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: Invincible (2006)

In 1993, Walt Disney Pictures released Cool Runnings, a film chronicling the true story of the first Jamaican bobsled team competing at the 1988 Winter Olympics. The film was huge hit, and even though nothing came out of it immediately, it was a foreshadowing of things to come. Indeed, when the studio’s Remember The Titans, an american football film also based on a true story came out seven years later and made more box-office gold, Disney understood they had a foolproof formula in their hands, releasing no less than five inspirational sports movies based on true stories in five years, Invincible being the last so far.

Set in 1976 as new coach Dick Vermeil takes over the crappy Philadelphia Eagles football team, Invicible relates the tale of Vince Papale, a 30 year old bartender/part-time teacher who went on to play for the Eagles through three NFL seasons after his wife left him, despite having no college football experience.

Invincible marks the first feature directing effort for cinematographer Ericson Core (Daredevil) and the first produced script by Brad Gann (Black Irish). The film stars Mark Wahlberg (The Happening), Greg Kinnear (Baby Mama), Elizabeth Banks (Meet Dave) and Michael Nouri (The O.C.) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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Maggie Grace takes role from Mischa Barton

Maggie Grace (The Jane Austen Book Club) has replaced Mischa Barton (FOX’s The O.C.) in the lead of Malice In Wonderland, a British re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s famous book. Since both girls are very pretty, this probably means that the American Maggie is more convincing in an English accent than the British Mischa… Anyway, the movie will probably be the better for it, since even though Maggie Grace hasn’t really proven herself as an actress yet, she’s miles ahead of the incredibly wooden Mischa Barton, who couldn’t emote if her life depended on it.

Described as an action movie, Malice In Wonderland co-stars  Nathaniel Parker (St. Trinian’s, amovie ironically starring Mischa Barton). It is directed by Simon Fellows and written by Jayson Rothwell (who already worked together on Second In Command). The film is now currently shooting.

In the meantime, you can catch (sooner or later, depending of where you live) Maggie Grace is the amazingly badass actioner Taken, co-starring Liam Neeson (Seraphim Falls) kicking ass and Famke Janssen (the X-Men films) moping around. I caught the flick at the beginning of the year, and if you hadn’t guessed, I strongly recommend it. Taken is directed by Pierre Morel (District B13) and written by the Luc Besson/Robert Mark Kamen team (the Transporter films).

Meanwhile Mischa Barton, whose career is fading faster than you can say “hey!”, is resorting to staged paparazzi outings to keep her name in the papers (true story) and is seeing all her post-O.C. efforts go straight-to-DVD in the States. In fact, her latest turd, Virgin Territory, was released last week. The film co-stars Hayden Christensen (Jumper) and Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk) and was written and directed by David Leland (The Land Girls). Also, don’t buy it (more about that here).

Other Alice In Wonderland movies to be released in the next few years include the adaptation of American McGee’s Alice video game (which has been gestating forever it seems) and a new Disney film by Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). Both of these movies will give a darker spin to the tale.

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New Region 1 DVDs

Movies

Brotherhood Of The Wolf: Director’s Cut

I can’t believe this hasn’t been released in the US until now, I’ve owned it for eons. This French movie is, in my opinion, one of the best films ever made. Gorgeous cinematography, atmosphere, romance, history, humor, drama, kickass action,… Brotherhood Of The Wolf has got it all. Think of it as Sleepy Hollow, only better, and that was already a very good film. Also, in addition to being entertained, you’ll learn something too, as the movie is (loosely) based on the true story of an unknown “monster” that terrorised the French Gévaudan province during the mid eighteenth century. Damn, I need to watch this again now.

The Director’s Cut adds 9 minutes to the film, and the DVD includes two discs filled with extras. However, some countries have three or four disc editions, so if you really care about bonus features, you should enquire about those.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition

While its popularity among oh-so-trendy emos and goths who hail it as the greatest thing ever made is extremely annoying, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a superb holiday movie, a marvel of stop-motion animation and a movie you should really see if you haven’t already, if only because it comes from a time where Tim Burton still had soul (yes I think his last three movies were very lackluster). While Tim Burton didn’t actually direct Nightmare, he wrote it, produced it, and his influence can be felt throughout.

This new edition comes with two discs shock full of extras, including a digital copy of the film. If you’re an über-fan, you may want to check out the limited “Ultimate Collector’s DVD Set”, in which the discs are kept in a bust of the main character.

Virgin Territory

Crap, crap, crap. Virgin Territory, which is pretty much American Pie in a medieval setting, is watchable, but that doesn’t mean you should, you know, watch it. Stupid storyline, unfunny jokes, plenty of random nudity, horrible acting (but then, what else would you expect from these leads?),… The fact that the movie finished filming in early 2005 and is only released now should tell you something. I’d recommend you skip it, except if you’re really, really into one of the wooden leads (but even then…).

Virgin Territory is released as “unrated”, but that’s because it never made it to the theaters in the US. Extras basically include a couple of uninteresting-sounding featurettes.

What Happens In Vegas: Jackpot Edition

If you’re not into romantic comedies, even those that have a lot of “man jokes”, What Happens In Vegas is probably not going to change your mind. For those who do appreciate them (or at least not mind them), …Vegas is a decent, if unremarkable movie. I’d recommend watching it if you’re a fan of the genre or of one of the actors involved, whilst knowing that it’s far from their finest work. Still, it’s funny enough.

The Jackpot Edition comes with two discs full of deleted scenes, interviews, bloopers, and a digital copy of the film, which seems to be the new cool extra these days.

Also in Movie DVDs: My Sassy Girl, Postal, Redbelt, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?,…

TV

Heroes: Season 2

Heroes, the hit show about super-powered characters trying to figure out what’s going on with them, suffered with its shortened second season, many fans calling it crap. Personally, I’m halfway through it, and sure there are some weak points but it’s not that bad for now and there are plenty of good elements to keep you interested. In short, if you enjoyed Season 1, go for it, and in any case, from what I hear, Season 3, whose first episode premiered at this year’s Comic-Con, will be much better.

Season 2 starts four months after the events of the 1st Season’s finale, with the various characters trying to deal with the aftermath. Season 3 will start broadcasting on September 22nd in the US & Canada, on NBC and Global respectively, followed shortly by the UK on September 25th, on the BBC. Also, Season 1 was released on Blu-Ray.

One Tree Hill: Season 5

One Tree Hill is viewed by many people as being just some stupid thing for tween girls, but I personally think it’s a really solid, one of the very best “teen shows”, in fact. The writing is solid, the acting ranges from good to great, the characters are interesting (most of the time), the balance between humor and drama is just right and there are some really standout episodes. I’m sure that if you gave One Tree Hill a chance, and just stopped judging, you might actually enjoy it. In any case, it’s a much better show than cult favorite and similar series The O.C., whose first season was genius but was never matched by later episodes (especially Season 3, ugh).

In Season 5, the show fastforwards four years after Season 4, and focuses on the characters’ lives after college, dealing with the realities of adulthood. Season 6 will premiere in the US on September 1st, on The CW.

Also in TV DVDs: Entourage: Season 4, NCIS: Season 5, The Shield: Season 6,…