Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday tidbits about people I like to watch, plus a trio of clips

In case you somehow haven't seen it, that really is Maggie Gyllenhaal in the trailer for "Nanny McPhee Returns." Just plain odd. And though I have no obligation to go see that flick and so won't, I certainly would go see her in the project she's been talking up while making the press rounds for the "Nanny McPhee" sequel.

It was announced a while back that hubby Peter Sarsgaard would be playing bluegrass legend Bill Monroe in a biopic, and while that's enough to catch my eye, it gets infinitely more interesting when she's joining him in the flick. Here's what Gyllenhaal had to say about the project.

“Bill Monroe, who invented bluegrass music had a kind of Sid and Nancy style affair with this woman Bessie Lee Mauldin throughout his life and T-Bone Burnett’s going to do the music and Callie Khouri — who wrote Thelma & Louise — wrote the script so we’re going to do that together.”

Sounds like nothing but cool there, especially with Burnett doing the music (on a completely tangential note, those adorable little Peasall sisters from "O Brother Where Art Thou," no longer so little and probably no longer too fond of being called "adorable," are coming to play at a Macon church next week - yeah, I'm gonna check that out.) No idea when this will all come together, but it's certainly something worth keeping an eye on.

And in other news about an actor I really like, I've always wondered why Hollywood can't seem to find good roles for Stringer Bell, aka Idris Elba (Tyler Perry being the exception - that "Daddy's Little Girls" starring Elba is still his best flick, and if you've never seen a Tyler Perry movie, a great introductory rental.) Otherwise, it seems like he most often gets cast as some kind of bank robber in generic heist flicks (in fact, there's another one coming very soon, "Takers.") Racism? Who knows, but this guy is a seriously good actor, so there's got to be more out there for him to do, right?

Well, according to Deadline, he's finally getting a role that sounds meaty enough to work with, following in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman as Dr. Alex Cross, from the series of novels by James Patterson. Freeman played the character in two crime thrillers, "Along Came a Spider" and "Kiss the Girls" that, while by no means being great movies, were still pretty far from awful.

In "Cross," based on Patterson's 12th novel in the series, Dr. Cross has left the FBI and now works for a private practice, consulting to stop a serial killer called The Butcher who may be connected to the murder of Cross' wife. Juicy stuff that, and this will be directed by David Twohy, who made "Pitch Black" and the much less enjoyable "Chronicles of Riddick" movie, among others. I have no idea, of course, if anything good will come from this, but it's just nice to see Stringer finally getting some respect. 'Nuff said on that.

OK, all I have after that today is a trio of clips, starting with the first trailer I know of for director Doug Liman's "Fair Game," which if you scroll back a couple of days will see managed to make my top 10 for fall list. Judging from the clip below, this seems to lack the claustrophobic feel that made the true spy tale "Breach" so engaging (I think I just might be the only person in the world that loves that Billy Ray movie), but the story of outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, should still be a winner when it comes out in November. Enjoy.

While on vacation in Philly with mi hermano, we of course went to a lot of movies, and it seems like the trailer for Mesrine appeared before each one. The French gangster saga of Jacques Mesrine, played by Vincent Cassel, instantly rose to near the top of the flicks I'd go see on opening day if I lived in New York or L.A., but I had no idea that it's actually two movies.

Mesrine, from what I can gather, was one seriously bad dude, robbing, kidnapping and murdering his way across several continents, and breaking out of several prisons along the way before his death in 1979. He was helped along the way a la Bonnie and Clyde by Jeanne Schneider, to be played in the movies by Cecile de France.

The first chapter, "Mesrine: Killer Instinct," is set to hit at least some theaters Sept. 27, to be followed the next Friday by part two, "Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1." From what I've read, these are very violent flicks that are made worth watching by Cassel's intense performance. "Enjoy" the clip from chapter one, but be warned that it's a violent one, and if you speak French or can read English subtitles, a profane one too, so be careful watching it at work.

Now, where better to end up today than with the trailer for "Wu-Tang Revealed," the movie about the rap collective directed by the GZA himself. Though I have serious doubts this will ever play in a theater anywhere near me, I'll definitely check it out on DVD, because it looks to be a whole lot more "behind the music" than anything that's ever appeared on VH1. Be warned, of course, that they throw around the N-word and all kinds of other profanities often enough to make even Dr. Laura blush, but there's just something serenely entertaining about watching the Wu-Tang crew bicker in a pristine kitchen with pink flowers on the table. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.


dbackdad said...

You're definitely not the only one that loved Breach ... count me in. And count me in for Fair Game. I've read the book and am looking forward to the movie.

Reel Fanatic said...

Ah ... I haven't read the book, and won't have time to probably before the movie comes out, but I'll put it in my list .. thanks!

Bob said...

Even as a huge Emma Thompson fan I just get can't excited about the new "Nanny McPhee." I really enjoyed the first one but it looks like the exact same story but with Maggie Gyllenhaal instead of Colin Firth.

Reel Fanatic said...

I couldn't even bring myself to watch the first one, Bob, but I probably should give it a chance, because I almost always like charming movies intended for children

Bob said...

I really think you would enjoy the first one. Even all of the kids are great in it. Thomas Sangster from "Love Actually" is really fantastic.

Reel Fanatic said...

OK, with your recommendation, I'll give it a rental, but not, of course, before I watch Cemetery Junction!

Amy said...

A Bill Monroe biopic? I'm so excited! I hope Ricky Skaggs and Jim Lauderdale hitch their wagons to it.