Posts Tagged ‘Julia Roberts’

The Slate: Tina Fey’s Date Gets Complicated

April 15, 2009

tina-fey

  • 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)

Atlas Shrugged Gets Serious

April 1, 2009

atlas-shruggedThe Stock Market’s down. Temperatures are rising. Activists are taking to the streets to burn effigies of both bankers and politicians. The time seems right for Hollywood to cash in on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The Hollywood Reporter claims the long-gestating film is switching to development’s fast lane, with Charlize Theron the most likely candidate to play lady boss Dagny Taggart.

Producer Karen Baldwin, who has been helping to shepherd the project for Lionsgate, told the Reporter, “This couldn’t be more timely. It’s uncanny what Rand was able to predict — about the only things she didn’t anticipate are cell phones and the Internet.” With the government moving in on AIG and firing the head of GM, it’s not surprising that many are seeing Rand’s work in a fresh light. One can easily imagine this book being in Peter Chernin’s or Harvey Weinstein’s Kindle. It better be. At 1100 pages, the book is big enough to kill a small animal–and probably has.

(more…)

Knowing: What Happened?

March 25, 2009

knowingPatrick Goldstein tries to get to the bottom of why around 3 million people went to see a Nicolas Cage movie this weekend. The film made $24.8 million, topping the much-slathered over Rudd/Segal I Love You, Man and Owen/Roberts Duplicity. What he learned might shock you. Actually, it won’t. Okay, it might.

I asked three Hollywood marketing gurus for their expert analysis. And while they all had different opinions about the appeal of the film (produced by Summit Entertainment), they agreed on one thing: It wasn’t about Nic Cage. In fact, the consensus was that people don’t go see Nic Cage movies, since there are too many movies in too many genres that all starred Cage that didn’t make a ripple at the box office. In other words, audiences see fantasy adventure fables that happen to star Cage, but not because they star Cage.

In sum, Goldstein’s brain trust explain that the trailer emphasized a similarity between the film and National Treasure in a similar manner to the way I Love You, Man tried to make you think you were watching a Judd Apatow film and Duplicity tried not to make you think you were watching Closer 2: The Next Day.

Goldstein lobs out that Knowing also tapped into the zeitgeist by showing the world falling apart at the same time as the world is falling apart. Looking at that one-sheet, though, all Squally sees is the world turning into a lot of numbers. “It’s better to be lucky than be good,” he writes, which you can put right alongside “Nobody knows anything” and “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.”

Did you see it? Why? Was it any good?