Archive for April, 2009
We’re not entirely sure what this is–aside from a preview for what might be the greatest movie of all time.
Watching the trailer for Samurai purinsesu: Gedô-hime/Samurai Princess is a bit like entering a time warp. Kung fu aficianadaos will have a fresh headache at the extreme abuse of the widescreen lens. Evil Dead fans will ask themselves, “Why couldn’t Ash have a chainsaw attached to his leg that he could shoot at people?” The copious amounts of latex and catsup are like a Proustian madeleine to anyone who grew up watching the video nasties of the 1980s. Samurai Princess is a movie for people who want to say “gross!” again. (Or “kurosu” if you’re Japanese.)
Away We Go has a trailer, and the 2009 Edinburgh International Film Festival has an opening film. In a happy coincidence, that opening film is Away We Go.
Sam Mendes‘ follow-up to Revolutionary Road has been attracting plenty of notice because a) it won’t be as heavy going as Revolutionary Road and b) it’s written by husband and wife Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The film is a road movie, with couple John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph trying to find some place to raise their first-born, and discovering a little bit of America on the way.
Roman Polanski has enjoyed something of an autumn harvest, with both The Pianist and Oliver Twist showing a director finally comfortable with his late period-style. Now Variety reports that Polanski has the go-ahead for his next movie, The Ghost. The political thriller has received a cash injection from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, a German film subsidy board.
In Robert Harris’ novel, Britain’s former prime minister Adam Lang is putting together his memoirs. His collaborator drowns in Martha’s Vinyard, and an unnamed writer is hired to take his place. Then Lang is called up before a war crimes tribunal, and the ghostwriter ends up in possession of the hottest manuscript in town.
- Get another tray! Film geeks have three more reasons to salivate. After getting the news that comic sexpots Tina Fey and Steve Carell were going to make like Willis and Basinger in Date Night comes news that Mark “Good Vibrations” Wahlberg, comic queen Kristin Wiig and SquallyShowers.com poster boy James Franco will be holding up the supporting end. They’ll be among the faces turning Fey and Carell’s big night out into a romantic disaster akin to After Hours. Director Shawn Levy (uh, Pink Panther) said he wanted “formidable actors.” We think he meant “Top Internet crushes.” (Variety)
- Nanny McPhee was good and all, but did it really merit a sequel? Perhaps when you can promise to get Emma Thompson, Rhys Ifans and Maggie Smith in front of the camera it does. Added sweetener will come in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has joined the cast of Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, thus entering the “I’ve had kids, now it’s time to make movies for them” phase of her career. This time the magical nanny who is not Mary Poppins masterminds an evacuation during the London blitz. Sounds cheery. (Variety)
- The big screen version of Eat Pray Love–a kind of Into the Wild but with more scented candles and less rotting moose–is finding some quirk to put around star Julia Roberts. Richard Jenkins will play a Texan that Roberts’ character meets at an Indian ashram. Smeared in his own feces. Well, maybe not. But he’s digging the spirituality. The Elizabeth Gilbert novel is being brought to the screen by Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck. (Variety)
- Can some Enchanted magic rub off on Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘s Kristen Bell? Kristen Bell sure hopes so. She’s signed up for the Disney comedy You Again. She’ll play a tiny-eyed woman whose glazed look becomes more frozen after she learns that her brother is marrying a hated frenemy from the past. So that’s no songs or fairy magic. Which means Disney is making our lede look pretty spurious. Andy Fickman (Race to Witch Mountain) directs. (Hollywood Reporter)
- There is something beautiful about a world where a Frank Wedekind play from 1891 can become a McG film. Of course, Spring Awakening had to get some songs first. The Terminator: Salvation director has attached his name to the Tony award-winning musical about Teutonic love and wanking, but mostly wanking. No studio wants to touch the idea yet. Needless to say, this should make for one helluva casting call. (Hollywood Reporter)
Hollywood has felt the heat around Teen Star Trek and are starting to make moves of their own. Which is why JoBlo is reading the smoke signals about X-Men: First Class, a pubescent-friendly take on the merry Marvel mutants from 20th Century Fox. According to producer Lauren Shuler Donner, “It is the first class of Xavier’s school, way back when, so it’s young Scott, young Jean, young Beast and that’ll be really fun.”
“I’ve been hired to do some revisions to an already strong script by Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews. I wrote my original screenplay The Martian Agent back in 1995 because I wished I could do Burroughs’s Barsoom. So this is pretty much a dream come true for me.”
Like many of Britain’s contemporary film players, Simon Channing Williams worked for the BBC during the 1970s. Although he started out in the captioning department, Williams formed associations with the likes of Stephen Frears and Michael Apted through his work as an assistant director. His strongest attachment was to Mike Leigh. Since 1988′s High Hopes, Channing Williams produced all of the writer-director’s films, including last year’s Happy-Go-Lucky.
Michel Gondry tells MTV his plans for The Green Hornet. It’s gonna star the new slimline Seth Rogen as Britt Reid and god of comedy Stephen Chow as Kato. Gondry makes it sounds like The Spirit without all the coherent parts.
“I changed the speed of the camera at different spots in the image at different times. So it seems like [Green Hornet and Kato] are in the same world but at different times, and then they’re back together. [... The camera] speeds up and slows down but [at] different times for different characters’ images. So one will go fast and the other will go slow — and then they’ll meet. It’s [as if] they’re in different dimensions, but when they touch each other, they come into the same dimension.”
Clear as boue! Not exactly a quote that screams “pull,” but what are you gonna do? Gondry adds that the villain’s distinguishing feature is “a gun with two cannons” and that the TV Hornet, Van Williams, will make an appearance. He’ll be happy for the work–according to IMDB, it’s the first time Williams has appeared onscreen since 1993′s Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.
Following worldwide acclaim for Der Baader Meinhof Komplex/The Baader Meinhof Complex, writing/directing team Uli Edel and Bernd Eichinger are turning their attention to Germany’s most popular rap artist, Bushido. The pair told told Variety that the film will be based on Bushido’s best-selling autobiography, which describes the MC’s Eminem-like rise from drug dealer to hip-hop firebrand.