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Updated: 11 hours 11 min ago

Review: Body count out of control in 'Raid 2'

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 6:55pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leaving behind the original's grungy Jakarta tenement setting for the luxurious hangouts of Indonesia's organized crime overlords, "The Raid 2" pumps up its production values several notches. Even so, it's easy to imagine that one of the biggest items on the budget might be the orthopedics bill, since this orgy of broken bones and vicious badassery makes its cult predecessor look like a peevish bitch-slap. Lining up bloody showdowns like the dizzying acts of a hyper-violent ballet, Gareth Evans' sequel invites accusations of, ahem, overkill. But the fanboys will eat it up.

No drug court for man arrested amid Hoffman probe

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 6:51pm
NEW YORK (AP) — A jazz musician arrested on heroin possession charges amid an investigation into Philip Seymour Hoffman's death has lost a bid to have the case handled by a New York drug court that emphasizes treatment instead of punishment.

Emma Watson 'more spiritual' than religious

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 6:22pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emma Watson was no believer.

'Frozen' hits sales high note, holds throne on top of Billboard

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 5:42pm

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" showed no signs of slowing down four months after its release, as sales for the album hit a high note and held the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday. "Frozen," which features the Oscar-winning song "Let It Go," sold 202,000 copies last week according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, its biggest sales week since its November 25 release. Alt-rockers Foster the People debuted its latest record "Supermodel" at No. 3, electronic music DJ Skrillex came in at No. 4 with "Recess" and grunge rockers The Pretty Reckless notched No. 5 with "Going to Hell." Latin pop crooner Enrique Iglesias' latest studio album "Sex and Love" clocked in at No. 8 in its opening week, while rockers Taking Back Sunday rounded out the top ten with "Happiness Is." For the week ending March 23, overall album sales totaled 4.7 million, Billboard said, down 22 percent from the comparable sales week in 2013.

New startup offers movie investing to wealthy

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 5:18pm
NEW YORK (AP) — A new startup is offering wealthy investors a chance to finance movies starring Tom Hanks, Kate Winslet and Casey Affleck.

Review: 'Chavez' gives leader routine treatment

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 4:35pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Diego Luna's heartfelt biographical drama, "Cesar Chavez," chronicles the five-year struggle of the United Farm Workers co-founder in the 1960s to get California grape growers to the negotiating table to hammer out fair wages and better conditions for exploited field laborers. It's a stirring story of a real-life fight for social justice, and clearly a passion project for the Mexican actor-turned-director. But while the film's old-fashioned virtues and the integrity of its subject matter give it some traction, pedestrian handling, a lumpy script and some significant miscasting mean it only occasionally summons the dramatic power to match the events it depicts.

Kim Kardashian's Vogue Cover: I Felt Like Carrie Bradshaw!

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 1:03pm

Kim Kardashian's headline-making appearance on the cover of Vogue with Kanye West and daughter North gave the reality star a "Sex and The City" moment. "I knew it was happening of course," Kim, 33, said on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on Tuesday, "but I didn't know it would be the cover.

Meryl Streep to play former rock star in 'Ricky and the Flash'

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 11:51am

The actress is attached to headline this indie drama in the role of an aging rock star. Coming off of her role in "August: Osage County," Meryl Streep has agreed to play an aging rock star in "Ricky and the Flash," reports.  The character attempts to reconnect with her children after decades of being estranged from them, mainly due to her thirst for glory and excess. The indie drama was penned by Diablo Cody, the screenwriter behind "Juno" and "Young Adult." Jonathan Demme ("The Silence of the Lambs," "Rachel Getting Married") will direct the feature, which is not currently attached to a production studio.

Kevin Spacey attached to headline Winston Churchill biopic

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 11:48am

After playing a powerful American senator in the political series "House of Cards," Kevin Spacey could portray an iconic British politician in this biopic. "Captain of the Gate" will pay homage to the great orator and military strategist Winston Churchill, who was twice prime minister of Britain (1940-1945 and 1951-1955). According to the Hollywood Reporter, the feature will focus primarily on Churchill's rise to power and his appointment as prime minister of the coalition government in 1940, at age 65. 

Bradley Cooper: The New Indiana Jones?

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 11:04am

Will the former Sexiest Man Alive - Bradley Cooper - go from playing a talking space raccoon to Indiana Jones?

Disaster film about jet crash at sea put on hold

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 10:35am
HONG KONG (AP) — A disaster movie about a jet that crashes into the ocean on its way to Beijing has been put on hold because of its similarities to the missing Malaysian plane.

A Minute With: Emma Watson on how Hogwarts prepped her for 'Noah'

Wed, 03/26/2014 - 8:12am

By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After spending a decade at the Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the "Harry Potter" film franchise, actress Emma Watson put her magical training to good use for her first big budget post-Potter role, in biblical action blockbuster "Noah." In director Darren Aronofsky's movie, out in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Friday, Watson plays Ila, the wife of Noah's eldest son, Shem, who is played by Douglas Booth. The film distributed by Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures stars Russell Crowe as the ark-building Noah and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Naameh, in a dark, psychological reimagining of the Old Testament flood story.

'Fifty Shades,' 'Fast,' 'Dumber' teased in Vegas

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:20pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Universal Pictures had a strong start at the box office this year, with "Lone Survivor" grossing more than $124 million and "Ride Along" bringing in nearly $146 million globally.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin announce separation

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 9:26pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, one of Hollywood's highest profile couples, are separating after more than a decade of marriage, according to a message posted on the "Iron Man" actress's blog Tuesday.

Jolie surprises CinemaCon to tout 'Unbroken'

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 9:23pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Angelina Jolie took to the stage at CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater exhibitors, on Tuesday to reveal footage from the upcoming survival saga "Unbroken," which she directed and produced.

Investigators: Unsafe speed caused Walker crash

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 9:05pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Porsche carrying "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was traveling up to 94 mph when it went out of control on a suburban street and crashed, killing the actor and his friend, according to an investigation by law enforcement agencies into the November accident.

Universal teases 'Fast & Furious 7,' Jolie film

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 7:33pm
By Lisa Richwine LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Cars falling from the sky in "Fast & Furious 7," clips from Angelina Jolie's directorial project "Unbroken," and the first look at erotic novel adaptation "Fifty Shades of Grey" provided a glimpse of Universal Pictures' upcoming movie slate on Tuesday. In the footage shown to theater owners at the CinemaCon gathering in Las Vegas, a clip from the seventh installment of the "Fast and Furious" action franchise featured some of the final scenes filmed by actor Paul Walker before his sudden death in a California car crash in November last year. Walker and other co-stars including Vin Diesel are seated in cars before the cargo door of a plane opens, and the vehicles drive out and plunge toward the ground, deploying parachutes for a safe landing. Actor-director Jolie also appeared on stage to promote "Unbroken," a drama she directed about Louis Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian who became a prisoner of war when his plane was shot down over Japan during World War II. Jolie said she was drawn to Zamperini's story, one of a hero who wasn't perfect and had started smoking, stealing and drinking by the age of nine.

'Unsafe speed' caused car crash that killed Paul Walker - sheriff

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 7:07pm

The fiery car accident last year that killed "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker was caused by excessive speed and not a mechanical failure, the Los Angeles County Sheriff said on Tuesday, concluding its almost four-month investigation. The red Porsche Carrera GT sports car driven by Walker's friend Roger Rodas, 38, was traveling at speeds of 80 to 93 miles per hour (129 to 150 kilometers per hour) before Rodas lost control of the car and crashed into trees and a utility pole in Santa Clarita, California, northwest of Los Angeles. "Investigators determined the cause of the fatal solo-vehicle collision was unsafe speed for the roadway conditions," Los Angeles County Sheriff Commander Mike Parker said in a statement. Walker, 40, died from traumatic injuries and burns while Rodas died of multiple traumatic injuries in the one-car crash on November 30, the Los Angeles County coroner's office determined in January.

Global box office for films rise 4 percent in 2013

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 7:03pm
(Reuters) - The global box office receipts from all films released in 2013 rose 4 percent to $35.9 billion, due to a five percent increase in international box office, according to the Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2013. The Chinese box office grew 27 percent to $3.6 billion, becoming the first international market to exceed $3 billion in box office, according to the report released by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA). Box office collections in the Asia Pacific region reached $10.9 billion, surpassing EMEA as the top region in international box office, the report said.