Good God, another hambone Ed Zwick movie. Defiance, a WWII-era drama, will star Daniel Craig in a “true story of four brothers in Nazi occupied Poland who flee to the Belarussian forest with a band of Jews and join forces with Russian Resistance fighters.” Craig is flying high these days, but one day he’ll regret this. Once an actor has been through the Zwick grinder, his aura is never quite the same — the coolness factor always cools down. You can’t tell me that Tom Cruise was tickled pink with how The Last Samura turned out; ditto Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond. These guys know what’ goes; they aren’t fools. The only actor who smelled good after a Zwick film was Glory‘s Matthew Broderick.
I went to the 8:30 ayem press screening of Zodiac this morning just to see how it looked, and what I saw alarmed me. Despite director David Fincher having allegedly checked the print being shown, a slightly distorted version of Zodiac was shown. The Grand Palais projectionist was using a slightly wrong lens, the result being that the images in the film looked a bit more expanded horizontally than they should have.
Jake Gyllenhaal, those first murder victims at Lake Berryessa, Candy Clark, Robert Downey…they all had slightly wider heads that they should have. Every image was just a little bit fatter than the actual proportions of the people, sets and objects that Fincher shot. I’ve seen this film three times, and I know what I’m talking about. Because the image was over-expanded horizontally and because widescreen aperture plates don’t change, this also meant that the sides of the images that Fincher shot were slightly shaved off.
I told the guys at Pheonix what I saw, and one wrote back and said that Fincher “qc’d the movie last night, and I was told that [this morning’s] screening was exactly the same as what David saw and approved, so I’m not sure what the issue is.” I wrote back and said that “whatever Fincher approved, something went a little bit wrong for this morning’s screening. I’ve worked as a projectionist and I know what I’m talking about. The proportion of the images are not quite right. I’m not hallucinating, and I had only one glass of wine last night.”
There doesn’t seem to be anything to write about Cannes-wise except for the jizzy peripheral stuff. That Bee thing this morning ate up three, three and a half hours when all was said and done, and before I knew it it was 2, 2:30 pm. I’ve been at the Orange Cafe for two hours now and barely keeping awake. If ever I needed a super-sized can of Red Bull, it’s right now.
I’ll be seeing two presumably major films in tandem less than 90 minutes from now. First, J.A. Bayona‘s The Orphanage, an “atmospheric thriller” about a kid with a vivid imagination. The thriller-type film, produced by Guillermo del Toro, was acquired at Berlin last February by Picturehouse’s Bob Berney. And then Leonardo DiCaprio‘s global-warming doc The 11th Hour. Seeing the DiCaprio means I have to blow off Control, the black-and-white Ian Curtis suicide flick that’s showing as the Director’s Fortnight opener at the Noga Hilton at the exact same time.
Tomorrow morning at 8 ayem is Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington‘s U2 3D, which is precisely what the title implies. The idea alone of watching a 3D rock concert film at 8 ayem with a double cappucino surging through my system is fairly thrilling.
Dressed in a bee costume, Jerry Seinfeld took two wild rides off the roof of the Carlton Hotel late this morning to promote Bee Movie, the animated DreamWorks feature comedy that opens in November. Seinfeld was hooked up to a long-ass safety wire that stretched from the Carlton roof to the hotel pier some 200 yards away.
Bee Movie star and co-writer Jerry Seinfeld doing the paparazzi stroll on the Carlton pier a little after noon today — Thursday, 5.17.07, 12:105 pm. (The wind and the light showed that Seinfeld has a bit of Rogaine issue — if I were him I’d do something about it before it gains any more ground.)
Footage from the film was shown at the Espace Miramar about an hour earlier, followed by Seinfeld coming up on stage and talking about the film — the why and how of it, the genesis, the plot, the Steven Spielberg connection and so on.
The flying stunt had been rehearsed by Seinfeld and an assistance crew this morning at 5 am. DreamWorks chief Jeff Katzenberg also rode the wire early this morning “just to do it,” according to what Premiere online critic Glenn Kenny told me at the after-party. Seinfeld’s second stunt didn’t go as smoothly as the first, Kenny said. The comedian had a hard time landing smoothly and “was visibly rattled,” said Kenny.
I didn’t take any pics of Seinfeld because I decided to walk over to the rue d’Antibes after the stage show to score one of those heavy-duty, multi-region electric power adapters. (I had bought one at FNAC two days ago, but it gave up the ghost last night in the apartment — don’t ask why.) But I made it back to the luncheon party and took a few shots of Seinfeld and the paparazzi.
The plot is about Barry B. Benson (Seinfeld), a bee who’s not thrilled at the idea of doing just making honey for the rest of his life. (A disillusioned insect who wants to be different…hey, wasn’t this what Woody Allen‘s “Z” was about in Antz?) In any case, Barry gets to leave the hive on a honeysuckle mission in Manhattan’s Central Park, and he eventually runs into humans who try to swat him to death. Naturally.
Barry is nearly all in at one point when he’s saved by Vanessa (Zellweger), a kind-hearted hottie, and he promptly falls in love. Kind of a King Kong-Ann Darrell romance in reverse. Then he decides to talk to her. English, that is. Then he learns about the human honey business, and decides that humans are ripping off the bees in order to do so, and so files a lawsuit to try and prevent this. Honestly, that’s more or less the story. I’m half into it. I like “silly” if the movie really goes for it whole-hog.
Chris Rock, Matthew Broderick, Oprah Winfrey, Sting and Ray Liotta (among many others) voice the other bees and humans who figure in the plot.
I haven’t yet loaded by trusty Wavepad sound editing software since last week’s hard drive crash, so I’m running the Seinfeld chit-chat raw.