LOL. Wish we could say we made this, but we simply found it as a avatar on a random message board, but hell if "The Dark Knight" scores an Oscar nod, all the playas are gonna freak the fuck out like this, right?
LOL. Wish we could say we made this, but we simply found it as a avatar on a random message board, but hell if "The Dark Knight" scores an Oscar nod, all the playas are gonna freak the fuck out like this, right?
We don't care in the least, but we're posting cause someone will for sure. We don't get the fuss over J.J. Abrams and "Star Trek" definitely cuts a divide between real movie goers and entertainment escapists. The movies have always been glorified television and cheap pulp sci-fi. "Star Wars" was at least special at one point. "Star Trek" never even got close to the magic or mystique. That said, people love it, but we have zero nostalgia for it. Get it while it lasts. We will say that Abrams has really ratcheted up the action and speed, but is this what Trekkies want? 'Phantom Menace'-style dogfights in outerspace was never what Star Trek was about. For better or worse, it was always a much slower, arguably patient pace.
Score: Morricone Officially Accepts Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds' Offer, But He Won't Be Rushed
The great composer Ennio Morricone has officially accepted Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" WWII epic (it was previously rumored, but not 100% confirmed).
However, according to Variety, he may not do all of it because of time constraints given the director's rushed schedule to finish in time for Cannes. Clearly the notoriously picky composer will not be rushed.
"Tarantino will finish shooting the film in February and has to deliver it by the end of April in time for Cannes," the maestro Morricone told Variety from his home in Rome. "That doesn't leave me enough time to do the music. Either I start working on it before he stops shooting -- after we discuss it together -- or I just can't do it."
As previously noted, Tarantino appropriated old Morricone scores for "Kill Bill" and "Death Proof," but the composer turned down an offer to write some music for "Pulp Fiction," back in 93/94. Morricone cautioned that while he's agreed to write what he can, he "might end up just writing a couple of tracks."
This makes perfect sense, QT is obviously a huge Morricone fan (over a half dozen songs featured in the "Kill Bill" films) and the "Inglourious Basterds" script even mention music that's supposed to be "Morricone-like" more than once, including what's written in the script as "Shosanna's Theme" (the French heroine of the movie).
We don't have time for a full-blown review for the "Gran Torino," screenplay, but we will say this, having recently finished it, we're having some second thoughts/ less dismissive ideas about the film.
Yeah, the trailer looks terrible and even on a second glance (which we just did right now), there's no improvement, but screenwriter Nick Schenk's script is rather great and definitely wins you over.
Yes, Clint Eastwood (the character's name is Walt Kowalski, a Korean war vet) is a grumpy old codger in the story, but eventually, he starts to warm to his Hmong neighbors (the Hmong people are actually the little-known Vietnamese that fought with the Americans during the Vietnam war, and then were persecuted and basically driven out of the country once the U.S. left). And when he does so it's not in the easy, Hollywood nature; his character basically stays a racist throughout, but it actually is quite funny.
His elderly friends are racist to him (he's Polish) and he's racist right back; there's almost an endearing macho camaraderie element to the constant ribbing. What changes in Eastwood's get-off-my-lawn character is the respect he begins to gain for the people around him. But it's well executed and well documented. It's not like his character turns his tune 180 degrees, he still kind of hates them (and everyone he's a bitter misanthropist), but without giving away too much, he's a man of his principles and when these people are wronged, he comes to their aid, because it's the right thing to do; even if they do kind of piss him off constantly.
The gist of the the turning point in the script - what gives the story its motivation - is that Eastwood's teenage Hmong neighbor, a quiet, peaceful, but inept young boy named Tao, is coerced by local Hmong gang-bangers to steal the old racist's prized, 1972 Gran Torino muscle car. When this plan fails (at the end of Eastwood's shotgun) and Tao is caught, his family is shamed. Feeling that Eastwood has saved the young boy, they feel indebted to him and his punishment is to work for free. Eastwood's character wants no part of it and resists, but his fastidious nature and his immense distaste for the dilapidated look of the neighborhood soon give him an idea: use the boy's punishment as a way to clean up the the dis-repaired Hmong houses, so he quickly puts his servitude to work elsewhere. The boy is pathetic in this kind of handyman work, and is bullied constantly by the gangbangers, but Eastwood doesn't take pity on him. Rather he's sick to his stomach of the boy acting like a shy worm and he urges him on to be a man and soon wants to teach him to grow a pair. It's the unfairness of the bullying that really spurns him on to teach the boy to stand up for himself on his own to feet and when the boy begins to rise to the challenge ever so slightly, a tentative friendship begins to emerge [ed. wait, isn't that sort of a review].
Oscar talk has cooled on this one cause it hasn't screen and yes, the trailer looks like the 101, lowest-common denominator version of a old man who sits on his lawn and throws rocks at kids, but trailers are meant to be reductive. They generally every show shade or nuance (then again, 'Revolutionary Road'...) and hiding under the hood of Eastwood's "Gran Torino" trailer might be a movie that could easily purr attractively to Academy voters. Again, it's all in the execution of course, but on the page, anyhow, "Gran Torino," is a suprisingly strong script that we enjoyed a lot.
The same can't be said for example of "Defiance" which we also finished recently. The first 20 pages were convincing, raw and incredibly engaging, but very soon the Ed Zwick clichés and hackneyed story conventions started to raise their ugly heads and we can totally understand why the film was met with very mediocre reviews so far.
We've got a new, work-in-progress logo on the site. It's not done obviously, but we kind of like it so much we got a little eager about putting in on display. Tell us what you think if you like, but keep in mind small tweaks are being made. It's a start right? Meanwhile, we hate doing blog recaps of the week, but we are especially happy with our breakthrough performances piece and encourage you to read it and see those films if you can. What else? What are you interested in? What do you like? What do you hate? What do you want more of? We generally don't solicit comments, cause we (I) don't really care sometimes (heh), but we're generating a bit of an audience with some regular folks we rather value and would love to hear some constructive thoughts. Haters to the back of the line of course.
Posted by Rodrigo Perez at 6:50 PM
"Burn-E" is being included on the upcoming (out already?) "Wall-E" DVD. "Wall-E" was cute, but certainly not an Oscar Best Picture contender. In fact, we vow to quit if it earns itself a nomination we're that sure it won't. That's not hate, we liked the sweet little Pixar movie, it's just not something we can take that seriously. Blah, blah, blah. Enjoy "Burn-E" before someone takes it down.
The "Arrested Development" movie has been back in the news again. It's a project that's up and down every few months so we've lost interest. One day it's a "go," the next day that talk is apparently "premature," and back and forth like that on and one. Hopes are brought up, hopes are dashed.
Just this week Jeffrey Tambor (the patriarch of the beloved and now-canceled Fox comedy) said the film was green lit, but Ron Howard (the exec-producer on the original TV show and its uncredited narrator)was a bit more pragmatic and said there was no script yet.
Well, someone has finally noticed our handiwork. A source close to the project tells us that a script does exist and is on Fox exec desks. However, whether that's a first draft and needs lots of polish is another thing. "A film is coming," they tell us. "...Eventually."
Still not holding our breaths, but it does sound like some progress.
American remakes of foreign films are genuinely terrible and generally butcher the original (yes, there are exceptions). Matt Reeves the director behind "Cloverfield," is planning on remaking the lucid and wintry vampire film "Let The Right One In," and when we heard this we honestly winced. "Cloverfield," is as subtle as a freight train and the Swedish teen vampire flick (directed by Tomas Alfredson) is a very thoughtful and nuanced one full of icy Scandinavian atmosphere and compassionate tenderness - he seems incredible ill-suited to the material.
But, it's happening and Reeves explained his intentions to MTV and we watched with arms folded skepticism.
“It’s a terrific movie and a fantastic book. I think it could be a really touching haunting and terrifying film. I’m really excited about what it could be. I had such a personal reaction when I saw the movie and when I read the book. I felt like there was an opportunity to do something incredibly personal while still being in a genre arena. It’s an amazing mixture of a coming of age story and a really scary horror film. It’s touching and scary. It’s an incredibly touching love story and a really scary vampire movie.”Ok, to be fair, he is saying all the right things, but it's been done, what will be bring new to it? "I think it could be a really touching haunting and terrifying film." Uhh, it was a touching and (mostly) terrifying film. Is his idea to make it scarier, cause that's missing the point dude.
"I’m keeping it in the early 80s. I love the setting of it being in a snowy locale. I’ve been thinking of Colorado, maybe Littleton,” he said. Umm, ok, again. Not a major change, it's an Americanized locale, so what? Either way, it's apparently coming soon.
"Overture wants it as soon as possible. They would love me to do it next so that’s what we’re shooting for at the moment.” You'll have to convince us this is worthwhile first.
A few weeks ago, we delved in deep on the upcoming Serge Gainsbourg biopic, " "Serge Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" ("Vie Héroïque"), being directed by French comic book artist, Joann Sfar, starring relatively newcomer Eric Elmosnino as everyone's favorite debauched French singer/pervert and former French supermodel Laetitia Casta has as Brigitte Bardot among many others (casting for Jane Birkin - Gainsbourg's second wife - and famous figures he worked with, Anna Karina, Catherine Deneuve, etc., have not been announced yet).
We figured that the highlights of Gainsbourg's wanton life (especially the uber-degenerate decline before his death in 1991 at the age of 62) would be present, but according to the Guardian it may not be. The film is said to span 40 years of his life, but they're saying according to the French press, it will only go as far as "the early '80s." We confirmed this with Julien at French movie site Allocine, who says he's read the same thing. So does this mean the depraved and rather sad ending — including the infamous 1986 incident when the heavily-inebriated, then-washed-up singer told Whitney Houston he wanted to "fook 'er" on live French television — won't be shown?
The Guardian is calling this a "censored" view of Gainsbourg's life, but honestly the writer seems to be even a bigger fan than us and seems insistent that it's a travesty if his pathetic downfall isn't documented. Well, it's clearly juicier than the beginning and we'd probably include it, but maybe Sfar has something else in mind.
They do give some good justification to keep this period on screen though and write:
"[Excluding this period is] a huge shame. What about the bad – and they really are bad – times that punctuated the last 10 or so years of Gainsbourg's life? Sfar is ignoring a number of key incidents: the infamous Whitney Houston incident; his setting fire, in 1984, to a 500-franc note on TV to protest against heavy taxation; and his proclamation to singer Catherine Ringer, again on TV in 1986, that she was "nothing but a filthy whore, a filthy, fucking whore". Not to mention 1984's duet with his 13-year-old daughter, Charlotte, "Lemon Incest." In the words of Sylvie Simmons, author of the entertaining Gainsbourg biography A Fistful of Gitanes, 'its video, featuring Serge and Charlotte side by side on a circular bed, hit another 10 on the scandalometer.'Très vrai, it's pretty racy, at least for the time. Singing a song called, "Lemon Incest" with his barely-pubescent teenage daughter writhing around on his legs? Here's the video in question.
Here's the trailer for "Slogan," the 1969 movie where Gainsbourg and Birkin first met and fell in love (art imitates life, just like the movie, Gainsbourg leaves his older wife for a younger woman). The "Slogan," theme song written by Gainsbourg and Birkin is fab too, so make sure you watch the whole thing. Who knows what Sfar will do in the end. We'd love to read this script though, that's for sure.
There it is, in all it's glory (and not just a photo of a poster on a wall), you see the full, real version of it. Uh, not a whole hell lot else to say about it, right? It's kind of underwhelming, frankly, but push the stars we guess.
Well, aside from the fact that New York press screenings for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" are allegedly starting soon and we haven't received our invite yet. Whaaa!!
Seriously, we're dying. Paramount is also apparently doing screenings for "Revolutionary Road," this weekend in NY and no, we still haven't heard back.
Do you want us to cry? Because we might cry.
Oh, something, we suppose. The film, 'Button' that is, does feature songs by Louie Armstrong, the Beatles, and "maybe the Platters," we're told by a source close to it that has seen it. We'll have to double check the script, but those sound familiar too. Not sure if they'll be on the soundtrack though, though note, it did read, "Various artists." We'll have to double check that soon as well.
Soundtrack Update: You can actually preview all the songs on the 2-disc, 'Ben Button' soundtrack. It's not just score material by Alexandre Desplat, but includes New Orleans jazz, old-time dixie swing, dialogue from the film, ragtime music and other music appropriate to the eras the film spans (It appears that Disc 1 is all Desplat and Disc 2 is dialogue and songs). Truthfully it's hard to tell who wrote what because the artist names aren't listed, but The Platters' "My Prayer" is definitely included and god, Desplat's score sounds gorgeous just in these quick little snippets. Give "Love Returns" a quick spin, it has all the melancholy, lovely and autumnal feelings you'd think the score should have.
Good news for all the obsessive, lovelorn women of the world: Summit Entertainment, who are releasing the "Twilight" movie, have purchased the rights to the all the books in Stephenie Meyer Twilight series as reported by THR. The only production plans written in cement are bringing back Melissa Rosenberg for the next two features. The fourth book/movie is a whole different story.
Breaking Dawn, the fourth book, was released this fall and caused a massive Twilight fan revolt largely because the masses objected strongly to Meyer's story choices - never the less the book was fairly obviously written, to our eyes, with a large scale movie budget in mind and it will take quite a lot of money to recreate it on film. Personally, my interest in the series started to wain around the third book so perhaps Summit are hedging their bets before they go all in on a book that was not exceptionally well received by even the hardcore fans.
In other "Twilight" updates MTV News have posted a new interview with series author Stephenie Meyer that contains a lot of unseen movie clips and behind the scenes shots - and a completely vague and unsatisfying quote about her disagreements with Robert Pattinson on the character of Edward. Meyer tells MTV, "we sat down to talk about Edward's character before we started filming. It wasn't an argument, but we actually disagreed on his character. I'd be like, 'This is how it is,' and he'd be like, 'No, it's this way.' And the funny thing about it was, here we are, arguing about a fictional character. Yet, in the performance, he did what he wanted, and it turned out how I wanted it."
So, essentially, everything turned out find and Pattinson is free to continue calling her crazy in the press.
Shortcuts: Clint Eastwood Directing 'Hereafter,' 'Quantum of Solace' Director Marc Foster To Helm Zombie Flick
Clint Eastwood is currently in negotiations with DreamWorks to take his melodramatic cinema to the sci-fi genre. The political minded scribe, Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland") wrote the script for the project, which is titled "Hereafter." The details of the plot are being kept secret, but it is supposed to be similar to "The Sixth Sense." Sounds like the old-timer has finally lost it. [Variety]
Marc Forster can finally put "Quantum of Solace" behind him, since he has been recently employed by Paramount to direct the adaptation to Max Brooks (yes, the spawn of Mel Brooks) best-selling novel, "World Was Z." It centers around interviews from survivors of a massive zombie attack that occurred ten years before, tearing apart every nation on earth. [Variety]
"The Office" cast member, B.J. Novak is taking a leave of absence from the show in order to appear in Quentin Tarantino's latest film, "Inglorious Basterds." [EW]
It appears as though Brett Ratner may be pumping the breaks on the 'Conan The Barbarian' rehash. Despite producer's Avi Lerner's claims, Ratner said he had other plans when he spoke to the L.A. Times, "Let me make this very clear. I am not doing 'Conan' now. That is totally premature. For now, 'Conan' is only a development deal. I have a deal at Paramount and I'm doing 'Beverly Hills Cop' first, no matter what.' [L.A. Times]
Director of L.A. Film Festival and member of the Mormon church, Rich Raddon has found himself in deep shit lately due to the discovery that he had given a sizable contribution to the anti-gay "Yes of Prop 8" committee. Literally the most unpopular person inTinsteltown today. [ Hollywood Elsewhere]
Jake Gyllenhaal sat down with Entertainment Tonight for an interview on the set of "Prince of Persia" (a movie naturally based on a video game) to showcase the dividends of his speech coach and recent steroids cycle, which resulted in unintentional hilarity. “I guess I’ve gotten buff,” he smirked to ET. Why yes he has. [Defamer]
Ok, so yesterday the poster for Judd Apatow's upcoming stand-up dramedy/relationships film, "Funny People," people came out yesterday, right?
Well, the movie also launched itself a very early myspace page which confirms the addition of two new casting people who have joined the film, The Wu Tang Clan abbot, the RZA and Human Giant comedian, Aziz Ansari (a shot of one of the newer additions, Aubrey Plaza, Seth Rogen's alt-comic love interest in the film is also included). We saw them in the IMDB credits recently, but we wondered if a) the info was correct and b) if their appearances were just tiny cameos, but they are listed up there along with the main actors in the film, Rogen, Adam Sandler, Leslie Mann, Jason Schwartzman, Jonah Hill, and Eric Bana.
Does this mean that RZA is gonna compose some beats? Or are people finally realizing the cat has comedic skills. Ansari is definitely funny, and he's a great little addition to the cast, no doubt as one of the stand-up comics. IMDB also says that Andy Dick play himself in the film and as we expected, Apatow's two daughter Iris and Maude are both in the film (no doubt as Mann and Bana's two little girls).
Lastly, we heard that Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen had both been losing weight for various upcoming roles (ok, we'll admit it, we perused Us Weekly), but man, this picture of Hill on the "Funny People" myspace page looks totally fucked up. Did he get work done? He looks like an alien, weird. Here's a video clip from the page featuring Apatow himself, cause their also holding open-casting calls on the Myspace page as well, but that's honestly of little interest to us.
Time flies; the weekend box office selections are here again! The downside is that choices are pretty limited unless you happen to live in a major city. We guess that studios were reluctant to go up against the new James Bond installment which will undoubtedly crush all opposition at the box this weekend. Still, if you're in a city that gets something more than this weekend's blockbuster and you have no interest in the newest 007 caper, then scan the list below for something to suit your non-Bond desires.
As we've already mentioned, the holiday season means only one thing: British superagent James Bond chasing villains around the world. The latest entry in the franchise, "Quantum of Solace," is the first 007 film to serve as a direct sequel to its predecessor. Starting twenty minutes after the ending of "Casino Royale," the film follows Bond as he continues to chase the shadowy group behind the murder of his love interest Vesper Lynd. The film once again stars Daniel Craig as Bond and French actor Mathieu Amalric ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Munich") as his nemesis. Newcomer Olga Kurylenko features as the Bond girl and Judi Dench returns as M, head of British Military Intelligence. We weren't thrilled, though the rest of the critics at RT are fairly split. Consensus seems to be that it's not as good as "Casino Royale." Looks like Marc Forster will have to go back to movies about prison guard sex and possible pedophiles.
This weekend also sees the limited release of "Slumdog Millionaire," the latest from director Danny Boyle ("Sunshine," "28 Days Later"). The story of a street kid from the slums of Mumbai on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and his arrest when the powers that be suspect him of cheating. We loved this and most of the critics agree as it sits at a staggering 90% on Rotten Tomatoes right now. Also check out our article from today about the stellar (and so far a little unsung) music from the film. Frankly, if this one is showing in your town this weekend, you'd be a lot better off dropping your hard earned cash on 'Slumdog' than 'QoS.'If, for some reason, you'd rather spend your pre-holiday season watching Christmas movies instead of a debonair killing machine but you still want to see Mathieu Amalric, you can check him out in "A Christmas Tale" from director Arnaud Desplechin ("Esther Kahn"). Also starring Catharine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni (daughter of Marcello) and Melvil Poupaud, it's a black comedy about a super-dysfunctional French family and their attempts to celebrate the nativity. Our feelings were mixed on the film, but the rest of the critical establishment seems to love it as it currently has a 94% at RT. Regardless, if you're in the market for a holiday comedy (and we're not even going to acknowledge that Vince Vaughn movie) then this is probably the ticket.
Should the critics dissuade you from 'QoS', you could check out "Antarctica," which opens this weekend in limited release. From director Yair Hochner, this picture claims to be the "first Israeli queer romantic sexy comedy." If that's not enough to pique your interest, check this out: it's the story of a repressed homosexual library worker in Israel who battles himself and his sister as he goes on numerous blind dates in search of love. A world away from James Bond. Also, be advised: there's no reviews up at RT right now, so view at your own risk.
The rest of the weekend is pretty slim: director/actor Vadim Glowna brings "House of the Sleeping Beauties," a romance/mystery wherein a man (played by Glowna) whose wife has recently passed on discovers a service where men can sleep next to a beautiful woman who never awakens, sending him on a quest to determine the origin of their slumber. "Beauties" sits at a disappointing 44 on RT right now. There's also the slightly-higher rated "The Beautiful Truth," which concerns a doctor's quest for a possible cure for cancer and holds a 50 right now. Eden is a film adaptation of Irish playwright's Eugene O'Brien's stage version of the same name which follows a collapsing marriage and has a combined rating of 60%. Also from Iraland is "How About You," a film adaptation of a short story by Meave Binchy about the intertwined lives of four senior citizens. With a 71%, this may be your best bet of the smaller films that debut this weekend. Anyway, whatever you choose, have a pleasant weekend at the cineplex.
Recent rumors (via aintitcoolnews.com) on what project Terrence Malick will tackle after his latest film, "Tree of Life" wraps, have him attached to the Middle English epic poem, "Gawain and The Green Knight." It is certainly exciting to hear that Malick could be jumping into right into another project, since he is notorious for coming out of his hideout to make a masterpiece once every 15 years.
The poem deals with the proud and virtuous Sir Gawain, a member of King Arthur's round table, who is forced to face his own flaws when he meets a mysterious green warrior. The poem is filled with complex symbolism and speculation on the interpretation of the underlying meaning still continue to this day, which makes use believe their may not be another director who would be as well suited for the project as Malick. We hope this actually materializes, but we also don't recommend holding your breath on anything Malick is attached to.
Malick's next pic, "The Tree Of Life" starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, is scheduled to come out Fall/winter 2009.
Congratulations to our pal Chuck Klosterman. The rights to his 2005 novel/memoir, expanded from a feature he wrote during his time at SPIN magazine, "Killing Yourself To Live:85% of a True Story" has been optioned by Half Shell Entertainment.
The book focuses on a rock pilgrimage that Klosterman took for the alt-mag where he visited the locales of where famous rock musicians like Kurt Cobain, Buddy Holly and members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Great White died. Their deaths serves as a backdrop for the author to explore his own life and his relationships with various women.
Chuck himself will executive produce and is quoted as saying, ""The idea is to do a comedic road movie heavily based in rock 'n' roll," he told Variety. It doesn't sound like he's penning the screenplay. Must resist...the urge... to ask... who will be cast as... the female members of the New York... music media... we know... well.
Whatever happened to "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs"? We thought the film rights for that one were optioned a few years ago, but we haven't heard anything since.
In other related movie-music news.
Female Rapper Eve will appear in "Whip It," the forthcoming 2009 Roller derby film directed by Drew Barrymore and starring missing-in-action 2007 It Girl, Ellen Page. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Zoey Bell and Marcia Gay Harden who said that Page stayed in character while filming. “Ellen’s a serious girl. She’s an absolute doll, but she’s a serious doll.” (Really? It's a roller-skating movie by Drew Barrymore, does it really need method acting??) [MTV]
Iggy Pop, Moby, Henry Rollins and Alice Cooper are starring in the rock n' roll satire called, "Suck"? Apparently the film features an Eddie Van Helsing character who hunts down vampires. Evidently it has no distributor and perhaps its because the idea sounds ridiculous. Canadian director Rob Stefaniuk, who previously helmed, "Phil the Alien," is the filmmaker here. [First Showing]
Julie Taymor loves her some music and movies together. Last year she released her Beatles music, "Across The Universe," and she's already working on a "Spider-Man" musical for Broadway with members of U2 and now she has plucked an L.A. rocker out of obscurity for her latest. Rocker-turned-actor Reeve Carney has joined the cast of her upcoming Shakespeare film adaptation, "Tempest." Carney is the lead singer/guitarist in his band, Carney and according to the Hollywood Reporter, Taymor discovered him in New York when she went to see his band perform.
Hilary Duff is going to star in a new NBC show, but there's zero details on what the show are. According to the deal, she'll also be tapped to make various guest star appearances on current NBC shows. [Variety]
Drag City Records and enfante terrible filmmaker gone-softer, Harmony Korine are like bffs. Earlier this year they released the J. Spaceman/Sun City Girls-written score to his "Mister Lonely" film, and now the indie label is reissuing his old fanzines in one collection, creatively titled The Collected Fanzines. The collection comes on November 18 and sounds like a must-have if your a Korine-obsessive. "They were never meant to be collectible," Korine said. "Just low-concept laugh-inducing juxtapositions of words and images, images and images, lists, monologues, cartoons, free verse, jokes, half-thoughts, fake/real interviews, innuendo and Matt Dillon's phone number."[PitchforkMedia]
Exclusive: Eels And Zooey Deschael Via Munchausen By Proxy Write New Songs And Score For 'Yes Man' Soundtrack
You'll remember that back in August we told you about Munchausen By Proxy, a fictional band starring Zooey Deschanel and the ladies from San Franciscan electropunk trio, Von Iva that were writing songs for the upcoming Jim Carrey comedy, "Yes Man."
Munchausen are a band which Carrey's character is incessantly invited to see by an over-eager street promoter. Carrey's character meets Deschanel's by finally agreeing to see her band and then is quickly besotted at first sight (honestly, the film looks terrible with Carrey at his worst doing his rubberface shtick, no thanks). Four Munchausen songs are featured in the film and the soundtrack and we've got some shots of the band from the film here.
Also of note is E, of the mostly one-man-band, The Eels who composed the score of the film in collaboration with Lyle Workman (composer for "Superbad" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"). The Eels wrote one new song for the film ("Man Up") included on the soundtrack and eight old tunes also grace the disc and movie.
The soundtrack is scheduled for December 9 via Lakeshore records and we're obviously not that keen on "Yes Man," the film but we're certainly interested in the soundtrack. The Eels create some really nice bittersweet pop and Zooey Deschanel's work with Matt Ward in She & Him was totally winning, so we're definitely up for hearing more tunes co-penned by her. Below are some of the previously released Eels tunes on the soundtrack. "Yes Man" hits theaters December 19.
"Yes Man" soundtrack tracklist.
1) Man Up - EELS
2) Bus Stop Boxer - EELS
3) To Lick Your Boots - EELS
4) The Good Old Days - EELS
5) The Sound Of Fear - EELS
6) Wooden Nickels - EELS
7) Flyswatter - EELS
8) Blinking Lights (For Me) - EELS
9) Somebody Loves You - EELS
10) Sweet Ballad - Munchausen By Proxy
11) Uh-Huh - Munchausen By Proxy
12) Keystar - Munchausen By Proxy
13) Yes Man - Munchausen By Proxy
Here's the latest "Yes Man" trailer.
There's another new gorgeous trailer for "Revolutionary Road" courtesy of Variety and instead of Nina Simone ("Wild Is The Wind" in the original trailer), this time there's a modern throwback singer soundtracking the piece: Cat Power ( Her "Sea Of Love" cover from the 2000's The Covers Record).
The Sam Mendes-directed film that reunited "Titanic" lead stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet looks fabulous (god, the cinematography of Roger Deakins looks astounding, even when he's mostly kept indoors he shines) and it's getting by nothing but good buzz so far (it's been called a "modern classic" already).
Jeffrey Wells passes on some more positive, second-hand information. "I've never been much of a fan of Sam Mendes," writes his tipster, "But I was very pleasantly surprised here. "Revolutionary Road" is a tremendously impressive emotional drama, cleverly put together, beautifully composed, and nicely edited by Tariq Anwar. Only the ending felt a little unsure; otherwise, I feel Mendes has made serious progress as a director. A daring scene at the breakfast table is pulled off with virtuosity towards the end. I'll say no more than this."
We're still psyched for it. This trailer is beautiful and song totally helps; it's practically like a sumptuous music video. Some of you will remember the song from "Juno," it was used near the end when Ellen Page gives birth to her baby and Michael Cera comes to visit her in the hospital. As much as that movie could be annoying at times, it was a genuinely sweet moment. Note, like most Sam Mendes films, Randall Poster is the music supervisor here. He's famous for working with Wes Anderson and did some nice work on "American Beauty," hello the inclusion of Elliott Smith's amazing Beatles cover of "Because" in the closing credits of the film. Thomas Newman wrote the score to 'Road,' he's probably most famous at this moment for composing the score to "Wall-E," and he's worked with Mendes on every film so far. He's been nominated for his music eight times by Oscar, but has never won.
We've already raved about "Slumdog Millionaire" and covered one of the year's best films extensively, but thus far very little information has been made available about the film's soundtrack. Acclaimed Indian Composer A.R. Rahman recently sat down with NY Magazine to shed some more light on the vibrant, unique sounds of "Slumdog".
Rahman, considering his enormous popularity in South Asia, is still a largely unknown commodity in the States. He's reportedly sold over 100 million records in India and is just now breaking in to Hollywood with "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and now "Slumdog". With Rahman booked on an absurd amount of Bollywood films (check his IMDB), Danny Boyle reached out with the idea and was able to sell him on "Millionaire".
"I literally had to leave another film to do this. When Danny met me, he said, “I’ve heard a lot of your stuff’ and he talked about it. That’s about the first time I’ve heard a compliment from a Western director, apart from Andrew Webber. He’s a good human being."
Like most of Boyle's work, the film relies heavily on music to compliment the narrative and bring the story to life in another way. Aerial shots of dilapidated neighborhoods and jarring, handheld chase sequences are accented by resonant music that makes authentic India come alive in a way Wes Anderson was never able to achieve. Rahman brings his distinctly original style to the film, drawing inspiration from multiple places.
"I had to do stuff from modern India, eighties Hindi film soundtracks, mixing modern India and the old India. He wanted something very pulse-y. He said he hated sentiment, hated cello. No cellos! He said, “Never put a cello in my film” — he was funny. I worked fast, like him. It took two months of planning, two weeks of completing. Usually it takes six months with the musical films I’m doing in India.
Another selling point for American audiences is the involvement of M.I.A, who blew up here about a year late. She worked with Rahman on an original song for the film called "O… Saya".
"We met before but never worked before. M.I.A., she’s a real powerhouse. Somebody played me her CD and I thought, Who’s this girl? She came here and knew all my work, had followed my work for ages. I said "Cut the crap," this "my idol" crap. You have to teach me. We started working in India, then we e-mailed the track back and forth. She did the vocals in England. I did the rest in India."
Peep the full interview for more on Rahman's experience in Bollywood and interpretation on the universal storytelling aspects of "Slumdog." Opening in limited release this week, do yourself a favor and see this film.
Nerds turned down dates and going out to make sure they saw this on time (5pm PT). Wait, that's not true, they never had dates or anything to do.
We digress, the new Zack Snyder-helmed "Watchmen" trailer is up and the Interweb has basically peed their pants.
While visually impressive, it doesn't feel realistic at all - a different world where slo-mo permeates all. Whatever, the kids love it already. This one appropriates Philip Glass' famous "Koyaanisqatsi" (from the titular 1982 film, sounds like an updated version maybe) score and Muse's Glass/Steven Reich influenced, "Take A Bow."
Look for the shot in the trailer where a mob burns a Superman dummy. Snyder's diss on modern-day Superheroes? (ironic considering how realistic "Watchmen" is supposed to be and how stylized and unrealistic it looks). We are finally warming to this though. It looks like it might be at least entertaining, Rorschach's tough-guy growl aside (not as annoying as Christian Bale's in "The Dark Knight").
You gotta love Ron Howard. He might be the master of bland, Hollywood milquetoast cinema, but he's an amenable little dude.
Just yesterday, the too-eager Jeffrey Tambor was like, "it's a go!," but the agreeable Howard is much more realistic about the films chances. Also? He understands our pain of the back and forthrightness of it all. That said, it looks like Tambor was onto something and things started moving forward this week. Though, as we suspected, there's no script yet and series creator Mitch Hurwitz has been busy with his new show. Sounds like he just found some free time though (it's not like his show got canceled though, did it? update: recent news suggests it might not have gotten off the ground, it's still on on Fox's TV sched)
“I really hope we do it. The reason there’s been so much back and forth is… well, for two reasons, is the business understanding coming from the studio side was not clear, so even though we were wanting to do it and said, ‘Yeah, maybe we could’ but things weren’t defined. I think that’s really come into focus in the last week or so. [Series creator] Mitch [Hurwitz]’s full-on commitment to not only write it but direct it is something he’s been wrestling with, he’s been launching a TV show at the same time, so he couldn’t let it really be at the forefront of his mind creatively. It is now. He seems very committed. We still don’t have a script. Yeah, he’s got some great ideas, and the cast seemed very excited about it and I certainly am. I’m very, very hopeful—more hopeful now than ever—that it’s really going to happen."So yeah, sounds like Hurwitz is "committed" and it's "hopefully" going to happen. We won't hold our breath though. [ComingSoon via FilmSchoolRejects]
Cinematical has the first look at the poster for Judd Apatow's forthcoming stand-up comedians with adult problems film, "Funny People" which stars Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler, Leslie Mann and supporting roles for Jason Schwartzman, Jonah Hill, and Eric Bana. It's a little underwhelming, but it's poster for a comedy, you can't expect dazzling design.
The script for "Funny People," is excellent and has a lot of mature and tearful notes that hopefully the Apatow-gang can hit (it's probably the best he's written thus far). A lot of it has the similar "emotionality" (if we can borrow a word from Kurt Lazarus), that "Knocked Up" has, but with a darker and potentially sadder tone if executed well. It's not much to look at, but here it is.
The real news however, is that the film now has a real release date now, July 31, 2009.
As we've mentioned before, "Funny People's" screenplay features an appearance by the real-life Bruce Springsteen in a dream sequence, references a Wilco concert and features music by Otis Redding, Paul McCartney, Warren Zevon and Ted Hawkins among others. We'll see if the soundtrack supes clear them for the film. We don't see why they couldn't.
Eli Roth Directed 'Nation's Pride' Propaganda Film-Within-Film In Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds'
We knew there was a logical reason Quentin Tarantino hired Eli Roth for his WWII film, "Inglourious Basterds." You'll recall that Roth was hired for to play the role of vicious "Bear Jew" American soldier, Donny Donowitz and a lot of people (including us moaned and groaned). This bit of news makes sense.
According to Tarantino Archives, Roth directed what is known in the "Inglourious Basterds," screenplay as "Nation's Pride," a film-within-the-film propaganda piece that stars Frederick Zoller (German actor Daniel Brühl) -- a young, handsome German war-hero whose sharp-shooting skills are depicted and lionized in the film for furthering Nazi doctrine and honor (pictures of which have made it onto the web, they're underwhelming).
Essentially, Brühl's character in 'Basterds' is known and celebrated for killing many Russian soldiers in combat and the movie re-enacts his own sniper abilities as Leni-Riefenstahl-like German propaganda cinema.
This would make sense. Tarantino was a) never seen on set during these shoots, b) he is moving at full-speed on 'Basterds' in hopes of getting the film done in time for Cannes 2009. What better way to shoot faster than to get than to score a guest director (ala "Sin City") to direct the film (which is just shown in black-and-white snippets in the movie and mostly in the end). Essentially, Roth is like a glorified first-unit director, but either way,it's like killing two-birds with one stone and, as it should, it basically ensures that 'Pride' will have a different aesthetic from the way Tarantino shoots, 'Basterds' itself.
That must be the reason Tarantino actually entrusted an actor as green as Roth (and mediocre if "Grindhouse" is any indication) with such a strong role in the film, right? Right? Sounds logical to us.
PS, this is kind of funny. Tarantino teaching Til Schwieger how to do a spit-take onset. How does one not know how to do a spit-take? (god, we love the spit-take). Maybe it's a lost in translation thing.
It's the time of year again. That season when The Playlist breaks down all the arresting, disquieting breakthrough performances of the year that made you stand up and notice an actor — someone you couldn't take your eyes off of.
Some of the these actors will be new to you and some aren't new at all, but they have delivered a performance that's head turning, reminds you who they are and in some cases is like you're seeing them all over again for the very first time. In no particular order (but you can tell from our head graphic our faves).
Summer Bishil - "Towelhead" - Alan Ball's film was a glib and facile melange of "provocative" racism, but the 20-year-old Bishil did such a solidly convincing turn as the 15-year-old Arab-American coming to grips with her sexuality and all the fear, uncertainty and trauma that it brings. She's certainly one to put on a "one to watch," list.
Toby Kebbel - "Rock N Rolla"
This is kind of cheating since we included him on our list last year from his outstanding performance from "Control" (he stole the movie) but Kebbel hasn't really broken through yet and that's a shame, but the kid is eventually going to be a star, mark our words. In Guy Ritchie's otherwise tedious gangster/caper film, Kebbell's skeletal-y gaunt turn as a fucked-up crack addict was simply more of why everyone needs to keep an eye on this lad.
Elsa Zylberstein - "I've Loved You So Long" - Yes, there's no question that Kristin Scott Thomas is dazzling in Philippe Claudel's debut film, but we've known her for years. The newer actress that stands out in the film is Elsa Zylberstein who plays her younger sister. 'Loved' is almost a love story of the eternal bonds of sisterhood (without the cheese that implies) and the film lives or dies on the relationship between the two girls. Yes, Thomas is spectacular, but Zylberstein holds her own and her sensitive and endlessly compassionate portrayal of an understanding sibling is one of the reasons you're a mess of tears at the end of the film.
Sally Hawkins - "Happy Go Lucky" - What can we say that hasn't already been said about Hawkins' breakthrough performance as the pathologically happy Poppy in Mike Leigh's ebullient "romantic comedy" (like it's anything like the norm)? She snaps, pops and fizzles with relentless energy and positive vim. Almost enough to make you wanna lose it (Jeffrey Wells famously called her performance "emotional fascism"), but she reigns it in and also stops on a dime when Eddie Marsan's psychopathic shut-in starts to turn on her and puts him in his place. Fiercely Academy-Award worthy.
Demián Bichir - "Che" - Everyone talks about Benicio del Toro's chameleon-like embodiment of Guevara and all its beautiful restraint and they should, it's Oscar-worthy. But no less compelling is Bichir's authoritative portrayal of Fidel Castro. Bichir's imposing Fidel, assumes Fidel as the rebel assumed leadership of Cuba. His idealism, conviction and fiery, commanding qualities are on all display as well as the fuerte oratory persuasion he held over all his commandantes: including Che. Fidel Castro made his followers believe and Bichir actualizes that magnetic influence.
Freida Pinto - "Slumdog Millionaire" - With no acting experience, former model Freida Pinto spent six months auditioning for a co-starring role in Danny Boyle's Mumbai Slums film and her gamble paid off. She doesn't necessarily own the film (there's so many damn good fresh faces), but she does stand out and is certainly one to watch for in the future. It doesn't hurt that Pinto is one of the most gorgeous new faces we've seen onscreen in a long time; her beauty is arresting and you can understand why the lead goes practically to the ends of the earth to win her over.
Noah Emmerich - "Pride And Glory" - Emmerich has been around for years, but it was his scene-stealing turn in this mostly-routine cop drama that made us take real notice of him in quite some time. While the film is pretty trite and cliched, the actors are solid and Emmerich holds his own against Colin Farrell and Ed Norton quite convincingly.
Anamaria Marinca - "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days”
Technically, this performance is from 2007, but since this film didn't hit North American shores til 2008, we must consider it here. The NYTimes called Marinca's performance in the harrowing abortion drama, "sensational and impeccably controlled," and they're on the money. She's not the one having the baby in this film, but all of the drama goes down from her perspective. There's one scene exquisite scene at a dinner party where a family imbibes and talks garrulously and Marinca unravels while the chaos ensues around her. She doesn't say a word and the camera just stays on her full of worry, fear and dread. It's exasperatingly good.
Nurgül Yesilçay - "The Edge Of Heaven"
While Fatih Akin's follow-up to "Head On," was a team effort and the whole was greater than the individual sum of its (still excellent) parts, the film's defacto "lead" Yesilçay must be given a shout out for her collected and nuanced take on the tough, near-butch and poverty-stricken political activist she plays in the film. Yesilçay is like a caged street rat surprisingly given a home. Initially she's ungrateful, rough-around-the edges, but eventually (and quietly) lets her guard down to be loved like slowly and intimately unscrewed nails in wood.
Andrew Garfield - "Boy A" - While John Crowley's film was certainly flawed, Garfield's nervous and sensitive quiver as a tentative young-adult placed back into society after years of juvenile prison is a riveting pitch. The portrayal is angst-ridden and full of emotional ache, anxiety and intense sadness and it's immensely palpable that this kid is tremendously talented and has only scratched the surface of his abilities. Perhaps our no. 1 "one to watch." He should be alongside Heath Ledger for a least a few scenes (or Depp, Jude Law or Colin Farrell) in Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parsannuss" next year, depending on how many scenes with Ledger the director actually shot.
Michael J. Smith Sr. - "Ballast" - Smith Sr.'s unnervingly silent performance as the surviving half of a twin that commits suicide and his uneasy relationship with his nephew and step-sister is utterly haunting. There probably won't be a role that expressed so much anguish and sorrow this year and actually said so little. The role is too small to get noticed by Oscar, but if he doesn't take the Gotham award, someone should try and burn down New York immediately.
Anders Danielsen Lie and Espen Klouman-Høiner - "Reprise" - Five months after having seen it this evocatively resonant Norwegian rush of exuberant blood is still one of the year's best. The film centers on two best friends and aspiring novelists whose lives are forever changed by unexpected literary fame, plus love and chance. One essentially psychologically breaks down (Klouman-Høiner) and the other watches in tremulous worry while trying to maintain a life (Danielsen Lie). It's a vibrantly dazzling film, but both actors help make the film all the more demonstrative and stunning.
Rebecca Hall - "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" - As the uptight and prim female third in a love quadrangle (Scarlett Johansson, Hall and Penelope Cruz), Hall shines in Woody Allen's best comedy in years. Penelope Cruz is going to get the nomination cause the Weinsteins don't want to diminish their chances and frankly, probably can't afford a second 'Barcelona' campaign, but Hall is a fantastically refreshing picture in this and her prudishness belies her allures and exquisite charms.
Danny R. McBride - "Pineapple Express" - As the portly comic relief in three major comedies this year ("Pineapple Express," "Tropic Thunder" and "Drillbit Taylor"), McBride's scene-stealing breakthrough in 2008 was something we called back in February. The writing was on the wall and you knew his loopy, improvised dead-pan humor would connect. And it did, too bad his real solo breakthrough effort, "The Foot Fist Way," turned out to be a bomb both critically and financially (it woulda made an amusing short, but didn't have the legs for an entire film).
Eddie Marsan - "Happy Go Lucky" - We've already written an entire piece as to why this is a spectacularly fierce performance. Marsan's been around forever, but his volatile turn in this sparkling Mike Leigh film is just astounding and fearsome. Tightly-wound and monumentally repressed, his easily-incensed driving-instructor character is a frightening pot of boiling internalized rage that is both hilarious and tremendously sad. A fantastic portrait of angst-driven emotional suppression and perhaps our favorite performance of the year. He's scary good in this film.
Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow - "The Counterfeiters"
Though 'The Counterfeiters' won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film last year, it didn't find a proper U.S. release until the winter of 2008. The film was tremendous, and if Tarantino were smarter he would have tapped this film for all its German actors in his WWII film, "Inglourious Basterds," but he did grab one of them: August Diehl.
Melissa Leo - "Frozen River" - We're not the only ones to go to bat for Melissa Leo, obviously. Right after 'River' made its debut in August, film critics starting whispering about Oscar nods and it's for good reason. Her turn as the rode hard and put away wet single mother desperately struggling to keep her family afloat was piercing. The film was harrowingly brutal and most of it is due to Leo's raw and naked role of a woman so despondent, yet tough, she concedes to sneaking in illegal immigrants from Canada over to the U.S border to make ends meet. 'River' was grim, bleak and emotionally hard to watch and it's all Leo who makes it gut-wrenchingly believable and also tolerable (the film was at times relentlessly depressing without reprieve).
Not Exactly Breakthrough, But Other Notable Breakout Performances From 2008
Evan Rachel Wood - "The Wrestler" - Again, we're all fully aware who she is, but who knew she could act? Her turn alongside Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler" is worth an Oscar nomination and more than just shrill teenage girl screaming at her father for being a deadbeat. It's like she uses the role as aversion therapy or something, because simmering underneath her bitter wrath are deep-seated wounds that don't feel like its ever going to heal. Wood plays the estranged daughter as one who's been scarred too deeply to forgive her father's transgressions and the portrayal is cutting and executes the pain ever so acutely.
Toni Colette - "Towelhead"
Mostly notable because we've never really cared for Colette before, but her performances as the empathetic mother in Alan Ball's suburban nightmare/drama was extremely convincing and also, likable. She made us believe she'd tear you to pieces to protect her baby cub (or any needy kid on the street) and in film full of shitty, selfish and ugly characters, this gets her extra attention.
Emily Watson - "Synecdoche, New York"
Obviously everybody knows who Watson is and she only has a small part in Charlie Kaufman's mindbender, but damn if she doesn't shine and sparkle with every moment she's on screen. All the women in 'Synecdoche,' are good and of course it's the de facto lead Samantha Morton who mostly shines cause of her larger screentime, but if there's one other quiet, but brimmingly noticeable role, it's Watson. She plays her character with a mischievous smirk, as she's hiding a secret she never lets anyone in on and it's quite captivating and alluring (let's not forget the comely sex-appeal she delivers out of nowhere). A small reminder of how good she is in a tiny role.
Arguably we're missing Michelle Williams' devastatingly internal performance in "Wendy & Lucy," but we tried to save the Breakout section for Supporting roles. She is utterly tremendous in the film though. Part Two of Breakthrough performances of the year won't come out until around post-Christmas time when we've seen the rest of the years films (Viola Davis of "Doubt" sounds like she has a shot as does Michael Shannon from "Revolutionary Road"), but one roles we were looking forward to was Kodi Smit-McPhee, as the boy in "The Road," but we'll have to wait for 2009 for that one.
A reader reminds us that we forgot François Bégaudeau of "The Class," and they're totally right. We mentioned that he was marvelous when we wrote about the New York Times breakthrough actors piece, and meant to include, but then forgot to mention him here at the last minute.