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Archive: August, 2013

POSTED: Friday, August 30, 2013, 9:37 AM
Director Ron Howard photographs the crowd at Made in America on September 1, 2012. ( MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer ) August 31, 2012.

It's likely festival-goers noticed a familiar-looking, bearded director surrounded by a camera-wielding entourage walking around Made in America's grounds last year.

That Jay Z "Made in America" doc directed by Ron Howard will not only premiere at one of the world's biggest film festivals this fall. It's going to infiltrate households across America.

Ahead of the music festival, which returns to the Ben Franklin Parkway over Labor Day Weekend, Showtime announced Friday that it will air the documentary on Oct. 11.

POSTED: Friday, August 23, 2013, 11:24 AM
Affleck played Marvel Comic's superhero "Daredevil" in the eponymous 2003 film. (Twentieth Century Fox)

Warner Bros. rocked the comic book universe today with its announcement that Ben Affleck has been cast to play Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, Gotham City’s cowled crusader, in Zack Snyder’s planned Batty reboot – and planned Batty team-up with Henry Cavill’s Superman.  The new film, which will pair the most popular and long-running DC Comic book characters, will also bring back Cavill’s Man of Steel castmates: Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

But wait, we’re terribly, terribly confused! How can Affleck be Batman, the Dark Knight? In 2003, the actor donned a deep-red superhero suit, playing Marvel Comics’ blind crime buster, Daredevil, aka Matt Murdock, in the Mark Steven Johnson-directed adaptation of the long-running Stan Lee-created comic. Affleck’s Daredevil co-stars: his bride-to-be Jennifer Garner, and Colin Farrell  as the super-baddie, Bullseye. So, not only is Affleck abandoning New York City, where Daredevil brooded and busted up mugs, goons and crazed supervillains, he’s jumping from Marvel Comics to DC. This is like crossing over into another dimension, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, a new Daredevil project is in development at Disney, where Marvel Studios is housed. Casting? What about Affleck’s old bud Matt Damon, or failing that, um, Casey Affleck?

POSTED: Friday, August 23, 2013, 8:40 AM
"Man of Steel" director Zack Snyder took the stage at the San Diego Comic-Con in July and revealed the logo for a new Superman film which will include Batman - the first time the two superheroes will be united on the big screen.

That rumor you heard of *surprise* Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman for 2015's Man of Steel sequel? It's true.

Thursday evening's near Internet meltdown - to be remembered as "Twitter's Dark Night" - after Warner Bros. announced that the 41-year-old actor-director will star as Bruce Wayne opposite Henry Cavill's Superman in the follow-up received a a range of reactions from Hollywood's elite. We highlight a few - in addition to other notable tweets, below.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 9:04 AM
Director Ron Howard photographs the crowd at Made in America on September 1, 2012. ( MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff Photographer ) August 31, 2012.

Philly's getting a double dose of love in Toronto.

The Toronto International Film Festival released its official schedule Tuesday, bringing the total number of films to be shown this year to 366, including 146 world premieres. Cory Monteith's final film, McCannick, which was shot in Philly and includes several local actors, was announced last week as part of the festival's offerings.

Now, the Ron Howard-directed doc - which chronicles Jay Z's inaugural Made in America festival on the Parkway in 2012 - will also mark its premiere at the star-studded 11-day film event.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 1:21 PM
Author Elmore Leonard smiles during a 2012 interview at his home in Bloomfield Township, Mich. Leonard, a former adman who later in life became one of America's foremost crime writers, has died. He was 87. (PAUL SANCYA / Associated Press)

“I never thought of him as any kind of super-intellect...He likes what he does. That’s the main thing.”

That’s novelist Elmore Leonard talking about Raylan Givens, the character he created and that Timothy Olyphant brought to life in FX’s “Justified.”

But Leonard, who died Tuesday at 87 from complications of a recent stroke, might easily have been talking about himself.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 10:18 AM
Elmore Leonard was honored in 2012 with a medal for distinguished contribution to American letters, joining a group that includes Arthur Miller and Toni Morrison. "I don't see any objection to my being on this list," he says.

Great American novelist Elmore Leonard, who passed away Tuesday after complications from a stroke at the age of 87, penned in 2001 for the New York Times a piece on the 10 rules of good writing. The following is an abridged version of Leonard's article. Read the complete piece, here.

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

"My most important rule is one that sums up the 10," he wrote. "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 9:48 AM
Elmore Leonard was honored in 2012 with a medal for distinguished contribution to American letters, joining a group that includes Arthur Miller and Toni Morrison. "I don't see any objection to my being on this list," he says.

Legendary Hollywood writer and crime novelist Elmore Leonard, whose "Fire in the Hole" inspired the popular FX series, "Justified," has died at 87.

According to Leonard's longtime researcher Gregg Sutter, who updated the author's Facebook page Tuesday morning, "The post I dreaded to write, and you dreaded to read. Elmore passed away at 7:15 this morning from complications from his stroke. He was at home surrounded by his loving family."

The celebrated author suffered a stroke three weeks ago.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 1:07 PM
Ashton Kutcher portrays Steve Jobs in the biopic about the co-founder of Apple. GLEN WILSON / Open Road Films

In the opening scene of Jobs -- the biopic of the Apple co-founder, billionaire tech entrepreneur and guy who had the dream of making it possible for people to walk down the street with their heads down and thumbs pressed on a tiny video keypad so they don't pay attention to where they're going – Ashon Kutcher takes the stage at an Apple town hall staff meeting.

It is 2001, and he is about to unveil something “insanely cool:” the iPod. Kutcher, a spring in his step, a stoop in his back, bearded and bespectacled, looks and sounds eerily like Steven Jobs, who was 46 back then – and who died a decade later.

In Jobs, in theaters now, Kutcher, 35, plays Jobs from the early 1970s up to that “1,000 songs in your pocket” New Millennial moment. It’s the kind of performance that, if it doesn’t work, it sinks the entire film – you have to believe that you are watching Jobs, or else, what’s the point?

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