Maybe it’s just because I got a cat this year — the first living, breathing creature I’ve owned since I failed to keep a hamster alive circa 1995 — but I couldn’t help noticing that the films of 2011 featured some damn great animals. Some were the stars of their films, like Rango (Johnny Depp) in Rango, while others played second fiddle to less interesting, or at least less adorable, human stars, like Rosie (Tai) in Water for Elephants, but all deserve special mention in my book.

And yeah, okay, the fact that they also serve as a convenient excuse to post cute animal photos during a slow news week happens to a nice little bonus as well. Read on after the jump.

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There have been a great many new posters in the past few days. Just this afternoon we’ve seen new one-sheets for the doc Page One: Inside the New York Times, the horror remake Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Miranda July‘s odd-sounding new drama The Future, and Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia. Plus earlier this week there were new sheets for tantalizing Cannes debut Sleeping Beauty, The Art of Getting By, What’s Your Number?, The Ledge, The Beaver and Troll Hunter. They’re all after the break, along with info on each film and links to the trailers. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam compare the two Arthurs, praise the works of Tom McCarthy, unravel the mysteries of Hanna, lament the passing of one of the greatest directors of all time, and give a shout out to a pioneering movie blog. Special guest Dave Gonzales joins us from Latino Review.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, April 17th at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing Scre4m.

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‘The Beaver’ Is A Tonal Mess [SXSW Review]

Remember The Beaver? First-time writer Kyle Killen‘s spec screenplay created all sorts of buzz around Hollywood, ended up on the 2008 Black List (a list of the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year), and gained the interest of Steve Carell and director Jay Roach. A lot of people, including former /Film writer Brendon Connelly called the screenplay “one of the few very best screenplays” he had “ever read.”

Roach and Carell left the project, and Jodie Foster (who directed Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays) came aboard to helm the project with Mel Gibson in the leading role. Gibson’s problems in his personal life have caused this film to sit on the shelf, while Foster has tried to fine tune the film’s tone, and Summit Entertainment brainstorms ways to market a movie starring an actor who has made anti-Semitic and racist remarks. But the studio has been quietly positioning the film to be Gibson’s comeback project.

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‘The Beaver’ Bumped To May 6

Summit Entertainment must have gotten some pretty good buzz from early screenings of their controversial Jodie Foster/Mel Gibson film The Beaver because, according to Box Office Mojo, they bumped it back from its original March 23 release date. It’ll now open limited on the much more desirable summer date of May 6 before expanding on May 20. That will put it in direct competition on its limited weekend with Thor and on its wide weekend with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Directed by Foster and starring Gibson and Foster, The Beaver will have its first public premiere at South by Southwest next month. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you can watch it after the jump. Read More »

SXSW Film Festival Announces 2011 Features Lineup

The South by Southwest Film Festival has announced their features lineup for the 2011’s Festival, which will take place March 11th to the 19th in Austin Texas. Read the full press release after the jump.

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SXSW announced today that a handful of additional titles were being added to the line-up for the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, including Jodie Foster‘s Mel Gibson dramedy The Beaver, Greg Mottola‘s sci-fi comedy Paul starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Seth Rogen, and Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, a documentary that follows behind-the-scenes of O’Brien’s summer tour, among others. Read the full press release after the jump.

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The headline gags just seem to write themselves, but calm down — this is purely a release date post. Summit has announced a date for Jodie Foster‘s film The Beaver, in which Mel Gibson plays a family man who goes down a dark, angry road before being led back into the family fold by a plush beaver puppet. The film will hit some markets on March 23 2011, and then expand on April 8, with the number of theaters for April 8 likely to be determined based in part on the film’s critical and box office performance in the first limited weekend.

So can Mel Gibson sell the story of a guy who cracks up and then finds redemption? Is it completely crazy that the plot for his first post-rant film seems to reflect his own life so closely? Or can you look at The Beaver as just another movie, totally divorced from any real life goings-on? Sound off after the break. Read More »

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