Woody Allen Announces Full Cast for Upcoming Film "The Bop Decameron," Will Shoot in Rome for First Time! 

Woody Allen, riding high with his fantastic film "Midnight in Paris" (currently at No. 9, a feat for a season cluttered with blockbuster films), has announced full cast for his latest film "The Bop Decameron."

The director will star in this one alongside Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penélope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. Co-stars include Antonio Albanese, Fabio Armiliata, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ornella Muti, Flavio Parenti, Alison Pill, Riccardo Scamarcio and Alessandro Tiberi.

"The Bop Decameron" begins production on July 11 and will mark Allen's first time shooting in Rome. The film is produced by Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, and is Allen's first movie to be financed by the Italian production and distribution company, Medusa Film.

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R.I.P. Ryan Dunn, "Jackass" Star Dead at 34 

This is sad. I was just watching "Jackass 3.5" last night, and I woke up to this horrible news. "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn died early Monday morning in a car crash. He was 34.

According to reports, Dunn and another passenger died at 2:30 in the morning in West Goshen, Pennsylvania. The police report revealed that Dunn, driving a 2007 Porsche 911 GT3, slammed into a tree. (Read the press release from West Goshen Police Department right here via Hollywood Reporter)

Hours before the crash, Dunn posted a photo of himself drinking. (Check out the picture right here)

I had the privilege of meeting Dunn last year for the "Jackass 3D" junket. He was very sweet in person -- which makes this horrible news of his death much sadder :sad

Farewell Mr. Dunn, thanks for the laughs!

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"Green Lantern" Shines Box-Office Light But Why Is It A Disappointment? 

"Green Lantern" debuted at the top spot landing at No. 1 with $52.7 million. But that's a disappointment according to many Hollywood insiders because:

1) Warner Bros. was hoping for at least, $55 million and above opening

2) "Green Lantern" cost $200 million, plus about $120 million for marketing -- a far trek to recoup its investment

3) The film is at the bottom of the recent superhero class; "Thor" opened with $65.7 million and "X-Men: First Class" debuted with $55.1 million

The film scored better with moviegoers, but many critics panned it. ("Green Lantern" movie review)

It will take a strong word of mouth, to help elevate "Green Lantern" for weeks to come.

Previous weekend's box-office champ, Paramount Pictures' sci-fi tale "Super 8," fell to No. 2 with $21.3 million. The J.J. Abrams/Steven Spielberg collaboration has collected $72.8 million box-office total since it opened.

("Super 8" movie review right here, watch my "Super 8" interviews with Kyle Chandler right here, Elle Fanning right here, and the kids of "Super 8" right here)

But Jim Carrey's family comedy "Mr. Popper's Penguins" flopped! The 20th Century Fox movie debuted at No. 3 with $18.2 million. ("Mr. Popper's Penguins" interview with animal trainer)

Rounding out the Top 5 are "X-Men: First Class" at No. 4 with $11.5 million, and "The Hangover Part II" at No. 5 with $9.6 million.

Here's the Top 10 box-office films for weekend of June 17:

1. "Green Lantern," $52.7 million ($17 million international).

2. "Super 8," $21.3 million.

3. "Mr. Popper's Penguins," $18.2 million.

4. "X-Men: First Class," $11.5 million.

5. "The Hangover Part II," $9.6 million ($21.4 million international).

6. "Kung Fu Panda 2," $8.7 million ($52.5 million).

7. "Bridesmaids," $7.5 million ($7.3 million international).

8. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," $6.2 million ($25.9 million international).

9. "Midnight in Paris," $5.2 million.

10. "Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer," $2.2 million.

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Reposting: My Interviews with "Beginners" Folks, Director Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor! I'm Supporting This Film 100%!!! 

I've adored Ewan McGregor since his career-making turn in 1996's "Trainspotting." Since then, the actor has jumped from making big blockbusters like the "Star Wars" movies (Episodes I to III) to making small, independent films like his current Focus Features release, "Beginners."

He plays Oliver in the film, an ebullient but depressed artist who never really becomes close to his father, Hal (the wonderful Christopher Plummer), until the latter comes out of the closet at 75. Five years later, he dies.

"Beginners" is a quasi-tragicomic film that is emotionally rich and undeniably human. It's writer/director Mike Mills' homage to his real father who also came out at 75. The film speaks volumes about finding oneself amidst adversities. In this interview, we talked about:

*** How writer/director Mike Mills' letter convinced the actor to play the part
*** Working with Mills
*** How he bonded with Plummer
*** His rollercoaster relationship with Melanie Laurent ("Inglourious Basterds") -- how Six Flags Magic Mountain helped!
*** Working with his canine co-star, Cosmo, and his new dog!
*** Finding our own history of sadness

Mike Mills ("Thumbsucker") reveals that he wrote the movie "Beginners" as an homage to his father who lived his life as a heterosexual male -- married with kids -- and then came out as a gay man at 75. When he passed away five years later, even when he was sick, Mills says "he didn't act like a sick person, he was still thriving."

Christopher Plummer plays the father in "Beginners" and Ewan McGregor stars as his son. The movie is emotionally rich and undeniably human. From Focus Features, "Beginners" is currently showing in NY and LA. It will roll out in theaters near you in upcoming weeks, check your local listings.

In this interview, Mills talked about:

*** The autobiographical aspect of "Beginners"
*** Gay life in the '50s
*** The film's historical yet not preachy perspective
*** The movie's questioning of "what's real?"
*** Did he notice his father's sexual orientation?
*** Finding one's self through their history of sadness

Here's more info on "Beginners" from Yahoo:
Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who -- following 44 years of marriage -- came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal's new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they'd ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him.

Genres: Drama

Release Date: June 3rd, 2011 (limited)

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.

Distributors: Focus Features

Cast and Credits

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent

Directed by: Mike Mills

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Go Green! Watch My Fun "Green Lantern" Movie Review! 

For my written review of "Green Lantern," click here.

Here's more info on the movie from Yahoo:

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris, if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax... he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

Also Known As:
Green Lantern 3D
Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 45 min.
Release Date: June 17th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast & Crew


Ryan Reynolds -- Hal Jordan

Blake Lively -- Carol Ferris

Peter Sarsgaard -- Hector Hammond

Mark Strong -- Sinestro

Angela Bassett -- Dr. Amanda Waller

Tim Robbins -- Senator Hammond

Temuera Morrison -- Abin Sur

Jay O. Sanders -- Carl Ferris

Taika Waititi -- Thomas Kalmaku

Jon Tenney -- Martin Jordan

Directed By: Martin Campbell

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