A Conversation with Jake T. Austin

Add Comment on December 20, 2008 by Amy Nicholson

“I don’t think cats really match my personality,” confesses Jake T. Austin, the energetic 14-year-old actor with three Disney Channel and Nickelodeon television series on his packed resume. Luckily, his first big studio feature after the Little League charmer The Perfect Game surrounded him with over 100 dogs without a feline daring to draw near. “The set was huge,” says Austin. “For every dog you needed a dog trainer -- that’s 200 excess dog people on the set, plus the crew, plus the entire cast.

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A Different Kind of Disney Film

Add Comment on December 19, 2008 by Marco Cerritos

With a family name like Disney you would think an aspiring filmmaker might be tempted to get their feet wet making a comedy or crowd-pleasing entertainment. Abigail Disney obviously sees things differently as she not only is a member of the world-famous brand name but also a producer of a documentary about oppression in Liberia called Pray the Devil Back to Hell. That’s about as far away from Mickey Mouse as you can get. Not that Mickey and his pals would disapprove especially considering how great her first feature is. Devil Back to Hell documents several women’s tales of suffering and sacrifice in Liberia, a place where murder and rape were an everyday occurrence.

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Madonna: Thanks For the Memories!

Add Comment on December 18, 2008 by Steve Simels

Bad news for those of us who have always planned to marry for money: According to the New York Times, soon-to-be-ex Mr. Madonna Guy Ritchie is not, as previously reported, walking away with 76 mil of the Material Girl's ill-gotten gains. In a joint statement, Madonna and Ritchie said "A misleading and inaccurate statement, specifically in relation to the sums of money inolved, was wrongly issued. The financial details of the settlement will remain private, save to say that both of us are happy with our agreement." Actually, if tr...

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SAG Nominees Announced

Add Comment on December 18, 2008 by Phil Contrino

The Screen Actors Guild has announced their list of award nominees for 2008. Predictably, the likes of Heath Ledger, Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep, etc. have all been nominated. One surprise is the inclusion of Slumdog Millionaire 's Dev Patel in the Supporting Actor category. Slumdog 's acting has been widely ignored by critics groups, and this nod could help boost Patel's chances of snagging an Oscar nod. After being snubbed by the Golden Globes, Richard Jenkins and Melissa Leo were both nominated in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, respectively. Jenkins and Leo are huge Oscar underdogs at this point, so every little bit of support they receive helps a great deal.

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Controversial 'Class'

Add Comment on December 17, 2008 by Marco Cerritos

Laurent Cantet’s new film The Class has stirred up controversy ever since it debuted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. When it first screened at the notoriously exuberant festival audiences weren’t prepared for the strong and difficult look of a teacher’s life at a tough Paris high school. The film eventually got the last laugh considering that it won the Golden Palm and later turned out to be embraced by critics and audiences when it debuted in France earlier this year. Cantet is best known in the US for his small character drama Time Out but The Class threatens to change that in a big way.

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Crowded Christmas Day

Add Comment on December 16, 2008 by Phil Contrino

Moviegoers will have a lot of options during this holiday season. In fact, so many films are opening on Christmas Day that they all can't possibly be box office winners. There will have to be some casualties. Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Marley and Me, The Spirit and Valkyrie are all opening wide that day. In addition, Oscar heavyweights such as Frost/Nixon, Doubt, The Reader and Gran Torino will all be expanding.

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Breaking the Streak

Add Comment on December 14, 2008 by Phil Contrino

2008 hasn't been the best year for 20th Century Fox. The $31 million estimated haul of The Day the Earth Stood Still this weekend represents some relief for the studio. The house that Rupert built has not had a solid box office hit since What Happens in Vegas opened in May. The Happening, Meet Dave, Space Chimps, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Mirrors, The Rocker, Babylon A.D.

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