13 Tzameti remake gets a cast

We previously informed you that the award-winning 2005 French thriller 13 Tzameti (trailer above) was getting an American remake courtesy of original writer/director Géla Babluani, simply titled 13 and starring Control lead Sam Riley. Now a few other names have joined the cast, those being Mickey Rourke (Stormbreaker), Jason Statham (Death Race) and rapper 50 Cent (Righteous Kill). The general consensus seems to be that Statham and Rourke is the greatest combination ever, what do you think?

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Movie Of The Day: Touch (2005)

In 1981, mangaka Mitsuru Adachi (Cross Game) started writing and drawing what would soon become one of the most popular Japanese comic books of all time, the award-winning Touch (aka タッチ, pronounced Tatchi). The manga lasted 26 issues, ending in 1986, and was quickly adapted into an animated 101 episode TV show in 1985. In addition, five animated movies were produced, three for cinemas, two for television, as was a live-action TV mini-series . Finally, in 2005, Touch was made into a live-action movie for cinemas, adapted by Yukiko Yamamuro (A Long Walk) and directed by Isshin Inudou (Josee, The Tiger And The Fish). The film stars twin brothers Shota and Keita Saito (Kids War 4) and the charming Masami Nagasawa (Godzilla: Final Wars) among others.

Roughly adapting the manga’s first 8 issues, aka slightly less than 1500 pages of material, Touch loosely retells the source’s first, and best-known story arc. Identical twin brothers Tatsuya and Kazuya, and their next-door neighbor Minami have known each other since birth, sharing joys and pains, likes and dislikes. Now in their mid-to-late teens, they are still as close as ever, but other feelings are thrown into the mix as Minami’s blossomed into quite a lovely young girl. As for the twins, Kazuya is loved by all, studious, and the star pitcher of the high school’s baseball team whereas Tatsuya is more of a slacker and generally regarded as the inferior brother. Whoever eventually wins Minami’s affections, they all dream of seeing Kazuya and his team make it to the Kōshien, the finals of the National High School Baseball Championship. Exclusive subtitled trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Music Of The Day: We Have All The Time In The World

A Louis Armstrong biopic was recently announced, and while the legendary jazzman’s best known song is undoubtedly What A Wonderful World, did you know the man once sang a James Bond song? Indeed while 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service remains the only 007 movie to not have a song during its opening credits but rather an instrumental number, it did feature this rather romantic tune, which I must say doesn’t feel Bond-ian at all but is still quite good. The song, as covered by Iggy Pop was played during the end credits of the 2005 sci-fi thriller The Jacket.

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Movie Of The Day: Chasing Amy (1997)

Note: This marks the third in a series of “Movies Of The Day” that covers writer/director/actor Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse films. For the reviews of the first two films, Clerks. and Mallrats, click here and here respectively.

Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards are two comic book artists working on Bluntman And Chronic, a superhero series they created based on the dealing/mischief making duo Jay and Silent Bob. At a comic book convention, Holden meets female colleague Alyssa Jones and quickly develops an attraction, but there’s one problem, the fact that she’s lesbian. The two nevertheless strike a strong friendship and Holden falls harder and harder for Alyssa, much to the annoyance of Banky.

Chasing Amy stars Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks), Joey Lauren Adams (The Break-Up) and Dwight Ewell (The Guru). Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reprise their roles from the previous films, Brian O’Halloran makes an appearance as another of his Clerks. character’s cousins and Ethan Suplee (Mr. Woodcock), Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone), Matt Damon (the Bourne series) and comic book legend Joe Quesada all make appearances. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Disney to make Arab movies

Walt Disney Pictures, which already produces movies in France, China and India (at least) in addition to their regular roster of American pics, is now eyeing the Arabian peninsula and is in talks to finance The Last Of The Storytellers from Lebanese director Chadi Zeneddine (Falling From Earth), which would mark their first film in Arabic and will likely start filming by the end of next year.

Disney has big plans for the Middle East. The Arab world has a population of some 300 million people, and with two-thirds under age 30, the market is a natural for family-friendly Disney fare. Disney expects to announce two more Arabic-language features in time for the fifth edition of the Dubai Film Festival, which unspools in December.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for us in the Middle East,” said a Disney exec, who insisted on anonymity. “There’s a lot of room for growth for us. It’s the international territory that we’re most excited about expanding into.”

Disney’s arabian move is expected to be followed by other American studios, such as 20th Century-Fox. I can already repeat what I said following Disney’s recent announcement of big Indian plans: I’m really glad American studios are finally seeing the importance of international markets, but I wish they’d use their power to distribute the films they produce in other countries worldwide.

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Fun Stuff: Onion Peel

Legendary clothing company Levi’s has long been known for their beautiful, imaginative commericials, and their latest, titled Onion Peel, is no different. Shot backwards, it was directed by Michael Haussman, who’s previously helmed ads for such brands as Yves Saint Laurent, Ray Ban and Martini and music videos such as SexyBack for Justin Timberlake and You Know My Name for Chris Cornell in addition to a few feature films, the last of which being 2003’s Blind Horizon. You can view his whole body of work at the man’s official site. What did you think of Onion Peel?

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Movie Of The Day: Melinda And Melinda (2004)

A writer, director and sometimes actor who’s enjoyed considerably more success abroad than in his own country but is nevertheless regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and able to attract big names to his projects, Woody Allen (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) is an incredibly prolific and rythmic worker, churning out one film a year like clockwork. Melinda And Melinda marks his 2004 offering, though it was released in 2005 in numerous countries.

Actually two stories in one (thus the title), the film has two playwrights arguing about whether life at its core is tragic or comic. One of their friends thus suggests a challenge by setting the premise of a troubled woman crashing a dinner party and asking whether the subsequent events would evolve into a tragedy or a comedy. Naturally, we see both options unfold at the same time.

As is common for Woody Allen films, Melinda And Melinda stars a substantial amount of notable people including Radha Mitchell (The Children Of Huang Shi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Redbelt), Will Ferrell (Step Brothers), Jonny Lee Miller (Aeon Flux), Amanda Peet (The X-Files: I Want To Believe), Chloë Sevigny (Zodiac), Wallace Shawn (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl), Josh Brolin (American Gangster) and Steve Carrell (Get Smart) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading