Isabelle Huppert ("I Heart Huckabee's") has been named the Jury President of the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival. Does this spell trouble for Quentin Tarantino's WWII epic, "Inglourious Basterds" that is scheduled to hopefully appear at the prestigious film festival in May?
Why? Well, What transpired seems to be somewhat muddled, but the gist of it is: there is bad blood between Huppert and the motormouth American director.
The story goes that Huppert was Tarantino's first choice to play the character of Madame Mimieux, an older cinematheque owner who provides shelter to the films Jewish-French protagonist Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent). At first, some claimed that Huppert was fired, but it appears that she was offered, but never given the role. Meetings between the two of them were missed by Huppert or she was late and what QT perceived as her lack of enthusiasm for the role made him decide to ultimately look elsewhere (Maggie Cheung eventually got the role despite not being French). Huppert eventually defended herself, claiming he was never 100% committed to the role and was never late to any meetings (French icon Catherine Deneuve apparently turned down the role as well).
But, will 'Basterds' play out of competition at Cannes and no one will have to worry about any potential jury bias or personal feelings entering the voting?
The direction that QT's movies have been moving in recent years - towards stylized movies, rather than stylized cinema, more Cannes-friendly films - suggests 'Basterds' will screen out of awards competition (if it is indeed done on time), but who knows. We'll all just have to wait until Cannes time to find out what happens.
Isabelle Huppert ("I Heart Huckabee's") has been named the Jury President of the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival. Does this spell trouble for Quentin Tarantino's WWII epic, "Inglourious Basterds" that is scheduled to hopefully appear at the prestigious film festival in May?
We know we just pledged to not care too much about Hugh Jackman's next move, but we might as well inform you of one reason why he may not have accepted Steven Soderbergh's invitation to play Marc Antony in "Cleo" 3D. Zack Snyder (possible future 20th Century Fox vault treasure "Watchmen") has cast the "X-Men" movies star to add his voice to an adaptation of the children's book series Guardians of Ga'Hoole", which is a supposedly "Harry Potter"-esque tale of an owl that flees its oppressive owl kidnappers to fight against them on the side of wise owls that live on the island of Ga'Hoole.
Hugo Weaving ("The Matrix," "V for Vendetta") and Ryan Kwanten (HBO's "True Blood") have also been tapped to lend their voices to what could only be described as the final piece of the puzzle needed for a crappy "Children's Movie" parody. The animated/3D "Ga'Hoole" is set to open July 30th, 2010. We still think Jackman signed up to work on the lesser of the two 3D projects. [via SlashFilm] - Christopher Adams
How's this for a late post? Apologies for the truancy. Here's a round-up of today's news stories:
According to the New York Post, the advertising genius behind the Rice-A-Roni jingle will possibly file a lawsuit against United Artists for unlicensed use of the likeness of Hitler's globe in Tom Cruise's latest film, "Valkyrie." Apparently the aforementioned ad wizard, Robert Pritikin, has an extensive art collection that includes the globe in question and has copyrighted its likeness in order to prevent its use by neo-Nazi groups. The globe's historic significance lies in the fact that Hitler infamously used the globe to plan his U-boat attacks. Pritikin is selling his Hitler artifacts and supposedly wants Cruise to purchase the globe as a potential out-of-court mea culpa-style sentiment? Yeah, as if the whole "Rice-A-Roni jingle writer owning Hitler's globe" thing weren't odd enough to begin with.
In tragic news, John Travolta and Kelly Preston's son, Jett, was found dead while on family vacation in the Bahamas.
The young Travolta, 16, had a history of seizure activity, which was the cause of death. Condolences go out to the Travolta clan. What a scary incident...
EW has the first look at Michael Cera and Jack Black in the Harold Ramis-directed, Judd Apatow-produced biblical comedy "Year One."
We actually read the script earlier this year and don't think we had an opportunity to discuss it, but it was quite amusing, endearing and entertaining - it should make for a fun summer comedy.
Paul Rudd and David Cross play Cain and Abel which is kind of awesome, especially considering how funny their parts are in the film. Hank Azaria plays Abraham.
Ramis didn't write the script, but the idea is one he had long, long ago. "I did an improv a long time ago with Bill Murray and John Belushi, where Bill was a Cro-Magnon man and Belushi was a Neanderthal,'' Ramis told EW. ''Putting a modern sensibility in an ancient context always seemed very funny to me.''
The film hits theaters later this year, June 19.
According to Variety, Hugh Jackman has backed out the role of Marc Antony in Steven Soderbergh's head-scratchingly intriguing 3D rock musical "Cleo" due to scheduling conflicts. The picture is still in the financing stages of pre-production and will reportedly cost $30 million.
Ray Winstone ("Sexy Beast") is rumored to be in talks to portray Julius Caesar and Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Traffic") is set to star as the titular character, marking her biggest role since god knows when. The script for "Cleo" was written by James Greer, who is a former bass player for the once-defunct Guided By Voices, who are providing the music for what has been described as both an Elvis-style musical and influenced by The Who's "Tommy" movie musical. Seriously, who knew "Clambake" would've been something of an influence on anything by one of the U.S.'s premiere film auteurs? Not us, that's for sure.
Robert Pollard, lead singer/songwriter for GBV, also wrote music for Soderbergh's infamous "day & date" simultaneous DVD/theatrically-released indie flick, "Bubble."
Jackman can be seen next as the host for this year's Academy Awards ceremony and in this summer's requisite comic book blockbuster, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". Oh, and he was in "Australia", which nobody saw. Other than that, other potential conflicts that barred Jackman from starring in "Cleo" aren't known at this time. Though Jackman's next project may or may not hold much interest to us, expect us to report more on "Cleo" as this weird and ambitious project rolls towards production. [via Variety]
''The look and feel is very naturalistic—when our creatures knock down trees, they really knock down trees,'' "Where The Wild Things Are" director Spike Jonze told EW. ''When I was a boy, reading this story, I imagined myself really being there—not in front of a bluescreen.''
Jonze admits the shoot wasn't easy and the film had been in production since 2006. "None of it was easy," the filmmaker said noting the challenge of a film that relied a
non-professional young actor, Max Records. ''The movie rests on Max's performance,'' he said. ''It's all about taking this 9-year-old seriously as a person.''
Happy new year, looks like publications are getting psyched for 2009 too.
Talk about most anticipated for 2009 (a feature coming very soon, btw), Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" WWII epic is now set for a August 21, 2009 nationwide release date according to a press release on behalf of The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Universal Pictures.
No mention in the release if the film will play at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2009, but last anyone checked, that was still the plan. The film stars Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Diane Kruger, Mike Meyers, and a slew of other actors both name-identifiable and more obscure to North American audiences.
We surprised ourselves by writing a shit-ton of stories over the holidays (sometimes you need to avoid family) and you might have missed many of them. If we do say so ourselves many of them were worth reading or should be in the know about. Here are some highlights you shouldn't miss.
George Lucas finally signed off on a "Star Wars" musical.
Eddie Murphy insisted that we wouldn't play the Joker in the next Batman film; but the stupid British hack journo is still sticking to his story.
Fandango released their male and female lists of most anticipated films of 2009 that re-confirmed once again that people are stupid and have zero taste.
There was some marginal political intrigue boasted in the possibly banal, "State Of Play" trailer featuring Ben Affleck and Russell Crowe.
Seth Rogen and Reese Witherspoon voiced the creatures in the animated "Monsters & Aliens trailer.
Anticipated From '09:
Diablo Cody's 'Jennifer's Body' received a release date, but Megan Fox's naked boobies were evidently cut out of the film.
Details and new photos on Stephen Soderbergh's 'The Informant' with Matt Damon emerged.
Faux vintage film posters of the character Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) from Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" were photographed by gawkers in Paris.
Fincher said the "Fight Club" musical was basically dead in the water and far too expensive.
The director also called the 'Chef' movie with Keanu Reeves a "sex comedy," and he wasn't kidding, either.
He also talked about the animated "Heavy Metal" project as well and basically said, he'd direct any vignette that wasn't spoken for by a name director like Zack Snyder or Gore Verbinski.
Lastly, Fincher also said he's never spoken to Rachel McAdams and some of the casting rumors for the "Torso" project were just rumors.
In related Fincher news, Roger Ebert gave 'Benjamin Button' a lukewarm review.
Indiewire polled 100 film critics and "Flight of The Red Balloon" was named the top film of 2008 according to the basic math.
A separate poll that Indiwire conducted tracked the Best Undistributed Films of 2008 and our beloved, "The Headless Woman" by Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel topped the list.
Frank Miller quickly signed on for the 'Buck Rogers' project before the abysmal 'Spirit' reviews decimated his directing career.
The "Che" IFC Roadshow release with both films playing back to back was supposed to run for only a week in New York and L.A., but it proved so popular, the roadshow was extended for another two weeks.
Everything else we covered should still be on The Playlist's main page.
Culture keeps dumbing down and aiming more and more for the crotch of the lowest common denominator, right? Big fucking surprise. Obviously it's because the bleating sheep of society are by and large an incredibly stupid herd and 2008 didn't disappoint the ham and eggers/joe jobbers who love a base blow 'em up spectacle, a painfully unfunny comedy, or a special effects laden disaster with no story. The more basic, the better. Without further ado, the WORST films of 2008 as picked by The Playlist members. If you actively paid to see any of these without being dragged by someone, consider a lobotomy.
1. "The Love Guru"- An excruciatingly insipid new low of buffoonery and corny, cringe-inducing "jokes" that by all rights should have ended Mike Meyers career. The camera mugging is utterly skin crawling and it sets new standards of unfunny.
Cost: $62 million
Grossed: $40 million
Lost: $22 million
2. "The Spirit" - Frank Miller took on this comic-book adaptation, mostly because he didn't want anyone fucking up an adaptation of his mentor Will Eisner's work. Oh, the brutal irony. Samuel L. Jackson has never been more spectacularly retarded and the rest of the cast is like wood. The unintentional comedy of the year. Next time bring Robert Rodriguez with you and save yourself the embarrassment.
3. "Speed Racer" - An eyeball searing abortion of hot-white colors and CGI-infested velocity, even children — who this film was allegedly made for — stayed away in droves. Sorry Wachowski's, not all kids are as autistic, ADD-laden and as Ritalin hyper as you assumed. Dreadful and perhaps solid proof that no one should ever pay Matthew Fox to act again.
Cost: $120 million
Grossed: $97 million
Lost: $23 million
4. "The Happening" - M. Night Shyamalan truly outdid himself with his latest creation. With a slew of atrocities under his belt, there is not much of a surprise as to why he would attempt to strip his latest film of all this distinctive cinematic touches. The production and plot details were kept under lock and key for so long, because the film has no plot therefore there is nothing to spoil — Shyamalan already managed to do that himself. He employs tactics so implausible and dumbfounding that the bizarre film goes out of its way to ensure it is not overlooked when the next spoof movie picks its targets (sadly made about $16.5 million dollars profit after its budget was covered).
5. "88 Minutes"- This thriller's predictable setup could have been overlooked, if the execution were not so appalling, stumbling between nothingness — starting at a low point and ending on yet another. Perhaps the saddest thing about the film is that it proves that old age, or mental illness, is catching up with Mr. Pacino if he agrees to star in a film like this one, where most of its problems stem from its overdone yet disappointingly empty screenplay. Corny and painfully unremarkable.
6. "Sex And The City" - Most men either can't admit it or just never watched it and are ignorant, but there was a time when HBO's "Sex & The City," was a sharply written show that was intelligent and pioneering for women on television that actually had half a brain. It's unfortunate that the dismal film was so wretched it set women back almost fifty years and had us wondering whether their vote should be now taken away.
7. "Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls" - You would think that by now fans would have realized that everything George Lucas now touches turns into instant laughable dogshit. So, you would think that by now Spielberg and Harrison Ford would know all the more. So abysmal it spawned the derisive term, "nuke the fridge" as a synonym for jump the shark (which shows you just how naïve and easily pleased most movie fans are — Indy 3 was not respectable)
8. "Hancock" - Largely awful from the get-go at least Jason Bateman's everyman humor kept it semi-tolerable at first, by the time the big "twist" happens and Charlize Theron is revealed to be an ancient god just like Will Smith, the film devolves into a sprawling mess of comical, cataclysmic proportions. That climax is perhaps one of the worst, confused action scenes ever.
9. "Eagle Eye" - The premise of this one is so fucking retarded Steven Spielberg, the genius so please with himself for coming up with it, should get a swift cockpunch to the groin. Shia LaBeouf is also the worst, we're not sure what that guy sees in him. Without worrying too much about reason or logic, DJ Caruso takes the endless plot holes here and plugs them with enough bullets to make the thrill ride flow smoothly enough to entertain, before it becomes overbearing and exhaustive. A grotesquely mechanical, barely functioning film results where its face value valor is all it has, and is one injection away from suffering from a heart attack.
10. "What Just Happened" - This inside-baseball movie industry flick tries to redo the already played-out black comedy of Altman's "The Player" only with disastrous results. It probably qualifies for the worst indie film of the year if we were going to make that distinction. Even worse, it thinks it has this edgy, sharp satire going for it, but its humor and subject are dated by about 10 years. Films like this are near justification for blowing up Sundance and all who attend.
11. "What Happens In Vegas" - This magnificent excuse for a turd doesn't even justify its scant 90 minute running time, especially when it's a rom-com featuring shit-for-talent celebrities with no ability to act and zero chemistry. You're better off wasting thousands of dollars in Vegas instead and even if you found yourself at the end of a trip in a bathtub with your organs stolen, you probably still had more fun.
12. "Bangok Dangerous"
Nick Cage, "his" hair and a lot of bullets, which we decided to count out of boredom. Incredibly, it was the lowest-grossing weekend winner since "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star."
13. "Wanted" - Was it paycheck season for phoning-it-in James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman? The trio play assassins who fight evil when an ancient loom tells them to. There is no chance that, at any point in the script development process, this was designed as anything more than to make money off of stupid people. The final product came out featuring the more banal and preachy aspects of "Office Space," the general attitude towards society of "Fight Club" but with dumber special effects and weird ancient history hints of "The DaVinci Code" which are probably supposed to give it a air of import but laughably did the opposite.
14. "Baghead"- Mumblecore amateurs try their hand at horror with typically amateurish and unfunny results, partly because it appears nothing short of uninspired and free from anything like even-handed restraint and structure. Emphasizing improvisation and a shot on the fly, do-it-yourself aesthetic and configuring that around an uneasy blend of comedy/horror, it’s tough to figure out where the film’s faults begin and end. And, if you’re gonna make a movie about twentysomething actors, try not making them so fucking dull and vapid.
15. "Marley & Me" - While the trailer offered hope for some safe-as-warm-milk laughs that wouldn't keep the average American family from making a Christmas day trip to the movies, "Marley" also offered plenty of eye-rollingly annoying moments that rubbed your nose in the fact that Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson are shallow, empty, air-headed and attractive people playing successful white middle-class people with 3 kids, a dog and a house. That Abercrombie & Fitch-y bland synopsis should be enough of a spoiler for you, in case you needed a reason to not go in the first place.
16. "The Promotion" - Seann William Scott's cornered the market on comedies marketed at frat guys, and John C. Reilly's done well for himself as a goofy counterpart to Will Ferrell. Neither them, nor there director Steve Conrad, could provide the nuanced performances that the script called for. "The Promotion" trudges towards moments of conflict that leave you wondering when you're supposed to start caring about the characters (the answer, of course, is never). When Fred Armisen's supporting character is the funniest part of the movie, yet doesn't elicit a worthwhile laugh, you know something has gone terribly wrong.
Update: 17. Somehow we failed to mentioned "Henry Poole Is Here." This movie could have easily cracked the top 10 here. One of our most loathsome films of the year was the brutally uber-sappy indie, 'Poole' which was unfortunately directed by Mark Pellington and starred Luke Wilson. We called the painfully insipid film "hopeless," and gave it a C- grade (which was generous).
"The Blair Witch" meets monster movie! J.J. Abrams is a genius.
19-20+/Just As Bad, We Don't Feel Like Wasting Breath On Them:
"Towelhead," "Transporter 3", "Rambo," "10000 BC," "Prom Night," "Untraceable," "21," "Semi-Pro," "The Longshots," "Baby Mama," "Made of Honor," "27 Dresses," "War Inc.," "Seven Pounds," "Hellboy II,"
Some of us tried to sit through Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg's (Hollywood's biggest hack chuckleheads) "Meet the Spartans" and "Disaster Movie" this year and failed miserably. In all probability both were actually worse than any and all films on this list. Those two should be raped and hung for their crimes against even the stupidest of popcorn, escapist cinema.
"Quantum Of Solace"
Thoughts? Did we miss anything? In case you're wondering, here's our Most Disappointing/ Most Overhyped Films Of 2008 list.
Contributed by Christopher Adams, Mickey Pagels, Alex Sherman, Astrud Sands, The Playlist and special thanks to Nick Plowman for really helping out here, your commitment to seeing every film possible, garbage-sounding or otherwise is honorable.
Sheknows.com reports that Ben Stiller broke his hand earlier this week, and no the injury did not occur while masturbating into Cameron Diaz’s hair. It happened during a holiday skiing retreat (in preparation to show off his skiing expertise at Sundance no doubt). Which begs the question could this prevent him from starring in Noah Baumbach's "Greenberg"? God, we sure pray and hope so, unless of course the role requires him to go full on retard.
David Poland Spanks Geeks Over 'Watchmen' Suit/Fox Boycott: "To Be Taken Seriously, Stop Acting Infantile"
Geeks on the act and behave like children on the web and are now that 20th Century Fox seemingly has the upper hand over Warner Bros. in the "Watchmen" copyright interest claim, interweb dorks are vindictively trying to call for a boycott of all Fox films even if it's the delicious chocolate cake they would normally shove over senior citizens for. Here's just one example From the AICN nosebleeds.
"I have never been one to jump on the whole "Boycott" bandwagon, but not a CHANCE will I see 'Wolverine' in theatres now. This studio is the worst movie studio in the history of film. And as much as I am dying to see Watchmen, if the final outcome of this is greatly in Fox's favor, I'll pass on it just to say "fuck you.""Sci-fi site Io9 even jumps in the fray, asking, "Is there Any Reason Not To Boycott Fox?," but says you can only boycott something you actually like and then lists out many of the retroactively "crappy" sci-fi films that Fox has released in recent years (and that I09 had once eagerly written about in advance). A boycott petition has started on Petitionspot.com, but it's currently at a marginal 2,600 signatures.
It would be nice to see logic (or even anything resembling balanced thinking) prevail, but most geek bloggers are simply angry that Fox could block the release of the film, period. David Poland however, gives them all a very convincing "grow up already" ass paddling that puts this lawsuit and fight over the film into proper adult perspective and into layman's terms.. You have to wonder how many of these boycott enthusiasts would react if their money was on the line.
Here's our favorite parts of Poland's argument.
"If any of you lent a friend $10,000 to start a business they needed $200,000 to really start and you had the understanding that if they ever got their funding, you would be paid back, and if not, you would own some percentage of the business... and your friend took your money, almost got funded but didn't, then ultimately did, but acted as though you didn't exist..."
"There is nothing wrong with wanting Watchmen to come out and for creativity to reign over money. There's nothing wrong (except that it's mildly delusional) to believe that (Fox Chairman) Tom Rothman is not just a more honest version of every other businessman in this game and that most would be thrilled to have his track record (or Mechanic's for that matter). But suggesting that something is wrong with Fox getting it's absolute, legal, moral, not remotely unusual due on this movie is infantile and/or intentionally self-deceptive."Seriously, amen. Some might claim these positions are reductive, but we'd love to see a geek blogger trying and articulate their case outside of ad hominem attacks on Fox. The 101 blame should probably fall on Lawrence Gordon for not putting his ducks in a row, but even then, the fiscal responsibility lays with the company, not the individual and it's up to the studio to watch the numbers, the people and the legal documents.
"And the Fox Knew... Fox Should Have Pursued Earlier thing is utter bullshit. If your landlord doesn't ask for your rent every month and you get 6 months behind, does your obligation go away because your landlord didn't manage your finances and push you to act responsibly?"
"If "geeks" want to be treated like serious adults, they need to start banging on WB to eat their porridge and pay what they owe, so y'all can see Dr Manhatten hang out on Mars. If someone steals from someone you don't like, you don't just keep blaming the guy you don't like because he is "evil." Well... you do if you are six."
Apparently during promotion of his album a few months ago, Terrence Howard said Jamie Foxx's music wasn't "all that." Fox responded on RadioBigBoy.com and put him on blast. It's kinda juvenile player hate crap actually. Can't we all get along? Didn't anyone tell Foxx both their albums sucked?
A teaser trailer for Tim Burton's CGI animated film "9" was released this week and it seems Burton is back doing what he does best: Creeping out children. 9 is based on Shane Acker's Oscar nominated short about a team of rag dolls in a post apocalyptic world attempting to save the earth from destructive machines. At first glance this film seems too weird and creepy for kids, but then again they remake The Nightmare Before Christmas every year with a new name.
Adding to the terror is Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted", "Nightwatch"). This becomes painfully obvious 45 seconds into the trailer when the heavy metal cues up. If you have seen "Wanted" you'll understand, if not then watch Die Hard with Megadeath blaring in the background.
And if Burton and Bekmambetov's star power isn't enough (and it isn't) Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, and Martin Landau round out the voice talent for "9". Too creepy or this year's Wall-E? You'll have to wait until 9/9/09 (Brilliant Marketing!)
The ironic, winky-winky, so-bad-its-good marketing campaign in this trailer is basically simple, they're vampires, they're killers and they're lesbians. What more could you want? Sure to fascinate us in 2009 for all of 10 minutes. Can we get a screener so we can fast forward past the camp to the "good stuff"?
Oof, is Mickey Rourke his own worst enemy and back to his old tricks? Could it possibly be a smear campaign?
An ugly rumor has started over at DailyBeast (via Vulture) which is sure to get some traction. According to an alleged text message that the website acquired, Rourke was trashing actor Sean Penn's performance in "Milk," calling the thespian "average" and a "homophobe."
Backstage at Letterman on December 23, Rourke was purportedly overheard as saying about Penn, “I’m not even sure he’ll get a nomination.”
An "L.A. entertainment honcho" apparently shared a text message with DailyBeast writer Gerald Posner and the msg wrote, “Look Sean's an old friend of mine and i didn't buy his performance at all—thought he did an average pretend acting like he was gay besides hes one of the most homophobic people i kno" [sic]
These are some pretty big allegations and we don't really follow the Daily Beast at all, but it is a news website published by Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, so it most likely has standards well above most Internet sewer gossip sites (plenty of people are going to scoff here, but would you trust those two sources over your average blog? You should).
Rourke might be contrite in several interviews about his past, but he's not necessarily been keeping his mouth shut, having already apologized once for homophobic slurs he aimed at a reporter who alleged he had been dating his 'Wrestler' co-star Evan Rachel Wood.
There's a big Mickey fanbase out there, that's as vociferous as David Fincher fanatics, so we imagine a lot of Internet commenters are going to rush to Rourke's defense. While we have no clue what happened we read this very interesting Esquire feature about Rourke recently and it was pretty damaging. Essentially the piece is a first hand account about a writer who interviewed Rourke at his worst, how he loves him in "The Wrestler," but how he feels deep down that the troubled actor will always be a self-centered douchebag.
"Let's put this on the table right away: As far as I'm concerned, Mickey Rourke is a schmuck in the old-school sense -- a squinting organ, a thing that feels but doesn't think. A permanently wounded beast, a scar with legs. At best.And that proves what exactly? Absolutely nothing, but it's read the whole piece cause it's really interesting and it's enough to make us raise our eyebrows and worry that these allegations might be true and that the talented come back kid might have fucked himself over again by opening his big mouth.
I know this because I saw the Mick at the bottom of the barrel late in 1994, spent two weeks trying to profile him while he was shooting a direct-to-video piece of crap with Tupac Shakur. That he treated me like dirt was no big deal and no surprise, but he also made a point of bad-mouthing his estranged (and now ex) wife, urging me -- unprompted and at length -- to smear her. He stank of both self-pity and braggadocio, and his effluvium of bullshit made it impossible to tell where the lies ended and the lunacy began."
Harvey Dent to present at the Golden Globes! OK, not really, but Variety reports that Aaron Eckhart will be presenting at the Golden Globes this year. Which makes sense. They had to have someone from "The Dark Knight" and Eckhart seems a wee bit more congenial than Christian Bale. Also announced as presenters today were Laurence Fishburne and Blake Lively. We assume Fisburne was tapped not for his appearance in the dreadful "21" but for his recent transition to the small screen, taking the lead in "CSI." Lively, of course, is the star of CW's "Gossip Girl", though she was in this year's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2." Previously announced presenters include: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ricky Gervais, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Salma Hayek. - Jared Weiss
'Watchmen' Suit Turns Into Full-On War! WB Says Settlement "Unlikely" Claim They Will "Ultimately Prevail" And Stand Firm On Release Date
Three days ago, Variety said Warner Bros. were "scrambling" and "in a tizzy" to settle the lawsuit with 20th Century Fox over the "Watchmen" film now that an L.A. Federal judge said he intended to grant Fox’s copyright interest claim in the film.
But apparently Warners strategy has changed (or Variety just assumed like many of us, that a settlement was their only option. Evidently a status conference with attorneys for the two sides was held today with the aforementioned U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess, but no settlement was reached.
And it could get uglier than it has. According to the AP, the attorneys for Fox will continue to seek an order delaying the release of the Zack Snyder-directed film.
With WB's back seemingly against the wall with Feess' original assessment that Warner Bros. had infringed Fox's copyright by developing the film due, March 6, you'd think they'd want to end this quick, but an attorney for the studio at this status conference said he felt a settlement was "unlikely" and that a " trial is necessary"
January 20 is the trial date, however Variety says the Judge said he would issue a fuller ruling prior to the trial to resolve the remaining issues.
Producer Larry Gordon and his non-due diligence have been at the epic center of this case (or at least for those in the know), but in last weeks original ruling the judge admonished Gordon over invoking attorney-client privilege rather than testifying. "The court will not, during the remainder of this case, receive any evidence from Gordon that attempts to contradict any aspect of this court's ruling on the copyright issues under discussion," Feess wrote.
So what is it now? It's full on war. Variety called today's results, "combative" to say the least and apparently Warners thinks they're still going to win the case. Really?
No joke, check this announcement/statement.
"We respectfully but vigorously disagree with the court's ruling and are exploring all of our appellate options," the studio said. "We continue to believe that Fox's claims have no merit and that we will ultimately prevail, whether at trial or in the Court of Appeals. We have no plans to move the release date of the film."Fox said tersely in retaliation, "We are gratified by the recognition of our rights in the judge's order, which speaks for itself." Man, it's a full on showdown and we thought this one would whimper away quietly! WB has some cojones! Nice, fireworks are fun when you're not invested or caught in the crossfire. Should be interesting.
Montreal orchestral rockers the Arcade Fire did write the entire score to Richard Kelly's "The Box," after backing away from the original story, insisting they would only do some music here and there, maybe ("Regine, Owen Pallet [violinist Final Fantasy] and I may do an instrumental piece or two for Richard Kelly's new movie...we met at a show this year and hit if off, but we are not planning on doing any major work for a while," Win Butler claimed at the time).
Of course it's not the Arcade Fire proper, rather core-songwriters, husband and wife duo Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, plus occasional member and violinist Final Fantasy, aka, Owen Pallet.
Pitchfork cleared up any misunderstandings or any apprehensiveness Butler may have had at first.
Pitchfork: Did you write the entire score? All's well that ends well. Now if only Kelly can direct a way-half decent follow-up to the abominable, "Southland Tales."
WB: Yes, me, Régine, and Owen [Pallett] from Final Fantasy. It's kind of Hitchcocky, movie, orchestral, Mellotron stuff. It's instrumental music. No songs. It's interesting. We didn't really think we were going to do the whole thing, and then it just kind of was easier once we got in. It was like, "Oh well, we'll just keep going." It has so much to do with the editing, and your job is just to help the director. It's a very different experience.
One of the best films we saw this year, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's moving, strange and absurdist family drama, "Tokyo Sonata," finally has an English-Language trailer.
The film is now set for a March 13, 2009 release via Regent Entertainment.
Here's the synopsis and here's our very favorable review.
Tokyo Sonata is a portrait of a seemingly ordinary Japanese family. The father who abruptly loses his job conceals the truth from his family; the eldest son in college hardly returns home; the youngest son furtively takes piano lessons without telling his parents; and the mother, who knows deep down that her role is to keep the family together, cannot find the will to do so. From the exterior, all is normal and the same. But somehow, a single, unforeseeable chasm has appeared within the family, only to spread ever so quietly and quickly to disintegrate them.
Matteo Garrone's "Gomorrah" opens February 13, 2009 via IFC Films
but there's no specific date yet for the film, according to publicists for the movie. Martin Scorsese is a big fan of the Italian mafia, multi-vignette laden drama. We saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. The Italian mob is so pissed off about the incisive and revealing non-fiction novel that this film is based on, they want the writer, Roberto Saviano, as dead as Dillinger. Dude travels with armed protection wherever he goes. We liked the gripping film, but as Hollywood Elsewhere writes it's "unemotional and docu-drama-like" and that was one of our problems with it.
"Gomorrah," is definitely going to be one of the front-runners in the Best Oscar Foreign picture race, a category we're slightly annoyed with since certain excellent pictures weren't chosen to represent their respective countries or were disqualified for whatever strange AMPAS production technicalities. Why didn't Argentina pick, "The Headless Woman," why didn't Japan pick, "Tokyo Sonata"? It's practically a crime that Mexico overlooked "Silent Light," but since 95% of it isn't in Spanish, we suppose we can at least understand the politics there.
There's pretty much a biopic in development of every living and or no longer breathing music icon, no? A long-gestating Aretha Franklin film biography has been in the works and but the Queen of Soul seems to have lots of issues with the direction the writer's want to take the narrative.
"I sat with the writers that came in for about three days just talking," she very recently told the AP. "And I am waiting for a first draft. They didn’t want to write it chronologically, and I kind of want to see it chronologically. They wanted to write it in retrospect, in a very unorthodox kind of way, and I don’t know if that’s the best way to go about it."
Though she's not totally ruling out their direction either. "I think that people get a better grasp and a better sense of everything if we do it chronologically. ... But nothing is written in stone, I'm just waiting to read it to see what I think about it."
She mentions that the same writers just finished a Miles Davis biopic, does she mean Chris Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele? More here as this one develops, but obviously it sounds a ways off if a first draft isn't even complete.
Is The Miles David Biopic With Don Cheadle Getting A Little Closer To A Reality? Script Sounds Ready
Something that has fallen off everybody's radar is the fact that Don Cheadle has been developing a Miles Davis biopic to direct and star in for over a year. His company is producing too.
First reported in Variety in March of 2007, there's been little movement on what definitely seems like a passion project for Cheadle. However in November, in a piece about the up-hill difficulties in making film biopics, Variety checked in on the project and they noted interestingly enough that the project was actually the "brainchild of Davis' estate, which very deliberately decided to expand its brand with a biopic, on the heels of the success of 'Ray.' "
The Davis Estate wanted him from minute one even approached the actor with the idea.
"Basically there was Don, and there was Don," Darryl Porter, who manages Miles Davis Properties LLC in Hollywood, told Variety about the discussions about who might play the jazz legend. Cheadle was actually a jazz saxophonist at one time and needed little convincing.
Recent headway is being made though. There's a biopic about Aretha Franklin also in the works and the Queen of Soul told the AP in a December 17, 2008 interview that she had just finished meeting with the writers and, "they are just finishing a movie (about) Miles Davis, and I am waiting for a first draft."
Cheadle also recently spoke to Essence magazine about the project insisting he doesn't want to make the film a typical paint-by-numbers biography.
"The Miles movie I’m trying to do is not some traditional biopic. It’s an interpretation of himself, more than it is attempting to be some sort of cradle-to-grave, historically accurate depiction of who he was. The first line in our movie, with him in the dark, is of him saying ‘Some of this shit might have happened.’Porter had already echoed that sentiment calling it a "deconstructed biopic," that will appeal to more than just, "jazz heads... our goal is to have a very broad audience and bring in a whole new demographic of Miles fans."
That's all the info there is out there right now, but it sounds like a script is ready and the project is moving forward. A lot of biopics fumble hard when trying to cover the life of an icon, but so far, it sounds like these guys have their heads and ideas in the right direction. Maybe once "Iron Man 2" is done shooting, cameras can roll? That's just hopeful speculation on our part. BTW, Milesdavis.wordpress.com has done a great job of covering all Miles news and developments on this project.
Stephen Chow isn't directing the 'Green Hornet' anymore and just starring, right? Well, not he might ditch the entire project or at least he casts some doubt about the scheduling. "If I direct 'The Green Hornet,' the superhero comedy will have to be delayed for two years," Chow said. "The timing might not be right for a superhero comedy in two years. And I want to make a movie based on an original idea." [IHT/AP]
Things will blow up real good in "Tranformers 2" and kids will run from them. This is destined to be a classic. [Cinematical]
Sigourney Weaver says she hasn't been approached about a "Ghostbusters 3" movie yet and doesn't assume she will be. "I don't know really what I would be in it," she said. "Maybe I'd be in a scene. But I'm not that integral a part to the actual Ghostbusting." There's also been talk of handing over the lead cast to a younger generation of actors (gross). [Chicago Tribune]
Andrew O’Hehir’s of Salon has put up his list of the 10 best indie films of 2008. His number one is “A Christmas Tale” and that's fine and it's a solid list, but what's the point of making the distinction of top indie films? Oh, duh, Beyond the multiplex means, beyond the multiplex. [Beyond the Multiplex]
Film Threat puts together their list of 10 Best Unseen Films of 2008. Honestly when we spotted this list, we were excited, but it looks like a low-rent, straight-to-video indie crop not ready for primetime. We could be wrong as we've never heard of any of them, but that's a bad sign, no? [FilmThreat]
"Burn After Reading" is misunderstood? (maybe just unappreciated?) Michael Lerman puts together his list of most misunderstood films of 2008. [Spout Blog]
Premiere.com's Best of 2008 list is so weird and populist. We're not sure if they're kidding or what when they say anyone who doesn't put "The Dark Knight" at number one is a "jerk." Their entire list practically makes us forget that they were once a fine, fine magazine. Maybe the whole thing is a put on? [Premiere]
Cinematical takes a look at seven overlooked indie films of 2008. They're all ok, to decent, nothing to super, super champion or endorse, but if we had to pick one to go with it'd be Claude Chabrol's "A Girl Cut in Two" starring the great Ludivine Sagnier. And "Boy A" wasn't perfect, but Andrew Garfield's performance was amazing and certainly a breakthrough one from 2008. [Cinematical]
"Wendy & Lucy" in the Worst Films of 2008? Some geek bloggers shouldn't be allowed to see anything other than sci-fi/fantasy flicks. And yes, their number one, "Funny Games" was bad, but we wouldn't be surprised if we liked it more than some of their best list. We'll have to wait and see. [Film School Rejects]