Wednesday, October 20, 2010

“Is Megan Fox Reclaiming Her Spot as a Movie Star? - Entertainment Online” plus 2 more

“Is Megan Fox Reclaiming Her Spot as a Movie Star? - Entertainment Online” plus 2 more

Is Megan Fox Reclaiming Her Spot as a Movie Star? - Entertainment Online

Posted: 18 Oct 2010 11:55 AM PDT

Who needs giant robots anyway?

Megan Fox is showing that she's more than capable of moving on with her movie career, especially after a tumultuous you-can't-fire-me-I-quit-style feud with Transformers director Michael Bay. (Oh, and a couple of big bombs.)

Let's just hope she's gotten better at suppressing the urge to call her director Hitler:

MORE: Five Dumb Things Stars Said Before Going Jobless

Sources confirm to E! News that she's set to appear in the comedy Friends With Kids, alongside Jon Hamm, Hamm's longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt, Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and SNL's Kristen Wiig.

The movie centers on two couples who see how much having kids has stressed out the other couples they know, so in order to outsmart the natural order and avoid any stress themselves, they choose to have a baby and then date other people.

That sounds...healthy?

But don't start thinking Megan is going to be showing off her maternal side. She'll actually be playing a girl Scott's character begins dating.

In another sign that Megs has gotten better at keeping some of those inflammatory thoughts to herself, she's also starring in Passion Play, with Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray. The film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, is about a woman born with wings who has ended up as a carnival attraction.

Yeah, still trying to figure that one out.

But she's still grabbing big-time roles, despite her very public beef with Bay. So can Megan soon claim a spot as one of Hollywood's top leading ladies? What do you think?

PHOTOS: Totally New Releases!

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Movie guide: Capsule listing of current releases - Raleigh News & Observer

Posted: 06 Oct 2010 05:14 AM PDT

"Chain Letter" - Six friends receive a mysterious chain letter via text message from a maniac who's hunting down teenagers who fail to forward his online letter. With Nikki Reed, Cody Kasch, Keith David, Matt Cohen and Brad Dourif. Written by Deon Taylor, Diana Erwin and Michael J. Pagan. Directed by Taylor. (1:26) R.

"Douchebag" - A groom goes on the road with his estranged brother looking for an old girlfriend to escort him to the wedding. With Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau. Written by Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz, and Andrew Dickler. Directed by Doremus. (1:21) NR.

"Hot Summer Days" - During Hong Kong's hottest summer on record, seven stories crisscross, magically intertwining and affecting each other. Directed by Tony Chan and Wing Shya. In Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles. (1:33) PG.

"I Spit on Your Grave" - In this remake of the 1979 cult classic, a novelist left for dead after a night of brutal violence takes revenge on her attackers. With Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Tracey Walter and Sarah Butler. Directed by Steven R. Monroe. (1:48) R.

"It's a Wonderful Afterlife" - An Indian mother obssesed with marrying off her daughter takes mattters into her own hands with bloody repercussions. With Shabana Azmi, Goldy Notay, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Sally Hawkins. Written by Gurinder Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. Directed by Chadha. (1:40) NR.

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" - A teenager checks himself into a mental health clinic only to find himself in the adult ward. With Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, Zoe Kravitz and Zach Galifianakis. Written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. (1:41) PG-13.

"Kings of Pastry" - This documentary follows Jacquy Pfeiffer, founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago, as he competes against the best pastry chefs in France in the M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France). Directed by D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. (1:24) PG.

"Leaving" - A married woman living a idle bourgeois lifestyle in the south of France takes up with the handyman. With Kristin Scott Thomas, Sergi Lopez, Yvan Attal and Bernard Blancan. Directed by Catherine Corsini. In French with English subtitles. (1:25) NR.

"Life as We Know It" - Soon after a disastrous first date, a couple become caregivers to a little girl after mutual friends die in an accident. With Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas, Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur. Written by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson. Directed by Greg Berlanti. (1:52) PG-13.

"My Soul to Take" - People start disappearing 16 years after a serial killer swore he would return to murder seven children born the night he died. With Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Emily Meade, Nick Lashaway, Denzel Whitaker, Shareeka Epps, Paulina Olszyinski and Raul Esparza. Written and directed by Wes Craven. (1:28) R.

"Nowhere Boy" - The story of John Lennon's childhood in Liverpool. With Aaron Johnson, Anne-Marie Duff, Kristin Scott-Thomas, David Morrissey and David Threlfall. Written by Matt Greenhalgh. Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. (1:35) R.

"Secretariat" - The true story of the journey of the 1973 Triple Crown-winning horse. With Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Dylan Walsh, James Cromwell and Kevin Connolly. Written by Mike Rich. Directed by Randall Wallace. (1:56) PG.

"Stone" - A convicted arsonist attempts to manipulate his parole officer using his beautiful wife. With Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich and Frances Conroy. Written by Angus MacLachlan. Directed By John Curran. (1:45) R.

"Tamara Drewe" - A once-ugly duckling returns to her village as a stunning beauty and causes a stir among the locals in the English countryside. With Gemma Arterton, Roger Allam, Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans and Tamsin Grieg. Written by Moira Buffini. Directed by Stephen Frears. (1:41) R.

"Today's Special" - An aspiring master chef must put his culinary dreams on hold to take over his family's Indian restaurant. With Aasif Mandvi, Jess Weixler, Madhur Jaffrey, Naseeruddin Shah, Harish Patel, Kevin Corrigan and Dean Winters. Directed by David Kaplan.


"Alpha and Omega" - Two mismatched young wolves must work together to make the long journey home to prevent war in their wolf packs. With the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper and Larry Miller. Written by Steve Moore and Christopher Denk. Directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck. (1:28) PG.

"Case 39" - A social worker's efforts to save a 10-year-old girl take a terrifying turn. With Renee Zellweger, Ian McShane and Bradley Cooper. Written by Ray Wright. Directed by Christian Alvart. (1:49) R.

"Despicable Me" - An evil villian's plans to steal the moon are upended when he encounters a trio of orphaned girls. With the voices of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove and Julie Andrews. Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Directed by Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin. (1:35) PG.

"Devil" - The devil is among a group of people trapped in an elevator. With Chris Messina, Logan Marshall-Green, Geoffrey Arend, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O'Hara, Bokeem Woodbine and Jacob Vargas. Screenplay by Brian Nelson. Directed by John Erick Dowdle. (1:20) PG-13.

"Easy A" - When her life begins to parallel Hester Prynne's in "The Scarlet Letter," a clean-cut high-school girl uses the rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. With Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Cam Gigandet, Lisa Kudrow, Malcolm McDowell, Aly Michalka and Stanley Tucci. Written by Bert V. Royal. Directed by Will Gluck. (1:32) PG-13.

"Eat Pray Love" - A newly divorced woman embarks on a journey around the world that becomes a quest for self-discovery. Starring Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup and Javier Bardem. Screenplay by Ryan Murphy and Jennifer Salt, based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Directed by Murphy. (2:13) PG-13.

"Inception" - In a world where technology exists to enter the human mind through dream invasion, a single idea within one's mind can be the most dangerous weapon or the most valuable asset. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page and Cillian Murphy. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan. In IMAX. (2:28) PG-13.

"The Last Exorcism" - A conniving priest's faith is tested when he faces the devil in one last exorcism of a young girl. With Patrick Fabian and Ashley Bell. Written by Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland. Directed by Daniel Stamm. (1:30) PG-13.

"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" - A young owl must gather a mythic band of winged warriors to fight the evil army and save the owl kingdom. With voices of Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving. Screenplay by John Orloff and Emil Stern, based on the book series by Kathryn Lasky. Directed by Zack Snyder. In IMAX 3D. (1:30) PG.

"Let Me In" - A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian. With Chloe Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Elias Koteas. Screenplay by Matt Reeves, based on the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist and film by Tomas Alfredson. Directed by Reeves. R.

"The Other Guys" - Two mismatched New York City detectives find themselves stepping into the limelight of the top cops they idolize. With Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson. Written by Adam McKay and Chris Henchy. Directed by McKay. (1:47) PG-13.

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" - The search for survivors of a deadly zombie transforming virus leads to a deadly trap in Los Angeles. With Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Boris Kodjoe and Wentworth Miller. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. In 3D. (1:36) R.

"The Social Network" - The journey of Mark Zuckerberg, from Harvard student to the world's youngest billionaire as co-founder of Facebook. With Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Directed by David Fincher. (2 hrs.) PG-13.

"Takers" - A group of bank robbers' perfectly executed crimes are interrupted by a hell-bent hardened detective. With Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Idris Elba, Jay Hernandez, Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen. Directed by John Luessenhop. (1:47) PG-13.

"The Town" - A bank manager unknowingly falls for the robber whose brother held her hostage in a recent heist. With Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper. Screenplay by Peter Craig, Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard. Directed by Affleck. (2:05) R.

"Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" - Gordon Gekko is released from prison into a brave new financial world. With Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Eli Wallach, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella. Written by Allan Loeb and Stephen Schiff. Directed by Oliver Stone. (2:11) PG-13.

"You Again" - High-school rivalries rear their ugly heads for a PR exec and her mother during her brother's wedding. With Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber and Betty White. Written by Moe Jelline. Directed by Andy Fickman. (1:45) PG.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Facebook founder's tale "Social Network" a film of now - San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 06 Oct 2010 03:15 PM PDT

Living in Silicon Valley, one is surrounded by tech heads. Watching the previews for "The Social Network," I couldn't help rolling my eyes. Great, a movie about a computer engineer who is a gifted programmer but alienates everyone close to him. Oh, and not just any programmer, but Mark Zuckerberg, who created the nigh-ubiquitous Facebook and is a renowned jerk. The previews did not exactly make the film look appealing to me, but I decided to go anyway. Early reviews were lauding it as the film of the decade, and I was highly skeptical either I'd like it or I'd have the satisfaction of being right.

In the end, it was more of a mixed bag. I am still skeptical when it comes to the idea of "The Social Network" being the film of the decade. Certainly it's very topical, but it suffers from the same problem a lot of Aaron Sorkin's writing since "The West Wing" does: it's not as clever as it thinks it is. It's also about as subtle as a two-by-four to the forehead. It does, however, have the appeal of any great tragedy: watching someone with great talent and a serious flaw progress due to the talent and get taken down due to their flaw. Tragedy is engaging, and "The Social Network" is no exception.

The basic plot is based on public record: Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) got dumped by his girlfriend, went back to his dorm room, got drunk, and in a fit of spurned-boyfriend misogyny coded up a little site called Facemash. It let visitors rank photos of girls from

the various Harvard dorms (whose digital face books Zuckerberg hacked into with ease) according to their hotness, and got so many hits that it crashed the network.

Eisenberg is spot-on for the part, capturing the rapid-fire speech, flattened affect, and intensity the part requires. He makes Zuckerberg a fascinating character while simultaneously making it obvious why, by the end of the film, nobody genuinely likes him. Sure, people are drawn to his fame and fortune, but even the young associate lawyer on one of his cases who is kind to him looks at him with pity rather than friendship.

Zuckerberg managed to evade expulsion for the Facemash stunt, but his actions got him noticed. He was approached by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss (Armie Hammer in a dual role) to work on a Harvard-only social networking site, and in the following weeks he and his friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) created the site we now know as Facebook.

Zuckerberg's complete lack of tact or people skills is obvious from the beginning, and will be familiar to anybody who works in tech or in any other field that rewards single-minded determination over interpersonal finesse. Ultimately, though he ends up the youngest billionaire on the planet, he manages to alienate pretty much everyone he comes into contact with. The one exception is Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake, in a bit of inspired casting). Parker is the entrepreneurial bad boy behind Napster, and he charms Zuckerberg completely before essentially ruining himself and having to be excluded for the sake of the Facebook company.

"The Social Network" alternates between the early-days origin story of Facebook and footage of depositions for the two simultaneous lawsuits Zuckerberg wound up facing: the Winklevoss twins sued him for intellectual property theft and his former best friend, Saverin, sued him over the completely artless way Zuckerberg drove him out of Facebook.

This film is definitely a film of now, and it is in many ways a fascinating spectacle to watch, but for folks who deal with people like Zuckerberg every day, it may, like its protagonist, be more abrasive than enjoyable.

* * *

Ealasaid A. Haas is a local film buff and freelance writer. Contact her at, or check out her Web site:

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