Movie Of The Day: Alexander (2004)

Back in 1964, the huge financial failure of The Fall Of The Roman Empire pretty much single-handedly buried the big-budget peplum genre, and it wasn’t until forty years later that new attempts at grand American sword and sandal epics were made. Indeed Gladiator‘s success back in 2000 slowly revived interest in the genre, which led to the release of no less than three such films in 2004: King Arthur, Troy and Alexander.

Existing in three (very) different cuts, the film is obviously based on the life of Alexander The Great and follows the Macedonian king through his childhood, youth and tenure as king, his loves, conquests and relationships with friends and family. Directed by Oliver Stone (W.), who co-wrote the film with Laeta Kalogridis (Pathfinder) and Christopher Kyle (K-19: The Widowmaker).

Alexander stars Colin Farrell (Pride And Glory), Angelina Jolie (Changeling), Val Kilmer (Felon), Anthony Hopkins (Fracture), Jared Leto (Chapter 27), Rosario Dawson (Eagle Eye), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Children Of Huang Shi) and Christopher Plummer (Closing The Ring) among others. Trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

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Three more for Inglorious Bastards

French actresses Léa Seydoux (The Last Mistress aka An Old Mistress) and Anne-Sophie Franck (La Jungle) have recently joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s (Grindhouse) new World War 2 film Inglorious Bastards and the legendary Isabelle Huppert (I Heart Huckabees) is reportedly in talks to play a movie theater’s owner. The film starts shooting this October in Berlin.

Inglorious Bastards has been a pet project of Quentin Tarantino’s for years and will be a remake of an Italian film from 1978 that is also known as G.I. Bro, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes and Counterfeit Commandos. Described as in the vein of The Dirty Dozen, the film will tell the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers behind enemy lines (France specifically) who spend their time scalping Nazis.

The ever-growing cast also includes Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Eli Roth (director of the Hostel films), Samm Levine (Sydney White), Diane Kruger (the National Treasure films), Til Schweiger (King Arthur) and Mélanie Laurent (Don’t Worry, I’m Fine). It is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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Blackbeard biopic to be made with a shaky cam

British director Paul Greengrass (the Bourne movies) has added a new film to his list of projects: a movie about the notorious pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, who operated in the Caribbean Sea and the western Atlantic Ocean during the early 18th century.

Written by the Oscar-winning David Franzoni (King Arthur), Blackbeard will be told from the point of view of Lieutenant Robert Maynard, an ex-follower of Blackbeard’s who was later put in charge of his capture. The makers intend this to be the anti-Pirates Of The Caribbean and are aiming for an R rating in the US.

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Yet another Inglorious one

The cast for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards keeps growing as French up-an-coming César-winning actress Mélanie Laurent (Don’t Worry, I’m Fine) has signed on to play Shoshanna Dreyfus, a young Jewish girl who inherits a movie theatre in Paris and tries to avoid the Nazis (duh). The 25 year old Laurent isn’t Jewish, but I guess that’s beside the point.

Inglorious Bastards, which has been a pet project of Quentin Tarantino’s for years, will be a remake of an Italian film from 1978 that is also known as G.I. Bro, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes and Counterfeit Commandos. Described as in the vein of The Dirty Dozen, the film will tell the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers behind enemy lines (France specifically) who spend their time scalping Nazis.

In addition to Mélanie Laurent, the cast includes Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading), Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Eli Roth (director of the Hostel films), Samm Levine (Sydney White), Diane Kruger (the National Treasure films) and Til Schweiger (King Arthur). Inglorious Bastards will start filming next month in Berlin and is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Fun Fact: Mélanie’s father Pierre Laurent is the French voice for many Simpsons characters including Ned Flanders, Apu, Barney, Reverend Lovejoy and Smithers.

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Quentin Tarantino gets a “bastard” and a “bitch”

  

Two new actors have been added to the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s forthcoming World War 2 movie Inglorious Bastards, and since both are German, you can bet your millions they’ll be playing Germans. The lucky thespians are Diane Kruger (the National Treasure films) and Til Schweiger (King Arthur).

Diane Kruger, who mainly alternates between French and American films, isn’t one of the biggest names in entertainment yet, but chalk that up to the fact her acting career only started six years ago. I personally think she’s a wonderful actress and physically stunning to boot. In the fim, she’ll play a German actress who help the the heroes infiltrate a movie premiere.

As for Til Schweiger, international audiences may not be overly familiar with him, but he’s one of Germany’s biggest stars, where he is dubbed the “German Brad Pitt”, and you’ll soon be able to seem him in director Uwe Boll’s next “masterpiece”, the Far Cry video game adaptation.

Inglorious Bastards, which has been a pet project of Quentin Tarantino’s for years, will be a remake of an Italian film from 1978 that is also known as G.I. Bro, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes and Counterfeit Commandos. Described as in the vein of The Dirty Dozen, the film will tell the story of a group of Jewish-American soldiers behind enemy lines (France, specifically) who spend their time scalping Nazis.

In addition to Kruger and Schweiger, the cast includes Brad Pitt (the American one), Mike Myers (The Love Guru), Eli Roth (director of the Hostel films) and Samm Levine (Sydney White). Inglorious Bastards will start filming next month in Berlin and is expected to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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Movie Of The Day: The Punisher (2004)

Blade, released in 1998, was the precursor of a movement X-Men confirmed in 2000: movies based on comic books are the next big thing. Sure, comic book movies have been continuously made for a long time, but never in such numbers and on such a high profile. The publishing company Marvel Comics can largely be credited for this, as while they’d been pretty careless with selling their movie rights in the past, they started to take more control in the mid-nineties, resulting in the first few films to come out of the trend, including the two previously mentioned. It’s been non-stop since then, with 2008 seeing at least seven films based on comic books released in the world. The Punisher is also based on a Marvel property, which had previously been brought to the screen in a fun 1989 B-movie starring Dolph Lundgren (Universal Soldier).

Frank Castle is an FBI agent undercover on an arms deal in Tampa, Florida. The deal is busted, and an unexpected participant is killed in the process: one of local mobster Howard Saint’s sons. Stricken by grief, Saint sends his men to kill Castle and his whole family in Puerto Rico, where they are having a reunion. Castle miraculously survives the massacre, if barely, and is nursed back to health by some witch doctor dude. Driven by rage, Frank Castle returns to Tampa, seeking to punish Howard Saint and his organization for the harm they have caused. He is now the Punisher.

The Punisher was the directing debut for action screenwriter extraordinaire Jonathan Hensleigh (Next), who co-wrote the flick with Michael France (Fantastic Four). It stars Thomas Jane (The Mist), John Travolta (Hairspray), Rebecca Romijn (the X-Men films), Ben Foster (30 Days Of Night), Roy Scheider (Jaws 1 & 2) in a small role, wrestler Kevin Nash (Dead Or Alive) and country singer Mark Collie (Fire Down Below) among others. Trailer and review after the jump.

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