Stoker: All in the Family

by Ethan Alter March 1, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Stoker</i>: All in the Family

Here's how I like to imagine the way that the making of Stoker, the only vaguely indie-ish new thriller from Fox Searchlight, went down: Screenwriter Wentworth Miller (yes, the same Wentworth Miller who got Mariah Carey all hot and bothered in a music video and then spent four seasons breaking out of various fake prisons on television) turned in his script, and then the studio took one look at it and realized its wannabe Hitchcockian tale of a twisted family was never going to fly if played straight. So they bought playfully perverse South Korean director Park Chan-wook a plane ticket from Seoul to the movie's Tennessee set, whereupon they handed him the screenplay and told him to just go nuts with it. The result is one of the most beautifully directed bad movies I've seen since the immortal Brian De Palma trifecta of Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars and Femme Fatale (known unofficially as De Palma's Trilogy of Awesome Awfulness). Thanks to Park's endless creativity behind the camera, it's impossible to look away from Stoker, even when what's happening on the screen is truly risible.

Indie Snapshot: <i>The Paperboy</i>, <i>Butter</i>, <i>The Oranges</i>, <I>Wuthering Heights</i>

Nicole Kidman gets an extreme makeover in the ridiculous potboiler The Paperboy. Also, our takes on Butter, The Oranges and Wuthering Heights.

Previewing the 50th New York Film Festival

by Ethan Alter September 28, 2012 5:58 am
Previewing the 50th New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival turns 50 this year and is appropriately throwing itself one heck of a birthday bash. The golden anniversary celebration kicks off tonight with the world premiere of Ang Lee's Life of Pi, an adaptation of the best-selling novel that ranks among the fall season's big Oscar hopefuls. Over the next two weeks (the festival runs from September 28 to October 14) a plethora of big-ticket films and events will be unspooling at the festival's headquarters at Lincoln Center on New York's Upper West Side. You can visit the official NYFF website for the full schedule and ticket information. In the meantime, we've gone through the festival line-up (and have even seen a few of the movies) to highlight some of this year's key titles.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

by Ethan Alter April 3, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A horse and his boy.

You, Ma'am Are No Indiana Jones

by Kasey McDonald September 18, 2008 10:34 am
You, Ma'am Are No Indiana Jones

There's nothing wrong with Nicole Kidman. Okay, there's long been speculation that she has an eating disorder, but otherwise, I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely person, and in many roles, a very talented actress. A very delicate, waif-ey, porcelain-skinned actress who can play any number of dramatic roles, but not one you'd expect to see in an action-adventure film unless she were the damsel-in-distress. (Yeah, like that Batman we're all pretending never happened.) So you can imagine my surprise when it was announced that she'd signed on to produce and star in The Eighth Wonder, an action-adventure pitch from Mr. & Mrs. Smith writer Simon Kinberg. The bit that took me by surprise? The project is described as centering on "an archeological discovery that sets off a globe-spanning race. The aim is to be a grittier and more character-driven version of the Indiana Jones movies."

Straight Outta Amsterdam

by Zach Oat June 25, 2008 10:26 am
Straight Outta Amsterdam

Finally, another reason to go to Amsterdam! You know, besides the culture. Cinema Expo is happening this week in the Dutch city of sin, and the studios are unraveling their 2008-2009 slates for an international crowd. Here's what's been lighting up the message boards:

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