Updated Wednesday 1/21/04, 11:15 pm CST

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Reviews: Eye of the Beholder from Cedar, in response to my original review. Coming eventually: my Peter Pan review. No, really.

Wallpaper: Peter Pan

Previews: 122 screen caps from the Van Helsing trailer, with icons at Occupation: Girl

See Short Attention Span Theater for daily reports on updates and housekeeping, or our Yahoo Group for email alerts and newsletters.

Top stories

Oscar Watch: Oscar Watch: Chicago Film Critics Names ROTK Best Film; Ashley Lunan's Latest; Mike Prill on the Acting Race; MPSE Nominations

New images

Dark Horizons: Spider-Man II, Perfect Opposites

Jo Blo: 50 First Dates, Barbershop 2

Latino Review: international Butterfly Effect poster, which is actually pretty cool; pics from Twisted

Z Review: The Passion of the Christ, Secret Window, Spanglish, White Chicks, Dawn of the Dead, Connie and Carla do L.A., Van Helsing, Chronicles of Riddick, The Bourne Supremacy, The Manchurian Candidate, Aliens Vs Predator, Shaun of the Dead, Catwoman, Collateral, The Stepford Wives, The Incredibles

Trailers and multimedia

Apple: The Clearing

Empire Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Intermission (Colin Farrell)

The Movie Box: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (full, QT), 13 Going on 30, The Big Bounce clips

Trailer Park: Two Brothers, Bring It On Again, King Arthur, Catch That Kid, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotltess Mind, The Chronicles of Riddick, Man on Fire, Secret Window

Casting calls and future films

Quick casting

Dark Water:
Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite. Dir. Walter Salles, scrwr. Rafael Yglesias, from the Japanese original by Hideo Nakata (Jo Blo)

Getting Played:
Vivica A. Fox, Carmen Electra, Bill Bellamy, Stacey Dash. Premise: “The story focuses on three women whom are sick of dealing with low down dirty men. Together, they make a game out of getting even by trying to be the first to seduce a random man into bed, where their antics will be caught on video.” I’m sure the guy involved is going to be heartbroken (Jo Blo)

In the Pink: Tim Allen, Britney Spears, Bette Midler, Cher, Wanda Sykes (Killer Movies)

King Conan: The Wachowskis are out. Meanwhile, the Governator is obviously unavailable (IGN)

Meet the Fockers: Dustin Hoffman as Ben Stiller’s father. Apparently Jerry Stiller isn’t good enough anymore (Zap2It)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith:
Adam Brody (“The OC”) (Jam Showbiz)

Robbin Hoodz: dir. Stephen Baldwin. No, you read that correctly (Jam Showbiz)

Shadowboxer: Wes Bentley; dir. Lee Daniels and scrwr. Will Rokos, both of whom worked on Monster’s Ball. Premise: The story “centers on the unusual relationship between a mother and her stepson. The duo, who have a romantic relationship, work as contract killers. Bentley will play the lead villain on the hunt for the killer couple.”
Superman: Oh silly Martin Henderson, you are so pretty. Next! (Cinescape)


Blood and Chocolate:
Ehren Kruger (The Ring). Premise: “Original story [from the teen horror novel], which will be reworked by Kruger, follows the difficult romance between a young woman werewolf and a human boy.” (Killer Movies)

Kite: Kamran Pasha. Dir. Rob Cohen. A live-action adaptation of the “Japanese anime cult classic.” (Killer Movies)

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: Producer Tim Minear will adapt the script himself from the Heinlein novel. (Sci Fi Wire)

More films

Alexander: Dark Horizons has a link to a set report from Thailand (“I am wearing a burlap sac with arm and head holes cut in it along with a burlap pair of undies. I have an arched short sword and a big silver shield. Most of us have to wear hair pieces so that we have locks hanging out our helmets, mostly black but with blonde streaks, they also made us shave our legs”).

Boo: Cinescape editor Anthony C. Ferrante will make his directorial debut on this horror movie about a killer ghosts who possesses teens trapped in a hospital. Surprisingly, this news item came from Sci Fi Wire.

Me?                                   No, not you, sweetie. Go back to bed.

The good news: Weta Workshop has put out several designs (pictures available at link) that “are everything a fan could ask for.” The bad news: “The characters are something else, however. The first thing to strike anyone familiar with the animated show is that all the main characters' names have been changed to Western names. Rei is now Ray, Asuka Langley is now Kate Rose, and Misato Katsuragi has been re-christened Susan Whitnall. In fact, there's no indication that any of the characters in the production drawings are Japanese.” (IGN)

Fat Albert: Film Jerk reports that production is gearing back up for this March with director Joel Zwick (My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Frankenstein: A TV series from Martin Scorsese, Dean Koontz, and Marcus Nispel? “This is the single worst buddy cop premise EVER – Frankenstein’s monster teams up with Seattle police. And somehow, Martin Scorsese is executive producing.” (CHUD)

Growing Pains: The Movie:
You know, I've figured it out. What they really want to do is get Leonardo DiCaprio in for a cameo so that ratings will skyrocket. (Moviehole)

Iron Man: IGN has the latest roundup of news.

James Cameron Sci-Fi Movie: AICN reports that “after seeing Return of the King, he determined that it was ‘time to play’ with special effects again, where he will utilize the very latest in CGI technology [and] high definition digital cameras,” apparently having missed the 5000 interviews wherein Peter Jackson said that the point of the LOTR effects was to serve the story, not themselves.

Star Wars: Episode III—Something of the Something: Dark Horizons has a roundup of all the current news, including several fight tidbits. Also: Rick McCallum’s daughter’s name is “Mousy”? And [spoiler removed] “goes out like a bitch,” “heads will roll,” and yet “it is possible for Ep III to have a PG rating”?

Stephen Frears Elvis Movie:
Apparently the Elvis estate says “it’s the best script [they’ve] ever read.” Huh. (Moviehole)

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!:
Smilin’ Jack Ruby reports from the junket circuit. (CHUD)

Reviews (Here be spoilers!)

Mean Creek, The Clearing, Trauma, Primer, Dig!, Harry & Max, Nothing’s Perfect, Battle Royale 2, Anatomy of Hell, The Passion of the Christ, The Butterfly Effect, Miracle, Against the Ropes, The Downfall, True, Around the World in 80 Days, Zatoichi, The Machinist, The Fight, Brother to Brother, Best Thief in the World, Primer

Film Jerk: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

Salon: Open Water

Upcoming DVDs

CHUD: Dirty Dancing (includes some of the funniest photo captions ever), The Worst Porn Collection Ever

Dark Horizons:
Butterfly Effect will have a major alternate ending/director’s cut on DVD

DVD Fanatic: Morvern Callar, The New Guy: Director’s Cut, Annie: Anniversary Edition, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Belly: Special Edition

DVD File: Best Defense, Marci X, Superfly

DVD Talk:
Tipping the Velvet; VH1 Storytellers - Sarah McLachlan; Ichi the Killer (Unrated Edition); Final Fantasy Unlimited-Phase 2; Heat and Dust; Highlander - The Series Season Three, Goemon - Legend of Mystical Ninja, Luster

IGN DVD: Open Range, King of the Hill (S2), The Complex Rock Tour Live (Blue Man Group), Honey release date, the worst DVD cover ever

Jo Blo: Curb Your Enthusiasm (S1), Punk’d (S1), Open Range, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Cheers (S2), Underworld

Interviews and profiles

About.com: Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, Eric Bress, J. Mackye Gruber

CHUD: Aaron Eckhart (Paycheck, but moreover, a really candid interview)

Cinema Confidential: Topher Grace (Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!)

Dark Horizons: Simon Baker (Book of Love)

Empire Online: Terry Gilliam (Brothers Grimm)

Ashton Kutcher (Butterfly Effect)

Jo Blo:
Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), Josh Duhamel (Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!)

Latino Review: Josh Duhamel (Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!), Butterfly Effect cast

Moviehole: Martin Henderson (Torque), Simon Baker (Book of Love)

Sci Fi Wire: Ashton Kutcher (Butterfly Effect)

Other news

Julia Roberts accused of discriminating against women;Goblet of Fire to be 'most expensive movie ever'; Glamour girls outnumber Scary stars at premiere; My Bloody Valentine fan Coppola on Shields; Lord of the Rings still top of the UK box office; Shane Richie's £500k film takes £2,300 at box office; Depp is rubbish', says BBC film critic; Rings star wants to direct Fantastic Four movie

Chicago Sun-Times: No ‘Passion’ play by pope; Cruise almost lost his head on ‘Samurai’ set

IMDB: Sean Astin To Direct Marvel Comic Movie?; 'Friends' Rocked by Drug Scandal; Oscar Votes As Abundant As Ever; Cruz's Career Hangs on 'Sahara'; Damon Gushes About New Love; Bairstow Sentenced To Four Months in Jail; Midler To Withdraw From Grammys?; Redford Meets with Che Widow; Carter and Hilton in Fierce Public Argument; Affleck's Spanish Superiority

Jam Showbiz: 'O.C.' star lands role in Pitt film; Watts says fame 'nerve wracking'; Diane Keaton receiving AFI star; Maddin woos Rossellini to 'Music'; Strict rules on 'Alexander' film set; Baldwin to helm skater movie; Aide: Pope didn't endorse Gibson film; Greasy role for Kevin Bacon; Sun rises for films at Sundance

Sci Fi Wire: Pope Didn’t Endorse The Passion of the Christ?

USAToday: Studios hope to create the next LOTR with fantasy book adaptations

Yahoo: Netflix Announces Stock Split; Black Filmmakers Featured at Sundance; Spidey, Harry and Shrek Lead Movie Lineup; Pedophile Film 'Woodsman' a Hard Box Office Sell

Zap2It: Kutcher's Drama: On Screen and Off; Gilliam Not 'Grimm' About Future Films; A Sundance Spot for Star Gazing; Marvel Pulls Another Into Its Web; Baldwin Goes to the Mat for Wrestling Program; AFI's 'Gotta Give' Keaton Star Award

Fun and games

CHUD: Win the Cabin Fever DVD 

Fametracker: Ian Holm's Fame Audit, not to be confused with last week’s Fame Audit of Ian McKellen

Movieweb: Sundance Channel, mtvU contests

The Onion:
Scientists Abandon AI Project After Seeing The Matrix

Short Attention Span Theater: If you've tried to email me in the last two months and haven't gotten an answer, please try again (see entry for more); lend your exertise to "Ask a Stupid Question'; "Daydream Believers"; Peter Pan desktops; icon mayhem ("Snacky cakes!") at Occupation: Girl

Parting shot

: Gibson Expects 'Worst to Come' Over Christ Film

** The controversy that has followed Mel Gibson's film about the death of Christ could be persecution or just inspired publicity, but the film-maker himself predicted "the worst is yet to come" on Wednesday at a meeting with 4,500 evangelical Christian pastors. A day after reports that a high Vatican official denied that Pope John Paul gave a thumbs up to his film, "The Passion of the Christ," Gibson prepared to show it to another hand-picked audience, this time the Global Pastors Network conference meeting in Orlando. As with past screenings, media were barred, as were Jewish groups worried that the film could incite anti-Semitism if it suggests Jewish authorities in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago were largely responsible for the crucifixion of the man Christians worship as the incarnation of God.

On Tuesday, an aide to the pose denied media reports that the pontiff had praised the film's Biblical accuracy, saying, "The Holy Father told no one of his opinion of this film." Gibson did not mention the Vatican denial when he addressed the pastors. He thanked them for their prayers, but warned, somewhat ominously "I anticipate the worst is yet to come. I hope I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong."

Gibson said the film gestated in his imagination for 12 years as he meditated on the gospel stories of a God who became human so he could pay the price for human sin. "He could have done it by pricking his finger and shedding a little blood. He didn't; he wanted to go all the way," Gibson said.

While Gibson thanked the pastors for their support, his publicity director, Paul Lauer, urged them to send youth groups to the R-rated flick when it opens on Feb. 25 on 2,000 screens in the United States. The rating, apparently based on the graphic depiction of the crucifixion, means those under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Lauer predicted that if the film posts good numbers on its opening weekend, "I think there'll be a lot of powerful people in Hollywood saying, 'Somebody get me a Jesus picture."' **
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