November 2008 Archives
If you've never heard of the new Michael Cera comedy Paper Hearts, you're certainly not alone. The indie film, which will debut at the Sundance Film Festival, has gone under the radar almost everywhere -- you won't find it on movie databases, and despite the fact that it stars Cera and a host of other talent from Judd Apatow's stable, the film is going to Sundance looking for a distributor. Because of those factors, of course, the semi-secret film has already garnered pretty high expectations. The project is described as being part documentary, part scripted comedy about the real-life relationship between Cera and his girlfriend Charlyne Yi (who played the pigtailed stoner girl in Knocked Up) in which music plays a key element.
While there may not be a wealth of movie news out there today (I'm about to march down to the Variety offices and let them know that they're not on vacation yet, thankyouverymuch), there are certainly a buttload of new posters and trailers up all over the internet. The coolest of which, in my opinion, is the exclusive over at Ain't It Cool News of an extra snippet of the newest Star Trek trailer, featuring Leonard Nimoy. That's all I'll tell you -- I'd advise you to go check it out yourself.
Not to say "I told you so," but, I told you so. Not that anyone was disagreeing with me. Not even in theaters a week and already the Twilight sequel New Moon has gotten the green light. And this when it hasn't even made $150 million yet (though director Catherine Hardwicke said it's on track to, which I guess is just as good). And while this may come as great news for fans (not that anyone was surprised, really), it comes as even greater news for the film's stars, who will each make $12 million dollars apiece working on it. Quite a salary hike, considering they each made only $2 million on the first film.
I don't know how many of you hit the stores on Black Friday for the crazy deals and even crazier lines (personally, I can't get past the parking lot mayhem), but for movie lovers, even in this crap economy, this Friday may be the day you want to show up at Best Buy at 5 a.m. and get that Blu-ray player for $150 or whatever they're going for. It was just announced today that Japan's Panasonic Corporation has submitted a proposal to the Blu-ray Disc Association (the body that oversees the format's standardization, etc.) to create a "Blu-ray Disc standard to store three-dimensional imagery formed of left-/right-eye two-channel full-High Definition images (1920x1080 pixels)." And what does that mean for you? 3-D on Blu-ray, baby!
Perhaps the intoxicating knowledge that they're working in a fairly recession-proof industry has gone to the heads of those actors at the top of the Screen Actors Guild hierarchy. It's the only thing that could explain why now, when the economy has reached the "crisis" stage and is in the proverbial crapper, would SAG decide to put a strike authorization to vote. Yes, now. Awesome idea, guys!
Australia starts out every bit as magical and powerful and lovely as any movie epic should be -- more so, even, since it's directed by that master of capturing magic on film, Baz Luhrmann (who already has breathed fresh life into Shakespeare and musicals). And for about half of its 2-hour-and-45-minute run time (!), it maintains that magic. But then it sort of falls flat. It rebounds some, with some lovely moments, breathtaking scenery, and terrific acting. But it can't ever regain what was lost in that first half.
Whether you'll be sitting down to a turkey dinner or a Tofurkey lunch this Thanksgiving, we invite you to reflect upon the following ten movies from 2008. They weren't necessarily the lowest-grossing pictures of the year, but they failed to live up to financial expecations, in a big way. These suckers plummeted to the earth, flightless and doomed, like those poor gobblers dropped from a helicopter in that famous episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. It's not hard to imagine some of the investors saying, much like dazed radio station manager Arthur Carlson, "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." But they couldn't, and they can't, so they've landed here with a resounding thud.
Is there something like the SPCA, only for action stars that maybe aren't quite as youthful as they once were? I can't help but think someone, somewhere needed to step in where The Spy Next Door is concerned and get Jackie Chan out of there. As some former knock-'em-out stars start heading toward their fifties and beyond, they try to transition into more mainstream roles. This isn't always easy, and some missteps will be made. In Chan's case, the missteps are becoming full-fledged leaps, as news come down the wire that Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez have just been cast to co-star with him in the comedy about mistaken identities. The two latest additions play CIA agents. The lineup, the premise... the whole thing has a "direct-to-DVD" sort of feel to it.
For months, there was virtual silence about J.J. Abram's new take on Star Trek. Details of the plot and images of the cast were kept tightly under wraps. Now, some six months before the movie bows in May 2009, you can hardly go a day without stumbling across some new Trek tidbit. Whether it's a new trailer featuring Leonard Nimoy or a new movie poster, news is coming fast and furious. Just yesterday, IDW Publishing announced it would be publishing a four-issue prequel comic book miniseries leading up to the new movie. As if that's not enough grist for the fannish mill, there are also new still shots from the scene in the trailer where young Kirk comes face to face with... Well, it's kind of hard to explain. Click on through only if you want to get a gander at what happens.
Are you in need of an Iron Man fix? It's been two months since the DVD came out and you've already found the Easter eggs and watched it often enough to make your significant other put Iron Man underpants on his or her Christmas shopping list. How else are you supposed to get your fix? Filming hasn't even started for the sequel! Have no fear, my jittery friend. Relief has come through in the form of Jeff Bridge's personal photo diary, Making Iron Man.