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Adrien Brody, unlikely action star.

Adrien Brody's body of work is so studiously eclectic that the only surprising thing about his new bid for action hero status in "Predators" is that he didn't try it sooner. Mr. Brody, the youngest male to receive the award for Best Actor at the Oscars (at age 29, for "The Pianist"), is also one of only two Americans to win a César (the other was Johnny Depp, for "The Man Who Cried"). He's a hip-hop enthusiast who dreams of someday being a producer and an...

Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe, collaborators in anger.

Some actor-director pairings are legendary: Anthony Mann and James Stewart, François Truffaut and Jean-Pierre Léaud, Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Tsai Ming-liang and Lee Kang-sheng. To that illustrious list, we have lately been invited to add another pair: Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe. At first, the idea seems too spurious to even think about. And yet... To date, Scott and Crowe have collaborated five times: "Gladiator...

Alex Jones vs. "Machete."

Robert Rodriguez is one of the only directors whose highest aspiration is creating instant camp trash -- for him, disposability is immortality. And yet, the so-called "illegal" trailer for the upcoming "Machete" cracked me up far more than its origin, as an over-obvious fake-exploitation trailer in "Grindhouse." What started out as another Rodriguez cheapie has had the resonance of a real immigration law added to it, and all the racial jokes suddenly seem relevant (even...

Terry Gilliam is still lost in La Mancha.

Interesting news out of Cannes: Empire reports that Ewan McGregor has been cast to replace Johnny Depp in director Terry Gilliam's latest attempt at mounting "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," his long-simmering tribute to Cervantes. According to Empire's article, this "Quixote" begins shooting in September. Gilliam has been trying to make the film for almost 20 years. He came closest in 2000, when he assembled a $32 million version starring Depp and French actor Jean Rochefort...

Eight movie characters who show off their video game skills.

Recently, Roger Ebert re-entered the "can video games be art?" fray with a resounding "no!": "Why aren't gamers content to play their games and simply enjoy themselves? They have my blessing, not that they care." He's kicked off the usual counter-responses and angry passions. A less loaded question might be: can the act of playing video games on screen be art? Looking through the examples below, the answer seems to be apparently not -- most of the time, the experience...
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