Nolte totally cracked out! Creedence Clearwater Revival blaring! Robert Downey Jr. as a fake black man! Jack Black as an albino! A real black dude yelling, “I’m from Brooklyn motherfucker!” The red-band teaser trailer (who knew, right?) for Ben Stiller‘s Tropic Thunder has arrived and it packs a soap-in-mouth wallop. Unfortunately, the characters are layered over footage from the film, so for the trailer’s entire duration you’re looking for an “X CLOSE” so you can get rid of the Flash and enjoy it. It’s not there, sadly.
But what is there, more and more, is the potential for Tropic Thunder to shred up throats with laughter like so many foreign palm trees this August. And I am already digging the P.C. controversy that is erupting over Downey’s performance. Say what you want about Apatow but his comedy doesn’t exactly piss people off, and it’s about time we got one that did.
Click here to skip the stupid age registration and watch the first “Over the Top Restricted Teaser Video” trailer for Tropic Thunder.
Discuss: Are you liking what you’ve seen of the film thus far or what? And how badass is Nick Nolte, I mean, really?
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Before you head out this Friday to wrap your hands around a cold brewsky, try wrapping your head around the following description of Aaron Eckhart‘s performance(s) as Harvery Dent and Two Face in July’s The Dark Knight. Over at CHUD, Jeremy Smith spills all he knows about what Christopher Nolan has in store for us. It is pretty WTF, so here we go…
“Basically, Nolan shot complementary takes of Eckhart in Two-Face makeup so he could visually represent the duality of Dent in a less cartoony fashion,” says Smith. …[Harvey/Two Face] is a fifty-fifty split of the same actor giving two wildly divergent performances in the same shot.
And because he has two takes of each scene, Nolan has the luxury of shaping Eckhart’s performance in post; it’s just a matter of switching the dial between normal Harvey and bug-fuck Two-Face. Again, both will be present in the shot, but only one will dominate the poor bastard’s conflicted consciousness at any given moment. The technical audacity required in pulling this off may be the reason Two-Face was held back in the trailer.”
So, anyone who was hoping that Nolan’s Dent/Two Face would bear resemblance to Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face or Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever…shame, shame! If the following report is on the money, Nolan is literally going to split Eckhart’s performance in half and launch the film’s crazy factor into outer space. In fact, The Dark Knight might turn out to be one of the darkest, most ruthless PG-13 movies ever, summer or not, from the sounds of it.
Discuss: How do you imagine Nolan’s rather ballsy technique turning out on the big screen?
Fresh off the news that he’ll produce and probably star in two big budget Akira flicks and the rumor that he’ll star in Cocaine Cowboys, Leonardo DiCaprio is now circling a remake of the 2008 South Korean serial killer thriller The Chaser. What’s more, according to Variety, screenwriter William Monahan, the guy responsible for a lot of the sparks in Leo’s The Departed, has been pegged by Warner Bros. to write the script. While nothing’s signed as of yet, Monahan’s also producing the film.
This would be the third team-up between Monahan and DiCaprio, with their Body of Lies, directed by Ridley Scott, due this October. And, of course, The Departed was itself a remake of the Hong Kong hit Infernal Affairs. DiCaprio would reportedly play a down-and-out ex-cop who sets out to find a girl being used like a pawn by a serial killer against the police.
Released last month in Asia, The Chaser has banked more than $20 million. The plot is a bit seedy, as the ex-cop that DiCaprio is set to play is actually a pimp who runs a massage parlor as a cover. When his girls start disappearing, he makes a connection to the killer, finds him and the police become involved and yet they obsess over the body count. The cop sets out to find the last missing girl, who the serial killer hints is still alive, before the cops have to release him. There is reportedly lots of social commentary packed into the low budget film as well, especially regarding police focus.
Click here for the trailer. No U.S. release date has been for the original film at this time.
Discuss: Do you find the premise of The Chaser intriguing for the talent involved?
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Do you remember where you were and who you were with last June when The Sopranos went out with a (non) bang? Might one of the all time quizzical endings lead to a new beginning (perhaps an even greater one?), as rumors are coming in today that a theatrical movie is in the works. One Nick D’Urso, manager of the Satin Dolls strip club in North Jersey, which served as the infamous Bada Bing strip club in the show, says he received a call, possibly from HBO, telling him not to do any renovations to the club in lieu of an upcoming Sopranos movie.
“I got an inside tip that they’re going to do a movie, so I don’t want to make any major changes,” D’Urso said Wednesday. “I’m not going to reveal my sources, but we got a call from somebody (working) on the script.”
HBO apparently had no comment regarding D’Urso’s claim. Supporting the possibility of a movie is arguably the show’s most well known fan, Soprano Sue, who had this to say…
“As soon as the finale ended, I got a call from somebody on the crew who said, ‘We’re going to make a movie,’” she said, adding, “You can tell just by looking at the series finale.”
Gotta love her. I understand why naysayers don’t want a continuance to the series. The ending was pretty, well, beautiful and right, and remains so. It made grown men cry to the sounds of Journey in front of their gals. Television shows like AMC’s Breaking Bad (which is excellent) and Showtime’s Weeds (which is pretty good, if bi-polar) have respectably taken up the lonely realism of David Chase’s legendary, landmark series, and an epic movie runs the risk of being The Godfather 3, but I’ll take that risk. In hectic times, we need these hectic characters and awesome relationships to return.
Discuss: Would Big T on the big screen betray the finale? Can David Chase reinvent the movie like he did with TV?
At one point, George Miller was in talks to take Justice League America down the all-CGI route a la Beowulf, and now Marvel’s dream-team flick, The Avengers, might be headed in that direction as well according to screenwriter Zak Penn (X-Men 2 and 3, The Incredible Hulk). Of course, this whole uber-caped enchilada depends on the success of this summer’s Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk, as both Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are key players. Director Jon Favreau has previously stated his interest in directing a live-action version that would team up Robert Downey Jr. and Ed Norton. Penn says that all-CGI talks have definitely happened…
“Absolutely. It’s not only something I’ve considered doing, but there’s been the discussion about The Avengers doing some sort of next level,” Penn told Collider. Whatever the next iteration of computer animation is after this, the next step after Beowulf, is something we would definitely conisder for that.”
“And I actually think it’s worth considering for a lot of movies, I think it’s amazing. It has a tremendous amount of potential. And I love animated movies, and I’ve produced animated movies, and I wrote the original story for Antz. It would definitely interest me.”
This comment wouldn’t necessarily put the kibosh on Downey Jr. and Norton reprising their roles, as motion capture would heavily play into the film it seems. Also, Beowulf was spectacular in 3D, so it’s only a matter of time before a massive comic book film heads in that direction, and if Avatar does well next year, the gates are open. Penn also told Collider that a Young X-Men film is still a definite possibility and will depend on the performance of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Interesting. Back to the The Avengers: no surprise, it’s still a ways away Penn tells IESB…
“The Avengers is a project in the future,” says Penn, “That’s the best way to put it until Iron Man and The Hulk come out. I haven’t talked to Marvel about it in awhile because I think that the best way to do it is to put together a movie that uses all the characters and so they probably want to see how the movies do and figure that out first.”
Personally, I want to see Matthew Vaughn’s take on Thor, which we haven’t heard much about in quite a while, more than an Avengers film. But teaming The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Antman and a slew of others together for a royal rumble is not exactly boring, you know?
Discuss: Should The Avengers be live-action or more like Beowulf on crack?
via First Showing
So, it’s sort of official that Will Ferrell killed edgy comedy last weekend with his b-ball floparoni Semi-Pro. An R-rated afro, post-Herzog bear fighting, and the era that Peter Frampton built (the ’70s) only takes you so far in 2008. What’s the solution? How about a three-year-old movie from The Onion? Yes, ladies and gentlemen and hard working spider-bots, the long shelved The Onion Movie is scooting over onto a DVD shelf near you later this year.
“America’s Finest News Source,” The Onion is the funnier, ballsier grandfather to The Daily Show, and its satiric newspaper and website haven’t exactly tamed with age. It remains an Internet champion of sorts, launching a steady online video format last year that you curiously don’t hear or see too much about. Given its reliance on topical material, one wonders how the company’s first, very dusty, movie, under the Fox Searchlight banner, will play out in a popular culture that is starting to make crack look wimpy.
The movie’s trailer has been available here for sometime, and as you’ll see, it’s sort of a The Kentucky Fried Movie-meets-CNN skit-heavy effort. The Steven Seagal-starring skit, “Cockpuncher,” has probably entered conversation during about 5,000 bong sessions on college campuses nationwide since it was rumored in 2004. Still funny? You decide.
For a brand that faces stiff competition these days, you have to wonder if this flick should have been torched, or maybe thrown quietly online for free like fake vomit on a sidewalk. No release date has been announced.
Discuss: Can The Onion Movie still be funny three years late? And who would win a duel to the end, Seagal’s Cockpuncher or Trejo’s Machete?
Simon Pegg has released an official statement regarding the American remake of Edgar Wright’s UK show Spaced, which is being produced by McG.
If you’re a huge fan of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (you know, the guys who brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), than you’ve might have seen their now cult classic British television show Spaced. The original series, which ran on Channel 4 in the U.K. for two seasons, was written by Pegg and Jessica Hynes, and was directed by Wright. The show followed two strangers who must pose as a married couple to rent an apartment. It earned two BAFTA nominations and an International Emmy nomination. If you have never watched this series, now is a great time to import the DVD box set or download the series.
Wright and Pegg are clearly unhappy that they have not been included in on the development of this project, since they were clearly responsible for much of what became the Channel 4 series. Read Pegg’s statement below:
SIMON’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING THE US SPACED
Thoughts on the subject of an American Spaced. Feel free to skip to the end.
Now that the pilot has been officially announced, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify my position on the subject. The whole affair seems to have inspired some spirited debate and some heartening displays of loyalty and love. All this for a show which is almost 10 years old, is all rather wonderful and a vindication of all the blood, sweat and tears (both of joy and pain) we shed in the show’s creation. It was always our aim to create a comedy which spoke to its audience on such a personal level, it almost felt one on one. It would seem the fan reaction to the news that Fox has appropriated the format, confirms at least, that we succeeded.
As far as remaking TV shows for different territories is concerned, I don’t have a problem. The Office remake being a perfect example. Yes, the original British version is a wonderful and compact piece of comedy writing and performance, but I think it’s bit much to expect a large scale American television audience to fully relate to the minutiae of day-to-day business life in an obscure British suburb. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you are the type of person who takes pleasure in the variety of entertainment you enjoy, relishing the differences between our various cultural touchstones but there is a massive audience out there, which perhaps isn’t as culturally savvy (euphemistic phrase for ‘geeky’) as we are and need their signifiers to be a little more familiar. So, Slough is replaced by Scranton, and the office archetypes become a little more archetypal to an American audience. The spirit of the show remains intact. The performances are uniformly great and the show scores big ratings and wins EMMYs, whether we as comedy purists prefer the original or not. The success of the remake is born out by it’s undoubted success and appeal.
My main problem with the notion of a Spaced remake is the sheer lack of respect that Granada/ Wonderland/Warner Bros have displayed in respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know. A decision I can only presume was made as a way of avoiding having to give us any money, whilst at the same time using mine and Edgar’s name in their press release, in order to trade on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, even professing, as Peter Johnson did, to being a big fan of the show and it’s creators. A device made all the more heinous by the fact that the press release neglected to mention the show’s co-creator and female voice, Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson). The fact is, when we signed our contracts ten years ago, we had neither the experience or the kudos to demand any clauses securing any control over future reversioning. We signed away our rights to any input in the show’s international future, because we just wanted to get the show made and these dark days of legal piracy seemed a far away concern. As a result, we have no rights. The show does not belong to us and, those that do own it have no obligation to include us in any future plans. You would perhaps hope though, out of basic professional respect and courtesy, we might have been consulted. It is this flagrant snub and effective vote of no confidence in the very people that created the show, that has caused such affront at our end. If they don’t care about the integrity of the original, why call it Spaced? Why attempt to find some validation by including mine and Edgar’s names in the press release as if we were involved? Why not just lift the premise? Two strangers, pretend to be a couple in order to secure residence of a flat/apartment. It’s hardly Ibsen. Jess and I specifically jumped off from a very mainstream sitcom premise in order to unravel it so completely. Take it, have it, call it Perfect Strangers and hope Balkie doesn’t sue. Just don’t call it Spaced.
It’s a shame, since the pilot is now a certainty, whether we like it or not, a simple phone call and a few reassurances might have helped to at least curtail the tide of indignation from fans and creators alike. I have, as of yet, heard nothing.
The following review contains spoilers and touches on topics and themes from the film, There Will Be Blood, which may prove unsettling for some readers. This review is long as hell because TWBB is long as hell, but it is also one of the best films ever made and the best film this decade.
The fact that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s American epic, There Will Be Blood, did not win an Oscar for Best Picture or Best Director says nothing about the film’s quality and inarguable stature as a masterpiece, but much about how we deal with an artist who swims out to the mark of greatness and madness, leaving the rest of us behind.
When an artist, rarely a director, does this it overwhelms and scares us. We practically expect the Jaws theme to begin its maniacal cue and watch the unknown devour him. Anderson, who previously directed the cool but slightly manipulative and hyperactive Boogie Nights and Magnolia, does nothing to alleviate our concern for the unhinged artist; his ever-focused stare dances more and more with an alarming expanse and he brandishes a smirk that sort of says “Oh really? Fuck off.” Luckily, from afar, these traits make him that much more interesting after viewing his first masterpiece.
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