Thursday, April 05, 2007

Cannes a sign of great things to come

Day four of the new baseball season brings at least one welcome guarantee: The Baltimore Orioles, who have the day off, will not lose today.

And, even better, the lineup for Cannes is taking shape and, as usual, has plenty of interesting titles to take in. It looks like the big kahuna will be director Chris Weitz's "The Golden Compass," featuring eye candy for all with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig (and a bonus tilting it back for the guys in Eva Green.) This epicly fantastic flick based on the first novel in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy won't come out in the U.S. until Dec. 7, but selected scenes will be previewed at the festival.

Two actually completed films were also confirmed for the festival Wednesday, including one from the Coen Brothers (huzzah!). Their take on Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men," a Texas border tale about drugs, money and death, will hit the U.S. in August. It stars Woody Harrelson, Josh and James Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, Stephen Root (huzzah again!), Kelly MacDonald and Javier Bardem, and will be in competition at Cannes.

The second flick confirmed for competition is James Gray's "We Own the Night," the New York filmmaker's first in seven years. Don't know much about this one beyond that it stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Duvall, Eva Mendes and Marky Mark Wahlberg, and has something to do with the Russian mafia and a New York night club. I'm in.

According to Variety, more big decisions will come soon, and the strong contenders include films by Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid Park"), Woody Allen ("Cassandra's Dreams"), Todd Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Michael Winterbottom ("A Mighty Heart"), Paulo Morelli ("City of Men," a sequel to "City of God," directed by Fernando Meirelles, who is a producer of this new film), Harmony Korine ("Mister Lonely") and Julian Schnabel ("Diving Bell and Butterfly"). There's also buzz that David Fincher's "Zodiac" will close the fest.

Two other directors, Michael Moore with "Sicko" and Wong Kar Wai with the simply insane "My Blueberry Nights," are apparently racing to finish their flicks in time to be considered.

But, since the only thing I know for sure is I won't be going, enough about that.

R.I.P. Bob Clark

Not being much of a sentimental fool, I don't usually have much time for Christmas flicks, but I always make sure to see "A Christmas Story" one of the 5 million times it is aired annually on TBS. Sappy? Sure, but also extremely funny, and just my kind of holiday flick.

In sad news, Bob Clark, who directed this classic and "Porky's," among many other flicks, died early Wednesday along with his 22-year-old son, Ariel, when their car was struck by a drunk driver. He was 67, and apparently still hard at work on more flicks.

Assistant director Ken Goch said Clark had just gotten the go-ahead for "There Goes the Neighborhood," a comedy about feuding neighbors, the day before his death. He also was working on a remake of "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things," his 1972 horror pic, and "Elves," assistant Lyne Leavy said.

Though we shouldn't hold it against him, he is also responsible for two movies about "Baby Geniuses," neither of which I bothered to watch.

Even if he did create a lot of cheesy flicks, he certainly deserved a lot better fate than this. Rest in peace, Mr. Clark.

"Die Hard" trailer

Since big-screen car crashes are a much more pleasant subject, here's the trailer for "Live Free or Die Hard," which at least proves that Bruce Willis will be making action movies until he's 95. Plus, you get to see a car take down a helicopter, which is just fun to watch.

As for the rest of the trailer, it's pretty bizarre. The new, and hopefully last, "Die Hard" appears to be some kind of buddy flick, and stay tuned until the end for a surprise appearance to set your View Askew.

Seeking "Grindhouse" reviews

If any of you are lucky enough to have seen "Grindhouse" and have posted your opinion on it, please let me know. If I get enough entries, I'd love to post a link-list to the best of them tomorrow. As for me, I won't be going to see it until Saturday morning, although in my mind I'm already there.


jeremy said...

Cannot wait for the Golden Compass stuff. I tried to push those books on my nieces but they prefer their Harry Potter. Ah well . . .
Anyway, I think there's already a site and some stills for it, here.
As for Schnabel's next--what a drag! That book was so unbelievably depressing. Not that When Night Falls was all that joyous, but still . . .

Reel Fanatic said...

I haven't read any of the books yet, Jeremy, but I plan to before Golden Compass comes out ... Since that gives me nine months or so, I think I can pull it off in time

Marina said...

Oh man, I can't wait for "The Golden Compass" either. I have to get myself in gear to finish the series but the first book was amazing.

kookiejar said...

Keith, I just nominated you for the Thinking Blogger Award. You are next to post five of the blogs that make you think. (You may be the first movie blogger to get the far, it's been kind of exclusive to litbloggers...but hang exclusivity.)

Divinity said...

The stills from "The Golden Compass" look phenomenal. Dakota Blue Richards is a terrific fit with how I imagined Lyra and even though the Lord Asriel I saw perform at the National Theatre was played by the incredible David Harewood, I certainly won't turn up my nose at Daniel Craig!
However, I have very guarded expectations for the series of movies since the 3rd book has been universally agreed upon as the weak link of trilogy. The stage adaptation culled a lot of the chaff by combining some characters for a much more stream-lined and logical story. They are a great read, though, especially the first 2.
Grindhouse tomorrow! I'll let you know when I review it. Cheers!

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm fairly certain it's the first time I've been nominated for anything, Cookiejar, so hopefully I can come through with tomorrow's post ... Tune in to find out!

Nell Minow said...

My review of "Grindhouse" is here, and I look forward to yours!

Reel Fanatic said...

I indeed did read your review, Nell, and it just made me smile .. I was sure that, after fulfilling your duties as Yahoo's "movie mom" and detailing all the obvious parentaly concerns, you would love it, and I was happily right ... I should probably go see this at night with a packed house, but I've convinced a few people to go with me this afternoon, and I'm rather excited about it

Elizabeth said...

I haven't seen "Grindhouse," nor will I, but I wrote something about Quentin Tarantino on my blog.

cinderelly said...

thanks for the "die hard" trailer! i did not know there was going to be another! yay! i love my brucie..."die hard" and "armageddon" are a couple of my 'if it's on, i'm gonna watch it' movies! i am so going to go see the new one, "perfect stranger" and my husband too, but for different reasons! (halle berry!) if you see it before i do, let me know if it is good!