Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 2:49 PM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - After a long wait, StudioCanal has finally released the first trailer for "Serena," the long-delayed period pic starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

Susanne Bier directed the pic, which is set in depression-era North Carolina and follows a couple's life as they try to manage their timber empire.

The pic doesn't have a release date yet, but will bow at the London Film Festival next month.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 11:26 PM
Richard Kiel. (Screenshot from Happy Gilmore)

Actor Richard Kiel, best known for playing metal-mouthed James Bond villain Jaws, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Fresno, California. He was 74.

Kiel died at Saint Agnes Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez said. She did not reveal any further details on the cause of his death, citing patient confidentiality.

Standing 7 feet 2 inches (2.2 meters) tall, Kiel's imposing height made him one of the most recognizable villains in the James Bond film franchise, playing Jaws in 1977's "The Spy Who Loved Me" and 1979's "Moonraker" opposite Roger Moore's Bond.

POSTED: Saturday, September 6, 2014, 6:33 AM
Filed Under: Movies
A fan takes a selfie with Bill Murray following a screening of "Ghostbusters" at TIFF in Toronto, September 5, 2014. The Toronto International Film Festival declared Friday "Bill Murray Day" and called on fans of the quirky comedic actor to dress up as his beloved characters in a costume contest and see screenings of films "Stripes," "Groundhog Day" and "Ghostbusters." (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
Instead of a crown, Bill Murray wore a hunting cap, but the actor and comedian received a royal welcome at a question and answer session Friday as part of the Toronto Film Festival's "Bill Murray Day" celebration.

Fans flocked into the TIFF Bell Lightbox, spilling out into the aisles, to watch as the actor riffed, reminisced and philosophized alongside "Ghostbusters" director Ivan Reitman and "Scrooged" screenwriter Mitch Glazer, ostensibly the evening's moderator, but with Murray there's no riding herd.

They came wearing proton packs, ghostbusters outfits and t-shirts bearing Murray catchphrases from films such as "Groundhog Day" and "Caddyshack." There was even a baby outfitted in a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume -- "That's a good looking baby," Murray deadpanned.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 5:31 PM
Ricardo Darin (left) and Jérémie Renier walk the barrios of Buenos Aires in "White Elephant."

Argentina’s White Elephant, starring its country’s beloved Ricardo Darin, and directed by Pablo Trapero, traces the relationship between a shantytown priest nearing the end of his career and a young Belgian clergyman (Jérémie Renier, from In Bruges), whose non-traditional methods put him in the midst of a raging drug war.

Deemed the “film of the year” by Beatriz  Urraca and Gary M. Kramer, editors of the new Directory of World Cinema : Argentina (Intellect Books) , the 2012 release gets its Philadelphia premiere Friday, Sept. 12, at International House. Both Urraca and Kramer will be on hand to introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion.

In their essay at the begining of the extensive Director of World Cinema: Argentina book -- which also includes contributions from critics Matt Prigge and Carrie Rickey -- editors Urraca and Kramer compare White Elephant to Slumdog Millionaire and City of God for its unflinching look at the urban underclass, its sweeping realism and force.

POSTED: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 5:13 PM
Filed Under: Celebrities & Gossip
Brittany Murphy at the Happy Feet - UK film premiere in London, England - November 26, 2006. (Daniel Deme / WENN)

Brittany Murphy's father has blasted executives at America's Lifetime network for moving forward with a new movie about his late daughter's life and casting an actress who looks nothing like her.

Angelo Bertolotti admits he is "disgusted and outraged" by the unauthorized biopic, The Brittany Murphy Story, calling the project "trashy" and accusing TV bosses of "defiling the memory of my beautiful, talented daughter".

He rages, "Frankly, I am amazed at their audacity of calling it 'a true story' without conducting any research or consulting with any members of the family. The Brittany Murphy Story is an affront to everything my daughter was in real life. It's hideous, unauthorized and completely untrue."

POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11:50 AM
'The Choice' by Nicholas Sparks.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Ross Katz ("Adult Beginners") has come on board to direct the movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel "The Choice."

Sparks is producing with Theresa Park and Peter Safran. Production companies Nicholas Sparks Productions and The Safran Company ("The Conjuring") are producing and financing the film.

Lionsgate acquired the North American and U.K. distribution rights in June. The project is set to begin shooting in October in Wilmington, N.C.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11:22 AM
Nicole Kidman in 'Before I Go To Sleep.' (Photo via Clarius Entertainment)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Before I Go To Sleep" is a risky title for a genre exercise intended to keep viewers bolt upright in their seats, handing mirthful critics a ready-made punchline at the first sign of lethargy. The good news is that Rowan Joffe's adaptation of S.J. Watson's 2011 publishing phenom is far from a snooze; the bad news is that it's the film's escalating, po-faced ludicrousness that holds our attention. Starring a typically hard-working Nicole Kidman as a short-term amnesiac unsure whether she's being played by her husband, her shrink or both, With David Fincher's similarly targeted "Gone Girl" already siphoning its buzz, this dopey diversion will need the novel's fans to turn out en masse to avoid being forgotten by morning.

A planned Halloween release Stateside -- weeks after the film's Sept. 5 release in Blighty and elsewhere -- might lead auds to expect an out-and-out frightfest, but for the bulk of its running time, "Before I Go To Sleep" is more of a psychological puzzle picture, reserving the would-be white-knuckle stuff for its final few reels. If it still fails to stir up too many screams, that could be because the narrative's complex network of holes is so apparent by that point that any real sense of peril is hard to sustain -- despite the quivery efforts of Kidman, an actress who has long done hunted fragility better than just about anyone in the business. Having already impersonated Grace Kelly in one bad film this year, she has a second bite at the cherry here: Her vulnerable, terminally addled but resourceful heroine Christine Lucas is essentially a terrorized Hitchcock blonde in more sensible shoes.

There's a Cary Grant substitute, too, in Colin Firth's stiffly affectionate, not entirely forthcoming husband figure Ben, on whose dulcet tones it falls to provide much of the initial exposition. Christine, it turns out, has suffered from anterograde amnesia -- that condition, long beloved of screenwriters, that prevents the formation of new memories -- ever since nearly losing her life in a horrific attack several years prior. Every day, she wakes to become freshly acquainted with Ben and the moneyed, minimalist house they share in outer suburban London; whatever new information she gleans during the day is wiped clean by morning, as her memory resets to a 20-year-old state. 

POSTED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11:13 AM
An illustration from 'Esio Trot' by Roald Dahl.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - LONDON -- The Weinstein Company has taken all non-theatrical rights in the U.S. to Red Arrow Intl.'s "Roald Dahl's Esio Trot," which stars Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench. 

Dearbhla Walsh ("Little Dorrit") directed the 90-minute film, which was commissioned by the BBC and produced by Hilary Bevan Jones ("The Girl in the Cafe") at Red Arrow's Endor Prods.

Richard Curtis ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Love Actually") and Paul Mayhew-Archer ("The Vicar of Dibley") adapted Roald Dahl's story, which centers on Mr. Hoppy (Hoffman) and his ingenious plot to win the heart of his neighbor, Mrs. Silver (Dench), involving a cryptic riddle and more than a hundred tortoises. 

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