Monday, May 29, 2006

"Superman," "Pan's Labyrinth" and Cannes

What better to take the bad taste of "X-Men: The Last Stand" out of your mouth than a fantastic trailer for "Superman Returns"?

Apparently, most of you got to see this before the crapfest that was "X3," but they didn't show it in my little corner of the world.

It seems a particularly vengeful pairing to me: "Before we show you the raping of a beloved comic book franchise, let us tease you with a glimpse of greatness from the man that abandoned the X-Men to make the third abomination a reality."

But enough of that, because this trailer is simply great. It gives us much more of an idea what Lex Luthor will be up to, and therefore what the stakes will be. Bryan Singer has proven that, unlike Brett Ratner, he values the mythology that goes with a superhero's story, so I don't see how he can miss with this one.

Anyways, if you too missed out on the trailer in the theater or just want to enjoy it again, click here.

"Pan's Labyrinth"

Though he didn't win any prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival (read on to see who did), Guillermo Del Toro seems to have gotten a warm reception for his horror-fantasy "Pan's Labyrinth."

It's been picked up for U.S. distribution and will be released sometime in September/October. The story, as far as I can tell, is about a teenage girl who, to escape the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, develops an elaborate fantasy world that eventually takes over her existence.

I love movies about the power of imagination, especially ones that explore the dark side. My favorite would have to be Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures" (still my favorite of all Jackson's work), and the small bits I've seen of "Pan" seem cut from the same cloth.

To check out four short clips (in Spanish, with French subtitles, but there is very little dialogue anyway), click here and enjoy.

Cannes winners

I guess it should be of little surprise that although the folks at Cannes invited some of the world's great young directors to the table, the feast went to a trusted old hand.

Ken Loach won the "Palme d'Or" this year for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," an epic tale about two Irish brothers who are torn apart by the Republican uprising in the 1920s. I like Loach on a more intimate scale and in a contemporary setting, like with "Riff Raff" and, more recently, "Sweet Sixteen." The only criticism I've heard of "Barley," though, is that it plays out like an old Hollywood war movie while taking on heavy Irish issues. Sounds great to me, and Cillian Murphy's in it, to boot.

In a split-decision blunder that usually befalls Oscar voters, the Cannes jury gave the award for best director not to Loach, but to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for "Babel." This is a sprawling tale taking place on four continents that takes on terrorism, paranoia and human relations on a scale that only Inarritu could attempt. It should be fascinating.

I won't bore you with the whole list, but it's worth mentioning that Pedro Almodovar's "Volver," due out in America next month, I believe, took two top prizes. Almodovar himself won the Prix du Scenario for best screenplay, and the lovely ladies of "Volver," including Penelope Cruz and Carmen Maura," collectively won the best actress nod for their work. Congrats to all!

To see the full list of winners, click here.


alvarete said...

I haven't seen Babel yet, but Volver has already shown here in Spain (Almodovar being spanish and all, you know), and while I consider it to be one of his strongest movies in years, it's also one of his most intimate, and as such I think it's going to be a steeper battle for it to get award recognition. Mind you, it's still an excellent movie, just not typical festival fare...

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the report .. I'm really looking forward to it .. sounds like a real return to his great material like "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown"

Leonard said...

Superman Returns gotta opens in the cinemas soon, and i'm sure i'm going to watch it...hope it won't be a disappointment like X-Men: The Last Stand!

Mostskillz said...

Like you, I was extrememly disappointed with the latest X-Men film. Also like you, my theater didn't have the latest Superman Returns trailer. Thanks for the link!

Jack's Shack said...

That was a good trailer. Thanks.

carrie_lofty said...

You love "Homicide" and Cillian Murphy but disliked X-3 - I have to come back again. Perfect taste, like me :)

Robin said...

yes I agree.. the trailer is indeed better than the last stand,,

yawn.. zzzz

Bemis said...

I agree completely about Heavenly Creatures being Jackson's best work, so I'm even more psyched now for Pan's Labyrinth if they are indeed "cut from the same cloth." Thanks for the comment, too!

themarina said...

The new Superman trailer, I think, is the best one yet. And I think Spacey looks great as the crazed Luthor. I'm finally starting to get excited about this!

carrie_lofty said...

Heavenly Creatures is fantastic if for no other reason than the murder scene. Aside from the Danish film Brothers, I have never seen a more grim, personal, gut-wrenching portrayal of what it actually takes to kill a person.

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