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Jessica Lange's Triple Crown 

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Entries in remakes (59)

Monday
Jun132016

Who should join Angelina Jolie in the Murder Cast?

Murtada here. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is being remade by Kenneth Branagh. He will direct and play the lead part of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot who’s investigating a murder that happens on the famous train as it is making its way across Europe. The novel has been adapted several times, most famously into an Oscar winning film in 1974 by Sidney Lumet and an all star cast, led by Albert Finney as Poirot. Angelina Jolie was announced as Mrs Hubbard, an American loquacious socialite, played in 1974 version by Lauren Bacall. It’s good casting as the part calls a star with lots of presence.

Even though I haven’t read the Christie novel, I have seen the movie version and a 2010 British TV version with Jessica Chastain right before she hit it big. The story lends itself to an all star cast as basically every character gets an intro, one big scene and gets to participate in the finale. And everyone has a secret of course so the parts are juicy and fun and not too taxing on the actors. Hopefully lots of entertaining actors will sign up.

Who would you cast? Our suggestions for some of the characters after the jump...

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Monday
May232016

YNMS: Beauty and the Beast

For better or worse, the Disney live action adaptations are here to stay. We bemoan the risk of bastardizing our classics, but it is easy to forget that some of these stories have a long history of screen iterations from their fairy tale roots. Beauty and the Beast has been seen as legendary Cocteau classic and 80s TV cheese before Disney musicalized the legend into its most popular version. Naturally, Disney has another one on deck.

While the quality of these reboot/rehashes has ranged from the unexpected delights (Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella) to the outright nightmares (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), the predictably high box office returns of each guarantees that your personal favorite will eventually get the live action treatment if it hasn't already. The just released teaser for Bill Condon's hints at a very literal take on the musical, but is that a good thing or bad? 

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Saturday
Apr232016

YNMS: Magnificent Seven, Girl on the Train, Cafe Society

It's a triple trailer mini breakdown. Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So on these three pictures?

Girl on the Train Trailer

YES. Emily Blunt deserves a big hit and she's always so watchable. Also: How is Allison Janney always so perfect? It's one of the great mysteries of the universe. The supporting cast is filled with solid players: Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Lisa Kudrow.
NO. Seems like the kind of picture that will be ruined before it opens with spoilers
MAYBE SO. Tate Taylor directed The Help which is better than people give it credit for being. Can he handle the thriller genre? That's quite a different skill set.

Magnificent Seven Trailer

YES. Chris Pratt being adorable again. He really sells it in this trailer. Denzel is reliable... even when he isn't trying (though we always wish he would try). The other cast members get no time in this trailer but Peter Sarsgaard is the villain and he deserves a showy role again. Also we welcome more Byung-hun Lee in our lives.
NO. Guns. guns. guns. Hollywood is like its own gun lobby really. All guns all the time. I bet like 40% of all movie posters have guns on them or something.
MAYBE SO. Is it is good as the film its remaking The Magnificent Seven (1960) which was itself a remake of The Seven Samurai (1954)

Cafe Society Trailer

YES. Jeannie Berlin looks fun as Jesse Eisenberg's mom and the premise has so much potential. Also Parker Posey as a platinum blonde sarcastic writer? Yes please. 
NO. Mobsters and showbiz? Good luck living up to Bullets Over Broadway. Dangerous film to reference cuz it's so damn funny and Woody movies haven't been that funny since. 
MAYBE SO.  Jesse Eisenberg says he's "half bored half fascinated"... even if that's true of the movie that's a win for modern day Woody pictures. We'll take half fascination. I don't know what any actor can bring to the stock hooker part anymore but if there's anyone that can maybe Anna Camp?

Saturday
Apr162016

Q&A: It's a zoo in here.

Hello! It's your host Nathaniel checking in from a screening frenzy. I'm at the Nashville International Film Festival briefly to serve on their New Directors jury but coming back to you, dear readers, on Monday night. Meanwhile here in New York, Jason and Manuel have already lept into Tribeca Film Festival reporting.

For this week's Q&A column I asked readers for a few animal questions since Monty, my baby boy and the world's first Oscar predicting cat (unfortunately he was never a very committed pundit), has been ill. While he's on the mend (hopefully) it's hard to pull my thoughts away from our four legged friends. Herewith 9 reader questions, some animal themed some not...

JAMES: Ever named a pet after an on-screen animal (or human)? 

My cat is named after Montgomery Clift and unfortunately the name suited him because he has been quite a moody thing from his teensiest days until now. He was found in the streets of the Bronx, as far as I know, as a tiny mewling mama-less thing and I got him way too young from the shelter. But even grumpy as he is, he is always right next to me no matter what room I'm in and every once in a while he looks at me like I'm Elizabeth Taylor and snuggles up and it's all worth it. 

(I was actually going to get a second cat years ago and name it Liz but for various reasons it didn't happen.)

HAAJEN: Which animal should be paired with Julianne Moore, Juliette Binoche and Jennifer Law in a movie?

What a weird freaking question that I love. It's like when Kidman's familiar was a monkey in The Golden Compass. So I'm going to say black panther for Julianne, seagulls for Juliette (I always picture her in the salty air near water -- is this a ghost image of Lovers on the Bridge (1990)?) I would also pay to see JLaw in the Clint role in a remake of Any Which Way You Can (1980) if only because I can't imagine the outcome of an absolute war to steal scenes between JLaw and an Orangutan. 

Naturally I have no photos to support this so please enjoy this photo of Idris Elba with a fake tiger.

It is extremely easy to enjoy. 

PEARL: What are your thoughts on Barbra Streisand and Barry Levinson embarking on yet another production of Gypsy for a start up studio? My spirit animal (fox) says they likely face a difficult and painful journey.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr122016

Happy 100th: Why Doesn't Movita Have a Biopic? 

Today is the Centennial of the Mexican American actress Movita, who was born as Maria Luisa Castaneda but renamed Movita by MGM because the name sounded Polynesian to them. Well maybe it's her centennial. She claims the studio fudged with her age to make her older for legal reasons. She's surely best remembered today as "Tehani" one of two young island beauties (the other being "Maimiti" played by Mamo Clark) that got entangled in all that Mutinous Best Picture business on the Bounty back in 1935 (if you know what I mean).

Movita went on to international fame and married two famous masculine hunks, first the boxer Jack Doyle and then superstar Marlon Brando (quite atypically she was an "older woman" marrying a young superstar) so we're guessing she had a type...

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Friday
Feb262016

Lin-Manuel Miranda Has a Jolly Holiday with Mary

The news of a Rob Marshall rehashing of Mary Poppins was met here with both patient fear and complete revulsion. Emily Blunt is our new Mary, which will please some of us at least. However, here's a bit of casting news worthy of outright cheers: Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda is joining the film.

Miranda will be filling the massive shoes of Dick Van Dyke in a new character that will still be reminiscent of Dyke's Bert. That is quite an undertaking that the multi-hyphenate star and his unflappable charisma are fully equipped to take on. Even if his Hamilton success is truly unprecedented, kudos to Disney for signing over a significant role to an actual Broadway star. He's gotten close to a musical adaptation before, with Universal getting thisclose to filming his first musical In the Heights with Miranda intact.

It's worth noting that here's another step Disney is taking to put diversity on the screen in a big project post-Star Wars. The new Poppins iteration draws from P.L. Travers novels and won't be stuck to the original's plot, so perhaps we'll see further exciting casting? The reboot overload is something we'll continue to bemoan, but this one gets increasingly more interesting.

If nothing else, Lin-Manuel Miranda's absense from Hamilton might mean we plebians can score a ticket.

Wednesday
Dec302015

Q&A: Oscar Ceremonies, Sex Work, and... The Warlocks of Eastwick? 

Soon, we'll be buried in an avalanche of awards news again so tonight a brief respite from the current Oscar race. It's Q&A time. Here are eight reader questions I chose to answer. I skipped anything on Category Fraud because I feel so exhausted by that fight ("though undeterred in my moral superiority!" he says arms akimbo and chin up, like a superhero with cape billowing behind him, sworn to upheld 'the Awards Way') and I might have to freak out all over again on nomination morning so let's ignore it for now.

MDA: What 2015 release that you were looking forward to watching disappointed you the most?

NATHANIEL: It feels stranger to answer with a film I liked, especially one that's already getting a critical rethink by way of surprise top ten placements but maybe Magic Mike XXL? While I admire its super cajzh vibe and its focus on female pleasure, I'm puzzled as to why they went more demure with the sequel when they kept promising it would be more stripperific i.e. what everyone expected from Soderbergh's first brilliant film (which you'll remember was a Bronze medalist for Best Picture right here.)

Another big disappointment was Sisters. It's totally funny don't get me wrong. But that's all it is. It's strange that we know that Tina Fey can write brilliant comic masterworks (30 Rock, Mean Girls) but keeps wasting her star power and comic gift on propping up other people's wildly underwritten cliché-filled scripts. I'm beginning to wonder is she even wants to make another comedy classic? Perhaps she's fine coasting until retirement. But it's hard to not wonder what could be if she'd only apply herself again. 

EZ: I hereby grant you special powers to go back in time and attend an Academy Awards Ceremony of your choosing. Which year do you choose and why?

NATHANIEL: This question sounds nice until you realize the genie has only granted you one wish instead of three.  So stingy!

Retro Oscar Races, Domnhall Gleeson, Bridget Jones's Baby, and more after the jump...

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