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Muppets Movie Makes Comeback, Happy Feet 2 Stumbles

When Coca Cola owned Columbia Pictures during the 80s, the beverage giant did research into how to reduce risk in producing and releasing motion pictures. The answer: sequels. Truth is, making movies is more challenging than figuring out how to market products on supermarket shelves. Films involve creative alchemy, huge expense and risk, and can die on their opening weekend. So Hollywood figured out the sequels answer a long time ago, from the days of Andy Hardy, Ma and Pa Kettle and Rin Tin Tin movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2011 4:25 PM
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Lady Gaga, Will Smith Go Costa Rica, Which Opens $41 Million New Airport, Lures Production

Costa Rica is getting a spanking new airport. On a rainy and humid November day, reps from JetBlue, the Costa Rican tourism board and the Four Seasons resort in nearby Peninsula Papagayo gathered for a tropical press conference in a giant air hanger at northwest Costa Rica's Liberia Airport. Local school children performed traditional dances to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight from New York’s JFK as journalists got the grand tour of Costa Rica's $41 million Daniel Oduber Quiros airport, which is preparing to handle some 600,000 visitors a year, with new routes from Europe and North America. Its sleek air-conditioned terminals with modern stores and cafes serving international cuisine is a far cry from the old-school digs and rice and beans next door.
  • By Liza Foreman
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  • December 8, 2011 1:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Young Adult and Tinker Tailor Are Must-Sees

Do check out two brainy offerings this weekend: Charlize Theron's dark comedy character study, "Young Adult," from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, and Tomas Alfredson's complex "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (More at Indiewire's Critical Consensus: Scott Foundas and Stephanie Zacharek on "Tinker Tailor" And "Young Adult.") If you live in NY or LA, catch Tilda Swinton's brilliant performance in another dark and complex drama, "We Need To Talk About Kevin," which is having its one-week qualifying run, as is Madonna's less well-reviewed "W.E." (both will be released early 2012). Both celeb-packed ensemble "New Year's Eve" and "The Sitter" (with Jonah Hill in slacker comedy mode; don't miss his dramatic turn in "Moneyball") are review proof. Indies "I Melt With You" and "London River" will struggle to find audiences in an increasingly crowded specialty box office. Reviews, details and trailers below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2011 12:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Jennifer Yuh Nelson Lifts Kung Fu Panda 2

Of all the sequels competing for the best animated feature Oscar, "Kung Fu Panda 2" was really the only one with unfinished business. It begged the question: How did Po wind up living in the same house with his father goose?
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 7, 2011 10:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

IN THE WORKS: Bejo Goes Brit, Coppola's Burglar Bunch

Bérénice Bejo has landed a role in the UK's "The Scapegoat," based on Daniel Pennac's French novel, "Au Bonheur des Ogres." Raphaël Personnaz and Emir Kusturica will costar.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 5, 2011 8:51 PM
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INTERVIEW: Jason Reitman Made Unmakeable Young Adult for $12 Million

Jason Reitman is in a different place than he was during the release of "Up in the Air," when he pushed and pushed to gain entrance into the Oscar club. It crushed him on Oscar night  when adapted screenplay went to Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious." Was Reitman too young, too overexposed? When he jumped into his next feature with "Juno" collaborator Diablo Cody, "Young Adult," he took a witty midwestern plunge to the dark side. Charlize Theron went with him, and could land a Best Actress Oscar nomination. And so could supporting actor Patton Oswalt, the unlikely object of her attention.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2011 1:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Rachel Weisz on Working with Malick

  • By Matt Mueller
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  • December 2, 2011 12:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: Sex & Power Dominate The Box Office: Shame, Sleeping Beauty, Coriolanus, Outrage, The Lady

Forget feel-good holiday movies: themes of sex and power dominate this weekend's newcomers. Feast on the dark side before more heartwarming Christmas fare hits multiplexes--"War Horse" will loosen your tear ducts and we can assume 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" will do the same. (Then there's that "feel bad movie" of Christmas, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.")
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 2, 2011 12:40 PM
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Roman Polanski Interview by Le Figaro: Misses Hollywood and Nicholson, Wants to Do Film About Aging

The French newspaper "Le Figaro" sat down for an interview with director Roman Polanski, whose new film, "Carnage," based on Yasmina Reza's French play "God of Carnage," was released in France yesterday.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 1, 2011 5:42 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Interview: Ralph Fiennes Talks Directing and Playing Coriolanus with Oscar-Contender Redgrave; Lands Skyfall

Rookie feature director Ralph Fiennes and veteran screenwriter John Logan ("The Aviator") have crafted a strong modern adaptation of Shakespeare's bloody war tragedy "Coriolanus." Fiennes shines in the central role, which he played on the London stage in 2000 to raves. It plays to his strengths as an actor who doesn't seek to be liked. He plumbs the depths of a brilliant, ambitious, stubborn, ruthless, deadly, ramrod straight Roman general--with no talent for politics. "This man has no mercy in him," says Coriolanus's ally Menenius, well-played by Brian Cox. Fiennes is also getting some Oscar talk for his all-stops-out performance as Voldemort in the "Harry Potter" finale; at the Toronto Festival, he also played a corrupt British prime minister opposite Bill Nighy in David Hare's spy thriller "Page Eight." During Toronto (our flipcam interview is below) he took a brief hiatus from playing Shakespeare's Prospero in Trevor Nunn's London production of "The Tempest," and started Mike Newell's "Great Expectations" as Magwitch opposite Jeremy Irvine as Pip ("War Horse") in November. Since Toronto, Fiennes finally closed his long rumored deal to play a Bond villain opposite Daniel Craig in Sam Mendes' upcoming "Skyfall," written by his pal Logan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2011 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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