Paramount Pictures has begun test screening Martin Scorsese‘s Hugo, with screenings in New York City and Chicago. Like many of you, I’ve been anxiously awaiting this film. Not just because its a new Scorsese film, but I’m really interested to see what a master filmmaker can do with the 3D camera. Advance buzz coming out of the first test screenings is quite positive. Read the first spoiler-free reactions, after the jump.

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Project X

For a while now we’ve been hearing about Todd Phillips and Joel Silver-produced low-budget hard-R comedy film Project X. The project was set-up at Warner Bros with a $12 million budget, with Phillips serving as producer and creative godfather’ for commercial turned first time feature film director Nima Nourizade. The comedy follows three high school seniors who “throw a birthday party to make a name for themselves,” but  as the night progresses, “things spiral out of control as word of the party spreads.” Warner Bros has been test screening the film recently, and members of the recruited audience in attendance have been chatting it up on the IMDB message boards and twitter.

What did they think? Find out after the jump.

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We’ve got advance word today on two films. One, the prequel to The Thing, is an object of great curiosity to many fans of John Carpenter’s 1982 film, which stands as a benchmark for practical creature effects. The other, Joel Schumacher‘s home invasion movie Trespass, which stars Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage, just seems like an oddity at this point. Surprisingly, the word on both is relatively positive. Read More »

As the summer movie season rolls along and most of us anticipate films like Super 8, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Cowboys and Aliens, Entertainment Weekly suggests the movie of the summer might be Crazy, Stupid, Love. Yes, the cheesy looking romantic comedy starring Steve Carell as a newly single man who splits with his wife (Julianne Moore) and attempts to reenter the dating scene with the help of womanizer Ryan Gosling, who himself falls for a girl played by Emma Stone. That movie. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the film is widely praised with the headline “Best Romantic Comedy Ever Made (Recently)” and is favorably compared to Jerry Maguire and About a Boy. Read some of the quotes after the jump. Read More »

I was a huge fan/supporter of Jonathan Levine‘s 2008 film The Wackness, which premiered years ago at Sundance and got dumped at the box office by Sony Pictures Classics. Levine has had some tough luck in terms of distributors — his debut feature, the critically acclaimed horror film All The Boys Love Mandy Lane premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, yet has still never gotten a US release (both theatrically and even on dvd/blu-ray). But as they say, the third times the charm, right?

50/50 (originally titled I’m With Cancer) is an autobiographical story based on the experiences of Will Reiser, a producer on HBO’s Da Ali G Show and VH1’s Best Week Ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old who is diagnosed with cancer, and his sometimes funny “struggle to beat the disease.” The film, funded with Summit Entertainment’s giant pile of Twilight money, co-stars Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston. 50/50 won’t hit theaters until September 30th 2011, probably after a film festival run. We should see a trailer next week.

I’ve heard some amazing buzz about the film, and now I have something in print. /Film Reader Ben has seen a completed cut of the film, and has filed a reader review (much in line with what I’ve heard). Read his thoughts after the jump.

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Capone from Ain’t It Cool News has posted the first movie review of an unfinished 2D cut of Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Capone says that the threequel is “easily” the “best entry in the Michael Bay-directed franchise.” Be warned, the review contains a lot of plot information and character spoilers. For those of you who want a taste without any details, I have gathered a few choice excerpts below:

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Though Judd Apatow has only directed three feature films (with a fourth on the way), he’s produced enough hits that his name has become synonymous with a specific type of comedy. If something is hard R-rated, kind of gross but has a heart of gold, it’ll more than likely draw comparisons to Apatow’s work. The latest film to use this formula is one that Apatow actually did produce, the May 13 release Bridesmaids. Directed by Paul Feig, the film stars Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live) as a jealous Maid Of Honor and though Peter gave it a glowing review, I think his review underplays just how hilarious Bridesmaids is. It’s fantastic. Possibly the funniest film Apatow has produced yet.

Comedy doesn’t just magically appear in the theater that funny though. It’s a painstaking, horribly unfunny process involving timing, editing, repetition and – in Apatow’s case – a lot of test screening. In an excellent, in-depth interview Feig did with The AV Club to promote Bridesmaids, he revealed some interesting details about Apatow’s test screening process. Not only does Apatow record audience laughter for later playback, he’ll sometimes recruit two audiences to simultaneously watch slightly different versions of the same movie in adjacent theaters. Read Feig’s description after the jump. Read More »

David O. Russell fans the world over mourned last summer when he announced that he’d quit as writer/director of the political satire Nailed. After two years of production delays and shutdowns due to money troubles on the part of financial backer David Bergstein, Russell finally decided he’d had enough and backed out with just “one key scene” left to shoot. Although the film had a new owner by that point, Bergstein’s partner Ron Tutor, he and Russell were unable to reach an agreement. Tutor announced at the time that he still planned to complete the film with another director, and Russell gave a very polite statement wishing Tutor the best. And now it seems Tutor’s making good on his promise: last night, a select audience in Los Angeles was shown a rough cut of the movie. Read more after the jump.

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Early Buzz: A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D

A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D has begun to test screen in Los Angeles, and the first reactions have hit the web. Hit the jump to find out what moviegoers thought of an unfinished cut of the film.
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