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Will Ferrell And John C. Reilly Re-Team For BORDER GUARDS

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Step Brothers and Talladega Nights co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are re-teaming for a new comedy, Border Guards.

The film will be written by Jesse Armstrong, a British comedy writer with episodes of the British political satire The Thick Of It, its film spinoff In The Loop and the terrorist comedy Four Lions on his resume and who with writing partner Sam Bain created the Channel 4 sitcoms Peep Show and Fresh Meat.

According to Deadline -

Ferrell and Reilly [are] playing two hapless but earnest friends who decide to give purpose to their lives by protecting America’s borders from illegal immigrants. In the process they find themselves accidentally stranded in Mexico without identification and must sneak back into the USA.

Given the strong political bent of Armstrong’s previous work, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was more to this movie than the standard silliness that Ferrell and Reilly get up to when paired.

No director has been officially attached to the project but Step Brothers and Talladega Nights director and frequent Ferrell collaborator Adam McKay is reportedly considering the project. McKay is already attached to a bio-pic of Republican political operator Lee Atwater that Armstrong has also written.

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Paul Walker’s Brothers Will Help Finish His FAST & FURIOUS 7 Role

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Previously we knew that when production resumed on Fast & Furious 7, body doubles would be employed to help finish the scenes that were to feature actor Paul Walker, tragically killed in an automobile accident late last year. Now that production is getting underway we have a better idea as to who those body doubles are – Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody.

The announcement that Walker’s siblings were going to help fill in during action sequences that were still left to be filmed came on the film’s Facebook page.

The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

We are just under a year away from the release of FAST & FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.

We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.

Fast & Furious 7 is set for an April 10, 2015 release.

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Universal Refutes MGM’s Copyright Infringemenrt Claim Over Spy Thriller SECTION 6

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Rich Drees

scales-of-justiceUniversal Studios has fired back at MGM’s lawsuit filed last week claiming that Universal’s planned movie Section 6, which would tell the story of the founding years of the British intelligence unit known as MI6, stating that Sony’s contention that the studio’s “claims were… premature and misplaced.”

MGM is claiming that the planned film will infringe on many elements of their James Bond franchise. In Universal’s filing (here, via Deadline), they claim that the film is still in development and months from potentially getting a green light to move into production and therefore the rush that MGM is demanding for the information is unjustified.

The picture in question has not been ‘green lit,’ i.e., no decision has yet been made whether actually to produce it… Indeed, any ‘green light’ decision is many months away… There is no need whatsoever for expedited discovery and certainly no need for an emergency ex parte order on that subject.

In their initial filing on April 3, MGM and Bond franchise producer Danjaq stated that even though Universal’s Section 6 is based on historic events, it also contains elements that author Ian Fleming created for the James Bond novels, to which they own the film rights. MGM admitted that they had not seen the latest drafts of the screenplay that Universal has been developing and since Universal refused to share those drafts with MGM they could only conclude that those drafts contained copyright infringing elements. MGM is demanding that the project be shut down and that they be paid an unspecified amount in damages.

Universal is retorting that it had already assured MGM and Danjaq that “it is substantially changing that screenplay to remove any material that might arguably be infringing” and that it sees that there is absolutely no reason to “share its work in progress with its competitor.”

It is now up to a judge to decide how quickly the case will move forward, if it does at all.

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A Teaser Of The Opening Battle From X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past is still a couple of weeks away from release and Fox’s publicity department is in high gear, working on getting the word out on the biggest installment that the superhero franchise has seen yet. They’ve just released, through MTV, a one minute portion of the film’s opening battle between the mutant superheroes and the robotic Sentinels sent to hunt them down in a dystopic future. I have to admit that it doesn’t further raise my level of excitement for the film, though I am pretty psyched for it already, anxious to see what Singer is bringing with him for his return to the franchise. But for other fans, it’s a new glimpse at some of their new and returning favorite X-Men characters.

X-Men Days Of Future Past opens May 23rd.

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Cumberbatch States He Won’t Be In STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Since exploding onto the scene with the BBC’s Sherlock series, it seems that fans want to see Benedict Cumberbatch in any number of projects. One such hope was that the actor would appear in the upcoming new Star Wars trilogy and there was even rumor last September, though his reps quickly denied the story.

Speaking at Australia’s Oz Comic-Con this past weekend, the actor once again quashed rumors that he would be participating in the upcoming Star Wars films, with the Australian-based The Iris tweeting the actor’s response to the possibility -

Partly fueling the speculation that Cumberbatch may have had a role in the upcoming Star Wars films is that at least the first film in the new trilogy is being directed by Cumberbatch’s Star Trek Into Darkness director J J Abrams. Of course, Cumberbatch impishly fanned the flames of speculation last fall, but seems to be a bit more sober about the topic now.

So Star Wars fans can scratch another name off of the list of potential cast members of the new trilogy as we wait for the official announcement as to whom will be in the film. And with some production already under way, we’ve been assured that that announcement will be made shortly. Stay tuned.

Via Collider.

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THE GRANDMASTER Sweeps Hong Kong Film Awards WIth 12 Wins

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Rich Drees

Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster, director Wong Kar Wai’s dramatic telling of the life of martial arts master Ip Man, swept the Hong Kong Film Awards this weekend, winning in 12 categories including Best Director, Actress (Zhang Ziyi), Best Supporting Actor (Zhang Jin), Screenplay and Action Choreography.

The Grandmaster was released in the United States last year in edited form by the Weinstein Company who has previously indicated that they were not interested in releasing Wong’s original version of the film with Harvey Weinstein’s infamous “Who gives a shit?” response when asked about the original edit being released stateside. Given that the edited version failed to even earn a nomination in the Foreign Language Film category for the Academy Awards maybe you should have given a shit Harvey.

This is Wong’s third best director win at the Hong Kong Film Awards, following Days Of Being Wild (1990) and Chungking Express (1994). Taking to the podium the director stated “I remember it was 1994 when I was last here. It was a short walk from the podium to the stage, but it took me 20 years to come back to this spot.”

Nick Cheung took home his second Hong Kong Film Award, this time the Best Actor Award for his work in Mixed Martial Arts drama Unbeatable. He previously one for his work in Beast Stalker (2008).

The complete winners

Best Film – The Grandmaster
Best Director – Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmaster)
Best Actor – Nick Cheung (Unbeatable)
Best Actress – Zhang Ziyi (The Grandmaster)
Best Supporting Actor – Zhang Jin (The Grandmaster)
Best Supporting Actress – Kara Wai (Rigor Mortis)
Best New Director – Adam Wong (The Way We Dance)
Best New Performer – Babyjohn Choi (The Way We Dance)
Best Screenplay – The Grandmaster
Best Art Direction – The Grandmaster
Best Costume and Make Up Design – The Grandmaster
Best Cinematography – The Grandmaster
Best Film Editing – The Grandmaster
Best Visual Effects – Rigor Mortis
Best Sound Design – The Grandmaster
Best Film From Mainland and Taiwan – So Young
Best Original Film Score – The Grandmaster
Best Original Film Song – The Way We Dance
Best Action Choreography – The Grandmaster
Lifetime Achievement Award – Cheung Yam-yim (The Shaolin Temple)

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Justin Long States That Johnny Depp Is In Kevin Smith’s TUSK

Posted on 14 April 2014 by Rich Drees

JohnnyDepp1We know that Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment and Michael Parks are starring in Kevin Smith’s rather intriguing thriller Tusk. But these might not be the biggest names in the cast.

Speaking with Long Island Newsday in a general interview about his career, Long mentioned that he is currently shooting Tusk and that “Johnny Depp is in that one.”

A quick check of his Facebook page and Twitter feeds shows that Smith hasn’t confirmed the news although last fall he hinted that he had landed a rather big name for the cast of the film, but wouldn’t divulge whom it was.

Reportedly, Depp’s and Simth’s daughters go to the same school and the two met while working on some charity events.

Smith is producing the film on a microbudget, in total far less than what Depp usually commands for his services in a big budget tentpole. But Depp has been known to cut his normal quote for projects that he finds interesting and given that when Depp goes off the beaten path he usually finds himself in projects that are well worth checking out. As if Smith dabbling outside of straight-up comedy isn’t worth investigating just on its own.

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New Releases: April 11, 2014

Posted on 10 April 2014 by William Gatevackes

Rio_21. Rio 2 (Fox, 3,948 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated G): I found the first Rio to be an entertaining diversion. It wasn’t a great film, but I’ve seen worse.

It was certainly a film that didn’t seem like it would lend itself to a sequel. But when the original makes $484 million at the box office against a $90 budget, a sequel you will get.

The sequel takes Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway), the bird protagonists from the first film, several hundred miles to the north as they relocate to the Amazon. Strangely enough, their entire supporting cast relocates there too, including the evil Nigel  (Jermaine Clement), who vows revenge on the pair and their children.

Will this be enough to unseat Captain America:The Winter Soldier? We’ll see.

DraftDayMoviePoster2. Draft Day (Lionsgate/Summit, 2,781 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If you were to turn on the NFL Network right now, odds are you wouldn’t have to wait long until they start talking about the NFL Draft. The 79th installment of the yearly tradition will arrive in May, and what began as men reading names in a dingy hotel room has become a three-day extravaganza that has become a television event.

The reason why so many people tune in is because it has become drama personified. Fans watch closely, hoping that their team will draft the man who will turn their fortunes around, or make a deal that will make the team’s future bright.

That is part of what this film is trying to tap into. It has the full cooperation of the NFL, and the script was on the legendary Blacklist. However, hardcore fans might not appreciate the liberties filmmakers took with the concept, ranging from the World Champion Seattle Seahawks having the number one pick (not that they’d know the Seahawks would win the Super Bowl, but they’d have to know the Hawks would have a better record than the Browns) to certain less-than-legal shenanigans done by Kevin Costner’s character.

oculus-poster3. Oculus (Relativity, 2,648 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated R): There are a few things sadder than a horror film released in April, especially ones with limited advertising and lower than normal theater counts. Just like a teenager abandoned in a deserted cabin in the middle of a haunted woods, this film has just been put out there to die.

Which is not to say that this film doesn’t have a lot going for it. That is one damn creepy poster over there. And it has a cast which features no A-list actors but a lot of popular genre favorites (Karen Gillan, Katee Sackoff, Rory Cochrane). And it’s Rated R, just like every horror film should be.

The film deals with a pair of siblings. The brother is just being released from prison for killing his father, an act he says was encouraged by a possessed mirror. He just wants to get on with his life, but his sister really believes the mirror is haunted and wants her brother’s help to get to the bottom of thing. It will not end well.

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Spoiler: STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Heading Back To A Certain Planet

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Sigh…

The upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII will be heading back to the desert planet Tatooine. Although it seems to be the home of the Skywalker clan, it also appears to be the most traveled backwater planet in the galaxy.

The Hollywood Reporter has stated that sources are telling them that the rumored location shooting in Morocco set for next month will see director J J Abrams and the production “planning to build out an extensive re-creation of Tatooine, the desolate home planet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker.”

George Lucas created the desert planet for the first Star Wars film in Tunisia and returned there for Return Of The Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith.

Principal photography is rumored to start on May 14 in Morocco.

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Fey And Poehler To Play Sisters In THE NEST

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Rich Drees

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Between their work on Saturday Night Live, hosting the Golden Globes and the film Baby Mama, comic actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have shown that they share a great comic chemistry. Now the two will be bringing that back to the big screen in the film The Nest.

Fey signed on to the project late last year and now Deadline is reporting that Poehler is in final negotiations to join the cast of the Jason Moore-directed project. Former Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell is responsible for the screenplay, which tells the story of two sisters who return to the family home on the eve of it being sold for one last weekend of partying.

No word yet as to when the project will start shooting but I would surmise that it will shoot later this spring/early summer when Poehler is on break from her hit television series Parks And Recreation and will be released sometime in early 2015.

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