MCN’s “The Reeler” has the complete official N.Y. Film Festival rundown: Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pan’s Labyrinth, Sofia Coppola‘s Marie Antoinette (I’d like to hear some ripe New York boos this time instead of French ones), David Lynch‘s Inland Empire (adding the “The” is utterly ridiculous), Todd Field‘s Little Children, Johnnie To‘s Triad Election, Manoel de Oliveira‘s ,em>Belles Toujours , Warren Beatty‘s Reds, Alberto Lattuada‘s Mafioso, etc.
No film festivals, no Oscar lah-lah, probably no Film Comment tribute pieces to Martin Scorsese…just a complex hardball crime flick. Does this poster do the idea behind The Departed justice? What does it tell you? I’ll tell you what it tells me: whatever this movie is, we’re not saying. We’ve got Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon snarling and scowling and that’s all we’re saying. We know it’s not enough, but it’s all you’re getting from Warner Bros. marketing. But watch the trailer, why doncha?
For those having trouble getting HE to come up on their screen, the reason is that I switched to a dedicated server this morning. This means you have to dump your cache and start anew. If your computer has any lingering cache impressions of the HE’s numerically coded jibberish address (the URL is the same, of course — it’s the pain-in-the-ass coding that’s different), you have to either clean out your cache or just refesh until it comes in.
Neil Burger‘s The Illusionist (Yari Film Group, 8.18) is said to be a pretty good, moderately okay duelling-magician movie set in turn-of- the-century Vienna. Or at least, that was the general rumble after it showed at ’06 Sundance Film Festival. (I won’t see it until this weekend.) It stars Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell .
On the other side of the lake is Chris Nolan‘s The Prestige (Touchstone, 10.20), a duelling magician set in turn-of-the-century London that’s said to be…well, much better . And they’re opening within two months of each other.
The Touchstone/Nolan stars Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Michael Caine. I’m not sure if it’s going to Toronto or not, but ti’ve been hearing all along that it’s excellent, top-notch, a tight audience movie, etc. The problem is that I can’t seem to remember the damn title. Putting the word “the” before the word “prestige” doesn’t mean anything. Every time I try to say the title, it doesn’t come.
Witness the British History Boys trailer and take note of a front- and-center hetereosexual coupling scene. (Which was in the play — it just feels a bit more pronunced here.) And no intimations of ball-fondling, although there’s a nicely rendered gay version of “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” (Which is also in the play.) Loads of sunshine-lit photography. I for one am looking forward to not only hearing but digesting every line of dialogue, which you can never quite do from the 22nd row of the orchestra, even when you cup your ears.
This Haley Joel Osment DUI /pot-possession rap is so far below the Mel Gibson shockometer it’s not funny. My first thought when I read it was, “Tough darts, kid…deal with it.” My second thought was that this might be some kind of left-field karma payback for A.I. and especially that awful Pay It Forward. That sounds unfair and silly but I always partly blamed Osment for those films.
On top of this, who cares? Former child stars always get into trouble in their teens and 20s and beyond, right? Either they get what’s happening at some point and they turn away from a wild drug-booze lifestyle, or they don’t and they end up fried or dead or whatever. Life is hard and you make your choices.
There’s nothing more venal than drunk driving, and yet it was almost routine and a subject of regular amusement among my teenage friends in Wilton, Connecticut, back in the old days. I remember them piling up their cars due to drinking and drugs all the time, and some of them turned out okay. (And some didn’t.) I knew a guy who ran his father’s XKE into a two-foot-deep swamp covered with lily pads. (This was years before Risky Business.) I knew another guy who was so shit-faced that he slammed his car into someone else’s just as he was pulling out of parking space — he didn’t get more than 10 or 15 feet. I remember joking with this same guy one night as I was about to drive home plastered, both of us saying “God is my co-pilot” and that my journey should be titled “a wing and prayer.”
Some “words to the wise” from director Francis Coppola (The End of Youth, Apocalypse Now), as taken from his on-camera opening commentary on the relatively new Patton DVD that came out in late May. (Coppola worked on the screenplay when he was 27 or so.) Every aspiring filmmaker and screenwriter reading this needs to take two minutes and listen.
And here’s a Time magazine q & a with Coppola, which contains a variation on that thing he said a while back about still feeling sixteen and that a filmmaker need the bravery of youth to make a movie, etc. I love reading this because I feel sixteen too. Okay, not always but some of the time. Actually I feel better than sixteen during these cycles because the exuberance is there without the confusion, fear and intimidation that go with being that age.
Just before the chariot race sequence in William Wyler‘s Ben-Hur, Messala (Stephen Boyd) says to Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston), his childhood friend-turned-mortal enemy: “So, Judah…this is the day.” And verily I say unto ye that today — Thursday, 8.17 — is the Day of Reckoning for Snakes on a Plane.
Snakes shows tonight around the country — call it All-Snakes Day — and tens of thousands of film fans will attend, of course, and I’m asking here and now for quickie reviews to be sent in quickly so I can get some kind of consensus up by late tonight.
I’m seeing Snakes at a screening at the Mann Chinese tonight at 9 pm through the good graces of New Line Cinema, although I may not file until very late or first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll see how it goes. But anyone who can bang out something tight and intelligible — four or five graphs — and send it along fast will see it run on HE within hours, I promise.
And now I have to visit a doctor and get a tetanus shot because my left hand is swollen from an infection that came from accidentally stabbing myself with an exacto knife three or four days ago and faiing to disinfect and clean it out thoroughly enough…great. So no more postings for two or three hours.
An English translation of Ken Watanabe‘s dialogue in that Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima Japanese trailer that went up yesterday. It’s obvious that Watanabe, playing a real-life general named Tadamichi Kuribayashi, is giving his troops some kind of threatening pep talk, but here’s a Wells-edited version of what he’s probably saying: “For the sake of our country, regardless if you’re the last soldier, our mission is to kill the enemy on this island. Keep in mind you can never go back to the homeland.” And then the titles supposedly read, “Never forget the heroes of Iwo Jima — Japan and United States — each country√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s story — Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood — Flags of Our Fathers, 10.28.06 — Letters from Iwo Jima, 12.9.06″
Inspired by Scott Weinberg‘s Cinematical piece about how he can’t find any Snakes on a Train DVDs anywhere, I called Asylum Video, the L.A.-based producer of the Snakes on a Plane ripoff flick, and asked a distribution rep what’s wrong. Nothing, she said — it’s available at all corporate Blockbuster outlets as well as all Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery stores, she said. It’s the mom-and-pop stores and the online-ordering sites that aren’t yet stocked. It turns out Asylum moved from an office on Sunset (at Windows of the World) to new offices on Sycamore a couple of months ago and the big California distributor — VPD in Sacramento — somehow missed the e-mail notification. “It was just one of those weird fall-through-the-cracks things,” the Asylum rep said. The other two distributors to contact, she said, are Baker and Taylor out of Momence, Illinois, and Ingraham in LaVerne, Tennessee.