Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Brewer and Howard, together again

Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Well, luckily for the rest of us, it also appears to be so for Terrence Howard and Craig Brewer. The two are reteaming for a biopic about black country star Charley Pride. After their successful collaboration with "Hustle and Flow," this can only be good news.

When I tried to think if I knew any Charley Pride songs, all I came up with was "man, do I like that song Behind Closed Doors." However, as many of you no doubt know and I soon figured out, that great song was actually a hit for Charlie Rich.

So all I really know about Pride is he was a black man who found great success in what was (and is) definitely a white folks' world, which should play right to Brewer's strengths. I know the movie has its detractors, but count me as amazed at how he infiltrated the world of Memphis rap in "Hustle and Flow." He definitely has a love for Southern music that shows through on screen. (And I'm definitely amped up for his "Black Snake Moan," even if that one just sounds plain insane.)

As for Terrence Howard, even in movies I haven't cared for much at all (like "Idlewild"), I have yet to see a performance by him I didn't like, so this one sounds like an all-around home run to me.

Wright to Die Hard?

Just call this a good day for news about actors I like. Though this one is so far only a rumor, since it comes from, which proclaims itself to be "the entertainment Web site for the chosen people," I've chosen to believe this.

One of their spies reports that Jeffrey Wright (huzzah!) has been cast as the main villian in "Live Free or Die Hard," the fourth installment in the Bruce Willis action series due out around the Fourth of July.

True or not, this all makes sense. It's being shot on Wright's D.C. home turf, and the big bad in this one, rather than a thug, is the head of a government agency. From what I've heard so far, it still sounds too much like a rip-off of "24" to me, but Mr. Wright should definitely bring a little class to the project.

Lining up as it is directly against "Transformers" and Pixar's "Ratatouille," "Live Free" is gonna need all the help it can get, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Page, Cera in Reitman flick

Ellen Page, the young Canadian star of "Hard Candy," has joined Michael Cera in director Jason Reitman's coming-of-age comedy "Juno."

All I could get about the plot from IMDB is this rather cryptic plot summary: "Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an offbeat young woman makes an unusual and bizarre decision regarding her unborn child."

Unusual and bizarre? Beyond being more than a little redundant, it also doesn't reveal much about the actual plot, which is just fine with me. After "Thank You for Smoking," Reitman's directing debut just out on DVD this week, I have faith that whatever comes of it will be very funny and entertaining.

And the casting seems pitch perfect. Page is a definite star on the rise, and Mr. Cera more than held his own with some very funny people as George Michael Bluth on "Arrested Development." I know it's still early in the new TV season, but that one is already sorely missed by me, and so far there's no proper replacement in sight.


Gewel said...

Good to know, about Howard. I loved Hustle and Flow, and I'm glad that Howard is finally getting roles with some meat to them.

carrie_lofty said...

Charlie Pride is fantastic. I grew up listening to him because of my dad. Now I'm pondering casting choicecs..... Terrance Howard if he's younger.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm not sure how the age will play into it, Salome, but I have full faith that Terrence Howard can pull this off ... Maybe, like, with Walk the Line, it will just focus on a certain period of time

renee said...

I loved Hustle and Flow and since I just saw "Nashville", the idea of a Charlie Pride film sounds great. Charlie Pride was actually at my house once when I was a little girl. I grew up in Sioux Falls, SD and he was in town for a concert. My dad was a musician and for some reason, Charlie Pride stopped by our house. I remember my parents were really excited, even though they aren't country music fans. My impression of him was that he was very big and imposing. Of course, I was like 7 or something, so he could have been 5'9".

Reel Fanatic said...

What did you think of Nashville, Renee? That's easily one of my all-time favorites, and the best example of Altman's ability to weave together various storylines into a cohesive whole.

marina said...

I like the Die Hard news. This movie is starting to look better and better.

As for Ellen Page, I love this girl. She's a great talent and her choice in roles is starting to remind me of another off-beat and extremely talented Canadian actress, Sarah Polley. I'm excited to see where her career is going.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely right with you on Sarah Polley, Marina .. the first thing I remember seeing her in was "The Sweet Hereafter," and I've loved her ever since

Lori said...

I'm still shaking my head over yet another 'Die Hard' sequel...but I have to admit, if they really have cast Jeffrey Wright, I'm a bit more interested. I've been a fan of his ever since I saw him the 'Shaft' remake...not the greatest flick by any stretch, but he was awesome.

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Reel Fanatic said...

He was indeed great in that rather sorry flick, Lori .. my favorite of his performances so far would have to be as Bill Murray's mystery-loving sidekick in "Broken Flowers" ... just perfect

renee said...

I liked Nashville, but didn't love it. I thought he did a fantastic job of weaving together all of the characters and stories. I really wasn't ever confused about who was who and what was going on. However, the way he kept the audience emotionally distant from the characters just didn't work for me. I know it was done on purpose with his camera shots and such, but I like a warmer film better. There are of course notable exceptions, like pretty much any scene with Lily Tomlin - brilliant!

Reel Fanatic said...

I can see what you mean, Renee ... He was definitely going for a bigger statement about the state of America at that time rather than building any strong connections with any particular character .. and I agree with you that Lily Tomlin was just fantastic

pdemko said...

"Juno" was written by Diablo Cody, former stripper and City Pages arts editor. She now writes tv criticism for CP semi-regularly. Here's her blog:

Reel Fanatic said...

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