Until now, Cameron Crowe's next film has been whispered about only as "more Jerry Maguire/Almost Famous, less We Bought a Zoo," which seemed like a good thing. Another good thing, though, is Bill Murray, who's looking to join Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, and Alec Baldwin in Crowe's latest. The Wrap's report has some early details on the rom-com's plot, saying it'll feature Cooper "as a defense contractor who’s assigned to oversee the launch of a weapons satellite from Hawaii, where he falls for an Air Force pilot (Stone). With the help of mystical island forces, they team up to scuttle the launch." The role that's been earmarked for Murray is under wraps — here's hoping for Bill's first IMDb credit as "Mystical Island Force."
As Deadline reports, Steven Spielberg is no longer set to direct American Sniper, the Bradley Cooper–starring adaptation of the memoir of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history. There's no big reason why: Uncle Stevie just "couldn't square his vision of this movie with the budget." So, what will be next?
After going back-to-back on Best Picture and Best Director nominations for The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell officially put his next project in the threepeat crosshairs. So what's he bringing to the Oscar party this time? The trailer for American Hustle debuted this morning on Good Morning America, as, uh, all serious awards contenders do, and we've now got our first look at how absurdly Russell has stacked the deck for his latest run. There's Oscar-winning Fighter star Christian Bale in a spread collar, ascot, and truly unfortunate hairpiece. Then Bradley Cooper, Oscar-nominated for Playbook, shows up. Oh, and didn't somebody else actually win for that movie? Right, Jennifer Lawrence. Yeah, she's in it, too. How about another Fighter Oscar nominee in Amy Adams? Yup. De Niro? Not in the trailer, but he's in it. He's won stuff. And let's also throw in a Renner, just because the call sheet has all those fun boxes for names.
On Sunday, Hollywood superstars (well, one Hollywood superstar and one guy who apparently has pictures of Hollywood in a compromising position with some heavy farm equipment, so Hollywood is forced to keep giving him jobs) Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler put on their best blue suits and took in an afternoon of tennis at Wimbledon. Fortunately for the world, photography wire services recorded their every reaction to the thrilling finals match unfolding before them, during which Butler's countryman Andy Murray became the first British player to win the men's tournament in 77 years, and also during which Cooper became the first American actor to publicly ignore his new, bored 20-year-old model girlfriend while high-fiving/hugging/selfie-posing with a Scotsman who once sat next to Katherine Heigl while she pretended to be tortured by remote-control panties. History was made on several important fronts yesterday.
These are the most sublime Cooper and Butler faces captured during Murray's distracting triumph.
In your younger years, you enjoyed The Hangover uncomplicatedly. Then you ended up rewatching it at a friend’s on a slow night and realizing the first joke of the franchise is "Don't text me, it’s gay." Then a new Hangover arrived, same as the old Hangover, only instead of being hostile just to women and married people and old people and gay people, it was especially racist and even more shame-making for anyone who happened to be American.
And now The Hangover Part III arrives, Roman numeral and all. IT ENDS, blare the advertisements insisting on epicness. Jesus, I hope so, part of you growls. Maybe it’ll close on a better note, whispers another part of you, the part that laughed a lot in the theater back in 2009. Both factions of your heart will need support before, and perhaps especially after, seeing this movie; these are the 12 steps you’ll work through while watching the dramatic, almost completely Mike Tyson–less conclusion to Todd Phillips’s trilogy. [Note: There will be spoilers. Be careful out there.]
David O. Russell's follow-up to The Fighter deals, once again, with the question of male aggression, only this time the fights are all strictly amateur. (Still violent, though!) After discovering his wife cheating on him, Pat (Bradley Cooper) assaults the man who's cuckolding him and ends up getting treated in a mental institution. After returning home to live with his parents in Philadelphia, Pat is determined to give himself a whole-life makeover so that his ex-wife will find him worthy again, despite the fact that she has taken out a restraining order against him. But his path keeps crossing that of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow who's dealing with her grief by teaching herself ballroom dancing.
Playbook was an awards monster: Its stars were nominated in all four acting categories at this year's Oscars, with Lawrence taking home her first Academy Award for playing Tiffany. The two leads have nice chemistry despite the fact that she is clearly way too young for him, but midway through the movie tries to make you forget that it's been making Tiffany's depression, Pat's bipolar disorder, and Pat's father's OCD seem like cute personality quirks, as opposed to debilitating mental illnesses, by turning into a dance movie. But hey: If you rent it this weekend, you kind of get two movies for the price of one.
The Western Jane Got a Gun has been suffering through a historic string of defections, with Bradley Cooper its latest exit. You might even be tempted to say that Jane Got a Gun but very little else. (I'm so, so sorry for that. Please keep reading.)
The flick stars (for now!) Natalie Portman, Noah Emmerich as her estranged outlaw husband, and Joel Edgerton as the ex-lover Portman calls on for help when Emmerich rides back into town riddled with bullet holes. Cooper was set to play the villain — he's chasing down Emmerich to finish off the job, threatening Portman's homestead in the process — but has now dropped off the project because of scheduling conflicts. The sad/hilarious thing is that Coops had already been a replacement for Jude Law, who dropped out because of scheduling conflicts, and Jude Law had been a replacement for Michael Fassbender, who dropped out because of, yep, scheduling conflicts. Oh, also: The original director, Lynne Ramsay, didn't show up on the first day of shooting, so they had to get Gavin O'Connor (Warrior) to step in instead. What in the hell is going on here?
Sometimes movies slip through the cracks and, for better or worse, I catch up with them. Here's a handful, all directed by a range of men, from an Italian visionary to some dude named Robert Redford.
The Place Beyond the Pines, directed by Derek Cianfrance
A slow-burning drama told in three connected movements, all featuring an unusually haggard, unusually good Eva Mendes. The first has Ryan Gosling doing a version of his Drive persona, a bank-robbing, tattooed stunt biker living in Schenectady (a Mohawk word that gives the movie its title). The second miscasts Bradley Cooper as a lawyer turned cop in the same town. The last has two fantastic performances from Emory Cohen and Dane DeHaan, whose relationship to each other and the rest of the movie is basically from the people who brought you Romeo and Juliet.
What Cianfrance has written has scraps of surprise and a fine chase sequence, but it doesn't reach for the stars or the emotional cosmos — or, at least, it doesn't know how to get there. He's given us plot points and episodes in search of thriller and tragedy. But no suspense. His previous movie with Gosling, 2010's martial-disaster drama Blue Valentine, was similarly unsure about how to build into something greater than shouts and murmurs. This time, you wonder whether Cianfrance reached the film's final third and realized that this was his movie, two high school burnouts who fascinate each other. But he had Gosling and Cooper and probably couldn't turn back. Once Ray Liotta shows up as his umpteenth crook, it's tempting to believe that a piece of software made the whole movie happen.
Bradley Cooper & Leonardo DiCaprio? "Bradley Cooper is getting a lesson in no-strings-attached hookups from Hollywood's ultimate bachelor, Leonardo DiCaprio! The guys [both are 38 years old] got to know each other during awards season, and Leo took Bradley under his wing. Bradley was moaning about finding Mrs. Right. But Leo told him to chill out and enjoy all the beautiful women. Leo, who has romanced a string of catwalkers, explained his master plan to the Silver Linings Playbook hunk." Leo says, "He's going to date as many supermodels as possible before he's 40, then he'll settle down with a good woman." Ohhh, good for yoooou! "Bradley's been following his pal's advice — good times with no committment."
Who Is Khloe Kardashian's Baby Daddy? "Photos of the reality TV star hopping into the tattooed arms of rapper The Game in L.A.'s Runyon Canyon ignited a firestorm of talk that she was cheating on her husband Lamar Odom — a controversy that shows no signs of abating." OK! then uses every photo they can find of Khloe with her hand on or near her stomach (there are a lot, from all different times) to claim she is pregnant. While pregnancy was her dream, "that doesn't mean it's all roses and lollipops." (Is that a phrase?) The Game says he and Khloe were just promoting his 60 Days of Fitness program. According to him, "We have never and will never be sleeping together. Lamar is my homie and her husband and I wish people wouldn't spread such false rumors." Do you though, Game? Because this is the most publicity you've had in years.
Katy Perry & John Mayer Break Up: Call me a naive sucker, but I really thought these two could go the distance. They made it almost a year, which is like a decade in John Mayer relationship time. As recently as March 2, she tweeted, "My boyfriend is taking me to a kitten shelter in his truck. I can't think of a more perfect Saturday." In the time since then, something must have gone down, because by March 18 she was tweeting "ATTENTION: Mercury is OUT of retrograde today. Thank GOD." The split has now been announced in People, which means it was probably confirmed to them by either Mayer's or Perry's rep. So what went wrong? Let's do a postmortem.
Almost Famous was a treasure trove of feel-good triumphalism, but it's got a sad little footnote attached to it: For some reason, Cameron Crowe has never quite been able to bring the hot sauce since. I mean, I'll go to bat for Vanilla Sky any day of the week (that crazy twist ending?! With the thing?!), but critical consensus isn't quite as warm, and after that we're talking Elizabethtown and, gah, We Bought a Zoo. And then there's the post-AF career of Patrick Fugit, who you know better as Rolling Stone’s most adorable cub reporter, William Miller. While he's been popping up in stuff steadily since — Saved!, Wristcutters: A Love Story, this MadTVAlmost Famous parody that I'm just finding out about now and is totally incredible — without ever getting another juicy leading role. It wasn't the most surprising thing that his career didn't shoot off into the stratosphere: A large part of Fugit's charm in Almost Famous was his blankness, and blankness is probably not the most desired tool in the actor's arsenal. But, considering how hard he slayed in Almost Famous, it was still a bit of a drag. Anyway, you can dry your tears now. The kid from Almost Famous just got a TV show.
Angelina Jolie is "Surprise! Boring in bed." Whaaaaaa? This alleged information comes from shade thrown by her ex, Billy Bob Thornton, who has said, "sometimes, with the model, the actress, the 'sexiest person in the world,' it may be literally like fucking the couch." FUCK YO COUCH, BILLY BOB!
Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton: Splitting up is not on the table for the country supercouple. Lambert says she's questioned whether her marriage to Shelton will last "a million" times. "Divorce is not an option," Lambert said. "I will fight to the death. I am a ninja." That seems like a weird thing to say about your relationship. In order to keep communication open, Lambert and Shelton "are allowed to snoop through each other's phones." Has she never heard of a burner? They never spend longer than two weeks away from each other. "We text a lot. Even if it's just sending a picture of the onion rings we're eating!" OK, that seems less weird. They bond at home, "hang out on the porch, drink beer and cook burgers." Lambert says "I think it's important as a married couple to be friends." This all feels strangely defensive. I'm rooting for Lambert (how could I not be?), so I hope things work out.