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LAFF Coverage: 'The Devil's Double'

Thursday, 23 June 2011 13:29

The LA Film Fest continued Monday night with the Los Angeles premiere of The Devil’s Double, which is currently in competition at the festival. The Devil’s Double is directed by New Zealand filmmaker Lee Tamhori who is familiar to the action genre for his work on the James Bond film Die Another Day, XXX: State of the Union, and Next starring Nicolas Cage. The movie features a star-making performance by English actor Dominic Cooper, who is best known for his roles in An Education and Tamara Drewe but will soon be seen as Iron Man’s dad Howard Stark in next months Captain America: The First Avenger. The actor and director were both in attendance Monday night, as well as French actress Ludvine Sagnier (Swimming Pool) who plays the film’s female lead, and rapper turned reality television star Lil Jon (The Celebrity Apprentice), who was the evening’s host.

With Disney and Pixar's Cars 2 puntastically rolling into theaters in a matter of hours, it's time to get excited about the next release from the animation studio.  That would be next summer's original adventure Brave, which follows a princess and aspiring archer named Merida on a journey across the highlands of Scotland that will doubtless test her mettle.  Yesterday, Pixar revealed the teaser poster for the film, and tomorrow a teaser trailer will be attached to Cars 2, but today brings a new image of Merida, along with a look at three previously-unseen supporting characters.

Like so many adopted children, Superman was orphaned when his parents put him in a rocket and sent him to Earth in advance of their home planet's destruction.  In Zack Snyder's Superman reboot Man of Steel, British actor Henry Cavill plays Clark Kent, who was born Kal-El of Krypton.  Last week, Russell Crowe was revealed as the choice to play Jor-El, Clark's Kryptonian progenitor, and though rumors at the time suggested that Connie Nielson has been offered the role of Kal-El's mother, Deadline reports today that Julia Ormond is in talks to play Lara.

The first poster for Captain America: The First Avenger dropped way, way back in February, before we'd seen even a glimpse of actual footage from the film, and that teaser poster featured a muted color scheme and a somber Cap.  A second poster dropped today, in anticipation of an all new theatrical trailer, and this one is a whole lot more colorful and enjoyably propagandistic.  This time, the focus is on Chris Evans' square jaw, a magic-hour sunset, and that exquisite shield, all with the stars and stripes flapping away in the background.  Give a hardy salute to this handsome piece of posterism.

To the average consumer, the initial release of Apple's iPad was thrilling principally for the stylish, intuitive, and convenient pornography browsing that the technological marvel no doubt provides, but for newsmen and newswomen in the ink-stained realm of traditional publication, it represented something entirely different.  The new documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times chronicles, with unprecedented access, a year inside the venerable paper's newsroom as declining circulations and economic realities increased anxieties about the still-unclear future of journalism in the digital age.  A new clip from the film reflects this uncertainty, with reporter and singular character David Carr reacting to hoopla around the iPad's launch and even taking the tablet for a spin.

Mere months ago, Disney was playing the big screen update of long-running serialized hero The Lone Ranger pretty close to the vest, and it looked potentially very far off.  Now, though, the project is moving ahead apace.  Armie Hammer is set to play the masked western avenger and the long-attached Johnny Depp as his Commanche sidekick Tonto.  With those two actors headlining, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced project is now picking up a supporting cast, and two-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson is in talks to play a substantial role in the big budget adventure.

It took a few years, but with Killer Elite, British action machine Jason Statham finally has a new film with a more literal title than Death Race.  In the new film, Statham plays an ex-special operative who must bring his fists out of retirement when his mentor (Robert DeNiro) is kidnapped by an unsavory mustachioed villain, played by fellow British badass Clive Owen.  Open Road Films released the first trailer for the actioner, and based on the title, cast, and synopsis, you'd think it will bring the testosterone, but you surely didn't anticipate that it would include the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" and DeNiro confidently throwing down.

It's a testament to Peter Jackson's hugely successful adaptation of JRR Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings that after capturing the cultural zeitgeist, truckloads of money, and a whole mess of Oscars, the series never suffered a backlash along the lines of, say, Titanic.  Yes, there has been almost a decade of jokes about the extended epilogue of The Return of the King, but they're generally good-natured, and the films are still beloved.  That's good news for The Hobbit, Jackson's two-part return to Middle Earth, currently filming in Wellington, New Zealand.  The first official images from the film arrived today, with Martin Freeman looking perfect as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen once again enjoying the Halfling's Leaf at his leisure, and one behind-the scenes shot of Jackson and Freeman in Bag End.

For several years now Academy Award nominated actor Don Cheadle has had one goal … to play legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis in a biopic about his life. The late trumpet player, who was so shy he would often perform with his back to the audience, was considered by many to be one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Cheadle has been busy developing a script for the film, which he also hopes to direct and star in as the iconic musician. The actor is best known for his roles in films like Hotel Rwanda, Devil in a Blue Dress, Traffic, Crash, Talk to Me, and the Ocean’s Eleven movies, but this would mark his first time behind the camera. The actor would join a long line of performers who have played famous musicians on the big screen including Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story), Jamie Foxx (Ray), Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line), and Kevin Spacey (Beyond the Sea), all of who were eventually nominated for Academy Awards.

Jake Kasdan may be the son of The Big Chill and Silverado director Laurence Kasdan, but he has certainly made quite a name for himself as one of Hollywood’s top comedy directors. Kasdan has helmed popular and cutting edge comedies like Orange County, The TV Set, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Kasdan now returns with his latest film, the R-rated comedy Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz (In Her Shoes), Justin Timberlake (The Social Network), and Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall).

The film, which opens in theaters on June 24th, features Diaz as Elizabeth Halsey, an extremely attractive, foul-mouthed, pot smoking, alcoholic schoolteacher who is looking for a rich man to marry. Elizabeth soon meets Scott Delacorte (Timberlake), a wealthy substitute teacher who she thinks might be the perfect man for her. But in order to get the man of her dreams she’ll have to compete with perfect teacher Amy Squirrell (Lucy Punch), while fending off advances from slacker gym teacher Russell (Segel). Eventually Elizabeth decides that what she needs to attract Scott is breast implants and she’ll stop at nothing, including stealing from her own students, in order to raise enough money for the operation. I recently had an opportunity to sit down and speak with director Jake Kasdan about the new film; it’s hard R rating, casting Cameron Diaz, and getting Justin Timberlake to sing badly on film. Here is what he had to say:

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