Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 11:09 AM

When beloved Jersey boy James Gandolfini passed away in June of last year, he left a vacancy in the entertainment world that likely will never be filled. Still, though, we have one final film to look forward to from Gandolfini: The Drop, which released its first trailer this week.

Dealing heavily with the Brooklyn gangster underworld, The Drop features Gandolfini opposite Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy, the latter of which plays the bartender to Gandolfini’s bar owner. The pair allow criminal cash to flow through their bar, serving as a “drop” location for Brooklyn’s seedy underbelly. That is, until a stickup upends the whole enterprice, throwing Gandolfini and his loved ones into a hellish, criminal nightmare.

Shutter Island, Mystic River, and Gone Baby Gone writer Dennis Lehane penned the source novel, so expect this one to be similarly gritty—especially given that Lehane has worked on episodes of The Wire and Boardwalk Empire in the past. At one point in the trailer, Gandolfini says,  “When I walked into a place, people sat up straight, they noticed. I was respected; I was feared. And that met something.” So, let that set the tone for you.

POSTED: Monday, March 31, 2014, 10:42 AM

If nothing else, director Susanne Bier’s Serena proves that even movies with Hollywood megastars get stuck in development hell now and again. But with it’s 18-month post-production process recently wrapped, we’ve finally gotten a sneak peek at stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in what appears to be a 1930s Depression-era epic.

The new images of Serena come from unlikely sources, including a Hunger Games fan site and production designer Richard Bridgland’s official site. Given the number of images release combined with the choices of stars and locales shown off in them, we probably can expect a premiered date for this one soon—and finally. 

Serena follows Cooper and Lawrence as their characters, George and Serena Pemberton, attempt to establish a timber empire in the mountains of North Carolina. The full synopsis, as per a press release for the film: 

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 12:35 PM

As a movie with more than its fair share of outlandish scenes, Rocky IV is widely considered to be the most surreal Rocky movie in the series—and not the least because of the “Happy Birthday Paulie” robot. As it turns out, though, that robot was initially invented not to shepherd beers to Paulie, but to help treat autism in children. 

Invented by International Robotics founder Robert Doornick, the robot—dubbed Sico—was designed to give us more insight into autism, which in the 1980s was extremely under-researched. As we know now, Sylvester Stallone’s son, Seargeoh Stallone, is autistic, which is what brought Sico to the Rocky IV set in the first place. As Trivia Happy explains: 

“The story begins in the 1980s, when Doornick appeared on a talk show to promote his robot and discuss the work he'd done with autistic children. At that time, the disorder was even more enigmatic than it is today, and the idea of robotic treatment was literally years before its time. Still, Doornick believed, and still believes, that robots could communicate with autistic children more easily than people, in some circumstances. After the show aired, Doornick received an unexpected call. 

POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 10:51 AM

Yesterday, news outlets lit up with word that Philly favorite Bradley Cooper maybe, could, possibly take over Harrison Ford’s role as adventurer Indiana Jones in the fifth installment of the series pitched by Frank Darabont. The internet determined that was a lie.

Producers have since come out of the woodwork to deny the Cooper rumors, which the Latino Review published earlier this week. That, of course, is notable because Latino Review also fingered Cooper as Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. So, pretty good track record for them, but this past “exclusive” has been dismissed as “ridiculous.”

As per Frank Marshall, a producer on all four previous Indiana Jones films:

POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 11:18 AM
Filed Under: Celebrities & Gossip
Mark Wahlberg, CinemaCon 2014 Paramount Pictures Opening Night Event at Caesars Palace Resort and Casino (Judy Eddy/WENN.com)

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" star Mark Wahlberg has dubbed the upcoming fourth installment of the hit franchise the "biggest movie of 2014", months before it hits cinemas.

The "Fighter" actor is making his debut in the robot wars series, taking over for Shia LaBeouf, who played the lead role in the first three films. During a panel for the movie at the CinemaCon convention on Monday, Wahlberg teased Transformers fans by insisting the upcoming movie will be nothing like they've ever seen in the franchise before. Wahlberg explained, "For moviegoers all over the world, I guarantee this will take it up a notch. Michael Bay promised me it would be a very different, stand-alone movie, which it absolutely is. It is bigger and better than the other three combined. This will be the biggest movie of 2014."

His passion for the film didn't stop there, as he explained to the audience that he jumped at the chance to join the franchise because of its lasting legacy in movie history. He added, "I really feel like it is probably the most iconic franchise in movie history." Transformers: Age of Extinction" hits theatres this summer.

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 2:25 PM
Director Adam McKay will make the transition from comedies like 'Anchorman 2' with financial drama 'The Big Short.' (Photo via Getty Images)

Having already conquered the realm of fart jokes and non-sequitur gags in film, Anchorman 2 director Adam McKay has decided to broaden his range to include drama. Up next for McKay: The Big Short, a financial drama for which he penned the script.

Based on Michael Lewis’ The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, McKay’s latest project will deal extensively with the housing and credit bubble that burst all over us in the 2000s. Released in 2010 via Norton, Lewis’ The Big Short spent 28 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, so it was only a matter of time before it came to the big screen. McKay will join Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company for the film. 

“Michael Lewis has the amazing ability to take complex formulas and concepts and turn them into page turners,” McKay told Variety. “Plan B and I connected over that breathless quality the book has.”

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 12:53 PM

Ever since legendary stoner duo Cheech & Chong ostensibly hung up their roach clips in 1983 with Still Smokin’, pop culture has been stuck with lesser pretenders to the stoner comedy throne. This year, though, Seth Rogen might just be out of a job—that is, if the Super Troopers guys do their Cheech & Chong movie right. 

It’s not a remake or a reboot, and we won’t see anyone but Richard Marin and Tommy Chong reprise their roles as the quintessential stoner duo—or, at least that’s what Chong told weed-centric news outlet Celeb Stoner during a recent interview. With Super Troopers director Jay Chandrasekhar directing, this one’s bound to be in line with the canon:

"He's working a script right now for us," Chong explains. "We've had some preliminary meetings. It looks really good. It looks really funny. It will be about us going to a festival called the Burning Joint. All sorts of shenanigans happen. It's going to be a lot of fun."

POSTED: Thursday, March 20, 2014, 1:44 PM
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18: Author George R.R. Martin poses at the after party for the premiere of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Winter has been coming for a while now over in the Game of Thrones universe, but apparently it may be coming alongside what fans have long been hoping for: A full-length film. Or, rather, films.

Creator George R.R. Martin teased the possibility last night, saying to the Hollywood Reporter that he’s currently considering a shot at a GoT movie depending on how long the series itself runs:

“It all depends on how long the main series runs,” the fantasy author said. “Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger (in scope). It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know.“ 

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