When I first heard about this one, I was very skeptical. A fictional take on the effects of fast food on America? Just sounds fishy.
I should have had more faith. This is, after all, the great Richard Linklater, with at least two flawless films to his credit, in my opinion: "Dazed and Confused" and "School of Rock." Heck, I even thought his misguided "Bad News Bears" remake was actually quite funny, especially the wheelchair-bound kid in the Wheaties t-shirt.
His latest, "Fast Food Nation," is in competition at Cannes, and according to first-night reaction, it will at least fare better than "The Da Vinci Code." The promising trailer sets it up like "Traffic," going at the situation from all angles: health, business, employment, all the ways our addiction to fast food is detrimental. And it seems to do it with a real visual flair.
But don't take my word for it. Check out the trailer here and decide for yourself.
Del Toro, Cuaron and Dahl
This juicy tidbit comes directly from Ain't It Cool, and well, yes it is. Guillermo del Toro is adapting Roald Dahl's book, "The Witches," for Warner Bros. with an eye to direct. He's teaming up with Alfonso Cuaron, who will produce the flick.
Del Toro, who is also in competition at Cannes with "Pan's Labyrinth," a fantasy set during the Spanish Civil War, is a great match for Dahl. They both have a perfectly warped view of the world.
From what I remember of Dahl's tale, a young boy who has been orphaned is taken to a hotel in England by his grandmother, where they stumble upon a convention of very wicked witches. Even after they turn our hero into a mouse, he must fight to foil their fiendish plot to rid the world of children. Great stuff in the works here for sure.
"Be Kind, Rewind" and Kirsten Dunst
I've mentioned this upcoming Michel Gondry flick before, but the news about it just keeps getting better and better. We knew already that Jack Black was on board, but now it seems he will be joined by la bella Kirsten Dunst (who is also at Cannes this year, in Sofia Coppola's intriguing "Marie Antionette." Sense a theme here?)
If you're unfamiliar with this project, which is developing very, very quickly, allow me to fill you in ... Jack Black plays a guy whose brain becomes magnetized (apparently after he tries to sabotage a power plant!), which leads to all the video tapes at his friend's store being erased. After that, our duo set out to remake all the movies for their demanding customers.
It all sounds sublimely silly, and I'm sure Gondry will manage to make it all about the magic of making movies. And of course, we now have Kirsten Dunst. If you've managed to erase from your brain that vision of her jumping up and down on the bed in Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," you're a stronger person than me. Their reunion can only be a good thing
Rival Marvin Gaye biopics
The first thing I can say about all this is it's about damn time! Next to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye was the strongest member of the Motown stable, and an artist who mixed pop and politics better than anyone.
D. Stevens (who?) has come aboard to direct "Marvin - The Life Story of Marvin Gaye." Stevens is making his directorial debut with something called "The Pet," which is being screened out of competition at Cannes. The Marvin Gaye biopic plans to incorporate 24 of the soul singer's songs into a script written by Robert Scharrer. Roberta Flack will serve as music supervisor.
Perhaps even more intriguing, to me at least, is a competing project about Gaye's final years, also in preproduction. Jesse L. Martin is set to portray Gaye in "Sexual Healing," an indie drama written and to be directed by Lauren Goodman. If you're unfamiliar with Martin, he was the best thing about Christopher Columbus' mostly forgettable film of "Rent," and has starred on "Law & Order" for years now. He's a first-rate actor, and certainly has the look just right.
I'm sure I will see both of these, and hopefully at least one will do this great American hero justice.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Posted by Reel Fanatic at 5:17 AM