When Lars von Trier‘s last film, Antichrist, played at Fantastic Fest, it unknowingly birthed the festival’s unofficial mantra: “Chaos Reigns.” Chaos reigns again in von Trier’s latest film, Melancholia, which is about two deeply depressed sisters and their personal trials during the end of the world. It stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg as the sisters as well as supporting roles by Kiefer Sutherland, Stellan Skarsgard, Alexander Skarsgard, John Hurt, Charlotte Rampling and more.
Chaos also reigns in a less impressive, more action-packed, take on the end times, The Day. Directed by Doug Aarniokoski and starring Dominic Monaghan, Shannyn Sossamon, Ashley Bell and Shawn Ashmore, The Day is a snap shot of 24 hours in a post-apocalyptic world. Read more about each film after the jump. Read More »
Stacy Keach is the latest actor added to the growing cast of Tony Gilroy‘s The Bourne Legacy, which stars Jeremy Renner as a new ultra-capable agent who emerges from the same training program that created Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. We don’t know Keach’s role, but do know that he will play alongside (or against) Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton in the film that acts as a parallel storyline to the three existing Bourne films. [Variety]
After the break, you’ll find information about Forest Whitaker’s role as one of the two leads of a voodoo thriller, and Katrina Bowden joins the Paz de la Huerta exploitation picture Nurse 3D. Read More »
Yesterday I highlighted one of the films announced for the Midnight Madness program at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America. Today we’re back with another MM offering: The Day, a post-apocalyptic thriller that stars Ashley Bell, Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore, Cory Hardrict, and Shannyn Sossamon. Read More »
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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Robert Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, and director Douglas Aarniokoski sat down to answer a bunch of questions from fans about Red Sonja at Comic Con today, and also took the liberty of showing off some of the teaser poster artwork they had come up with. Putting aside the bizarre coincidence that one of the teasers was the third poster this week to play up the hot-girl-licks-dripping-blood theme (complete with the contrast of the pale white skin against the harsh red hues), the artwork on display amounted to some damn fine looking imagery. I particularly like the shot of McGowan sitting on a mountain of skulls with her glowing red hair blowing in the wind. Morbid, yet also kind of hot.
There were also some rather cool tidbits that seeped through the cracks in regards to the visual style of the film and what kind of prep they’ve been doing to prepare for filming in the months ahead.
But first, for those wondering why Robert Rodriguez isn’t directing the film, it’s not by choice. He has a contract still going that requires his next film to be with the Weinsteins, and thus he is unable to work on this at the same time. This lead to his decision to have Douglas Aarnioko (Rodriguez’s first assistant director on everything from From Dusk Till Dawn to Spy Kids) helm the film. At the same time, I got the impression this was just a clever ruse for Rodriguez to direct the film while avoiding any legal trouble. It wouldn’t be the first time he decided to try something so unconventional, what with him dropping out of the DGA due to issues with his invention of the “special guest director” credit with Quentin Tarantino on Sin City. Compared to Aarniokoski, Rodriguez was clearly the more enthusiastic of the two, harboring a deep love of the source material and professing that his stamp on the material would definitely be noticeable.
As far as where the current stage the film is at right now, it was announced that Rodriguez and Aarniokoski had been scouting locations across the country for the past three weeks, while Rose McGowan would start her sword training this following week. The big note of interest though came from one of the Q&A participants, who asked if they were going to be incorporating green screen effects like they did on Sin City (or how it was later done with 300). The filmmaking duo explained that they were going to be using both, enhancing the practical locations in a way that differentiates it from other recent sword-and-sandal movies and gives it a unique look that we’ve never seen before. It sounded like they already had something particular in mind, so it will be interesting to see what eventually ends up on screen.
Rodriguez also went on to explain that the film would be very dark, following more along the lines of the novels than the comics. The most important difference between this incarnation and the original, however, came courtesy of Rose McGowan, who noted, “I wont have a mullet.” Bless you for that, Rose. Bless you. McGowan’s contributions didn’t end there either. When going into detail about why she wanted to do the project upon receiving the script, she explained that it’s important to “do what you want to do” instead of focusing simply on being a role model. “And I wanted to take a giant sword and kill a lot of people.”
Another interesting tidbit she offered up was a hint at what kind of action we could expect, referencing that it would be similar in ways to the free-running chase sequence that kicked off Casino Royale but with swords. As soon as I heard that I immediately had this mental image of the PS3 game Heavenly Sword, with the red-haired gal sliding across vines and launching in between enemies and various obstacles with stunning visual flair. If the Red Sonja film can capture even a smidgen of that gorgeous style, it’s sure to be an interesting ride.
Photos and posters above courtesy of Yahoo, MoviesOnline, and Filmz.ru. Head on over to those sites for high resolution versions.