Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Wednesday chock full of good movie news

Few movies have stuck longer in my mind and just gotten better and better with age recently than Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are." It's just one of those movies I watch once a year or so, and always find something new and magical in it each time.

So, it's certainly good news that the man is finally ready to get back to work again, and even better that he's working with "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation" co-conspirator Charlie Kaufman. The duo is apparently having some trouble locking down the exact financing for their next project, but given what it's about, here's certainly hoping it happens: Per Deadline, it will be "a satire about how world leaders gather to figure out all the seismic events that will take place in the worlds, from oil prices to wars that will be waged."

Wow. Imagine all that filtered through the warped mind of Kaufman. Whenever this happens, I'm in.

And although the Oscars were an entirely predictable and somewhat surprisingly, at least to me, rather boring affair this year, there was some very good news that broke out afterward. Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" was my favorite movie of 2010, and if the man's to be believed (and he usually is), it seems he's at least finished the script for his next movie. All that's known for sure so far is that it will be a "Western" (who knows what could really mean from QT?), but that's enough to get me intrigued, because the man has yet to steer me wrong so far.

Finally, to close out the news portion of this before we get to some videos, I'm certainly looking forward to Tomas Alfredson's follow-up to "Let the Right One In," and now that Universal has picked it up for a late fall this year release, I should even be able to see it in theaters in my little corner of the world.

What he's cooked up is a big-time take on John Le Carre's classic Cold War spy novel "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," which has already been made into a British miniseries starring Alec Guinness and the late, great Ian Richardson, among many others. Not to be outdone, for his big-screen version, Alfredson has recruited Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong and Ciaran Hinds. Oldman plays George Smiley, the spy called out of retirement to root out a Russian spy who has embedded himself in the ranks of Britain's MI6.

Great book, great cast and great director, on a flick to open everywhere? Perfection.

OK, on to the videos portion quickly, because I still want to go swimming before work today. I really think "Rango" is going to be a lot of fun, so I'll be at my local multiplex to see it Saturday afternoon. As reviewer Roger Moore (and probably others) rightly asked, however, just who is a movie with truly odd characters who smoke and (at least occasionally) swear exactly intended for? It's a valid question, and while I can't speak to whether or not it's appropriate for kids, the animated Western featuring the voices of Johnny Depp and the great Bill Nighy looks like it's just right for me. Enjoy this collection of clips/behind the scenes mini featurette.

Next, though the "Toy Story" characters may have retired from feature-length films with "Toy Story 3," it's no secret that they will be in the short that precedes "Cars 2" this summer,"Toy Story: Hawaiian Vacation" (and I'm betting the short will be a damn sight better than the main attraction.) Enjoy this very short clip of Ken and Barbie arriving in what they think is the island of dreams, and then stick around for the one thing guaranteed to make this possibly dreary Wednesday much better, a free Buster Keaton movie!

I know that no matter how long I use it, I'll always be more than a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the Internet, and I'm constantly surprised by the array of what's available on YouTube. For example, what could be better than Buster Keaton's "The General," in its glorious entirety? I doubt anyone really has 105 minutes to spare during this workday, but even in pieces, this is an indisputable gem, and this looks great full screen. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Wednesday. Peace out.

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