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Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Movie Preview: ‘Resistance’

    Posted: 05 Oct 2011 04:43 AM PDT

    Here’s another counter history, “D-Day has failed, Britain is occupied by the Germans” thriller.

    “Resistance” has one easily recognized face (Michael Sheen) and little chance at playing in the US beyond NY and LA. But we’ll see.

    ‘War Horse’ star picked for a new ‘Great Expectations’

    Posted: 05 Oct 2011 04:24 AM PDT

    The Charles Dickens classic “Great Expectations,” long-loved and oft-filmed, is earning a new big screen treatment courtesy of Mike Newell, who gave us one of the best of the Harry Potter pictures.

    He’s hired the kid Steven Spielberg discovered for “War Horse,” Jeremy Irvine, as his Pip.

    You know the story, from the David Lean version, the various TV settings and even the Ethan Hawke modern-day one filmed in Sarasota, Palmetto and Cortez on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Poor but smart and good-hearted kid is pulled from his family by a benefactor and set up for a life of “great expectations.” He figures it was somebody with money and class who did it and is unshakable in his determination to fit in amongst that crowd.

    Only to realize it wasn’t some rich person trickling money down onto his life.

    Newell  also has Helena Bonham Carter (Miss Havisham?), Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, Tamzin Outhwaite, David Walliams and Holliday Grainger in his cast.

    Newell has a very uneven track record (“Mona Lisa Smile,” “Prince of Persia,” Love in the Time of Cholera” in addition to his “Goblet of Fire” and “An Awfully Big Adventure” credits). But this has promise.

    Filming in LA is up, and they’re planning a movie museum there

    Posted: 05 Oct 2011 04:14 AM PDT

    More movies and TV shows are being shot in Greater Los Angeles this year than last. Well, yay. Data reported by shows a 15% spike in “local” production in the city that the movies call home.  California film incentive money is making up for all the money Michigan and Louisiana, in particular, have given away to lure some of that short term-cash-injection film production that many states have decided will cure what ails them economically.

    Los Angeles, however, is right up there with New York and New Delhi as the most over-filmed locations on the planet. There’s a sameness to the light (early morning, most often, to avoid traffic snarls), to the topography, the architecture. There are great infrastructure and talent reasons for doing movies close to home base. But the result on the screen is that Los Angeles is the Wonder Bread of settings. Blase. Rare is the film that stands out as taking you to a place you’ve never been (unless it was “Avatar” or “Mars Needs Moms”) if it was shot in LA. It takes indie outsiders like the Coen Brothers or the Duplass brothers to even make the effort to find locations that haven’t been filmed to death in Tinseltown.

    Same apartment buildings, same streets.  “Real Steel,” on the other hand, which opens Friday, had me puzzling over where exactly it took place.  Foreign. Arresting. Rural farm country of the future, retro downtowns. Was it Australia, close to Hugh Jackman’s old stomping grounds? A lot of sci-fi is shot there. But in this case, it was Michigan. A novel look was achieved by going somewhere different.

    “Machine Gun Preacher” had overseas locations, but its US settings were in Michigan as well. That pays off.

    Way too many cut-rate horror and thriller pictures are shot in Louisiana to count, so much so that aside from the digitally augmented “Battle Los Angeles,” every “Creature” looks like every “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.” “Straw Dogs,” at least, benefited from its rural, upstate setting.

    “Footloose” looks like Georgia, and “The Big Year” looks like all sorts of places (the settings range from Texas and Florida to Attu, Alaska), but was mainly shot in British Columbia.

    “Filmed on location” used to be a selling point. Hollywood got away from that. Now they call it “runaway production.” They should want to film in the unfamiliar, but practical. It shouldn’t take states offering incentive bribes to do it, but it does. There are major airports and plenty of hotel rooms in most every state of the union and much of Canada. Hollywood should want to shoot “on location,” just for the sake of the movies.

    There is one thing that Hollywood should be home to exclusively, though. If you go to France, there’s a great museum of cinema, the long-established Cinematique Francaise.  There are museums of TV/Radio and media in New York, Chicago and LA.

    But an American movie museum, a big central showplace for the cinema art over the ages? There’s the Eastman House, which is about both photography and celluloid moving images and is ancient history oriented, but far from being a major tourist draw.

    Hollywood or at least Los Angeles should have the best museum of cinema in the world. The Academy is trying to accomplish that, and they’re deciding on locations out there right now. It’s not happening quickly, but at least it’s happening.  Overdue.

    Werner Herzog is the heavy in Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher movie

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 11:38 AM PDT

    “One Shot” is the upcoming Tom Cruise movie in which he takes on the role of Jack Reacher, the hero of Lee Child’s books about an ex MP/drifter who wanders the land, stumbling into crimes/mysteries.

    Richard Jenkins, Rosamund Pike and Robert Duvall are already on board as co-stars.

    Now the great German filmmaker Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” “Aguirre: Wrath of God”) has signed on for a rare acting role as the Teutonic heavy in “One Shot.”

    Christopher McQuarrie is directing from a script he wrote for Paramount. Variety says that Herzog will play The Zec, “an ex-prisoner of war who arranges and stages the killing and is the head of the conspiracy.”

    Herzog narrates his documentaries with this mesmerizing voice that conveys wonder, world weariness and just a hint of mischief, traits that come off in interviews with him, too. The last non-doc you would have seen of his was “Rescue Dawn,” a superb POW escape picture starring Christian Bale.

    ‘Mr Ed’ headed to the big screen

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 10:52 AM PDT

    Fox 2000, one of the production arms of 20th Century Fox, has acquired the rights to the last 1960s TV show to be turned into a major motion picture.

    OK, not exactly. The “Petticoat Junction” and “Pistols and Petticoats” and “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke” movies have yet to hit the big screen.

    Variety reports that producers are on board, making this picture about the talking horse and his pal “Willllllllburrrrr” closer to reality.

    Sounds like a Jack  Black project to me, with oh, somebody sonorous as Mr. Ed.

    Jason Statham behind the wheel in ‘Fast & Furious’ 6 & 7?

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:58 AM PDT

    His stardom was ensured way back when Jason Statham starred in Luc Besson’s “The Transporter.” He was in “The Italian Job” remake, and he’s done roadwork in any number of B-movie actioners over the years.

    Now the British tough guy is up for a role in the next two “Fast and the Furious” car-caper pictures.

    The franchise shows no signs of running out of steam, though juicing the cast has become Universal’s way of maintaining interest in it over five movies. Might Statham take the place of Dwayne Johnson this time out?

    And is this a smart move for Statham? He seems at the top of his corner of filmdom, not quite breaking through to major stardom, trapped in gonzo action pictures and “Expendables” sequels when films like “Killer Elite” underperform?

    Rose McGowan plays a war vet who becomes a sheriff in ‘Napa’

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:52 AM PDT

    “Napa” is set to take place in a small town in California’s wine country — the Napa Valley.

    The Hollywood Reporter says that Rose McGowan will star in Michael Kerr’s film (he scripted and will direct it) based on a Hans Ostrom novel, “Three to Get Ready.”

    McGowan (“Conan the Barbarian”) will play a vet returning home to become sheriff after multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan in this thriller.

    Mark Wahlberg goes for ‘2 Guns’ with his ‘Contraband’ director

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:47 AM PDT

    The Icelandic director who worked with Mark Wahlberg on the upcoming actioner “Contraband,” a remake of his own Icelandic film, is now in line to direct Mark W. in an action comedy.

    “2 Guns” is based on a Steven Grant graphic novel (Blake Masters scripted it) about a DEA agent and an undercover naval officer who investigate each other because each has been given the job of taking mob money.

    Baltasar Kormakur directed the original version of “Contraband,” titled “Reykjavik/Amsterdam,” to great acclaim in 2007-2008. Now he’s become, The Playlist says, one of the hot action directors in the biz.

    Paramount lands Darren Aronosky’s ‘Noah’ the ark captain movie

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:36 AM PDT

    Darren Aronofsky’s plans to make a movie about Biblical hero Noah got a shot in the arm this week when Paramount and New Regency joined on board to package and distribute the film.

    Yes, the transition from “The Wrestler” to “Black Swan” to “Noah” is a head-snapping one, but this is a big vote of confidence for Aronofsky, who has come into his own as a filmmaker worth risking millions on.

    John Logan, screenwriter for “Gladiator,” will go a little further back in time for this script, with production slated to begin next spring.

    Sunday’s Film Slam Lineup

    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 06:17 AM PDT

    Here’s the latest from Tim Anderson, who runs the monthly Film Slam at The Enzian, a competition of short films with the winners going on to film festivals, Hollywood and Oscar glory.

    The October slam is this Sunday afternoon at 1. Admission is $5. And here’s the lineup.

    Where the Truth Lies (2011)

    Directed & Produced by: T.L. Westgate, Written by: T.L. Westgage & Michelle Bretana
    Length: 5:00 min – Altamonte Springs, FL—


    When there are three sides to any story, you never know – where the truth lies.

    Ambiguous Figure (2011)

    Written, Directed by: Johnna Troxell,  Produced by: Caisson Films
    Length: 3:28 min – Orlando, FL—

    A story about a little girl and what can only be described as an overactive imagination.  Or is it?

    Simulation of Life (2011)

    Written & Directed by: Michael C. Seils, Produced by: Mike Rooney
    Length: 10:00 min – Oviedo, FL—

    A dying robot rejects her programming in order to escape her monotonous life and upload her consciousness into another computer.

    Father of the Date (2011)

    Written, Directed  & Produced by: Mitchell Blankman
    Length: 5:30 min – Winter Park, FL—

    Evan is picking up his date, if he can only survive her father.

    Happy Hour (2011)

    Directed & Produced by: Dan Drescher, Written by: Kelsey Norris & Dan Drescher
    Length: 13:51 min – Winter Park, FL—

    There are twists and turns in everyone’s life and Ben Johnson’s is no exception.  After the loss of his wife, Ben has found himself left with only one thing: A bar his family has owned for over fifty years.  Using the bar as a place to escape from the world, Ben begins to repent over some of his long forgotten sins, but not alone.

    Happy Hour (2011)

    Directed & Produced by: Dan Drescher, Written by: Kelsey Norris & Dan Drescher
    Length: 13:51 min – Winter Park, FL—

    There are twists and turns in everyone’s life and Ben Johnson’s is no exception.  After the loss of his wife, Ben has found himself left with only one thing: A bar his family has owned for over fifty years.  Using the bar as a place to escape from the world, Ben begins to repent over some of his long forgotten sins, but not alone.

    Simple Lives (2011)

    Written, Directed & Produced by: Mike Worthington & Ryan Young
    Length: 3:42 min – Kissimmee, FL—

    This is a story of technology’s impact on the world, and a future where human interaction replaces the distance it has forged between us.

    JustUs (2011)

    Written & Directed by: Lori Bowen   Produced by: Lori Bowen and Janine Nunnery
    Length: 6:00 min – Sarasota, FL—

    Morality and justice collide after a woman captures the man responsible for the rape and murder of her sister when he’s released on a technicality

    It Came in the Night (2011)

    Written, Directed by: Kelly D. Weaver, Produced by: Kelly D. Weaver & Jennifer Lonardo
    Length: 7:00 min – Orlando, FL

    The Mitchell family is having quite a night when Henry tells his kids it’s time for bed.  A storm comes in and knocks out all the power.  Megan along with her sister Stacy discover that someone is in the house…but all the doors are locked.

    A Detour Down (2011)

    Written & Directed by: Kraig Swisher, Produced by: Frank Bowen, Johnny Perez, Mauricio Vega, Kraig Swisher.
    Length: 5:00 min – Orlando, FL

    Take a detour down to the underground