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Archive: July, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:10 AM
This film publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows Michael B. Jordan in a scene from "Fruitvale Station." (AP)

“The violence in this country, especially as it effects African-American men and boys, is not a problem,” Mayor Michael Nutter said last night at a screening of the new film, Fruitvale Station. “It is an epidemic, it is a disease…. We need to do something about it.”

Standing before a packed theater of invited guests from  Philadelphia youth groups, including the Mayor’s Violence Prevention Workshop, the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership and other city and community initiatives, the Mayor introduced the film – a wrenching dramatizion of the events leading up to the New Year’s Day, 2009, shooting death of Oscar Grant, a young, black Oakland, Calif., resident. Returning home from New Year’s Eve celebrations in San Francisco , Grant, 22, unarmed, was killed by a transit police officer on a station platform. Michael B. Jordan stars as Grant in the Sundance Film Festival prize winner.

Standing in front of the Ritz Five screen, accompanied by Gerard McMurray and Ephraim Walker, a producer and consultant, respectively, for the film,  Mayor Nutter offered  brief but emotional comments to the audience of  teens and city officials.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 2:44 PM
Filed Under: Celebrities & Gossip | Movies
Actress Brennan Eileen models clothes at a gala in Hollywood where stars wore original costumes in honor of the designers, Oct. 1982. (AP)

Oscar-nominated, veteran actress Eileen Brennan has died. She was 80.

The star passed away Sunday in Burbank from bladder cancer, Brennan's publicist confirmed to THR.

Brennan was best-known for her roles as a sweet Texas waitress in The Last Picture Show, and opposite Goldie Hawn as Army Capt. Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin (1980), for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. 

POSTED: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:16 PM
Filed Under: Movies
British actress Rosamund Pike arrives for the London Film Festival premiere of 127 HOURS, at a central London cinema, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. The festival runs until Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Jorge Herrera)

The Girl in Gone Girl has been found.

David Fincher already landed Ben Affleck to star in the film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel. On Thursday, THR reports the role opposite Affleck has been offered to British actress Rosamund Pike. She is expected to accept.

According to the media outlet, numerous actresses including Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman were considered to play the role of wife-gone-missing, though they were eventually ruled out based on "availability."

POSTED: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12:03 PM
Richard Cohen, president and ceo of Public Health Management, a fast-growing Philadelphia government health contractor, is moving 800 social workers and other staffers from the dowdy Atlantic building on South Broad Street to Comcast's former headquarters on Market St., the Centre Square East Bldg, 1500 Market St., in one of the biggest Center City real estate deals of the year and another sign of the weak market for Philly offices. This is Centre Square East in the middle. ( Clem Murray / Staff Photographer )

Movie-going residents of Center City and its burgeoning neighborhoods to the north and south have long bemoaned the shortage of serious film venues here. (Or funny ones, for that matter.)

Compared to New York, say, or San Francisco, Philadelphia is woefully underscreened. So, while we wait for the Philadelphia Film Society to finish its long and rocky rehabbing of the Roxy on Sansom Street, and for the new operators of the Prince to beef up its film programming (the 20th anniversary re-release of Steven Spielberg's Schindler’s List is set there for Sept. 12), it’s welcome news to hear that the folks at the Kimmel Center now have a real cinema on their hands.

The 650-seat Perelman Theater in the Kimmel’s Broad and Spruce Streets complex has been outfitted with a high-def digital video projection system with 3-D capability and surround sound audio. In cahoots with Sharon Pinkenson and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, the plan is to book major studio events, local filmmaker premieres, offer its screen up for film festivals and college and university programs, along with other public and private bookings.

POSTED: Thursday, July 25, 2013, 10:08 AM
Filed Under: Celebrities & Gossip | Movies
Jennifer Lawrence meets Jeff Bridges for the first time.

Although she's one of the world's biggest actresses with a recent Oscar victory and major film franchise sweep, Jennifer Lawrence still acts like a regular fan girl when meeting one of her all-time favorite actors.

In a video posted by Extra, the 22-year-old star spots actor Jeff Bridges from across the room at Comic-Con, gasps, runs one way, runs back, then proceeds to run up to him to say hello.

"Hi. I'm such a huge fan," she says in a breathless frenzy. "Oh my God. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for interrupting you. There's cameras everywhere."

POSTED: Monday, July 22, 2013, 9:31 AM
This publicity photo released by Lionsgate shows Jennifer Lawrence, left, as Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark in a scene from the film, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Murray Close)

The official trailer for the second film installment of the popular series, The Hunger Games, dropped Saturday at Comic-Con in San Diego.

Jennifer Lawrence returns as heroine Katniss Everdeen, who in the wake of her recent victory at the last Hunger Games has also awakened whispers of revolution in District 12 and beyond. Co-stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Lenny Kravitz are among the castmates featured in the clip.

The Associated Press reports more than 6,000 fans showed up to watch the trailer and listen to the film's stars discuss the dynamics of the movie. On the stunts performed for the film, Lawrence says the hardest one is "still just basic running." The actress told the room she has a running coach for the film series, but still runs "weird."

POSTED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 1:55 PM
Photo courtesy of Zeitgeist Films

Jason Osder spent ten years making Let the Fire Burn, a harrowing documentary account of the confrontation – and ensuing conflagration – between members of MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department, resulting in the death of six adult members of the Afrocentric back-to-nature organization, and five children.

The documentary -- which incorporates archival video from the MOVE Commission, police video, TV news footage, and a deposition interview with then 13-year-old Birdie Africa (now Michael Moses Ward), the sole child inside the MOVE compound to survive – premiered in April at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Now, Zeitgeist Films has acquired Let the Fire Burn for theatrical release. The indie distributor, with Hannah Arendt currently in theaters, will open Osder’s picture on  Oct. 2 at the Film Forum in New York.  The film will debut in Philadelphia and other markets in the weeks thereafter.  

POSTED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 12:18 PM
Actor Cory Monteith, left, and actress Lea Michele arrive at the Elton John Oscar Party in West Hollywood, Calif. on Sunday, March 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In my column for today, I talked to Josh C. Waller, the director of "McCannick," starring Cory Monteith, the star of "Glee" who was found dead in his hotel room last weekend. A coroner's report said that he died from a mix of alcohol and heroin.

Waller discussed how impressed he was with Monteith, never expecting the 31-year-old to bring the gravity that he did to the role of Simon, a street hustler recently released from prison, and tailed by David Morse's Detecitve Eugene McCannick.

A clip of the film was released online, and can be seen below.

About this blog
Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
Mare McKeever
Layla A. Jones
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