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Hey, remember last week when Spike Lee was reportedly in negotiations to direct the American remake of Chan wook-Park's South Korean masterpiece Oldboy?  Apparently, those negotiations have proceeded according to plan, as Mandate Pictures made it official today, announcing that the director behind Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Inside Man, He Got Game, and School Daze will direct a new adaptation of the Japanese Manga by Nobuaki Minegisha and Garon Tsuchiya

20th Century Fox set their monkeys loose in Pasadena last week Thursday night as filmmakers, faculty, students, and press gathered at CalTech to watch some exclusive scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On hand was director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist), visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri (The Lord of the Rings series), Clare Richardson from the Diane Fossey Foundation, CalTech professor of philosophy Steve R. Quartz, and via Skype performance capture artist Andy Serkis (King Kong). The group was on hand to unveil several completed scenes from the film and discuss the process of digitally turning humans into primates on screen.

Too often in film, and in comedy in particular, talented actresses are consigned to playing shallow objects of male desire, characters who exist purely as a reflection of a male lead's motivations.  Making her feature debut in 2007's Superbad, however, Emma Stone played a love interest who could very well have been just such a character, but Stone turned in a performance that imbued her with confidence, charm, and a real identity.  Since then, the actress has displayed her formidable comedic timing in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The House Bunny, and of course Zombieland, but it was her Golden Globe-nominated work last year's Easy A that Stone demonstrated her ability to carry an entire film as an appealing and charismatic lead.

This summer, she's starring alongside Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling in the ensemble romance Crazy, Stupid, Love. and heading up a cast that includes Sissy Spacek, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Jessica Chastain in The Help, based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett.  She also turns up in Easy A director Will Gluck's new comedy Friends With Benefits.  Next summer, though, she'll star in the 3D reboot The Amazing Spider-Man as Gwen Stacy (a role previously played briefly by Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3) alongside Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker.  Covering the press junket for The Help on behalf of IAR, Krystal Clark had the opportunity to chat with Emma Stone about the high-profile role as a beloved character the new cinematic origin of Spider-Man.

In just a few days, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 will close out the decade-spanning film franchise while most assuredly raking in enough money for Warner Bros to fill a pool with gold coins, Scrooge McDuck-style.  To prime themselves for the impending finale of the series, Potter fans the world over are watching all the previous installments of the series, starting with 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and working up to Deathly Hallows: Part 1.  If you want to put the final adventure of the Boy Who Lived into the proper context but don't have a cumulative 1,048 minutes to spare, the WB has courteously provided a new video featurette that serves as a nostalgia-inducing retrospective running through the cinematic adaptations of JK Rowling's novels.  It clocks in at a handy five minutes and change, so there's no excuse not watch.  Unless, of course, you're waist-deep in revisiting the films themselves.

The plucky reporter Tintin may not be a big deal Stateside, but pretty much everywhere else in the world, the comic strip adventurer and his cohorts have been hugely popular since Belgian artist Herge first published a Tintin comic in 1929.  The character's exploits have been adapted to radio, film, and television, and with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, he's getting the motion-capture animation treatment from no less a director than Steven Spielberg.  A new international trailer for the film is our best look so far, including lots of globe-trotting adventure and slick animation.  Check it out to see Tintin, played via motion capture by Jamie Bell, along with Andy Serkis as sidekick Captain Haddock and Daniel Craig as the villainous Red Rackham.  And of course there's Tintin's faithful dog Snowy.

In addition to ramping up the legendary inspector's brawling tendencies, action-packed exploits,  and the happily homoerotic subtext between he and his sidekick, 2009's Sherlock Holmes went through some trouble to set up Holmes' nemesis, Professor Moriarty.  While Mark Strong carried the weight of the film's villainy, Moriarty was glimpsed and set up as the architect of his scheme with more nefarious plans in mind.  The first two posters for this December's sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows have arrived, and the first reveals Jared Harris as Moriarty, while the second includes Noomi Rapace as the spunky gypsy Slim.  Of course, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are present and accounted for as Holmes and Dr. Watson.

The estimates are in, everybody, and once again we have empirical evidence that audiences enjoy watching giant alien robots disguised as automobiles, Shia LaBeouf frantically running, and abundant explosions.  For the second consecutive weekend, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the top dog at the domestic box office, pulling in an estimated $47 million and bringing its twelve-day domestic total to $261 million since its theatrical debut on June 29th.  On Sunday, Michael Bay's last Hasbro-based extravaganza slides past The Hangover Part II to become the highest grossing film of 2011 thus far.

When Peter Jackson and Co. dropped the first video blog from the set of the two-part JRR Tolkein adaptation The Hobbit, neither film officially had a title and production was just getting underway in Wellington, New Zealand.  A second video update has finally dropped as though t'was hot, and it chronicles the wrap of principal photography's first block.  The Hobbit production encompasses a staggering 254 days (just a few days short of principal photography on Lord of the Rings), so it is scheduled in three distinct stretches with breaks in between.  In the video, you'll see Martin Freeman and Hugo Weaving in costume, location scouting, and Andy Serkis once again providing motion capture for the Gollum, as well as directing the second unit. 

From Deliverance to Wrong Turn, hillbillies have been portrayed in cinema as predatory woodland inhabitants with a predilection for mercilessly menacing city-slickers and beautiful young co-eds.  In the horror-comedy Tucker & Dale vs Evil, however, it's the locals being terrorized by a group of college kids who just assume the titular half-wits are out to spill collegiate blood.  Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play Tucker and Dale.  As you can see on the film's official poster, they are fully prepared to defend themselves from the likes of Katrina Bowden.

With the success of Thor earlier this summer, Captain America: The First Avenger opening in a few weeks, and The Avengers currently in production, it looks like Marvel Studios’ plan to bring several of their characters to the big screen in one unifying Marvel Universe is really going to happen. Many fans doubted that they could pull it off since it meant creating four different successful film franchises and then combining them into one.

They were off to a good start with ‘2008s Iron Man, which set the tone for the Marvel film universe with Samuel L. Jackson’s appearance as Nick Fury and made over $500 million worldwide. They hit a minor bump in the road with the re-boot The Incredible Hulk, which debuted the same summer as Iron Man. Even with a cameo by Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, The Incredible Hulk only managed to make a little over $250 million worldwide. Not letting this ruin their plans, Marvel continued with Iron Man 2 in 2010, which introduced Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and earned over $600 million worldwide. Thor, which introduced the God of thunder and gave us a brief glimpse at Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), has already earned over $400 million worldwide, and Marvel has high hopes for Captain America: The First Avenger’s upcoming release, which will introduce Steve Rogers alter ego and pave the way for The Avengers next summer.

One Marvel character and founding member of The Avengers who will not appear in the upcoming movie is Ant-Man. There have been rumors for years that the character might be getting a big screen makeover from directors Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), who are penning the script. But with delays in pre-production due to scheduling, they were unable to get the origin story film off the ground in time and the character had to be taken out of the running to appear as a member in the initial Avengers film. But it seems like the tiny hero may still make the leap from the page to the silver screen thanks to the success of the recent Marvel films and the buzz that the two directors have been receiving, respectively, from their last projects.

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