TIME movies

Angelina Jolie Says New Film Has Brought Her And Brad Pitt ‘Closer’

Film Unbroken Angelina Jolie
In this image released by Universal Pictures, director Angelina Jolie appears on the set of "Unbroken." David James—AP

"I hadn’t realized how good it would be for us"

Angelina Jolie has said that filming her new movie By the Sea with husband Brad Pitt has done wonders for their marriage.

The 39-year-old told the New York Daily News in an interview that the film “brought us closer.”

“Sharing something in a deep artistic way, it’s something I think is necessary for artistic couples,” said Jolie, who is also producing the movie alongside Pitt. “I hadn’t realized how good it would be for us.”

Slated for release in 2015, By the Sea is about a marriage in crisis and is the couple’s first collaboration since Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Jolie’s current film, World War II survival drama Unbroken, will be released on Christmas Day.

Read more at the New York Daily News.

TIME movies

The Interview Will Still Be Distributed, Sony Lawyer Says

James Franco and Seth Rogen
James Franco and Seth Rogen in The Interview Columbia

"I don’t think anybody knows quite yet"

The Interview will eventually be released — but Sony doesn’t know how just yet.

Sony lawyer David Boies went on Meet the Press Sunday morning to discuss Sony’s decision to pull the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy out of theaters. “Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed,” he said. “It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet. But it’s going to be distributed.”

Sony delayed the release of The Interview, which was set to open Christmas day, as a result of threats from hackers. Although Sony initially told EW they have “no further release plans” for the film, they later said it is still their “hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.” However, according to CEO Michael Lynton, as of now, no major VOD distributor “is willing to distribute this movie.”

This article originally appeared on EntertainmentWeekly.com

TIME movies

The Hobbit Wins Weekend Box-Office Battle

'The Hobbit'
'The Hobbit' Mark Pokorny—Warner Brothers

But compared to the rest of the Hobbit films, The Battle of the Five Armies didn’t fare as well

Although there were three huge wide releases in theaters this weekend, the third and final Hobbit beat them all by a landslide. The Peter Jackson film brought in $56.2 million over the weekend (and $90.6 million since its Wednesday opening), while Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Annie — all films showing in more than 3,000 locations — made almost $40 million less.

This is a win at the weekend box office, but compared to the rest of the Hobbit films, The Battle of the Five Armies didn’t fare as well: The first film in the trilogy made $84.6 million its opening weekend while the second took in $73.6 million.

The 23 percent drop in opening weekend grosses between the second and third film could be due to a number of things, including movie fatigue. The book — yes, singular book — the films are based on is just over 300 pages, but each movie is at least two hours long. You can only stretch one story so much, and The Hobbit has been stretched… and stretched… and stretched.

Like Battle of the Five Armies, the most recent Night at the Museum is the third in a trilogy — one that audiences also aren’t as jazzed about anymore. The first opened with $30.4 million and the second with $54.2 million, but the third opened with a comparatively lackluster $17.3 million. The lesson here? Don’t wait five years to make a sequel to a film that didn’t probably didn’t need a sequel to begin with.

Annie was neck and neck with Night at the Museum and made just one million less than the Ben Stiller flick. Although Annie is full of star power — the cast includes Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Quvenzhané Wallis (who’s already nabbed a Golden Globe nod for this role) — it also got a ton of bad reviews.

Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 were able to keep spots on the top five this weekend — but this will likely be their last weekend in the upper ranks, as Into the Woods, Unbroken, and The Gambler all open wide next weekend.

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies$56.2 million
2. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb$17.3 million
3. Annie$16.3 million
4. Exodus: Gods and Kings$8.1 million
5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 – $7.8 million

Wild made its way to the number six spot this weekend with $4.2 million after adding nearly 1,000 locations. Top Five ($3.6 million), Big Hero 6 ($3.6 million), and Penguins of Madagascar ($3.5 million) followed close behind, while the Indian sci-fi comedy PK – a film only in 272 locations – rounded out the top 10 with $3.5 million.

This article originally appeared at EW.com

TIME movies

Legendary Composer Regrets Refusal to Work With Clint Eastwood

Ennio Morricone
Italian composer and conducter Ennio Morricone in Prague, Feb. 9, 2014. isifa—Getty Images

Ennio Morricone: the good, the bad and the aw-shucks

Iconic Italian film composer Ennio Morricone regrets turning down the opportunity to work with Clint Eastwood, he revealed in an interview on Thursday.

The 86-year-old award-winning composer told the BBC that he turned down an offer from Eastwood “out of respect to Sergio Leone,” the legendary director with whom Morricone collaborated on landmark spaghetti westerns such as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and A Fistful of Dollars (two of which featured young actor Eastwood).

“I missed a great opportunity and I am really sorry,” he said.

Morricone has not stopped writing cinematic scores, working Quentin Tarantino in 2009 with Inglourious Basterds and in 2012 with Django Unchained.

Read More at BBC News.

TIME movies

Watch Kevin Hart Teach Will Ferrell How to Survive Prison in the New Get Hard Trailer

"Prison school is in session."

A business tycoon played by Will Ferrell assumes Kevin Hart’s character can teach him how survive behind bars after he is sentenced to 10 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement in Get Hard.

The film is slated for release in March.

TIME movies

See 13 Times World Leaders Were Depicted in Movies

The cancelled release of The Interview, the movie that sparked a devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures, shows how controversial depicting the assassination of a current world leader can be. Sure, Inglourious Basterds imagined the assassination of Hitler, but this was, of course, several decades after Hitler’s actual death.

It’s also pretty rare for films to have depictions of current or still-living heads of state at all (at the time the movie is made), even without the assassination plots. From Queen Elizabeth II to Ayatollah Khomeini, here are a few examples of world leaders being shown in movies.

TIME movies

Here’s Where to Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movies

From Bad Santa to White Christmas

One of the easiest ways to get in the Christmas spirit is to turn on a classic holiday movie. To encourage premium winter sloth, we made the process one step easier by compiling a list of where you can stream your favorite holiday films. Get on the nostalgia train with one of these Christmas classics.

  • Bad Santa

    This movie will make parents think twice before letting their kids sit on Santa’s lap. Billy Bob Thornton’s interpretation of a boozing, bawdy, con-artist mall Santa — he’s only in it so he can case stores for a planned heist with his elf sidekick — is pitch perfect in this dark comedy.

    Watch on Netflix or Amazon

  • Ernest Saves Christmas

    Jim Varney plays a bumbling Florida cab driver who transports a retirement-ready Santa around town as he hunts for his successor.

    Watch on Netflix

  • Love Actually

    This 2003 classic comprises at least 10 different romantic comedies tied up in a nice Christmas bow. Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson and a handful of other big name British actors will make you laugh, cry and burst out singing Mariah Carey songs.

    Watch on Netflix

  • Scrooged

    While putting on a live broadcast of A Christmas Carol, curmudgeonly TV execeutive Bill Murray finds himself living through Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey through Christmas past, present and future.

    Watch on Netflix

  • Miracle on 34th Street

    This 1947 classic is the quintessential Christmas movie. When a Macy’s department store Santa is institutionalized after claiming he is the real Kris Kringle, a lawyer has to prove that he’s the real deal. The film also features a young, skeptical Natalie Wood.

    Watch on Amazon

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

    Michael Caine teams up with Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets gang to take on Charles Dickens’ classic in this 1993 flick.

    Watch on Netflix

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

    In case you’re still nostalgic for Halloween, this animated Tim Burton masterpiece is two holiday movies in one. When Halloween Town’s Jack Skeleton accidentally finds a portal to a significantly merrier Christmas Town, he tries to bring the holiday over to his resistant neighbors.

    Watch on Netflix

  • While You Were Sleeping

    This rom-com isn’t as flashy as Love Actually, but it’ll definitely make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Sandra Bullock plays a Chicago Transit Authority worker who saves a regular commuter she has a crush on from an oncoming train after he’s pushed on the tracks by thieves. After she’s mistaken for the now-comatose Peter Gallagher’s fiancé, Bullock plays the part when she is taken in by his boisterous family. Chaos ensues.

    Watch on Netflix

  • White Christmas

    It doesn’t get more Christmassy than Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye singing Irving Berlin songs. This holiday 1954 holiday classic features Crosby and Kaye as two war buddies who, along with Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, entertain a group of soldiers by putting on a musical showcase.

    Watch on Netflix

TIME Music

Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games Song Gets the Dance Remix No One Asked For

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" Party - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Jennifer Lawrence attends the "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" party at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2014 in Cannes, France. Mike Marsland—WireImage

The surprise hit song takes on a new life

Jennifer Lawrence may hate “The Hanging Tree” — her song from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part One, reportedly even breaking into tears the day she had to sing on camera — but the world can’t seem to get enough of it.

Not only did the single from Mockingjay land at No. 29 on the charts in the U.K., but now the song has gotten the remix treatment. The original track was a haunting, acoustic song with lyrics penned by The Lumineers and The Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins, but the remix is a club-ready jam that might even get some radio play.

Lawrence may think she sings like “a tone-deaf Amy Winehouse”, and claimed that singing in public is one of her biggest fears, but the remixed single isn’t all that bad. Not that she should give up her day job or anything.

[H/T Vulture]
TIME movies

The Very Political History of Annie

Quvenzhane Wallis;Jamie Foxx
Barry Wetcher—Columbia Pictures/Sony

The new movie adaptation finds a new time

The new version of Annie — in theaters Friday — doesn’t exactly shy away from its New Deal origins. Mere minutes of the film have passed before the newest actress to step into the orphan’s shoes, Quvenzhané Wallis, is talking about Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression.

Except this time that history is, well, history. The musical that once contained songs with the actual titles “We’d Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover” and “A New Deal for Christmas” has been updated for modern times. And, though its Daddy Warbucks equivalent (Jamie Foxx as Benjamin Stacks, a New York gazillionaire with aspirations à la Michael Bloomberg) is still involved in politics, the story has left behind much of its erstwhile focus on the national political climate.

“The interesting thing about Annie is that it was started as a political cartoon and with pretty biting social and political commentary, and then it was turned into a musical, and people have forgotten that,” says Will Gluck, the writer-director behind the new adaptation. “They just think about ‘Tomorrow,’ the plucky kid and the dog.”

The content of that original social commentary may surprise some of today’s “Tomorrow” singers. In the ’20s, when the strip debuted, Little Orphan Annie was already “issuing a steady stream of far-right propaganda.” In 1935, one newspaper canceled the comic because “Annie has been made the vehicle for a studied, veiled, and alarmingly vindictive propaganda.” Cartoonist Harold Gray was a staunch believer in the way Daddy Warbucks got rich, which was “doing his job and not asking for help from anyone,” as he put it. “Gray agrees that Annie dabbles in dialectics, and he has no intention, of stopping her,” TIME commented in 1962. “To Artist Gray, Daddy and Annie are salesmen of the American dream, the “pioneer spirit” that without assistance, even from the State Department, can cope with Castro, neutralize the H-bomb, and eliminate the income tax.”

In the 1970s, however, when Annie went to Broadway, though TIME opined that her newspaper-comic twin was “still fight[ing] the Red Menace and bleeding-heart liberals,” the character’s priorities changed. In the musical version of Annie, the spunky orphan — who has already helped her war-profiteering rescuer realize that those who have less are worth taking care of — is brought along to a meeting with FDR, at which point her natural optimism helps inspire the President to institute the New Deal. The general take-away, besides the fact that the sun will come out tomorrow, is that New-Deal-style, progressive policies help everyone get the fair shake he or she deserves. Annie’s can-do pluck is still important, but she’s optimistic about the government’s ability to help all rather than individuals helping themselves.

Gluck says that, while updating the story for today’s audiences — Annie lives in a foster home rather than an orphanage, for example — he didn’t want to lose that part of the story’s background. “The one thing I wanted to keep is the socioeconomic divide of the Depression,” he says, “which sadly has even gotten bigger now and sadly is not going away.” That was why he made sure to have his Annie teach viewers a little lesson about the Great Depression when, she says, things were just like they are today except without the Internet.

Still, this iteration of Annie ends up bringing the political girl to a more centrist position.

By keeping things local and staying away from specific historical moments — no, new Annie does not inspire the President to believe that there really are plenty of shovel-ready stimulus projects out there — some of the specificity of Annie’s political message is lost too. Stacks thinks that in New York City, if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything you want, just like old-fashioned Daddy Warbucks did. Meanwhile, Annie recognizes that folks in her neighborhood are often ignored and left behind, even when they work hard, just like her theatrical predecessor did. They each come to see the other’s side a little better, but the audience doesn’t come away singing a song about Obamacare.

But, Gluck says, that’s a better fit for the audience anyway — though not because today’s political divides are so treacherous. Adults may see Annie as a rags-to-riches story, he says, but kids don’t really know what that means; the core message of Annie, about hope and optimism, works just as well now as it did in the ’70s or ’30s because it’s a universal story. “I don’t believe the end of the movie is that she got to live with a rich guy,” he says. “I believe that to her the end of the movie is that she got to find a family.”

Besides, he still remembers the first time he saw the original Annie, and the questions he had for his parents when it was over: Who is Herbert Hoover and who is that guy in the wheelchair? When he took his own kids to see Annie on Broadway recently, they had the same exact questions. His movie’s young viewers, however, won’t be left scratching their heads. “You don’t need to study for this essay question,” he says.

Read our original review of the musical Annie, here in the TIME Vault: No Waif Need Apply

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