Easy A a teen sex comedy with no actual sex aims rather conspicuously to plumb the best bits of Diablo Cody and Alexander Payne in its upside-down self-consciously campy take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In the role of its high-school Hester Prynne is Emma Stone the sly husky heroine of last year’s surprise hit Zombieland. Tested by a film that is far less clever than its director Will Gluck or screenwriter Bert Royal would have us believe (and they desperately want us to believe) she passes with flying colors delivering a performance that should elevate her into the upper echelon of actresses possessing brains and beauty in equal measure.
Stone plays Olive the kind of quick-witted hyper-literate teen that our educational system produces in ever-diminishing numbers. (If it ever produced them to begin with.) More knowing and sophisticated than others her age she is nonetheless not immune to the pressure of peers and the dread of being labeled a loser. Under duress by a prying friend (Aly Michalka) to dish the details of her birthday weekend a rather mundane affair mainly spent jumping on her bed to the tune of Natasha Bedingfield’s pop monstrosity “Pocket Full of Sunshine ” she feels compelled to embellish a bit and concocts an entirely fictional account of losing her virginity (dubbed the “V-Card” by Royal trying too hard) to a boy from a junior college across town.
Word of Olive’s deflowering spreads with startling speed aided by the incessant rumor-mongering of a catty Evangelical eavesdropper (Amanda Bynes). Suddenly branded a tramp on account of a seemingly harmless little lie Olive opts to embrace her newly tarnished reputation and put it to good use. In a viciously stratified social environment where even the most awkward acne-plagued pariah can earn respect and even admiration from members of the upper castes for having gone All the Way Olive anoints herself the Mother Theresa of (fake) sluts bestowing her blessing upon downtrodden gents in need of a reputation boost. And she resolves to look the part too traipsing around in scandalous bustiers and affixing the letter “A” to her chest.
There are limits to Easy A’s Scarlet Letter conceit overly Glee-ful tone forced repartee and pop-culture references (John Hughes is invoked so many times he should get a producer credit). Which is why director Gluck must be grateful to have found Stone who handles the verbal calisthenics of Royal’s script with charm and verve and a certain effortless appeal that keeps us engaged even as the film wallows in contrived irony and heavy-handedness. Keep your eye on her.
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds didn’t win Best Kiss at Sunday night’s MTV Movie Awards -- even though Reynolds’ wife/proxy Scarlett Johansson and Bullock locked lips in acceptance of the trophy -- but it looks like they’ll get another shot at the Golden Popcorn.
The duo, who starred together in 2009’s The Proposal to the tune of over $160 million, will reunite for another comedy, this time veering more toward action than romance.
Most Wanted will see Bullock play a criminal and Reynolds as a U.S. Marshall who are forced to go on the lam together en route to court.
And the stars aren’t the only tie to The Proposal: Peter Chiarelli, who wrote the script for last year’s rom-com blockbuster, penned Most Wanted, and EW.com reports that Proposal helmer Anne Fletcher is being eyed to rejoin the A-listers behind the camera.
Bullock currently has nothing lined up; Reynolds, however, is currently shooting the surefire megahit Green Lantern, to be followed by the comedy The Change-Up, with Jason Bateman.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily
Walt Disney Studios chairman Rich Ross unveiled the studio's upcoming slate in a wide-rangingdiscussion and presentation on Thursday. Among the announcements, Pixar's Brave has been scheduled for June 15, 2012 while a second Monsters, Inc. will bow in November 2012.Ross showed a reel highlighting upcoming titles including Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Toy Story 3, Tron: Legacy and Secretariat.
He also unveiled the first three movies he's greenlighting: Pirates of the Caribbean 4 and The Muppets in 2011 and Prom in 2012. The latter was described as "smart and authentic" a la what John Hughes used to do, says The Hollywood Reporter. The Muppets movie will introduce a new character called Walter.
Ross, now in the job at Disney for seven months, tipped his cap to the Dick Cook regime that preceded him but also embraced the studio's upcoming slate as his own, says THR.
He emphasized that the tentpole business is crucial to the Disney brand but that not everything on the slate is a four-quadrant movie.
According to Screen, Ross declined to comment on the Miramax sale but did say that until it was finalized a small team was working on marketing materials for such films as The Switch (starring Jennifer Ansiton and Jason Bateman) and Gnomeo & Juliet, the animated fantasy that will go out via Touchstone. Talks are ongoing over who will release Julie Taymor's The Tempest as well, says Screen.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected seven pictures for the special effects and sound editing categories Wednesday, giving George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound plenty to celebrate.
The monster f/x shop nabbed four of the seven slots with its work on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Men in Black II, Minority Report and Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. ILM was actually the lead house on The Chamber of Secrets, with British f/x shops Cinesite, Mill Film and Moving Pictures Co. also providing visuals for the film.
Sony Pictures Imageworks, meanwhile, received a nomination for visuals on Spider-Man and its contributions to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The main f/x house for The Two Towers, however, was once again the New Zealand-based WETA, which won last year's Oscar for best f/x for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
The last f/x shop in the running is Digital Domain for its computer-generated work on xXx. Of the seven tapped to compete, the actioner is the only film dominated by physical rather than digital f/x.
Sony Pictures' live-action pic Stuart Little 2, which featured three major digital charcters, and MGM's spy thriller Die Another Day, which contained more effects than any other previous James Bond films, were surprisingly passed over.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, f/x houses for the seven films in contention will provide the Academy with 15-minute reels of their work for a Feb. 5 "bakeoff," where three of them will be chosen for Oscar nominations.
Minority Report, Spider-Man, The Chamber of Secrets, The Two Towers and xXx also made the semifinalist list in the sound editing category, as well as Road to Perdition and We Were Soldiers.
Each film's sound team is required to submit a 10-minute reel for the Academy. Voters will select the three nominees for Oscar contention Feb. 4.
Will "Felicity" be flunked by the WB? And if it is, will it be granted the equivalent of a summer-school reprieve by ABC? That's the latest buzz, according to today's Hollywood Reporter. The sophomore college-life series, starring Keri Russell, Scott Foley and Scott Speedman, is ranked No. 144 for the season to date, which even by the WB's generous standards is -- how should we say? -- lousy.
The Reporter says if the WB brings down the ax on the show, ABC might be of a mind to pick it up. It could be a karma thing -- the WB previously stole "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" from the alphabet network.
All will be revealed the week of May 15, when all the networks unveil their schedules for the 2000-2001 season.
"South Park" KENNY LIVES (STAN, TOO): "South Park" duo Matt Stone and Trey Parker have inked a new three-year deal with Comedy Central. Per the pact, the team will crank out 10 new episodes a year of their barely animated toon.
"PRACTICE" MAKES PERFECT? The May 21 season finale of ABC's "The Practice" will feature the TV-land wedding of Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott) and Lindsay Dole (Kelli Williams), the network announced today.
MAYBE HE DOESN'T KNOW "READY TO RUMBLE" BOMBED: Actor/toll-free pitchman David Arquette is scheduled to appear on tonight's "WCW Monday Nitro" (8 p.m. EDT/PDT, TNT) to defend the tag-team title acquired last week when he took down reigning champ Eric Bischoff.
SLUMMING: The divine Barbra Streisand will allow her image to be disseminated over cable's American Movie Classics for the purposes of a May 30 documentary, "Reel Models: The First Woman of Film." She'll executive produce, host and probably cater, too.
Hollywood types hope their best work will be remembered when that other awards show announces its nominees Tuesday. But unfortunately, their worst work won't be forgotten either, not if the Golden Raspberry Awards Foundation has anything to say about it.
At least "Wild Wild West" knows it won't walk away honor-less. Last summer's Will Smith stinker, along with the blockbuster "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace", topped the nominations for the 20th Annual Razzie Awards, announced today.
"Wild Wild West" and "Phantom Menace" are up for eight Razzies each. The digs at "West" include nods for Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Kevin Kline), Worst Screen Couple (Kline and Smith), Worst Director (Barry Sonnenfeld), Worst Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh) and two nods for Worst Supporting Actress (Salma Hayek and Kline as a prostitute).
The flick will duke it out for Worst Picture dishonors with "Phantom Menace," as well as "Big Daddy," "The Haunting" and "The Blair Witch Project.".
The Golden Raspberrys also announced nominations for the worst actor and actress of the entire blinkin' 20th century. The uncoveted races will pit the likes of Kevin Costner against Pauly Shore, and Madonna against Brooke Shields.
Past multiple Razzie winners "Striptease," "Showgirls," "Hudson Hawk," "An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" and "The Postman" are all in contention for the title worst picture of the 1990s.
Some of today's picks reveal the Razzies' "pet" performers. Consider the Sofia Coppola worst supporting actress nomination for "Episode I." (Blink and you missed her as one of Queen Amidala's handmaidens. And what were her lines, other than, say, "Yes, your Majesty"?) And what about Sylvester Stallone's nomination for Worst Actor of the Century -- noting he deserves the nod for "99.5% of Everything He's Ever Done." (Ouch.)
The most curious dig: Madonna's nomination for Worst Actress of the Century. According to the Razzies, her bad-movie resume includes 1980's "Endless Love." But, was she even in the film? (No comment yet from the Razzies on that apparent typo.)
Oh well: Like Madonna would show up to the ceremonies, which, for the record, are scheduled for March 25 -- 24 hours before the real-deal Academy Awards -- at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
The actual award, a gold-spray-painted plastic raspberry atop a mangled Super 8 film reel, reportedly is worth about $4.27.
Here's the complete nominee list for the 20th Annual Razzie Awards:
"Big Daddy" "The Blair Witch Project" "The Haunting" "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" "Wild Wild West"
Kevin Costner, "For Love of the Game" and "Message in a Bottle" Kevin Kline, "Wild Wild West" Adam Sandler, "Big Daddy" Arnold Schwarzenegger, "End Of Days" Robin Williams, "Bicentennial Man" and "Jakob The Liar"
Heather Donahue, "The Blair Witch Project" Melanie Griffith, "Crazy in Alabama" Milla Jovovich, "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" Sharon Stone, "Gloria" Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Entrapment" and "The Haunting"
Worst Screen Couple
Pierce Brosnan and Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough" Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Entrapment" Kevin Kline and Will Smith, "Wild Wild West" Jake Lloyd and Natalie Portman, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "The Haunting"
Worst Supporting Actress
Sofia Coppola, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Salma Hayek, "Dogma" and "Wild Wild West" Kevin Kline (as a prostitute), "Wild Wild West" Juliette Lewis, "The Other Sister" Denise Richards, "The World Is Not Enough"
Worst Supporting Actor
Jar Jar Binks (voice by Ahmed Best), "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Kenneth Branagh, "Wild Wild West" Gabriel Byrne, "End of Days" and "Stigmata" Jake Lloyd, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Rob Schneider, "Big Daddy"
Jan DeBont, "The Haunting" Dennis Dugan, "Big Daddy" Peter Hyams, "End Of Days" George Lucas, "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Barry Sonnenfeld, "Wild Wild West"
"Big Daddy" "The Haunting" "The Mod Squad" "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" "Wild Wild West"
Worst Actor of the Century
Kevin Costner The Artist Formerly Known As Prince William Shatner Pauly Shore Sylvester Stallone
Worst Actress of the Century
Elizabeth Berkley Bo Derek Madonna Brooke Shields Pia Zadora
Worst Picture of the Decade
"An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn!" "Hudson Hawk" "The Postman" "Showgirls" "Striptease"
Worst New Star of the Decade
Elizabeth Berkley Jar Jar Binks (voiced by Ahmed Best) Sofia Coppola, "The Godfather Part III," "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace" Dennis Rodman, "Double Team" and "Simon Sez" Pauly Shore