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  • The Playlist
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    Have Jean-Claude Van Damme & Chuck Norris Officially Joined 'Expendables 2'?

    Duo Listed In 'The Expendables 2' Cast On Millenium Films' WebsiteCasting rumors have long been circulating for "The Expendables 2," with names like John Travolta, Donnie Yen and Taylor Lautner among those being linked to the action sequel. While none of these have been confirmed, the website for Millennium Films has posted a cast list for the high testosterone actioner, slated for release next August, and in addition to the returning cast, the two new names are ones we've heard about several times already: Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

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  • The Playlist
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    Telluride '11 Review: Glenn Close's Exquisite Performance Powers 'Albert Nobbs'

    The 19th century Ireland of director Rodrigo García's "Albert Nobbs" is rigid with insurmountable societal distinctions: every soul has his or her station firmly proscribed at birth, and escape is virtually unheard of. Against this stifling backdrop, García crafts an engaging, entertaining and enlightening piece of work that is richly dramatic and underscored by moments of wry, quiet humor. It doesn't hurt that, making good on all the pre-festival buzz, the film features Glenn Close in a performance that seems destined to earn her a sixth Oscar nomination and perhaps her first win (it would be well deserved).  She plays a woman who is passing as a man, the Albert Nobbs of the title. This she does in order to survive but also, perhaps, through careful planning, to find an unconventional way to fulfill closely held dreams and better her place in Irish society. As a butler in a Dublin hotel, The Morrison, Albert is precise, quiet, and as would be expected of one in that position, almost invisible. She’s frugal too; saving up money over the years with the goal of buying and running her own tobacco shop.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Eddie Murphy Might Host 2012 Oscar Ceremony

    Now remember I said Eddie Murphy may possibly host next year's Oscar broadcast. The official word is that next year Oscar show producer, director Brett Ratner who directed Tower Heist with Murphy and Ben Stiller, has been in talks with Murphy to host next year's show.

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    More: FYI
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Oscar Watch: Glenn Close Talks Gender Bender Albert Nobbs

    Albert Nobbs is a 30-year labor of love for Glenn Close, who won an Obie for Simone Benmussa’s 1982 stage play based on a story by George Moore about a straight woman who passes as a male butler in a Dublin hotel in order to survive. Ever since, Close has been trying to turn the story into a movie, and finally pushed it through with actors’ favorite Rodrigo Garcia (Mother & Child) at the helm, thanks to some Fort Worth investors who were impressed that Close had some of her own skin in the $8 million venture. The film shot in chilly Dublin in 32 days. "The story seemed so psychologically modern," says Close, who is radiantly happy as writer-producer-star of the finished movie. "There's a comedic element. I think of Albert Nobbs as a clown, comic and tragic at the same time. it's about people surviving poverty, what people will do to survive."

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  • ReelPolitik
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    In Hot Water: Will New Docs Help Save the E.P.A.; Renew Climate Change Debate?

    In Hot Water: Will New Docs Help Save the E.P.A.; Renew Climate Change Debate?

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Venice Reviews 2011: Soderbergh's Contagion is Alarmingly Believable Global Disaster Movie

    Venice Reviews 2011: Soderbergh's Contagion is Alarmingly Believable Global Disaster Movie

    Love him or hate him, Steven Soderbergh is back. Always willing to take chances and experiment, whether it meant getting kicked off Sony's Brad Pitt-starrer Moneyball or shooting the $60 million Che in two parts in Spanish, or The Good German in old-fashioned black-and-white, Soderbergh makes the movies he wants to see, the audience be damned.

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  • The Playlist
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    Carey Mulligan To Star In Nicolas Winding Refn's Sex Thriller 'I Walk With The Dead'

    If you need an indication that the colorful A-list cast of Nicolas Winding Refn's hotly-tipped genre noir "Drive" got on with the Danish filmmaker like a house on fire, look no further than Refn's next few projects for proof. Shooting next, the Bangkok-set neo-Western "Only God Forgives" will also star lead "Drive" actor Ryan Gosling (alongside Kristin Scott Thomas), the "Half Nelson" actor is also developing a "Logan's Run" remake with Refn, and there's even been talk of a romantic comedy for the duo that would be written by "Drive" heavy Albert Brooks.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

    Telluride Reviews: Payne and Clooney Score Big Wins with The Descendants

    Fox Searchlight's first trailer for The Descendants made Alexander Payne's return to the screen, after winning best original screenplay (with Jim Taylor) for 2004's Sideways, look like a well-meaning family drama. It's far more than that. "Alexander should make more movies," said George Clooney at the Telluride patron's brunch Friday. Of course he should, but this is the one he was able to get made, and it's well worth the wait. Clooney wasn't right for Sideways, but wanted to work with Payne, who gave him the script two years ago in Toronto. They were shooting in Hawaii by March. At the Q & A after the rousingly received first public showing at Telluride, Clooney admitted that he "worried about my ability to be such a schlub." While Payne deflected Clooney's compliments--"you write and you direct really well"-- he did admit: "I cast well."

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Trailer Watch: Gbenga Akinnagbe in Romantic Comedy "Brooklyn Shakara"

    Written and directed by Femi Agbayewa, Brooklyn Sahara is produced by Adam Pray. The film stars Gbenga Akinnagbe (HBO's The Wire), Ebbe Bassey (Nikyatu Jusu's African Booty Scratcher), Chike Johnson, Esosa Edosomwan and Rena Anakwe.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Telluride Day One: Brunch, The Artist, Pierre Etaix, Trip to the Moon, Becoming Bert Stern

    At the Telluride FIlm Fest, I'm tracking more mainstream titles that folks may actually see in theaters, while Meredith Brody is the lucky one who tracks the rarer events here.At the Press Office I run into assorted Festival attendees and guests; director/film buff Allan Arkush downloads an app called NeoReader that can scan a Nabokovian figure complete with butterfly net placed around the Festival to learn updates such as TBA slots and whether there are seats available or not in a screening. We run into Nick James, editor of the British Sight and Sound, who's here to receive a Special Medallion for a “hero of cinema – an organization or individual – that preserves, honors, and presents great movies.” He’s still vibrating from a first-ever trip through the desert to Telluride that included Monument Valley. Whereupon Allan shows him the shot of himself in Monument Valley that is the screensaver on his iPhone.

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