Josh Brolin

It was looking like Sean Penn might not be able to star in the upcoming organized crime film Gangster Squad after he entered negotiations to star alongside Christian Bale in The Last Photograph, but Variety is reporting that Penn is still in the running, and actually very close to signing. And now that Penn is almost on board, things are looking good for Josh Brolin to join the cast as well. Gangster Squad is the story of the LAPD’s battle against famed gangster Mickey Cohen and other mafia men trying to make the jump from East to West coast back in the 40s and 50s. The script is based off of a L.A. Times article written on the subject by Paul Lieberman. Penn is negotiating for the role of Cohen, and the previously rumored Ryan Gosling and newly rumored Josh Brolin would be a pair of police tasked with bringing him down. The original article was adapted for the screen by Will Beall, who is a former police officer turned novelist, and Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer will direct. I think everything that I mentioned in this article is awesome, so hopefully when you put them all together the results will be a movie that is super awesome. At the very least I can’t wait to watch Gosling and Penn trying to flamboyantly out act each other while Brolin is all squinty and minimal in the background.

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Director Andrew Dominik proved with The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford that he could create an intensely beautiful film with an insanely long title. He also proved that he could handle a large cast of formidable talent. Fortunately for fans, he’ll get another chance to wrangle a murder of talent. Not only will Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck be starring in Dominik’s forthcoming Cogan’s Trade – a film about comedy and crime in Boston (the only city in the United States with crime) – but Sam Rockwell, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Zoe Saldana, Bill Murray, and Mark Ruffalo are also possible to come on board. If they do, Andrew Dominik will have single-handedly kept the great actors of Hollywood busy and unable to appear in anyone else’s films next year. Well played, sir. The film is set to shoot in Louisiana in March, and it creates another reason to be excited for 2012. [Cinema Blend]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a big red suit and sneaks into people’s houses. The only difference is that he sneaks into the houses of all the naughty girls. But before he can manage that undertaking, he sets his sights on the last wash of movies hitting the multiplexes this season. He travels with Jack Black to the Bermuda Triangle in Gulliver’s Travels then heads out west to catch a killer with True Grit. Finally, he brings his Christmas movie watching to a close by stabbing himself in the face with Little Fockers. Ho ho ho, the humanity!

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There’s a core lesson somewhere inside the remake (or novel re-adaptation) of True Grit about pulling on bootstraps, feeling the bitter cold of the ride, and doing what needs to be done. Of course, that lesson is buried beneath a lot of snide remarks and funny moments. Even if the lesson is hard to find, the film itself is a reminder that there are few things quite as entertaining as seeing a snotty little girl and an eye-patched drunkard go exact a little buck shot revenge. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is desperate to track down the man who killed her father, so she enlists the reluctant help of sodden U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) who takes every opportunity to brag about himself. Through a tough ride in Indian Territory, Mattie comes gun barrel to gun barrel with murderer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) with a chance to pull the trigger and right his wrong.

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Drinking Games

With the holidays approaching, the studios are releasing some pretty sweet collector’s sets of classic films. One of the big releases this week is the 25th anniversary of The Goonies, which comes with the Blu-ray, memorabilia and a board game. If you were a fan of this film as a child, you are clearly old enough to drink now. So raise a toast to One-Eyed Willy and have some fun.

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Say what you will about the Men in Black franchise, but don’t say that they can’t get talent involved. In addition to the already cast Will Smith, Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement and Josh Brolin (who, after seeing Jonah Hex, may sign on to any project that offers him a free meal) for Men in Black 3, reports are now coming in saying that former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, microwave executive Alec Baldwin and silly South African Sharlto Copley are in talks to join the cast. According to Pajiba, Copley would play a “fast-talking Yoda type alien,” Baldwin would play the head of MIB in 1969, and Arterton would play is undoubtedly tortured, but tight-skirted secretary. Shooting is scheduled to begin in November.

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Culture Warrior

I was living in New York in September 2008, and took some time a couple of days after the stock market crash to visit way downtown Manhattan and see what was going on. The quietude was shocking, as the alarms being sounded on cable news networks made it sound like I shouldn’t be surprised to see brokers peddling on the street, people running around on fire for no apparent reason, or CEOs segway-ing off of cliffs. As I rarely visited the Financial District, I had no idea whether or not this was normal. Maybe the crash had invoked a necessary meditation or speechlessness, a rare time of reflection for capitalists-run-amok. But the truth was that such panic wouldn’t be visible on the street amongst the common folk (houses around the country owned by low and middle-income families told that story), rather the chaos was happening inside the buildings themselves. Oliver Stone’s latest entry into his “W” trilogy dealing with major 21st century American events (alongside World Trade Center and W.), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, is an attempt to inquire on the conversations that may have gone on in those buildings.

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Retribution. Revenge. That’s the theme at the core of the Coen Brothers’ upcoming reimagining of True Grit, based on the book by Charles Portis. The film follows Mattie Ross (played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld), a 14-year old girl whose father is murdered by a vicious man named Chaney (Josh Brolin). To get the revenge she feels she deserves, she hires a trigger-happy, boozed up US Marshall named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). Together, they set out to avoid other more noble lawmen (Matt Damon) and bring Chaney to justice. All of this, as you’ll see, can be gleaned from the first trailer…

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is coming at you in eye-popping 3D, and like money, he doesn’t sleep. He sets his time machine way way way back to 2002 to pick on Kristen Bell in high school. The story is loosely chronicled in You Again. Kevin also practices some insider trading with Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps then takes flight with a bunch of CGI owls from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

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As if news that Jason Reitman was re-teaming with Diablo Cody wasn’t good enough, and as if Charlize Theron joining as the star didn’t cap it off, recent word is that Josh Brolin might be following up his 19 films in 2010 by co-starring for Young Adult. In the story that focuses on Charlize Theron’s divorcee author returning to her home town (what a classic trope) to reconnect with her now-married former love, Brolin may just be the married object of her affection. As per Reitman’s contract with Hollywood, the film will be nominated for Best Picture. [Showbiz 411]

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While they may not have intended to make a straight western like the comics, at least they would’ve made something different. We’re dealing with a surge of comic book films right now and this one won’t be remembered. It’s incredibly paint-by-numbers and not the unique piece of craziness we would’ve gotten if Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor directed as intended. If you’re interested in what their version would’ve been like and how their original draft differs, look no further. Here it is.

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If your favorite part of the theater-going experience is the trailers this weekend holds a special treat for you. Head down to your local cineplex, buy a ticket for Splice or Get Him To the Greek, and then sneak into a showing of Jonah Hex. At under eighty minutes it’s a little long for a traditional trailer, and it gives away too much of the ending, but the brief hints of big action, effects, and fun will really get you excited for when the actual movie is released.

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kevin-reportcard-header

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr opens up his toy box to look at Toy Story 3D and Jonah Hex.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil meet up in the miraculously bird-free Magical Studio in the Sky to gush over the latest Pixar release – Toy Story 3. They also shrug their shoulders at Jonah Hex, not having had a chance to review it at the time of recording.

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Twenty five years ago to the day, producer Steven Spielberg and director Richard Donner were probably meeting at the Amblin offices, right there on the Universal lot where they still reside today. They were probably having a conversation about the first day’s receipts and the weekend projections for their newly released film The Goonies.

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IGN has debuted a new trailer for the upcoming Warner Bros. release Jonah Hex. And while the production has been marred by reports of re-shoots, editing problems and a list of creative differences longer than its eventual credit roll, this new trailer could give fans a bit of hope.

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This trailer is worth it just for the comebacks alone. Something tells me he didn’t actually cut himself shaving.

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A 10-second TV spot for Jonah Hex has appeared on SyFy this week, touting a release of the film’s first trailer later this week. According to the spot, the Hex trailer will debut on SyFy Thursday, just before it is set to hit theaters with A Nightmare on Elm Street this coming weekend.

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In December, we reported on a national talent search that was underway over at Paramount Pictures. The Coen Brothers were looking for an unknown young actress to star in their upcoming rework of True Grit, based on the novel by Charles Portis. We now know that said girl will be played by Hailee Steinfeld.

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