Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter gets even more star Wattage

Although she can only say she "considers" herself British, Naomi Watts has joined the long list of British stars who seem to have been guaranteed a role in the "Harry Potter" movies.

Naomi, who is apparently about to give birth to a child conceived with actor/partner Leiv Schreiber, will step in to the role of Narcissa Malfoy, mother of that dreadful little Draco. Now, I'm only on about page 109 of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," so please don't spoil anything for me, but I would think this would give her the chance to have some real fun vamping it up with Bellatrix Lestrange, brought to vivid life in "Order of the Phoenix" by Helena Bonham Carter.

In other "Half-Blood Prince" casting news which may be of more interest to the ladies, Joseph Fiennes (yes, the brother of Ralph, a k a He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named), has also joined the cast in some capacity.

I have more than 1,000 pages of Potter to read by sometime before "Half-Blood Prince" comes out in theaters, so I'll have Harry on the brain for a while now (because I'm a slow reader even if I didn't have this pesky job to occupy my time.) For those of you who have already finished "Deathly Hallows," please be kind and don't give away the end of Harry's saga!

'Southland Tales' finally coming out?

Since Richard Kelly's new movie originally debuted to disastrous results at Cannes more than a year ago, I'm still skeptical that it will ever really come out, even with this news.

It seems that "Southland Tales," Kelly's apocalyptic tale about Los Angeles starring The Rock and Buffy as some kind of porn/reality tv star (no, I'm not making that up), has finally been given a release date of Nov. 9 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. Given the star power (Mandy Moore and Justin Timberlake are somehow in this too), it may even reach far enough to play in my little corner of the world.

Though this has "danger" written all over it in bright neon letters, I have nothing but mad love for Kelly's "Donnie Darko," so I'll definitely take a chance on this one, if I ever really get to.

Dardenne brothers get boost

I count their "L'Enfant" easily among my favorite movies, so any news about the Dardenne bros. (Pierre and Luc) is good to me.

They've apparently just been handed 360,000 euros (about $500,000) by something called Eurimages to work on their next flick, the French-Belgian pic "Le Silence de Lorna." The movie centers on an arranged marriage of an illegal immigrant from Albania to a drug addict, and it stars "L'Enfant" headliner Jeremie Renier. Sounds like exactly my (and their) kind of flick, so I'll definitely be keeping my eyes on this one.

Two delightful time-wasters

Ever wondered what a week in the life of Alfonso Cuaron would be like? He makes it all sound remarkable mundane when he describes it to London's Telegraph, but it does involve jetting around Italy with Terry Gilliam to scout movie locations. I guess boring is in the eye of the beholder.

In case you need any more incentive to read this, it contains the following phrase: It is amazing how fast your testicles can go up and down. Click here and enjoy.

Another fun time-waster is this supposed list of the 50 funniest movies of all time compiled by London's Observer (via the Guardian.) I won't spoil it for you any further than this: There is no way "Life of Brian" should be at No. 1, even though it is a very funny movie (which I first watched, oddly enough, at an Episcopal youth group gathering.) I can't seem to find my list of the 10 I laugh loudest at, but I do know I had Stephen Frears' "The Snapper," based on the great little novel by Roddy Doyle, at No. 1. Anyways, click here to see what they picked, and feel free to grouse about it.

Two TV tidbits

I used to like Michael Rapaport quite a bit, I promise, but his starring role for two years on Fox's "The War at Home" just wiped all that goodwill away. I guess starring on simply the most excremental TV show in history will tend to do that.

Now comes word that he's sticking around TV to tarnish one of the few sitcoms I actually tune in to, NBC's "My Name is Earl." With Earl (Jason Lee) starting the upcoming season in jail, it seems Mr. Rapaport will be have a recurring role as one of his cellmates.

I'm a firm believer in second (and more) chances, but Mr. Rapaport has a lot of work to do to win me back. Here's hoping this is a good start.

In possibly much better news, it seems that the Henson folks are hard at work on the pilot for a new version of "The Muppet Show." Just typing that makes me smile. Paul McCartney is the guest host for the test episode of what I can only hope will be many more. Read more about it in TV Guide here.

Two intriguing (well, one anyway) posters

Whew. Long post today, but since I've taken three out of the last four days off, there's a lot out there, including these two posters courtesy of

First comes Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie," which I frankly can't say I'm too excited about. He just looks so damn smug, even with his bee face, in the trailers I've seen and in this poster. There's a strong chance I'm wrong and this will be somehow be good, and hearing but not seeing Renee Zellweger is a solid step in the right direction, but I'm still really skeptical.

Next, for a movie I'm much more excited about, comes "3:10 to Yuma," set to come out Sept. 7 with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in the leads. Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard (huzzah!), it's about an infamous outlaw (Crowe) and the struggling Civil War veteran (Bale) who volunteers to deliver him to the "3:10 to Yuma" train so he can stand trial for murder. There's few things in life I like more than a good Western (and I'm watching "Deadwood," which certainly qualifies, now), so to this one I can only say bring it on.

And finally, a sublime trailer

Originally we were on some kind of spiritual journey, but that didn't really work out.

I have extremely high hopes for Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited," and the look and feel of this trailer only have me more excited. The colors alone mark it as an Anderson movie, and the snippets of dialogue we get from brothers Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman and, of course, Owen Wilson show that Anderson seems to be back on top of his game (after the rather disastrous "Steve Zissou.) Enjoy, and have an entirely bearable Wednesday. Peace out.


jeremy said...

How did I know that you'd have the trailer for Darjeeling up today?

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm fairly predictable, I know, Jeremy, but I always pick up on anything new from directors who just fascinate me!

Bob said...

I can't wait for "Darjeeling"! As for that top 50 comedies list, "Withnail" at number 5, huh? Personally I think it should be even higher but that's not bad. "A Fish Called Wanda" should be WAY higher than 27 though. One of the greatest movies ever made.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you on "A Fish Called Wanda," Bob ... I love lists though, and this one was pretty good overall

jp said...

I got goosebumps hearing about The Muppets. I hope it's good. I hope people watch.

Mercurie said...

I love Naomi Watts, but I honestly think she is too pretty to play Narcissa. I always thought of her as kind of homely myself. Of course, I guess they could do wonders with makeup these days...

A new version of The Muppet Show? I hope they go forward with it! I loved the original. And there is so little of anything even close to it on TV these days.

Marina said...

"Southland Tales" arrival - YEY!!!!! Finally!

And that poster for "3:10 to Yuma" is beautiful. Though I'm not a huge fan of the tagline.

Reel Fanatic said...

She may well be too beautiful, Mercurie, but they can do amazing things with makeup ... I can't wait to see herself playing off of Helena Bonham Carter!

Sachin G. said...

Actually it was inevitable that Wes shot a film in India as he has had Indian characters sprinkled in most of his films, especially The Royal Tenenbaums. I don't know what the background story is but not sure where there is a tennis played named 'Gandhi' in that film who calmly brushed aside Richie and brought out his frustrations. For lack of better reasons, I suppose, why not?

Looks beautifully shot capturing the colorful landscape as it should be.

Also, glad to hear a release date for Southland Tales. Really curious to see how such a strange mix of cast handles sci-fi + the other themed bundled together.

Reel Fanatic said...

My favorite characters in Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums were all played by the Indian actor Kumar Pallana, Sachin, so I hope he gets an even bigger part in this one

Neel Mehta said...

They couldn't find a British skinny blonde actress to play Narcissa? Was Sienna Miller busy?

And that's a bad list. Are they trying to evaluate the 50 Funniest Films of All Time, or the 50 Greatest Comedies of All Time? There's a huge difference. This list is trying to have it both ways, with the prestige picks at the top and the REAL picks at the bottom. Pathetic.

Reel Fanatic said...

Looking at it again, you definitely have a point, Neel ... Ranking the biggest comedies of all time was certainly the easiest route, which it seems they may have indeed taken

Divinity said...

Now that you mention it, the saving grace of A Shark's Tale was Renee sans bony arse. :)

I always thought Narcissa would be icily beautiful and I could see Watts doing well with it. My only reservation is that I think she's a bit young to be Draco's mum. And considering the other members of her family that we've met, I'm assuming that there isn't a real "look" to her family the way there is among the Weasleys.

Reel Fanatic said...

The Weasleys are indeed the best family in the Potter films, Divinity ... I love Richard Griffiths and Fiona Shaw dearly, and their best work has probably been in the Potter films thus far

Divinity said...

Griffiths and Shaw make an incredible couple as the Dursleys... Julie Walters' casting as Mrs. Weasley was a stroke of genius.

Vasta said...

Looking forward to Darjeeling, I've been following its progress for a few months now. Sadly, I couldn't make it to the NY Film Festival for the premiere, but I'm excited for when it comes out here in Toronto.

And of course, the main reason I needed to comment here was because I'm completely in love with Naomi Watts. Totally.

Lorraine said...

Naomi Watts as Narcissa...yeah, I can see that. But who oh who is Joseph going to play? Be still my heart!

Reel Fanatic said...

I haven't gotten far enough in the book to have encountered all the new characters yet, Lorraine, but so far I haven't encountered one who could be ... I can't see him playing Horace Slughorn by any stretch, and he doesn't fit Minister Scrimgeour (sp?) either ... but, of course, I'm only on about page 170, so maybe it will come to me soon

Divinity said...

Mugglenet's apparently refuted the Watts and J. Fiennes casting... :(

Reel Fanatic said...

That's what I get for chasing rumors I guess, Divinity .. More often than not, though, they turn out to be true despite all the denials, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see

Heidi B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi B said...

I am very excited about Darjeeling. I read about this movie a year ago and I have been looking forward to the release. Can't wait to see it.