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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Brad Pitt’s next film? Maybe ‘All You Need is kill’

    Posted: 26 Sep 2011 05:10 AM PDT

    Brad Pitt’s star appeal, along with good reviews, lifted “Moneyball” to a $20 million+ opening weekend.

    And that has brought on the speculation about what he might add to his plate once he finishes “World War Z” and the other things in line ahead of it.

    The Vulture says that Doug Liman, deemed not worthy of the risk that his $100 million “space heist” picture “Luna” was going to cost, may now want Pitt for a film based on the manga “All You Need is Kill.”

    Liman’s spotty track record post “Bourne” means he’s worth X but not worth “Y & Z” when when it comes to the cost of pictures he is slated to direct.  Like “Luna,” “All You Need is Kill” is science fiction, a tale of a young soldier killed during an alien invasion, but brought back to life each day to relive that last day — “Groundhog Day” and “Source Code” style.

    I see somebody of Jake Gyllenhaal’s generation as the star of this. But maybe they need the older Pitt just to get the backing to film it.

    The Fickle finger of filmgoers — ‘Drive,’ ‘Abduction’ and genre pics aren’t hits

    Posted: 26 Sep 2011 04:45 AM PDT

    Nikki Finke’s post mortem on “Drive,” the heavily-hyped and very well-reviewed Ryan Gosling crime-with-cars picture, is worth reading.

    It is, by most standard definitions of the term, “cool”– a well-cast, well-acted, edgy and genre busting genre picture. Finke and her sources suggest it was lost to the young male audience it might have appealed to owing to the “many choices” that audience has for weekend entertainment. Boilerplate analysis, that’s what we’ve been hearing ever since TV/the Internet/Video Games came online as major threats for the attention of the “Let’s go out this weekend” crowd.

    That audience still shows up, in droves, to every “Fast & Furious” sequel.  As stupid action movies go, those are among the most stupid. But they deliver fast cars, car chases, guys acting cool, women acting tough and showing lots of skin.

    “Drive” didn’t have those elements. Gosling is more of a star to an older crowd, and more of an actor than anybody in the “Fast/Furious” franchise. He’s more whitebread than the multi-hued “Fast/Furious.”

    “Drive” seemed to promise one thing and deliver another. The car chases were very good, but more cerebral. The violence was graphic, the romance not pronounced and not sexy and the whole thing has more of an “inside his head” take — “Taxi Driver” style.

    It’s been an odd year for predicting genre turnouts — a middling horror recycling like “Final Destination 5″ pummels a fun, well-cast and acted “Fright Night” remake. Comic book movies haven’t soared the way they have in summers past. “Transformers” still draws, “Apes” still sell. But audiences have been slow to warm to material that isn’t from established brands, with established stars.

    Actors breaking out of franchises — Pattinson and now Taylor Lautner from “Twilight” — have found the going rough. The audience doesn’t want to follow them from Forks, which is a shame.

    Actors who appears to be established stars — Ryan Reynolds and Gosling and Cameron Diaz — turn out to be less established than we’d expect.

    For all the market research that backs up many a decision in Hollywood, for all the effort that can go into “getting it right,” making a movie that people have been saying they’d like to see, based on what they’ve seen in the past, what William Goldman said those many decades ago about the biz still holds true. “Nobody knows anything.”

    Today’s interviews: Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez

    Posted: 26 Sep 2011 04:02 AM PDT

    The father (Martin Sheen) stars in the son’s new film, “The Way,” playing a man whose wandering spiritual quest son (Emilio) has died in an accident on El Camino de Santiago, the traditional pilgrimage path that has taken the faithful to the Spanish church where the remains of St. James are allegedly interred. The road is “The Way of St. James,” thus the film’s title, and with his son dead, the father resolves to make the hike for him, scattering his ashes along the way.

    “The Way” opens in limited release in early October, and from the looks of it (I caught it last week), there was a LOT of trekking through the Pyrnees by cast and crew. It’s a road picture with comical characters (and tragic ones) met along The Way, a vision quest and a nice acting showcase for Sheen.

    Emilio scripted it and appears in flashbacks, and Martin, with his knapsack on his back, stars.

    Got suggested questions for father and son Estevez? Comment below.

    ‘Dream House’ earns the kiss of death

    Posted: 26 Sep 2011 03:48 AM PDT

    What has the once and future James Bond and an Oscar winner as its leads, Jim Sheridan as its director, opens Friday and has limited prospects at the box office?

    “Dream House” is a horrific thriller that co-stars Daniel Craig and Oscar winner (and Mrs. Craig) Rachel Weisz, along with Naomi Watts.

    The trailer seemed to give an awful lot of the plot away — family moves into a house, there’s a horrific past and is the husband a mental patient recalling some horrific crime he committed or not?

    In any event, I started asking the studio about previews of “Dream House” weeks ago. Got a little hemming and hawing. Then I started asking other critics around the country. A couple said, “Yeah, we’re getting a preview. Tuesday night.” Checking back with them after complaining to Universal, those turned to “Oh wait. They’re NOT showing it in advance to critics. Until very late Thursday night.”

    Horror movies don’t suffer too awfully from not being previewed, though this one’s cast and credentials suggest it’s higher brow than that. My old saying, “They don’t hide movies they’re proud of,” would seem to be in order here.

    Worldwide box office — ‘Apes, $400 million, ‘Smurfs’ $500 million

    Posted: 25 Sep 2011 04:10 PM PDT

    Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis can brag about being in a $100 million hit romantic comedy this past summer. “Friends with Benefits” matched its US box office in the mid-$50s with an overseas take in the mid $50s.

    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was a good sized US hit and a bigger hit overseasons, tallying over $400 million so far.

    And darned if those silly Smurfs didn’t do what we’d all feared $500 million worldwide box office and counting, according to figures published on box office mojo.

    EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Foxx on ‘Django,’ Tarantino and Will Smith

    Posted: 25 Sep 2011 03:58 PM PDT

    Jamie Foxx says he is “tickled black, white and pink over getting the chance to do a movie with Quentin Tarantino. Man oh man!”

    Foxx produced this marvelous documentary, “Thunder Soul,” about a famously funky high school jazz band in the Texas of the 1970s, and we talked at length about the importance of music education in a child’s life.

    And at the end of that conversation, I asked him a little about “Django Unchained,” the Quentin Tarantino “Southern” Spaghetti Western that Foxx will star in with Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Zoe Bell, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. Foxx has the title role, an ex-slave out for revenge on a hateful master. Kevin  Costner just backed out of playing the bad guy.

    Will Smith had been in line to star in the film, but he also backed out. That left the door open to Foxx. A regular commenter on this blog suggested I ask “Did he send Will Smith a fruit basket” for doing that, and Foxx — who has a sense of humor, laughed at that.

    “You know what? As a matter of fact, Will’s a good friend of mine. And he’s always been gracious, that way. Not to get into all the gory details, but when he gives up a part, he looks out for you. Without Will Smith, I probably wouldn’t have a movie career. With that ‘Ali’ joint we did with Michael Mann, he was like, ‘I’m not doing the movie if you don’t pick Foxx to play Bundini Brown.’ I always tip my hat to Will Smith. And I should send him a fruit basket. This is going to be big and it’s going to be fun.”

    Yes, the Colonial Promenade 6 discount cinema is open again

    Posted: 25 Sep 2011 03:34 PM PDT

    They haven’t taken down the marquee or any of the signs that say “Touchstar,” which is what the old GCC Colonial Promenade 6 was known as in its last incarnation.

    They don’t have posters up in front of each theater (bare bulb poster frames), but the bargain hunter movie goers don’t care.

    The theater is back, open this weekend after being closed for the entire summer.
    Touchstar closed it, and the rumor is (it’s the weekend, folks) that the mall’s management company has re-opened the discount second run theater on east Colonial Drive. But they’ve booked an Indian film — “Mausum” – and since Touchstar was started by a local Indian-American family, well, who knows who is running it?

    A mall management company that owned the old Park 11 in Winter Park ran it for its last few years in business. Can’t find a chain to run it and pay rent, run it yourself. It’s not hard to make a profit in second run, even if the margins aren’t enough to attract those looking to get rich.

    Tickets are $2 every day but Tuesdays, when tickets and the lowest prices drinks and cheapest box of popcorn are all $1.50. Decent sized crowd in the lobby early Sunday evening — “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” :”Zookeeper,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” not the greatest lineup of films.