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audrey peeles jem and the holograms movieThe live action film version of classic '80s cartoon "Jem and the Holograms" has revealed its lineup, with "Nashville" star set to star as the leader of the colorful band.

Peeples, who's already shown off her impressive pipes on the ABC country music series, is playing Jerrica Benton, a.k.a. Jem, the leader of the all-girl Holograms band. The group is rounded out by Stefanie Scott (Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm"), who's playing Jem's sister, Kimber; Aurora Perrineau ("Pretty Little Liars"), who's playing Shana; and Hayley Kiyoko ("The Fosters," Disney Channel movie "Lemonade Mouth"), who's playing Aja.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this interpretation of "Jem" will tap into today's teenagers' online obsessions, with a slightly altered storyline "for a whole new generation with themes of being true to who you are in a multitasking, hyperlinked social media age." THR added that the film's storyline "centers on an orphaned teenage girl who becomes an online recording sensation. She and her sisters embark on a music-driven scavenger hunt -- one that sends them on an adventure across Los Angeles in an attempt to unlock a final message left by her father."

Director Jon M. Chu shared the first image of Peeples, Scott, Perrineau, and Kiyoko as their alter egos on the film's website, which shows that no matter how much the story may differ from the series, at least the actresses all look appropriately glammed up for the gig.

"Jem" is already shooting, and while no release date has been revealed so far, the fast-tracked nature of the project indicates that it could be hitting theaters relatively soon. We'll be eager to see if the movie will honor the series as much as its this promo photo indicates.

[via The Hollywood Reporter, h/t Slash Film]

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
the quiet ones review
The weather might be warming up (finally), but that doesn't mean you can't still get shivers running down your spine courtesy of "The Quiet Ones," a very spooky new horror movie about a professor (played by Jared Harris) who tries to scientifically prove that the supernatural is merely a psychological manifestation and nothing more, utilizing the help of some very plucky, very trusting graduate students from Oxford.

You can imagine how well that goes.

Of course, with the mega-blockbusters of the summer movie season just around the corner (or have they already began? Should we ask Captain America?), do people want a mostly quiet horror movie, with nary a gimmick in sight? Considering how "Oculus" fared a few weeks ago, this is a very viable question. Read on to find out!

1. The Hammer Logo Is Still the Best Ever
"The Quiet Ones" is a new movie by fabled studio Hammer, which produced some of the more memorable horror movies in the history of British cinema. They've been coming back lately, first with the "Let the Right One In" remake "Let Me In," then the sleeper Daniel Radcliffe hit "The Woman in Black" (plus a couple of marginal titles that came out direct-to-video in the United States, including one where two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank just gets creeped on for two hours). The one thing that has remained uniformly excellent about their recent output, though, is the excellence of the Hammer logo, which is like the Marvel logo except with way more fangs.

2. It's Another Period Horror Movie
Since the success of last summer's "The Conjuring," there seems to be a greater emphasis placed on period horror movies. Most of "Oculus" was set in the past, and a number of high-profile horror movies in production have an old timey feel. This works for a number of reasons -- mostly the lack of technology makes it harder to figure out what is going on with the supernatural phenomena manifesting before you, and because period movies have a unique look and feel that are quite different than modern day horror movies. It's nice too to see a movie set in the '70, the heyday of scary movies. You can easily imagine Harris rubbing elbows with David Warner from "The Omen" or Donald Sutherland from "Don't Look Now." They were probably all wearing argyle socks.

3. The Sick Girl From 'Bates Motel' Is in It
Olivia Cooke, the hot, sick girl from A&E's "Bates Motel," plays a young girl in "The Quiet Ones" who is seemingly possessed with otherworldly spirits. She has the power to move things with her mind, can command fire, and looks pale and gross all the time but also somehow alluring (maybe the most significant superpower of all). It's the first time I had ever heard Cooke with her native accent and she really is a powerhouse in the movie, adorable and eerie all at the same time. (She also might be a scream queen in the making, thanks to her upcoming roles in horror films "The Signal" and "Ouija.")

4. The Particulars of the Experiment Are Never Fully Explained
So, Jared Harris is a professor looking to prove that supernatural phenomena doesn't actually exist. Later, he says that this type of mental illness is like a virus. "Cure one subject, cure the world," he says, sounding not unlike a really erudite cult leader. But how this is supposed to happen is never really made clear. Not only would knowing this be edifying in a general sense but it would help you understand the fundamentals of what the characters are trying to do. It would just be helpful for a lot of reasons.

5. Jared Harris's Beard Is Out of Control
Seriously, it's angular and amazing. I even talked to him about it when we chatted recently. It's hard to take your eyes off of it. It's a magnificent display of manly facial hair done right.

6. It Is Way Too PG-13
Another thing that "The Conjuring" should have proven is that R-rated horror movies can still make money. They don't all have to be toothless PG-13 affairs. But no, "The Quiet Ones" is very much a PG-13-rated movie. And you can tell that it was not shot as such. There's a moment when young Olivia Cooke pops out of the bathtub and they cut right before you actually see her breast. Because. God forbid. Elsewhere, two characters are violently murdered, entirely off screen, and for a movie set in the '70s, there's not a joint or LSD tablet in sight. This doesn't just make for drabber filmmaking, it flies in the face of Hammer's history. They were always sexier, funnier, and more colorful than their American counterparts.

7. There's Some Cool Found Footage Aspects to the Movie...
One of the main characters in "The Quiet Ones" is played by Sam Claflin, who is one of the costars of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" and that "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie with the mermaids, and his character is not a student but a local kid who works with the AV club to photograph various experiments. So a lot of the movie is through his lens, where we watch what is unfolding through herky-jerky old film (they never say the stock or size, although at one point he has to "buy cheaper stock," although that sadly doesn't manifest itself visually). There are cool moments where there will be a splice or something and the images won't align properly, and it makes for an altogether more uneasy experience...

8. Although, the Aspect Ratio Might Have Been Wrong
... Although I'm pretty sure that the aspect ratio isn't correct. The image does shift, slightly, with an effect known as "pictureboxing" going on around the edges of the frame. But this isn't the historically accurate representation of what this film would have looked like. It would have been boxier and squarer. Just wait until kids watching this movie at multiplexes and in malls riot in outrage over the improper aspect ratio.

9. Harris's Character Is Able to Explain Away A LOT
At one point, Olivia Cooke's character unleashes what can only be described as a tentacle of goo, that exits her mouth and swirls around in a menacing, bloody tie-dye swoosh. And yet Jared Harris's character remains a skeptic. He describes the phenomenon as "teleplasm," which I'm pretty sure is something from "Ghostbusters 2," and continues the experiment undeterred. Nothing impresses that guy.

10. It's About as 'Based on a True Story' as Batman
The movie claims to be based on a true story, but with a narrative that involves self-immolation, devil-worshiping cults, and a little kid with a demonic imaginary friend, it's about as reality-based as "The Dark Knight Rises." Just keep that in mind. Especially when the teleplasm starts to fly.
forrest gump wes anderson
Although we (and I mean "we" as in "humanity") are reaching the saturation point when it comes to things being done "in the style of Wes Anderson," a newly created title sequence for "Forrest Gump," done (wait for it) in the style of Wes Anderson, is actually pretty unstoppable in its brilliance and hilarity.

There isn't much to say about the sequence (via Film Drunk), since you can kind of imagine what kind of shenanigans are in store for you (perfectly laid out items, symmetrical photography, Futura font), although what's kind of interesting is that the mock sequence recreates different sequences from the film in their entirety. It's nifty and cool in all the right ways.

But still: enough with the things done in the style of Wes Anderson already!
lupita nyong'oWell, it was only a matter of time before Lupita Nyong'o, recent Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for "12 Years a Slave," landed her first big post-Oscar Hollywood gig (and no, "Non-Stop" doesn't count). Well, that gig has just been landed, although it's probably not what you were expecting. It seems that Nyong'o will voice Rakcha, a mother wolf, in Disney's big-screen retelling of "The Jungle Book," at least according to the Hollywood Reporter.

But that's not all. The same report indicates that Scarlett Johansson, currently making waves with her provocative role in Jonathan Glazer's deeply brilliant and bizarre "Under the Skin" (not to mention storming the box office in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"), has also been cast in the new film, as the villainous python Kaa. (In the original 1967 Disney animated classic, Kaa was very much a dude, essayed by legendary Disney voice actor Sterling Holloway.) Last year, Johansson got a lot of praise (and considerable Oscar buzz) for her vocal performance as a sentient computer program in Spike Jonze's "Her." But voicing Kaa will be a different beast altogether (pun very much intended).

The two comely actresses join Idris Elba, who has already agreed to take on the role of Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger, in the live action/CGI hybrid being directed by Jon Favreau. Justin Marks has written the script for the project, which is scheduled for release on October 9, 2015.

Warner Bros. has a competing "Jungle Book" project to be directed by Gollum himself, Andy Serkis.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images
the hobbit the battle of the five armiesFor the longest time, the third film in the trilogy of "Hobbit" movies was called "The Hobbit: There and Back Again." But as one lowly hobbit goes from being a Shire-dwelling nobody to a heroic leader (and possessor of a mystical ring), so too does the subtitle change for a fabled franchise. And today director Peter Jackson announced that the third "Hobbit" movie will no longer be known as "The Hobbit: There And Back Again," but will have an altogether different (and far more menacing title). Say hello to "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

What does this mean? I have no idea. And I'm fundamentally opposed to movies that have two definite articles in their title. So why don't we just let Peter Jackson explain it (via his Facebook page).

Inside Information...

Our journey to make The Hobbit Trilogy has been in some ways like Bilbo's own, with hidden paths revealing their secrets to us as we've gone along. "There and Back Again" felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced-after all, Bilbo has already arrived "there" in the "Desolation of Smaug".

When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title. We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.

And so: "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" it is.

As Professor Tolkien intended, "There and Back Again" encompasses Bilbo's entire adventure, so don't be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies.

Before then however, we have a film to finish, and much to share with you. It's been a nice quiet time for us-Jabez and I happily editing away in a dark cave in Wellington-but those halcyon days are quickly coming to an end. It will soon be time to step into the light. Expect to see and hear much about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in the coming months.

And there's also The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Cut, which we're in the process of finishing, with over 25 mins of new scenes, all scored with original music composed by Howard Shore.

It'll be a fun year!

There you have it, everyone!