In a summer crowded with superhero movies, some films are aiming to appeal to audiences that want a break from comic books.
This season, a number of smaller films are courting viewers in search of movies that deal with real life -- especially with high school.
One of these coming films takes a look at the harsh realities of school: "American Teen" is a documentary that follows the lives of five real high schoolers in the Midwest. Another takes a nostalgic approach: "The Wackness," a comedy starring Ben Kingsley and set in New York during the mid-1990s, tells the story of a high-school kid who trades dope for therapy sessions. "Hamlet 2" is the musical version: the comedy, which set off major bidding wars at this year's Sundance Film Festival, centers on a washed-up actor-turned-high-school drama teacher (Steve Coogan) who writes a musical sequel to Shakespeare's "Hamlet" for his class to perform.
(Wall Street Journal)
When we last saw Indiana Jones 19 years ago, the intrepid archeologist had sacrificed the Holy Grail but finally won the respect of his father, ending the classic film trilogy on an emotional high note. But wait, there's more! The new "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" pits our hero against Russian Cold Warriors in search of yet another mystical talisman.
What went on behind the scenes of this fourth installment, again from famed duo Steven Spielberg and George Lucas? We recently met Indy incarnate Harrison Ford, 65, and "Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf, 21, who plays his trusty sidekick (and, possibly, his son), in Los Angeles for an intimate waterside chat. Ford and LaBeouf gave each other a warm, almost familial embrace before settling in for an upscale hungry man's lunch (both had steak tournedos) and gleefully recounting their adventures on the set.
M. Night Shyamalan says his new film, "The Happening," will terrify moviegoers.
"It is an extremely scary movie. This is meant to scare you," the Indian-born director told reporters Monday. Shyamalan, 37, was visiting India to receive one of the country's highest civilian awards for his contribution to cinema.
Mark Wahlberg plays a schoolteacher on the run from a natural disaster that threatens the entire world.
"The emotional center of the movie is if you knew you were going to die — that was a fact — what would your conversation be like? What would be the last thing you would say to your loved one?" Shyamalan said.
He said he likes to cast action heroes and then give them surprising roles.
"They still bring an energy to the movie," said Shyamalan, who also directed "The Sixth Sense," starring Bruce Willis, and "Signs," starring Mel Gibson.
"You would never have seen Mark in a role like this — he's human, sweet and funny. He plays an ordinary schoolteacher who is not going to come up with a genius plan to save the world," he said.
"The Happening," which also stars Zooey Deschanel, opens June 13 in theaters worldwide.
On June 6 a new Adam Sandler comedy — its pseudomysterious, catchphrase-ready title is “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” — will open across the country. This is hardly a surprising piece of news, since a new Adam Sandler comedy comes around just about every spring or summer. Last year was “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” before that was “Click,” and so on, for as far back as most of Mr. Sandler’s audience can remember.
Which leads me to observe that before this summer is over (on Sept. 9, to be exact), Mr. Sandler will turn 42. I’m not saying that’s especially old — I’ll beat him to that nonmilestone of early middle age by about two months — and I suppose there’s no reason to be surprised. Mr. Sandler has, it seems, been around forever. You have to be pretty long in the tooth to remember what life was like before he showed up as a junior cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” singing dumb songs and doing bad accents on “Weekend Update.”
(New York Times)
He soars through the night sky, disrupts military aviation, wages holy war against those twin bastions of evil, terrorists and corporate bigwigs. He's Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), zillionaire industrialist, and he arrives accompanied by the POW!, BANG! and KA-BOOM! suitable for a movie based on a comic book, but with lots more intelligence than the genre usually demands. It's Iron Man to the rescue, yanking movies and the worldwide box office out of its months-long doldrums and into the stratosphere.
You hear that Harrison Ford is not an easy man to be in a room with. Combative as an interviewee, defensive as a person, you read that he is pernickety, brusque, that he challenges every question. He doesn't want to give anything away. That is part of his charisma.
I am in the beachy luxury of the old Spanish-style hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, chosen no doubt because he lives nearby, to be in a room with him. It's a shock. He's more sexy in the flesh. His face more rugged and real. He smiles a crooked but welcoming smile. His black shirt skims a taut stomach. Lots of working out. Age will not wither him. His hair is thick and in a ruffled crop. I tell him how much better he looks than the night before when I saw him on TV at the Academy Awards.
Long-maned actor Jeff Bridges got into a little method acting to play Obadiah Stane, the flinty elder warmonger of Iron Man.
He happily shaved his head bald for this character of highly questionable ethics, who stands opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the latest Marvel Comics superhero movie, opening Thursday.
"It was wonderful," Bridges says on the wire from California.
Forget the battle of the box office. This summer will mark a showdown of movie toys.
More than 2,000 toys and 6,000 other merchandising tie-ins — from fast-food trinkets to life-size, limited-edition busts — are flooding stores to coincide with summer's biggest movies, including Iron Man, Speed Racer, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk.
And for now, Speed is in the lead. Mattel has begun its largest movie-related toy launch by releasing 1,500 action figures, race tracks and versions of the TV show's famous Mach 5. Nearly 3,000 items, including blankets, underwear and video games, will arrive in time for the movie May 9.
David Duchovny is sitting on the porch of a farmhouse about an hour north of Vancouver, squinting into the wintry afternoon sun. It's late in the process of shooting The X-Files: I Want to Believe, and he's pondering the choice Agent Mulder had to make in the series finale: perfect happiness or the truth? ''I don't think of Mulder as a happy guy,'' Duchovny says. ''He's like a quest hero. That's why I like him so much. He just doesn't give up.'' Costar Gillian Anderson passes by on her way to the set. ''It's all lies!'' she yells out with a grin.
Hey, it might be — after all, ''deceive, inveigle, obfuscate'' was one of the TV show's taglines during its nine-season run on Fox. But six years after the series ended (and a decade since the last film), the new movie promises to be a lot more straightforward than fans of the show might expect.
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