Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe and Mexican actor/director Gael Garcia Bernal will be among the all-star panel judging the competition at next month's (May14) Cannes Film Festival in France. The trio will join jury president, and former Palme d'Or winner, Jane Campion, actresses Carole Bouquet, Leila Hatami and Jeon Do-yeon and director Nicolas Winding Refn at the 67th annual movie spectacular, which begins on 14 May (14).
There are 18 films in competition this year, including Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner, Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall, and films from acclaimed directors Jean-Luc Godard, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan.
Men in Black star Tommy Lee Jones also has a film in contention - his new western The Homesman, in which he stars opposite Hilary Swank and mother and daughter Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer, is up for the 2014 Palme d'Or honour.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Oddly enough, the body-swapping genre has been one of the most consistent in Hollywood. This somewhat campy story tradition focuses on two characters, often a parent and child but occasionally friends, swapping bodies unexpected, leading a comedy of errors to ensue. It may be hard to believe that this entire genre began with an 1800s novel titled Vice Versa. People might also not connect the countless Freaky Friday remakes with an actual children’s book by Mary Rodgers. This genre may be slowly dying as people’s interest in magic requires teenage wizards or shiny vampires. However, there have quite a number of films that have played to, played with, or played against this popular trope.
Here’s some of the most famous, and forgettable, Body Switching Movies:
Freaky Friday (1976)
Fans of Oscar winner Jodie Foster will remember her as a tomboy in this classic Disney movie. Based on the popular kid's book, Foster’s character swaps places with her housewife mother (Barbara Harris) after the two simultaneously wish to switch places (Boom! It happens just like that). This was before the days of assigning rules or logic to magic. That may be why it’s only the one Freaky Friday and not a franchise. Prepare yourself for the inevitable Thowback Thursday movie.
Like Father Like Son (1987)
Dudley Moore is best known for his role as Arthur. However, he and the now controversial Kirk Cameron starred in this body swap comedy. The two ingest a bizarre South American potion and switch bodies. This film was released in theaters but has a distinct made-for-TV feel. It’s also a lot darker and less fun than you’d expect from the genre. It’s one of the few non-Hallmark channel acting roles of Cameron… though that isn’t saying much.
Vice Versa (1988)
This film doesn’t credit the classic Victorian story but is a modern retelling of the father/son body swap novel. Fred Savage switches places with his uptight father (Judge Reinhold) after the two conveniently yell they wish to swap places while holding a Buddhist statue. Savage is great as at playing the outspoken adult despite his diminutive stature. Reinhold was also pretty childlike in his role in Beverly Hills Cop, so this isn’t much of a stretch. There are also great appearances by Swoosie Kurtz and Jane Kaczmarek.
18 Again! (1988)
George Burns stars with Charlie Schlatter in this comedy that is a little twisted. 81-year-old Burns switches places with his 18-year-old grandson, putting his life at risk, and allowing Schlatter to do a convincing old-timey accent. Don't confuse it with Zac Efron's film 17 Again... although that's its own kind of body swapping film.
Prelude to a Kiss (1992)
People may forget this Alec Baldwin/Meg Ryan romantic drama. Based on a play of the same name, Ryan goes against type as a misanthropic eccentric who falls in love with Baldwin’s lonely conservative. It channels Dharma & Greg until the film makes a sharp turn. At the couple’s wedding, Ryan gets a kiss from an old man and becomes a different person. You guessed it: they switch bodies. The film then goes on an existential journey about life, love, and youth. Despite being a little depressing, it had surprisingly great performances by Baldwin and Ryan.
Freaky Friday (1995)
In this remake, Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann play the mother daughter duo that switch bodies because of matching magical necklaces. In the book and original movie, the mother is a married homemaker, but in this film Long plays a divorced workaholic.
Wish Upon a Star (1996)
Disney also released this other Freaky Friday-themed kid’s movie. A young Katherine Heigl plays a high maintenance pretty girl (sound familiar?) whose younger sister, played by Danielle Harris of the Halloween franchise, wishes on a star to see what the former's life is like. The two learn, through really high-stakes magical roleplay, to appreciate how tough one another has it. It’s a halfway decent movie but pales in comparison to the two other Disney bodyswap films.
This film takes a darkly, starkly real take on body swapping. FBI Agent John Travolta literally has his face taken off and attached to the head of his mortal enemy, played by Nicolas Cage. Despite the implausibility of face swapping and the fact that no one points out the vast differences in their bodies, this action movie is amazing. There’s a ton of suspense, a lot of campy fun, and some prime crazy Nic Cage.
Virtual Sexuality (1999)
This British romantic comedy really plays with the genre. A persnickety virgin goes into a machine and designs the man of her dreams. The problem, after an explosion, she wakes up in his body. Talk about loving yourself. This film is fun and focuses on the interesting dating differences between men and women, so the “magic” of body switches doesn’t get too distracting.
The Hot Chick (2002)
If Mean Girls never happened this, might be the role that Rachel McAdams would have been remembered for. She plays a Regina George type who, via a magic earring, swaps places with a thief played by Rob Schneider. Let's just say that Schneider has definitely made worse. It also features Anna Farris and Tia and Tamera Mowry.
Freaky Friday (2003)
This film established Lindsay Lohan as a teen icon. The Parent Trap was a great remake, but this new edgier, raspier Lohan is the girl who went on to rule the early 2000s. It also was Jamie Lee Curtis’ unofficial Activia audition. The actresses play the same feuding mom and daughter that swap bodies after opening up magic fortune cookies. If you haven’t seen this classic, check it out to remember when Lohan became a star.
It’s a Boy Girl Thing (2006)
This forgettable film is on Hulu if you doubt it ever existed. Kevin Zegers, best known for the recent Mortal Instruments movie, and Samaire Armstrong, who is on Resurrection, swap bodies and genders in this incarnation. This film blends the body-swap with the popular gender-bender genre. This means a ton of going into the wrong bathroom jokes.
The Change-Up (2011)
Just a few years ago, when Ryan Reynolds was everywhere, this film was a pit stop on his journey out of the limelight. He plays a wild bachelor who switches places with his married best friend (Justin Bateman). The film feels like lesser Happy Madison rather than a great comedy, despite the talented men at the head of the cast.
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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South Korean director Lee Su-Jin was awarded the Marrakech Film Festival's top prize this weekend (07-08Dec13) as Han Gong-Ju was named the event's best movie. The psychological drama was selected as the recipient of the Golden Star honour by a jury headed by Martin Scorsese, and featuring Sharon Stone, Marion Cotillard, Juliette Binoche, and directors Terry Gilliam, Nicolas Winding Refn and Abel Ferrera.
Other honourees at Saturday's (07Dec13) Moroccan ceremony, included revenge story Blue Ruin by Jeremy Saulnier, who shared the Jury Prize with Cuban Carlos Machado Quintela for The Swimming Pool.
Andrea Pallaores claimed Best Director for family drama Medeas, while the Best Actor title was also a tie between Didier Michon and Slimane Dazi for Fevers by Hicham Ayouch.
Swedish star Alicia Vikander walked away with the Best Actress prize for Hotell.
A man who was set to testify against an associate accused of stealing computers from Nicolas Cage's ex-lover has been arrested in connection to the burglary himself. Darwin Vela had reportedly teamed up with main suspect Ricardo Orozco and approached representatives for Charlie Sheen with information about the whereabouts of a sex tape belonging to the Platoon star earlier this year (13).
Police managed to link Orozco to the theft of items from Cage's former girlfriend, actress Christine Fulton, after learning he had worked as her handyman. Detectives believe the swiped computers contained the Sheen footage.
Orozco was taken into custody and charged with burglary, and Vela had been recruited to give evidence against his alleged partner in crime during a preliminary court hearing in Los Angeles on Thursday (21Nov13).
However, Vela went missing two days before his scheduled testimony, only to resurface on Friday (22Nov13), claiming he had been kidnapped.
Cops launched an investigation into his disappearance and the drama took another turn on Monday night (25Nov13) when Vela and his girlfriend, Kelly McLaren, were both arrested and charged with breaking into Fulton's home and stealing four computers, among other possessions.
According to TMZ.com, authorities are convinced Vela's kidnap tale was made up so he didn't have to testify against Orozco and they now have reason to believe all three people committed the theft.
A man who went missing two days before he was scheduled to testify against an associate accused of stealing computers from Nicolas Cage's ex-lover has been found. Darwin Vela vanished on Tuesday (19Nov13) while taking his dog for a walk in Los Angeles. Police insiders tell TMZ.com he was picked up by cops on Friday afternoon (22Nov13).
Vela and the accused computer thief, Ricardo Orozco, reportedly alerted Charlie Sheen's representatives to the fact they had a sex tape belonging to the star earlier this year (13). Police then linked Orozco to the theft of actress Christine Fulton's computers, which they believed contained the Sheen sex tape.
Orozco was arrested and charged with burglary and Vela was scheduled to testify in his preliminary hearing on Thursday (21Nov13).
Vela disappearance is currently under investigation. He has told law enforcement officials that he was kidnapped.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Singer Paulina Rubio's ex-husband is accusing her of concealing financial information pertaining to their divorce settlement and spousal support agreement. The couple parted ways in March (13) after five years of marriage and The X Factor judge agreed to pay Nicolas Vallejo-Najera $6,750 (GBP4,500) a month in spousal support for three years.
However, Vallejo-Najera claims the amount is based on a low estimate of the singer's income and he is accusing her of cheating him out of his rightful share of her fortune, according to TMZ.com.
Rubio's lawyer is refuting the claims and tells the website his client was transparent in the the divorce proceeding and her ex is nothing but a "whiner".
The couple are still embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their three-year-old son.
Rubio signed on to host the third season of The X Factor in America earlier this year (13).
Nicolas Cage has denied reports suggesting intimate pictures of him and ex-girlfriend Christina Fulton were among the items allegedly stolen from her home by a former handyman. The Face/Off star's ex-employee Ricardo Orozco has been charged with felony burglary over claims he took four computers and a batch of photos from Fulton's home.
Reports suggested the haul of pictures included graphic images of the former couple, but Cage has now shot down the rumours.
A statement from the actor reads, "Explicit photos of myself and Ms. Fulton simply do not exist and never have."
Orozco has pleaded not guilty to the charge and will return to court on 22 November (13).
Nicolas Cage's former handyman has been arrested on suspicion of stealing personal photos from the home of the movie star's ex-girlfriend Christina Fulton. Ricardo Orozco was taken into custody on 22 October (13) over accusations he took four computers and a box of pictures, allegedly including intimate images of Cage and Fulton, the mother of the actor's son, Weston.
Orozco has pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony burglary and is currently being held on $1 million (£666,667) bail, according to TMZ.com.
He is set to appear in court in Los Angeles on 22 November (13).