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Gillian Flynn to cowrite Steve McQueen heist thriller

Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen are looking to pull off a heist together.

The "Gone Girl" writer has joined the "12 Years a Slave" director to cowrite a big-screen thriller based on the British miniseries "Widows," New Regency announced Friday.

McQueen, who won an Oscar for producing "12 Years" and also earned a directing nomination for the historical drama, will direct the yet-untitled movie. The story centers on the widows of four armed robbers who were killed during a failed heist, prompting the women to pull off the raid themselves.

Lynda La Plante penned the original series.

McQueen will also produce, alongside Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of See-Saw Films.

Flynn, a former entertainment journalist, became a breakout novelist with her third book, "Gone Girl," a tightly plotted murder mystery about a husband who finds himself at the center of a police investigation and media firestorm when his wife vanishes.

Flynn then made her screenwriting debut adapting the bestseller herself...

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'Get Hard': Kevin Hart prison comedy has a hard time with critics

The new comedy "Get Hard" stars Will Ferrell as a clueless hedge-fund manager who narrow-mindedly enlists one of the only black guys he knows, a car washer played by Kevin Hart, to toughen him up for an impending prison term.

Here's hoping that Ferrell, Hart and first-time feature director Etan Cohen are resilient themselves, because reviews are not being kind to the film. Although "Get Hard," with four credited writers including Cohen, attempts to walk the tricky line between satirizing stereotypes and reinforcing them, many critics say the movie is only occasionally funny and often tone-deaf.

The Times' Betsy Sharkey writes that the title "Get Hard" is "certainly a better name than, say, 'Laugh Hard,' which you won't do nearly enough. There are plenty of intentionally un-PC jokes packed into the film. With Ferrell and Hart involved, it's probably impossible for anyone to completely resist their baser instincts to be amused by the patently offensive. Though it's hard not to wish more...

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TCM Classic Film Festival: Night of the hand-cranked 'Dream Machine'

When cinema was in its infancy, films were screened with a hand-cranked projector. And projectionists were an integral part of the movie-going experience.

TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood is turning the clock back a century Saturday with “Return of the Dream Machine: Hand-Cranked Films From 1902-1913,” a two-hour program featuring classic silent short films screened with a 106-year-old projector, live narration and music at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

“The thing that was way cool about the early nickelodeon days is that the projectionist was a showman,” said Randy Haberkamp, managing director for programming, education and preservation for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which is presenting “Return of the Dream Machine.”  

“You were aware of that person in the room. You were aware of the clickety-clack of the machine. You were aware that between each reel, they would stop and show slides.  The human element is really fun.”

Bringing these movies to life will be Joe...

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'Southpaw' trailer: Jake Gyllenhaal fights for a title and his family

Jake Gyllenhaal looks like he could be a contender -- in more ways than one -- in the first trailer for director Antoine Fuqua's gritty boxing drama "Southpaw."

Set for release July 31 from the Weinstein Co., the film stars a very bulked-up Gyllenhaal as Billy "The Great" Hope," a lefty pugilist known for his brutal, but effective, fighting style. Just when it seems Hope has it all, including a loving wife (Rachel McAdams), an adorable daughter (Clare Foley) and the light-heavyweight belt, a tragic accident sends him into a downward spiral.

It's only with the help of a hard-bitten former boxer (Forest Whitaker) that Hope begins to fight his way back to both his daughter and the ring.

For Gyllenhaal, 34, "Southpaw" promises to continue his run of committed, intense performances in films such as "End of Watch," "Prisoners" and "Nightcrawler."

In the trailer, he modulates among bloodied bruiser, gentle family man and despairing has-been, but only time will tell if the finished film is...

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TCM Fest: Andrews, Plummer reunite for 'Sound of Music's' 50th

When the red carpet was first rolled out for the "The Sound of Music" in 1965, star Christopher Plummer wasn't all that interested in celebrating the film's opening.

Rather than spend the whole night at the movie's glitzy premiere in New York, Plummer had a better idea: Drinking.

"All of the males went to a bar," Plummer recalled with a chuckle. "We'd kind of seen it, you know? So we spent most of the night in the bar. I can't do it anymore like I used to, damn it."

Despite the sun beating down on him late Thursday afternoon, the 85-year-old seemed much more keen to celebrate the film five decades years later. Shielded by large umbrellas, Plummer and co-star Julie Andrews arrived at the TCL Chinese Theater to kick off this year's TCM Classic Film Festival, which opened with a special 50th anniversary screening of "The Sound of Music."

The film was shown as it initially played in the '60s -- road-show style, with an overture and an intermission. But before the nearly three-hour...

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Kenneth Turan's DVD pick: Comedies with Colbert (no, not Stephen)

There was a time within the memories of those still living that the name Colbert associated with comedy referred to the great comedian Claudette Colbert, one of the queens of black-and-white wit. To refresh memories, the folks at Criterion have issued new DVDs of two of her best and funniest films.

"It Happened One Night," directed by Frank Capra in 1934, starred Colbert as a runaway heiress (remember those?) and Clark Gable as the reporter trying to track her down. It was the first film to win all five major Oscars: picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay.

In 1942, Colbert starred for comedy virtuoso Preston Sturges in "The Palm Beach Story." Again on the run, this time from husband Joel McCrea, she goes on adventures that include an interlude with the one and only Wienie King. Not to be missed.

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