Weekly Ketchup: Naomi Watts to play Princess Di

Plus, more vampire movies and new roles for Scarlett Johansson, Russell Crowe, and Denzel Washington

This week's Ketchup covers the week that led up to the beginning of the Berlin International Film Festival, which like Cannes later in the year, is the location of many moviemaking deals. And so this was another week with far more stories than would fit in this column of just 10 (or so) of the week's bigggest movies news stories. Included in the mix this week are adaptations of novels by authors Anne Rice, John Le Carre and Emile Zola, a remake of one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films, and new roles for Glenn Close, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Denzel Washington and the stars of Wedding Crashers Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.


This Week's Top Story

NAOMI WATTS TO BE CAUGHT IN FLIGHT AS PRINCESS DI

The latest edition of the Academy Awards is still two weeks away, but casting is already underway for movies that might be considered for awards in 2013 or 2014. Recent years have seen British biopics of royalty and politicians such as The King's Speech and The Iron Lady receiving much of each year's attention. And now, Naomi Watts is set to possibly join similar ranks in Caught in Flight, a movie about the last two years in the life of Princess Diana, during which Diana came into her own as "a major international campaigner and humanitarian." Caught in Flight will be directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, the German director of Das Experiment and the Academy Award-nominated Downfall, which also depicted the final days of a major historical figure, Adolph Hitler (a scene from which you may have seen on YouTube, as it is the center of a very popular meme). The Caught in Flight screenplay has been adapted by Stephen Jeffreys, whose previous credit was the 2004 Johnny Depp film The Libertine. Filming is scheduled to begin later this year in the United Kingdom.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 BLACK WIDOW TO COSTAR WITH THE INCREDIBLE HULK AND COBRA COMMANDER

Scarlett Johansson will be returning as Black Widow this summer in em>The Avengers, and this week she set up two movies that will see her costarring with either one of her Avengers costars, or one of the costars of The Dark Knight Rises. Can a Song Save Your Life? is a musical drama from Once director John Carney that will feature Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and True Grit star Hailee Steinfeld. Johansson will play a singer who moves to New York in the hopes of making it big, but her boyfriend gets a contract before she does, and dumps her. Mark Ruffalo will play a record producer who discovers Johansson singing at a bar, and Hailee Steinfeld will play his daughter. Johansson will also costar with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an untitled project that will also mark his directorial debut. Although not all details have yet been revealed, Gordon-Levitt will be playing a character described as a modern Don Juan who is trying to overcome his problem of being a "selfish dick."


#2 PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN IS A MOST WANTED MAN

The works of British spy novelist John Le Carre have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity in terms of being adapted into movies in the last 11 years, with adaptations of The Tailor of Panama, The Constant Gardener and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy all being critically well received. At 80, Le Carre is still publishing new novels every few years, and his 2008 release A Most Wanted Man is now getting its own movie adaptation as well. Philip Seymour Hoffman is in final negotiations to star in A Most Wanted Man as a German spy chief in Hamburg trying to figure out a mystery involving "a mysterious, tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run... desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father's ill-gotten fortune." Anton Corbijn (Control, The American) will be directing A Most Wanted Man from a screenplay adapted by Andrew Bovell (Lantana; cowriter of Edge of Darkness).


#3 CRUELLA DE VIL, DRACO MALFOY AND THE OLSEN TWINS' LITTLE SISTER TO COSTAR IN THERESE RAQUIN

Therese Raquin was a 1867 French novel by Emile Zola which the author adapted into a play which has since been adapted over a dozen times, including several TV movies. Therese Raquin has not, however, ever been adapted as an English language feature film, but that is about to change. Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) are now attached to star in Therese Raquin, and Tom Felton (AKA Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies) is in negotiations as well. Therese Raquin is the story of a young woman (Olsen) who, with her lover (not yet cast), conspires to murder the sickly cousin (Felton) that she was forced to marry by her aunt (Close) out of pity, and that murderous act then leads to the couple being haunted by his ghost. Theater director and actor Charlie Stratton adapted the Therese Raquin screenplay, and will also be making his feature film directorial debut with it.

Rotten Ideas of the Week

#6 DENZEL WASHINGTON + MARK WAHLBERG = 2 GUNS

In the same week as the release of his latest action film Safe House, Denzel Washington is now in talks with Universal Pictures to join Mark Wahlberg in the Boom! Studios comic book adaptation 2 Guns. Wahlberg and Washington will be playing a DEA agent and an undercover naval intelligence officer (though it's unclear which is which at this point) who are both investigating each other after they both steal money from the mob. 2 Guns will be directed by Baltasar Kormakur, who recently worked with Wahlberg on Contraband, which was itself an adaptation of Kormakur's film Reykjavik-Rotterdam. So, essentially, Baltasar Kormakur made the same movie twice, and practice didn't make perfect, as Contraband still received a Rotten RT Tomatometer score, as he has six times, versus only two Fresh scores. And that's why 2 Guns is one of the week's Rotten Ideas. The 2 Guns script was written by Blake Masters, who worked on the writing staff of Law & Order: Los Angeles, making this his feature film debut.


#5 THIS WEEK IN VAMPIRE MOVIES: RUSSELL CROWE MAY PLAY HARKER, AND THE VAMPIRE LESTAT RETURNS

Hollywood may be running out of Twilight books to adapt (at least until they start remaking them), but other vampire movies are still getting greenlit in hopes of attracting that audience. One such project is called Harker, which reimagines Bram Stoker's original Dracula to change the character of Jonathan Harker (the attorney who originally went to Transylvania to meet the Count) into being a Scotland Yard detective investigating a series of murders. Harker is based at Warner Bros, and may be moving ahead thanks to the slowing down of the studio's live action Akira adaptation. Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan, Unknown, House of Wax) had been attached to that film, but with Akira slowing down, Harker may now have a better chance to move ahead, with him also attached to direct. The next step, then, would be for Warner Bros to find a star for Harker, and Russell Crowe is reportedly in early talks to play that Scotland Yard detective. However, Russell Crowe is also in talks with 20th Century Fox and Darren Aronofsky for his Biblical adaptation dream project Noah. But Dracula isn't the only famous vampire to make the news this week, as Anne Rice's Vampire Lestat might also be on his way back to the big screen. Imagine Entertainment has acquired the rights to The Tale of the Body Thief, the fourth Anne Rice novel to feature Lestat. If The Tale of the Body Thief someday gets made, the end result would be that, of the first four Lestat novels, only the one actually called The Vampire Lestat will have not yet been made into a movie. The Tale of the Body Thief is about a deal that the Vampire Lestat makes with a human psychic that has the ability to switch bodies, except that Lestat quickly finds out that what he thought was just a temporary experiment may be permanent because the body thief is, you know... evil. Imagine Entertainment has hired newcomer screenwriter Lee Patterson to start work on adapting The Tale of the Body Thief. Harker is one of the week's Rotten Ideas based mostly on the 100% Rotten status of Jamue Collet-Serra on the RT Tomatometer, but The Tale of the Body Thief is in more of a borderline "who knows?" status.


#4 JASON STATHAM TO STAR IN A REMAKE OF HEAT... BUT IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Movie fans on the Internet went a little crazy this week over the news of a Heat remake, but the misleading headlines were missing some crucial details. Director Brian De Palma (Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars, Femme Fatale) is indeed attached to a remake of Heat, but it isn't the 1995 movie starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino that's getting remade. Instead, De Palma is remaking the 1986 movie called Heat, which starred Burt Reynolds as a recovering gambling addict and former soldier of fortune who works as protection for Vegas high rollers, with Jason Statham now attached to star as the Burt Reynolds character. In a way, that movie called Heat is sort of an ideal candidate for a remake, since it was never that popular to begin with, and there's not even enough reviews on the Tomatometer to get much of a feel for whether it was even any good, either. However, it isn't the fact that it's a remake that makes this story one of the week's Rotten Ideas, it's Brian De Palma's filmography. Although his career does include such critical hits as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Carlito's Way, Brian De Palma hasn't had a "Fresh" movie on the Tomatometer since Mission: Impossible in 1996. Sixteen years is a pretty long time to have a Rotten patch.


#3 HENRY CAVILL TO HELP THE CHINESE BUILD THE GREAT WALL

"Whitewashing" is the term used to describe the (not so) proud Hollywood tradition of casting Caucasian actors in roles or movies that would seem a better fit for an actor of another ethnicity. There are many examples, but the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai is the perfect example for this story for a few reasons. But, first, here's the meat of the story: British actor Henry Cavill is in negotiations to be cast in The Great Wall, the story behind the construction of The Great Wall of China. Cavill recently starred in Immortals, but his really big movie on the horizons is the Superman movie Man of Steel. The Great Wall will be directed by Edward Zwick, whose previous films include The Siege, Love and Other Drugs, and most significantly to this story... The Last Samurai. Edward Zwick also cowrote The Great Wall with Max Brooks (writer of the upcoming zombie movie World War Z) and producer Thomas Tull (Jonah Hex, Sucker Punch). There are no known details of how exactly Cavill might fit into this movie's depiction of the Great Wall's construction, but in the real world, the wall was built in the 5th Century BC to control the Chinese Empire's borders against nomadic invasions.


#2 VAUGHN AND WILSON: FROM WEDDING CRASHERS TO INTERNS

There may never be a sequel to Wedding Crashers, but Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson are set to reunite in the comedy Interns, about two laid off guys who try to restart their careers by interning at an Internet company. Vaughn and Wilson have been wanting to reunite for a while, and coincidentally, those plans at one time included the possibility of them costarring in 2 Guns, the same movie described above as now a Wahlberg/Washington vehicle instead. Interns will be directed by Shawn Levy (Just Married, Night at the Museum, Real Steel), which is really why this is one of the week's Rotten Ideas. Of the 9 movies that Shawn Levy has directed, only one of them (Date Night) has a "Fresh" rating on the RT Tomatometer.



#1 ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S REBECCA JOINS THE ABSOLUTELY UNNECESSARY REMAKE CLUB

Alfred Hitchcock's 1940 film adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel Rebecca was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and won two Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Picture (beating The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator and The Philadelphia Story, among others). Without a doubt, Rebecca is a true Hollywood classic. And so... DreamWorks is going to remake it. Of course. DreamWorks has hired screenwriter Steven Knight (Eastern Promises, Dirty Pretty Things) to adapt the original du Maurier novel about an American woman (Joan Fontaine) who marries a rich Englishman (Sir Laurence Olivier) whose first wife died mysteriously. Often, a movie concept receives the Most Rotten Idea label because of the RT Tomatometer rating of those involved, but in this case, Steven Knight is batting 100% Fresh, not Rotten at all. What makes this one stand out is the very idea of remaking one of Hitchcock's greatest films. In particular, DreamWorks didn't even try explaining why the remake is being developed... is it really just because the original film is 70 years old and (gasp) black and white? Tsk tsk.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook or a RT forum message.

Comments

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

A Princess Di movie sounds good. Nothing else here interests me.

Feb 10 - 05:36 PM

Flash T.

Flash T

Couldn't agree less, just another cash in on the upper class brit thing that sells so well abroad whilst perpetuating the myth that all UK subjects are wet, tea drinking, stoic toffs. Give me another Attack the Block any day.

Feb 11 - 04:04 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

EAST-ENDERS RULE!!!!!///

Feb 11 - 04:57 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Totally . . . I hope it strives to Tell the Truth; Princess Diana WAS MURDERED (its a combination of a roadside accident and MURDER) . . . Diana seemed shaken after the accident. The ambulance examined her; yet she had internal bleeding occurring; apparently the Ambulance called The Royal Palace and spoke to people associated to The Queen of England (British Secret Service) BEFORE rushing Princess Diana to the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital--she was pronounced dead at 4:00 AM, the accident occurred at 12:25 AM. /////THE 13TH PILLAR (stanchion)--the ENTIRE movie should inter-cut a scene of Diasna's Car entering the underpass every 35 minutes as an "establishing-shot" of sorts. "They left from the rear of the hotel, the Rue Cambon exit. After crossing the Place de la Concorde they drove along Cours la Reine and Cours Albert 1er (the embankment road running parallel to the River Seine) into the Place de l?Alma underpass. At around 12:23 am at the entrance to the tunnel, their driver lost control; the car swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before colliding head-on with the 13th pillar supporting the roof at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph).[10] It then spun and hit the stone wall of the tunnel backwards, finally coming to a stop. The impact of the crash caused substantial damage, particularly to the front half of the vehicle. There was (and still is) no guard rail between the pillars to prevent this. The Place de l'Alma underpass is the only one on that embankment road that has roof-supporting pillars."

Feb 11 - 08:25 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Maybe it's because I've only ever seen her in The Ring films and King Kong but...Naomi Watts is just Awful. This is going to be her "I'm so desperate for an Oscar" film isn't it?

Feb 11 - 10:55 AM

MDB_88

daniel johnson

Watch '21 Grams' and tell me she's a bad actress. It's a travesty she did not win the academy award that year. She was also phenomenal in Mulholland Drive. I also thought she was amazing in King Kong (having to act with an invisible giant monkey and a green screen for almost the entire move).

Give her a great director and a meaty role and she's one of the best actresses around

Feb 11 - 11:41 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Also see I Heart Huckabees - she's great in that.

Feb 11 - 11:57 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thank you for the recommendations. My Wife reminded me also that she was good in Eastern Promises. Thanks again for the FIlms. Adding them to the Netflix queue.

Feb 12 - 12:32 AM

Unbreakable Samurai

Unbreakable Samurai

I really like Watts and Hirschbiegel, so I'll give it a shot.

Mar 25 - 02:16 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I think I'd rather see Denzel and Marky Mark playing the interns.

Everyone knows Superman built the Great Wall of China. Just like everyone knows Zwick is a sentimental hack. How the back-to-back success of "Jonah Hex" and "Sucker Punch" can't end a career speaks volumes.

To take up a little for DePalma, I thought "Femme Fatale" should have been considered Fresh. Can't really defend any of the others of the last 15 years, although "Snake Eyes" did have that brilliant opening tracking shot (a DePalma hallmark) with nothing to back it up.

Jaume Collet-Serra is a putz.

Nothing says "selfish dick" better than directing yourself as a 'Don Juan' wooing Scarlet Johansson while you're pretending to 'overcome' your horribly successful life. I would mention "Annie Hall", but I'm sure he'd consider it a compliment.

I'm not really even upset about "Rebecca" because the book is strong in itself, it wasn't one of Hitch's favorites as he fought David Selznick throughout the shoot, and, in classic ass-backwards Hollywood fashion, it's the one award a Hitchcock film won, but ended up going to Selznick instead. It certainly isn't better than "Great Dictator", but, it's hard to conceive today, the Nazis were not yet as unpopular in America as they would become. Strange but true. And although Hitler wasn't popular in Hollywood, I imagine "Great Dictator" was overlooked so that the Oscars wouldn't appear 'out of touch' with middle America (the parts that were buying Henry Ford's anti-semitic newsletters). It's like "Brokeback Mountain", normally an obvious winner, but homo-friendly Hollywood is also too scared of appearing like their pushing a homo-friendly agenda so they choose instead a race film less mature than "In the Heat of the Night" 30 years earlier.

Feb 10 - 05:39 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

The only thing I'd object to is that it wasn't just middle america that was late to the anti-Nazi party it was most of the non-Jewish world. Just ask the nonexistent Jews and minorities who were flooding out if Harvard and Stanford at that time. Alabama rightfully got stick, but the alleged cultural centers on both coasts were guilty as well, they were just better at covering up their prejudices. I came from a place in Iowa that used to be Berlin that now goes by another name because the german immigrants there felt it was right to demonstrate the difference between themselves and the people of Hitlers Germany. We're not all the backward hicks folks would like you to believe we are in the "flyover states"

Feb 10 - 06:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Don't misunderstand me, I'm talking about the perception of middle America rather than the reality. Still, Ford's Dearborn Independent had a circulation of nearly a million during the 20s. That's probably your typical 'concerned citizens' circles that enjoyed ropes and matches. Nor was this limited to the South, but Illinois, Minnisota, Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. But it certainly wasn't the majority of people in these areas, just some of the most important. It was the American business community (especially IBM and GE among others) who were the most envious of Germany's technological superiority at the time, and who were most vocal about not entering into Britain's war. My point being to show that it was probably the same political timidity that the Oscars have consistently shown that kept them from awarding "Great Dictator" in 1940, because they felt it may be seen as an endorsement for entering into the war.

Feb 10 - 08:32 PM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

One time, I saw a bunny when I went to the theater. The bunny liked to hop, so I hopped onto a bus. That's where I found our national treasure. I just want you to know that about me.

Feb 11 - 02:01 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Illuminating.

Feb 11 - 02:13 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Brokeback Mountain . . . a winner, not . . . "There are more ways to stem the rose"/// The Jake Gyllenhaul character was kind of a nympho . . . he tried picking-up a guy at a rodeo and then was fooling around with some other guy and then brought another guy (not the Heath Leger character up to meet his parents); like: The Jake Gyllkenhall character WAS NOT IN-LOVE with the Heath Leger Character . . . and then Jake Gyllenhall's Jack Twist "got killed" because he was caught by his brother-in-law or something to this effect. BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN could not have won an award because the love-relationship between Jake Twist and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) was not real; not with Jack Twist sleeping with a bunch of different guys and Ennis remaining true to Jack . . . dramaturgical balance is off. /// maybe a movie where two characters ARE in love with each other exclusively might win an award. (The Posse that caught-up with Jake Twist seemed to assassinate him for his promiscuity as much as his sexual-disposition (sexual orientation). AND Obviously Annie Proulx wasn't EXACTLY fond of Jake's and Ennis' relationship either; the short-story appears in The New Yorker 10-13-1997. The New Yorker issue is in your local public library's magazine stacks--read it CAREFULLY (especially the motel room smelling like "shit" and "cheap soap") and compare it to the movie then report back to us here in the news-feeds.///its like there's a prevailing notion that Brokeback Mountain is a majestic and wonderful film when there are tremendous faults in the balance of the plot; and Jake was molested by his father . . . that's missing from the movie yet apparent in the short-story.

Feb 11 - 08:49 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, if it were up to me, "Syriana" would have won, but the Academy was too chicken-shit to even nominate that one. Then you have "Munich" which, despite arguments over execution, did address rather brave subject matter about the personal price of reprisal at a time when renditions and indefinite detentions were in the news. It probably goes without saying that these films would not have a chance to win very much (except a little Cloon love). So "Brokeback" was a fairly mature and elegant Ang Lee film, with at least one great performance by Ledger. Going into the awards season, it was the frontrunner. "Crash" shocked everybody. Basically an afterschool special on judging books by their covers, it strangely reinforced shallow prejudices (all of the characters play to predictable type) while preaching against them. Sound familiar? Need a "help"ful hint?

Feb 11 - 01:54 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I enjoyed Munich. I don't think it was "Best Picture" good. Better than Crash though by quite a stretch.
I thought Good Night and Good Luck was great. David Stratharin was, in the parlance of our times, the bomb-diggity in that.
Brokeback was the best of the lot nominated that year I think (I haven't seen Capote though) Ang Lee defintitely deserved the Best Director for that. He did a fantastic job.
And once again, I have no idea what Gordo is trying to say.

As for the Rebecca remake, I don't know what to think. I know Hitch didn't enjoy it that much, but I still think it was a fantastic movie. But there is the potential to do what the Coens did. It's not neccessarily a 'rotten' idea, but it has the potential to be one.

Feb 11 - 02:52 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think Munich suffered by comparisons to Shindlers List and Saving Private Ryan. It was Spielberg's reverse The Departed. If it came out today it would probably fare better.

Feb 11 - 04:13 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

oh CRASH is HORRIBLE. . . exactly what you said, an after-school special; very shallow. The nature of its nomination seemed politicized in nature: because CRASH was about people from various walks of life colliding and "healing," it was nominated and won. This year I want The Artist to win. Meryl Streep Best Actress.

Feb 11 - 04:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"GNGL" was a great film, with Strathairn giving maybe his best performance (it's a close call with "Matewan"). There was an attempt at the time to claim that "McCarthy was right!" because there have been a couple moles discovered in the State Department from the 50s. It doesn't take much watching of cable news today to see what a disgrace has been done to Murrow's legacy.

And "Munich" as a reverse "Departed"? Interesting in the similarity of sacrifice of a personal life that is required in both lines of work, and this is what Spielberg intended to show in that film's most criticised sequence, let's call it the 'climax montage'. I feel the idea of the reciprical loss of affectionate intimacy in the face of such vengeful intimacy as the act of murder, but it can be argued that Spielberg could have staged this scene with less bombast. Still, it's a bold thing in the post-9/11 world to point out the ultimate dissatisfaction of revenge. That may be why "Inglorious Basterds" seems more cathartic, but much less mature.

Feb 12 - 10:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Couldn't agree more about cable news and the brilliance of Straitharn. He classes up anything he's in and just once I'd have liked to see Walter Cronkite slap Oreilly or Maher across their faces before he died.

Feb 12 - 11:28 AM

Pattie Bessette

Pattie Bessette

What you don't know about Broke Back Mountain is a lot! Jake Gylenhaul's character is 100% gay and he got lonely! He told 'Ennis' that he was having way to hard a time being a once a year 'fuck' but Ennis was bisexual and his only homosexual experiences were with Jake's character. He loved him, but only him in that way, and Jake didn't make it with women though he did give it a try. Men date. You act like he was married to Ennis and having affairs! His death was foreshadowed by the story Ennis told him of the older gay couple that were dragged to death when found out and he was not coming out of the closet - he was alone most of his life and Jake's character tried to find a partner that wanted to be with him all of the time. Hooking up with his wife's friend's husband was the bad idea that got him killed and well, that's Texas, then and now. It was breathtakingly shot in Canada and Wyoming, I think, and the music has been copied so many times I have come to dislike it!. As far as romance? Ennis didn't even know how much he felt for his one man lover until it was too late. And you have never lost someone you love if you didn't hear your heartbreak when he found his shirt tucked safely inside Jack's after their first summer on the mountain, and having the knowing mother put the meaningful shirt in that brown bag, knowing this man loved her son and wanted his shirt to have and to hold... boy, you don't have a pulse if you didn't feel his pain when he checked it in the closet of his lonely trailer, maybe an obvious metaphor there, as he tenderly adjusted it before closing the door... if he only knew... if he only knew...
He didn't know how much Jack loved him and if he had... and now he had an empty shirt to hug and some memories to haunt him and remind him that he had missed the greatest love of his life because of fear, the fear of being dragged to death behind a truck, afraid to die the way Jack actually did die, by the hand of heartless rednecks in a ditch by the side of the road.

He wasn't a 'nympho' you idiot, he was looking for love, love that he could live with day to day, not once a year, it was killing him, the waiting. When Ennis got divorced Jack found out and drove all night thinking finally! And to his shock and grief, he was told no. Ennis was trapped. Filled with fear that if he were to live with Jack, they would be found and killed. How long do you wait? Too long. One of the most beautiful love stories ever told, I wish they had the maturity at the award shows to handle it better. It was a disservice to the movie, Ang Lee, love, and themselves to want to prove they were straight and laugh... you know? We know they are straight, Sean Penn is straight and he didn't have to act like that when he won playing a gay man... I can only blame their youth. And maybe you are young too, I don't know. But, I hope you never learn about love the hard way... it has nothing to do with sex, especially when you love them beyond the grave in your loneliness.

Feb 15 - 05:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Excellent breakdown! Going into the film, I was very cynical, thinking this was going to be a condescending effort to 'normalize' homosexuality for the red state sensibilities, and I had knocked everything from the title that begged for endless puns to the fact that virtually everyone involved was straight. I was surprised to see how tastefully the film was handled, how complex the characterization was, and especially how strong Heath Ledger's performance was. (But, as a straight guy myself, it's a little annoying that buddies can't go fishing anymore without getting a bunch of brokeback jokes.)

Feb 17 - 10:27 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

The only thing I'd object to is that it wasn't just middle america that was late to the anti-Nazi party it was most of the non-Jewish world. Just ask the nonexistent Jews and minorities who were flooding out if Harvard and Stanford at that time. Alabama rightfully got stick, but the alleged cultural centers on both coasts were guilty as well, they were just better at covering up their prejudices. I came from a place in Iowa that used to be Berlin that now goes by another name because the german immigrants there felt it was right to demonstrate the difference between themselves and the people of Hitlers Germany. We're not all the backward hicks folks would like you to believe we are in the "flyover states"

Feb 10 - 06:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Don't misunderstand me, I'm talking about the perception of middle America rather than the reality. Still, Ford's Dearborn Independent had a circulation of nearly a million during the 20s. That's probably your typical 'concerned citizens' circles that enjoyed ropes and matches. Nor was this limited to the South, but Illinois, Minnisota, Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. But it certainly wasn't the majority of people in these areas, just some of the most important. It was the American business community (especially IBM and GE among others) who were the most envious of Germany's technological superiority at the time, and who were most vocal about not entering into Britain's war. My point being to show that it was probably the same political timidity that the Oscars have consistently shown that kept them from awarding "Great Dictator" in 1940, because they felt it may be seen as an endorsement for entering into the war.

Feb 10 - 08:32 PM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

One time, I saw a bunny when I went to the theater. The bunny liked to hop, so I hopped onto a bus. That's where I found our national treasure. I just want you to know that about me.

Feb 11 - 02:01 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Illuminating.

Feb 11 - 02:13 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Don't misunderstand me, I'm talking about the perception of middle America rather than the reality. Still, Ford's Dearborn Independent had a circulation of nearly a million during the 20s. That's probably your typical 'concerned citizens' circles that enjoyed ropes and matches. Nor was this limited to the South, but Illinois, Minnisota, Michigan and Pennsylvania as well. But it certainly wasn't the majority of people in these areas, just some of the most important. It was the American business community (especially IBM and GE among others) who were the most envious of Germany's technological superiority at the time, and who were most vocal about not entering into Britain's war. My point being to show that it was probably the same political timidity that the Oscars have consistently shown that kept them from awarding "Great Dictator" in 1940, because they felt it may be seen as an endorsement for entering into the war.

Feb 10 - 08:32 PM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

One time, I saw a bunny when I went to the theater. The bunny liked to hop, so I hopped onto a bus. That's where I found our national treasure. I just want you to know that about me.

Feb 11 - 02:01 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Illuminating.

Feb 11 - 02:13 PM

Serge Gal

Serge Gal

find out more about real Scarlett by typing Scarlett Johansson clone in Google search bar and you would see much more then in The Island movie..

Feb 10 - 08:36 PM

orphin s.

orphin sit

I really love to watch the movies of JASON STATHAM because he is the best ....

Feb 10 - 08:49 PM

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

Signourey Chunty Chunt C.

One time, I saw a bunny when I went to the theater. The bunny liked to hop, so I hopped onto a bus. That's where I found our national treasure. I just want you to know that about me.

Feb 11 - 02:01 AM

Louise Cole

Louise Cole

In no way is Rebecca one of Hitchcock's greatest films. I mean, it's a good film but it isn't really a true Hitchcock film and consequently cannot hold a candle to the likes of Vertigo, Notorious, North by Northwest, Marnie, Psycho, Shadow of a Doubt and ... I should probably stop now. :P

Feb 11 - 02:50 AM

Flash T.

Flash T

Couldn't agree less, just another cash in on the upper class brit thing that sells so well abroad whilst perpetuating the myth that all UK subjects are wet, tea drinking, stoic toffs. Give me another Attack the Block any day.

Feb 11 - 04:04 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

EAST-ENDERS RULE!!!!!///

Feb 11 - 04:57 PM

King  S.

King Simba

Not sure how to feel about the Tale of The Body Thief adaptation. Haven't seen Queen of the Damned, but I found Interview with the Vampire to be merely okay, though Lestat was easily the best part of it, thanks to an impressive performance by Tom Cruise. He singlehandedly changed what would have been an incredibely underwhelming ending to a hilarious one. Unfortunately, Cruise is probably too old now to play him, so I'll wait and see who they're casting and who's directing before deciding whether or not to get excited for this adaptation.

I wouldn't really call The Last Samurai a whitewashing film, as having a foreigner in the lead role is a crucial part of the plot, which is basically the classical "soldier finds himself in enemy lands where he befriends his enemies and learns more of their way of life and falls in love with one of them, causing his loyalties to change" story that been used countless times (Dances with Wolves, Avatar, heck even the original The Fast and the Furious) It certainly wasn't a case of Last Airbender where the white casting was needless. Also, it was pretty respectful to Japanese culture (hard to believe it was from the same guy who did the incredibly racist The Seige and then defended it saying "if you're not insulting somebody, you're a nobody") On the other hand, The Great Wall sounds like a case of needless white casting. I mean, I'm not the greatest expert on history, but how on earth are they going to fit a white guy into the building of the great wall, which happened 2500 years ago?

I'm actually optimistic towards the Interns. I think Shawn Levy has been improving lately especially after he left PG and went into PG-13 films (Date Night was a lot of fun, though admittedly it was carried more by the chemistry of Carrel and Fey than the script itself, while Real Steel is just sitting 1% below the fresh level, and to be quite frank, I felt too many of the reviews were dissing it simply because of the weird premises) so hopefully it will be more like his later efforts than Pink Panther.

Rebecca will probably be another case where they'll go "Oh, we plan on making it more faithful to the book" Even so, while that has worked a lot of times (True Grit being a recent example) it's still going to be tough to live up to the Hitchcock film, which the film is going to be inevitably compared to.

Feb 11 - 04:18 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think Tale of the Body Thief was were the Vampire Chronicles went off the rails. It never recaptured the momentum of the original trilogy and only occasionally was tolerable again. Pandora, Blood and Wine and Merrick were decent and Memnoch was interesting for its ambition if nothing else.

Feb 11 - 06:49 PM

Pattie Bessette

Pattie Bessette

The horror of a movie with Tom Cruise as Lestat? Brad Pitt was so miserable after 6 months of contact lenses and stupid lines, he asked his agent what it would take to get out of it, and they said well into the millions so he had to finish it - his most hated work to date! Awful movie!!!

Feb 15 - 06:02 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

Looking forward to the two Scarlett Johansson movies. Mark Ruffalo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are two of my favorite actors, so I canâ??t see why I shouldnâ??t be more happy about it :)

Feb 11 - 07:06 AM

Andrew Rossi

Andrew Rossi

the film that they said gordon-levitt is doing with scarlet sounds pretty good.

Feb 11 - 08:14 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Totally . . . I hope it strives to Tell the Truth; Princess Diana WAS MURDERED (its a combination of a roadside accident and MURDER) . . . Diana seemed shaken after the accident. The ambulance examined her; yet she had internal bleeding occurring; apparently the Ambulance called The Royal Palace and spoke to people associated to The Queen of England (British Secret Service) BEFORE rushing Princess Diana to the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital--she was pronounced dead at 4:00 AM, the accident occurred at 12:25 AM. /////THE 13TH PILLAR (stanchion)--the ENTIRE movie should inter-cut a scene of Diasna's Car entering the underpass every 35 minutes as an "establishing-shot" of sorts. "They left from the rear of the hotel, the Rue Cambon exit. After crossing the Place de la Concorde they drove along Cours la Reine and Cours Albert 1er (the embankment road running parallel to the River Seine) into the Place de l?Alma underpass. At around 12:23 am at the entrance to the tunnel, their driver lost control; the car swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before colliding head-on with the 13th pillar supporting the roof at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph).[10] It then spun and hit the stone wall of the tunnel backwards, finally coming to a stop. The impact of the crash caused substantial damage, particularly to the front half of the vehicle. There was (and still is) no guard rail between the pillars to prevent this. The Place de l'Alma underpass is the only one on that embankment road that has roof-supporting pillars."

Feb 11 - 08:25 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Maybe it's because I've only ever seen her in The Ring films and King Kong but...Naomi Watts is just Awful. This is going to be her "I'm so desperate for an Oscar" film isn't it?

Feb 11 - 10:55 AM

MDB_88

daniel johnson

Watch '21 Grams' and tell me she's a bad actress. It's a travesty she did not win the academy award that year. She was also phenomenal in Mulholland Drive. I also thought she was amazing in King Kong (having to act with an invisible giant monkey and a green screen for almost the entire move).

Give her a great director and a meaty role and she's one of the best actresses around

Feb 11 - 11:41 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Also see I Heart Huckabees - she's great in that.

Feb 11 - 11:57 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thank you for the recommendations. My Wife reminded me also that she was good in Eastern Promises. Thanks again for the FIlms. Adding them to the Netflix queue.

Feb 12 - 12:32 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Brokeback Mountain . . . a winner, not . . . "There are more ways to stem the rose"/// The Jake Gyllenhaul character was kind of a nympho . . . he tried picking-up a guy at a rodeo and then was fooling around with some other guy and then brought another guy (not the Heath Leger character up to meet his parents); like: The Jake Gyllkenhall character WAS NOT IN-LOVE with the Heath Leger Character . . . and then Jake Gyllenhall's Jack Twist "got killed" because he was caught by his brother-in-law or something to this effect. BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN could not have won an award because the love-relationship between Jake Twist and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) was not real; not with Jack Twist sleeping with a bunch of different guys and Ennis remaining true to Jack . . . dramaturgical balance is off. /// maybe a movie where two characters ARE in love with each other exclusively might win an award. (The Posse that caught-up with Jake Twist seemed to assassinate him for his promiscuity as much as his sexual-disposition (sexual orientation). AND Obviously Annie Proulx wasn't EXACTLY fond of Jake's and Ennis' relationship either; the short-story appears in The New Yorker 10-13-1997. The New Yorker issue is in your local public library's magazine stacks--read it CAREFULLY (especially the motel room smelling like "shit" and "cheap soap") and compare it to the movie then report back to us here in the news-feeds.///its like there's a prevailing notion that Brokeback Mountain is a majestic and wonderful film when there are tremendous faults in the balance of the plot; and Jake was molested by his father . . . that's missing from the movie yet apparent in the short-story.

Feb 11 - 08:49 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, if it were up to me, "Syriana" would have won, but the Academy was too chicken-shit to even nominate that one. Then you have "Munich" which, despite arguments over execution, did address rather brave subject matter about the personal price of reprisal at a time when renditions and indefinite detentions were in the news. It probably goes without saying that these films would not have a chance to win very much (except a little Cloon love). So "Brokeback" was a fairly mature and elegant Ang Lee film, with at least one great performance by Ledger. Going into the awards season, it was the frontrunner. "Crash" shocked everybody. Basically an afterschool special on judging books by their covers, it strangely reinforced shallow prejudices (all of the characters play to predictable type) while preaching against them. Sound familiar? Need a "help"ful hint?

Feb 11 - 01:54 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I enjoyed Munich. I don't think it was "Best Picture" good. Better than Crash though by quite a stretch.
I thought Good Night and Good Luck was great. David Stratharin was, in the parlance of our times, the bomb-diggity in that.
Brokeback was the best of the lot nominated that year I think (I haven't seen Capote though) Ang Lee defintitely deserved the Best Director for that. He did a fantastic job.
And once again, I have no idea what Gordo is trying to say.

As for the Rebecca remake, I don't know what to think. I know Hitch didn't enjoy it that much, but I still think it was a fantastic movie. But there is the potential to do what the Coens did. It's not neccessarily a 'rotten' idea, but it has the potential to be one.

Feb 11 - 02:52 PM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I think Munich suffered by comparisons to Shindlers List and Saving Private Ryan. It was Spielberg's reverse The Departed. If it came out today it would probably fare better.

Feb 11 - 04:13 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

oh CRASH is HORRIBLE. . . exactly what you said, an after-school special; very shallow. The nature of its nomination seemed politicized in nature: because CRASH was about people from various walks of life colliding and "healing," it was nominated and won. This year I want The Artist to win. Meryl Streep Best Actress.

Feb 11 - 04:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"GNGL" was a great film, with Strathairn giving maybe his best performance (it's a close call with "Matewan"). There was an attempt at the time to claim that "McCarthy was right!" because there have been a couple moles discovered in the State Department from the 50s. It doesn't take much watching of cable news today to see what a disgrace has been done to Murrow's legacy.

And "Munich" as a reverse "Departed"? Interesting in the similarity of sacrifice of a personal life that is required in both lines of work, and this is what Spielberg intended to show in that film's most criticised sequence, let's call it the 'climax montage'. I feel the idea of the reciprical loss of affectionate intimacy in the face of such vengeful intimacy as the act of murder, but it can be argued that Spielberg could have staged this scene with less bombast. Still, it's a bold thing in the post-9/11 world to point out the ultimate dissatisfaction of revenge. That may be why "Inglorious Basterds" seems more cathartic, but much less mature.

Feb 12 - 10:44 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Couldn't agree more about cable news and the brilliance of Straitharn. He classes up anything he's in and just once I'd have liked to see Walter Cronkite slap Oreilly or Maher across their faces before he died.

Feb 12 - 11:28 AM

Pattie Bessette

Pattie Bessette

What you don't know about Broke Back Mountain is a lot! Jake Gylenhaul's character is 100% gay and he got lonely! He told 'Ennis' that he was having way to hard a time being a once a year 'fuck' but Ennis was bisexual and his only homosexual experiences were with Jake's character. He loved him, but only him in that way, and Jake didn't make it with women though he did give it a try. Men date. You act like he was married to Ennis and having affairs! His death was foreshadowed by the story Ennis told him of the older gay couple that were dragged to death when found out and he was not coming out of the closet - he was alone most of his life and Jake's character tried to find a partner that wanted to be with him all of the time. Hooking up with his wife's friend's husband was the bad idea that got him killed and well, that's Texas, then and now. It was breathtakingly shot in Canada and Wyoming, I think, and the music has been copied so many times I have come to dislike it!. As far as romance? Ennis didn't even know how much he felt for his one man lover until it was too late. And you have never lost someone you love if you didn't hear your heartbreak when he found his shirt tucked safely inside Jack's after their first summer on the mountain, and having the knowing mother put the meaningful shirt in that brown bag, knowing this man loved her son and wanted his shirt to have and to hold... boy, you don't have a pulse if you didn't feel his pain when he checked it in the closet of his lonely trailer, maybe an obvious metaphor there, as he tenderly adjusted it before closing the door... if he only knew... if he only knew...
He didn't know how much Jack loved him and if he had... and now he had an empty shirt to hug and some memories to haunt him and remind him that he had missed the greatest love of his life because of fear, the fear of being dragged to death behind a truck, afraid to die the way Jack actually did die, by the hand of heartless rednecks in a ditch by the side of the road.

He wasn't a 'nympho' you idiot, he was looking for love, love that he could live with day to day, not once a year, it was killing him, the waiting. When Ennis got divorced Jack found out and drove all night thinking finally! And to his shock and grief, he was told no. Ennis was trapped. Filled with fear that if he were to live with Jack, they would be found and killed. How long do you wait? Too long. One of the most beautiful love stories ever told, I wish they had the maturity at the award shows to handle it better. It was a disservice to the movie, Ang Lee, love, and themselves to want to prove they were straight and laugh... you know? We know they are straight, Sean Penn is straight and he didn't have to act like that when he won playing a gay man... I can only blame their youth. And maybe you are young too, I don't know. But, I hope you never learn about love the hard way... it has nothing to do with sex, especially when you love them beyond the grave in your loneliness.

Feb 15 - 05:49 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Excellent breakdown! Going into the film, I was very cynical, thinking this was going to be a condescending effort to 'normalize' homosexuality for the red state sensibilities, and I had knocked everything from the title that begged for endless puns to the fact that virtually everyone involved was straight. I was surprised to see how tastefully the film was handled, how complex the characterization was, and especially how strong Heath Ledger's performance was. (But, as a straight guy myself, it's a little annoying that buddies can't go fishing anymore without getting a bunch of brokeback jokes.)

Feb 17 - 10:27 AM

RashHunt

Rash Hunt (Matt X)

The Princess Diana Movie: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow


(thanks King's Quest!)

Feb 11 - 09:43 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Maybe it's because I've only ever seen her in The Ring films and King Kong but...Naomi Watts is just Awful. This is going to be her "I'm so desperate for an Oscar" film isn't it?

Feb 11 - 10:55 AM

MDB_88

daniel johnson

Watch '21 Grams' and tell me she's a bad actress. It's a travesty she did not win the academy award that year. She was also phenomenal in Mulholland Drive. I also thought she was amazing in King Kong (having to act with an invisible giant monkey and a green screen for almost the entire move).

Give her a great director and a meaty role and she's one of the best actresses around

Feb 11 - 11:41 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Also see I Heart Huckabees - she's great in that.

Feb 11 - 11:57 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thank you for the recommendations. My Wife reminded me also that she was good in Eastern Promises. Thanks again for the FIlms. Adding them to the Netflix queue.

Feb 12 - 12:32 AM

MDB_88

daniel johnson

Watch '21 Grams' and tell me she's a bad actress. It's a travesty she did not win the academy award that year. She was also phenomenal in Mulholland Drive. I also thought she was amazing in King Kong (having to act with an invisible giant monkey and a green screen for almost the entire move).

Give her a great director and a meaty role and she's one of the best actresses around

Feb 11 - 11:41 AM

Noah James

Noah Kinsey

Also see I Heart Huckabees - she's great in that.

Feb 11 - 11:57 AM

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