Miles Davis

Miles Davis was among the most spectacular talents of the 20th century, fiery and commanding on stage, and fearless as a songwriter. He pushed jazz forward in ways that are incredible, coming from just one man. Offstage, his life was complicated, as his temper could be just as explosive as his music. He dealt with drug addiction and had complicated personal relationships with women, and with many figures in the music scene.

While Davis appeared as an actor in some minor roles (he was in Scrooged!), he has never been portrayed on screen in a major way. That will change when Don Cheadle stars as Davis in Kill the Trumpet Player, which will also mark Cheadle’s debut as a feature director. The film has been in development for years, but appears ready to shoot now, at last.  Read More »

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August Osage County header

Fall brings no shortage of star-studded prestige pics, but even in that crowd August: Osage County stands out. The John Wells-directed film stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts and Benedict Cumberbatch and Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper and Abigail Breslin (plus half a dozen others) which means we’re all but guaranteed to see it making waves during awards season.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, August: Osage County chronicles a family gathering in the Midwest. So the setup is fairly simple, but as anyone who’s ever suffered through an extended family trip can attest, it’s ripe for hilarity and emotion. A new trailer has been released by The Weinstein Co., and you can check it out after the jump.

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Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan

The gang at Latino Review are at it again. Earlier this week, they started a very interesting conversation with their belief a major Sith Lord would return in J.J. AbramsStar Wars Episode VII. Now they’re reporting that a very famous Jedi will return as well.
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Gwyneth Paltrow / Ewan McGregor

The Lone Ranger was a low point for Johnny Depp, but the actor’s already brushed himself off and moved on. Wally Pfister’s Transcendence is shooting now, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods enters production later this year, and he’s got David Koepp’s Mortdecai coming together after that.

The last film on that list got a nice shove forward last month when Depp started closing in on a formal deal after years of development. Now it’s picking up even more big names, as Gwyenth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor enter talks to co-star. Hit the jump for plot details and more.

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August Osage County header

August: Osage County, a Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony award winning play, is hoping to become a multiple Oscar-winning film. Directed by John Wells (The Company Men), the film has one of the most impressive dramatic casts in recent memory: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregorBenedict Cumberbatch,Margot MartindaleChris Cooper, Dermot MulroneyJuliette LewisAbigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. They’ll bring to life a story about a group of young women forced to go home and deal with their parents. A simple story to be sure, but a powder keg for emotion and drama.

Don’t believe me, though. Check out the trailer and poster for the November 8 release.  Read More »

Jack the Giant Slayer 7

Jane Got a Gun has changed so much in the last couple months that I don’t have any idea what to expect at this point. Original director Lynne Ramsay departed right on the eve of shooting (and still hasn’t spoken publicly about the reason for doing so) and that began a cycle of cast changes that continues weeks later.

Last week Bradley Cooper walked away from playing the film’s bad guy, reportedly because of scheduling conflicts with David O. Russell’s American Hustle, and his generally busy schedule. Indeed, Russell’s movie was thrown into a bit of chaos thanks to the Boston Marathon bomber manhunt, and so that’s a plausible reason. But after all the upheaval on the western that is now being directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) it’s somewhat difficult to imagine that scheduling was the only issue.

Regardless, Ewan McGregor has now stepped in to play the leader of a gang of outlaws. Among the gang was the husband of Jane (Natalie Portman), but he leaves the gang and heads for home, leading her to recruit an old flame (Joel Edgerton) to help defend her homestead in case the outlaws come calling.

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Now that a director’s been locked in for Episode VII, the big question is who’ll get to star in it. And that’s what today’s Star Wars Bits is all about. After the jump:

  • Disney CEO confirms the original trio is in talks to return
  • Billy Dee Williams has also been asked to come back
  • Warwick Davis is “definitely” looking to do more Star Wars
  • New details revealed for Star Wars: First Assault game
  • Eli Roth, JGL, Mila KunisStanley Tucci and more weigh in

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In Jack the Giant Slayer, Bryan Singer engages in the time-honored tradition of taking a classic fairy tale and reshaping it to fit the times. Current trends being what they are, that means turning the film gritty and (relatively) realistic, with plenty of Lord of the Rings-style action.

Screenwriters David Dobkin and Darren Lemke take the basic touchstones of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk — the poor farm boy, the magic beans, the scary giants — but introduce several brand-new elements to the story. In this version, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) heads upward to rescue a beautiful princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) and stop her evil betrothed (Stanley Tucci) from taking over the kingdom. It’s a version of Jack that’s never been told in all the centuries that the character has been around. So why does it all feel so tiresomely familiar?

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