TOP 5: New STAR WARS Live-Action Series Details, CONTRABAND, WARM BODIES, Cinemath, Our TCA Winter Press Tour Coverage

     January 14, 2012

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I have to say that I can’t wait to check out Steven Soderbergh‘s actioner Haywire. Everything I’ve seen from it thus far has looked great and the positivity pouring out from early reviews only supports my belief that the entire pic will deliver. Whether it be the stellar cast, the proclaimed breakout performance from Gina Carano, or Soderbergh’s top-notch action sequences, I fully expect to be talking about Haywire right here again next week in a little “Before & After” discussion. In the meantime…

…This week’s “Top 5″ brings you some new details regarding the long-gestating Star Wars live-action television series, Contraband interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, and more, the first official images from Jonathan Levine‘s (50/50) Warm Bodies, a “Cinemath” feature that analyzes the 2011 box office, and all of our coverage from the 2011 Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour. Hit the jump for brief recaps and links to each.

1. New STAR WARS Live-Action TV Series Details

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This week brought to light new details regarding the seemingly inevitable Star Wars live-action television series. Ranging from uninspiring (it’s currently being called Star Wars: Underworld) to potentially interesting (the stories will apparently take place in the twenty-year gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope), I recommend any and all Star Wars fans get up to date on the series by clicking here and by reading Steve’s interview with longtime Lucas-producer Rick McCallum who described its tone as “Empire Strikes Back on steroids”.

2. CONTRABAND Interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and More

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I’m what you might call a Mark Wahlberg apologist. I love the guy. In pretty much everything (okay, so The Happening pushed it, but I’m loyal). With that in mind, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that his new pic Contraband was going to make the “Top 5″ cut. If you’re interested in learning more about the crime drama set in the world of international smuggling then you will do good to check out our interviews with Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, and director Baltasar Kormáku. If you haven’t already, you can also read Matt’s Contraband review by clicking here.

3. First Official Images from Jonathan Levine’s Zombie Pic WARM BODIES

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As mentioned in the Contraband slot above, I’m a loyal guy. With regards to entertainment artifacts, if you can give me one reason to really like you (i.e. Wahlberg in Boogie Nights) then chances are I’m going to offer you the benefit of the doubt going forward. Enter Jonathan Levine. His 50/50 was my favorite film of 2011 and now, as a result, he gets to reap all of the benefits of my self-proclaimed loyalty. Whether you loved Levine’s previous output, or if you’re just a sucker for pics that revolve around a protagonist who just so happens to be a zombie suffering from a classic case of unrequited love, I think you’ll like what you see from the first official images (more here) from his Warm Bodies.

4. Cinemath: A Year-End Report on the 2011 Box Office

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love all that Mr. Brendan Bettinger’s semi-regular “Cinemath” feature stands for (and that’s not just because he pays me to say that). It’s always comprehensive, well-researched, well-presented, and full of colorful graphs that help make my brain forget that it doesn’t really understand what all those decimal points and percentage symbols are doing. All of this said, before you get too psyched thinking about all of those 2012 resolutions you don’t intend to follow-through on, I suggest you take a few minutes to look back at 2011 and all of the box office goodness it presented.

5. Our 2011 TCA Winter Press Tour Coverage

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Kudos to our own Christina Radish for providing Collider with a solid breadth of coverage from this year’s TCA Winter Press Tour. Given the large amount of transcription required to makes this coverage happen, I’m sure her wrists are none too pleased with the effort. As for the rest of us, we can all partake in the benefits of getting Star Trek sequel updates from J.J. Abrams, 24 movie updates from Kiefer Sutherland, Riddick stories from Katee Sackhoff, anything at all from the great Melissa McCarthy, and a ton more. In case you’ve missed some or all of it, you can find all of these stories and then some by checking out all of our 2011 TCA Winter Press Tour coverage.

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