Saturday, 21 April 2007

Little trailers from the other side of the Atlantic.

I stubled across these on and they bought a smile to my face. They could be sleeper hits if the studios play thier cards right.

The first is a typical British comedy about a funeral. No one does dry humor like us Brits, and this could have a "Four Weddings and a Funeral type success....perhaps, the slap stick acid trip makes me have pause. Here is an advance review.

The next is a small indie from Ireland that sets the theme of love around music.The Hollywood Reporter wrote a nice piece giving a little back sotry with the review. This seems like it will be a warm hearted and real take on the music film, with potential breakouts for the 2 leads.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Siobhan Donaghy shoots and scores

So taking a little movie news break because I am totally feeling Siobhan Donaghy. She, of the original Sugababes, was outsted because Keisha was a totally biatch. But funnily enough, she was the one with most of the talent.
With this, her first track from her new album ‘Ghosts’, she has peaked my interest.
Here is a little listen to ‘Don’t Give It Up’.
Here is hoping for a high chart entry when it is released. Glad she didn’t go for an easy pop sound, and decided to put out something a little different for her first single. Crap video though, but great song (I hate it when that happens)

I also found this, the title track from her album. Interesting indeed. I wish her all the best, pre hype noise on the album is very positive but that does not always translate into sales.

The Time Travelers Wife gets cast!!

I am currently reading Audrey Niffenegger's best-selling novel The Time Traveler's Wife, after years of putting it off, and I have to say I am engrossed. In reading it I see it very cinematically, but also see it being very difficult to adapt to the screen, what will all the time jumping. New Line has the rights to the film, and after the Peter Jackson law suit, I am not so sure about them anymore. I am also not sure about Bruce Joel Rubin adapting the book either, he has done a lot of fluff and I have my doubts about him being able to make flow, a film that jumps around in time. Then finally we have Robert Schwentke on directing duties. His last big film was “Flight Plan” and that had major problems with it’s narrative, can he really control something with this scope?

However it has been announced that the two principle characters have been cast. It is inspired. Rachel McAdams will star as Clare alongside Eric Bana, who will play Henry De Tamble, a librarian at Chicago's Newberry Library who is afflicted with a gene that causes him to travel through time involuntarily. Henry and Clare first meet as a result of Henry's time travel, and although they realize they are soul mates, their relationship is strained by Henry's disorder.

With McAdams ability to play feisty, sexy and likeable, she could do wonders even if she physically does not match the characters description in the book. As for the casting of Bana, well, I can really say no more ,on this then “Yum!!” and “How perfect!” and again “Yum”!!. I think this will really be his film in the end, and he has the sexuality and the acting chops to pull this off beautifully.
Bonus points because he spends alot of the time in the book naked! YAY! Lets hope the dudity (great new word Nathaniel!!) from "300" carries over to this.

Ok, sorry to be all pervy, but my word look at this perfection.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Good Evening? The Evening Trailer commeth

On paper this movie sounds brilliant. The talent involved is worthy of an Oscar talk. Michael Cunningham wrote the novel and helped adapt the screenplay with Susan Minot. So far Cunningham had massive critical acclaim with “The Hours”, but not so much with “A Home at the End of the World”. Perhaps third time will be a massive charm for him, especially with the cast he has gotten together.

Judging by the trailer I am in two minds. It does look a little slushy, but that could just be the music they chose (Dido…really??). What peaked my interest is that Claire Danes and Toni Collette appear to be the leads, while Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Vanessa Redgrave, Hugh Dancy, Glenn Close, Natasha Richardson, Eileen Atkins and Mamie Gummer are all supporting (phew…that is one big cast).

From what I saw I would not be surprised if Toni walks away with this, but then again it could be one of those movies that ends up empty handed come awards time. Too many respected cast members to single one out, so the critics, and guilds may pass.
Also the Director is not really tested aside from beautiful cinematography on films like Sunshine and Malena (Oscar nominated), so it could end up being a big ole mess.
But the cast alone gets my cinema ticket.

Here is the Trailer, judge for yourself.

Who ever visits my blog next will the the 4,000 viewer. Thanks!!

Aishwarya Rai - Future Oscar winner?

"I don't believe in proving a point to anybody. Nobody is that important."

Not only do I think she is one of the most stunning women to walk this earth, but I also (from watching interviews) think Aishwarya Rai is one of the nicest…actually let me change that (Madonna hates the word ‘nice’ don’t you know), she is one of the sweetest. I do have to say that I am not extremely familiar with her acting, but there is something about her that makes me want to root for her to succeed. I mean she had her very own Barbie doll released in Britian, and it sold out withing minutes, she turned down the role of Helen in “Troy” and she stood up (taking a slight liberty here) the evil leader of America for lunch when he visited India – what is not to love!!! Also, doesn't she seem like the type of huge international star the Academy would jump at rewarding?

The future is looking bright for her right now. She has three english language films coming out in the next two years. The first The Last Legion is coming out in 2007. The tag line read “The Roman world is in the throes of death, but a new myth, destined to span the centuries, is waiting to be born.” It stars Colin Firth, the amazing Ben Kingsley and the reliable Peter Mullen.

Next she has Roland Joffe’s war film with Brendan Frasier (??) “Singularity
And finally she teams up with the legend for Coline Serreau’s remake of her own film “Chaos”. Acting with the legend can do nothing but raise your game, so here is hoping that she bridges the gap between Bollywood and Hollywood, making the latter the melting pot it is nowhere near being.

Elija could!

Everyones favourite cutie pie hobbit, Elijah Wood, is making his first foray into producing, teaming with Anthony Moody and Rob Malkani's Indalo Prods. to bring to the big screen an adaptation of Elliott Chaze's legendary noir novel "Black Wings Has My Angel."

The story centers on an antihero, an ex-convict, who stages a daring armed car robbery in Colorado with the help of a call girl whom he picked up in a backwoods Mississippi motel

With a script is being penned by Barry Gifford one can expect something of intellegence and originality which excited me greatly.
I love this genre but I haven’t seen noir done well since 1996’s “Bound”, and to a lesser extent “Brick”.

What I love about “Bound” was it was not only (IMHO) the best film the Wachowski brothers have done, it also (with 1994’s “The Last Seduction” before it) it ushered in the new feminist femme fatale, the women who are master minds behind the lipstick and clevage. Noir is one of the few genres in film where women out-smart, out-swindle and out-last the men.

Lets hope Wood continues on this very interesting path he has choosen to follow. More importantly I hope he succeeds at helping create a dark, intellegent and sexy film that does the noir films of the past proud, while opening up the genre to possibilities of the future.

From Variety:

"It's the material," said Wood, summing up why he decided to dip his foot into producing waters. "I've always been intrigued by noir novels and noir films. I love that style. And to unearth something from that era that hasn't been made into a film or is not a remake is really exciting. It's a lost classic."

"Angel" reunites Wood with Indalo, the producers behind his recent "Day Zero," which is set to have its world premiere this month at the Tribeca Film Festival. That experience also helped in his decision to become a producer.

"It's an easy way to cut your teeth when you're going it with someone you're familiar with," he said.

The film is set to lens this year, with MBS Prods. and Amaranth also on board to produce. Wood does not plan to star in the picture, whose casting will get under way shortly.

Wood recently wrapped production on the crime thriller "The Oxford Murders" in London and is lending his voice to the Shane Acker animated film "9."

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

And the Musicals keep rolling in….

….......and in and in and in and in, from every side.
Well according to Ain't It Cool News and Hollywood Reporter MGM are planning a remake of FAME.
Is there nothing original out there, or are the studios far too conservative to take the risk on something original? I mean already we have Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Nine and now this news. I was not going to bother doing a post about the state of movie musicals, but this news just really upset me, like when I listen to Shakira sing (she sounds like Miss Piggy with a cold)

The last crop of musicals have all failed in making its audience passionate. "Phantom of the Opera", "Rent" and "The Producers", even "Dreamgirls" all lacked that something that makes your heart soar to those heights that musicals are supposed to take you. Even “Chicago”, for all it’s kudos, played it safe. What needs to happen is for some originality to go into the making of these films, some edginess. When you go to the theatre to see these live productions, even though some are bad, the performers are there in front of you adding excitement and immediacy. This is taken away on celluloid so something else has to be added, a fire needs to be lit.

So, Hollywood, you need to fully round the characters and make us care about them no matter how cartoonish they may seem. Make the film exciting to hear and to look at, with “Moulin Rogue” there was always some scrumptious detail lurking in every scene. Music flows, so the film needs to as well, any drifts or lulls in the story telling will show up that much more in a musical. And finally if you must remake a musical give it something new, a new angle or a new look to generate interest to an audience that did not grow up watching people spontaneously burst into song. Please do not just copy the Broadway show and add new songs in the hopes of getting that best song Oscar, that is lazy and transparent.
Just put some effort in and just be smart!!!

The Children of Hurin - Who will buy the rights?

With all the squabbling over the making of ‘The Hobbit’ between New Line and Peter Jackson, one has to wonder what would Tolkien think? In November 2006, a letter from Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh mentioned that due to an ongoing legal dispute between Wingnut Films (Jackson's production company) and New Line Cinema, they would likely not be directing the film. However, in response, MGM spokesman Jeff Pryor has stated that "We still believe this matter of Peter Jackson directing 'The Hobbit' is far from closed." As MGM owns the distribution rights to The Hobbit film, this may carry some weight.
New Line Cinema's head, Robert Shaye, said that the studio won't work with Jackson on that film or any other. "He will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I'm still working for the company," Shaye said.
It sounds to me like Shaye has been responsible for some dodgy dealings and is having a wee bit of a tantrum about having to come clean. However no one really knows what went on, all we know is from the statements from both parties, Jackson comes out better.
What is really sad is that we, the movie going public, are the ones who end up suffering because greed, power and money.

Whatever happens with ‘The Hobbit’ (apparently Sam Raimi has been approached but has publicly stated he is wary about stepping in Peter’s shoes) at least we can hope another studio will buy the rights to the new Tolkien novel ‘The Children of Hurin’ and Peter Jackson decides to revisit Middle Earth in the future.
‘The Children of Hurin’ is the culmination of an effort to bring to the public the vast body of work J.R.R. Tolkien had left unpublished, and largely unfinished, when he died in 1973.
Tolkien began writing "The Children of Hurin" 99 years ago, abandoning it and taking it up again repeatedly throughout his life. Versions of the tale already have appeared in "The Silmarillion," "Unfinished Tales" and as narrative poems or prose sections of the "History of Middle-earth" series.

Here is a brief synopsis…got me all excited. Six thousand years before the Fellowship of the Ring, long before anyone had even seen a Hobbit, the elves and men of Middle-earth quaked at the power of the dark lord Morgoth

Hunted by easterlings and orcs, they fled to the fastness of Nargothrond and to the deep forests of Brethil and Doriath. Among them, a hero emerged. Strong and courageous he was, but foolhardy and impetuous. His name was Turin, son of Hurin.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Whoa Nelly!!!

When I have totally faith in a musical artist I will buy their new album without hearing it. Most of the time (with the exception of Madonna) this has been a mistake, and I have learnt my lesson. David Gray, Alanis Morrisette, Macy Gray, Sinead O’Connor, have all taught me that although I love their work, you should always listen to the album before buying. However, only one artist has ever truly disappointed me.
I really liked ‘Whoa, Nelly’ and ‘Folklore’ is one of my all time favourite albums so I was disappointed with the commerciality of ‘Loose’. I understand that after the commercial disappointment of her sophomore effort Nelly Furtado needed to change things up in order to make some money, and that meant going with the flow and hiring Timbaland. Don’t get me wrong, I love Timbaland, and think his work with Missy Elliot is genius, but if any of you have listened to ‘Folklore’ you will understand why ‘Loose’ was such a disappointment to me.

Songs such as ‘Powerless’, the lead off single, critique the entertainment industry in it’s ‘whitening’ of celebrities, I mean look at Beyonce, she is as white as she can be without skin bleaching. Then other singles were completely ignored. The teenage rebellion anthem ‘Explode’, and the heartbreakingly beautiful ‘Try’ were not even blips on radio’s radar. ‘Forca’ was a hit in Portugal and Brazil, but nowhere else, while the albums closing track, the love song to her infant son ‘Childhood Deams’ is probably one of the best songs no one has ever heard.
Lyrically this album takes you to places not often visited by young poplettes, and it is refreshing to see one as young as Nelly is, writing such poignant and insightful lyrics that somehow never feel forced or pretentious like so many other female singer songwriters out there. Musically this album is very brave. She uses every instrument she can get her hands on, from banjo to church organ, and it all flows with such ease that you barely notice how clever the whole package is.

Lets just hope that her new foray into R-n-B/pop is so when she makes another album as rich as ‘Folklore’ it will reach a wider audience. Nelly Furtado has an amazing talent, I trust she will not let it go to waste. I will leave you with what I feel is the best track off ‘Loose’ and the one that captures what she accomplished with ‘Folklore’ which is ‘All Good Things’. Enjoy.