"Despicable Me" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Do the Minions Get? 

When I first saw the previews for "Despicable Me," I thought it was an unoriginal animated feature film. Even the main character, Gru (Steve Carell), looked like the food critic in "Ratatouille." It is a blessing that I did not pay attention to the film's marketing tactics because "Despicable Me" turns out to be one of the freshest, buoyant films to open this summer.

Marking Universal Pictures' first entry into the 3-D CGI territory, "Despicable Me" benefits from the inspired performances by its cast and the creative filmmakers. Producer Chris Meledandri ("Ice Age," "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!) helped make an unforgettable film after leaving 20th Century Fox Animation where he was the founding president. Read More...

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Good News for "Last Airbender," Bigger News for "Twilight: Eclipse!" See the Top 10 Box-Office Films for Fourth of July Weekend! 

Team Twilight took home the box-office crown with an estimated $82.5 million haul over the Fourth of July weekend, and $175.3 million for its first six day since opening Wednesday. (Check out my movie review of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" right here)

"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" easily debuted at No. 1 fending off M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender." Hated by many critics, including me, the fantasy adventure surprised with a $53.2 million debut resting at No. 2. (See my movie review of "The Last Airbender" right here, and Dev Patel defending the film right here)

Previous weekend's box-office champ, "Toy Story 3," fell to No. 3 with $42.2 million reaching the highly-coveted $300 million mark. So far, "Toy Story 3" has sold $301.1 million worth of box-office tickets.

"Toy Story 3" beat "Up's" $293 million total last year but will this third installment beat the No. 1 hit for Disney/Pixar, "Finding Nemo?" Stay tuned...

Oh and one more thing, according to Summit, the home of "Twilight," males accounted for 35 percent of audiences, higher than "New Moon's" 20 percent. More males are starting to watch "Twilight!" Should Twi-hards celebrate?

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office list for weekend of July 2nd:

1. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," $82.5 million.

2. "The Last Airbender," $53.2 million.

3. "Toy Story 3," $42.2 million.

4. "Grown Ups," $26.5 million.

5. "Knight and Day," $14 million.

6. "The Karate Kid," $11.5 million.

7. "The A-Team," $4.3 million.

8. "Get Him to the Greek," $1.7 million.

9. "Shrek Forever After," $1.3 million.

10. "Cyrus," $1 million.

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"W.E," the Madonna Movie Starts Shooting Today But What is it Really About? 

Madonna's feature film directorial debut, "W.E," starts shooting today, July 5th. The Queen of Pop co-wrote the script with her "Truth or Dare" director, Alek Keshishian. The film is shooting in Europe (UK and France) and the US.

The film stars Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy Oscar Isaac, Richard Coyle, James Fox, and Laurence Fox. So what is the movie about? According to the press release from Madonna.com:

“W.E” tells two parallel love stories separated by more than six decades. Acclaimed actress Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, Bright Star, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) has been cast in the role of Wally Winthrop – a young married New Yorker in 1998 who is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward V111’s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. Andrea Riseborough has been cast in the role of Wallis Simpson. Riseborough is best known for her outstanding Bafta Nominated performance of Margaret Thatcher in the acclaimed BBC drama “The Long Walk to Finchley” and will soon be seen in Brighton Rock. British star James D’Arcy (Master and Commander, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) will play the part of Edward VIII. Wally Winthrop”s Russian love interest Evgeni will be played by rising star Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Sucker Punch) and her husband William will be played by Richard Coyle (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time). Art imitates life as the revered British acting dynasty provides father and son, James Fox (Sherlock Holmes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bafta nominated A Passage to India, Bafta winner The Servant) and Laurence Fox (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Becoming Jane) in the roles of King George V and his son, Bertie.

1936 England - Wallis Simpson, an American woman, captured the heart of King Edward VIII. Already divorced and married to her second husband when she met Edward, then the Prince of Wales in London, the two fell in love. However, once crowned, Edward was told by the Church and the Prime Minister that he could not marry Wallis and remain King… He abdicated, giving up the throne to be with the woman he loved. Once married and known as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, they lived out what many considered to be the romance of the century.

1998 N.Y - Wally Winthrop has a troubled past and moves to New York from the South to work in Sotheby’s Estate department. She gives up her job to marry a successful psychiatrist but the marriage is unhappy and Wally finds herself bored, frustrated and often alone. She seeks refuge in her obsession with what she believes to be the ultimate romantic love story, King Edward VIII ‘s abdication for his love of Wallis Simpson. When Wally discovers that there is going to be an auction of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s Estate at Sotheby’s, she takes the opportunity to return to her old hunting ground to try to understand the nature of the great love affair through the artifacts that once belonged to the couple. While at Sotheby’s, Wally meets Evgeni, a Russian security guard, with a mysterious past. As she immerses herself deeper into the love story of Wallis and Edward, while spending more time away from her marriage, she finds herself falling in love.

We travel back and forth in time with Wally and Wallis, two fragile but determined women whose lives become inextricably linked. However, as the story unravels it becomes apparent that Wallis Simpson’s life was not as perfect as Wally had thought.

Good luck Madonna and crew, I love you dearly but I hope your directing effort is better than your acting. You're still the Queen of Pop though :wink

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Just Who Is Andrew Garfield, the Chosen One to Play "Spider-Man?" 

Meet Andrew Garfield, the guy who's set to don blue tights in the new "Spider-Man" reboot to be directed by Marc Webb ("500 Days of Summer").

He beat out all the other "Spider-Man" wannabes such as Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane, and Josh Hutcherson.

According to his Wiki page, Garfield is an American-British actor who has a pretty extensive resume:

Garfield began working primarily as a stage actor. In 2004, he won a MEN Theatre Award for his performance in Kes at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre (where he also played Romeo the year after), and won the outstanding newcomer award at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2006.

In October 2007, he was named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch".[7] At the Berlinale 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival) he was one of the shooting stars.

In November 2007, he featured in the ensemble drama Lions for Lambs, playing an American university student, as well as the Channel 4 drama Boy A, for which he won the BAFTA for Best Actor in 2008. He appeared in the film The Other Boleyn Girl.[7]

In 2009, he appeared in the Terry Gilliam film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus[5] and the Red Riding trilogy.

He appears in the forthcoming British sci-fi thriller Never Let Me Go[8] and is filming The Social Network, alongside Brenda Song, Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg. The film, about the founders of Facebook, is based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.

Garfield made a modeling debut and appeared in a Vogue December 2009 issue alongside Lily Cole as Hansel in the photographed retelling of Hansel and Gretel.

The new "Spider-Man" is written by James Vanderbilt and is set to go in production in December. Sony will release the film in 3-D on July 3, 2012.

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Dev Patel Defends "The Last Airbender" 
Dev Patel stars as Prince Zuko in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender." Many critics, including me, were not that impressed, but Dev is such a sweetheart! In this interview, we talked about:

*** Why he followed up his iconic "Slumdog Millionaire" role with "The Last Airbender?"
*** Was the journey all worth it?
*** M. Night Shyamalan's decision to cast Indian actors as Fire Nation villains


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