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Movies/TV's 3R’s 05.29.12: Django Unchained, Nicole Kidman, Amanda Bynes, Kate Upton, More
Posted by Jeremy Wilson on 05.29.2012

Welcome to Week 152 of The 3 R's for the Movie/TV world. I'm obviously not Porfirio Diaz, but am, in fact, Jeremy Wilson. You've been warned.

I'm attempting a new personal record here at 411. Three columns in three days. Day 1 was yesterday with The Big Screen Bulletin. Today come the R's. Tomorrow comes The Hush-Hush News Report. I know what you're thinking. And you're right. I have no life.

Make sure to click the Facebook "Like", Tweet button, and Google +1 links over there to the right of the article! Support 411mania, your home for the best in pop culture entertainment news. Follow me and Porfirio at our Twitter pages:

Porfirio will be back next week, I promise. For now, without any further ado, here is...

  • New photos of Django Unchained released: Last week it was reported that the first trailer for Quentin Tarantino's next film, Django Unchained, will be appearing in front of Prometheus. As if you needed another reason to see THAT particular film. Anyway, in anticipation of that, new images have been released of the Antebellum South-set spaghetti western. The film stars Jamie Foxx as Django, an escaped slave who seeks to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from sadistic plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) by teaming up with German bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz).

    There was a 7-minute trailer that was shown at Cannes and almost all of the reaction was "OMG that was FREAKIN' SWEET." Or something to that effect. Vultue described the footage:

    "The big surprise? How funny this potentially controversial Western has turned out to be. In particular, Leonardo DiCaprio seems to be having the time of his life dropping N-bombs and smiling rotted teeth as plantation owner Calvin Candie… You'll get a periwinkle-suited Foxx shooting lumpy blood chunks out of racist hicks (and an innocent snowman in one scene), and you'll laugh! You'll get Don Johnson dressed as Colonel Sanders!"

    The Filmstage described it as "‘Django Unchained' looks f'n badass… 7 minute trailer ending with Jamie Foxx shooting his pistol to James Brown ‘Payback' ‘The D is Silent'"

    Finally, Anne Thompson wrote:

    "What the footage reveals is that for the moment, while Tarantino has described the film as a "southern," Weinstein Co. is selling this as a bang-up western, packed with physical comedy and bloody action and hell-bent revenge. And yes, it looks like a classic widescreen Sergio Leone western, even if the setting is New Orleans and Mississippi two years before the Civil War. (The music on the trailer ranged from classic Johnny Cash to James Brown. No Ennio Morricone here. As yet."

    June 8th can't come soon enough.

  • First footage of P.T. Anderson's The Master: Last week we finally got to check out the first teaser for the new upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, The Master. And it sent film buffs everywhere into a tizzy.

    Paul Thomas Anderson is easily one of the best directors going today and we haven't had a new film from him since There Will Be Blood. That makes The Master only the second feature film of his we've seen in the past decade. The thing I love about this teaser is that it really goes out of its way to not spoil anything about the movie itself. It's basically just a look at how good of an actor Joaquin Phoenix can truly be (which might have gotten lost in last several years). Johnny Greenwood's score is also hugely important as it builds up this tension out of essentially nothing. If you didn't already know that this was Anderson's movie "about Scientology" (or something close) then you'd probably be really lost as to what you're even seeing. Hardcore Anderson fans and film buffs didn't need any further reason to get exciteed about The Master's fall release, but I thought the teaser and the reports out of Cannes (where additional footage was shown) were good signs that Anderson will once again live up to his reputation and past works.

  • Amour wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2012 : Michael Haneke is beloved in film circles, particularly among European moviegoers and critics. Therefore, it is isn't really a surprise that his latest film, Amour, won this year's Palme d'Or (the top prize) at the recently concluded Cannes International Film Festival. The writer-director auteur's story of an elderly French couple dealing with illness and mortality was the most consistently praised film in competition and was practically the wire-to-wire frontrunner for the prize.

    This marks Haneke's second Palme d'Or in a row, as he won three years ago for The White Ribbon. Many American filmgoers might know Haneke's work from either Funny Games (both the original and remake) or Caché (starring Julliette Binoche).

    America didn't fare as well in the awards for the festival as last year, when The Tree of Life won the Palme d'Or and Kirsten Dunst was named Best Actress for Melancholia. However, one of the biggest hits and critical hits of the festival was American newcomer Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was a runawayt smash hit at this year's Sundance and has now enchanted viewers and critics on two continents before its midsummer release. That film won numerous awards, including the Caméra d'Or for Best First Feature Film. It will be released June 27th.

  • First trailer for Skyfall arrives: We've also gotten our first look at the next Bond movie, Skyfall. I loved Casino Royale along with everybody else and I thought Quantum of Solace got a bad rap. The latter wasn't the best Bond movie ever, but I thought it was better than many believed.

    Anyway, back to Skyfall which has a great sounding-story and has assembled one kickass cast. The first trailer has some already iconic images as far as I'm concerned, especially the shot with Judi Dench (as M) standing in front of a line of flag draped coffins, Bond looking out over London and what is presumably bad guy Javier Bardem silhouetted in front of a burning building. I love the framing device for the trailer with the questioning/interrogation of Bond and the back-and-forth. I was already looking froward to Skyfall before now, but the trailer has a lot of good stuff in it without giving too much away (only teasing and reaffirming some of what we know).

  • Harrison Ford likely to cameo in Blade Runner sequel: So says Ridley Scott. The director of the upcoming Prometheus stated that Ford would most likely cameo somehow in his upcoming Blade Runner sequel which is just getting to the writing stages. In a long, interesting interview with The Independent, Scott says "I don't think it'll be Harry [starring in the film]…But I've got to have him in it somewhere. That'd be amusing."

    That could mean ANYTHING, but one would imagine Ford would do a cameo for a nice "little" paycheck and the chance to work with Scott again (just for a day or two). It's already been reported that this new film will have a female protegonist, which will likely help distinguish it from Ford and the original. Plus, nobody does kickass female characters like Ridley Scott. Scott is also reteaming with original Blade Runner writer Hampton Fancher, further fueling the speculation.

    Blade Runner is one of the greatest films ever made and this is sounding a lot like when Scott started talking about returning to the world of Alien. That resulted in the upcoming Prometheus and from everything we've seen from that film (and it's been a lot) Scott getting the band back together might not be the disaster everyone imagined when they first heard talk of this last year.

  • Shadow of the Colossus might be coming to the big screen : Josh Trank (Chronicle) has signed with Sony Pictures to develop and direct one of the Playstation 2's most beloved games, Shadow of the Colossus. For those who may not know, in the game, the protagonist is a young man who thinks his lover has died. Desperate to bring her back, he heads into a forbidden land, and summons a demon who can wake the dead. The price for bringing back his girl: slay 16 colossi that dominate this mystical place. The colossi are skyscraper-sized giants that rise from the ground, fly through the air and come from the water. As the young man works through his quest on horseback, he begins to wonder if he is on a noble pursuit to bring back his lover, or perhaps has made a deal with the devil and is being used.

    Trank has been a fan of the game since it was released in 2005, and apparently sought out the job. It is expected to be a big-scale, live-action film and the studio are currently seeking out writers. Trank is currently also developing two Marvel superhero franchises – the expected reboot of Fantastic Four for Fox and the Spider-Man spinoff Venom for Sony Pictures. He's also apparently close to the Warner Bros comic book adaptation Red Star. Misher is currently prepping MGM's remake of Carrie, and Misher Film execs Andy Berman and Kevin Chang are overseeing Shadow Of The Colossus.

    I have no idea how they're going to pull this off without alienating longtime SotC fans and bastardizing the material (dreamy, depressing, mysterious), but Trank showed that he can do a lot with very little in Chronicle. I still don't think this project will ever see the light of day, with its quiet, dreamy ambiance and beauty not really fitting in with today's modern blockbuster (even if there are giant monsters). Kudos the Trank and Sony if they actually get something done and it's good, but video games and movies just have never mixed well. I don't know why exactly, but it's a known rule. Cool story, but still doubtful there's a happy ending (think: Bioshock).

  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation pushed back to 2013: Big problems on the ol' Paramount lot. Paramount is either really not happy with what they're seeing from G.I. Joe: Retalitation or they're tucking tail and running scared. We can debate whether they're being smart or not, but the fact is that – while films' releases get pushed back and moved up all the time – it is rare to remember a huge summer tentpole blockbuster like this getting pushed back so close to release (five weeks to be exact). It's so close that the marketing had already begun to ramp up for the sequel's June 29 release date (the film will now be released on March 29, 2013). The official studio line is that it was pushed back so that the film could be converted to 3D. But, as I and others have said, it may have been more than that. So I officially call shenanigans on Paramount on this. Here's an interesting quote from director John Chu back at the end of SXSW about opting NOT to shoot G.I. Joe 2 in 3D.

    "There was a point where we were talking about it when I first came. It seemed like a natural thing, but I told them: "I know 3D. This is what we need. If we're going to do 3D, we're going to do it right." It had a certain price tag to it, and I was like, "If you guys are down, I'm down, but I do need more time to do it right." And they were about to do it, but they cut it just a little bit short, and [I said,] "If you guys are going to cut it short, there is no point. Let's make a movie -- let's go for it and we'll go all out." And we shot on film, super-35, and I thought this may be one of the last times I get to shoot on film, and it was actually kind of freeing. I mean, I love 3D and I think there is a lot you can do with it, but there is something to be said about just not waiting for anything. You're just going. We shot so much film. I mean I think we shot 1.2 million feet of film."

    Chu had stated in other interviews that he was excited for the film to finally come out and for audiences to see what they've been up to. Now, it seems the studio has essentially taken the film away and will post-convert it...which nobody has ever seemed to like.

    The fact is that multiple big tentpole movies have disappointed this summer in the wake of the overwhelming box office success of both The Hunger Games, and more specifically, The Avengers. Those films have swallowed up chunks of weeks and drained expected grosses for other big movies in the process. Battleship, Dark Shadows, The Dictator and even Men in Black III have fallen under expected totals. And the fact is that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was sandwiched in between some major heavyweights like Pixar's Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man and Warner Bros' The Dark Knight Rises. Speculation has run rampant that Paramount simply surveyed the landscape and figured their movie would get lost in the shuffle. Of course, that leaves the studio's summer slate very light and their 2013 almost too big, but they'll have to cross that bridge when they get to it.

    The first G.I. Joe film sucked, but this one – with Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis – had at least a potential for fun around it. It remains to be seen whether Paramount's gamble will pay off, but I have yet to hear one person like or prefer post-converted 3D films to those shot in the format or regular old 2D. Not a good sign and an super-obvious cash grab.

  • They spent how much $$$ on Men in Black III?: $375 million.

  • Allow me to repeat that, a bit louder. $375 MILLION.

    Do you know how much money this threequel is going to have to gross the turn even a half-decent profit? Likely close to or over $600 million. Maybe $700 million. The Los Angeles Times quoted the number and detailed the issues and problems with the film's shoot that helped contribute to the astounding number. The biggest costs were due to the improved special effects and for a nearly 3-month break in the middle of shooting for extensive script rewrites and which resulted in most of the crew continuing to get paid.

    For all the grief (and vicious glee) that people gave to the downfall of John Carter, folks haven't talked as much about other troubled and expensive projects like Battleship and Men in Black III that are under-performing, particularly in North America. They've talked around the film's disappointing #1 opening a bit, but most of the talk has been about MIB3 knocking off The Avengers. That's an accomplishment, sure, but with some of these Hollywood budgets skyrocketing and getting really out of hand, you have to wonder what film is going to be the film that gets the studios scared. For every billion-dollar Avengers, there seems to be 5-6 flops, disappointments and misses.

  • Naked man chews off guy's face: "He looked like he might have been on something."

    You think? Cannibalism is always WRONG kiddies. Florida...it's always Florida, isn't it? Craziest state in the Union.

  • Maxim Hot 100, also known as the list that has 38 women "hotter" than Kate Upton: Well, someone has to fight the good fight while Porfirio isn't here. Maxim has a list. They rank 100 womens' "hotness." It comes out every year. Mens' reactions are the same every year. It usually breaks down in two parts: 1) Nearly all the women are hot, but 2) "The List" itself is garbage. This year was extra-special as Maxim took the year off from getting flak over their choices and let the readers of Maxim themselves vote for the Hot 100. There remain plenty of gorgeous women, some pleasant surprises and a hearty dose of kvetching. However, one thing rises above the rest and stands as a threat to the internet, nay to all of us.

    Kate Upton is evidently only the 39th hottest woman on the planet.

    That's right, the woman who gave the world this...

    ...somehow isn't Top 10 – or even Top 25 – material. Pshh.

    I believe I speak for Porfirio and myself, perhaps 411mania.com as a whole, in saying that this is a travesty of the highest order. This is a crime against humanity. And we can't blame the "fine" folks over at Maxim. We can only blame our fellow citizens, those in particular who voted folks such as Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Naya Rivera, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Emma Watson, Kristen Stewart, Malin Akerman, Katy Perry and Olivia Munn over Upton. Those last three are in the Top 10 by the way. Meanwhile our (and by "our" I mean mankind...or at least the internet) Kate lies at #39, somehow Brooklyn Decker is #42 and Amber Heard is #53.

    Meanwhile the list turns into jokey territory with Stephen Colbert at #69 (he has hit the coveted trifecta of Emmy, Peabody and Maxim Hot 100), someone named Michelle Dockery is #70, Kelle Pickler is #71, JWOW is #74, Nicki Minaj is #79, Lois Griffin is #85 and Amanda Knox is #92.

    I'm not casting aspersions on Maxim as a publication and saying the vote was rigged, but it's almost like – for the Top 10 or 25 especially – those women have really good PR people or something. Or the readership of Maxim is really dumb and has no taste, choosing famous pre-teen and teen starlets over others. No, those can't be it.

  • Nicole Kidman peeing on Zac Efron: Yeah, you heard me...

    In easily the most talked about, debated and tweeted part of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Lee Daniels' The Paperboy shook things up, particularly as news of a certain scene came out. In his film, which has generously been labeled as a "pulpy, tart and sordid-sounding Southern potboiler," there are a number of quite "out there" elements including Matthew McConaughey engaging in violent on-screen bondage, a racist psychopath and a narrator that keeps frustratingly changing point of view. But the thing that got most people talking was a scene in which Nicole Kidman squats and pees on Zac Efron.

    Apparently, this occurs in a scene where Efron's character gets severely stung by a jellyfish. Perhaps the best part? Kidman's line: "If anyone's going to pee on him, it's going to be me."

    The movie has severely divided critics who saw it – it's one of those movies you love or hate without much wiggle room in the middle. The entire controversy was exacerbated by an interview Daniels did later with GQ in which he inferred that racism may play a part in negative reviews and reactions to his film.

    GQ: I don't know. Some prominent critics like it, others don't.
    Lee Daniels: I think, too, that, and it's so politically incorrect to talk about racism—you simply can't—but I think that if it were Pedro Almodovor or some Italian director telling the story we wouldn't be in the situation we're in. I should be doing Precious—urban stories that make sense for me. How dare I step out of my comfort zone and tell a story like this. That's the way I think it is. But, that's not my destiny.

    GQ: I wonder if part of the racism is that you're a black director taking one of the most adored white actresses of our era and you make her squat and pee on Zac Efron. And even what you have Matthew McConaughey do for you...
    Lee Daniels: And you know what? They love me. As much as I love them. And they trusted me and they believed and we're all working together again. I don't know what it all means. It means: Get ready, it is what it is. Am I really the most talked-about?

    Talk about reaching. So if I don't like a crazy, unhinged movie where Nicole Kidman – a woman who has won an Oscar – pees on some post-pubescent Disney product then I'm racist? The whole thing – the movie, the scene, the reactions and the Director's response – seem like Cannes temporarily stepped into the Twilight Zone. I don't think racism has anything to do with it; critics see enough movies by different people from various countries that one would hope that doesn't play a part in trying to evaluate someone's work. I can understand his frustration about Precious and some of the reactions to that (more than likely a few studio executives who wanted him to keep directing films like that) and his mentioning of Pedro Almodovar (a filmmaker who has delved into the soapy melodrama a time or two), but his criticism seems misguided.

    The fact of the matter is that I have yet to read a review of The Paperboy that insinuates that Daniels isn't "suited" for the material or that he should stick to more "urban" stories like Precious. Most negative reviews include what you might expect from a bad movie that provokes strong reactions: giant tonal shifts, bad writing, bad cinematography, etc...

    Did I mention: NICOLE KIDMAN PEES ON ZAC EFRON. Subtlety isn't exactly a Lee Daniels directing trademark, and that tends to rankle some critics.

  • Amanda Bynes is on a DUI rampage: Remember when Amanda Bynes was the cute, talented little girl trying to be zany and make people laugh on Nickelodeon shows like All That and The Amanda Show? Yeah, those days are D-O-N-E.

    Now, Bynes is now known as the sort-of-crazy girl who "retired" from acting only to take up the vastly more important career of drinking too much, partying too late and ramming into other peoples' cars. Basically, she's picking up the slack for Lindsay Lohan, who has moved on to alternate taking her clothes off and dressing up for court dates.

    The crack journalists at TMZ broke major Bynes news over the weekend as Bynes apparently was yet again under the influence and hit somebody with her car. Unfortuantely, that is becoming a habit.

    Amanda Bynes slammed into a car on the 101 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley on April 10 ... then fled the scene -- according to the victim who told cops the troubled actress was the culprit.

    The culprit was driving a 5 series BMW at the time of the accident. The victim gave chase, got off the freeway, but the culprit blew a red light, never to be seen again. The victim was able to write down the license plate number. She only got a profile view of the woman driving the BMW.

    CHP showed up, ran the plate and determined it was a rental vehicle. Officers told the victim the culprit was driving an Enterprise rental car. The victim then contacted Enterprise, who told her the person who had rented the car was Amanda Bynes.

    The victim then showed up at a CHP substation and ID'd Amanda from a photo lineup. And get this ... the photo of Amanda was taken just 4 days earlier -- it was her mug shot from a DUI arrest. Amanda was driving in West Hollywood on April 6 when she clipped a cop car and was immediately popped for DUI.

    This comes just a month after Bynes was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) following a small collision with a police patrol car on April 6. A week later, she was caught backing over a curb outside a nightclub. Also, earlier this month she was involved in a minor car accident. So that's three (at least) driving misdemeanors this year and she's been lucky to escape more serious trouble.

    Now I know what you may be thinking, but Bynes doesn't agree with you. Her response was basically "NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS..."

    Yeah, Amanda. We totally believe you. It's a conspiracy...because the world has nothing better to do than make up shit about you, Amanda Bynes, A-List celebrity. That's totally reasonable.

    By the way, she's getting off scot-free for this latest incident. The LA City Attorney's office dismissed the case because there wasn't an independent witness who saw Bynes driving the vehicle. Odds on this happening again (especially in the next month or two)?

  • Kanye West wants to build amusement parks: I'm totally stealing Joseph Lee's tagline for this story, because "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Roller Coaster" is perfect.

    Apparently, West dropped this little admission at the premiere of his new short film. Cruel Summer stars Kid Cudi as a car thief who falls in love with an Arabian princess. The short was shot in Qatar and while the rapper admits he isn't the greatest director, he feels this is the start of something bigger for him and his company.

    "[Huge spectacles] are the kind of concepts we're about. You just got to bring them into real life. What I want to do post-Grammys is I want to work on cities, I want to work on amusement parks, I want to change entertainment experiences or life. Something like if [Alexander] McQueen or Tarsem [Singh] was to meet the entertainment value of a Cirque du Soleil or a Walt Disney. With the Donda company, this is our first installation."

    You can't say the man doesn't dream big. When he launched the Donda Company, West tweeted:

    "I am assembling a team of architects, graphic designers, directors musicians, producers, AnRs, writers, publicist, social media experts…app guys, managers, car designers, clothing designers, DJs, video game designers, publishers, tech guys, lawyers, bankers, nutritionist ..doctors, scientist,teachers.

    DONDA will be comprised of over 22 divisions with a goal to make products and experiences that people want and can afford…I want to put creatives in a room together with like minds that are all waaaay doper than me

    We want to help simplify and aesthetically improve everything we see hear, touch, taste and feel."

    I haven't been to an amusement park in several years, but I'd totally be going to Kanye's if it were close. I just want to see it. It could be like Euro-Disney...some glorious thing nobody asked for, where all the staff are rude and surly, where Kardashians roam free and where fish sticks are unironically served at food courts. The Kanye West amusement park is a glorious place in my mind, a place that go down in history. I don't know how, but it would have to be must-see. I truly hope this becomes a reality.

  • Gratuitous Adorable Babies Being Eaten By Animals Video of the Week

    There are enough cute animal videos on the internet. Not nearly enough videos of animals attempting to eat cute babies. Stupid glass.

    Nope, not this week. Your compliments and bitching will be tackled by Porfirio when he gets back.

    That's it for this week. You're welcome, America. Peace out.




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