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Articles filed under Movies

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  • Witherspoon's brave, uncompromising performance a transformational joy in 'Wild' Dec 4, 2014 2:55 PM
    In the realistic “Wild,” Jean-Marc Vallee's raw and noble tale of a young woman's quest for personal redemption, Reese Witherspoon's vulnerability and charisma prove to be essential for this fact-based drama to succeed. We must love and embrace her character, because she's so flawed and unattractive in her choices and behavior that it would be too easy for us to simply dislike and dismiss her.

     
  • ‘Birdman’ takes top award at Gotham Awards Dec 2, 2014 7:16 AM
    The showbiz satire “Birdman” won best film at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, along with best actor for its star, Michael Keaton. The annual Gotham’s gala, held Monday night in downtown New York, was the first glitzy gathering in Hollywood’s three-month-long awards season. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” emerged as the night’s top winner.

     
  • Pee-wee (and a few friends) are back, just in time for the holidays Dec 1, 2014 6:15 AM
    Are you worried there will be nothing to look at once the holiday decorations come down? Here, in no particular order, is a list of 10 home-video goodies to fill the gap. They may not fit so well in loved ones' stockings, but they'll look just great on a video screen. (More good news: All can be purchased online and are typically available for less than the suggested list price provided here.)

     
  • Rupert Murdoch defends using white actors in ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ Nov 30, 2014 10:14 PM
    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch responded to criticism that the cast of “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” a movie about Moses that his studio is distributing, is all white. Critics say the actors don’t accurately represent the Egyptian characters in the movie, the Hollywood Reporter said. But Murdoch disagreed in tweets he sent out over the weekend. “Moses film attacked on Twitter for all white cast. Since when are Egyptians not white? All I know are,” he tweeted. “Of course Egyptians are Middle Eastern, but far from black,” he continued after his first tweet drew more criticism. “They treated blacks as slaves.” “Okay, there are many shades of color. Nothing racist about that, so calm down!” he concluded before his next tweet said, “Change the subject.” The Hollywood Reporter said it’s not the first time someone involved with the film raised such concerns. Actor Joel Edgerton, who plays Ramses, said earlier this year that he does “understand and empathize” with criticism of the casting, the Reporter said. But Edgerton said it “would have been very hard to say no to that job.”

     
  • Despite People magazine article, Kirk Douglas is not dead Nov 30, 2014 9:03 PM
    People magazine got caught mistakenly posting a pre-written obituary on legendary actor Kirk Douglas. The article appeared on its website Sunday with the words “DO NOT PUB,” in the headline. Variety has an image of the web post on its website. The article was taken down later Sunday. Douglas, Variety says, turns 98 next week. As Variety notes, it’s not uncommon for publications or news services to write obituaries of celebrities or important figures in advance. And a couple have seen the light of day before it was time. People itself started the legend of TV and movie actor Abe Vigoda, whom it referred to as “the late Abe Vigoda” in 1982, Variety says. Vigoda remains alive to this day, and a website, abevigoda.com, has long been dedicated to telling people whether he is alive or dead. Bloomberg made a similar gaffe, Variety notes, when it said in 2008 Steve Jobs had died, three years before the Apple co-founder’s actual 2011 passing.

     
  • Cumberbatch decodes Turing in ‘Imitation Game’ Nov 30, 2014 5:00 AM
    With characters like Sherlock Holmes, Julian Assange and Stephen Hawking, Benedict Cumberbatch has accumulated a filmography littered with high IQs. Cumberbatch quickly points out that he has — like his spineless plantation owner of “12 Years a Slave” or his painfully shy son in “August: Osage County” — played some “pretty dull, ordinary” people: “Let’s say us. I’ve done us, versions of me and you,” he says.

     
  • Jolie film ‘Unbroken’ Jack O’Connell’s biggest challenge Nov 30, 2014 5:30 AM
    Jack O’Connell, 24, is a hot property right now. Following his much-acclaimed performance earlier this year in the angry prison drama “Starred Up,” now he is receiving rave reviews for his part in director Yann Demange’s high-octane debut “’71.” And then there’s his highly anticipated role in director Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” later this year.

     
  • ‘Mockingjay’ tops ‘Penguins,’ ‘Bosses’ at the box office Nov 30, 2014 5:07 PM
    Moviegoers wanted another helping of “The Hunger Games.” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part One” ruled the Thanksgiving box office for a second weekend in a row with $56.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The total haul for the latest installment of the Lionsgate dystopian series starring Jennifer Lawrence stands at $225.7 million. DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” opened in second place with $25.8 million. The animated spin-off focuses on the penguins from DreamWorks’ “Madagascar” franchise. Disney’s “Big Hero 6” and Paramount’s “Interstellar” respectively held onto the third and fourth positions with $18.7 million and $15.8 million in their fourth weekend at the box office. The Warner Bros. comedy sequel “Horrible Bosses 2” featuring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day debuted in fifth place with $15.7 million.

     
  • Focus on feats over fashion for today's female action heroes Nov 30, 2014 6:00 AM
    Katniss Everdeen doesn't dress to impress. With the heroine of “The Hunger Games” movies, feats are the focus -- not fashion. That's not often the case with female action heroes, who are somehow supposed to take down bad guys while oozing sex appeal.

     
  • Hundreds mourn Lebanese diva Sabah Nov 30, 2014 9:32 PM
    Hundreds of friends, family and fans packed into a Beirut church Sunday to say farewell to the famed Lebanese singer, actress and entertainer Sabah. The daylong proceedings took on a festive air as the crowds celebrated the taboo-breaking six-decade career of Sabah, who died Wednesday at the age of 87. A military brass band played in the street outside St. George Cathedral in downtown Beirut, where fans clapped and sang their favorite Sabah songs. Earlier, a troupe of dancers in traditional dress performed to the diva’s music played from loudspeakers. “I will call it celebration, not a funeral,” said Lebanese actress Ward El-Khal. “We feel today that we came here to share her feelings and to remember her. We will miss her.” For the funeral Mass, Sabah’s flag-draped coffin stood near the altar with a giant picture of the singer as a young woman with peroxide-blond hair. After the service, mourners carried the casket aloft — with people clapping, throwing flowers and reaching out to touch it and the photograph — outside to a waiting hearse. Sabah is to be buried later Sunday in the village of Bdedoun, where she was born. Over her glittering career, Sabah, whose real name was Jeanette Feghali, won the adoration of millions across the Arab world for her powerful voice and playful character. She performed in some 25 plays, four radio musicals and 85 films and sang 3,000 songs. Amid her professional success, Sabah often set tongues wagging with her flamboyant life and her gregarious confessions to entertainment reporters. She frequently married and divorced — at least nine times.

     
  • Fans go wild over 88-second 'Star Wars' teaser Nov 29, 2014 5:00 AM
    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a helmetless storm trooper appeared in frame, panicked and sweaty in the middle of vast desert landscape, kicking off the first official look at “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

     
  • DVD previews: ‘Hundred-Foot Journey,’ ‘Apes’ Nov 29, 2014 5:15 AM
    French and Indian restaurants stage a culinary showdown in “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” a slightly bland rom-com-drama that could have used a bit more spice. It comes to DVD Tuesday, along with "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes."

     
  • A new documentary explores the life of Kurt Cobain Nov 26, 2014 1:01 AM
    Kurt Cobain is the focus of a new documentary that probes the life and untimely death of the Nirvana singer-guitarist. It will be released in theaters next year and air exclusively on HBO, the network said Tuesday. Coproduced by HBO Documentary Films, “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” is the first documentary made with the cooperation of Cobain’s family.

     
  • 'Penguins of Madagascar' hatch kid-friendly plot Nov 26, 2014 10:59 AM
    "Madagascar" spinoff “Penguins of Madagascar” brings back the illustrious spy team of Skipper, Rico, Private and Kowalski. But the feathered foursome gets in over their heads when they team up with an elite squad led by Agent Classified (a charmingly zany Benedict Cumberbatch). This movie is almost exclusively and unapologetically for the under 10 set.

     
  • Hyping the hype: ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jurassic World’ trailers premiere Nov 26, 2014 6:00 AM
    The world loves movies, but sometimes it seems to love movie trailers even more. This weekend brings film fans their first looks at new "Star Wars" and "Jurassic Park" films as Hollywood studios are starting to market the release of their trailers with the same breathless excitement as the films themselves.

     
  • 'Horrible Bosses 2' embarrassingly silly sequel Nov 25, 2014 2:25 PM
    If Hollywood had a truth-in-titles law, “Horrible Bosses 2” would be more accurately called “Horrible Businessmen and Their Idiot Partners.” Sean Anders' witless, embarrassingly puerile sequel to his 2011 modest hit comedy struggles to be edgy and naughty. But it barely succeeds in eking out a few laughs from cast members straining so hard to be funny that their heads nearly explode.

     
  • Universal picks up Steve Jobs film project from Sony Nov 25, 2014 12:18 PM
    Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures is picking up plans to produce a film biography of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs less than a week after Sony Corp. gave up on the movie. Universal acquired the project, based on the Walter Isaacson biography “Steve Jobs,” from Sony, Kori Bernards, a Universal spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The studio declined to comment on the terms of the transaction. The script is being co-written by Aaron Sorkin, who won an Oscar for writing the screenplay of “The Social Network.” Last week, the film unit of Tokyo-based Sony to dropped plans for the movie. The producers had wanted to press ahead on a faster schedule than the studio could accommodate, a person familiar with the plans said at the time. Jean Guerin, a spokeswoman for Sony Pictures, declined to comment on the deal. The studio acquired the rights after Jobs’ death in 2011. The Hollywood reporter first reported the agreement with Universal Pictures. The movie project has seen various changes recently in the lineup of its cast and production team. Danny Boyle, director of the Oscar winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” is attached to the project, after it had initially been linked to David Fincher, who directed “The Social Network.” Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale have both been considered for the role of Jobs, with Michael Fassbender most recently reported in talks for the part, according to Deadline.com.

     
  • Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade light up St. Charles Nov 24, 2014 2:33 PM
    Nothing says Christmas like a street lit up by thousands of Christmas lights. At the St. Charles Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade, visitors can find their own piece of holiday magic.

     
  • How you can see the first trailer for the new ‘Star Wars’ Nov 24, 2014 4:51 PM
    The longest lines outside theaters this Thanksgiving weekend may be for the new “Star Wars” trailer. Director J.J. Abrams on Monday confirmed the release plans on Twitter. Thirty theaters across North America will show an 88-second trailer for Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” starting Friday morning. The trailer will be available globally in December, according to starwars.com.

     
  • Wahlberg says Bay ‘freaked out’ by weight loss Nov 24, 2014 6:00 AM
    Mark Wahlberg said “Transformers” director Michael Bay “freaked out” after the actor shed 60 pounds to play a down-on-his-luck college professor in his new movie, “The Gambler.” Wahlberg began downsizing his famously muscular physique by jumping rope and sticking to a liquid diet as “Transformers: Age of Extinction” wrapped last year. He then shot “The Gambler,” set to open in theaters Dec. 19.

     
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