Chef trailer

Jon Favreau returns to his roots with the upcoming comedy Chef. He wrote, directed and starred in the film, which tells the story of a chef who tackles his own independent food truck after being unhappy with his more traditional restaurant job. The film is a far cry from Favreau’s latest work, the Iron Man films and Cowboys and Aliens. That’s surely by design. He hasn’t skimped on the talented cast, though, which includes Robert Downey, Jr., Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt,and Scarlett Johansson.

The film opens May 9, check out the Chef trailer below. Read More »

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Dustin Hoffman / Steve Buscemi / Method Man

Adam Sandler seemed like an unexpected choice when indie filmmaker Tom McCarthy cast him in The Cobbler, but what we didn’t know at the time was that he was just the beginning of a very eclectic cast. Downton Abbey‘s Dan Stevens was the next to sign on, and now Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi, and Method Man have all jumped aboard as well. Get plot details and more after the jump.

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Proving it’s never too late for fresh starts, Dustin Hoffman is embarking on a brand-new directing career at the ripe old age of 75. His first feature is Quartet, a gentle Brit comedy-drama set in a home for retired opera performers.

Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Tom Courtenay plays a trio of longtime friends and colleagues enjoying their golden years together at the facility, only to be thrown off balance by the arrival of the former fourth member of their singing quartet — a famed diva played by Maggie Smith. Michael Gambon also stars, as an opera director. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Dustin Hoffman has long been established as one of the most significant actors of his generation, but he has never directed a film until now*. His directorial debut, Quartet, is based on an acclaimed play by Ronald Harwood (who also scripted Hoffman’s film) and it stars some real luminaries: Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon.They play residents at a retirement home for retired opera singers. Seriously.

Given that plot you might expect something fairly arid and stodgy, but the first trailer for Quartet suggests that it is a pretty broad comedy with crowd-pleasing aims. The trailer promises a gentle, slightly cheeky good time, and it’s a nice breath of comedy to kick off this light holiday week. Check it out below.

Edit: Apologies, but we’ve had to pull the embed.

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There’s plenty of good stuff in today’s TV Bits, including new trailers for HBO’s Luck and Showtime’s House of Lies, which I’m hoping will help the one bit of really bad news go down a bit easier: NBC’s benching its highly praised but under-watched Community. After the jump:

  • NBC puts Community on hiatus and picks up new show Legends
  • HBO’s Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, gets a trailer
  • Showrunner Matthew Weiner reveals how he wants AMC’s Mad Men to end
  • Showtime renews Weeds and drops a teaser for House of Lies

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Though the small screen retains an unfair reputation as a lesser medium — think of all the snobby types who’ll brag about not owning a television, but would never be so dismissive about books or movies — the truth is that the medium varies as much as any other. Today’s TV Bits runs the gamut from highbrow (a literary adaptation on HBO) to lowbrow (a modeling industry reality show on The CW), with plenty of stuff in between. After the jump:

  • Noah Baumbach’s Jonathan Franzen adaptation The Corrections is a go at HBO
  • HBO will offer an early look at its highly anticipated Luck next month
  • Fox puts new eps of Alcatraz on hold while it goes back for reshoots
  • Burt Reynolds signs on to guest star on FX’s Archer
  • Summer Glau joins Tricia Helfer on TNT’s Scent of the Missing
  • The CW announces start dates for its midseason shows

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Michael Mann (Heat) and David Milch (Deadwood) have collaborated on Luck, a new HBO series that takes place in the world of horse racing. Dustin Hoffman plays what looks like this series’ rough equivalent to Al Swearingen, and Nick Nolte, Richard Kind, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Joan Allen, Ian Hart, Kevin Dunn, Kerry Condon, Tom Payne and Patrick J. Adams all have roles.

We saw a brief bit of footage back in April thanks to an in-production featurette. Now we’ve got the real, if all-too-brief teaser trailer for the series. As you’d hope for a show created by Mann and Milch and featuring that cast, Luck looks pretty fantastic. Check it out below. Read More »

Whitney Houston is set to return to the big screen for the first time in 15 years for Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 drama based on the real-life tale of Diana Ross and The Supremes (yes, kind of like Dreamgirls, only Sparkle came first). The story follows the rise and fall of fictional girl group Sister & the Sisters, the members of which find their personal lives falling apart even as their act reaches ever higher levels of fame and success.

Houston, who’s also set to executive produce, will play the “not-so-encouraging” mother of the girls in the band. Houston has actually been attached to the project since back when it was supposed to star Aaliyah, who passed away in 2001. Also in the cast are Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut in the title role, and Mike Epps in the part of destructive comedian Satin. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is set to direct the feature from a script by his wife Mara Brock Akil. [Movieline]

After the jump: Dustin Hoffman snags some fine British talent (including two notable Harry Potter actors) for his directorial debut, and Twilight star Ashley Greene signs on for a weird, “ultra-modern” version of a Charles Dickens classic.

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