Uggie the dog from ‘The Artist’ to retire, says trainer

Uggie, the canine star of Oscar-nominated hit The Artist, is to retire, his trainer has said. Omar von Muller told Life and Style magazine he was hanging up his collar because the 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier was "getting tired".

"He may do a couple of little things here and there because he enjoys them, but I don't want to put him through long hours anymore," he said.

It is thought Uggie will make his final appearance at the Oscars.


Steven Soderbergh on the Art of Directing a Fight Scene

Director Steven Soderbergh has been known for quirky film experiments since "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" gave audiences all three of those things in 1989. He's mixed commercial fare like the "Ocean's" movies, "Erin Brockovich," "Traffic" and the recent "Contagion" with a film-noir attempt ("The Good German") and a two-part Che Guevara movie.


With "Haywire," which opens Jan. 20, he heads in yet another direction, casting Gina Carano, a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter with limited prior acting experience, in the lead role as an international black-ops agent. It's a risk mitigated by a team of male co-stars (Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum) that would seem at home in Mr. Soderbergh's swanky "Ocean's Eleven" world. In fact, "Haywire" plays a bit like "Ocean's," with an added wallop of spy-versus-spy butt-kicking. Mr. Soderbergh talked about his tough new starlet's cross-demographic appeal (from feminists to Ultimate Fighting Championship fans), and the joy of seeing a girl beat up on the boys.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Twilight, and the Return of Women’s Blockbuster Films

When The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hits movie theaters on December 21st, it will be the second major female-led franchise movie released in just over a month. The first, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I, has already earned over $640 million dollars worldwide since its November 18th release and has become the third-highest grossing movie of 2011 (after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- and on a lower budget than those films). The remarkable success of the Twilight film series, with over $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales to date, proves that audiences will show up to see tentpole movies built around women.

Now with the upcoming release of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the spring/summer 2012 openings of Mirror Mirror, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman, audiences are being offered a run of female-oriented big-budget films unlike anything they've seen in recent years. After decades of lavishing resources on male-led action and comic book movies, Hollywood is finally making an effort to give women and their stories the blockbuster treatment.


Oscar Winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Score “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

Early in the process for scoring "The Social Network," hard rock veterans Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross confessed to feeling out of their element.

Sitting recently on his Beverly Hills porch, Reznor recalled, "That wasn't the type of film I thought I knew how to score. It's not the film I would have chosen had I set out to score a film."

Reznor and Ross eventually figured it out, as the digital, atmospheric accompaniment to "The Social Network" won the Oscar for original score. By then, Reznor and Ross were already multiple months into their follow-up in the film world, working once again with director David Fincher, this time on "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."


Kaui Hart Hemmings – the writer of ‘The Descendants’ on her story

Why do I write about families?

When asked, which is unfortunately quite often, I usually just make something up that sounds reflective. I don't like the question. I have no interest in knowing why I write the things I do, but as it's asked so frequently I figured I should put some thought into it. I keep going back to one particular day. I'll walk you through it, show my work like you're supposed to do in algebra class, and by the end maybe I'll have a sensible answer.

It's the summer of 1987 in Honolulu, Hawaii. I'm an 11-year-old wannabe pro-surfer hitchhiking home in a Camero driven by a man named Eagle. Eagle was in a war and he's telling my sister and me about it. He wears aviator sunglasses that shield his eyes and yet show exactly whatever he's looking at. My sister (technically, my stepsister) is in the front seat and I'm thankful because she has to talk. In the back I can daydream with my arm slung around my surfboard like it's my boyfriend. I'm thinking about the present I'm about to get. I didn't ask for a pony. I didn't want new clothes, a new bikini, a surfboard, or Jimmy Cliff and Yellowman tapes. For my 11th birthday I asked to be adopted.


Martin Scorsese goes kinder, gentler with ‘Hugo’

You think you know by now what you'll get in a Martin Scorsese movie. Someone will be gothically whacked. A person's tenuous grip on reality might slip away, possibly in a mental institution. Vengeance will be doled out — with guns, knives, fists or anything else that causes great bodily injury.

And a sweet orphan will search for a new family.

What looks at initial inspection like Hollywood's version of a shotgun marriage — the man behind "Goodfellas," "Raging Bull," "The Departed," "Shutter Island," "Cape Fear" and "Gangs of New York" directs the 3-D family film "Hugo" — makes sense if you look closer. In some ways, Scorsese's personal life and professional interests have guided him toward a gentle movie like this, even while audiences were cowering from his prior mayhem.


Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer talk about making ‘J Edgar’

For nearly five decades, J. Edgar Hoover was the face of law enforcement in the U.S., but to most Americans, the longtime Federal Bureau of Investigations director remains an enigma."J. Edgar," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hoover, chronicles the FBI founder's controversial tenure as a hunter of gangsters and a collector of secrets and explores his mystery-shrouded private life, defined by a devoted relationship to his colleague Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer).

Last week at Warner Bros. studio — on the stage where they shot much of the film — Eastwood, DiCaprio and Hammer spoke with The Times about Hoover's public legacy, his secrets and the future of adult dramas in contemporary Hollywood. The following is an edited excerpt of their conversation. "J. Edgar," which was written by Dustin Lance Black and also stars Naomi Watts as Hoover's trusted secretary, Helen Gandy, and Judi Dench as his imperious mother, opens Nov. 9.


Set Design brings alive 1930s train station in Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’

Surely, any author's dream is to be able to walk into the world they've created in their book. Plenty of writers have been afforded virtually that experience as their books have been adapted to film, but perhaps no one has realized this dream so intensely as Brian Selznick when he visited the set for the Nov. 23 release "Hugo," based on his 2007 book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret."

The film — director Martin Scorsese's first geared toward a young audience — was shot on a full-scale train station set built from scratch, directly inspired by Selznick's illustrations.


On the Set: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law talk ‘Sherlock Holmes’

This much is clear: It's 1891, a year after their first adventure, and the great English detective and Dr. Watson are facing off with Professor Moriarty, a mysterious, peripheral character from their initial blockbuster.

Ask the creative forces behind "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" for more details on the new Robert Downey, due in theaters Dec. 16, and you'll find tight lips. But the set here, a 40-minute train trip west from London, was rife with clues last winter.


Tom Cruise’s Wildest ‘Mission: Impossible’ Stunt

Many movie stars like to boast about how they do their own stunts in their action movies, but Tom Cruise walks the walk. Specifically, he walks right out the window of the tallest building in the world.

Cruise has done some wild stunts in his movie career, but they all pale in comparison to the one he did for "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." The 49-year-old actor climbed up -- and also ran down -- the mirrored glass exterior of the Burj Khalifa, the 181-story, 2,723-foot-tall skyscraper in Dubai that holds the record for the highest structure ever built.


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