Happy 65th Anniversary Cannes Film Festival! Check Out the Official Selection List! Is There An "Artist" in the Making? 

1,779 films were submitted to be included as an Official Selection of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival but in the end, only 54 films made it. From competition to Un Certain Regard to midnight screenings (I especially want to see Dario Argento's "Dracula" from the midnight screening category), here's your full list!

The Cannes Film Festival is taking place from May 16th to the 27th. Last year, "Drive," "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Melancholia," "The Artist," and "The Tree of Life" all wowed festival attendees and ultimately made an impact on the year-end award-giving bodies (with "The Artist" ultimately taking the grand prize of them all -- the Best Picture Oscar). We'll see if the latest crop of Cannes films will have the same staying power as Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist." (visit the official Festival de Cannes site right here)

2012 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection

Moonrise Kingdom, dir: Wes Anderson
Rust & Bone, dir: Jacques Audiard
Holly Motors, dir: Léos Carax
Cosmopolis, dir: David Cronenberg
The Paperboy, dir: Lee Daniels
Killing Them Softly, dir: Andrew Dominik
Reality, dir: Matteo Garrone
Amour, dir: Michael Haneke
Lawless, dir: John Hillcoat
In Another Country, dir: Hong Sangsoo
Taste Of Money, dir: Im Sangsoo
Like Someone In Love, dir: Abbas Kiarostami
The Angel’s Share, dir: Ken Loach
Im Nebel, dir: Sergei Loznitsa
Beyond The Hills, dir: Cristian Mungiu
Baad El Mawkeaa, dir: Yousry Nasrallah
Mud, dir: Jeff Nichols
You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet, dir: Alain Resnais
Post Tenebras Lux, dir: Carlos Reygadas
On The Road, dir: Walter Salles
Paradis: Amour, dir: Ulrich Seidl
The Hunt, dir: Thomas Vinterberg
Thérèse Desqueyroux, dir: Claude Miller (closing film, out of competition)

Miss Lovely, Ashim Ahluwalia
La Playa, dir: Juan Andrés Arango
God’s Horses, dir: Nabil Ayouch
Trois Monde, dir: Catherine Corsini
Antiviral, dir: Brandon Cronenberg
7 Days In Havana, dirs: Benicio Del Toro, Pablo Trapero, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio, Gaspard Noé, Laurent Cantet
Le Grand Soir, dirs: Benoit Delépine, Gustave Kervern
Laurence Anyways, dir: Xavier Dolan
Después De Lucia, dir: Michel Franco
Aimer A Perdre La Raison, dir: Joachim Lafosse
Student, dir: Darezhan Omirbayev
La Pirogue, dir: Moussa Toure
Elefante Blanco, dir: Pablo Trapero
Confessions Of A Chile Of The Century, dir: Sylvie Verheyde
11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate, dir: Koji Wakamatsu
Mystery, dir: Lou Ye
Beasts Of The Southern Wild, dir: Behn Zeitlin

Io E Te, dir: Bernardo Bertolucci
Madagascar 3, Europe’s Most Wanted, dirs: Eric Darnelle, Tom McGrath
Hemingway & Gelhorn, dir: Philip Kaufman

Dario Argento’s Dracula, dir: Dario Argento
Ai To Makoto, dir: Takashi Miike

Une Journée Particulière, dirs: Gilles Jacob, Samuel Faure

Polluting Paradise, dir: Fatih Akin
Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, dir: Laurent Bouzereau
The Central Park Five, dirs: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Les Invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz
Journal De France, dirs: Claudine Nougaret, Raymond Depardon
A Musica Segundo Tom Jobim, dir: Nelson Pereira Dos Santos
Villegas, dir: Gonzalo Tobal
Mekong Hotel, dir: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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Who's Likely to Direct "Hunger Games" Sequel? It's Now Down to Two Tributes! 

As soon as director Gary Ross exited "The Hunger Games" franchise, many speculations were floating around as to who should replace him for the sequel "Hunger Games: Catching Fire." Some were saying Alfonso Cuaron, the guy who gave "Harry Potter" its dark tinge with "The Prisoner of Azkaban," but I personally was hoping that Kathryn Bigelow, the Oscar-winning director of "The Hurt Locker," would take a shot.

But both Cuaron and Bigelow are not the chosen ones for the Reaping Day, it has come down to two candidates -- first, the Oscar-nominated Bennett Miller ("Capote") who most recently offered us the fantastic "Moneyball," and second, Francis Lawrence, the music video director who gave us "I Am Legend" and "Constantine" among others. Deadline is also saying that Juan Antonio Bayona of "The Orphanage" and "Attack the Block's" Joe Cornish both met with Lionsgate. But Miller is the obvious choice here right? Fresh from the success of "Moneyball," the director is a great storyteller with an equally impressive eye. But here's the catch -- Miller wants to shoot, not in August as previously planned, but in spring after he finishes "Foxcatcher" for FOX.

But Lionsgate is adamant to start shooting this August (one of the main reasons Ross left the franchise -- he wanted more time), so Lawrence may be the final victor.

FOX is crimping Lionsgate's style let me tell ya. "The Hunger Games" studio is forced to shoot the sequel earlier so Jennifer Lawrence can make her appearance as Mystique in the "X-Men: First Class" sequel. And now, Miller may be out as a director because of his prior commitment to FOX.

We'll know more about who will be the ultimate director of the sequel very, very soon!

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"Magic Mike" -- Here's the Trailer for the Steven Soderbergh Male Stripper Movie We've All Been Wondering About 

The world of male stripping is explored in this film directed by Steven Soderbergh written by Reid Carolin. Channing Tatum, in a role he's born to play, stars as Mike aka Magic Mike, a veteran stripper. He takes a liking to a young dancer appropriately named The Kid (Alex Pettyfer)and teaches him the fine art of male stripping Soderbergh-style. Matthew McConaughey (yes, in a role he's born to play part 2) co-stars as Dallas, a former stripper who now owns Xquisite, a club where Magic Mike and The Kid both work. Then, catfight ensues! The plot is like a gender-reversal "Showgirls" right? We'll see if "Magic Mike" is worthy of our dollar tips when the film opens on June 29th, a great way to start your 4th of July celebration ladies! :happy

Here's the brand new trailer of "Magic Mike" from Warner Bros.:

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A Special Message from "The Dictator" 

Bow down and behold, the Dictator speaks! This is regarding the special commemorative cars that he's selling for $750,000! This is of course to promote the new comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen directed by his "Borat" and "Bruno" collaborator, Larry Charles.

The buzz surrounding this movie is fantastic -- I heard it's super-funny! I'll watch the film on May 5th and give you a full report!

"The Dictator" opens nationwide on May 16th.

Here's the official statement from His Excellency. Oh yeah, the phone number below listed as the Office of Propaganda is a working number and you can leave a message!

Date: April 18, 2012
From: Office of Propaganda
RE: Dartz Motorz PROMBRON (ex.RussoBaltique) Aladeen Edition


His Excellency Admiral General Aladeen has graciously granted his express permission for Dartz Motorz, manufacturer of ultra-luxury armored vehicles and exclusive provider to the Wadiyan government motor pool, to offer limited edition commemorative vehicles honoring the Ruthless Protector of the Precious and Expendable People of Wadiya. Like civil rights in Wadiya, this offer will not be around for long.

Named for the undemocratically and forcibly elected Leader of Wadiya, the gold Aladeen Edition armored vehicles will be revealed to the people of the world at the Top Marques Monaco show under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. Top Marques Monaco, held at the Grimaldi Forum April 19 - 22, is revered as the world’s most exclusive supercar show where drivers experience firsthand the latest state-of-the-art machines on the prestigious Formula One racetrack, the Circuit de Monaco, mere weeks before the famous race takes place. A race that Aladeen has already won.

The Dartz Motorz PROMBRON (ex.RussoBaltique) vehicle comes from a long line of armored vehicles more than a hundred years in the making; it was originally built in 1912 for Russian Tzar Nikolai II. The PROMBROM was also NOT used in the accidental hit-and-run death of Wadiyan political opposition leader Maran Harouri, nor in the accidental repeated running over of the six witnesses to the hit-and-run.

Labeled the “World’s Most Expensive Armored Car,” the PROMBRON is the fastest and most maneuverable luxury armored all-road vehicle in the world. With supercar power and the technology of a spaceship, it boasts very unique protection capabilities from level B2 to B7+, providing occupants with resistance to RPGs and .50 caliber high velocity armor piercing rounds (or as Aladeen calls them, “love letters from his people.”)

Furthermore, all Dartz vehicles come equipped with patented 3” ionized glass, also RPG resistant. Each vehicle is handmade with great attention to sumptuous detail, exemplified in the exotic hand-stitched leathers and wood used in the interior, reclining massage seats, champagne bottle chillers and wine racks. And there’s room in back for up to six kidnapped actresses or faded supermodels.

Ten Aladeen Edition vehicles will be made available as part of this limited offer. MSRP ranges from $500,000 to $750,000 (USD). Actual price will vary depending on equipment and package options. (Price excludes title, taxes, registration, license fees, insurance, dealer prep and additional options.) By purchasing one of these vehicles you are also legally agreeing to have sex with Aladeen.

# # #

Office of Propaganda

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"The Lucky One" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Does Zac Efron Get? 

Nicholas Sparks is a good storyteller. His prose digs deep into the male and female psyches which makes his books intriguing and moving. Most romantic melodramas just favor the point-of-view of the female character so it’s quite refreshing that Sparks understands both sides.

Sadly, the film adaptations of Sparks’ work, with the exception of “The Notebook,” fail to match his fine writing style. Most filmmakers adapting his novels dive right into the story without much care for the characters. That is the inherent problem of the latest movie based on Sparks’ novel, “The Lucky One.”

Zac Efron channels fellow Sparks alumnus, Channing Tatum of “Dear John,” to play our hero, U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault. The actor bulks up and grows a beard to tell us he wants to be taken seriously as a leading man. Yes folks, his “High School Musical” days are long gone.

I was curious to see how director Scott Hicks (“Shine”) and scriptwriter Will Fetters (“Remember Me”) would adapt the novel. “Shine” was a well-told story with a great Oscar-winning performance from Geoffrey Rush while “Remember Me” was an underrated but effective movie starring a capable Robert Pattinson. Read More...

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