Briefly: With seemingly everyone and their mother (particularly the mothers) fascinated by the “supermarket smut” of Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s as good a time as we’ve seen in years for attention-getting erotic fiction. Which is what Lars von Trier‘s new film(s) Nymphomaniac seems to be, at least on the surface. The two-part story will be released as four films in various markets, with some markets getting the softcore version of the “wild and poetic story of a woman’s erotic journey from birth to the age of 50,” while other markets get the hardcore version.

Charlotte Gainsbourg plays the woman, Joe, who is found beaten in an alley by an older man (Stellan Skarsgard) who nurses her back to health and hears her story. Shia LaBeoufJamie BellConnie NielsenChristian Slater , and Stacy Martin all feature in the film, and now Uma Thurman has signed on. Read More »

When a holiday movie schedule is as crowded as this year’s promises to be, it’s actually kind of a relief to see a trailer for a year-end release that looks like lighthearted, feel-good entertainment with no apparent aspirations of picking up a little gold man come February.

The romantic dramedy Playing for Keeps (formerly Playing the Field) stars Gerard Butler as onetime pro athlete George Dryer, who’s still struggling to adjust to adult life. In an attempt to do right by his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and their child, he signs on to coach the boy’s soccer team — but finds himself tempted at every turn by gorgeous soccer moms like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer. (Because in Hollywood, your average suburban cul-de-sac is populated by parents who look like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Uma Thurman, and Judy Greer.) Dennis Quaid also stars. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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In July, Oliver Stone is going back to his lurid daylight noir style (think U-Turn) with his adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel Savages. The film features Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a couple of pot growers whose business ends up in the crosshairs of a more powerful Mexican drug lord (Salma Hayek). Her henchman (Benicio Del Toro) kidnaps the guys’ shared girlfriend (Blake Lively), which leads to a pretty intense confrontation.

After the break, we’ve got an exclusive behind the scenes video showing the setup and filming of one of the movie’s action setpieces. We’ve also dropped in some of the other videos from the film that have hit in the past couple days. Read More »

In today’s TV Bits, Uma Thurman puts on her dancing shoes and Charlie Sheen comes back from the dead. After the jump:

  • AMC picks up another Robert Kirkman comic, Thief of Thieves
  • Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management gets a new teaser
  • Uma Thurman does her best Marilyn impression for Smash
  • Fox revisits the first episode of its first show, Married… With Children
  • NBC unveils some concept art for its Munsters reboot

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Yesterday we saw the first bit of footage from Oliver Stone‘s new film Savages, in which the girlfriend (Blake Lively)of two pot growers (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, the better to get said growers to work for the bigger outfit.

The film features the sort of cast you’d expect to see Stone pull together: in addition to the leads there are Benicio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Demian Bichir, Salma Hayek, Joel David Moore and Emile Hirsch, and it is shot in a style reminiscent of a few of his lurid ’90s entries such as U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. (Speaking of ’90s films, is Salma Hayek cosplaying as Thurman’s Pulp Fiction character Mia Wallace?)

Now we’ve got the full trailer, which sets up the story, offers a little bit of sex and violence, and shoves a knife through John Travolta. Check it out below. Read More »

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Think back to the Oliver Stone films of the 1990s. Not so much JFK and Nixon; more like U-Turn, Natural Born Killers and Any Given Sunday. Those films had a stylized, hyper-saturated color palette that clearly gave Tony Scott some ideas. For instance, on U-Turn, Stone’s cinematographer Robert Richardson shot on reversal film stock — which becomes a transparent positive when developed, rather than a traditional negative — and then cross-processed it as negative film, increasing contrast and color saturation. Tony Scott and Daniel Mindel used the same technique for Domino almost a decade later.

Point is, Stone seems to have gone back to that exaggerated look for his new film Savages, which adapts Don Winslow‘s novel about two small-time pot dealers (Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch) whose mutual girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped in an attempt to strong-arm them into working with a Mexican drug cartel, which counts Salma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro amongst its members. John Travolta is also in the film; Stone borrowed him from Tony Scott.

If you saw the first poster for the film when Pete ran it in Page 2 yesterday you’ll know something about the look Stone is going for. But now there is a brief montage of footage showing off that stylish, colorful look the director first relied on almost 20 years ago. I have to say, I like it quite a bit. Read More »

In the past year there have been more than a few trailers for Bel Ami, the story set in late 1800s Paris in which Robert Pattinson plays a guy who sleeps and seduces his way into wealth. The film has played some festivals to middling reviews, but now that the first official US trailer has arrived, it’s worth having a look. The cast is appealing, at least, as Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci, Colm Meaney, Philip Glenister, and Holliday Grainger join Pattinson in the film directed by Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Good news for those eager to find out exactly why Benicio del Toro is picking on Blake Lively in that first image from Savages: Universal has just shifted the opening date for Oliver Stone‘s latest from September 28 to July 6. Savages is the only film currently scheduled to go up against Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which hits three days before on Tuesday, July 3. It’s a bold move on the studio’s part, but it may also be a smart one — Savages could be ideal counter-programming to the comedies, actioners, and superhero flicks due out around the same time this summer.

Based on a book by Don Winslow, Savages stars Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson as a pair of small-time pot dealers who get roped into working for a Mexican cartel that kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Lively). The impressive cast also includes Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, John Travolta, Demián Bichir, and Emile Hirsch.

After the jump, new release dates for Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve, Drafthouse Films’ The FP, and lesser known Oscar nominees Bullhead (also from Drafthouse Films) and Chico & Rita.

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It took Robert Pattinson three and a half movies to getting around to bedding his lady love as Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga (oh, um, spoilers), but as the lead of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod‘s Bel Ami, Pattinson more than makes up for lost time. Based on a novel by Guy de Maupassant, the drama follows a poor young man who climbs the ranks of 1890s Parisian society by calculatedly seducing its wealthiest and most influential women. Among his conquests, apparently, are Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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In what movie can you see Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman, Jason Sudeikis as Batman, Bobby Cannavale as Superman, John Hodgman as Penguin, Uma Thurman as Lois Lane and Kristen Bell as Supergirl? How does Christopher Nolan describe Bane in The Dark Knight Rises? What happens when you combine Batman: The Animated Series and Star Wars? Which other heroes are showing up in the new Batman Lego video game? And will Kenneth Branagh return to Marvel? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »