Archive for December 17, 2011

Showtime Adapting ‘Animal Kingdom’ As A Series


Sullivan Stapleton & Jacki Weaver Animal Kingdom

Showtime’s upcoming slate carries a slew of ambitious new series that run the gamut from comedy and comic books to the more tried-and-true genre of the crime drama. Now, John Wells, producer of the dysfunctional family drama Shameless, is looking to bring another overseas success to the network by adapting the award-winning Australian film Animal Kingdom.

Released in 2010, the film focuses on a family of career criminals, based on the notorious real-life Pettingill family. In Animal Kingdom, Jacki Weaver headed a fictionalized version of the family with Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Thing), Sullivan Stapleton (Strike Back) and Ben Mendelsohn (Knowing, Killer Elite), while Guy Pearce (upcoming: MS One: Maximum Security) played the detective determined to bring them down.

The film was the directorial debut of David Michod (Hesher), and was ...

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FX Readies Late Night Series Starring Russell Brand


Russell Brand Late Night FX

FX has taken the first steps in expanding their programming schedule by bringing British actor and comedian Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) on board to host a string of late night, unscripted specials early next year.

While the network and Brand have not yet settled on an exact format, early reports are that the program will be taped in front of a live audience, with Brand essentially performing an extension of his stand-up routine, which is basically commenting on various aspects of current events, media and, of course, politics. Word is that Brand will interact heavily with the audience.

This will be old-hat for Brand, who, as mentioned, got his start doing stand-up, which then led to hosting gigs for programs like the British version of Big Brother as well as various duties on MTV. Following ...

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Movie News Wrap Up: December 17th, 2011


This week:

George Clooney gets Dangerously Funny; Denzel Washington Equalizes against Russell Crowe; All Is Lost for Robert Redford; Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace have a Passion for Brian DePlama and put the key in the ignition for The Driver.

1. It seems like George Clooney is going to keep making films with a political slant, the actor/director is set to turn the story of The Smothers Brothers into a film.

Clooney and his Smokehouse Productions partner Grant Heslov have teamed with Sony Pictures to adapt David Bianculli’s book Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story Of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour for the big screen.

The pair had a comedy/variety show on CBS which ran for 1967-69, which often took a liberal approach to politics – an approach which got them into trouble with President Nixon and then ultimately fired from CBS.

It’s too late to tell ...

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‘Lone Ranger’ & ‘Oldboy’ Casting Updates


james frain lone ranger mia wasikowska oldboy

Director Gore Verbinski’s classic western adaptation, Lone Ranger, and filmmaker Spike Lee’s Americanized manga re-interpretation, Oldboy, are both vastly different, yet similarly-controversial projects. The former has irritated people because of its confusingly massive budget and deviations from traditional Ranger lore; the latter has managed to anger people by simply existing.

Both films are nonetheless well on their way to becoming realities, seeing how Lone Ranger has nearly completed casting, at this point – and Oldboy is expected to finish up pre-production soon, in order to start filming by Spring 2012.

Heat Vision has learned that James Frain has joined the Lone Ranger cast and will portray a tough foreman who works for the villainous railroad tycoon, Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson). Frain’s resume includes a recurring stint as Paul Raines on 24, ...

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Have Your Say: Holmes 2, Mission 4


Two of the biggest movies of the season hit this weekend. In wide release on 3,700 screens is "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows", the much anticipated sequel to Guy Ritchie's adrenalin-injected tentpole reinvention of Arthur Conan Doyle's famed sleuth with Robert Downey Jr. reprising the role.

Reviews for 'Game' are only slightly behind the first film - 63% (6.2/10) for 'Game' vs. 70% (6.2/10) for the original on Rotten Tomatoes, 49/100 for 'Game' vs. 57/100 for the original on Metacritic. It's also behind the first with a $14.7 million first day haul vs. $24.6 million which the first Holmes took in on two years ago - though it had the added benefit of opening on the Christmas Holiday.

In a smaller but still substantial release are sneak previews of "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol". With 30 minutes shot in IMAX, 'Protocol' is only being screened on 425 IMAX screens for the next five days before heading out to an additional 3,000 on Wednesday. Around 10% of those screens also have the 6-minute prologue for "The Dark Knight Rises" attached which is a mini-event in itself.

Reviews for this fourth 'Mission' are amongst the best for any action film all year and easily trounce the three previous movies. On Rotten Tomatoes it scores a 95% (7.6/10) - the previous films in the series scored 61% (5.9/10), 57% (6/10) & 70% (6.6/10) respectively. On Metacritic it scored a 75/100 vs. the 60/100, 60/100 & 66/100 for the previous films.

Despite being on only around 1/9th the screens of 'Holmes', this 'Mission' came in third on Friday with $4.1 million on opening day. That equates to a $9,671 per screen average - in comparison 'Holmes' got a $3,970 average while second placer "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" landed a $1,826 average.

Now's the time to have your say - was Sherlock's second outing more or less fun than the first? Was this 'Mission' worth accepting? Did the 'Dark Knight Rises' prologue lead to a corresponding rise in your excitement? Please let us know below.

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