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

Frankly My Dear...

    Frankly My Dear...

    Reviews — mixed to positive for ‘Tower Heist’ and ‘Harold & Kumar’

    Posted: 04 Nov 2011 04:20 AM PDT

    Well, knock me over with a feather. That’s how surprised I am at the fact that more reviewers didn’t enjoy “Tower Heist” and that more weren’t bored and generally unamused by “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas.”

    One is a caper comedy that benefits from on-the-nose casting and very funny work by Ben Stiller, Gabby Sidibe, Michael Pena and Eddie Murphy. Yes, Eddie Murphy. The characters make it funny, the zeitgeist grabbing story – the poor robbing a Wall Street robber baron — makes it topical. I figure “Tower Heist” this will touch a nerve.  Decent reviews, overall.

    And the other’s a jowly old “We’re too old to be doing this” rehash (hah!) of the weed movie that gave Kal Penn, John Cho and especially Neil Patrick Harris a buzz some seven years ago.  It’s a pull out all the stops farce that strains to be funny. From the 3D to the Claymation sequence to the addition of Santa to the finale, there’s just all this flailing effort. Yeah, it’s good that they tried and no, I wasn’t particularly offended by anything. Well, maybe the attempted date rape.  In any event, a lot more reviewers dug it than I would have thought, too many to say, “Oh, that’s just the old folks pandering to the stoner crowd.” If you like this sort of thing you’ll find this the sort of thing you like. Go to metacritic for a more sober take on how much even the people who gave it a thumbs up were lukewarm on it.

    “Take Shelter,” one of the best pictures of the year, opens today in Orlando. Michael Shannon’s almost certain to pull down an Oscar nomination for playing a man who can’t tell if his dreams are prophecies or signs of mental illness. And since they’re of a coming weather and-or man-0r-heave-made apocalypse, he’s not taking any chances with his family.

    Dito Montiel’s latest wallow in lowlife script excess is “The Son of No One,” which opens in a few cities. I see why actors do his movies — the big scenes, the big speeches. Pity they never seem to watch his previous work on DVD before committing. He’s got an unblemished track record when it comes to indulgent, clumsy, critically lambasted box office flops.

    As for box office? The Guru is figuring “Tower Heist” will do well, though his $29 million opening weekend prediction seems conservative. This has been a very hard fall for box office prognosticating, with even a very good kids’ cartoon (“Puss in Boots”) and genre pictures under-performing, and that dull third-time-around “Paranormal Activity” exploding. What is WITH moviegoers these days?

    “Puss in Boots” should hold audience, thanks to the weather issues that clobbered its opening weekend — over $20 million, to be sure.

    “Harold & Kumar” should and could go into the $20s, but 3D is a big turn off to most filmgoers, so we’ll see.

    Ellison wins ‘In Time’ lawsuit — but only asks for credit to be given

    Posted: 04 Nov 2011 03:56 AM PDT

    Harlan Ellison’s story “Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” seemed to have more than a few similarities with the new movie “In Time,” written and directed by “Gattaca” filmmaker Andrew Niccol. So many were the similarities, and so obvious, that Ellison, whose work was the credited (after an earlier lawsuit) source material for James Cameron’s “Terminator” movies, sued the filmmakers and the studio, sight unseen.

    Readers, as I pointed out a few days ago, saw the similarities based on simple reviews of the movie. On the page, at least, the two tales of a dystopian future in which time is the new commodity that the rich hoard and the poor never have, a world kept in balance by the Timekeepers, sound like they’re from the same source material.

    Apparently the filmmakers now agree, and have consented to add Ellison’s name to the credits. That’s all he ended up asking for, though his initial suit asked for a lot more. He’s getting on up there in years, he can probably live comfortably off what he won off James Cameron, and now he’s looking after his legacy. The movie, starring Justin Timberlake, isn’t a huge hit.

    Today’s Interview: Shailene Woodley

    Posted: 04 Nov 2011 03:48 AM PDT

    She’s been a star on ABC Family’s “The Secret Life of an American Teenager” for a few years. But her work in The Descendants,” holding her own with George Clooney, Robert Forster and Judy Greer, could put Shailene Woodley on a lot more people’s radars.

    It’s a Jennifer Lawrence-”Winter’s Bone” turn — profane, angry, bitter and confused. You forget that she’s playing Clooney’s character’s daughter and see her as his immature, rebellious but people-savvy confidante. It’s terrific work. There’s even a touch of Oscar buzz.

    Since I don’t have teenagers (dreading the day I do have teenagers, to be frank) and haven’t followed the cable series, I’m looking for suggestions for directions to take the interview. Aside from “How cool or awful was it working with Clooney” and “Filming a major motion picture in Hawaii, does it get any better than that?”

    Got suggestions? I can always use them. Post’em as comments and I wikll go over them just before the interview. And as always, thanks!

    Movie Preview: Safe House

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 02:21 PM PDT

    Denzel is the agent who “went rogue,” Ryan Reynolds is the low-level functionary running a safe house for the CIA in South Africa. That’s where Denzel is taken. That’s where others make their move on him, putting the rogue and the rookie on the run.

    “Safe House” has roles for Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga and Sam Shepherd, and the trailer suggests a real slam-bang chase-and-shootout actioner. A nice role for Reynolds, another cunning-crafty-evil turn by Denzel Washington. Look for “Safe House” in February.

    A new big screen ‘Popeye’ is in the works

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 12:52 PM PDT

    That would be the good news. And the fact that producers have hired the team that scripted last summer’s surprise “Smurfs” hit to write a new big screen 3D animated film about Popeye the Sailor? Man?

    Well, not great news, but it’s early yet.

    Sony is making the film, Jay Scherick & David Ronn are writing it.

    Garrett Hedlund may get the lead in ‘Akira’

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 12:01 PM PDT

    Names have been kicked around and up and down for this live-action version of “Akira” that Warner Brothers is making. Lots of names, starting with Keanu and working their way down the list. Leonardo, James Franco, Koseph Gordon Levitt, many others.
    With director Jaume Collet-Serra now set to direct and Steve Kloves taking the latest swipe at the script and the green light pretty much lit, it’s crunch time.
    Variety says Garrett Hedlund of “Tron: Legacy” may have it locked up.
    The manga turned anime hit’s lead character is Kaneda, and that’s who Hedlund (he was also in “Country Strong”) would play.

    He’s had a long stretch with nothing in theaters, partly because he’s been holding out for something, and partly because the big screen version of “On the Road” is finished and yet doesn’t have distribution yet.

    Today’s screening: The Descendants

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 07:07 AM PDT

    Alexander Payne’s new dramedy about a father trying to reconnect with his daughters is earning pre-release Oscar buzz. George Clooney stars, with Judy Greer and others making big impressions. I’m interviewing somebody, maybe a couple of somebodies, from the  cast.

    “The Descendants” marks another character study by Payne (“Sideways,” “About Schmidt” that promises to say something deeper than your average Hollywood picture. He’s still “indie,” even though he’s had box office success and Oscar attention.

    Movie Preview: The Innkeepers

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 06:38 AM PDT

    Is Sara Paxton our new Scream Queen? She just might be, with all the horror she’s showing up in these days.

    Good actress, pretty young thing, and in “The Innkeepers,” she’s looking for ghosts in an old inn in this upcoming indie horror picture. One good jolt in this trailer. And it’s not the sight of Kelly McGillis, long absent from the movies.

    Bond 23 IS ‘Skyfall’

    Posted: 03 Nov 2011 06:22 AM PDT

    Another one of those anti-climactic press conferences today, confirming that the latest, the 23rd James Bond film in the franchise, will be titled “Skyfall,” as had been rumored for some weeks.

    None of the titles have much connection to Ian Fleming any more, but not a bad title. Better than “Quantum of Solace,” to be sure.
    Sam “American Beauty” Mendes is directing the film, going into production now and coming out next fall. Javier Bardem is the villain.
    Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris are two new leading ladies, and the film, Mendes said, will take place in Scotland, China, Turkey and London, England.
    The press conference revealed that “Skyfall” “will see Bond’s loyalty tested to M, his superior, while espionage headquarters MI6 faces an attack.”
    Judi Dench returns, with Ralph Fiennes and the great Albert Finney also in the cast.