-quality films with very little money for so long, we've gotten very good at it and we've been lucky in that the scripts that I write attract great artisans. Just being from Quebec, not to s**t on the rest of Canada, but Quebec, let's face it, they have a different sensibility from the rest of Canada when it comes to cinema; it's great to be able to have those artisans at your beck and call to execute your film. We had a lot of female energy on set. We made a point of getting a lot of girls to help realize the character of Aila. That made this film the easiest film I've ever shot.



How did casting take place?

In terms of casting, my philosophy is always trying to cast to type. The base for it all was that they needed to come from a reserve or they needed to understand where these characters are coming from, and I was lucky enough to get Brandon, Glen and everybody in there. They all grew up around reserves or on reserves, so they got the humour and they got the philosophy of the screenplay right away. I didn't need to say, "OK, this is why laughing at child molestation is funny to Indians, I didn't have to say anything like that them. I mean who laughs at that stuff? Indians do."



A form of gallows humour, perhaps?

Yeah, exactly, it's like I think one of the main reasons Native people have managed to survive as long as they have is because they're able to laugh at stuff like that. I've had this conversation with Jewish people so many times, and they say it's the tragedy of our history that gives us the ability to laugh at stuff. And I think there's a really bleak, black humour to Native people who can laugh at anything. I've seen guys try to throw themselves off the bridge and kill themselves and a couple of days later the guys are laughing at them, making fun of them. That's crazy, but that's how Native people deal with tragedy. I needed to have that embedded within the personalities of all of the people that I cast because if not, then they just weren't going to get it and I think we were really lucky.



What was your biggest surprise about the film's reception?

The biggest surprise was that I did it. As a writer, director, editor, composer, you figure that at one point, I'm going to snap, but I didn't. Moving from another country with a wife and a kid that was just fresh out of the womb ... and just the ability to do it. That, to me, is my baseline for success. I don't feel any less anxious about filmmaking; I'm not any more comfortable because we didn't really get paid. I feel like I need to prove myself all over again to be 100 percent honest, because any filmmaker or producer will tell you that 80 percent of people who make their first feature don't go on to make another one. My anxieties revolve around paying my rent, not am I going to win the award or get nominated for this, although I do get annoyed when I don't win. [Laughs] I think setting challenges for yourself that you don't know you can [necessarily] meet or succeed at is what makes good art.



"Rhymes for Young Ghouls" has a limited release on January 31.











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Oscars 2014: After the 'Alone Yet Not Alone' Shocker, Anything Could Happen


oscars 2014 best song



Well, we knew the Oscar campaigning would be brutal. We just didn't know there'd be a real casualty, so soon, and in the Best Song category. And if it can happen there, what guarantees of safety are there for the more prominent nominees?



Wednesday's announcement that the title song from "Alone Yet Not Alone" has been disqualified because its composer, an Academy governor, was perceived to be using the influence of his office to campaign for the tune, is a shocker. First of all, nominees are almost never disqualified once the nominations have been announced. Second, fair or not, it's going to look like bad politics. (After all, this is a tiny movie, made for a Christian audience, with a tune performed by a quadriplegic singer, up against several industry behemoths who are famous pop stars or Broadway tunesmiths. It's going to look like the Academy, on behalf of the music industry, is beating up on the poor Christians.) And third, the song can only have been disqualified because someone complained and prompted an Academy investigation of whether it broke the rules.



And who would complain but someone who has a stake in the race, presumably a rival nominee?



Whatever you think of the merits of "Alone Yet Not Alone," it's a casualty not just of the Academy's desire to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, but of the lengthy and sharp-elbowed Oscar campaign season as well.



It's only a matter of time before such bitter competitiveness bubbles over into the high-profile races. After all, we're looking at a Best Picture race that doesn't really have a front-runner, thanks to the confusion sown by the guild awards. The Screen Actors Guild, whose voters have a fair amount of overlap with the largest branch of the Academy, favored "American Hustle" at its Jan. 18 awards ceremony. The Directors Guild gave its top prize to "Gravity" helmer Alfonso Cuaron. And the Producers Guild, in a rare tie, gave top honors to both "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave." So maybe we should have been primed for something bizarre and unpredictable to happen.



There's another wild card: "The Wolf of Wall Street." Clearly, there's more Academy support for that Martin Scorsese film than anyone predicted, as evidenced by Jonah Hill's completely unexpected nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The movie that the "Wolf" pack is most likely to hurt is "Hustle," given their tonal similarities. If they cancel each other out, that makes it a race between "Gravity" and "12 Years."



As we've noted, that would make this year's race an echo of the one four years ago, between "Avatar" (technological leap forward but thin script) and "The Hurt Locker" (a weighty, historically-based, feel-bad drama). If this year's race went the same way, "12 Years" would win Best Picture.



Then again, much has been made of how "12 Years" seemed to be the only African-American drama the Academy was willing to consider this year, as if there was room for just one. (Sorry, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "Fruitvale Station.") Given that line of reasoning, it could be that the Academy will feel it's done right by the film just by giving it so many nominations (and probably a Best Supporting Actress win for new red carpet fashion icon Lupita Nyong'o).



Besides, "Gravity" could be the first Best Picture winner in ages (since 1997's "Titanic," really) that centers on a woman's story. Again, much has been made about what a weak year this was for opportunities for women, both in front of and behind the camera, and a win for "Gravity" could be a bit of an apology for that, even if Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") beats Sandra Bullock for Best Actress, as seems likely. Again, not fair, pitting one aggrieved constituency against another, but that's how the competition is shaping up in this final stretch.



Even if it's unlikely that there will be any further disqualifications, there's still the possibility of a nominee being nitpicked to death.



Questions of historical fidelity are likely to dog several of the nominees ("12 Years," "Wolf," "Hustle," "Captain Phillips," even "Philomena"), not because the filmmakers have been sloppy with the truth, but because anything that casts doubt on a movie's merit is pretty much fair game -- as long as the attack is distanced from anyone who actually stands to gain from a rival's diminishment. (Op-ed articles and blog posts by third parties tend to be the weapon of choice.)



After all, the "Alone Yet Not Alone" debacle could make everyone a lot more careful about campaigning over the next month. Or it could lead to a free-for-all. We'll see.





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'Batman vs. Superman' News: Jesse Eisenberg Is Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons Is Alfred


batman vs superman jesse eisenberg lex luther



Well, this seems like something completely out of left field but also kind of works... The Wrap has announced that Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming movie that will probably be titled "Batman vs. Superman."



Additionally, the same report has reported that Jeremy Irons will get his butler duds on to play Alfred. That's about all that's known at this time.



Expect a lot of tweets starting out with the letters W, T, and F, but when you think about it, these casting strokes actually make an odd kind of sense. Eisenberg has cornered the market on brilliant, emotionally detached sociopaths -- whether it's Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher's masterpiece "The Social Network" or his nebbish magician in last summer's sleeper hit "Now You See Me." As the genius Luthor, who seemingly always has some kind of real estate scheme in the works (at least in the movies), Eisenberg will join some pretty big name actors, considering Gene Hackman and Kevin Spacey have previously essayed the character.



Meanwhile, Irons as Bruce Wayne's trusty butler and confidant Alfred also makes sense, at least in the fact that they're both British.



"Batman vs. Superman," with Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, will open Summer 2016.





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A 'Back to the Future' Musical Is Heading to the London Stage

back to the future musical

Time traveling teenager Marty McFly and his rascally mad scientist best friend Doc Brown are about to go someplace they've never been: the London stage! That's right, "Back to the Future," the immortal 1985 Robert Zemeckis comedic fantasy, is being retooled as a musical, just in time for its 30th anniversary next year (according to The Wrap). Unfortunately it's not doubling as a Huey Lewis & the News jukebox musical, although the Huey Lewis & the News tunes that were featured in the movie will be reproduced for the musical. That's the power of love!



Zemeckis and his co-writer and producer Bob Gale, who haven't worked together since the HBO series "Tales from the Crypt" back in the early '90s, will re-team to write the book with the play's director Jamie Lloyd. The show is being produced by Universal State Productions and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and will premiere somewhere on the West End.



As far as the music goes, it's being handled by composer Alan Silvestri, who wrote the original score for the movie (including its iconic theme music) and Glen Ballard, the producer and lyricist behind Alanis Morrisette's era-defining "Jagged Little Pill" (amongst many, many other things). In addition to the Huey Lewis songs, preexisting songs by Chuck Berry, Pat Ballard, and Curtis Williams will also be included.



The history of movies-to-musicals has been spotty at best; for every "Billy Elliott" and "Kinky Boots" there are ten "Tarzan"s or "Big Fish" littering the back alleys behind musical theaters everywhere. As someone who recently suffered through "Big Fish," when it's bad, it's bad. Few musicals have the star power and creative force of the original team behind them, which makes "Back to the Future" somewhat unique. At the very least we're morbidly curious if the wonder, humor, and awe of the original film can be transplanted to the stage.



Roads? Where we're going we won't need... roads...





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'That Awkward Moment' Family Review: The 5 Most Parent Shocking Moments


that awkward moment review



Although "That Awkward Moment" is rated R, some teens and tweens might think the movie is actually aimed at them, considering the pedigree of stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan, who play twenty-something best friends dealing with hook-ups, relationships, and unlikely romances in New York City. But parents should know that the R rating should be heeded.



1. So much (casual) sex: There's a lot of sex in the comedy -- discussion of it, particularly the casual hook-up culture in which young men and women meet each other at a bar, and without even a name to go on, end up going home with each other for a one-night stand. If it's not a one-night stand, the sex is of a no-strings-attached nature which makes booty calls all the easier for the characters Jason (Efron), Daniel (Teller), and Mikey (Jordan).



2. The sex shop: There's an extensive sequence in the movie when two of the guys go to an adult-novelty shop and check out the wares -- most of them vibrators, penis pumps, and sex toys of all sorts. Before settling on a strap-on, the guys inspect the store's adult products, make innuendo-filled jokes about size and performance and why they would need these novelties.



3. The strap-on costume: Jason goes to a dress-up party thinking it's a costume party, but the party is actually fancy-dress party not a costume one. Jason shows up with a bandana, muscle-shirt that says "Rock Out" ...and a huge fake penis hanging out of his pants in order to embody the idea of "Rock Out With Your C**k Out." The fake penis becomes a raunchy sight gag for the rest of the party, with him thrusting it while dancing and making jokes about how it compares to his own penis.



4. The orange penis joke: Early in the movie, Mikey, still understandably upset about his divorce, decides to masturbate instead of picking up a woman for a one-night stand. What he doesn't realize is that the lotion he thinks he's using is actually self tanner, so the next day he reveals his orange penis to his friends (it's not visible to the audience), thereby launching a seemingly endless series of jokes about what his penis looks like.



5. Viagra jokes: Early in the movie, the guys pop Viagra and then go out on the town. Later, after having sex, Jason and Daniel can't get their erections to subside and end up having to get completely horizontal to pee. The scene shows both Efron and Teller bottomless and trying to pee, but they can't really accomplish that without having their penises touch the toilet water. It's crude and scatological, but that's exactly what the movie's humor is based on.





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'The Lego Movie' Unscripted: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett Don't Miss a Beat (VIDEO)

'The Lego Movie' Unscripted - Full Interview

Put three undeniably talented comedic actors in front of a camera and what do you get? Song breaks, tales of Andy Dwyer's Lego-eating habits, and an unfinished pitch for a $750 million dollar epic based on '80s electronic memory game Simon.



That's what "Lego Movie" stars Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, and Will Arnett delivered when they sat down for the latest episode of Moviefone's Unscripted, shot on location at Miniland, inside Legoland California. While attempting to answer a few of your questions, the trio's conversation takes some unexpected twists and turns, resulting in a hilarious, unpredictable experience we won't soon forget.



But, to borrow a line from Levar Burton's iconic "Reading Rainbow," you don't have to take our word for it; watch the full "Lego Movie" Unscripted above and decide for yourself.



"The Lego Movie," which costars Morgan Freeman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, and Will Ferrell, hits theaters Friday, February 7.





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Mark Millar Unveils Plan for Ambitious, Marvel-Inspired Millarworld


mark millar



Marvel has had unparalleled success in recent years creating a cash-grabbing, attention-stealing brand that's generated billions in revenue and won over millions of fans worldwide. Now, Mark Millar, creator of the "Kick-Ass" comics, wants to spearhead a similarly successful venture.



Millar has unveiled plans for Millarworld, a Marvel Universe-style series of interconnected comic titles that Millar says is inspired by the work of legendary Marvel artists, as well as the films the studio's putting out now.



"Stan [Lee], Jack [Kirby] and Steve [Ditko] managed to create the Marvel Universe inside two or three years and establish everything and I have the next three years planned out similarly with a number of amazing artists as my partners," Millar told Comic Book Resources of his plans. "The whole thing is interconnected like the Marvel movies, the most popular ones maybe getting sequels if the story lends itself to it. It's actually a nice, relaxed way of working, and I've got nine new titles planned over the next three years in total."



Millarworld is set to connect existing series like Millar's own "Kick-Ass," as well as titles like "Wanted" and "Jupiter's Legacy," with "Kick-Ass 3" serving as the jumping off point for the new universe. It's a process he likens to one used by -- you guessed it -- Marvel's recent films.



"The story works in and of itself, but I love the way the Marvel movies have these little references to each other and the post-credit sequences," Millar said.



As for planned big screen adaptations of Millarworld projects, the creator said the company has some big plans on that front, too, with many deals already finalized or in the works.



"We've got a great track record on sales at Millarworld and probably the highest proportion of books to movies in the business with 'Wanted' and 'Kick-Ass' already out as franchises and having made half a billion dollars between the three of them, 'Secret Service' Book One just wrapping at the moment, 'Nemesis' ready to go into pre-production, 'Starlight,' 'Superior,' and 'Kindergarten Heroes' all being written and on a fast-track at Fox, and a first draft of 'War Heroes' just handed in over at Universal," he said. " ... [I]t's a really exciting company to jump into."



For much more from Millar, including details of new titles being prepped for Millarworld, head over to Comic Book Resources.



[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]





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'The Lego Movie' Goes 'Man of Steel' in Latest Trailer (VIDEO)


lego movie man of steel trailer



In the first trailer for "The Lego Movie," everything was awesome. In the newest promo for the toy-centric flick, everything is super -- Superman, that is.



In a clever bit of marketing, the latest "Lego" trailer has been cut to mimic the style and action in last year's "Man of Steel" trailer, right down to using the same Hans Zimmer soundtrack.



"This year, the world will need a Man of Plastic," title cards declare in the crafty clip.



"Lego" centers on Emmett (Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego man who's called on to help save the Legoverse, becoming a hero not unlike Clark Kent's alter ego. The plastic Man of Steel (Channing Tatum) also makes a quick appearance in the trailer, though he's a bit more skeptical of Emmett's abilities than others.



Will Emmett become, according to Moran Freeman's character, "the master builder that will save the realm .... The greatest, most interesting, most important person of all time"? If this awesome trailer is any indication, all signs (mostly) point to yes.



"The Lego Movie" opens February 7.



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Channing Tatum Wants to Play Gambit in a Future 'X-Men' Movie


channing tatum gambit x-men



Channing Tatum has played a wide variety of roles in recent years, from a male stripper in "Magic Mike" to a human-wolf hybrid in the upcoming "Jupiter Ascending." Could he soon be adding "super hero" to that eclectic list? According to one "X-Men" producer, yes.



In an interview with Empire magazine promoting "X-Men: Days of Future Past," producer Lauren Shuler Donner revealed that Tatum is interested in playing one of the iconic mutants in his own spin-off film -- he just needs to make a deal.



"I'm dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum," Shuler Donner told Empire. "That doesn't have to be a great big movie. It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. He's on board, and I have to get the studio on board."



Considering how hot Tatum's career has been lately, him headlining his own superhero film certainly seems like a no-brainer. Plus, it will be a couple years before "X-Men: Apocalypse" hits theaters, making a smaller, one-mutant-centric flick the perfect antidote for fans dying to see more from their favorite heroes.



As Shuler Donner alluded, Tatum has already expressed interest in the part, telling Empire in an interview last year that he "would like to play Gambit."



"Gambit's my favorite. I'm from New Orleans, around that area. My dad's from New Orleans, and I like to do a Cajun accent. I could do it for real," he said, adding that there were many aspects he loved about the character.



"Gambit was always like the woman-loving, cigarette-smoking, drinking guy," Tatum explained. "He was the punk rock of all the superheroes. He's a thief. He kind of rode the line."



Sounds like a match made in heaven for both Tatum and studio Fox. Now all Tatum and Shuler Donner need is a green light, though the producer told Empire she was confident she could make the movie happen.



"How can anyone resist Channing?" Shuler Donner said. "He's such a sweetheart."



[h/t FirstShowing.net]





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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Helen Mirren Twerks in Honor of Her Hasty Pudding Award (VIDEO)


Helen mirren twerk hasty pudding



CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - Helen Mirren has been honored as woman of the year by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, twerking as part of the traditional spoof roast on Thursday.



Mirren at first tried to sign the word "twerk," then let slip a curse word and danced. She said she's tried to twerk privately in her bedroom and having to do it in public was humiliating.



She also joked that being honored by Prince Charles as Dame of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace didn't come anywhere close to getting the ceremonial Hasting Pudding pot at Harvard. The festivities also included a parade.



Mirren, 68, won the 2007 best actress Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen" and has been nominated on three other occasions. She also appeared in "Age of Consent, "Gosford Park" and "The Madness of King George."



She said she'd still like to play the powerful 18th century Russian monarch, Catherine The Great.



Mirren said she's rooting for "12 Years A Slave" at this year's Oscars.



Hasty Pudding Theatricals is America's oldest undergraduate drama troupe. It annually honors performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution to entertainment. Emmy Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris will be honored as man of the year Feb. 7.



Last year's winners were Marion Cotillard and Kiefer Sutherland.







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The New 'Under the Skin' Teaser Will Give You the Creeps (VIDEO)


under the skin



The new teaser for "Under the Skin," the creepy thriller starring Scarlett Johansson as a man-eating alien seductress, doesn't reveal much more than the previous trailer, though what it lacks in exposition it makes up for in chill-inducing suspense.



It opens with the same extreme close-up shot of an eyeball as the first teaser, but lingers even longer on the pupil, which absorbs the entire iris in inky black. Then there are quick cuts showing off Johansson's character, Laura, trolling the Scottish countryside, luring men in with her bewitching beauty. It ends with her human skin wafting away in the breeze, a gross yet mesmerizing image.



The clip is technically red band, thanks to a short shot of a man wandering naked through a field, but what really makes this teaser NSFW is the feeling of dread it induces, which may be hard to shake while sitting in your cubicle. The jury's still out on how audiences will receive the flick's bizarre plot -- it divided film festival critics pretty evenly last year -- but it's sure to give you the creeps no matter what.



"Under the Skin," directed by Jonathan Glazer ("Birth," "Sexy Beast"), opens April 4.












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Josh Brolin and Jason Reitman on 'Labor Day,' Peach Pies and Too Much Chemistry


labor day, labor day movie, josh brolin, kate winslet





By now, you've probably already heard about "Labor Day" and that infamous pie scene. But believe it or not, Jason Reitman's new movie isn't just about baked goods. So what else is it about?



Based on Joyce Maynard's coming-of-age novel and set in small-town New England in the late 1980s, the film stars Josh Brolin as Frank, an escaped convict who convinces a reclusive single mother (Kate Winslet) and her young son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) to let him hide out in their house. What's originally only supposed to be a few hours turns into an entire long weekend, as Frank becomes the stand-in man of the house both mother and son had been missing, fixing loose floorboards, teaching Henry how to play baseball, and yes, bake a peach pie.



Following the movie's premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival, Reitman, Brolin and Griffith held a press conference to discuss their new film. And while we've already covered the ensuing pie talk, here's all the non-baking-related details we learned about the unlikely romance.



This is new territory for Reitman:

The first thing you notice about "Labor Day" is that it's something of a departure for the writer/director. Sure, it's adapted from a book (like "Thank You for Smoking" and "Up in the Air"), but it's also much more of a straight drama than the crowd-pleasing dramedies he's become known for. According to Reitman, he wasn't necessarily looking to do something different.



"I don't look at genre as, 'Oh, I want to do one of those.' I don't aspire to do a sci-fi film. I want to do personal films, and it's really the ingredients underneath that interested me in this," he explained. "My producer Helen Estabrook found the book and told me this is very different from anything you've ever done, but I know you're going to love it, and she was 100 percent right," he explained.



He tried to stay true to the book:

"Labor Day" is Reitman's third adapted screenplay now, and he recalled telling Maynard the same thing he told authors Walter Kern and Christopher Buckley the first time they met: "I'm the guy they hired to f**k up your book."



In this case, he wanted to make sure he stuck as close to Maynard's words as possible. "I read this book and I fell in love with it, and I wanted to be very true to what it was," Reitman said. "It wasn't just a piece of source material that I was going to use a few things here and there from. I wanted the movie to feel the way I felt when I read it."



The only major change he made was breaking up Frank's back story, which is slowly revealed throughout the film via flashback. "I thought it would be more interesting if we were just getting these glimpses," explained Reitman. "I realized there's all these little moments in Frank's back story that strangely relate to things that are happening in the movie along the way."



Casting was crucial:

Recalling a piece of advice his father gave him prior to filming "Thank You for Smoking," Reitman said that, regardless of genre, his job as a director is "to find truth on a daily basis." To do so, he has to trust that his actors are all on the same page. "There's a few things that I need to do right in my job or it's never going to work," he explained. "A lot of things I can screw up, but you have to pick the right actors, and they do have to have chemistry."



Luckily, Winslet and Brolin immediately got where Reitman was coming from. "I knew that they completely understood the DNA of who these people were," he said. "They're two actors who understand how to approach vulnerable, broken characters without judging them, which is really hard to do."



As for their obvious chemistry, Reitman chalked that up to instinct, saying, "It's a gut feeling that two people are going to respond to each other. And I'm very happy that they did."



It was a light set:

From the sounds of it, Winslet and Brolin may have gotten along a little too well though. "Especially with a drama like this that's so laconic and so subtle in its behavior, I kind of make an ass of myself on the set," explained Brolin. His main target? Winslet's Oscar. "If she had a question, I'd go, 'I'm sorry, is this an Academy Award question? Because I've only been nominated, so I'm not sure if I'm really able to handle this question,' " Brolin remembered.



"It was a lot of laughs," admitted Reitman, despite being the one who had to try to corral his actors' antics. "A lot of his direction came down to, 'Please stop moving and f**king around, and can we just do the work,' " Brolin joked.



Gattlin Griffith makes the movie:

Equally important as Winslet and Brolin was finding a young actor who could capably play the 13-year-old Henry who's at the centre of the story. "The whole movie is through his eyes," said Reitman, explaining that for audiences to accept the film's unlikely romance, it all comes down to Griffith's performance. "Even though there's no logical reason that you can say this makes sense, you just feel like it does, that they should be together," he said.



Reitman praised Griffith's ability to underplay a scene, saying, "Typically young actors rely not only on the dialogue that's on the page but all the stuff that's thrown in on top of it, and Gattlin has the ability to be still."



"As Mr. Reitman always said, you have to underact rather than overact," Griffith recalled. The only note he apparently didn't take? To call his director Jason. "Trust me. You tell him 20 times, he'll never call you by your first name," laughed Reitman.



Winslet and Griffith bonded instantly:

Beyond just bringing her "Academy Award-winning" experience to the set, Winslet was invaluable in helping the young Griffith get comfortable. "Kate would take you aside and I know she created a bond with you that Josh and I were not even privy to," Reitman told his teenage lead. And Griffith agreed, saying, "I knew that I could count on her and I could ask her any questions."



He also remembered Winslet helping calm his nerves during his first scene with Brolin, telling his co-star, "I never told you this, but I was so intimidated by you. It was inside the grocery store. You were bleeding and you were really in character. And in between takes we'd walk our separate ways, and I'd walk over to Kate and I'd say, 'He's so intimidating! What do I do?' "



Her advice? "She said, 'Listen, honey. You need to just take that intimidation and you need to use that,' " remembered Griffith. Still, Reitman agreed with his young actor's initial assessment of Brolin, laughing, "If you play his eyebrows one way, it's really intimidating."



"There's a reason why he chose me to play the part, because I come across as being more intimidating than I necessarily am," protested Brolin. "It's not my fault."



You're going to see some familiar faces:

Even though most of the action in "Labor Day" takes place inside Adele and Henry's house, Reitman still made sure to work in a part for J.K. Simmons, who's been in every one of the director's films to date. You'll also spot a few big-name actors like Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek, and Clark Gregg contributing in limited roles.



"J.K. Simmons had one more scene that we had to cut for time," explained Reitman. "They're just actors that I like to work with, and they were very generous to come out and do smaller roles than they would normally play."



Brolin compared the director to the Coen Brothers in that respect, saying that appearing in a Jason Reitman movie is "just a no-brainer" for many actors. "And then you find out you only have one line in it," he laughed. "But even then you don't care, you're just happy to be in the film because you know it's going to be a good film."



Reitman deflected the praise back onto his casts. "From day one, the actors that have said yes to my movies, I can't imagine why they did, but I'm so grateful they did because it just starts a chain," he said. "And because those first few actors said yes, other actors since then have said yes as well. And frankly made me look like a better director than I am. Because all too often I'm simply just watching. I'm watching great actors make great decisions," Reitman continued. "And I get that lovely opportunity to watch them as a solo audience before the rest of the world gets to."



"Labor Day" opens in theatres on January 31.







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Jennifer Lawrence's White 'American Hustle' Dress Was Lightly Dusted With Doritos


jennifer lawrence doritos



Sometimes you've just got to satisfy your craving for Doritos -- even when you're an Oscar-nominated actress wearing a custom-made costume on the set of a movie.



The designer behind Jennifer Lawrence's most iconic look in "American Hustle" found that out the hard way, revealing in a recent interview that Lawrence was such a fan of the cheese dust-coated chips that she'd eat them while in costume, sullying the garment in the process.



During a panel discussion led by Vanity Fair, costumer Michael Wilkinson said that he made four different versions of the slinky white dress Lawrence's character, Rosalyn, wears in her climactic confrontation with her husband's mistress (played by Amy Adams). The scene initially called for Rosalyn to spill champagne on herself, Wilkinson explained, and they wanted extra dresses on hand for different takes. But when that plan eventually changed, the additional frocks still came in handy.



"I'm kind of glad we did [make more]," Wilkinson said, "because Jennifer Lawrence is a very...let's say...raw and intuitive young lady, and she's not against eating Doritos and snack food in her costume. So we were glad that we had a couple [backups]."



Lawrence's Dorito-fueled performance netted her yet another Oscar nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actress. Whether or not she wins or loses, it's heartening to know that she continually proves she's just like the rest of us -- orange dust-covered fingers and all.





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'X-Men: Days of Future Past': Bryan Singer Talks Rogue, Adamantium, and 'Apocalypse'


bryan singer



Bryan Singer, who is responsible for directing the incredibly complicated-sounding "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (and, at least according to him, that film's follow-up, 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse"), found himself in an unlikely position when Britain's Empire Magazine decided to dedicate 25 different covers to the upcoming mutant-sequel: He is the first filmmaker to ever pose for an Empire cover.



Inside the magazine, he was a little bit more forthcoming about the movie and how it fits into the potential overarching "X"-mythology, and was joined by "X-Men: Days of Future Past" writer Simon Kinberg, who recently signed on to oversee all things "X" for Fox (via Coming Soon).



For those super-nerds out there, you might be wondering how, in the trailer, it shows the always berserk Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) with his adamantium claws, after said adamantium was removed in last summer's oddly under-seen "The Wolverine," well, Singer has an answer for you (sort of): Singer says that Magneto could "reconstitute the adamantium claws... Wolverine has a different relationship with Magneto, and perhaps Magneto could forge them."



One of the biggest questions for us at least was why Rogue got her own cover to the magazine, after it was announced she had been removed from the movie. "It was only one real sequence in the movie," Kinberg told the magazine. While Singer added: "It does not mean that we don't see her in the film." Soooo she's in there... Somewhere... Possibly as part of a mutant-style game of "Where's Waldo."



And, of course, the pair were asked about the upcoming "X-Men: Apocalypse." Singer said that the movie will be "more of a 'First Class' sequel" (yay!) and that "it takes place some time after this movie." He also said that one of the things that drew him to this new story was "the notion of ancient mutants... Did one survive?" That's a pretty intriguing place to start an "X-Men" movie, we will admit.



"X-Men: Days of Future Past" opens on May 23, 2014.





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'A Million Ways to Die in the West' Red Band Trailer: Seth MacFarlane Conquers the Frontier (VIDEO)


a million ways to die in the west red band trailer



For better or worse, Seth MacFarlane, the creative mind behind "Family Guy" and "American Dad," is now a cinematic force to be reckoned with.



His R-rated 2012 comedy "Ted" was a smash and, despite withering reviews as last year's Oscar host, he still has an incredible amount of power in Hollywood. How else, after all, could he follow up "Ted" with a "Blazing Saddles"-style western comedy, less than a year after a similarly revisionist take on the Old West, "The Lone Ranger," crashed and burned at the box office? Judging by the just-released Red Band trailer for the movie (shoo the kids out of the room), MacFarlane's ribald "A Million Ways to Die in the West," with its superb cast and unique setting, could be another left field sensation.



The trailer begins with a title card identifying our time and place: "Arizona, 1882." Giovanni Ribisi and MacFarlane are watching the delivery of a huge block of ice; the rope breaks and the ice block falls, violently crushing a man's head in the manner accustomed to a filmmaker who has worked primarily in cartoons.



Over the course of the trailer's admittedly excessive 3-minute running time, you get a gist of what the movie is about: MacFarlane is a nebbish nerd who is consumed with all the ways you can get ruthlessly slaughtered in the west. This becomes something of a problem when a notorious outlaw (played by Liam Neeson) rides into town and demands that MacFarlane challenge him to a duel. Thankfully, Charlize Theron, as a gunslinger, volunteers to train MacFarlane.



While not all of the jokes land (and we would love to see a movie where MacFarlane resists the urge to make of-the-moment pop culture references, especially since the movie is set in the old west), this does look like it could be a blast. It's great to see Neeson and Theron in roles where they're not taking themselves so seriously, and the rest of the cast (including Sarah Silverman, Amanda Seyfried and Neil Patrick Harris), seem to be having the time of their lives. Hopefully that fun translates to those of us watching the movie.



"A Million Ways to Die in the West" opens on May 30.





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'12 O'Clock Boys' Director Lotfy Nathan on His Documentary, Baltimore Gangs, and Maintaining Subject Integrity


12 o'clock boys, pug 12 o'clock boys, 12 o'clock movie





Lotfy Nathan's "12 O'Clock Boys" is a riveting documentary that sheds light on a fascinating subculture. Shot on the streets of Baltimore, the documentary follows Pug, a young man that seeks to join the local gang. This gang is unique, for their anti-social behaviour comes in the form of motorbike acrobatics, riding down city streets while poppin' wheelies, creating a vertical profile like the hands on a clock.



This movie was a critical and audience favourite when it played the Hot Docs documentary festival last year, and the film is finally getting a limited theatrical run. Moviefone Canada had a chance to speak to the film's director about the influence of David Simon on the project, how he balanced being a filmmaker vs. being close to his subject, and how he views the documentary a year later.



Moviefone Canada: The way that you shoot Baltimore is eerily similar to the way David Simon has spent decades shooting Baltimore [in HBO TV series "The Wire"].

Lofty Nathan: Indeed, yeah. I hadn't seen "The Wire" for years into working on the film. I was shooting well before I had seen it, but obviously I had heard about it and when I saw it, I marathoned it. It was hugely informative. If anything, I realized that it didn't impact how I shot, but it impacted the whole concept of the film. "The Wire" created a global audience for Baltimore. Everybody now has an understanding of the context of the city, so there was a lot less that we had to say in the movie about the backdrop. People get it, all over the world, what Baltimore is.



I think "The Wire" is an incredibly accurate and beautifully done representation of that. If anything, it helped the explanation, helped to illustrate a very particular part of Baltimore because there was a context.



Remarkably, this is your first film. It started as a student project that got out of control?

That's definitely one way to put it. I was attending an art school in Baltimore, Maryland School of Art. I'm not originally from Baltimore. I was studying fine art and wanted to be a painter. I took a couple of video courses and chose these dirt bike riders that seemed mysterious to me, I had no context as to what they were about. That's hugely due to this bubble I was living in in Baltimore, in this semi-protected place. I had seen them around, here and there. My aim at first was to make this eight-minute piece. They were really receptive to being filmed, so that was motivation to keep going.



I think people had to be convinced that it was worthwhile, and that the subject matter and angle were sensitive and being figured out as the project went along. Even in the summer of 2012, I remember still toiling over whether it would be a feature or a short, but it kept growing. There's definitely a juncture where, especially with something like this, where there's this exotic urban subculture, where you can fall into making a web-content easy thing.



You have an incredibly charismatic character in Pug and you see the development of this person, not just a character, but an individual. How do documentarians make hard decisions about when to interfere and when not to interfere?

You mean balancing the ambition of making the movie against the moral quandaries of getting a kid hurt possibly?



You're following a guy that you care about, but you have to maintain some sort of distance, or it makes a terrible film.

Yeah, there's a danger of being too lukewarm and not really showing up to those moments that should be filmed if you're going to make a movie about it. You're absolutely right. So yeah, there was a lot of that and sometimes I could do it and sometimes I couldn't.



You see a raw, honest look at that time spent together, it was definitely difficult. Here and there, I think I was worried about Pug's safety. Ultimately, I had to embrace my understanding of it. Pug was so one-track-minded, he was obsessed with joining the group. His environment dictated a lot more than I did. With his mother, she ultimately made the call on policing him and I decided to move forward and film Pug's efforts against what his mother wanted. I just felt that that was happening around me anyway.



Do you think your filming influenced Pug's trajectory?

Certainly. I don't think there's any way around that. The filming was one thing, because I can honestly say it was still a pretty scrappy effort. It wasn't all that intimidating or daunting. It was oftentimes me with a friend. There were a few occasions when we were able to have a bigger crew, but it wasn't like there was some producer in a van and a sound guy. It was very organic.



But then of course there was the rollout of the film. The reception was a lot greater than I could have imagined. So surely that has an impact. It has an impact on me, it has an impact on all of the subjects, on everybody who was involved in the film. And that's something that could be gauged now and it could also be gauged in five years, it's difficult to say.



In the year since played at Hot Docs, how has your own view of the film changed?

I think I've been refreshed. The questions that people seem to ask and the takeaway seems to be what I would have hoped it would be, and that's great. I'm also pleased that there's such an interest in this problematic topic and it's not just taken at face value one way or the other. It's OK to show a frustrated situation to which there aren't necessarily answers.



What has been your most surprising reaction to the film?

Yes, that's the big thing. There has definitely been a huge skepticism and backlash against it for being exploitative, and also for some fictionalizing of the criminal element. Exploitation wasn't something I was thinking of when I made the movie. It's a scrappy, honest effort. It wasn't an in-and-out thing.



I can honestly say that I was living in that context for a while and really experiencing it, so I feel justified in telling that story. And that's ironic, because that question only really comes up in the middle of these film festivals where you have all kinds of people, miles away from that world, who haven't seen it. There's a guilt complex that a lot of people have as well. A mid-western guilt complex. They're threatened by something that isn't either apologetic or completely disregarding. It needs to be patronizing or it needs to be non-existent.



To that extent, there is a certain degree of exploitation, but I felt that it was collaborative. People who wanted to share, people who wanted to be there, people who wanted to be involved. And I was trying to open that up and provide a platform and also wanted to make a movie, so it's a huge collaboration, even with the subjects.



What does Pug think of the film, and how is he doing a year later?

Pug is in school. I have to check in with him this week about what he thinks about the film, but on the whole it seems like he's surprisingly unfazed by it. He's pretty set in his ways regardless, and I think it's hard to say what he thinks. I think he enjoys it, but he's focused on tangible things. Coco is excited about it and I think she appreciates that her story is being told, and she wants people to respond to that. The riders as a whole see that it's getting out there and I think that's important to them as well.



"12 O'Clock Boys" opens in limited release on January 31. Please check local listings for exact showtimes and theatres.













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'Thor 3' Is a Go for Marvel, for Better or Worse


thor 3



"Thor 3" is coming. For better or worse.



Now, there are certainly levels of quality when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the top tier there are energetic, funny gems like Joss Whedon's hellzapoppin' team-up movie "The Avengers," and last summer's witty blast "Iron Man 3" (co-written and directed, with some aplomb, by "Lethal Weapon" scribe Shane Black). Then there are those middle-of-the-road movies, like "Captain America: The First Avenger," which are adequate but unmemorable. And, at the bottom of the Marvel barrel, was "Thor: The Dark World," a movie that was staggeringly unimaginative, sloppy and plodding, seemingly only staged in order to bridge the gap between "The Avengers" and whatever Marvel has up its magically enchanted sleeve. It had its moments, for sure, and the humor was pretty great (Thor as a fish-out-of-water still works surprisingly well), but it kind of proved that Thor-centered, stand-alone movies aren't the best. But what do we know? It has just been announced that "Thor 3" is on the way.



While a director has yet to be announced (and "Thor: The Dark World"'s Alan Taylor has moved on to another pricey franchise in the form of the upcoming "Terminator" movie), Marvel has scheduled two writers to bring the Asgardian warrior back to the big screen: Christopher Yost (who worked on both "Thor" movies) and Craig Kyle, a producer on said movies. As Vulture points out, the two writers have worked together on actual comic books (as opposed to big expensive movies that look like comic books) and various Marvel-related animated series, which probably means that the sequel is in good hands. Now could we please get some more lady characters in this thing please? Natalie Portman just looked bored in the last one.



Who knows when "Thor 3" will hit screens, since Marvel has a crazy, jigsaw puzzle-style game plan for all of its upcoming releases that only a few key people are privy to and can fully understand. The next Marvel releases include this spring's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and summer's "Guardians of the Galaxy," a movie we are admittedly a teensy weensy bit excited for.



Next summer, of course, sees the one-two punch of Joss Whedon's super-sequel "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" and Edgar Wright's "Ant-Man," both of which will hopefully inject a whole lot of fresh blood into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.





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Oscars 2014: 'Alone Yet Not Alone' Disqualified for Best Original Song


oscars 2014 alone yet not alone



This is something of a shock: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to disqualify the song "Alone Yet Not Alone," which was nominated in the Best Original Song category. The disqualification comes after an investigation into the practices of the song's writer, Bruce Broughton, a former governor and current music branch executive committee member, who supposedly sent encouraging emails to members of the Academy. When the final versions of the Academy ballots go out on Valentine's Day, "Alone Yet Not Alone" will not be a part of said ballot.



After the decision was made, Broughton told The Hollywood Reporter, "I'm devastated. I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it." To which we say: whoops.



The nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone" has been frought with controversy from the get-go, with Broughton being pretty open about the email-writing campaign, although everything from the fact that the song's arranger, William Ross, was the musical director for last year's Oscar show (and will resume duties this year), to the movie's faith-based subject matter, has been called into question. The fact that such a marginal film was able to secure a nomination over other heavyweights was always fishy; now we know just how fishy.



Well, all that controversy has now been put out to pasture because the movie isn't in contention anymore. As if anything had a shot at dethroning "Let It Go" anyway.





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