When a holiday movie schedule is as crowded as this year’s promises to be, it’s actually kind of a relief to see a trailer for a year-end release that looks like lighthearted, feel-good entertainment with no apparent aspirations of picking up a little gold man come February.

The romantic dramedy Playing for Keeps (formerly Playing the Field) stars Gerard Butler as onetime pro athlete George Dryer, who’s still struggling to adjust to adult life. In an attempt to do right by his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and their child, he signs on to coach the boy’s soccer team — but finds himself tempted at every turn by gorgeous soccer moms like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer. (Because in Hollywood, your average suburban cul-de-sac is populated by parents who look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer.) Dennis Quaid also stars. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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In yet another year brimming with sequels, prequels, remakes, reimaginings, and reboots, it’s all too easy to complain about Hollywood’s lack of creativity. It’s also inaccurate. The Dark Knight Rises may be a threequel based on a comic book, but it’s also an exhilarating, thoughtful realization of one auteur’s vision. 21 Jump Street may very well have started out as a bottom line-obsessed exec’s idea of an quick cash grab, but Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall, and Channing Tatum turned it into one of the year’s brightest comedies. Artists have always stood on the shoulders of other visionaries from eras past, and the great ones have always known how to make those old templates their own.

But then there are projects like Len Wiseman‘s Total Recall remake, which deserves all the eye-rolling its very premise inspires and more. It could be the top contender for the title of “summer’s most inessential movie.” Not worst movie, mind you — I wasn’t confused or annoyed or bored to tears. With its handsome leads, slick action, and a relatively coherent storyline, it’s not likely draw any ire. And that’s what’s so goddamn soul-sucking about it.

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Briefly: Just as Comic Con kicked off, we heard that Jessica Biel was set to take a role in James Mangold‘s The Wolverine. She was said to be in talks to play Viper, but it looks like that isn’t going to happen. At Comic Con, Biel told HitFix that the casting wasn’t a done deal. And now Collider reports that “talks have broken down” between Biel’s reps and the studio, and that other actresses are being eyed now. We don’t have names to share at this point.
After several delays, The Wolverine begins shooting next month in Australia and Japan. We know that Hugh Jackman is reprising the title role, and that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, and Rila Fukushima all play parts in a story that is heavily inspired by the early ’80s Chris Claremont and Frank Miller mini-series in which Wolverine finds love and betrayal with members of the Yashida clan.

The Wolverine is scheduled for release on July 26, 2013.

Jessica Biel Offered ‘Wolverine’ Role

Briefly: Star Hugh Jackman‘s been attached to star in The Wolverine for years now, of course, but it wasn’t until this week that we started to learn which other stars he’d be sharing the screen with. On Monday, it was announced that Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, and Will Yun Lee, had been cast, today comes news that Jessica Biel could be the next to board the project in a key villain role.

Twitch reports that Biel has been offered the role of Viper, a member of the terrorist organization HYDRA. In the comics, she blackmails Wolverine into marrying her. Though the move is part of her effort to secure her criminal empire in Madripoor, it’s suggested that she had real feelings for Wolverine at some point.

Biel will be seen next month in the Total Recall remake, and later on this year in the romcom Playing the Field. Other projects on her upcoming slate include Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes, Hitchcock, and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

The Wolverine will be based on a Marvel comics arc by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, which sees Wolverine traveling to Japan. Okamoto plays Mariko, a love interest of Wolverine’s in the books, while Will Yun Lee will play Kenuichio Harada a.k.a. the Silver Samurai.

French director Pascal Laugier got an international reputation for his film Martyrs, which was the ne plus ultra of torture porn films, a movie that found a weird salvation in a devastatingly a tormented character. Laugier’s follow-up has been a long time coming, thanks in part to a flirtation with the Hellraiser remake.

After rolling out to some festivals, his new film The Tall Man is ready to hit US shores, and we’ve got an early look at the film thanks to a French trailer. This is a very different film from Martyrs, as it casts Jessica Biel in a much softer thriller that has vague echoes of Silent Hill. There’s a small town, an old evil, and even Jodelle Ferland, who played a key role in the original Silent Hill film. The film has faced middling reviews at festivals, and not just because it isn’t as crazy as Martyrs. But we can hope that it might have been tightened up just a bit before the wide release.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Everything you thought you know might not be what it seems. That’s both true in the world of Total Recall and regarding your previous thoughts on the movie. Sony just released a brand new trailer for the Len Wiseman directed August 3 remake starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel and it’s filled with so many epic looking action scenes, set pieces and special effects, it might actually get you pumped up for the film. The story is almost beat for beat the same as Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 original (which in turn was based on a Phillip K. Dick short story) but Wiseman’s budget definitely makes this, at least look like, a remake that’ll be worth seeing.

Check out the trailer after the jump. Read More »

‘Total Recall’ Teaser Trailer

I guess this should really be called the Total Recall Trailer Teaser Trailer, because once again this is essentially a trailer for a trailer. But at thirty seconds, this clip features enough footage to count as a standalone teaser. The full Total Recall trailer, showing off what director Len Wiseman has done with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston, will be shown during the Celtics/Heat game on ABC Sunday April 1, and will then appear on Apple in extended form.

In the meantime, check out this trailer tease below, and begin your predictions about whether Wiseman’s take on the Paul Verhoeven / Arnold Schwarzenegger film will be a summer gift, or an April Fools prank. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, that other Alfred Hitchcock sorta-biopic that doesn’t star Toby Jones as the rotund Master of Suspense, is pulling its cast together quickly now. Anthony Hopkins has been attached to play Hitch for some time, with Scarlett Johansson set to play Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy set for the Anthony Perkins role. The film will be directed by Sacha Gervasi (Anvil!) with its roots in the book of the same name by Stephen Rebello.

Earlier today we reported that Jessica Biel will pay Vera Miles, and now four more actors have been added to the roster:  Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Wincott. Read More »

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