Land of the Lost Evolves–But Just A Little

by Tippi Blevins April 29, 2008 11:11 am
<i>Land of the Lost</i> Evolves–But Just A Little

The fossil record is littered with examples of what a long, slow process evolution usually is: Around forty million years ago, wolf-sized whales were scampering around Pakistan on their furry little legs. For the reptilian Sleestaks from Land of the Lost, however, it took just over thirty years to evolve from guys in truly horrible rubber suits to...guys in slightly less horrible rubber suits.

Del Toro Already Caught Up In Hobbit Windstorm

by DeAnn Welker April 28, 2008 4:47 pm
Del Toro Already Caught Up In <i>Hobbit</i> Windstorm

Most Tolkien fans breathed a sigh of relief last week when it was announced that Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy director Guillermo Del Toro would direct The Hobbit. There were notable exceptions, but it was mostly a fanboy's or fangirl's dream come true.

Miley Cyrus Apologizes for Straying From Good-Girl Image

by DeAnn Welker April 28, 2008 2:22 pm
Miley Cyrus Apologizes for Straying From Good-Girl Image

Disney good girl hyphenate Miley Cyrus has kept bloggers busy lately, first with her racy (although, let's be honest: typically teenage) MySpace photos, then pictures of her baring her midriff while snuggling up to a boy (also a pretty typical teenage move).

But she finally figures she should issue an apology to fans (a rare move from an entertainer) after appearing "topless" in Vanity Fair, in photographs by Annie Leibovitz. Miley said: "I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed."

Italy is the Country for These Men: Coen Brothers to Open Venice Film Fest

Longtime Hollywood outsiders Joel and Ethan Coen are becoming as mainstream as Michael Bay these days. (I kid, of course, in comparing the intelligent, quirky writer-director team to the director-producer of Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Transformers.)

But they are gaining popularity outside of their loyal cult following. In February, they won three Oscars (and gave the most subdued speeches in awards show history); and it was announced today that they'll open the Venice Film Festival with Burn After Reading, starring some relatively unknown actors: you know, actors like George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Brad Pitt -- all of the actors who non-mainstream filmmakers are working with these days.

Baby Mama Wins Comedy-Heavy Weekend

by DeAnn Welker April 28, 2008 11:12 am
<i>Baby Mama</i> Wins Comedy-Heavy Weekend

It looks like most of the country trusted Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's comedy skills, and gave the terrible trailer for Baby Mama a pass, as the film raked in $18.3 million on 2,543 screens to open at No. 1 at the weekend box office. Not too far behind was Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, which took in $14.6 million on 2,510 screens.

It's a big win for Tina Fey, who proved she not only can create, write, produce, and star in the funniest comedy on TV, but that she can also open a movie at the box office -- even despite lackluster reviews. Turns out it paid to be a chick flick this weekend, as two-thirds of the moviegoers who turned out to watch Fey hire childish surrogate Poehler were women, while two-thirds of those paying to see Harold and Kumar take another trip were men.

Two Very Different Film Competitions

by Tippi Blevins April 28, 2008 10:41 am
Two Very Different Film Competitions

The Festival de Cannes announced most of its 2008 lineup this week. In a Moviefile entry last week, I mentioned that Hollywood expected to have a meager showing in the competitive portion of the Festival. One article said that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York might be the only entry, unless Steven Soderbergh could complete his mondo four-hour Che Guevara biopic under the wire. Soderbergh appears to have accomplished this feat, as Che is listed in the Festival's recently released press kit.

Snipes Sentenced to Slammer

by Tippi Blevins April 25, 2008 10:59 am
Snipes Sentenced to Slammer

For most of us, tax season is like a nightmare we finally woke up from and don't have to worry about for another eleven months. For Wesley Snipes, however, the nightmare is just beginning: The actor has now been handed a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion. Prosecutors argued for the harshest possible punishment under the law as a way to set an "example." What, because high profile tax crime cases are really making people think twice about not paying up? If that were the case, Snipes would have remembered Willie Nelson losing his property and his profits for a while in the 1990s and not gotten himself into this mess in the first place. Nelson himself would have remembered what happened to the infamous Al Capone and cut a check for Uncle Sam long before his troubles ever started.

I Hope Her Majesty Has Good Insurance

by Kasey McDonald April 24, 2008 4:15 pm
I Hope Her Majesty Has Good Insurance

In what has already been a bad week for the automotive stars of the new James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, it has just gotten a little bit worse. According to CNN, an experienced stuntman was seriously injured in a car crash while filming an action sequence in the same area of northern Italy where earlier this week a driver for Aston Martin lost control and dunked his auto into Garda Lake while en route to the 007 set. This time at least, mention of what happened to the driver came in the first sentence of the article. Sadly, he seems to be in much worse shape than the uninjured driver of the Aston Martin.

Blu-ray's Going to Cost Some Extra Green

by Kasey McDonald April 24, 2008 4:05 pm
Blu-ray's Going to Cost Some Extra Green

Get ready to get off your ass and march down to the video store again (at least those of you with Blu-ray players (to which I whine: lucky!)). Cnet blog Crave has reported that Netflix will begin charging a premium on accounts that rent Blu-ray movies. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reportedly said on a conference call that "consumers are used to paying more for high-definition." Hastings clearly hasn't met my boyfriend, who took a fine-toothed comb to the cable bill when they added a couple of HD channels to the line-up, muttering "So help me, we'd better not be paying for these..."

Ang Lee Going Gay Again

by Kasey McDonald April 24, 2008 1:45 pm
Ang Lee Going Gay Again

Dark Horizons is reporting that Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee will once again helm a movie portraying a gay main character, with the fairly awesome headline "Ang Lee Gay Again With Woodstock." The flick, fully titled Taking Woodstock and adapted from a 2007 Elliot Tiber book, tells the story of an in-the-closet artist who is head of the Chamber of Commerce in his small town. The town holds a yearly permit to hold summer music concerts, which he grants to the then-low key Woodstock festival to hold on his farmer neighbor's lawn. In addition to the Chamber job, the closeted main character also helps his Old World Jewish parents run their resort motel in the Catskill Mountains. (And yes, I'm actively refraining from making the requisite Dirty Dancing joke that immediately springs to mind due to my deep and abiding (and yes, adolescent) love for that movie.)

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