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At this point you probably have a pretty good handle on the style of a Paul WS Anderson movie — he turns out one b-movie after another that use affordable effects, attractive stars and genre concepts to lure in audiences. And the audiences always seem to show up, making Anderson one of the more reliable directors from a business perspective.

Here, he changes things up a bit for Pompeii. The attractive cast is there (Kit Harinton, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paz Vega) as are the big digital effects and gritty but pretty violence. But there’s also a real historic backdrop — the destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii after the explosion of the volcano Vesuvius — giving the story a real weight. Will it work? Get some idea via the new trailer below. Read More »

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Jared Harris Mad Men

Mad Men and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows star Jared Harris has just been cast in Gil Kenan‘s upcoming remake of Poltergeist. That piece of information has two deeper layers of meaning. First, it’s a good week to be Jared Harris. The actor was also just cast in Guy Ritchie’s The Man of U.N.C.L.E. Second, Harris is playing the host of a fictional TV show called Haunted House Cleaners, which shows a pretty major deviation from Tobe Hooper’s original film.

Nicholas Braun, who appeared in Red State, is also in talks to join the film along with co-star of The Following, Kyle Catlett. Rosemarie DeWitt and Sam Rockwell will star.

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Briefly: While Jared Harris may be best known for his role as Lane Pryce on Mad Men, Guy Ritchie turned to the actor when it was time to bring the evil Moriarty to life in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Now Ritchie and Harris will work together again, on Ritche’s new version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Read More »

The Boxtrolls

With only two completed feature films under its belt, Laika’s quickly proving itself to be one of the smartest, most creative animation studios working today. Coraline and ParaNorman were wonderful stop-motion pictures gentle enough for kids, but sharp enough for adults. Now an early teaser indicates that their third release, The Boxtrolls, is shaping up to be the same way.

Based on a book by Alan Snow, the film follows a community of monsters living under the streets of Cheesebridge. Despite their fearsome reputation among humans, the Boxtrolls are actually quite sweet, and are in fact raising abandoned orphan (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, a.k.a. Bran from Game of Thrones) as one of their own. Watch the first brief teaser after the jump.

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The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The combined powers of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games have opened the floodgates for a tidal wave of sci-fi / fantasy YA adaptations — it seems like a new potential franchise goes into development every week. As with any genre, though, not all of these films are created equal.

The best ones capture the imaginations of young and old alike, while the worst are forgotten almost before they even open. Time will tell where on the spectrum The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will fall, but feel free to make an educated guess based on the new trailer after the jump.

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Nothing can stop the wave of YA adaptations coming to movie theaters in the next year or two — not even the relative disinterest in the movies. Beautiful Creatures and The Host didn’t really hit so far this year, but there are more to come. Earlier today we saw the trailer for the new Percy Jackson film, and now here’s the first full trailer for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

The film features Lily Collins as a young woman who learns that there is a shadow conflict just out of sight, with half-angel warriors battling demons right before the unseeing eyes of humanity. With her own eyes open to the conflict, Collins’ character is quickly drawn in. This trailer shows far more of the newly-done effects than did the teaser, and it also makes the film look rather like a revamped Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Have a look below.

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Paul W.S. Anderson has made so many disasters in his career, it’s about time he made a film about one. (Rimshot) He just started filming Pompeii, a 3D period epic set against the leveling of the titular city from the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Kit Harington (Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow) stars as a slave who must rush to save his love (Emily Browning), who’s also the daughter of his master (Jared Harris). Now another major name has been added to the list.

Kiefer Sutherland has just joined Pompeii as the villainous Roman senator who originally enslaved Harington’s character. Read more about the film below. Read More »

Animation house Laika only has two completed features to its name, but thanks to the strength of those two outings (Coraline and ParaNorman), it’s already earned a reputation for unusually smart, creative family fare. Now they’re joining forces with Focus Features a third time for The Boxtrolls, an adaptation of Alan Snow‘s book Here Be Monsters!

Open Season co-director Anthony Stacchi and Coraline/ParaNorman story artist Graham Annable are teaming to direct, with an excellent voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris (Mad Men) and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Game of Thrones). Hit the jump for more details.

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‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ Trailer

The first adaptation of one of Cassandra Clare‘s books in The Mortal Instuments cycle is going to hit screens late next summer, and the first trailer is being released just in time for the last Twilight audience to see it.

The film stars Lily Collins as Clary Fray, who learns that she is in fact a descendant of half-Angel warriors who protect humanity from darkness. She’s drawn towards one such warrior, Jace Wayland (Jamie Cambell Bower) with help from Hodge Starkweather (Jared Harris) after her mother (Lena Headey) disappears.

I. Marlene King (Pretty Little Liars) and Jessica Postigo (Tarzan 3D) scripted, and Harald Zwart (Agent Cody Banks, The Karate Kid) ended up directing. Check out the footage below. Read More »