<p>The official teaser poster for Andrew Dominik's &quot;Killing Them&nbsp;Softly.&quot;</p>

The official teaser poster for Andrew Dominik's "Killing Them Softly."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Brad Pitt's 'Killing Them Softly' poster is a provocative tease

If there was one movie to see at Cannes...

Over the past week I've been asked by a number of peers why I'm not at this year's 2012 Cannes Film Festival.  Besides the fact HitFix is being more than adequately covered by Drew McWeeny and Guy Lodge, there are a number of reasons from personal to professional. Moreover, when this year's field was announced I wasn't that disappointed in what I might be missing.  A number of films such as "On the Road" and "Lawless" look like they are favors to filmmakers (the former already confirming that after it's positive, but mediocre reviews). "Moonrise Kingdom" will soon screen in Los Angeles.  I'm a huge fan of Lee Daniels' "Precious," but "The Paperboy" looks like it could be a mess (fingers crossed it isn't).  The love by cinefiles for David Cronenberg is understandable, but I personally don't worship at the altar and "Cosmopolis" looks like a greatest hits package to me.  And as much as I appreciate Michael Haneke (back at Cannes with "Amour") and Jacques Audiard (following 'The Prophet" with "Rust & Bone"), their new films will likely screen at Telluride and/or Toronto just a few months from now.   That being said, there are two films I'm very curious about.

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<p>Kodi Smit-McPhee voices Norman in Laika Studios' new stop-motion animated feature &quot;ParaNorman&quot;</p>

Kodi Smit-McPhee voices Norman in Laika Studios' new stop-motion animated feature "ParaNorman"

Credit: Focus Features

'ParaNorman' hopes to take stop-motion animation to scary new heights

A visit to Laika studios and the magic of a 3D printer

PORTLAND, OR - In just a few weeks, Focus Features and Laika Studios' "Paranorman" will finally be finished.  Directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell will turn in a final print and mix and then anxiously wait for audience and critical reaction on Aug. 17.

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<p>&nbsp;Pierce Brosnan</p>

 Pierce Brosnan

Credit: AP Photo

Sony picks up Pierce Brosnan film 'Love is All You Need'

Romantic comedy is the latest from Oscar winner Susanne Bier

Golden Globe nominee Pierce Brosnan will head to the Mediterranean Sea for the "All You Need Is Love," from Oscar-winning Danish director Susanne Bier.

Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to the film from TrustNordisk.

In a change of pace for Bier, "Love" is a romantic comedy set in Sorrento, Italy. There, a group of lonely hearts deal with romance, jealousy and loneliness, while trying to make significant changes in their lives. It also stars Trine Dyrholm and Paprika Steen.

“Susanne Bier's latest screenplay is intelligent, brave and so much fun. Audiences will really embrace this film. It is great to have Susanne, Sisse, Peter, Rikke and everyone at Trust Nordisk back in the Sony Classics family where they belong,” said Sony Pictures Classics in a release.

TrustNordisk's Rikke Ennis adds, “Sony Classics is family and it makes so much sense that Susanne Bier’s new film is with them. They did a tremendous job on 'In a Better World' and we are looking very much forward to the reaction of the American audience on 'Love is All You Need."

Bier's "In a Better World" picked up the foreign language Oscar in 2010. Her last English-language film was 2007's "Things We Lost in the Fire," starring Benicio del Toro and Halle Berry and John Carroll Lynch. 

Brosnan was recently seen in "Remember Me," "I Don't Know How She Does It" and on A&E's Stephen King adaptation "Bag of Bones." He was nominated for a Golden Globe for 2005's "The Matador," and received critical kudos for his work in Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," opposite Ewan McGregor. 

<p>Breaking Bad</p>

Breaking Bad

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' and 'Newsroom' head to Los Angeles Film Fest

'Killer Joe's' William Friedkin will serve as guest director of event

More details have been released about the upcoming L.A. Film Festival, highlighted by the inclusion of some of TV's heaviest hitters.

The June event's Artists in Conversation section will include an intimate "Breaking Bad" Q&A featuring actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn, along with with series creator Vince Gilligan on Saturday, June 16.

On June 22, the series premiere episode of HBO's "The Newsroom" will be followed by a Q&A with creator Aaron Sorkin, executive producer Alan Poul and director Greg Mottola. There will also be a series of panels called Women of Wonder – A Celebration of Women in Animation.

William Friedkin, who helmed "The Exorcist" and "The French Connection" will serve as the fest's guest director. His latest film,"Killer Joe," will be screened.

Meanwhile "Dark Shadows" composer Danny Elfman, noted chef Michael Voltaggio and singer Raphael Saadiq will act as Artists in Residence.

Among the films unspooling at the fest this year are Steven Soderbergh's "Magic Mike," Woody Allen's "To Rome With Love" and the acclaimed "Beasts of the Southern Wild." The fest runs June 14 - 24.

More information about the fest can be found here.

<p>Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston in a scene in the new thriller &quot;Argo.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston in a scene in the new thriller "Argo." 

Credit: Warner Bros.

Watch: Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston at the center of new 'Argo' trailer

HitFix
A-
Readers
A+
Is the true story a true awards season player?

After Sundance bailed on providing any true awards season contenders besides John Hawkes in "The Surrogate" and an Indie Spirit Awards player in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," the focus has shifted to la croisette and the annual Festival de Cannes next week. And while there are many potential players in the mix it still feels like we'll be waiting for Venice, Telluride and Toronto to get a true sense of the early field.  So, almost on cue  (but more aptly timed to the release of "Dark Shadows" Friday), Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Ben Affleck's "Argo."

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<p>The remarkable Quvenzhan&eacute; Wallis as Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's &quot;Beast of the Southern Wild.&quot;</p>

The remarkable Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's "Beast of the Southern Wild."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' teases its cinematic wonder in new preview

HitFix
B
Readers
A+
Critic's favorite coming to theaters this June

Alright art house moviegoers, breathe easy. You've made it through those annual few months between the Academy Awards and the summer season which is traditionally the dumping ground of bad indies.  With summer just around the corner you're about to enjoy a major uptick in quality flicks thanks to the usually reliable Sundance Film Festival product machine.

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<p>Channing Tatum relives his glory days in &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;&nbsp;The Steven Soderbergh film will have its world premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.</p>

Channing Tatum relives his glory days in "Magic Mike." The Steven Soderbergh film will have its world premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Magic Mike' and 'People Like Us' will debut at 2012 LA Film Festival

Lots of Sundance alums will make their LA debut downtown

Los Angelenos are in for a treat.  Film Independent announced the line up for the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival and it's once again a mix of studio and pseudo-indie world premieres as well as buzzed about titles from Sundance and SXSW.  This inherently has made the LA Film Fest an awards season catch up for both industry media and development players.  And it doesn't hurt it comes right on the heels of Cannes to give some perspective for the awards season game in the months to come.

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Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games".
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson in "The Hunger Games".
Credit: Lionsgate

'Hunger Games' owns 'Breaking Dawn' with 8 MTV Movie Award nominations

Other big contenders include 'Bridesmaids', '21 Jump Street', 'Harry Potter'

Nominations for the 2012 MTV Movie Awards have been announced, with "The Hunger Games" and "Bridesmaids" tied for the most nominations with eight apiece.

Somewhat surprisingly, fan favorite "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" didn't receive as many nods as in previous years, with only two nominations, in the Movie of the Year and Best Kiss categories (the latter for one of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's steamy on-screen liplocks). However, neither of the actors managed to score a nod in the Best Female/Best Male Performance categories, a first for both.

Of course, "The Hunger Games"' big showing at the nominations this year (stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all received nods) can be accounted for by its "next-'Twilight'" pop culture status currently, with the film recently crossing the $600 million mark in worldwide box-office.

As a point of comparison, in 2011 B.H.G. ("Before Hunger Games") "Twilight: Eclipse" received five nods and won three awards including Best Movie - a category taken by the first three films in the sparkly-vamp franchise. This year, of course, "Breaking Dawn" will have an incredibly tough competitor in "The Hunger Games", which begs the question: will the "Twilight" franchise's streak in the top category be broken by Jennifer Lawrence and company this year?

In case you were wondering, there are indeed three other films in the running for Movie of the Year, namely "Bridesmaids", "The Help" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2". But let's face it: none of them stand a chance against the aforementioned 'tween favorites (unless, that is, "Harry Potter" manages to score an upset due to its being the final film in the boy wizard franchise).

Other top nominees this year include "21 Jump Street" (6 nods), "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" (6 nods), "The Help" (4 nods), Ryan Gosling-starrer "Drive" (3 nods), "Horrible Bosses" (3 nods) and "Project X" (3 nods), the shaky-cam teen party flick that became a surprise hit when it was released this past March.

In addition to the shakeup among the nominees themselves, this will also be the first year for several new categories at the Movie Awards, including Best Cast, Best On-Screen Transformation, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance, Best On-Screen Dirtbag and Best Music. In that last category, artists including LMFAO ("Party Rock Anthem", featured in "21 Jump Street"), Kid Cudi (the Steve Aoki remix of "Pursuit of Happiness", "Project X") and Chemical Brothers ("The Devil is in theDetails", "Hanna") received a tip of the hat.

As for artists slated to perform at the ceremony, chart-topping pop band fun. are slated to hit the stage this year, with other acts to be announced at a later date.

You can find a full list of the nominees below.

The 21st Annual MTV Movie Awards are slated to air Sunday, June 3. Fans can vote on the winners beginning tomorrow over at the show's official website.

Follow me on Twitter @HitFixChris

2012 MTV Movie Awards nominees:

Movie of the Year
» "Bridesmaids"
» "The Hunger Games"
» "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» "The Help"
» "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"

Best Male Performance
» Daniel Radcliffe, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Ryan Gosling, "Drive"
» Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "50/50"
» Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"
» Channing Tatum, "The Vow"

Best Female Performance
» Jennifer Lawrence, "The Hunger Games"
» Kristin Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
» Emma Stone, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
» Emma Watson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

Best Comedic Performance
» Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
» Kristen Wiig, "Bridesmaids"
» Zach Galifianakis, "The Hangover Part II"
» Jonah Hill, "21 Jump Street"
» Oliver Cooper, "Project X"

Breakthrough Performance
» Melissa McCarthy, "Bridesmaids"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
» Liam Hemsworth, "The Hunger Games"
» Elle Fanning, "Super 8"
» Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

Best Cast
» "Bridesmaids"
» "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» "The Hunger Games"
» "21 Jump Street"
» "The Help"

Best On-Screen Transformation
» Elizabeth Banks, "The Hunger Games"
» Rooney Mara, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
» Johnny Depp, "21 Jump Street"
» Michelle Williams, "My Week With Marilyn"
» Colin Farrell, "Horrible Bosses"

Best Fight
» Daniel Radcliffe vs. Ralph Fiennes, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson vs. Alexander Ludwig, "The Hunger Games"
» Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill vs. Kid Gang, "21 Jump Street"
» Tom Hardy vs. Joel Edgerton, "Warrior"
» Tom Cruise vs. Michelle Nyqvist, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

Best Kiss
» Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
» Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
» Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, "The Hunger Games"
» Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, "The Vow"
» Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"

Best Gut-Wrenching Performance
» "Bridesmaids" (Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper)
» "The Help" (Bryce Dallas Howard)
» "21 Jump Street" (Jonah Hill and Rob Riggle)
» "Drive" (Ryan Gosling)
» "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" (Tom Cruise)

Best On-Screen Dirt Bag
» Bryce Dallas Howard, "The Help"
» Jon Hamm, "Bridesmaids"
» Jennifer Aniston, "Horrible Bosses"
» Colin Farrell, "Horrible Bosses"
» Oliver Cooper, "Project X"

Best Music
» "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO ("21 Jump Street")
» "A Real Hero," College with Electric Youth ("Drive")
» "The Devil Is in the Details," Chemical Brothers ("Hanna")
» "Impossible," Figurine ("Like Crazy")
» "Pursuit of Happiness," Kid Cudi (Steve Aoki remix) ("Project X")

 

 

<p>Will 'The Hunger Games' be the big winner this year at the MTV&nbsp;Movie Awards?</p>

Will 'The Hunger Games' be the big winner this year at the MTV Movie Awards?

Credit: Lionsgate

MTV Movie Awards adds new categories including 'Best On-Screen Dirt Bag'

'We Are Young' hitmakers Fun. added as first musical performer

Who's your favorite dirt bag?

The MTV Movie Awards, the cable channel's safely irreverent annual toast to the big screen, unveiled several new categories for this year's show, including Best On-Screen Transformation, Best Gut-Wrenching Performance and Best On-Screen Dirt Bag (as opposed to off-screen dirt bag?).

They join perennial favorites such as Movie of the Year, Best Fight and Best Kiss.

On the music side, Fun., the spritely rockers behind the smash hit "We Are Young" were the first of the show's performers to be revealed (and expect a guest appearance from Janelle Monae). The band will perform during a salute to the greatest party films of all time.

Because of its timing (the summer, as opposed to the end of the year), the MTV Movie Awards will allow the final "Harry Potter" film to compete with "The Hunger Games," and will also potentially honor such seemingly-distant films as "The Help."

“The Movie Awards will be a re-imagined celebration of the most popular films and performances from the past year,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “This year, we’ve overhauled categories and added a Breakthrough Performance award that will be chosen by some of the best directors in the world. We’re also making music a more central experience to the overall show creative, and are thrilled to announce fun. – a band that has already imprinted a new anthem on a generation – as our first musical moment.”



The complete
MTV Movie Awards categories:

Movie of the Year
Best Female Performance
Best Male Performance
Breakthrough Performance
Best Comedic Performance
Best Music*
Best On-Screen Transformation*
Best Gut-Wrenching Performance*
Best Kiss
Best Fight
Best Cast*
Best On-Screen Dirt Bag*

* = new category


The 21st Annual MTV Movie Awards will air live Sunday, June 3rd at 9 pm ET/PT.

<p>Rich Ross celebrates The Muppets getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month.</p>

Rich Ross celebrates The Muppets getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month.

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Rich Ross aftermath: Does John Lasseter go in for the kill at Disney Studios?

Stacey Snider and Mary Parent also rumored for the gig

And as expected, the Rich Ross era is quickly over.

It's always callous in these situations to say "I told you so," but when Bob Iger first announced that Rich Ross would be taking over as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios two and a half years ago there was a collective eyebrow raised across Hollywood.  Ross had turned Disney Channel into a moneymaker for Disney and CEO Bob Iger saw him as "visionary" who could streamline the movie studios offerings while focusing more on cinematic brands that could have life across the entire corporation. It's a synergistic approach that all media companies try to achieve, but rarely succeed at (Fox and the old Viacom being the most successful).  Even with a changing entertainment landscape where more television and movie talent jump between the small and big screen, Ross did not have the background or skills to handle a job of this magnitude. And, the industry experienced this same scenario only a few years ago when Brad Grey put former FOX executive Gail Berman in charge of production at Paramount Pictures. That also lasted just about two years and was pretty much a colossal failure.

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