Metegol as Underdogs

Juan José Campanella followed his Oscar-winning The Secret in Their Eyes with an animated fusbol film that took the Argentine box office by storm last year. The movie, called Metegol at home, was the most expensive Argentine production in history at $21m, but also a very successful release in South America when it hit theaters last summer.

Now The Weinstein Company has picked up US release rights for the movie; trouble is, the Weinstein Co. will release Metegol as Underdogs in the US. Read More »

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Will we ever get to see Metegol, the new film from The Secret in Their Eyes director Juan José Campanella, in US theaters? Hard to say, as the animated film is about a foosball game coming to life, and foosball and soccer just aren’t as popular in the States as they are nearly everywhere else in the world. (They’re growing here, but there’s a way to go yet.)

It would be too bad if we don’t get a chance to see the film theatrically, because it looks like a lot of fun. There have been a couple small teaser clips in the past year (since pulled), and now we’ve got a proper teaser trailer. There’s good animation here, and some character designs that look just right for the story the film wants to tell. Read More »

We were a bit surprised — only a bit — when it was announced that Juan Jose Campanella, director of the Oscar-winning Secret in Their Eyes, would make an animated film called Metegol, or Foosball. Only a bit surprised because there was that one great sequence in Secret that takes place at a soccer match, suggesting that Campanella evidently has more than a passing interest in the sport. But foosball is something else altogether, and not a thing that is often chronicled on screen. (Who knew this teaser would hit so close to a foosball-themed Community episode?)

The film is reportedly about ” an underdog who, with the help of foosball figures that come to life, must take on a star soccer pro to save their village.” We’ll have to wait to see more of that, but for now there is a one-minute teaser that starts to give us an idea of what the animation will look like. Check it out below. Read More »

Denzel Washington has reportedly been offered the lead role in the English-language remake of The Secret in Their Eyes, which is being helmed by Billy Ray (Shattered Glass). The original Argentinian version, by director Juan José Campanella, was a critical success that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture in 2010. In other words, no wonder someone in Hollywood’s decided to try and make it all over again.

The dramatic thriller centers around a retired criminal court investigator turned would-be novelist who’s struggling to get over a murder case and a romance that have haunted him for decades. Campanella’s film won raves for its unpredictable plotting, impressive camerawork, and excellent performances. I don’t think the American version sounds bad, so much as just pointless — but if it has to get remade, I suppose there are worse choices than Ray and Washington. [First Showing]

After the jump, Will Forte joins Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in Neighborhood Watch, and Isla Fisher lands magician heist flick Now You See Me.

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Briefly: Juan Jose Campanella‘s most recent film, The Secret in Their Eyes, won this year’s foreign-language Oscar, and now he’s chosen his follow-up picture. It might seem like the least likely choice: he’s planning to direct the animated Metegol, a film about soccer.

Variety describes the plot, which features “an underdog who, with the help of foosball figures that come to life, must take on a star soccer pro to save their village.” Mr. Campanella is also producing, and the film has a fairly small budget: only about $10m. But he says “”We are finding a visual style that we haven’t seen before in an animated movie. We are putting a lot of effort in that.” Can’t wait to hear more about this one, especially if the visual design turns out to be really unique.

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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