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Toronto International Film Festival to feature Bill Murray Day

Bill Murray aficionados, mark Sept. 5 on your calendars. The Toronto International Film Festival has declared the date Bill Murray Day in honor of the "charismatic, wise-cracking, comedic genius," organizers announced Wednesday.

To celebrate the 63-year-old actor, TIFF will present free screenings of three classic Murray movies -- "Stripes," "Groundhog Day" and "Ghostbusters" -- leading up to the recently announced world premiere of his latest film, "St. Vincent." Up to 50 fans who attend all three free screenings will win tickets to the premiere.

Written and directed by Theodore Melfi (making his feature debut), "St. Vincent" stars Murray as curmudgeonly, cash-strapped war veteran who becomes an unlikely mentor to the boy next door (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) while the kid's single mom (Melissa McCarthy) is at work.

For Murray, one of Hollywood's most elusive and idiosyncratic leading men, "St. Vincent" could mark something of a comeback, or at least a return to form. The "Rushmore"...

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Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett join Warner's 'Jungle Book: Origins'

Talk about a rumble in the jungle: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the big-name actors to join the cast of Warner Bros.' "Jungle Book: Origins," setting up a star-studded showdown with Disney's rival Rudyard Kipling adaptation, "The Jungle Book."

Bale will voice the noble panther Bagheera, Blanchett will voice the hypnotic python Kaa and Cumberbatch will voice the fearsome tiger Shere Khan, The Times has confirmed. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

Rounding out the animal cast are Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan. Rohan Chand ("Bad Words") will play Mowgli, a human boy who learns the law of the jungle while being raised in the wild.

Motion-capture expert Andy Serkis is directing "Origins" — which will employ mo-cap, CG animation and live action — from a script by Callie Kloves. Serkis will also portray the sleepy brown bear Baloo. Kloves' father, writer Steve Kloves of the "Harry Potter" films, is producing the...

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Kevin Smith, Johnny Depp and their daughters teaming on 'Yoga Hosers'

Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp are keeping it in the family for "Yoga Hosers."

The director and star are set to begin shooting the upcoming action-adventure this week with their daughters, Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp, co-starring, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Written by the elder Smith, "Hosers" will tell the story of two teenage yoga enthusiasts (Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith) who work at a convenience store after school and team up with a legendary man-hunter (Johnny Depp) to battle an ancient evil.

Smith, an avowed comics fan who has written for Marvel and DC, told THR, "People always ask me, 'Are you ever going to make a comic book movie?' This is it — but instead of yet another dude saving the day, our anti-heroes are the most feared and formidable creatures man has ever encountered: two 15-year-old girls."

The pairing of Smith, a quirky, talky, self-referential director, and Depp, a huge movie star with a predilection for playing offbeat characters, is...

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Dwayne Johnson says he'll play DC superhero Shazam -- or his nemesis

Dwayne Johnson has a tough decision on his hands: whether to wield the power of the DC Comics superhero Shazam or that of his arch nemesis, Black Adam.

During an appearance in Mexico City to promote his new film, "Hercules," the 42-year-old action hero said he will play one of the two characters in an upcoming Shazam movie adaptation, according to the Associated Press.

He added, "I am putting my heart and soul and my bones into this role."

Warner Bros., DC's parent company, declined to comment on Johnson's remarks.

Created in 1939, Shazam (originally known as Captain Marvel) is the cape-wearing alter ego of Billy Batson, a boy who becomes imbued with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury when he speaks the magic word "Shazam."

Black Adam is essentially a darker mirror image of Shazam, with equivalent powers and a similar getup, minus the cape.

Although Johnson has played his fair share...

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'Men, Women & Children' trailer: Jason Reitman on Internet-era angst

One of the great contradictions of the Internet age is that the very technologies that allow people to connect in new ways also lead to some powerful forms of disconnection.

That paradox is dramatized to haunting effect in the new teaser trailer for Jason Reitman's upcoming dramedy "Men, Women & Children," which Paramount unveiled Tuesday.

The moody two-minute teaser, which you can watch above, is devoid of dialogue — but its characters have plenty to say. They do so via text messages, emails, blog posts, instant messages, selfies and other digital communiques, which are rendered on-screen with floating pop-up graphics. It's all set to an evocative Plantains cover of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love."

With an ensemble cast including Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Ansel Elgort, Kaitlyn Dever and Judy Greer, "Men, Women & Children" follows the lives of a group of high-schoolers and their parents as they try to navigate the ways the Internet has affected their relationships, communications and...

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TIFF 2014: 'St. Vincent,' Roger Waters doc among late additions

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced one final round of world premieres for its gathering that begins Sept. 4.

Topping the list is Bill Murray’s eccentric-neighbor dramedy “St. Vincent,” which will be screened for the first time at the festival. Theodore Melfi's movie, which costars Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts and centers on a single mother (McCarthy), will hit theaters courtesy of Weinstein Co. on Oct. 24.

Also making its world premiere at the festival is “Roger Waters The Wall,” a concert documentary about the famous Pink Floyd frontman, codirected by Waters himself, and “Murder in Pacot” a post-Haiti earthquake story cowritten by the noted Haitian author and activist Lyonel Trouillot.

Making their North American premieres, Toronto organizers said Tuesday, are “The Sound and the Fury,” James Franco’s directorial adaptation of the William Faulkner classic; Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep”; and “The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness,” a documentary about...

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'Ant-Man' cast expands with John Slattery, Judy Greer as cameras roll

The cast of "Ant-Man" is starting to look anything but insectoid.

The upcoming movie starring Paul Rudd as a superhero who shrinks in size but increases in strength has added several new cast members, including John Slattery, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale, Wood Harris, rapper T.I. and comedian Gregg Turkington (a.k.a. Neil Hamburger), Marvel and Disney revealed Monday. The newcomers join Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll and others.

The news arrived as part of an announcement that the long-gestating movie has finally commenced principal photography in San Francisco, with director Peyton Reed ("Yes Man," "Bring It On") at the helm. "Ant-Man" will film in Atlanta.

The start of shooting marks a significant step forward for "Ant-Man," which has had a rocky path to production.

Writer-director Edgar Wright ("Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," "Shaun of the Dead") had originally been attached to the project since its inception in 2006 and even showed off "Ant-Man" test footage at...

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Debbie Reynolds to receive SAG Life Achievement Award

Actress, singer and dancer Debbie Reynolds has been named the recipient of the 51st SAG Life Achievement Award for her career and humanitarian accomplishments.

Reynolds, a 66-year veteran of show business, will receive the honor at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 25. The awards will be broadcast live on TNT and TBS.

In a statement, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard described Reynolds as "a tremendously talented performer with a diverse body of screen and stage work, live performances and several hit records. Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again."

An Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe nominee, Reynolds has starred in more than 50 movies, two Broadway shows and two television series; the 82-year-old performer has made dozens of TV, cabaret and concert appearances.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Reynolds moved with her family to Burbank as teen and caught the eye of Hollywood...

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'The Expendables 3' tanks at the box office: 5 things that went wrong

"The Expendables 3" lived down to its title over the weekend as moviegoers shunned the third installment of the shoot-'em-up franchise featuring the action heroes of yesteryear. The movie grossed an estimated $16.2 million, falling short of Lionsgate's projected take of $20 million to $25 million and putting it in the No. 4 spot for the weekend.

"The Expendables 3" also trailed the series' previous two movies, which debuted with $34.8 million and $28.8 million, both good for the No. 1 spot. What happened this time around? Here are five factors that may have contributed to "The Expendables 3" botching its mission.

Arr, pirates: Not the high-seas kind, but the high-tech ones. Weeks before "The Expendables 3" hit theaters, a DVD-quality copy of the movie cropped up on file-sharing websites — a rare occurrence for a movie yet to open — and was downloaded by millions of users. It's hard to quantify how much and how directly piracy affected "The Expendables 3" opening, but it's reasonable to...

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'Let's be Cops' and the accidental timeliness problem

“Let’s Be Cops,” the straight-from-television buddy comedy directed by Luke Greenfield, didn’t crater this weekend, grossing $17.7 million in the three-day period to earn the title of top new weekend opener.

Then again, those openers ("Expendables 3" and "The Giver") were both weak, and the Jake Johnson-Damon Wayans movie actually came in behind a pair of holdovers, making it unlikely anyone is rushing to call “Let’s Be Cops” an unqualified success.

With its dismal reviews and mediocre (B) CinemaScore, there are a number of reasons why that’s the case, though it’s hard to avoid one more: the accidental timeliness that had the film opening the same week all eyes were trained on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Studio Fox clearly had no idea it would wander into a tragic current-events situation when it dates an escapist summer comedy. But wander it did. For starters, “Cops” make Keystoney schtick out of what has been especially serious subject matter in recent days. Maybe more sensitive, it...

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The world according to Robin: Arclight series features Williams films

The Arclight Cinemas chain will present the series "Remembering Robin Williams" at various locations from Aug. 19 to 21. Tickets are $8, and all ticket and concession proceeds will be donated to the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, which raises money for pulmonary disease research and neonatal equipment, among other things.

More screenings may be announced, but the initial lineup consists of:

"The World According to Garp," Aug. 19 in Hollywood

"Jumanji," Aug. 20 at Arclight Beach Cities in El Segundo

"Hook," Aug. 20 in Pasadena and La Jolla

"The Fisher King," Aug. 21 in Sherman Oaks

"Good Will Hunting," Aug. 21 in Hollywood

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit arclightcinemas.com.

 

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'The Trip to Italy' serves it up in strong limited opening

In a limited opening, "The Trip to Italy," starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, brought in a strong per-screen average of almost $24,000 for a three-screen total of more than $71,000.

The film is a follow-up to the 2011 film "The Trip," which opened on six screens for just under $78,000.

Whereas the previous film found Coogan and Brydon playing characterizations of themselves as they toured the U.K., the new film has them traveling throughout Italy sampling fine restaurants and scenic locations.

The film makes them out to be first-rate dining companions, such as when they imagine an amusing conversation between actors Tom Hardy and Christian Bale in character from "The Dark Knight Rises." They visit literary spots related to Byron and Shelley while also grappling with various midlife crises. 

Anyone who gets a kick out of the dynamic between Coogan and Brydon in the two "Trip" films would be well advised to seek out Winterbottom's 2005 adaptation of "Tristram Shandy: A Cock...

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