Film penned by Diablo Cody imagines YA writing as refuge for the regressed
Michael Fassbender seduces as repellent seducer in Steve McQueen's second film
Someone wiser than I am pointed out that the best reason "Trainspotting" worked as the greatest-ever film about drug addiction was specifically because it took great pains to convey the kick, the high and the fun alongside the crash, the low and the doom. You could argue that Steve McQueen's "Shame" -- reuniting him with Michael Fassbender from "Hunger" -- does the same for sex addiction. Fassbender is Brandon, a young and well-off New Yorker whose life is controlled by sex -- not just having it, but, worse, the hint of it in the air. Much like a shark can sense a drop of blood in the ocean, Brandon can pick out notes of want in the seething humanity of Manhattan.
And let us make no mistake; there is something powerful and unrelentingly cruel in "Shame." The film begins with 19th-Century classical music, intercut with the tickticktick of a clock as time runs by fast. Brandon has a seemingly comfortable life -- it's only later we glimpse how his problems really aren't hidden at all from anyone else in his world -- that's disrupted by the arrival of his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), just back from L.A. and looking for a place to crash. There's something going on between the two -- some sense of past tragedy or the jagged pieces of something broken long ago hidden under a thick woolen blanket of not talking about it -- and they alternate between comforting and confronting each other.
Reunites with Quentin Tarantino for fifth time
The film will ostensibly star Jamie Foxx as an escaped slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter ("Inglorious Basterds'" Oscar-winning Christoph Waltz) to take revenge on a sadistic plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Jackson will play one of DiCaprio's henchmen, presumably one with a filthy vocabulary and a penchant for mangled Biblical quotations.
Was this casting preordained? (No. Maybe. Yes.) Can Tarantino make a movie without his BFF Jackson? (Yes, though it's not recommended.) And can anyone scream profanity with more righteous conviction? (No, seriously. Can anyone?)
Such are the luxuries afforded celebrity
For many of her longtime fans—and even those who have only seen her righteous cameo in "The Blues Brothers"—the idea of a Franklin biopic is long overdue. While fellow musical titans Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and Elvis Presley have all received the biopic treatment, all were sadly posthumous. Hopefully the Queen can avoid such a fate.
Although the subject of casting has come up repeatedly in recent months, Franklin has remained adamant that Halle Berry get the role, most recently reiterating said desire to the The Hollywood Reporter. While she would seem a fine if somewhat obvious choice, Ms. Berry for her part has always expressed a certain reluctance, expressing the (perhaps valid, perhaps irrelevant) concern that she can't carry a tune.
What do you think, Hitlisters? Would Halle Berry be good as Aretha Franklin, assuming she lip-syncs all the songs? Whom else could tackle such a charismatic figure? We're as big fans of Queen Latifah as anybody, but she might lack the dramatic chops. Is it important for the actress to be a good singer? Any other suggestions? Are you as genuinely enthusiastic about this film as we are? And, most importantly, who should play me in the movie about my life?
Sylvester Stallone aims high, shoots for the stars
Sylvester Stallone has told Entertainment Weekly that he is actively trying to lure Nicolas Cage and John Travolta into adding some well-needed respectability and Oscar-nominee gravitas to "The Expendables 2." Wait, sorry, we misread that. We meant "unhinged craziness, plus the John Woo-trained ability to convincingly wield dual Berettas." (For those who haven't seen it, "Face/Off" is a modern classic.)
What's next? A crossover with the cast of "Fast Five?" Why leave the younger generation out of the fun, after all? We can't be the only people who want to see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Vin Diesel matching gravelly baritones with Mr. Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Who else do you want to see in "The Expendables 2?" (Also realize that by the time you think of anything, there's a 50% chance it will have already happened.) Should Nicolas Cage and director Simon West recruit their old "Con Air" buddy John Cusack? How about Tom Cruise? (Why not?) Ving Rhames? Robert DeNiro? Morgan Freeman? The entire cast of "RED?"
As always, leave your suggestions in the comments.
The makers of 'The Matrix' decide to look into long-term reincarnation
Casting continues on the director's star-studded follow-up to star-studded bore 'The Conspirator'
Kenneth Branagh directs the big screen debut of the Viking Prince of superheroes - MSN has an exclusive clip
See an MSN exclusive clip with Kenneth Branagh and Chris Hemsworth from the Blu-ray supplements below.
The story of the big-screen "Thor" is the story of power, hubris and lessons learned when the might Prince Thor (Chris Hemsworth), son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), is stripped of his immortality and his magical hammer, Mjolnir, and banished to the mortal plane of Midgard (that Earth to you and me) when he starts a war with the Frost Giants. Which is in many ways a boilerplate retelling of a familiar story, with gods and robots and magic and science, not to mention a hunky goldilocks of a god and a spunky, cute as a button female physics visionary (Natalie Portman) playing at modern romance, to liven things up. A little, anyway, but not much.
Which is not to say that "Thor" is awful, simply uninspired, full of sound and fury and not much else. Hopkins can do regal grace and tortured tough-love imperiousness in his sleep and, practically buried in his flamboyant outfit, does so at times here. Hemsworth is an impressive specimen but not much of a presence and The Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Josh Dallas and Tadanobu Asano, struggling through his English dialogue) plus one (Jaimie Alexander as warrior woman Sif) are fun-loving comrades with generic charm. But it does offer a dimension of tragedy in the primal scream of little brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), god of mischief always in the shadow of golden boy and heir apparent Thor, confronting an identity crisis with a fierce plot and a heartbreaking endgame that, unfortunately, gets lost in the Earthbound politics (hey, it's S.H.I.E.L.D. on the spot once again) and weird god-versus-robot spectacle. And, of course, Kat Dennings as the saving grace of the mortal cast, her eyes lingering over Hemsworth's physique with a playful sexuality absent from Portman's performance.