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  • The Playlist
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    Oliver Stone Reveals Sidney Lumet & Al Pacino Nearly Made 'Platoon'

    For director Oliver Stone, "Platoon" would mark the beginning of the meatiest part of the director's career. The Vietnam film, the first in a loose trilogy (followed by "Born On The Fourth Of July" and "Heaven & Earth"), made a star out of its young lead Charlie Sheen, and it went to the Oscars that with year with eight nominations, walking away with four wins including Best Picture and Best Director (not to mention that Stone's other film that year, "Salvador," also earned two nods). It would be Stone's second Oscar (he won for writing "Midnight Express" in 1979) and it established the writer/director as a major voice. But as he tells it now, he nearly didn't make the film.

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Guest Review: A Chessmate Movie for Women By Aviva Kempner

    One of the few times I played chess I lost in four moves. Humiliated I never tried again. After seeing Caroline Bottaro’s female empowering film, Queen to Play, I want to reconsider my easily accepted defeat and try all over again. Here is a film that lays out an unlikely scenario about a housekeeper Helene, (Sandrine Bonnaire) who views a glamorous hotel couple playing chess, and decides to learn the game. Maybe the sexy couple inspires her or she’s feeling ignored by her husband who stays out late with his friends. Either way she is compelled to teach herself chess.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    "Riddick" Threequel Is A Go! Shooting Begins This Summer.

    "GRRRR.. D T the writer/director just landed in New York with the good news. We can start filming this summer. However, there is a catch... in order for us to make a true R rated film, I must work for scale upfront. Not unlike the "Find me Guilty" experience (which I wouldn't have changed for the world)... Money is always second to art, integrity and spirit... but the real issue is deeper. Can I suspend my life, to momentarily venture to that dark place... called Riddick."

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  • The Playlist
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    'Out Of Sight' and 'Minority Report' Scribe Scott Frank To Write 'Houdini' For Francis Lawrence

    Considering that, in real life, the profession seems to fall somewhere between "repellent" and "unbelievably douchey" (see: David Blaine, Criss Angel), it's somewhat surprising how many magic-based movies we have going around these days. The 2006 double bill of "The Prestige" and "The Illusionist" was the peak of the genre, but recent years have also brought the animated "Illusionist," Guy Pearce in the little-seen "Death Defying Acts" and, later in the summer, David Tennant as a vampire-fighting trickster in "Fright Night," while an adaptation of the seminal novel "Carter Beats The Devil" recently got a new lease on life. Even Pixar got in on the act, with the short "Presto."

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  • Women and Hollywood
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    Trailer Watch: Claire Danes in Homeland

    Claire Danes takes the lead in the new spy show from the producers of 24. Will air on Showtime this fall.

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  • The Playlist
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    Stephen Dorff, Ray Winstone & Michelle Monaghan To Star In David Jacobson's 'Boot Tracks'

    Matt Dillon No Longer AttachedBeing cast as the lead in Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" didn't immediately seem to give Stephen Dorff the big career boost that he might have hoped, mainly due to the film being a hollow, tedious experience. But the actor, who for some time had languished in DTV hell, is certainly on the up, with roles in Tarsem's "Immortals" and the Emile Hirsch indie "The Motel Life" on the way, and it seems to have legitimized the actor as a leading man in the independent world again.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Mario Van Peebles Ties A Woman to a Chair in "Tied To A Chair" - Opening This Weekend

    Peculiar-looking film here which Mario Van Peebles and Robert Gossett co-star in titled Tied To A Chair, which I just learned opens in New York this weekend.

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    More: Trailer
  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    SIFF Weekend One, Day Three: A Quiet Life, Another Earth, Love, Pipe & Beautiful Seattle Weather

    Meredith Brody reports on the weather, LOVE, A Quiet Life, The Pipe and Another Earth at the Seattle International Film Festival:Nobody could stop talking about the beautiful spring weather Seattle was enjoying for the first two days of the festival (“after five months of rain,” Director of Programming Beth Barrett sighed at dinner last night). But this morning as I start to exit the hotel to trek to the Egyptian Theatre on Capitol Hill, I turn right around to go back upstairs and fetch one of the two umbrellas I packed – the heavy-duty one. There’s evidence of recent rainfall, and the day is gloomy and overcast.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Trailer For Documentary On Quentin Tarantino's Influences - "Tarantino: The Disciple Of Hong Kong"

    As Twitch notes, it's certainly no secret that Quentin Tarantino absolutely loves and has been influenced by Hong Kong martial arts cinema of years past (along with blaxploitation and more), particularly his love for all the old Shaw Brothers classic kung fu films.

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    More: Trailer
  • Shadow and Act
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    Watch: Mekhi Phifer in the American "Torchwood" Series Teaser

    Fans of the British sci-fi series Doctor Who and its spinoff Torchwood are facing the news of the pending American "remake" of the latter with mixed feelings (I know I am). I watched the teaser for the series this morning, and I must say it doesn't look bad. I'm intrigued enough to actually watch it.

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    More: Television