MTV was on the set of "Notorious," the upcoming biopic of the lauded Brooklyn rapper, Notorious B.I.G (Christoper Wallace). They also have the first two exclusive photos of the cast (Jamal Woolard as Biggie and Antonique Smith as Faith Evans). More on their report here.
The amiable and modest Puff Daddy tried to give actor Derek Luke some helpful tips and friendly suggestions on how to play him.
"What kind of criticism [did] Puffy give me? Oh, man, I tried to stay away from him," Luke explained. "You know, 'cause I just wanted to get a heart. I was inspired by who he is today but mostly how he started. But to be honest ... man. He just looked at me, and he was like, 'Yo, you do something wrong, trust me, I'll let you know.' So, I believe, that was good."
And with that we out for the weekend, peace in the Middle East with chicken grease.
MTV was on the set of "Notorious," the upcoming biopic of the lauded Brooklyn rapper, Notorious B.I.G (Christoper Wallace). They also have the first two exclusive photos of the cast (Jamal Woolard as Biggie and Antonique Smith as Faith Evans). More on their report here.
Quentin Tarantino To Hans Zimmer, Composers Around Round The World, "I'll Use RZA Here & There, But Otherwise, Fuck Y'all!"
"I have one of the best soundtrack collections in America. I just don't trust any composer to do it. Who the fuck is this guy coming in here and throwing his shit over my movie. What if I don't like it? And the guy's already been paid!" — At a "Cinema Masterclass" talk session at Cannes this past week, meek and humble filmmaker Quentin Tarantino told the score composers of the world that he has a modest music collection at home and he would rather choose from those pre-existing sources than risk getting into a mildly, unpleasant disagreement about the music they may have composed that he, sort-of, kind-of, may not totally enjoy whole-heartedly. What a class act.[AFP]
Jeffrey Wells caught the film everyone else has been waiting with bated breath: Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York" and his initial reaction is that it's brillance needs brevity. "I've just emerged from the semi-nourishing, semi-tortured Fellini-esque Chinese box mindfuck-dreamscape that is 'Synecdoche, New York...,"' he wrote before hurrying off for the film's press conference (Note: Executive producer Spike Jonze was there, expect someone to ask him about 'Where The Wild Things Are' in the press this weekend)
The Associated Press said, "it seems fitting that Charlie Kaufman's directing debut, which offers enough enigmatic ideas to fry viewers' brains, should also come with a title that will twist their tongues."
"Every script he writes I feel is that much more raw and honest and audacious and brave," Spike Jonze said. "He's by far my favorite writer."
Kaufman also brushed aside that the difficult title would be confusing for mainstream audiences.
"I like titles that are a little difficult, because it's kind of counterintuitive," Kaufman said, adding that he chose "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" "because it was really hard to remember that title. I couldn't remember it for the longest time."The Toronto Globe and Mail called Kaufman's film a "disappointing directorial debut." And the write Liam Lacey said as the main character (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) goes "off the rails, so does the movie, in a series of bizarrely contrived dilemmas, punctuated with mournful monologues."
Kaufman told reporters that the film doesn't have any larger hidden message or creative agenda to push from the outset (note outside the big names PSH, Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams and Samantha Morton, the cast also features Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest, Hope Davis and Tom Noonan).
"The way I write is very much without kind of a goal. "I have something I'm interested in and then I decide I'm going to explore it. I don't know where the characters are going to go, I don't know what the movie is going to do or what the screenplay is going to do. For me, that's the way to keep it alive. ...I tried to approach the directing in the same way. We have the script, we have the actors, and we're trying to figure out what this is, and you don't know what it is. You have to be open to what it's going to become rather than have this thing that you're trying to get to, which is boring."Toronto's largely conservative newspaper loved it. "The resulting film, which is by turns laugh-out-loud funny and achingly melancholic, touches on themes of ageing and death, loneliness and love, connection and belonging. It is a metaphor for film, for life, perhaps even a metaphor for metaphor itself. Many movies provide food for thought; this is a banquet."
ScreenDaily suggests it's a film for his core audience, but not mainstream ones (fine by us). "Unadventurous audiences may feel the film is a two hour struggle to understand the meaning of its intentions but as the story appears to move in ever decreasing circles, it remains incredibly engaging and ultimately very moving."
The Wrath Of Cannes: 'Che' Biopic Could Be Cut Into Two Films? Sales Sluggish, Buyers Wary, Festival Winds Down...
Cannes is winding down and ends on Sunday (May 25) and the festival has had a dour tone with sluggish, but some sales. With a decidedly mixed reaction to Steven Soderbergh's 4-hour plus, two-part Che Guevara biopic "Che" ("The Argentine," "Guerrilla") Variety's Anne Thompson assumes "Soderbergh's 'Che' will likely be re-cut."
She notes that Soderbergh initially didn't think he could finish the film in time for Cannes.
"The process of editing was intense," he said at a press conference in Cannes. "The further you get into it, you need context. That's why you need two movies."Thompson suggests that "Che" will not be released in its current form (not really rocket science) and notes that top studio buyers, Fox Searchlight, Miramax and Focus Features all left town before the film even unspooled.
On Thursday, Soderbergh told Cannes reporters that he would be willing to cut the 4-hour film into two parts, but uhh, wasn't that the whole idea originally? We thought based on two-film titles, that was the plan from the get-go. No layman in their right mind is going to sit through a four hour movie these days, not one.
But Soderbergh said he'd at least like to open it for a week as one movie (the diehards and nerds like us would be up for that). "What I'd like to do is that if it opens in a town, you can see it for a week as one movie, and then you split it up," the filmmaker said. "To me that would be an event."
Like "Grindhouse" before it, distributors seem to want to break the film into two separate pieces (again, duh, regular audiences wouldn't stand for that). Soderbergh did not say whether he'd be willing to cut the project to a single two- or 21⁄2-hour film (as some have suggested here and there).
But there could have even been a third 'Che' movie!
“Even though we’ve made two parts we still haven’t shown everything,” Soderbergh told reporters just before the Wednesday premiere. “There’s actually another movie, I think, to be made about what happens between these two parts but we didn’t have enough money.”Some sales have gone down, but they're not the big headline-grabbing ones like $10 million for "Hamlet 2" (which happened at Sundance) and not a lot of them have been U.S. deals (though Europe seems to be doing just fine). IFC bought "Hunger" for the U.S. and Sony Pictures Classics put a bid out to James Toback's well-received "Tyson"documentary on the the former heavy-weight champion turned monster, turned (Anne Thompson said SPC "lowballed" the filmmakers). The Sundance Channel acquired US TV rights to Madonna's AIDS doc "I Am Because We Are." U.K. distributor Axiom Films accessed all rights to Wim Wenders' competish entry "Palermo Shooting." Wong Kar-wai's "Ashes of Time Redux" sold to Artificial Eye for the U.K.
Europeans are basically calling U.S. buyers, "fucking pussies."
European sellers are not necessarily sympathetic to American fears over less easily marketable product. "The Americans are lazy, they're arrogant and too scared to do any deals," said one European sales exec. "I tell them: get some balls — your companies are all going down the toilet, maybe now's the time to get some films before it all collapses."As of this writing "Che", James Gray's "Two Lovers," Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened?" and "Synecdoche, New York" have yet to be sold. Not sure about Clint Eastwood's, 'Changeling,' err "The Exchange," we've purposely not been paying too much attention to that one.
People have generally been underwhelmed and feel this may set the tone for a weak 2008 film year. "Even before the halfway mark, the general mood has been one of disappointment," said Variety critic Jay Weissberg.
David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year and has already been tagged by many as serious Oscar-bait for 2008. Starring Brad Pitt as an old man who physically ages backwards, the film is due December 18. Pitt's character fall in love with a 30-year-old woman (Cate Blanchett) and then must come to terms with the relationship as they literally grow in opposite directions. The film has been wrapped for some time now and the special effects for Pitt to convincingly age backwards were being worked on for months.
The trailer's in Español, but hey, it's something. Some people are already making crazy proclamations over the film having just seen the trailer. Ahh, kids.
Christian Bale and now Charlotte Gainsbourg? What is this going to be the artsy-fartsy version of the Terminator series? Is Todd Haynes directing? Warner Bros. sent out some press release (which we never received, fuckers) about 'Terminator 4' aka "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins," and evidently Charlotte Gainsbourg has been tapped to play Kate Connor, the character played by Claire Danes in T3, who is now apparently John Connor's (Bale) wife (this reteams the two actors who were in "I'm Not There," but they had no scenes together). You'll recall rapper Common is already signed on to play one of Bale's action buddies.
Is this the "Batman/Iron Man" approach of hiring quality actors to play parts in mostly-silly action films, therefore lending the popcorn flicks some weight and gravitas? Maybe so, and we ain't mad at that. They're PG-13 films, but hey it worked for "Iron Man," no?
Principal photography began May 5 in New Mexico and Bale is signed of for three films (if they do well enough to spawn two more). Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is supposed to hit theaters May 22, 2009 and who knows, it's sounding interesting, maybe we'll go see it.
A new documentary about the fast times and life of debauched Motorhead reprobate Lemmy Kilmister is being feted in a film tentatively titled "Lemmy." Slated for release in 2009, the doc is set to feature interviews with the many past and present members of the band and such admirers as Slash, Dave Grohl, the Clash's Mick Jones, Alice Cooper, Steve Vai and WWE wrestling celebrity Triple H. [Billboard]
The Abel Ferrara documentary about the infamous Chelsea Hotel, in New York, "Chelsea On The Rocks" will have a score by G.E. Smith, Tony Garnier, Robert Burger and Jim White with additional music by Sonic Youth and Love and Rockets. Music and archival footage of the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Sid Vicious appear in the documentary and the soundtrack will come out via Atlantic records. Re-enactments of famous Chelsea events -- including famous folks like Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious, Janis Joplin -- will be performed by Bijou Phillips, Jamie Burke, Adam Goldberg, Giancarlo Esposito and Grace Jones. [SetList]
“It was life-changing, nothing short of. The big ambition is to get people to change the discourse on the war a little bit, to get people started. " - Eddy Moretti, c0-director of "Heavy Metal In Baghdad," a documentary about Iraq's only metal outfit, Acrassicauda. The film opens in New York and L.A. this weekend. [New York Times]
Richard Dreyfuss is getting back to comedy. Or at least getting back to the comedy that should be Oliver Stone's George W. Bush biopic, "W." The actor has been cast as perennially vexed VP, Dick Cheney. We still think Brian Cox would have been a much fiercer choice for the irascible Veep. [Hollywood Reporter]
According to IMDB, Toby Jones (the uber-fey Truman Capote in "Infamous") will play Karl Rove [IMBD]
Genius! Apparently R.Kelly's attorney's are as much off the chain as Kel's is. According to the Chicago Sun Times, Robert's lawyers are using the "Little Man" defense. As in: the godawful/amazing Wayans Brothers' film in court to try and explain why it might not be the "Ignition" star on the in the notorious child-pornography trial.
"[Kelly's attorneys ]In an attempt to suggest that Kelly's head could have been superimposed onto somebody else's body in the sex tape, asked [a female witness] whether she had seen the Wayans brothers' movie "Little Man."Amazing. The whole freakin' system is out of order!
He said, "They put the head of Marlon Wayans on a midget and it looked real, didn't it?"
But, to widespead laughter, Jamison replied, "Not really!"
American Graffiti-Style Film Confirms 'Freaks & Geeks' Star Sam Weir Not Dead; Just Not Playing In Apatow Sandbox
We at the at the Playlist are big fans of "Freaks & Geeks," the little one-hour sitcom produced by Judd Apatow in the late '90s that paved the way for him to be the big cheese that he is today.
And we still have a lot of fondness for the actors on the show, many of whom now are starring players in the Apatow Family players troupe - except for one glowing omission: little Sam Weir (John Francis Daleypan>), essentially the star of "Freaks & Geeks" (arguable, but whatever).
But he's never (to our recollection) turned up in an Apatow film project (at least certainly not a major role), so we assumed - like many kid actors who grow up - he was off in some k-hole, pants around ankles with no clue what his current home address is.
But no, he's alive! Patrick Read Johnson's autobiographical indie film "77," chronicles the director's journeys in Hollywood with a young George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and guess who stars? Little John Francis Daley!
The film, originally named "5/25/77" after the release date of "Star Wars," is a nostalgic take on the director's encounters with Industrial Light and Magic execs. "Freaks and Geeks" lead John Francis Daley stars.The film is evidently kinda meta."It's an 'American Graffiti'-style film about the people who made 'American Graffiti." Wait, who will play Lucas?? Who will play Spielberg?? (since it's autobiog, we can assume, Daley plays Johnson) Dude, we're just happy Sam Weir isn't sucking dick for change. [Hollywood Reporter]
PS, we saw the trailer for this thing and it sadly looks dreadful and budget. Poor Sam.
Diablo Cody, Catherine Keener, Gus Van Sant And Michelle Williams Love Them Some Atonal Noise Pop Apparently
File under: kind of useless post floating out there for no good reason. That "special place where movies and music meet."
The old gits in noise-rock band Sonic Youth have a lot of famous friends and they want you to know about it. They recently finalized the tracklist for a compilation album on the Starbucks label called, Hits Are for Squares. that comes out later this summer. Famous movie people with ties to SY like Gus Van Sant, Allison Anders and Chloe Sevigny (she was an X-girl model once) and a bunch of musicians we won't bother to list picked the songs for the album.
You scan them all and, you go OK, Keener is friends with Spike Jonze, etc., etc., But Diablo Cody? What the fuck is she doing here? Does that not reek of last-minute, "hey, let's get this new sort-of punk-rock-ish chick to pick a song."
Whatever, hey, Michelle Williams lives in Brooklyn, near us, AND likes Sonic Youth???
"Bull in the Heather," selected by Catherine Keener
"Disappearer," selected by Portia De Rossi
"Superstar," selected by Diablo Cody
"Stones," selected by Allison Anders
"Tuff Gnarl," selected by Dave Eggers and Mike Watt
"Shadow of a Doubt," selected by Michelle Williams
"Tom Violence," selected by Gus Van Zant
"Mary-Christ," selected by David Cross
"World Looks Red," selected by Chloe Sevigny
A Mouthful Of 'Choke' Material Vomits Up Online: Trailer, Clips, Poster And An Upchuck Into September
We sort of hate blog posts that are just, "hey, look, a poster!" (congratulations?) But with a relatively new trailer, new clips from the movie floating online, a new poster and the news that "Choke" has been pushed from an August 1 release to a September 26, we figure we've got ourselves enough of an excuse for a post.
As we wrote a few months ago: Directed by actor/filmmaker Clark Gregg (he was great "In Good Company"), the film stars Sam Rockwell, Angelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald, Bijou Phillips and Gregg himself. The film is a black comedy about a sex-addicted con-man (Rockwell) who pays for his mother's hospital bills (Huston) by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him when pretending to choke to death.
The film is an adaptation of a Chuck Palahniuk novel, he wrote "Fight Club," and it premiered at Sundance '08 earlier this year to extremely positive reviews.
We revealed the film's soundtrack details in January. The film features songs by Radiohead, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! ("Satan Said Dance"), the Fiery Furnaces, Ben Kweller, Greg Dulli's (Afghan Whigs) newest group, the Twilight Singers and more (though the music supervisors on the film tell us some musical elements may have changed; we see it soon and will report back).
Watch: "Choke" trailer
Watch: Scene from "Choke"
Watch: Scene from "Choke"
Way To Sell Yourself: Katherine McPhee Wants To Play Janis Joplin One Day; But Thinks She Isn't Really Suited For The Role
We'll be the first to admit that we think Katherine McPhee is adorable and as cute as a button. But we'll also admit that we think she's probably the worst choice on earth to play Janis Joplin and upon further inspection we're not completely sure she possess any brain functions.
But - have you ever started a blog post and then realized, "oh wait, there's no real news here," but then said, "ahh, fuck it."
Yeah, soooo, McPhee isn't signed on to play Joplin or anything, she would just really, really like the opportunity to play her one day.
Right, and we would love to cure cancer and date super models.Then again she agrees with our original assessment in a comment that's basically the naive statement, "What I really want to do is direct."
“I don’t know if I would be the best choice for Janis Joplin just because I don’t think I really have that kind of a voice,” she confessed. “But I see myself as more of a serious, dramatic person.” Mmmmkay....(little pat on that cute little forehead of yours).
Mcphee makes her feature-film debut in "The House Bunny” later this summer alongside star and endearing little air-head Anna Faris. Sometimes we regret waking up in the morning.
"A few days ago I got an offer to do 'Tetris.' I’m like, “What the fuck are you talking about? This is totally absurd.” They said, “No, this would be a revolution in video-game movies.” I said, “Yes it would be the revolution, but it would also be completely the end of my career.” - Video-game adapting director Uwe Boll might be a notorious hack, but even he knows when to draw the line. [Time Out]
"[Laughs.] You know, the serial-killer thing didn't interest me at all. In the '70s, everybody was making disaster movies. If I'd made 'The Cell' in the '70s, it would have been about a burning building, with a guy having a dream on the 14th floor." - Masturbatory visualist Tarsem admits that he could give a shit about the plot of any of his movies. He makes whatever the studios want just as a larger excuse to make onanistic pretty pictures. [A/V Club]
"It's in writing, but is it the truth?" - Clint Eastwood had to be told by reporters that his new Cannes directorial effort "The Changeling," had its title altered to "The Exchange". "That's news to us," star Angelina Jolie said. We don't really care because upon further viewing all of Eastwood's films in this past decade feel like Cinemax thrillers or hokey Oscar-bait.[AFP]
"I used the Internet absurdity to portray myself as a Bavarian Nazi retard. A lot of people who hated my other movies wrote me to say that they really liked this one. From this point of view, Postal has definitely helped my career already." - Uwe Boll is amusingly naive. [Time Out]
So we finally saw "The Go-Getter" - the roadtrip indie directed by Martin Hynes starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel, Jena Malone and the film that basically inspired the formation of She & Him - the duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel (Ward scored the film and lent many, many songs to the flick - the pair met while working on the film and by recording the film's final song, a cover of Richard and Linda Thompson's road classic, "When I Get To The Border").
There's lots to say about it, but before we get into it all we thought we'd share what will be the first look for the film's trailer. The film comes out in limited release June 6 and we definitely recommend that you go out of your way to see it.
The story begins as thus:
19-year-old Mercer (Lou Taylor Pucci) is barely out of town when a cell phone left behind in the car he's just stolen begins to ring. Surprisingly, the car's owner Kate (Zoey Deschanel) is open to the idea of his journey - tracking down his estranged older half-brother and breaking the news to him that their mother has died. Kate doesn't threaten to call the police, instead she offers him a curious deal: use the car until he's done on one condition - that he call her and tell her about the trip along the way.
Download: M. Ward w/ Zooey Deschanel - "When I Get To The Border"
Download: Richard and Linda Thompson - "When I Get To The Border"
It's like practically Che day here at The Playlist (my Che-adoring grandparents, who literally still have their bedroom adorned with his vistage, would be proud). Two clips from the epic have made it online and they're below (but beforewarned, they're just the same AFP clip cut into 2 sections, but in a less shitty embed player). Reuters even-handedly says, "Early reaction to 'Che' has been mixed, with reviews questioning its length and Soderbergh's apparent determination to avoid heightening the drama through Hollywood conventions."
"As I went into the research of the character I became more and more like a deer in the headlights, more afraid of approaching him because I kept learning," Del Toro said.
The shoot was a difficult one, Soderbergh told reporters (Anne Thompson quickly transcribed this quote). "On the set I told the actors that I'm not going to be able to take care of you. I'm just trying to get this movie shot on schedule. And they formed a support group to survive it."
Reuters also notes the film could be a "tough sell." Considering it's four hours in length, about a Cuban revolutionary and told entirely in Spanish, gee, you think??
You can't make a film with any level of credibility in this case unless it's in Spanish," Soderbergh said. "I hope we're reaching a time where you go make a movie in another culture, that you shoot in the language of that culture. I'm hoping the days of that sort of specific brand of cultural imperialism have ended."
"Cuba is less of an issue for me than Che," Soderbergh told Cannes reporters. "I think he's great movie material is really what it comes down to. He had one of the most fascinating lives I can imagine in the last century." The Hollywood Reporter weighs in with a review. They say that while the film is "a highly worthwhile, professionally-accomplished project, but in its obsessive devotion to precise documentation, the it forgets to inspire."
Cannes: Will Steven Soderbergh's Che Biopic Revolution Not Be Televised? The Aftermath & More Polarized Reviews...
It's challenging, but still interesting trying to keep up with Cannes when you're not there - to read things right, to try and take the correct temperature and try not to fall prey to hyperbole one way or another.
Anywoo, things aren't looking perfectly rosy for Steven Soderbergh's 4 hour, two-part 'Che' biopic ("The Argentine," and "Guerrilla"). But they're not looking absymal either. Though, the film went from being the most nervous and almost-maniacally anticipated film of the French film festival to being a polarizing effort that has enamored some critics (Jeffrey Wells for one was practically left exasperated), left others tepid and forced others to call it an ambitious, but "noble failure" (Anne Thompson).
Many are suggesting the films are just too damn long and unwieldy and many are suggesting it's back to the drawing board whereas editing is concerned. Others are positively breathless over its scope and lead actor Benicio Del Toro.
Quarterbacking on Anne Thompson's review, Spoutblog (who never saw the film) reads her review and posits we may never see the apparently long-lasting and unmanageable Cannes cut. They could be right, but comparing a film you've never seen to the utter disaster that was "Southland Tales" seems rather baseless, but Thompson did heed warning about taking an unfinished film to Cannes and historically how it was wounded a film's reputation (sometimes for good).
"Soderbergh didn't think he could finish the film in time for Cannes. Why don't these guys ever learn? Remember Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, Wong Kar Wai's 2046, Vincent Gallo's The Brown Bunny, and Edward Norton's Down in the Valley? DON'T TAKE AN UNFINISHED MOVIE TO CANNES!!!! Wait. Give the film the time you need."Cinematical's James Rocchi seemed to appreciate the artistry of the films without trying to calculate how the mixed reactions will play out and frankly, this sounds pretty appealing.
"Bold, beautiful, bleak and brilliant, Che’s not just the story of a revolutionary; in many ways, it’s a revolution in and of itself. I can't predict how all of the questions and possibilities about Steven Soderbergh's Che will play out, but I can say -- and will say -- what a rare pleasure it is to have a film (or films) that, in our box-office obsessed, event-movie, Oscar-craving age, is actually worth talking about on so many levels."Another Cinematical viewpoint, Kim Voyer, says despite some of the naysayers, the film is still destined for the coveted top award (and do remember, Cannes does love challenging films; this isn't America).
“Consensus among many of the very smart people I know here at Cannes (well, except for Variety, apparently) is that Che will almost definitely win the Palm d’Or, and if Benecio del Toro doesn’t win the Best Actor Oscar come January, there’s something wrong with the world.”Variety's Todd McCarthy seems to be the negative review everyone is talking about. He calls the film, "defiantly undramatic," and says that "no doubt it will be back to the drawing board" for the film.
"If the director has gone out of his way to avoid the usual Hollywood biopic conventions, he has also withheld any suggestion of why the charismatic doctor, fighter, diplomat, diarist and intellectual theorist became and remains such a legendary figure; if anything, Che seems diminished by the way he’s portrayed here. Neither half feels remotely like a satisfying stand-alone film, while the whole offers far too many aggravations for its paltry rewards. Scattered partisans are likely to step forward, but the pic in its current form is a commercial impossibility, except on television or DVD."Glenn Kenny, writing for Indiewire seems to echo the sentiment of staid, non-drama (or at least history not being over-dramatized forthe sake of audiences), but with positive results (though his review is rather critical overall).
"Good thing then, as far as my opinion is concerned, that Soderbergh doesn't have a rabble-rousing bone in his body. 'Che' benefits greatly from certain Soderberghian qualities that don't always serve his other films well, e.g., detachment, formalism, and intellectual curiosity."Even Anne Thompson who threw the aforementioned and early critical molotov cocktail says the film isn't unsalvageable; though again, she seems to think us pleebs will never see this cut ever [ed. and she's probably right, but then again, what film isn't cut and changed after a Cannes screening?]
"The good news: there is plenty of fine material here to be edited into one releasable long dramatic feature…One thing is likely: it will not be released as it was seen here. And it will not sell overnight–unless a distrib promises to help Soderbergh to find his movie."
Peter Hammond from the Envelope said some people left after the first film was over and the crowd "noticeably thinned out."
"A little less than half the seats in my 50 seat or so section were suddenly empty along with dozens of others scattered throughout the upper regions. Perhaps those moviegoers had dinner reservations somewhere? Or maybe they just knew how it was going to end. We've said it before and we'll say it again: You can't please everyone in Cannes."Keep in mind, hack one-sentence review zingers like, 'The Game Plan' - A comic touchdown for The Rock!," and "'Rendition' - Guaranteed to get your heart racing!," earned Hammond a spot atop of the list of the year's worst film critics in a 2007 online poll.
Jeffrey Wells, who has done an amazing job tracking all the moments of 'Che' pre-reaction and aftermath, has a quote from director Steven Soderbergh at a press conference after the screening.
"I find it hilarious that people always complain about movies being the same, and then when something different comes along -- a film that deals the cards in a different way -- they say why isn't it more conventional?," Soderbergh said, honestly sounding a little defensive from our armchair vantage point.
As Spoutblog notes, David Poland wasn't a fan of bloggers or journalists who felt compelled to weigh in immediately thus increasing the chances that “Soderbergh cuts the film under Cannes pressure - even though there is no consistent correlation between Cannes response and US release success.”
Ok, not really it's actually a dramatic turn in "My Sister’s Keeper," a film where Cameron Diaz play a mother who shaves her head in support of her ill daughter.
The film stars young Sofia Vassilieva, who battles leukemia on screen, and "Little Miss Sunshine" star Abigail Breslin, but we basically defy you to take this film seriously if and when you have the balls to be seen in-line paying for it (we suggest sunglasses and Marcho Grouch-like glassses).
Thank you Jeffrey Wells for getting back to us in a timely fashion. You're basically the only blogger/writer we can find that is dropping fast, but telling reports on Steven Soderbergh's "Che" two-part biopic, without being a live-blog-in-theater jagoff about it. Apparently, the second half of the film, "Guerrilla," slayed as well. He's also naturally telling us how other bloggers, too slow to file copy, feel about it.
The second half of 'Che,' also known as 'Guerrilla,' just got out about a half-hour ago, and equally delighted although it's a different kind of film -- tighter, darker (naturally, given the story). But I've been arguing with some colleagues who don't like either film at all, or don't think it's commercial. Glenn Kenny and Kim Voynar feel as I do, but Anne Thompson is on the other side of the Grand Canyon. Peter Howell is in the enemy camp also.A good note to end the day on. Whoa, hold the phone, Thompson is now up. She's saying reactions are mixed. Some are calling it a "folly," a "mess," and "great." Her own reaction? A "noble failure"...
Remember the days when Nick Nolte was constantly trippin' balls in a veritable k-hole and lookin' like he'd spent the day with Ol' Dirty Bastard at a luau sodomizing senior citizens and engaging in drug decathlons that would make a Hunter S. Thompson road-trip blush?
(How he wasn't hanging out with Gary Busey during that period is beyond us, but god, that woulda made the BEST reality show ever!)
Well, that's kind of (but not exactly) the subject of the new documentary "Nick Nolte: No Exit," which is screening to buyers at Cannes. The subject seems to be more about Nolte himself and all his candid opinions and strange exploits. The L.A. Times says the odd Nolte-on-Nolte doc "is an almost existential documentary, part self-celebratory profile, part surreal question-and-answer session," and notes, while many friends are in the film talking about the star (people like Ben Stiller and Jacqueline Bisset) it mostly "focuses on Nolte asking himself (and usually answering) his own questions."
Sounds like some sort of Jean-Paul Sartre-like self-interrogation.
Other highlights include:
In discussing his infamous Hawaiian-shirt clad 2002 arrest for driving under the influence, Nolte steers his remarks about that highly public transgression toward his less well-known 1961 case for selling fake draft cards.The "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (literally) star also drops this laugh-out-loud pearl about the poetic war movie, "The Thin Red Line."
Director Terrence Malick "was more interested in insects than actors" during the making of the film."I knew that I wanted to make a documentary that was not traditional," the 'No Exit' filmmaker Tom Thurman - who also directed the doc about Hunter S. Thompson, "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride," which Nolte narrated - told the Time. "And if there is anybody on the planet who would roll with someone wanting to do something less traditional, this is my guy."
Does anyone remember the old fake Nick Nolte blog where some dude would blog as if he were Nick Nolte and basically recap days spent fishing food out of garbage cans and losing his pants? GOD, that was GENIUS. Our personal hope is someone gave him a book deal and that guy is stinking rich, because lord he used to provide us with the BEST laughs. Kudos, whoever you are, dear stranger. And, here he is, but it looks like he's been neutered a little bit by posing as Nolte. Surely he must have gotten many a cease-and-desist back in the day.
Ain't it the truth. Some Ecards has a great summer movies section. The Indiana Jones one we posted last week really made us, lol. There's a few more about Judd Apatow schlubbyness and a few more "Sex And The City" cards. You gotta love these guys' humor. It's right up our alley.
"I know from bitter experience I cannot maintain an erection during Bay movies...," says one commenter over at FilmDrunk where we found this recent card. Too funny.
Cannes is literally shitting its pants in anticipation of Steven Soderbergh's 4-hour (official Duration:268 minutes) two-part epic about Argentinian-born, Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara (titled respectively, "The Argentine" and "Guerrilla").
It screens today and film critics and bloggers are actually frothing at the mouth (we smell another Palme d'Or for Soderbergh).
The Cannes website is littered with videos from almost every film, but all we get for the "Che' films are (some relatively) new photos of Benicio Del Toro as Che, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Aleida Guevara) and what appears to be either hunky Latin actor Edgar Ramirez (the latter assassin of 'Bourne Ultimatum') or Demián Bichir as Fidel Castro (we're talking the shot with the bazooka, honestly it looks like Ramirez). Also some of Franka Potente from "Guerrilla," as communist revolutionary and spy Tamara Bunke.
Our only little quibble? The long hair - which is accurate - makes us snicker a bit because Del Toro looks a little bit like Raoul Duke's attorney in military garb.
The film's synopsis:
PART ONE: The ArgentineJeffrey Wells figures with a break in-between the two films, the experience will literally be around 5 hours. "I'm going to text a mini-review of Part One (i.e, The Argentine) during this break, and probably some kind of quickie judgment after the whole thing ends sometime around 11:30 pm. But a full-on review won't happen until tomorrow morning."
On November 26, 1956, Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with eighty rebels. One of those rebels is Ernesto "Che" Guevara, an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro - to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Che proves indispensable as a fighter, and quickly grasps the art of guerrilla warfare. As he throws himself into the struggle, Che is embraced by his comrades and the Cuban people. This film tracks Che’s rise in the Cuban Revolution, from doctor to commander to revolutionary hero.
PART TWO: Guerrilla
After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution.
The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.
Spoutblog says people are basically nervous with anticipation. Everyone is calling it "Che Day." Nothing else is on the minds of everyone at Cannes right now. Damn, we really wish we were there right now. It's the only film we can't wait to see. Buyers have been essentially been waiting for "Che" before they whipped out their checkbooks for any other films.
PS, the score was written by Alberto Iglesias a Spanish composer (no relation to Enrique, sorry) whose score for Pedro Almodovar's "Volver" was so good it was cited by heavy weights like Hans Zimmer "(The Thin Red Line"), Howard Shore ("LOTR") and that year's original score winner, 2-time Oscar fave Gustavo Santaolalla ("Brokeback Mountain") as being one of the year's best (and it was fantastic, the fact that it wasn't nominated for an Oscar that year was a travesty).
Update: Jeffrey Wells just came up for air as they say to give some thoughts. He exasperatedly calls it "brilliant."
"The first half of Steven Soderbergh's 268-minute Che Guevara epic is, for me, incandescent -- a piece of full-on realism about the making of the Cuban revolution that I found utterly believable and politically vibrant and searing. It's what I'd hoped for and more. Benicio del Toro's Guevara portrayal is, as expected, a flat-immersion that can't be a "performance" as much as a knock-down ass-kick inhabiting."Daaaaamn, son. UPDATE: The AFP has released a clip of the film. See it below.
Moving out of our wheelhouse for a sec: You know when girls are gorgeous, but insecure and you want to shake them and go, "honey, puulllease." This is what we want to do with the adorable Gwyneth Paltrow who we've always had a soft spot for. She's always been a strong actor, articulated, smart, thoughtful and seemingly a head-on-her-shoulders type gal which we appreciate.
But have you seen her lately? She's apparently going through a 30-something, "I'm a Mom, now" crisis and Defamer has been on Gwyneth-watch of late and done a bang-up job (and a funny one) of covering her every move - moves that seem to reveal less and less clothing and rather tarty choices in fashion (from outrageous hooker heels to skirts as long as a headband). Defamer basically kept asking on a daily basis, "What the hell is wrong with her?" Well, People explains how she thought being a mom might hurt her career.
"I really did not know if there would be a place for me. Jodie Foster was right, especially if you are a woman and especially if you are not 25. Hollywood is pretty cutthroat, and everybody has a short memory. There is always someone who is younger or hotter or prettier.I was very realistic of that fact there would not be room for me. I definitely knew I had lost my place." So what does she do? Take a long hiatus from making movies and then reappear in "Iron Man" much to every one's glee (she was excellent as Pepper Potts). Or was it to star in the Cannes film, "Two Lovers" (with kook Joaquin Phoenix) and bare her breasts? (Critic Roger Friedman had apparently never seen "Shakespeare In Love," because he practically went into cardiac arrest describing Paltrow's breasts in the movie). Or is it to just dress 10 years younger to impress frothing-at-the-mouth casting directors? C'mon, Gwyneth. We expect more from you here.
Why the hell are we writing this? Cause sometimes we like to root for moms, ok? Plus, cause we can; in your face. That is all, nothing to see here, please disperse. Back to our regularly scheduled channel.
Cannes: You're Not The Only One Who Has No Clue How To Pronounce The Title Of Charlie Kaufman's New Movie
It's called "Synecdoche New York," but no one, including everyone at the current Cannes Film Festival knows how to pronounce it (see video below). It sounds silly, but you know if they keep that title it will be a hurdle for audiences (despite what you might think, the percentage of Kaufman/Gondry/Jonze/Brion devotees is not enough to keep this thing afloat - it's like the bread and butter of our blog and accounts for like a dozen readers). You know, this might be emblematic of the larger, harder sell for this film. Someone will pick it up, surely, but it does have "abstract indie-film for niche audiences" written all over it.
BTW, It's pronounced sin-eck-duh-kee, kind of like Schenectady. A synecdoche (si-nek-duh-kee) is "a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part, as in '50 head of cattle' for 50 cows." 'Synecdoche' is also a play on the name of a city in Schenectady County, New York State, which features in the film.
Intellectually playful to be sure, but not exactly all-inclusive cinema. We hate to be the first to heavily imply, "hey, Kaufman, change the film title," but just sayin'... I mean, we are in a recession, right? Buyers are nervous.
As Variety's Anne Thompson notes, "Charlie Kaufman’s feature directorial debut 'Synecdoche, New York,' which cost $20 million, failed to score a sale out of an early buyers' screening."
Watch: No One Knows How To Pronounce The Title Of Charlie Kaufman's New Movie
Dear God, make it stop, seriously. Sometimes too much music-movie related news is a bad thing. Not cause it's hard to keep up, but because a lot of it just sounds so godawful.
So that arrogant jagoff, Pharrell and his cronies from underachieving hip-hop group N.E.R.D. apparently want to remake the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" with Hype Williams?
Well, not exactly. Apparently it's a feature-length film that track their evolution from the recording studio to their live performances.
But Pharrell Williams did tell HOT 97, "[The film] is going to be like The Beatles' 'A Hard Day’s Night', [It's a] full length film. It’s for our fans." File under, mmmkay...
Super video director Williams (Jay-Z, everyone ever in hip-hop) worked with N.E.R.D on their "Rock Star" video. We're sure Richard Lester is aghast.
The fact that Tom Waits plays the devil in Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," is old news, but in a recent "interview with himself," the gruff idiosyncratic singer talked a little bit about his role - one that played aside Heath Ledger in his last performance before his untimetly death earlier this year.
And Waits, apparently loves himself some Gilliam (we mean, Gilliam has been great, but really, "Brothers Grimm"??)
"I am the Devil in the 'Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus'–not a devil…The Devil. I don’t know why he thought of me. I was raised in the church. Gilliam and I met on 'Fisher King.' He is a giant among men and I am in awe of his films. 'Munchausen' I’ve seen a hundred times. 'Brazil' is a crowning achievement. 'Brothers Grimm' was my favorite film last year. I had most of my scenes with Christopher Plummer (He’s Dr. Parnassus). Plummer is one of the greatest actors on earth! Mostly I watch and learn. He’s a real movie star and a gentleman. Gilliam is an impresario, captain, magician, a dictator (a nice one), a genius, and a man you’d want in the boat with you at the end of the world."After Ledger's death, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell were all brought it to play his unfinished role in various incarnations, but it doesn't sound like Waits had a chance to work aside them. 'Imaginarium,' is supposed to come out next year and for the sake of Gilliam's ailing career in the last few years ('Grimm' and "Tideland" were practically straight to video efforts and or at least were in theaters for only a blink), we hope Ledger's tragedy can bring him some good fortune in a non-exploitative way (if that's at all possible).
Damn, here's some disappointing news. Remember that recently announced Bob Marley documentary that Marty Scorsese was supposed to direct to meet the anniversary of what would have been Marley's 65th birthday?
Well, evidently Scorsese has dropped out of the project and taking over for him is director Jonathan Demme (the Talking Heads live concert documentary "Stop Making Sense," "Silence of the Lambs").
It's not horrible news, Demme knows his music (aside from the T.Heads doc he also did the the well-received, "Neil Young: Heart of Gold" and seems to have been tackling a lot of documentaries of late including the positively reviewed "Jimmy Carter Man from Plains"), but we would have loved to have seen Scorsese's take on Marley since his Bob Dylan doc, "No Direction Home" was so badass and comprehensive. (but with a George Harrison doc on deck and an alleged Frank Sinatra biopic, plus other dramatic features, Marty's got more than a full deck).
According to Variety's Set List blog, the film is still on track for Feb. 6, 2010, the 65th anniversary of Marley's birthday and the doc is still being produced by produced by the Marley family’s Tuff Gong Pictures and Steve Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment. And like we listed above, Scorsese evidently dropped out because of "scheduling reasons" (i.e. he had too much on his plate).
“I am thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity to participate in fashioning a motion picture that can serve as a worthy vessel for the spiritual and musical brilliance of Bob Marley, who, most everybody agrees, is one of the greatest human beings of modern times,” Demme said in a statement.
Demme's long relationship to rock also includes the Robyn Hitchcock doc “Storefront Hitchcock” plus he is currently editing a new concert film, “Neil Young Trunk Show.”
Reading? What's that? We read the interweb. But occasionally, occasionally, we have time to read a "book" and before we started blogging last year, one of our favorite books of the last five-six years was Toby Young's hilariously candid and self-flagellating memoir of his disastrous attempt at working for Vanity Fair, "How To Lose Friends And Alientate People" (or one could say it was his disastrous attempt to be British in New York city).
So it pains us to watch this trailer that looks all Hollywood with a long-haired Jeff Bridges as the VF editor Graydon Carter character. Simon Pegg as the boorish, dumbass Young seems like an OK and reasonable choice given the options (the rest of the cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Megan Fox, and Gillian Anderson), but it's seemingly one-dimensional and silly portrait of the novel gives us the shivers it seems so off the mark.
We should stick our usual mantra: If you want to enjoy a movie, never read the book first. You're doomed for disappointment.
Watch: "How To Lose Friends And Alientate People" trailer
Remake whatever you want. Go for it, we know there's nothing we can do to stop you, but if you are going to remake the campy '80s sci-fi, err...classic..., "Flash Gordon" - which appears to be the plan by Sony who apparently won the bidding war (there was a bidding war for Flash Gordon??), at least have the human decency to include the original music by theatrically pomous British rockers Queen, ok?
You sort of owe it to the memory of Freddy Mercury. At least that's our take on it. The "Flash Gordon" theme is so over-the-top and so grandiloquent, we feel like it needs to be introduced to a whole new audience.
No one's been cast, but Breck Eisner ("Sahara") is attached to direct (blech). Evidently in the wake of "Iron Man's" success, studios are scramblingto find a hero-like brand that could be made into a franchise (ca-ching! See news of a Buck Rogers and Highlander remake for evidence of franchise desperation). What's next a remake of "Zardoz"??
Watch: Queen - "Flash's Theme"