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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    ‘Tower Heist’ and Oscars director Ratner is doing a lot of apologizing these days

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 04:31 AM PST

    The first and last time I talked with Bret Ratner, at ShowEast some years ago, he seemed shy, a little overwhelmed — a guy now a “star” director based on some Chris Tucker movies, getting his shot at an “X-Men.”
    But this past week, with him about to direct the Oscars, hosted by Eddie Murphy, and with “Tower Heist,” Eddie Murphy’s “comeback” hitting theaters, he’s been full of himself in the extreme.
    First, there was this little off the cuff blast at former”friend” Olivia Munn, who probably started the fight. He comes off as cocky, so full of himself that really, all that hate out there for “The Rat” seems justified. Turns out, that wasn’t true, he hasn’t slept with her and had to apologize on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show.
    Then, he did a Q & A in Hollywood after a Friday night screening of the film, and flippantly cracked that “Rehearsal? Rehearsal’s for f–s.” Just the sort of thing tossed off so casually that you just know it probably bounced around the set of that movie without a second thought. Murphy’s been known to make a homophobic joke or two. Something Hollywood hasn’t quite forgotten.
    Yeah, Ratner had to apologize, as this sort of thing gets magnified in showbiz into something that could cost him his Oscar directing duties if he doesn’t get ahead of it.

    Of course, all of this was BEFORE “Tower Heist” opened. And underperformed.

    Christian Bale’s Chinese epic about the Rape of Nanking finds US distribution

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 04:00 AM PST

    Oscar winner Christian Bale teamed with Chinese master Zhang Yimou (“Hero,” “Raise the Red Lantern,” The Story of Qui Jo,” Ju Dou”) ) for “The Flowers of War,” a historical drama set against the infamous Rape of Nanking by the Japanese Army during World War II. “The Flowers of War” is adapted from Geling Yan's historical novel 13 Flowers of Nanjing.

    The film will open in China in December, and now an outfit called Wrekin Crew has picked it up for US distribution. It’s

    Bale, the Dark Knight, starring in an epic by  Shocked that one of the mini majors like Sony Classics or Weinstein didn’t nab that. Seems like a potential arthouse hit.

    Movie Preview: Goon

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 03:55 AM PST

    There were, at one time, going to be two brawling hockey movies more or less in production at the same time.
    One was going to be a Kevin Smith version of the Warren Zevon tune “Hit Somebody,” which came to nothing.

    “Goon” is getting a VOD release in Feb. and a limited theatrical run in March from Magnet. Sean William Scott, Eugene Levy, Liev Schrieber, Allison Pill and Jay Baruchel (who co-wrote it) are the stars, and that’s all they could get for a release? Hockey really is dead south of the Canadian border, at least as far as Hollywood is concerned.

    Benicio del Toro as a ‘Star Trek’ villain?

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 10:11 AM PST

    This sounds interesting, especially in light of the fact that the first J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” movie wasn’t all that dependent on a great villain to succeed. He put so much energy in casting the perfect “Trek” crew that when that casting paid off, who cared about the villain?

    Oscar winner Benicio del Toro is being sought to play the heavy in the new “Trek 2.”

    Eric Bana was the bad guy (Clifton Collins was his sidekick) in “Star Trek,” in case you forgot. Good actor, not the best bad guy role ever written.

    MGM wants to know ‘Where’s Waldo?’

    Posted: 07 Nov 2011 10:07 AM PST

    Leo the Lion’s old studio, MGM, nabbed the rights to the “Where’s Waldo?” character for exploitation on the big screen. The Waldo books will become a live action feature franchise, if MGM has its way.

    Martin Hanford’s picture b0oks about the fellow with the striped shirt, stocking cap and Harry Potter glasses, date from the 1980s. Variety says some 55 million copies of the books and more than 4.6 million iPad gaming aps built around Waldo have sold.

    So yeah, it’s a brand audiences are familiar with. A cinematic opportunity? Maybe. If they could make a movie out of “Battleship,” why not?

    MGM, which falls into and out of comas every couple of years, is shooting the new James Bond film at the moment.