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Michael Clarke Duncan dead at age 54

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has passed away at the age of 54, from complications suffered from a heart attack he had in July.

Known for his big build and deep voice, Duncan was in the prime of his life. His first movie role was in 1995's Friday, and he had several small parts playing bouncers and muscle men. It wasn't until 1997's Armageddon that he had a meatier role with more lines, playing one of the rough-and-tumble drilling crew drafted into blowing up an approaching asteroid.

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tony Scott, director of Top Gun, dead of apparent suicide

In a shocking news story that is still unfolding, Top Gun director Tony Scott is dead after jumping off a bridge in Long Beach, CA. The body of the 68-year-old filmmaker, the brother of director Ridley Scott, was retrieved by Coast Guard personnel.

According to the Coast Guard, Scott parked his black Toyota Prius in an eastbound lane on the Vincent Thomas bridge at approximately 12:30 PM Sunday. Witnesses claim to have seen Scott climb a fence on the bridge's south side and leap off the side "without hesitation."

A suicide note was recovered from Scott's car but no further information has been released by authorities.

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James Gunn pursued for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios has a prime candidate in mind to direct its Guardians of the Galaxy superhero movie, and it's James Gunn. Best known for being the screenwriter of the 2000 remake of Dawn of the Dead and the two live-action Scooby-Doo movies, Gunn also wrote and directed the gross-out horror/comedy Slither and the black comedy Super which starred Rainn Wilson. He also wrote the script for The Specials, a low-budget comedy about a dysfunctional superhero family.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ciaran Hinds rules in Game of Thrones

Welsh-born thespian Ciaran Hinds has been cast as the King-Beyond-the-Wall, aka Mance Rayder, in Game of Thrones' third season.

The 57-year-old Hinds has appeared on HBO before playing Julius Caesar in Rome, the big-budgeted historial drama. He's also appeared in There Will Be Blood, the recent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John Carter and Steven Spielberg's Munich.

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Avengers 2 movie gets release date

May 6 was the date that Marvel's The Avengers movie arrived and took the world by storm. As I write these words, The Avengers has grossed over $1.4 billion dollars worldwide and over $600 million alone from North American theaters.

Last week one big piece of the puzzle concerning the inevitable Avengers sequel fell into place as Marvel Studios announced the return of writer/director Joss Whedon for Avengers 2. Marvel had already set in ink the planned release dates for their second wave of superhero movies:

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Vacation!

When August rolls around in Hollywood, the news tends to dry up. That's why it's the perfect time to unplug, try to destress and enjoy the warm weather while I can.

For the next few days I'm taking a much-deserved family vacation. I'll be away from the internet and thus won't be updating until the weekend, but I've asked for the help from a few friends to keep an eye on the site for me.

Have fun, consider this an open thread and I'll see you soon.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Eastwood, Ford, Cage, Snipes wanted for Expendables 3

If the producer of The Expendables series has his way, we will see even more legendary action movie stars participating in the next installment of the film franchise. According to Expendables producer Avi Lerner, they are talking right now to Clint Eastwood about playing a part in Expendables 3. "We've got a character in mind for him," Lerner told the Total Film outlet.

And that's not all the heroes Lerner wants for The Expendables 3. They are also talking to Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes to play characters in the next movie, although Snipes would have to wait until his current prison obligations are finished before participating.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bourne Legacy dethrones the Dark Knight

Even with a new leading man, The Bourne Legacy took off and captured the #1 spot at the box office this weekend. Jeremy Renner benefitted from having his mug in The Avengers, and it worked as audiences were attracted to see what he could do stepping into Matt Damon's shoes. The Bourne Legacy opened to the tune of $40.2 million dollars.

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis also drew the curious to their new comedy The Campaign, which opened in second spot with $27.4m.

After being in top spot for three weekends, The Dark Knight Rises fell to #3 ($19.5m new, $390.1m total).

Meryl Streep's new comedy Hope Springs debuted in #4 with an opening of $15.6m.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

UPDATE: Ben Affleck approached to direct WB's Justice League movie

Warner Bros. seems intent on making its live-action Justice League movie. When the studio jettisoned their first creative incarnationfor the pic three years ago, at the time it seemed that WB wanted to pursue developing stand-alone superhero tentpoles like Christopher Nolan's Batman films, the Green Lantern movie that starred Ryan Reynolds and possible Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash movies. They also took a stab at a western, Jonah Hex, which bombed hard in the summer of 2010.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Joss Whedon onboard to write and direct Avengers 2

During a conference call with Disney investors, company chairman and CEO Bob Iger dropped the bombshell that Avengers writer/director Joss Whedon has officially signed to write and direct The Avengers 2.

There's also this piece of news too: Whedon will be involved in some capacity with the proposed spinoff set in The Avengers/Marvel Cinematic Universe for ABC.

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First official image of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln

He's wearing a beard! After a year of keeping it as quiet as possible, the first official look at Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln has finally been released.

Day-Lewis is portraying the 16th President of the United States in Lincoln, the next movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Lincoln is set for release on November 9, and is going to be one of the fall's big dramas no matter which way you slice it. And with an Oscar-winning actor portraying the Prez, people will be watching closely to see if the notoriously method acting chops of DDL warrant any interest when awards season starts in full.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Trailer: Zero Dark Thirty

The hunt for Osama bin Laden took nearly ten years. Last summer American soldiers entered a compound in Pakistan and finally cornered the terrorist and alleged mastermind behind the attacks on 9/11, killing him in a fierce gunfight and making news headlines around the world.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises tops box office for third weekend in a row

The latest Bat-film beat the remake of Total Recall this weekend at theaters. For the third weekend in a row The Dark Knight Rises was the number one movie in theaters, taking in an estimated $36.4 million dollars. That brings the movie's total domestic gross up to $354.6 million dollars. With another $378 million bucks earned from international venues, TDKR has a worldwide gross of $733 million dollars.

Len Wiseman's remake of Total Recall fell into the number two slot with a so-so gross of $26 million dollars. The movie is estimated to have cost its makers $125 million dollars, so a showing in the black for the new Recall is unlikely to come just from its domestic ticket sales.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trailer #2: Doctor Who series 7

It's coming up on five months since the shakycam trailer for Doctor Who's seventh series (reboot era) and the time has come for a legitimate one. BBC America just released this tasty preview of some of the action to be expected in the Doctor's new adventures with his married companion couple Amy and Rory. There's Daleks, Weeping Angels, a cyborg cowboy, dinosaurs on a spaceship and some new mech guys who are very cross with the Doctor. Watch and see for yourself:

 

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The 2012 list of Sight & Sound's top 50 movies of all time

Every year 'round this time the British Film Institute compiles a list of the top 50 movies of all time, as selected by a who's who of film critics from around the globe. Movies go up the list and some movies fall down; the list changes as do the ever-changing likes of the critics, who also rotate in and out of the inclusive group.

This year in their 2012 Sight & Sound list there has been a dramatic change: the number one movie deemed the most culturally significant by film critics has been dethroned. That movie is Orson Welles' Citizen Kane which had been voted the top film for 50 years. Now it's fallen to the second-highest spot.

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Prometheus sequel steps closer to becoming a reality

In the wake of a movie's release, there are two ways to judge whether it was a success: how much money the film made and how well received it was. In the case of Prometheus, the prequel to Ridley Scott's Alien, the answer to both questions could be summed up in one word: "OK".

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