SEan Penn

12 Sundance 2015 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

There’s always a feeling of tense anticipation heading into the Sundance Film Festival — after all, this is the starter pistol for the year in independent film, introducing film fans, critics, and the industry to the movies they may well be talking about all year. But this year’s festival (which kicks off tonight) falls squarely in the middle of an awards season dominated by last year’s biggest ticket, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, reminding us of exactly how far a splash at Sundance can take you. Will any of this year’s high-profile indies and docs take that kind of hold in 2015? Here are a dozen movies we’re keeping our eyes on in Park City — and beyond. … Read More

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Sean Penn Went and Got Himself a ‘Taken’

Sean Penn’s been operating a little under the radar lately; he was last seen in supporting turns in the… Read More

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Watch Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Star-Studded Short Film Promoting Their ‘On the Run’ Summer Tour

Here’s a Bonnie and Clyde-esque short film from Jay-Z and Beyoncé, released just before their On the Run summer… Read More

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Ben Stiller’s ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Is Sweet, Warm, But Not Quite Great

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which made its world premiere at the New York Film Festival Saturday, is one of those projects that’s been knocking around Hollywood for a while. It began as a slender story by James Thurber way back in 1939, first adapted (very loosely) for Danny Kaye in 1947. This current iteration has been in development since 1994; Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, Mike Myers, Zach Braff, and Sacha Baron Cohen have all been attached to star, while Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Chuck Russell, and Gore Verbinski (among others) were slotted to direct. Now, at long last, here is the film, directed by and starring Ben Stiller, whose take on the material neither remakes Kaye nor returns to Thurber. This script, Stiller said after the media screening Saturday afternoon, “didn’t try to redo what had already been done very well by Danny Kaye. And obviously I didn’t want to do that; nobody would want to see me attempt to do that.” … Read More

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Hollywood’s Cleverest Bait-and-Switch Casting Stunts

If you visit the IMDb page for Pedro Almodovar’s new movie I’m So Excited (out this Friday), you might think a reunion is in the works: the top-billed actors there are Almodovar favorites Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the film itself, wherein the perversely prankish filmmaker brings in two of the world’s biggest movie stars to appear only in the first scene, running maybe three minutes, before disappearing. Because he knows how we presume these two actors will dominate the film, Almodovar is effectively toying with our expectations; he’s not the first filmmaker to do so. … Read More

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The Absolute Worst Poems by Celebrities

We’ve explored deplorable poets in music — like the oft-laughable Jim Morrison and that hilarious ode to his penis — but after spotting the bad poetry of Suzanne Somers on Dangerous Minds, we went searching for more celebrity poesy. Some stars, like Viggo Mortensen, have displayed a bit of genuine talent, but most celebs are predictably oblivious and self-absorbed when it comes to their laughably bad writing. See what happens when pop culture icons pretend to be poets and fail miserably. … Read More

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15 Acclaimed Actors Who Look Nothing Like the Famous People They Played

Earlier this week, we learned that BBC4 is set to release its own take on the doomed romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton — and fans are already complaining that Helena Bonham Carter, whose been cast as Liz, doesn’t look enough like her. But that doesn’t mean the six-time Golden Globe nominee and winner of Emmy, SAG, and BAFTA awards is doomed to fail at capturing the screen vixen’s famous fire. In fact, there’s plenty of precedent for actors who looked nothing like the real-life icons they portrayed nonetheless managing to convince us. These 15 actors may have presented a challenge for their films’ makeup departments, but they also turned in performances no lookalike could have matched. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Flick of the Week: ‘Gangster Squad’ Is Brash, Stylish, and Better Than You’ve Heard

Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad, as everyone knows by now, was originally slated for release last fall, a release postponed due to the reshooting of a climactic sequence that rather unfortunately echoed the theater shooting in Aurora. That scene was replaced by a set piece in Chinatown, and when it comes up, the movie buckles a little under the weight. It’s an encroaching of reality, of the world outside the frame, that’s wildly unfair. Opening disclaimer aside, this is not a film “Inspired by a True Story”; it’s inspired by movies, by the way classic crime pictures look and feel and sound, which is then revved up and kicked out as pure flash. Those who are calling it shallow and cartoony and clichéd are missing the point. It is all of those things, purposefully — gleefully, even. … Read More

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