Get Paid To Promote, Get Paid To Popup, Get Paid Display Banner

Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Don Johnson earns the Tarantino Treatment in ‘Django Unchained’

    Posted: 12 Oct 2011 04:28 AM PDT

    We’ve all heard how Jamie Foxx scored the title role in “Django Unchained” because Will Smith didn’t need a Quentin Tarantino styled makeover.

    QT, you will recall, codified cool in Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken and Samuel L. Jackson, brought Travolta back, revived interest in Pam Grier, revived Michael Parks and gave the wonderful Robert Forster a second shot at a career. David Carradine benefited from “Kill Bill,” and the list goes on.

    It’s the best thing about Tarantino’s movies — those he anoints with a chance at having a second wind.

    Kevin Costner backed out of a heavy role in the film, a slave’s revenge tale set in the post-Civil War South. But now Tarantino has given Don Johnson a shot. Whatever his ’80s excesses (that recording career, those clothes, that stubble), Johnson has always struck me as under-used or misused on the movies. “Tin Cup” gave him a nice villainous turn opposite Costner.

    And now he’s got his Tarantino movie. Don’t blow it, pal.

    Fassbender signs up with director McQueen for the third time

    Posted: 11 Oct 2011 12:35 PM PDT

    The director Steve McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender have made two films together, two of the more difficult and challenging viewing experiences of recent memory — “Hunger,” which was about Irish hunger strikers and involved starvation and prison cells smeared with excrement, and the new film “Shame,” which has some Oscar buzz and is a character drama with sexual addictions and the “shame” that come with them as its backdrop.

    Now director and muse are teaming up for the third time with “12 Years a Slave,” a period piece set in 19th century slave era America,it stars Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor and tells the true story of Solomon Northrup, a New York citizen who was kidnapped in Washington in 1841 and rescued from a cotton plantation in Louisiana in 1853, Variety reports.

    Fassbender (my X-Men interview with him here) has had a breakout year, with Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, “Prometheus” and the Freud-Jung bio pic “A Dangerous Method.” But he remembers how he got here.

    EXCLUSIVE: Ray McKinnon relishes being the movies’ designated Southerner

    Posted: 11 Oct 2011 11:04 AM PDT

    You can't take a seat in a movie theater this fall without getting a load of that tall, gangly, drawling Georgian Ray McKinnon.

    He was the school teacher who lets the young hero get extra credit for taking care of an injured dolphin in "Dolphin Tale."

    McKinnon plays the smart-mouthed uncle who cuts his Boston-bred nephew a lot of slack and talks common sense to a town that's forgotten how to dance in "Footloose."

    And he's the sober-minded brother who lectures Michael Shannon's character about pulling himself together when the guy's visions of a coming holocaust take hold of him in  "Take Shelter."

    Movie fans will remember McKinnon's comically incredulous high school football coach in "The Blind Side," cable fans his take on a preacher in a Godless town in "Deadwood." At 53, he's a character actor with a hint of "overnight success" to him. Truth is, he's anything but.

    "I haven't gotten a job that I auditioned for since 'O Brother Where Art Thou,'" McKinnon says from the set of "Mud," the next film from the writer-director of "Take Shelter," Jeff Nichols. "All of my jobs are directly related to making my own movies."

    McKinnon and his late wife, actress-producer Lisa Blount, collected an Oscar for their 2001 short comedy, "The Accountant." They made tiny-budget feature-length dramas and comedies like "Chrystal" and "Randy and the Mob."

    "Even though nobody much saw'em, a lot of directors did."

    Especially directors with ties to the South.

    "You get Ray into your movie, you get authentically Southern," says "Footloose" remake director Craig Brewer. "That's why I wanted him."'

    Texas native John Lee Hancock ("The Blind Side") and native Arkansan Nichols are among McKinnon's fans. Georgia native Scott Teems cast him opposite Hal Holbrook in the Southern Gothic drama "That Evening Sun."

    "Ray is one of that small group of character actors (Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who enhances a movie by always bringing something distinct to his role," says Georgia-based Huffington Post movie critic Jackie Cooper. And that "something distinct" is often distinctly Southern.

    "There's a lot of different kinds of Southerners," McKinnon offers. "They're all complicated. That's what drove me to start making movies, seeing all these two dimensional characters that weren't real being presented as Southern."

    Take his Uncle Wes in "Footloose." "I know people like him. I wish I could be like him. I'm much stranger and less sure of the world than Wes is. I'd love to be a guy who has all his priorities in order – family, strong convictions, and still be comfortable enough in his own skin to laugh at himself and the little town he lives in."

    McKinnon, who has filled much of the past year since his wife's sudden death with work, shares a little of that character's pragmatism. "The universe is a strange, wonderful and tragic place," McKinnon says. He has his own projects that he wants to get back to, a TV series that he hopes will find a home on cable, and his Screen Actor's Guild card, which can be an actor's safety net.

    "The first thing I thought when they called me for 'Footloose' was, "'Hey, I got my IN-surance for the year!'"

    Soderbergh’s Liberace movie will now be an HBO film

    Posted: 11 Oct 2011 10:15 AM PDT

    This is the first I’ve heard that the Michael Douglas/Matt Damon Liberace and his beau bio-pic will be a made-for-HBO movie.

    Steven Soderbergh has been talking this up for years, one of the last projects he will do before his “retirement” from movie making.

    Would a film about the flamboyant, closeted and now years-dead pianist with that cast have been box office? Iffy. But at least they get the chance to make it. This project took on some urgency, what with Douglas’ health issues and Soderbergh’s plans to walk away from it all.

    OLA Fest 2012 is canceled

    Posted: 11 Oct 2011 06:40 AM PDT

    The long-running Orlando Latin film, music and culture festival, OLA Fest, won’t be rolling around next February. Organizers have decided to cancel next year’s edition of OLA Fest and plan on doing something bigger the following year. The festival has hosted films, poetry readings, concerts and other Latin arts events in and around downtown Orlando for the past seven years.

    Here’s the note from OLA Fest founder Nelson Betancourt.

    “The Board of Directors of AWAKENING/art & culture has decided to postpone OLA FEST 2012 and will instead work towards presenting a powerful and memorable OLA FEST 2013 as part of the Viva Florida 500 celebration. I have been on one of the conference calls with Rachel Porter and the Florida Department of State.

    “We are looking at mounting a theater production for the 2013 celebration having to do with the Middle Ages in southern Spain when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in relative harmony for several hundred years. The 2013 OLA FEST will offer films, poetry , dance and music from Spain only.”

    The area’s other Hispanic film fest, the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, lasted three years and closed up shop in 2010 when its founder left town.