Archive for the ‘cinematical’ Category

David O. Russell Gives Up on ‘Nailed’

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

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After the brilliance of I Heart Huckabees, I've been holding out hope for two years that David O. Russell and Nailed would find a way to move beyond its many production woes and head to the big screen. Things looked dim last year when reports said that key scenes were missing and the project had been abandoned. But it couldn't be the end. There had to be a way for O. Russell's vision of a woman who suffers a nail to the head, begins to have wild sexual urges, and hits Washington to fight for the rights of the bizarrely injured, to get to the big screen.

We were almost there -- the filmmaker had been in talks to finally get the movie finished -- but now that dream has come to an end, and it's moving to new hands.

Continue reading David O. Russell Gives Up on 'Nailed'

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The Swiss Refuse to Extradite Polanski and Set Him Free

Monday, July 12th, 2010

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Almost ten months ago, filmmaker Roman Polanski traveled to Switzerland for the Zurich Film Festival. Though he had been to the country many times, during this visit he was arrested and held as the country decided whether or not he'd be extradited back to the United States for his 30+ year-old crimes. As we all know, in the late '70s, Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old girl, and plea bargained his sentence to unlawful sexual intercourse with an underage girl. He spent just over a month in a psychiatric unit as his sentence, and when it seemed like the judge would treat him unfairly, he fled, kicking off a decades-long argument about his actions, his flight, and the consequences.

Switzerland, at least, has made its judgment: Roman Polanski is a free man.

Continue reading The Swiss Refuse to Extradite Polanski and Set Him Free

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Kevin Williamson Replaced on ‘Scream 4′, No Part 5 & Women Dumbed Down?

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

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Update: Shock 'Til You Drop has learned that Williamson is still around, but just busy with The Vampire Diaries, so Kruger is helping out. That's marginally better, but still not the best news for Scream fans.

If you were skeptical about the return to Woodsboro and Scream 4, prepare to rejoice. And if you were optimistic, hold on to your seats -- a pretty troublesome bit of information has hit the wire. While covering the latest bits of casting news, Zap2It has been offering up some context. It seems that, first, Lauren Graham left because rewrites had substantially reduced her role. This isn't so shocking -- you sign on for a good part, it gets diminished, you leave. Roles get axed from films all the time.

But that's only the start of the script woes, which continue with more star unrest and one hell of a pinch-hitter replacement shocker ...

Continue reading Kevin Williamson Replaced on 'Scream 4', No Part 5 & Women Dumbed Down?

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JoBlo Launches MovieHotties.com

Friday, June 15th, 2007

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The internet covers a lot of life's ground. You can research historical events, read popular media, watch movies and of course, you can interact with friends and strangers across the globe. But there's something the net has really been lacking. Everywhere you turn, there are fully-clothed women who could barely cover more skin if they were clad in burkas, parkas and head-to-toe body armor. Where on earth can you see some female skin? I mean heck, naked men are everywhere, but women just hide away in the shadows ... until now! Fellow movie site, JoBlo, has been renovating lately and in their fiddling they've launched MovieHotties.com.

The site's mandate: "to see that everyone who is surfing the Net with their pants ON (if your pants were off, you'd be on lolitamegs.com or something) has a sweet place in which to drop ... from time to time, to hear all about the latest in these women's lives, their careers ... as well as stare at pictures of their hoho's." Gee, I didn't realize there weren't places like that on the net! No longer will there be desperate pleas for female nudity. The site offers the oft-used link-story-link setup that gives you headlines to the left, such as "Uma Looks Very Yummy!" and then name links on the right. Since the list is in alphabetical order, Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai is lucky woman #1. Her links is still in need of a "hottie pic," but she's already got four votes, putting her at 6.5/10 and a headline below that reads "Indian hottie likes to sin." ... is this the answer to your Internet dreams?
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Fox News Calls Angelina Jolie a Hypocrite

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

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Everyone's favorite entertainment journalist, Roger Friedman, is calling Angelina Jolie a hypocrite after she reportedly censored journalists while promoting her new film, A Mighty Heart. The Michael Winterbottom pic is about Mariane Pearl, widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and it deals with freedom of the press, so the idea that Jolie made reporters sign a censoring agreement before interviewing her is certainly problematic. At the premiere of A Mighty Heart Wednesday night, Jolie's lawyer presented journalists with a contract stating certain subjects that could not be discussed with the actress, including questions about her personal life. Of course, this makes sense, because otherwise some writers would attempt to stray from the topic of the film in question -- which would take away from the promotion of the film, as well as from the purpose of the press' purpose at the event.

Still, the contract does seem unnecessary and contradictory to the film's apparent message. If Jolie wanted to reject a question or topic, she could certainly just refuse to comment or leave. Most of the junkets and red carpets I've been to, this has either been addressed or accepted as a given anyway. Instead, according to Friedman, the mode of dealing with gossippy reporters made a lot of people angry, enough to cancel coverage, as USA Today and the Associated Press supposedly did. Eventually Jolie ended up refusing all print interviews because of the outrage. Friedman also claims that Jolie instructed publicists to ban Fox News (for which Friedman works) from the red carpet and any other premiere access. In the end, though, some higher ups at Paramount allowed Fox's coverage. Friedman goes on to criticize Jolie's history of press manipulation and also quotes a disappointed editorial director from Reporters Without Borders, an organization that was supposed to be supported by the film's premiere.

[via Fark.com, which has a good discussion of the article going in its comments section]

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Paris Hilton’s Acting Agency Drops Her

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

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One of the best cases of cutting through the Hollywood BS in recent years was when Paris Hilton got shipped back to prison. Four days after going behind bars, the suspended-license, DUI driver was stricken with a serious medical problem that just could not be helped at the jail, or in a hospital, but at her posh home. Confinement in some wet, cold basement apartment somewhere I could see still being a punishment for her, but c'mon! It would be paradise to a large percentage of the world. Miraculously, she wasn't allowed to get away with it and was thrown right back in jail whilst screaming and sobbing. Moral of this story: don't think your money, prestige and attitude will let you get away with everything because if you ever get caught, many-a-people will be amused to see the tears as you go down. If you want a run-down of things, go here.

Now, to add insult to injury as she learns her hard lesson behind bars, her agency, Endeavor, has said hasta la bye-bye. Variety reports that the agency, which signed her in 2005, axed her the same day she was ordered back to jail, and they won't say why. Perhaps they felt short-changed when they saw her police car waterworks, thinking that she's been holding back all this time? I imagine it won't be too hard for her to find other representation, but maybe this experience were spur her onto causes more noble than sex tapes, barely-there outfits, DUIs and crappy entertainment. Or maybe not.
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Interview: After Dark Films’ Courtney Solomon Talks to Cinematical About ‘Captivity’ Controversy and Eli Roth’s Big … Mouth

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

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Earlier this afternoon I had a chance to speak with Courtney Solomon from After Dark Films. A filmmaker himself (he directed An American Haunting and the 2000 flick Dungeons & Dragons), Courtney is now a partner over at After Dark Films. A company that has a multi-picture deal with Lionsgate; these are the same folks who were also responsible for marketing the upcoming horror flick Captivity. And we all know what happened there. Back in March, a bunch of controversial billboards for Captivity began popping up all over New York and Los Angeles; billboards, mind you, that were not approved by the MPAA. Hence, the MPAA suspended the film's ratings process and slapped After Dark Films with an unprecedented sanction, forcing the company to clear all venues and locations of its ad buys with the MPAA.

Since then, the film's release date has been pushed back twice (it's now set to be released on July 13), and folks like Eli Roth have called them out basically saying that After Dark Films helped ruin the ratings process for other films, like Hostel: Part II, that were trying to go through the process at the exact same time. Following my interview with Roth (in which the director had some pretty harsh things to say about both Captivity and After Dark), I caught up with Solomon who wanted to set the record straight.


Cinematical
: Let me read what Eli Roth said to me regarding Captivity and its controversial ad campaign: "Well ... I mean, everyone hates those guys. And word of mouth is that Captivity sucked. Why would I be jealous of that; I don't give a sh*t. I was pissed actually, because it makes it very difficult for the rest of us. They did not go before the MPAA with those posters. It really puts everyone on edge when that happens. And suddenly, who's the next one up? Oh, thanks, it's me. I'm not doing this for attention, I'm doing this to make good movies. And that decapitated head poster was a European poster; that was in 80% of the countries in Europe. It was not a poster that was intended for American audiences." What's your response to that?

Courtney Solomon: First of all, I've heard this over and over again -- [Eli] has spent most of his publicity tour talking about the Captivity posters and dissing us. I was listening to K-Rock one day, and he spent twenty minutes on there just going on about me -- and I've never even met Eli. As far as what he's saying, there are a couple of things that are completely inaccurate. First of all, nobody has seen Captivity because we re-did a third of the movie and we're just finishing it now. We actually just finished the mix on it two days ago. So he hears word around town that the movie is sh*t, but how can he say that when no one has even seen the movie? We just spent a lot of money and a lot of time to make the movie better, because we cared that the movie was good. In fact, it's got a lot more substance than his movie does -- that's number one. That's just a blatant, stupid, wrong statement. That's someone just spouting out from the mouth without even thinking about what they're saying.

Continue reading Interview: After Dark Films' Courtney Solomon Talks to Cinematical About 'Captivity' Controversy and Eli Roth's Big ... Mouth

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Tony Kaye Sits Down to Talk About His Insane Career

Monday, June 11th, 2007

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If you're not at all familiar with Tony Kaye, then I suggest reading this new Telegraph interview with the infamous artist/filmmaker/lunatic. In it, they explore Kaye's entire career -- from growing up in an Orthodox Jewish home aspiring to be a painter to suing New Line for $275 million after they wouldn't allow him to credit himself as Humpty Dumpty on the final version of American History X, the man has pulled more elaborate stunts than ... screw it; no one has pulled more maniacal stunts than this man. Some might consider the man a genius (he's won a whopping 23 design and art direction awards throughout his career), but his wild temper and nonsensical actions once brought him to a point where no one in their right mind wanted to work with him.

For example, when New Line wanted to make changes to Kaye's first cut of American History X, the director proclaimed, "I'm fully aware that I'm a first-time director, but I need the same autonomy and respect that Stanley Kubrick gets." And that was him being nice. From there, he spent $100,000 of his own money taking out advertisements in the trades denouncing Edward Norton and the producer, he would show up to studio meetings with a Priest, a Rabbi and a Tibetan monk, and was so upset about the eventual 18 minutes of footage that was added in, he hasn't watched the finished film in 10 years. But that's just the short version; how in the world they found a way to get a great film out of this experience is beyond me, but reading about it is almost as much fun as watching it. The best part is that Kaye is finishing up a documentary about the whole experience called Humpty Dumpty, and guess who's distributing it? Yup, New Line.

But after spending 10 years in Hollywood prison, Kaye is currently prepping his first narrative feature since AHX, Black Water Transit. This time he's older, wiser -- and hopefully he's learned his lesson. Humpty Dumpty is set to get a small theatrical release, and then New Line will put it on the 10th anniversary DVD re-release of American History X next year -- a DVD I will purchase, even though I already own an older copy. Kaye's abortion documentary, Lake of Fire, finally premiered last year at Toronto after the director had been working on it for years. ThinkFilm will distribute later this year. What's your favorite Tony Kaye story?

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‘Year of the Dog’ Scores Mike White a Big Fat Lawsuit

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

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It seems to be the time of questionable lawsuits. Last week, Scott Weinberg posted about the Canadian author, Rebecca Eckler, who is suing Judd Apatow for similarities between her book and his latest -- Knocked Up. Now, Mike White is getting sued for his recent Year of the Dog. It seems that his former friend, Laura Kightlinger, says that the idea came from her, although the claim seems a little weak. She's filed suit alleging that she gave him a script called We Are Animals (about a woman who loves rescuing cats), which became his doggie film.

Now, if you caught James Rocchi's interview with White in April, you might remember where the writer/director says that he got his material -- a stray cat he had inherited who had died: "this cat's death just totally spun me out in a way that I totally did not expect... I just thought, 'Well, that's an interesting idea for a movie premise -- somebody who has a relationship with a pet, and the loss of that changes their life in a way.'" If this is the case, I can't see her script being the source, unless he follows her plot closely. However, White says: "They are totally different scripts. I know there is a similarity in the sense that (the female leads) both have pets that they care about, but beyond that, everything she is saying that is similar seems like a real stretch to me." Meanwhile, Kightlinger's lawyer says: "There was an expectation that if she told him her idea and he was going to use it in some way, she would be paid and she would also be involved in the project." So, they'll continue going through a he-said, she-said with broken ex-friend egos, and potentially some undisclosed settlement.
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Jeffrey M. Anderson’s 400 Screens, 400 Blows — Will’s Way

Friday, June 8th, 2007

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I worry sometimes about Will Ferrell. His newest film, Blades of Glory (242 screens) was another critical and financial hit, so that's not the problem. He has also managed to concretely establish his own comic persona, one that seems remarkably adaptable to different kinds of movies, so that's not the problem either. The main problem is that he has made so many movies in so little time; since Old School and Elf in 2003, he has appeared in thirteen movies. To the public eye, he's refining his craft and expanding his repertoire, but in private I suspect he's panicking, or perhaps obsessively searching for something.

I met Ferrell once, and we had a very revealing talk. I'm not claiming to know him, but he told me something that I suspect most movie stars go through; they wonder if they really deserve this kind of treatment and success. They suspect that, at any moment, they'll be discovered and exposed. He could be afraid, if he stops working for even a short time, that someone will fire him from his job. But in just a few years, Ferrell's unique, irreplaceable comic persona has fully emerged. In our interview, he told me that he used to be a field goal kicker for his school football team, which required him to do one task extremely well; it took a serious amount of concentration. He said that he discovered a private place wherein he could retreat during his kicks that he more or less still uses today for his performances.

Continue reading Jeffrey M. Anderson's 400 Screens, 400 Blows -- Will's Way

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