Emma Stone

Sony Pictures Classics

Since time immemorial Woody Allen has been entranced by the art of illusions. A proponent of magic tricks as a child, Allen’s affinity for legerdemain has manifested itself throughout his filmography — most notable in his surreal homage to Federico Fellini, Stardust Memories. Now with Magic in the Moonlight the nebbish New Yorker has pulled off yet another impressive act of prestidigitation: making a jubilant and delightful trifle that — much like many of his other 44 films — ponders the rhyme and reason of our existence, however futile or fruitful that may be. To Stanley (Colin Firth) our existence is meaningless. In order to remain comfortable in that unrepentantly bleak worldview, he’s made a career out of exposing pseudo spiritualists — opportunistic swindlers who dupe people into believing they possess divine powers bestowed to them by some omniscient deity. The Englishman’s latest assignment is to debunk the mythical Sophie (Emma Stone), a young American woman who has convinced everyone around her that she’s, as one character exclaims, “a visionary and a vision.”

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Aunt May Amazing Spider-Man

From the moment that radioactive spider decided to chomp down on Peter Parker, the most average boy in Manhattan’s life was never the same again. But despite becoming the flying, web-slinging defender of New York City, at his core Peter was still a teenager struggling to figure out his place in the world. Each and every one of Peter’s moves upon becoming Spider-Man depended on three crucial factors: Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy and Aunt May. The three main women in his life. Though their timelines and characters have changed over the years from their depictions from comic books to film, their relevance to Peter Parker’s story remains the same. Without MJ, Gwen or May, he wouldn’t have had much to care about or many personal reasons to keep fighting.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Electro

Talking to himself in delusional outbursts, an increasingly mad genius develops super powers that make him finally feel as if the world might take him seriously. Or at least notice him. The eternal dweeb, he sets out to get revenge on a personal hero who slighted him (an unforgivable sin to the bullied psyche) and to find the fame he deserves. That’s how Jim Carrey’s Riddler is born in Batman Forever, and it’s also how Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is born in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They are both brilliant losers who worship at the feet of superheroes (Bruce Wayne for Ed Nygma and Spider-Man for Max Dillon). Both are transformed by injured anger, both are crushed under the heel of asshole middle management bosses and both boil over when they don’t receive the respect they feel entitled to. Early on in Spidey’s latest adventure — especially whenever Foxx is on screen —  it’s easy to pick up on the Batman Forever DNA. Luckily, Peter Parker is the only acrobatic orphan who shows up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Of course the movie also doesn’t share the look of Joel Schumacher’s Gothic cartoon cabaret, and with some interesting character choices, it acts as a redemptive mulligan for one of the worst superhero adventures in modern memory.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Jamie Foxx

The clearest thing about the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer (and its entire production history) is how thoroughly Marc Webb and company ignored complaints about having too many villains in a single movie. Not only have they dropped three into the mix here, they’ve also made the overwhelming nature of that reality part of the thematic challenge Peter Parker must face. That dramatic turn may help transform the juggling act of multiple baddies (with multiple origin stories) into a usable energy, but they’re going to have to do a far better job of balancing the story than they did with the messy first outing of the rebooted hero. On that front, it looks like the all-but-erased-by-the-studio “secret origin” is back in the mix as Peter delves deeper into what his father was working on at Oscorp. Again, that’s fertile ground, but it adds another layer to the dip. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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keat

We are on the eve of possibly one of the biggest superhero movies ever to be made. No, it’s not Man of Steel, but Birdman, of course! That’s right, you should be as or more excited for that superhero you don’t even know. Why? Because this movie has Michael freakin Keaton, universally beloved actor. If Keaton can make us forget Jack Frost, then who better to play a superhero? Well, at least a guy who played a superhero anyway.

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stoneshocked

What is Casting Couch? It’s a list of recent casting news. Recent as in, like, the last 24 hours recent. How’s that for service? Today we have news on what’s next for young actors like Craig Roberts and Chloe Moretz. If you were to make a list of dream directors who pretty much every young actor hopes they’re some day going to get to work with, Woody Allen would definitely be near the top of most of them. And if you made a list of all the young actresses who Woody Allen would like to have in his upcoming movies, chances are Emma Stone is somewhere near the top of that one. It’s probably time these crazy kids finally get together then, so Deadline is reporting that Stone is negotiating to star in Allen’s next movie, which is reportedly going to shoot in the south of France. Stone’s charisma and comic timing, Allen’s wit—it sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

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adult-world-emma-roberts-john-cusack

“Poet” as a career path isn’t exactly the safest or sanest route for the creative youth of America to take, but Amy Anderson (Emma Roberts) doesn’t appear to have taken that sort of thing (i.e. actual reasonable thought) into consideration when it comes to her post-grad life. Back at home with her parents, the guileless Amy wiles away her time penning new poetry, applying for various “accolades” (really, this is how she talks) from different publications and using her parents’ dime to fund the entire endeavor. Sick of putting her up (and putting up with her), Amy’s parents demand she find a job, though they probably weren’t pulling for her eventual hiring at Adult World, the local adult video store. The joke, of course, of Scott Coffey’s Adult World is that Amy is entering the “adult world” for the first time, a realm of maturity that she desperately needs to spend some time in, as she’s been coddled and spoiled to within an inch of her life. Let’s put it this way – when Amy’s parents accuse her of still being a child, she responds precisely as a child would: shooting back with a whiny “I am not a child!” before literally running away from home (she even sneaks out her own bedroom window). It’s a different sort of role for Roberts – Amy isn’t inherently likable, though she does seem to be generally well-meaning – but Roberts’ charm shines through and elevates Amy to someone we can actually get […]

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Carrie Fisher

What is Casting Couch? Yesterday it was mostly about a bunch of dudes who got jobs acting in movies, today it’s mostly about a bunch of ladies who got jobs acting in movies—ladies from the show Mad Men in a couple of cases. Tomorrow? Who knows. UPDATED: CNN now reports that Fisher was “joking.” Sure. Probably Carrie Fisher was supposed to wait for some sort of official announcement from the new Disney-owned Lucasfilm’s marketing team before she went and confirmed what we all were thinking, that the main players from George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy are going to be showing up in J.J. Abrams‘ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. But Carrie Fisher being Carrie Fisher, she seems to have gotten sick of all the questioning and just confirmed that she’s coming back anyway. And she confirmed it to Palm Beach Illustrated, of all outlets. When asked if she could confirm that she would be reprising her role as Leia Organa for Abrams, Fisher simply responded, “Yes.” Oh, Carrie Fisher, never change.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

The fine folks over at Coming Soon have scored an official image of the Spidey suit from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the result is something big and bold albeit a bit familiar. Plus, if you’re fighting crime, this looks pretty comfortable to do it in. In the sequel to the incredibly tepid reboot, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is crawling his way through high school while juggling his love for  Gwen (Emma Stone) and his promise to stay away from her. A new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), enters the scene, and Pete’s old buddy Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) brings that whole semi-abandoned plot line from the first film about a secret Parker past back  from wherever it was left. Sounds fun! The movie hits May 2, 2014.

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hunnam-shaved-head

What is Casting Couch? It’s having trouble finding casting news in a week where the entire film industry’s eyes are turned to Sundance, but it was able to dig up a couple nuggets anyway. Not a lot is known about Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming project, Crimson Peak, but what we do know is that it’s supposed to be some kind of ghost story, and del Toro is in the final stages of securing Emma Stone to star in it. And now there’s some new news about who the male lead is going to be. Variety is reporting that Charlie Hunnam, the Sons of Anarchy star who del Toro recently worked with on Pacific Rim, is now on board the movie as well. Seeing as details regarding the plot are being kept under wraps, there’s no way of really knowing what role Hunnam is going to play, but probably that doesn’t matter. Honestly, this one had everybody at Emma Stone.

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Emma Stone

Guilleremo del Toro just needs to keep making movies forever. At least one a year. Maybe every two years for a particularly big project. Let’s hope that Pacific Rim reminds everyone with checks to write why this guy is so loved and that he can keep busy with all the projects he’s attached to — including the ghost story Crimson Peak. According to Variety, the movie is close to securing Emma Stone to star. Although almost nothing is known of the script’s plot, hauntings are pretty popular right now even as Paranormal Activity‘s spectre still moans limply in theaters, and Stone is in high demand so the combination here makes sense.  She’s a talented actor, but it’s her popularity in particular that matters here. If she’s the puzzle piece that gets a del Toro ghost story greenlit, then let’s she’s as close to signing as Variety reports. At any rate, the Stone/del Toro combination is something of a geek dream. Who wants to bet Doug Jones will be on board soon?

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gangster 1

This weekend’s Gangster Squad may invoke classical conventions of the mobster genre, but director Ruben Fleischer never set out to make an old school throwback. His dramatic action movie is a part of a new breed of period pieces, ones made with a very modern sensibility. They move at a bullet’s pace, are shot with feverish popcorn energy, and avoid any preconceived notions of being stuffy. Fleischer didn’t set out to make an epic like The Godfather, and after 30 Minutes or Less and Zombieland we wouldn’t expect that from him, but that doesn’t mean he settles into expectations either. Generally if you work in a genre more than once, you become distinctly known as, in Fleischer’s case, “the comedy” guy. While Gangster Squad has its laughs, it shows Fleischer working on a whole new level as a visual storyteller in a different genre . Speaking with Fleischer, he was obviously happy to escape the pigeonhole with his third feature film. Here’s what he had to say about seeing his movie 400 times, the hilarity of Sean Penn and why he’ll continue to shoot digitally:

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The Croods

With a monkey slapping a man, a young girl going crazy for shoes, and a cranky grandma, The Croods isn’t straying too far from the formula for harmless family comedy. It just happens to feature the world’s first family. Nic Cage voices Grug, the pater familias of the pre-historic crew that includes his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke) and mother Gran (Cloris Leachman). Everything is safe and isolated in their cave until an earthquake forces them on an adventure into beautiful, lush new territory where they meet a citizen of the brave new world voiced by Ryan Reynolds. The new trailer is fun in a sweet way, selling a movie about taking risks by playing it as safe as possible. Still, Dreamworks may have a new winner on their hands:

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Bradley Cooper and American Sniper

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily movie news column that that wants to make you a star, baby. Filmmaker Cameron Crowe hasn’t said much about his next project. We don’t yet have a title or a plot synopsis for it. But what we do know is that it’s said to be similar in tone to things like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, and it’s got Emma Stone playing a lead role (and it might just be a rewrite of his Deep Tiki script from years ago). So basically, expect something that lines up with Crowe’s best work and stars one of your favorite actresses. Sounds great. The new news regarding the project is that Crowe is reportedly close to finding his male lead. Deadline Hollywood says that he has his eye on Bradley Cooper, and he’s close to making a deal happen. Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone in a Cameron Crowe movie? Yeah, that should be enough to get the attention of every person of every gender and sexuality ever. Remember how we reported that Christopher Nolan’s regular DP, Wally Pfister, is going to be directing his first movie, it’s going to be called Transcendence, and it’s going to star Johnny Depp? Well, all of that stuff is still true, but the L.A. Times has dug up even more information. Turns out the film is actually going to have three leads, and Pfister is very game to get Christian Bale to sign on as number two of the three. Anyone out there want to see Johnny Depp […]

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Though reactions to Marc Webb’s reboot of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, were mixed, the one thing that nearly everyone was in agreement on was that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone made for an upgrade in principal actors over Sam Raimi’s choice of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst for his trilogy. Stone especially seemed like a breath of fresh air, as Dunst’s version of Mary Jane Watson wasn’t written to be like the character comic fans loved from the very beginning, and getting the chance to restart the story using Peter Parker’s real first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy…well, it just felt right. That leaves the question of Spider-Man’s second girlfriend hanging over Webb’s new franchise, however. Everyone knows that the love triangle he gets thrust into with Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane is a big part of Spider-Man’s early stories, so do Webb and crew have plans to introduce the confident and vivacious Mary Jane of the comic books into their future films, even if it could mess up the goldmine of chemistry they’ve discovered between Garfield and Stone? If a new report from Variety is to be believed, the answer is yes, and if things end up playing out like they’re looking to, that might be a good thing. According to the trade, Webb and company are currently in negotiations with The Descendants star Shailene Woodley to board the Amazing Spider-Man sequel as the aforementioned Mary Jane Watson. As anyone who saw The Descendants can tell you, despite the […]

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Movie 43 Trailer

It’s been a really long time since a sketch anthology movie got released in theaters. I’m not some sort of human trivia machine, so I don’t know exactly how long, but let’s just say that it’s been quite a while since somebody showed somebody else their VHS copy of Kentucky Fried Movie in a college dorm room. The people at Relativity Media are making a big play at bringing the form back though, by recruiting an army of funny filmmakers and a legion of talented actors to put together a new sketch comedy anthology called Movie 43. Who do they have directing segments of this thing? People like Bob Odenkirk, James Gunn, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Farrelly, and tons others. Who’s starring? People like Halle Berry, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Kate Winslet, Uma Thurman, and many more than can be typed without having your fingers cramp up. This movie cast Gerard Butler as its leprechaun, so you know it’s star-studded.

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Despite the fact that it opened to mixed reviews and didn’t bring in as much coin as the movies in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man was profitable enough that it was sure to spawn at least one sequel. Given the fact that the reboot wasn’t successful enough to be crowed about as a home run, and Webb was reportedly looking for a raise to work on a second film, however, it was always in doubt who would actually end up helming a second go-around with the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man. We can all stop speculating now though, because Columbia Pictures has announced [via THR] that Webb has been signed for the sequel and will reunite with stars Andrew Garfield and (most likely) Emma Stone to begin shooting sometime in early 2013. At this point the film has been slotted in for a May 2, 2014 release.

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Over Under - Large

In 2011, director Tate Taylor adapted Kathryn Stockett’s novel “The Help,” a story about the relationship between the wealthy whites and the poor blacks who raised their children of 60s-era Mississippi, into a feature film. When all was said and done, Taylor’s film made nearly ten times its production budget, was nominated for a truckload of awards (including 8 NAACP Image Awards and 4 Academy Awards), and had everyone’s aunts and grandmas talking their ears off about how much they wanted to go see it. To say that it ended up being a success would be something of an understatement. The Landlord is the debut of director Hal Ashby, one of the great ’70s filmmakers who, for some reason, doesn’t get the same recognition as many of his contemporaries. It earned Lee Grant a nomination for Best Supporting Actress back in the day, but it’s a film (like most of Ashby’s work not named Harold and Maude) that’s been generally forgotten over time. This is strange, because not only is it a great film that pushes some racial hot-buttons, but it also features a couple of actors who went on to do big things in Beau Bridges and Lou Gossett Jr.

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If you are a fan of either Cameron Crowe or Emma Stone, this news will likely be met with a hurricane of love – or just a tidal wave of “who cares what it’s about?!” Deadline Hollywood reports that Sony has sewn up a deal to make an all-new Crowe film (along with producer Scott Rudin), one that the filmmaker has already written and will direct himself. The outlet’s post doesn’t tell us much of anything about the film – including its title – but does report that it is a love story that has a tone “reminiscent” of films like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire (identically, my two favorite Crowe features). Oh, and it’s going to star Emma Stone. Meanwhile, Variety’s Jeff Sneider has tweeted that the film is actually a rewritten version of Crowe’s long-stalled Deep Tiki.

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The Amazing Spider-Man

Here be Spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man. Consider yourself warned. With The Amazing Spider-Man performing considerably well — and better than a supposedly worried Sony had expected — we’re bound to hear news of a sequel in the coming weeks. We already know the plans for a trilogy, but where that trilogy will actually go remains something of a mystery. The dull Peter Parker’s parent subplot/question will likely be answered, sure, but why not move away from this topic? Better yet, why not take a crack at all these suggestions below that I just know every exec at Sony is feverishly scribbling down? They may need to. Although Marc Webb‘s reboot of Spider-Man is pretty good, the impending release of something like The Dark Knight Rises means “pretty good” doesn’t exactly cut it. Sam Raimi handled the character properly, and showed how to make a great movie or two with him in the meantime. Even with all these origin amnesia criticisms that have been made, The Amazing Spider-Man didn’t exactly take notice of what worked in Raimi’s first two Spider-Man installments, and it should have; there’s plenty to improve on. Some of these things include:

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