Posts Tagged ‘Leonardo DiCaprio’

The Slate: Alice in Wonderland, Montgomery Clift and Bobby Fischer

March 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland reaps another $62 million to top Green Zone at the BO. People do not want to see movies about the Iraq War. Dancing Johnny Depp, however, is okay. (MTV)

Burt Lancaster: “He approached the script like a scientist.” Richard Burton: “You were never quite sure whether he would blow his lines or explode.” James Dean would call just to hear his voice. Brynn White on the enduring enigma of Montgomery Clift, an actor’s actor whose preference for second-tier auteurs may account for an after-life in the shadows. (Moving Image Source)

After flirting with that Heavy Metal project, David Fincher finally signs to make Pawn Sacrifice, about Bobby Fischer’s 1972 chess cold war against Boris Spassky. Will they keep in the anti-Semitism? Scripted by Steven Knight, creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and author of Eastern Promises. (Variety)

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Berlin 2010 Preview: Competition, Part 2

February 4, 2010

This year’s Berlinale features established filmmakers wandering into unfamiliar territory. Martin Scorsese gives a Dennis Lehane tale all the gaudy trappings of a Hammer horror film. Zhang Yimou puts down his ornate sword-play films for a farcical take on the Coen Brothers. 24 hour party person Michael Winterbottom even takes Texas by the tail in a full-blown film noir. Matters of faith also loom large in films from Germany, India and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Berlin is a broad church.

Read the first part of our Berlin Film Festival Competition preview.

The Killer Inside Me

Lou Ford is one of author Jim Thompson’s greatest antiheroes. Ford’s a psychotic charmer who keeps the peace in a town populated by mattress-happy dames and lowdown double-crossers. Guerilla filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (The Road to Guantanamo) isn’t everyone’s first choice to helm a Lone Star noir, but Casey Affleck seems just the right feller to fill Ford’s bloodstained boots.

Mammuth (Mammoth)

It’s easy to take Gerard Depardieu for granted, yet the shaggy icon delivers. Here he plays a worker who can’t retire until he finds his last six employers. That sends him on a journey around France astraddle his Mammoth motorcycle. Among the figures from his past is Isabelle Adjani, asleep for the last four decades. Written and directed by Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern (Louise-Michel).

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Must See Movies: February 2010

January 31, 2010

With the dregs of January swirling down the drain, audiences can prep themselves for classier fare. This month marks the return of two cinematic masters in the form of Scorsese and Polanski. Their works might look a little loosey-goosey, but there’s little doubt about the razor-sharp talents behind a pair of crime dramas from Israel and France. Finally, get some uplift as Shah Rukh Khan battles Homeland Security for his dignity.

Ajami
Release date: Feb. 3
The pitch: Israel’s problems—and lord knows there’s a lot of them—are filtered through several interlocking stories set in a tough neighborhood of Jaffa. It’s an Arab-Israeli Wire!
Fun fact: Jaffa gets a nod in the Bible as the port where Jonah boarded a ship on his ill-fated escape to Tarshish.
Why it could be great: After earning acclaim on the festival circuit, this tough drama won Best Picture and Director at the Israeli Oscars last year.
Why it could suck: There are very few happy endings in Israel.

My Name is Khan
Release date: Feb. 12
The pitch: An autistic Muslim (Shah Rukh Khan) finds happiness with a single mom (Kajol) in San Francisco. Then 9/11 turns his world upside down.
Fun fact: Last August, Khan was detained by Newark Airport security for questioning while promoting the film.
Why it could be great: SRK stars in a story that’s sure to tug the heartstrings of discriminated-against immigrants and angry liberals alike. There’ll be a few musical numbers, too.
Why it could suck: The emotional maelstrom reaches fever pitch when Khan embarks on an odyssey to meet Barack Obama himself.

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Trailerama: Shutter Island

June 11, 2009

“All I know is it’s a mental hospital.” “… For the criminally insane.” Martin Scorsese is regularly acclaimed as one of America’s greatest directors. So why has he been making such shitty movies? The Departed gets worse and worse with each re-viewing. And why has the premier chronicler of New York relocated to Boston? Squally is going to hazard that Scorsese is indulging a certain jones, using these Beantown-set tales to flex his generic muscles and indulge his love of B pictures. Consider The Departed a sort of Underworld, U.S.A. on a medicine cabinet stocked by Balco. So what to make of this take on Dennis Lehane’s thriller, which the studio clearly doesn’t know what to do with? The trailer is pure corn: giving away most of the plot, showing off some crummy special effects, and bristling with devices straight from the Hammer horror stable. Leonardo DiCaprio is the Boston cop looking for an escaped Shutter Island inmate. A hurricane traps him and his partner on the island, and lets Scorsese slam plenty of doors shut. Stop waiting for Scorsese to top Goodfellas and just revel in the nonsense.

The Slate: Inception Issues, MIB Goes for 3

April 2, 2009

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  • Christopher Nolan‘s Inception is hatching itself a cast and even has a homeskillet to throw the yolk on. Leonardo DiCaprio will be toplining the “contemporary sci-fi actioner” as a business exec, with Marion Cotillard as his wife (miam-miam!) and Ellen Page as his no doubt tart-tongued sidekick. Cillian Murphy will be there, too, although no one’s sure what’ll be doing. The story is supposed to involve “the architecture of the mind,” although it could just as well involve “rumors spread on the Internet about upcoming movies.” (Variety/Cinematical)
  • Sony announced at this year’s ShoWest shindig for exhibitors and their wifes/partners/mistresses that they’re working on a Men in Black 3. We decided not to post this yesterday, thinking it was an April Fool’s joke. Guess not. Sony don’t have a cast lined up, but expect an announcement as soon as they can unfreeze Tommy Lee Jones‘ forehead. (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Speaking of Men in Black … Franchise director Barry Sonnenfeld has made some mistakes in his time. You might think that RV is one of them. But the Coen Bros. DP-turned-director has a unique eye, so we’re rooting for his latest project, The Spellman Files. The first of Lisa Lutz’s Izzy Spellman mysteries introduces us to a dysfunctional PI couple’s daughter who wants out of the family business. They agree, providing she solves one last case. Booklist notes “bit after comic bit does not a mystery novel make,” but that hasn’t stopped Sonnenfeld in the past. (Variety)
  • Jonathan Levine turned heads at Sundance with The Wackness, although audiences outside Park Slope’s environs had stiffer necks. Now the director tapping into the neglected babysitter genre for The Sitter. A college student is suspended for the semester and spends his spare time babysitting the wacky neighborhood kids. Maybe he’ll introduce them to blunts and Wu-Tang. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • Sure, he’s been in stuff like 21 and will be in stuff like Men Who Stare at Goats. But it feels like Kevin Spacey has retired since moving to London to head up the Old Vic. Will Father of Invention be his comeback vehicle? The Oscar-winner is producing and starring as an inventor whose success leads to egomania, breakdown, a prison sentence and possible redemption. Sounds like Spacey’s career in a nut-shell. Trent Cooper (Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector) will direct the indie comedy, co-written with … did we just type the words “Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector”? Sigh. Never mind. (Variety)

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