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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Keanu Reeves directs — in China

    Posted: 17 Oct 2011 04:33 AM PDT

    The financing has been lined up for a Keanu Reeves martial arts movie, “Man of Tai Chi,” to star his “Matrix” martial arts stuntman Tiger Hu Chen.

    Reeves, who turned 47 last month, has been seen mostly in supporting roles in indie films since 2008’s bomb “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” He’s been on TV and film sets since the early 1980s, so he’s almost certainly absorbed some directing tricks. He did “The Matrix” and just finished “47 Ronin,” which gives him martial arts cred.

    And the movie business is all about the burgeoning Chinese and Asian market these days. Smart time to get into directing, smart project to get into directing with? move? So it would seem.

    Quinto comes out as ‘Margin Call’ opens

    Posted: 17 Oct 2011 04:22 AM PDT

    Zachary Quinto, a wonderful choice to play Mr. Spock in the “Star Trek” revival, a smart cookie whose first film, as producer/co-star, “Margin Call,” is a vivid behind the scenes look at the Wall Street meltdown seen at one New York trading firm, took a stand and decided to end the speculation about his sexuality by coming out as a gay man at a New York event last weekend.

    We’ll have to see how that woks out, in terms of his Hollywood career. A good actor with some range, he’s already been pigeon-holed as “the smart guy,” and isn’t typically cast in romantic comedies or as a leading man.

    “Margin Call,” an ensemble piece starring Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker, Demi Moore and Paul Bettany, opens Friday.

    The Farrelly ‘3 Stooges’ poster

    Posted: 17 Oct 2011 04:08 AM PDT

    Here’s the poster to the loooooooong promised Farrelly Brothers tribute/updating of “The Three Stooges.”

    They didn’t get their dream cast, and truth be told, they’re about ten years removed from comedy’s cutting edge. Then again, the Stooges are about 50 years removed. So maybe it works. The dope-slapping trio hits the screen April 4. A lot of funny women signed on to be co-stars, Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch among them.

    Movie Preview: ‘Sleeping Beauty’

    Posted: 16 Oct 2011 08:53 AM PDT

    No no, this isn’t a fairytale, not a movie Disney would approve of.
    But Jane Campion does. She’s gotten behind this Julia Leigh drama that is being pitched as a kind of “Eyes Wide Shut” about sex and desire without passion. Perhaps “Sleeping Beauty” will turn out to be an “Eyes Wide Shut” that works.

    Movie Review: The Mighty Macs

    Posted: 16 Oct 2011 07:13 AM PDT

    There’s something irresistible about a the underdog’s plight, something glorious about a “Cinderella Story” in sports. “The Mighty Macs” is a movie that taps into that, telling us of the glory days of  Immaculata College’s women’s basketball team. This tiny Catholic school for women dominated the sport at a turning point in history, and this plucky, old-fashioned sports drama sets the scene and tells the tale with a lot of heart and a dash of wit.

    Carla Gugino plays Cathy Rush, the only candidate to apply for the job of coaching the team at the then-struggling school. Her salary is a pittance, the out-of-style uniforms are dresses better suited to field hockey, they’re down to their last basketball and the gym just burned down. The Reverend Mother (Ellen Burstyn) in charge of the place takes just enough time between urgent meetings with the board which is trying to figure out how to keep the college open to lecture Rush on just how little money there is.

    “If we didn’t have to struggle, we could never harvest the glory.”

    It’s 1971, and the bra burning corner of the women’s movement hasn’t impacted this suburban Philadelphia school. When Coach Rush nags her players to dive for the ball, “This is soooooo unladylike” is the response she gets. She has to convince them that they have to play like the boys to win and set their sights higher than that “Mrs.” degree so many of them have as their goal.

    “If you defend, it shows you care,” Rush teaches.  She has them practice passing wearing oven mitts, sends them scampering through culverts and wears them out.

    And from Reverend Mother, and Rush’s assistant coach/nun (Marley Shelton), she absorbs a little of the school’s Biblical teaching, too.

    “As you think so shall you be…Be not afraid.”

    As Immaculata’s Mighty Macs struggle, then start to succeed, she misses the obvious Biblical reference — David vs. Goliath. They’re always playing bigger schools, though few at the time took women’s sports seriously.

    Tim Chambers’ film, completed in 2009 and only now reaching theaters, is subtle in the ways it suggests the revolution that this team was a part of. Women dunk, now. They can aspire to become pro basketball players. A whole society was changing and this little school was pivotal in that. When a player cracks about her coach, “She already has a husband. Why would she want to work?”, that’s a reminder of how far the country’s come, kids.

    Chambers finds the easy laughs in a tale of life-among-nuns. None of the woman cast as players have big enough roles to stand out — the poor girl who wears overalls, the girl plotting her engagement, etc. David Boreanaz has the underdeveloped role of Rush’s NBA referee-husband. But Gugino and Shelton click (they have played far less family friendly characters together in the past) and Burstyn classes up the joint with her Oscar-winning presence.

    “The Mighty Macs” don’t go anywhere we don’t expect them to, and a better budgeted movie would have made more of their era and the revolution they helped bring about. But for families with girls, this movie is a great history lesson about how things were, set against a message girls then and girls now can never hear too often — “Have the courage to follow your dreams.”

    MPAA Rating: G

    Cast: Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Ellen Burstyn, Marley Shelton

    Credits: Written and directed by Tim Chambers, a Freestyle release.

    Running Time: 1:39

    A new ‘Twilight Zone’ on the big screen? ‘Cloverfield’ director is on board

    Posted: 16 Oct 2011 07:01 AM PDT

    Matt Reeves, whose last film was a pretty good remake of the Swedish tween vampire thriller “Let the Right One In” (“Let Me In” was the title of the Hollywood film),  has landed the Warner Brothers assignment of taking another stab at bringing that seminal TV series “The Twilight Zone” to the big screen.

    Variety reports that Leo DiCaprio is producing it, among others, and that Jason Rothenberg scripted it. His only previous notable writing credit was “Body Politic,” a TV movie from 2009.