“Top Gun” 3D IMAX release gets a new trailer

“Top Gun” is coming to IMAX in 3D, and a trailer has been released to get fans excited to see it in a way they never have before.

The film’s 3D conversion was announced in September 2011, but was affected by director Tony Scott’s suicide. Though “Top Gun 2” has been shelved out of respect, Paramount decided to continue forward with the films’ IMAX release.

At the time, the New York Times wrote that the 3D conversion might be perceived as a tribute to Scott, and will likely end up as his “final box office triumph.” “Top Gun” is an enduring classic and one that has aged well, and it does seem likely that fans will flock to see the film now that it’s been remastered and converted to IMAX and 3D.

The “Danger Zone” dog fight scene was already screened at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam in 2011. At the time, Legend3D’s Rob Hummel said that “‘Top Gun’ lends itself to 3D due to the aerial flight.” Based on the above trailer, we’d have to agree.

“Top Gun” will return to theaters on February 8 and hit theaters on February 19.

Will you be seeing “Top Gun” when it gets re-released? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” gets theatrical re-release

Missed “Beasts of the Southern Wild” when it first hit theaters? Well you’re in luck, because the Oscar and Spirit Award nominated film is getting a theatrical re-release now that we’re in the thick of awards season.

The film starts playing in select theaters around the country starting today. Fox Searchlight released the full list of theaters, and says that more will be announced at later dates. No word yet on how long the movie will stay in cinemas after being released last summer, but our guess is at least through the Academy Awards on February 24. Here’s the theaters it’s playing at now:

Midtown Art Cinema, Atlanta, GA
Medlock Crossing, Duluth, GA

Charles Towne Sq., North Charleston, SC
Wesgate Mall Cinema 8, Spartanburg, SC

Downtown West Cinema 8, Knoxville, TN

Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA
Embassy 6, Waltham, MA
Regal Hooksett, Hookset, MA

Charles 5 Theater, Baltimore, MA

Cinemark Movies 10, North Canton, MA
Richmond Town Sq., Richmond Heights, OH

Georgeville Sq., Columbis, OH

Regent Sq., Edgewood, PA

Arlington Cinema & Draft, Arlington, VA
E-Street Cinema, Washginton, DC
AFI Silver Springs, Silver Springs, MD

Main Art, Royal Oak, MI
Movies 16, Warren, MI

Celebration Woodland Mall, Grand Rapids, MI

Gainesville Stadium 14, Gainesville, FL

Island Cinema 7, St. Simons Island, GA

Parkway Cinema, Sarasota, FL

Regency Stadium 11, Panama City, FL

The Last Picture Show, Tamarac, FL

Lincoln Plaza 6, New York, NY
Sunshine Cinemas 5, New York, NY
AMC Jersery Gardens, Elizabeth, NJ
Clairidge 6, Montclair, NJ
Garden CInema 4, Norwalk, CT
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NJ

McKinley 6 Theatres, Blasdell, NY

Ritz, Philadelphia, PA

Vinegar Hill, Charlottesville, VA

Commonwealth 20, Richmond, VA

Century Centre Cinema, Chicago, IL
Lincolnshire 21, Lincolnshire, IL
Cantera Stadium 17, Warrenville, IL

Magnolia Cinema 5, Dallas, TX

River Oaks 3, Houston, TX

Fleur Cafe, Des Moines, IA

Mary Riepma Ross Arts Center, Lincoln, NE

Edina 4, Edina, MN

Westwood Cinemas, Omaha, DE

Capital Theater, Aberdeen, SD

Hollywood Stadium 27, Nashville, TN

Moxie Cinema, Springfield, MO

Tivoli, St. Louis, MO

Landmark, La Jolla, CA
Hillcrest 5, San Diego, CA

Los Feliz 3, Los Angeles, CA
The Landmark 12, Los Angeles, CA
Rancho Niguel, Laguna Niguel, CA
Westlake Village Twin Art Center, Westlake Village, CA

Mayan, Denver, CO
Lyric Twin Cinema Cafe, Ft. Collins, CO
West Village Stadium, Lakewood, CO

Village Square Cinema 18, Las Vegas, NV

Rialto’s 3 Elmwood, Berekely, CA
Rialto’s 9, Sebastopol, CA
Aquarius Twin Art Cinema, Palo Alto, CA
Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Stonestown Twin Art Cinema, San Francisco, CA
Bluelight 5 Cinemas, Cupertino, CA

Tower Art 3 Cinema, Sacramento, CA

Salem Art 3 Cinema, Salem, OR

Sundance’s Seattle 10 Cinema, Seattle, WA
Meridian 16, Seattle, WA

Will you go see “Beasts of the Southern Wild”? What was your favorite movie of 2012? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“The Hobbit” breaks December record with $84.8 million opening weekend

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” has done something decidedly expected: The Peter Jackson movie took the record for biggest December opening weekend.

Considering all the hype for the newest chapter in Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” saga, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the film made $84.8 million during its first three days of release. It passed the previous record holder easily, as 2007’s “I Am Legend” had held the title with its $72.6 million opening weekend.

“The Hobbit” dominated the box office this weekend, as “Rise of the Guardians” came in second place with $7.4 million, “Lincoln” came in third with $7.2 million, “Skyfall” dropped from first to fourth with $7 million and “Life of Pi” rounded out the top five with $5.4 million.

Of course, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” had a little help that the three “Lord of the Rings” movies didn’t have. It was released in 3D, IMAX, IMAX 3D and 48 frames-per-second and, though the higher frame rate didn’t include a higher price tag, those formats definitely contributed to “The Hobbit’s” broken record. Around 49 percent of the film’s box office total came from its 3D showings.

It remains to be seen whether the first “The Hobbit” film will do as well as the three “Lord of the Rings” movies. Those all made more than $300 million domestic, and “An Unexpected Journey” seems on track to do the same.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” tells the first part of Bilbo Baggins’ epic adventure from Hobbiton to the Lonely Mountain. Along the way, he’ll befriend dwarves, face off against goblins, meet a dragon and discover the One Ring that will change his life forever.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is due in theaters on December 13, 2013, while “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” comes out July 18, 2014.

Did you see “The Hobbit” opening weekend? What did you think? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Running Late

As we wind down to year’s end, we find Michael Haneke’s Cannes conqueror fashionably late to the party, while Paramount waited three years to release the Renée Zellweger horror flick “Case 39” and a mere half-century later, audiences will finally see the fruits of an unproduced Tennessee Williams screenplay. Throw in a pair of modern Korean films and you’ve got yourself an exciting way to start the new year.

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“Case 39”
We can only hope it’s no reflection of quality that this latest volley from the creepy-kid subgenre sat on the shelf for so long that its director, Christian Alvart, had another project (daffy sci-fi chiller “Pandorum”) wrapped, released and mostly ignored before this domestic thriller even made it to our shores. The German helmer’s English-language debut (at least chronologically) has Renée Zellweger playing a kindly social worker who wrestles away the innocuous looking young Lilith (Jodelle Ferland) from seemingly abusive parents, only to discover that the little angel might not be as benevolent as she appears. Ian McShane, who has yet to transfer his small screen authority to movies, co-stars as a creeped-out child therapist.
Opens wide.

“The Chaser”
A huge hit in its native South Korea, Na Hong-jin’s directorial debut centers on a fallen police officer-turned-pimp who must dust off his detective skills when his prostitutes begin to go missing. Kim Yoon-suk stars as the mack daddy who believes he’s stumbled onto the case of a serial killer, but finds little help from his former colleagues. Although it sounds like the kind of film no American studio would touch, Leonardo DiCaprio is said to be eyeing an American remake for Warner Bros.
Opens in New York.


Running Amunk for the Holidays

Happy holidays, everyone! Those willing and able to drag themselves away from the huge pile of swag under the tree can enjoy the late Heath Ledger’s final performance, a Jude Law double bill and a drolly comic Romanian police procedural underneath among other holiday presents that await at the multiplex.

“Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”
With the tagline “Munk Yourself” sounding more like a threat than a come-on, the high-pitched trio of singing rodents return just in time for exhausted moms to plunk the rugrats down at the multiplex after the presents are unwrapped while they snore quietly in the back row. Betty Thomas, who has some kid-themed kid-themed hijinks with on her CV, steps in for the first film’s helmer Tim Hill and trades out her experience with real critters on “Dr. Dolittle” for these much less messy (not to mention non-union) digital substitutes. Jason Lee reprises his role as Dave, the caretaker of the furry three (voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney) as Alvin and gang lose their musical supremacy and their hearts to the all-girl outfit, The Chipettes (voiced by Amy Poehler, Anna Faris and Christina Applegate)
Opens wide on December 23rd.

“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
A director who seems only happy when it rains, Terry Gilliam has matched his wits against studios (as on “Brazil”) and tornadoes on the set of his first crack at “Don Quixote” (as seen in “Lost in La Mancha”). But surely nothing could have prepared him for the tragic death of his lead Heath Ledger in the midst of shooting his latest film, which has become a memorial of sorts for the late star. Ever the pragmatist, Gilliam called on Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law to play the refracted versions of Ledger’s character Tony, a rascally amnesiac who, after being rescued from a botched execution, becomes the wild card in a final round of betting between the 1000-year old Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) and a rasping Devil (Tom Waits) over the perfectly innocent soul of the doctor’s daughter, Valentina (Lily Cole).
Opens in New York and Los Angeles before expanding wide on January 8th.


Did You Hear About “Avatar”?

This week we can immerse ourselves in tales of American sentiment, French fantasy, English history, Italian romance and alien invasion.

After more than a decade on hiatus, James Cameron returns from his days as “King of the World” with a mind on conquering a few new ones in this sci-fi epic that the director maintains will alter the face of moviemaking forever. (Early reviews seem to agree.) A galaxy away from Cameron’s days as a miniature maker on Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond the Stars,” “Avatar” blends performance capture technology with real world photography to create Pandora, where a troubled U.S. marine (Sam Worthington) is tasked with infiltrating the Na’vi, a tribe of primitive but proud aliens, via a genetically created body, though he finds his loyalties torn when he falls in love with one of their own (Zoe Saldana). The film’s reported $300 million price tag is surely the stuff of Hollywood accountant’s nightmares, especially since some have been quick to jump all over the oddly familiar premise as merely “Dances With Smurfs.” But hey, it’s James Cameron, so if he wants to film Julian Sands reading from a take-out menu inside a darkened cupboard, we’d still line up around the block to go and see it.
Opens wide and in 3D and IMAX.

“Crazy Heart”
Having scooped up a trio of nominations at the forthcoming Spirit Awards, writer/director Scott Cooper’s adaptation of Thomas Cobb’s novel finds Jeff Bridges stepping into the worn boots of Bad Blake, an over-the-hill country crooner subsisting on a steady diet of tips and regrets as he travels the Midwest bowling alley circuit for low-paying gigs. While in Santa Fe, he meets a curious feature writer (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inspires him to face the humbling prospect of opening for his former protégé Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) and getting his life back on track. The film’s country bonafides are affirmed by the producing presence of “O Brother Where Art Thou”‘s music supervisor T Bone Burnett and Robert Duvall, whose supporting role in “Crazy Heart” will remind many of his Oscar-winning performance at the center of the similarly themed “Tender Mercies.”
Opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 16th.

“Did You Hear About The Morgans?”
The holiday season is upon us, and that means peace on Earth and goodwill to all men — unless, of course, they’re insufferable yuppies, in which case they must be abused, tormented and ultimately shamed into repentance. For his first film since 2007’s “Music and Lyrics,” Hugh Grant reunites with writer/director Marc Lawrence for something of a reverse country-bumpkin riff on “The Out-of-Towners,” the 1970 Neil Simon comedy that Lawrence coincidentally remade once already in 1999. Also reuniting with Grant is his “Extreme Measures” co-star Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Grant’s better half in a loveless Manhattan couple that is relocated to Wyoming after witnessing a mob murder and find their disintegrating marriage reinvigorated by small-town charm and the disarmingly slow pace of life.
Opens wide.


Full Contact

This week sees an impressive list of heavy-hitters make a late December showing as Clint Eastwood and Peter Jackson deliver their latest, Werner Herzog assembles the unlikely pairing of Udo Kier and Verne Troyer, and Tom Ford unveils his directorial debut.

“According to Greta”
Hilary Duff adds the title of executive producer to her résumé by backing the feature debut of veteran music video director Nancy Bardawil. After demonstrating a dark side on “Gossip Girl” this season, Duff continues to shed her good girl image as a rebellious 17-year-old who proves to be too much of a handful for her mother (Melissa Leo) and is sent off to spend the summer on Jersey Shore with her grandparents (Ellen Burstyn and Michael Murphy), to whom she promises she will kill herself by her 18th birthday. In the midst of plotting her suicide, she begins a romance with a troubled short-order cook (Evan Ross) who leads her to rethink things.
Opens in Los Angeles.

Oscar season just wouldn’t be complete without a Clint Eastwood drama, and the Old Master shows no signs of slowing down despite being just a few months shy of his 80th birthday. He confounds expectations once more by trading the despair and tragedy of “Changeling” and “Mystic River” for hope and triumph with a drama cooked up from such unpalatable ingredients as racial politics, funny accents and unfathomable foreign sports. Having tried in vain for many years to bring Mandela biography “Long Walk to Freedom” to the screen, Morgan Freeman finally realizes his dream of playing the iconic leader in this adaptation of John Carlin’s account of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, during which time Mandela made the audacious gamble of uniting his fractured nation behind their underdog team, led by captain Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), on the unlikely chance that they could go all the way.
Opens wide.

“The Lovely Bones”
If any director is capable of infiltrating a big studio Oscar-baiter born out of weighty literature and smuggling out an art film brimming with ideas, then surely Peter Jackson is that man. Marrying the grisly subject matter that first garnered him acclaim with the ethereal, other-worldly spectacle that has come to define his recent work, Jackson, along with co-writers Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, bring to life Alice Sebold’s somber bestseller about a sadly all-too-literal heavenly creature, embodied here by the young “Atonement” star Saoirse Ronan. The unfortunate victim of a terrible murder, Ronan’s Susie Salmon peers down at her family from a celestial purgatory as her grieving mother and father (Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg) struggle to move on, and her inconspicuous killer (Stanley Tucci) prepares to murder again.
Opens in limited release.


Blue Skies and Black Metal

This week’s slate gathers together so many big name stars in one place you’d think it was Oscar night already.

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“Across The Hall”
A stripped-down neo-noir with a twist, this feature debut for filmmaker Alex Merkin began as a 2005 short (starring Adrian Grenier, which can be found online here). Grenier didn’t return, but Mike Vogel takes his place as Julian, a young man who races to a seedy hotel where his best friend’s wayward fiancée (Brittany Murphy) and another man have aroused the suspicions of his pal, who’s holed up “across the hall” with a bottle of whiskey and a gun.
Opens in New York and Los Angeles.

Having garnered a great deal of attention with his grungy murder mystery debut “Kontroll,” American-born Hungarian helmer Nimród Antal first made his mark in Hollywood with the solid but forgettable “Vacancy.” He returns with another mostly single-location potboiler that’s a throwback to the slow-burning, character-driven action flicks of old. Columbus Short fronts an ensemble cast that Matt Dillon, Jean Reno, Laurence Fishburne and Skeet Ulrich. Short plays Ty Hackett, a rookie employee and the lone voice of conscience amongst a veteran crew of security guards who hatch a plan to steal $42 million from an armored truck.
Opens wide.

“Before Tomorrow”
Madeline Ivalu and Marie-Hélène Cousineau co-direct this gentle Inuit drama that marks the first feature of the Arnait Video Collective, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the age-old culture’s unique perspective from the point of view of its women. Exec produced by Zacharias Kunuk and Norman Cohn, the duo who guided “The Fast Runner” to such great acclaim, this 19th century period piece sees a wise Inuit elder (Ivalu) and her young grandson (Paul Dylan-Ivalu) depart their village for an isolated island where they will prepare to hoard food for the coming winter. In Inuktitut with subtitles.
Opens in New York.


Ninjas, Princesses and Old Dogs

Families arriving at the multiplex for a little pre/post-turkey entertainment have two choices — separate off into your respective age/gender demographics and indulge yourselves, or stick together in a tragic statement of family unity and purchase seven tickets for “Old Dogs.” The choice, it is yours.

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A selection at Cannes 2008 and this year’s Swiss Oscar hopeful, the sophomore feature from Ursula Meier centers on a middle class couple (Isabelle Huppert, Olivier Gourmet) that enjoys bringing up their children away from urban life in the French countryside. However, the construction of a highway near their home leads to a divide between the two on what’s best for their family as the pollution from the cars and the incessant noise begins to drive them a little mad.
Opens in New York; opens in Los Angeles on December 18th.

“Me and Orson Welles”
There is no doubt in our minds that if the great and seminal Orson Welles could return from the beyond for one last hurrah, he would take Zac Efron for a muse. But since Welles isn’t around, we’ll have to make do with Christian McKay, the star of a one-man show called “Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles,” who was plucked from the off-Broadway production to play mentor to the “High School Musical” star in the latest from Richard Linklater. While there’s no singing required, Efron takes to the stage once more to play Richard Samuels, an untested kid who snags a part in Welles’ Mercury Theatre Company staging of “Julius Caesar,” falls hopelessly for a production assistant (Claire Danes) and receives a tough lesson from the boisterous maverick on the harsh realities of that cruelest of all businesses.
Opens November 25th in New York and Los Angeles.


Twilight of the Bad Lieutenant

Holiday festivities are about to kick into full gear, but you wouldn’t know it looking at this angst-ridden release slate, since the closest we come to Christmas is Nicolas Cage’s “Bad Lieutenant” doing a lot of “snow.” Instead, planets are discovered, new moons rise and suns set.

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“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”
Ever since Nicolas Cage was shown clinging to his “lucky crackpipe,” cinephiles have been jonesing for Werner Herzog’s re-imagining of Abel Ferrara’s arthouse cop thriller. After months of backbiting between Ferrara, who suggested that the film’s producers “burn in hell,” and Herzog’s admission that he had never seen the original film, audiences will finally see Cage in the shoes of Terence McDonagh, the hopped-up, hopelessly bent detective who shakes down suspects and random pedestrians on the trail of an elusive kingpin responsible for the brutal slaying of five Senegalese immigrants.
Opens in limited release.

“The Blind Side”
Having solidified her rom-com career this summer, Sandra Bullock gets more serious this fall as a feisty champion of the less fortunate in this drama from “The Rookie” writer/director John Lee Hancock, based on the early life of NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher. Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a God-fearing Tennessean who takes the gentle giant (Quinton Aaron) off the streets of Memphis and, with the aide of her husband (Tim McGraw) and Kathy Bates’ no-nonsense tutor, sets about rebuilding his shambolic education and turning him into an NFL-quality left tackle.
Opens wide.