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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    ‘Blair Witch’ director’s ‘Lovely Molly’ gets distribution

    Posted: 09 Nov 2011 03:48 AM PST

    “Blair Witch Project” co-director Eduardo Sanchez’s latest film, “Lovely Molly,” will make its way into theaters, something not every film he’s had a hand in since “Blair Witch” can say.

    Image Entertainment has picked up US rights to “Lovely Molly,” is of course a horror picture, and is about “a newlywed who descends into evil and psychosis after returning to her long-abandoned family home.” It played in this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

    Newcomer Gretchen Lodge has the title role.

    With Sanchez’s Orlando ties, this sounds like an Enzian booking. It sounds like a director Q & A visit, too. How about it, Ed? Enzian?

    Image has a deal in place with the indie film venue turned distributor of low-cost alternative fare, the Alamo Draft House, so this one will reach theaters.

    Ratner ousted as Oscar producer

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 07:12 PM PST

    Nooooo, we didn’t see this coming.

    So, Brett Ratner thinks “Rehearsing’s for f–s.”

    Perhaps that’s the REAL reason he was ousted as Oscar telecast producer. You can’t do the Oscars without rehearsing.

    No, it was the anti-gay slur, an offhand remark at a Friday night Q & A after a screening of his new film, “Tower Heist,” that got him canned from the telecast.

    You don’t make that kind of crack, sound like it’s the sort of crack you make all the time, and make it in that town and not pay the price.

    Wonder how his Oscar host and “Tower Heist” star Eddie Murphy feels about that?

    Further repercussions? Maybe. With “Tower Heist” not turning out to be the box office smash he and Universal had expected, Ratner’s bankability has taken a hit. Steven Spielberg has him in line to direct the children’s film “The 39 Clues” early in 2012. And as Spielberg could tell him, rehearsing’s for kids, too.

    Then again, without the Oscars hanging over his head, Brett’s got a lot of extra time on his hands.

    EXCLUSIVE: Henry Cavill talks about his changing fortunes, ‘Immortals,’ ‘Man of Steel’

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 12:26 PM PST

    Not that long ago the British film magazine Empire named the British actor Henry Cavill "the Unluckiest man in Hollywood."

    Cavill, a native of the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands near France, was almost Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies, but Robert Pattinson got the nod. He had been cast as the new Superman, only to lose the job to Brandon Routh when the project changed directors. He almost won the Edward Cullen part in "Twilight" (Pattinson, again) and had been in the running to be the new James Bond.

    "The funny thing is, that the roles I almost had are the ones that kept me going," he says. "Because almost getting Bond or the previous Superman were a sign, to me, that I should keep on pluggin.' And I was right. It's turning into a GREAT year."

    Cavill, 28, begins his "great year" with "Immortals," the 3-D sword and sorcery spectacle that opens today.  "Immortals," which opens today. An The actor hitherto known as a supporting player on TV's "The Tudors" shed his shirt to play Theseus, the mythical warrior-founder of Athens, battling to save humanity when Titans (led by Mickey Rourke) take on Zeus and the Olympians of ancient Greece.

    "When Tarsem [Singh, the director] and I first met, I did a screen test and he said, 'OK, let's take the shirt off. By the way, you know if you get this part, a six-pack won't be good enough. You're going to need an eight-pack.' I was far from having even a six-pack, then. But I took it as a challenge. 'No more excuses for not getting into shape. I am doing a job that requires me to be in this kind of shape, so … hell-bent-for-leather, let's do it!'"

    Cavill could let himself go, physically, for a role in the upcoming Bruce Willis movie "The Cold Light of Day." Then "Man of Steel," the next Superman incarnation, beckoned. Director Zack "300" Snyder put Cavill into the suit, and decided he could work with that.

    "Back to the gym," Cavill says with a sigh. He wouldn't have to be in Greek demi-god shape to wear Superman's tights. But as the Tudors might have put it, he'd have to "show a little leg."

    "The amount of back squats, the amount of time I spend hobbling around a set because my trainers beasted me with leg work is just uncountable," Cavill says with a laugh. "I may be a crippled Superman, but at least I'll have great-looking legs."

    Cavill has long professed a love of all things historical. So "Immortals" would be a fine place to practice his swordplay.

    "There's a similar message in all the stories of Western mythology: The hero rising from nothing to greatness, against all odds," Cavill says. "These are idealized characters who triumph over repressive regimes, tyrants. Modern myths work the same way as the ancient ones. The setting changes, the story doesn't."

    What would Theseus have to say about the threats — debt and corruption — facing modern Greece?

    Cavill laughs.

    Theseus, he notes, "was a reluctant hero, one of those guys who ignored the problems of the world around him until the world took his mother from him. If he were to be alive today and see what's happening in Greece, he probably wouldn't give a fig."

    But Cavill does. He's finally at that point where doors open and auditions for roles may be a thing of the past. He doesn't plan to make every character "larger than life," pursuing more human-sized roles. But he has a dream part in mind, should anybody bother to ask.

    "I've always had a soft spot for Alexander the Great," he says. "It'll be years before anybody tries that again [Oliver Stone's flop "Alexander" came out in 2004]. But I'll keep my legs in shape for when they do!"

    Today’s interview: Anton Yelchin

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 10:20 AM PST

    He’s been a teen star of some repute, got a nice break landing Mr. Chekhov in the “Star Trek” re-boot, was better in the new “Fright Night” than most people noticed and is making some fine noise with “Like Crazy,” an aching romance of the long distance kind.

    He was good in “The Beaver,” a bit insufferable, in that young Patrick Dempsey way, in “Charlie Bartlett.” The first time I noticed him was in David Duchovny’s “House of D.”

    Questions for Anton Yelchin? Comment below. I can always use some suggestions.

    Hans Zimmer wants your chants for the score to ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 09:50 AM PST

    Here’s a novel bit of fan-fed marketing.

    Get fans to “sing” on the score to your film.

    Hans Zimmer, the veteran movie music composer who has scored scores of scores, is inviting fans to come, record their voice on this linked website for a chant he wants to use in the film. No cash, no credit. Just you donating your voice to a big Hollywood action epic.

    Oscar contenders — Where do we stand?

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 07:48 AM PST

    As awards season gets underway, there’s much talk surrounding “The Descendants,” the new one from Alexander “Sideways” Payne, and Spielberg’s “War Horse,” along with the lingering noise being made  for “Moneyball.”

    “Take Shelter,” a multi-festival award winner, seems like it belongs in the best picture mix. Maybe the best film I’ve seen this year. And yeah, I’ve seen “The Descendants,” which could certainly make the best picture cut.

    “Shame,” which I see Wednesday, still has film festival heat, and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “The Iron Lady” and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” are being pitched as possible contenders, sight unseen (a few very early screenings for “War Horse” haven’t included critics, apparently).

    As good as David Fincher usually is, I don’t see a remake of a pretty good very RECENT Swedish thriller as being an Oscar sure thing. And I have a sinking feeling about TWC moving “The Iron Lady” to the last weekend of the year. A no confidence vote? Again, that’s the same thing they did to the Oscar bait “Miss Potter” a few years back.

    Movies that have lost some of their buzz are “J. Edgar,” which is earning Eastwood his worst directing reviews in ages, and “My Week With Marilyn,” which has some terrific performances but lacks that “King’s Speech” gravitas. “50/50,” “the cancer comedy,” may get an acting nomination, but nobody is saying “Oscar” in connection with that one any longer. And the buzz died down around “The Tree of Life” quite abruptly in mid-summer.

    This fellow is talking up “Tyrannosaur” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” but I am not seeing that buzz spill over anywhere else. “Young Adult” is the Jason Reitman film after “Up in the Air,” so I am expecting a little lingering blowback on that one.

    Nobody is talking up Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo,”  a big holiday release, and unless “Tintin” or “Hugo” convey something beyond their look, their technology and their directors’ reputations, they would seem like “kids’ entertainment” also-rans. Scorsese’s “Hugo,” however, appears to have a shot.

    It’s not as it the Oscars HAVE to have ten best picture nominees, but merely suggesting that is going to make voters and those who campaign for such honors look back to earlier in the year.

    I have yet to see a film this year that moved me as much as “The Help.” Yeah, it’s this year’s “Blind Side.” Has been since August.

    “Midnight in Paris,” a summer hit, Woody’s biggest hit, is feather-weight and all that, but it seems to have a spot reserved at the Oscar table simply because it’s a return to funny form for Allen. I go along with that.

    “Win Win,” Tom McCarthy’s most accessible film, is a delight, beautifully acted. So what if it reached theaters last spring? It was a hit, and is still one of the three or four best films I’ve seen this year.

    Nobody is talking about “Everything Must Go,” but I found this laid off/lost the wife/lost the house alcoholic collapse a cathartic and uplifting experience. Will Ferrell is amazing in it. A best picture contender? Not likely. But it ought to be.

    How about “The Guard?” Corrosive, arch, hilarious, brilliantly acted by Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle and Mark Strong, it’s still in my top ten list at this stage.

    “Like Crazy” is a perfectly executed youth romance/long distance romance picture.

    But my best Oscar guess, as of early November?

    “The Help”

    “Midnight in Paris”

    “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

    “Take Shelter”


    “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” has an all-star cast and I fully expect to see Gary Oldman “tales of redemption” stories on the TV news magazines in December.

    “The Descendants”

    Beyond that, it’s spitballing. Does “Sarah’s Key” have staying power? Did enough people see the fine French thriller “Point Blank?” Might “Drive” have Oscar cachet? Could Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt, of all people, bring Oscar attention to “Young Adult”?

    With its dazzling cast, does the remake of “The Debt” warrant Oscar notice?

    Is “Puss in Boots” more than just a best animated film? Do festival indie pictures like “Higher Ground” have anything like a shot?

    Has there been a documentary that could break through into best picture? Aside from “Tabloid”?

    Way off the wall, could the Academy find reason to honor a horror film like “Insidious” or a wonderfully acted and touching faith-based drama like “Soul Surfer”? Could a big action film like “MI:4″ or “Sherlock Holmes II” or “Captain America” break through?

    Naaah. But we’ll see. the year is winding down and the list of candidates to fill out the dance card is limited.

    Clive Owen totally into ‘Recall’

    Posted: 08 Nov 2011 07:04 AM PST

    Writer-director Paul Schrader, who scripted Scorsese’s “Raging Bull,” has sold his script about an NSA agent trying to piece together what went wrong in a botched hostage rescue mission. “Recall,” it is titled, and “Midnight Run” director Harold Becker will be behind the camera.

    Clive Owen is set to star, Variety reports. Becker’s glory years were in the last century, and Schrader’s pre-date even that. But Owen is always sharp in these action/espionage pieces, and this could be a step up from “Killer Elite.”