Chloe Grace Moretz will play the titular character, originally portrayed by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 adaptation of Stephen King's book.
Twin Peaks star Piper Laurie played the mum in the acclaimed film.
The remake, to be directed by Kimberly Peirce, is set for a March 2013 release, according to movie news website BloodyDisgusting.com.
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
For this week’s The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence not only transformed herself mentally to play a teenaged survivalist but also physically, in order to accurately portray the masterful hunter and archer that Katniss Everdeen has become. It’s something of a tribute to female roles that are genuinely kickass, physically demanding and heroic, not faux-empowering, exploitative or merely tough-looking. Here are other movies with such qualities from their leading ladies.
Before Michelle Rodriguez became a big star (and a bit of a troublemaker), she broke out in this little indie. With virtually no budget and thus scant room for stunt doubles and nifty effects, Rodriguez was forced to become a real female boxer, and the result was a very credible performance – and countless Best Newcomer-type awards.
Million Dollar Baby
Another boxing movie, another actress who went the extra mile to authenticate her performance and character. Hilary Swank’s training was “two and a half hours of boxing and approximately an hour and a half to two hours lifting weights every day, six days a week.” It showed – and paid off: She won a Best Actress Oscar for the second time in her career.
Though Demi Moore’s performance wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy (it was Razzie-worthy, though: She won Worst Actress in 1997), there’s no denying that her portrayal of the first woman to undergo Navy SEAL training was physically demanding – and that Moore met those demands head-on. And, uh, hair-off!
Uma Thurman was put through the ringer – mentally, emotionally AND physically (how she was not nominated for an Oscar is beyond us) – in Quentin Tarantino’s two-“volume” martial arts/revenge opus, and while Tarantino and master choreographer Yuen Woo-ping deserve a lot of credit for the memorable fight sequences, Thurman was at the center of them all. Which is impressive even if her stunt double was heavily involved.
While we’re on the subject of Tarantino and his borderline fetishism of female empowerment, we must mention Death Proof – in which real-life stuntwoman Zoe Bell plays a stuntwoman on the run (along with Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms) from Kurt Russell’s deranged Stuntman Mike. And she, naturally, performs her own stunts, including riding on the hood of a car at breakneck speeds, sans CGI. If that wasn’t physically demanding, then what is?
So … yeah, we cheated a bit. But how could we not include a TV show – really the only one of its kind, save perhaps for series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the original Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels, to a much lesser degree – that features a female lead (Jennifer Garner) performing crazy action sequences on a weekly basis? Well, we couldn’t!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Be it the original trilogy adaptation, featuring Noomi Rapace, or David Fincher’s recent Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara, playing antiheroine Lisbeth Salander is clearly not for the dainty actresses out there – or any actresses afraid of physicality, whether it’s uglifying one’s appearance drastically or filming sexually abusive scenes.
Even if Linda Hamilton didn’t perform all her stunts in the first two Terminator movies – and it’s safe to assume that she didn’t – it is abundantly clear that she put in a ton of time at the gym to not only be ready for said stuntwork, if necessary, but also create a ripped Sarah Connor who doesn’t look silly handling various guns.
Multiple Angelina Jolie Movies
These days, Jolie looks a little, er, fragile to pass as a believable ass-kicking action heroine, but in all of her action movies (including the Tomb Raiders, Wanted, Salt and even Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Jolie has insisted on doing as many of her own stunts as possible. Which for insurance reasons might not translate to that many, but stil, she’s clearly game for physically demanding roles.
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Poor St. Patrick. His Day has devolved into a celebration of – and with – alcohol rather than a celebration of the man himself and what he represents: the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day 2012, we’re here to perpetuate that modern tradition with a list our favorite drunk scenes of all time. (NOTE: THE CLIPS BELOW CONTAIN VULGAR LANGUAGE AND/OR WILL FERRELL’S BUTT.)
Leaving Las Vegas
A great drunk scene need not be of the comedic variety. Exhibit A: almost every scene of Nicolas Cage’s (career-best, Oscar-winning) performance as a man on a mission to drink himself to death. Several sequences are depressingly memorable, but one of the best involves a little bit of humor, a bar fight and the awesome line “Like the kiln klan king of the rim ram room.”
“We’re going streaking!” With that line – and, of course, the gratuitous display of his ass (which would soon become his go-to move) – Will Ferrell cemented a spot in many a frat guy’s heart and on any list like this one. It also actually might’ve helped launch him into superstardom, as he went on quite a roll following Old School, and this scene was certainly its most memorable.
Much of Superbad revolves around procuring alcohol, and many such scenes that take place after said procurement are instant classics (i.e., Michael Cera and Martha MacIsaac getting, uh, clumsy in bed, or Cera reluctantly singing to a group of coked-out older guys), but the best might be the one that sets the movie apart from straightforward raunch-fests before and since: the hilariously tender scene between Cera and Jonah Hill after a long night of drunken craziness. Boop!
Billy Bob Thornton singlehandedly helped refresh the entire holiday-movie genre with his title mall Santa – an obscenity-spewing, alcohol-swilling curmudgeon out to make money on Christmas, not make kids smile. In one of the movie's best scenes (above), hilarity starts the very second we see Thornton’s character, in Santa attire, roll up the escalator, wasted, with a broken bottle of booze in his hand.
The Big Lebowski
It’s not exactly a drunk scene, per se, but we wouldn’t feel right about not including it: While driving, with a beer in one hand and joint in the other (certainly not something we’d recommend trying), The Dude (Jeff Bridges) tries to flick the joint roach out of his closed car window, lets out one of the more hilarious yelps in movie history when it falls on his crotch, and then does, well, the somewhat sensible thing by using his beer as a fire extinguisher. And then crashes.
“No more yanky my wanky. The Donger need food!” What else can be said? Ever??
Otis Day & The Knights - Shout (video edit) from FunkyRob on Vimeo.
John Belushi and Co. spent much of this beloved college comedy drunk (except for the great “I’m a zit, get it?” scene) – and oftentimes seemed drunk even when their characters weren’t – but the best, most purely fun drunkenness is on display during Otis Day & the Knights’ performance of “Shout” at a Delta House packed with frat guys and their dates ready to sing and dance like fools.
Don’t let the horrendous Russell Brand update taint the 1981 Arthur. In fact, let it prompt you to watch or re-watch the fantastic original, in which Dudley Moore plays the title character, arguably the greatest film drunk of all time (whatever that means). It’s pretty tough to choose just one amazing drunk scene, so we went with several. Because you truly can’t hear that laugh enough.
How about a scene involving what will not be drunk instead of a “drunk scene”? Even though it doesn’t contain anything memorable that meets the basic criteria of our list, Sideways is expressly about alcohol, so it does have some business being on a list commemorating THE drunk holiday, and … OK, we just had to find a way to include Paul Giammatti’s classic anti-merlot line.
Saturday night's premiere of Game Change garnered huge ratings for HBO -- to the tune of 2.1 million viewers.
That figure ranks as the network's most watched original movie since 2004, when the Mos Def-starring Something the Lord Made netted 2.6 million viewers.
The film, directed by Jay Roach, is based on John Heilemann's 2010 bestseller of the same name, about 2008 presidential candidate John McCain (Ed Harris) and his running mate Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore).
UPDATE: Sorry, Bachelor fans. Controversial NFL quarterback Tim Tebow will not be the new Bachelor.
He was recently approached by The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who asked Tebow if he'd be interested in being the series' next rose-giver. And, well, he didn't say no at the time. But now, a Denver Broncos spokesman tells TheWrap that "Tim will not be participating in the show. Earlier, Harrison says, Tebow "would never do it. He has a little job called quarterback in the NFL. At least for another year!" That, or perhaps Tebow, who's been linked recently to Taylor Swift (et al.!) isn't a bachelor? Tebow wouldn't actually be the series' first football player, or even quarterback, or even former Florida Gators quarterback; that would be season 5's Jesse Palmer. Source: Access Hollywood
Now that the Oscars are behind us, we can get back to the things that really matter…like heightening our senses for films to keep on our radar for next year’s ballot. If Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has taught us anything, it’s that the Oscars love family dramas; family dramas like this week’s Being Flynn. Despite it’s title, Being Flynn has absolutely nothing to do with Tron. The Flynn in this case is Nick Flynn, a young man who works in a homeless shelter in Boston. While there, he is suddenly confronted with his estranged, conman father. Based on a true story, Being Flynn has all the makings of a powerfully jarring drama. While the film’s main stars are Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, there are a few young, up-and-coming actors to be found in the cast as well. One such performer is the beautiful and talented Olivia Thirlby.
Probably the role for which she’s most known, if you’re lucky enough to already know who she is, Olivia Thirlby appeared in the hit 2007 indie comedy hit Juno. The film centers on a high school girl, a social misfit named Juno, who accidentally manages to get pregnant by her longtime best friend. The film is a straightforward, yet charmingly quirky deconstruction of societal standards and traditional family values. Thirlby plays Juno’s best friend Leah who is an absolute riot. The things that come flying unrestrained from her mouth maybe the product of Diablo Cody’s wildly eccentric script, but Thirlby’s delivery is simply outstanding.
New York, I Love You
I really love anthology films. They allow multiple filmmakers to add their own perspective to one overall vision. And even if one individual story doesn’t work, you don’t have to suffer it long before an entirely new tale unfolds. In 2009, a conglomeration of directors got together to create a celluloid collage entitled New York, I Love You. The film is actually the follow-up to 2007’s Paris, Je t’aime, which featured several tales of love and human connections in the city of light. New York ,I Love You similarly explores love, but this time in the city that never sleeps. Thirlby turns in a rather meta performance as an actress in the segment directed by Brett Ratner.
Thirlby reveled as the feisty first love of a young and depressed drug dealer Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck), who also happens to be the chief supplier of her psychologist stepfather's (Ben Kingsley) regular intake of marijuana. Thirlby played the spirited love interest in a way we haven't seen before. Her character was inspiring, but not without her own pain and darkness weighting her down. Working in accordance with writer/director Jonathan Levine's fun and interesting script, Thirlby created an unforgettable and full character who, in the wrong hands, could have turned out to be just a vehicle for Peck's journey.
Bored to Death
Though short-lived, the HBO series Bored to Death made quite an impression with fans. The show follows a writer named Jonathan Ames, played by Jason Schwartzman, who spends his evenings working as a private detective. Co-starring Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson, Bored to Death is an off-the-wall satire of film noir and Raymond Chandler-type detective stories. Thirlby plays Suzanne, Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend who ends up providing a great deal of the character’s motivation and anguish throughout the first season. Considering how gorgeous as Thirlby is, I guess we can understand his unwillingness to accept that their relationship is kaput.
This entry may seem like a bit of a cheat, as it hasn’t been released yet, but Pete Travis’ Dredd represents one of the biggest reasons you’re going to want to become very familiar with Thirlby and soon. Dredd is the reboot of the comic book character Judge Dredd, whose escapades were already brought the screen once in the 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone. Judge Dredd exists in a dystopian future in which criminality has become such a problem that a special police force is tasked with acting as judge, jury, and executioner right at the scene of the crime. As much as I thoroughly love the campy, cheesy goodness of Judge Dredd, I am very much looking forward to seeing Karl Urban’s take on the character and seeing Thirlby dish out justice right alongside the helmeted hero.
This week, Warner Brothers invites you to Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. The sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth is the story of a young man searching for his lost grandfather on an uncharted island. He is accompanied by mother’s muscle head boyfriend, as well as two other unlikely adventurers; one of whom is the pilot of the helicopter that crash lands on the island. Starring as the beefy guardian of the protagonist is Dwayne Johnson (née The Rock). The Rock, who as we all know started his career as a professional wrestler, has proven to be quite the box office draw since making the leap to film.
But here at Under the Radar, what interests us just as much as a big star (quite literally in the case of The Rock) is a talented character actor who may not get as much recognition. Such is the case with The Rock’s Journey 2 costar Luis Guzman. Guzman has been working in Hollywood for many years and has appeared in more major, well-known films than we can count. We’ve compiled this list of some of our favorites.
Al Pacino, a decade after portraying Tony Montana in Scarface, reteamed with director Brian De Palma to bring us another iconic Hispanic gangster in 1993’s Carlito’s Way. Pacino’s Carlito Brigante is a former drug kingpin trying to go straight upon his release from prison, but his return to his old neighborhood thrusts him back into the life he thought he’d left behind. A phenomenal film, Carlito’s Way features a number of great performances, in particular that of Sean Penn as a corrupt lawyer. To his credit, Guzman stands out as well as one of Carlito’s oldest friends, who goes on to become his right-hand man.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Oscar-nominated 1997 film Boogie Nights is a wild exploration of the nefarious world of the adult film industry in the 1970s and 1980s. The film features an outstanding ensemble cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, and, of course, Luis Guzman. Guzman plays a flashy club owner whose hot nightspot serves as a place of introduction for many of the film’s colorful characters.
Despite the fact that, these days, you can’t throw a wooden stake without hitting a vampire movie, 1992’s Innocent Blood is truly fantastic. It’s the story of a beautiful vampire named Marie living, and feeding in Pittsburgh. The thing that makes her unique is that Marie has a very distinct craving…for Italian. She bites the local mafia boss, but in doing so, breaks one of her cardinal rules: she doesn’t kill him. Before long, the city is awash in undead criminals. Innocent Blood is John Landis’ darkly comedic mash up of horror and gangster films, and the combination makes for a decidedly different kind of underworld. With his appearance the film, Guzman adds yet another prominent director to his resume.
While not necessarily one of his artier film roles, Guzman’s turn in the 2005 comedy Waiting never fails to slay us. He costars with Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long, and Anna Faris in this vulgar examination of the darker side of waiting tables and the nightmares inherent in working for tips. Guzman plays a member of the kitchen staff at popular restaurant Shenaniganz who engages in a rather disgusting version of show-and-tell with the other staff members. Our advice: don’t look down.
Out of Sight
Steven Soderbergh adapts the work of legendary crime novelist Elmore Leonard to create a smooth, sexy neo noir in 1998’s Out of Sight. It’s a classic story of cops and robbers, of murder and mayhem. Starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, Out of Sight is easily one of the best crime films of the last fifteen years. Guzman plays Chino, an escaped convict who fancies himself a much harder criminal than he actually is. One of the film’s most memorable moments is the scene in which Lopez’s Karen Sisco, a US Marshall, easily takes him down single-handedly while he comically professes his dubious innocence.
Sarah Jessica Parker, not Mary Louise Parker, is replacing Demi Moore in Lovelace, according to the latest reports.
On Wednesday, Moore dropped out of the film after checking into rehab; then Chloe Sevigny joined the cast, but not as Moore's replacement; finally, earlier Friday, it seemed that Parker (the Mary-Louise version) had been brought on to officially fill in for Moore -- only to be disproved by the latest news, which comes from Lovelace's directors, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Got all that?!
Parker will play feminist icon Gloria Steinem -- as Moore was set to do -- in the film, about X-rated star Linda Lovelace. It is still on track for release later this year.