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 trailer for Contraband put me to sleep. How many times have we seen an action movie where a former crook is drawn back into the life he left to save his family? That, coupled with the January release date, usually a kiss of death, had me going into the Baltasar Kormákur-directed film with expectations suitably low. As it turns out Contraband, which stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi, has plenty of entertaining elements. It’s noticeably flawed but those problems aren’t fatal and you get exactly what you paid for. Two hours of forgettable, forgivable entertainment. Read More »

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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Here’s the trailer for Contraband, the remake of smuggling thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale and Giovanni Ribisi. Wahlberg plays a guy who escaped his former criminal life, but is drawn back into smuggling when his wife’s brother (Caleb Landry Jones, from X-Men: First Class) gets into trouble.

Baltasar Kormákur, an actor and producer on the original film, directs this version. Contraband looks just a bit more visually polished than the original, and sadly like a pretty routine thriller. Check out the trailer below. Read More »

‘The Rum Diary’ Poster: Here’s Where the Rum Went

In 2009, after spending several years in development hell, a film based upon the early Hunter S. Thomson novel The Rum Diary (a book not published until the late ’90s) went before cameras with Bruce Robinson (Withnail & I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising) directing from his own script, and Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart and Richard Jenkins starring.

The movie took months to film, and then many more months to secure distribution. It was only in February of this year that FilmDistrict stepped in to release the movie. The trailer — a lively, sometimes frantic, and fairly entertaining collection of footage — dropped not long ago. Now check out a poster for the film in which Johnny Depp essentially reprises his role as Thompson. Read More »

Here’s a lovers and spouses collection of casting news, leading off with a nice change of pace report of an actor being cast as the ‘love interest’ for a major actress, rather than the other way around. After the break you’ll find:

  • Matt Dillon will woo Anette Bening in Imogene,
  • The Killing actress Mireille Enos joins Gangster Squad,
  • Stephanie Szostak cozies up to Ryan Reynolds in RIPD,
  • and some of the Jersey Shore knuckleheads appear with famous fictional whackos The Three Stooges.

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Ruben Fleischer has assembled a fantastic cast for his third major studio feature, Gangster Squad, but recently he lost one key player. Bryan Cranston, originally cast as Texan cop Max Kennard, transplanted to LA and roped into the mob-busting gangster squad, had to drop out in order to do Ben Affleck’s film Argo. So we still win, as we’ll see Mr. Cranston in what might be a solid film.

But that left the Max Kennard role open, and now Robert Patrick is stepping in. Can I get a .GIF photoshop job of the T-1000 morphing from metal Bryan Cranston into Robert Patrick? Please? Read More »

We’ve got classic cops fighting notorious gangsters, giant mechs fighting notorious monsters, and a despot and his double fighting…um…the boundaries of comedy? Something along those lines. After the break, check out details of the following three recent casting breaks:

  • Giovanni Ribisi joins the impressive cast of Gangster Squad.
  • Rinko Kikuchi takes the female lead in Pacific Rim.
  • J.B. Smoove is added to The Dictator. Read More »
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