On August 8, 1986 director Rob Reiner began an incredible five film run by releasing a seemingly simple adaptation of a Stephen King novella called The Body. Reiner’s film was called Stand By Me and starred River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell as four young friends who, in 1959, set out on a journey to see a dead body. After initially opening in limited release, the film expanded a few weeks later and became a box office hit, raking in just over $50 million.

As a young boy, though, none of that was important. What was important is when I finally saw Stand By Me, I was at an impressionable enough age that Reiner’s film, so expertly crafted and filled with perfect dialogue and performances, taught me things my parents never would have thought of. I was schooled in the ways of Fifties pop music. I learned what a leech was. I learned how to use “dodge” as verb and I learned how many you got for flinching. What was, on the surface, a seemingly simple adaptation was obviously much more than that and has stood the test of time.

After the jump, read fifteen silly and serious things Stand By Me still teaches us 25 years after its initial release. Read More »

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Mel Gibson to Star in ‘Sleight of Hand’?

The Beaver may not have been quite the comeback that Mel Gibson wanted, but it was probably the comeback that he deserved. Still, signs point to the fact that the film’s relative under-performance is due less to disdain for the actor and more towards a general sense of disinterest and lack of awareness about the film. For real comeback action Mel Gibson will probably have to work in a genre that has more potential for audience impact. How about some form of buddy comedy — that being the format that defined one stage of his career thanks to the Lethal Weapon films? Indeed, he is now in talks to join the buddy heist comedy Sleight of Hand, which has Kiefer Sutherland, Gerard Depardieu and Thomas Jane set for smaller roles. Read More »

While he waits for the 24 film to move forward, Kiefer Sutherland is going to romance Kate Bosworth in New York. A film called Fairytale of New York (which only conjures up memories of the Pogues song) has been written by Jeff Murphy and will follow an Irish standup comic who meets an American woman in a NYC art gallery while on a working tour of the States. I can’t get too bent out of shape about another romcom, but I’ll be pretty curious to hear Kiefer Sutherland’s accent. He was born and spent his early life in the UK, but I’m so accustomed to his distinctive voice that  the idea of him sporting an accent seems unusual. [THR]

After the break, Seth Rogen gets company in My Mother’s Curse, and Bridesmaids standout Melissa McCarthy is the focus of two new projects. Read More »

We reported a few months ago that James Franco had optioned Michael Gregg Michaud‘s biography of Rebel Without a Cause star Sal Mineo, with the intention of writing and directing (but not acting in) a biopic about the actor. Now it looks like he’s found his star. Val Lauren has been cast as the lead in the film, which is currently going by the title Sal.

Michaud’s book Sal Mineo: A Biography deals with Mineo’s rise to fame, his conflicted sexuality, and his tragic murder at the age of 37. Lauren expressed his excitement about the role to The Hollywood Reporter:

Sal Mineo himself was an extraordinary and super complex guy… People know him for Rebel Without a Cause, but he was technically the first actor who came out of the closet. He was very brave.

Lauren’s past credits include Dallas 362, The Salton Sea, and the short film Help, which he also wrote and directed. In addition to Sal, Lauren’s upcoming projects also include a guest spot on Hawaii Five-O and a feature film adaptation of Help (not to be confused with The Help). [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, new parts for Kiefer Sutherland and Rachel Weisz.

Read More »

We just saw a trailer this week for Lars Von Trier‘s new film Melancholia, which will premiere in competition at Cannes this May. We still don’t know too much about the film — he famously proclaimed “no more happy endings!” when announcing it, and there is a basic sci-fi concept wrapped around a family drama and some sort of existential crisis for the main character, played by Kirsten Dunst.

Now Lars Trier has dropped a few tidbits about the film to Empire, and those who can’t wait for Magnolia to set a US release date for the film should hit the jump to enjoy the scant new bits of info. Read More »


The best thing I could possibly find on the web this Friday morning is the new website for Lars Von Trier‘s upcoming film, Melancholia, complete with the first trailer for the movie. Though the story is (kind of) about the end of the world, the slightly not safe for work trailer (there is a little bit of nudity) is actually almost gentle in places.

The clip briefly charts the upcoming wedding of the younger of two sisters, played by Kirsten Dunst, looking effectively pensive and anxious. But seemingly coinciding with the ceremony is the emergence of a planet that was previously ‘hiding behind the sun’ and is now on a collision course with Earth. What follows appears to be very much the product of Lars Von Trier, but perhaps not quite the Von Trier of Antichrist. I thought he said ‘no more happy endings’? Read More »

Briefly: The 24 movie is starting to be a bit like the Arrested Development movie: something that gets talked up a lot without a great deal of backup to suggest that it will actually happen. Billy Ray wrote a script last year that was nixed by Fox, and then Tony Scott got involved. Kiefer Sutherland said earlier this year, “I think Tony Scott is one of the directors that has expressed great interest in doing it and he would be fantastic, so I’m very excited about that,” but we don’t know exactly what role Tony Scott might play, if he indeed is taking part at all.

The latest chapter in the film’s story is that Kiefer Sutherland told The View this morning that the film would hit in 2012. EW checked on the state of things after hearing that announcement, and relates that the movie still has no start date or director, so that date might be written in pencil rather than ink. Especially since the last comments from the actor were that the film would shoot in December or January, making a 2012 release date look pretty difficult to hit.

When Kiefer Sutherland finishes his current Broadway obligation, he’s coming back to TV. The former star of 24 was in talks last week to star in Tim Kring‘s (Heroes) latest pilot called, Touch, for the Fox network and now he’s officially signed on. Filming will begin this summer. The show is about a man whose mute, autistic son can see the future. After that, according to quotes on national television, Sutherland is still insistent that a 24 movie will happen. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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