While it wasn’t a universally lauded smash on the order of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Robot & Frank proved a minor hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival thanks to strong central performances and a fun premise. Frank Langella plays the titular Frank, an elderly crank whose grown children (Liv Tyler and James Marsden) become concerned over his growing inability to take care of himself.

In an attempt to deflect some familial responsibility, Frank’s son gets him a robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) who’ll look after him. Following classic buddy-comedy form, Frank initially despises the thing before he eventually develops a rich friendship with it. The twist? Frank is a retired jewel thief who trains Robot to help him get plot a multi million-dollar heist. Susan Sarandon also stars, as a librarian with a soft spot for Frank. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Could romcom queen Kate Hudson be branching out at last? Earlier this week, she signed on for her first animated feature in DreamWorks’ Me & My Shadow, and she’s now gunning for action stardom with Everly. Joe Lynch (Knights of Badassdom) will direct from a 2010 Black List script by Yale Hannon. Hudson will play a woman trapped in her apartment as she fends off attacks from assassins hired by her ex, a ruthless mob boss.

Hudson is best known for her romantic comedy roles, like last year’s Little Bit of Heaven and Something Borrowed, but her upcoming slate shows a little more variety. In addition to Me & My Shadow and Everly, she also has Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist due out next year.

After the jump, Piper Perabo fights a bear and Common does magic.

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Liam Neeson may need nothing more than broken minibar bottles to face off against a wild wolf in The Grey, but I doubt even he could go hand-to-hand with a 700-pound grizzly bear all by himself. No, to battle a creature that big, you’d need at least three people — like, say, James Marsden, Thomas Jane, and Billy Bob Thornton. The three actors are now set to star in a man vs. thriller titled Red Machine, from Saw V director David Hackl. More details after the jump.

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Why is Stellen Skarsgard unsatisfied with The Avengers? Want to see Brett Ratner dressed up as Wolverine? What does Hans Zimmer have to say about his Catwoman theme in The Dark Knight Rises? Does James Mardsen want to play Cyclops again? Which prop from The Avengers is Tom Hiddleston‘s favorite? Would you like to see some new photos from The Amazing Spider-Man? What is the name of Stan Lee‘s new comic character? How much would you spend on a Bane mask from The Dark Knight Rises and what does a baby doll look like dressed as The Joker from The Dark Knight? Read about all of this and much more in the biggest Superhero Bits to date. .

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I’m going to have to hold my thoughts on this footage for Rod Lurie‘s remake of the landmark Sam Peckinpah film Straw Dogs, because after watching the trailer a couple times I’m still second-guessing what the intentions are.

What I can see is that this trailer is selling a very straight-up thriller, in which James Marsden and Kate Bosworth (both looking better than I expected — this might be a career high for Kate Bosworth, not that such a thing means much) have to deal with the advances of a bunch of tough rednecks when they move back to her hometown in Louisiana. The trailer gives most of the structure of the film away — basically two acts of intimidation followed by one extended siege setpiece — but doesn’t really give away what the movie is doing. So is it really a straight thriller? I doubt it, because that’s not in the DNA of Peckinpah’s original, and I suspect Rod Lurie’s plans to remake the film were more ambitious than delivering a mere thriller.

Check the trailer after the break and see what you think. Read More »

When Hop came out last month, bringing James Marsden back into the public eye, I wondered one thing: where the hell is Straw Dogs? Rod Lurie scripted and directed a remake of Sam Peckinpah‘s polarizing film nearly two years ago, putting the movie into production in late 2009. Doing so attracted no small amount of negative attention, as the original film was one which sharply divided audiences but stands as one of Peckinpah’s most significant achievements. How does one make a new version, especially with James Marsden standing in for Dustin Hoffman? (No offense to James Marsden, but some simple truths must be faced, and one is that very few actors are equal to a young Dustin Hoffman.)

We’ve not seen any footage from Straw Dogs, and in fact we’ve had a peek at barely any materials at all. So here are some of the first real images from the movie. They’re not wildly exciting — neither will give you any idea of how Rod Lurie has actually handled the remake — but they serve to remind us that the movie does in fact exist. Read More »

Briefly: Hopefully we’ll be all done with the casting updates for The Three Stooges by later this week. Our last update was that Will Sasso was looking like a lock for one role, with Moe and Curly as the 50/50 split for his choice. Curly was the obvious way to cast him, and that’s where Peter and Bobby Farrelly have gone.

So that’s one down, and with Will Sasso set as Curly, the Farrellys are free to cast the other Stooges. Word is they’re looking at Hank Azaria and James Marsden. Read More »

‘Hop’ Trailer #3

Universal Pictures’ Illumination Entertainment (the guys behind the computer animated feature Despicable Me, have released a third movie trailer for the upcoming Russell Brand Easter Bunny comedy Hop. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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