Channing Tatum & Alex Pettyfer Shirtless Strippers + Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Channing Tatum shirtless Alex Pettyfer stripper movie Magic Mike
Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Magic Mike.

Channing Tatum and Alex Pettyfer play strippers in Steven Soderbergh's next, a comedy entitled Magic Mike. Back in 1983, The Blue Lagoon's Christopher Atkins played a “sexy” dancer in John G. Avildsen's drama A Night in Heaven; it flopped. Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls (1995) was such a critical and box office disaster that it all but ruined the director's Hollywood career. (True, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man didn't help matters any.)

Will Soderbergh be able to strip the curse off of movies about strippers? Well, that all depends on how the filmmaker portrays his characters and the subject of sex. A moralizing movie about strippers, one that condescends to its characters, would definitely be a bad approach. That is, unless Soderbergh wants to lure only members of the censorship board of the Motion Picture Association of America. The fact is: prudes won't bother watching something like Magic Mike, so it'd be useless to make a movie for them. Magic Mike's screenplay, by the way, was written by Reid Carolin, whose sole screenplay credit (as per the IMDb) is Deborah Scranton's Rwanda genocide drama Earth Made of Glass.

Ah, come to think of it, there has been one highly successful movie about a stripper: Natalie Wood played Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy, directed by Mervyn LeRoy back in 1962.

In addition to Tatum and Pettyfer, Magic Mike also features Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Cody Horn, Olivia Munn, Riley Keough, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Rodriguez, Michael Roark, Betsy Brandt, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Mircea Monroe. The film opens June 29, the beginning of summer and the ideal time of the year for people to take their clothes off.

Photo via Entertainment Weekly.

The Hobbit Martin Freeman Bilbo BagginsMartin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in 'The Hobbit.'

'The Hobbit' movies: Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins

Actor Martin Freeman is seen above as Bilbo Baggins, the hero in Peter Jackson's upcoming The Hobbit movies. The still was published on USA Today along with several other images from upcoming (potential) blockbusters.

Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit, Jackson's movie will be split into two box office-friendly parts:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which comes out Dec. 14.
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again to be released in late 2013.

'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy

Ten years ago, Peter Jackson had three consecutive blockbusters with the Lord of the Rings movies:

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).
  • Best Picture Oscar winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

Since then, Jackson's box office performance has been erratic, as King Kong (2005) turned out to be a disappointment – in relation to its $207 million cost and ape-high expectations – while the fantastical crime drama The Lovely Bones (2009), starring Saoirse Ronan, Rachel Weisz, and Mark Wahlberg, was both a critical and box office flop.

We'll see if Jackson will recover his former box office glory with another Tolkien movie adaptation.

Medieval fantasy adventures

Of interest is that this year's The Hobbit will be preceded by – at least – two medieval-like fantasy adventures:

  • Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman, starring The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 actress Kristen Stewart, Young Adult actress Charlize Theron, and Thor star Chris Hemsworth.
  • Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror, with Best Actress Oscar winner Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) as the Evil Queen, The Blind Side actress Lily Collins as Snow White, and The Social Network actor Armie Hammer as Prince Charming.

That means there'll be some heavy-duty competition come Oscar time for the Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography categories.

'The Hobbit' movies' cast

In addition to Martin Freeman, the two Hobbit movies feature the following:

Ian McKellen (once again as Gandalf). Cate Blanchett. Elijah Wood. Orlando Bloom. Christopher Lee. Stephen Fry. Richard Armitage. Lee Pace. Evangeline Lilly. Luke Evans. Andy Serkis. Hugo Weaving. Ian Holm. Barry Humphries. Mikael Persbrandt. Upcoming Star Trek Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

Image of actor Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit movies: New Line Cinema / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / WingNut Films / Warner Bros.

The Woman in Black poster Daniel Radcliffe movie

'The Woman in Black' Poster: Memories of 'The Orphanage' & 'The Piano'

Looking at this gorgeous The Woman in Black poster, three things come to mind: a) where's Daniel Radcliffe? b) The Orphanage c) The Piano

I'm assuming that the answer to the question is: Radcliffe is featured in the poster – at the very top. At least his name is. That should be enough to remind fans that the star of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and all the other Harry Potter movies still has a film career. The poster image itself, however, is letting us know that this is going to be a creepy horror thriller.

As for thoughts b) and c), well, Juan Antonio Bayona's The Orphanage is another creepy horror thriller featuring a woman (Belén Rueda, not necessarily dressed in black) and several ghostly children. And in Jane Campion's The Piano, Holly Hunter wears a hooded cloak very similar to the one the Woman in Black has on in the poster.

In The Woman in Black, Radcliffe plays a young lawyer who is sent to a remote village that just happens to be haunted by a bent-on-revenge ghost. Directed by James Watkins from a screenplay by Jane Goldman (from Susan Hill's 1983 novel), in addition to Daniel Radcliffe The Woman in Black features Ciarán Hinds, Shaun Dooley, Roger Allam, and potential Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs).

The Woman in Black is scheduled to come out February 3. I'll be very surprised if Daniel Radcliffe doesn't show up at the Golden Globes to plug his latest picture.

Andrew Garfield Peter Parker The Amazing Spider-Man
Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spidey, The Amazing Spider-Man

Andrew Garfield: New "The Amazing Spider-Man' Still

Andrew Garfield looks like about ready to jump out of Entertainment Weekly's page in this latest still from Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man. The EW issue only hits the stands tomorrow, but the Garfield/Spidey photo is already making the rounds online.

In addition to Garfield, The Amazing Spider-Man features The Help's Emma Stone (will she be working for Lars von Trier a few years from now?), Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, and Campbell Scott. This Spider-Man reboot comes out in 2D and 3D on July 3, which means that during the summer's long days fanboys will be busy hopping from spiders to bats (The Dark Knight Rises, remember?) to Norse gods to red-white-and-blue captains (The Avengers) and the like. Though they should stop jumping about at Twilight time. The night belongs to vampires and their (mostly female) fans.

Car strikes Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman, Oscar winner for The French Connection and Unforgiven, was hit by a car while bicycling in Florida earlier today. According to TMZ (and TheWrap, quoting a highway patrol officer), Hackman suffered “serious injuries to his head and body,” and was later airlifted to a local hospital. According to Hackman's rep, the 81-year-old actor (82 next January 30), “is fine, he is on his way home” (via Access Hollywood). Hackman was not wearing a helmet.

The driver, a 60-year-old woman, wasn't hurt in the accident. The cause of the collision hasn't been determined.

In addition to his Best Actor win for Franklin J. Schaffner's thriller The French Connection (1971) and his Best Supporting Actor win for Clint Eastwood's Western Unforgiven (1992) – both films also won Best Picture Oscars – Hackman has been nominated for three other Academy Awards: in the supporting category for Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Gilbert Cates' I Never Sang for My Father (1970), as as a lead in Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning (1988).

Hackman's other films include Ronald Neame's blockbuster The Poseidon Adventure (1972), with Carol Lynley and Shelley Winters; Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974); Richard Donner's Superman (1978), with Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder; Woody Allen's Another Woman (1988), with Mia Farrow and Gena Rowlands; Mike Nichols' Postcards from the Edge (1990), with Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine; and Sydney Pollack's The Firm (1993), with Tom Cruise and Holly Hunter.

More recently, Hackman was featured in Twilight (1998) – not Catherine Hardwicke's Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart vampire flick, but Robert Benton's crime drama starring Paul Newman and Susan Sarandon. Also, Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), with Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ben Stiller, and Gary Fleder's Runaway Jury (2004), with John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz.

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