Here’s last night’s Charlie Rose show featuring three principals behind In The Land of Blood and Honey — director-writer Angelina Jolie, star Zana Marjanovic, costar Rade Serbedzija. Jolie’s film doesn’t wallow in the horrors of the Serb-Bosnian conflict — it portrays them plain and straight, each scene cut to the essence.
Yes, Elia Kazan‘s A Streetcar Named Desire will look somewhat better on Bluray. Harry Stradling‘s cinematography is big on deep shadows and light bulbs with paper Japanese lampshades and cigarette smoke and a spooky lowlands atmosphere in the streets. On top of which the latest DVD version looks a bit pixellated on my 50″ plasma so this will be an improvement.
Who am I kidding? I’m buying this/wangling a freebie no matter how good it looks. Come what may, I’m a total black-and-white Bluray hound. Guys like myself will bend over for any classic title that comes along, and the Bluray creators/distributors know it. There’s a part of me that resents that, but half-heartedly.
According to a Deadline report filed this morning, Paramount’s The Adventures of Tintin is projected to earn $16 million by the close of the Christmas holiday, or the evening of 12.26. It opened Wednesday in 3087 theatres and took in $2.3 million, and then $2.4 million on Thursday. If it actually tallies $16 million over six days, that’ll mean an average of $5183 per situation. Divide that by six and the daily per-screen comes to $863.83.
In other words, it’s tanking. And yet Tintin is doing quite well in Europe and other foreign territories with a projected $239 million haul due to acceptance/awareness of the Tintin brand.
“It’s a victim of too much competition,” says Boxoffice.com’s Phil Contrino. “There had to be at least one dud with this many films in the market.”
Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol is expected to earn $45 million in 3,448 theaters with a projected international haul of $85 million. Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows will pull in $30 million by the close of the holiday. Nobody cares about Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked although it’s expected to earn $24 million. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, playing in 2,914 theaters, is being projected to earn $30 million, give or take.
“Spielberg is making a movie for young children,” writes Vanity Fair film critic Paul Mazursky, referring to you-know-what. “No Schindler’s List, no Munich, no Amistad. In War Horse, there is quite a bit of ET, a film that I loved. The epic moves on (and on), and I found myself increasingly itching for resolution. Come on, Steven, wrap it up, get the kid back with the pony.
“Is it bad? No, sir. It was clear I should’ve brought my 10-year-old grandson Tommy to see this film with me. I think he would have loved it. Spielberg is a master, as we know, of creating film energy. But here’s my dilemma: am I supposed to judge the film I’m seeing? Or the one I’m fantasizing? The artist, not the critic, has the supreme power of final cut. So go see this epic soap opera and you be the judge: should there be more opera and less soap?
“Just don’t forget to bring a child along with your box of Kleenex.”
This morning I asked some people I know about the fate of the long-gestating film version of August: Osage County, the Puitzer- and Tony Award-wnning drama by Tracy Letts. Producers Harvey Weinstein and Jean Doumanian have, I gather, been trying to assemble a film version with director John Wells (The Company Men), but nothing seems to be happening with it, “seems” being the operative term.
I don’t know anything firm, but I haven’t heard a damn thing for months and that always means something. My insect antennnae tells me it’s a flounder on the beach, gasping for air.
Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were reportedly in talks to costar as of September 2010, but a rumor began circulating last spring that they’d both bailed. I never called around about this. There was an assumption all along was that the August: Osage County film would be made in time for release in late 2012, and now, it appears, that’s not being forecast.
Every time I run into Doumanian I’ve asked “so why is it taking you guys so long to get this movie underway? Why has it taken Letts so damn long to adapt his play into a shootable screenplay? It’s a great, award-winning masterwork…how much finagling could it need?” And she always gave me the same answer about how it takes a long time to get it right, etc. Yeah, okay, but not that long.
The play ran slightly more than three hours — I realize that — and so it needs to be brought down to 120 to 130 minutes or 140 minutes at the max so as not to alienate the ADD crowd.
But it just seems nuts that Doumanian and Wells and Weinstein would allow this project, which seems to SCREAM “year-end Oscar contender,” to take so long to come together and flop around so long that Streep and Roberts may have (according to that months-old rumor) bailed. A producer friend says he’s heard so little over such a long timespan that he’s assuming it’s dead, but can anyone tell me anything specific?