For AOL Movies: Beach, Daniels, Stiles, Hathaway, Weitz, Shaiman, Carey, Spurlock

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These are my latest posts for AOL Inside Movies. Please feel free to click over and read these posts in their entirety.

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Today’s Free Online Movie: ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’

Broadway was abuzz when Neil Simon’s ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ opened in 1983, making Matthew Broderick an instant star and placing the prolific playwright-screenwriter — whose talent was often seen as little more than crafting one-liners — in the pantheon of great American artists. Last month, Broadway tried reviving ‘Brighton Beach,’ but the play, with veteran stage actress and former ‘Roseanne’ star Laurie Metcalf, went out with the tide.

‘Precious’ Director Lee Daniels to Tackle Civil Rights Movement With ‘Selma’

On Christmas Eve of 2009, director Lee Daniels will turn 50 years old. With ‘Precious’ perhaps the most widely praised, Oprah-backed, Oscar-hyped film playing in theaters as the march toward awards season gathers steam, the fast-rising trajectory of Daniels’ career seems like the perfect birthday present — and stocking stuffer — rolled into one.

‘Spider-Man 4’ Rumor of the Day: Julia Stiles as the Black Cat?

Now that Rachel McAdams has disavowed interest in playing the Black Cat in ‘Spider-Man 4’, it’s almost open season for any talented actress eyeing a career gain by playing Peter Parker’s favorite fetching feline.

Anne Hathaway Joins ‘Spider-Man 4’ Rumor Mill

The floodgates are opening! Nikke Finke’s Deadline Hollywood is now reporting that Anne Hathaway’s name has been tossed in the ring for a possible starring role in ‘Spider-Man 4.’ Gee, what role could that be for?

Sean Connery’s Career Resurrected by a Beaver?

Leave it to the beaver — the one named Bessie Boo — to prod Sean Connery out of (semi-)retirement and get him to team up with the iconic James Bond theme-song singer Shirley Bassey on a project.

Chris Weitz Digs ‘Gardener’ for His ‘New Moon’ Follow-Up

The lesson is: Don’t talk about not shooting until you see the eyes of Weitz.

Marc Shaiman Named Oscar’s Music Director

The key word, we bet, is 10. With a record 10 films to be in Best Picture contention at the 2010 Academy Awards, composer Marc Shaiman had better get started on those parody songs to send up that fact. Per Indiewire.com, he’ll serve as music director of the 82nd Academy Awards itself, it was announced by telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic.

Palm Springs Fest to Honor Mariah Carey for ‘Precious’

Funny how these things happen, huh? Not only has it been announced, per the Hollywood Reporter, that the Breakthrough Performance award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival will go to Mariah Carey for her genuinely astonishing work in ‘Precious,’ but Carey, it turns out, will be there to accept it.

Today’s Free Online Movie: ‘Super Size Me’

Morgan Spurlock has the kind of name that sounds too contrived to be true — as if he were related to James Bottomtooth III, the absurdly underbite-heavy character on ‘Family Guy.’