Saturday, 28 July 2007

I don’t care if he’s the Green Bee

Seth Rogen is in final negotiations to star as the Green
Hornet in a Columbia Pictures movie about the crime-fighting hero.

Really? Is he going to go n a huge work out mission to turn the flabby barrel into a delicious sculpted physique?
To be fair I have not seen “Knocked Up” to pass judgement, but I am still apprehensive. I was not a big fan of “The 40 Year Old Virgin”, but then again these movies are not aimed at me.

Rogen is also set to co-write and co-executive produce along with writing partner Evan Goldberg. So I guess it will take a comedy slant after all, which could be a good thing if done right, and not too campy.
Apparently after the success of “Knocked Up” projects that Seth Rogen writes and stars are said to be in the $8,000,000 range. Again…REALLY???

From the Hollywood Reporter:

The Green Hornet is about Britt Reid, a playboy who inherits his father's crusading newspaper, the Daily Sentinel, and fights crime by night with his sidekick, the martial arts master Kato. The concept started out as a radio serial and was popularized in a 1966 ABC series starring Van Williams as the Hornet and Bruce Lee as Kato.

Trailers ahoy!

So I was so happy to see a whole bunch of new Oscary/interesting trailers to view this morning. However none of them rocked my world. In fact most left me a little cold.

First up we have Halle Berry and Benicio Del Torro in “Things We Lost in the Fire”. Susanne Bier, who directed the amazing “Brothers” is on the helm, but I am not sure even she will get a solid performance from Halle Berry. I have always found Halle more capable when she plays quiet, her most affective scenes in “Monsters Ball” were at the end being fed ice cream.
The Story revolves around a recent widow who invites her late husband's troubled best friend to live with her and her two children. As he gradually turns his life around, he helps the family cope and confront their loss. Sounds sweet, but the trailer does nothing to convinve me this will be anything special. View trailer here

Next up is “King of California” with Even Rachel Wood and Michael Douglas in his latest vehicle to help him get back into Oscar’s embrace. Advance word from Sundance is positive. Especially for Douglas. Would be nice to see him praised again. I really get upset when actors win on their first nomination (acting) and never get nominated again. I makes me kind of sad for them.
The story is about an unstable dad who after getting out of a mental institution tries to convince his daughter that there's Spanish gold buried somewhere under suburbia.
Yes this sounds a little silly, but we can sometimes expect good things from producer Alexander Payne (“I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry” aside) so I will reserve judgment. The trailer is here

Finally there is “Dedication” I am not expecting anything from this at all…I just liked the poster. I will always be interested in what Mandy Moore is doing. I think she is one of those actresses that is learning, and will one day be very good. Then there is the delicious Billy Crudup. He is just plain dishy, and talented but he did leave Mary Louise Parker while she was pregnant so he is not very nice. The story is a romantic comedy which follows a misogynistic and children's book author who is forced to work closely with a female illustrator instead of his long-time collaborator and only friend. See the trailer here.

And finally the new “Atonement” trailer which just furthers my original hunch that Saoirse Ronan was a perfect choice for Susie Solomon in Peter Jacksons “The Lovely Bones”

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns teaser trailer - bootleg

This sneak peek that has appeared really gets me excited, espeically when we hear Heath as The Joker.
I am utterly convinced he can pull this off.
I am covered in goose bumps at the thought. This is my only 'Can't Wait' movie. Kind of sad considering Oscar season is around the corner, and this is almost a year away.
Watch before it gets taken down.

Sorry, it did! but you can see it here (slow as shit)

Friday, 27 July 2007

Well, what would you prefer? Yellow spandex?

Gavin Hood has won direction duties for Twentieth Century Fox's movie Wolverine, which will star Hugh Jackman.
Apparently there was some sort of ‘Director Idol’ held by the studio. Sources say Fox went with Hood, who won the Foreign Language Oscar in 2005 for Tsotsi, after seeing his latest Oscar baiting film Rendition. Rendition is the politically-charged New Line drama, starring Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep, and Peter Sarsgaard, and will be premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Back to Wolverine. The film has been written by David Benioff (minus “Troy” that would be a good thing), and will tell the story of how Logan emerged from a barbaric experiment as an indestructible mutant with retractable razor-sharp claws.
A 2008 release is scheduled.
As much as I love Wolverine, I would like to see some of the other X-Men in this as well. There are nothing if not a team.
I am currently reading Ultimate X-Men and think it would make a wonderful series. I like the idea of the X-Men being teenagers trying to come to terms with controlling their powers.

The Comics are very well written and the styling of Storm is fierce. Half the time she looks like one of the female warriors from "Sin City", the other half she oozes nobility.
Makes you forget ole Halle and her barely-there acting style.
When you go back to the source material, especially with Storm, you see what an amazing power she actually had, the many varied ways she could use it. I would love them to some how bring back Storm, and of course cast a different actress. She really does deserve her own film, and her back story is fantastic. She was always in total control of her power, and the most confident of the X-Men
Makes what they did with her in the films embarrassing.
(Storm deserves mention because she was one of the first black comic book characters, and the first black female, to play a role in the big two comic book houses, Marvel Comics and DC Comics.)

The best thing about the comics however is the fact that they have decided to make Colossus gay and give him a bf. This was a really sweet touch and nice step forward that they made the strongest of the X-Men gay. Trying to break taboo’s, and get the young readers educated.
Also for us gay boys, it is a fantasy come true. Be still my beating groin.

I doubt that will ever make it to main stream TV/film. But since Wolverine is, we will have to sigh at the specimine that is Hugh Jackman.
Perhaps if the director is able to make this film a success, we will see the X-men take off again in film. I imagine each character getting their own film and making appearances in the others. That is something that I would get excited about.
Can you imagine entire films based around Storm, Rogue (in the comics she is fierce), Night Crawler, Colossus, Mystique? I am giddy at the thought.

More exciting “Lovely Bones” news.

From The Hollywood Reporter”

Susan Sarandon is joining the cast of Peter Jackson's film adaptation of Alice Sebold's novel "The Lovely Bones."
Sarandon will play the character of Grandma Lynn, the mother to the character played by Rachel Weisz.
The cast also includes Ryan Gosling and newcomer Saoirse Ronan.

Is Sarandon a good choice?
Hell yeah!
She is a good choice in anything, but I think the serne quality she can bring to her roles will serve this production extremely well!
Could I get any more excited? Only if the other casting news comes to fruition

Sweeney Todd poster

I know you should never judge a movie by it's poster, but NOW I AM EXCITED!
Brilliant broody and dark image. Depp looks magical in this. I am not too scared about his abilty to sing, as I figure he would not want to make a fool out of himself, especially with such beloved material.
This really is a fantastic poster. Click to enlarge it.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Brittany Murphy - Actress, Interrupted

Brittany Murphy has been quiet of late.
After some TERRIBLE rom coms, and forgettable dramas she had an impressive year last year, when she not only release a single, and sang in a movie, she also received career best notices for the film “The Dead Girl”. Could all Brits be back on track?

She has been tapped to star in Myriad Pictures' fantasy comedy “The Other Side”.
In it she will play a young graduate student working at a scientific institute on a remote island who tries to uncover a bizarre mystery involving a community of people hiding a secret about a tragedy that took place years before.
LOST” the comedy?

We all know ole Brittany can do comedy well enough, and I am glad this is not yet another ‘romance’ that the viewing public will be forced to sit through, but I do wish she would try and stretch herself. She had some of the most affecting moments in “Girl Interrupted” . It is obvious there is a brilliant dramatic actress hiding beneath the bubble and squeaks.
Let’s hope she does just that with “The White Hotel” which is coming up. It is set post-WWI Vienna, and she will play the role of an opera singer haunted by portentous hallucinatory dreams becoming Sigmund Freud's famous case study, Anna O.. This is really one of those that could go either way. It will all depend on the director they get in.
She also has the romantic comedy “The Ramen Girl” which could be good if it is not done as borderline slap stick, but more “Lost in Translation”.

Having typed all that, the cast of “The Other Side” does seem promising. Jason Lee, Tim Roth, Jim Broadbent, Giovanni Ribisi, and Lilli Taylor, along with Murphy will be directed by producer David Michaels, who also wrote the script with Phil Reeves.
I wonder is fantasy comedy could be the new ‘fantasy’ band wagon upon which everyone will jump?

Lets hope Brittany gets back to doing the roles that will highlight the promise she showed so early in her career. Is it just me, or did she blow the eventual Oscar winner off the screen in this? My only grip is they should have let the camera linger on her face, and not Jolie's.

Sneak Peak at the new Madonna song!

Now THIS sounds good, if not completely mind blowing.
I of course will buy the single and all the remixes and play it non stop until I am sick of it.

I do like the beat, but it does confirm my earlier fear.
Still it does have hit written all over it, let's just hope U.S. radio finally play her.

Box - Love my box

She is probably the greatest female singer song writers ever.
She is also a one woman musical revolution.
My Knowledge is not as in depth as most of yours, but she has made a huge impact, and I am going to seek out her entire back catalogue. This I promise. I know my good friend Andra will help me out.
I am of course talking about Kate Bush, and her Birthday is coming up (on the 30th my friends) so I wanted to celebrate with three of my favorite songs by her.

1) Babooshka The song chronicles a wife's desire to test her husband's loyalty. To do so, she takes on the name of Babooshka and writes to her husband in the guise of a young, seductive woman. The mood of the song is one of barely contained feminine rage, bursting out into screams at the chorus. If only all ‘pop’ songs had this much depth and thought.

2) Running Up That Hill This deals with the trials and tribulations of a dying love. It sees Bush telling her lover in the song that "...if I only could I'd make a deal with God and get him to swap our places". She has described the song as being about the power of love, and how it can create such intense emotion that all rational thought is overpowered. It also is completely addictive.

3) This Womans Work The lyrics of the song are about being forced to suddenly confront reality and adulthood in times of crisis. I see this as a conversation between a wife who has died and her grieving husband. The music video depicts this perfectly. There are very few songs that will bring me to tears. This is one of them. I would go so far as to say that this piece is perfection.

Mini Review: The Simpsons Movie

Well I went to a preview of “The Simpsons Movie” last night. I collect the series DVD’s and watch them quiet often. You know, when you are eating dinner, and before you put on a proper movie, a nice 20 minutes of satirical cartoon comedy hits the spot.
Going into the first feature film for “The Simpsons” I was not expecting much more than a longer version of an episode, kind of like watching “Who shot Mr. Burns” parts I and II in a row.
This is EXACTLY what the film is like.
The film begins with the family watching ” Itchy and Scratchy the Movie”, when Homer stand up and says “Why should I pay money for something I can watch at home for free?”.
Don’t get me wrong, seeing the beloved family on the big screen was a thrill, and there are some very very funny moments in the film, but it is just a really good episode mutated in length.

The plot revolves around Lisa getting the town of Springfield to stop dumping waste into the lake. Homer of course decides to dump a silo full of pig sh*t into the lake causing a squirrel to mutate.
The squirrel is captured by the government who decide to place a giant dome over Springfield to keep the toxins from infecting the rest of America.
The Family is run from the town and decide to move to Alaska.
To completely take the plot and editing it into cliff notes, Homer has to end up not just proving himself to his family, but also his town.
A nice environmental slant, and the writers do a good job at satirizing the middle American attitude to the impending environmental disaster (actually most countries have this lazy self inflicted ignorance in regards to this subject). However, the message is lost in the spectacle. C+

The Beowulf Trailer!

Holy eye candy bat man. This looks visually astonishing, if nothing else. The work is definately not on par with Gollum.
See for yourself here!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Vote in my poll please!

So far the wonderous Maggie Smith is in the lead, but that could all change should a huge surge for the fantastic Diane Wiest pull her ahead. Vote, let your voice be heard to the Academy.

Wouldn't it be great if all the movie/Oscar bloggers from around the world did a bi-yearly re-vote in all categories (including non-nominees) and were able to hand out our own awards?
Whatever would we call them? The Blogs?
Need to come up with a good name, and award design first.

But for now we must decide who should have won Best Supporting Actress in 1986?

Please choose from the following actresses and vote to the right.

Tess Harper - Crimes of the Heart
Piper Laurie - Children of a Lesser God
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio - The Color of Money
Maggie Smith - A Room with a View
Dianne Wiest - Hannah and Her Sisters

The Darjeeling Limited trailer

The Darjeeling Limited looks to me like one of those moves that will prove an actors worth. Not that the very sexy Adrian Brody needs his worth proving at all. I am talking about Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman.
Both have been cast in fairly similar ‘type cast’ roles for ages, and although this does not look like much of a stretch character wise, it does look like it may go that little extra deeper, and hopefully force these two charismatic actors to stretch themselves. We know that Wes Anderson can get magic out of Owen.
Trailer wise this is very effective, I will be watching the reviews very closely and hope it is a success. Then again I hope every film is a success, that way there wouldn’t be so much crap being made.
There are so many remakes coming up, but I really do not have the energy to comment. It is both exhausting and soul destroying.
Anywhoooooo… is the trailer.

Brilliant casting news!!!

In brilliant casting news…well negotiation news, it appears like Stanley Tucci is in talks to play George Harvey, the killer of Susie Salmon in Peter Jacksons adaptation of “The Lovely Bones”.
For me, this is an inspired choice. Tucci can be a bit of a chameleon when it comes to his films roles (he was brilliant as ‘dock worker’ in “Who’s That Girl”).
We all remember him fondly in “The Devil Wears Prada” as he almost stole the movie from Meryl.
Being cast as the killer in this book could be the thing to make people sit up and notice. Sure the Academy do not like roles that are too dark, and child killers do not usually scoop up loads of Oscars, but it will get him LOADS of notice if he pulls it off.
I am confident he will pull it off.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Mini Review - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So I totally loved the new Harry Potter movie.

I am not a huge fan of the series, and have never read any of the books.
I know, I know, that confession will leave me a social pariah.
Because of this fact, I am not all too excited and preoccupied with plot details, and page to screen adaptation decisions.
I know there is ALOT left out in the movie, and alot has been made of the fact that this is the shortest movie, but the longest book.
For me, whatever was left out works for the film. What I do want to outline is the good and the bad of the film.

The Good

Imelda Staunton – This is an awards worthy supporting performance. This could have been played as totally one note, but she dug deeper.
You totally see the twisted, power hungry and black heart just under the surface of her pink and happy exterior of Dolores Umbridge.
She is a flower covered volcano already seething out toxic sulphuric smoke, and ready for her internal hell to break loose.

Evanna Lunch – She really made me smile whenever she was on screen. Portraying the dippy ‘away with the faeries’ new girl on the block, but also showing an intelligent depth as someone who really does not care that everyone thinks she is strange.

Helena Bonham Carter – Oh I wish she had more screen time.
Her Bellatrix Lestrange was a wonderful mix of sexiness and crazy, as only Carter can do.

She was evil and mad just for the sake of being evil and mad.
You could tell in her eyes that she would get real enjoyment out of killing you.
I cannot wait to see more of her in films to come.
Imagine Marla Singer from “Fight Club”, but only incredibly evil, and with magic powers. Brilliant!

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson – Age has made them all better actors, and for that I am truly happy. I hardly had to cringe.

The tone – It was dark, and it was frightening. I honestly believed, for the first time in the series, that the children were in danger. Hats off to David Yates for very assured direction.

Art Directors – Breath taking…wonderful work

The Bad

Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman and Julie Walters – Far too little screen time for such amazing actors. I know it is the books fault, but the film sparkles when they are on screen.

Cho Chang – Really? What that it for her?

Draco Malfoy – I know he has a point in the series, but I do not see it. After all this time should he not realise that Harry is better than him and should really join his team? Plus tom Felton is just terrible.

The effects – “Narnia” did Centaurs better. LOTR did giants and little scary ork like people MUCH better. Bring it on effects people.

Other than that, this was a really wonderful little ride. I am so glad that the movies have finally grown up.
Really looking forward to the 7th instalment!! B-

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Mini Review – Transformers

So have seen two movie this weekend, and I enjoyed both of them greatly. First lets get my boy hood obsession out of the way.

At the beginning of this movie I sat down and began to watch it as a critic. Finding faults in the opening sequence, and getting really upset. I was going to be disappointed. The acting was lazy, the dialogue dumb, and the plot was full of holes. Then I remembered I was in a movie theater watching a summer blockbuster. I then told myself to lighten up, sit back, and be entertained by the visual candy.
Once I did that I discovered that Transformers was a fantastic little ride of a movie!
There's nothing here that is more than meets the eye however, ‘cause what you expect is what you get. To talk about plot would be a pointless exercise. There is not much of one. Rather, you need to go to see this for the pure enjoyment of seeing those wonderful toys you played with as a child, bought to life.
Michael Bay's effects-laden extravaganza is all power packed, happy meal tie in, ‘Buy me that Mommy’, jaw to the floor, and hands clapping in giddy glee type of film.
This is a movie about robots that transform….that is all you need to know. The story line is superbly dumb, like they were in the original cartoons. The robot dialogue is the same, full of grandiose meaningful laments on how humans are a young race, but they have such kindness…yadda yadda yadda.
Yet it all made me smile, remembering watching these cartoons, and waiting for the robots to transform.

As for the actors, well Shia LaBeouf was likeably manic through out, but nothing special. The two best performances came from Anthony Anderson as a computer hacker (in a stupid side plot), and Julie White as Shia’s slightly intoxicated mother who concerns herself with her sons masturbatory habits as well as her bush (garden variety). She really made me laugh out loud she did.
But you need to see this for the seamless special effects and action sequences. They were brilliant! Some of the best I have ever seen. The character work on the robots was wonderful, especially with Bumblebee (Mommy I want one!!).
Yes this is a big dumb summer blockbuster, but I really enjoyed it for what it was. B-