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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Will ‘Puss in Boots’ win ANOTHER weekend at the box office?

    Posted: 11 Nov 2011 04:35 AM PST

    If “Puss in Boots” holds audience this weekend the way it did last weekend, it could turn up at the top of the box office heap again Sunday night.

    But last weekend was a make-up weekend, with all those people who missed it during the snowstorm in the northeast finally showing up, right? No way it holds 80-90% of its audience. Again. Even if it is the best animated movie of the year.

    It should do well over $20 million, in any event.

    But I see “Jack and Jill” bringing out the Adam Sandler crowd with a vengeance. Mockery of the movie’s trailers notwithstanding, it has plenty of the things Sandler’s crowd wants — cameos, fart jokes and broad, low humor. I figure it’ll do better than “Tower Heist,” maybe close to $30 million. The box office guru says $24.

    “Immortals” could do upper teens, “J. Edgar” 10-15 million from a combination of older Eastwood fans, Leonardo fans and gay film buffs. It’s not on enough screens to do much better.

    Weekend reviewws, mixed-negative for ‘Hoover,’ bad for ‘Immortals,’ awful for Adam Sandler

    Posted: 11 Nov 2011 04:29 AM PST

    The best descriptive word I’ve read in all the reviews of Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” is “timid.” He hired a gay screenwriter who won an Oscar for scripting the biography of gay rights icon Harvey Milk, made J. Edgar Hoover, the feared and ruthless F.B.I. chief a closeted gay man, and then seems to have lost his nerve.

    Since the gay thing is unproven and probably unprovable, he lets it sit i the background, pitching Hoover as what the culture used to call “a confirmed bachelor,” uncomfortable around women, a moralist with a dirty secret. In his day, anyway.

    There’s much to admire about the picture – Hoover’s opportunism, his willingness to blackmail politicians (done off camera), the origins of his mania for “Reds” (which seems prudent and understandable, to Eastwood). There’s a movie in the whole manner Hoover used the Lindbergh baby kidnapping to turn the F.B.I. into a major American institution, another movie in the ways he built PR for it through radio and TV shows, comic books and movies, still another in his single-minded pursuit of power and how he kept it.

    And unfortunately, a somewhat laughable one in the way he and Clyde Tolson flirted and courted and (did or didn’t) carry on.

    Much that wasn’t laughable, anyway.

    It’s a stodgy, sputtering film, and reviews have been mostly negative. Leonardo DiCaprio’s star turn doesn’t have the snap and speed of the guy who talked so fast he was nicknamed “Speed,” and pointing out Hoover’s nickname in the movie with DiCaprio doing his standard rolling cadences just calls attention to that.

    I keep brain-freezing on the title of Adam Sandler’s latest movie. It’s that forgettable. Well, aside from the presence of Al Pacino. “Jack and Jill,” that’s it.

    Not a single good review – 0% on the tomatometer, perhaps a record. But Pacino, my friends, is an over-the-top hoot. The opening and closing bits — real twins talking about their twinhood, works.

    But Sandler flat out sucks. No other way to put it. The trailers looked awful, people have been mocking the idea of him playing male and female twins for a year now. And sure enough, the movie’s bad. Will it hit? It just might.

    I would never have guessed that the guy who gave us the lustrous looking “The Fall” could make a movie as borderline humdrum in apperance as “Immortals,” but there it is. Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals” has a few nice grace notes in casting — John Hurt as the sage old man who also narrates the tale (and is really Zeus in disguise), Henry Cavill as Theseus. But it’s a bronze-tinted drag, two hours of humorless quest and slaughter, with only one big “300″ moment.

    Better reviews than I would have thought for this one, but still not all that good.

    Orlando lands the harrowing, intimate thriller “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” with Elizabeth Olsen’s breakout performance playing at The Enzian.

    Dave Barry book to be Steve Carell movie?

    Posted: 11 Nov 2011 04:02 AM PST

    The former newspaper humorist turned novelist Dave Barry co-wrote “Lunatics” with Alan Zweibel, and it’s about soccer dads who go a little too far. A lot too far. “Their feud escalates” to the point where they’re on the run for their lives and there are worldwide consequences.

    The book doesn’t come out until January, but Universal has snapped up the rights and deadline says they have Steve Carell in mind to star in a film of it.

    Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ to star Saoirse, directed by Niccol

    Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:58 AM PST

    Stphenenie Meyers’ “Twilight” follow-up novel, “The Host,” will be a movie to be directed by Andrew “In Time” Niccol and starring Saoirse Ronan. says that Jake Abel and Max Irons are up for the male leads in the film, which Niccol is scripting, and is an aliens-invade-and-steal-our-minds tale.

    The leads are named Melanie, “Wanderer” and Jake.

    Movie Review: Immortals

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:15 PM PST

    Grisly, gross, messy — and I’m not just talking about Mickey Rourke’s table manners in “Immortals,” Tarsem Singh’s pseudo-arty melding of spatter film to the sword-and-sorcery genre.

    Rourke, playing the megalomaniacal King Hyperion, out to release the Titans, crush humanity and thwart the Greek Gods in one stroke, chose to play this knife-wielding nut as a guy of appetites. He’s always eating nuts, pomegranates, what have you — food stuck in his teeth, his beard. He needed something to chase down his main course, the scenery he chewed in this bronze-tinted epic with pretensions of being the new “300.”

    The director of “The Fall,” one of the most gorgeous, real-locations/real colors fantasies of recent history, goes digital, goes 3D and goes seriously boring in this movie, which could introduce filmgoers to the next Superman — Henry Cavill.

    Cavill plays Theseus, an illegitimate mortal favored by Zeus, who has counseled him in the guise of an old man (John Hurt, our narrator), but who is really Luke Evans, ruling Olympus from on high.

    Hyperion’s designs on Earth — Greece, to be exact — tempt many of the gods to meddle in human affairs. But Theseus is the one the Virgin Oracle (Fredia Pinto) has seen in a vision — Theseus the hero, leader of men, wielding the magical Epirus bow that Hyperion seeks.

    Theseus is noble, of cleft chin and seriously cut eight-pack. “I draw my sword to protect that that I love.” And that means Mom. So when Mom is killed, Theseus is out for revenge. The thief (Stephen Dorff) and the Virgin Oracle come along for the adventure.

    Making time for a little nude body double booty call, of course.

    It’s a Greece of endless cliffs, labyrinths, salt flats and mazes, too much of it looking like digitally generated backdrops for Theseus to purse the bow, fight his foe and rally humanity against the forces of darkness.

    “Deeds are eternal, not the flesh,” he lectures. But Hyperion isn’t listening. He’s determined to wipe out other men and their seed, and to spread his own — the Mongol horde form of genocide — breeding, and preventing others from doing so.

    The film manages one grand “300″ moment, Cavill rallying troops for battle, doing his best Gerard Butler. But the lack of humor, the confusing, stumbling story and limited color palette blunt the film’s 3D slo-mo shots of heads exploding and torsos torn asunder by the sword.

    Pinto is nothing remotely as erotic as the Oracles of “300″ and Rourke could stand to miss a few snacks between meals, especially on screen. Cavill may make a good “Man of Steel,” and he cuts a fine figure in action here. But it’s the inaction that renders “Immortals” all too mortal, a film that dies long before its time.

    MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong bloody violence, and a scene of sexuality

    Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff

    Credits: Directed by Tarsem Singh, scripted by Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, a Relativity Media Release. Running time: 1:50

    Bill Crystal returns as Oscar host

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 02:36 PM PST

    So will the ninth time be the charm for Oscar host with the most Billy Crystal?

    The Academy and its “new” Oscar producer Brian Grazer reached out to Billy Crystal, eschewing the fruitless “youth movement” of hosts in recent years, to “save the Academy Awards,” one more time.

    Crystal, who hasn’t made a relevant movie this century, returns to the gig that made him famous. And it’s almost certainly a smart move on Grazer’s part, too.

    There’s something to be said for tradition, legacy, a show with laughs but also a smattering of dignity and gravitas. Did anybody ever do that better than Crystal? Well, maybe not the gravitas.

    Brett Ratner’s gone, Eddie Murphy would have been a fine choice to host, but he bailed. Billy, 63, will take his last, best shot at the show, we hope, when February rolls around.

    Ben Stiller might have been the best they could hope for in terms of “youth” hosts, and he’s busy. And over 40 his own self.

    ‘Sunlight Jr.,’ a new indie with Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon, filming in Clearwater

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 11:19 AM PST

    The writer director of the indie hit “Sherrybaby,” which did wonders for Maggie Gyllenhaal’s career, has a new downbeat drama — “Sunlight Jr.” that she’s filming on the Gulf Coast of Florida, in Clearwater.

    Laurie Collyer landed Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon for her down-and-out tale which she’s told IMDb is about “a Florida couple in Florida deal with an unexpected pregnancy while holding minimum wage jobs.”

    Dark Horizons goes further — “The story follows two have-nots who have fallen through the cracks of society. Hard-working convenience store clerk Melissa (Naomi Watts) and her paraplegic boyfriend, Richie (Matt Dillon), are trapped in a generational cycle of poverty and ignorance.

    “They are genuinely excited when they learn that Melissa is pregnant. But when she loses her job and they are evicted from the motel where they live, things go from bad to worse.”

    Lucia Fishburne out as Florida Film Commissioner

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 08:15 AM PST

    Lucia Fishburne has resigned as Film Commissioner for the state of Florida.

    “The new administration has selected another individual to head our office,” she said in a note she sent to members of the FFEAC, the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Commission.

    No word yet on who that new person will be. The job — Film Commissioner of the Office of Film and Entertainment (OFE) within the Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED), an agency of the Executive Office of the Governor — is a political appointment.

    A 2008 appointee of former governor Charlie Christ, Fishburne  presided over efforts to land film incentive money to lure production to the state, and saw that pay off during her years in this job. The money — $242 million over five years, began with some $53 million in transferable tax credits for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. Indie films, faith based films, ongoing TV series and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” were among the projects that benefited from this money.

    “She has been instrumental in the improvements to Florida's film tax incentive, which has helped to bring numerous productions to the state of Florida,” says Sheena Fowler, Orlando Film Commissioner. “Orlando has been the beneficiary of this through productions such as: Transformers 3, Tooth Fairy 2, Cassadega, The Renee Yohe Project, My Fair Lidy and The In-Betweeners."

    Fishburne’s a career civil servant, working mostly in public relations jobs before taking the film commissioner position. She was communications director for Workforce Florida, and a member of the Florida Film and Entertainment Commission, prior to her appointment to run the film commission.

    Fishburne’s last day, according to the note she sent to members of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, will be Dec. 2.

    Any Florida Film Folk have words of praise or criticism of her as she makes her exit? We’re working on a story and I’d love to hear them. Please comment below.  And below the page break, Lucia’s note telling her FFEAC colleagues the news.

    “I am resigning as State Film Commissioner, effective December 2nd. The new administration has selected another individual to head our office. Information as to whom will take the post and when they will come on board with be forthcoming. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to stay on as long as I have.

    I want to thank each of you for your leadership as a member of the FFEAC. I know that this has been a challenging time to serve and I commend you for your continuing support and the valuable contribution of your time and wisdom to the mission of our office. Together, with the industry that we love, we have accomplished so much over the last few years. On a personal note, it has been a great pleasure working with you all and having the benefit of your guidance. I'm must especially thank Gus Corbella, FFEAC Chair, for his guidance and excellent leadership.

    My immediate plans are to spend time with my family, my friends, my guitar, my writing, and my home – all of which have had to take a back seat to my work over the last several years. Although I would have preferred to remain with the mission, I am an Air Force brat so I'm already looking forward to the next mission!…

    Very warm regards,


    Movie Review: Jack and Jill

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:30 AM PST

    Forget “Jack and Jill” and the fact that Adam Sandler plays them both and not particularly well in his new “twins” comedy. Al and Pacino almost reason enough to see it, all by his bigger-than-life self.

    Can I get a “HOO hah?”

    Pacino plays a scary, cartoonish and more over-the-top-than-usual version of himself in this farce  and scores big laughs with every entrance. He’s performing Richard III on the L.A. stage, bellowing at cell phone users. He may take “Man of La Mancha” to Broadway, even though he sings like Sinatra’s pet bullfrog.

    And he’s mad for Jill, Jack’s obnoxious Bronx cheer of a sister, whom he met while sitting next to Johnny Depp (in a Justin Bieber t-shirt) at an L.A. Lakers game.

    Jack (Sandler) is a wealthy TV commercial director who can’t stand his yenta-sibling, Jill (Sandler again). She comes to visit over the holidays, craving a little “twin time,” and all Jack can think of is ditching her.

    “We shared our mother’s WOMB,” Jill pleads. “We’re WOMB-mates!

    Jack needs Pacino to do this new “Dunkaccino” commercial for Dunkin Donuts, so when Jill catches the wild-eyed Oscar-winner’s attention, Jack needs his twin, or her clothes in case he has to dress up like her to “close the deal.”

    Even by sloppy Sandler movie standards, this one’s a wreck — fart jokes, potty zingers and pit-stain gags. Cameos from info-mercial stars and ex-”Saturday Night Live” colleagues litter the set, along with product placement from a certain pink stomach medicine, the aforementioned donuts and even a cruise line.  Mexican comic Eugenio Derbez does some catchphrase shtick.

    A running gag that works — scripted and funny “interviews” with real twins open and close the film and are funnier than anything Sandler’s house director, Dennis Dugan, has ever managed. They’re the reason “Jack and Jill” starts off as though its going to be far more evolved than the usual lowbrow how-low-can-they-go wallow.

    Sandler’s such a feeble actor that his bellowing rages never match the expression he musters on his blank face. He puts all his efforts into playing a woman, broadly and badly, so much so that the male twin is even duller than standard-issue Sandler.

    But then there’s Pacino, out-of-place and yet somehow right at home. You want big? Al does BIG.  And since is as close as we’re likely to get to “Don Corleone Does Don Quixote,”  that alone is worth the price of admission.

    MPAA Rating: PG for crude and sexual humor, language, comic violence and brief smoking

    Cast: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, David Spade

    Credits:  Directed by Dennis Dugan, written by Steven Koren and Ben Zook. A Sony/Columbia Pictures release. Running time: 1: 34

    Anton Yelchin on what he DOESN’T know about ‘Star Trek II’

    Posted: 10 Nov 2011 04:51 AM PST

    Anton Yelchin’s had a pretty darned good year at the movies — good notices in “The Beaver,” funnier reviews for “Fright Night” and better still for his new film, “Like Crazy,” a bittersweet long distance romance, largely improvised,  with co-star Felicity Jones.

    None of the movies have been big box office, but I wondered if he even noticed that.

    “I try to stay away from reviews and box office news because no matter what your appraisal of your work is – I have moments where I've doubted whether I did a good job, and people liked it, and moments where I was satisfied that people didn't respond to at all.

    “You can't go into the world of rottentomatoes. For every review that makes you feel good, there's another one to make you feel lousy. You're setting yourself up to be disappointed either way. My psyche isn't strong enough to withstand that sort of outside critique. I take criticism at work, but one it's done and there's nothing you can change about it, why put yourself through it?”

    The only way for the 22 year old Anton to top this year would be to shoot a certified blockbuster in 2012. Which he is. He’s back in the role of Chekhov in the second J.J.
    Abrams “Star Trek” movie.

    “I'm stoked. They always keep us in the dark, sorta till the last minute. What's happening, who'll be in it and what the film will be like. It's good to know that we're making it and that J.J.'s directing it, is all I can say.

    I have no idea what Benicio del Toro is playing. I read online, like everybody else, that he's been having conversations with J.J. No idea what level that's at. J.J. won't even tell him what role it would be. That's J.J.!

    “I would be honored to be on the same set with Benicio del Toro in ANY role. If that works out, it'll be great.”

    Yelchin doesn’t “remember” his own Russian accent (He was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in the former USSR). The one he has to recall for the movie comes from TV.

    “I lost my accent years ago. My accent is just for the movies. Walter Koenig's accent was so fun and wonderful to fool around with. It's like the original series itself. It's got this great camp quality to it. I embrace that.

    “I love the original series. I didn't know much about it until we did the first film, and I did so much research on it that I get excited by the idea of going back into all of that, looking at my notes on how to play Chekhov, watching his scenes again in the movies and the series.

    It's a great credit to Walter Koenig, this funny and almost joyous character he created. He was comic relief for the show, and they were looking for a sort-of Davey Jones look-alike to fill that bill. And the fact that this Russian was placed in the Enterprise crew right smack dab in the middle of the Cold War was so ahead of its time. Very forward thinking.

    “I'm honored to be able to pay tribute to Walter with these movies.”