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Film — past, present and future
'Paranormal Activity 5' pushed to 2015, gets a new title

The next movie in the "Paranormal Activity" franchise won't be haunting theaters this Halloween after all — and, for that matter, it won't be called "Paranormal Activity 5."

Paramount Pictures has re-christened the chiller "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" and pushed its release to March 23; it had been slated to open next month.

As is usually the case with "Paranormal" movies, plot details are being kept under wraps.

"Ghost Dimension" actually marks the sixth installment of the "Paranormal" series, which released the spin-off sequel "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" in January. Aimed at Latino audiences, the film grossed $32 million domestically and added $58 million overseas — the lowest totals yet for a "Paranormal" movie, but still a solid return on a budget of about $6 million.

It isn't easy for studios to keep up the rigorous pace of modern-day horror franchises while still maintaining their freshness or originality. A "Paranormal" predecessor, the "Saw" series,...

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Nasim Pedrad: Will she follow Tina Fey's path to the big screen?

During her five seasons on "Saturday Night Live," comedic actress Nasim Pedrad made a name for herself skewering celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Nicki Minaj and even Aziz Ansari (the latter, at least, in an unaired clip you can watch below).

Pedrad, 32, has since departed the show to co-star in the new Fox sitcom "Mulaney" opposite stand-up comic and former "SNL" writer John Mulaney. But she could be poised to follow the path of other "SNL" alums who have parlayed sitcom success into big-screen opportunities, such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Andy Samberg and Ansari.

So far, Pedrad has had supporting movie roles in the 2011 rom-com "No Strings Attached" and the 2012 political satire "The Dictator." She'll next appear on the big screen in "Cooties," an ensemble horror-comedy about a group of elementary-school teachers fighting for their lives after a mysterious virus turns their students into feral monsters. The film also stars sitcom-feature crossover Rainn Wilson....

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'Act of Killing's' Joshua Oppenheimer wins MacArthur 'genius grant'

Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of the acclaimed Indonesian genocide documentary “The Act of Killing,” has been named a member of the 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows.

He joins five other arts figures in receiving the honor, which is commonly known as a “genius grant” and comes with a prize of $625,000.

In handing him the award, the MacArthur Foundation noted Oppenheimer's flair for “illuminating the social, psychological, and emotional dimensions of controversial subjects, such as state-sponsored violence, in works that challenge the modern aesthetic of contemporary documentary cinema in both intimacy of focus and visual construct.”

Oppenheimer is part of a class that also includes Alison Bechdel, the acclaimed cartoonist who is known in movie circles for coining the so-called Bechdel Test for substantive female characters on screen.

Oppenheimer has spent more than a decade working on "Killing" -- his feature doc debut -- as well as a recently completed follow-up. Reacting to the...

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Model Cara Delevingne to play female lead in 'Paper Towns'

High-fashion model Cara Delevingne is taking a bit of an unusual leap — she's headed off the runway and into "Paper Towns," the latest film adaptation of a novel by "The Fault in Our Stars" writer John Green.

The 22-year-old Brit, who enjoys a strong measure of both runway and tabloid fame — is set to play the female lead in Fox's upcoming young-adult romance.

Set for release July 31, 2015, "Paper Towns" will tell the story of Quentin "Q" Jacobsen (Wolff), a high-school kid searching for his eccentric neighbor and crush, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Delevingne), after she vanishes. Jake Schreier ("Robot & Frank") is directing from a screenplay by "Fault" writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

Delevingne, who has walked in shows for Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and Burberry — and has also worked extensively with Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, posing in many of his shoots — is known for both her bold, bushy eyebrows and her extensive network of celebrity friends. In the last...

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Morgan Spurlock, Judd Apatow are latest to tinker with new platforms

Noted film directors have been pushing to television and other platforms for years, but the trend seems to be widening and even mutating lately.

Morgan Spurlock and Judd Apatow are just two of the latest examples of established filmmakers looking outside cinema and experimenting with new platforms.

On Tuesday, Spurlock's Cinelan joined with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's Vulcan Productions in announcing a group of 20 directors participating in "We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss." The series of 5- to 8-minute movies will feature economists and tackle big questions about the economy. Among the directors are Adam McKay ("Anchorman," "Step Brothers"), Catherine Hardwicke ("Twilight," "Thirteen") and John M. Chu ("Step Up," "G.I. Joe: Retaliation") and of course Spurlock ("Super Size Me"),

The shorts are to launch simultaneously in October across multiple platforms, including online, VOD, broadcast, mobile and theatrical outlets.

Meanwhile Apatow, the...

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Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass: Why they'd reunite on 'Bourne'

The news that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass could be reuniting for a new Jason Bourne movie was a boon -- and surprise -- for fans and pretty much everyone else who's kept an eye on the franchise.

Damon and Greengrass had of course all but ruled out a new film over the years, saying that “The Bourne Ultimatum” and its resolution — the amnesiac super-spy regaining his memory — meant that there was little more they could do with the character.

But as Deadline Hollywood reported Monday night, Damon and Greengrass are indeed negotiating to reprise their roles as director and actor on the blockbuster Universal franchise. It would be the duo’s third outing together — the previous two garnered $730 million worldwide — and Damon's fourth Bourne movie overall.

Universal declined to comment on the report, and representatives of Greengrass' and Damon’s agencies also wouldn’t comment. But if it comes to pass, it offers one of the juicier back stories in Hollywood. What brought them back after all...

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'Oculus' writers to reboot 'I Know What You Did Last Summer'

Do you still know what you did 17 summers ago? Sony is looking to remind moviegoers with a reboot of the teen slasher flick "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

"Oculus" director and co-scribe Mike Flanagan has been enlisted to write the new film with partner Jeff Howard, and original "Summer" producer Neal Moritz will reprise his duties, The Times has confirmed. (A director for the movie has yet to be named.) Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

Released in 1997, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" told the story of four teenage friends — played by Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe — who are stalked by a mysterious killer a year after covering up a fatal hit-and-run accident.

The film grossed $125 million at the worldwide box office and spawned the sequel "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer" a year later. (A third installment in the series featured a new cast and went straight to video.)

Like its predecessor, the new "I Know What...

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'No Good Deed': Five reasons for its surprising box-office success

"No Good Deed" didn't just go unpunished this weekend — it thrived, topping the box office with an estimated $24.2-million opening and outpacing Sony's prediction that the Screen Gems thriller would gross in the mid-to-high teens.

It's understandable that expectations were measured for the home-invasion drama, which stars Idris Elba as an escaped convict who charms his way into the home of a wife and mother (Taraji P. Henson): After all, the release date of "No Good Deed" was pushed multiple times and critics' screenings were abruptly canceled at the last minute, neither of which tends to bode well for a film's box-office prospects.

So how did "No Good Deed" pull off its surprising debut? Here are five factors.

An A-plus date for a B-movie: "No Good Deed" bounced around the calendar quite a bit but ultimately landed two weeks past Labor Day, on a frame that comes after the summer blockbuster season and before the prestige pictures of fall start rolling in. It's generally the last...

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George Clooney to receive Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. would really have had to stretch to give George Clooney a Golden Globe nomination this year, what with his latest movie, "The Monuments Men," not being all that great.

So, apparently fearing a Clooney-free ceremony, the HFPA did the next best thing, announcing Monday that the group will present the actor/filmmaker with its honorary Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2015 Golden Globes on Jan. 11 for his "impact on the world of entertainment."

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post said Clooney had won three Golden Globes. He has won four.

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The HFPA has given Clooney four Globes and 13 nominations over the years. His wins came in different categories: lead actor in a comedy/musical for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," supporting actor in "Syriana," lead actor in a drama for "The Descendants" and as a producer on best picture winner "Argo."

 Clooney's Globes have plenty of company on his mantle or trophy case or wherever he...

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Oscars 2015: Lead actress field thin? Think again

Tracking actors' awards-season prospects is too often an exercise in negotiating the allure of the new, with some pundits flailing their arms each time an unseen movie debuts, shouting from the social media rooftops that hallelujah, they have seen the face of God and that their faith in film has been restored.

Except it's usually not that subtle.

So when awards pundits saw Julianne Moore's turn as a Columbia professor struggling with early onset Alzheimer's in the unheralded "Still Alice" last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, many were eager to present her the lead actress Oscar right then, right now, especially after the estimable Sony Pictures Classics bought the movie two days later. 

Reese Witherspoon as a troubled woman venturing on a journey of self-discovery in "Wild"? So yesterday. Felicity Jones playing Stephen Hawking's suffering, supportive wife in "The Theory of Everything"? Old news. Moore arrived last and, better still, she came without any hype. Never...

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'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' trailer: Katniss spreads rebel wings

The games are over — it's time for war.

Such is the grim state of affairs in the newly released full trailer for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1," the opening installment of the two-part finale to the blockbuster franchise, which opens Nov. 21.

The gritty, downbeat trailer, which you can watch above, finds Jennifer Lawrence playing a world-weary, black-clad Katniss Everdeen. "I never wanted any of this," the two-time Hunger Games survivor and reluctant revolutionary says. "I never wanted to be in the games. I just wanted to save my sister and keep Peeta alive."

Alas, there's no turning back for Katniss as rebellion mounts in the post-apocalyptic society of Panem. Unlike the previous two films, the "Mockingjay" movies won't center on the actual Hunger Games -- the kill-or-be-killed teen tournament -- but instead will broaden the scope of the action to war and politics, with Katniss leading the charge against the totalitarian Capital.

As directed by Francis Lawrence, who returns...

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Oscars 2015: A sudden surge for Julianne Moore and 'Still Alice'

Pundits like to compare the Toronto International Film Festival‎ and the awards season it kicks off to a modern presidential primary. We know the big names coming in--they have, after all, in a sense declared their candidacies months before-- so the festival serves mainly to separate contenders from pretenders in this pre-selected field.

Every once in a while, though, a candidate lands from out of nowhere, jolting the race and seizing momentum like Bill Clinton at a 1992 straw poll. That pretty much the dynamic of Julianne Moore and “Still Alice,” the Alzheimer’s drama that premiered at Toronto last week.

Directed by the indie helmers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (and inspired in part by the former’s own battle with ALS), the film centers on Moore, an accomplished professor of 50 who early in the film experiences troubling neurological symptoms. Soon her doctor has diagnosed her with early-onset Alzheimer's, and the drama that unfolds involves her struggling to...

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