Synopsis: The Strangers is a suspense thriller revolving around a couple in a remote suburban house who are targeted by three dangerous masked Strangers. The resulting clashes force the couple to go well beyond what they thought themselves capable of in order to survive.
Cast: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Glenn Howerton, Gemma Ward; Directed by: Bryan Bertino
Synopsis: Two determined students at a West Coast University, Arian (Derek Luke) and Ernest (Michael Peña), follow the inspiration of their idealistic professor, Dr. Malley (Robert Redford), and attempt to do something important with their lives.
But when the two make the bold decision to join the battle in Afghanistan, Malley is both moved and distraught. Now, as Arian and Ernest fight for survival in the field, they become the string that binds together two disparate stories on opposite sides of America. In California, an anguished Dr. Malley attempts to reach a privileged but disaffected student (Andrew Garfield) who is the very opposite of Arian and Ernest.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C. the charismatic Presidential hopeful, Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise), is about to give a bombshell story to a probing TV journalist (Meryl Streep) that may affect Arian and Ernest’s fates. As arguments, memories and bullets fly, the three stories are woven ever more tightly together, revealing how each of these Americans has a profound impact on each other and the world.
Cast: Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Michael Peña, Peter Berg, Derek Luke; Directed by: Robert Redford
Synopsis: The producers of The Wedding Crashers are back with the comedy The Comebacks. Spoofing countless inspirational sports movies, the film stars David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) as Champ Fields, a football coach who suffers from a streak of bad luck that has become the stuff of legend. As a last resort, he takes a job coaching a college football team populated with some of the least desirable players imaginable. He must pull this ragtag crew together in order to salvage his career. Carl Weathers plays rival coach Freddie Wiseman. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide
Cast: David Koechner, Carl Weathers, Matthew Lawrence, Brooke Nevin, Jackie Long, Jesse Garcia; Directed by: Tom Brady
The Kingdom “succeeds as both a shoot ‘em-up popcorn flick and a thoughtful study of culture clash.”
Universal’s engrossing new thriller The Kingdom follows an elite FBI squad (Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and Chris Cooper) that is sent on a secret five-day mission to investigate a terrorist bombing at a U.S. housing compound in Riyadh. Facing resistance from his own government as well as the Saudis, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Foxx) finds an unlikely ally in the man who should be his greatest obstacle.
Colonel Al-Ghazi (Ashraf Barhom) is supposed to be the FBI team’s minder, the official who informs them of the rules and of what they can and cannot do. But these two cops soon find they are more like-minded than not, forging a union to hunt down the terrorist cell behind the bombings. An FBI team in a hostile territory is too tempting a target for the terrorists to resist, triggering a life-or-death struggle for our heroes to not only bring the bombers to justice but to also get home alive.
The Kingdom succeeds as both a shoot ‘em-up popcorn flick and a thoughtful study of culture clash. While director Peter Berg definitely keeps the emphasis on action and thrills, the script by Matthew Michael Carnahan offers a largely balanced and multi-dimensional view of the realm the American protagonists find themselves in. The story’s point that there is more that unites these two opposing cultures than divides them is explored through the nicely drawn relationship between Fleury and Al-Ghazi.
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Jennifer Biel has landed the coveted role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming JLA film and in celebration Scott Collura over at IGN is featuring the top ten Jennifer Biel roles.
With word coming yesterday that actress and all-around hottie Jessica Biel is in talks to star as Wonder Woman in the upcoming JLA film, what better time is there than now to take a look back at the wonderful Ms. Biel’s resume, specifically with an eye to examining her hottest turns before the camera. Because let’s face it: Wonder Woman’s number one responsibility is to look good… very, very good.
Some fans love the notion of Biel playing Wonder Woman while others hate it, but there’s no denying that the starlet has done her fair share of sexy over the past few years. Submitted for your approval then are Jessica Biel’s Top 10 Sexiest Roles. Consider this something to tide to you over until you get your first glimpse of Biel in the red, white, and blue WW undies…
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The co-star of the Rambo fills us in on to what to expect with the upcoming sequel.
Sly Stallone already had a bit of a career resurgence last year when he brought his Rocky Balboa character back to the big screen for one last go, and now the multi-hyphenate filmmaker is working on a similar return to glory for another of his classic characters, John Rambo. IGN recently spoke exclusively about the project to actor Graham McTavish, who appears in the picture as an uneasy ally of Rambo’s.
“I play a character called Lewis who is the leader of a group of mercenaries that Rambo takes up with,” says the actor. “And he is best described as a very angry, bitter man, and has a very interesting adversarial relationship with Rambo … even though they are technically on the same team. He doesn’t want to be there, he doesn’t want to be with the guys that he’s working with, and he definitely doesn’t want to be with Rambo. So that’s kind of where my character is coming from.”
The film, titled simply enough John Rambo, is rumored to be a quite violent affair. McTavish confirms this fact.
“[Stallone is] not going to pull any punches and I think his motivation for that is, apart from wanting to provide something that’s entertaining, the conflict that’s described in that film is a real conflict,” he says. “I mean this is really happening. And whatever is described visually in that movie is nothing compared with what those people are really experiencing, so I think he felt that he owed it to them rather than to candy-coat it with ‘somebody gets shot and they just sort of fall to the ground.’ You’re going to see what happens when people go to war, and I think that’s important.”
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Want to know what George Lucas has in store for his Star Wars television series? Read the interview with Steve Sonsky over at TV Guide.
In Part 1 of TV Guide executive editor Steve Sonsky’s in-depth Q&A with George Lucas, the discussion encompassed the Starz documentary Fog City Mavericks (premiering Monday, Sept. 24, at 9 pm/ET), Lucas’ advice for aspiring filmmakers and why Sean Connery turning down Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull might be a good thing. Here in Part 2, the conversation turns to Lucas’ pair of TV-bound Star Wars projects, the power of the Internet and the television series he was distraught to see go off the air.
TV Guide: Can we talk about the two Star Wars television series you’re working on…?
George Lucas: There’s Clone Wars, and we’re in the middle of that.
TV Guide: Tell us about it.
Lucas: Well it’s basically like Star Wars [in that it] takes place between, obviously, [the films] Episode II [Attack of the Clones] and Episode III [Revenge of the Sith], but it’s the same kind of action. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fall into the realm of what animation [typically] is, which is either adult, kind of off-color humor or kiddie stuff. This is, like Star Wars, sort of in between those two things. It’s a lot of battle stuff, and it’s obviously the Clone Wars, so it’s a war picture. So it’s kind of a PG-13 animated TV series, which is something that has never been done before and obviously doesn’t fit in any of the conventional slots that these things fall into. In that, it’s very different, and I think it’s very exciting. It’s got a very, very sophisticated look to it. It’s very much like the features. We’re still trying to figure out how to put it on the air.
TV Guide: And you’re going to do a hundred episodes?
Lucas: We’re going to do a hundred episodes. I think we’re on [No.] 40 right now. We’ll probably end up with 50 to 60 episodes before we start to put it on the air. We’d like to put it on next fall, in about a year from now, but we’ll see what happens.
TV Guide: Where do you see it living? How do you see this playing? Obviously it doesn’t sound like a Saturday morning cartoon.
Lucas: Right now, we don’t know. It’s out there to people, and people are talking about it, but so far, everybody’s got the same conundrums — “How do we program it? Where does it live? Where can we put something like this?” You know, it has to go after 9 o’clock and it can’t be on a kiddie channel.
TV Guide: So you see it on a more mainstream channel or the Sci Fi Channel or something like that?
Lucas: Well, it’s one of those things. Television is sort of bifurcated up into small niches and unless you fit in one of those niches, no one knows what to do with you. And, of course, I’m always outside the box, so it’s like, “Uh-oh, we don’t have a box for you.” [Laughs] But it’s Star Wars and it’s really good, so I’m sure somehow or another, people will also start thinking outside the box and it will find its home.
TV Guide: What about your Star Wars live-action series for TV?
Lucas: Yes, I’m working on that. We’re just going to start writing it in about a month from now, start doing scripts for it.
TV Guide: And where will that live in the Star Wars continuum relative to Clone Wars and relative to the films?
Lucas: Well, Clone Wars has got all the characters in it — Yoda and Anakin and Obi Wan and the Emperor and all that — so it’s basically the movie. The live-action [series] is not the movie. It’s the Star Wars universe, but it’s characters from the saga who were [previously] minor, and it follows their stories. It’s set between [movie episodes] III and IV, when the Empire has taken over. It’s like Episode IV in that the Emperor and Darth Vader are heard about — people talk about them — but you never see them because it doesn’t take place where they actually are. There are storm troopers and all that, but there are no Jedis. It’s different, but I think it’s very exciting because I get to explore a part of that universe that I haven’t been able to explore. Once you have a saga, it’s got a lot of requirements because it’s about a particular [thing] — in this case, Darth Vader — and so it’s his story from the time he’s 10 to the time he died. You really can’t go off that track because that’s the story. Whereas now, I can make a left turn on 10th Street and go down there and see what’s going on.
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Synopsis: Jigsaw still haunts the living, forcing them to appreciate life, or face death. As a continuation of Saw III, Jeff must find his daughter and escape the building to which they are confined before they both die. After finding another tape of Jigsaw, Jeff realizes there may be a newly added piece of the puzzle that he must decipher before it’s too late.
ASHRAF BARHOM as Saudi Colonel Al Ghazi in The Kingdom
The Kingdom arrive in theaters, September 28 and Stax at IGN interviews Ashraf Barhom, who plays Saudi Colonel Al Ghazi in the blockbuster thriller.
IGN: How did the filmmakers think of you for this role?
Ashraf Barhom: It was from Paradise Now. I made this movie and they saw it and liked it very much and we [were] contacted after that movie.
IGN: The Kingdom also reunites you with Ali Suliman, who starred with you in Paradise Now and The Syrian Bride. How was it working with him again?
Barhom: It was very good to have Ali next to me. I believe for him it was also good to share this experience together.
IGN: Can you talk about what it is that Fleury and Al-Ghazi come to recognize in each other that helps them overcome their differences?
Barhom: The idea that both of these characters have a mission of caring for the security of their country, so this point in the end made them [have] an interest in working together. The differences of the two cultures and of who decides things makes a conflict, a fight between them, but by the end they see the idea is more important that they need to find how they communicate and how they work together to solve a problem or an issue.
IGN: Jamie Foxx comes from a comedy background and is familiar with improvisation. Were you free to improvise with your character?
Barhom: Yeah, very much. Working on the set was very free. We had the opportunity with Pete [Berg] and his way of working to change the script and situations. Sometimes we made a new scene. We wrote new ideas. It was very healthy to work in this way. To make the movie more real and honest and close to reality.
IGN: Were you allowed to suggest things to allow for a more balanced or authentic depiction of Arab characters?
Barhom: You know what, the script was already good. The basics were already balanced, and during the working Pete saw what he’d written and he asked me and Ali — we changed things to make it more real, more close to reality.
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