Friday, April 30, 2010

Speaking of Dustin Lance Black...

The Oscar winning screenwriter of Milk, not only has written the screenplay for Hoover but also just wrapped his directorial debut, What's Wrong With Virginia, which he also wrote.
The film stars Ed Harris Jennifer Connolly, Emma Roberts, Amy Madigan, Toby Jones and Yeardly Smith. Gus Van Sant is executive producer. The film has no official release date as of yet.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eastwood wants DiCaprio for Hoover project

So it's official; Clint Eastwood's next project is going to be a film about J. Edgar Hoover. Intriguing. I have always wanted someone to tackle this subject. The screenplay is written by recent Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black ( Milk )

If anything, I hope he addresses some of Hoover's demons, or shall we say idiosyncrasies. I have read about Hoover in many biographies, and there is popular speculation's of the man ( most important that he lived his life as a hypocrite ) so I hope Black touches upon some of these issues.
As with the Leo casting...I have no qualms with that. He is a fine actor. If he can portray Howard Hughes he should have no problem with Hoover.

It is a nightmare

I wrote about this more than a year ago, and here we are just a day away from the release of the Nightmare On Elm Street remake.
I said it then and I'll say it now...another unnecessary remake, especially with something like this that this particular franchise has it's own cultish following. And you really think Jackie Earle Haley can top Robert England as Freddie ? Exactly.
It's no surprise to me that it's recieved only a .09 % approval rating. Yet, what do you bet that it will be the box office leader for this weekend ?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rent this: Fargo

Fargo 1996

Why ? It's a classic that never gets old. When ? 1996
Who ? Ethan Coen- Director, Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, John Carroll Lynch, Harve Presnell, Kristin Rudrud.

Nominated for 7 Academy Awards, and winning two; for Best actress ( Frances McDormand ) and Original Screenplay ( Ethan and Joel Coen )
I first became aware of the Coen brother's with a little seen and very independent film Blood Simple. From there I kept close to these brother's film work. Then Blood Simple was followed by the ever popular Raising Arizona and after that, Miller's Crossing. What I happen to consider a masterpiece in that genre.
It truly is hard to believe that Fargo is already 14 years old. Maybe that's why it's still translates, because it hasn't aged with time. It's a film that could be released in 2010.
Fargo is a true ensemble in every sense of the word, even though it was McDormand who is considered the lead.
Every aspect of the film is in top notch form as impressive filmmaking is concerned.
Excellent cinematography by Roger Deakins, especially on the long single shots. Other impressive attributes are the steady cutting in the edited room. Each scene just flows into the the next with relative ease.
But the best 3 things that really makes Fargo a great movie is the storytelling, camera work and acting. There is not a bad portrayal in the film. Even real small support or cameo roles are solid, especially the two hookers. " Yaaah ".
Even though it's McDormand's lead, all of the characters are interesting. From ultra nervous and bumbling Jerry Lundegaard ( Macy ) to the bullshit artist ( Buscemi ) and maybe the one that steals the show, Peter Stormare as sociopath Gaear Grimsrud, is so effective as a no feeling, no fear killer, you are riveted every time his character is on screen.
This is one film that even though you may be a biased Coen's fan, it's just an excellent movie no matter who had did it and it's always a great watch.

Mixed reviews for Iron Man 2 ?

I had a funny feeling that was going to be the case. I can't really put my finger on why though ? Well... it is rare that a sequel has surpassed the original, though it has happened ( Godfather Part II, The Dark Knight for example )

From the people that didn't like it as much as the first film, I'm hearing a consensus that the story lacks flow and the script is uneven. That this time out they decided to make it more action, less story.
I for one, thought the sequel might better the first film, just because the casting in supporting roles is stronger with the addition of Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell and Samuel L. Jackson.
As with any film that suffers from mixed to bad reviews, it's always best to hold judgement before seeing it for yourself. Remember one thing when it comes to movies based on comic books... some snooty, holier than thou movie critic is most likely not going to like them. Watch how Green Lantern and The Green Hornet will be reviewed next year. These films are made for comic book fans or fans of a particular super hero. I don't expect every adult person to " get " that.

Positve words about Pacino/You Don't Know Jack

Many recently caught the HBO movie special Saturday night on HBO, You Don't Know Jack directed by Barry Levinson ( Rain Man, Wag The Dog ), about Doctor Jack Kevorkian with Al Pacino as the so called " Dr. Death ".
The film has received positive reviews from the likes of Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, The New York Times and USA Today to name just several media outlets.
Also, as with any positive word of mouth about a film or it's performance, many award prognosticators are lamenting that Pacino is a shoe in for The Emmy, Globe and SAG award for best actor in a movie or mini series, for leaving his usual Pacino-isms at the door, and instead going for a understated performance.
The supporting cast of Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Danny Huston and Brenda Vaccaro have also received kudos.
HBO will feature repeat showings of the film in the future.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Michael Caine as Harry Brown out Friday 4/30

I was initially a little leery when I heard about the premise of Michael Caine's latest film being released Friday ( most likely in limited fashion ) because the back story is vigilante/revenge milieu, one that is probably the most done genre in film.
But... the thing that may change my mind are two things. 1) It has Michael Caine in it. He's good in even average film fare. 2) It's got an 82% approval rating. Obviously that means 8 out of 10 people liked it. That's pretty good.
I'm hearing many compare it to a senior citizen version of Jodie Foster's The Brave One. I guess in the end, you can only find out for yourself and seeing it and coming up with your own analogy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More movie remake news...ho-hum :(

If you have ever read my entries, you know by now my biggest pet peeve when it comes to movies, is all the unnecessary remakes in film today. Especially what I would consider classics.
Now filming has began on a remake of Mildred Pierce made famous by Joan Crawford in 1945 and directed by the late great Michael Curtiz based off the novel by James M. Cain to be released on HBO in 2011.
In this version directed by Todd Haynes ( Far From Heaven, I'm Not There ) will also star Evan Rachel Wood as Mildred's daughter Veda, Guy Pierce, Melissa Leo and Mare Winnigham. Nice cast, but really ? Did this need to be remade ?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nicholson's new movie ?

OK...come on now Jack, put a shirt or a bra on ! :)

The rumor is out there that Jack has signed on to do what sounds like a senior citizen version of The Hangover meets Grumpy Old Men, called LASt VEGAS ( spelling and caps intentional ) that will also star Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, in a script written by Dan Fogelman ( Fred Claus, Bolt )the project is in the very early stages.
Until then you can catch Jack along with Reece Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd in the new James L. Brooks film What Do You Know that will be out during the holidays at the end of this year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan in new film

Hannah, which is currently shooting in many different European countries such as Germany, Finland, Morocco and England, with Cate Blanchett, Saorise Ronan and Eric Bana starring in this film about a teenage girl, Hannah ( Ronan ) who has been raised by her father ( Bana ) in the wilds of Finland, living the kind of life completely opposite of most kids her age. She's been trained to become an assassin throughout her whole upbringing, when it becomes that final opportunity, she is then finally sent into the world on a mission across Europe, eluding keen agents that are after her, especially one with her own agenda ( Blanchett )
Once she gets to the point of her said target, she begins to second guess herself, and questions what her life is and has been.
The film is directed by Joe Wright ( Atonement, Pride and Prejudice ) and set for a 2011 release date.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mother and Child Preview/Synopsis

Mother and Child May 7

Directed by Rodrigo Garcia ( In Treatment ) Starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, David Morse, Jimmy Smits, Tatiana Ali, Amy Brenneman. Written by Garcia, cinematography by Xavier Perez Grodet ( City Of Ember, The Woodsman ) Edited by Steve Weisberg ( Men In Black II, Nurse Betty ) Original music by Emmy winner Ed Shearmur.

Garcia's original screenplay, is a drama based around three women; a 50 year old woman ( Bening ) that had to give up her first born for an adoption as a 14 year old, still wondering about her, her daughter Elizabeth, a man eating lawyer now, and an african american woman ( Washington ) wanting badly to adopot a child.
As with the popularity of Crash, this story's main premise is how unrelated people's lives become entangled in strange circumstances ala Babel, 21 Grams and Crash.

Rated R for language, brief nudity and language. 125 minutes

Oscar chances ? Good. At least for Bening. But what role will they recognize her for ? This one or for The Kid's Are Alright ? Also possibles for Watts and Jackson in support and original screenplay.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Director's that may sniff Oscar gold in 2011

Most likely will see 5 of these names on the Oscar ballot come next February.

Danny Boyle- 127 Hours
James L. Brooks- What Do You Know
Lisa Cholodenko- The Kid's Are Alright
Ethan and Joel Coen- True Grit
Sophia Coppola- Somewhere
Stephen Frears- Tamera Drewe
Tony Goldwyn- Betty Anne Waters
Tom Hooper- The King's Speech
Jean-Pierre Jeunet- Micmacs
Mike Leigh- Another Year
Doug Liman- Fair Game
Terrence Malick- The Tree Of Life ( pictured )
John Cameron Mitchell- Rabbit Hole
Christopher Nolan- Inception ( pictured )
David O' Russell- The Fighter
Robert Redford- The Conspirator
Bruce Robinson- The Rum Diary
Martin Scorsese- Shutter Island
Ridley Scott- Robin Hood
Randal Wallace- Secretariat
Peter Weir- The Way Back ( pictured )
Aaron Schneider- Get Low

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Look for these performances by a supporting actress in 2010

Jessica Alba- The Killer Inside Me
Helena Bonham Carter- The King's Speech
Jessica Chastain- The Tree Of Life
Marion Cotillard- Inception
Elle Fanning- Somewhere
Romola Garai- 39
Judy Greer- Love and Other Drugs
Amber Heard- The Rum Diary
Barbara Hershey- Black Swan
Keira Knightley- Never Let Go
Mila Kunis- Black Swan
Melissa Leo- The Fighter
Julianne Moore- The Kid's Are Alright ( pictured )
Ellen Page- Inception
Sissy Spacek- Get Low ( pictured )
Kristin Scott Thomas- Nowhere Boy ( pictured )
Jacki Weaver- Animal Kingdom
Dianne Weist- Rabbit Hole

Monday, April 19, 2010

Supporting actor performances to look out in 2010

It's a good year in the supporting actor category. Here are some to keep your eye on.

Christian Bale- The Fighter ( pictured )
Josh Brolin- True Grit
Javier Bardem- Eat, Pray, Love
Vincent Cassell- Black Swan
Aaron Eckhart- Rabbit Hole
Andrew Garfield- Never Let Go
Ed Harris- The Way Back ( pictured )
Ben Kingsley- Shutter Island
Kevin Kline- The Conspirator
Joseph Gordon- Levitt- Inception
John Malkovich- Secretariat
Bill Murray- Get Low
Jack Nicholson- What Do You Know ( category placement confusion at this moment )
Brad Pitt- The Tree Of Life
Giovanni Ribisi- The Rum Diary
Sam Rockwell- Betty Anne Waters ( pictured )
Geoffrey Rush- The King's Speech
Michael Shannon- The Runaways
Mark Ruffalo- The Kid's Are Alright

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Female performances to look for in 2010

That is in the leading category.

Annette Bening- Mother and Child/ The Kid's Are Alright- looks like a career year for her ( pictured in M&C )
Jodie Foster- The Beaver
Anne Hathaway- Love and Other Drugs
Sally Hawkins- It's A Wonderful Afterlife
Nicole Kidman- Rabbit Proof
Keira Knightly- London Boulevard
Diane Lane- Secretariat ( pictured )
Jennifer Lawrence- Winter's Bone
Carey Mulligan- Never Let Go
Natalie Poertman- Black Swan
Julia Roberts- Eat, Pray, Love
Imelda Staunton- Another Year
Hilary Swank- Betty Anne Waters ( pictured )
Naomi Watts- Fair Game
Rachek Weisz- Agora
Reece Witherspoon- What Do You Know
Robin Wright- The Conspirator
Renne Zellweger- My Own Love Song
Michelle Williams- Blue Valentine

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Male performances to look for in 2010

Here are some performances by a leading male that will most likely ( I feel that is ) will be in the discussion come awards season.

Javier Bardem- Biutiful ( serious spelling )
Jeff Bridges- True Grit
Jim Broadbent- Another Year
George Clooney- The American
Matt Damon- Hereafter
Johnny Depp- The Rum Diary ( pictured )
Leonardo DiCaprio- Inception
Vincent D' Onofrio- Down and Dirty Pictures
Stephen Dorff- Somewhere
Robert Duvall- Get Low ( pictured )
Colin Firth- The Kings Speech
James Franco- 127 Hours
Paul Giamatti- Barney's Version
Mel Gibson- The Beaver
Ryan Gosling- Blue Valentine
Jake Gyllenhall- Love and Other Drugs
Anthony Hopkins- Hemingway and Fuentes
James McAvoy- The Conspirator
Edward Norton- Leaves Of Grass
Jim Sturgess- The Way Back

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cowboys and Aliens

Filming is close to commencing on the sci-fi/western film Cowboys and Aliens ( July 29 2011 ) John Favreau's first film behind the camera after Iron Man 2.

Adapted by Roberto Orci ( Star Trek, Mission Impossible:3 ) from the 2006 graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, story takes place in the mid 1800's in Silver City Arizona, where western settlers and the Apache tribe are in the middle of settling their differences, when a spaceship crash lands in their city. The aliens first plan is to enslave the humans, but the townfolk and Apache have different plans.
So far Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde have been cast with more to be named soon. Lensing the film will be Matthew Libatique ( The Fountain, Inside Man ), who is fresh off shooting for Darren Aronofsky's first film after The Wrestler, Black Swan.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Green Lantern cast

As many know by now, Ryan Reynolds has been cast as DC comics legend Hal Jordon/Green Lantern being directed by Martin Campbell ( Casino Royal, Collateral ) and now the rest of the cast has been assembled as well. With Mark Strong ( making a real good casr for himself as one of the best actors that play bad guys these days ) as Lantern's main nemesis Sinestro.
Rounding out the casting is Peter Sarsgaard, Angela Bassett, Tim Robbins and Blake Lively. The film is being lensed by Oscar winning cinematographer Dion Beebe ( Casino Royale, Collateral )
Release date is June 11, 2011.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Will Fair Game receive FAIR critical response ?

I have read some reviews from some that have seen the upcoming Sean Penn and Naomi Watts film, Fair Game and some are saying this will have a great divide among people just like the health care bill has separated the Democrats and Republicans.

Apparently Republicans are complaining the film is too anti Bush administration. Former liberal turned conservative screenwriter Mark Tapson, says it's an unfair depiction about this story taken from the book about Valerie Plame and her husband Josesph Wilson.

Well I think that's the whole premise of the movie is to not be kind to that administration because the premise of the movie is mostly about Wilson's 2003 New York Times piece accusing the Bush Administration that they manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the war in Iraq, and the White House tried to discredit Wilson in the process.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Hobbit news

Filming is to begin this summer for The Hobbit. Still nobody has been cast as Bilbo Baggins. I have always maintained that I think James McAvoy would be a good choice.
Director Guillermo del Toro will be directing the movie in two parts. Ian McKellen will be back as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum. Part one is to get a release Christmas day 2011.
Really looking forward to this, as I am a Tolkien geek !

Friday, April 9, 2010

So Chris Evans has been chosen as Captain America ?

Many of you familiar with The Fantastic Four are aware of the actor Chris Evans, who played the Human Torch in those films. Well, he now has been chosen to play Captain America in a live action film based from the popular Marvel Comics comic book character.

I myself was pulling for Jon Hamm, but maybe they thought he was too old. Personally, I'm on the fence about Chris Evans. He'll have to do more work for me to form a decent analogy on his thesp skills. Not being huge Captain America fan in the first place, I don't have a problem with this casting, unlike many I have read on various movie site message boards that whined about the casting choice.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More Mission Impossible ?

It's looks like Hollystrange is going to green light a 4th Mission Impossible movie. I don't know, I felt after they did the second film, they had pretty much went as far as they could with it. Then they made the third one, which did have some impressive effects, just fell flat with me.
Now Cruise has agreed to a 4th installment, with none other than Brad Bird directing. Yes, that's right, the animation director that brought you Ratatouille is going to direct a explosive, high octane action film. I don't know about that. I don't even know if I will see this. Kind of tired of the franchise actually. But it's movie news regardless.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Dark Fields- An interesting and original concept

An adaptation of the 2003 novel by Alan Glynn, tells the story of a burned out, small time Manhattan copy writer and ex cocaine addict Eddie Spinola ( Bradley Cooper ) who finds himself in strange circumstances with in hand the possession of a new experimental drug called MDT-48, a drug with some very interesting effects. On Eddie's first trip, he finds himself thinking faster, knowledge coming far more quicker than before and more clearly. The effects similar to your brain being on steroids. This is enticing to Eddie, as it turns him into a highly intelligent person. The drug also enhances personality, and in time Eddie becomes the most charismatic guy on the party circuit.
He then also parlays this new found intellect into playing the stock market and with the result of it making him rich.
But there is one thing, and Eddie is ignoring it... the drug ( as with all ) has serious side effects.
The film is directed by Neil Burger ( The Illusionist, The Lucky Ones ) also starring Abbie Cornish, Robert De Niro and Andrew Howard.

March 18th 2011.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rent this: Taxi Driver

Taxi Driver 1976

Directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Peter Boyle, Cybil Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks. Cinematography by Michael Chapman, and excellent old school jazz sountrack by the last great Bernard Hermann, who back in the day scored Citizen Kane.

Taxi Driver remains one of my favorite movies of my favorite decade in film. It has aged surprisingly well. I also realize the film is an acquired taste too, but as for pure storytelling goes and a tour de fore performance, you should be able to admire it as a work of art if anything.

This was only the second collaboration among the many between Scorsese and De Niro, and it's evident that things are working very well between filmmaker and actor. A filmmaking team was born.

The film is a classic characterization of a man living inside his own mind, who feels alienated by society and the streets of New York where he spends most his nights driving a cab in the worst parts of New York City.

De Niro is amazing in the role as off kilter Travis Bickle. A Vietnam Vet having a difficult time ( as many vets ) adjusting to civilian life after the war. He plays Bickle so well that you identify with him in a sort of morbid curious way. Mainly due to the performance by an actor who was just beginning to really hit his stride for what has made him one of the all time best.

There isn't a weak performance in the film, even from a 12 year old Jodie Foster in a bravura performance playing an underage prostitute that Travis feels compelled to save.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards; Best Picture, Actor ( De Niro ), Supporting Actress Foster ) and Original Music ( Hermann ).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Kick-Ass Preview/Synopsis + trailer

Kick-Ass April-16

Directed by Matthew Vaughn ( Layer Cake, Stardust ) Starring Aaron Johnson ( who will later this year be portraying the teenage John Lennon in Nowhere Boy ) Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicolas Cage, Mark Strong, Elizabeth McGovern, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jason Flemyng, Yancy Butler, Clark Duke. Written by Jane Goldman ( Stardust ) cinematography by Ben Davis ( Hannibal Rising ) editing by Eddie Hamilton ( Swept Away ) and Jon Harris ( Snatch ) Musical score by Henry Jackman ( Hancock, The Da Vinci Code )

Story is originally based from the comic book by Mark Millar, with the general back story about a unpopular high school kid Dave Lizewski, who one day comes up with the idea of becoming a super hero, even though he does not possess any formal training, has no real reason to accomplish this idea and most of all, not having any super powers to use against crime. But quickly Dave finds out first hand that becoming a super hero is no easy feat.

Rated R for strong brutal violence, pervasive language, sexuality, some nudity and some drug use. 117 min.

Oscar chances ? Hardly, but the film has had favorable reaction in pre-screenings. It's based on a comic book, and about kids, but is very adult in content.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Harry Brown trailer

I know, it's a very tired genre, but even Jodie Foster gave it a go with The Brave One. Now it's Michael Caine's chance at being a vigilante. Because he is such a good actor, I'll pretty much watch anything he is in, and even though it is a over done genre, maybe it will be good with him in it. Maybe there is more to the plot than the trailer let on ? Due April 30.

Salt trailer

Angelina Jolie stars as CIA agent Evelyn Salt, who finds herself on the run and trying to clear her name after being accused by a defector of being a KGB agent.

The film is directed by Phillip Noyce ( Patriot Games, The Bone Collector ) and co-written by Brian Helgeland ( L.A. Confidential ) and Kurt Wimmer ( Sphere, The Recruit )Also starring Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Oscar winning director of photography Robert Elswit lensed the cinematography. Release date is June 23.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !