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Eight-And-A-Half Minus Six

What went nearly brilliantly for director Rob Marshall in his adaptation of the Broadway musical CHICAGO seven years ago somehow misses the mark, albeit with many familiar elements, in this season’s NINE.  As with CHICAGO, Marshall again mines Broadway with NINE, presenting a similarly-staged musical with fantasy numbers interspersed throughout the relatively drab world of the story.  In CHICAGO, impeccable casting, seamless intercutting between the fantasy and reality, and perfectly executed production numbers made…

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Casting Mad Men With Casting Director Laura Schiff

Mad Men video still On a typical fall midweek day, the life of a television casting director can be hectic, and that might be a gross understatement. Consider the schedule of one such person in a single daytime span in her own words: “This morning, I have spent some time on the phone taking pitches and reading e-mails. I did some pre-read some actors for a role. I read with them and gave…

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The Most Intense Actor In Hollywood

Watching James Remar on set is akin to viewing a wild cat stalk his prey.  Directors beware.  Remar will challenge your handling of a scene, from talking too much to the performers to not being clear enough.  Rumors of his difficulty ostensibly let to his termination as Hicks in James Cameron’s Aliens.  And you definitely don’t want Remar smiling at you.  That dictates a serious actor unhappy about a challenging question being posed a certain…

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The Making of Avatar

James Cameron’s long-awaited epic fantasy Avatar might not be Titanic, his last film, released twelve years ago, but it is definitely titanic in size and scope.  “It’s got a big story – that’s where it starts,” said producer Jon Landau, who also produced Titanic and started as a unit production manager.  “Jim created a story that called for a world that did not exist.  The technology did not exist before Titanic.  The tech hurdle…

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Acted By’s Raw Look Behind Crazy Heart

It all started on the third floor of the Beverly Hilton hotel, except this wasn’t an after party for LMFAO. I was attending the press day for the film Crazy Heart. I signed in at one of the rooms that offered an excellent view of Wilshire Blvd. and the Hollywood Hills. In room “217″  there was a tremendous spread, containing more food groups than you ever knew existed. You get the inkling that the…

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Drew Barrymore Whips up Directorial Debut

Ellen Page Whip It It’s been a long time coming for Drew Barrymore. She gets the chance to take her career to the next level and do what she’s always wanted: Direct. That being said, it may be her first film as a director, but she’s far from learning on the job. “She’s hardly starting out,” said co-star Daniel Stern. He’s done some directing of his own, and acted in a couple…

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John Hillcoat travels down The Road

Some movies provoke the mind and intellect as much or more so than the eyes and ears, and keep audiences thinking long after they have left the theater or turned off the TV or DVD player. Add The Road to that list. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote the book on which the Coen Brothers film of No Country For Old Men was based, Australian director John Hillcoat’s The Road is…

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Antonio Banderas is Laura Linney’s Dirty Little Secret

The Other Man features Laura Linney as Lisa, the apex of a delicious love triangle between husband Peter (Liam Neeson) and her secret lover, Ralph (Antonio Banderas). But there’s a catch – Peter has no idea his wife of 20 years has been leading a secret life with another man. A note left in a pair of her favorite shoes reads simply, “Lake Como.” Peter is then launched into a painful…

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