Posts Tagged ‘Mickey Rourke’

Spring Movie Preview 2010

February 27, 2010

Will Avatar make every successive Hollywood blockbuster look like it’s underachieving? For at least the next few months, the answer’s yes. Studios are responding to James Cameron’s monolith by turning everything into 3D whether it demands it or not. This slash ‘n’ burn blockbuster policy is in keeping with a season filled with retreads, reboots and sequels.

High points? While the prospect of Shrek 4 may no longer seem so appetizing—admit it, you didn’t even know it was being released this year—fanboys are salivating over the already spit-sodden Iron Man 2. The airport paperback set, on the other hand, are looking forward to Bourne Goes to Iraq, aka Green Zone. Carrie and co. will also flounce back onto our screens in a new Sex and the City.

Maybe Squally will stick to the return of Mike Newell and the singular pleasures of Tyler Perry. Regardless of the quality, feel the width. This is a star-laden line-up, with Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway all returning to the screen. While they cash the checks, we’ll continue to tip less mainstream fare in our Must See Movie series. Click on the titles for trailers, etc.

Alice in Wonderland
Release date: March 5
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
After damn near 20 years of hit-making, Tim Burton finally found himself as a director by turning to established properties like Willy Wonka and Sweeney Todd. A marriage with Lewis Carroll should be a nice fit. Alas, this “sequel” to the original cockeyed gospel looks like an unholy mess. Depp channels Peter Lorre as the Mad Hatter.
Fun fact: Critic Gilles Deleuze proclaimed that Carroll’s final work Sylvie and Bruno “is no doubt the first book that tells two stories at the same time, not one inside the other, but two contiguous stories.” Heads up, Disney. Get Todd Solondz on it.

Green Zone
Release date: March 12
Starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson
Damon mans up as Roy Miller, a Chief Warrant Officer whose job sniffing out WMDs in Baghdad is compromised by the U.S. administration. In the time-honored Hollywood tradition, he goes rogue. Hey, if they didn’t want him to make waves, they shouldn’t have put him in the middle of the desert.
Fun fact: Bourne director Paul Greengrass first approached Tom Stoppard to adopt Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, but was turned down.

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Trailerama: Iron Man 2

December 17, 2009

The Iron Man franchise announces that it’s business as usual for installment No. 2–like ol’ shellhead himself, these films are very much an industrial product. It does seem very unlikely that somebody could use a pair of whips like that without getting tangled up, however. We’d also like to see a little more of Scarlett Johansson, if you get Squally’s drift.

The Slate: Pacino Stopped at Moscow, Clash of the Luvvies

April 10, 2009

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  • Somewhere along the way, Napoleon went from being a military genius to romantic comedian. Now he’s the stuff of kids films. Al Pacino is reported to be taking off the lifts and putting on the cockaded hat for Betsy and the Emperor. Based on the children’s book by Staton Rabin, the film will tell the story of the defeated emperor and the teenage girl he befriends while exiled in St. Helena. Leave your smutty minds in Elba. Emma Watson is due to star in a separate film, Napoleon and Betsy, which entertains the possibility of a queasy romantic relationship that sounds like the product of an Oxford professor’s effort at Harry Potter fan fic. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • Aside from a shirtless Harry Hamlin, one thing the original Clash of the Titans had going for it was plenty of British stage actors who really should have known better playing Greek Gods. Now the remake is headed in the same direction. Sam Worthington has already agreed to put on Hamlin’s girdle as Perseus. Now Liam Neeson has agreed to play Zeus. He’ll be throwing thunderbolts at horndog Ralph Fiennes, who will play Hades when not chasing the nymphs around. Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) will be the ringmaster. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • If nothing else, Sylvester Stallone‘s The Expendables exists to give us casting bites that make folks say, “Wow, I didn’t know they were still alive!” And Brittany Murphy has yet to check into the Hollywood graveyard. The 8 Mile star will play Mickey Rourke’s chanteuse beard girlfriend, and most likely serve to get kidnapped by the ethnic baddies and be the most expendable of the ‘roided bunch. Still, Brittany, welcome back! (Hollywood Reporter)
  • Some call him “genius,” others call him “obnoxious,” but writer-director David O. Russell would prefer “busy.” A mere week after news broke that he would be directing The Silver Linings Playbook, he’s signed up for Aaron and Sarah. Formerly known as B.F.F., A&S is described as a romantic comedy of the hottie/nottie variety, with the odd couple falling for each other over four years of high school. Doesn’t seem like Russell could work much magic with this, but maybe he’ll cast Lily Tomlin as the principal! [It will be a cold day in hell when that happens – Lily Tomlin] (Variety)
  • We’re a long way from Grumpy Old Men. Larry Charles, director of Borat and the Seinfeld writer who coined the line “Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” is about to make a Cialis comedy. In Winter’s Discontent, a widower moves into a retirement community looking for geriatric poontang. He brings his best buddy with him to keep the one-liners flying. The prospect of senior boot-knocking will be good news for anyone turned on by the finale of Japon. (Variety)

The Slate: Megan Fox, Sex and the City 2, Endless Possibilities

April 3, 2009

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  • Oh, that Mickey Rourke. He got a faceful of Marisa Tomei‘s ta-tas in The Wrestler. Now Megan Fox might have a toot on his trumpet. Hey, get your mind of the gutter. Mitch Glazer’s Passion Plays will have Rourke’s horn-blower taking a carnival beauty named “Angel” under his wing and protecting her from a gangster type. Angels? Trumpets? Wings? Geddit? While the thriller itself sounds skippable, bloggers everywhere thank Mr. Glazer for giving them an op to post near-naked Fox pictures. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • We’re not done with Mr. Big. Sex and the City 2 will come again in theaters on May 28, 2010, giving heterosexual men only a year and a month to steel themselves for another two-and-a-half-hours of drag queens who lunch. Warner Bros. and New Line haven’t given any more details, but as they come in, we’ll have more opportunities to indulge in inappropriate homophobia. Note to the fanboys: Sex and the City: The Movie made $412.6 million worldwide, easily out-grossing a certain comic book movie we’re all tired of hearing about. (Variety)
  • “Stringer” Bell is pumping up his resume. Idris Elba and Zoe Saldana are joining Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Losers. They’ll all play members of a special forces team who are left for dead, then try to erase their names from a CIA dead pool. Wait, doesn’t it usually happen the other way around? Elba will be doing cold and ruthless, Zoe will be doing wounded and tough, and Morgan is this Z-team’s Hannibal. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • If anybody wants Aaron Eckhart to play Two-Face again, they’d better have a word. The actor is filling up his future by falling into Rabbit Hole, which also stars Nicole Kidman. The play finds a family rocked by the sudden death of their four-year-old, and the audience thinking, “Hurry up and get on with your lives.” Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘s John Cameron Mitchell directs, so with luck there will be a song or two. (Production Weekly)
  • Meet the Parents director Jay Roach is currently helping Sacha Baron Cohen out with Bruno. So Paul Weitz is looking to jump into the helmer’s chair for Little Fockers, the third part of the comic trilogy. He’s the lesser known half of the American Pie team. Ben Stiller is expected to learn that Robert De Niro is his real father and Teri Polo will meet Ewoks. Actually, what we’ll really see is the sorry spectacle of Jake LaMotta doing changing diaper gags. (Variety)

Critical Bitchslap: A.O. Scott vs. Richard Brody

March 24, 2009

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Imagine a war between the New York Times and the New Yorker, and you might think of Walter Burns tossing inkpots at the effete Eustace Tilly. In fact, it appears to be the other way around. A.O. Scott’s elegant consideration of a certain type of American Neo-Realism has been blasted via a pugnacious blog post from Richard Brody. After an initial exchange of fire, both returned for another salvo. The various broadsides can be read here, here, here and here. But for those who would just prefer to fall asleep without moving their mouse, here’s Squally’s scorecard.

It all started when A.O. Scott, as is his wont, looked over a series of forthcoming films and attempted to write a serviceable trend piece colored with his usual thoughtful commentary. In the best New York Sunday Magazine style, he explained to readers something they presumably hadn’t noticed before and gave them a bit of a back scratch as well. That “something” was the adaptation of Neo-realist techniques by filmmakers like Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart) and Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy), occasioned by the release of Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden‘s Sugar and So Yong Kim‘s Treeless Mountain in the next few weeks.

These films, he wrote, represented “an urge to escape from escapism,” an alternative to films like Watchmen, Knowing, and whatever else they’re condemned to watch in Greeley, Colorado. Each has several features in common with the classics of the postwar Italian Neo-realist movement, films such as Roma, citta aperta/Open City, La Terra Trema/The Earth Trembles and Ladri di biciclette/Bicycle Thieves. They are made during a time of economic and political upheaval. They use non-professionals in fictional roles that are close to their real selves. They are filmed on location and make use of “unadorned, specific” locales (Rome, Winston-Salem, N.C., a mountain village in South Korea). They emphasize work–whether as a profession, at home, or in the school. Although Italian Neo-realism passed mainstream American cinema by, these films look to foreign movies and are intent in showing the “American life that remains off screen.” While subdued in nature, these films can be ultimately inspiring in how they portray strength/resilience in the face of adversity.

All seems innocuous enough. But not so for Brody the firebrand blogger at New Yorker’s Front Row. In a numbered list and with a shaky criteria that recalls the manner of his New Wave heroes (Brody has written the acclaimed Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard), Brody swings at the Old Grey Lady’s oracle … and swings wildly.
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The Slate: Thor’s Bodyguard Makes Passion Plays (But Not Mad Max IV)

March 17, 2009

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  • Sure, it’s probably the product of a journo and a meal of Welsh Rarebit, but this is one vision too indigestable to pass up–Rihanna may star opposite Channing Tatum in a remake of the Huston/Costner The Bodyguard. [Hasn’t she suffered enough? – Reader’s Voice] An “insider” said the film would be “young and sexy,” as opposed to the 1991 original, which is considered to be “wooden and crack addicty.” Also mooted: Rihanna for Charlie’s Angels 3 and a flick with Justin Tinkerbell. (NY Daily News)
  • Natalie Portman is reportedly being courted by Thordirector Kenneth Branagh, which presumably means that he’s been leaving flagons of mead, fresh boar sacrifices and a mint VHS copy of Dead Againon her doorstep. Portman will presumably play someone female (and short) in Marvel’s Norse saga. Nikki Finke also spits out a load of names who could play the Thunderer, with the most notable being Josh Hartnett. (Deadline Hollywood Daily)
  • Mickey Rourke‘s agent sure has been busy lately, and that’s why Mickey loves him/her. Hot on the heels of the Iron Man 2 announcement, Rourke is signing on to the indie drama Passion Plays. Who knows? The Pope of Greenwich Village might even get to do some real acting. Mitch Glazer (Scrooged) is writing, directing, and insisting the plot be kept under wraps. Phooey. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • George Miller has told MTV that he’s not closing the door on making Mad Max: Fury Road, but don’t hold your breath. “It depends on when the opportunity comes to do the live-action film,” he said. “Mad Maxwas a lifetime ago.” He was all set to make the fourth installment in Namibia when the Iraq war broke out, the dollar went pffft, and Fox got cold feet. Miller added that Mel Gibson was now out of the limping: “The stories are pretty physical. It’s not like Unforgiven.” (MTV Movies Blog)
  • Paramount have bought the rights to Joshua Davis’ self-explanatory Wired article “The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Heist.” Written with the participation of a genuine criminal mastermind, the article blows the lid off a Belgian heist that took in $100 million. J.J. Abrams will produce and–it’s hoped–direct. Unless Star Trekturns out to be a big fat Tribble, in which case it could turn into a straight-to-DVD film with John Cena. (Hollywood Reporter)

Mickey and Scarlett: Iron Man and the Sunglasses Question

March 12, 2009

iron-manGreat Ceasar’s Ghost! Nikki Finke has gotten out her Marvel Ouija Board and the backroom spirits are speaking to her. The Deadline Hollywood Daily doyenne has broken the news that Mickey Rourke is going to play a Russian bad guy in Iron Man 2. She also shares that Scarlett Johansson, unfazed by her flirtation with fascism in The Spirit, is also taking another hit on the comic crackpipe. She’s set to play Black Widow, a Russian bad girl. And if you don’t know any Russian bad girls, then you’ve never had your wallet lifted.

The undercurrent of Finke’s reporting is that Marvel are a bunch of chisellers. Having said “bye bye bye” to Terrence Howard because he was the priciest guy on the cast, the studio attempted to low-ball both Mickey and Scarlett. But while Marvel went dry, Rourke was still pissing. Johansson might want to have a word in her agent’s ear.
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