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At this point you probably have a pretty good handle on the style of a Paul WS Anderson movie — he turns out one b-movie after another that use affordable effects, attractive stars and genre concepts to lure in audiences. And the audiences always seem to show up, making Anderson one of the more reliable directors from a business perspective.

Here, he changes things up a bit for Pompeii. The attractive cast is there (Kit Harinton, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Paz Vega) as are the big digital effects and gritty but pretty violence. But there’s also a real historic backdrop — the destruction of the ancient city of Pompeii after the explosion of the volcano Vesuvius — giving the story a real weight. Will it work? Get some idea via the new trailer below. Read More »

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It’s easy to be pessimistic about the state of David Lynch‘s film career at this point. Outside the occasional fashion ad, music video or (admittedly pretty awesome) short film, the guy doesn’t now fall back to the movie camera as his primary creative device.

But there are signs that he’s not done with film yet. One is the revelation that he’s working on a new feature script. And the other is that his occasional acting resume will be bolstered with an appearance in the new film from his daughter, Jennifer Lynch. Read More »

‘Cat Run’ Trailer

Peter recently ran the pretty cool-looking poster for Cat Run in Page 2. At the time we knew little about the film, which stars Paz Vega as a call girl on the run because a whole bunch of people want a hard drive that is in her possession. Now there is a trailer for the film and after watching it, I still don’t know much about the film beyond the sentence that precedes this one. Read More »

“Five tales that will mess you up for life.” That’s the tagline for Burning Palms, which opens in limited release on January 14. Written and directed by Christopher B. Landon (who wrote Disturbia, Paranormal Activity 2), the film follows five separate stories all across Los Angeles that delve into very taboo territory. It stars Zoe Saldana, Jamie Chung, Dylan McDermott, Paz Vega, Nick Stahl, Shannon Doherty, Rosamund Pike and more. Check out the trailer – which has a very Funny Games feel – after the jump. Read More »

John Stockwell is a director who has consistently disappointed me throughout his career. Stockwell showed promise with his 2001 film Crazy/Beautiful, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez, but has since made a series of clunkers: Blue Crush, Into the Blue and Turistas.

His last film,  Middle of Nowhere, impressed me a bit when I saw it at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. I called it a “a multi-layered coming of age story with authentic performances” but the movie was sent direct to dvd (it’s definitely not something that would’ve played multiplexes).

His next film is an R-rated action comedy titled Roadkill. It was filmed in 2009 and does not yet have a release date/distributor. /Film read Max S sent me a plot synopsis, which you can read now after the jump.

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Imagine being director Lynne Ramsay watching Peter Jackson’s terrible version of The Lovely Bones. Ramsay made two excellent films, Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, the latter way back in 2002, then was attached for quite some time to film The Lovely Bones. That obviously didn’t happen, but for the past year she’s been working instead on an adaptation of We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver‘s novel about a troubled husband and wife dealing with the fact that their son perpetrated a murderous school shooting.

Tilda Swinton joined the cast last year, and now it is confirmed that John C. Reilly is on board to play her estranged husband. Movieline reports that the film is fast-tracked now, and will shoot in the spring. Can’t wait to see what Ramsay delivers.

After the break, a new film for Paz Vega and Daniel Brühl, and, er, some stuff about Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus. Read More »

Frank Miller’s The Spirit Getting Two Sequels?

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The word over at Superhero Hype is the Lionsgate has already negotiated with Frank Miller to direct two sequels to his Sin City-style green screen comic book caper The Spirit. If true, this would indicate tremendously sweet buzz on the project, as the main character, a detective who fakes his death to more vigilantly pursue the criminal element, and the property, created in 1940 by Will Eisner, have less name value than a Dick Tracy or Green Hornet. Comparisons to The Shadow are apt and we all know how that turned out for Alec Baldwin. And title star Gabriel Macht (The Good Shepherd, The Recruit) is less known and box-off tested than an actor like Christian Bale pre-Batman Begins.

But the supporting cast is cake: Sam Jackson as megalomanical villain The Octopus and then there’s the Playboy Mansion grotto-stocked bevy of foxes including Scarlet Johansson, Jaime King, Eva Mendes, Paz Vega, Stana Ketic and Sarah Paulson. Actually, those ladies are beyond Hef’s grotto; more like rsvps to the Fountain of Youth. But as you can see from the film’s teaser poster, Miller isn’t updating The Spirit’s Mad Men-like duds, with the fedora, tie and a domino mask (which personally, I think should always stay in comic books) are intact.

Keeping the new trend of genre fare in January sizzling (i.e. Cloverfield, Rambo), The Spirit opens on January 16, 2009, less than two months before Zack Snyder’s similarly risky-old school comic adaptation Watchmen. Lionsgate being so sure that Miller’s film will connect with a mass audience, enough so to propel two more films just surprises to me, not to come off negative. Is The Spirit on your must-see list for 2009 and can you see it being a smash hit?


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