I’m good to go for the Larry Crowne scooter-swarm parade down Hollywood Blvd, which will start sometime around 6:45 or 7 pm. I don’t know how many scooters are going to take part, but me and my little white Chinese scooter will be a part of history tonight. I plan on taking some stills and video and posting it all tomorrow. I’ll also be attending the big-deal premiere, of course, for Tom Hanks’ film, which opens on 7.1.
During yesterday’s late-afternoon dinner at Katsuya for Ludivine Seigner, star of Love Crimes and costar of The Devil’s Double: (l. to r. rear) Greg Laemmle, L.A. Daily News‘ Bob Strauss, Lise De-Sablet of L.A.’s French Embassy; (l. to .r. front) Pete and Madelyn Hammond, Ludivine Sagnier, KCRW’s Gemma Dempsey and indie publicist veteran Marina Bailey, who arranged the dinner.
Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny, Guillermo del Toro, Marcia McWeeny — Sunday, 6.26, 10:45 pm.
Ludivine Seigner — Sunday, 6.26, 6:20 pm.
The great Guillermo del Toro told me a little something about Alfonso Cuaron‘s currently-shooting Gravity at last night’s Don’t Be Afraid of The Dark after-party. He said that Cuaron and dp Emmanuel Lubezki (a.k.a. “Chivo”) are again intending to push the cinematic envelope, although in a different way than they did with Children of Men. The 3D space-rescue drama costars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.
Sandra Bullock, George Clooney within shouting distance of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity set.
I’ve gotten hold of a second draft of Cuaron’s script (written in ’09). If anyone has a more recent draft, please forward. The co-authors of a 2010 draft are reportedly Alfonso and Jonas Cuaron and Rodrigo Garcia Barcha.
The Wikipedia logline: “In Earth’s orbit, satellite debris hits a space station, destroying most of it and killing all but two astronauts. The remaining astronauts fight for survival and to return home.” One of the astronauts will be played by Bullock, apparently. I don’t know who Clooney plays, but let’s assume he’s the other astronaut in peril and nor some mission-control Ed Harris-type guy.
Several actresses were considered and/or romanced for Bullock’s role — Angelina Jolie (allegedly demanded her big fat $20 million fee), Natalie Portman (pregnancy interfered), Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Carey Mulligan, Sienna Miller, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall, Olivia Wilde, etc.
Gravity will be released in 2012 by Warner Bros.
Yesterday morning Deadline‘s Nikki Finke posted a letter that Transformers 3 director Michael Bay recently sent to projectionists. The letter urged them to project the 3D version of the film at super-bright levels to combat the underwhelming “dark, dingy” appearance of 3D films that viewers have been complaining about.
“We have also created a new ‘Platinum 6 version‘ of Transformers,” Bay wrote, “for the ultimate in 3D experience, to be played in auditoriums capable of 6-foot lamberts of light on the screen (available to certified auditoriums only).”
Maybe I’m not understanding something about 3D light. The SMPTE standard for optimum desired light levels on 2D films is 16 foot lamberts, not 6. Maybe 6 foot lamberts is regarded as a good thing under 3D conditions, but in my world 6 foot lamberts isn’t satisfactory.
The obvious answer would be that the person who typed up Bay’s letter typed a typo and nobody caught it. Obviously not a biggie, but try and get someone at Paramount Pictures or at Bay’s agency, WME, to confirm or address this and say “uh, yeah, that does appear to be a typo — it should have said 16 and not 6. Thanks for catching it.” I’ve been trying to get an answer since 9 this morning and nobody will say anything.
So let’s just repeat that the foot-lambert information doesn’t sound right (to me anyway) and appears to be wrong and let it go at that.
And if you want an extra layer of evidence, Stanley Kubrick sent a letter to projectionists in 1975 about showing Barry Lyndon, and it said that the film should be shown “at no less than 15 foot lamberts and no more than 18.” Here’s a capture of the portion of the letter that applies:
I’ve decided, by the way, to see Transformers 3D at an IMAX 3D screening tomorrow night at IMAX headquarters in Santa Monica and not at one of the screenings happening today on the Paramount lot. I’m figuring the IMAX 3D will deliver much more impact, etc.
One of the unfortunate tasks for supporters of the First Amendment is that occasionally they’re obliged to stand up for it. Sometimes doing this doesn’t feel very good. Because sometimes it involves supporting creators and distributors of icky and odious ultra-violent movies and video games, which serve a termite-like function when it comes to diluting social-behavior standards that any morally decent society would want to stand by.
This is one thought, at least, in the wake of the Supreme Court having invalidated a California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. The court said in a 7-2 ruling issued earlier today that the 2005 law violates the First Amendment.
“The State wishes to create a wholly new category of content-based regulation that is permissible only for speech directed at children,” the decision reads in part via TheWrap‘s Tim Molloy. “That is unprecedented and mistaken. This country has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Supremes essentially saying that no venal video- game content can be legally kept out of the hands of children? And in rendering this decision aren’t they basically stating that even the disgusting and unconscionable Japanese video game RapeLay needs to be protected from moral guardians of the state?
I agree that the state can’t and shouldn’t mandate moral content in entertainment and art, but there’s something sickening about courts and lawmakers giving a free hall pass to the makers of this grotesque diversion.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer dissented. I can’t believe I’m siding with Clarence Thomas.
“The law called for fining retailers up to $1,000 per game sold,” Molloy reports. “It covered games ‘in which the range of options available to a player includes killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being,’ if the violence is presented in a way that a ‘reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors.’
“The law never took effect because lower courts in 2005 and 2007 also said it violated free speech rights. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an enthusiastic backer of it, appealed it to the Supreme Court.”
Straight from Moscow, Drew McWeeny‘s Transformers 3 review posted this morning on Hitfix, and he’s calling it “easily the best film in the series” and “an overwhelming sensory experience [with] a solid hour-long action sequence in Chicago that uses everything Bay’s ever done before.”
Transformers 3 is basically the latest pass at the kind of “personal story on an apocalyptic scale that Bay loves to try to tell, and that other guys like Roland Emmerich and James Cameron and even Steven Spielberg love to do,” McWeeny writes. “And this is the best version of it that Bay’s made so far.
“For the first time since Avatar, I am going to recommend that you find the biggest and best 3D theater you can find and buy yourself a ticket, because Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, especially seen in IMAX 3D, is [the shit]. The sound mix alone is more exciting than anything in the billion-dollar-bore of Pirates 4. This is gigantic action we’ve never seen before, and Bay’s reaction to shooting and cutting his film for 3D is to get better at what he does. It raised his game, and as a result, I feel like we just saw a dare thrown down by one of Hollywood’s biggest action specialists: ‘Top this.’
“The Chicago action finale is an astonishing mix of physical staging, live-action stunt work, location shooting, and visual effects, and there comes a point where I’m really not sure what was built, what was real, what’s totally fake…and it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the stakes in the film are crystal clear, the purpose of the characters is laid out carefully, and the sequence just keeps building and building until finally it comes down to three characters and a bridge.
“And since it’s a Transformers movie, I’m pleased to see that the three characters who are involved in that ending are the right three. The focus in this film finally feels like it’s on the right things and the right moments. If the Chicago sequence was the only great set piece in the film, I’d still say it’s worth seeing, but the movie actually features impressive sequences all the way through, including an early encounter with Shockwave in Chernobyl and a really creepy scene where a bird-like Decepticon hunts down and murders all the humans who have helped the Decepticons over the years.
“And through it all, it feels to me like Bay is trying new things, both in the shooting and the cutting. It’s not a radical re-invention…it’s still recognizably Michael Bay. But the small differences in the rhythms of his shooting and his cutting make a big difference in the overall impact.”