So far, the footage we’ve seen from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has been, well, pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a movie called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The “secret history” of our 16th president’s double life as a hunter of supernatural monsters is a premise that’s deeply silly but potentially entertaining, and accordingly, the first trailers have been both kind of dumb and kind of cool.

But I do have one big quibble, and it’s that we haven’t seen nearly enough actual vampire hunting. Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) wields his axe pretty much constantly in the footage we’ve seen so far, but where’s the satisfying splatter of blood and guts? Fortunately, the new red-band trailer rectifies that situation, offering up plenty of bloodshed, several explosions, a couple of decapitations, and even a bit of what the MPAA might call “brief sensuality.” Watch the NSFW video after the jump.

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There are a lot of big, attention-getting films in 2012, and one that I forget about once in a while is Gangster Squad, the film in which Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer follows the efforts of a squad of LA cops (Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie) to stop the incursion of organized crime into LA, led by Sean Penn as famed mob boss Mickey Cohen.

A trailer has just been released for the film, and it looks like a good period cops and robbers story, bolstered by that cast into a level of quality that might let it sit alongside other period LA crime tales such as L.A. Confidential. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Anthony Mackie‘s one of those people that seems like he should be much more famous than he is. If you’ve ever seen his work, it’s obvious he’s got the charisma, the talent, and yes, the good looks to become a bona fide leading man. But while his Hurt Locker co-star Jeremy Renner’s been snapping up what feels like every franchise in Hollywood, Mackie’s yet to capture quite the same amount of attention. Happily, that’s starting to change, and it now looks like his next step toward the top will be a leading role opposite Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson in Michael Bay‘s Pain & Gain. More details after the jump.

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Yesterday we got our first look at footage for Timur Bekmambetov‘s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, scripted by and based on Seth Grahame-Smith‘s novel of the same name. Now we’ve got a trailer for international audiences that has a lot more footage, and also offers some dialogue from Dominic Cooper. Check it out below. Read More »

Our apologies. Even if you live in Los Angeles, posting about Jason Reitman‘s awesome live readings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is torture. The casts are so fantastic, the projects so good and yet it’s virtually impossible to go because they sell out so quickly. In fact, they sell-out weeks before the script or cast is even announced.

I was lucky enough to see The Princess Bride a few months back with Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, Patton Oswalt and returning cast members Cary Elwes and Fred Savage. Reitman has also done The Apartment with Natalie Portman and Steve Carell, The Breakfast Club with Aaron Paul and Jennifer Garner and more. It’s super-impressive.

The penultimate reading, long sold out, happens February 16 and it’s Quentin Tarantino‘s Reservoir Dogs. That by itself is insane. But instead of simply casting alternative famous people to play roles actors like Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth made famous, Reitman and co-curator Elvis Mitchell decided to change the entire race of the project. They’ve selected an all-black cast. Read the list after the jump. Read More »

As we head toward the Oscars and therefore the end of awards season, it’s time to take a better look at some of the films we’re anticipating from 2012. We have for you today an eclectic mix of photos from some of the entertainments we’re most looking forward to, from Gary Ross‘ deadly serious YA adaptation The Hunger Games to Judd Apatow‘s almost-middle-age comedy This is Forty and everything in between. Check out photos for those films plus The Gangster Squad, Men in Black III, and Frankenweenie after the jump.

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The theme of this Casting Bits seems to be “rising stars,” as All My Children‘s Ambyr Childers stakes out a spot in an all-star cast, War Horse star Jeremy Irvine leads a movie starring Britain’s finest, and Thor actress Jaimie Alexander signs on to co-star with the Governator himself. Read more after the jump.

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Ellen Page is in final negotiations to star with Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard in The East, Zal Batmanglij‘s thriller about a mysterious eco-terrorism organization called The East. Marling, who co-wrote the script with Batmanglij, leads as an undercover agent who infiltrates the group but then finds herself developing feelings for the group’s leader (Skarsgard). Page will play Izzy, a member of The East and Skarsgard’s ex, who becomes jealous of relationship between Marling and Skarsgard. Page replaces Felicity Jones, who had to drop out of the project due to press commitments for Like Crazy.

The addition of the Oscar-nominated Page should add even more buzz to a film that’s already been getting plenty of it. Marling and Batmanglij broke out at this year’s Sundance with Sound of my Voice, and True Blood star Skarsgard has a handful of interesting projects in the works. Page’s next big-screen appearance will be in next year’s Woody Allen-directed Bop Decameron, alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz, and Alec Baldwin.

The East is set to begin shooting in Nashville in October. [Variety]

After the jump, Anthony Mackie dreams up a new project for himself and Tom Everett Scott pairs up with Marisa Tomei.

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