TIME movies

Watch the Trailer for The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg plays a gambler in major trouble in the remake of the 1974 film

Mark Wahlberg has played a porn star, a fisherman and a Boston cop. With The Gambler, he adds gambling addict to the list. Directed by Rupert Wyatt, best known for 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Gambler offers a modern remake of the 1974 film of the same name, which starred James Caan. The original script was based on the experiences of screenwriter James Toback, and though the remake includes a new script by William Monahan, the narrative appears mostly unchanged. Wahlberg plays Jim Bennett, an English professor whose addiction has him pinned beneath the weight of his massive debt.

The expletive-laden Red Band trailer includes Jessica Lange as Bennett’s mother, Brie Larson as his girlfriend, and John Goodman as a loan shark. Martin Scorsese was originally attached to the project, with rumors of muse Leonardo DiCaprio starring, but Wyatt and Wahlberg picked it up when Scorsese left the project in 2012.

Though Wahlberg dropped 60 pounds for the role, he insists that his biggest challenge was playing a convincing professor, as the actor dropped out of high school and only recently completed his diploma online. “Being believable as a teacher was one of my greatest challenges and most rewarding,” he told USA Today. Of the role he played 40 years ago, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, Caan said, “It’s not easy to make people care about a guy who steals from his mother to pay gambling debts.” Sounds like a welcome challenge for Wahlberg, and big shoes to fill at that. We’ll see whether Wahlberg manages to breathe new life into the character when the movie hits theaters on Dec. 19.

TIME movies

Watch the Heart-Pounding Trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper

Bradley Cooper plays a Navy SEAL

Judging from the trailer, Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is poised to be a heart-stopping look at the life of America’s most effective sniper.

The central character, a Navy SEAL named Chris Kyle — played by Bradley Cooper — logged more than 160 kills during his service in Iraq. With Eastwood’s name attached and a Christmas release date, American Sniper also seems to be a likely Oscar contender.

Watch TIME’s interview with Kyle here:

TIME movies

Bill & Ted 3 is Probably Happening and That’s Most Excellent

Alex Winter, Keanu Reeves, in the original Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, 1989 Orion

Party on dudes

Actor and director Alex Winter, the renowned Bill of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, said in an interview that the franchise’s most awaited third installment will not only be most excellent, but most “f—ing funny.”

Winter said he will co-star with Keanu Reeves for the follow-up, which fans have been awaiting for 23 years since 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey came out, the follow-up to the original 1989 piece of cinematic gold.

“[Bill & Ted] will be 40-something and it’s all about Bill and Ted grown up, or not grown up,” Winter told Yahoo Movies. “It’s really sweet and really f—-ing funny.”

Producers and financiers are on board, Winters said, it’s just a matter of reworking the script, a draft of which has already been finished.

But fans shouldn’t hold their collective breath for the movie’s release: it’s going to be awhile. “It just takes a long time to put a movie together,” Winter said. “Now we’re having to build this thing in public, which is fine. I just feel bad [the fans] have to get dragged through this long, boring, protracted process.”


TIME Television

Aubrey Plaza Will Be The Voice of Grumpy Cat

Sundance NEXT FEST Screening Of "Life After Beth" With Father John Misty Concert
Actress Aubrey Plaza attends the screening of "Life After Beth" Alberto E. Rodriguez—WireImage

Jane Lynch reportedly turned the role down

Lifetime cast star Aubrey Plaza to be the voice of Grumpy Cat in its upcoming Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, says the Hollywood Reporter. This is truly the star on the Christmas tree.

Although Jane Lynch was originally set to speak as the curmudgeonly cat, she reportedly rebuffed the offer after getting an Emmy, reports THR.

But there is no doubt that Plaza will do the role justice. After all, the actress is best known for playing the somewhat grumpy April on ABC’s Parks and Recreation.

The film, starring the viral feline, will air Saturday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. May it be better than Lifetime’s Brittany Murphy biopic.

TIME movies

J. Lo’s New Movie Trailer Will Make You Feel Really Uncomfortable

In which Jennifer Lopez plays a very bad teacher

Who knew that Jenny from the Block’s block was located on Wisteria Lane?

The trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s new thriller The Boy Next Door takes a page out of the Desperate Housewives playbook — but instead of sleeping with a pool boy, a vulnerable and recently separated Lopez has a steamy night with the high school-aged boy next door, Noah — who has the abs of actor Ryan Guzman.

Realizing that it is really not okay for a 40-something to sleep with a high school student who — spoiler alert! — is friends with your son and a new student in your class, Lopez tries to cut things off. Unfortunately, poor little Noah is a threatening sociopath who won’t take no for an answer. If this trailer is any indication, the movie is a series of stalking, pictures of the affair getting posted around school, and creepy one liners like, “I love your mother’s cookies.”


The Boy Next Door is in theaters January 23, 2015.

TIME Television

The Real Wolf of Wall Street Is Co-Writing a TV Show

Jordan Belfort is co-writing a show about the excesses of Wall Street

The man behind the Academy Award winning movie The Wolf of Wall Street is co-writing a TV show based on the excesses of Wall Street in the 1980s.

Jordan Belfort, the man on which the movie is based, is writing the show with Rush Hour director Brett Ratner and Australian billionaire James Packer. Belfort told The Australian that “The idea was to come up with a show about that period with really interesting characters.”

Aside from writing this TV show, Belfort is also a motivational speaker and author.

TIME celebrity

Watch Lauren Bacall Say Her Most Famous Line

"You do know how to whistle, don't you?"

The famed Hollywood actor Lauren Bacall died Tuesday at 89. The Humphrey Bogart Estate tweeted on Tuesday: “With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall.”

Bacall was known for her body of work in Hollywood’s Golden Age, in particular her iconic line from To Have and Have Not, the 1944 movie Bacall co-starred in with Humphry Bogart.

Bogart and Bacall married in 1945 and had two children together, staying together until Bogart’s death in 1957. Bacall also starred in The Big Sleep, Key Largo and Dark Passage, in which she also played opposite Bogart.

TIME Culture

Here’s What It Would Look Like if a Female Superhero Pitched Her Own Movie

Adventures with Angelfire web series takes a comedic look at leaning in for the female hero

It’s hard out there for a female superhero. Not only do purse-stealing villains tell you, “you’re cute when you’re angry” before getting kicked in the gonads (at least he isn’t asking for a smile?), but bro-“feminist” Hollywood producers won’t take you seriously when you pitch your own summer blockbuster.

Jordan Zakarin and Alison Vingiano created a tongue-in-cheek / slightly-too-close-for-comfort video short about what it would look like if a hero named Angelfire (played by Vingiano) tried to pitch her life story as a movie. Spoiler alert: people are only interested if there is a male co-hero, a male hot zombie/alien/shapeshifter love interest or if the tagline can be “Justice… is a bitch.”

While the first episode of the developing web series, called Adventures of Angelfire, is a comedy, it hits on the hot button issue of women in superhero movies.

“I cover entertainment and specifically movies for a living, and more and more, that is synonymous with covering superhero movies,” Zakarin, a reporter at The Wrap, tells TIME in an email. “And I love some of them! But it baffles me why women can lead every other kind of film (and make a ton of money for studios doing it!), but there’s such reluctance to do that with superhero films. Why is that? There have been a few in the past that underperformed, but we’re in an era where people take these movies seriously, and with the right filmmakers, there’s no reason why they couldn’t be hits.”

While some trolling YouTube commenters are displeased with the idea of a female hero — the creators have been erasing comments exalting constructive criticism like, “wtf is her superpower supposed to be? menstrual bleeding?” — moviegoers are making it clear that they’re ready for a woman to headline a superhero flick.

A recent analysis by Vocativ found that movies with strong female leads who have dialogue revolving around more than just dudes make more money than the competition. Comic book films with women in the ensemble (as heroes rather than damsels in distress) have also been performing well. X-Men: Days of Future Past earned more than The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Guardians of the Galaxy boasted the biggest August opening weekend of all time — oh, and 40% of the audience was female.

With the president of Marvel Studios giving an interview this month that he hopes a female superhero movie will happen “sooner rather than later” followed by Sony’s pledge to create a female-centered movie set in the Spider-Man universe, things are starting to look up.

Who knows, maybe as the web series continues, Angelfire will get her big Hollywood break, too.

TIME Television

Sharknado 2: Everything You Need to Know Before Watching The Epically Absurd Second One

Get ready for a fin-tastic voyage

“You know what you did, don’t you? You jumped the shark.”
— Actual line from Sharknado 2: The Second One, as it desperately tries not to jump the shark

If you’re on Twitter come 9 p.m. Wednesday, consider yourself warned. Because literally the only thing the Internet will be talking about is SyFy’s uber-viral, uber-campy Sharknado 2, featuring Tara Reid, Ian Ziering, droves of quasi-celebrity cameos and, of course, a chain saw.

The movie gained more traction than its SyFy brethren Piranhaconda and Sharktopus ever did, and has become a cult classic even for those who have never seen the film. According to USA Today, while only 1.4 million people watched Sharknado’s original airing, a number that grew in subsequent airings, it inspired 5,000 tweets a minute. (We bet Samuel L. Jackson is kicking himself that Twitter was in its infancy during the Snakes on a Plane release).

So if you are jumping on the bandwagon before Wednesday’s premiere, or just need a quick refresher, here’s a crash course in all things Sharknado.

What the first movie was about:
Due to ambiguous reasons (“global warming?” a newscaster guesses) a massive storm and massive influx of sharks have simultaneously hit Los Angeles. Tiger sharks are flying through the windows of Beverly Hills mansions. Hammerheads are eating angry drivers on the 405 freeway. And it is up to one man with the subtle name of Fin Shepard (Ziering) to not only stop an impending Sharknado (which is exactly what it sounds like), but also to reconnect with his estranged wife April (Reid) and kids. His son saves the day by dropping a bomb into the Sharknado. All of our main characters survive, even though two of them were eaten by the toothy predators. (Note to self: When about to enter a shark’s mouth, remember to wield a chainsaw.) Fin and April make out. All is well.

What is the second one about:
Same concept. Different city. The Sharknado has followed Fin and April to New York as they promote their book, How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters: Fight Back When Monsters and Mother Nature Attack. (Available for purchase). Now Fin must use his knowledge to save New York from imminent disaster.

Lots of symbolic destruction:
The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel was shown rolling down the streets of Los Angeles symbolizing THE END OF FUN in Sharknado. Swap that for the Statue of Liberty’s decapitated head catapulting through New York to symbolize . . . something about the shark’s threat of freedom or something, and we’re all set.

It might be kind of educational:
As we learned in Sharknado: “Tornados happen when cold and hot air meet. If you drop a bomb in it, you just might equalize it.” Because SCIENCE.

It also might be kind of political:
Although the first film didn’t exactly take a stand against shark hunting, it was kind of implied considering a poachers face got eaten by a shark.

Hordes of cameos:
Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath (a.k.a. Sugar Ray) and Judah Friedlander have joined the cast as Finn’s college friend, his brother-in-law and a helpful cab driver, respectively. But there are also tons of quick hits from “stars” who were itching to ride Sharknado‘s viral wave. Watch for Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, The Naked Cowboy, Perez Hilton, Al Roker and Matt Lauer, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, and, of course, Jared the Subway guy, who eats a sandwich as sharks start eating people in a subway. (Get it? He’s eating a Subway sandwich in the subway!)

A total disregard for human life:
The cast of Sharknado appeared totally and completely unphased when a shark would come out of nowhere and rip someone’s leg off. Reid barely batted an eye when her live-in boyfriend was torn apart in the mansion.

Lots of New York “insider” jokes:
Sharknado’s script was riddled with LA jokes including: “It’s just a little water. Typical Californians afraid of the rain;” and “My mama always told me Hollywood would kill me” — right before letters from the Hollywood sign crushes him to death.

Expect gems like this from the sequel: “This is the big apple. Something bites us, we bite back.”

A renewed sense of patriotism:
May we leave you with Fin’s inspiring speech: “They’re sharks. They’re scary. No one wants to get eaten. But I’ve been eaten, and I’m here to tell ya, it takes a lot more than that to bring a good man down. It takes a lot more than that to bring a New Yorker down.”

TIME movies

Behind the Scenes Look at Lucy, Scarlett Johansson’s Newest Film

Go behind the scenes of the highly-anticipated film Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. The film explores an individual’s brain capacity — the film posits that humans currently use 10 percent of their brains, while asking what might happen if 100 percent was accessed. The film tells the story of a young woman who, when put under extenuating circumstances against her will, is scientifically altered in a way that allows for her to access a much greater capacity of her brainpower. In this sneak peek, the two stars discuss exploring brain capacity, as well as the film’s main character, Lucy. You can see Lucy in theaters nationwide beginning Friday.

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