Posts Tagged ‘Eclipse’

Cannes Names Its Godfathers

April 14, 2009

cannes-film-festivalWe’re still waiting for the Cannes line-up, but Variety reports that the festival will honor two up-and-comers in Spanish cinema. Both Juan Antonio Bayona and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will be named “Godfathers” at the Critics’ Week sidebar. Does this mean they’ll have to dump their brothers in Lake Tahoe and make Harvey Weinstein an offer he can’t refuse? We will probably never know.

Fresnadillo is best-known for his decent sequel 28 Weeks Later. He’s currently working on a remake of Roger Corman’s X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, which sounds like sacrilege, but then so did 28 Weeks Later. So cut the man some slack.

Bayona got on the global map with the Guillermo del Toro-endorsed The Orphanage, a timely reminder that it’s possible to make a scary movie that wasn’t originally released in the 1970s. His name has been attached to the Twilight movie Eclipse, but his next confirmed project is Hater, where a British parking attendant hands out tickets in a world where people go crazy and kill each other on impulse. Sounds like a 28 Weeks Later remake, then.

Everybody needs money. That’s why they call it money.

April 2, 2009

Money is a touchy thing, which may explain why movies don’t get too serious about it. Coming down off a marathon session of Planet Money podcasts made it feel like it was high time to look at the movies that get it right. Or at least “get it right” in the view from our apple stand. Here’s a brief history of onscreen finance, dating from the dawn of cinema to 9/11. What did we miss? Leave your suggestions in the comments box.

A Corner in Wheat (D.W. Griffith, 1909)

One of the film pioneer’s most daring experiments in montage shows how a financier’s machinations leads to devastation on the farm and starvation on the breadline. The boss chokes on his own grain; the downbeat ending sticks in the craw.

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Hollywood 1, DVD 0

March 23, 2009

dvdHere’s all the news that fit to print: The DVD market is in the tank. Blockbuster is currently growing at a snails pace. And all the studios hate Netflix. So the New York Times is reporting that the studios are going back to what they think they know best: making films that will actually turn a profit at the box office.

Brooks Barnes aligns the statistics. Ticket sales are up 14% for 2009. (Watchmen not withstanding.) Sales for new-release DVDs, on the other hand, are down 40%. The reasons are myriad: a movie is still considered a cheap night out, there are simply too many DVDs out there (Howard the Duck just hit stores, accompanied by the sound of a barrel being scraped) and most of youse is downloading films from t’Internet. The result: studios have lost that retail safety net, or what one producer calls the “downside protection.”

iron-man1The new strategy is getting bums on seats, which may account for the absolute traffic jam of big tentpoles being released in 2010. Among them are Tim Burton‘s Alice in Wonderland, Jon Favreau‘s Iron Man 2, Christopher Nolan‘s Inception, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, Toy Story 3, Eclipse, Thor, Green Lantern and a Harry Potter installment. As of this reckoning, we’ll see . Barnes also elegantly sums up the bigger picture:

“In addition to big “tent pole” blockbusters, that means movies that are fun to watch in groups: at least 10 musicals are in full-steam-ahead development, including a remake of “My Fair Lady.” And it means more pictures that are pre-branded: “Monopoly” and “Candy Land,” the movies, are on the way. Most of all, it means a strong return by major studios to middle-of-the-road, genre pictures.”

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The Slate: Indian Summer’s Eclipse is Expendable

March 12, 2009

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  • Eclipse finally has a director. After Drew Barrymore flirted with taking on the Stephenie Meyer novel, it’s going to be Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) who will be sitting in the director’s chair and making sure it’s strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. The film needs to be ready for June 30, 2010, so where this leaves Bayona’s Hater is a question best left to somebody who actually follows this stuff for a living. (Variety)
  • The great news is that somebody is making a Dirty Dozen for the 2010s. The bad news is it’s Sylvester Stallone. Charisma Carpenter will join the cast of The Expendables as the token chick among Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham and a few straight-to-video faces. The aging bad-asses will be dropped in an anonymous South American country to overthrow a dictator in meaty style. (TV Guide)
  • Atonement director Joe Wright is taking on Alex van Tunzelmann’s Raj book Indian Summerand putting a big, fat tracking shot right in the middle of it. The novel focuses on Lord Mountbatten’s handover of imperial power to Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru, who happens to be shtupping Lady Mountbatten. Expect lots of linen, stiff upper lips, racism and heat … this beastly heat. (Variety)
  • Heathers, the high school comedy beloved of anybody who ever wore shoulder pads or did a bad Jack Nicholson impression, could be headed for Broadway sometime in 2010. The music is being written by Larry O’Keefe (Legally Blonde), the lyrics and book by Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness). Who will play Veronica? Kristen Bell was sighted taking part in early readings. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • Break out the tuna! The Cove, a Sundance-approved documentary that might also be titled Swimming With (and Slaughtering) Dolphins, has finally got a happy ending. The film has become something of a Cinematical pet project, and now the site happily reports that Roadside Attractions has picked this puppy up for a July 31 release, just as soon as they’re done filleting. (Cinematical)