Stephen Chow, the director/star of "Kung Fu Hustle," has now confirmed his role as the director of the new film, "The Green Hornet." Chow will not only direct the Seth Rogen penned script, he will be starring along side Rogen as Kato, the sidekick to the Hornet. The film will mark Chow's American directorial debut, a style which is like a kung fu cartoon. Chow will be following in the footsteps of his hero, Chinese martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, who played the most famous incarnation of Kato. "I'm excited to be taking on 'The Green Hornet' -- obviously I've been a huge fan of the show since I was a kid," Chow said. "The idea of stepping into Bruce Lee's shoes as Kato is both humbling and thrilling, and to get the chance to direct the project as my American movie debut is simply a dream come true."
Catching up a bit on things we were too lazy to write about during the week/didn't care that much about.
Entertainment Weekly recently learned that British actor, Jude Law, is in talks for the role of Dr. Watson in Guy Ritchie's upcoming 'Sherlock Holmes' project. He hasn't been confirmed for the role yet, and we will most likely know the truth in a few days. We like Law, but it is difficult to see him as Watson. He would make an excellent Sherlock. Then again, we have no idea what direction the character is taking in this certain adaptation, so we will see.
Ok, everyone's catching up and still doing it, so fuck it, let's join the herd and give our Toronto Film Festival recap so all our links are in one place. This is kind of shameless and usually a cheap way to drive up traffic, but who knows maybe you actually missed some of our coverage and wouldn't mind hearing about it brief [ed. "brief" being relative]. Also one sees a lot of great movies at a festival, but when you absorb so many, film's that might normally stand out on their own sometimes get pushed down the stack simply because you're judging so many at once and decent films can sometimes feel slightly unremarkable when sat next to toweringly awesome films.
If we had choose one film of the festival as our favorite, we'd likely choose the crowd-pleasing "Slumdog Millionaire." Yes, this isn't an original choice as it won the People's Choice Award. But one, who cares; we're big Danny Boyle fans and arguably we were excited before people started giving a shit about this film after Telluride. It's kinetic and full of life. Boyle does a masterful job of creating feel-good films that aren't cheap or sentimental. If you like this film, we encourage those that missed it to go back and see his kid's film, "Millions," which has a similar tone. We also stuck around for the Q&A with the director and got some video footage.
"$5 Dollars A Day" was a total left-field bittersweet surprise that left us completely moved. The film contains super strong performances by Alessandro Nivola and Christopher Walken. We hope this one picks up some buzz, cause it's an underachiever that needs champions. [A]
Similarly, in the little-buzzed about category, "Gigantic," was a super-endearing indie film that thankfully bypassed all the loopy tics of an annoyingly quirky indie flick. A super excellent supporting cast helps round out this terrific first-feature debut and shout outs go to not only the leads Zooey Deschanel and Paul Dano, but John Goodman, Ed Asner (so wonderful), Zack Galifinakis, Jane Alexander, Ian Roberts and Clarke Peters from "The Wire." The film had some great music in it too courtesy of Roddy Bottom, Animal Collective and a few other solid bands. [A]
We also caught the Q&A with director Matt Aselton (and Paul Dano), a nice new find for young cinema and one to watch. His fresh screenwriting in this piece is excellent.
"A Woman In Berlin," was a moving German film about a little-told atrocity that happened to German women and the movie humanizes both the victims and the perpetrators with a non-judgmental, but still dramatic lens. [A]
While it was filled with good intentions and a nice change of pace to see a 24-year-old director make a film about aging senior citizens, "Lovely, Still," was clumsy, sometimes embarrassing and included a silly twist that's usually reserved for nitwits like M. Night Shmalamading-dong. The music, written by Bright Eyes and friends was decent, and regardless that we didn't like it, we stuck around to hear director Nik Fackler defend his piece/ explain his intentions in the Q&A. [C]
The "Che" films ran a very-close second for our favorite film(s) at TIFF and who knows with further viewings this could change. Unsentimental, literal, matter-of-fact, but still immensely resonant, Steven Soderbergh completed an amazing achievement with these two films. Benicio del Toro's quiet, but commanding performance was an effortless balance of grace and understated action. It's nice to see a portrayal that's incredible, but doesn't have to resort to shouting or showy gestures. We're pretty sure, abuela and abuelo would've loved it too. [A]
Any other day of the week, when we weren't bombarded with twenty other films, the Cannes-lauded, "Gomorrah," would have probably stuck out a little more. But as it was, the Italian crime-family film was deluded by the stronger voices that week. That said, it's a powerful look at corruption and how it effects society, but we're not sure it could resonate on an emotional level much deeper than it already did. [B+]
Ranked among the greats of TIFF, "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," has zero chance, but taken on its own, it's a small little indie, romantic comedy, that's not terrible, but nowhere near as charming and endearing as we hoped it might be. [B-]
A lot of people can't seem to believe that we actually liked, Spike Lee's almost-three hour WWII epic "Miracle At St. Anna." We haven't seen that many reviews, but a lot of personal comments about, "you liked that?" have been sent our way. We did enjoy its strange blend of mystery, gritty rawness, fantastical/magical elements and humor, but even in our original review, we're pretty sure we said, we'd understand if some people didn't connect with it. We're not trying to apologize for our thoughts on it, we stand by them, but we're not sure this film is for everyone and we won't argue with you or call you an idiot if you dislike it or think some of it is too treacly in the end. [B+]
"Not Quite Hollywood," was a documentary about Australian B-Movies, splatter flicks and exploitation movies because apparently Oz exported a lot of the trash cinema that Quentin Tarantino grew up with. If you're not already a connoisseur of these kinds of films, you might find it a "rockumentary" vulgarness obnoxious, but it is informative, we'll give it that. We also gave some thoughts of it on video. [B-]
We were greatly anticipating Rian Johnson's "Brick" follow-up, but "The Brothers Bloom," was whimsically overwrought and wound so expertly tight it had little room to breathe. It was as if Wes Anderson had decided to make a diorama-like con-man lover story. Despite all that, it did have some charms. We didn't love it, but we stuck around for the Q&A with Johnson, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz and Adrien Brody, regardless. [B-]
While it boast a strong performance by Christian Mckay who did a good job of impersonating the films titular character (not Oscar worthy, sorry people), Richard Linklater's "Me & Orson Welles," was uninteresting, flat and moved with zero emotional impact. A movie of the week at best. [C+]
Walter Salles' "Linha De Passe" was strong and visually interesting, but at the end of the week, it didn't leave a huge mark on us and it's certainly not his best work compared to films like "Central Station" and "The Motorcycle Diaries." Not bad though and it did have strengths. A Playlist buddy and us also gave some video thoughts on the film. [B]
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden's follow-up to the amazing "Half Nelson," was decent, but overall, "Sugar," the story of a Dominican Republican baseball player trying to make it in the States was a disappointment because we had really high hopes. We stuck around for the Q&A and took some musical notes too. [B]
"Happy Go Lucky," was everything you've heard, vibrant, effervescent and – in the beginning at least – kind of pathologically chipper and therefore annoying, but it quickly found its footing to become another pretty excellent Mike Leigh film. We won't argue if Sally Hawkins gets a nomination either. [A]
Featuring The White Stripe's Jack White, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and U2's The Edge, the guitar god documentary, "It Might Get Loud," isn't necessarily essential viewing, but if you're into these artists and bands, you could do a whole lot worse. Enjoyable, while not mandatory. [B]
The mindbender "Synecdoche, New York," by Charlie Kaufman can be split into two sides: the amusing beginning and the dark difficult end. It's hard to wrap your head around and it's easily his most audience-challenging film. Not his best, but still worth having your head scrambled for cause it's an experience. [B]
Without Alejandro González Iñárritu, writer turned director Guillermo Arriaga proves he can still make a everything's-interconnected story on his own with, "The Burning Plain." However, by the end of the week, the film doesn't really stand out so much, but it's decent and accomplished if taken on its own we suppose. And Charlize Theron is pretty respectable in it. [B]
Driven by a moving performance by Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler," is a raw, intimate, scaled-down and modest picture (for ambitious director Darren Aronofsky anyhow), but still is pretty winning. Though we probably love it a little less than most salivating reviews though. Evan Rachel Wood was great too and we normally dislike her. [A]
"Burn After Reading," wasn't genius, but it was fun and a wickedly wry farce from the Coen Brothers. One could do a lot worse. And J.K. Simmons was hilarious. [B+]
A classic, but stock drama, "What Doesn't Kill You," is turning out to be one of the more unmemorable films of TIFF. About two-brothers trying to choose between crime and family, Mark Ruffalo does put in an impressive performance in the last act (which is inof itself pretty great), but it's almost a little too late. We would have loved a post-prison drama instead, as the emotional strengths lied in those moments. We did stick around for the Q&A with Ruffalo, director Brian Goodman and Ethan Hawke though.[B]
Guy Ritchie's "Rock N Rolla," was tired, been-done and underwhelming. It also seems like it was made in service of a sequel? The ending was aggravatingly cheap and undramatic. [B-]
We liked "Nothing But The Truth," at the time; the drama that uses the real-life Valerie Plame, ousted CIA-agent story as a jumping point. And Kate Beckinsale and Vera Farmiga, put in some solid thespian-ing on screen, but in retrospect, it's not the best thing we saw. Still, it did have some emotional moments and Alan Alda's Supreme Court speech was seriously moving. [B+]
At this point, the only film we truly regret we missed is "The Hurt Locker." Everything else we'll see soon enough and or doesn't sound indispensible. Other odds and ends include running into Paris Hilton (sorta), and unfortunately missing a New York Post writer beat on poor defenseless Roger Ebert. We don't love Ebert, but we loathe the Post, so it would have been a good opportunity to throttle someone. Oh, and Dodic says hello.
Further Proof That Perry Farrell Has Lost The Plot: Former Jane's Addiction Rocker Gets In Bed With 'Twilight'
Everyone with even half a brain knows that Perry Farrell has devolved into a laughing stock over this last decade. First there was the Jane's Addiction reunion (see the horrible theme song to "Entourage," which is total L.A. douche-rock), then there was Satellite Party, a garish melange of unintentionally hilarious album covers and painful stadium rock lighter-anthems and now to add to the list of excruciating missteps is Farrell's connection to the tweener-goth nonsense of "Twilight."
According to Vulture, the lost-in-the-woods singer is writing a crucial song for the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's emo-dramatic vampire saga, and what's worse, he's actually proud of it.
Hilariously titled, "Going All The Way (Into the Twilight)" (ha ha ha ha), the solo song will be mixed by the great Alan Moulder (Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and Swervedriver), who will at least make the sure-to-be turd sound like a million bucks.
To give the delusional Farrell some credit, at least he knows people don't want him to go off at length anymore. "I used to work on a record for, like, three and a half years and then people would only listen to or play two songs. I'd go, 'What happened to the other eleven songs?' So now I go, 'Here's one, here's one, here's one,' and they love them all." Suuuure buddy, if you say so.
France has had a banner year for films in 2008, but so much for strong films like, "A Secret," "Tell No One," "A Girl Cut in Two," or Philippe Claudel's "I’ve Loved You So Long" (one we haven't seen yet, but one receiving stellar reviews), cause France has officially selected Laurent Cantet's "Entre Les Murs," ("The Class") as its official Foreign Oscar entry for '08.
That's not a bad thing. We just saw "The Class," earlier this week and we loved it. It's an impressive and dynamically charged piece of work. And since the film did win the Palme d'Or at Cannes, already, it's probably not a bad bet for France to put all its eggs in one basket. Last year France was in a similar good problem predicament when they had to choose between “Persepolis” and “La Vie en Rose.” They chose the animated former film, but then the Oscar committee, implausibly cut it from the running during the early stages. 'Rose' obviously earned Marion Cotillard a Best Oscar Actress award though, so it wasn't all for not.
A few tweaks have been made on the fall release schedule. Bill Maher and Larry Charle's "Religulous," has been bumped up two days from an October 3rd release to a October 1 date only for New Yorkers only, and Danny Boyle's TIFF-winning, "Slumdog Millionaire," has moved from November 28 to November 19, possibly to counteract against being released to what would have been a few days after, Gus Van Sant’s "Milk" and "The Road" - two films that would have obviously attracted similar audiences (i.e. not the ham and eggers). It also gives Fox Searchlight (who's releasing Boyle's film) a bit more breathing room to promote another specialty indie of theirs, Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," which bows out December 19.
We've seen both films in question above. "Slumdog Millionaire," was pretty much our favorite film at TIFF; a crowd-pleasing effort, yet never one that stooped to pander, but we found "Religulous," to be mostly slight cheap-laughs and a traveling, on-the-road, version of Maher's TV show. A full review soon.
Ok, many of us at the Toronto Film Festival missed this Anne Thompson feature story in Variety (or at least, we never saw anyone writing about it) "Studios Wary of Big Budget Auteurs," written during that week.
Her thesis is given right off the bat, "the figure that haunts every studio chief's dreams is a high-profile auteur whose artistic vision outweighs his financial constraints," and yes, this makes absolute sense, we have no argument with this. Thompson name checks films and auteurs like David Fincher and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," James Cameron's "Avatar" and Spike Jonze and "Where The Wild Things Are" as being big-budgeted "gambles" that could be problematic in terms of recouping their exorbitant costs (curiously, she doesn't mention Baz Luhrmann and "Australia," which seem to fit the bill here).
Again, no complaint there. It's a legitimate concern and she's on the money. She dives deep into all three of the productions, but the one for 'Wild Things' obviously interests us the most and has some eye-raising statements written it it.
We've been accused of rumor mongering when it comes to 'Wild Things,' by certain parties. An assertion we find ridiculous since we've tried to keep the articles in check and actually made a lot of sarcastic fun about all the people leaping to snap speculation and hysteria (see our graphic) when the rumors started flying around (in fact, Radar magazine interviewed us recently on this very topic, the out-of-control "reportage" -- it's not online yet). So we find some of Thompson's comments more than a little curious.
Clearly she wasn't at the "Where The Wild Things Are" test screenings (she woulda said so), but she calls them "disastrous" regardless. This might be a studio perspective she's paraphrasing, but the same viewer she quotes in the article who was in attendance at said screening, Cinemaniac1979, tells us this assertion is off base. At least in his opinion.
"My experience of the December 2007 screening was that it was anything but disastrous. Everyone I talked to really enjoyed the movie, but we weren't involved in the focus group. In fact, I was disqualified from selection the moment I mentioned the director by name," he just wrote to us.
Another thing we've never heard before or reported anywhere else for that matter, Thompson says the project was shut down after this allegedly "disastrous" test screening.
"I never heard anything about a studio shut down from my sources," says Cinemaniac1979 who obviously has had at least some inside information (and again, this was never actually reported anywhere outside of rumors that the film was going to be reshot entirely -- which of course turned out to be completely false). This smells like speculation on her part, but we could be wrong. Hopefully this report foxes out more concrete info.
Meanwhile, Thompson talks about the reshoots on the film that happened in June. Despite producers of the film suggesting that reshoots would mostly involve the monsters in the woods – scenes they say they, "misjudged" – the Variety scribe says the reshoots mostly revolved around, "the young lead, Max Record. About 10 minutes were added: two scenes at the start and one at the end."
The article also says that a new 'Wild Things' cut will be screened within a month, but that "visual effects won't be added until Jonze has locked the final cut," so any test screenings that happen again will still be missing the CGI and elements that were absent for audiences initially in the, now infamous for better or worse, December screening.
About the reshoots, Warner Bros. Prez Jeff Rubinov said:
"We wanted more emotion for the story on the whole. He's making a Spike Jonze family movie. I can't tell you how young it's going to play or its intensity. It's magical and beautifully shot. It was a long process to end up in a good place."A few months ago, Cinemaniac1979 helped us confirm what actors are doing the voices of what monsters in 'Wild Things' and also contributed a little bit to our script review. "Where The Wild Things Are" is back ontrack for a October 2009 release.
A public service announcement. Stop copying and pasting blindly from Yahoo that has their facts wrong even if they do have the official "Synecdoche, New York," trailer. Tilda Swinton is not in Charlie Kaufman's new mind-fark. We know this cause we've seen it. Frankly, we wish she was in it. Hope Davis' role as a therapist in the movie is rather miscast and Swinton woulda been perfect for the part, but she makes no appearance.
Why the mis-reportage? (she's still incorrectly listed in the credits of the film at Variety) Swinton was cast in the film at one point (or was in talks), but dropped due to unknown circumstances and what we can probably assume was scheduling problems (or those "talks" never came to fruition). Like we said, it's a bit of a shame. When we read the script, we totally envisioned her as Philip Seymour Hoffman's self-absorbed therapist. Alas, a missed opportunity.
Updates in this piece. It appears that Lea Seydoux is not playing the young Shosanna because that role doesn't exist, but another small role entirely.
Casting for Quentin Tarantino's WWII epic, "Inglorious Bastards" is wrapping up quick. Then again it has to; shooting starts in Germany in mid October so about a month from now.
So obviously yesterday, we thought that Léa Seydoux is playing the young version of the film's main protagonist, Shosanna Dreyfus based on multiple sources both video and written that surely looked that way (it is all in French). Well, today the writer/interviewer of said source, our buddy Julien from French movie publication Allocine gives us a few more details by expertly translating for us (and then went back and did some deeper translations). Julien conducted the Allocine interview with Seydoux, and he notes a few things.
Seydoux confirms that Melanie Laurent is playing the main version of Shosanna in the movie in case anyone had any doubt. But it turns out that Seydoux's role is one written after the script was finished. There's a farmer in the beginning of the film and it appears that Seydoux has a more fleshed-out role as his daughter. "I play a farmer, and it's in this farm that the main character is hidden [during the war]. I'm [the one] who keeps Shosanna out of sight," Seydoux said. [ed. this is the part that was confusing in the original translation. The last sentence in this quote was missing originally].
And apparently, this new role was written after Tarantino met her and only two weeks ago. She told Allocine, "French actresses inspired [Quentin], and he wrote bit parts that weren't in the script before." Seydoux notes that she only has a total of 8 days of shooting (which is kind of a lot compared to how small her role in the script is) and that Ridley Scott cast her for his postponed "Nottingham" film, but she doesn't know when shooting will be scheduled.
Julien also tell us that a little-known actor, even in France, Denis Menochet has also been cast, but its unknown what his role is and considering the script, we have to assume it's a very small part.
Meanwhile, the final piece of the major casting puzzle has been solved. French actor Jacky Ido has been cast as Marcel, the Cinematheque projectionist and lover of Shosanna, according to Tarantino Archives (who've done a stellar job of leading the casting reportage news). We're being slightly disingenuous. There is one more piece of big casting left: Madame Mimieux, the original Cinematheque owner and the de facto adoptive parent of the younger Shosanna. Only appearing in the first act, the older woman is ideally played by someone like Emmanuelle Seigner, or even Nastassja Kinski who was up for another role originally. Our original pick was Catherine Deneuve, but it seems like QT is finally staying away from bigger names. At this stage in the game, don't be surprised if it's another relative unknown which we're totally cool with. The late-game casting of this film has really redeemed its potential in our eyes.
We had it up on an old story, but it got taken down, so we figure we'll put it up one more time, but holy shit, the new Bond theme for "Quantum Of Solace," By White Stripes'er Jack White and Alicia Keys is total ear gash.
We don't mind either of these two, both are talented (yes, even Keys), but god, this might even be worse that Chris Cornell's Bond theme if you can possibly imagine that.
We can't imagine what the producers of this film must have been thinking or worse how they feel now considering there's pretty much no going back. They shoulda stuck with Amy Winehouse, her music already has that Bond-like flair. "Another Way To Die" is terrible.
"Quantum of Solace," starring Daniel Craig, hits theaters November 14, 2008. "Casino Royale," was surprisingly great, so let's hope this miserable song is no indication of the quality of this next Bond film.
Recently, "Towelhead" star, Aaron Eckhart spoke with MTV about his thoughts on "The Dark Knight" and any sequel news. Eckhart himself is certain that his character is dead (Even though it already said so in the fucking script you geniuses.) Also, he gave his opinion on the situation revolving around Heath Ledger's Joker.
The character was still alive at the end of 'TDK,' but Ledger's premature death last January squashed the chances of him ever coming back. Or did it?
Ledger's great performance caused the role to drum up some sort of unprecedented legendary cult status (which everyone has an opinion on it), but does it make people want more even if it's from another actor? Thankfully, Eckhardt thinks it's a bad idea and implausible. "Unfortunately, we are not going to see the Joker again." It's a tough decision to go without a character such as the Joker, but Eckhart insists they should try to find new villains. "Chris [Nolan] and his brother have more to say. I mean, people love the movie, [but] There are so many other characters that you [could] go with." Seriously, another actor in the Joker role would totally rob the franchise of it gritty reality and would reduce it to a Joel Schumacher film. [MTV]
Don't get us wrong, we kind of loved the sweeping, epic tale of "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," as written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth, but the script isn't without its flaws.
Yes, it's magical in moments, romantic, sprawling and impressive, but it's grand nature are also sort of it's drawbacks as well.
One of the main reasons why 'Button' might have an exorbitant budget besides all the special effects?
The fanciful story adapted from a short story F. Scott Fitzgerald is filled with smaller side characters and the story goes into a litany of tangents to fill us with their backstory. So when we're told in a voice over about two fighting brothers on a boat, we always have to cut to a scene showing the brothers doing exactly that.
For one, it's a hallmark of bad writing, and crosses "the show don't tell" rule of screenwriting (they do both here obviously) and while it works for the most part, the major problem with this technique is twofold: for one they're excessive and these unconnected detours eventually become obnoxious in their predictability. And secondly they do a fine job of distracting us from our main love story between Brad Pitt as man born 80-years old who ages backwards and his lover Cate Blanchett (a woman who ages naturally, but is constant fear that their differences will never connect).
Let's not forget that Eric Roth wrote the holistically cheesy and corny "Forrest Gump," which is replete with the cliches of screenwriting (but does contain touchstones and film story beats that mainstream audiences are extremely comfortable and familiar with). There's always a pretty contrived "rule of threes" in screenwriting which can sometimes skate by and feel natural and or sometimes just feel like moves telegraphed a mile away. In 'Button,' they do work often, but they're their in spades and yes, obnoxiously so. So yes, when the aforementioned are mentioned once, you can be rest assured there's two more examples of their pugnacious behavior to be dropped down the path of the narrative like breadcrumbs later down the road (this may tie into the complains of unnecessary "repetition" that Anne Thompson wrote about recently)
We don't want to give away too many such examples, but trust us when we say they are everywhere. And again, we mostly were bothered by them because they took us away from the love story (and after a while, enough is enough, sheesh!).
Why this would effect the budget? Each one of these new tangents is a new set up, a new location and new cast of extras, film crews, set-design, etc. etc. One could imagine even without the special effects, this film could have cost a fortune (look at something much, much smaller in scale, but similar in Charlie Kaufman's "Synecdoche, New York," which cost more than $25 million dollars because there's a ton of locations).
We're honestly hoping director David Fincher didn't shoot all of these fanciful little side-character flights and or had to cut some of them when he trimmed the film from three hours to two and a half, because not only would they been excessive onscreen, we grew tired of them on the page as much as they were delightful, creative and fun at first. Here's to hoping anyhow. There's surely many winning elements to this script, but the talk of trims are actually a relief that we'll finally get to the heart of the story.
Virgins Without Super Powers Band Together To Campaign For Brandon Routh In What Ever Form 'Superman' Takes Next
Apparently Warner Bros. have upset many fans over the beloved, and arguably the most famous super-hero of all time, "Superman," by thinking about taking the film franchise in a new direction a la "Batman Begins."
The fans are vexed that WB wants to revamp the series and believe if Supes gets the reboot, card board cutout Brandon Routh will be left out in the cold. So many fans were adamant about keeping Routh that they formed a posse of cyber friends to tell whoever is in charge how they feel. Well, we don't know if WB listened, but Anne Thompson over at Variety sure did.
Variety posted tons of fan comments supporting the wax statue Routh (where did she find all this shit?). "Janerationx" says: "I'm not saying this is the end for Brandon as Supes until I hear otherwise. I'm not even going to thank him yet, because I have already thanked him many times before, and if I do this time, it feels more like saying goodbye, and I'm not ready for that yet." Don't worry, we have no idea what he's talking about either. "Clark Kent 86" wanted to let us know that he is 22 and supports Routh. Gee, thank god we know that. "Bjfan" enjoys some dome and also loves Brandon Routh. The fellatio enthusiast boasts, "Brandon totally encapsulated Superman for me and was a wonderful successor to Christopher Reeve. Whenever I think of Superman, I think of Brandon and his version of the character. I don't know HOW the WB will even attempt to darken Superman, but I truly hope they keep Brandon. He is a kind, honorable person, who respects his fans. HE IS SUPERMAN!"
The comments go on like this forever about how great the guys is even though none of them have never had any interaction with him that extends deeper than gazing at a poster on a wall or rubbing one out to the DVD. Seriously, you can scroll for more than 5 seconds and you still won't have reached the bottom. I don't know if it's more disconcerting that a bunch of people care about the career of some salami jouster that couldn't give a shit if he got to play "Superman" or the fact that they all took the time to make up silly account names like "VIPER52USA." [ed. Or the fact that Anne Thompson went to the effort to collect all these quotes. Maybe she has a mancrush].
We'll totally chalk it up to a lost in translation that's all our fault if we have to, but man, Jia Zhangke's "24 City," was something we didn't connect with in the least.
A pseudo-documentary/ fictional version of cinéma-vérité, the film centers on three generations of characters in the Chinese city of Chengdu and mixing a blend of fiction and fact, the film features five authentic interviews (some retired workers) and four invented stories all about people that worked amongst and around a state-owned factory that eventually gave way to a modern apartment complex.
As much a film nostalgic for Mao's era of China as it is about post-industrial nation and its history, the film felt like a formalist exercises and we couldn't help but remain completely unmoved and untouched by the entire tale. It's not like we need stars, but the meta-narrative starring Joan Chen as a "little flower," factory worker who was thought to look like Joan Chen was about the only time we perked up in what was otherwise a totally restless and unengaging film experience.
We couldn't stop watching our cellphones for the time praying the tedium would soon be over. We won't throw it under the bus and say it was bad filmmaking, but it felt completely foreign and alienating and again, we're open to conceding to the idea that we didn't get it, but, whoo, that was trying and taxing (there were at least two critics that walked out). What do we know? The film was accepted to Cannes and has been getting strong reviews, but it left us super cold. [C]
We saw Zhangke's short film earlier in the week, "Cry Me A River," former lovers who meet again one year later amongst the midst of beautiful botanical gardens. And while only 19-minutes long and shot in a similar, straight-forward and almost documentary style, we found it immensely more interesting.
A gaggle of films are going to be released this weekend in the U.S. Among the flock, four are being released wide. The four are: the Samuel L. Jackson feuding neighbor film, "Lakeview Terrace," the formulaic Dane Cook rom-com, "My Best Friend's Girl," (Seriously, who keeps hiring this guy?) the slightly more intelligent rom-com with the unwatchable Ricky Gervais, "Ghost Town," and the shoddily animated film starring John Cusack, "Igor." 'Terrace' will probably take the crown, because of it's safe PG-13 rating with 'Girl' coming in a slightly distant second. Any fans of the original 'Office' starring Gervais would probably be the only people who would support the snide performer. The guy can write very well, but watching him act is just painful for the viewer. Despite the film's solid reviews, we doubt that even Greg Kinnear's 80 year-old fans will add much money to the pot, let alone Téa Leoni's 90 year-old fan. We honestly hadn't even heard of "Igor" until today, so that one will most likely go the way of "Space Chimps" and "Space Chimps Minus the Chimps and Add Flies."
Now for the more quality indy fare. The Keira Knightley period piece, "The Duchess" opens in limited release. It wasn't that good besides Haley Atwell's character. Ed Harris' follow up to the 2000 film "Pollock," "Appaloosa," opens this weekend in limited release. A western starring Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger, and Jeremy Irons, the film isn't getting the best of reviews though. The star studded "Battle in Seattle" opens this weekend in limited release too. The film marks the directorial debut of Stuart Townsend, whose crowning achievement so far is that he gets to nail Charlize Theron. It's evidently as much about riots gone awry as it is about poor city planning and crowd control response and stars Theron and Andre 3000 as an animal rights protester in a turtle suit. Yeah, it's going to need a ton of help. Dakota Fanning gets raped in "Hounddog." There isn't much more to say about that one, but Fanning is earning some rave reviews (for her acting, not for getting raped). Also new is the latest Bella Tarr film, "The Man From London"which hits a few screens over the weekend. Finally, the Berlin Film Festival's top winner, Jose Padilha's "Elite Squad" opens in a very limited release. Although it sounds like a Chuck Norris movie shown on USA channel, it's supposedly much more fierce and pentrating. The film takes a deep looks at the shady workings of Rio's Special Operations Police Battalion. Here's what the critics are saying: "Brutal. Lacks flair, and is never quite sure where its morals lie." It's not quite receiving positive reviews which sucks because we were kind of excited for it.
You might be better off renting and staying home this weekend.
Without spoiling anything super significant, in Diablo Cody's new script, "Jennifer's Body," a wickedly delectable black horror teen comedy, there's a song and a band in the film that's intergral to the film in a comedic motif manner.
The band, named Soft Shoulder, are a emo-goth-looking band with a hit song called, "Through The Trees," that annoys the protagonist (Amanda Seyfried) to no end.
Despite the band's look, which is all Hot Topic, in the script the song is described as a "cheesy rock anthem." Adam Brody has already been cast as the lead singer of the band, but clearly some group or artist has to actually write the song.
We've never heard it obviously, but considering the lyrics and how many times it shows up in the movie (we swear, ad nauseum to hilarious effect), it kinda reminds us if My Chemical Romance and Nickelback were fused together to write an anthemic song of corny love and healing. The lyrics:
Through the trees, I will find you,Now our question is: has Cody and or the film's director or producer cast a band to actually write the music and melody around these lyrics? For some reason we keep gravitating back to Nickelback's "How You Remind Me," as if it were written by cutters with jeans two-sizes too small and douche-y goth/emo hairdos. We'll have to wait until 2009, unless the news breaks sooner, but we kinda can't wait.
Heal the ruins left inside you,
And the stars will remind you,
We'll meet again...
A "Watchmen" Sequel? Umm, how? Star Patrick Wilson confirms that WB has acutally thought of doing a sequel to the Alan Moore-penned graphic novel adaptation coming out next March (unless Fox Searchlight and their lawsuit fucks that plan). Thankfully, Zack Snyder and the cast all realize that this idea would be infinitely retarded. "It's all been talked about. Financially, they like to do that. But all of us, Zack [Snyder] included, all go, 'How on Earth could you do a sequel or prequel? So those studio jackasses, won't let it be a three hour movie, and will likely force them to cut the Treasure Island-like subplot, but they want a sequel, huh? Retards. What they should have done is figured out a way how to make "Watchmen" two movies in the first place so you could really give the depth of that story time to breathe (though, yes, there is no logical break in Moore's story, at least not an obvious one). [MTV]
Screenwriter Diablo Cody has gone off on all the haters about eight months too late and ripped into them on her Myspace page. Gee, that'll teach them. [SlashFilm]
William Shatner is still pissed he's not in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" prequel. Dude, get over it already. Dude, did you hear about the idea he had for Superman that Brett Ratner almost shot (we'll get into that a little deeper soon)? Holy crap, it was laughable. You should probably be thankful you're not in it. [L.A. Times]
Ed Harris wants to shoot a sequel to "Appaloosa," which stars the actor/director and Viggo Mortensen. Considering it didn't do gangbusters with critics at TIFF, we're sort of skeptical that someone will give him the money to do so. [MTV]
Speaking of Viggo, the actor says, no one on "The Hobbit" team including Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro have approached him about reprising his role as Aragorn from the "Lord Of The Rings" franchise, but the script hasn't even been written yet, so we're sure if the character does appear in one of the two films, it'll take a few months for the producers to contact him. [MTV]
Shit, anyone remember Zap Comic's "Reid Fleming, The World’s Toughest Milkman," hilariously demented comic about a super surly milkman? We kinda loved it in highschool. Well, anywoo, Jonathan Demme wants to make a live-action movie out of the comic. Rad. [Splashpage]
Shirley Manson from the U.K./U.S. dance rock band, Garbage says she'd make the perfect Catwoman. Maybe in 1999 when people actually gave a shit about her band. [Splash]
Speaking of Ratner, will he do a "Conan The Barbarian" reboot? And do we give a flying fuck? (No) [Dread]