Viola Davis takes the wheel as star and executive producer of new film ‘Lila and Eve’

Maybe if a black woman wants a leading role, she has to create it herself. Viola Davis spent 27 years shining in mostly supporting parts before her Oscar-nominated turn in “The Help” and her lead in ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” proved she deserves to be front and center. So Davis founded JuVee Productions with her husband, Julius Tennon, in 2012 to develop the diverse, female-driven projects that have been so hard to find. “I believe that my potential, my talent, is limitless -- as limitless as Julianne Moore or Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett -- if I have the narrative, the direction, the other actors,” says Davis, 49, who costars with Jennifer Lopez in her company’s first feature film “Lila & Eve” opening Friday. The movie follows two grieving mothers who become vigilantes after losing their children to street violence. It showcases both women and minorities, which is the exception to the rule. Hollywood is still not diversifying as fast as its audience. Even though 46% of moviegoers in 2013 were minorities, only 16.7% of movies released that year starred people of color in lead roles, according to the UCLA 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report. And women lagged 2-to-1 as film leads. So Davis took a cue from “How to Get Away With Murder” creator and television writer/producer goddess Shonda Rhimes, and took charge of her career. “The only way I was going to get the narratives and find things that I would be at the forefront of was if I drove it,” explains Davis, who is also an executive producer on her new film. “They don’t write much for No. 10 or No. 14 on the call sheet -- which I’ve been a lot,” she says of her bit parts. “I had to just squeeze out every bit of life in those one or two scenes, so that I could show my talent.” Those days are over. Now Davis is lining up major projects for herself, including Continue Reading

Seth Rogen wants to get high with Colorado fans during screening of new film

This film may not be the only thing rolling. Seth Rogen wants to get stoned with an entire Colorado movie theater before screening his new movie, "The Interview." The silver-screen stoner tweeted out an invite to his 2.34 million followers Wednesday, offering to "get baked" with him on Dec. 8. "We are going to do a screening of #TheInterviewMovie in Colorado where I get baked with everyone first, and we can smoke weed in the theater," he posted before later tweeting out an email address for RSVPs. Exactly where and how the event will take place was not released. Colorado is one of the few states where recreational marijuana is legal — with the exception of public places and those under the age of 21. What's also not clear is whether the pot will be supplied by Rogen and his team or if it will be BYOP. Rogen's invite follows a similar invite made last week to those in Los Angeles, albeit with free alcohol. His new film starring alongside James Franco is slated for release on Christmas day. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH A TRAILER FOR 'THE INTERVIEW' HERE. Continue Reading

In new film on Lance Armstrong, disgraced Tour de France champ is lord of the lies

When you see how coldly calculating Lance Armstrong was about protecting one of the most lucrative and long-running frauds in the history of sports, it seems both terrifying and utterly predictable that he was reportedly considering a second career in American politics. That whole grim pathology is on exhibit in “The Armstrong Lie,” the long-awaited documentary due out this coming Friday from acclaimed director Alex Gibney, whose previous films have explored the Enron fraud, Eliot Spitzer and war crimes in Afghanistan. The “anatomy of a lie,” Gibney calls it CLICK HERE FOR THE NEWS' Q&A WITH ALEX GIBNEY Gibney had made something closer to a feel-good movie about Lance Armstrong in 2009, but shelved that film before release because of the doping scandal that erupted in 2010. After Armstrong’s unmasking, Gibney reexamined everything for the new film. He all but demanded an interview with the disgraced cyclist himself, and got it. After all that, it’s not surprising that Gibney can do a pretty good impersonation of his subject. During a Daily News interview earlier this week at his Manhattan office, Gibney briefly imitated the bravado that Armstrong displayed even while his yellow-bracelet empire began to crumble in 2010. “This is a story of credibility,” Gibney says, riffing on words Armstrong used on May 20, 2010, while standing near the start of a California bike race and addressing reports that a former teammate had blown the whistle on Armstrong’s doping conspiracies. As usual, Armstrong went on to attack his accuser, Floyd Landis. But the strategy was ineffective; Landis was already spilling secrets to federal investigators and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and others would follow suit. Armstrong was caught, Gibney says, in an “undertow” of his own making. Gibney’s film is the definitive portrait of Armstrong’s downfall. Some of the best material in the film was Continue Reading

Tom Hanks, Ron Howard team up to adapt Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ for 2015 film release

Dan Brown's "Inferno" has already burned up the bestseller lists, and now the adventure book will officially hit the silver screen. On Tuesday, Sony announced that the newest Robert Langdon movie is scheduled to arrive in theaters on December 18, 2015. Tom Hanks, who played symbologist Robert Langdon in the film adaptations of Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons," is attached to star again in the new film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The magazine reports that Ron Howard, who directed both adaptations, has also signed on for the movie version of "Inferno." Sony had previously begun developing another of Brown's book for film, an adaptation of 2009's "The Lost Symbol." It now appears that "Inferno" will move ahead first. The book, published in May, follows Langdon in a race to stop a global pandemic by decoding clues found in Dante's "The Divine Comedy." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Lindsay Lohan announces new film project ‘Inconceivable’ at 2014 Sundance Film Festival

With a film crew capturing every moment, Lindsay Lohan made a high-profile debut at the Sundance Film Festival, announcing a new film and a "fresh start." The 27-year-old, who is attempting a comeback after well-documented battles with drugs and legal troubles, came to the independent cinema showcase Monday to say she will produce and star in a film called "Inconceivable," set to start shooting in March. A crew from OWN, which is airing a reality series about Lohan, filmed the actress's news conference. Reporters were told that if they asked personal questions, they would be escorted out. Most performers and producers at Sundance have films showing at the festival and don't come just to announce a planned production — those are usually announced through news releases. But producer and financier Randall Emmett, who sat beside Lohan, said Sundance is "just a special place for us to announce this film." He called Lohan "one of the greatest young actresses of her generation." Lohan, who emerged from her latest rehab stint last year and remains on probation for a necklace theft and for lying to police about a car crash, said she is grateful to be at Sundance and back in the movie business. "I've never had the honor of coming here before ... to bring something to the table, which is starting fresh for me," said Lohan, smiling broadly. "And I'm filming my Oprah docu-series right now, so I get to that to the people who have been watching that as well. "It's a nice change to be back among people that are in the industry that I've been in since I was a kid." She described the film as a psychological thriller about a woman trying to reclaim something she lost, adding that she "related to the character in a lot of ways." Emmett said Lohan found the script and insisted they make it together. "She read the script, she called, she said, 'We're making this movie, are you in or out?'" he recalled. "I said, 'I'm in.'" Lohan will Continue Reading

New film titled ‘RELEASED’ tells the stories of ex-cons who turned their lives around after prison

Casimiro Torres spent much of his troubled childhood bouncing between the care of his alcoholic mother and juvenile detention centers, sleeping on the streets and stealing food for his younger siblings. As an adult, Torres, of Briarwood, Queens, spent 16 years incarcerated for crimes ranging from assault to drug and gun possession. He bore little resemblance to the man, now 45, who helps veterans battle drug addiction. Newspapers are filled with stories of criminals going up the river, but now there’s a film that shows what happens when they come back. The film, “RELEASED,” details the struggles of Torres and three other ex-cons who emerged from jail, turned a corner and somehow managed to turn their lives around. “We wanted to put a face on the formerly incarcerated,” said David Rothenberg, who came up with the idea for the project. “There’s an avalanche of stories about crime, and never about people who have reclaimed their lives.” Rothenberg founded the Fortune Society, a Long Island City-based group that helps released prisoners get back on their feet. All of the former inmates featured in the film were clients of the group. The movie, which is making its big-screen debut this week, is based on an off-Broadway production, “The Castle.” The play’s title refers to the Fortune Academy, a West Harlem residence where many of the society’s homeless clients stay when they get out of prison. The play was supposed to be shown for only two weekends as a fund-raiser, but it wound up having a 14-month run. It is still performed in colleges and prisons. Marty Feinberg, executive producer of “RELEASED,” saw the play at a women’s prison in 2010, and said he knew it had to be made into a movie. “I was very moved by the intelligence and demeanor of the convicts,” he said. “I always thought of convicts as being terrible people, and now I see Continue Reading

‘Things Fall Apart’ star 50 Cent releases photos of shocking 50-pound weight loss for new film

50 Cent looks like he's falling apart for his new film. The Queens rapper shed nearly 60 pounds to play a football player who has been diagnosed with cancer in the upcoming Mario Van Peebles film, "Things Fall Apart." Fitty, who normally tips the scales at 214 pounds, released a photo of himself this week at a frail 160. The "Strong Enough" singer says he lost the weight by going on a liquid diet and spending three hours a day on the treadmill for nine weeks. "I was starving," 50 Cent revealed on his official Web site, But on the eve of his "The Invitation" tour, the aspiring actor has been gorging. "I'll be back in shape in no time!," he says. The 34-year-old star, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, also removed his arm tattoos for "Fall Apart" and his other movie project, "Twelve," which co-stars Chace Crawford. "It cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend in makeup covering them up," he told, adding that he will keep his back tattoo. 50 Cent kicks off his US tour Friday in Cleveland and hits New York on June 22. The singer co-wrote "Things Fall Apart," which is scheduled for release next year. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Michael Moore to release his new film online and for free

NEW YORK - Inspired by Neil Young and Radiohead, Michael Moore will release his new film online and for free. The film, "Slacker Uprising," follows Moore's 62-city tour during the 2004 election to rally young voters. It will be available for three weeks as a free download to North American residents, beginning Sept. 23. An official announcement of the film is planned for Friday. Moore said he considered releasing "Slacker Uprising" theatrically as "Michael Moore's big election year movie" as he did with 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11," which was highly critical of President Bush. Instead, Moore opted for a symbol of gratitude to his fans as he approaches the 20th anniversary of his first film, 1989's "Roger & Me." "I thought it'd be a nice way to celebrate my 20th year of doing this," Moore said. "And also help get out the vote for November. I've been thinking about what I want to do to help with the election this year." The 97-minute long "Slacker Uprising" will be the first major film to be released in such a way. Last December, "Jackass 2.5" was streamed online and for free, but that was only a collection of left over material from "Jackass 2." Companies like ClickStar, which Morgan Freeman co-founded, have made films still in theaters - such as 2006's "10 Items or Less" - digitally available for purchase or rental. Experimentation in distribution has been more common in the music industry, where the Internet has significantly damaged traditional business models. Moore took notice when Radiohead last year released their seventh album, "In Rainbows," online with optional pricing. In 2006, Neil Young streamed his anti-war album "Living With War" for free before its standard release - now a more common practice. If history is any measure, "Slacker Uprising" could have made a decent sum in theaters. His last two films, "Sicko" ($24 million) and "Fahrenheit 9/11" ($119 million) are two of the three highest grossing documentaries ever. Moore said Continue Reading

Almodóvar honors cinema itself in new film with Penélope Cruz

MADRID — Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar unveiled a new film rich in the staples of a career that has earned him two Oscars: romance, sex, drama and lots of humor. But this time he's added a nod to his passion for moviemaking itself. "Los Abrazos Rotos," or Broken Embraces, is about a writer and director telling the story of an accident that left him blind 14 years earlier and a torrid relationship with an actress with whom he was filming. That character — played by recent Oscar-winner Penélope Cruz — becomes the center of a love triangle involving the director and a rich businessman, who is equally obsessed with her. With hints of thriller-style cinema thrown in, Almodóvar's film alludes to his own earlier movies those of directors he admires, such as Roberto Rossellini. "It is a romantic movie, with intertwined stories of love. But underlying them all is my love for cinema," Almodóvar said Friday after a press screening. The movie opens next week in Spain. No date has been set for its release overseas. "It is a profession of love for cinema," Almodóvar told a packed news conference at which he was flanked by Cruz and other cast members. For Cruz it was her first public appearance in her native Spain since she won an Oscar last month for best supporting actress for her portrayal of an artist's erratic ex-wife in the Woody Allen movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Cruz, who lives in California, said "the Oscar has come with me to Spain, and I am going to leave it here. For now, I have no idea what this award is going to mean for me." Almodóvar tried to help her get an idea. In 2000, he won the Oscar for best foreign film for "All About My Mother," and he earned Hollywood's best-original-screenplay honor in 2003 for "Talk to Her." He said: "The Oscar is the only prize that is treated like a living thing. People and friends call you to come over and meet it."   Join the Continue Reading

‘I don’t feel that I can be redeemed’: Christian Longo, family killer depicted in new film ‘True Story,’ opens up in letter from prison

The one-time good Christian father who murdered his entire family — a gruesome tale recounted in the new film “True Story” — admits his soul is beyond saving. “I don’t feel that I can be redeemed,” Christian Longo, a death row inmate at the Oregon State Penitentiary, wrote to People. “I believe that some actions are so terrible that nothing can ever atone for them.” The attention-loving Longo, who killed his wife and three kids days before Christmas 2001, seems to have written to the magazine just in time for the Friday release of “True Story,” in which James Franco portrays him. The manipulative murderer said in a letter that guilt is “a pervasive part of my daily existence.” “But I realize I can’t do anything about it now, except to try to live as positively as possible with a view that I don’t deserve the breaths I get to take,” he wrote. Longo grew up as a straight-laced and devoted Jehovah’s Witness in Michigan and married a fellow churchgoer, Mary Jane Baker, when he was 19. The couple had three kids and a marriage filled with financial frustrations, thanks to Longo running up massive expenses on vehicles and constantly bouncing or faking checks. The family moved to Newport, Ore. in December 2001. Before the end of the month, divers found the bodies of Mary and the couple’s children — 4-year-old Zachery, 3-year-old Sadie, and 2-year-old Madison — floating in a marina near their pricey condo, stuffed into suitcases and pillowcases. Longo flew to Mexico, partied as if nothing happened and impersonated the fired New York Times reporter Michael Finkel. He got caught a month after the murders and sentenced to death in 2003. Prosecutors argued that Longo snapped after tiring of family life and wanted to break free and have fun. Finkel, played by Jonah Hill in “True Continue Reading