Exceeding all expectations and boldly showing up Hollywood on how to craft a stunning, historical battleground epic with tasteful violence and, sure, sweeping romance, Mongol was one of my top 10 films of 2007. And while it’s valid to make the argument for those films notoriously left out of the category, Mongol deserves to win this year’s Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. The American critics who are not gushing over it, simply have not seen it and are dismissing for shades of the some reason that many will dismiss it after viewing this trailer: it’s being marketed like 300 meets The Last Samurai meets Hero.
Instead, the soon-to-be signature effort from Russian director Sergei Bodrov conjures the hushed, bewitching appreciation for the existential qualities of nature and landscapes seen in Andrew Dominik and Roger Deakins’s The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, the Oscar-caliber clashes of Braveheart, and the universal, R-rated, crowd pleasing paternal tale of John Milius’s Conan the Barbarian. Believe it. You feel the small warmth of the campfires burning under majestic China night skies in this film, and you are transported into the main character’s sprawling travels from boy to man of ye gods. The first of three planned films about the life of Genghis Khan aka Temudjin, played with stoic depth by indie Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano (Ichi the Killer), Mongol is the convincing introductory piece to what might become one of the great trilogies in all of modern cinema.
Watch the trailer after the jump. Mongol will be released in the United States on June 8 by Picturehouse Entertainment.
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Remember David Schwimmer? He played Ross on Friends, and now he wants to be a director. His feature film debut, Run Fatboy Run premieres at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. I was able to get an advance look at the film, although I wasn’t expecting much going in. The reason I wanted to see the film was because it starred Simon Pegg, who you may know from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame. And this isn’t the first collaboration between Schwinner and Pegg, the duo teamed up for a film last year called Big Nothing, which went directly to DVD in the states. No, I haven’t found time to rent it. And while most direct-to-dvd releases are usually of questionable quality, Big Nothing actually has a decent score on IMDb.
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Cinematical has posted the theatrical movie poster for Run Fatboy Run, a movie by David Schwimmer (yes, the Friends guy) starring Simon Pegg (of Shaun of the Dead fame). I just caught the film yesterday but am not allowed to review it until the Toronto Film Festival screens the film next week. I will say this: It’s a funny yet surprisingly endearing. Click on the image to the right to enlarge. Here is the film’s official plot synopsis:
Five years ago Dennis (Pegg) was at the alter about to marry Libby (Newton), his pregnant fiancÃ©e. He got cold feet and ran for the hills and he’s been going in circles ever since. When Dennis discovers Libby’s hooked up with high-flying-go-getter Whit (Azaria), he realizes it’s now or never. He enters a marathon to show he’s more than a quitter but then finds out just how much sweat, strain and tears it takes to run for 26 miles. Nobody gives him a chance but Dennis knows this is his only hope to more than a running joke.