If you guessed the moment David Mamet cast Al Pacino as the lead of HBO Films’ Phil Spector that the movie would essentially be Pacino at his nuttiest under an increasingly bizarre series of wigs, well, you were right on the mark. The first trailer shows just that, along with his Helen Mirren as his competent but uneasy defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden. Watch it after the jump.

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David Mamet‘s efforts were dashed last year when his follow-up to Redbelt, a reframed look at the life of Anne Frank, was put into turnaround at Disney for being “too dark”. Fans of Mamet were surely less than thrilled by this development, but now he has a new project in the works that could be just as interesting.

In conjunction with HBO Films, Mamet will write and direct a film about Phil Spector, the celebrated record producer turned murderer. Starring in the film is none other than Al Pacino, who’s not only the same age as Spector, but also shares his wild-eyed glare. Will he also be sporting Spector’s infamous gaudy wigs? We can only hope. Read More »

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In the new rock biopic, The Runaways, a glum Kristen Stewart sits poolside, suckling vodka from a water pistol before pushing it suggestively down the front of her stomach. In a separate scene, she coaches a bathing teenage band mate on how to get wet using a mental image of Farrah Fawcett and a shower head. And then there’s co-star Dakota Fanning, better known as Hollywood’s 15-year-old precocious precious, who hoovers enough blow on an airplane to soar with Kenny Powers. These scenes are presented as the on-tour lifestyle of the titular ‘70s all-girl rock band, assembled and curated by the group’s wiry and rude L.A. producer, a man named Kim Fowley. Foreseeing the popularity of The Runaways for their jail-bait appropriation of the aggression, punk music, and horniness typically associated with adolescent males, Fowley had no qualms with solidifying a legacy by way of the girls’ quicksilver paths to self-destruction.

Actor Michael Shannon plays Fowley with a commitment and intensity welcome and familiar to any viewer who saw his performance in the new Southern indie classic Shotgun Stories or as the best part of Revolutionary Road (which earned him an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor). In recent days, Fowley has come out in support of Shannon’s performance, calling him the Christopher Walken of a generation. Given Shannon’s unflattering if amusing portrayal of the guy as an id swimming in midnight oil and the naivety of young girls, the endorsement is mildly surprising. But the comparison is astute. After interviewing the actor this week in a hotel in NYC, I couldn’t shake similar comparisons with the cornhusk steeliness and alertness of a 30something David Letterman and the seen-a-lot-of-shit-ness of Ray Liotta. In our below interview, Shannon discussed the contradictions of Fowley, HBO’s forthcoming Martin Scorsese series Boardwalk Empire, and the time he hid in a doghouse.

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