Critics Be Damned! "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" Victorious at Box-Office! 

So I whined, and bitched, and moaned that Paramount Pictures did not show "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" to critics. But apparently, the studio's ploy worked!

"G.I. Joe" becomes the latest toy-turned-movie to invade Hollywood in a very big way! The action-adventure debuted at No. 1 with a $56.2 million box-office take. And concurrently, "G.I. Joe" also sold $44.3 million of box-office tickets overseas for a worldwide total of $100.5 million.

Critics be damned indeed!

Meanwhile, Meryl Streep can retain her summer box-office queen title because her "Julie & Julia" opened strongly at No. 2 with $20.1 million.

Previous weekend's No. 1 film, Universal's "Funny People," fell to No. 5 with $7.9 million, down 65 percent, yikes! So far, the Judd Apatow movie starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen has made $40.4 million at the box-office.

Universal is not having a good summer! The studio's thriller "A Perfect Giveaway" starring Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich opened poorly at No. 7 with $5.8 million. Another yikes!

Here's the estimated Top 10 box-office films for the weekend of Aug. 7th:

1. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," $56.2 million.

2. "Julie & Julia," $20.1 million.

3. "G-Force," $9.8 million.

4. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $8.9 million.

5. "Funny People," $7.9 million.

6. "The Ugly Truth," $7 million.

7. "A Perfect Getaway," $5.8 million.

8. "Aliens in the Attic," $4 million.

9. "Orphan," $3.73 million.

10. "500 Days of Summer," $3.7 million.

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Frank Langella Believes Greed is Good! Actor to Join "Wall Street 2" 

Frank Langela is set to join the cast of "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps," the Oliver Stone-directed sequel from a script by Allan Loeb.

Langella will co-star with Shia LaBeouf and Michael Douglas who'll return as the greedy Gordon Gekko. Josh Brolin may also join the cast in the role previously held by Javier Bardem.

Langella will play the role of Lewis Zabel, an old-time broker who becomes the mentor of LaBeouf's character. Apparently, the fate of the Zabel character plays a major part in the film.

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Four Actors Enlist for "Red Dawn" Remake! 

Remember the 1984 film "Red Dawn" starring Patrick Swayze? The film tells the story of Colorado teenagers who band together to defend their town, and eventually their country, from invading Soviet troops.

It is the dawn of World War III.

Well, the dawn of the remake is upon us. Right now, actors Chris Hemsworth (Captain Kirk's daddy in "Star Trek" and the-man-who-would-be-Thor), Josh Peck ("Drillbit Taylor," "The Wackness"), and Adrianne Palicki ("Supernatural") are set to star.

Joining them are Josh Hutcherson ("Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Bridge to Terabithia"), Isabel Lucas ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"), Connor Cruise (the 14-year-old son of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and he played the young Will Smith in "Seven Pounds"), and Edwin Hodge ("Heroes," "Bones").

The plot remains the same except this time, Chinese soldiers join the Russians in invading America!

Hemsworth will channel Swayze as Jed, Peck will play the Charlie Sheen character Matt, and Palicki will play the Jennifer Grey character Toni.

Hutcherson will play Robert originated by C. Thomas Howell, Lucas will play Erica originated by Lea Thompson, Cruise will play Daryl originated by Darren Dalton, and Hodge will play Danny originated by Brad Savage.

The young cast will go to boot camp in an undisclosed location.

Actor-stunt coordinator-assistant director Dan Bradley is set to direct from a screenplay by Jeremy Passmore and Carl Ellsworth based on the script by the original writer-director John Milius.

Filming for "Red Dawn" remake will begin next month in Detroit, and MGM/UA will release the movie on Sept. 24, 2010.

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Venice Film Festival's First Ever 3-D Award! All the Films Are Made in the U.S.A.! 

The nine films vying for the first ever 3-D prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival are all from the good old U.S.A.

And the nine films in contention for the Person 3-D award are:

"Up" by Pete Docter
"The Hole" by Joe Dante, making its world premiere
"Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D” by Eric Brevig
“Monsters vs. Aliens” by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
“My Bloody Valentine” by Patrick Lussier
“Battle for Terra” by Aristomenis Tsirbas
“Coraline” by Henry Selick
“Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” by Bruce Hendricks
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” by Carlos Saldanha.

The Venice Film Festival site says, "The Persol 3-D Award will be presented to the feature film which at best embodies the exploration of this new frontier of the cinematic language, and which is attracting enormous creative attention from filmmakers and producers, besides that of worldwide audiences."

So 3-D is an art form that's now being recognized as "cinema." è stato fantastico! My pick to win the first ever Persol 3-D award? "Up" by Pete Docter! No not, really, "Jonas Brothers" is my pick, HA!

But we have to wait until the winner is announced. The award will be presented with a ceremony in the Sala Grande, during the 66th Venice International Film Festival (September 2-12, 2009), directed by Marco Müller and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.

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"Green Hornet" Finds Kato 

Jay Chou, a Taiwanese singer and actor, will be joining the cast of "The Green Hornet." He'll play Seth Rogen's masked avenger sidekick, Kato.

Chou replaces Stephen Chow, who left the production last month.

The role was made popular by Bruce Lee in the original 1960s TV series.

So who exactly is Jay Chou? According to Wikipedia, Chou is a:

Taiwanese musician, singer, producer, actor and director who has won the World Music Award four times. He is well-known for composing all his own songs and songs for other singers. In 1998 he was discovered in a talent contest where he displayed his piano and song-writing skills. Over the next two years, he was hired to compose for popular Chinese singers. Although he was trained in classical music, Chou combines Chinese and Western music styles to produce songs that fuse R&B, rock and pop genres, covering issues such as domestic violence, war, and urbanization.

Wow, a singing Kato!

Director Michel Gondry is still set to helm from a script co-written by Rogen. Production for "The Green Hornet" is set to start in the fall, with a summer 2010 release.

Gondry tells Variety that "Jay is incredibly unique and charming and fights like a wild dog!"

Right now, Nicolas Cage and Cameron Diaz are still negotiating to play roles in the film. Cage for the gangster villain, while Diaz as the reporter love interest.

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