Fifteen years after Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown hit theaters, Dan Schechter is making plans to travel back fifteen years before that movie took place. The writer-director has been amassing quite a cast for his sorta-prequel The Switch, including John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Jennifer Aniston, and Isla Fisher. But now he’s making a few tweaks to that lineup. Dennis Quaid and Ty Burrell have now departed the project, to be replaced by Will Forte and Tim Robbins. Read more after the jump.

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If you were perhaps looking for a companion piece to The Flowers of War, in which a big western star (Christian Bale) played in a film about Chinese history, then Back to 1942 might be it. Here Adrien Brody and Tim Robbins are two men caught up in social and political upheaval in China’s Henan province, which in the film’s timeline is enduring the worst famine in modern Chinese history.

There’s a gritty look to much of the footage here that looks great; this is the sort of giant film that Chinese directors such as Feng Xuigang — who directed here — have been able to put together lately with increased funding at home. But there’s also an earnestly serious tone here that almost veers towards the unintentionally comic that I can’t tell if the film will play well. Regardless, check out the trailer below. Read More »

Briefly: Here’s another example of the increasing, and sometimes increasingly weird, overlap between the US and Chinese film industries. Tim Robbins and Adrien Brody have been cast in a film that will chronicle the effects of a famine that devastated central China as war raged against Japan in 1942. That’s not quite the same as Zhang Yimou hiring Christian Bale for The Flowers of War, but it is the result of the same idea being put into play. That is: increase global distribution opportunities by bringing in American actors.

The film has no title as yet, and will be helmed by director/actor/writer Feng Xiaogang (A World Without Thieves). Variety says the film will be based on the novel Remembering 1942 by Liu Zhenyun. The book’s story is set in the Henan province in central China, where drought and the distraction of war against occupying Japan led to a deadly food shortage.

No word on what roles Robbins and Brody might play, or plans to distribute the eventual film.

Zach Gilford, best known as sensitive QB Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights, will be starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand. Described as “a combination of Die Hard and High Noon,” the action film revolves around a border town sheriff (Schwarzenegger) who finds himself tasked with stopping a drug kingpin from crossing the U.S. border. Gilford will play one of the cops working under Schwarzenegger’s character.

The Last Stand marks the English-language debut of South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil), as well as Schwarzenegger’s return to acting. Given the kind of work that Schwarzenegger and Gilford have each done in the past, I’m having a little trouble imagining them starring next to each other. But Gilford’s a wonderful actor who deserves to get way more work than he does, so I’m just happy to see him pick up a higher-profile gig for once. The Last Stand is due out January 18, 2013. [Deadline]

After the jump, pop star Pink tries her hand at acting, while actor Derek Luke gives music a shot.

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One of the weirder American monster legends is that which concerns the Jersey Devil, which originates in the 18th century, but became one of the breakout American pop-culture monsters thanks to reported sightings in the early 1900s.

Now Stephen Moyer from True Blood will star in a new film exploiting the legend: The Barrens. He’ll play a family man who, while on a camping trip in the New Jersey Pine Barrents, “becomes convinced [he and his family are] being stalked by the legendary winged monster that looks like a deformed hybrid of several different animals.” Darren Lynn Bousman wrote and will direct; the film shoots later this month in Toronto (what, not in Jersey? boo!) and will be released next fall by Anchor Bay. [Variety]

After the break, The Book of Mormon star Josh Gad joins Thanks For Sharing — a movie about sex addiction — and Rupert Grint and David Tennant will voice characters in the CG Postman Pat movie. Read More »

Last night during 30 Rock and American Idol Warner Bros. premiered a new TV spot for Green Lantern, but the spot was really more of a recut trailer. At 1:30, it is essentially a shortened version of the WonderCon footage that was shown off not long ago. But there are a few new bits sprinkled here and there in this edit. and it is good to see that Green Lantern looks like a properly cosmic, more than a little bit weird movie to rival the two Marvel films hitting this summer. Read More »

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‘Cinema Verite’ Trailer #3

These days, reality television may be considered by some to be a blight on our cultural landscape, but there was a time when it offered a more honest counterpoint to the idealized families being portrayed on American sitcoms. Back in the early ’70s, filmmaker Craig Gilbert conceived of a documentary series about a California household as a response to shows like The Brady Bunch. The show, “An American Family,” was considered groundbreaking at the time, and is now thought of as one of the earliest examples of reality television.

HBO Films’ Cinema Verite, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), tells the story of the making of “An American Family.” James Gandolfini stars as Gilbert, while Diane Lane and Tim Robbins play the parents of the Loud family. We’ve featured spots for the movie here before, and a new trailer has just been released. Check it out after the jump.

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‘Cinema Verite’ Trailer #2

Long before The Real World, Survivor or Jersey Shore, producer Craig Gilbert created An American Family. The PBS documentary special that aired in 1973 was unlike anything ever put on television. It chronicled the real life, daily struggles of the Louds, a seemingly perfect California family who were not only catapulted to fame by the film, but helped usher in a whole new genre: reality television. Cinema Verite is an HBO Original Film that tells the behind the scenes story of this groundbreaking piece of popular culture, starring James Gandolfini as producer Craig Gilbert along with Diane Lane and Tim Robbins and Mrs. and Mrs. Loud, the main subjects of the film.

Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), Cinema Verite premieres on HBO April 23. We recently highlighted a first glimpse at the film but you can check out the full trailer after the jump. Read More »

‘Cinema Verite’ Trailer


Reality stars are a dime a dozen these days, but HBO Films’ Cinema Verite takes us back to a time when that wasn’t the case. The film dramatizes the behind-the-scenes action surrounding PBS’ 1973 documentary series An American Family, which HBO’s marketing team is referring to the first reality show. The series followed a Santa Barbara family called the Louds as parents Pat and Bill filed for divorce.

Cinema Verite stars Diane Lane and Tim Robbins as Pat and Bill, Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as son Lance, and James Gandolfini as producer Craig Gilbert. It was directed by husband and wife team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor, Wanderlust), and written by David Seltzer (1976’s The Omen). Pretty good pedigree, right? Watch the trailer and read the official synopsis after the jump. Read More »