We’ve seen a few thrillers and action films set in apartment blocks over the past year, from different countries: Attack the Block, The Raid, and Dredd are the major ones. Now add Tower Block, which hinges on a slightly contrived premise, but provides some good thrills in the middle section.

The idea is that residents of the top floor of a soon to be demolished block are refusing to leave. They come under fire — literally — when a sniper begins picking off the top floor inhabitants from the cover of another building. With exits blocked and the sniper ready to take out anyone who ventures near a window, a quickly shrinking group has to find their escape. The contrivance is the fact of the residents’ impending eviction, which conventiently empties the rest of the building. But once things get cooking, some gory, tense, and fun stuff goes down. Check out a trailer below. Read More »

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Whitney Houston is set to return to the big screen for the first time in 15 years for Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 drama based on the real-life tale of Diana Ross and The Supremes (yes, kind of like Dreamgirls, only Sparkle came first). The story follows the rise and fall of fictional girl group Sister & the Sisters, the members of which find their personal lives falling apart even as their act reaches ever higher levels of fame and success.

Houston, who’s also set to executive produce, will play the “not-so-encouraging” mother of the girls in the band. Houston has actually been attached to the project since back when it was supposed to star Aaliyah, who passed away in 2001.¬†Also in the cast are Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut in the title role, and Mike Epps in the part of destructive comedian Satin. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is set to direct the feature from a script by his wife Mara Brock Akil. [Movieline]

After the jump: Dustin Hoffman snags some fine British talent (including two notable Harry Potter actors) for his directorial debut, and Twilight star Ashley Greene signs on for a weird, “ultra-modern” version of a Charles Dickens classic.

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