Category: Movies

Madonna thanks exes Sean Penn, Guy Ritchie for creative support

Madonna gives Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie a sweet shout out

Madonna has descended upon the Venice International Film Festival with her second directorial effort, "W.E.," about parallel love stories centering around the famous romance between American divorcee Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII.

Invoking her own love stories, the 53-year-old entertainer appeared to be making this her "No Hard Feelings" tour, talking about ex-husbands Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie with surprising candor and positivity.


"I am and was attracted to very creative people which is why I married Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie, two very talented directors," she said at the festival. "They both encouraged me as a director and as a creative person to do what I did, and they were both very supportive."

We applaud the maturity in Madonna's sentiments (seems like hanging out with younger friends agrees with her).

Madonna said she identified with the stylish but prickly Simpson -- a woman the king found more irresistible than the throne, which he abdicated in order to marry her in 1936 -- from the point of being a public figure or celebrity. 

"We are often reduced to a soundbite and ... you're given a few attributes and then you're not allowed to have anything more than that," she said. 

New to Simpson's famous style? Check out this video from Vanity Fair's profiles of the world's best dressed women.



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-- Matt Donnelly

Reuters contributed to the reporting of this story.

Photo: Madonna attends a photo call at the Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 1 for "W.E.," her latest directorial effort. Credit: Alessandro Garofalo / Reuters


Taylor Lautner won't choose sides in 'Snow White' smackdown

Taylor Lautner on dueling "Snow White" films.

Taylor Lautner has smoothly avoided a sticky "Snow White" situation by straddling the fence between two upcoming remakes: one starring his girlfriend, Lily Collins, and a darker adaptation with his "Twilight Saga" costar Kristen Stewart.

Lautner was asked on the red carpet at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards which version he'd be rooting for when the films hit theaters in 2012. 

"It's tough,” he told E! Online's Marc Malkin. "I mean, my excuse is they're so different. I can root for them both."

Stewart will be a harder fairy-tale gal, with a supporting cast including Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Chris Hemsworth as the rugged Huntsman. Collins, who also stars with Lautner in "Abduction," will follow a more traditional path with Julia Roberts as her royal nemesis.

"Kristen's going to be cool and edgy and dark ... Lily's gonna be great too," Lautner said. "And a completely different feel."

Well played, Tay-Tay. Catch Lautner and Collins in a steamy "Abduction" scene, and more, below.


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-- Matt Donnelly

Photos: Kristen Stewart, left, Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins. Credits: Dan Steinberg / Associated Press, left; Chris Pizzello / Associated Press, center; Jason Merritt / Getty Images, right.

Brad Pitt saves 'World War Z' extra from being trampled on set

Brad Pitt saved a woman on the World War Z set

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt to the rescue: After saving a woman from being trampled on the set of "World War Z," the actor is being hailed as a hero.

Things took a dangerous turn during a chaotic, 700-person zombie-invasion scene in Glasgow, Scotland’s George Square. An extra slipped during filming Wednesday and Pitt stopped to pick her up, saving her from being trampled in the street, the Scottish Sun reports.

"Lots of people hurt themselves, and Brad came to the rescue of a woman who slipped," an insider told the paper. "I don't think she could believe it when Brad picked her up.

"He didn't have time to speak to her as it was mid-shoot. But she said afterwards how grateful she was, despite having a badly grazed knee."

According to the Sun source, Pitt and director Marc Forster were growing "slightly concerned" about the number of injuries that have occurred over the course of filming the action thriller. During the Wednesday battle scene, "loads of extras suffered bumps and scrapes," the source said, adding that during a safety talk, everyone was urged to be as careful as possible.

The apocalyptic action movie, due out in 2012, follows Pitt's character Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee who travels the world in hopes of stopping the zombie pandemic before it's too late. Looks like the actor playing Lane is a real-life hero as well.

[For the record, 5:20 p.m. Aug. 27: This post originally named Peter Mullan as the "World War Z" director. Marc Forster is the director; actor-director Mullan was spotted visiting the George Square set.]


Angelina Jolie surprises Sarajevo Film Festival crowd

Brangelina -- and 350 pals -- take a private train to Glasgow

Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux sharing a Hollywood Hills home

-- Emily Christianson

Photo: Brad Pitt, center, runs with a girl who appears to be his on-screen daughter -- not the extra he helped after she slipped -- during the filming of zombie movie "World War Z" in Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday. Credit: David Moir / Reuters

Lake Bell and friends celebrate a 'Good Old Fashioned Orgy'

Lake Bell and Bryan Greenberg enjoy 'Orgy'

Blame it on the dizzying August heat -- or on costars Jason Sudeikis and Lake Bell -- but the subtly titled sex comedy "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy" seemed right at home in L.A. on Thursday night.

Hollywood's ArcLight Cinemas welcomed Bell, her expectant costar Lindsay Sloane and "Saturday Night Live" alum Will Forte for the "Orgy's" West Coast premiere. Sudeikis was off filming "Eastbound and Down."

Photos: 'A Good Old Fashioned Orgy' premiere

The flick follows a group of grown-up high school pals celebrating their final Labor Day weekend at the Hamptons home of Sudeikis' character, Eric. They decide that their final blowout should be a naked group scenario. In one scene, Bell takes a ping pong paddle to the backside of costar Tyler Labine.

"I'm really proficient in it now," Bell said at the after-party, flexing her guns. "And, to be fair to [Tyler], we had our directors each take a turn getting spanked." (We can only hope that Lake's lip gloss was involved.)

The directors in question are Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck, who guided other stars Lucy Punch, Leslie Bibb, Michelle Borth and Nick Kroll through the task of lovin' on each other. 

The after-party was held at Lexington Social House, where Topher Grace, Bell's "How to Make It in America" costar Bryan Greenberg and musician Moby sipped Sobieski vodka and talked about — do we really have to say it again? Didn't think so.


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— Matt Donnelly

Photo: Lake Bell and Bryan Greenberg at the bash for "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy." Credit: WireImage.

'The Debt': Helen Mirren plus Jessica Chastain equals one Nazi hunter


Ever wonder what actress Helen Mirren looked like when she was young? Stop before searching for those photos online, because the folks behind "The Debt" would have you believe she looked just like actress Jessica Chastain.

Mirren and Chastain play two incarnations of the same Mossad agent in a spy thriller premised on the idea that in 1997, three retired Nazi-hunting Mossad agents discover their widely praised 1966 Nazi-hunting mission might not have been as successful as they'd believed.

Photos: "The Debt" premiere

With Mirren and Chastain playing Rachel, the double-cast Mossad trio is rounded out by Marton Csokas as a younger incarnation of Tom Wilkinson's Stephan and Sam Worthington as Ciarán Hinds' David with fewer candles on the cake.

Mirren and Chastain were among those making the red carpet scene Tuesday at the film's New York premiere. Also spotted: author Toni Morrison,  designer Zac Posen, Justin Bartha of "The Hangover" films,  Alan Cumming of "The Good Wife," Darren Criss from "Glee," Gina Gershon, Arianna Huffington and Billie Jean King.

"The Debt" opens Aug. 31.


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Jessica Chastain, left, and Helen Mirren at the premiere of "The Debt" in New York on Aug. 22. Credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press

Jennifer Grey gives her support to Kenny Ortega's 'Dirty Dancing'

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in 'Dirty Dancing.' Grey approves Kenny Ortega's remake.

The "Dirty Dancing" remake has found itself a fan -- perhaps only one, but it's a big one -- in Jennifer Grey.

"I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake," Grey tweeted.

Grey played Baby -- she of "You don't put Baby in the corner" -- in the original 1987 film starring the late Patrick Swayze that grossed $214 million worldwide. The musical love story follows a 1963 summer romance that develops between a rebellious and smoldering dance instructor (Swayze) and a teenager (Grey) vacationing in the Catskills with her conservative family.

The 51-year-old actress professed her love for Ortega, the original movie's choreographer, who was signed by Lionsgate to direct the reboot, which promises to portray "the emotional excitement of first love, the thrills and complexity of sexual awakening ... and the soul-stirring power of dance."

"I'm so excited about this news, and I think there's nobody better to do this than my beloved Kenny Ortega, who is as responsible as anyone for the success of the first one. I can't wait to see what he's going to do with it," she said through her publicist.

News of the reboot was greeted coldly by naysayers who hold the original in high regard and are mindful of the franchise's failed sequel. But that didn't seem to shake Ortega.

"The opportunity to direct 'Dirty Dancing' is like returning home for me," said Ortega, who has Michael Jackson's "This Is It" and juggernaut "High School Musical" under his belt.

"I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can't wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats."

We hope Ryan Gosling'S "Crazy, Stupid, Love" stunt with Emma Stone shoots him to the top of that list.

Who do you think should be cast in the remake? What role would you want Jennifer Grey to play if she came back? Tell us in comments.


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-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in 1987's "Dirty Dancing." Credit: Vestron Pictures

Lizzie Olsen and Jessica Chastain: 'It' girls shine at HFPA lunch

Elizabeth Olsen and Jessica Chastain at HFPA

Award season doesn't get underway for a couple more months, but Hollywood is already buzzing about two young actresses whom we can expect to see plenty of on the red carpet this year: Lizzie Olsen and Jessica Chastain.

Olsen, 22 -- and yes, sister of the infamous "Full House" twins -- and Chastain, 30, have been generating award chatter throughout the year for their work in a number of films that have been well-received on the festival circuit. Both were on hand Thursday a the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s annual luncheon to help present financial grants to film schools and nonprofit organizations.

Photos: Celebs on the HFPA Installation Luncheon red carpet

Olsen, currently finishing up her last year at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, made waves at the Sundance Film Festival in January for her role in the dark indie "Martha Marcy May Marlene." (Say that twice.) Since the Park City, Utah, event, she said, she's been offered a handful of new scripts and roles.

The Sundance experience "upped the game a little bit," Olsen said on the HFPA red carpet. "All of a sudden, I got to be part of a circle of young actors who are considered for parts that I always looked up to ..."

"Martha," set for release in October, is already sparking Oscar hype -- which, predictably, Olsen said she's trying to ignore.

"I'd rather not make any hopes or expectations because the movie hasn't even come out yet. Critically, it did well among the festival circuit, but you never know what's gonna happen," she said.

Meanwhile, Chastain caused a stir at Cannes with "The Tree of Life," will appear as a ditzy blond next week in "The Help," and has about a half-dozen other films set for release over the coming months.

When asked if she was prepared for the onslaught of attention set to come her way, she answered bluntly: "Uh -- yeah!"

"You know, I've worked for so long, and it's wonderful for me to have people see the films because I think they're great films and I'm really proud of the performances in them," she said.


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-- Amy Kaufman

Photos: Elizabeth Olsen, left, and Jessica Chastain at the annual Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.  installation luncheon in Beverly Hills on Aug. 4, 2011. Credits: Fred Prouser / Reuters.

'The Change-Up': Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman mix it up

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock at "The Change-Up" premiere

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman switched on the charm at Monday's premiere of "The Change-Up," their upcoming take on one of Hollywood's classic genres: the body-switching comedy. In the tradition of "Freaky Friday" or even "13 Going on 30," Reynolds and Bateman hit theaters Friday as two buddies who trade lives.

"The Change-Up" has Bateman playing a family man who puts in long hours at a law firm and comes home to change dirty diapers, and Reynolds cast as a slacker playboy who picks up women at Lamaze classes. In a totally believable turn of events, the two wish for each other's life -- while urinating in a fountain, no less -- and presto, change-o, bodies and lives are swapped.

Photos: "The Change-Up" premiere

When it came to learning one another's tics and mannerisms to sell the switch, Reynolds said of costar Bateman, "I got a few of the mannerisms down ... the slow-burn eyebrow raise that he does."

Bateman, however, said he and Reynolds were careful not to "do impressions of one another."

"Because we're not that talented, really," he joked. "So we just tried to play our versions of an idiot and a straight guy. It was easy. The script was so funny, we didn't want to distract from that by trying to do impersonations."

Talk about distracting: The two would later be joined on the red carpet by Sandra Bullock, Reynolds' costar in "The Proposal," who turned up to support her friend's most recent summer effort.

Olivia Wilde -- cast as a tempting love interest in the movie -- said she thinks audiences love goofy body-switching films because "it's a fantasy most people have had."

"The thing about body switching is the stakes are inevitably always really high, because you're gonna find yourself in awkward situations, and that's what people like to watch -- or what I like to watch, at least," she said, smiling.

Meanwhile, Leslie Mann -- real-life wife of Judd Apatow and onscreen wife of Bateman's "Change-Up" character -- was rather distressed over having to miss the "The Bachelorette" finale for the sake of the red carpet.

But if Mann had the opportunity to switch bodies with anyone, who might that be?

"Ryan Gosling's girlfriend," she said.

Amen, sista.


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-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock arrive at the premiere of "The Change-Up" at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood on Monday. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Jessica Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven hit 'Spy Kids 4' premiere

"Spy Kids 4" movie premiere

What is Jeremy Piven up to when his Ari Gold character isn't yelling at the boys on "Entourage"? These days, he's playing a super-villain to the "Spy Kids" crew instead.

Piven joined pregnant costar Jessica Alba and writer-director Robert Rodriguez for the premiere of "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas on Sunday. While Mommy worked the red carpet, Alba's hubby, Cash Warren, was in charge of their daughter, Honor.

Photos: "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" premiere

Joel McHale, Mason Cook and Rowan Blanchard were among those who made it from the cast. McHale hosted his wife, Sara Williams, and their two sons.

Piven's sister brought his two nieces while "Falling Skies" star Noah Wyle wrangled his two kids and their guests. Also spotted: Rachel Fox, Joely Fisher, Kiernan Shipka, Verne Troyer, Holly Marie Combs and Holly Robinson Peete. Click the pic for more photos from the red carpet.

"Spy Kids" fans practically have all the time in the world until the movie opens in theaters: It hits Aug. 19.


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Actors Jeremy Piven, left, and Alexa Vega, writer-director Robert Rodriguez and actors Mason Cook, Jessica Alba, Rowan Blanchard and Joel McHale at the "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D" premiere at L.A. Live on Sunday. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

James Franco, Freida Pinto swing by 'Planet of the Apes' premiere

James Franco, Freida Pinto, Tom Felton and Rupert Grint premiere 'The Rise of the Planet of the Apes'

James Franco,  Freida Pinto and Tom Felton hit the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday.

In the Rupert Wyatt-directed prequel, Franco plays scientist Will Rodman, who is enlisted to seek a cure for Alzheimer's disease and tests a possible antidote on a chimpanzee named Caesar.

However, by increasing the chimp's intelligence, it begins to exceed that of his human counterparts -- ultimately leading to a rebellion of rogue genetically enhanced apes in modern-day San Francisco. The film is a reboot of the 1968 sci-fi classic that brought forth four sequels, Tim Burton's 2001 remake and several television shows. Click the pics for more photos from the "Planet of the Apes" premiere.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-rise-planet-apes-premiere-pictures,0,7473862.photogallery "The Adventures of Tintin" and "Lord of the Rings" actor Andy Serkis plays Franco's test subject-turned-pet-turned-threat in the newest "Apes" film and attended the premiere with his family.

Pinto, the "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Immortals" star, plays primatologist Caroline Aranha in the film, and walked the red carpet in an asymmetrical green dress.

Her "Apes" costar, "Harry Potter's" bad boy Tom Felton, traipsed the red carpet in a dapper three-piece suit with a neat pocket square. Felton's "Potter" nemesis, Rupert Grint, also joined him, wearing a T-shirt with "I (heart) Tom Felton" scrawled on it and effectively upstaged a few of the film's headliners.

Felton plays a cruel caretaker at a compound built for apes. "The Green Hornet" actor Jamie Harris, whose father played Albus Dumbledore in the first two "Harry Potter" films, plays his coworker, Rodney, who is much more sympathetic to the apes at the compound.

"Dexter" and theater actor John Lithgow, who plays Franco's Alzheimer's-stricken father, Charles Rodman, and David Oyelowo, who appears in the upcoming film "The Help," made their way to the premiere as well.  Oyelowo plays Steven Jacobs in "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" and brought his wife, Jessica, to the opening.

Also spotted: "Grey's Anatomy's" Loretta Devine, "Franklin and Bash" actress Claire Coffee, "Las Vegas" and "Fired Up!" actress Molly Sims.

 "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" hits theaters Aug. 5.


Photos: "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" premiere

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— Nardine Saad

Photos, from top:  Freida Pinto and James Franco. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters.

Tom Felton points out Rupert Grint's T-shirt. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


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