The race to land the coveted role has been a two-year marathon, with many comic book fans urging movie chiefs to sign up Mad Men star Jon Hamm for the lead.
Some critics have slammed the decision to hire Evans, insisting the 28-year-old actor is too young to play Captain America, but the comic giant's editor-in-chief is adamant he's the best man for the job.
Quesada tells Comic Book Resources, "Here you have a guy who absolutely embodies every aspect of Cap (Captain America), including the look and feel of the character. (Producer) Kevin Feige was absolutely beaming after meeting with Chris and seeing what he could do, and I've got to tell you, I think he's perfect as well.
"That to me is the beauty of the movies that we at Marvel produce. We know the characters better than anyone outside of our fans, and we know how important it is to cast just that right person. We aren't a bunch of Hollywood execs who don't understand the source material or its history.
"It's Marvel guys and gals making Marvel movies, and that's a huge difference."
The actor was among the favourites to land the coveted role, and now The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Evans will be the colourful character.
The news is sure to upset comic book purists, who wanted a more mature actor to play the role.
Alex Ross, the artist who redesigned Captain America for Marvel Comics, recently went public with his thoughts on who should play the character.
He told Entertainment Weekly magazine, "We've been saying for years, if you don't sign Jon Hamm to play this part, you're crazy.
"Captain America is supposed to be the patriarch of the Marvel universe. To get a guy in his early to mid-20s is only thinking about where the character began, not what he ultimately needs to become."
Evans will reportedly battle The Matrix and The Wolfman villain Hugo Weaving in the first Captain America movie.
The actor, who became a top villain in The Matrix movies, is the frontrunner to play Red Skull in the Joe Johnston-directed film.
Captain America has yet to be cast but Chris Evans has emerged as one of the favourites to land the role, according to industry insiders.
Kathryn Bigelow made Oscars history when she became the first female to land the top director honour, beating ex-husband James Cameron in the process.
Calling the huge win "the moment of a lifetime," Bigelow dedicated the award to "the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world."
The gritty film also claimed the night's sound awards, film editing and original screenplay prizes - as it collected six of the nine accolades it was nominated for.
Avatar, the world's biggest grossing movie ever, was a triple winner and Up, Crazy Heart and Precious won double.
All the pre-show favourites won the big acting prizes with Jeff Bridges claiming Best Actor, Sandra Bullock Best Actress, Mo'Nique Best Supporting Actress and Christoph Waltz Best Supporting Actor.
Bigelow led what became a great night for firsts - Bullock became the first star to land a Golden Raspberry dishonour the same year as an Oscar - she picked up the Worst Actress Razzie for All About Steve on Saturday (06Mar10); Bridges won his first Oscar for Crazy Heart after five attempts, and 33 of 39 Academy Award winners took home their first Oscars, with The Hurt Locker trio of Bigelow, writer Mark Boal and sound editor Paul N.J. Ottosson picking up their first and second accolades at the 82nd annual prizegiving.
The full list of winners at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood is:
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Original Song: The Weary Kind by Ryan Bingham & T-Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart)
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker)
Best Animated Short: Logorama
Best Documentary Short: Music by Prudence
Best Live Action Short: The New Tenants
Best Make-Up: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall & Joel Harlow (Star Trek)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire)
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire)
Best Art Direction: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg & Kim Sinclair (Avatar)
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell (The Young Victoria)
Best Sound Editing: Paul N.J. Ottosson (The Hurt Locker)
Best Sound Mixing: Paul N.J. Ottosson & Ray Beckett (The Hurt Locker)
Best Cinematography: Mauro Fiore (Avatar)
Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino (Up)
Best Visual Effects: Andrew R. Jones, Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum & Richard Baneham (Avatar)
Best Documentary Feature: The Cove
Best Film Editing: Bob Murawski & Chris Innis (The Hurt Locker)
Best Foreign Language Film: El secreto de sus ojos (Argentina)
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
The latest chapter in Martin Scorsese’s fruitful DiCaprio phase is the haunting psychological thriller Shutter Island. Based on the bestselling novel by Mystic River author Dennis Lehane Shutter Island casts Leo as U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels a World War II veteran and recent widower assigned with investigating the escape of a female inmate from Ashecliffe Hospital a facility for the criminally insane housed on an ominous island outside Boston Harbor.
Ashecliffe Hospital is the Casa Bonita of mental institutions a decaying storm-battered Gothic fortress packed with raving homicidal crazies from all sides of the lunatic spectrum. Orderlies dressed in asylum white and almost uniformly African-American attempt to subdue their screams while impassive physicians subject their brains to all manner of rudimentary — and often barbaric — experimental “treatments” considered cutting-edge in the early ‘50s. (Shutter Island's story is set in 1954 back when lobotomies were regularly dispensed and homosexuality was still officially classified as a mental disorder.)
The proprietor of this madhouse is Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) an effete probing psychiatrist whose bowtie alone suggests a near-infinite capacity for evil. (Seriously — never trust any bowtie-wearer not named Pee Wee Herman. Just look at this guy.) He’s flanked by the German-born Dr. Naehring (Max Von Sydow) a vision of clinical Teutonic malevolence wrapped in a labcoat and wire-rimmed glasses. Needless to say Marshal Daniels is immediately suspicious of both.
The case of the missing inmate proves to be something of a red herring and Shutter Island an abrupt conspiratorial turn when Daniels reveals to his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) his true motive for coming to Ashecliffe: Housed somewhere within its walls he believes is the arsonist responsible for the apartment fire that killed his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) just a few years prior. What’s more Ashecliffe appears to be no mere hospital but rather a secret government facility wherein gruesome Nazi-inspired mind-control experiments are conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the hopes of gaining an edge on the Commies.
Suddenly faint sounds of the cuckoo alarm can be heard and as Daniels sets out to unravel the conspiracy the conspiracy has already begun to unravel him. Wandering through Ashecliffe’s creaking labyrinth he's beset by haunting visions and engulfed by Scorsese’s menacing atmospheric blend of flickering lights leaky ceilings violent thunderclaps deranged inmates and other classic crazymaking cinematic conventions. Throw in some abrupt smash cuts a jarringly arrhythmic score and an undercurrent of Cold War paranoia and you've got yourself one terrifyingly potent batsh*t crazy stew.
Sometimes too potent. Shutter Island's narrative is bedeviled by inconsistent pacing its slow burn all too often interrupted by overlong exposition-heavy dialogue exchanges that effectively halt the film's momentum forcing Scorsese to build the tension again from scratch as we struggle to process the revelations that have just been dumped upon us. And its extended "I see dead people" denouement strays into the hackneyed abyss of Shyamalan-land. Thankfully for us it doesn't linger long enough to spoil all the brain-scrambling fun.
The majesty of the Emerald Isle is on full display in Leap Year an opposites attract romantic comedy starring Amy Adams (Julie & Julia Enchanted) and Matthew Goode (A Single Man Watchmen). Director Anand Tucker (Shopgirl Hilary and Jackie) shooting entirely on location in Ireland takes us on a whirlwind tour of the country’s breathtaking landscape reveling in its fabled fairy-tale charm.
Pity then that such a magnificent setting is so mercilessly defaced by Leap Year’s unrelenting mediocrity. The film’s dubious premise testing the already loose limits of rom-com believability casts Adams as Anna a type-A career girl who flies to Ireland intending to pop the question to her feet-dragging boyfriend on February 29th aka Leap Day. Why Leap Day? Because according to some idiotic old Irish tradition that’s when women are allowed to do such things. (Click here to watch Adams herself try to explain the plot.)
Unfortunately for Anna weather problems force her plane to land far away from Dublin and her would-be fiance. Trapped in a tiny coastal town with no reliable transportation at her disposal she enlists the help of a scruffy abrasive barkeep named Declan (Goode) to drive her cross-country so she can reach her destination by the 29th. And thus begins the traditional rom-com mating ritual of sexually-charged bickering followed by moments of abrupt awkward intimacy.
While watching Leap Year I swear I could hear the Irish countryside quietly weeping as it witnessed Goode and Adams slog through the film's succession of trite misadventures the talented actors straining in vain to manufacture some semblance of romantic chemistry as an assortment of jolly Waking Ned Devine types futilely spurred them on. Oh if only Greenpeace could have intervened and put a halt to such wanton environmental desecration. It's the worst thing to come out of Ireland since The Cranberries.
Disney animators are back on top of the cartoon world after dominating nominations for the 37th annual Annie Awards.
The family film studio's The Princess and the Frog landed eight nods, and upcoming festive TV special Prep and Landing claimed nine in the TV awards categories.
The Princess and the Frog will compete with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Secret of Kells and Up for the Annie Awards' top honor, Best Film, while The Simpsons will be the major competition for Prep and Landing in the Best Animated TV Production category.
The coveted Best Animated Television Production for Children prize will be fought for by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, SpongeBob Squarepants, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, The Mighty B! and The Penguins of Madagascar.
Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox), Pete Docter (Up), Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), Hayao Miyazaki (Ponyo) and Henry Selick (Coraline) will compete for the Best Director award. Anderson and writing partner Noah Baumbach are also favorites to land the writing award for Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Meanwhile, John Leguizamo (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs), Dawn French (Coraline), Hugh Laurie (Monsters vs. Aliens), Jennifer Lewis and Jen Cody (both The Princess and the Frog) are the nominees for the Voice Acting in a Feature Production category.
The Annie Awards will be presented by the International Animated Film Society at Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles in February.
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The Head of State star was among the frontrunners to land the main role in a new Pryor biopic, but he allegedly lost the part after jokingly defending shamed American football star Michael Vick, who recently served time for running an illegal dog-fighting ring.
During a recent appearance on U.S. TV's The Jay Leno Show, Rock said, "What the hell did Michael Vick do? Pitbulls ain't (sic) even real dogs! Dogs have never been good to black people!"
The quip offended Pryor's wife Jennifer, who serves as the director of animal rescue group Pryor's Planet, and she made sure Rock's throwaway comments cost him the movie job.
In an open letter to the star, Jennifer fumes, "For your information, Chris, what Michael Vick did was to torture, drown, electrocute and murder dogs all for fun and for profit! He went to prison for felony animal cruelty! That's what he did!
"These types of comments only encourage abuse and misunderstanding of this breed, as well as actual dog-fighting. Clearly this part of your latest stand-up routine would not make Richard laugh!"
Fellow funnyman Marlon Wayans is reported to have landed the coveted role in Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said?, which is expected to hit cinemas in 2011.
Pryor, who founded Pryor's Planet before his death, passed away in 2005 from a cardiac arrest, aged 65.
Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze’s (Being John Malkovich Adaptation) ambitious adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book has been referred to variously as “experimental” and “art-house” — and only occasionally in a derisive manner — by numerous movie critics and journalists. For all of their negative box-office implications the labels do come with certain benefits the most important of which is a little-known loophole in the filmmaking code that renders certain films largely exempt from standard rules of story structure to which more orthodox films are expected to adhere.
That is they’re expected to have a structure. Where the Wild Things Are is above such trifles. Sendak’s source material with its 10 lines of text is largely devoid of any real storyline so the task fell to Jonze and his co-writer Dave Eggers to manufacture one. Given essentially a blank slate with which to work they used the opportunity to explore the id of a child reeling from the painful aftermath of divorce. And what a mind-bending journey it is.
Newcomer Max Records stars as Max a rambunctious young boy with a taste for mischief and an overabundance of energy. It’s a volatile combination if left unchecked and it eventually erupts in disastrous fashion one evening when Max’s exasperated overworked mother (played by Catherine Keener) has the audacity to invite her boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo on screen for all of a nanosecond) over for dinner.
Confronted by the alarming sight of his mother sneaking a kiss with a man who clearly isn’t his dad Max acts out in hideous fashion prompting a similarly hideous overreaction from his mortified mom. Stung by her harsh words Max makes a break for it running away to a wooded sanctuary on the bank of a river where he climbs aboard an unattended sailboat and is transported to a strange and distant land.
It’s there that he meets the titular Wild Things a close-knit if highly dysfunctional group of furry gargantuan beings with oversized heads and normal unaltered human voices. There are seven in all: sensitive temperamental Carol (James Gandolfini); amiable level-headed Douglas (Chris Cooper); skeptical smart-alecky Judith (Catherine O’Hara); patient avuncular Ira (Forest Whitaker); meek insecure Alexander (Paul Dano); tender affectionate KW (Lauren Ambrose); and mysterious intimidating Bull (Michael Berry Jr.).
And that’s it. There’s no villain to be found in Where the Wild Things Are. (At least not a tangible one anyway. I suppose “society” or “fear” might be considered among Max’s antagonists; then again “fear” may also have been Gandolfini’s character. I can’t remember.)
Together Max and his new companions play games destroy trees build forts and bicker — to what end it’s never exactly clear. As Max frolics about his imaginary world with his crew of overgrown H.R. Pufnstuf rejects each of whom is meant to symbolize an emotion of some kind it becomes increasingly apparent that there’s no real point to the proceedings.
Which is why there’s no resolution to Where the Wild Things Are either. And shame on you for expecting one. If you want a neat and tidy resolution go see Couples Retreat or some other “mainstream” release philistine. This is Spike Jonze’s playground and if you dare subject him to rules or limits of any kind he may just pick up his genius ball and go home.
The real brilliance of Where the Wild Things Are is how its director aided by the extraordinary work of cinematographer Lance Acord and his production design team is able to plug directly into the amygdalae of adults of a certain age and background effectively disabling their capacities for critical thinking. It could be the greatest Jackass prank Jonze has ever pulled.
Where the Wild Things Are is not a movie for kids and not because it’s particularly violent or scary — indeed it’s downright tame compared to the last Harry Potter flick. Children by definition aren’t nearly as susceptible to the film's naked appeals to nostalgia and as parents’ eyes well up while they watch it behind rose-colored lenses their offspring will be texting “WTF?” to their similarly bored friends as the film meanders toward its disappointing conclusion.
Freud on the other hand would absolutely adore Where the Wild Things Are particularly during its climactic sequence in which Max frantically fleeing a rampaging Carol literally leaps into KW's gooey womb which presumably represents the comfort and safety of a mother’s unconditional love. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if several years from now the movie becomes a fixture at child psychologists’ offices serving as a sort of multimedia Rorschach test to help therapists better understand their young patients. But that’s pretty much the extent of the film’s utility.
Here’s the real symbolism inherent in Where the Wild Things Are: Max symbolizes Jonze while the mother represents the director’s expectations for the audience. After Jonze runs off and blithely plays with our emotions for a few desultory hours giving us only ambiguity tinged with melancholy in return he expects us to reward him with a loving embrace and a hot bowl of soup.
It’s all rather childish.
Matt Damon has been tipped to star in forthcoming science fiction tale The Adjustment Bureau, reports Variety.
George Nolfi, who wrote Damon's The Bourne Ultimatum and who is also writing the next Bourne franchise installment, would make his directing debut with The Adjustment Bureau.
The project is said to be loosely based on a Philip K. Dick short story in which a real estate salesman discover that the world is really a manufactured reality controlled by mysterious guardians.
Meanwhile, Variety reports that several studios were bidding on Adam McKay's B-Team, an action comedy written by Chris Henchy starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Henchy co-wrote Ferrell's upcoming Land of the Lost, and is co-executive producer of HBO's Entourage, on which Wahlberg is executive producer. He is also involved in McKay and Ferrell's Web site FunnyOrDie.com.
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