Links of the Week

The latest /Filmcast and /Filmcast: After Dark (I actually sort of appear in the After Dark, so check it out).

/Film‘s David Chen interviews Let The Right One In director Tomas Alfredson here.

Actor Seth Green (Sex Drive) will direct an adaptation of the comic book he co-created here.

Javier Bardem (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) will star in Biutiful from director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) here.

McG (We Are Marshall) will direct the adaptation of the novel Dead Spy Running here.

Crispin Glover (Epic Movie), Christopher Lee (The Golden Compass) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging) have all joined the cast of the new Alice In Wonderland movie from director Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) and Burton regular composer Danny Elfman has confirmed he’s doing the music here and here.

Chris Columbus (Rent) is in talks to direct Ripley’s Believe It Or Not here.

Ian McDiarmid, the guy who plays Palpatine in the Star Wars saga, is amazing here.

Casting tidbits: Defendor, Zombieland, Unthinkable and Alice In Wonderland

Kat Dennings (Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist) will join Woody Harrelson (Semi-Pro) in the superhero-themed comedy Defendor, while Jesse Eisenberg (Cursed) will join him in the horror comedy Zombieland, which we’ve previously talked about.

Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Gil Bellows (The Weather Man) and Martin Donovan (The Sentinel) have joined the cast of the terrorism-themed thriller Unthinkable from Australian director Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly), which we’ve also previously mentioned. The film will start shooting on October 20th in Los Angeles.

Unsurprisingly since she shares his bed, British actress Helena Bonham Carter (every Tim Burton movie since Planet Of The Apes) has joined the cast of Burton’s Alice In Wonderland currently filming adaptation, as has Anne Hathaway (Get Smart). The actresses will play the Red Queen and the White Queen respectively.

Source: /Film

Short Ones: The Spider’s House, Angel Heart, Bourne spoof and more

Peter Webber (Hannibal Rising) will direct The Spider’s House, a romantic drama following two ex-lovers who meet again in 1950s Morocco, on a backdrop of growing tensions between freedom fighters and French colonials. It is adapted by newcomer Laurie Cooke from a novel by Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky).

The 1987 classic supernatural thriller Angel Heart is getting the remake treatment. The original film was written and directed by Alan Parker (The Life Of David Gale), based on a book by William Hjortsberg (Legend), and stars Mickey Rourke (Stormbreaker), Robert De Niro (Righteous Kill) and Charlotte Rampling (The Duchess) among others. Watch the original’s trailer below.

Jack Black (Tropic Thunder) will star in an untitled spoof of the Bourne films, from the screenwriters of Kung Fu Panda, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Black will play an amnesiac who’s convinced he must be a spy…FYI, this movie was already made last year into the very unfunny Code Name: The Cleaner.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War) will voice Max in Mary And Max, a claymation film about two penpals, an 8 year old Australian girl and a 44 year old Jewish New Yorker dude. In the meantime you’ll be able to catch him in the incredible looking films Synecdoche, New York (see the trailer) and Doubt (see the trailer).

British actor Michael Sheen (Blood Diamond) just signed onto two films: the new Alice In Wonderland movie from director Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street) and the terrorism-themed thriller Unthinkable from Australian director Gregor Jordan (Ned Kelly), also starring Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrace) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Disturbia).

Director Martin Scorsese (The Departed) is set to reunite with regular star Robert De Niro more than 13 years after the mob flick Casino. The new film will be based on the non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses from author Charles Brandt, as adapted by multi-award winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (American Gangster).

Source: /Film

Links of the Week

Last week’s /Filmcast and /Filmcast: After Dark.

/Film’s David Chen interviews Eagle Eye producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci here.

Friends, family and fellow thespians chime in about the recently deceased Paul Newman here.

Marvel Studios teams up with Paramount Pictures to distribute films here and DC’s The Green Lantern may start filming in early spring here.

Probably realising her film career is prettty much dead, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (The Return) is planning her return to TV here…hey, at least she lasted longer than fellow hasbeen Jennifer Love Hewitt (CBS’ Ghost Whisperer)!

A first look at Alice In Wonderland, the anticipated new movie from Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Streethere. Also Tweedledee and Tweedledum have been cast here.

Must see: legendary film critic Roger Ebert answers a Disaster Movie fan here.

Disney announcements galore

The Walt Disney Company had a big presentation a couple of days ago where they announced a bunch of new movies, including three starring Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). These are a new adaptation of The Lone Ranger written by Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio (National Treasure: Book Of Secrets) where Depp will play Tonto and George Clooney (Burn After Reading) might play the titular character, a new part live-action/part CGI adaptation of Alice In Wonderland written by Linda Woolverton (Mulan) and directed by frequent collaborator Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd…) so yeah obviously, and as expected, a fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean film.

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It was also announced that Cars 2 would be released in 2011 instead of 2012 and that the story will have Mater joining Lightning McQueen on a world tour. Additionally several short films entitled Car-toons will be set between the two films and will air on the Disney Channel and perhaps before some theatrical films. Thus, the Disney/Pixar film originally planned for 2011, Newt, will instead be released in 2012.

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Maggie Grace takes role from Mischa Barton

Maggie Grace (The Jane Austen Book Club) has replaced Mischa Barton (FOX’s The O.C.) in the lead of Malice In Wonderland, a British re-telling of Lewis Carroll’s famous book. Since both girls are very pretty, this probably means that the American Maggie is more convincing in an English accent than the British Mischa… Anyway, the movie will probably be the better for it, since even though Maggie Grace hasn’t really proven herself as an actress yet, she’s miles ahead of the incredibly wooden Mischa Barton, who couldn’t emote if her life depended on it.

Described as an action movie, Malice In Wonderland co-stars  Nathaniel Parker (St. Trinian’s, amovie ironically starring Mischa Barton). It is directed by Simon Fellows and written by Jayson Rothwell (who already worked together on Second In Command). The film is now currently shooting.

In the meantime, you can catch (sooner or later, depending of where you live) Maggie Grace is the amazingly badass actioner Taken, co-starring Liam Neeson (Seraphim Falls) kicking ass and Famke Janssen (the X-Men films) moping around. I caught the flick at the beginning of the year, and if you hadn’t guessed, I strongly recommend it. Taken is directed by Pierre Morel (District B13) and written by the Luc Besson/Robert Mark Kamen team (the Transporter films).

Meanwhile Mischa Barton, whose career is fading faster than you can say “hey!”, is resorting to staged paparazzi outings to keep her name in the papers (true story) and is seeing all her post-O.C. efforts go straight-to-DVD in the States. In fact, her latest turd, Virgin Territory, was released last week. The film co-stars Hayden Christensen (Jumper) and Tim Roth (The Incredible Hulk) and was written and directed by David Leland (The Land Girls). Also, don’t buy it (more about that here).

Other Alice In Wonderland movies to be released in the next few years include the adaptation of American McGee’s Alice video game (which has been gestating forever it seems) and a new Disney film by Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street). Both of these movies will give a darker spin to the tale.

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New Region 1 DVDs

Movies

Brotherhood Of The Wolf: Director’s Cut

I can’t believe this hasn’t been released in the US until now, I’ve owned it for eons. This French movie is, in my opinion, one of the best films ever made. Gorgeous cinematography, atmosphere, romance, history, humor, drama, kickass action,… Brotherhood Of The Wolf has got it all. Think of it as Sleepy Hollow, only better, and that was already a very good film. Also, in addition to being entertained, you’ll learn something too, as the movie is (loosely) based on the true story of an unknown “monster” that terrorised the French Gévaudan province during the mid eighteenth century. Damn, I need to watch this again now.

The Director’s Cut adds 9 minutes to the film, and the DVD includes two discs filled with extras. However, some countries have three or four disc editions, so if you really care about bonus features, you should enquire about those.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas: Collector’s Edition

While its popularity among oh-so-trendy emos and goths who hail it as the greatest thing ever made is extremely annoying, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a superb holiday movie, a marvel of stop-motion animation and a movie you should really see if you haven’t already, if only because it comes from a time where Tim Burton still had soul (yes I think his last three movies were very lackluster). While Tim Burton didn’t actually direct Nightmare, he wrote it, produced it, and his influence can be felt throughout.

This new edition comes with two discs shock full of extras, including a digital copy of the film. If you’re an über-fan, you may want to check out the limited “Ultimate Collector’s DVD Set”, in which the discs are kept in a bust of the main character.

Virgin Territory

Crap, crap, crap. Virgin Territory, which is pretty much American Pie in a medieval setting, is watchable, but that doesn’t mean you should, you know, watch it. Stupid storyline, unfunny jokes, plenty of random nudity, horrible acting (but then, what else would you expect from these leads?),… The fact that the movie finished filming in early 2005 and is only released now should tell you something. I’d recommend you skip it, except if you’re really, really into one of the wooden leads (but even then…).

Virgin Territory is released as “unrated”, but that’s because it never made it to the theaters in the US. Extras basically include a couple of uninteresting-sounding featurettes.

What Happens In Vegas: Jackpot Edition

If you’re not into romantic comedies, even those that have a lot of “man jokes”, What Happens In Vegas is probably not going to change your mind. For those who do appreciate them (or at least not mind them), …Vegas is a decent, if unremarkable movie. I’d recommend watching it if you’re a fan of the genre or of one of the actors involved, whilst knowing that it’s far from their finest work. Still, it’s funny enough.

The Jackpot Edition comes with two discs full of deleted scenes, interviews, bloopers, and a digital copy of the film, which seems to be the new cool extra these days.

Also in Movie DVDs: My Sassy Girl, Postal, Redbelt, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?,…

TV

Heroes: Season 2

Heroes, the hit show about super-powered characters trying to figure out what’s going on with them, suffered with its shortened second season, many fans calling it crap. Personally, I’m halfway through it, and sure there are some weak points but it’s not that bad for now and there are plenty of good elements to keep you interested. In short, if you enjoyed Season 1, go for it, and in any case, from what I hear, Season 3, whose first episode premiered at this year’s Comic-Con, will be much better.

Season 2 starts four months after the events of the 1st Season’s finale, with the various characters trying to deal with the aftermath. Season 3 will start broadcasting on September 22nd in the US & Canada, on NBC and Global respectively, followed shortly by the UK on September 25th, on the BBC. Also, Season 1 was released on Blu-Ray.

One Tree Hill: Season 5

One Tree Hill is viewed by many people as being just some stupid thing for tween girls, but I personally think it’s a really solid, one of the very best “teen shows”, in fact. The writing is solid, the acting ranges from good to great, the characters are interesting (most of the time), the balance between humor and drama is just right and there are some really standout episodes. I’m sure that if you gave One Tree Hill a chance, and just stopped judging, you might actually enjoy it. In any case, it’s a much better show than cult favorite and similar series The O.C., whose first season was genius but was never matched by later episodes (especially Season 3, ugh).

In Season 5, the show fastforwards four years after Season 4, and focuses on the characters’ lives after college, dealing with the realities of adulthood. Season 6 will premiere in the US on September 1st, on The CW.

Also in TV DVDs: Entourage: Season 4, NCIS: Season 5, The Shield: Season 6,…