Conan the Barbarian isn’t the only guy getting the Unforgiven treatment. The 1991 Clint Eastwood western has become a genre landmark, essentially nailing shut the concept of the anti-hero created when the spaghetti western subgenre flowered with A Fistful of Dollars in 1964.
Now Ken Watanabe is playing the Eastwood role in a Japanese-produced remake of Unforgiven, which is set in Japan in 1880. Lee Sang-il directs, with part of the film oriented around Japan’s transition out of very secluded tradition to a more modern society able to come to terms with outside influence. That conflict has been played out in Japanese cinema many times before, especially as many samurai films were essentially rebranded westerns. So this remake seems like nearly an inevitability.
See some shots from the film below, along with a few other news items:
- Simon West will direct a remake of the Burt Reynolds film Heat,
- the new Mortal Kombat film has a rough budget,
- Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and a bizarre stranger caught in Oldboy set pics,
- and an Oldboy cast member talks about Brolin’s physical transformations for the film.
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How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor made his feature writing and directorial debut with Happythankyoumoreplease. The film is charming and “cutesy” and while it won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival that year, I didn’t love it (the film was later critically panned, receiving a 40% on Rotten tomatoes).
Radnor’s second feature Liberal Arts premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and impressed me much more. The film stars Radnor as a 35-year old bookworm who develops a relationship with a College sophomore played by Elizabeth Olsen. The movie also features Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, John Magaro, and Elizabeth Reaser. It was met with a long standing ovation at the premiere. Germain Lussier, who was at the festival with me, compared Radnor to Cameron Crowe. High praise, eh? Good enough to earn a quote in the official trailer, which is now online and can be consumed embedded after the jump.
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At this point, given how many offers have gone out for Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy, and how many have come to naught, I’m wary of being convinced too early that a particular actor is going to be part of the film. But here’s a new one: Twitch, which has been at the forefront of breaking news about the remake, says that Elizabeth Olsen, of Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House, has been offered the film’s lead female role.
Update: Another report says Olsen is in talks for the role, and a deal is likely to be signed. We’ve also got info on her role, which sounds as if it has been slightly changed from the female lead in the South Korean film.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 by Angie Han
After a very unrevealing first teaser, we finally got a better look at Buried director Rodrigo Cortés‘ Red Lights when the full-length international trailer hit last week. Unfortunately, with all the dialogue dubbed over in Spanish and nary a subtitle in sight, it was difficult to get a sense of what was actually going on. Now an English-language version of the same trailer has just gone up, and while the film is still shrouded in plenty of mystery — it is a thriller, after all — the new video does a much better job of setting up the premise for the non-Spanish-speakers among us.
Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy star as psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant Tom Buckley, respectively, who study and debunk parascience and paranormal activity. They find their biggest challenge yet when a world-famous psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro) returns to the limelight after decades in retirement. Elizabeth Olsen and Toby Jones also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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Two years ago Rodrigo Cortés brought the one-man thriller Buried to Sundance, and this year he returned with Red Lights, a film in which follows “psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they study and disprove paranormal activity, parascience and psychics. But can they take down world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has come out of retirement after three decades?”
Today, despite tepid reviews, Millennium Entertainment signed a deal to distribute Red Lights in the US. While there isn’t yet a new domestic trailer to supplement the teaser we saw a couple months back, there is an international trailer to show off the film a bit.
This Spanish trailer won’t tell you too much about the film, because it is dubbed in Spanish with no subtitles, but if you want to get a general idea of what the film looks like this should do the trick. Read More »
There’s a scene in Josh Radnor’s sophomore effort, Liberal Arts, where a 35-year-old admissions officer is mathematically analyzing what it means to date a 19-year-old. No words are uttered, it’s all simple math written on screen, yet it’s filled with more humor, poise and philosophy in two minutes than some movies have in two hours. The scene spawned a round of applause mid-movie. Not bad for a writer/director who most people know as a sitcom star.
With Liberal Arts, Radnor positions himself as a mini-Cameron Crowe, mixing joy, life lessons and a love of culture into a perfect, crowd pleasing film. Co-starring Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney and Zac Efron, Liberal Arts had its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and received a well-deserved standing ovation. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 by Angie Han
I suppose it’s not really correct to call Anton Yelchin and Dakota Fanning up-and-comers, seeing as each of them has been in the industry for over a decade. But as they transition into increasingly grown-up roles, it still feels like we’re seeing the emergence of pair of promising young actors. Elizabeth Olsen, on the other hand, is about as fresh-faced as they come. Last year’s Sundance hits Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene were her first real roles, aside from a tiny part in her sisters’ How the West Was Fun way back in 1994.
The three are now in final talks to star in Very Good Girls, from another not-quite newcomer, Naomi Foner. Though Foner’s been working as a writer and producer since the ’70s, the upcoming project will mark her directorial debut. More details after the jump.
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Rodrigo Cortés made a name for himself with a film that premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival: Buried, based on Chris Sparling’s black list script about a man buried alive who has to figure a way out of his coffin before his air supply is used up. The film starred Ryan Reynolds, and was critically praised for it’s direction, a tough task considering the 95-minute film takes place completely inside a casket.
Cortés returns to Sundance two years later with the $15 million thriller Red Lights, which he also wrote. The story follows Psychologist Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as they study and disprove paranormal activity, parascience and psychics. But can they take down world-renowned psychic Simon Silver (Robert De Niro), who has come out of retirement after three decades?
This is a 21st century Ghostbusters. What if Venkman, Stantz and Spengler never got fired from their parapsychology professor jobs? What if they took their research seriously and mounted a serious fight against the world of paranormal scams (a la skeptics James Randi and Penn Jillette), busting “ghosts” through scientific research. Or you might even be ale to think of it as a Ghostbusters spin-off — what if Dana Barrett (Weaver’s character in GB) left the company of the Ghostbusters and became a skeptic?
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