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  • The Playlist
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    'Training Day' Scribe David Ayer Developing HBO Show; J.J. Abrams Sets Up Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Show At NBC & More

    With Michael Mann and David Milch's HBO show "Luck," which features filmic talent like Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Michael Gambon and Joan Allen, among others, being picked up for a second season only days after the first episode aired, the spate of cinematic types dipping their toe into television shows no sign of letting up, particularly as it's currently the time of year where networks are comissioning pilots. And as such, there's a brace of TV news from the last few days featuring names best known for their big-screen work.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Release Date For "Sparkle" Remake Gets Pushed Back

    Originally slated to open on August 10, 2012, the release date for Sony Pictures' Sparkle remake, which stars Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Derek Luke, and Mike Epps, shepherded by Salim and Mara Brock Akil, (with original music composed by R. Kelly), has been pushed back a week to August 17th, 2012 instead.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: 9 Minute Preview & 3 Clips Of Chris Pine, Tom Hardy & Reese Witherspoon In McG's 'This Means War'

    Picking a Valentine's Day movie is always a tricky thing: do you pander to marketing and go with something love-themed, or do you just pick something you both want to see? The correct answer is always "find somewhere playing 'Casablanca,' " but in lieu of that, the studios have lined up a wealth of options -- Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams in "The Vow" for the more romantically-minded, or Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in action mode in "Safe House," both of which open this Friday, just in time for Valentine's Day.

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  • The Playlist
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    Eli Roth To Star, Selena Gomez To Cameo In Earthquake Thriller 'Aftershock'

    It was well over a year ago that word first arrived that Eli Roth was lending his producing powers to a couple of genre flicks: "Clown" based on a fake movie trailer from commercial directors Jon Watts and Christopher D. Ford and "Aftershock," a high-octane horror-thriller set during the aftermath of the February 27, 2010 Chilean earthquake. And then, not much else was heard of since. Well, with buyers now headed to Germany for the Berlin Film Festival, one title already has several interested suitors fighting each other to snag the rights.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    A Shadow & Act Chat w/Pan African Film Festival Founder/Director Ayuko Babu

    The Pan African Film Festival begins this week in Los Angeles with an eclectic lineup of films from across the Diaspora scheduled to screen this year, its 20th anniversary by the way; and I'm looking forward to finally seeing a number of films we've covered here on S&A that'll be making their world premieres at the festival, like Russ Parr's The Under Shepherd, Philippe Niang's Toussaint L'Ouverture, and Neema Barnette's On The Seventh Day; as well as films that have screened previously elsewhere but that I'll be seeing for the very first time like Alfons Adetuyi's High Chicago, Bill Duke's Dark Girls, and several other titles. 

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  • The Playlist
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    'Safe House' Director Daniel Espinosa Talks The 'Snabba Cash' Trilogy, Zac Efron Leading The Remake & His Comic Book Faves

    Hollywood came calling after Swedish director Daniel Espinosa made waves with his Swedish crime drama "Snabba Cash" ("Easy Money") -- and now he makes his English-language debut with this week's "Safe House," starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. But what of the films he almost made along the way instead?

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  • ReelPolitik
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    Will "A Separation" Oscar Win Hurt or Help Iranian Cinema?

    It's practically a forgone conclusion that "A Separation," Asghar Farhadi's incisive examination of domestic and class struggle in Iran, will win the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the forthcoming Oscars. As I've mentioned before, the film reveals universal truths about fidelity and concealing it that transcends borders, and as of last weekend, I believe the movie became the top-grossing Iranian film in the U.S. ever (CORRECTION: Not yet, it's still got half-a-million to go to beat Majid Majidi's 2000 release "Color of Paradise"). It's a strong film, worthy of its screenplay nomination, as well, and by all measures, such success and accolades should be cause for celebration in the Iranian film industry. But it's not.

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  • The Playlist
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    'Book Of Mormon' Star Josh Gad Will Play 'The Game' With James Franco

    Exactly a month ago today we were talking about James Franco taking the lead role in "The Game," the latest project from the writing and directing pair Brian Koppelman and David Levein (who also penned "Ocean's Thirteen" and "The Girlfriend Experience" for Steven Soderbergh). The film will be based on Neil Strauss' autobiographical bestseller which follows the author's experiences infiltrating the guys club world of pick-up artists. Franco will play Mystery, a sexual guru who teaches others how to transform from nerd to stud and use secret techniques to pick up women.

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  • The Playlist
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    Sony Pictures Classics Pick Up Acclaimed Sundance Drama 'Smashed' With Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Aaron Paul

    After the disappointing box office performance of last year's Sundance crop -- films like "Take Shelter," "Like Crazy" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene" all failed to live up to expectations, with none making more than $4 million -- it's unsurprising that buyers have been a little less trigger happy this time around. There have been plenty of major sales -- most notably Fox Searchlight's pick ups of "The Surrogate" and "Beasts of The Southern Wild" -- but over a week after the fest wrapped up, a number of major titles remain in play. For instance, most had pegged the starry, foul-mouthed comedy "Bachelorette" as the most likely pick up, especially in a post-"Bridesmaids" climate, but the film is yet to find a home.

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  • Caryn James
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    Lilyhammer: Take the Gun, Leave the Sheep's Head. Silvio Goes to Norway

    As Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a mob guy who has crossed too many people, Steven Van Zandt looks and sounds exactly like Silvio Dante, his character from The Sopranos, right down to the giant pompadour and petulant lower lip. The similarity is intentional and for a short time a problem. There’s a reason secondary characters are secondary. Much as we love him, do we really want a whole series about Sil? But as soon as Lilyhammer makes its offbeat swerve, this new series really takes off. Frank rats out his boss and asks to be relocated to Lillehammer because he remembers it from the ’94 Olympics as the land of beautiful snow and beautiful women. Suddenly he’s Giovanni (“Call me Johnny”) Hendriksen, importing his tough-guy ethos to Norway, and Van Zandt convinces us we do want to see what happens to Silvio in the gentle land of snow. It’s not always so different from hunting down a victim in the Pine Barrens, but this victim is a wolf. Not a metaphorical wolf, an actual animal.

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