Friday, August 31, 2012

UNSCRIPTED: Clint Eastwood




"Men must know their limitations."
Clint Eastwood

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday: The Eye of the Storm

I've got a couple of words for Wondrous Words Wednesday, the meme hosted by Kathy over at Bermuda OnionThey come from the novel The Eye of the Storm, a book written by Australian Nobel Prize winner, Patrick White, back in 1973 and adapted for the screen last year. The film is only now being released in the states (September 7) and I'd like to read the book before I see the film.

Rampling plays Mrs Hunter, an aging and bedridden woman whose two grown children, Basil, (Geoffrey Rush) and Dorothy (Judy Davis) have returned to Australia from London and France respectively. I've only just begun and am finding it fascinating and challenging. White sometimes write sentences that go on and on curling inside themselves for what seems like pages. He uses stream of consciousness frequently and it isn't always clear just whose head he is inside. That being said I'm finding it really compelling.


Supping - "Mrs Hunter was supping her brandied coffee; soon she would grow muzzy and sleep."
Out of context, I would have thought the word meant having supper. What could be simpler? In fact dictionary.com defines the word as "to eat the evening meal, to have supper" but the context makes it clear that White can only mean supping =sipping.
So instead of 'eating', Mrs Hunter was sipping her brandied coffee.
Go figure!

Rentes - "Her folly had been to value the friendship of those who respect rentes." In the passage, Mrs Hunter has been a weatlthy woman and is bemoaning her dwindling assets; I wasn't entirely sure what White was saying but I assumed  rentes meant rent Again, my assumption was off.
Dictionary.com defines rentes this way : "revenue or income, or the instrument evidencing a right to such periodic receipts." Also called 'rentes sur l'é·tat'.  Merriam-Webster was a little clearer. "a government security (as in France) paying interest; also: the interest paid"
With the definition in mind, it seems like Mrs Hunter is realizing that she may have relied too much on her own investments for her economical security as well as acknowledging that she lives in a rarified world surrounded by friends who know little of work and the value of that work.
 
I've only read about 50 pages of the book; I have a feeling White's writing is going to have me reading and rereading passages several times. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the novel while it's still in the theaters here.
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Flicks of Fall: 10 Books to Read Before Seeing the Movie

Summer is sadly drifting away. Visions of palm trees and sipping mai tais at some sandy oasis by the sea get replaced with serious thoughts more fitting to the cooler fall days.
For now, let's turn to the books we ought to read before we see their screen adaptations in our local cinema.
Here's my list of 10 books to see you through the cooling months of September through November.



September 7
The Eye of the Storm
Novel written by Patrick White






September 14
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Novel written by Steven Chbosky






September 21
War of the Buttons (French)
Novel written by Louis Pergaud





October 5
The Paperboy
Novel written by Pete Dexter





October 5
Wuthering Heights
Novel written by Emily Bronte





October 19
Alex Cross
(loosely based on I, Alex Cross)
Novel written by James Patterson




October 19
Killing Them Softly
Novel, Coogan's Trade, written by George Higgins



October 26
Cloud Atlas
Novel written by David Mitchell





November 9
Anna Karenina
Novel written by Leo Tolstoy





November 9
Lincoln
Based on the historical nonfiction book
Team of Rivals
written by Doris Kearns Goodwin













Monday, August 27, 2012

UNSCRIPTED: Matt Bondurant


'The constant assertion of masculinity is always the most obvious tell of a fake. You do not constantly assert what you know you have.'

Matt Bondurant author of the book
                                                                              "The Wettest County in the World" which the film "Lawless" scripted by Nick Cave, is based on.

Lawless movie based on Matt Bondurant book comes out this week

'Lawless'  formerly known as 'The Wettest County in the World: A novel based on a true story.' comes out on August 29th and stars Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman, Mia Wasicowska and Guy Pearce. Lawless was the title of a film genius director Terence Mallick has in the works but he agreed to give the title up when director John Hillcoat asked if he could have it instead. That's the story anyway, I'm not sure if I believe it. Chastain is also in Mallick's movie; maybe she put in a good word for Hillcoat?
In any case, I'm glad they changed the name- while the 'wettest' county refers to the fact that they were providing a ton of booze in a 'dry' county, all I can see is rain, flooded roads and gloominess. Not at all what the book or the film is about.
The saga chronicles the  author's infamous ancestors, the Bondurant Brothers, bootlegging siblings trying to make it big in Prohibition-era Virginia.
Honestly, I started the book but I just couldn't get into it. Did you  read it? Are you going to see it?
I have a feeling that the film will be easier for me to enjoy especially with Gary Oldman playing the rival gang leader. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that I will be able to understand Tom Hardy because as much as I adored Dark Knight Rises, I could barely understand a word Hardy's Bane said.
Check out the red band trailer below. What's the verdict?




UNSCRIPTED: Martin Scorsese




 


"I love studying ancient history and seeing how empires rise and
fall, sowing the seeds of their own destruction."
Martin Scorsese















Saturday, August 25, 2012

One of my favorite book bloggers posts the most interesting quotes and pictures.  The blogger, Cipriano, calls it splash du jour and you can see what I mean over on his BookPuddle blog.

With a nod to Cipriano I will occasionally do the same if there's a pithy quote that works with the book/movie news I'm blogging about.

Today, in my earlier post, I included the teaser trailer to The Girl, a film that centers around Alfred Hitchcocks' fascination with Tippi Hedrin. In the film, Hedrin is played by Sienna Miller.
Here then, is today's entry. Note Tippi Hedrin is a blonde.

"Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints."
                                    Alfred Hitchcock




I'm thinking of making a list of all the blonde victims in films, just to see if Hitchcock was right.

Sienna Miller in The Girl teaser trailer


There are two Alfred Hitchcock feature films coming out soon. The first will be HBO’s The Girl. Here in the states it airs October 20th. 
 
I hope you enjoy this first look at Toby Jones and Sienna Miller as Hitchcock and actress Tippi Hedren.  The movie is about Hitchcock's creepy fascination with Hedren.
I thought I'd share what Tippi Hedrin had to say about Hitchcock to the Mirror. Sounds pretty creepy to me!
“He was evil and deviant, almost to the point of being dangerous,” she says.
“To be the object of someone’s obsession is horrible. It was a form of stalking.
"He had my handwriting analysed, he had me followed and it was as if I was being engulfed by him.
"He tried to control what I ate, what I wore and how I lived.
“I had to get out of there,” she recalls

You can read the entire article at The Mirror online





The other Hitchcock movie is Hitchcock and it's based on the book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. It stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife and creative collaborator, Alma Reville. The cast includes Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins.
I blogged about it earlier this year here 

What do you think about Hitchcock's obsession with Hedrin?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Martin Scorses's Off Screen Drama: SILENCE

Will Martin Scorsese ever get around to adapting  Shusaku Endo's Silence? That's what frustrated fans of the book want to know and now the production company behind the adaptation is suing Scorsese for seemingly putting Silence on the backburner yet again. According to the Hollywood Reporter they've been trying to get the film made since 1990!
Last December when Scorsese was doing pr for HUGO, and with a whole slew of possible projects in his future, he had this to say on Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s Radio Five show:  “I’m hoping to do Endo’s book next, Silence… Not hoping, we’re literally pulling all the elements together at this point.”
Now the production company, Cecchi Gori Pictures, claims it entered into several agreements with Scorsese and invested $750,000 into the project but once again Scorsese has failed to act. On the flip side Scorsese and company paid a million plus dollars in order to delay the projects while he shot other films.


A Scorsese spokesperson had this to say
It is shocking to us that the lawyers for Cecchi Gori Pictures would file a suit pursuing such absurd claims considering the amicable working relationship existing between Martin Scorsese and the principals of Cecchi Gori Pictures.The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year.
The lawsuit filing on the eve of Mr. Scorsese starting another picture has all the earmarks of a media stunt.
Mr. Scorsese is confident that he will prevail in court should Cecchi Gori Pictures actually pursue this meritless action."

At some point Daniel Day-Lewis was signed on to play the Jesuit priest but at this point who knows!

Very briefly here's the story line from the Barnes and Noble site.
A novel of historical fiction, it is the story of a Jesuit missionary sent to seventeenth century Japan, who endured persecution that followed the defeat of the Shimbara Rebellion

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Aussie friends: Watch out for shooting of TRACKS

 Add TRACKS to the list of adventure adaptations we're looking forward to!

Adam Driver, who plays Lena Dunham’s bizarre boyfriend in HBO’s Girls, has just been cast in Tracks, the saga of a young Australian woman’s camel trek across the Australian Outback in 1977. Driver plays Rick Smolan, a New York photographer that the National Geographic sent to chronicle Davidson's  1,400-mile journey. Tracks starts shooting on October 8 in locations in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Driver, whose movie career is gaining momentum, also plays Samuel Beckwith in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and has a supporting role in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. I saw him in  J.Edgar Hoover the other night. Currently he’s shooting Michael Dowse’s romantic dramedy The F Word with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan.

Mia Wasikowska plays Robyn Davidson, whose book of the same name is being adapted by writer-director John Curran. Producers are See-Saw Productions’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech) with Julie Ryan (Red Dog) as co-producer.


10 Best Adventure Adaptations from the Last Twenty Years


It's been 20 years this month since Christopher McCandles dead body was found in an old bus in Alaska. His saga was put beautifully into print by Jon Krakaur in  "Into the Wild" in 1996 where it was on the best seller list for over 100 weeks. And then in 2007, Sean Penn made the film adaptation with Emile Hirsch playing McCandles.  Such a beautiful and horrifying movie. Over at Word and Film, to mark that anniversary, Kristin Fritz has made a list of what they call the '10 best adventure adaptations from the last 20 years' 
What do you think? 


“Seven Years in Tibet” (1997)
Director Jean-Jacques Annaud adapted this true story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer for the silver screen. The story of a journey built upon pride and ego quickly becomes one of survival, as Harrer – played by Brad Pitt – escapes imprisonment in Dehra Dun during WWII and finds his way to Tibet. During his ensuing friendship with the young Dalai Lama, Harrer schools the young leader in the ways of the West – and learns a few things about himself in the process.

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998)
It takes a certain kind of director to bring Hunter S. Thompson’s stories to production and in ’98, Terry Gilliam was up for the challenge. With Johnny Depp (as journalist Raoul Duke) in the lead and Benicio Del Toro (Dr. Gonzo) by his side, the wackadoo dream team brought Thompson’s semi-autobiographical book to life. The point of the drug-fueled odyssey (aside from an article Duke is assigned)? The search for the American Dream, of course. The journey incorporates a hitchhiker, Vegas, police stops, and general hooliganism. Ultimately, Duke finishes his article. But has he found himself? Who knows – he was high the whole time.

“O Brother, Where Art Thou” (2000)
The Coen Brothers are, quite simply, brilliant. The geniuses behind such greats as “Fargo,” “Raising Arizona,” and “The Big Lebowski” set Homer’s The Odyssey in 1930s deep South. The search seems simple enough: Three escaped convicts, Everett Ulysses McGill, Delmar, and Pete, are seeking buried treasure and along the way encounter sirens, a blind prophet, and more. The loot they seek signifies all that matters to them: freedom. And ultimately, isn’t that what all men really want?

“The Lord of the Rings” (2001)
Quite possibly the most epic of all epics, Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic, The Fellowship of the Ring, follows hobbit Frodo Baggins and his band of misfit companions to Middle Earth in search of the one way to destroy – you guessed it – the Ring. When Frodo sets out from his humble Shire, he is naïve, innocent, a boy really. His journey has a very specific goal but along the way he finds much more than he’s looking for – namely, courage. This first film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy won four Oscars.

“The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004)
From fantastical to political… Before we knew him as Che Guevara, he told us in his Notas de Viaje, Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was a medical student from Buenos Aires. Prior to his graduation, the young man – played by Gael García Bernal – takes a year off to explore the continent he calls home, and ultimately lands working in a leper colony in Peru. Guevara was irrevocably transformed during this trip and his time in Peru, as he saw the drastic division and injustice between classes. Here was born the Revolutionary, Che Guevara.

“The Constant Gardner” (2005)
When Justin Quayle’s (Ralph Fiennes) wife, Tessa (Rachel Weisz), is murdered in Kenya, the widower doesn’t take the facts at face value. In Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of John le Carré’s novel, our protagonist embarks on a journey across the world to find truth, to solve a mystery, to find closure, to find peace. Weisz won an Academy Award for the film. If you’ve not seen it, you must – but it will break your heart as you accompany Justin on one of the most heartbreaking journeys of all.

“Children of Men” (2006)
Humanity is facing extinction as nearly two decades of infertility continue. Chaos erupts across the world as it becomes every many for himself. In Alfonso Cuarón Orozco’s “Children of Men,” based loosely upon the novel by P.D. James, cynical ex-activist Theo (Clive Owen) agrees to acquire papers for a young black woman who is being sent to safety by an immigrants rights group. Ultimately, the journey becomes more than a simple work-for-hire, as Theo realizes his journey is one that may ultimately save humankind. As Theo continues on this heart-stopping, breathless mission, his reward is more than cash – it is restored hope in both humanity and the future.

“Into the Wild” (2007)
Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild,” based on the phenomenally bestselling book by Jon Krakauer, is the quintessential movie about adventure and journey and the search for one’s self. Sprawling in its cinematography (the director of Photography was also the DP for “The Motorcycle Diaries”), the film is as beautiful on the eyes as it is beautiful at its heart. As The New York Times so perfectly states, “[‘Into the Wild’ is infused with an expansive, almost giddy sense of possibility, and it communicates a pure, unaffected delight in open spaces, fresh air and bright sunshine.” And, sadly, twenty years later, we all know how this epic adventure ends.

“Winter’s Bone” (2010)
Two years prior to her transformation into Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence was Ree. The young woman at the center of Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, is on more of a hunt than a typical journey. She’s searching for her deadbeat drug-dealing father, a man who has left her family in dire circumstances, after having put up his house as collateral for bail. As she trudges through the dirt-poor backwoods of the Ozark Mountains, Ree finds more than what she’s at first looking for: She finds herself – a provider, a savior, a woman of indelible strength. Lawrence’s performance in “Winter’s Bone” is stunning, and garnered her both an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe nod. Not bad for an actress’s fourth feature film.

“True Grit” (2010)
Arriving back at the Coen Bros, “True Grit” is the tale of fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross, played by Hailee Steinfeld. Ethan and Joel’s “True Grit” was adapted from the novel by Charles Portis. Mattie’s self-created mission is to hunt down her father’s murderer. She enlists the help of Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, played by Jeff Bridges. Coming of age was never this gritty. But Hailee Ross handled the character like a pro – and out of the feature-film gate she earned herself an Oscar nomination – one of ten total nominations the movie picked up in 2011.

The article mentions looking forward to the adapatations of Jack Keroacs On the Road and Cheryl Strayed's Wild.   I would also add Crazy for the Storm, the memoir from Norm Ollestad that Sean Penn will soon tackle.
What do you think of the list? What adaptations would you add to the list?

Damon and Douglas go back to the 70's.





The acclaimed Steven Soderberg is directing. That's not Soderberg, that's Zsa Zsa Gabor's hubby, Prince Fredric with Michael. Apparently they shot some scenes in Zsa Zsa's home.  In addition to Damon and Douglas, Rob Lowe, Debbie Reynolds, and Scott Bakula play roles.
The film is going to be shown on HBO first, THEN go to theatres. I just don't get current distribution models.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Josh Brolin to play Norman Ollestad, Sr.

Sean Penn is so smart. Last week I wrote that he was signed up to direct the screen adaptation of Norman Ollestad's Crazy for the Storm which is a moving and gripping true story of survival. You can read the original post here  At the time I wrote that I wished Penn could play the father. I still think he would be tremendous in the part but the news that Josh Brolin is in talks to play Norm Ollestad Sr, confirms for me just what a great job Penn will do. Casting is just about the most important task a director faces and Penn has this one down.  
Norman Ollestad, the man, was a former FBI agent who was at odds with J. Edgar Hoover's regime and actually wrote an expose Inside the FBI. He has huge hopes and dreams for his son and drives him mercilessly.

Complex, a bit of a bully, but also full of a father's love, it's a role that demands a physically tough, macho looking kind of guy. Brolin has that look of a wild man, barely contained in the confines of society. I think he will be perfect as the father who brutally pushes this kid as far as he can go.  Filming will start at the beginning of the new year.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Costner to be Bill Harper to Chris Pine's Jack Ryan

He may no longer the cute  Crash we all loved in Bull Durham but Kevin Costner is back in the spotlight due to rave reviews for his performance in the acclaimed Hatfield & McCoys.
Today, Deadline announced that not only is Costner a go to play CIA Agent William Harper, the mentor of Chris Pine's Jack Ryan in an untitled Kenneth Branagh film, he also plans to spin the role off for the studio's Without Remorse, based Clancy's 1993 novel.
The book is available on Nook, in paperback as well as Audio Book!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dark Tower Goes Darker Still.

It's not a great day for Stephen King fans looking forward to the screen adaptation of The Dark Tower. The option was passed on by Universal and now Warner Brothers has passed on the project too.
Warner Brothers had been the projects best hope with a script from Akiva Goldsman prompting some interest from Russell Crowe to play the lead. Director/producer Ron Howard still has a shot  at getting the project made because now Imagine Entertainment, Howard's company, is finally free to shop the project around. 
According to Variety, the ambitious project ' - based on a 9volume series - would have encompassed three films and two TV series, the latter most likely being handled by HBO.
It seems clear that Warner Brothers just wasn't comfortable making such a gargantuam financial commitment that the array of films and television shows would require.

I haven't read the books. What about you? Are you disappointed that you wont get to see Russell Crowe as Roland Deschain?

The GREAT EXPECTATIONS Trailer


We don't have a release date here in the states but the movie opens in late November in the UK and Ireland and on December 6 in Germany. In fact the international trailer comes complete with German subtitles. I've reread Dicken's classic in preparation for the latest film version and I really can't wait ... despite the fact that  Helena Bonham Carter looks too young as Miss Havisham (imho). Ralph Fiennes is the convict Magwitch, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse ) as Pip. The films' director is Mike Newell who directed  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, He also helmed Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pushing Tin, Donnie Brasco, Mona Lisa Smiles and a ton more. He's been working since the 60's
The film is set to premiere at this September’s upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Snippets...it's all about the DVD!

Most of the movie takes place in a limo.
This illustration is from David Denby's review in the New Yorker
If you go by the critics, you may just want to save your money and wait for Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattison on DVD. Over at Rotten Tomatoes the critics have given David Cronenberg's (CRASH) screen adaptation of Don Lillo's book at 64%.  Don't give a hoot what people say?  The audience response weighed in with an even harsher 46%. Even those that liked it couldn't embrace it without qualification - Dana Stevens at Slate said "I took a strange pleasure in submitting to this movie's stilted but weirdly poetic rhythms. But I freely acknowledge that for others, enduring Cosmopolis may be less fun than a backseat prostate exam."  Hmmm. Will it get your $13.50?

DVD's were the top priority for Hunger Games fans yesterday, the official release date for The Hunger Games DVD.  Stores like Target and Walmart had release parties across the country, with fans waiting hours in line for a chance to buy the dvd asap. 

I remember taking my son to Harry Potter book release parties at Barnes and Noble; it just surprises me that The Hunger Games enthusiasm is as strong. In fact Collins books have actually sold more than Rowlings!
Amazon has announced "that Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy has surpassed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series in book sales. This establishes the bow-and-arrow toting Katniss Everdeen and her counterparts as the bestselling book series ever on Amazon."

How do you feel about The Hunger Games outstripping the success of the Harry Potter books?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elle Fanning Dives into Olive's Ocean


The adorable Elle Fanning (sister of Dakota) has just signed on to play the part of Martha in the screen adaptation of Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes. Elle played Lily in We Bought A Zoo. She was very sweet as the young love interest for Colin Ford  - Matt Damon's son in the film.
The news reports about the film claim the book is Young Adult but on Amazon they cite it as a 5th-8th grade reader.
It sure sounds like its for younger readers based on its description at Barnes and Noble which I've included below. If you've read it and have a different point of view please let me know.

I 'll be interested to see how they make and market this one!

Sometimes life can change in an instant

"Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends, but they weren't. Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. Things only get more complicated when Martha begins to like Jimmy Manning, a neighbor boy she used to despise. What is going on? Can life for Martha be the same ever again?
A 2004 Newbery Honor Book"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cloud Atlas and Dendroglyphs

I read the sample pages of Cloud Atlas on my nook to see if I could get into it. At this point I can't! But I did learn a new word for Wondrous Words Wednesday. That's the weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermuda Onion if you want to play along.

Dendroglyphs are aboriginal tree carvings made by the moriori found on the Chatham Islands in New Zealand. Apparently they often marked gravesites or memorialized noteworthy events. In the book, one of the characters is suspected of cutting down these trees and selling them! This is the first time I've heard of dendroglyphs and the Moriori (as opposed to the Maori). Now I would love to go and see the trees!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sean Penn to direct film version of Crazy for the Storm


Have you read this book? It came out in 2009 and I picked it up last year at a friend's book swap party. It's not the kind of book I would normally pick up but it was the only one there that I hadn't already read. It sat on my bedside table for a bit but I finally forced myself to read it. Woah. Once I picked up Norman Ollestad's memoir, Crazy for the Storm, I couldn't put it down. And now, Warner Brothers has announced that Sean Penn is going to direct a film version. I wondered about it's cinematic possibilies as soon as I finished the book. The central story is that of a young champion skier, his father and father's girlfriend, whose small plane crashes into the San Gabriel Mountains here in Southern California during a winter storm in 1979. Ollestad's memoir delves into the boy's life, his heart and mind before and during the event. It's not just a gripping survival story; it's a deeply moving look at a broken family, especially the father and son's flawed relationship.


First and foremost, Penn is going to need an extraordinary young actor to play young Norm.  The boy is complex, difficult, resentful, full of love, hate, anger and that desire for approval that comes with the age. And the other key characters; his father, a selfish and demanding man who pushed, pushed and pushed his son.  His mother who is flailing in her own life as well as her raising their son. The couple is separated.                                                          This is from the Barnes and Noble site:                                                                       "Like many other sons of demanding fathers, young Norman Ollestad, Jr. idolized, feared, and resented the man who drove him towards excellence. Prodded along by the dad who called him "The Boy Wonder," Norm Jr. became a champion surfer and downhill skier. That partnership took a fatal turn in February 1979, when a Cessna carrying father and son crashed, killing the father and temporarily marooning the 11-year-old boy in a relentless blizzard. In Crazy for the Storm, Ollestad pays tribute to the man who taught him the gift of survival."

I'm excited that Penn is directing. Not because he directed Into the Wild, with Emile Hirsch. That story didn't contain any real action footage while this film must - from showing expert surfing, and skiing to the absolutely horrific plane crash. No, it's not the action elements that sell me on Penn. It's his intelligence and compassion; under his watch the film has the potential to be much more than an action adventure story of survival. It will be a gripping, heartwrenching saga. I only wish that he were acting in this one as well. He would be perfect for the part of the father!

WORTH READING! This is so much more than a story of survival.

Norman Ollestad studied writing at UCLA, grew up on the beaches of Topanga and Malibu and now lives in Venice. A real local boy. Check out his site for more info about Ollestad, and his book.

Monday, August 13, 2012

From the director of the Olympics closing ceremonies: Something WICKED this way comes.

I don't know about you but the Olympics really put a dent in my blogging! I have been so wrapped up in the thrill of the games I'm guilty of putting my blog on the backburner. And I'm glad I did because the drama and excitement were at least the equal of any book made into a movie. The athletes, winners and losers - although I think any athlete who made it to the Olympics is automatically a winner - were absolutely mesmerizing. I thrilled to every Michael Phelp's race in the pool and was watching when Jess Ennis captured the gold for Great Britain in the heptaphalon.
I'd also like to congratulate Britain, land of my birth, for doing such an amazing job. I've heard most of the pundits say the games were run smoothly with no major glitches. If you were there and have a different pov, I'd be curious to hear it. They were certainly a wonder to behold and it was fun being able to see the royals cheering in the stands.Yesterday, watching the marathon wind its way through the glorious streets of downtown London, had me feeling very proud indeed.
Now that the Olympics have ended it's time to get back to business. And the first order of the day is to note that the director of the closing ceremonies, Stephen Daldry, is the director that has been selected to helm The Wicked on the big screen.
And that has me worried because frankly, last night's closing ceremonies were a bit of a mess. Actually I thought they were a spectacular mess - if you saw the flatbed trucks with the models bit you know what I mean - ; but in terms of the athletes,  it did look like the kids were having a good time grooving to the music of The Spice Girls. Some kind of retro thing, I guess.

In terms of Wicked I understand what the producers hope Daldry brings to the equation. He did direct the film version of Billy Elliot. But beyond that he also directed last year's Extrememly Loud and Incredibly Close which failed to live up to the novel. He also directed The Reader and The Hours, both very serious films - I'm just not sure he understands the fantastical world of Glinda and Elphaba.
Perhaps more worrisome though, is the writer of the screenplay.  Winnie Holzman whose credits include several tv shows of the 1990's: The Wonder Years, ThirtySomething,  My So-Called Life,  Once and Again and most recently,  (2010) Huge.
Not a full length feature in the lot. Does that mean she can't write one? Not at all but past credentials usually mean something and hers just don't say much about the project in hand.  Wicked is slated for release in 2014.

What do you think? Will this pair make Wicked sing on the big screen?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...