Most of us stop thinking about work as we enter the holiday season, but Hollywood actors and actresses are lining up their jobs for the new year.  There is a whole bunch of casting news that’s recently been announced, much of it in the romantic comedy genre, and here’s the rundown.

Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks and G4′s Olivia Munn will join Kelsey Grammer and Pierce Brosnan in the comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker as a woman juggling her work on Wall Street with a family life. Parker herself is also joining the huge ensemble for Garry Marshall’s romantic comedy New Year’s Eve while Halle Berry is in negotiations for a role too. 30 Rock award winner Alec Baldwin is the latest actor circling a spot in the Broadway adaptation Rock of Ages. Everyone’s favorite Viper pilot, Battlestar Galactica‘s Katee Sackhoff will star in Sexy Evil Genius, which is about a girl who brings all her exes to the same bar. Rosario Dawson and Lynn Collins are now part of the high school reunion film Ten Year with Chris Pine and Channing Tatum and Ed Burns joins Megan Fox and Jon Hamm in Jennifer Westfeldt’s romantic comedy Friends With Kids.

A lot to digest, we know. There’s so much more info after the jump that you’d be crazy not to click. Read More »

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Teaser Trailer & Poster: ‘Zookeeper’

In the midst of giant effing robots, magical wizards, superheros, pirates and more, Kevin James is returning to a theater near you during the summer of 2011. His latest film, Zookeeper, directed by Frank Coraci and co-starring Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb, is scheduled for release July 8. The teaser trailer was just released and it looks like a blend of James’ last improbable smash hit, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, with Night at the Museum and Madagascar. James plays a zookeeper who wins the girl of his dreams with the help of the animals. How exactly do the animals help? They talk of course! Featuring the voices of Cher, Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, and Sylvester Stallone, check out the trailer, poster and plot synopsis after the jump. Read More »

Movie Trailer: Tony Scott’s Unstoppable

/Film reader Eddie R has sent us a link to the previously unreleased movie trailer for Tony Scott‘s upcoming action drama Unstoppable. I’ve been wondering with 20th Century Fox would start promoting this film as it is scheduled to hit theaters in just three months, and no publicity materials had yet been released (not a poster or even a photo). The trailer makes the film look pretty intense, although I’ve heard that it is more of a drama than a thriller.

The film stars Chris Pine, Denzel Washington, and Rosario Dawson in a story scripted by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, Deception, Race to Witch Mountain) loosely inspired by true events. The film tells the story of  an experienced engineer (Washington) who finds himself teaming up with a young conductor (Pine) in a race against time, with a runaway train carrying a cargo of toxic chemicals. The duo chase the runaway train in a separate locomotive and need to bring it under control before it derails on a curve and causes a toxic spill that could decimate a town.

Watch the movie trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Percy Jackson & The Olympians Trailer 2

Though it settles into exactly the same groove as the previously released teaser trailer just half of the way through, the new, second trailer for Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief finally gives us a look at what we want to see – the name-actor stars of the film. There’s Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan and Sean Bean in here, if rather briefly. I have to say I’m digging Pierce’s beard – check it out for yourself in the embed below the break.

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Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson has signed on to star alongside Denzel Washington and Chris Pine in Tony Scott‘s action drama Unstoppable.  No mention of what character Dawson would play, but one would assume that she’s the romantic interest or wife of either Washington or Pine.

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el_superbeasto_vs_myers1

Rob Zombie‘s $10 million, hard-R animated film, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, is headed straight-to-DVD next month via Anchor Bay. Zombie previously discussed the politics involved and the theatrical set-backs with /Film; outfitted with a voice-cast that includes Paul Giamatti (as villain Dr. Satan), Rosario Dawson, Brian Posehn, and Danny Trejo, we remain as bewildered over the prolonged release limbo as he was. And apparently a teaser trailer was issued for Beasto earlier this season, but today is the first we’ve screened it. Co-written and -directed by Mr. Lawrence (SpongeBob, Rocco’s Modern Life), the professional style of the animation and overall sinister-pop sensibility is fluid and appealing and seems a natural inclusion for Halloween marathons (and Clint Howard cos-play fiestas). Update: Zombie has revealed to STYD that his ’70s-action film, Tyrannosaurus Rex, is once again off development cinder blocks and slated to be his follow-up to the forthcoming Halloween 2. Score one for the non-remakes.

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Explicit Ills Movie Trailer

ills poster

Though the trailer goes out of its way to convince me that Explicit Ills is another stereotypical indie exploring unity and humanity through melodramatic penitence, the film continues to be passionately endorsed by the it-scene players involved. In fact, when Peter viewed the film at last year’s SXSW, where it won an audience award, it was humorously noted that the film’s sizable entourage filled out the theater and the majority of voter ballots. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Post contains spoilers

Want to be seen as an even more exceptional Samaritan than Will Smith‘s pained character in Seven Pounds? Look up the start times for the film at your local cineplex, show up at one or more screenings anytime before the final credits and angrily yell “…of shit!” while shaking your fist and exiting. The majority of the audience, though exhausted from enduring one of the worst films in recent memory, will thank you with a smile or a defeated nod.

Movie stars playing the martyr in films is nothing new (see The Dark Knight, Milk). What is new is the biggest movie star on the planet playing the martyr with such eerie righteousness and penitent disconnect that it may come to (purposely?) affect the public perception of every performance and media appearance that follows. It is difficult to recall a film that manipulates viewers into shamefully disliking its protagonist at an intuitive level. From the odd psych-ward haircut to the weight-of-the-world whimper that Smith wears for the duration of Seven Pounds (reminiscent of Will Ferrell’s kitchen-table snivel in Step Brothers), this guy is Creepsville, USA. Moreover, his illegal, stalker-like behavior is justified (endorsed by the filmmakers, even) by a probable mental breakdown that resulted from a tragic accident. Place Smith’s character in the similarly unstable role of the driving instructor in Happy-Go-Lucky and Sally Hawkins’s character would find herself the happy, burdened owner of a sparkly used car!

By film’s end, we are supposed to take weepy-eyed comfort in the fact that the bogus on-screen relationship between Smith’s IRS agent and Rosario Dawson (absolutely terrible or brainwashed) is not a prolonged segment of Unsolved Mysteries that ends in a forest. You see, director Gabriele Muccino‘s follow-up to The Pursuit of Happyness (a film I liked) is simply the legend of Johnny Appleseed reimagined for these ever strange days as Johnny Bodyparts with a dash of Falling Down. Happy holidays, and remember to put down your Blackberries while driving into oncoming traffic.

Discuss: Many critics are in agreement, but do you think Will Smith’s Seven Pounds is the worst/creepiest movie of 2008? And how about that box jellyfish (e-meter?)?

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