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Sony / Columbia(LOS ANGELES) -- Fury topped the box office in its opening weekend, earning $23.5 million.

The World War II film stars Brad Pitt as an army sergeant. It also features Shia LaBeouf, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal.

The thriller Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, fell to the number two spot this weekend, with $17.8 million.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. Fury: $23.5 million
2. Gone Girl: $17.8 million
3. The Book of Life: $17.0 million
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: $12.039 million
5. The Best of Me: $10.2 million
6. Dracula Untold: $9.9 million
7. The Judge: $7.940 million
8. Annabelle: $7.925 million
9. The Equalizer: $5.45 million
10. The Maze Runner: $4.5 million


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Sony Pictures Television (LOS ANGELES) -- Queen Latifah will host the Hollywood Film Awards on Nov. 14.

For the first time since it began in 1997, this year's Hollywood Film Awards will be televised.

The ceremony will air live on CBS after a red carpet show hosted by Nancy O'Donnell.

Then a recap show will follow, hosted by CBS This Morning anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-five years ago, Tim Burton's Batman, starring a then 37-year-old Michael Keaton, kickstarted the cinematic superhero era.

"I've done a lot of things, you know, besides wearing a big, rubber suit," Keaton told ABC News' Nightline.

For much of the last 20 years, Keaton's had a low profile in Hollywood, but that is about to change thanks to his performance in the film Birdman.

The movie is the story of a down-on-his-luck actor Riggan Thompson, played by Keaton. Keaton's character is famous for his work in a series of films as a costumed avenger, Birdman, and is desperate to redeem himself years later artistically by directing and starring in a Broadway drama. (While there are obvious parallels between Riggan's and Keaton's stints as superheroes, Keaton is quick to dispel any additional connection between his real-life self and his character in Birdman.)

Keaton is joined by the film's all-star cast, gathered at Lincoln Center before Birdman's debut at the New York Film Festival exclusively for ABC News, including Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough. The actors play characters in this film that are poised to present a personal or professional crisis for Keaton’s character.

"Just when you think he's this kind of weak, desperate, insecure dude--he is that--but he's also this other thing," Keaton said.

Now 63, Keaton said he made a conscious decision to get back in the acting game.

"Specifically, in the last couple of years, [I] started saying, 'I've got to start focusing more on not being so lazy and going after the things.' I mean, I always turned a ton of things down, but it's not like I turned really great things down necessarily," Keaton said. "You wait for that great script to come along, or you hope it's attached with a great director. And that's what happened."

The film is shot almost entirely in and around a Broadway theater. Birdman gets its adrenaline from director Alejandro Inarritu and his decision to shoot it without visible cuts.

"We were attempting two things that are very difficult to do: a comedy and a single shot," Inarritu told Nightline. "It was extremely difficult to coordinate."

With the able assistance of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, said Edward Norton, "I think he pulled off something that's as technically audacious and astonishing and virtuoso as [the film] Gravity,"

The film was challenging for its crew and actors, who were required to be perfect for seven-minute seamless takes.

"We used to get to the twelfth hour in the day, and he felt that he had nothing in the can yet," Naomi Watts told Nightline.

"One word, delivered a little later or earlier, or one door open wrong, even if it's in the right time, but it's not perfectly executed, suddenly it's like the music, the sound," Inarritu said. "There's something that doesn't match, and that was a scary but, I will say, beautiful part of doing this film."

"And the feeling that came over you when it worked was the most satisfaction I've ever felt," Emma Stone told Nightline.

For Keaton, who'd been careful about his roles for years, Birdman, and the character of Riggan Thompson, was a completely original change of pace.

"I was pulling out some of my old tricks or looking for new tricks, and I was getting lazy, so I had no real interest in watching myself for a while," he said. "[Birdman] is different in that … there's nothing like it. There's no other movie that I've seen that's like it, let alone been a part of."

Now earning rapturous reviews, Birdman and Keaton's performance seem likely to be part of the conversation through the awards season. Its themes reach beyond the rise or fall of an actor's reputation.

"I think every character in the movie, except maybe Amy's, whose is grounded, is fighting to get back to a version of themselves that they can respect," Norton said. "Making the film was like a fantastic antidote to those sensations."

"I'm unbelievably blessed. This is 100 percent original. You don't get more original than what Tim [Burton] did with Beetlejuice and arguably what he did with the first Batman too," Keaton said.

"And then you get this, which is like a whole other thing. I mean, come on. Somebody's looking out for me in a large way."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Movie Review: “Fury” (Rated R)

Columbia Pictures(NEW YORK) -- Fury takes place at the end of World War 2. The conflict is clearly over for Hitler and everybody knows it, except Hitler. War is already brutal and dangerous, but it’s even more so when your enemy is desperate, and the remaining Nazis are very desperate and unimaginably brutal. To deal with them, the most hardened, skilled soldiers are called in to lead the final push into Germany.

We first meet Brad Pitt’s Don “Wardaddy” Collier in the aftermath of a battle, on a field barely visible through the literal fog of war. Using what appears to be an unmanned, damaged tank for cover, he knocks a mounted German soldier from his horse and kills him with his bare hands. Collier then gently takes the horse by the reins, lovingly strokes its mane, looks it in its eyes and sets it free. It’s the first of many scenes in Fury that highlight the incongruous nature of war.

Turns out the tank, dubbed “Fury,” wasn’t unmanned after all.  Collier climbs in and we meet the rest of the crew: Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Garcia (Michael Peña) and Travis (John Bernthal). They’re a dysfunctional band of brothers, living from second to second in a mobile iron box, surrounded and accompanied by death -- and we’re along for the ride.

When they get back to base, fresh-faced kid Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) introduces himself as the new member of the team. Ellison was a clerk and has no battle experience whatsoever, but this is the end of the war and it’s all hands on deck. The kid doesn’t want to be there and the guys, given Norman’s lack of experience or enthusiasm, don’t really want him there either.  It won’t be long before we discover Norman’s ambivalence will become a complete liability.

How Collier and company handle Norman is a showcase of deft writing, acting and directing, of which this movie has many. Particularly stunning is a scene in which Collier and Norman enter the apartment of two German women in a town they just liberated. While the rest of the soldiers are in the streets celebrating, the war-hardened soldier and the boy who’s learning to be a soldier experience a taste of normalcy, but a reality check comes knocking on the door when the rest of the unit, drunk, enters the apartment and antagonizes their brothers in arms, and the women. It will leave a lump in your throat a few tears in your eyes.

Fury is not a great World War 2 film, but it is one of the better ones. Absolutely no punches are pulled here in displaying the anxious, intense, horrific and violent nature of battle, while at the same time exploring the camaraderie and hearts of the men who lived and died in the midst of it. Writer/director and producer David Ayer is carving a niche for himself with films that explore male bonding in extraordinary, life-threatening situations. There were flashes of that theme early in his career but his brilliance became apparent in 2012’s cop drama End of Watch, which also starred Pena, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. 

There is brilliance in Fury, but Ayer sells out a bit when this very human story at times becomes too Rambo-esque.  And I get it: it’s probably what he needed to do to get Hollywood to pony up for a film that is otherwise a seemingly true-to-life war tale – perhaps too true-to-life.  Even so, it’s one worth seeing.

Four out of five stars.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) --  By now, everybody has heard a rumor at one point that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are planning to have a family.

But de Rossi reiterated that it's simply "one big rumor that doesn't seem to go away."

"At this point, I feel like I'm disappointing the whole of America, not just my mother. You know?" she said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "It's true. The tabloids are at me. My mother's at me..."

De Rossi, 41, and DeGeneres, 56, were married in 2008. Neither had a burning desire to be a mother, though they do treasure their roles as aunts to their two young nieces.

"They're adorable and we love them and we play with them, and then we leave," de Rossi said. "My brother's way too smart to leave me alone with his children! It's supervised play, Jimmy."

But the Arrested Development star said her eldest niece prefers her Aunt Ellen, and she's pretty sure that the younger one will follow suit, too. After all, she said, "there are a lot of perks" to having DeGeneres as an aunt.

"There's free stuff, there's meet the pop star that she wants to meet, 12 days of giveaways, obviously," she said. "Yeah, she's a pretty good aunt to have!"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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