Aaron Eckhart

Getting The Rum Diary to both page and screen has been a real trip. Hunter S. Thompson wrote the book back in the 1960s, chronicling his adventures writin’ and boozin’ and livin’ down in Puerto Rico (as told through the eyes of his alter-ego “Paul Kemp”), but it was not published until 1998. A film adaptation has been kicked around since 2000, with the film ultimately lensing in 2009, though the film won’t be released until later this year. Johnny Depp plays Kemp in the film, marking Depp’s second attempt at playing Thompson (or, more accurately, a Thompson-based character from the author’s own work), after turning in one of his best performances as the gonzo journalist in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas back in 1998. Depp again takes on his Thompson twang for another dip into the life of the icon. This time, drugs have been swapped for rum, the deserts of Vegas for the oceans of Puerto Rico. The Thompson follies will likely not abate, however. The film also stars Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, and Amaury Nolasco. Kick back, take a sip, and check out the trailer after the break.

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As we all already knew, Peter Pan is a monster who swoops down, breaks into bedroom windows, and takes children deep into the night to never, never return. Now, filmmakers are catching up to that fact and developing a story that reflects the grisly, real-world terror of Pan. According to Dark Horizons, Aaron Eckhart has signed on to play Captain Hook – a former police detective haunted by the ghosts of his past, hunting down a kidnapper (who probably wears green tights). AnnaSophia Robb will play Wendy, a victim who survived and has joined in the manhunt. Plus, Sean Bean is on board to play Smee – the only person on the police force helping Hook. All of these things are good things. The propensity to go darker for our children’s stories is a trend I can fully get behind, because it means revealing a much more human side to tales usually filled with glitter and fairy dust. On that note, there’s no word yet as to whether Tinkerbell will be a much-needed prostitute with valuable information. Animation director Ben Hibon will make his directorial debut here from a script written by newcomer Benjamin Magid. It’s good to see some new blood pumping through the system aided by some solid acting talents and a strange premise. Of course, this isn’t the first dim project for the boy who wouldn’t grow up (not to mention the four or five hundred Snow White and Red Riding Hood and Hansel & Gretel projects […]

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Battle: Los Angeles is an unusual movie. It’s an action film with Aaron Eckhart in the lead, it’s pro-military, and it doesn’t feel compelled to answer every question put forth by its premise. There are elements within it of several other films, but it still manages to play out like a somewhat fresh mix of military action and alien invasion. It’s Roland Emmerich without the cheese and laughable understanding of science. It’s Michael Bay without the stupidity and excessive use of ground level POV slow-mos. And most unusual of all, it’s a solidly entertaining action movie releasing in the middle of March.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr finds himself behind enemy lines in Los Angeles. At first, he thought he was the victim of an alien invasion, but then he realized he was just in South Central wearing the wrong colors. Fortunately, Aaron Eckhart came to his rescue. This gave him a chance to put on a red cloak and skip through the woods, searching for Amanda Seyfried. He then capped off the week sneaking on a NASA flight to Mars wearing only boxer shorts, a T-shirt and a space helmet. He plans to return soon because that kind of makeshift space suit worked for the folks in Mars Needs Moms. Don’t wait up, though.

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Of many preferred professions, I find chefs to be on the right end of the hotness scale. Their passion for food translates into multiple areas of life and it’s hard not to get swept away into a blissful utopia where calories don’t count but your opinion of that chocolate mousse does. As you may have guessed, I have been suckered into this world once or twice, and unlike the obsessions of mine that turned sour, my chef love remains. I had high expectations for the Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart led kitchen romance No Reservations. Two hot-tempered executive chefs forced together to run one kitchen sounded almost as steamy as angry sex in the Grey’s Anatomy on-call room. The potential for secret glances over chopping boards and mutual arousal from yelling at their sous chef seemed inevitable. However, the movie wasn’t about the sexy times of these two hot chefs. Rather it was more about Zeta-Jones’ Kate and Eckhart’s Nick learning to put aside their ambition and realize what’s important in life. Sex and cooking go hand-in-hand, so thankfully the couple does partake in a few tingly make-out moments and fade-to-black sex scenes. But most of the movie’s heavy petting is left for the dough in the prep oven. Tough lady chefs like Zeta-Jones’ Kate are modeled after real chefs, but that doesn’t mean Hollywood has been quick to allow women to be tough and sexy on screen. On the contrary, many movies featuring female cooks have been just that—cooks.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.

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Rabbit Hole takes on one of the oldest artistic subjects – a family’s struggle to find some way of moving on from a devastating death. Yet, as adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, the film avoids the overt sentimentalizing and easy stabs at the tear ducts –what one might deem “grief porn” – that have wrecked so many of its predecessors. Instead, director John Cameron Mitchell has assembled an affecting, well-acted portrait of a couple stuck in stasis, trying to reclaim normalcy where there is none to be had. The Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator demonstrates an eye for the intricacies of a strained relationship, the complex psychological burden of the lingering, pervasive specter of a terrible loss and the eerie quality of a home once occupied by a child, now hauntingly quieted.

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There are a lot of explosions in this trailer. It seems like most of the movie is going to be viewed from behind the cloud of powered concrete where a highway pylon used to be. That’s a good thing. There’s a blending here of antique footage and a CGI update on Independence Day. It seems a little striking that there’s no dialog or acting moments in the marketing here, but it’s also difficult to think of Aaron Eckhart giving a bad performance. Thanks go out to the marketing team for Space Invaders: Battle: Los Angeles for warning us to get out of the city ahead of time. I’ve already done my part by leaving way back in 2007. The signs were all there, people. [Apple]

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Looks pretty freaking badass doesn’t it? Like the best parts of Independence Day minus all the schmaltz.

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The obvious next step for a man who directed the story of a dangerous mountain climbing competition is to get Aaron Eckhart, put him in the CIA, retire him from the CIA, and then let the adventure of people trying to kill him commence. The story for The Expatriate doesn’t sound particularly novel. It involves Eckhart’s character straining a relationship with a teenage daughter, and the pair of them running from organized people who definitely want to put a bullet in them. This, of course, all happens in Belgium. Generic nature aside, Eckhart is a solid talent, and if they cast a young up-and-comer who can steal a few scenes from him, we’re looking at a Taken-style flick with a bit more drama and a lot less duck-running. Director Philipp Stolzl has already proven his skills, so this could be one to watch out for. [Deadline Santa Monica]

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It might be a good idea to pop some Zoloft before diving into the emotional trailer for Rabbit Hole. The film, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and the always incredible Dianne Wiest, caught some great reviews coming out of TIFF, and it will see a major release on December 17th (just in time for award consideration). It’s a rare thing that a trailer causes such a strong emotional response, although any story about a couple losing a young child to tragedy has the potential for it. Hopefully, the movie will live up to the hype, and this bit of marketing, and deliver something even stronger. What do you think? It might make you full on cry in HD.

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Going into Comic-Con I knew very little about Battle: Los Angeles. That seemed to be the case for many last weekend in Hall H where they showed a brief amount of footage from the film. Apparently, it was well received. The idea of a war combat film with aliens thrown into the mix is going to get any nerd’s heart racing. Many have been drawing comparisons to District 9, but that’s not entirely fair or logical. District 9 didn’t really stick to its opening documentary style. Battle: Los Angeles may very well do just that. Also, when has there every been a straight, flat out war movie with Aliens involved? Unless I’m wrong, there hasn’t been. That’s why despite not having seen a lick of footage I’m excited for Battle: Los Angeles. It’s got a unique concept and director Jonathan Liebesman pitches it well. The idea of Aaron Eckhart leading a big-budgeted action film also makes me even more hopeful. It’s definitely got potential. Lets just hope it lives up to the wild range of possibilities. Here’s what director Jonathan Liebesman had to say about Battle: Los Angeles:

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One of the many films that Oscar watchers have been talking about may not see the light of day until next year. Rum Diary for a while now has been pegged as a film with Oscar chances written all over it, but even if it lives up to what plenty are saying, don’t expect to see it during next year’s Oscar broadcast considering it might not be released until 2011. That’s what Aaron Eckhart told me and here’s one of the possible reasons why: Depp is off shooting Pirates 4 and that renders him unavailable to do press. Eckhart sounded pretty unsure about the release date, and he had this to say:

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At the press conference for Battle: Los Angeles I had one goal in mind: to ask Aaron Eckhart, “When are we going to see In The Company of Men 2?” Yes, obviously it was a completely joking question. If you’ve seen In The Company of Men then you most likely know it’s not exactly something you’d think of having sequel potential. Eckhart and director Neil Labute disagree.

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Studios have been afraid for too long. It’s time to put Palahniuk’s long, strange trip into the heart of American commercialism and religion on the big screen.

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lovehappens

Shockingly, Love Happens is a cliche-ridden, tepid romantic comedy featuring not-at-all convincing characters.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

The Fat Guys take a look at Jennifer’s Body even though Fox (that’d be the studio, not the actress) didn’t screen it for them. They also chew on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, help Matt Damon squeal in The Informant! and avoid Love Happens like the plague.

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love-happens-header

When a self-help author arrives in Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets the one person who might finally be able to help him help himself.

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Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole

Either that, or they might star together in a film where a married couple lose a young child. But would you seriously check out a headline like that?

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depp-rum-diary

Johnny Depp looks slick in this first image from the set of “The Rum Diary,” his return to the wild and wonderful world of Hunter S. Thompson.

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