38 years after The Godfather Part IIRobert De Niro and Diane Keaton are sharing the screen once again in the The Big Wedding. Don’t expect another all-time cinematic classic, however — this one looks somewhere between “forgettable” and “downright awful.”

De Niro and Keaton play a long-divorced couple who, by some contrived movie logic, are forced to pretend they’re still married for the duration of their adopted son’s (Ben Barnes) wedding. Topher Grace and Katherine Heigl play their other kids, Amanda Seyfried is Barnes’ blushing bride, Robin Williams a priest, and Susan Sarandon De Niro’s new wife. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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Last month I received a cryptic e-mail inviting me to a private screening of a new Star Wars film edited by Topher Grace — which is funny because I had no idea there was a new Star Wars film in the works, with or without Grace’s involvement. I was told the screening was a secret private event arranged only for friends only and was asked not to talk about it beforehand. The event was held somewhere in the Hollywood area in a a screening room filled with filmmakers, editors, actors, actresses and only a few press friends. I was told I could blog about it afterwards if I wanted, so here goes…

For those of you who don’t know, Topher Grace is a film geek. He loves the Star Wars films, the Back to the Future movies and all the same signature titles of any film geek who grew up in the 1980s. He recently became interested in the editing process and wanted to learn more about the art form. Instead of cutting a short film, he wanted to use something he was more familiar with.

His idea was to edit the Star Wars prequels into one movie, as they would provide him a lot of footage to work with. He used footage from all three prequels, a couple cuts from the original trilogy, some music from The Clone Wars television series, and even a dialogue bit from Anthony Daniels’ (C-3PO) audio book recordings. He even created a new opening text crawl to set up his version of the story.

The result is an 85-minute movie titled Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. It should be noted that the Star Wars prequel trilogy is almost 7 hours in total length, and the shortest film (Episode 1) is more than 51 minutes longer than Grace’s fan cut. What this means is a lot of footage ended up on the editing room floor, and a lot of creative choices were made in the editing process. And the result? Topher Grace’s Star Wars film is probably the best possible edit of the Star Wars prequels given the footage released and available.

Whats most shocking is that with only 85 minutes of footage, Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith. While I know the missing pieces and could even fill in the blanks in my head as the film raced past, none of those points were really needed. Whats better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.
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If you have any interest at all in seeing The Double, in which Richard Gere plays a former CIA operative partnered with a young FBI agent (Topher Grace) to hunt down the head of a Russian ring of assassins, I’d say skip this trailer. Because in less than three minutes it might not show you the full movie — there has to be more to The Double than this — but it sure feels like it does. If you’re not that invested, or just morbidly curious as to how a trailer can be totally artless, then carry on past the jump. Read More »

We had a couple of days where mid-level casting for a lot of projects was going crazy. Maybe there was something in the air; maybe casting directors and agents just all got together and had a field day. It’s been a bit slower today, but still there are a couple of items to catch up on. After the break, you’ll find info on how:

  • Robin Williams appears to be cast in Gently Down the Stream, with Robert De Niro and Susan Sarandon.
  • Joel David Moore (Avatar) will be in Oliver Stone’s Savages.
  • and Katie Cassidy takes the lead in Freaky Deaky. Read More »

Topher Grace has joined the cast of Gently Down the Stream, which already has some prominent actors on board: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl and Amanda Seyfried. Justin Zackham wrote and will direct the story of a slightly awkward family romance. Specifically, De Niro and Keaton are a couple and father to Topher Grace’s character. But he’s also got an adopted brother, and that guy has a sister, and Topher Grace falls for her. Oops. [Deadline]

After the break, 50 Cent gets his best role ever, and the indie thriller Magic, Magic lands three young actresses. Read More »

Hey! Remember the ’80s? Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler and Teresa Palmer do. They’re the cast of the upcoming comedy Take Me Home Tonight, which opens March 4 and is set in 1988. As part of the viral marketing campaign for the film, they’ve created a music video that features the whole cast, a ton of cameos and references/reenactments of upwards of 50 classic Eighties movies, all in the course of four minutes. While some of the references are super obvious – Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, etc. – it’s actually pretty fun to watch and pick out a few of the less obvious ones. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

‘Take Me Home Tonight’ Red Band Trailer

Though it feels like there have been an over abundance of nostalgic Eighties comedies, there really aren’t as many as you’d think. Plenty of films in the last few decades have been set in the Eighties but only movies like Hot Tub Time Machine, The Wedding Singer, Adventureland and to a lesser degree American Psycho, Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, Grosse Pointe Blank and 13 Going on 30 have used the decade as the butt of a joke for the full duration of a film.

You can now add a new member to that club because the Eighties are definitely the punchline in Take Me Home Tonight, an R-rated comedy starring Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Michelle Trachtenberg, Michael Biehn, Chris Pratt, Lucy Punch, Michael Ian Black, and Demetri Martin. The film has been on the shelf for several years and will finally be released March 4. You saw the green band trailer a few months ago and now we’ve got the red band trailer complete with nudity, cursing, excessive drug use and more. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

It’s about time Jenna Fischer got to headline a film. The Office star has had a few choice roles in comedies like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Blades of Glory, but even then she’s been somewhat sidelined as the ancillary love interest. This time around, she’ll be at the center of an indie romantic comedy that finds two guys at opposing ends of her affection. It’s a fairly standard rom-com formula, accompanied by a rather baffling title: The Giant Mechanical Man. Read More »

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