Katie Holmes

These days you can’t chuck a cat without hitting a piece of gossip about actress Katie Holmes’ personal life, but all of that domestic drama doesn’t mean that she’s going to be taking a step back from her career or shying away from life in the public eye. Quite the opposite really, in the wake of a recent divorce she seems to be redoubling her efforts in the movie business and doing whatever she can to kick-start the second phase of her career. To that end she has co-wrote, is co-producing, and will star in a new movie called Molly, the particulars of which could be earning it quite a bit of coverage in the mainstream media sometime soon. Molly, which People Magazine says is set to begin production in New York City next week, details the life of a single mother who has to deal with the hectic schedule of raising a daughter on her own. While this is a simple story that would have seemed innocuous enough a couple of weeks ago, given the fact that Holmes is currently divorcing her husband, Tom Cruise, and seeking custody of their young daughter, soon it will very likely be a case of life imitating art.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a “a sleazy, slimy, adolescent, over-sexed, over-paid, blowhole!” Or at least that’s how it all works out in the version written by Aaron Sorkin. If the man decides to write it, we’ll take it. We begin this evening with an image of Christian Bale looking rather dour as Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises, a film the Los Angeles Times says should open in the area of $200 million dollars. The fact that it’s tracking for big numbers comes as a surprise to no one. Chris Nolan’s final Batfilm has been the movie of the year from day one. So smile, Mr. Wayne, it’ll all be over soon.

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You would think that having your film sweep every single category of a highly visible awards show would be a once in a lifetime honor that would be a career capping moment. But that’s not really the case when the awards show we’re talking about is the annual Razzie Awards for worst in filmmaking. No, in this case, winning every award is a pretty clear indication that you’re a shame to the entire human race, and should probably stop making movies. In accordance with the new schedule that the Razzies are working under this year, they announced their winners yesterday, on April Fool’s Day. When the nominations were first announced, it looked like Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison production, Jack and Jill, was set to take home a record-breaking amount of awards; and boy, did it. For the first time in the history of the Razzies, one movie swept the show, winning (relatively speaking) in every single category.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes to war. He strips down to his muscular awesomeness and shimmies into a codpiece. After applying a solid gold breastplate, he’s too exhausted to actually go to war, so he heads to the local movie cinema to catch Immortals, wondering if Isabel Lucas has ever eaten a carbohydrate in her life. Then he slips into a housedress and sneaks into an early screening of J. Edgar. After a quick nap, he tries to escape the horror that is Jack and Jill, but alas, that did not happen. You can send him care packages now, courtesy of his local mental institution.

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Adam Sandler and Adam Sandler in Jack and Jill

The initial moments of Jack and Jill, a new comedy in which Adam Sandler plays twins, filled me with a small measure of hope. The opening montage of twins talking about their relationships was a nice touch. For its first few minutes, Sandler’s drag routine was actually funny. Maybe this wouldn’t be the cavalcade of self-parodying garbage that its trailer seemed to promise. Alas, poor Sandler, ’twas not to be. After all, this is a Happy Madison production, ensconced in Dennis Dugan land, where once-young comic actors fast approaching middle age still make the same basic movies they were making fifteen years ago. Only now, they movies are worse.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr moved into an old, creepy house with the wife of an uber-famous movie star. But then she started hearing voices in the walls, so he bailed on that noise and found a new main squeeze. She turned out to be a full-blown psychotic assassin bent on revenge and blood. The plus side is that she was the spitting image of Zoe Saldana, so Kevin thought it might be worth the risk. This, of course, did not end well, but he considered himself lucky because he didn’t have to sit through Our Idiot Brother. Oh, and apparently Transformers: The Dark of the Moon is returning to IMAX screens… but does anyone care about that at all?

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It’s been hyped up, hotly anticipated and pushed hard by the big name behind it, but at the end of the day Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is just not that scary. Sure, Troy Nixey’s haunted house movie — co-produced and co-scripted by Guillermo Del Toro — has the high end bonafides, revealed in the sumptuous wood-paneled mansion setting and the patient, operatic camera movements. It’s got the eerie historical aura, the tortured child and the expressionistic rendition of shadowy figures creeping through the darkness. But when this remake of a popular made-for-TV movie from 1973 finally shows all its cards, you wonder what you’ve missed. There’s a serious disconnect between the highfalutin atmospherics and the nitty- gritty sloppiness of the premise, a sort of People Under the Stairs for rich white New Englanders. Reliant on the timeless “boo” effect and the hint of something deeper and sinister, the film basically offers one long, drawn out exercise in scaring the pants off a pre-teen.

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Guy Pearce is really good at playing assholes. He can do the nice guy thing or the conflicted hero as well, but I love me some Pearce in a-hole mode. Earlier this year in the fantastic Mildred Pierce, he got to play one of the most charming emasculated men in recent screen history. In The King’s Speech, he was a snotty old brother all about having a good ‘ol time. So what does the smooth talker from Mildred Pierce and the jerk brother from The King’s Speech have in common? Humility. Pearce is not one to let a human character be a monster for no understandable reason. He’s also not interested in having pure distaste for the character’s skin he’s inhabiting. In the (finally) upcoming Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, he’s filling the shoes of the neglectful father. While Pearce doesn’t view him as an asshole, that’s the word that kept popping up in my head when the personable actor was describing him. Here’s what the actor had to say about playing un-nice guys, the Memento Effect, his banter with Nicolas Winding Refn, trusting directors, and working with hard-boiled dialog:

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This summer seems light on one thing: horror movies. While there is the surprisingly awesome looking Fright Night remake coming out, that looks to be far more interested in being fun and cool, rather than moody and intense. Where are the creepy horror films this season? There seems to be none this summer… except one that’s been flying under the radar for far too long: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. The Troy Nixey directed, Guillermo del Toro produced family vs. monsters film has taken its sweet time getting to the big screen, but come August, we’ll finally get a true horror film for the summer.

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Movies We Love

“Isn’t it funny? You hear a phone ring and it could be anybody. But ringing phone has to be answered, doesn’t it?” I don’t think there is anyone out there who doesn’t agree at this point that Joel Schumacher has lost his edge. But before falling of the face of the earth with films like The Phantom of the Opera and The Number 23, he delivered what would be his last great film: The 2003 morality thriller Phone Booth. Stu Shepard is a publicist working in New York City, and he’s everything except a decent human being. From his wife, to his “girlfriend” and his personal assistant, Stu takes advantage of everyone and everything at his disposal. Little did he know how everything was going to change once he picked up the phone today.

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There’s a chance I may be reading a bit too much into the trailer below… The Romantics stars Katie Holmes as a young woman who reunites with six college friends the night before two of them are to be married. The bride (Anna Paquin) has been her best friend for years, and the groom (Josh Duhamel) is the man they’ve both loved. Over the course of this final evening relationships will be tested, hidden truths will be revealed, and someone may just be out a big deposit on a reception hall. And if we’re lucky Holmes and Paquin will send fists flying and clothes ripping while fighting in the wet ocean surf. The film is written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer from her own novel, and it also stars Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, and Candice Bergen. We won’t fully understand the casting of Bergen as a thirty-something until we see the film, but the smart money is on a science fiction twist in the third act. Check after the jump for the new trailer…

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It seems like an obvious concept, that horror movies should be scary, but it also seems that most of the ones coming out of Hollywood these days are more interested in gore and/or special effects than in legitimate atmosphere and terror. The only exceptions I can think of recently are Paranormal Activity and Quarantine. But the former is more of an indie than a Hollywood production and the latter was a remake of the Spanish thriller Rec… Which brings us to the upcoming remake of Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark. If that name only triggers memories of afternoons spent parked in front of the TV with Nickelodeon blaring out at you then you’ll need to prepare yourself for something a bit different. The film follows a young girl sent to live with her father (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend (Katie Holmes) in an old Victorian-style home. Their arrival triggers something in the basement that wants a closer look at the girl. This is the feature debut of director Troy Nixey, but he has a pretty experienced pair of hands backing him up… Guillermo Del Toro is the film’s executive producer and the man who shepherded it along through production. The original film is a made-for-TV classic from 1973, and while it doesn’t hold up all that well today it still manages to find more than a few scares. Check after the jump for the creepiest trailer you’ve seen since Carrot Top’s Chairman Of the Board…

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard any movement on this, but horror and Del Toro fans should rejoice with the news that Miramax’s remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark has gotten a release date of its very own. And, unlike every superhero property out there, it’s a release that’s within the next 8 months. Mark your calendar and be ready to ring in the new year with some strange visitors that live in your basement.

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dontbeafraidofthedark

Guy Pearce is spending time with Katie Holmes in the dark. Hopefully neither of them will trip over Tom Cruise…

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katie-holmes-header

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is a made-for-TV movie from the early seventies, and is notable for being one of the only two terrifying TV movies ever made. Now its getting a redo with Katie Holmes and director Troy Nixey.

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I Believe in Harvey Dent

Another day, another viral marketing update from The Dark Knight. This seems to be the story of my life lately, updating all of you on what is new in the world of Harvey Dent and this mysterious character The Joker. But alas, it could be worse, Paramount could be gearing up more viral for Star Trek — ick!

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