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  • J.K Simmons in'Barefoot.' (Roadside Attractions)You know you're a character actor when the best remembered of your hundreds or roles features you in fake teeth and a giant wig.

    Either that or you're simply known as the Farmers Insurance guy.

    Such is the fate of J.K. Simmons (short for Jonathan Kimble), a man whose name might not come to mind right away, but whose face you'll recognize immediately from hundreds of roles in films and TV shows, including as J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy.

    Because his is a name every film fan deserves to know, we asked Simmons to be the next "that guy" in our series of conversation's with the screen's great character actors. Simmons phoned in from his home in Los Angeles to talk  acting, "Spider-Man," "Juno," "Oz," "Law & Order," "The Gift," "Burn After Reading," and his most recent offering, "Barefoot," an offbeat romantic comedy starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman, which debuts on Blu-ray this week.

    [Related: 'Barefoot' and Awesome: Evan Rachel Wood Gives Good

    Read More »from J.K. Simmons: That Guy From That Thing (Who You Definitely Know)
  • You know that grandfatherly looking bearded man who appears on the Burt’s Bees lip balm tins? Well, that beard belongs to a real, living person. Unlike Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken, who died in 1980, Burt Shavitz is alive and well — and the subject of a new documentary: "Burt's Buzz."

    The film is not, however, just an infomercial to push a zany product line. Even minus his Forrest Gump-like life story, Shavitz turns out to be a true eccentric, who justifies very close examination.

    He holds gobs of bees barehanded; he lives in a converted turkey coop in rural Maine; and fittingly, he's seen in the doc's trailer (above, seen here first on Yahoo Movies) opening a door on the second floor of a building that goes… nowhere. Oh, and Burt not only loves bees — he loves dogs.

    There's more.

    Shavitz's life has unfolded much like the story arc of that Tom Hanks character, except that the bee man has better diction. He went to college, and then joined the Army; he became a

    Read More »from Yes, the Burt's Bees Guy Is Real (and He's a Movie Star)
  • Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn on Tuesday in New York (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

    When it comes to "Star Wars," we'll take whatever news we can get, no matter how small. And even the most quaint tidbit from a galaxy far, far away becomes more formidable when it comes from the guy in charge of the biggest media conglomerate on the planet.

    In an interview published today, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn was predictably tight-lipped (and visibly somewhat nervous)  discussing "Star Wars: Episode VII," but he brought assurances that we won't be stuck in ultra-secrecy forever. In fact, he revealed that the news about who's starring in the film will be released in the very near future.

    "It's almost complete," said Horn about the film's casting in an interview with Jon Erlichman at Bloomberg.com. "We're not prepared to announce it yet but we will be very shortly."

    Horn also confirmed that filming has indeed commenced on "Episode VII," but only with second unit crews— most notably in Abu Dhabi, as reported by Yahoo Movies last week.

    [Related: 'Star Wars' Set Spotted

    Read More »from 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announcement Coming 'Very Shortly'
  • Image source: icandoitlater.com

    As the colourfully-worded graph above demonstrates, the cost of making a mainstream Hollywood movie -- like Adam Sandler’s critically-derided 2010 comedy “Grown Ups,” for example -- has gone up considerably in recent years.

    "Grown Ups 2" (2013) also had an $80 million budget. (Columbia Pictures)

    The Sandler film, which features very little in the way of visual effects or explosive action set pieces, somehow cost around $80 million to produce. Of course, "Grown Ups" brought in around $270 million in box office earnings, which means that Adam Sandler can demand higher budgets for his productions, but $80 million still seems very steep.

    It’s an even more astonishing number when you consider how many critically-acclaimed, low-budget movies were produced for that same price.

    For the cost of one "Grown Ups" (one of the most critically-reviled films of the past five years) you could make "Juno," "Drive," "Lost in Translation," "500 Days of Summer," "Little Miss Sunshine," "Don Jon," "Shaun of the Dead," "50/50," "End of Watch," "Moon," "Paranormal Activity,"

    Read More »from How many movies could you make for the budget of ‘Grown Ups’?
  • Ready to feel old? “Mean Girls” was released ten years ago this month --April 30, 2004, to be exact. To put that in perspective, star Lindsay Lohan was just 17 years old when “Mean Girls” was shot. If the Tina Fey-penned high school comedy had been made today, its star likely would have been born in 1997. Yikes.

    And how does the film hold up ten years on? According to the latest “Teens React to…” video, it holds up pretty well.

    Even kids who were three or four years old when “Mean Girls” was released (they're now high school students! Gah!) regard the movie fondly. It’s very rare for a movie to appeal across generations like this, let alone be quoted a decade later by kids who were basically infants when it was first released.

    Lacey Chabert, Rachel McAdams, and Amanda Seyfried in "Mean Girls." (Paramount)

    Starring Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, and Lizzy Caplan, the high school comedy has become something of a cult classic in the years since it hit theatres. Most of the people involved in the film have gone on to much bigger careers,

    Read More »from Teenagers react to ‘Mean Girls’ ten years after it was released
  • In Fox Searchlight's new period drama "Belle," we learn the unique true story of the eponymous Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay. Dido Belle, for short, was one of the first multiracial members of 18th century England's aristocracy and the apparent catalyst for a landmark legal decision on the nation's treatment of slaves.

    Dido Belle (played in the film by English actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw) was born of an affair between a British naval officer named Sir John Lindsay and an African slave woman named Maria Belle in the late 1700s. While such a coupling was not uncommon, her recognition as a member of his elite bloodline proved very unusual for the time. Rarer still, her complicated heritage would prove to have an enormous influence upon the political climate of slavery in England.

    Director Amma Asante's film chronicles the breadth of Dido's life as a gentlewoman, beginning with Capt. Lindsay (Matthew Goode) imploring his titled uncle — the Earl of Mansfield and Lord Chief Justice of England

    Read More »from Meet 'Belle,' One of Britain's Earliest Known Biracial Aristocrats
  • So, are we getting a Mystique spin-off from the "X-Men" movies or what?

    When news broke about the possibility of multiple "X-Men" movie spin-offs — all pegged to the upcoming release and imminent success of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" — the Internet went wild with theories and analysis about which characters should and would get the stand-alone movie treatment. Not surprisingly, a Jennifer Lawrence-led Mystique spin-off received the most headline attention after "Days of Future Past" writer/producer Simon Kinberg stated his interest in exploring Mystique's solo story with Lawrence continuing to play the character.

    Just how plausible is that idea? It is far too early to tell. Never mind that there's another mutant movie on the schedule: "X-Men: Apocalypse," which bows in 2016, and the success of "Days of Future Past" is yet to be determined, but mainly because Lawrence's schedule is booked well in advance. According to Kinberg however, one important element weighs in their favor: the

    Read More »from How Jennifer Lawrence’s Easier ‘X-Men’ Costume Might Lead to Mystique Spinoff
  • Caity Lotz attends the The Machine World Premiere during the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2013 in New York City. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

    How often do you get a chance to go out on a date with a superhero?

    We're guessing the answer to that question is not often enough, so we're taking you along for our Speed Date with Caity Lotz, better known as the scintillating crimefighter Black Canary on the popular TV show "Arrow."

    After starting her career as a dancer and model, Lotz successfully transitioned into acting with a high-profile first gig: A three-episode arc on Season 4 of "Mad Men" playing Stephanie, Anna Draper's college-coed niece who catches Don's dirty eye. From there, Lotz landed increasingly larger roles in projects including MTV's mockumentary "Death Valley," the horror film "The Pact," and the dance movie "Battle of the Year."  

    [Related: See All of Yahoo Entertainment's Speed Dates]

    Lotz takes on one of her most ambitious roles yet in this week's Blu-ray release "The Machine," a high-concept sci-fi action flick that takes place in an imaginary future where androids are used on the frontlines of a Cold War

    Read More »from Speed Date: Caity Lotz Doesn't Want a Stupid Barbie Doll
  • Few actors have the range to jump from a Sundance drama, to a hit animated kids film, to an R-rated comedy, to a hard-edged mystery, to a musical biopic, to a new installment of a record-breaking YA franchise. Not only can Elizabeth Banks accomplish that, she'll do it all in one calendar year.

    Banks is having a banner 2014, squeezing roles from nearly every genre you can think of into one 12 month period. The star, who turned 40 this past February, has six films rolling out this year, including the bawdy comedy "Walk of Shame" hitting theaters in less than two weeks.

    Banks kicked off the year with an independent drama "Little Accidents," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In that, she plays a small-town woman searching for her missing teenage son. Next up, she has another indie drama, "Every Secret Thing," debuting this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival, where she plays a police detective on the trail of a kidnapped child. Later this year, she'll be in the Brian Wilson

    Read More »from 'Walk of Shame' Clip: Elizabeth Banks Is Hollywood's Hardest-Working Woman
  • The low-budget "Heaven Is for Real" has outperformed "Transcendence" at the box office. Is this about overexposure for Johnny Depp; underexposure for Jesus; or something else altogether?

    That second thing, there.

    I'm sure there are plenty of folks who consider themselves starved for Johnny Depp movies, despite the fact that we get one to two a year on average; despite his possible overexposure, we saw about $11 million worth of people lined up for "Transcendence" this past weekend in the U.S.

    But now let’s compare that figure with "Heaven Is for Real," which featured a cute little boy; excellent actor Greg Kinnear; and a faith-friendly story about the hereafter. Mix all of that up with an Easter weekend filled with families needing something to do after the egg hunt, and you get at least $21.5 million worth of fandom in one opening weekend.

    [Related: Why Johnny Depp Doesn't Need to Reboot Career After Another Bomb]

    Arizona moviegoer Stephanie Hilliard called "Heaven Is for Real" "so

    Read More »from Burning Question: Reverse-Engineering Sleeper Jesus Hit 'Heaven Is for Real'

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