With Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Stones doc, Shine a Light, booked to play theaters in April, I find myself much more interested in Ruby Tuesday, an animated film from Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, the writers of the Beatles musical Across the Universe, that will utilize the Stones’ music in a similar fashion.

“We wrote an animated film before the strike that features the music of The Rolling Stones,” says Clement on Movieweb. “Obviously, that is not just a kiddy film. You can’t do The Stones, and think it will just be for kids. We hope that will get made in the next couple of years.”

Adds Frenais…

“The film was supposed to start next month. It is called Ruby Tuesday. It is going to be CGI. It will be interesting. The animation is actually going to be done in Paris. It will be some pretty hip animation. It is amazing how many French animators work at Dreamworks. When we were doing Flushed Away, we were over there. It was like a foreign campus.”

The film’s title derives from the eponymous hit single, about a charmingly quixotic and possibly tragic groupie, by the Rolling Stones from their 1966 album Between the Buttons. Whether the main character in the film, a single mother searching for happiness in New York City, was a groupie at some point in her life is unknown, but the writers say that while the film will be “edgier” than most American-released animation today, it’s not R-rated fare a la Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic.

It’s about time the Rolling Stones, whose contributions and influence to film are not slight, had their own Yellow Submarine, don’t you think?

Across the Universe: the Next Cult Sensation?

Across the UniverseAcross the Universe was plagued with bad behind the scenes controversy. The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, but was not screened for national press before the film’s nationwide release. And when the film hit, the critics called the film a “cliched love story.” My friend Jen Yamato at Rotten Tomatoes loved the film, and recommended it highly at TIFF. I was a little less amazed by the story but really dug the musical numbers (and especially the revamped Beatles tunes). I got back to the hotel and immediately bought the two disc set off iTunes (off topic question: is it still called a two disc set when you buy it digitally?).

The movie hit theaters in a limited release nearly a month ago, and for the most part, critics I have run into have called the film a mess, Until this weekend. I ran into quite a few people in Hollywood who excitedly asked me “Have you seen Across The Universe yet?” They wanted to share their experience. The most surprising was a prominent movie website webmaster/writer who you’d never expect to love this film, but did.

And today I ran across an article in the Los Angeles Times which suggests that Across the Universe could become “the next cult sensation.”

“After three weeks in theaters, the PG-13 movie finally penetrated the top 10 by connecting with a zealous core constituency: teenage girls, who, anecdotal evidence suggests, are going to see the movie in packs, bonding with one another (and the film) through repeated viewings and popularizing it with their school chums via word-of-mouth.”

Across The Universe will be expanding wide tomorrow (from 364 to 954 theaters). The $45-million film has taken in $8.5 million at the box office so far, but it’s slowly climbing. So can Across the Universe connect with the teen audience and become the next High School Musical? That has yet to be seen.

New Photo: Across The Universe

Across The Universe

With the Toronto Film Festival ready to ramp up next week, we’ve just gotten our hands on a ton of new production photos from some of our most anticipated films of Fall 2007. First up is a new photo from Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe, a romantic musical told through the music of The Beatles. If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, watch it now.

The photo above shows Jim Sturgess, who plays Jude in the film (of “Hey Jude” fame) staring at some strawberries on the wall. The marketing department has been using strawberries in the marketing of this film as a metaphor for a bleeding heart (or at least that’s my interpretation). Click on the image to enlarge, check back next week for our review.  Across The Universe hits theaters on September 21st 2007.

Toronto Film Festival LogoToday I finally found some time to sit down and sift through the 352 official selections of the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. Many hours later, I present to you 65 must see movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. I did the work so that you don’t have to. So why should you care about these films if you’re not making the trip up to Canada in September?

In 1998, Variety acknowledged that the Toronto International Film Festival “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” Roger Ebert has also said that “although Cannes is still larger, Toronto is more useful and more important….”

Toronto is essentially a preview of which Independent to mid-sized film releases might be big in the next five months. The festival is considered a launch pad for many studios to begin “Oscar-buzz” for their films.

How do I know that you should see these movies? Well, in most cases I don’t. I have seen some press screenings of a couple of the films listed below (Valley of Elah, My Kid Could Paint That…) and can personally recommend them. But for the most part, I have no idea. I have cobbled this list from an exhaustive day of research. Some of the films I chose because of the director, writer, or cast. Others because of the plot synopsis.

When a review was available, I read it. If a trailer was available, I watched it. I’ve included films that were recommended to me by trusted friends. Some films that I missed but were highly reviewed at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (Son of Rambow, The Savages).

I must offer this disclaimer: I tend to be attracted to American, British and Japanese cinema to a fault. I do have a handful of picks outside my comfort realm, but if you’re looking for more “Worldly” selections, you might have to look elsewhere.

It should also be noted that some of the films (especially in the Gala and special presentation sections) will hit theaters within the next two months. Some films even hit theaters days within the festival’s conclusion. I put these movies on the list because they are movies of interest. But you, like me, might want to hold off on some of these flicks until they hit your city next month. For me, there are some films that I won’t be able to resist like Across The Universe and No Country for Old Men. I know they come out sooner rather than later, but I need to see them sooner. I’ve noted the release dates of films that are opening in the next two months, just so you have that information.

I’ll be at the festival for nine and a half days, so chances are, I won’t be able to see all of these films. The reality is, I won’t see even half of these films. I’ll be doing some interviews, so I’ve lowered my goal to around 30 movies, which most people would still consider extreme (that’s at least three movies each day of the festival).

Read More »

New Across The Universe Photo and Videos

Across The Universe

Across The Universe is on our list for the most anticipated films of 2007. We’ve been waiting for this film for what seems like forever. The movie trailer was released in February and absolutely blew us away (if you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now). Then came stories that director Julie Taymor was fighting with the studio to keep her final cut after Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth re-cut the film without her permission. It will be interesting to see what this film looks like when it premieres at Toronto. MTV Has posted a new photo from the film (seen above).

MTV also has two exclusive clips of a pre-Marilyn Manson Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess singing classic Beatles tunes in Julie Taymor’s upcoming film. You can watch them at Overdrive.

Across The Universe Movie Poster

Across The Universe Movie PosterWe’ve been looking forward to Across The Universe ever since we heard the words “Beatles” and “musical” used in the same sentence. The movie trailer looks amazing. Who cares what Roth says, we have faith in Academy Award nominated director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus). Check out the new theatrical poster to the right. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Described as a “romantic musical” told through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters, Across The Universe is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock ‘n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam. The star-crossed lovers, Jude (Jim Sturgess) and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with Dr. Robert (Bono) and Mr. Kite (Eddie Izzard) as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy against all odds to find their own way back to each other.

The film stars Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Martin Luther, Eddie Izzard, Salma Hayek, Bono, Dana Fuchs and T.V. Carpio. Across The Universe hits theaters on September 28th, 2007.


As you probably know, Across the Universe is one of the under-the-radar films we’ve been really looking forward to. Universe is a love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s, described as a “romantic musical” told through numerous Beatles songs performed by the characters. You can watch the theatrical trailer at this link.

Anyway, it seems like the movie studio and director are having a huge disagreement about the final cut (which is never good). It could lead to Academy Award nominated director Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus) removing her name from the project.
Read More »

First Across The Universe Movie Review

Across The Universe

The first test screening of Across The Universe happened last night at The Grove in Los Angeles. Ever since the trailer was released (If you haven’t seen it, check it out here), I’ve been very anxious to see the full movie. The first test screening review has hit the web and it’s over the top positive.

Read More »

Across The Universe Movie Trailer

Across The Universe

I’ve never been one to love musicals, but I’ve found that has begun to change in current years. First came Moulin Rouge, than late last year Dreamgirls blew me away. And now comes the movie trailer for Across the Universe. If you’re a fan of the Beatles, you’re sure to love this.
Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web: