Magnolia Films have unveiled a trailer and poster combination in anticipation of the upcoming release for Bobcat Goldthwait's ("Sleeping Dogs Lie," TV's "The Chapelle Show") indie-dramedy "World's Greatest Dad."
The film stars Robin Williams as Lance Clayton, a high school poetry teacher and single father who yearns for so much more. In light of a freak accident and in the face of the greatest tragedy in his life, Lance takes a path that could help him achieve his dreams - as long as he can live with the knowledge of how he got there. Co-starring in the film are Daryl Sabara as his son and Alexie Gilmore as his lover and fellow teacher.
Aesthetically, we're not quite sure what the poster is trying to achieve particularly with the positioning of the title. It feels a little tame and uninspired. From what we've read, the trailer seems ultimately misleading in regards to the film's plot - though that might be on account an attempt to steer clear of significant plot points. Further, warnings of the film's heavy darkness from just about every online review fails shine through the trailer, especially considering it's the R-Rated version.
Of the film, Film School Rejects noted that "this film is dark — really, really dark. It is the type of movie that your average Hollywood studio wouldn’t dare make, the type of film that won’t speak to anyone." From the trailer but, there isn't much to shock other than a few comments and actions by the character of Kyle (Sabara) which aren't exactly jaw dropping anyway. We'll save judgements on that for now but, marketing aside, the trailer definitely exhibits promising things overall from Williams and company. You'd think they wanted to leverage all the twistedness for the crowd that loves that type of stuff (in typical hyperbolic mode, Chud called it "genius"), but perhaps they're trying to catch the flies of the mainstream Robin Williams crowd which is bound to fail.Still the accolades are high so we're very curious, but both these pieces of promotional material are pretty flat and non-compelling.
"World's Greatest Dad" screened at this year's Sundance Film Festival to predominantly strong, positive reviews and will see a theatrical release on August 21. [Vulture]
Playin' It Safe? Poster And Trailer For Bobcat Goldthwait's 'World's Greatest Dad' Nowhere As Dark & Twisted As Supposed Film
Magnolia Films have unveiled a trailer and poster combination in anticipation of the upcoming release for Bobcat Goldthwait's ("Sleeping Dogs Lie," TV's "The Chapelle Show") indie-dramedy "World's Greatest Dad."
Not a film related post obviously, but it's the weekend and time for a little fun. Plus we've always maintained (or at least I sure have), that the Decemeberists are the world's worst living band. Thankfully Triumph agrees with us. I also have about as much desire to go to Bonnaroo as I do shooting a nail through my skull, so I felt this was pretty extra, fucking funny. [via The Daily Swarm]
Is Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus," featuring the last onscreen appearance of Heath Ledger, finally moving closer to a U.S. release date?
As previously promised by the capricious director, 'Parnassus,' is racking up dates in the fall in Europe. There's a November 11 release scheduled in France, a December 3 release set for Germany and Switzerland, apparently a September 4 date in Italy, and now, the film is arriving in the U.K. sometime during the month of October, via the British division of Liongsate (no date is specified yet).
Does this mean, Lionsgate U.S. is a candidate to put it out Stateside and will it be arriving around the same time? Our guess is definitely, yes, if only because it feels like the right size of mini studio to release the film. From all account, 'Parnassus,' has small commercial prospects and most major studios have already passed on it. Sony Pictures Classics were in the mix, but even that small indie, mini-major seems to have also passed. This leaves places like IFC, Dimension (who has zero money, forget it) and Lionsgate.
Don't be surprised if you hear an announcement from the same studio with a similar release date. Sure, it's still just speculation on our parts, but it's a pretty good bet.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's "Cemetery Junction" has finalized its cast and commenced production in London as of this week, according to a press release.
Described as a "funny, touching and universal story of being trapped in a small town and dreaming of escape," the film will follow three blue-collar friends in 1970's London as they bide their time "joking, drinking, fighting and chasing girls."
The trio of mates, who are seen here in their costume and make up test, will be played by newcomers (from left to right) Christian Cooke, Tom Hughes and Jack Doolan. Fellow newcomer Felicity Jones is also on board along with Matthew Goode (seen here on your right) who will play a young go-getter dating the boss' daughter; Ralph Fiennes reportedly as the aforementioned boss; and Emily Watson in an unknown role.
Here's the synopsis:
Freddie (Cooke) wants to leave their working-class world but cool, charismatic Bruce (Hughes) and lovable loser Snork (Doolan) are happy with life the way it is.Gervais and Merchant further added that the film will be "glossy and glorious, full of humor, romance and drama, as well as our usual observations on the truth and absurdity of real life."
When Freddie gets a new job as a door-to-door salesman and bumps into his old school sweetheart Julie (Jones), the gang are forced to make choices that will change their lives for ever.
"Cemetery Junction" will be in cinemas in 2010.
“I’m like, ‘O.K., great, great, great.’ And I hung up the phone. And I’m like, ‘That sounds like a dumb idea.’ ” -- Michael Bay should have stuck to his gut instincts. Instead, he recalls his thoughts immediately after getting off the phone with Steven Spielberg and hearing the Academy Award-winning director's "Transformers" pitch (Spielberg is the executive producer). Obviously, it all turned out a little bit different. [New York Times]
“It’s basically a cameo. She’s a twisted love-interest to Jonah’s character; my part’s pretty small. I worked the first week, and then I was shot out of the movie.” — A loud smattering of groans echoes across the Interwebs as Megan Fox not only reveals her part in the upcoming adaptation of D.C. Comics' "Jonah Hex" is tiny, her character gets killed tout de suite.
Producers are now pissed as about 15% of the intended audience just hit Twitter to say, "Fuck this, I ain't buyin' a ticket now." Guys, we'll always have the alien-waste corset memories. [Splashpage]
SPOILER, you've been warned. Update: We just checked the script, she dies around page 90, though unless the script has been changed drastically (which is entirely possible, though it is a March 2009 draft), calling her part a "cameo" is being a little modest. She's in several scenes, but it does feel like a lesser, co-starring role.
Vulture asks Cloris Leachman, "did your part really get cut out of Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglourious Basterds'?" [uhh, the answer is yes, we saw it at Cannes, but...]
"I have heard that, and I would suspect that that’s true, because it’s very long and my thing isn’t woven into the plot. It would be a very good scene to cut, in the sense that it wouldn’t hurt the picture. It’s a wonderful little scene. I love doing it and he loved it, too, but it’s not going to make or break the film.
I’m an old Jewish woman in Brooklyn — we shot it in Berlin, but it’s supposed to be in Brooklyn — and I open the door and this young man [Eli Roth] is standing there and he asks me to sign his bat. He’s heard about these Germans, what they’re doing to Jews and he asks, “Is there anybody who’s been affected by the Nazis?” and I look at him and start signing my sister’s name. And you know that they’re just going to take the bat and just kill some Nazis. You can’t be upset about these things [getting cut]. It’s part of the business. I always think a better bus will come along that I’ll catch." — Cloris Leachman, realizes while fun and sharp, a lot of Quentin Tarantino's writing is superfluous and unnecessary. Also, old people can be so great and chill with their awesome eh, shit happens, wisdom. [Vulture]
"Youth in Revolt" the upcoming Dimension Films comedian starring Michael Cera sounds, superficially like a young-adult novel. So why did it get an R-Rating? Actually that matches. One of our contribs who read said, "Not surprised. It should be rated R if it's closely based on the book at all. The novel was fucked UP. Massive amounts of overtly sexual situations."
The official synopsis is made to sound much tamer: "the outrageous and heartwarming tale of Nick Twisp (Michael Cera) and his quest to win the heart of Sheeni (newcomer Portia Doubleday) and hopefully lose his virginity along the way."
Wait, does that mean we finally get to see Michael Cera's penis, err, we mean, him doing some real acting?
There's been lots of talk, speculation, hell, pure conjecture that this adult comedy (about teens), which is under the currently financially troubled Weinstein Company umbrella, will not hit its intended October 30 release date. Or rather, the TWC won't have the promotion and advertising money to release it by then and will therefore have to push back the release once again (back in the day it was scheduled for February 2009).
The poster at Cinematical, doesn't make things much clearer. You'd think if the date was nailed in, it wouldn't say, "coming soon," but then again, that's sort of standard issue for posters released, what, this one being four months before intended release? Not exactly sure. The poster also points one to youthinrevolt-themovie.com, which simply redirects you back to the TWC site that says the same generic stuff with a October 30. And that TWC site is pretty notoriously bad about making updates (i.e. it still has "Shanghai" as a September 4 release when many believable reports claim it's being pushed; then again, nothing's confirmed).
We have the book sitting on our shelf, but have yet to read it. The film's cast is pretty awesome and includes Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Jean Smart, Ari Graynor, Fred Willard, Zach Galifianakis, Mary Kay Place and more. The film marks the return of director Miguel Arteta who hasn't made a film since 2002's "The Good Girl." During this time he's been busying himself directing episodes of "Six Feet Under," "The Office" and "Ugly Betty." 2000's "Chuck & Buck," is creepy and hilarious, plus very underrated, so we're looking fwd to this one.
October 30? Let's hope so.
Jessica Alba has evidently acquired the rights to "The Insiders," a series of graphic novels created in 2002 by Jean-Claude Bartoll and Renaud Garreta according to ICV2, that claim many French-language sites are reporting this news.
Alba's partner in crime is none other than her "Sin City" director Robert Rodriguez who has evidently co-acquired the rights with her in aim to make a movie and video game (whether he's directing himself remains to be seen).
According to ICV2, "The heroine of The Insiders is Najah Cruz, a Columbian who is as deadly as she is beautiful. She has the weapons expertise and combat skills of a James Bond. At the secret request of the White House she infiltrates a worldwide mafia-like organization composed of businessmen and politicians and becomes the bodyguard of the organization’s leader."
We heard bits about this and you know we're skeptical when we need to, but all of this fits well. With the number of projects on his slate, presumably this is something Rodriguez plans to do after things like "Machete," "The Jetsons," and overseeing "Predators," but things always change in Hollywood because of money and or lack thereof, so don't be entirely surprised if and when the schedule flips.
'Jennifer's Body': Masterpiece Teen-Horror Comedy By Oscar-Winner Diablo Cody To Be Acted To The Letter
“That was actually something that was hard about making that movie. Because it was Diablo [Cody]— and because she just won an Oscar — we were not allowed to deviate from the script. Not even a single word.” — Working on the upcoming teen horror comedy, “Jennifer's Body,” wasn't nearly as awesome as Megan Fox initially thought it might be.
"Jennifer's Body" is scheduled for a September 18th release. [MTV]
"There are two robots in the film called Mudflap and Skids, and despite being red and green, respectively, they are voiced in a way that clearly designates them to be the “black” robots. Also, Skids has a gold front tooth (no, I’m serious) and both cannot read." - "Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen," now with 75% more racism. [via Movieline]
'70s Boogie: 'The Box' To Feature Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Wilson Pickett, Scott Walker and The Marshall Tucker Band
Young filmmaker Richard Kelly loves him some music. His debut, "Donnie Darko" featured an 80s'-centric line-up of Echo & The Bunnymen, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Joy Division and Gary Jules and Michael Andrews' cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" (which went on to become quite a hit afterwards, several times over because of the film).
While that's a lot of pop music, it effectively worked in the sci-fi, psychological thriller. In his follow-up, the largely disastrous "Southland Tales," from 2007, he began to lose the plot wholesale and musical slathered the film with an overwrought use of '90s alt-rock including The Pixies, Jane's Addiction, the more-indie side of Blur, Radiohead, Muse, etc. etc. (plus a Moby score from various '90s and '00 albums). Suffice to say it didn't work.
Maybe Kelly is just learning about music in public, because his next film, the "Twilight Zone"-ish sounding thriller, "The Box," is set to tap artists from the 1970s. According to a recent interview with AICN, Kelly says that on top of an score already written by members of the Arcade Fire and Owen Pallet of Final Fantasy, the movie will feature songs by Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Wilson Pickett, Scott Walker and The Marshall Tucker Band.
Kelly reiterates that the augmented Arcade Fire-members score (Win Butler and Régine Chassagne of AF and Pallet are three people who actually composed it) is a whopping 80 minutes long -- which sounds like they'll be plenty leftover for a long-ass soundtrack score disc -- and has a Bernard Hermann [‘Psycho’ composer] feel. Apparently there's a lot of music and score used throughout the film as well. Hopefully he's not slathering again.
"There's a sequence in the library with no dialogue for four minutes that's all music. It's a very score-heavy film. And there's pop songs in it, too. We have Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Wilson Pickett, Scott Walker and The Marshall Tucker Band. It's Virginia 1976, so I wanted to have that Southern Rock flavor," he said.
Kelly also notes, don't expect to hear the "Arcade Fire" score in the upcoming trailer which will be more generic stuff. "You've probably heard the trailer score before. But in a weird way, when you're trying to broadly market a film... I don't question the science of it. Because they do have it down to a science. I'm just grateful to have a film coming out on more than fifty screens with a marketing budget of more than $300,000."
After the critical and commercial bomb of "Southland Tales," we would totally agree with you, Richard.
Here's an interesting story for you that you can read into all you like (or maybe we'll do that). First off there's a bunch of new photos from Michael Mann's"Public Enemies" floating around the web, you can see larger and more versions over at OhNoTheyDidnt.
Secondly and more importantly, Mann's 1930s gangster picture/upcoming potential summer blockbuster starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard recently hit a minor stumbling block when New York Post lunkhead, Lou Lumenick, jumped the gun and wrote an extremely early (and unfavorable, no "trashing") review of the film (it doesn't come out until July 1).
Many have noted that Universal are having a tough time this summer and are in desperate need of a hit because "Land of The Lost" and other projects of theirs have tanked at the box-office. There seems to be debate over whether "Brüno" will perform up to expectations as well. Well, not only did Universal smack down Lumenick and force him to mostly redact and pull down most of his review, they also asked (forced?) Jeffrey Wells to take down his blog post about Lou's review which quoted it liberally (man, even the cache version of both posts are MIA on Google, though Google searches do turn up Lumenick's critique of ""Curiously uninvolving").
Update: Vulture have found parts of his review via their RSS. Hey, if they can post it...
New York Post critic Lou Lumenick has given Michael Mann's Public Enemies the back of his hand. "Curiously uninvolving," he says. There will be "reflexive raves," he allows, but no Oscar action outside of tech noms. The only real plusses, he says, are "some of the best choreographed machine-gun battles ever and some eye-popping art direction." Lumenick is pretty much a Mann hater, calling him "the most overrated auteur currently working in Hollywood," so take this with a grain. I thought there was an embargo in place on Public Enemies until next Tuesday ... no? "Disappointingly, I think Michael Mann's much-anticipated Public Enemies' — which ...It's well within their rights, but it's one review, and man, Universal are apparently taking this really seriously. Call us crazy, but nervous much? The comments section of that post lit up like wildfire. Many seemed to rush to Mann's defense and noted that Lumenick was a notorious "Mann-hater" and InContention's Kris Tapley in particular was pretty vocal, refuting the Post crit's review by calling "Public Enemies," the "Mann's best film since 'The Insider'."
We can't speak to that cause we haven't seen it, but it was interesting to see a wave of commenters campaigning against the embargo-busting Lumenick. Sure, he's a dick (who also spoiled "Seven Pounds," not that many seemed to really care), but we didn't know there was such an army of Mann constituents out there seemingly desperate to snuff out and discredit his review, hours before Universal even got wind of it (and we don't mean Tapley). Maybe there's lots of hope still and Uni shouldn't be worried? Anyhow, we found it pretty curious and interesting...
Here's a new clip of "Public Enemies" making the rounds.
Two more clips can be seen here.
The trailer for Ruben Fleischer's post-apocalyptic zombie-comedy "Zombieland" has just been released online and, unexpectedly, exhibits a film heavy in comic overtones with an overall look of a fun, entertaining film.
While the film probably takes a leaf or two out of Edgar Wright's own zom-com "Shaun Of The Dead," Fleischer's leading duo of Woody Harrelson's gun-crazed Tallahassee and Jesse Eisenberg's awkward youngster Columbus seem the part for the unlikely duo trying to survive. Joining the two on their quest will be Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as their female counterparts.
The film will also boast some significant zombie cameos as well. The likes of Bill Murray, Amber Heard, Mila Kunis and Matthew McConaughey are rumored to be appear in an undead capacity.
"Zombieland" hits theaters October 9th.
Here's the synopsis:
"Zombieland" focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. Columbus (Eisenberg) is a big wuss - but when you're afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee (Harrelson) is an AK-totin', zombie-slayin' badass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth. As they join forces with Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin), who have also found unique ways to survive the zombie mayhem, they will have to determine which is worse: relying on each other or succumbing to the zombies.
We made a little faux-pas last weekend when we said there wasn't a whole hell of a lot interesting retro-cinema playing in New York outside, Alain Cavalier's debut feature, the political action/spy drama, "Le Combat Dans L’île" at Film Forum starring the great Jean-Louis Trintignant and belle German actress Romy Schneider (which is now over, hope you caught it).
Actually, there's something else rather intriguing that opened last weekend which we completely missed. Jean-Jacques Beineix is a slightly lesser known French filmmaker from the '80s who got some retroactive recognition last year when his colorfully stylish and dazzling 1981 thriller, "Diva" finally scored itself a proper pimped-out DVD release (highly recommended) via the Meridian Collection (it received four César Awards in 1982). One of his key works, 1986's French cult classic, "Betty Blue" (or its French title, "37°2 le matin") never properly screened in the U.S., and now for the first time ever, it's playing here in New York. Essentially a intimate portrayal of obsessive love, the picture stars Béatrice Dalle (many will remember her as the blind and perturbed woman who takes a cab ride from Isaach De Bankolé , in Jim Jarmusch's cabbies vignettes film, "A Night On Earth") and Jean-Hugues Anglade (the empathetic and understanding boyfriend of Nikita in the French spy classic, "La Femme Nikita"). The version that's screening here is the director's cut that adds an hour of extra footage (it's a whopping 185 min cut, this hour has never been seen by American audiences in theaters). It's not entirely unknown, it did score an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1986, but you obviously don't hear it discussed in many places. TimeOutNewYork has a good review of it from last week.
But you know what? FUCK us. We missed it, Christ. It only had a one week run in New York. Well, let's hope this means a DVD release is on the way and either way it's a film to look out for if/when it hits your city at a repertory theater (there is a "director's cut" DVD out there, but it's only 120 minutes). Cinematical notes that it's at the the Nuart in LA on July 3, the Landmark in Minneapolis on July 24, Landmark's Varsity in Seattle on August 7, the Starz FilmCenter in Denver on August 21, and then back to the East Coast at Landmark's Kendall Square in Boston on September 11.
Here's the director's cut trailer:
Here's the trailer for "Diva" if you've never seen it. Go out of your way to catch both of these if you can ("Diva" is on DVD so you really have no excuse).
OK, it's that time of the week again where you start counting down the hours and perhaps start to plan your movie-going weekend, that is if you're that type of person and you're reading this we presume you are.
The weekend — in terms of the weekly box-office battle — appears to be between "The Proposal," "Year One," and evidently Todd Phillips bros in Vegas "The Hangover," which apparently may have the staying power to keep audiences inebriated for one more weekend at the top. Phillips told Howard Stern this week that he has a personal "vendetta" that really makes him want to hold onto #1 again this weekend (thanks to the reader for the tip), but does Phillips strike one as the type who holds a grudge? Who do you think Phillips has issues with Harold Ramis? Ryan Reynolds? Our guess is its someone from the 'Proposal' camp, but maybe it has something to do with Jack Black and that "Man Witch" project that seems to have died after Black backed out? Who knows...
Let's start with the most mainstreamy! Our bet is the generic-looking rom-com "The Proposal," starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock takes the #1 slot. It looks broad enough and dumb enough to appeal to the masses. Why Reynolds, who can be a decent actor when he wants to be — see "Adventureland" for recent example — continues to take on cheap work like this is baffling other than the need for a paycheck, but we presume he's doing ok. He might be doing it for semi-personal reasons, actually. The film is about a Canadian working in the U.S. (Bullock) whose visa expires and then coerces her U.S. co-worker — who she doesn't get along with — (Reynolds) to marry her so she can stay in the country (they eventually fall in love! Wow, never saw that coming!). Reynolds is ironically Canadian, so it's the reverse to him. Maybe there's something there. Either way it looks dreadfully standard-issue rom com. It has a very unremarkable 39% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Next up is Harold Ramis' prehistoric broad comedy which takes a trip through the Bible. It stars Jack Black and Michael Cera as two buffoon hunters and gatherers exiled from their tribe, then forced to wander the earth and thus run into Cain and Abel and other Biblical stories. Most people assumed we loathed it, but its too amiable and ineffectual to be hated. Its simply just not amusing, full of dick, poo and unfunny fart jokes, improved to death and slapped together — a bunch of lame skits about the Bible and neanderthals affixed together with tape and glue. The critical consensus seems to agree, it has an incredibly low 20% on Rotten Tomatoes which is one of the lowest scores a Judd Apatow related comedy has received in the last four years (ouch, when "The Proposal" has a better rating than "Year One," then you really know you're in trouble. Even "Drillbit Taylor" has a 26% rating and that was definitely for a PG audience).
The Limited Release field is... not that great this weekend from what we can tell. The biggest film, but not most successful is Woody Allen's 40th (39? There's some debate) film "Whatever Works," starring Larry David as the prerequisite Allen surrogate only this time so much more darker, cynical and misanthropic than usual. This makes sense considering the film was written in his classic '70s heyday, but was then shelved when its intended star Zero Mostel died. But its far from a classic. Anachronistic? A little, as the existential woes throughout feel like a bygone Woody era, but the story was contemporized slightly before shooting started. What would have been a more interesting experiment — considering Allen's made 40 films now and should have earned some leeway to fuck around a bit — would have been to not update it at all and see how a found artifact from the '70s played now. The language feels a little bit too overwritten for Larry David and though there are some great one-liners and certainly some sharp laughs, overall its not entirely successful and in many respects, forgettable. Certainly better than Woody's pre-"Match Point" comedies of the early aughts ("Curse of The Jade Scorpion," et al.), but that's also not saying a ton. We (I) personally took the title to heart and enjoyed what we could out of it and liked it slightly better than our reviewer Sam did, but it's certainly not fantastic and we can agree on that. Critics also agree, it has mixed 53% rating which is far from stellar.
We're not an expert on anything else. We haven't had time to see the Norwegian-made "Dead Snow," yet; the indie sub-sub-genre of the Nazi zombie movie that opens in limited release and it has an ok, but not fantastic, 62% rating on RT. It looked Edgar Wright-ian to us from the looks of the serio-comic trailer. Presumably geeks will love and others might be mixed? We'll see it soon.
The claymation film "$9.99" has a strong 86% rating, but for whatever reason, we have zero interest (but admittedly, we're judging books by covers and have no idea what it's really about). Other films opening up in limited release include, "DJ Spooky's Rebirth of a Nation" which should speak for itself, but is a "remix" of D.W. Griffith's classic and very-racist, "Birth Of A Nation," the eco-documentary, "End Of The Line," Henry Jaglom's "Irene In Time," which is simply because interesting because of Jaglom, an indie director with limited success who befriended Orson Welles before his death, becoming the surrogate patron of the fallen director after Peter Bogdanovich got bored, had his fill or found himself to no longer be useful to the always mercurial Welles. Other films include, "Superstar" by Iranian film director Tahmineh Milani, "Under Our Skin," and film we really wanted to see at last year's New York Film Festival, but missed called, "The Windmill Movie," which sounds like an interesting personal experiment. Essentially filmmaker Richard P. Rogers ('70s films "Quarry" and "Elephants"), gifted film teacher, but tortured, neurotic soul, decided to make a narcissistic, autobiographical documentary about himself and his personal failings. However Rogers died before he could complete his opus so one of his students, Alexander Olch, decided to take up the documentary, turn the camera on himself and finish what has now become, "The Windmill Movie." It only has a 67% rating on RT, but there's only 9 reviews and it sounds like a curiously interesting experiment to us.
Good luck out there.
'Scott Pilgrim' Vlog #8 Reveals Rival Band 'Crash & The Boys, Confirms Sloan's Chris Murphy's Musical Participation
"Welcome to this week's blog live from The Rocket Club. Hit it," proclaims Sloan's Chris Murphy. And so begins the next installment of the "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" vlog.
This week's focus is the 'battle of the bands' contest involving Pilgrim's Sex Bob-Omb and rivals Crash And The Boys as the blog finds itself on location for our first look at the band in action. The band line up is, of course, Michael Cera's Scott Pilgrim, Marc Webber's Stephen Still and Alison Pill's Kim Pine.
We then meet rival band Clash And The Boys whose music is described as "epic" with "alot of punch" (it's really just 3-4 second noise blasts) by lead singer Luke 'Crash' Wilson (Erik Kundsen, who will appear later this year in "Youth In Revolt") who introduces us to his bass player Joel MacMillan and eight year old drummer Trisha 'Trasha' Ha (Abigail Chu).
Finally, Wright also confirms the involvement of Sloan's Murphy who is officially on board as a music coach and a "general Mr. rock vibes." We figured as much and pretty much presumed so after Murphy was spotted jamming with Cera and Johnny Simmons on Wright's photo blog.
The venue is supposed to be the old Rocket Club in Toronto, but it might be standing in for the more famous and still existing Lee's Palace, as recent photos from director Edgar Wright's blog, show a Lee's Palace neon sign in a similar-looking location, but it's entirely possible they shot in both locations. Wright has also posted a wall of LPs on his blog which might be soundtrack hints? Though the musical inclusion of Canadian bands like Sloan and The New Pornographers feels like a given (Wright talks about the many references to Sloan in the original books), other bands on this wall include Calexio, Four Tet and Sonic Youth. But we probably shouldn't read into it too much, as it might just be appropriate set decoration.
Posters for 'Scott Pilgrim' say the film is aiming for a summer 2010 release.
'Inception' Commences Shooting In Tokyo, 'Dark Knight' Screenwriter Says 'Batman 3' Possibilities Are Still The Same
After we recently reported that Christopher Nolan's "Inception" was set to shoot at multiple locations all around the world, news today that the film has, in fact, already commenced shooting in Tokyo as of this week.
This picture of Nolan with the film's stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Ken Watanbe was taken in the Japanese capital on June 15th with filming reportedly beginning not long after.
Nolan's "Batman" partner David Goyer confirms the news in a throwaway comment from an interview with IGN. "You know, talk to him after he finishes 'Inception,' which he's shooting right now. That just started shooting," Goyer replied - probably to the barrage of "The Dark Knight" sequel questions he must have faced whilst doing press for his upcoming television series "FlashForward." BTW, Goyer doesn't sound exactly convinced that Nolan will come back, but this is really nothing new and shouldn't exacerbate recent concerns, rumors and talk. The screenwriter echoed what Nolan and producers have said pretty much after "The Dark Knight" was complete, "[Christopher Nolan] said if we can find the story that he's happy with, that he would return." So yeah, nothing has changed.
How much thought have they given to that story? Well, the filmmaker is busy with "Inception," but Goyer says, "You know, we've been talking." Don't worry kids, it's too early days to say yes or no at this point. It's in holding pattern, keep your pants on.
As frustrating as the lack of details have been for this project, you have to tip your hat to Nolan and his staff at being able to beat the information age. How long that lasts though...[NolanFans/IGN]
We hate to repeat ourselves these days and we just wrote about the poster. So, getting down to it... "Cold Souls" is the feature-length debut of French-born filmmaker Sophie Barthes (who grew up in the Middle East and in South America ) and sounds like a meta, Charlie Kaufman-like mindbender that stars Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn, Lauren Ambrose and Emily Watson.
The film has been compared to Charlie Kaufman more times than anyone cares to count (most of all the filmmaker, we're sure), and the sprightly score by Dickon Hinchliffe ("Forty Shades of Blue," "Married Life") in this trailer does not help to dissuade those connections. It certainly doesn't help that Paul Giamatti plays as existentially woed Paul Giamatti in the film in what appears to be a"quirky"-looking comedy about a man who tries to lose his soul (via a Cold Souls Storage facility -- sounds very 'Malkovich' and then has to travel to Russia to get it back. We're not convinced by the look of the trailer that this film is saying anything new in the "surrealist, quirky, mindbender" genre (ugh), but people we trust (including Karina at Spoutblog) seemed to enjoy it, and it gained good word of mouth earlier this year, so we're willing to give it a shot. But there's nothing worse than a retread of a unique voice. We'll be seeing it soon.
The film was a minor sensation at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and comes out in limited release (starting New York and L.A.) on August 7.
This smells like divine intervention to us. Will Smith and Steven Spielberg's unnecessary and unwarranted adaptation of Park Chan-Wook's classic revenge film, "Oldboy" is reportedly on the rocks after legal problems with remake rights between the comic book company and the production company that dealt with Universal Pictures. There is a god. [First Showing]
After playing the 'Governator' in a biopic and being his body double in "Terminator Salvation," fellow Austrian Roland Kickinger is evidently set to again live under Arnold Schwarzenegger's shadow. Kickinger has reportedly been cast as the new "Conan" in Marcus Nispel reboot of the franchise. Nispel is a hack though which puzzles us to why people care about this, but then again, geeks love reboots of their "classics," as much as they slightly pretend to feign worry. [RiskyBizBlog]
There's is also another god (or the same one with the same good taste) out there trying to help us smite out more bad remakes, sequels and other misguided ideas. Neve Campbell has reportedly turned on the chance to return to the "Scream" franchise. Her potential role is apparently substantial enough to warrant this twitter from Kevin Williamson: "Trying to figure out a Sid-less scenario. She won't do it. This sucks." Even has-been Campbell knows better than to jump on board that lame-duck to be. When was the last time Williamson did anything of interest? Yeah, go back to the well when they're desperate. Stay far away from this one if it ever hits. [BloodyDisgusting]
Common has signed on to star along side Queen Latifah in "Just Wright." Filming for the Sanna Hamri film could potentially clash with Joe Carnahan's "The A-Team" remake though - where Common has been linked to the role of B.A. Baracus. 'Wright' begins shooting mid-July while Carnahan's 'A-Team' is set to begin late-August. [Variety/IESB]
Producer Brian Grazer hopes that the title character in the upcoming "Bride Of Frankstein" remake will have "great power and sex appeal" and be someone "along the lines of Scarlett Johansson or Anne Hathaway." [NY Post]
Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Elijah Wood and Cam Gigandet are set to star in "The Experiment," a remake of the German psychological thriller "Das Experiment." The film will center on a group of ordinary men recruited to take on the roles of guards and prisoners as part of a research study. Both films are based on actual events that occurred in the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. [Variety]
Carey Mullligan Up For 'Wall Street' Sequel? Hugo Weaving Not Quite On Board 'Hobbit,' Sam Mendes Signs Focus Deal, Heads For 'Butcher's Crossing'
Carey Mulligan — the Sundance breakout star of "An Education" — is rumored to be up for the role of Gordon Gekko's daughter in Oliver Stone's upcoming "Wall Street" sequel, "Money Never Sleeps." Again though, we'll have to wait and see what side the coin this Latino Review "exclusive" falls on: hit or miss. [Latino Review]
Joel and Ethan Coen's "A Serious Man" has been given an 'R' rating by the MPAA for "language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence." No big surprise there. The film is set for a limited release on October 2nd. [Hollywood Elsewhere]
This is funny and reminds us all not to always believe what we read, even when it's coming from the horses mouth. Despite being name-dropped and "confirmed" by Guillermo del Toro as a reprising actor for "The Hobbit," Hugo Weaving has revealed that he has yet to speak to anyone about returning. "I haven’t actually talked to anyone about it. Doesn’t mean I won’t be doing it, [I’m] just not onboard yet." [Moviehole]
Correction: Tony Scott and Stephen Gaghan are not adapting Hunter S. Thompson's story about the Hell's Angels but rather Sonny Barger's autobiography of the same name. Barger is the founder of the Oakland Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Slightly less interesting to many if the good Doctor's name is not involved. [First Showing]
Sam Mendes has entered a two-year first-look deal with Focus Features. One project included in the deal is an adaptation of John Williams revisionist Western novel "Butcher's Crossing." The potential Mendes directing vehicle centers on a man who forsakes his Harvard education to move to the small Kansas town of Butcher's Crossing where joins the hunt for one of the last great buffalo herds. [Variety]
Here's your first look at a poster from Robert Siegel's directorial debut "Big Fan" which comes out in limited release in August (more on that in a sec). He wrote a little picture you may have heard of called, "The Wrestler."
We hope someone sends us the soundtrack list because a) it's a pretty cool mix of '70s-like off-the-beaten path songs (Richard & Linda Thompson is one that comes to mind), b) it's such a small film that the release of an actually soundtrack disc seems very unlikely.
We saw this one in Boston a few months ago. While it's not perfect, it does feature a strong performance by comedian Patton Oswalt in an almost entirely dramatic role. His inept and loser-ish nobody friend, is winningly (and amusingly) played by Kevin Corrigan, who's quite excellent.
Siegel still has to learn a thing or two about direction, but it's a solid story, straight from that creepy '70s loner mien ("Taxi Driver," etc.) and still worthwhile. Essentially, the film is a mostly engaging directorial debut about sad obsession.
It's interesting to note: while acquired by First Independent Pictures earlier this year, for a tentative, "August, early Fall," release, the film has only quietly unveiled its release date which is August 28 only in New York (as a start anyhow). While Cinematical has the poster exclusive, it's also interesting to note that they weren't told the release date from the studio. We're worried about this one. [Cinematical]
With his late career peak, 1992's "Husbands and Wives," Woody Allen explored the rocky slope of marriage in all its complex infidelities and regrets. Since around that time, the filmmaker's insight into the nature of relationships has been on decline, favoring loopy larks like last year's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," and now his latest trifle, "Whatever Works." Here Allen once again takes a frustratingly naive look at the interactions between men and women, and presents an overly familiar assessment of life's many happy and unhappy coincidences. And though a return to his home turf of NYC held the potential of invigorating the aging director's slipping craft, this screenplay (written, originally, for Zero Mostel back during the "Annie Hall" salad days, and feeling just as musty and dated as its vintage would suggest), simply isn't as sharp as Allen's classics, further let down by improvisational actor Larry David whose performance never rises above a bargain-bin version of Allen's own narcissistic and whiny persona.
David plays crotchety misanthrope and self-proclaimed "genius" Boris Yellnikoff, warning at the outset (during a clunky, talk-to-the-audience device) that he's not a "likable guy." When he jokes, "if you want to feel good, go get yourself a foot massage," it's pretty clear that "Whatever Works" isn't going to be as funny as Allen's best material. A long monologue, in which David rehashes familiar Allen ideology (the world's cruel, marriage is cruel, people are cruel, occasionally you're happy, death is inevitable, yada yada) doesn't help to stave off accusations that much of Allen's latest is recycled from earlier, better films. However, finding familiar subject matter in a new Allen film should be surprising to no one.
Boris proceeds to describe his marriage as being "far from a bed of roses" and, "botanically speaking," his wife as a "Venus Flytrap," then confesses to a failed suicide attempt, and his seemingly irrational separation from his beautiful, talented and younger wife. Boris blames their marital failure on the "rational" nature of their union, and spontaneously decides to divorce and move across town. He takes up teaching chess to kids -- and by "teaching," he swears at his students ad nauseam, calls them "cretins" and tells their parents what idiots they are. There's a mean spirited nature to Boris that, though announced at the beginning, is no less unpleasant and grating (though a few times, it is rather funny, being mean to kids always provides laughs).
This makes the next development all the more difficult to take, though totally expected: Late one night, Boris discovers a ragamuffin southern bell in his trash, begging for food and shelter, and he can't bring himself to shoe her away (try as he does). Her name is Melodie St. Ann Celestine (Evan Rachel Wood), and she says she's 21 but looks about 18 ("you're 21 like I play for the New York Yankees"). She's as dumb as an ox and Boris takes pity on her, as she guilts him into letting her stay the night. Naturally, as this is an Allen movie, the waif-y, frail and young beauty falls head-over-heels for the shrill, endlessly griping Boris, who teaches her the meaninglessness of existence and has to continually remind her he never played for the New York Yankees.
As was the case in 2006's murder mystery romp "Scoop," Allen doesn't give us characters that approach even the vaguest semblance of reality. This is screwball comedy, which perhaps makes it all a bit easier to stomach than last year's similarly vacant (but far too convinced of its own importance) "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." In "Whatever Works," Allen goes all in for crazy: Patricia Clarkson shows up as Melodie's god-fearing mother, then pulls a complete cultural 180, becoming a pornographic photographer/modern artist and moving in with two men. Even less easy to stomach is the hurried transformation of Melodie's father (Ed Begley Jr.), which not only feels like a tacked on afterthought but presents a borderline offensive rendering of homosexual repression, culminating in the line "every time the tight-end bent over..."
Still, it's not the dialogue (a characteristically uneven mix of jokes that land and jokes that land with a thud) that's the problem here; it's David, unable to communicate the depth of character found in Allen's best roles, and coming off as a wholly one-dimensional blow-hard. Boris is the kind of Allen character who's allowed to be deemed a "genius" without really hinting toward anything particularly relevant he's accomplished or any scholarly inclinations. Even in his later roles, Allen exhibits an incredible gift for deadpan comedic timing, and there's a rhythmic nature to his diatribes; David possesses none of this skill, delivering his every line bluntly, and seemingly without the slightest idea of how to distinguish between the comedy and the levity of his character's behaviors.
So if David is the film's greatest failing, Evan Rachel Wood is its greatest asset; the actress proves to be a much more suitable muse for Allen than the flat Scarlet Johannson, as well as a surprising screwball talent who brings more depth to her completely ridiculous part than seasoned co-star Clarkson (here riffing on a cartoon similar to that she played in 'Vicky Cristina'). Following a parade of uniformly similar roles as disaffected, rebellious youths in "The Wrestler," "Down in the Valley" and with her breakout role in "Thirteen," "Whatever Works" is a refreshing change of pace for Wood, steering her away from a career trajectory as reliably predictable as that of Giovanni Ribisi.
Allen also rings some amount of pathos from Boris' simple, titular moto, a suggestion that we take whatever happiness we can find in this world and make it work for us in any way we can, for as long as we can (it's a bit how we felt about the film: enjoy whatever little bits you can get). It's a modest mantra but a sincere one nonetheless, perhaps deserving of a more refined film than this highly implausible, only mildly entertaining romp. [C+] -Sam C. Mac
'Heads On, We Shoot': Another 'Wild Things' Book - The Behind-The-Scenes 240 Page Color Hardcover Edition
Hello, what do we have here? Yet another "Where The Wild Things Are" related book thanks to Dave Eggers' McSweeney's? Hell yes, and this one sounds and looks pretty awesome too. We may have to shell out for this one. Eggers obviously co-wrote the 'Wild Things' script with director Spike Jonze, and McSweeney's is already releasing "Wild Things" on Oct 1, Eggers' novelization of the script that combines what he wrote, the ideas of the film and Maurice Sendak's original classic work.
Now another book, a fat-ass coffee table edition, is in the works and this one looks more like a straight-up behind-the-scenes book that's titled, "Heads on and We Shoot: The Making of Where the Wild Things Are," and its due October 13. It retails for $26.39 and is a pimp-sized 240 pages, color hardcover book that we want. Like now.
Here's two synopsis:
"But how do you turn one of the world's favorite children's books into a movie? This film incorporates the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry, and computer animation into a live-action adventure story that captures the magic of the book - and takes it to a new dimension. In order to preserve the realistic nature of the film, the Wild Things are not created digitally. Instead, Spike Jonze brings these characters to life in the form of physical suits built by the Jim Henson Company. These creatures, operated by a suit performer, interact with the live actor playing Max on set in front of the camera. After principal photography is finished, CGI is being used to make the creatures completely lifelike and convincing."Umm, you guys are buying this as an early Xmas present to us or fuck you, already. Man, Warner Bros., plus Eggers and Jonze are really keen on bombarding everyone. Come the fall, October is going to be like official, "Where The Wild Things Are" month. Oh, btw, that furry cover edition of Eggers' novelization that wasn't on Amazon when we first wrote that story? Yeah, that's the funny-looking image here to the right.
Sure, it's his brother and what else is he gonna say, but this got us slightly excited: The National Post in Canada caught up with Squeak E. Clean, aka Sam Spiegel, Spike Jonze's younger brother and they asked him if he had seen "Where The Wild Things Are" yet. His simple, terse response? "His greatest movie ever, dude." Color us further stoked. [via @thewildthing/additional info GATW]