December 2008 Archives
In a time when studios seem to be placing their bets on safe, tested properties by cranking out remake after remake, it's nice to hear about movies that spring from unexpected sources. Today there's news about two such movies where the source material isn't from an excavated '80s B-movie
or a rebooted take on an old superhero
. Rather, the inspiration for one of these movies comes from a real-life YouTube courtship, and the other from the pen of a nine-year old boy.
I admit I was wary when news came down about Hairspray 2
, a sequel to the 2007 screen adaptation of the stage adaptation of John Waters' 1988 cult classic movie. All versions were fun escapes and modern fairytales, and it seemed like going for another outing would just be tempting fate. It would be like going out in the rain once too often with your new bouffant 'do... Sooner or later, the hairspray that held the whole thing together would dissolve and leave you with a flat, tangled mess. My apprehension faded a little, though, upon learning of
for the sequel. Read on for the skinny.
Keanu Reeves doesn't exactly have a spotless track record where period films are concerned. How does the joke go? His performance as Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula
was so wooden you could have staked a vampire through the heart with it. Not that many of his performances in films with modern settings have gotten a better reception, but things do tend to stick out more in a period piece. It's like that one guy who shows up at your party not realizing it's a costume
party and then stands around looking awkward for two hours. But give the guy credit for persevering: Variety
reports that he's just signed on to star in 47 Ronin
for Universal Pictures, where he'll play an 18th century samurai swordsman. Wait -- it gets better. Or worse, depending on your perspective.
It didn't take long for Summit Entertainment to get a big head to go along with its recently big wallet and decide it's so
much better than Twilight
director Catherine Hardwicke. According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Summit has fired Hardwicke
from the Twilight
somehow managed to stay at the top of the box office for a second week in a row, while Twilight
actually moved up
the chart, from number three last week
to number two. How ever did that happen? Oh, right, virtually nothing opened this weekend in wide release except for a comic book sequel with a very limited fanbase, Punisher: War Zone
(which made only $4 million to come in eighth).
I love a good independent movie as much as the next girl, but I generally only get to maybe two or three a year, and I live in a neighborhood with at least three indie theaters. But with Sundance coming up, some indie movies are about to get the most press they'll see all year. The lineup for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival is rolling out, and the festival, entering its 25th year, has announced the 64 films that will be entered into competition (of the 118 feature-length films that will premiere there). 3,661 films were submitted to the festival, so if you compare the indie fest to the world of major motion picture releases for a year, you've got to figure at least five of the indies will probably be really good. Being that the festival is Robert Redford's baby, I'll actually take the over on that one.
It's a crazy, mixed-up world, and I Love You, Phillip Morris
looks like it might be a bit mixed-up, as well, if the newly released French trailer
is anything to go by. The movie stars Jim Carrey as a church-going married man named Steven Russell, whose revelation after a car accident is that he's gay. He then embarks upon not just a life of uninhibited gayness but crime, as well. The latter lands him in prison, where he meets Phillip Morris (played by Ewan McGregor) and the two fall madly in love. It's based on the true story of a Texas man who escaped prison four times to be with his former cellmate. Sounds good, in theory. Who doesn't love a good against-all-odds love story? The problem is that mixed-up trailer.
The end of the week brings you updates on your favorite (and maybe not-so-favorite) superheroes and what they're up to these days. First up to bat, so to speak, is The Dark Knight
Word just came
down from Warner Brothers that the megahit will be re-released in theaters and IMAX on January 23. So if you're one of the handful of Amish people who didn't see it, or you just wanted to watch it for the second or twenty
-second time on the big screen, this will be your chance. This will allow The Dark Knight
to gain entry into the very exclusive billion-dollar club where the only other members are Titanic
, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
. That ought to make Batman happy. Relatively speaking, of course. Not coincidentally, the re-release happens the day after the Academy Awards nominations are announced
Johnny Depp is definitely keeping himself more than busy. In addition to all of his upcoming projects and his running a secret production company, legendary producer Richard Zanuck has announced what his next next project will be. After working with Tim Burton on Alice in Wonderland, Collider.com reports that Depp will again team with the director on a film take of the 70's gothic ABC soap opera Dark Shadows.
Oh no they are NOT. Twentieth Century Fox just went and got themselves into the doghouse with me. It's like the equivalent of catching them in the act of replacing your entire wardrobe with new, trendy clothes. Sure, they thought it would be a nice surprise for you, but some of your old clothes fit really well and were one-of-a-kinds and you liked your old clothes, damn it. They were classic. These new ones won't fit right and will be out of style in a year or two and fashion will be ruined for you forever. Fox has announced that they're going to do a remake of Romancing The Stone. They might mean well, but they are totally sleeping on the couch.