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GeekNation Launches Book Publishing Arm, Partners with Lani Sarem on Ya Series 'Handbook for Mortals'

1 hour ago

GeekNation — a digital destination launched in 2012 that serves as a hub for geeks and pop culture fanatics — is branching out into publishing by partnering with writer Lani Sarem to launch her debut novel Handbook for Mortals. It's the first of a planned young adult series that the company plans to translate into a feature film franchise. 

Sarem's Handbook centers on a heroine with a gift for magic as she journeys "from small town Southern life to big-time Vegas show life," according to a release announcing the news. GeekNation, founded by actress-turned-producer Clare Kramer and producer husband »


- Chris Gardner

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Assembly Line Entertainment Names Jing Xue COO

2 hours ago

Chinese film producer Jing Xue is joining the Los Angeles-based film and commercial production company Assembly Line Entertainment as its COO, it was announced by Assembly Line CEO Janek Ambros.

In addition to overseeing the financial aspects of Assembly Line’s film development, production and distribution, she will serve as producer or executive producer on selected Assembly Line projects.

Assembly Line’s upcoming projects include Arlington West, about two Iraq War veterans who spend a night debating the war, and Nixon’s Nixon, about the night before Nixon got impeached.

Xue, who attended Beijing Film Academy, previously served as executive producer on Assembly »


- Gregg Kilday

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'It Stains the Sands Red': Film Review

2 hours ago

A Las Vegas stripper attempts to escape the zombie apocalypse in Colin Minihan's low-budget It Stains the Sands Red, a film whose eponymous "It" may not refer to the undead menace we're expecting. All My Children's Brittany Allen is a solo protagonist here, bucking the genre's customary ensemble format, and that's not the only way Minihan's picture (cowritten with Stuart Ortiz) strays from the usual script. Genre fans will likely have a hard time coming to terms with this tonally confused and sometimes grating film, whose commercial prospects are limited despite the appeals it makes to some underserved audiences.

That »


- John DeFore

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Hollywood Stars Cheer Defeat of "Skinny Repeal" of Obamacare

2 hours ago

A "skinny repeal" of the Affordable Care Act was narrowly defeated in the Senate overnight and celebrities rejoiced on Twitter.

The chamber's 48 Democratic senators plus Gop senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain voted "no" in what ended up being a suspenseful night on the senate floor.

Kristen Bell, Elizabeth Banks, John Legend, Miley Cyrus and Cher were among the celebrities who expressed their happiness at the defeat. "Thank you. For not being careless and 'loyal'. For being prudent. And for fighting," wrote Bell. 

"Thanks to the Senators who voted to kill that stupid, heartless bill. Let's stay vigilant. It's »


- Lorena O'Neil

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'Turn it Around: The Story of East Bay Punk': Film Review

2 hours ago

Take this as a sign of the audience for whom Turn it Around: The Story of East Bay Punk is intended: Corbett Redford's documentary, whose genre of choice favors songs in the two-minute zone, runs for over two and a half hours. And even at that length, it contains next to no substantive performance footage, or even extended audio clips. Such is its attention span for interviews with those who created and thrived in this Diy microcosm, a scene that — whatever you think of its most visible export, Green day — clearly helped change the idea of what punk could mean »


- John DeFore

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Siggraph: Spider-Man Swings in to Celebrate Imageworks' 25th Anniversary

3 hours ago

Spider-Man: Homecoming will be the topic of one session, featuring the film's visual effects team. And the film's main VFX house, Sony Pictures Imageworks, will be spotlighted in another as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Imageworks — which has created VFX on countless films, from Beowulf to Alice in Wonderland, and worked in conjunction with sister company Sony Pictures Animation on such projects as the Hotel Transylvania franchise and The »


- Carolyn Giardina

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George Clooney Lashes Out at Paparazzi Photos of Twins

4 hours ago

George Clooney has fired back at paparazzi pictures of his twin babies with wife Amal. The pictures were plastered on the cover of France's Voici magazine and are making the rounds online.

“Over the last week photographers from Voici magazine scaled our fence, climbed our tree and illegally took pictures of our infants inside our home," George Clooney said in a statement. "Make no mistake the photographers, the agency and the magazine will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The safety of our children demands it."

The photos feature blurry images of George and Amal Clooney, »


- Hilary Lewis

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In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'Atomic Blonde,' 'The Emoji Movie' and More

4 hours ago

Spies and emojis are among what's in theaters this weekend with the releases of Atomic Blonde and the Emoji Movie. Also releasing this weekend is the emotional A Family Man, starring Gerard Butler and Alison Brie, and Marion Cotillard in the romantic drama From the Land of the Moon. And to round it out, Al Gore's plea to battle climate change in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

Read on to find out what The Hollywood Reporter's critics are saying about the weekend's new offerings (as well as which film will likely top the weekend box office).

Atomic »


- Arlene Washington

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How 'Dunkirk' Reimagines History

5 hours ago

On May 10, 1940, just a few months after the outbreak of World War II, an aging and alcoholic aristocrat, descended from one of England’s most distinguished military leaders, the first Duke of Marlborough, was summoned back to power after a decade of political exile, and named Britain’s Prime Minister.

At 65 years old, he seemed well past his prime and was thought by many to be one of the great failures of political life, an extremist whose judgment had more often proved wrong than right. A former army officer and war correspondent (whose writing, rather than his war efforts, »

- Stephen Galloway

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Joe Manganiello on His Love of 'Dungeons & Dragons' and His 'Batman' Status

5 hours ago

While he looks more like someone who might have been the captain of the high school football team (and he was — along with the basketball and volleyball teams), Joe Manganiello was also something of a fantasy geek growing up in Pittsburgh.

But those long hours playing dungeon master in marathon Dungeons & Dragons sessions have served his career well, as his true breakout came in the very role-playery HBO series True Blood, as the werewolf hunk Alcide. Now Manganiello, 40, and his True Blood co-star Deborah Ann Woll are reuniting for Force Grey: Lost City of Omu, a »


- Seth Abramovitch

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'Dunkirk' Sparks Debate in India Over Failure to Show Soldiers From the Country

8 hours ago

Dunkirk opened in India last Friday to stellar reviews and what is considered a strong box-office opening for a Hollywood film, bringing in an estimated $2.4 million. But not everyone in the country is impressed.

Various reports in leading media outlets have questioned why Christopher Nolan's movie ignored what the Times of India newspaper calls the “significant contribution” of Indian soldiers at Dunkirk. The article, titled "How Nolan forgot the desis (Indians) at Dunkirk," notes that the omission should be seen in light of the fact that the “British public is more well-informed today about the Indian role »


- Nyay Bhushan

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San Sebastian Unveils First Competition Titles, Will Screen Pablo Escobar Film With Javier Bardem

8 hours ago

The San Sebastian Film Festival on Friday unveiled the first competition titles for its 65th edition.

The festival, which runs Sept. 22-Sept. 30, will in its competition program premiere Life and Nothing More, the second film by Antonio Mendez Esparza, Handia, the latest film from Jon Garano and Aitor Arregi, as well as El Autor, by Manuel Martin Cuenca. The competition winner is honored with the Golden Shell award.

Loving Pablo, by Fernando Leon de Aranoa and starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, will be the closing-night film of the Pearls section and screen out-of-competition. The film tells "the true story of the notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who killed thousands, »


- Georg Szalai

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Streaming Service Rakuten TV Eyes Original Movies

8 hours ago

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten recently rebranded its online streaming service Wuaki, which focuses on rentals and purchases, as Rakuten TV amid growing usage in the dozen European countries where it is available in addition to Japan.

The company has been looking to take on such video streaming giants as Netflix and Amazon with a bigger focus on movies instead of TV series, something management says will differentiate the service.

But Rakuten TV founder and CEO Jacinto Roca is also setting his sights on original movies and shorter theatrical windows. "Our plan is producing our own movies and also partnering with good producers that »

- Georg Szalai

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Marty Sklar, Legendary Disney Imagineer, Dies at 83

14 hours ago

Legendary Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar passed away in his Hollywood Hills home on Thursday. He was 83.

Over a career that spanned 54 years, Sklar worked closely with Disney founder Walt Disney, helping him to shape and realize his creative vision and was integral to the development of Disney's theme parks. 

“Everything about Marty was legendary — his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to »


- Abid Rahman

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