Wednesday, April 30, 2014

7 Reasons Older Women Love Older Men at The Good Men Project

In a brief break from book to movie news ... The Good Men Project published a piece of mine today called 7 Reasons Older Women Love Older Men- and I'm so excited I couldn't resist sharing the link with you. Check it out if you're so inclined and let me know what you think. I'll be here biting my nails. For more of my personal writing you may want to check out my On the Street Where I Live stories. Thank you!

The Fault in Our Stars: John Green on Shailene Woodley as his Hazel


Vulture has a terrific interview with The Fault in Our Stars author John Green up on their site. Just a little over a month until the film's June 6th release date so I'm prepared for a fun barrage of promotional gold. There is, for example, a new extended trailer you should watch if you haven't seen it. Be ready to cry.  

Before we do that, here's a couple of snippets from the Vulture interview where Green shares his thoughts on Shailene Woodley as Hazel. You regulars know I'm a fan of the young actor and like Green, I think it all starts with empathy, which she seems to have in spades.
And Shai's audition?  
I got a call, I had seen a lot of auditions, they were nice to share that with me, but they called me before and said, "We think you're going to love it." And that actually put me in a space of not wanting to like it, just because I'm contrarian, I guess? But I watched and it was perfect. It was Hazel. She sounded like Hazel. She had the cadence that I imagined in my head as I was writing Hazel, which seemed impossible to me. And that continued the entire time we were on set. Every sentence that she said sounded like Hazel to me. She clearly had a deep, innate understanding of this person. The way she breathed. The places she paused. And you know, Hazel is an uncommonly empathetic young person. She's able to imagine what her parents must be feeling. And I think that came naturally for Shailene. I think that's a big part of why ... I mean, she's a genius, but it's also the empathy. And I called them back, and I said, "Is there anything I can do to help make sure she takes the part?" Like, "Should I call her? Who do I need to talk to, to close this deal?"

Did you call her?
She had actually sent me an email a year before, talking about how much she cared about it, and how much she wanted to play Hazel. It was a very memorable email, but at the time, I didn't know very much about Shailene, so my reply was very brief. I think it ended with like, "I'm not a casting agent." [Laughs.] I don't think I called her until after they made the agreement, and we were both so excited. She and I have had a lot of conversations about living in a way that's in accordance with your values. Living in the world as we've found it, but also trying to live in a way that lines up with your values. Some of that is the same for us, but I certainly like yerba mate tea more now that I've met Shai! She was like, "You won't like it. It tastes like dirt." And I drank it, and I was like, "No, it's great. I love it. It does taste like dirt. It's great." 

The Fault in Our Stars is set for release June 6th. The film stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Hazel and Gus, Laura Dern and Sam Trammel as Hazel's parents, Nat Wolff and Emily Peachey as Gus friend Isaac and his girlfriend, Monica. Willem Dafoe is author Peter Van Houten and seen here in the trailer offering to play his guitar, comedian Mike Birbiglia plays Patrick, the support group counselor.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From True Detective to The Black Count


We've just learned that Cary Fukunaga, the visionary director who gave us True Detective, has signed on to adapt and direct The Black Count, the Pulitzer prize winning biography of the real Count of Monte Cristo. Written by Tom Reiss the book chronicles 
the life of Alex Dumas, the father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas.
Born to a black slave mother and a fugitive white French nobleman in Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti), Alex Dumas was briefly sold into bondage but then made his way to Paris where he was schooled as a sword-fighting member of the French aristocracy. 
The exploits of Dumas, the elder were the basis for the son's classic novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas became the highest-ranking person of color to ever serve in any European army. A favorite of Napoleon for a time, Dumas was also the first non-white to become a brigadier general in the French military. 

Fukunaga is teaming with John Legend, I can only assume Legend who is producing would play the key role? Agree? Known mostly as a singer/songwriter - Legend has a music credit for Crazy Stupid Love - he's also been dabbling in the world of acting.


John Legend center with Bernie Mac (L) and Samuel L. Jackson (R) in Soul Men 2008


Fukunaga is in high demand following True Detective's break out first season.  The writer/directer is heading to Ghana next month to start production on Beasts of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel and starring Idris Elba.


Fukunaga has also signed on to direct an adaptation of The Noble Assassin, an unpublished novel by Paul Kix about "French aristocrat-turned-anti-Nazi-saboteur Robert de la Rochefoucauld, who joined the British Special Operations Executive and was trained in every manner of dark arts before being sent back to France to help organize the resistance, blowing up train stations and munitions factories. In the process, he was caught, endured months of torture and escaped his own execution."

The writer/director also has the long awaited two part adaptation of Stephen King's IT in the works. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Blue Room at Cannes 2014


Catching up with Cannes: French actor/director Mathieu Amalric in development on Stendahl's Red and Black, has taken a break from the project to adapt and star in The Blue Room, based on the Georges Simenon crime novel. Lea Drucker and Stephanie Cleau also star. Amalric is best known to North Americans for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Quantum of Solace and The Grand Hotel Budapest.

 


According To Inrocks, Simenon wrote the story, published in 1963 in 11 days. 


Vain, womanizing Tony and passionate, manipulative Andree meet eight times in eleven months in the blue room at the Hotel des Voyageurs for afternoons of abandoned love. For Tony the conversation that last time was just the casual, almost commonplace talk of lovers. But for Andree It was something else. And it led to inevitably to an appalling double murder and a nightmare which Tony couldn't escape.



The movie debuts in Cannes which runs from May 14 - 25th. Should we preview the trailer? Actually it's a teaser trailer, just 29 seconds long and without English subtitles so good luck to those of us whose french is limited to Ou est la bilbliothèque? Got mad French skills? I'd love at whack at the translation. Thank you.



Sunday, April 27, 2014

The BFG News - that's Big Friendly Giant, smart mouth!


Skipping my usual slacker Sunday video to share the warm fuzzy info. You may have heard that an adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG has been in development for the past couple of years. The Wrap broke the news that Steven Spielberg is now on board to direct a live action version. What I'd really love is for Quentin Blake's amazing illustrations to come to life on screen but that doesn't seem to be in the cards. They tried an animated version in the 80's, I'll dig up the trailer or a clip and share it below. With the right giant and young actress to play Sophie, this could be as successful as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Some of the names being suggested are Jim Broadbent, Ian McKellan, and James Cromwell. All fine British actors; I'd be good with any of them. Any ideas for Sophie? 
The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It's lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!


DreamWorks picked up the Dahl classic back in 2012 for Kathleen Kennedy to produce. Melissa Mathison, who penned E.T., adapted the screenplay for The BFG, making the project a homecoming of sorts for a lot of Amblin Entertainment talent. Frank Marshall is also producing with John Madden and Michael Siegel both serving as executive producers.

I found a trailer that a film festival used for their screening of the 1989 version.  Take a look -



Help! How horrible is this? What happened to the lovable BFG, this guy looks like a demented elf instead of the big, friendly giant with the elephantine ears. Poor Quentin Blake, he must have have hated that movie. He's still plugging away, doing exceptional work worth a gander. 


Check out more of his work at QuentinBlake.com






Saturday, April 26, 2014

James Franco: Is Bukowski 'Ham on Rye'?



James Franco is always up to something. Acting. Directing. Suing his manager. Riffing off Kanye and Kim. Posting plagiarized and naked pictures of Seth Rogen on Instagram. It's exhausting. 

Add this to the list: The owner of the film rights to Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical novel, Ham on Rye is suing Franco over copyright infringement laws. Humphris claims he and Franco struck an agreement in 2009 but that the agreement expired in 2010 and despite its expiration, Franco went on to make the film anyway. The suit claims that the film “incorporates entire scenes, including substantially their dialogue” from the book. 


From what Humphris says, it sounds like Franco is being a bit wiggly, telling Humphris he was  “doing a little project with some of my NYU colleagues based on one of Bukowski's biographies” — despite Franco and his brother, Dave Franco, both stating that they planned to adopt “Ham on Rye.”

Franco just doesn't seem to give a flying fuck. He's making his own rules, creating his own opportunities. He's got 13 titles in one stage of post production or another. IMDB lists Bukowski as completed with a screenplay by Franco and Adam Rager (this seems to be his maiden voyage) and no mention of Ham on Rye. Maybe they made it up? Seriously, Franco, if you owe the man the money, pay up and move on.


Bukowski focuses on Bukowski's early years as a teenager struggling with an abusive father, alchohol addiction, his own writing problems and disfiguring acne. The film stars Josh Peck (The Mindy Project) as Bukowski, Keegan Allen (Pretty Little Liars) as pal Jimmy Haddox, Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Shannen Doherty as mom Katharina Bukowski, and Tim Blake Nelson as Bukowski's dad. The film is supposed to come out sometime this year. We'll see!

Humphris wants an injunction against the film plus 'compensatory damages.'

What do you think? If Bukowski's Ham on Rye informs Franco's Bukowski, does Humphris have a case? Or the real question, Shannon Doherty???





Friday, April 25, 2014

Unbroken: Angelina Jolie's Christmas present


Speaking of Domhnall Gleeson - just a post ago he was shivering in a pair of swim trunks on the set of Brooklyn  and now here he is collapsed in a raft in a scene from Unbroken. I totally spaced about the Angelina Jolie directed film. Gleeson is in that as well;  playing one of Louis Zamperini's crewmates in the story of the Olympic runner taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. Based on the book from Laura Hillenbrand (SeaBiscuit - hey, my kid was a background actor in that!) Unbroken also stars Jack O'Connell as Zamperini, Jai Courtney, Garret Hedlund, Luke Treadaway and a slew of other handsome young Hollyood actor types. 



The movie sounds like serious, and seriously inspiring stuff. There's a lengthy article in the LA Times you may want to check out in full, about the very long and arduous journey Zamperini's story took to get to the movie screen.  Here's a snippet: 

From even a quick visit to her Australia set, it's obvious that Jolie has a deep respect, if not reverence, for Zamperini — Pitt even commissioned an oil painting of him for a Christmas present to Jolie — and Hillenbrand. The author is a consultant on the movie, has read many screenplay drafts, and frequently talks to Jolie.
"It's a huge responsibility," Jolie said. "And I'm constantly asking questions. 'How do you really catch a shark? What does the liver look like? How do you eat an albatross? How do you sink a plane?'"
To bring her ideas to life, Jolie hired some of Hollywood's top department heads, including "No Country for Old Men" cinematographer Roger Deakins and "Life of Pi" editor Tim Squyres as collaborators. 

Last month, at a convention for theater owners in Las Vegas, Jolie showed several minutes from the film, which suggested "Unbroken" will have both a glowing, Americana feel — particularly in its depictions of Zamperini's youth — and a much darker rendering of the prison camps, which call to mind Sebastião Salgado's grimy photographs of Brazilian gold miners.
"In the end, its message is one we all need now more than ever — the journey of a man finding his way through the darkness and into the light," the filmmaker told the exhibitors, adding that the film had particular modern resonance as Zamperini is "someone who helps to remind us all what each of us is capable of."
That in mind, let's watch the "trailer". Sorta. It's actually a hybrid of a docu-style promo piece they made to coincide with the Olympics - maybe you saw it? It features the real Zamperini talking to Tom Brokaw intercut with footage from the film so it's lacking in any dramatic rhythm and cohesion.I'll share the real deal when it comes out; unless I space out on it too. It's on my radar now though especially as early reports seem to be fairly glowy. Best of luck to Jolie as her directorial debut Land of Milk and Honey wasn't a huge hit financially or critically. Unbroken comes out Christmas Day 2014.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fashioning Brooklyn: Saoirse Ronan in Vintage 1950's Wardrobe




I've found some more images from Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeseon currently shooting in Ireland. The shots highlight the 1950's vintage fashion from costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux - see some of her stunning work for An Education and One Day here. The white and deep pink stripe dress is period perfect and who knows, maybe the one piece bathing suits will create a new trend in beach wear? Yeah, okay, maybe not. 


Back in March I shared some of the shooting locations for Brooklyn, including the beach at Curracloe Strand. These shots from the Daily Mail show Saorise Ronan (in the 50's styled green bathing suit) running in from the water (very, very cold water) at Curracloe Beach just outside Wexford Town, with Eileen O'Higgins, Peter Campion and Domhnall Gleeson freezing his cojones off on the right.       


I live in sunny California where the ocean temp right now is pretty brisk  -
 how cold must the water at Curracloe have been!



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Booking Leonardo DiCaprio


Bummer. SONY - who has been busy slashing top tier upper management positions - said No Way to David Fincher's $10 Million salary demand to direct a new Steve Jobs biopic. Fincher was looking to cast Christian Bale in the Aaron Sorkin-scripted biopic based on Walter Isaacson's best seller Jobs. He also wanted a high degree of control in aspects beyond the production including the marketing of the film. Sony said no, even though The Social Network has grossed over $225 million to date.

It could have been sweet, anticipating what The Social Network collaborators, Fincher and Sorkin, would present us with. But on the bright side ...


Leonardo DiCaprio was just 25 when he worked with Danny Boyle on The Beach

... Sony is talking to Danny Boyle (Slum Dug Millionaire) and Boyle has already reached out to Leonardo DiCaprio who starred for Boyle in The Beach

No complaints from me; DiCaprio is among my faves of today's kings of Hollywood.  If you're thinking 'Wait, didn't Ashton Kutcher star in a movie about Steve Jobs just a little while ago?  Do we really need another one?", the answers are yes and yes, we really do. Kutcher's performance and the film fell flat.



The thing is DiCaprio's calendar is already full to bursting; he's booked to play Hugh Glass in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu's The Revenant based on Michael Punke's thriller. Glass, an 1820's  frontiersman sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after he's mauled by a bear. The Revenant is slated to start filming in the fall. We'll have to wait and see what happens; at this point nothing is final.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Maisie Knew screenwriter sued for portraying ex as an unfit mother


I don't do gossip. Usually. But when a screenwriter gets sued for $3 million by his former lover claiming she was falsely and maliciously portrayed in Carroll Cartwright’s screenplay for the 2012 screen adaptation What Maisie Knew starring Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard, I can't help but pay attention. The film came out across the country last year - I told you how I absolutely loved it - but Carroll Cartwright's former lover, Ronee Sue Blakley, a composer, musician and actor who may be best known for playing Barbara Jean, the music queen on the way down in Robert Altman's Nashville was less than a fan. Apparently Blakley, nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA and an Academy Award for her performance in Nashville, saw a bit too much of herself in What Maisie Knew and she's mad as hell about it.


 So mad she doesn't mind trotting out her own resemblance to the less than fit mother, Moore presented in the film. Can you imagine going to court to prove what a slacker mom you are? “The primary thrust of the lawsuit is simple,” Deadline reports, along with the details of the 15-page suit, requesting a jury trial. “Cartwright wrote the screenplay to further his own feelings of hatred for Blakley by maliciously and falsely portraying her as a selfish and uncaring mother, when in fact she was a devoted and loving parent. This false depiction of Blakley has damaged her reputation and caused her to suffer severe emotional distress.”


In her lawsuit, Blakley claims that there are many real life parallels in her life and the character portrayed in the film by Moore. In real life, the suit states “Blakley is a musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose career was on the wane,” while the character played by Moore “is also depicted in the film as a musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose career is on the wane.” OUCH!



Writers everywhere will be paying attention to this case; how many authors do you know who pulverize their real life exes and enemies in their fiction? Usually any resemblance to the person, place or thing is properly muddied so no one gets their panties in a twist, and the writer has the cathartic satisfaction of killing off his psychic enemy. 

But let's be honest. The friends, family and lovers of any writer know the process, and understand that veiled or not, parts of them may appear in the writer's work. That's what happened back when Carl Bernstein threatened to sue over Nora Ephron's Heartburn, her thinly veiled novel based on their rocky marriage. 



Like Bernstein, Ronee Sue saw herself all over Cartwright's work, her suit notes many “striking similarities” between the plot of the film - based on Henry Jame's What Maisie Knew and the real events in Blakley’s life. 

Maisie and her reel-life nanny Margo 
“Blakley and Cartwright had an acrimonious custody battle over Sarah and were not married,” the suit states. “The film is also about an acrimonious custody battle between the parents of a little girl who are not married; Maisie and Sarah both had attractive young foreign nannies – Maisie’s is called Margo, and Sarah’s was called Marisela; in the sleep-over scene, Maisie’s friend starts crying and has to be picked up by her parents. On one occasion when Blakley gave a party for Sarah, one of Sarah’s friends started crying and had to be picked up by her parents; in the film, Maisie burned herself while staying with Beale. In real life, Sarah suffered a burn while she was staying with her father; Sarah had a canopy bed at Cartwright’s residence that is similar to Maisie’s bedroom in Beale’s apartment; in Susanna’s apartment, there is a distinctive statue of a South East Asian goddess, Kwan Minh; Blakley owns a very similar statue; also they both had leather furniture; Susanna sent Maisie flowers while she was staying with Beale. Blakley sent Sarah flowers while she was staying with Cartwright.


Deadline notes that actually winning a 'libel in fiction' case isn't that common, with most being settled one way or another before ever coming to trial. BUT in 2009, a jury in Georgia awarded $100,000 to plaintiff Vickie Stewart after finding she'd been defamed by author and former friend Haywood Smith in the best selling “Red Hat Club.”  The suit pointed out more than 30 real life similarities between Stewart and the fictional character portrayed in the book – including the jobs she held and how her husband died and – the jury ruled that the author had also falsely portrayed Stewart as a promiscuous alcoholic.

Ouch! That does sound like a writer doing a real hatchet job on someone they used to call friend. And a warning bell for writers - if you want to portray your former bestie as a 'promiscuous alcoholic' or your ex as a 'selfish and uncaring mother' you're going to have to do a whole lot more to protect yourself than change the character's hair color. What do you all think?

Let's finish off with a look at Julianne Moore playing the rock star in What Maisie Knew, followed by a little Blakley playing the waning country star in Nashville. Enjoy:



Check out the entire Deadline article here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

MacBeth: Marion Cotillard gives the Scottish play a French twist


It's a long way off but the latest cinematic attempt at MacBeth due out in 2015 has Lady MacBeth speaking, not with a Scottish accent like the rest of the cast, but with a French brogue. The Justin Kurzel directed film stars Michael Fassbender as MacBeth with Marion Cotillard as Lady MacBeth, Lady M. as Fassbender came to call her. 

Here's what Cotillard said to friend and colleague, directorJohn Cameron Mitchell in Interview magazine. Mitchell, best known for his film Hedwig and for being killed off as Hannah's editor in Girlsasked Cotillard if she had 'a special coach for the language of Shakespeare.'
COTILLARD: Oh, yeah. And, it is really tough. It's tough already for someone who speaks English. But we really tried to stick to the original text, which is inspiring because he wrote the words, but also because there is a rhythm and an energy that fits with the emotion and the purpose of what he says. But, of course, I couldn't do it by myself. I need someone to work with; they want to keep a flavor of my French accent, because when they offered me the part, I told [director Justin Kurzel] ... Well, he knew— 
MITCHELL: You're not going to be Scottish- 
COTILLARD: [laughs] Yes. [Kurzel] thought it was interesting to have, like, an exotic flavor to the accent. So I asked, "Do you really think it's interesting? Or do you think I will never be able to totally erase my French accent and be totally Scottish?" [Mitchell laughs] And he said, "No, no, no, we really think it's interesting." I don't know if it was true, but I'm doing it, so...
MITCHELL: Well, you know they talk about the Vieille Alliance, the old alliance between the Scottish and the French. 
COTILLARD: At that time, the accents and the way of speaking were totally different. 
MITCHELL: Very different for everybody, yeah. 
COTILLARD: So it's not like it doesn't make sense that I would have a weird accent. If it were set today, and we knew about my family line and everything, it would not be believable, but back then, without all the information about where she comes from, we're going to make it work. Oh, I have to.  
MITCHELL: You're going to be great in that role; it's such a powerful role. I always want to play the female roles in Shakespeare. And in Beckett. I'm of Scottish descent, but I want to play Lady Macbeth, not Macbeth. 
COTILLARD: You could totally play Lady Macbeth.  
MITCHELL: Someday. 
Was Cotillard the right choice? Don't get me wrong; I love me some Marion Cotillard. She's a fantastic actor and who wouldn't want to look like her. Who could blame Owen Wilson for having his head turned by the sultry star as Adriana in Midnight in Paris?  But I'm not sure I'm ready for Lady MacBeth with a French accent; are you?

Costar Michael Fassbender explained to the Daily Mail (who released these first two images from the film) ‘We felt it would be unreasonable for her to put on a Scottish accent. It would not be unreasonable to presume that her character spent time in the French court.’

Hmmm. "Unreasonable" to ask her to put on a Scottish accent. How so? Fassbender who is not Scottish is putting on the accent, Elizabeth Debecki who plays Lady MacDuff is Australian, not Scottish, and also putting on the accent. But we're used to actors from both the British isles and the land down under turning in performances in a wide variety of accents. Is it harder for the French? Is it possible for Cotillard to lose her accent as she loses herself in the role, or as Fassbender suggests, would it be unrealistic to expect it. Are there any vocal coach types who know the challenges involved with losing a French accent?



Of course, I'll want to see it, Fassbender is such an intense and watchable actor, I don't want to miss a thing. Adding to the intensity of Shakespeare's MacBeth, Fassbender and the director have mixed in the element of PTSD. 

‘He’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder,’ Fassbender told Baz Bamigoye at the Daily Mail. ‘It makes total sense, when you think about it. Justin set the seed of the idea in my head.  
‘This trauma is something we know about. In World War I they called it battle fatigue, and it was probably more horrific in Macbeth’s days, when they were killing with their bare hands, and driving a blade through bodies. 'He’s having these hallucinations, and he needs to return to the violence to find some sort of clarity, or peace.’
Plus the pair had lost a child. Ask Game of Throne siblings Jamie and Cersei Lannister just what crazy stuff people will do when they've lost a child. 

He’d been away fighting and when he returns, we see it’s a relationship that’s broken down. They lost a child, and there wasn’t time for them to grieve because he’s been away campaigning.’
‘Lady M is desperate for that reconnection, and briefly they do. And, of course, the doorway has been opened to darkness and to violence.’  
After Duncan is murdered, Lady M hopes that this ‘fantastical deed, this terrible deed, this extraordinary deed of killing a king will be something that will bond them together’. 
That spilled blood leads to more and more killings.
‘He’s wary of doing it,’ Fassbender said, ‘but Lady M bolsters him, and tells him to garner his strength.’
She'll be bolstering him with a Gallic bent; I'm trying to picture Cotillard crying "Out, out Damn spot."  This trailer for Blood Ties with Clive Owen and Billy Crudup ought to shed some light on that husky French accented voice; give it a listen and see what you think of how Cotillard sounds as the character Monica. I'm not sure what that's supposed to be!



If you happen to be all hot and bothered because Cotillard is French and vive la France and all that stuff,  you might just love my friend Paulita's weekly French appreciation meme Dreaming of France.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Life on a film set: there's nothing to see here, folks


Following my tradition of sharing some sort of easy video with you on a Sunday, here's a very dull one.

The footage was shot by someone calling themselves Harpazo Restrainer and purports to be a behind the scenes clip from Gone Girl. Just in case you're harboring the notion that life on a film set is all fun, action, glamor and excitement, this should set you straight. Movie making can be thrilling; try telling that to all the people milling around waiting for something to happen here.


Boring, right? What's not boring is the trailer; let's take another look. As we all now know, author Gillian Flynn and director David Fincher collaborated and came up with a new ending. Hate or love that idea, the truth is we don't know whether the quick cut we get of Amy floating in the water, looking deceased, is real. Is Amy Dunne really dead? Or is that just a fragment of a nightmarish vision? I'm excited to see what they've done but I - and I suspect most of you - will be annoyed if it doesn't mesh with what we love and hate about the couple and their story. 

My favorite thing about the trailer still might be Richard Butler from the Psychadelic Furs singing She. 



Check out the Gone Girl movie website; It's set up to look like a news television station is providing coverage of the disappearance of Amy Dunne aka The Amazing Amy. Flashing bits of search-related footage come and go. 

Check out all my GONE GIRL POSTS HERE

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Will 'Cold in July' be Hot in May?


"The film comes out in May, see? so I thought I'd make a little play on the temperature/month connection ... okay, I can see it was a bad idea. Do ya think I need an ediotir editor?" she asked sheepishly.
Here's the daily post:)

Got a case of Dexter-deprivation? Here's the cure; the first trailer for Cold in July. According to Deadline the film stars Michael C. Hall as Richard,  "a small-town guy who’s hailed as a hero after he offs a burglar. But then the crook’s ex-con dad (Sam Shepard) shows up with vengeance on his mind and Richard’s family in his sights. But do the cops know more that they’re saying? Cold In July also stars Don Johnson as a private eye. "

Here's the storyline if the movie stays true to Lansdale's book:


"Richard Dane shoots and kills a burglar in his living room, setting off a bizarre chain of events. It starts when the thief's father, Russell, threatens to take an eye for an eye by slaying Dane's son. Then Dane and Russell are thrown into a violent race without rules, heading toward a grisly, dark and inevitable truth. From the author of Mucho Mojo."  Barnes&Noble Overview
A bizarre series of events? A violent race without rules? A grisly, dark and inevitable truth? Sounds like my kind of rom-com. Have you checked out the trailer yet? Now, would be a good time:) More after I watch it.



Wow, that looks intense. It also looks as though director Jim Mickle is holding true to the book; they sure didn't bury Joe R. Lansdales's name which signals to me that the movie is a celebration of the novel - if that could  even remotely be the right word considering the book's 'grisly, dark and inevitable truth.' 

Cold in July, based on Joe R. Lansdale's novel, was scripted by Nick Damici. Damici and Mickle are often a matched set, teaming up previously on We Are What We Are, Stake Land, and Mulberry St. Cold in July comes out in theaters and VOD on May 23. Let me know if you've read the book; I'd love to hear what you think. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

What's new Pussycat? Tom Jones is starring in Under Milkwood


I had to read this sentence twice. 
"Tom Jones, Sian Phillips & Michael Sheen Join ‘Under Milk Wood’ Cast"
Tom Jones? As in It's Not Unusual, What's New Pussy Cat?, Delilah Tom Jones! 

I don't know why I'm so shocked. It's not like Jones has ever stopped working - he's currently a coach on The Voice UK! - but while I used to wail Why Why Why Delilah with the best of them, I personally haven't thought of Tom Jones in years. The superstar reached the height of his popularity in the 60's and 70's and you whipper snapper types may not remember but this is the man famous, not just for his crazy good Welsh singing voice, but for all the panties his female fans threw at him. The 73 year old looks so much better with his natural hair color - he used to dye it a flat black - so who knows?, the stage door security guards may still have to fend off a few devotees. 


Jones, who stars as the blind Captain Cat, along with Sian Phillips and Michael Sheen, are joing Jonathan Pryce, Mathew Rhys, John Rhys Davies, Ioan Gruffudd and opera star Bryn Terfel in the the BBC television adaptation of Dylan Thomas play. 

The play which debuted over 60 years ago on the radio has been adapted over and over again; maybe most memorably by Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O'Toole in 1972. Sian Phillips appeared in that rendition as Mrs. Ogmore-Pritchard; Philips, most widely recognized for her portrayal of Livia in I, Claudius, as well as for being O'Toole's ex-wife, will play Mrs. Pugh this time around. Jones will be playing O'Toole's part. That 1972 version - available on dvd - would be something to see (and I believe I did, once upon a time.  Scroll down for the trailer. Under Milk Wood comes to the BBC in May; hopefully us kids across the sea will get it shortly after.





Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marcello welcomes you to Cannes


This years poster for the Cannes film festival is just too cool; that's sexy Marcello Mastroianni peering over those Foster Grants - or Persols or whatever sunglasses celebs are wearing these days.

Which is to say the Cannes Film Festival lineup has been released and here it is. 

Opening Film: Grace Of Monaco, dir: Olivier Dahan
Closing Film: To be announced


COMPETITION
Winter Sleep, dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Clouds Of Sils Maria, dir: Olivier Assayas
Saint Laurent, dir: Bertrand Bonello
Maps To The Stars, dir: David Cronenberg
Two Days, One Night, dirs: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Mommy, dir: Xavier Dolan
The Captive, dir: Atom Egoyan
Goodbye To Language, dir: Jean-Luc Godard
The Search, dir: Michel Hazanavicius
Jimmy’s Hall, dir: Ken Loach
The Homesman, dir: Tommy Lee Jones
Futatsume No Mado, dir: Naomi Kawase
Mr Turner, dir: Mike Leigh
Foxcatcher, dir: Bennett Miller
Leviathan, dir: Andrey Zvyaginstev
Wild Tales, dir: Damian Szifron
Le Meraviglie, dir: Alice Rohrwacher
Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Sissako

I'm excited about The Homesman! It's based on Glen Swarthout's award winning western novel about Mary Bee Cuddy, a feisty spinster and former teacher who, along with a low life, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones). The cast is really enticing; Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader, John Lithgow, and Grace Gummer - she's inherited at least some of her mom's acting genes - is Arabella Sours, the best character name ever!  Mom Meryl Streep also plays a role. Jones directs and had a hand in with the script. My son has turned me on to some classic westerns from the likes of Ford, Hawkes, Leone, Peckinpaw, and Eastwood so Jones has pretty big, make that HUGE, shoes to fill! Moreinfo as we move forward; The Homesman screens May 21 at Cannes, in August at Telluride with a limited release set for October 3rd.



Heres the films set for Un Certain Regard and the balance of the Cannes screenings - so excited for Lost River, Ryan Gosling's directorial debut!

UN CERTAIN REGARD
Opening Film: Party Girl*, dirs: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Untitled, dir: Lisandro Alonso
La Chambre Bleue, dir: Mathieu Amalric
L’Incompresa, dir: Asia Argento
Lost River*, dir: Ryan Gosling
Amour Fou, dir: Jessica Hausner
Titli*, dir: Kanu Behl
Charlie’s Country, dir: Rolf de Heer
Bird People, dir: Pascale Ferran
Eleanor Rigby, dir: Ned Benson
Snow In Paradise*, dir: Andrew Hulme
A Girl At My Door*, dir: July Jung
Xenia, dir: Panos Koutras
Run, dir: Philippe Lacôte
Hermosa Juventud, dir: Jaime Rosales
Turist, dir: Ruben Ostlund
The Salt Of The Earth, dirs: Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
Fantasia, dir: Wang Chao
Harcheck Mi Headro, dir: Keren Yedaya

OUT OF COMPETITION
How To Train Your Dragon 2, dir: Dean DeBlois
Coming Home, dir: Zhang Yimou

MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS
The Target, dir: Chang
The Salvation, dir: Kristian Levring
The Rover, dir: David Michöd

SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Eau Argentée, dir: Mohammed Ossama
Maidan, dir: Sergei Loznitsa
Red Army, dir: Polsky Gabe
Caricaturistes – Fantassins De La Démocratie, dir: Stéphanie Valloatto
The Bridges Of Sarajevo, dirs: Aida Begic, Leonardo Di Costanzo, Jean-Luc Godard, Kamen Kalev, isild Le Besco, Sergei Loznitsa, Vincenzo Marra, Ursula Meier, Vladimir Perisic, Cristi Puiu, Marc Recha, Angela Schanelec, Teresa Villaverde

* Denotes first feature, eligible for the Camera d’Or

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FIRST TRAILER for If I Stay movie based on Gayle Forman's book WATCH!


Okay If I Stay fansies, I've got two new coolio bits. In addition to the  If I Stay Facebook Page the first trailer has been released. I've got that for you here. And holy heck, it got to me so get out your handkerchiefs. If I Stay stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia with Jamie Blackley as Adam, Mireille Enos as Kat, Mia's mother, Josh Leonard as her dad and Liana Liberato as Mia's friend Kim. Directed by R.J. Cutler (Nashville) from a script by Shauna Cross.  If I Stay comes out August 22. 



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gone Girl : First trailer stars Ben Affleck and SHE


After all my months of whining about Ben Affleck being not quite right for Nick Dunne - too old, not the lean and lanky look I imagined Nick to be - now that I've watched the just-released trailer I'm beginning to see just how right for the role Ben is! My son says Affleck has a face you want to hit which is Nick to a T. 

As for Rosamund Pike as Amy, while the song 'She' is all about her, the actor is barely seen in the trailer, emphasizing that Amy Dunne has in fact, gone missing.  The old Charles Aznavour tune, first used for the British TV show Seven Faces of Woman in the 70's, is still mesmerizing. I'm partial to the Elvis Costello version used in Notting Hill but this rendition from Richard Butler of The Psychadelic Furs haunts in much the same way. It's deliciously ironic used here, don't you think?


While we get glimpses of Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry), Go (Carrie Coon) and Detective Boney (Kim Dickens) I didn't catch Desi Collings (Neil Patrick Harris) or Andie (Emily Ratajkowski), although it's possible they were standing in the shadows. There was a sense of darkness, not just thematically as a fair amount of scenes take place in shadows and half-light. If you haven't seen it yet, give the trailer a look and see what you think. So often there's just too much spoilery stuff in trailers but I like that this one doesn't go too far; the mystery is intact. I'm sort of excited to see how the film differs from the book - we already know the ending has changed but how? We'll find out October 3rd.




Monday, April 14, 2014

FIRST LOOK: Gone Girl poster is quite the tease


Fresh, gorgeous, contemporary and quite the tease!

Now this is what I call AWESOME! The first poster for Gone Girl has landed with quite a splash. If the very un Hollywood graphic  - where are the stars? get me Ben Affleck STAT- is any indication, David Fincher's take on the Gillian Flynn bestselling thriller could actually be thrilling. Could character and story trump celebrity? Wouldn't that be awesome. 

Couldn't wait to share this with you! What do you think, are you as intrigued as I am to see the movie? I'm really curious to see how the new ending - Gillian Flynn and director David Fincher collaborated and came up with a different way to finish the story which sounds great to me; I know I'm not alone with finding the original ending problematic.
Gone Girl comes out in theaters October 3.

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