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Talkback: Should 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part II' Sweep The Razzies?

As terribly easy as it is to hate on the Twilight films, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II was the best of the series. (Not that it was without its share of WTFery — imprinting and vampire fistfights and every second of Michael Sheen onscreen, anyone?) But with Breaking Dawn - Part II nominated for 11 Razzie Awards in just ten categories, up against the likes of Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, Eddie Murphy's A Thousand Words, and the bizarro pop culture sensation/box office bomb The Oogieloves In Big Balloon Adventure, let's be real: Does Twilight truly deserve to win all the Razzies?
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The Green Trial: Can Frank Darabont Make 'Godzilla' Matter Again?

Until today, I thought Legendary Pictures' effort to make yet another contemporary Godzilla reboot was a seriously misguided idea. I know that almost 15 years have passed since Roland Emmerich's 1998 take on the reptilian Japanese scream queen hit theaters, but that movie was such a dark, senseless and empty mess that it effectively killed my once fervent love of the big-ass monster genre.    more »

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Soderbergh's Liberace Pic 'Behind The Candelabra': What’s 'Too Gay' for Hollywood?

Steven Soderbergh has pushed against the limits of Hollywood’s sexual mores his entire career. His debut, sex, lies, and videotape, was a study in voyeurism and sexual dysfunction. He blurred the line dividing the feature film and porn video worlds with The Girlfriend Experience, which starred adult actress Sasha Grey. His last film, Magic Mike, subverted the male gaze by turning all eyes, male and female, on the rock-hard and very hairless abs of dude-strippers. Yet even Soderbergh has had trouble financing his next and rumored-to-be-last project, Behind the Candelabra, a biopic of Liberace starring Michael Douglas as the flamboyant pianist and Matt Damon as his significantly younger live-in lover.
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Two Days Before Oscar Nomination Deadline, Jennifer Lawrence Tells Vanity Fair 'Acting Is Stupid'

With the deadline for Academy Award nominations just two days away, perhaps it's not the best time for Jennifer Lawrence to be talking about how acting is "stupid." But that's what she does in the new issue of Vanity Fair. more »

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TALKBACK: Who Gave The Best (And Worst) Performances Of 'Les Miserables?'

If you and the fam headed to the multiplex to watch one of the season's big new releases this week, chances are you caught Tom Hooper's epic weepie Les Miserables or Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. (Or maybe the in-laws dragged you to Parental Guidance, in which case, my condolences.) We'll get spoilery all over Django later, but for now let's get to hashing out the answer to the question that's been on every showtune-lover's mind for months: Which Les Miz cast member totally nailed the live-sung suffering for the big screen (and whose warblings made us les miserables)? more »

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Damon Lindelof Not Returning To Confuse Audiences On 'Prometheus 2'

Damon Lindelof may be leaving Ridley Scott's Alien universe on a vague, quasi-philosophical note that leaves no one feeling fully satisfied, indicating this week that he won't be penning the sequel to Prometheus. Speaking to Collider, Lindelof talked first about the possible direction the Prometheus franchise-within-a-franchise could take, and then explained why he won't be returning for round two.
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Spoiler Talk: The Pity of Bilbo And Where Jackson & Co. Chose To End 'The Hobbit'

Given the behind the scenes false starts that seemed to plague the production of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journeylawsuits, studio bankruptcy, a change in directors — it's perhaps a tad ironic that beginning the story of Lord of the Rings before the story of Lord of the Rings was never a problem. No, for Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens, the power troika behind the flick, beginning an episodic, rollicking, children's adventure story cum three-film epic was the easy part. Deciding where to end, however...
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Darkseid And Ding Dongs − Three Radical Storylines For The 'Justice League' Movie

Latino Review is citing a source who says Warner Bros. has settled on storyline its 2015 Justice League movie. According to the tipster, the film will look to issues 183-185 of the Justice League comic, which was released back in 1980. That plot has Darkseid — confirmed as the movie's villain — attempting to use a magical laser beam to blast planet Earth to bits and move his home world, Apokolips, into its place. Yikes! more »

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Should Torture Controversy Blindside 'Zero Dark Thirty'?

Is Zero Dark Thirty pro-torture propaganda? Despite fawning praise bestowed last weekend on Kathryn Bigelow's hunt for Bin Laden thriller, that's the growing consensus among left, and left-libertarian film commentators who were deeply disturbed by the film's opening sequence.
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From '100 Black Coffins' To 'Casa De Mi Padre,' 5 Oscar Best Song Dark Horses We're Rooting For

By now you know that the list of songs eligible to be nominated for Best Original Song at the 85th Academy Awards is kind of mind-blowing. Not so mind-blowing is the generally risk-averse bent of the average Academy voter, which is why we should probably just send congratulations now to Brave, Les Miserables, and Adele, resting easy one of them will actually be the right recipient.
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Angry Birds Confirmed To Swoop Down In 2016

Here come the Birds! And they'll be CG-animated, in 3-D and - angry? The video game franchise creator Rovio Entertainment is tapping Despicable Me producer John Cohen to produce a planned Angry Birds movie, with former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel on board as executive producer. Rovio will finance the pic, which is set for Summer 2016.

John Cohen produced Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures' Despicable Me in 2010 with Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud directing, who also took the helm for the 2010 short Despicable Me Presents: Minion Madness. Cohen also worked with Pierre Coffin in the first animated short he produced, Banana. Could the pair or some combination thereof be ready to take flight for Angry Birds?

2010's Despicable Me revolved around a criminal mastermind who uses three orphan girls to hatch his scheme, but is moved by their profound love. Could this signal a less pissed off flock four years from now?

"Rovio will produce and finance the movie outside the studio system and retain full creative control while creating innovative entertainment at the highest level of quality," the company said, adding that it is taking a cue from David Maisel's direction he ushered in at Marvel.

"I'm so excited and honored to be working on this film with Mikael, David, and Rovio’s incredibly talented game developers and artists," said Cohen via Rovio's website. "From both an entertainment and strategic perspective, Rovio is at the forefront of game innovation and is trailblazing terrific new ways for Angry Birds fans to interact with these characters. I've personally spent countless hours playing the Angry Birds games over the last few years, which I can now happily justify as research for the movie."

The movie will mark Rovio Entertainment's first move into feature films, though fans are already familiar with those Angry Birds through Rovio's games, books, consumer products and animation. Since they first left the nest in 2009, they have been downloaded over 1 billion times across platforms. Most recently, Angry Birds Star Wars ascended to the stratosphere of the US iPhone charts after two-and-a-half hours in release.

Prior to Illumination, Cohen was VP of Production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

What do you think a John Cohen-produced Angry Birds has in store?

WATCH: First Look At Angry Birds The Movie!

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'Star Trek Into Darkness' Should Be The Re-Hash Of Khan

I'm an outlier among other insufferable snobs on the Internet: I actually want Khan to be the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness.

This isn't because I desperately want the films to touch every base that the original series did. After nearly 30 years on television and 10 movies of highly uneven quality, the Star Trek universe prior to JJ Abrams' Star Trek was suffering horribly from internal rot, not to mention a growing reliance on awful time travel plots and constant nods to series continuity. A fresh start was desperately needed if it was going to remain relevant, even if it came at — sniff — the expense of Captains Picard and Sisko*.

But if Star Trek was a successful fresh start (and it was), it also brought with it some terrible baggage from the previous continuity, specifically the fact that its plot was motivated by the same time-travel bullshit that caused the TV universe to finally collapse under the weight of its own pretentions. Thank the founders that Abrams movie focused squarely on the Holy Trinity of Kirk, Spock, and Bones, or we would have noticed how awful Nero really was.

But as we've already learned with Iron Man 2, a successful sequel needs to do more than coast on the chemistry of its leads. With Kirk and co. firmly established, STID needs a strong conflict with high stakes, and a memorable villain (or at least a prime mover) connected to that conflict.

To pull that off, you can't force the audience to consult a Trek lore guide. Superturbonerd Trek Fans like me might want to see Harcourt Mudd, Cyrano Jones, Gary Mitchell, The Horta, or that horrible psychic kid played by Ron Howard's brother but frankly, that's inside baseball. Ask the legions of moviegoers for whom  for whom Star Trek is essentially Kirk bangs space hotties-Spock lectures him about the logic of using a condom-Bones grumpily administers penicillin, the only villain they'll recite from memory is Ricardo Montalban's Khan Noonien Singh.

Is that a problem? Only if you think that the Joker's appearing in The Dark Knight was a problem. Iconic characters linger in the public memory for a reason, and that makes it easy for a skilled storyteller to take them and make them over into something later audiences can appreciate anew. Do it right and you can get away with anything, even making a horribly lame villain like Bane look bad-ass.  And for better or for worse, Khan is Kirk's Joker. So milk that shit, I say. Use him well and firmly ground STID in its own past, and save less exploited territory for future sequels, when you've solidified the audience's loyalty.

But is Khan the villain of Star Trek Into Darkness? Who the hell can tell? The new trailer certainly doesn't want us to know for sure. But damned if it isn't teasing the hell out of us. It's already been confirmed that the villain will be canon. And now we know that whatever character is blessed with Benedict Cumberbatch's crisp, Public School tones, he's really angry and looking to exact some revenge - sorry, vengeance, which is way classier than mere revenge - on the people of Earth. That sounds like Khan to me! Unless Cyrano Jones is angry that the Klingons wiped out the Tribbles.

There's also the fact that the American trailer lacks one crucial scene present in the Japanese trailer (see it right before the end): a deliberate homage to the moment of Spock's Death in Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. Even if it's just a dodge (something Abrams does very well,) the reference can't be a coincidence. And if this means we get to see Cumberbatch doing is best Ricardo Montalban impression, that's fine by me. Just so long as it doesn't mean we have to endure another go at The Search For Spock.

Some additional thoughts:

-If you think it's ridiculous that a lily-white Briton like Benedict Cumberbatch could even pretend to play an Indian, it's worth noting that Gabrielle Anwar and Ben Kingsley both have Indian fathers.

-Notice the ship rising out of the water? If it isn't the SS botany Bay, I wonder if it's the same starship we see crashing into the San Francisco Bay later in the trailer.

-The interesting thing about the trailer is just how much of Earth we're seeing in it. Star Trek was originally pitched as Wagon Train to the stars, but of course, the wagon train had to start somewhere. The original series and subsequent iterations barely feature earth as anything other than a reference. For all we know, the only thing people do back home is build more Enterprises. Also, whenever I watch a western, I always want a scene of what people are up to back in Boston or London. It's interesting that in the new Star Trek, we're getting exactly that.

*Truth: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is inarguably the best series. YEAHISAIDIT.

Read More: 

'Star Trek Into Darkness' Explodes An Early Tease

Star Trek 2 Gets A Title: Where Does It Rank In The Franchise?

Ross Lincoln is a LA-based freelance writer from Oklahoma with an unhealthy obsession with comics, movies, video games, ancient history, Gore Vidal, and wine.

Follow Ross A. Lincoln on Twitter.

Follow Movieline on Twitter. 

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Time Out! No Way Is 'Cloud Atlas' The Worst Movie Of 2012

Here's an easy formula to get attention for your Worst Movies of 2012 list. Take the unfathomable big-budget box-office failure that's likely to top a lot of these year-end thumbsuckers — and make it number two. Next, single out an ambitious film by a trio of filmmakers with a passionate following. Put it at the top (or is it the bottom?) of your list and wait for their fans to scream. more »

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If Angelina Jolie Is Talking Retirement, What's She Been Doing Since 2011?

Angelina Jolie says she's thinking about giving up acting to be a stay-at-home mom, but hasn't she been semi-retired for a while now? Jolie, who can generate headlines simply by pursing her pillow lips a certain way, started the Internet buzzing when she told Britain's Channel 4 News (via the Huffington Post):  "I think I'm going to have to give up the acting as the kids hit the teenage years...too much to manage at home."  more »

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Carrie Underwood As Maria Von Trapp?! Sound Off On NBC's 'Sound Of Music' Redo

Carrie Underwood may be a talented, Grammy-winning (heck, everything-winning) country music superstar and the perky, blonde success story that justifies American Idol's iron grip on pop culture — but can she make the hills come alive as Maria von Trapp in NBC's Sound of Music?
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