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In her onscreen appearances this year, Elizabeth Olsen is sleeping with all the wrong people. Look no further than Oldboy for concrete proof, but if you want more, there’s the period drama In Secret, based on Émile Zola’s novel Thérèse Raquin.

Olsen plays Thérèse, trapped in an arranged marriage to her dunderheaded and frail cousin (Tom Felton), and who finds herself burning a candle — maybe a bonfire, really — for the dashing and worldy artist friend (Oscar Isaac) who enters her family orbit. The appeal here is, in part, based on the cast; Olsen is reliably great in most roles (she’s even good in Oldboy, though he work is not rewarded), and Oscar Isaac seems perfectly cast in the role of the potential paramour.

And there’s the tone, commanded by director Charlie Stratton (episodes of Everwood and Revenge), which builds mysteries and plot twists on a foundation of Victorian repression, with Olsen’s luminous face guiding us through the shadows. Check out a trailer below.

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Portlandia

Game of Thrones has ended for the year, but its shadow continues to loom large. After the jump:

  • Portlandia will return for two more seasons
  • What happens of Game of Thrones catches up to the books?
  • A Sons of Anarchy prequel is still a long ways away
  • Dan Harmon closes his Community Season 5 deal
  • Harry Potter‘s Tom Felton will bring his sneer to TNT
  • Frank Darabont finds his Mickey Cohen for Lost Angels
  • Under the Dome plucks a star from The Following
  • Veronica Mars adds a bunch of fan favorites, and also Piz
  • Watch a trailer for the upcoming fourth season of Luther
  • Starz’s The White Queen tries to fill the Game of Thrones gap
  • HBO offers new trailers for a bunch of their non-GOT shows

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The Killing 16

Get ready for Arrested Development‘s triumphant return this weekend with these four more clips from the new season. Also after the jump:

  • David Fury will return for 24: Live Another Day
  • David Slade will direct Ronald Moore’s Helix
  • DirecTV’s Full Circle adds Buffy and FNL alums
  • CCH Pounder joins Sons of Anarchy
  • FX’s The Bridge sets a premiere date
  • See new pics from The Killing Season 3
  • CBS picks up Bad Teacher for midseason
  • Check out trailers for their other new shows
  • Netflix “would love” more Arrested Development
  • See four more clips from Season 4

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Late August usually brings a bunch of studio horror movies and 2012 is no exception. A trailer has just arrived for one of them, The Apparition, starring Ashley Greene (Twilight), Tom Felton (Harry Potter) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The First Avenger).

The film is about a group of people who set out to test the theory that ghosts and goblins only exist because people believe in them. Turns out, they were right, and they unleash something that feeds off your fear. Seems to be a little bit Nightmare on Elm Street, a little bit Paranormal Activity and a little bit The Ring. Todd Lincoln‘s The Apparition opens August 24. Check out the trailer and poster for the film after the jump. Read More »

Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe aren’t the only former Harry Potter stars getting their post-Hogwarts careers on. After the jump, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton find new roles, along with Chloe Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley in this mostly British edition of Casting Bits.

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It feels like James Franco is attached to pretty much everything these days, but now there’s one less Franco project we have to look forward to. According to JustJared.com, the star has pulled out of The Iceman, a biopic of Mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. Franco was lined up to play Robert “Mr. Softee” Pronge, the “mentor assassin” to Kuklinski (Michael Shannon); Ray Liotta and Maggie Gyllenhaal were also set to star in the picture, by director Ariel Vroman. However, with Franco gone, “it looks like this project might fall apart,” a source told the site.

Details of Franco’s exit have not been revealed, although the same source blames “key contractual issues that didn’t involve financial terms.” The rest of the cast sounds too interesting to waste, so I’m hoping the movie can still come together out even without Franco’s involvement. If not, well, there’s always The Ice Man, the competing project starring Mickey Rourke. [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Franco’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes co-star Tom Felton gets to play a good guy for once, and Ruben Fleischer is still adding people to the cast of Gangster Squad.

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‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Review

Andy Serkis’ work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes locks his position amongst legendary ‘monster’ actors such as Lon Chaney, Sr, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff. That might not seem to be the greatest compliment at first; that roster of actors shouldn’t be marginalized so. I think all would bristle at being considered as performers we take seriously only when they work behind makeup and prosthetics or their digital equivalents.

The fact, however, is that Andy Serkis’ best work has been done in conjunction with groundbreaking washes of pixels. Beginning with his portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, continuing on through Peter Jackson’s King Kong and now culminating with Caesar, the ape at the center of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the partnership between the actor and effects house WETA has done far more than most to advance the idea of what the nature of screen acting really is.

Serkis and WETA lend Caesar a moving depth of personality that goes beyond the bounds we’re accustomed to seeing in non-human characters. And, as many of his interactions with the other simian characters are necessarily devoid of dialogue, the film displays a spirit that cuts closer to pure cinema than I expect from the seventh film in the 40-year old franchise. Read More »

What happens when a studio dedicates a decade to adapting one of the most popular novel series in the world, and does so with an eye for quality? In the case of Harry Potter, the result is a massive payoff. Warner Bros. upset its own record for the biggest domestic opening weekend box office take, set by The Dark Knight in 2008, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opened to a $168.5 million domestic haul and earned nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Read the numbers below. Read More »

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