When Lionsgate began the task of adapting The Hunger Games for the screen, the odds were never in its favor. The book was too violent, too well-known and too hard to translate because not only was it about kids killing each other, it would also have to create a whole new world.

I’m happy to report that director/co-writer Gary Ross has made the impossible possible. With The Hunger Games he has made a rousing, highly-emotional, and epic film that will be engaging for new audiences and give chills to true fans. It’s hard to imagine someone making a better adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ popular novel.

Major set pieces all carry the emotional resonance and excitement they deserve. Every single performance pops with life and energy. When changes are made, they’re made to streamline the huge story. Even so, the film never feels slight. If anything, at 2 hours and 22 minutes, it might be too long and a little more subtle than most audiences are used to. It demands us to infer and enjoy the ride. And we oblige.  Read More »

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After starring with Ben Affleck in last year’s The Company Men, Rosemarie DeWitt is now set to work with Affleck’s BFF Matt Damon in Promised Land. DeWitt has landed the female lead in the “Capraesque” tale, which Gus Van Sant will direct. The script comes from Damon and John Krasinski, based on a story Krasinski cooked up with Dave Eggers. As previously reported, Damon will lead the cast as a sales exec who begins to question his whole life after arriving in a small town, while Krasinski will play a rival exec. DeWitt’s role has not been revealed at this time.

DeWitt’s other upcoming roles include three films due out this summer: Your Sister’s Sister, Neighborhood Watch, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. In addition, she has a role in the drama Nobody Walks, which also stars Krasinksi and is expected to hit theaters this year. [Deadline]

After the jump, Rhys Ifans and Toby Jones get involved in Jennifer Lawrence’s war against Bradley Cooper.

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After a very unrevealing first teaser, we finally got a better look at Buried director Rodrigo CortésRed Lights when the full-length international trailer hit last week. Unfortunately, with all the dialogue dubbed over in Spanish and nary a subtitle in sight, it was difficult to get a sense of what was actually going on. Now an English-language version of the same trailer has just gone up, and while the film is still shrouded in plenty of mystery — it is a thriller, after all — the new video does a much better job of setting up the premise for the non-Spanish-speakers among us.

Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy star as psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant Tom Buckley, respectively, who study and debunk parascience and paranormal activity. They find their biggest challenge yet when a world-famous psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) returns to the limelight after decades in retirement. Elizabeth Olsen and Toby Jones also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Rodrigo Cortés made a name for himself with a film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Buried, based on Chris Sparling’s black list script about a man buried alive who has to figure a way out of his coffin before his air supply is used up. The film starred Ryan Reynolds, and was critically praised for it’s direction, a tough task considering the 95-minute film takes place completely inside a casket.

Cortés returns to Sundance two years later with the $15 million thriller Red Lights, which he also wrote. The story follows Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they study and disprove paranormal activity, parascience and psychics. But can they take down world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has come out of retirement after three decades?

This is a 21st century Ghostbusters. What if Venkman, Stantz and Spengler never got fired from their parapsychology professor jobs? What if they took their research seriously and mounted a serious fight against the world of paranormal scams (a la skeptics James Randi and Penn Jillette), busting “ghosts” through scientific research. Or you might even be ale to think of it as a Ghostbusters spin-off — what if Dana Barrett (Weaver’s character in GB) left the company of the Ghostbusters and became a skeptic?
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After years of development projects trying to get a movie about Alfred Hitchcock on the screen, two are coming close to fruition. The first is Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, based on Stephen Rebello‘s book of the same title. (Rebello co-scripted with Black Swan writer John McLaughlin.) The film has had Anthony Hopkins set to play Hitch for a while, and just moved from Paramount to Fox Searchlight. And now Helen Mirren will likely play Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville.

Sacha Gervasi (Anvil! The Story of Anvil) is directing this one, the subject of which should be pretty evident from the title, and THR says that this deal is still in early stages, but the film hopes to shoot in April.

After the break, part of the creation of The Birds will hit HBO and the BBC. Read More »

‘The Hunger Games’ Trailer

Here’s the first full trailer for the Gary Ross-directed adaptation of The Hunger Games, the first novel in Suzanne Collins‘ darkly futuristic trilogy of novels about teenagers chosen by lottery to fight to the death as representatives of their local district. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth are the young leads in the Lionsgate film that could be the studio’s answer to Twilight, but hopefully with a harder edge.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Paramount Pictures has released a new international movie trailer for the Peter Jackson-produced Steven Spielberg-directed performance capture animated adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin. If you were skeptical after the initial teaser trailer, this full length preview might just win you over. Its great to actually see more action this time around. I have to admit, the action sequences feel more like a modern Indiana Jones film than Crystal Skull. Watch the trailer now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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We’ve been very excited to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the new film from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson that stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Svetlana Khodchenko, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke.. The film is essentially both a remake of a BBC mini-series that starred Alec Guinness and an adaptation of the novel of the same name by John Le Carré.

The author wrote two more books that round out what is called ‘the Karla Trilogy:’ The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley’s People. The George Smiley character, played in this version by Gary Oldman, also shows up in other Le Carré novels. And now there is the intimation that the positive response to Tinker could lead to at least one more film adapting the follow-up novels. Read More »

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