Steven Spielberg to Remake "Harvey" 

Steven Spielberg's next film will be a remake of the 1950 classic "Harvey" starring James Stewart as a mild-mannered man who happens to have an invisible friend in the form of a 6-foot rabbit.

The original won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Josephine Hull. Stewart was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Jose Ferrer in "Cyrano De Bergerac."

The Spielberg film will focus more on the Mary Chase 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning play than an all-out remake of the 1950 movie. It will be a co-production between 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks.

The director will be working from the screenplay by bestselling novelist Jonathan Tropper ("How to Talk to a Widower," "Everything Changes"). This will be the author's first script.

"Harvey" is a perfect film for Spielberg to do. It's about the incredible power of the imagination, and why it's better to be nice than smart. Both themes evident in the director's oeuvre.

May I suggest Tom Hanks for the lead role of Elwood P. Dowd? He's the James Stewart of our generation, and certainly possesses the "aw-shucks" charm necessary for the character to be believable.

For now, let's take a look back at the "Harvey" trailer:

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"Funny People" Wins Box-Office Weekend with $23.4M 

Writer-director Judd Apatow's "Funny People" led the pack with $23.4 million. The Adam Sandler-Seth Rogen bromantic dramedy debuted at the top spot of the box-office weekend.

Many studio insiders are calling this a "modest weekend" compared to last summer's spectacular same weekend showing of "The Dark Knight" with $42.7 million followed by "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" with $40.5 million.

Coming in second for this weekend was the fantastic "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" with $17.7 million, so far raising its domestic total to $255.5 million.

Meanwhile, previous weekend's box-office champion, "G-Force," slipped to No. 3 with $17.1 million, lifting its total to $66.5 million.

The sad story of the weekend? 20th Century Fox's "Aliens in the Attic" which opened at No. 5 with $7.8 million at 3,106 theaters! Yikes!

Here's the Top 10 list of box-office films for weekend of July 31st:

1. "Funny People," $23.4 million.

2. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $17.7 million.

3. "G-Force," $17.1 million.

4. "The Ugly Truth," $13 million.

5. "Aliens in the Attic," $7.8 million.

6. "Orphan," $7.3 million.

7. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur," $5.3 million.

8. "The Hangover," $5.1 million.

9. "The Proposal," $4.8 million.

10. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," $4.6 million.

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Far Out! Take a Trip with "Taking Woodstock!" I Enjoyed this Film! 

I feel so blessed to have seen "Taking Woodstock," another knockout film from director Ang Lee. By the way, Lee is one of the greatest living directors around. He can go from action ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") to Brit Lit ("Sense and Sensibility") to comic book genre ("Hulk") to searing drama ("Brokeback Mountain") without missing a beat!

And I haven't even added "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Lust, Caution," and "The Ice Storm." I cannot think of a director who has worked in such a wide canvass.

In "Taking Woodstock," Lee, working from James Schamus' screenplay, creates a film so richly layered and textured centering on the making of a monumental event that changed the landscape of pop culture forever -- Woodstock.

Based on the book by Elliot Tiber called "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life," comedian Demetri Martin is refreshingly complex as the book's author who becomes the crux of the concert. Without him, Woodstock might not have happened.

All the supporting players are excellent including Imelda Staunton as Eliott's money-hungry mom, Henry Goodman as his forgiving father, Emile Hirsch as the deluded, Vietnam-vet, Jonathan Groff as concert promoter Michael Lang, and Liev Schreiber as Vilma, the cross-dressing security guard.

I'll post my full review soon, as well as my interviews with the cast. But for now, save the date, "Taking Woodstock" opens August 29, don't miss it!

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"Chicago" Director to Helm "Pirates of the Caribbean 4?" 

Get ready for a song and dance extravaganza from Captain Jack Sparrow!

Choreographer-turned-director Rob Marshall is in serious talks to take over the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise from director Gore Verbinski.

Verbinski chose to jump the ship and work on the movie adaptation of the videogame "Bioshock." Though that film is stalling right now, the director has moved on to other producing and directing projects.

If negotiations go well, the production of the fourth installment will set sail for an early 2010 start. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney are eager to push the project forward before they work with Johnny Depp for "The Lone Ranger" film. They want to work with the actor for a new "Pirates" then hi-ho silver they go!

Bruckheimer and the studio are optimistic that Marshall will come on board that they've begun casting new characters for the new "Pirates" film.

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My Fun "Funny People" Movie Review! Stand-Up Comedian, I Ain't! 

I visited our lovely Fantasy Springs Resort Casino to do my stand-ups for my "Funny People" review. It's a fun, local casino, and they opened their Improv door just for me :happy

I wanted to do my stand-ups pretending I'm a stand-up comedian and the result? I think it's funny, people!

So yeah, writer-director Judd Apatow recruited Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Leslie Mann, and Eric Bana to act side-by-side with Adam Sandler in "Funny People." A film so serious, it's funny!

Take a look at my review and have fun! (For my written review of "Funny People," click here)

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