Last week, Tommy Lee Jones picked up an Oscar nomination for playing Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln. This week, we have a trailer that shows him playing another famous historical figure in Peter Webber‘s Emperor.

Jones inhabits the role of General Douglas MacArthur, who finds himself the de facto ruler of Japan following the nation’s surrender at the end of World War II. He brings in an expert in Japanese culture, General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox), to help determine whether Hirohito, the Japanese emperor, should be hanged for war crimes. Fellers’ investigation is colored by his memories of a relationship with beautiful Aya (Eriko Hatsune), a Japanese exchange student he met in the U.S. before Pearl Harbor. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Continuing a tradition that started with last year’s surprise unveiling of the then-unfinished Hugo, the New York Film Festival this week revealed a first look at a work-in-progress cut of Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln.

Though we’ve seen little of the film so far, aside from a couple of trailers, the subject matter and the talent involved have marked it from early on as a potential Oscar contender. Based on the version I saw Monday night, that buzz is well-earned — it’s tough to imagine this film coming out the other end of awards season without at least a couple of little gold men. On the other hand, Spielberg falters by letting the Sixteenth President remain more myth than man, and the resulting film is a polished period piece that only occasionally feels truly vital.

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Luc Besson is really gluing his ass to the director’s chair. Though he directed a good handful of movies since 2000 (Angel-A, three Arthur and the Invisibles films, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-sec, and The Lady) his directorial output has seemed to take a back seat to writing and producing efforts. (Admittedly, that could be an inaccurate perception based on those films’ presence in North America; in Europe, it may not seem as if Besson had any lull at all.)

Regardless, Besson now has three big directorial projects lined up. One is an action thriller in which Angelina Jolie will star; that will shoot in early 2013 after Maleficent is done. Another is an adaptation of the late ’60s French comic series Valerian, which Besson will write and direct.

And then there is Malavita, the “darkly comedic crime thriller” that already has been set to star Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, and which just added Tommy Lee Jones. Read More »

When Barry Sonnenfeld‘s Men in Black 3 was in production, much was made of behind the scenes problems. Reports circulated that it began filming without a full script, production stopped for months on end and scenes were written on the day. No matter to what degree those reports were true or false, the final product definitely feels like a film searching for its identity in those same ways. It wobbles out of the start gate, almost drops out of the race, then finds its footing and finishes strong.

Leaps and bounds better than Men in Black II and featuring many of the traits that mad the 1997 original a hit, Men in Black III is better than you’re expecting but not as good as you’d hoped. Read More »

Lots to see in today’s Sequel Bits, including a DVD featurette, a blooper reel, a TV spot, posters, and a (not at all revealing) set photo. After the jump:

  • Another new TV spot debuts for Men in Black 3
  • Gary Busey goes nuts in Piranha 3DD outtakes
  • Watch a featurette from the Underworld: Awakening DVD
  • Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto tweet wrapping Star Trek 2
  • Check out the Korean G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters
  • Donnie Yen is set to return for Ip Man 3D
  • Who wants to be an extra on Atlas Shrugged Part 2?

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Tommy Lee Jones is not an easy man to impress. For example, on the set of Men In Black 3, Will Smith said you knew you told a really, really hilarious joke when Jones cracked the tiniest of smiles. That said, the praise he laid upon Daniel Day-Lewis, his co-star in Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming Lincoln, is very exciting. Jones, who is something of a history expert, said no one has ever portrayed Lincoln as well as Day-Lewis does in this film. Being as we have yet to see anything official from Lincoln, this is more than just a ringing endorsement.

In the film, which opens later this Winter, Jones plays Thaddeus Stevens. After the jump, read his full thoughts on Day-Lewis’ performance and his experience on the movie. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Yep, Scary Movie 5 is happening, but will its stars return? Anna Faris isn’t sure. Also after the jump:

  •  Sony unveils two more clips from Men in Black 3
  • Tony Gilroy talks balancing old and new in The Bourne Legacy
  •  Check out some concept art for TRON: Uprising

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Steve Carell‘s first really big starring role came in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but he’s playing a man much more experienced in matters of the heart and body for the new Hope Springs (formerly titled Great Hope Springs). As a respected relationship therapist, he dishes advice to a couple (Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones) growing bored of their decades-long marriage. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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It seems like every longtime Hollywood star is trying to revive their best-loved characters right now, so why should Robert De Niro be any different? He’s already working on another Midnight Run, and he’s now publicly acknowledged that he’s not entirely against doing another Raging Bull, either. Also after the jump:

  • Nicholas Stoller will ask Jason Segel for notes on Muppets 2
  • Young Agent K annoys Agent J, goes bowling in new MIB3 pics
  • More MIB3 footage surfaces in the music video for Pitbull’s theme
  • Marvel’s Civil War storyline could maybe appear in Avengers 3
  • Here’s where Star Trek 2 is shooting in Los Angeles this weekend
  • Here are more Star Trek 2 set photos of Zachary Quinto

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