24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Emma Stone

'Gangster Squad' trailer highlights L.A. landmarks

May 14, 2012 |  1:30 pm

The first trailer for "Gangster Squad" reveals that the upcoming period mafia movie's biggest star may not be a fedora-clad Ryan Gosling or a fatally pouty Emma Stone, but the gritty city of Los Angeles.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer and based on a series of Los Angeles Times articles called "Tales from the Gangster Squad" by Paul Lieberman, "Gangster Squad" depicts an elite Los Angeles Police Department crew charged with keeping East Coast mafia man Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) and his gang from taking over 1940s and '50s L.A.

Shot in and around the city late last year, the film also stars Gosling, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie and Michael Pena as members of the squad.

"Los Angeles is a damsel in distress and I need you to save her," a gravel-voiced Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) says to John O'Mara (Brolin) in the action-heavy trailer, which features shots of downtown L.A.'s City Hall, a gunfight inside Grauman's Chinese Theater, an explosion on the L.A. River, a CGI-altered Hollywood, a Craftsman and a Spanish-style home and the cover of the L.A. Examiner.

The trailer also reveals a peek inside Slapsy Maxie's, a popular 1940s and '50s Hollywood nightclub that the filmmakers re-created inside an abandoned grocery store in Bellflower.

"Gangster Squad" is due in theaters later this year.




L.A. Noir: Tales From the Gangster Squad

Did Mickey Cohen really own Slapsy Maxie's nightclub?

'The Gangster Squad': When good guys acted like bad guys to save L.A.


--Rebecca Keegan


Photo: Michael Pena, Ryan Gosling, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie and Josh Brolin in "Gangster Squad." Credit: Wilson Webb/Warner Bros. Pictures.

People's Choice Awards: 'Harry Potter' finale a fan favorite

January 12, 2012 | 12:35 am

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
With no competition from a "Twilight" film at this year's People's Choice Awards, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2" was free to clean up. The final installment of the wizarding franchise won awards — all of which are chosen by the general public through online voting — for favorite movie, favorite action movie, favorite ensemble movie cast and favorite book adaptation.

The "Potter" magic wasn't quite strong enough to win Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint or Tom Felton the award for favorite movie star under 25, which went to Chloe Moretz (of "Hugo"); perhaps the "Deathly Hallows" stars split the vote against one another. Radcliffe also lost out in the category of favorite movie actor, which saw perennial winner Johnny Depp crowned once again. Depp added a win for favorite animated movie voice for his title character in "Rango."

Emma Stone, who starred in "The Help" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love," took home two awards: favorite movie actress and favorite comedic movie actress. And it seems Twi-hards had a bit of say after all, as the Robert Pattinson-starring "Water for Elephants" won favorite drama movie, despite receiving mixed reviews and failing to set the box office on fire.

Following is a list of all the movie nominees and winners:

Continue reading »

A closer look at the costumes in 'The Help'

August 10, 2011 | 12:16 pm

The Help

Fans of 1960s fashions will have a field day at “The Help.” But dressing the white Southern belles (Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard) and their black maids (Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis) provided some challenges for costume designer Sharen Davis.

Davis spoke about the movie with fashion writer Booth Moore over on our sister blog All the Rage. Davis built 50 costumes from scratch using vintage fabrics (the rest were sourced from costume rental shops and vintage stores). The job was challenging because the film, which opened Wednesday, was shot in Greenwood, Miss., where resources were nil. “The only store is a Wal-Mart. There wasn’t even a Starbucks or a Target,” she said. “I had to fly a lot of people back to L.A. for fittings on the weekends.”

Davis used 1960s-era Sears, JC Penney and Montgomery Ward catalogs, as well as Seventeen magazine, as a guide. She made hyper-feminine dresses in Easter egg shades, with floral prints, modest necklines and full skirts nipped at the waist.

“This is probably the most color I’ve ever used in my life,” said the designer, whose credits include “Dreamgirls” and “Ray.” “And it’s the first time I have not used a color palette for a film. Each of the women had her own story, her own home and her own color palette.”

Davis spent $15,000 on period accessories, including patent leather structured handbags with matching shoes, pearl choker necklaces and cluster earrings, cat’s eye sunglasses and garden party-festive hats.

 Davis, who is African American, said creating the costumes for the black maids had special meaning because her grandmother worked as domestic help in Louisiana during the same time period as the film’s. Read the full interview here.


Movie review: 'The Help'

'The Help' actresses talk roles, race and Hollywood

'Crazy, Stupid, Love': A fresh take on the male movie makeover

-- Julie Makinen

Photo: Viola Davis, standing at left, stars in "The Help" with Bryce Dalls Howard, center, Ahna O'Reilly, left, and Emma Stone, right. Credit: Dale Robinette / DreamWorks / MCT

'The Help' women talk film, civil rights and Hollywood

July 29, 2011 | 11:42 am

Gather actresses Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain in a room, and wait five minutes. You'll be destined to hear lots of laughs, some oohs and ahs, and likely some valuable insight. They are five strong, independent-minded actresses that clearly formed lasting relationships with one another while filming the adaptation of the best-selling novel "The Help" deep in Mississippi. Each one has a different perspective on her character, the movie, and what it's like being an actress today in Hollywood.

Directed by Tate Taylor, "The Help" bows on Aug. 10 and is a complex tale of white women and their relationships with the black maids who clean their houses and care for their children. Click here for our Sunday Calendar conversation with them, and here for exclusive online excerpts. 


2011 Movie Preview: 'The Help'

Kathryn Stockett gives Tate Taylor some 'Help'

Thumbs up or down for 'The Help' movie trailer?

--Nicole Sperling

Photo: Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis in a scene from "The Help." Credit: Dale Robinette/Dreamworks

Kathryn Stockett gives Tate Taylor some 'Help'

March 30, 2011 | 12:04 pm

BrunsongreentatetaylorchriscolumbusapericjamisonLoyalty can be hard to come by in Hollywood, which is what makes Tate Taylor's career trajectory so unusual.

The director of this summer's "The Help" grew up in Jackson, Miss., where he was best friends with a woman named Kathryn Stockett. Stockett penned the New York Times bestselling novel about the complicated relationship between black maids and the white families they work for in the 1960s-era South. And she promised Taylor that if a version of the book were ever to make it to the big screen, he'd be the one to direct it.

Problem was, Taylor didn't exactly have much experience. He started out as an actor, landing small roles in films like "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" and "Planet of the Apes." (When we say small, we mean it: in "Apes," he's credited as "Friend at Leo's party.") He did direct one feature, 2008’s “Pretty Ugly Film,” but the movie was released in only three theaters and grossed less than $7,000, according to Box Office Mojo.

Taylor found more success with a short film, "Chicken Party," which made the rounds at some film festivals and eventually landed on the desk of veteran filmmaker Chris Columbus. Before Taylor knew it, Columbus was attached to produce "The Help" and began trying to sell the project to studios with Taylor as the director.

Continue reading »

Emma Stone lands 'Spider-Man,' but it could mean she won't go undercover with 'Jump Street'

October 5, 2010 |  4:26 pm

Sony this afternoon said that "Easy A" star Emma Stone will be the female lead and Spider-Man love interest in Marc Webb's reboot of the superhero tale.

The news got fanboys a'twitter with the revelation that said lead part would be that of Gwen Stacy, the science student who is Peter Parker's other love -- and not Mary Jane Watson, the character inhabited by Kirsten Dunst in Sam Raimi's take on the franchise and the more central of Spidey's love interests in the Marvel comic books.

But while answering one question about a Sony movie based on a well-known property, it immediately raises another, this time about "21 Jump Street." After initially thinking of the Jonah Hill-penned and -starring reboot of the undercover-cop show as a male-male picture, filmmakers and the studio have been leaning toward dual male-female leads, with Stone right at the center of its plans.

The idea has been to take the actress, already beloved at the studio after the success of "Zombieland" and "Easy A," and cast her opposite Hill. That would give them a different dynamic than a male-male tandem and attract a female fan base to boot. (It wouldn't be without precedent: The original show, about a group of policemen who enroll in different high schools and pose as ordinary students to infiltrate crime rings, also starred a female cop (Holly Robinson Peete), opposite male policemen Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen and Peter DeLuise. And Stone, after all, knows a little bit about not fitting in at high school after "Easy A.")

But the Spidey role now muddies the waters. "Jump Street" could recast with a different actress or go back to the male-male concept. Or the film could get pushed so Stone could do both. While some familiar with "Jump Street" said the latter was still possible, it would mean the reboot of the Johnny Depp series wouldn't shoot in early 2011, as had been hoped, since Spidey is shooting through the winter.

There also would be a potential scheduling issue down the road, since it's unlikely Sony would want to bring out another Stone vehicle so close to its July 2012 release date for Spidey. Looks like it's Gwen 1, Hoffs: 0.

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Emma Stone in Zombieland. Credit: Glen Wilson/Columbia Pictures


Hero Complex: Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man finds his Gwen Stacy

Bieber Who? Emma Stone will be latest star to take over 'Funny or Die'

September 1, 2010 |  1:25 pm

Emma On April Fool's Day, tween star Justin Bieber "took over" the Funny or Die website, appearing in several skits, poking fun at his image and spoofing popular YouTube videos with bits such as "Bieber Goes to the Dentist."

Now months later, Bieber Fever has begun to wear off. So who will be the next star to dominate the comedic website?

"Easy A" actress Emma Stone, who says she'll soon film some sketches for the site.

"We're doing a Funny or Die thing;  I think I'm taking over the website. I'm flipped out," the 21-year-old gushed during an interview this week in Beverly Hills while promoting her upcoming comedy, out Sept. 17. 

Stone -- who has had supporting roles in smaller comedies such as "The House Bunny," "The Rocker" and "Superbad" -- finally gets the chance to show off her funny girl chops with "Easy A." She stars as a brassy teenager who mistakenly becomes known for her sexual prowess.

Asked how similar her Funny or Die stint will be to the Bieber takeover, Stone said, "I'm not sure if we're doing the exact same thing, but I know there's a live stream interview and I'm taking over the Twitter. We are filming some stuff, but I'm not sure what," said the actress, who has now returned to Mississippi, where she's in the middle of a four-month shoot for the DreamWorks drama "The Help."

On Thursday, she said, she was supposed to have a day off from promoting "Easy A" and shooting the new film -- until the Funny or Die crew decided to head to the South to film with her.

-- Amy Kaufman


Photo: Emma Stone stars in "Easy A." Credit: Adam Taylor/Columbia Tristar.


Justin Bieber makes us laugh -- in a good way

DreamWorks gets 'Help'


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