After the long Fourth of July weekend we don’t have a lot of news on the casting front, but there are a few good stories to share, and they’re all in a similar vein. Today, the theme is crime pictures. After the break you’ll find info on the following:

  • John Malkovich is taking the lead in Siberian Education, which chronicles the culture of crime in a small community near the Ukraine.
  • Parker, the new screen version of Richard Stark’s classic crime character, gets two supporting players.
  • And French film The Lookout casts Daniel Auteuil as a cop out to catch a sharpshooter who ruined a well-laid police plan. Read More »
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Ratatouille

Rotten Tomatoes have published their Mid-Year Report, which features a list of the best and worst reviewed movies of the first six months of 2007. You can see the top ten of each below.

Knocked Up PosterSicko PosterOnce Poster

ZodiacHot Fuzz

Best Reviewed Movies

1. “Ratatouille”
2. “Away From Her”
3. “Once”
4. “Knocked Up”
5. “Hot Fuzz”
6. “Sicko”
7. “The Host”
8. “Zodiac”
9. “Waitress”
10. “The Lookout”

Worst Reviewed Movies

1. “Because I Said So”
2. “The Number 23″
3. “Premonition”
4. “The Reaping”
5. “Norbit”
6. “Perfect Stranger”
7. “Happily N’Ever After”
8. “Are We Done Yet? ”
9. “Code Name: The Cleaner”
10. “Hannibal Rising”

Becuase I Said SoThe Number 23 PosterHannibal Rising

Not many surprises to be found. Ratatouille has wrestled the best reviewed wide release of 2007 title away from Knocked Up, which is still holding strong at #4.One unusual observation is that the best movies list features a lot of comedy/romantic comedy films (Ratatouille, Once, Knocked Up, Hot Fuzz, Waitress). In the past usually dramatic indie flicks have dominated the list. I’m also glad to see Zodiac as I’ve fielded negative comments about the film from most people I have spoken with. David Fincher’s film is one of my favorites of the year thus far.

Because I Said So and The Number 23 are the film’s I’ve least enjoyed this year so far. So I feel a little vindicated seeing them rank at the top of the worst reviewed films list. I am actually surprised to see Hannibal Rising make the worst list at #10. I didn’t enjoy the film, but at the same time, I didn’t hate it either. I wonder if there is a huge backlash on the film purely based on it’s comparison against Silence of the Lambs?

thelookoutbig.jpg

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down with The Lookout stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Goode and writer/director Scott Frank to discuss the new film. I apologize for the unusually low quality recording, we had to make due as my professional digital recorder broke during the interview.

  • Miramax’s deceptive marketing
  • The story’s evolution over the last 20 years
  • Scott Frank’s decision to become a director
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s decision to transition into dark indie films
  • Matthew Goode’s decision to break out from Romantic Comedies
  • Scott Frank on Quirky Character Traits For No Reason vs. Character Traits that drive the story
  • Researching the characters
  • Making a movie about a character with a head injury, and NOT a movie about head injuries
  • The media’s obsession about “What’s Next”
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt on Stop Loss and Killshot
  • Scott Frank on his upcoming projects: A western and “Fourty Four”
  • Mathew Goode on Brideshead Revisited
  • The Appeal of working with a First Time Director
  • Rediscovering Jeff Daniels as Lewis
  • Shooting in the cold Winnipeg winter
  • Editing The Film
  • Scott Frank’s dislike for DVD extended cuts
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Surprises of a First Time Director: Compromises

The Lookout hits theaters on March 30th 2007.

Scott Frank plans Western and Mid-Life Crisis

Scott Frank

The Lookout director Scott Frank (screenwriter of Minority Report, Get Shorty) is already hard at work on his next projects: a potential western and a mid-life crisis drama titled “Fourty Four“.

The Western:

“I’m going to try like hell to make this western that I’ve written but I’m getting the sense that’s going to be an uphill battle,” Frank told /Film. “So it may have to be like this movie where it takes a couple years to get made.”

Fourty Four:

“I’m writing another story called Fourty Four which I keep glibly describing as my midlife crisis movie set in the world of automotive design,” revealed Frank. “I don’t know, may-be that will be what I do next, I’m not sure.”

The Lookout hits theaters on March 30th 2007.

The Lookout Movie PosterIf you’ve seen the movie trailer and poster (pictured left) for The Lookout, than you’re probably expecting a dark Memento like heist movie, and you would be wrong. It’s probably the worest example of false movie advertising since Bridge To Terabithia (which promised but failed to be a Narnia fantasy world family film). And it’s a shame, because The Lookout is a great film. So when I got the chance to speak to first time director Scott Frank (screenwriter of Minority Report, Get Shorty), I asked him about it point blank. Here is his response:

“We HATE the trailer. The trailer is NOT the movie, and neither is that (pointing to the poster). All morning I’ve been having chats with the folks at Miramax marketing, telling them that the feedback without question – now we’re laughing because we hear the same thing with every interview people come in and say ‘Boy, I wasn’t even looking forward to seeing that movie because I thought it was going to be this kind of movie, NOT that kind of movie.’ And I keep telling them (Miramax) that. So Thank you, yes you’re right. The trailer, I wish I had more of a say, instead of just a voice in those kind of things.”

So the question presents itself: Should the filmmaker be more involved in the film’s marketing? And what else can be done to prevent studios from engaging in deceptive marketing. I understand that it can sometimes help lesser quality films, but what about a good film? What about The Lookout?

sxsw

The 2007 South By South West Film Festival is in full force, and we have a round-up of the early buzz:
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