Twilight 2 New Moon - Director?  


Let's not kid ourselves. We're thankful that Summit Entertainment tackled a project that other production companies rejected. We're also aware that Twilight the movie, though not a completely unwatchable disaster, could have been better. Way better. And I say this being a fan of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.

The decision to replace director Catherine Hardwicke comes as no surprise - the only surprise may be the press release citing all sorts of issues other than "not good enough" or "disappointing". The question now is: who's going to direct New Moon? An answer is needed pronto, they want to go into production ASAP, fans want to see New Moon in 2009 if possible. Suggested? Chris Weitz. The co-author (adaptation) and co-director (with his bro Paul Weitz) of Nick Hornby's About a Boy. Chris Weitz's last project: The Golden Compass, which he wrote (adaptation) and directed. Big-ass budget, starring box-office poison Nicole Kidman and Daniel "least charming Bond ever" Craig. What do you think?

It would be cool to find a capable female director to replace Hardwicke, of course, but good luck finding one in a profession where women are still incredibly underrepresented. Looks like there are even fewer female directors than female writers. Unbelievable but true. Suggestions?

Still, to replace the director may only solve half of the problem. The other half? The screenplay.

Melissa Rosenberg's script was quite underwhelming. When you're done reading the book, you're left with a few memorable scenes in your head. Those are the scenes that make good candidates for a script. Add to that your characters' defining characteristics and you're well on your way... That's my theory.

I don't think that the scenes that made it into the script were necessarily the most memorable ones. Or the ones that served the story best. Bella's visit to the Cullen house? What the hell was the point of that whole butchered and incoherent sequence? Not to mention character development, which was MIA, as the movie seemed only interested in rushing the romance and introducing James (Cam Gigandet) and his good looking friends. Horrible. But don't get me started... that's another post, a rather long one.

The questions today: Should New Moon get a new screenwriter? (I think so)
Who should direct New Moon? Capable and available on short notice. Paging Ari Gold for some genius suggestions... Who got out of rehab last week? ;)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Four Christmases Review  


Buried deep inside Four Christmases, under the weight of boring slapstick, disgusting grandmothers and baby spit, we glimpse a sweet love story and a sad truth: many adult children of dysfunctional families are scared to repeat their parents' mistakes and therefore choose not to procreate. They don't want to do to their kids what was done to them. It's a "choice" made out of fear - and love and responsibility. Responsibility is a big issue for these people which is why they are often successful in their careers. As they get older they may come to realize that their "decision" not to have a family means that their dysfunctional families still control their lives. They come to examine what it is they really want and need to be happy. One thing never changes, though: They have to stay away from their families of origin.

Like I said, this sad but helpful-to-know truth and the sweet love story of two such people is buried deep inside this Christmas comedy originally written by newcomers Caleb Wilson and Matt Allen, then supposedly re-written by Howard Gould (not mentioned in the credits anymore) and then apparently re-written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (Full of It, Rebound). Four Christmases may be a case of "too many cooks" in combination with the need for "mainstream appeal", made necessary by a reported production budget of $ 80 million. That can kill any original thought not coming from Charlie Kaufman. Forget edgy, forget honest.

At times it felt like I was watching two different movies. One short edgy and interesting dramedy and one crappy and idiotic highly unfunny "comedy". Who's responsible for which? Beats me. Bottom line: Four Christmases is Christmas with the Kranks for the Vince Vaughn crowd.

Kate (Reese Witherspoon, Penelope) and boyfriend Brad McVie (Vince Vaughn, Fred Claus) are in a good place in their 3-year-relationship. The sex is great, they are financially secure and - most importantly - they manage to successfully forget about their horrible families. Each year for Christmas Brad and Kate jump on an airplane and head off to have some fun in the sun while telling their families about some charity work they'd be doing. Not this year. The planes are grounded and so are they. For the story to work, a news crew has to be at the airport, Brad and Kate's mortified faces have to be broadcast to the world. That's when their cell phones ring. Busted.

They both have divorced parents which means they are expected to attend four Christmas celebrations with four dysfunctional families. Kate and Brad are so horrified, they even feel the need for a safe word. Mistletoe. During their stay with Brad's father (Robert Duvall, We Own the Night) and muscled brothers Dallas (Tim McGraw, The Kingdom) and Denver (Jon Favreau, Iron Man) we see Brad dangling from the roof just like Tim Allen did in Christmas with the Kranks. After his inevitable fall Brad utters "mistletoe" - but Kate's inside the house and can't hear him. Kate supports him, gives a motivational speech. That's one of the moments that ring true. We buy that relationship dynamic, the understanding they share. Unfortunately, those kinds of moments become less and less frequent as the film progresses. We leave testosterone-heavy McVie hell and move on to estrogen-hades a.k.a. Kate's mother (Mary Steenburgen, Step Brothers), fertile sister Courtney (Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies), aunts and looney grandmother.

Now the pattern emerges: Kate ends up holding a baby wherever she goes. In this household she also gets to play with a breast pump, gets spit on by said baby and - takes a pregnancy test. Good grief, another wannabe Baby Mama? When Courtney accuses Kate to consider herself to be "too cool for kids", Kate makes an attempt to correct that false assumption, but gets ignored. One would imagine that Kate has thought about the topic and her answer would require at least five sentences of dialogue. No can do, that would "bog down the comedy". Remember the mainstream. Give them slapstick and nonsense, that's what they want. Nevertheless, keep that family dynamic in mind.

For almost two of the Four Christmases we can observe Brad and Kate having a relationship that works. They learn new things about each other and that's okay (even though we would assume they'd already shared that information). It all goes completely downhill in the second half, though, when all of a sudden Brad resurrects his inner jerk during a nativity play and Kate submits and shuts up just like she did with Courtney. I still don't get how they could suck so bad at the "buzzer game".

Brad turns into a complete jerk. I was shocked to see that we are supposed to go with that and still root for Brad and Kate as a couple - happy end included. Are you kidding me? But not so fast.... (I know. I'm not willing to give up on the "edgy and interesting" parts of the movie - the movie I would (still) love to see, feature length.)

Back when they were on the way to the first Christmas, they were expecting their meltdown. Kate asks for Brad to promise her "no matter what happens today, we still have each other, right?" and Brad says "of course we will". It would have worked better with reversed roles, but a promise is a promise and you can count on it with these two. Especially when Brad shows up and delivers an apology and a promise that recalls who they were at the beginning of the film. It may not sound like much of an apology to anyone else, but Kate gets it and thinks it's sweet. She gets him and that's the point. When she joins in the talk about "walking tax-shelters" and "free lawnmowers" all's good.

However, the truth we find in this development, simply put, is this: when you're around your family of origin, you will regress and show behavior you thought you had long overcome. Left behind. Shed. Years of work and self-improvement go down the drain the instant they push your buttons. Once again you are who you do not want to be. You're Orlando again, not Brad. You have the right to be Brad, though. Up to you.

Kate's father (Jon Voight) gives a lame speech about forgiveness and "family", a speech we've heard a gazillion times too many already. Kate needs to forgive him for her own sake, that's for sure, but certainly doesn't need to forget or pretend that blood ties are the most important ties there are when we know they aren't.

A lot can be found in Kate's dialogue. Early on she expresses her growing discontent, a secret longing for something else, some change. A beach is a beach, no matter if it's Fiji or Goa or any beach at home, it's all the same to her. Been there, done that. Her character arc, then, isn't that much of a surprise. We would have loved to see that coming from a man for a change, but oh well... Kate was only a couple of steps ahead of him, I suppose.

Instead of the wacky ending that seems constructed and out of context, I would have preferred to see them come to the realization of above explained sad truth first and then give themselves permission to make any decision that could make them happy. Show us how that miserable Christmas experience strengthened her relationship first. And no news crew in the hospital room.

Vince Vaughn's motormouth serves this story well, it expresses Brad's insecurity, his need to "perform" in this toxic family environment, and his desperation.

If you chew your popcorn (only) while Brad and Kate are with their respective families, and listen to them when they're alone, you have a chance to see the good parts of Four Christmases.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Hancock Review  


After some nitpicky early reviews I was fully prepared to see Hancock, the "suckfest without meaning". Boy, what a pleasant surprise. Hancock ist not the same-old, same-old in new clothes. There are a couple of different ways to "read" Hancock, though, more on that later.

Iron Man doesn't want to produce weapons anymore, The Incredible Hulk hates the whole Hulk-thing/uncontrollable violence and now there's Hancock (Will Smith), a depressed and jaded superhero who cares more about saving lives than appearances and money. His sidekick of sorts is PR-specialist Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman). Ray fights the good fight not on the streets but in the office. When he presents his concept "All heart" to a bunch of deep pocket suits, however, their reaction is disheartening. Rays concept is very simple: he suggests the pharma industry hand out meds for free to those who can't pay to stay alive. I suppose he didn't expect that saving lives could not be priority. Not even if that would help restore the industry's tarnished image. Ray's concept "All heart" seems DOA.

After we've seen Ray fail, a drunk Hancock saves his life - once again causing a few million $ worth of damage followed by media outrage. Ray wants to repay the favor by helping Hancock build a new image for himself. We fully expect his project to go the way of "All Heart" but it doesn't. Hancock gets a make-over, a new attitude, goes to jail, attends anger management group therapy - and waits. Finally, he gets released in order to help with a hostage situation.

There, Parker (Eddie Masran, who plays a similar role in the upcoming Happy-Go-Lucky) wants to force Hancock to hand over 30 million in exchange for the hostages. That doesn't fly and he temporarily ends up behind bars. He swears he'll come after Hancock....

When he's not on the job, Hancock hangs out with Ray and his son Aaron (Jae Head), who's a big Hancock-fan. Ray's wife Mary (Charlize Theron) considers Hancock to be a loser and bad influence but Ray doesn't care. He's found someone who shares his vision, a true friend. In the final scene their connection is made perfectly clear in a sweet and innocent way. I'm sure some will find it corny.

Yes, there are plenty of big action scenes including a "battle of the superheroes" scene. That one is not just cool action but it's also very funny due to some facts I cannot divulge (spoilers). I have to say, though, that sometimes I wondered if Will Smith was shaky on his feet because he was supposed to be drunk Hancock or if the editing was lousy. I could almost see the strings Smith was tied up in. On the other hand, Hancock the movie doesn't take itself too seriously. Once in a while it's a tad spoofy and that's not necessarily a bad thing, either.

Now, regarding the ways the movie can be read. I've chosen the innocent kind of reading that's about charity and goodwill, about sharing the wealth rather than obsessing about stock prices. There is of course another way of reading Hancock: Does "hated superpower saves lives to the tune of millions of $ in damages which causes the public to demand superpower quit saving lives" ring any bells? Does Ray and his soft approach, his focus and the suggestions he makes to Hancock (including he be more polite, appreciate what others are doing/collaborate (police), be more careful/cause less damage)? Does the collaboration of super-powered Hancock and near-powerless Ray give you any ideas? Exactly.

In that context the notion that two superheroes can't reside in the same area without losing their powers might even make sense. It makes sense that one superhero has to leave. Coming to think of it - it also makes sense that a superhero hides his abilities in order to ditch the responsibilities that are part of the superhero job description...

Will Smith is great, so what else is new (not counting shaky feet moments)? Charlize Theron didn't fully convince me but that's in part due to one of those horrible crying scenes with instant red eyes (take # 100?). Look how Will wells up - that's more honest than crocodile tears from eyes so red they'd be perfect for those artificial tears commercials. Jason Bateman didn't have that much to do, sexy and sweet he does well.

Supposedly there will be Hancock 2 - if this one does well. $ 4000+/theater does look promising, especially because the viewers don't seem to agree with the nitpickers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

screenplay: Vincent Ngo & Vince Gilligan
director: Peter Berg (Kingdom)

Hancock Cast:
Hancock - Will Smith
Ray Embrey - Jason Bateman
Mary Embrey - Charlize Theron
Aaron Embrey - Jae Head
Red - Eddie Marsan
Jeremy (cameo) - Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

The Happening - Screenplay Review  


M. Night Shyamalan's new thriller The Happening will hit US-theaters Friday 13th. Here's my review of his screenplay dated January 2007. Please also note the update on the bottom of this post. Thanks.

Final thought after reading The Happening: this would make a great novel. A film? Not so much. A thriller without thrills. Talk about unfilmable danger (b/c it looks like Shyamalan wants to keep the threat real), a reactive protagonist who can't do anything other than think (unfilmable), flee, and observe, an underdeveloped romance and some great ideas that drown in piles of dead bodies. A little girl that mirrors the antagonist - nice touch.

Science teacher Elliot (Mark Wahlberg) loves his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and won't accept that the relationship has hit rock bottom. Alma has made up her mind. She takes her wedding band off, she's going to leave him. Then disaster hits. Large numbers of people kill themselves for no apparent reason.

As always in disaster-movies, the couple will get back together, right? We know this just like we know the ending of a romcom. What's interesting is the 90 minutes in between argument and kiss. Shyamalan doesn't care what I'm interested in. People need to talk and trust each other - problem solved.

Elliot and Alma flee the city together with their friend Julian (John Leguizamo) and his daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez). Soon Julian leaves, he wants to search for his wife.

We learn that it's a neuro-toxin that causes the suicides and about 30 minutes into the film we know who spreads it around the globe. There's no way to stop it, only a chance to hide. Elliot collects more clues (observe, think, react) and they keep on running from danger. [Btw: If you think about ways to kill yourself look no further. Here's 50 ways to off yourself.]

It's an interesting topic Shyamalan picked and I love the story-idea. It's clever. It would make a great novel. One could add characters, a backstory, develop the Alma/Elliot relationship, get more into Elliot's head and perhaps even Alma's, and the many suicides might end up having more of an impact than they do in the script and probably will have on the screen. One thing I particularly like involves a ring. That could get more time in the book as well.

A protagonist who can't do anything and who saves himself and his family by thinking isn't much to look at. My only hope is that the movie will be much different from the script (and the trailer).

Meanwhile I've seen a preview and I'm impressed. Though essentially the same story, it's been taken apart and re-assembled in a different manner and some of the things I hated in the script have been re-written. What I liked has been emphasized. See my detailed review, coming up Thursday. It's fascinating to see what a rewrite and editing can do.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Eva Mendes Nude  


Last time I saw Eva Mendes, she was making out with Joaquin Phoenix in We Own The Night. This time around, she's by herself. And man, that's even hotter.

Star-Photographer Steven Meisel (he who also took the famous pictures of Madonna for her Sex Book) had the pleasure of working with Eva Mendes for italian Vogue magazine. The result is not just molto erotico - it's also molto artsy (yupp, my rudimentary Italian just went bye-bye, now I'm drawing blanks).

Vogue published a 13-part-photo-story in which we see Eva Mendes in ever-changing wigs. In one photograph she reminds one a lot on Sophia Loren. I'm digging the pics .... well, there are two (in one she's sucking her toe, in the other one Eva Mendes plays a table) I could do without, but the others a great.

See for yourself - which ones are you digging? Link >>Eva Mendes Vogue Photo-Story

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Chop Shop - Review  


Chop Shop was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival 2008 and is now in limited release. Only lead actor Alejandro Polanco was present and available for Q & A at the 2nd Berlin screening.

Chop Shop - Genre: drama -- Running time: 84 minutes. Festival suggestion: PG-13

Filmmaker Ramin Bahrani's (Man Push Cart) feature Chop Shop shows the daily struggle of an orphaned 12-year old boy in the Willet's Point area of Queens, aka The Iron Triangle. In the beginning we see Alejandro "Ale" (Alejandro Polanco) and a friend sell candy in the subway. Ale points out that he's not doing that for school, that indeed he isn't in school at all, but..."If you want me to go to school, I got candy for you". Pretty genius little spiel he got there - people are buying. Too bad he doesn't mean it, his plans don't include school.

It's a cool little scene but it's also deceptive. It sets up expectations that aren't going to be fulfilled. Chop Shop is one of those "important" films about important topics that you wish would also tell an interesting story in an entertaining way - but they don't. Instead, you're in for a dose of the filmmaker's style that gets in the way of storytelling.. lingering shots without subtext to warrant them, repetitions that never pay off but seem to be there simply to ensure Jane & Joe Shmoe don't miss that one action, painfully long stretches during which nothing much happens. Some rave reviews from the usual sources felt compelled to call this style "poetic".

Why, if a topic is that important, one chooses to present it in such a way that warrants only a (very) limited release, will appeal to few people and be accessible to even fewer? It's art, you say. It's showing off the filmmaker's talent, it's a showcase. That bugs me to no end. I kept on editing my review and putting its publication off. Until...

....I came across an interview (in a press release) with Stefan Ruzowitzky, whose feature The Counterfeiters won this year's Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. In this interview, Ruzowitzky supports my view when he talks about "a moral obligation to tell the stories in such a way that the largest possible audience can be reached".* Though Ruzowitzky talks specifically about Holocaust-stories, I'm sure he'd say the same thing about any relevant fact-based story. I'm betting 5 bucks that he would. Back to Chop Shop.

I really do like the Alejandro character, he seems real. Ale is a true survivor. He knows the value of money, but is completely illiterate. Trust? No way. Alejandro trusts nobody, period. He does believe in the power of money, though. Money will buy him a better life, he thinks, money is the solution to all his problems. You see, he saves up for a vending truck.

Ale works for a car shop - they tell him what parts they need, he goes and steals them. He treats this like a regular job, gets paid, has a room upstairs and is allowed to use the shower. The man who owns the place we see a number of times with a dangerous-looking dog. You know, just like in regular movies questionable characters get to walk around with cute little doggies to tell you: "he's not all bad, look, he's got a dog!"? This dog shows his teeth quite a few times so you start to think something's up with the dog, but then - nothing. Just a prop, just shorthand. That's art, people.

When Ale's older sister Isamar (Isamar Gonzales) shows up, he talks her into staying with him and works hard to convince her that that vending truck isn't just a dream, it's a goal, it will become a reality. Isamar could quit her job at the diner, he could quit the Chop Shop and all will be swell from there. What Ale doesn't tell Isamar is that he knows she's turning tricks, too.

Isamar, on the other hand, is a piece of work. She's too comfortable with her situation and has the friends to go with it. Money is spent on outfits, there's partying, you get the picture. This place is her world. She can't see beyond its limits. In a way, this character is far more interesting than Ale, who's a typical victim that gets victimized over and over while he tries so hard to be like you and me. Work, work, busy bee and dream the American dream. Isamar works and also tries to have fun, but she lacks an ingredient that's actually the stuff that sells Hollywood movies: The American Dream.

One thing that doesn't work for Chop Shop is its focus on Willet's Point as a microcosmos. It makes it too easy to forget that this place is actually located in the US. I remember at one point thinking: is this in South America? Occasionally showing Shea Stadium may work for New York residents and/or baseball fans, but it did nothing for me.

Another weak point is Ale. I'm not even going to talk about the acting in some scenes that were far from convincing. (After all, Alejandro Polanco isn't a professional actor and neither are most of the other cast members. Polanco told us he was hired by the filmmaker who cruised schools searching for Spanish-speaking kids.) It was the emotional distance that was the bigger problem. We don't know what he's feeling and that ultimately prevents us from investing our feelings.

What this flick provides is fodder for the let's-infer-meaning game. Alejandro Polanco sure wasn't any help when one viewer inquired about the meaning of the pigeons. If his answer "Ale wanted to entertain Isamar" is any indication, we're thinking way more about what stuff in the film could mean than its creators. My shot at the pigeons: Pigeons - "flying rats" - genpop feeds them or kills them at will - they might represent Ale and Isamar. There you go, certainly none the wiser.

Not very many people attended the 2nd Chop Shop screening at the Berlin International Film Festival. We were told before the show "if you like the film, please tell your friends. We still got tickets left for the other two screenings". Word of mouth won't work for this flick, I'm afraid.

Screenplay: Ramin Bahrani and Bahareh Azimi
Director: Ramin Bahrani

Chop Shop Cast:
Alejandro Ale - Alejandro Polanco
Isamar - Isamar Gonzales
Carlos - Carlos Zapata
Ahmad - Ahmad Razvi
Rob - Rob Sowulski

* (translation mine)

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Meet Bill - Jessica Alba's next disaster?  


Pregnant Jessica Alba probably isn't terribly concerned with the state of her career at this time. But some of her male fans over the age of 15 might be. There was the juvenile rom-com Good Luck Chuck, then the slighty better Awake, followed by yet another one of those really sucky remakes of Asian films - The Eye (okay, the original sucked, too, but in a different way). Next up for Alba fans:

The comedy Meet Bill with Aaron Eckhart in the title role and Timothy Olyphant (sans bar code tattoo, but with hair) as Chip, Bill's wife Jess' (Elizabeth Banks, currently in Definitely, Maybe) new lover. Yupp, Bill the banker has a huge 'L' on his forehead.

The task is clear - get the wife back. Of course he needs help, haven't you learned anything from Hitch to Three Can Play That Game? That's where Jessica Alba seems to come in. And a teenage boy. When I saw that boy in the trailer suggest that Bill get a new lover to play the jealousy-game, I thought: wow, now there's one brand new idea I've never heard of in my entire life....

Though the Meet Bill trailer that currently floats around the net doesn't - really - look all that bad, the two mini-reviews, especially the one over at Variety, don't sound, ahem, impressed.

Aaron Eckhart was last seen in a waste of my time called No Reservations, the remake of a German film, in which he kinda played the same character he played in Erin Brockovich. I guess if I can watch No Reservations in its pointless entirety, just to watch Aaron Eckhart, I might also survive Bill.

Timothy Olyphant I prefer to see in other types of roles, like Hitman. I'm looking forward to seeing him soon in Kimberly Peirce's new film - Stop Loss - now that one can't be bad. It just can't. We've waited long enough for Peirce's next feature, 9 years! More on Stop Loss later.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Oscars 2008 - why they didn't watch....  


Ken Evans' article The Real Problem with the 80. Academy Awards about TV-viewers' disinterest in this year's Oscars-Show made me think about the topic. First I want to say that I don't believe in the numbers in the first place. But that's not going to keep me from cooking up my own 5-part-theory "Oscars 2008 - why they didn't care to watch". Completely non-scientific, I promise.

It wasn't the show, the show was fine. Jon Stewart always cracks me up and that joke he made about inviting the screenwriters? Priceless. Not to mention Cameron Diaz. There should be an award for funniest presenter. Can you say ci-ne-ma-to-gra-phy? She can say it! You did good, hon.

Apropos screenwriters. During the strike people came to learn new and - for many - surprising information re: the movie business. Not sure how impressed they were by that...

Here's my Oscar-theory:

1. The extreme hype

Maybe my memory isn't working properly, but I feel that never before has there been such an onslaught of....

a) advertising
Could you go anywhere without seeing ads? I remember Atonement-videos in the New York Times movie-section, horrible giant pop-ups (was that Variety, I'm 99 % sure it was) - for what film (TWBB or NCFOM?) I can't say because all I was ever interested in was finding the X to get rid of the intrusive ad. The imdb wasn't exactly ad-free, either. Which reminds me on...

b) "the Road to the Oscars"
How exciting is it to see the same films being nominated for different awards and winning one award after the other? Did we expect to see any surprises at the Oscars? Did we? Which leads me to....

2. Several noms for the same film
makes for a yawnfest. We've been there before, but at least more people cared about LOTR as opposed to this year, when...

3. People hadn't seen all the nominated films
Ken Evans points out, and I agree, that we don't care if a film we haven't seen wins an Oscar or not. The blame goes - in part - to a crowded December release schedule.

4. People hated some of the nominated films/were ticked off that some films weren't nominated
Yupp, I admit, I didn't care one bit for Atonement. And why exactly was Sweeney Todd not nominated for Best Picture? Beats me.

4a. Nominations. Period.
Dame Judy Dench didn't work in 2007, I guess. But Cate Blanchett was in at least 2 movies! Hey, and check out the category "Best Supporting Actress". Strange, to say the least. I'd give an award to Helena Bonham Carter for Sweeney Todd. I know, I know, but we're all entitled to our opinions, aren't we?

5. Heath Ledger's death
Yeah, I know, it's just me being a silly fangirl. But I thought about the in-memoriam section of the Academy Awards Show a few times before the event and it made me sad. We all knew we'd see him there and it would be painful. This paragraph not sponsored by Kleenex or any other brand of tissues.

80. Academy Awards - The Oscar goes to...

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Pathology Release -- Ventimiglia and Milano  


Pathology -- genre: Thriller -- MPAA-rating: R
New Release date: April 18, 2008 (limited)

After an extremely long wait Pathology seems to finally get its theatrical release. Yeah!

During the wait we had to read posts re: not-so-great test-screenings months ago and a February release date came and went -- no Pathology sightings. It's finally time to get excited. And I am excited, because I'm digging the trailer (scroll down to check it out).

[Re: the validity and benefit of test-screenings. I don't believe in test-screenings. I've been working in market research (all aspects, including face-to-face, studio, phone, opinion polls, b2c, b2b and whatnot) for a number of years and have seen how the system works or rather: fails - especially when you're dealing with the assumed target group face-to-face. Some new products still fail tremendously after costly market research projected---> product is a surefire winner! I'd also say that test-screenings can be counterproductive, they can backfire. Some dim bulb may write about how horrible a flick was - word gets out - buzzkill. On the other end of the spectrum, of course, are the over-hyped crapfests. Nuff said.]

screenwriters: Marc Neveldine & Brian Taylor (Crank)
director: Marc Schoelermann

Pathology Cast:

Ted Gray - Milo Ventimiglia (Rocky Balboa)
Jake - Michael Weston (Scrubs, Garden State)
Juliette Bath - Laureen Lee Smith (The L-Word, One Way)
Chip Bentwood: - Dan Callahan (Crank)
Griffin - Johnny Whitworth (3:10 to Yuma)
Catherine Ivy - Mei Melancon (X-Men: The Last Stand)
Ben Stravinsky - Keir O'Donnell (Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up)

The original highly official Pathology trailer courtesy MGM:

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Jennifer Jason Leigh dumps Ashton Kutcher?  


Page6 reports that the next victim of the ever-spreading Mommy-Bug is..... Bad Babe Jennifer Jason Leigh. Congrats, I guess. Not that I'm terribly interested in the reproductive goings-on of complete strangers...

However, Jennifer Jason Leigh was scheduled to star with Ashton Kutcher in the sexy comedy Spread (2009). Kutcher as a womanizer who dumps Leigh. But hey, nothing a little stalking can't fix....

Is there a pattern emerging? Ashton Kutcher playing the hunky love interest of older women? Sure, in What Happens in Vegas (can't wait to see it!) his love interest played by Cameron Diaz is only six years older. Ms. Leigh is a tad older than that. And in Personal Effects (2009) he gets close with Michelle Pfeiffer? Oooh, baby. Well, I totally can see him with all these actresses. If we're headed for a remake of (a slightly older) Harold and Maude, may I suggest Angela Lansbury? Sweet lady. But back to....

Spread. Page 6 claims that Laura Linney was in talks to replace preggers JJ Leigh. Sure. That would be about as inspired a film-couple as Edward Burns and Angelina Jolie (Life or Something Like it). Hell no.

Let's see who they'll come up with next...

Screenplay: Jason Dean Hall
Director: David Mackenzie (Hallam Foe)

Ashton Kutcher

Stumble Upon Toolbar

80. Oscars 2008 - The Oscar Goes to...  


Best Picture

No Country for Old Men
Michael Clayton
There Will Be Blood

Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Juno, Diablo Cody
Lars and the Real Girl, Nancy Oliver
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
Ratatouille, Brad Bird; Story: Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
The Savages, Tamara Jenkins

Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
No Country For Old Men, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Atonement, Christopher Hampton
Away From Her, Sarah Polley
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Ronald Harwood
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Animated Feature Film
Surf's Up

Best Director
No Country for Old Men, Joel Coen und Ethan Coen
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Julian Schnabel
Juno, Jason Reitman
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Ellen Page, Juno
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Laura Linney, The Savages

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Die Fälscher - The Counterfeiters, Austria
Beaufort, Israel
Katyn, Poland
Mongol, Kazakhstan
12, Russia

Best Documentary, Feature
Taxi to the Dark Side, Alex Gibney and Eva Orner
No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, Richard E. Robbins
Sicko, Michael Moore and Meghan O’Hara
War/Dance, Andrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best Cinematography
There Will Be Blood, Robert Elswit
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Roger Deakins
Atonement, Seamus McGarvey
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Janusz Kaminski
No Country for Old Men, Roger Deakins

Best Art Direction
Sweeney Tood - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Dante Ferretti; Francesca Lo Schiavo
American Gangster, Arthur Max; Beth A. Rubino
Atonement, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
The Golden Compass, Dennis Gassner; Anna Pinnock
There Will Be Blood, Jack Fisk; Jim Erickson

Best Costume Design
Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Alexandra Byrne
Across the Universe, Albert Wolsky
Atonement, Jacqueline Durran
La Vie en Rose, Marit Allen
Sweeney Todd - The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Colleen Atwood

Best Sound
The Bourne Ultimatum, Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
No Country for Old Men, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
Ratatouille, Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
3:10 to Yuma, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
The Transformers, Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Best Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum, Christopher Rouse
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juliette Welfling
Into the Wild, Jay Cassidy
No Country for Old Men, Roderick Jaynes
There Will Be Blood, Dylan Tichenor

Best Sound Editing
The Bourne Ultimatum, Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
No Country for Old Men, Skip Lievsay
Ratatouille, Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
There Will Be Blood, Matthew Wood
Transformers, Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Best Musical Score
Atonement, Dario Marianelli
The Kite Runner, Alberto Iglesias
Michael Clayton, James Newton Howard
Ratatouille, Michael Giacchino
3:10 to Yuma, Marco Beltrami

Best Song
Falling Slowly, Once, Music and Lyrics: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Happy Working Song, Enchanted, Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
Raise It Up, August Rush, Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack, Tevin Thomas
So Close, Enchanted, Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
That’s How You Know, Enchanted, Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz

Best Achievement in Make-Up
La Vie en Rose, Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
Norbit, Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Golden Compass, Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
The Transformers, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Best Short Film, Live Action
Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets), Philippe Pollet-Villard
At Night, Christian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth
Il Supplente (The Substitute), Andrea Jublin
Tanghi Argentini, Guido Thys and Anja Daelemans
The Tonto Woman, Daniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Best Short Film, Animated
Peter & the Wolf, Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman
I Met the Walrus, Josh Raskin
Madame Tutli-Putli ,Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven), Samuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse
My Love (Moya Lyubov), Alexander Petrov

Best Documentary, Short Subject
Freeheld, Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth
La Corona (The Crown), Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega
Salim Baba, Tim Sternberg and Francisco Bello
Sari’s Mother, James Longley

Stumble Upon Toolbar

M. Night Shyamalan: The Happening - Trailer  


There are several places where one might view the trailer of M. Night Shyalaman's new movie The Happening, to be released Friday, 13th June 2008. Here's a list

Got DivX? Then click on this link: >The Happening trailer

takes a moment to load, but runs smoothly after that: >The Happening trailer.

Here's another site for you:>The Happening trailer.

A page devoted to the film with trailer and teaser, they seem to use a Russian player/video host (takes a bit to load): >The Happening trailer.

If you have Quicktime installed on your pc/laptop then this link is for you: <The Happening.

Stumble Upon Toolbar