A taut and wandering thriller, a sadomasochistic sexual psycho drama and a stylish, but oblique international intrigue story, Oliver Assayas' latest film"Boarding Gate," is either attempting to subvert genres or just not clear what it wants to be, but either way it makes for a unique experience.
First off though, we take issue with the "Irma Vep," crowd that adores that aggressively average 1996-made paean to filmmaking (Maggie Cheung is a wooden actress as far as we're concerned; and yes, we love JP Léaud too, but he, a movie does not make), and unfairly compares all of his work to the supposed brilliance of 'Vep.' So that's an unfortunate irritant, but we digress...
A bedraggled and hot Asia Argento stars as Sandra, an ex-prostitute once involved in twisted sexual games with former client turned lover, the bloated and twisted millionaire businessman, Miles (Michael Madsen).
She returns to Miles for seemingly thin reasons (cause he calls?) and they recap their sexual past while Madsen smokes, seems genuinely loose cannon-y and Argento masturbates (basically as it all happened in real life).
Argento gets involved in drug smuggling machinations and suddenly, her and Madsen's transgressively erotic sexual games are on again and we're in softcorn S&M porn territory. And just as that's getting interesting (and intentionally or unintentionall funny, it doesn't matter), Argento "offs" Miles with a bullet to the head and then the "plot," starts to finally reveal itself.
So the narrative is confusing, but it is orchestrated that way, but the point of the story is less about the grammar and more about the feeling and this is where Assayas scores with the noir-ish unease, moody cool, and the beautfiul atmospherics. It's what leads many to call this empty stylishness over substance, but we found ourselves deeply drawn into the ellipitcal haze (assisted by the dreamy strains of Brian Eno and Robert Fripp).
The sexual tension is great, the fucked up psychodrama entertaining and the noirish elements create an icy anxiety but when Madsen dies and the film travels to Beijing, it becomes trapped in thriller cliches. But a claustrophobic and kinetic camera (or was it just cause we had to sit up front?) marvels with implied wariness around every corner and gives every scene an odd, and heightened sense of unease.
It's one of the best thing Oliver Assayas has ever done, but it also shits the bed in the end as it becomes some sort of a strange techno-international thriller (out of nowhere featuring Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon in a stilted cameo - no more than 5 words per dialogue line please - barking orders in Cantonese at her pleebs).
Despite having a small, but vocal cult following, we always felt Assayas' work was near-amateurish and his low production values and B-list actors never helped us change our minds (He's like Canadian television that way), but faults aside, "Boarding Gate" alluring ambience and dark impressionism is pretty hypnotic. [B+]
Senior Village Voice critic J. Hoberman may have disliked the film (aside from Argento's, ahem, comely assets), but Nathan Lee was moved enough by the film, or Argento's performance anyhow, he penned a full-blown, near-hagiographic feature on the actor/directress. Even those that dislike the film seem to unanimously agree, Argento is magnetic supernova (or a volcanic dynamo, take your pick) worth watching. The NY Times' Manhola Dargis says, "I’m fairly certain one reason that the French director Olivier Assayas made 'Boarding Gate' is that he wanted to watch the Italian actress Asia Argento strut around in black underwear and punishing heels," which amuses us. She also aptly calls it an anti-thriller. It's only playing in New York right now, but give it a shot when it comes to your city, it's a very decent bet.
Exotica: Oliver Assayas' 'Boarding Gate' Is Stylish & Sexual Mood Porn For Cinephiles (But Contains Thriller Narratives For You Geeks Too)
A taut and wandering thriller, a sadomasochistic sexual psycho drama and a stylish, but oblique international intrigue story, Oliver Assayas' latest film"Boarding Gate," is either attempting to subvert genres or just not clear what it wants to be, but either way it makes for a unique experience.
Chapter 27: Jared Leto and Lindsay Lohan in a film about John Lennon's death - does this have recipe for disaster written all over it or what? Playing the deranged Mark David Chapman, the nutjob that assassinated the Beatles legend, Leto gained so much weight for the role (60lbs) he gave himself a case of gout. Ok, despite being an uber-asshat and frontman of the wretched 30 Seconds to Mars, Leto has done some solid work on screen ("Requiem For A Dream," "Fight Club"), but it's been a while since he's done something substantial enough to erase the memory of his abject eye-liner'd day job. It's also taken this film a shitload of time to get into theaters - it premiered at Sundance '07 and then leaked online in March - which is never a good sign, nor is it good for business. We're still mildly curious. Trailer.
This poster comes via MTV.
OK, so fucking "Street Fighter," the awesome early '90s video game that we all wasted a lot of time and quarters playing.
There's a remake film acomin', and there's lot of people cast as fighting champions in the game, however, a lot of the key characters in the original "Street Fighter II" game (the classic one) are missing (at least, so far).
If and when these classic characters appear in the "Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li" script and are therefore in need of casting, we offer what we think are wise and spot-on suggestions. Some of these picks are so brilliant, sometimes we think we should go into the casting business.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Dee Jay
Ok, the part of a goofy and jittery Jamaican guy who loves to dance as much as he does to fight, who do you cast? Holy shit, did you see "Southland Tales"? Minus the patois and the love of dance, this pretty much nails Hudson's buffoonish and minstrely performance in that post-apocalyptic comedy. Nervous and edgy, he was practically never standing still one moment in the film - pretty much the same way Dee Jay is meant to fight. Give him some rat-tail extensions and tracksuit pants and he's pretty much on call ready to go.
Oliver Platt as Zangief
Who should play the brawny, bear-wrestling Russian mad man? Oliver Platt! Sure he'll have to turn all that jelly into rockhard muscles and abs, but he's a thespian, so a couple of issue's of "Men's Health" and a trainer and he should be fine. If not, there's always muscle suits or CGI. Weta's been quiet lately, haven't they?
Benicio Del Toro as Blanka
Ok, he's a Brazilian mutant (accent, check) who gets so fucking annoyed he sparkles with electricity when he fights. What takes real acting is sitting in a chair for 4-5 hours in uber-uncomfortable prosthetic make-up and hair and then pretending to not act like a total perturbed fucking asshole on a movie set for 12 hours a day for 4-6 weeks (no really, they should give out awards for being able to sustain this torture; now you know why Eddie Murphy is constantly seeking out transexuals; shit manifests itself in strange ways). Since Del Toro is already going to be well-prepared for this cosmetic agony having already played the
boogie man Wolf Man, might as well cast him while he's acclimated, no? Any other actor will probably give you a half-ass and removed performance. Del Toro? He'd be a pro; hanging out on set, joking with the grips, smoking those cigars he got from playing Che and probably bring a relaxed atmosphere to the production. Perfect.
Mola Ram from "Temple of Doom" as Dhalsim
Wait, how will you coax him for the part of the Indian pacifist who'd rather not fight, but when pressed will elongate his arms to punch your teeth in? Easy. Fly to the Ganges, offer him the heart of some useless white chick (come to NY, dime a dozen), and or those cheap Crystal Skulls (wait, 2 month for Ebay), and voila, he's off to Hollywood for 8 weeks of wire-fu work and fun in the sun. How to manage his ravenous bloodlust and constant need for nubile sacrifices? He'll likely be dazzled by all the starlet choices he can offer to the gods that he'll be assuaged enough for the few weeks he's needed on set.
Vinne Jones as Sagat
If it weren't for the existence of Vinnie Jones, many a comic-book/video game/cartoon movie adaptation would have to suffer hiring ex-jocks who can't act their way out of a paper bag (99% of them). Thankfully Jones has flair, charisma and can emote. He's also as large as fuck, so he's perfect (see The Juggernaut in the X-Men movies). Sagat is gigantic, blind in one eye and from Thailand. Rip off his shirt, put on an eye patch and have Jones affect a basic Thai accent and we're ready to roll.
Margaret Cho as E. Honda
Hey, if it worked for Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There," why not flip the gender script once more? Get Cho to play Edmondo the Japanese sumo wrestler and inject some comic relief into this thing. Plus this comedienne in a buffet line can't be that different from Honda's pattented 'hundred violent sumo hands' maneuver. Hiya!
Owen Wilson as Ken
Ok, let's up the A-list factor a little bit and why not achieve that via the butterscotch stallion. Wilson already knows some Mexico judo, and his fun-loving, carefree approach to memorizing lines, acting and actually appearing on set might keep the other actors on their toes and at the top of their game.
Josh Holloway as Guile
Sure, you'd be subverting the beefcake factor by asking the "Lost" hunk to chop or at least coif his locks in the ridiculous manner that this U.S. colonel does, but the prospect of having him extra cut and shirtless for at least 90 minutes should lure in the married-and-bored chick factor that seems to adore him to death.
Before we end this post, let's take a moment of silence to cherish the brilliance that was casting Kylie Minogue as the waify British assassin character Cammy in the original "Street Fighter" movie. Sheer genius.
We Not Jammin': Rights Imbroglio Mars Weinstien's Bob Marley Biopic; Project May Be Pushed To 2015(!)
The forthcoming Bob Marley biopic being produced by the Weinstein Company has hit a major snag and its name is Marty Scorsese.
Despite being executive produced by Rita Marley (the film is based on her book, "No Woman No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley") , Scorsese's also upcoming Marley documentary, being produced by the Marley family-owned Tuff Gong Pictures and Steven Bing's Shangri La banner, is the first theatrical doc to license Marley songs (and evidently they have first dibs).
Apparently since both films are scheduled for a close release date (late 2009 for Harvey, early 2010 for Marty), the Scorsese camp feels the films are in direct competition according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"Martin Scorsese doesn't want to go out with a competing project, and Steven Bing has made deals with companies" that are now compromised, Blue Mountain Music president and alleged vampire, and total movie cock-blocker Chris Blackwell told the Hollywood trade paper. "The Weinstein project has put the documentary into jeopardy."
Blue Mountain Music is Marley's music publisher and it's not looking good for the Weinstein project at all since Blackwell would like the biopic delayed until at least 2015! (no, seriously)
"All our efforts and support are currently directed toward the documentary," the untitled project's executive producer Ziggy Marley said. "We believe that this project is the best way to represent our father's life from his perspective, and any other film project pertaining to our father will be empty without his music to support it."
A perspective from Rita Marley suggest people were clued out when they first made this deal. "When I sold the film rights to my book," Rita Marley told The Reporter, "the contract did not include any rights to use my husband's music." Roh roh.
According to HR, the Marley family's lawyer Terri Dipalo denied the latest move is a negotiating tactic to compel the Weinsteins to buy Marley music rights or to up the price for those rights. Blackwell expects a deal to be reached soon whereby the Weinstein Co. would take a stake in the Scorsese docu and agree to postpone its biopic.
Maybe Chris Blackwell IS a vampire!
Exclusive: 'Go-Getter' Film Getting June 6 NY, L.A. Release Date; Soundtrack Features M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel
Yes, it's true, there's a small, but fervent constituency of fans and followers desperate to see the Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel film, "The Go-Getter" (directed by Martin Hynes), and after months of silence and speculation, a source very close to the production has confirmed to us that the film will see its first official release in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto on June 6.
Who's releasing it and will it go wide after that? The distributor that has bought the film is Peach Arch Entertainment (the upcoming "Chapter 27," with Jared Leto), and presumably, the film will at least go into other major North American markets after that, but official word is mute so far. The DVD however, will follow the theatrical run in the summer (but don't expect one of those indie "day and date" releases; DVD, OnDemand and theaters).
Why is the film coming out now all of a sudden when it debuted in January 2007 at Sundance?
Perhaps a small reason is the timely success of Deschanel's collaboration with Portland folk singer M. Ward: the recently released (and celebrated) debut album Volume One under the moniker She & Him. And of course it's been widely reported that Deschanel and M. Ward first met when recording a cover of Richard & Linda Thompson's road classic, "When I Get To The Border," for "The Go-Getter" film. Ah, convenient synergy marketing/word of mouth dovetails perfectly.
As we wrote when he first started this blog last year, "The Go-Getter" is a road trip film of personal discovery inspired by a parent's death that stars Lou Taylor Pucci (the breakout star of "Thumbsucker"), Zooey Deschanel, indie-enthusiast Jena Malone and has been scored by sensitive Merge alt-folkie M.Ward (who also has a cameo in the film as one of Pucci's friends). The film also features supporting roles by the great Judy Greer and Maura Tierney and the soundtrack also features Elliott Smith, The Replacements and the Black Keys.
The Facebook synopsis is more detailed calling the film a "mixtape of emotional discoveries":
Left with an aching instinctual itch to explore America after a traumatic loss, a curious teenager named Mercer (Lou Taylor Pucci) suddenly steals a car in Oregon and develops a life-altering telephonic connection with the forgiving and mysterious girl he took it from (Zooey Deschanel). As he sets out with her phone calls as guidance, Mercer's motives find focus as he travels across the postmodern highways of the former Wild West to seek self-knowledge and a sense of belonging. Played with truth and nuance, young Mercer follows the clues and confronts struggles, both good and bad, on his spiritual journey toward manhood and an end to his grief.As it stood last year, "The Go-Getter" soundtrack looked like this (below). We've been told the soundtrack release is forthcoming, but no release date (or label info) has been made available yet. Stay tuned.
"The Go-Getter" soundtrack tracklist
01 M. Ward - "Vincent O'Brien"
02 M. Ward - "Fuel for Fire"
03 M. Ward - "Look Me Over/Duet for Guitars"
04 Elliott Smith - "Coast to Coast"
05 The Black Keys - "10 A.M. Automatic"
06 The Black Keys - "Keep Me"
07 The Replacements - "Color Me Impressed"
08 M. Ward - "Sweethearts on Parade"
09 M. Ward - "I'll Be Your Bird"
10 M. Ward - "Outta My Head"
11 M. Ward - "Carolina"
12 M. Ward [ft. Zooey Deschanel] - "When I Get to the Border"
Download: M. Ward w/ Zooey Deschanel - "When I Get To The Border"
Download: Richard and Linda Thompson - "When I Get To The Border"
Download: Elliott Smith - "Coast to Coast"
We would be remiss if we didn't say some people are the worst, lazy Googler's ever. And it would be a lie for us to say questions repeatedly and incessantly asked of us do not annoy the shit out of us. So to hopefully put an end to the chatter, here's everything you ever possibly wanted to know about the music in the three official "Iron Man" trailers that are up on Apple.
We haven't paid strict attention as the comic-geek blogs seem to have this fairly well covered and we're usually predisposed to shitting on (or ignoring) most comic-book trailers and projects because frankly, most of them look terrible (see "The Incredible Hulk" for a very recent example), but the "Iron Man" cast (Robert Downey Jr., Terrance Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow) and trailers look top-notch. It could very well turn out to be the insipid dreck that is most superhero films, but director Jon Favreau and co. seem to have this one up sewn up rather well.
Regular New Trailer
This new trailer is the HD one that debuted at the end of February.
The beginning features the completely umistakable hesher track "Back In Black" by raspy Australian rasy AC/DC. Perhaps you have may have heard of them. Then there's a lull with some orchestral score (the :44 second mark) which is the worker of the film's composer Ramin Djawadi. At 1:24 in the trailer, the techno-rocking sounds of ersatz shoegazer's Curve can be heard (the track "Hell Above Water" from the 2001 album The Gift). At 1:42, "throw a little hot-rod red in there," you can hear the ubiquitous cock-rock track "Cochise," by former alt-god, turned wanker Chris Cornell's last group Audioslave. The end of the trailer naturally features the Black Sabbath metal classic, "Iron Man."
And the other versions of the trailer are much the same. The "Iron Man" TV spot features solely Audioslave (the same song). And the teaser trailer showcases, Curve, Filter ("Hey Man Nice Shot") and once again Ozzy's old doom metal rockers, Black Sabbath.
Consider this a public service announcement, consider the matter now completely closed* (*(there might be some Filter played at 1:14 in the regular trailer, we're too lazy to double check and are annoyed with how long this post has taken to write already).
"Iron Man" will likely destroy the box-office competition when it comes out in theaters May 2.
What better way than to wash away the lingering stink of mediocre overseas reviews than to create a new fancypants "Sex In The City"-like poster* with all the hotties in the film to trick audiences into thinking this is a brand new film they've never heard of!
Ah, those crafty Weinstein Brothers!
To be fair, this is a new cut of the road trip love story "My Blueberry Nights," (different from the maligned-Cannes version) and regardless of the middling reviews, we're still very psyched to see this film by Hong Kong master Wong Kar-Wai ("In The Mood For Love" is a sumptuous masterpiece).
So yeah, the movie originally was scheduled for February (as was the soundtrack) and then both of them got pushed to April (4/4 for the film, 4/1 for the disc).
The soundtrack, as we mentioned many times, features Norah Jones (in her debut feature-length acting gig), Cat Power and the moody, haunting twang of guitarist Ry Cooder. We've got some related treats to give away. A grand prize of a soundtrack CD and poster, plus three runner-up prizes on one CD each. As you can tell by the poster, the film also stars indie-enthusiast Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz.
Update: Contest Closed, thanks for playing.
All one needs to do is
email us the answer to this pretty basic trivia question: Chan Marshall aka Cat Power makes a small appearance in the film (also her feature debut). What male lead actor does she make out briefly? The information is buried somewhere on our site in past stories, but if you know how to search or follow basic links you should easily be able to find it. Bonne chance. First four people to respond get the four prizes (1st gets grand prize).
*Sure, the poster is kind of false advertising and targeting a different (read: wider) audience, but whatever, we get marketing, trying to get your film to everyone and we're not totally hatin'.
As previously reported, Norah Jones wrote a new song, “The Story” exclusively for the movie’s soundtrack (which you can hear below) and she's confirmed for an upcoming David Letterman appearance on April 2 where she'll presumably be playing the track.
Download: Ry Cooder - "Paris Texas"
Download: Ry Cooder - "Mixteca"
Download: Umebayshi Shigeru - "Yumeji's Theme"
Download: Cat Power - "Willie"
Watch: "My Blueberry Nights" trailer
Eef Barzelay, the witty and sometimes-too clever ex-singer of disbanded country irony rockers Clem Snide, has composed yet another score to another indie flick.
This time he's tackling music for "Yellow Handkerchief," a road movie starring William Hurt, Maria Bello and directed by Israeli-born filmmaker Udayan Prasad ("My Son the Fanatic" and "Opa!") due later this year.
Barzelay's first foray into film scoring was the 2007 Sundance indie-comedy, "Rocket Science," which was so insufferably filled with every "indie" prerequisite ever (stilted, quirky, underachieving, awkward, unrequited) that we literally yelled a lot at the television when we finally rented it and contemplated Xanax as a passive aggressive method of fast forward.
And nothing against Barzelay, aside from trying to be too cute lyrically sometimes, but the honking horn, banging of tin drum and I-can't-play-accordion, accordion score was like sitting wide awake through dental work (the single was harmless enough though).
Here's to hoping this next time goes smoother.
We just asked, isn't Judd Apatow's mostly spot-free track record ('cept for "Walk Hard"), due for a hit soon?
The answer seems likely and it might be right around the corner (this weekend). The L.A. Times (via Spout) has an article running today about how Owen Wilson, the star of the Apatow-produced, "Drillbit Taylor" won't be promoting the film that comes out March 21, because he doesn't want to do interviews (presumably wanting to side-step questions about his alleged suicide attempt last year).
Instead of doing interviews or even talk-show appearances, Paramount has coaxed Wilson to film "Drillbit"-themed introductions in front of Fox's Sunday-night prime-time lineup (apparently their target audience) including the shows, " The Simpsons," "King of the Hill," "Family Guy" and "Unhitched." Sensing the jeopardy, Apatow has been doing interviews himself as well to help drum up the necessary attention in lieu of talking points from its reluctant star.
"The original idea [for 'Drillbit'] came from John Hughes ("Ferris Bueller," "Sixteen Candles")who wrote a treatment of the movie but he never got around to writing it." Apatow said of '80s director that few to none of the intended PG13 audience will be old enough to remember."So when Paramount said, 'Hey, guys you want to write this idea that John Hughes never got around to doing?' We said, 'Sure. We'll take a pop at it.' "
Meanwhile, one of the first major 'Drillbit' reviews has come via the Hollywood reporter and they call the flick a "flimsy comedy" and a "relatively lame exercise that never achieves comic traction." The film is currently sitting at an incredibly dismal, 17% approval rate at Rotten Tomatoes. Entertainment Weekly calls it, "a disordered, dispirited shuffling of flailing-to-be-funny and trying-to-be-empathetic scenes."
Now we're not so bummed we missed our screening. Meta-Critic has no score for it yet, but the reviews for it there are also very sub-par.
OK, who's lite-bright idea was it to let the Wachowski Brothers ghey up the "Speed Racer" movie? We're not sentimentally attached to it or anything (aside from a few Ghostface videos), but it looks like an garish, electric kool-aid acid mess mixed with the design abomination that was Bjork's Volta and Willy Wonka-flavored vomit.
Here's an idea, rather than mute the rainbow-loony comic book/cartoon ideas and make them seem more plausible (see, "Batman Begins", "Watchmen," "X-Men," i.e. most superhero/cartoon live-action adaptations), why not amplify all the cartoony, fish-eyed elements and make them snap, crackle and pop like a kaleidoscopic starbursting eyesore?
This seems to be thinking behind the Wachowski brothers anti-realism, hyper-stylized live-action rendition of their "Speed Racer" adaptation and in some ways you gotta respect their gotta-be-faithful to the original cartoon commitment and fuck-the-trends attitude.
However, did that help "The Flintstones" adaptation? Did it help any of the cartoon/super hero adaptations of the '80s and '90s? (think the Batman franchises, esp. "Batman & Robin," "Judge Dredd," "The Phantom,") Who will be the audience for this film be exactly?
Let's face it, despite the immense levels of camp, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," constituency isn't going to show up for this one, fans of George Clooney's nippled-Batman are almost non-existent and the few sci-fi geeks and internet blobs that surely get erect from the posters and trailers can't sustain an opening weekend let alone more than a few million, can they?
The trailer for this mess looks like pure candy-coated eye diarrhea; a mix of affected ping-ponging CGI, absurdist psychedelia and "Fantasia"-esque razzle-dazzle. The vibrant, kinetic visuals look like they're trying to make you feel dizzy, vertiginous and ill. The gaudy colors make us think it's aimed at pre-schoolers and the Barney crowd (there could be a raver contingent in the house in a deep K-hole, be forewarned).
Either way, it just looks dreadful! Emile Hirsch what were you thinking? The film also stars John Goodman, Matthew Fox and Christina Ricci, but last time we checked they didn't really have careers so it's not quite as an alarming move as the young Hirsch's.
It literally makes us feel phobic towards colors, but we suppose there's some kids (and adults who should know better) that just want to see a video game up on screen with lots of wow and flutter. No accounting for taste.
You'll recall that Wu-rapper Ghostface Killah successfully petitioned his way into a cameo for the upcoming, "Iron Man," film directed by Jon Favreau. Did the Wally Champ find his way into this film? Or did he wisely see the teaser last year and think to himself, "Oh snap, fuck that." This thing opens some time in May. We could give a flying fuck.
Watch: Ghostface Killah - "Daytona 500" (the video was made of edits from the original "Speed Racer" cartoon)
Watch: New "Speed Racer" trailer
Confirmed 'Street Fighter' Cast A Good Excuse To Make Stupid Graphic; Cartoon Movies Now The Dumping Ground For B-List Wanna Be Musician Turned Actor?
Yes, there's another Black Eyed Peas member trying to weasel his way into Hollywood (the Samoan-or-something dude, Taboo)
It kind of fits, no? After all that garish motley crue do dress like retarded school children and are quite the colorful bunch to look at.
More on that in a second.
Remember that game you spent a shit load of time as a kid trying to properly throw fireballs and dragon punches at your frienemy pals in junior highschool? Remember when you wasted all that time and money and stole from the laundromat to feed your video game addiction? Wait, scratch that last part.
Well, it's coming to theaters... again.
Apparently a version of "Street Fighter"with Claude Van Damme (a campy one in 1994) in the lead wasn't enough. Someone out there with an outraged sense of nostalgia decided they had to complete a faithful video-game adaptation (betcha that's the first time you heard that, huh?)
So yeah, the new cast of the new "Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li " film has been confirmed and announced and as you'd expect, it's a decidedly C-list round of players that star (though Clarke could arguably called B-list, you wouldn't catch us dead, arguing for Chris Klien).
Due in 2009, which means they're going to start shooting soon, and directed by never-times Academy Award winner Andrzej Bartkowiak (the AFI ratified "Doom"), the film - as the title suggests, has the character of Chun-Li as the main protagonist (a girl! in a fighting movie! ha!). Also, those of you mostly familiar with "Street Fighter II" (us ; the classic version of the video), will be puzzled to see newer unfamiliar characters from the extreme version of the video game ('SF Alpha').
Gen X-Y fans will be sad to hear that so far at least, there's no Guile, no Ryu, E. Honda and no Ken. Dare to dream.
CHUN LI ("Smallville's Kristin Kreuk)
"Lightning kick: Press any K button rapidly. Use this multi hit kick combo whenever the opponent is dizzy. Otherwise use it at close range only." Wise words, right? According to early gaming guides, "She is very easy to beat because she jumps around so much. When she lands from a jump try to throw her, or place a
strong punch or kick to her"thin and pathetic mid-section" (ok, that last part we made up).
M. BISON (the albino looking Neal McDonough from "Minority Report")
His special moves require that you hold in directions for a few seconds before pulling a move off. One of his special moves is the "Psycho Crusher" which sends him flying in the direction of his opponent with a damaging spin (note: the great Raul Julia had the distinction of sullying his career before his death by playing this character in the original).
VEGA (Superfluous Blacked Eyed Pea member Taboo)
A masked and fey character who prances around like an effeminate idiot slap-wristing his enemies with a phallic-like claw, this is essentially the same role Taboo has in BEP, so at least this casting is apropos.
BALROG (played by go-to gargantuan actor Michael Duncan Clarke)
"This guy is a boxer. His swinging dash punch is difficult to avoid, and he'll often try doing them over and over again. If you have a character that can do a projectile, keep doing that move on him. Otherwise crouch and keep trying to sweep him with the roundhouse." If this character doesn't have Oscar-winning, 3-dimensional role written all over it, we give up.
CHARLIE NASH (Chris Klein)
Fallen from the B-list, Klein evidently has some mortgage payments to make after that Farrelly Brothers career failed to pan out. He plays the first lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Nash who apparently is friend of the character Guile.
Maxim spread girls Moon Bloodgood and actors Edmund Chen and Cheng Pei Pei have also signed on to star, but so far it's unknown who'll they'll play. Hmmm, speculation? The plot centers on revenge, fighting, do-gooding, betrayal, and the absolute suspension of any remotely plausible disbelief.
Let's face it. Writing about these films is like shooting fish in a barrell, but it's fun position to aim from.
The Judd Apatow Gravy Train Keeps Rolling; Will He Finally Fail? Your Infodex File For The Next 2 Years
In September of 2007 we took a pretty exhaustive and thorough look at all the films that producer / writer/ director "#1 Smartest Man in Hollywood" Judd Apatow would be have a hand in for all of 2008 and some of 2009.
And of course seven months later and that list has expanded.
Yes, at some point he must die, at some point he has to fall flat on his face (later this year?), but it hasn't happened ... yet. Later this year we'll see five-fucking Apatow projects - is he set to crash and burn this year? Is it all too much? "Drillbit Taylor," with Owen Wilson (which comes out this weekend), the aforementioned 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (which comes out April 18), the Adam Sandler Mossad agent comedy, "You Don't Mess With Zohan" (arriving in June) and the doofus brothers comedy film reteaming Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, "Step Brothers." Oh and wait, let's not forget August with action-comedy "Pineapple Express."
But there's more on the way. Before we all begin the inevitable 2008 backlash, ask yourself this. If you had carte blanche to create all the stupid comedies you could with all your buddies and pals, wouldn't you too want to want to just charge forward and get as many of them done as you could before the studios wised up and shot you down? Coming to a theater not too soon...
Five Year Engagement
Another product from the exact team behind April's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - writer-director Nick Stoller and writer-star Jason Segel - the film is described as (naturally) a "bawdy, couples comedy," about a... duh, five year engagement. Stoller says the film will essentially be an extension of the soon-to-be-released 'Marshall.' "If Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell) and Jason's character had stayed together, this might be the sequel," he said. No female interest has been cast in the part yet.
The Untitled Muppet Movie
Forget Seth Rogen, apparently Segel is the new red-hot member of the Judd Apatow family players. The "Freaks & Geeks" star has never carried an Apatow film on his shoulders yet - see 'Sarah', but that will prove itself soon enough. So what's after 'Marshall'? Apparently Disney has tapped these two to revise "The Muppets" franchise with Kermit the Frog and company. No seriously. Apparently 'Sarah Marshall,' contains a funny musical performed by a Dracula puppets and the Mickey Mouse execs were impressed. Segel told MTV on Monday he was disappointed in the last couple Muppet films and wanted to return to the glory days, "“I just want to go take it back to the early 80’s, when it was about the Muppets trying to put on a show. That’s what I’m trying to bring back.”
Untitled Judd Apatow "Relationship" Comedy - Aka Apatow's Wife Does Adam Sandler
Very little is known about this film beside the basics and that's on purpose for "secretive script reasons." But we do know it's Apatow's follow-up to "Knocked Up," he wrote it himself, it's due to start shooting in the late summer/early fall and it stars many of his familiar players: the schlubby Seth Rogen, his wife Leslie Mann and his old roommate Adam Sandler. But in an Entertainment Weekly piece not yet online Mann recently revealed she'll be playing Sandler's love interest. Hey, so it's a raunchy comedy with heart, right? Update: Today Apatow confirms what we already suspected. “It’s a relationship movie," he told MTV. “It’s not a big high-concept movie. It’s hopefully going to be a very, very funny drama...a hilarious drama is what I’m going for.”
Then we have projects currently being shot, but no firm release date yet.
The first offering from the 2009 Apatow menu will likely be the Jack Black and Michael Cera vehicle, "Year One." Cera obviously starred in "Superbad," and it was only time before a mainstay like Black joined the fold (though he did have a brief cameo as the crazed motorcyclist in 'Anchorman' SCTV alum/Ghostbusters star Harold Ramis, who had a small role as Seth Rogen's dad in "Knocked Up," will direct and co-produce, and co-wrote the project with "The Office" scribes Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, based on his story (Owen Wilson is apparently an executive producer). The plot was under wraps for a few months there, but word got out that the film was a "biblical comedy" that featured "cavemen." The film will also see the return of McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse)!, love interest June Diane Raphael (episodes of "Flight of the Concords") and Oliver Platt, David Cross, Vinnie Jones and Juno Temple. "It’s about the old testament," Black said spilling the beans." I’m just a dude wandering through biblical times. I’m not a famous character that you would have heard of before. Me and Michael Cera are just sort of wandering through, and you get to see all these old stories from the Torah, told through Agnostic, sort of, eyes.”
Apatow in 2009 and Beyond
Projects a little bit further off the map include two by penned by Jonah Hill, "Middle Child" and "Pure Imagination" and three other Apatow films are apparently in development for 2009 and the bulk of them give side-players or extended Apatow family members a leading shot. They include an as of-yet untitled Steve Carrell project; "A Whole New Hugh" - a vehicle for "Daily Show" correspondent Ed Helms; the lawyers who give up their careers to become rappers comedy, "Attorneys At Raw" - a vehicle for 'Freaks' and "Undeclared" player David Krumholtz and the marine comedy, "The Recruiter" starring Romany Malco, the black Smart Tech employee of "40 Year Old Virgin."
Can we ride his dick any fucking harder?? Can we recycle our work any more (for those 3 people that pay attention) Hey, we're charting-project-happy and trying to be green, sue us.
Indie auteur David Gordon Green is drunk with power.
Having already illustrated his ability to tackle every genre known to man (from Southern indie-romance tales to full-blown action comedies - this summer's "Pineapple Express" for Judd Apatow) with his chameleon-like screenwriting prowess (he's tackling a horror remake of "Suspiria" next), the erstwhile indie filmmaker cum soon-to-be mainstream success has set his mad scientist-like ideas on the little people. Literally...
“I want to do a $100 million action movie, I want to do a horror movie, I want to do some weird medieval movie about a dwarf,” Green said with typical ADD zeal to Reelchannel.
Jigga, what? We mentioned a "medieval project" briefly in our "David Gordon Green Tries To Tackle Every Genre Known To Man" piece, and of course now the details are in.
"There’s a book called, 'The Dwarves,' that I want to make with [little person actor] Peter Dinklage that’s pretty awesome that we developed; another challenging movie.”
Mmmkay. But as he's basically said a million times before: don' try and pigeonhole him. “Ultimately [my filmmaking pals and I] a bunch of nerds that like making movies and it’s fun, regardless of if you’re making something harsh and gothic and bleak or if you’re making something where people are singing and dancing in the streets.”
What's that a full-blown feature-length remake of Bowie and Jagger's "Dancing In The Streets" video???
Together and independently, Will Ferrell and Judd Apatow have had a pretty long string of successes both Lol-wise, critically and commercially.
(OK, Ferrell may have a few X's in his corner with duds like, "Blades of Glory," "Kicking & Screaming" - which we actually kind of liked - and arguably, "Semi-Pro," but a decent comedy track record nonetheless).
Producer Apatow's 2007 super-smashes ("Knocked Up," "Superbad,") earned him the "Mayor of Comedy" sobriquet and Ferrell's been pretty much on-point since his SNL days even when the films themselves might not have been so great (see above).
But now that the both of them are separately and independently contemplating sequels to their various comedy success, it bares the question: have both of them run out of ideas? Are they running out of gas and or are they just getting lazy?
Producer/writer/director Judd Apatow just discussed the idea for an "Anchorman 2" sequel (a Ferrell comedy he produced), but it sounds far-fetched and far-far off.
And thankfully, many of their ideas seem half-baked insofar as they'd probably never really have the enthusiasm to make them and Ferrell at least maintains a healthy level of skepticism about all of them - even with huge paydays in mind.
Here's a look a what they have brewing, but probably not cooking anytime soon.
“The movie that probably has a best shot at a sequel is ‘Anchorman.’ Ron Burgundy would be hilarious at 70-years-old, being the anchor,” Apatow told MTV just yesterday. But luckily if it ever happened, Burgundy would have to stay classy a few decades from now. "We all think it would be fun to see him up on his feet again doing what only he can do. That would be awesome – but it could only happen in 30 years.”
Survey Says: Likely hood of this actually happening seem slim to none. We have to say, "whew" (it sounds terrible).
Old School 2 (aka Old School Dos)
"I read [the script]. Some super funny set pieces, but I don't know," Ferell told AICN at the end of February. "I think Vince [Vaughn] had the same reaction. We're just kind of doing the same thing again. It was like us going to Spring Break, but we've got to find this guy who's the head of a fraternity. Once again, funny things but it's just us once again back in a fraternity setting. It just felt like it was repeating. But watch, I'm over thinking it."
Survey Says: A mild to decent shot regardless simply because it almost went into production a few years back with director Todd Phillips again back at the helm. We generally hate sequels, but out of all these films, we consider "Old Schoo," the original, a bonafide comedy classic, so with a strong script in hand (and only if), we'd love to see these clowns go for another round. Note Apatow has nothing to do with this.
"Yeah, there was a little talk, and I brought it up to Ben really five years after the fact," Ferrell told MTV while promoting "Semi-Pro" in February. "Just for whatever reasons, it's just not crystallizing. That's the other thing. I mean, Mugatu, what do you do with that guy? Would he still be obsessed with that?"
Survey Says: We probably don't need to worry about this happening unless both Ben Stiller and Ferrell somehow both go broke. But never say never.
A shit-load of cash was on the table: Ferrell turned down $29 million to make a sequel to his Christmas 2003 hit directed by Jon Favreau and confirmed yet again that the project is "100% dead." 'I killed the idea of a sequel. I never liked it - $29m does seem a lot of money for a guy to wear tights, but it's what the marketplace will bear," Ferell told The Guardian in 2006. "It's insane, but it's not my call. The studios perpetuate it and they make it hard to say no. [But] it wasn't difficult at all.I remember asking myself: could I withstand the criticism when it's bad and they say, 'He did the sequel for the money?,' I decided I wouldn't be able to."
But Ferrell forewarns.
"I [don't] want to wander into an area that could erase all the good work I've done - but you watch, I'll do some sequel in the future that's crap." Never say never, indeed.
Other [Not Sequel] Projects
Oh and while we're at it, don't look for "A Confederacy of Dunces" to happen either. "As far as I know it’s gone," Ferrell told Ain't It Cool. "It’s a mystery. For some reason that’s a very scary project for people to take on and I don’t know why, but yeah I have no idea." (though formerly attached director David Gordon Green seemed to have some answers to why the project fell apart).
Next up for Ferrell is the "Land Of the Lost" remake (which Apatow is producing; Danny McBride co-stars). "It'll be PG-13, yet we still want [edge]. It's right up to an R and we are going to pull that line with the studio, because I already had an experience with 'Kicking and Screaming.' [It] was supposed to be more of a 'Bad News Bears' type comedy and they kind of [made it PG]."