Archive for March, 2008

Fan Rant: Roman Polanski Doc and its Stupid Theatrical Release

Monday, March 31st, 2008

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One of the hotter sales at this year's Sundance Film Festival was a documentary called Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (check out our review here). The doc, which chronicles the director's controversial rape case throughout the years, was sold to HBO Documentary Films for $1 million following the fest. Okay, so one sees that HBO picked it up -- figuring it's a documentary, they'd probably go straight to cable and DVD with it, right? Yes. Right. HBO is premiering the film on June 9. Ah, but they'd also like the film to qualify for an Oscar, which means it needs to play in a theater for a minimum of seven days in Los Angeles county and Manhattan. The problem with this rule is that it can play ANYWHERE and HBO is certainly taking advantage of that.

Defamer points out, via some random newspaper ad they were sent (see above), that Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired is currently playing in one Manhattan theater on West 181st street. Yeah, that was 181st street, not 18th street. No typo. Two afternoon screenings per day. Bet you didn't know about that one, huh? I don't blame you -- who the f*ck in their right mind WOULD know about that!? I don't know much about Los Angeles County, but apparently the same crap is being pulled there (two afternoon screenings at a theater called Laemmle's One Pasadena).

So why does HBO do this? If they have to screen it theatrically in order for it to be in the running for an Oscar, why don't they screen it at a reputable indie-centric theater in NYC, like Film Forum or the IFC Center. Sh*t, screen it at my apartment -- I bet more people would see it at my crib than on West 181st street.

[photo via Defamer]

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Weekend box office: Blackjack

Monday, March 31st, 2008


The buzz around "21" was hotter than an illusory winning streak at the tables, so even middling to lousy reviews and the movie's own bad self couldn't keep it from riding atop the box office this weekend: $24 million at 2,640 theaters. Still, it was the weakest end-of-March overall since 1999. The reason? Nothing propped "21" up other than "Horton Hears a Who!" in its third weekend. "Superhero Movie" crashed ($9.5 million at almost 3,000 theaters) and "Stop-Loss" ($4.5 million at 1,300 houses) couldn't overcome audience resistance to Iraq War-themed dramas, despite a heavy MTV promotional campaign. "Flawless" and "Priceless" -- one starring Demi Moore, the other Audrey Tautou -- did decently in small releases, but "Run Fat Boy Run" dared to dash into over 1,000 theaters and pulled in a weak $2.4 million. "Under the Same Moon," an art-house hearttugger about a Mexican kid crossing the border to be reunited with his illegal immigrant mom, actually made it into the top 10 last week and stays strong this week at #14 with almost $6,000 per theater; it opens in the Boston area this Friday.

Box Office Mojo has more numbers, as does Leonard Klady at Movie City News.

Mos Chuck

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Here's some interesting casting news: Mos Def has been hired to play Chuck Berry in the currently filming "Cadillac Records." The film takes places in Chicago in the 1950s and is based on the story of Chess Records, the label founded by Leonard and Phil Chess (played by Adrien Brody and Shiloh Fernandez). Chess, of course, was the little record company that released the big sound of the Chicago blues and paved the way for rock and roll, and the cast looks like an R&B drooler's fantasy: Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Eamonn Walker as the great Howlin' Wolf. Oh, and Beyonce as Etta James -- better get started with the donut diet, Beyonce. Plus Mos Def as Berry, the man who with "Maybellene" (originally called "Ida Red") brought the label roaring into the early rock era. Wesley and I were talking the other day about how Def ("Be Kind Rewind," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy") is a fine, original actor who seems content to take character roles when he has the stuff to be a real star. I doubt this will change things but I'm still hankering to see what he does with Chuck Berry.

The film's the brainchild of writer/director Darnell Martin and she's currently filming in New Jersey. No release date is set, so we'll have to make do with the music for now.

Laurent in CK by David

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Laurent Albucher (Request Model Management NY, Success Models), alongside Ali Stephens, in the new cool, spare CK ads by David Sims. He’s just as refined in the polaroids.

Photo: David Sims for CK, SS08

Pol from Request


‘Fanboys’ Protest Fizzles

Monday, March 31st, 2008

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Or did it? It seems it depends on who you ask. The Hollywood Reporter has a long story recounting the Fanboys supporters' attempt to picket Superhero Movie. The protest actually grabbed a few headlines, which would suggest there were numerous stormtroopers out there sticking it to the man -- claims denied by AMC theatre reps and by the Weinstein Co.

The 501st (who are now denying any official stance or organized protest) says that at least 14 members showed up at a New York AMC, but when confronted by security guards, chose to buy a ticket to see 21 instead. They also claim that 20 stormtroopers showed up at Century City, but were asked to leave the mall by security guards. AMC denies both incidents occurred, and that the only protester in Century City was a lone Darth Vader.

A source close to the film says that it was eight protesters in Century City, and that they were taken out for pizza by a producer. That's certainly confirmed by a quote from producer Matthew Perniciaro: "We've been working on this movie for many years, and if someone is going to take time out of their personal life and support our film, whatever that support might be, at the very least what we can do is say thank you and buy them a couple of slices of pizza for caring abut this project as much as we do."

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Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno Nails Ben Affleck

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

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So it appears as if Sacha Baron Cohen is still causing quite the mess here in the United States as his alter-ego Brüno; getting kicked out of airports, showing up to an Easter play at a church in Kansas wearing chains, and the list goes on. First off, for those not familiar with Brüno, he's a gay Austrian fashion reporter who's wildly flamboyant in every way. The film, which marks Cohen's follow-up to Borat, will be called (deep breath) ... Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt. Needless to say, I cannot wait to hear my local news coughing up that title when it comes time for the weekend box office figures.

But back to Ben Affleck. Seems Mike Walker from the National Enquirer called into Howard Stern last week saying that Affleck called friend Sarah Silverman following an interview with Brüno. Affleck was told Brüno was a "very famous openly gay fashion journalist," but that didn't stop Ben from admitting it was "the weirdest sit-down he has ever had with a reporter." Eventually, Silverman coughed up his name and only then did Ben realize he'd been had. Part of me doesn't believe this at all, because I can only imagine the hoops one would need to jump through in order to get an actual sit-down interview with Ben Affleck. Then again, perhaps Cohen's crew have perfected their little joke by now. Either way, I'm sure Affleck will be making an appearance in the film.

For more, as well as a brief video of Brüno's crew dancing in an airport, head over to Slashfilm.
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Forest Whitaker Supports ‘Wild Things’

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

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Things have been quiet in the land of the monsters. Too quiet. But support for the the film came from an unexpected source -- Forest Whitaker. He actually provides a voice for one of the monsters, Ira. "He puts the holes in the trees," the Oscar-winner told MTV. "I have a wife and kid, and we're the only family unit inside [the land of the Wild Things]."

Whitaker was appalled at the rumors that Warner Bros was planning to reshoot the entire film, and promised to call director Spike Jonze to get the story. In the meantime, he wanted to stress his support for the film, and report that at least three children handled a screening of it just fine -- his own. "My children are 9, 11, and 16. It was intense. They liked it, though. They enjoyed it ... It's a good movie. I saw an early cut of it. I brought my kids to see it, and I was really impressed."

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The ‘Fanboys’ Situation Gets Real Nasty

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

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I shouldn't need to go through this whole thing again, so if you have no idea what's currently going on with the film Fanboys, read this, this and this -- and then come back. A little while ago I received the craziest email from a good pal, and that email contained three other email exchanges between director Steve Brill (aka the dude who took over for Kyle Newman during reshoots) and fans of the original cut of Fanboys. A couple of notes before I post these emails:

  • No matter how cruddy the director is, I do not support attacking the man's cut when you haven't even seen it yet. I've made that clear before, and I'll say it again now. However, his other films are definitely fair game.
  • I've confirmed with a source "in the know" that this is indeed Steve Brill behind these emails; that, originally, he confessed to them, but then tried to say someone hacked his email account when he realized how much of a complete idiot he came off as. But note that I have not talked to Brill myself (though I'm totally willing to do so, Steve, so email me), so I'm not 100% certain this was him. More like 96.5%.
  • Also, I've tried to clean up the foul language as best I can, but do keep in mind that these email exchanges aren't exactly safe for work.

That said, head after the jump to read these hysterical exchanges ...

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Jumper (2008)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

JumperAfter watching the sci-fi action drama Jumper I was aghast on how a nifty concept and open door for a franchise could be this…bad. While we have seen this power of teleportation in other films and shows, such as X2 and TV’s Hiro on Heroes, here was a decent chance to take this concept and make a entertaining movie. That entertainment comes at the expense of a coherent story, and the sacrifice of any interesting, let alone believable characters. (more…)

I Am Legend (2007)

Friday, March 21st, 2008

i-am-legend-poster.jpgWill Smith—despite Time magazine’s George Clooney article—is the last movie star. With Hollywood’s profits mostly coming from DVD sales and changing tastes among audiences, the so-called “star power” no longer has the impact it once did. That being said, it’s almost fitting that Will Smith plays the last man alive in I Am Legend. Set in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan, we watch Smith go through his daily routine: trying to find food, keeping in shape and coping with loneliness. Conceived by the fertile imagination of Richard Matheson, I Am Legend is a great concept but executed with fair results. (more…)