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When Dylan Tried to Be a Movie Star

The recent griping among disgruntled Bob Dylan fans over Columbia's plans to let fans vote on the songs to be included on an upcoming Dylan best-of compilation has one silver lining. (Other than comments on Dylan message boards that sound eerily like Dylan lyrics, such as "If this is the stick, who's the dead horse?") It's encouraged otherwise all-forgiving Dylan fans to remember their hero's other ill-advised commercial moves, like 1987's Joe Eszterhas–rewritten movie flop Hearts of Fire. Thankfully, remembering our heroes' foolish pasts is what YouTube is for.

Viggo Mortensen Revisits the Dark Side

Tagline: "From David Cronenberg … Director of A History of Violence" Translation: Check out Viggo Mortensen's halfway believable Russian accent!

‘Simpsons’ Discriminates Against the Bespectacled (and We're Okay With That)

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Okay, yeah, this is cool. Our friends at Vulture notified us that on the promotional site for the coming-soon Simpsons movie, you can create your own Simpsons character. We share Vulture's frustration that there's no option for eyeglasses, rendering it impossible to create our own Simpsons likeness. But, still, we just managed to kill twenty minutes with thing. Go. Have fun. Just be sure to put in your contacts. Build Your Own 'Simpsons' Character [Vulture] Simpsons Movie [Official site]

There's Something About Mamie

Rising actress Mamie Gummer talks to the magazine this week about her breakout role in Lajos Koltai's new film Evening, about which New York's critic David Edelstein had less kind things to say than he did about the character portrayed by both Gummer and her real-life mother Meryl Streep.

Will ‘Ratatouille’ Be Pixar's First Flop?

Amid all the Live Free or Die Hard hoopla, it's been easy to forget there's another potential box-office monster opening this week: Ratatouille, the newest film from Pixar, the geniuses who have delivered a nearly uninterrupted string of artistic and commercial triumphs since 1995's Toy Story.

Frank Langella's Lost Movie, or What a Difference a Tony Makes

2004: Frank Langella is coming off a tough stretch in his career. His most prominent role in the past few years is as Aertes in an NBC miniseries of Jason and the Argonauts; his performance as "Voice of the Dragon" was just cut out of Red Dragon. Langella shoots an independent comedy called Breaking the Fifth

Even Movie Stars Can't Get iPhones

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There was a screening and after-party for Ethan Hawke's second directorial feature, The Hottest State, at the Tribeca Film Center last night, and the movie's director and stars and friends — Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Sonia Braga, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and newcomer Mark Webber, around whom the movie revolves — were all there. It's a romantic, slightly disturbing — and slightly familiar — look at obsessive love and elusive objects of desire. And so we asked Webber, who plays the slacker-actor who falls crazy-in-love with a sweet singer, if he has a current obsessive love. "iPhone is a problem," he admitted, the comely lady at his side notwithstanding. "It's an issue."

John McClane vs. John McCain: Who's More Electable?

One’s a handsome, aging, popular action hero hoping the American public supports him in the coming year. The other is played by Bruce Willis. At first glance, there are a lot of similarities between Die Hard hero John McClane and Senator (and presidential candidate) John McCain. But who has a better chance to win America’s vote?

Tom Cruise's New Movie Flops on ‘Entertainment Tonight’

Led by Nikki Finke over at Deadline Hollywood, the movie industry is buzzing over Tom Cruise's first film for the newly relaunched United Artists, Lions for Lambs, a political thriller coming out in November. Starring Cruise, Meryl Streep, and Robert Redford, and directed by Redford, the movie — about the Stateside debate caused by the wounding of two Army Rangers behind enemy lines in Afghanistan — certainly has pedigree and brains to spare. So why did Cruise and UA's publicity machine debut the film's teaser on Entertainment Tonight, where the full ET synthesizer-and-voice-over treatment makes it seem totally stupid?

Paksploitation Video: Fear the Syringe of Death!

Why camp out at the New York Asian Film Festival, opening tonight? Because you can't complain about Tribeca if you don't go to more fun festivals like this. Because the thirty films include new movies by Johnny To, Park Chanwook, and Takashi Miike.

The Friday Short: ‘Fission’

If Michel Gondry were to direct a street-art Fantasia, it might look something like Fission. Winner of a recent Student Academy Award in the Best Alternative Film category, recent School of Visual Arts grad Kun-I Chang’s explores a quintessentially New York concept.

Overheard: ‘Sicko’ Lives Up to the Hype

Michael Moore's Sicko debuted today at Loew's Lincoln Square, and Vulture was on the scene. The crowd in attendance was diverse, as were the people who refused to answer our questions.

AFI 100 List Takes ‘Manhattan.’ And Shoves It.

The doddering American Film Institute has finally updated its list of the best 100 films (i.e., best big-studio fiction blockbusters made with white marquee stars and male directors in the good ol' days of Kabuki pomposity like Ben Hur). For New Yorkers, the Los Angeles–based list is predictably awful, but still worse than the last: Do The Right Thing's token inclusion at pitiful No. 94 stings worse than its omission in 1997

Not Everyone Loves ‘A Mighty Heart’

An informal peer survey suggests that the moviegoing public is somewhat evenly divided on whether to catch Sicko or A Mighty Heart this weekend. More thoughts on Sicko to come, so for now, a quick overview of critics' reactions to Angelina Jolie's turn as Mariane Pearl in the film.