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  • The Playlist
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    'Larry Crowne' Media Onslaught Continues With Second Trailer

    Hopes To Corner Fickle Trekkie Crowd With George Takei Cameo "I told my agents that I wasn't going to play pussies anymore," Tom Hanks declared in a recent interview with W Magazine, and if this second trailer for "Larry Crowne" is anything to go by, we are in for a gritty, bone-crunching career makeover. Just kidding. It's a sweet, gentle romantic comedy co-starring Julia Roberts, with America's sweethearts backed up by an absurd coalition of talent, including Peter Scolari, Bryan Cranston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Wilmer Valderrama, Jon Seda, Cedric the Entertainer, Taraji P. Henson, Rami Malek, Malcolm Barrett, Maria Canals Barrera, Holmes Osborne, Pam Grier, Grace Gummer, Rita Wilson, Dale Dye, Bob Stephenson and...George Takei, though this writer would bet we've seen 75% of the performance of the latter in the trailer.

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  • The Playlist
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    Jody Hill & Irvine Welsh Teaming For HBO Version Of Hit Sundance Doc 'Knuckle'

    Network Also Planning Miniseries Version Of 'I, Claudius'Every so often, a documentary comes along that seems ripe for feature adaptation, and, as usual, it's snapped up speedily by studio executives. But for the most part ("Dogtown & Z-Boys" becoming "Lords of Dogtown" being the only exception we can really think of), the remakes never quite make it on to screens -- feature version of "The King of Kong," "Racing Dreams" and many others languish in development hell.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Emmy Watch: Shameless Cast Talks Candid Approach to Drunkenness and Sex

    Executive producer John Wells and cast members of Showtime’s Shameless convened recently for an Emmy season event in which the show’s frankness with regard to nudity and alcoholism were much-discussed. But there’s more than that to this adventurous new series, as Amy Dawes has discovered.“These are people who would be easy to look down on, except that they don’t look down on themselves,” said Wells at a panel following an L.A. Times-sponsored screening of Shameless last week. “They go out into the world and are shameless about who they are. In a similar way, we know no bounds about what we’ll do to get you to laugh or cry when you watch this show.”

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Gugu Mbatha-Raw Joining Danny Glover In New TV Series From "Heroes" Creator

    When this new series was announced yesterday, the news was that Danny Glover had signed on to co-star, alongside Kiefer Sutherland and David Mazouz, in the Fox TV drama pilot titled Touch, which is being written and produced by the creator of the once popular sci-fi TV series Heroes, Tim Kring.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Sundance, Redford and Fukunaga Tribute Satter on the 30th Anniversary of Institute Labs

    The Sundance Institute mounted an A-list fundraiser in the dark woods at Franklin Canyon last week, complete with music by Fitz and the Tantrums. Sundance founder Robert Redford gave his trademark speech--which he delivers charmingly--about how he saw the need to counteract the prevailing studio trends with a support system for indies, starting with mentor workshops that eventually lead to a place to showcase the work--the Sundance Film Festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Dense And Oblique, Monte Hellman's 'Road To Nowhere' A Welcome Return

    The reemergence of a well-respected filmmaker will always draw the eyes of cinephiles everywhere; these once-master auteurs come out of hiding, hoping to recapture the energy and attention they once had. "The Godfather" auteur Francis Ford Coppola is currently enjoying a second career in film, and though he isn't making serious bank ("Youth Without Youth" couldn't even muster up $250,000 domestically), his latest output is some of his best work since the early 1980s. Few are as successful critically as that, and though we all have our dream lists (this writer can't be the only one hoping for a new Nagisa Oshima), some filmmakers can't restart the fire they once had -- often it feels like they're trying too hard to either keep up with current stylistic trends or forcing out a passion that they no longer have. Either way, these artistic resuscitations are often only ever seen as complete travesty or modern masterpiece, regardless of how detrimental those extremist labels truly are. Which brings us to this unfortunate question: which camp does "Road to Nowhere" by Monte Hellman (director of the great "Two-Lane Blacktop," absent from features since 1989) fall into? Depending on your affinity for David Lynch/Claire Denis-type narrative puzzles, it could go either way.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Academy Presents 30th Anniversary Digital Screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark June 17 (UPDATE)

    It's hard to believe that I sat in a screening room at Paramount's New York headquarters 30 years ago to watch Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Needless to say, it blew my head off. I made my first trip to the west coast to interview producer George Lucas at his Lucasfilm headquarters in Marin, California, for Film Comment Magazine (the archives don't go back that far, alas). The Lawrence Kasdan/George Lucas/Steven Spielberg original turned into a blockbuster and spawned a franchise. The concept of remaking a 40s adventure serial was novel; so was producing an action-packed period romantic comedy (with 6,000 live reptiles). And Harrison Ford nailed Indiana Jones, needless to say.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Craig Brewer Says He's Sensitive To The Racist Elements Of The "Tarzan" Story He's Adapting

    Talking to Collider about all his upcoming projects, including the Tarzan reboot I've mentioned twice on this site, Hustle & Flow/Black Snake Moan director, Craig Brewer had this to say, with regards to the sensitive, potential explosive racial nature of the material... “I don’t want to give too much away of what I’m doing, but that is something I have thought about, and something I am addressing, and I can just say that “Tarzan” is a love story really, the movie I want to tell, that’s on the backdrop of this adventure, where Tarzan has to reconnect to his love, Jane, and to Africa itself. I know there’s probably going to be some concerns, in terms of racial attitudes toward the original films, and towards the books, but it’s territory that I’ve been in before… I don’t want to say I’m comfortable in it, because I think it’s best to stay a little uncomfortable, and be mindful of things that need to be sensitive, but I think it’s important to tell a great story from one of the most famous literary characters of all time.”

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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  • The Playlist
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    Paul Rudd Is A Smiley Moron In First Poster For 'Our Idiot Brother'

    Even though the film received respectful, rather than rave, reviews on its Sundance bow (our own review was one of the more positive), you can't cast Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Rashida Jones, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, T.J. Miller, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn in a comedy together without leaving us begging to see the finished film, and that's why we've been firmly looking forward to "Our Idiot Brother" all year long.

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