Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ben Affleck getting back in the director's chair

There were few more criminally overlooked 2007 movies, at least when it came to awards season, than Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone."

You're always gonna hook me when you pack a "gritty" crime drama with my favorite HBO veterans (Amy Ryan, of course, but also Titus Welliver of "Deadwood" and Michael K. Williams, a k a stick-up man extraordinaire Omar Little on "The Wire.") But beyond that, it was just a compelling movie from start to finish, and unlike many people I talked to, I thought the third act was the best.

So it can only be called good news that Affleck is getting back in the director's chair with another crime epic, this one coming from Marcus Sakey's debut novel "The Blade Itself" (which I have not yet read.)

Best as I can tell, "Blade" revolves around two Chicago childhood friends who made their reputation committing petty crimes as kids before choosing different paths in life. When they are reunited years later, one is forced to decide how far he will go to protect the secrets of his past.

Sounds to me like its in the vein of "Angels With Dirty Faces," and should be right up Affleck's alley. Just to clarify a bit, so far Affleck is only listed as producing this for Miramax along with "Gone Baby Gone" partner Sean Bailey, but I can only assume that's so he can direct it too.

And, believe it or not, this would be Affleck's third directing job. Among his IMDB credits is this, from 1993: director of a short film called "I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney." I can't make this stuff up, folks.

"Parnassus" officially back on

This had been in the works for some time, but I tend to have doubts about anything I read about the simply snakebitten Terry Gilliam until I hear it from one of the official trades.

But yes, it does seem that shooting is really back on now in Vancouver for Mr. Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," which had of course been interrupted by the death of Heath Ledger. Through the magic-mirror nature of the plot, the filmmakers will be able to keep Ledger's work and supplement it with a trio of rather familiar substitutes, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.

According to the producers, Ledger had completed all the shooting that takes place in the contemporary world, so this can somehow be sewn together to make a coherent flick (or as close as you can get to one from Terry Gilliam.) Just good news all around.

"No Country" hits DVD

I'm fairly certain that the Coen's "No Country for Old Men" is still playing at at least one of Macon's multiplexes until Thursday, so I was surprised to see it hitting DVD already today.

If you spring for the DVD release, which I certainly will, here are some documentary extras you'll get: Working With the Coens: Reflections of Cast and Crew, The Making of No Country for Old Men, Diary of a Country Sheriff. Doesn't sound like much, but the movie's so good that doesn't really matter much to me at all in this case. Peace out.


jeremy said...

I realize that its not until Friday, but just a reminder about Jezebel James . . .
(I saw a commercial for it yesterday and quickly added it to my Tivo Season's Pass).

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks indeed for the reminder, Jeremy, especially since I hadn't caught any of the commercials so didn't know when it would be coming ... Friday night on Fox is probably a graveyard slot, so here's hoping it does much better than I'm expecting!

Mercurie said...

As far as I know, it's still playing in Columbia, so I am very surprised No Country for Old Men is coming out on DVD. That seemed quick!

Chalupa said...

I'll be picking up the DVD, hopefully, soon. I know the extras you listed don't seem like a ton of stuff, but that's actually a ton of stuff for a Coen movie. They aren't really into commentaries and extras.

Chalupa said...

Hey RF - are you into Anime at all? I just posted a sponsored review for Appleseed: Ex Machina.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to confess I'm not much into it all, Chalupa, not really out of any distaste for it, just because I never really got the bug

Chalupa said...

I was never really into it, until I met a bunch of fanatics in college. I couldn't really tell you what the good stuff is, but they had DVD collections full of the stuff and let me watch.

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