It's no big secret now that the press (mainly us) was duped and Samuel L. Jackson is in "Iron Man" after the ending credits. Well, Movieweb has the scene (it was up on YouTube earlier today and got yanked, but they quickly grabbed) and now so do we. "I'm Nick Fury, with S.H.I.E.L.D. You think you're the only super hero in the world?," Jackson/Fury says to a startled Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. in his house.
Anyone got pictures of Hilary Swank yet? (rumors are she's in the "pleeb cut" too)
It's no big secret now that the press (mainly us) was duped and Samuel L. Jackson is in "Iron Man" after the ending credits. Well, Movieweb has the scene (it was up on YouTube earlier today and got yanked, but they quickly grabbed) and now so do we. "I'm Nick Fury, with S.H.I.E.L.D. You think you're the only super hero in the world?," Jackson/Fury says to a startled Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. in his house.
We admit, we like all the parties involved here (even that Issac Brock character, who's kind of a trip in interviews), but this scene from the Flaming Lips' long-overdue "Christmas On Mars," is dull as fuck and makes us think Wayne Coyne and co. couldn't direct themselves out of a paper bag. Guys, some music might help this shit out a little bit. Yeah, it's meant to be odd and uncomfortable, but you know, with some humor? 'Mars' premieres at the Sasquatch! Music Festival on May 28th, be forewarned if you're there and maybe bring a pillow or some E.
Short Cuts: Lil Wayne & Whitaker, Two Dusty Springfield Biopics!, More Trouble For Jackson's 'Lovely Bones', Soderberg, Polanski; More
A few thing happened yesterday when we were out sick.
If he doesn't die first from a syrup-induced coma, Lil Wayne - the baby rapper who likes to dress in suits - will star alongside Forest Whitaker in in the post-Katrina basketball story, "The Patriots." Maybe Weezy can get some more 'Wild Things' secrets out of the Academy Award winning actor. [All Hip-Hop]
Writer Michael Cunningham ("The Hours") let it out of the bag that he's writing a Dusty Springfield biopic as a vehicle for Nicole Kidman. Variety confirms this news and also says Universal is developing its own Dusty Springfield biopic with theatre, film and television actress Kristin Chenoweth attached to star (ironically, she was in "Bewitched" with Kidman in 2005). The race is on! [Variety]
Remember that gay Woodstock film we briefly mentioned by director Ang Lee? Well, it looks like comedian Demetri Martin is going to star in it which is great cause the funny little fuck is hilarious and it's about time someone hired him for a proper movie gig. [Variety]
Music soundtrack supervisor extraordinaire. Meet the guy who scored 214 songs for the new Grand Theft Auto game. 'GTA,' more than any game, helps people discover new music and become aware of old music and break bands and all that," GTA music pmIvan Pavlovich said. [MTV]
Everyone loves Hollywood drama, right? So, was it Peter Jackson who's the difficult prick and not Ryan Gosling? Trouble is a brewing over on the set of "The Lovely Bones" which has shut down production due to some - wait for it euphemism - "creative differences." You'll remember Gosling left the project due to differences with Jackson. Susan Surandon, another actor on the project, delicately tip-toed around saying Jackson is a total dick. "Peter Jackson is really a nice guy and very interesting. It was really a very different way of working. We had a good time, I'm really curious to see what it's like because he kept pushing me to be more and more extreme and sometimes that's when you make your big mistakes so I'm not sure how it will come off - it will be interesting to see it from the point of view of the audience." [Defamer] The debacle may be so bad that the release date of the film may have been delayed.
Remember that Roman Polanski doc, "Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired" about his exile from the United States for being an alleged diddler? ThinkFilm has bought it. Welcome to extremely limited release (though we do love ThinkFilm; just wish they could get it out to more pps). [Variety] It opens July 11 in NY, two days after it airs on HBO.
One for them and then one for me. Or is it rather, one big budget one for me and fug, lo-fi, no budget one for me? Steven Soderberg is following his "Che" epic with "The Girlfriend Experience," which will likely be for the three unemployed people that saw "Bubble" and "Full-Frontal," during the day while they were drunk and had nothing better to do during their 3-day theatrical run [ed. he'll actually be doing "The Informant" with Matt Damon first] [Living Cinema] Meanwhile, Jeffery Wells is calling the two Che films ("The Argentine" "Guerilla,") a "Latin Lawrence Of Arabia"-style epic.
Oh, and an 'Iron Man 2' film coming in 2010? Well, with "'Iron Man" looking to blow past the $100 mil mark this weekend, you can probably bet they'll rush this one into production. [/Film]
So we just wrote about "The Guatemalan Handshake," the Todd Rohal indie film starring Bonnie Prince Billy's Will Oldham, scored by Ola Podrida's David Wingo and championed by indie darling David Gordon Green.
We had lamented the fact that we had missed it in theaters, but were excited now that it's on DVD.
So far there's no soundtrack disc yet (but their might be), but we emailed Wingo and he was kind enough to share two exclusive tracks from the score that have never been officially released yet.
They're short little cues, but they're great. Hopefully this little film finds a following on DVD. We suspect it will. Wingo/DGG's buddies in the North Carolina band Pyramid did the score to an upcoming indie comedy. More on that soon (they did some music for "All the Real Girls" and "Undertow," and Wingo scored them both).
Download: David Wingo - "Opening" (from "The Guatemalan Handshake")
Download: David Wingo - "Dinner Montage" (from "The Guatemalan Handshake")
Watch: "Guatemalan Handshake" trailer
Yes, we were out sick, but at the end of the day we rallied and went to go check out "Mister Lonely" director Harmony Korine at the Apple store (like we begged you to do so for us - we still haven't heard from you Greg Mottola fans).
A lot of times, these are events are busts cause if you read a ton of interviews, like we're wont to do, you hear the same old quotes and stories rolled out over and over again. And while, yes, this was sort of the case, there was some funny raconteuring going on, plus a few more tidbits of information.
Before we get to that though, Korine announced his next film project to the New York Post yesterday. Apparently it's called "Below the Waist, Above the Ankles" and is about a woman who puts her husband into a trance and can't get him out of it. "He thinks he's a goat and regurgitates eggs all day," he said.
Sounds like more Harmony BS, right? (He's kind of an infamous bullshitter). But wait, this jives exactly with what the "Mister Lonely" director told Paper magazine might be his next project that's apparently almost finished.
"That's one of the things [me and my wife] are worried about," he say of the trance-like quality those that have seen the new film fall into. "The only way you can undo this if you watch these moves in reverse, and that's very difficult. There's some deep shit going on here." Umm, ok...
OK, so the apple store event.
"What Makes Pistachio Nuts"
Korine elaborated a little bit about his long-lost script, "What Makes Pistachio Nuts," which got burned in a house fire. As we suspected (and surely everyone else did too), Korine heavily intimated that he strung out on drugs during the period he wrote the film and then lost it. "I was really messed up [at the time] and was really into pig rides," he said (the film is about a Trotskite who rides a pig with adhesives stuck to its hooves). "I was pretty much burnt out. I couldn't relate to the world, I was really disconnected. 'Mister Lonely' was opposite - I was just starting to feel connected when [I began writing it]."
He added that the film was supposed to take place after a race war "circa 1976" and mentioned a scene where someone firebombed the Trotskite's house. For the two people that would eventually like to see this film, it sounds like Korine has put it far back behind him and will never revisit it (the screenplay was burnt to a crisp).
Korine also talked about his abandoned project "Fight Harm," that he made with endurance magician David Blane. The project was one that he once said would be a cross between a Charlie Chaplin vehicle and a snuff film or as he said last night, "the ultimate tragedy is the ultimate comedy."
The "film," was one where Korine would provoke people into fighting him so they could, well, beat him up. Shot in Manhattan, Blane acted as the camera man and would film surreptitiously across the street as the director would engage people and try and get them to fight. Korine said his idea was to make the film democratic and fight, "as many people people." "Arabs, lesbos, etc."
Of course, Blane was actually at the Apple store event and retold the story for the audience. Blane began by saying despite Korine's claims, he was fighting anyone - he was provoking people to beat him up (HK was never allowed to throw the first punch).
They began shooting around Korine's Manhattan home and Blane had to convince him this wasn't the smartest idea in the world. He then relayed the experience of one single day where they found "two big guys standing there on a street corner," and Korine "slapped the food out of their [kids] hands." The filmmaker started arguing with the "football player-looking dudes" asking them to fight him and they backed off refusing to do so. But eventually the little director persisted enough so the guy, "clocked him, kicked him on the ground "like crazy," and finally smashed him with a garbage can. David Blane came to the rescue begging them to stop and tried to explain what they were doing. Evidently the guys were so stressed out afterwards they actually signed release forms!
Later that day they went to Gramercy Park where Blane and Korine found a couple in a romantic setting. Korine proceeded to walk near them and started pissing nearby. The girl got up and left so the filming/provoking duo went to a nearby strip club to provoke the huge bouncers outside. Inevitably, Korine found himself pinned against a wall and just at that moment the same girl from Gramercy Park arrived with furious with police officers. They basically him to apologize to everyone and it'll all be over. Korine's response to the girl and cop? "Fuck you, you fucking [whore] and fuck you too pig! Blane took that as he cue to jet and Harmony arrested for the night. While in the cop car, he noticed his head was bleeding profusely so he begged the cop to give him something to mop it up with. The cop, who had a stack of thin pizza napkins, handed him one measly tissue. "I thought that was so sadistic," he recalled.
Ol' Dirty Bastard
Korine took questions from the audience and we couldn't help but ask about his alleged friendship with Wu-Tang Clanner, the dearly departed Ol' Dirty Bastard, mostly because we wanted to know if it was true. Korine confirmed that the two used to hang out a lot in Queens. He didn't say he was messed up at the time, but strongly alluded to it. The first time they met ODB was "wearing two different shoes... and was arguing with a telephone pole."
Korine also said he had wrote a book called The Diaper of Big Baby Jesus, that would be based off of a transcript between Ol' Dirty Bastard and Clint Eastwood that took place at a screening in Los Angeles for the film The Bridges of Madison County.
Korine said ODB was obsessed with and kept talking about wanting to "plant a seed in a girl's ass" and that he was a true American icon, "like Frank Sinatra."
The New York Times Diss and Making Commericals
The NYT famously called "Gummo" the worst film of the year in 1997 (and three months before the year was done). An audience member asked Harm if that still bothered him to which he answered no, but he did say he was puzzled at the time because it was the same year, "8 Heads In A Duffle Bag" was released. When asked about the recent commercials he had shot (a Bud-lite one), the filmmaker said that he had lensed an even newer commercial for a douche. "It think it will revolutionize the product," he deadpanned.
We've probably exhausted our "audience" with Korine pieces now and you're going to think we're obsessed, but if you do want more on "Mister Lonely" and the director's relationship with the music collaborators on the film J. Spaceman and the Sun City Girls, our friend Andy Battaglia at the Onion, just did a great interview with Korine that you should read. Our friends at Spoutblog also have a good interview with the outre filmmaker. The end.
Watch: Harmony Korine talks ODB ("we did a lot of crazy illicit things, he was one of my best friends...")
Get sick for a day and tons of stuff happens. Oh well.
We'd like to think we started this brouhaha, so we don't mind stealing images from those who didn't mention us (take that!). So yeah, we saw '"Iron Man" last weekend and then made a perhaps, a knee-jerk loud stink that all the purported cameos in the – ones by Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury, Ghostface Killah as a Sheik in Dubai and Hilary Swank – were AWOL from the film.
And that's cause they were missing (at least at our screening, more in a sec). Our, "hey, what a rip off!," definitely had a ripple effect and other people started to notice and complain as well.
While Ghostface Killah and Swank's cameos seem to have been definitely cut out of the film (no one still seems to know what role Swank was supposed to play), it appeared for a second that director Jon Favreau purposely took out Sam Jackson's cameo from the critic screenings so paying fans would get a small surprise come regular street date (today).
And then, Moviehole confirmed yesterday that Jackson IS in the film (like we all thought, or at least on Wednesday that clearly looked like the cast)
"At the end of the credits, Stark comes home and finds Nick Fury in his living room -staring towards the window. He then turns to tell Stark he's the not the only superhero in the world. Stark asks who he is, and Fury turns and says he's "Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D, and I'm here to talk to you about The Avengers Initiative".The Avengers of course being the Marvel Universe dreamteam super hero group, so it looks like Favreau is helping Marvel sew the seeds for that movie project down the road (Marvel now owns most of their own characters and is hoping to tie them all in for an Avengers movie that would probably be the most expensive movie ever made if all their franchises keep doing gangbusters like "Iron Man" certainly looks like it will this weekend.
OK, so we were duped. Or wait, is this Moviehole post just an unconfirmed rumor? Nah, Executive Producer Peter Billingsley (Ralphie from "A Christmas Story") confessed to MTV yesterday word is born. "Sam L. appears in the movie. Marvel likes to use these movies to announce [things], and tip their hand at different things to come.
"There's a tip of the hat toward a future franchise. The Avengers is a movie a lot of people would like to see someday" (and one that the "Iron Man" directors says he'd love to helm).
Director Favreau was more coy. "It might not be a bad idea to stay until the very end of the movie," he smiled. "Let's put it that way" (uhh, dude your producers already confirmed).
To our one reader who suggests Hilary Swank is the woman standing next to Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark in a Vegas gambling scene earlier in the film, we respectfully, totally disagree. At this point, we're even wondering if Swank's alleged cameo was just disinformation.
But nope, Favreau confirmed her appearance back in the beginning of April, refusing to reveal whether it will set her up as She-Hulk, Black Widow, the Wasp or someone else. "There's a lot of rumors online right now, and I've only honestly read one that's true," he hinted. "There's a lot of misinformation out there. But I'm not about to get up and start confirming or denying things, because there is so much of a swirl of speculation that it's kind of fun!"
In a recent interview (which we can't find at the moment cause we've read so many), Marvel head Kevin Feige said the company now owns the rights to The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Thor Ant Man and of course Iron Man (and possibly one other smaller female character) so that right there could be the total members of your Avengers (and possibly smaller characters?). Either way, stay tuned. You could likely see that movie as early as 2015.
What's with all the super-hero stuff lately? Dude's it's May tomorrow, i.e. shitty movie season begins. It's going to be a rough couple of months until September (maybe we can blog less and get the fuck outside for a change).
The problem with this new "The Incredible Hulk" trailer? It looks pretty decent, certainly a lot better than the last one and there appears to be some well thought-out back story. But then that fucking CGI monstrosity shows it's face and we can't help but giggle. Who know, maybe it'll be alright, it's certainly a very decent cast (Ed Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth), but right now we're still feeling meh about it all.
You sort of can never tell with these things. Ang Lee is certainly a great director, but it surely didn't help out the original "Hulk" with the also-decent cast of Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, Josh Lucas, etc. Maybe it's just cause human flesh just isn't very believable in CGI unless it's LOTR-fantasy stuff (and even then, you re-watched those things lately?). A much cleaner version is over at Apple trailers.
We've written so many pieces about "Mister Lonely" and each one of them has collected some small thought on our feelings about the film that we almost think a full-on review is a moot point, but we'll try and give it a shot regardless.
Though, after more than a few long-winded reviews ("Iron Man," 'Sarah Marshall') we thought we'd try and be economic for once.
His first film in almost nine years, Harmony Korine's "Mister Lonely" is almost immediately characterized by a softer tone than the purposefully provocative films of his past (near fuck-you challenges to audiences daring them to sit through them in their entirety, "Gummo" especially).
Perhaps it's because Korine himself had to crawl back from the muck, but he's much more visibly affectionate to his new cast of freaks.
Diego Luna and Samantha Morton star as celebrity impersonators (Jacko and Monroe) and lost souls who randomly meet in Paris and then sojourn off to a celeb impersonating commune in Scotland where the odd story begins (but only after Luna gets to dance for the elderly in a too-hilarious old-folks-home sequence).
There's tangents with parachuting nuns saved by the power of prayer, director (and Korine friend) Werner Herzog as a Panamanian preacher and a quick cameo by "endurance magician" David Blane (who just recently set the Guinness World Record for being totally ghey), but the fable mostly stays grounded on the innocuous living situation of this misfit congregation (there's a Madonna, a James Dean, a Little Red Riding Hood played by the director's wife, etc.,). They sadly kill their sickly livestock, they throw opulent dinner parties and put on plays; there's no major arcs per se, but its as close to a linear narrative as we've ever seen from Korine (his other films were arguably nothing more than vignettes strewn together).
Mostly it's a weirdly oblique autobiographic story about self-discovery through the eyes of Luna (who's some kind of innocent, nave Korine stand in). Is it all some bizarre fairytale metaphor for the director's lost time in the scary woods? Sure, but more importantly its told in a sweet, non-judgmental and sincere manner far removed from the bile and contemptuousness of the directors past.
Trading jarring provocation with enigmatic lyrical pastoralia, the new tone suits the director well and there's some heavenly moments of minimalism buttresed by an incredibly sonorous score by J.Spaceman and the Sun City Girls.
Its a dream-like salvation parable to be sure and it doesn't neccesarily make that much sense, but that's far beside the point. Its an affectionate allegory, full of joy, melancholy, humor and empathy. Certainly the beginning of a new chapter for a filmmaker with tons of promise. [A]
OK, that wasn't that short but we tried. Oddly enough this review was written on a blackberry on a New York subway opposite Leo Fitzpatrick from "Kids" (the star of Korine's inaugural script). The film opens in very limited release this weekend.
Sometimes it pays to watch trailers and pay attention.
This summer's indie-flick "Henry Poole Is Here" will feature songs by Bob Dylan, Badly Drawn Boy, Ben Harper, Eels and Blur (sounds like the StereoVegan wheelhouse). We know this because we used our eyes when watching the trailer (see above).
But let's back up a bit.
So Mark Pellington used to be a music video director - he made his name directing Pearl Jam's most famous video, "Jeremy," and also lensed lots of famous clips for NIN, Foo Fighters, The Flaming Lips and Alice In Chains - then he went on to make direct "U2 3D" and a bunch of other crap ("The Mothman Prophesies"). This summer will see the release of his Sundance '08 hit, the quirky-looking "Henry Poole Is Here," (the new poster of which, MTV just revealed, see below).
The synopsis that tells you nothing:
Luke Wilson ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "Old School"), Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza ("Babel") and Radha Mitchell ("Finding Neverland") star in a modern day fable about the unexpected wonders of the everyday from director Mark Pellington. Henry Poole is Here tells the funny, poignant and uplifting story of a disillusioned man who attempts to hide from life in a rundown suburban tract home only to discover he cannot escape the forces of hope.The synopsis that tells you something, via us: Basically, a stain on the outside of Henry Poole's home looks like baby Jesus (or just regular JC) and people in the neighborhood start noticing. Then people in the neighborhood start making pilgrimages to Poole's home which annoys the depressed and bitter homeowner who then tries to scrub the stain off to no avail. Then bonafide miracles start to happen in the presence of the godly like stain and the film's magical wheels begin to start turning (or something like that).
How'd they get Bob Dylan for the film? Zimmy is actually friends with Luke Wilson. No seriously, or at least acquaintance buddies. Wilson starred in the Dylan-scripted "Masked & Anonymous" and when it came time for Wilson to make his feature-film directorial debut - the underrated, but innocuous "The Wendell Baker Story" - who was kind enough to OK four of his own songs? Why Dylan of course (including "I'll Keep It with Mine" and "When I Paint My Masterpiece" as covered by The Band).
Wilson was actually the first actor to sign-on for Dylan's 'Anonymous' pet-project and he actually worked for scale on the project (the bare minimum) which probably only endeared him to the singer all the more. "I'm a fan of Bob Dylan and the work he does," Wilson said in an interview around the time of that film's release. "That was the catalyst and then [he] got in touch with Larry. There was this incredible script, different from anything I've ever read. So that was really interesting to me, it made me want to do the movie if Larry [Charles] was kind enough to hire me."
Who else is in the movie, musically? Well, the trailer features "Believe" by the Bravery and details are right around the corner, we assure you (yes, that's a hint). The film evidently comes out in limited release on July 25.
Watch: Bob Dylan - "Standing In The Doorway" (from "Masked & Anonymous")
Live in New York city? Greg Mottola is talking at the Apple store tonight. We can't make it. Go, take notes, do a little write-up for us and make sure to ask about "Adventureland" and its soundtrack. Also, go tomorrow as well Harmony Korine will be there. Do the same thing, rinse, repeat, wash, send us notes. You'll get published on the Internet for chrissake how fucking cool will that be? Uh...Seriously though, we can't make it, so please go and email us the details.
Details below. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch will be there Friday, feel free to show up then too. Hell, we'll hook you up with something, how about the sountrack to "Mister Lonely"? We got tons of stuff, hit us up.
The director of last year’s smash hit "Superbad," Greg Mottola ("The Daytrippers," "Undeclared," "Arrested Development") has written and directed a new film, Adventureland, scheduled for release by Miramax later this year. Greg will discuss his latest comedy with audience members. Wednesday, April 30, 6:30 p.m.
Hear screenwriter, director, and producer Harmony Korine ("Gummo," "Julien Donkey-Boy") discuss "Mister Lonely," his third feature film. Screening at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, Mister Lonely debuted at Cannes, and is scheduled for release by IFC Films on May 2, 2008. Thursday, May 1, 6:30 p.m.
Cause we can, why not. But so far, we have very little interest in "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skulls." We hope to god, Shia LaBeouf doesn't get a spin-off from this thing. We suppose it's nice to see that Karen Allen has aged very gracefully. Just remember people, even George Lucas doesn't have high expectations for this thing.
Indy & Aliens??
Are their aliens at the end of 'Crystal Skulls'? (have the script ideas gotten that bad?) Well, maybe yes and maybe no. At one point George Lucas (oh, Lucas) thought that since the film was going to be set in the 1950s (to jive with Ford's now mid-60s age) the genre should match that era: aliens invading Earth in spaceships with the military in hot pursuit (a popular genre trope of the '50s obviously). Hilariously, Harrison Ford wasn't with it. "No way am I being in a Steve Spielberg movie like that," he told Entertainment Weekly."
But, there could be some traces of alien invaders in the script, possibly? There was evidently about four different scripts written for Indy 4 and Harrison Ford says (with amusing bitterness), "There's no element of any of the original scripts that has completely gone away. George made sure of that. 'Cause he is that persistent. And that dogged.''
So we could see remnants of some alien invading something-or-other, right? God, we hope so. The more ridiculous the inevitable ending to this franchise is the better. Not cause the original wasn't great, it's just that we love to see George Lucas fall flat on his face and anger nerds when he again ruins another sacred movie character.
Posted by Rodrigo Perez at 1:36 PM
'Iron Man' Cameos - In or Out? Questions Remain Over Sam Jackson's Nick Fury - For Paying Audiences Only?
Last Saturday we were at a press screening for "Iron Man," and before we wrote our full-blown review we had to note that all the talked-about cameos in the film Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Nick Fury, Ghostface Killah and Hilary Swank were AWOL during the film.
We weren't the only ones that noticed the absence of these big-name cameos. This morning MTV wrote about seeing a similar press screening with no cameos whatsoever (even after the end credits). As they've noted though, a theory is evolving (one that's started to pop up in our comments section too) that web-savvy "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau purposefully removed the Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury cameo for press screenings so it would look like the small part was cut out but saved as a surprise for paying audiences starting this Friday.
At the screenings we attended, "Iron Man" had a crisp conclusion followed by low-rent end credits simply showing the suit. It all seemed suspiciously simple. Even after the final name and the Marvel logo rolled, the press saw no additional fireworks.Same for us, but as they point out, recent Marvel films like "X-Men 3" and "Daredevil" saved some important extra footage for after the end credits.
So where we purposefully duped? Sounds like it very well could be. Jon Favreau told Coming Soon about the cameos, "There [was] going to be a sequence between when Robert takes off to go to fight back in Afghanistan, where there's a whole party sequence in Dubai that we filmed that just felt like it just slowed the momentum down." This is the exact scene that Ghostface Killah was supposed to be in so at least we know he was definitely cut (and plus he wasn't in the screenings we saw).
The end credits rumor about Nick Fury comes from ComicBookResources.com. After attending a screening, columnist Rich Johnston wrote about the missing cameo. "I understand from British Film classification sources that the [Nick Fury] scene is in the print that they've approved for general release, but not in premiere or preview screenings, so as not to spoil the um ... surprise ... bugger. Anyway, he's recruiting for a group called 'The Avengers' " (yet another Marvel franchise they want to get off the crowd in the next few years, sewing the seeds?)
As for Hilary Swank? There's been next to nothing about her cameo aside from speculation what her role might be (another S.H.I.E.L.D agent? again, pure educated guesses) and our guess is she's definitely a DVD outtake, unless she somehow pops up on Friday after the credits with the alleged Sam Jackson scene.
In an interview with Rotten Tomatoes Favreau hints at trying to defy audience expectation (with last minute secrets?) "[Hardcore fans are] able to piece together what's going on and what you don't want to have happen is have everyone figure out what's in the movie before it comes out. Sometimes you have to acknowledge the anticipations and sometimes you have to go against them. You never want the audience to be ahead of you, because you always want some surprises up your sleeve," he said.
Favreau told MTV at one point. "As a filmmaker, we like to have some surprises left for the audience," he said. "I never confirmed that Sam Jackson was in the movie. People asked me about Hilary Swank. I will tell you this: I pay attention to what people are talking about. The Internet is a big watercooler, and we're all allowed to take a sip from the cup."
Time will tell on Friday, but we ain't going again, so make sure to post if/when you see it (or even better take a snapshot with your camera and send it to us! ;)
Have you heard about or seen the trailer for the film, "Son of Rambow"? It comes out this weekend in limited release and wish we had time to write about it earlier. First off, it looks completely endearing (and was a big hit at the most recent Sundance Film Festival).
It's a coming-of-age story (but with kids, not bratty teens) set in the '80s about two friends who bond over their love for "Rambo: First Blood" who then set out to make their own movie inspired by Sly Stalllone's Vietnam-vet gone bonkers in normal society action franchise.
Directed by former music video director turned feature filmmaker Garth Jennings (vids for Beck, Vampire Weekend, Blur, R.E.M. and Pulp, sometimes under the name of Hammer & Tongs with director Nick Goldsmith), his debut film was "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" which was first offered to Spike Jonze who wasn't interested in the material and recommended Jennings for the job (Jonze is co-owner of the Directors Label series which is probably another reason why there was talk of Hammer & Tongs getting their own DL dvd if they ever get produced again).
Due May 27, being an '80s setting, the soundtrack is filled with original hits from the era – The Cure, Duran Duran, Blondie, Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Human League – and includes the whimsical score by composer Joby Talbot. You'd have to be a bigger curmudgeon than us to not think this movie looks incredibly cute and enjoyable. The tagline? “Make Believe, Not War.”
The trailer features "It's Over And Done With" by The Proclaimers (also featured in Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket" and David Bowie's "Rebel, Rebel," but neither are on the soundtrack disc.
1. The Cure “Close To Me”
2. Siouxsie & The Banshees “Peek-A-Boo”
3. Nu Shooz "I Can't Wait"
4. Duran Duran “Wild Boys”
5. Jonathan Richman “Egyptian Reggae”
6. Gary Numan "Cars”
7. Fun Boy Three “Our Lips Our Sealed”
8. Blondie "Rapture"
9. The Real Roxanne “Bang Zoom (Let's Go Go)”
10. The Human League "Love Action (I Believe In Love)"
11. Joby Talbot “The Best Day Of All Time”
12. Joby Talbot “Bicycle Ride”
13. Joby Talbot “The Scarecrow”
14. Joby Talbot ”The French Kid”
15. Joby Talbot “First Day Filming”
16. Joby Talbot ”Iʼm French, Non?”
17. Joby Talbot “Disaster”
18. Joby Talbot ”The Sad Day”
19. Joby Talbot “The Hospital”
20. Joby Talbot ”Can You Fix It?”
21. Joby Talbot “Son Of Rambow”
Download: The Proclaimers - "Over And Done With"
Watch: "Son of Rambow" trailer
Watch: Blur - "Coffee & TV" (directed by Hammer & Tongs)
Watch: Vampire Weekend - "A Punk" (directed by Hammer & Tongs)
Despite being championed by David Gordon Green and scored by our pal Ola Podrida's David Wingo and starring semi-hirsute indie-rocker Will Oldman (of the lovely "Old Joy" film and Bonnie Prince Billy), we somehow missed Todd Rohal's "Guatemalan Handshake" when it was in theaters (probably because it played the rinky-dinky *IFC center for like half a week).
Our friends at Spoutblog remind us that it came out on DVD yesterday and that we should all see it (top of the netflix queue right now; if you order it on the Handshake site you get a bonus disc of Rohal's shortfilms).
In the confusion following a massive power outage, an awkward demolition derby driver vanishes, setting in motion a series of events affecting his pregnant girlfriend, his helplessly car-less father, a pack of wild boy scouts, a lactose intolerant roller rink employee, an elderly woman in search of her lost dog, and his best friend – a ten-year-old girl named Turkeylegs.DGG did want to make a demolition derby film once, so it stands to reason why he liked it so much (and reviews say it has a very similar tone to the atmospheric "George Washington").
Pieces of the mystery begin to come together as Turkeylegs sets out to find her missing friend. Cars drive circles in the dirt, a woman attends her own funeral, the sun rises sideways and an orange vehicle trades hands again and again. Everything eventually culminates in a massive demolition derby that throws all of the characters into different directions.
The ghostly-like song in the trailer (or at least ghostly in this context) is "Inchworm", a song originally performed by Danny Kaye in the 1952 film "Hans Christian Andersen."
In an interview with David Wingo, the 'Handshake' composer (who's also scored all of Green's previous films) said that Green championed the film even before he was tapped to write the music for it. "David had really hyped it up, so... I was almost expecting a letdown.. but I was not let down. Todd wanted to emphasize the melancholy under the surface. I always get excited when I can do music that's not necessarily what's happening onscreen. I like the challenge of finding the subtext of a scene."
DGG isn't the only one to champion the small, indie film, Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite," "Nacho Libre") said it was "a revelation...[it] holds a place in my heart that is normally reserved for Easter candy."
*We like the IFC Center a lot actually, they play and endorse a lot of great, smaller films, but the problem is they only play there and sometimes it's not the easiest place for us to get to [ed. waaah]
Watch: "Guatemalan Handshake" trailer
Watch: Old Podrida - "Lost & Found" (directed by Todd Rohal)
Short Cuts: Jonah Hill For Transformers 2, Blindness Opens Cannes 2008, Viral Marketing Is Too Much, Gandalf Says Yes To Hobbits
Is Jonah Hill going to be in "Transformers 2" as Shia LeBouf's bff? Maybe he can cockpunch him for us while on set. Of course Michael Bay is claiming all the new casting information is blatant misinformation, but he would say that. [EW]
As expected, Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness" (with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo; Meirelles directed "City of God") will open up the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened," starring Robert De Niro, will close the festival May 25. [Hollywood Reporter]
Also as expected, Sir Ian Mckellen confirmed he will reprise his role in "The Hobbit." Yes, it’s true,” Mckellen said. “I spoke to Guillermo [del Toro] in the very room that Peter Jackson offered me the part and he confirmed that I would be reprising the role. Obviously, it’s not a part that you turn down, I loved playing Gandalf.” [Empire]
Is recent uber-ubuiquitous viral movie marketing annoying and insufferably overboard? Recent campaigns for "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "The Dark Knight," and "Cloverfield" might be overdoing it to the point of turning audiences off. [Reuters]
Brandon Routh can't wait to play Superman again in the Bryan Singer directed sequel to "Superman Returns." He does have some storyline suggestions for the director however. I think that audiences are looking for Superman to lay a punch on someone or something. I think that's going to be a central part of the sequel, getting a good villain that we can actually have physical altercations with. I'd like more humor from Clark or just more of Clark and Jimmy. A little bit more of Lois and Clark, how we used to see them, a bit more of buddies." [Coming Soon]
Is the Tribeca Film Festival more of a local player than a global one? [New York Times] Judging by our overall disinterest in the event due to the fact we saw most of the major movies before they screened at Tribeca ("The Wackness," "Mister Lonely" etc.) we would have to agree.
Watch: "Blindness" trailer
Regurgitating the "Iron Man" synopsis seems like a moot point, but baby Jesus knows we love to be redundant, so let's give it a shot for those that might not know all the nerd particulars of this Marvel comic book character.
Robert Downey Jr. plays the carefree, billionaire, industrialist, playboy and genius Tony Stark. He's an boozing, irresponsible Lothario and one of the most brilliant minds on the planet and he's used his many charms and IQ points to become one of the most prominent arms dealers in the United States (he's seen on the cover of "Rolling Stone" in an early set-up piece meant to illustrate his ubiquitous popularity - even to a younger generation, no doubt due in part to his colorful quotes). To further the cocky point, he's seen gambling in Vegas when he should be accepting an award for his contributions to "peace." His war profiteering industry is one he's born into and doesn't ever think twice about until he's captured in Afghanistan by insurgents after trying to ostentatiously show-off new weaponry (the original comic-book setting was Vietnam, but obviously the filmmakers are trying to make the story contemporary).
In captivity (after a thrilling action-packed assault opening), Stark (RDJ) learns that he's survived a near-death experience thanks to the incarcerated professor Yinsen who's helped heal his shrapnel-damaged heart with cheap, ad-hoc technology (played by actor Shaun Toub, the brief role and fantastic performance is key, sewing resonating and clutch seeds for the evolution of Stark's character). The insurgents force Stark to build more weaponry for them, but instead he and Yinsen build his escape plan - the Iron Man Mk I suit - a crude and large gray metallic suit that isn't pretty, but gets the job done.
Stark barely escapes his captors, but Yinsen isn't so lucky, sacrificing himself so the inventor can flee in the final critical moments of their jailbreak. It's during these moments the mogul begins to understand what his weapons have wrought and arc of moral responsibility begin to take hold.
Does this sound ridiculous to you? Cause we can understand if it does, but the execution of all this (not to mention the rest of the film) is crafted in a top-notch believable manner.
Stark returns to America a transformed man; physically, emotionally and psychologically (the fact that director Jon Favreau has somehow deftly conveyed the physical and psychic toll he's endured in 30 minutes only further illustrates the adroit filmmaking at hand). Notice the language, this is the voyage for someone who transforms from a wealthy jackass into a moralistic hero (and again, the assured storytelling building blocks foreshadows the militant righteousness the character begins to convey later in the comics).
Back home, Downey Jr. decides to publicly claim that Stark Industries will move away from weapons-making into scientific fields of research and the shit hits the fan as the companies stock plummets, the stockholders loose faith and the company man Obidiah Stane (played by a brilliantly amiable Jeff Bridges) has to do damage control claiming the billionaire is suffering from post-traumatic syndrome and everyone should not panic about any grand proclamations.
In the meantime, RDJ is asked to lay-low so the controversy can die down and it's during this downtime that he sets to work on his classic "Iron Man," armor. The filmmakers inject both humor, lightness and credibility by making this period a plausible learning curve of trial and error. Stark's kitchen-sink workshop is also a convincing mix of lo-tech wrench and elbow grease and hi-tech holograms and computers. At every turn the film wisely tries to ground itself in some sort of conventional reality which makes every step along the way that much more enjoyable. He's aided by Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays the dotting, attentive and strikingly beautiful Pepper Potts, RDJ's ever-so-faithful assistant and Terrance Howard, another long-time loyal ally from the military.
Some thrill-seeking, some vigilantism, some Afghani revenge and a personal double cross set the stage for the inevitable big set piece against the villain, Iron Monger.
The film is so strong it bucks two standard dictum's: one that the first edition of any super-hero movie can't be that exciting because so much backstory must be dispensed with and secondly, that without a ton of explosive moments you can't possibly satisfy the super-hero nerd fans desperate to get straight to the action as soon as humanly possible. "Iron Man" has just a little (or as much, depending on your p.o.v), action as Ang Lee's "Hulk" does, but the solid realization behind the Tony Stark story is so flawlessly and carefully presented that no one's going to complain (or even notice).
Downey Jr. is the snappy, witty RDJ we're accustomed to, but not insufferably so, and he always hits the needed emotion notes. Favreau's direction is smart, economic and assured. The pacing is patient, the origin is dealt with efficiently, but never shortchanged and the suspension of disbelief is easily achieved (even girls are going to like this, no really).
"Iron Man," should be the blueprint for all super-hero's hence forth: a strong director that can handle character and action, a top-notch cast and a probable script with dramatic character arcs (the thrills will always speak for themselves; this is all easier said than done of course). "Iron Man" is about a flawed man who has a change of heart - both literally and figuratively - in case audiences don't get the metaphor and it's an evolving humanistic ride as much as it's a thrilling one. Morevoer, it's rock solid moviemaking that will impress the laymen and have the hard-to-please nitpicky fan over the moon. [A]
Short Cuts: Hear Jennifer Hudson's "Sex & The City" Track," Ellen Page's 'Juno' B-Side, Plus Hilary Duff, Xzibit & Rob Zombie
Want to hear what Cee-Lo and Jennifer Hudson sound like together? Scroll down, the track "All Dressed In Love" was co-written by the Gnarls Barkley singer for the "Sex And The City" movie and soundtrack.
We already played you Ellen Page's new song, "Zub Zub" from Juno B-Sides: Almost Adopted, but the Imeem page for "Juno" has the song up plus a few songs from Mateo Messina's quirky score if you're interested. [Imeem Juno Page]
A week old news we forgot to post when we first saw it. "The Weeds" season 3 soundtrack comes out June 3, the same day Season 3 comes out on DVD. It features Randy Newman crooning the show's theme song, "Little Boxes" (which you can hear below). [Paste]
The Iraq War satire, "War Inc." starring John Cusak and Hilary Duff (as a Britney Spears-like tart) screened at the currently-happening Tribeca Film Festival. Spout's review calls it a "debacle." And worse: "an impotent, cheap-looking political satire that longs for relevance, but feels years stale." We kinda figured when we first reviewed the trailer. At least we get a decent picture of Duff in her ridiculous get-up. [Spoutblog]
Hey, Xzibit - remember him? the rapper turned car salesman? - is going to star in the 'X-Files 2' movie. No, that's not a joke. Yes, we realize the "X-Files," was relevant more than a decade ago. It gets better, it's full title is, "X-Files: I Want To Believe." He’s either an agent of the FBI or some law enforcement agency, or someone who is gainfully employed. [Collider]
24-7 Halloween rocker Rob Zombie updated his MySpace profile recently with an promo image for his new film that reads “Tyrannosaurus Rex - 51% Motherfucker, 49% Son of a Bitch.” The film is called "Tyrannosaurus Rex," so we assume these "clues" mean the film will be, "bad-ass, bro."[SlashFilm] Zombie just told Rolling Stone, that his favorite film soundtrack ever is the one for Stanley Kubrick's "Clockwork Orange" (which is filled with tons of classical music by Beethoven and Elgar). He might be kind of schmuck when it comes to his own music, but we can't argue with that fine choice. 'Rex' is rumored to be about a semi-professional wrestler who is being pursued by a "biker gang from hell," according to Blabbermouth.