Mark your calendars for From Paris With Love

Director Pierre Morel (Taken) has recently started shooting From Paris With Love, a thriller starring John Travolta (Hairspray) and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (The Children Of Huang Shi). Written by producer Luc Besson (Taken) and Adi Hasak (Shadow Conspiracy), the story follows a young US Embassy employee who teams up with an American secret agent on a dangerous mission.

Pierre Morel’s first film District B13 (original title Banlieue 13) was all badass action and no plot, but Taken, which you should really check out, turned out to be one of the year’s best surprises, so if he continues in that vein, I’m quite looking forward to From Paris With Love, which should premiere in France by the end of 2009.

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New Trailer: Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Stories is a new Disney movie directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), starring Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess With The Zohan), Keri Russell (August Rush), Guy Pearce (Traitor), Courteney Cox Arquette (FX’s Dirt), Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Aisha Tyler (Balls Of Fury), Lucy Lawless (Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica), Jonathan Pryce (Leatherheads) and Richard Griffiths (the Harry Potter films) among others.

The film, written by Matt Lopez (The Wild) and Tim Herlihy (Mr. Deeds), focuses on a guy who discovers that the bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew mysteriously come true. Bedtime Stories premieres in most countries around Christmas/New Year’s. I think Sandler is a great, underrated actor, but this seems to be among his lesser films. In any case there’ll always be Keri and Courteney to look at, so that’s a plus. What do you guys think?

Rachel Bilson to stretch her acting abilities

I guess all the times she called the papparazzi to follow her around constantly have paid off, as actress Rachel Bilson (Jumper) finally got a a new job. She will play the female lead in the romance Waiting For Forever, which will start shooting at the end of the month in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Story centers on a young man who’s happy without a job and decides to spend the rest of his life with his love — a 25-year-old TV actress living in Hollywood.

I’m sure you’ll all join me in admiring the bold and risky role taken by the 27 year old TV actress in living Hollywood…I kid, Rachel, I kid, you know I love you a lot. At least this role isn’t the product of nepotism, which is how Rachel got every single one of her parts following The O.C.‘s cancellation.

The film marks the first script for Canadian bit part actor Steve Adams (The Rocker) and is being directed by James Keach (Blind Dating). Joining Bilson in the cast are Jaime King (Cheaper By The Dozen 2), Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray), Scott Mechlowicz (Eurotrip) and Tom Sturridge (Vanity Fair). No word on which of the two dudes is the lucky one who gets to kiss Rachel Bilson and have a sex scene with her.

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Movie Of The Day: The Punisher (2004)

Blade, released in 1998, was the precursor of a movement X-Men confirmed in 2000: movies based on comic books are the next big thing. Sure, comic book movies have been continuously made for a long time, but never in such numbers and on such a high profile. The publishing company Marvel Comics can largely be credited for this, as while they’d been pretty careless with selling their movie rights in the past, they started to take more control in the mid-nineties, resulting in the first few films to come out of the trend, including the two previously mentioned. It’s been non-stop since then, with 2008 seeing at least seven films based on comic books released in the world. The Punisher is also based on a Marvel property, which had previously been brought to the screen in a fun 1989 B-movie starring Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier).

Frank Castle is an FBI agent undercover on an arms deal in Tampa, Florida. The deal is busted, and an unexpected participant is killed in the process: one of local mobster Howard Saint’s sons. Stricken by grief, Saint sends his men to kill Castle and his whole family in Puerto Rico, where they are having a reunion. Castle miraculously survives the massacre, if barely, and is nursed back to health by some witch doctor dude. Driven by rage, Frank Castle returns to Tampa, seeking to punish Howard Saint and his organization for the harm they have caused. He is now the Punisher.

The Punisher was the directing debut for action screenwriter extraordinaire Jonathan Hensleigh (Next), who co-wrote the flick with Michael France (Fantastic Four). It stars Thomas Jane (The Mist), John Travolta (Hairspray), Rebecca Romijn (the X-Men films), Ben Foster (30 Days Of Night), Roy Scheider (Jaws 1 & 2) in a small role, wrestler Kevin Nash (Dead Or Alive) and country singer Mark Collie (Fire Down Below) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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Movie Of The Day: The Rundown/Welcome To The Jungle (2003)

The Rundown, known internationally as Welcome To The Jungle, was former wrestler Dawyne Johnson’s (aka The Rock) second attempt at a leading role following The Scorpion King in 2002. The action/comedy was directed by Michael Mann protégé Peter Berg (Hancock) and co-written by R.J. Stewart (Xena: Warrior Princess) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac). Rounding up the cast are Seann William Scott (American Pie‘s Steve Stifler), Rosario Dawson (Sin City) and Christopher Walken (Hairspray). 

Johnson stars as Beck, a “retrieval expert” on his last job, who’s sent to the Brasilian mining town El Dorado to find his Boss’ son Travis (Scott) and bring him back to the States. Once there however, he runs into trouble with the local “authorities”, headed by evil, greedy mine boss Hatcher (Walken) and has to deal with the annoying Travis, Indian rebels, a treasure hunt and monkeys…don’t forget the monkeys. Trailer and review after the jump.

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