Actually, let's start with the photo above, which I'm sure everyone can tell is a photo of Woody Allen and Penelope Cruz on the set of his new film, "The Bop Decameron," in Rome. Why? Because I always like seeing Penelope Cruz, and with Woody's "Midnight in Paris" being my second-favorite movie so far of 2011 (behind only Thomas McCarthy's "Win Win"), you can certainly say I'm psyched to see what he cooks up on the next stop of his late-in-life European tour.
And after that, though the news about Spike Lee returning in a big way may be a bit old now, so am I, and besides, to me it's easily the biggest story of the week, and there's something new to report about his "Oldboy" remake.
Before he makes that, in better news, Mr. Lee is apparently already at work on a low-budget flick that will have him playing Mookie once again. Think for a minute about just how good that could be. The movie, called "Red Hook Summer," is about "an adult from Atlanta who comes and spends the summer in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, NY."
That doesn't say a whole lot about where this might go, but as Lee fans will certainly know, the last time he made a big splash in Brooklyn in a very hot summer was with a little movie called "Do the Right Thing," so certainly stay tuned for more on this as soon as I can find out.
And Mr. Lee, apparently eager to get busy after his too-long hiatus from making big-budget feature films, has also signed on to direct Mandate Pictures' "Oldboy" remake, and there's good news today about how that might just come together.
Twitchfilm was the first to correctly report that Mr. Lee was going to direct this (the best way it could happen, since there's clearly no way to stop it), and the site is now reporting that Josh Brolin is being pursued for the main role. Without spoiling too much for anyone who somehow hasn't seen the original (do so, please!), he would play the American version of Oh-Dae Su, who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years before he finally gets to seek revenge on his unknown captors.
Perfect casting there, I'd say, so here's hoping it actually happens.
And there's other news out there this morning about another of my favorite directors who likes to move between the worlds of documentary and feature films, Errol Morris. In theaters in at least some corners of the world, he'll soon have a new documentary, "Tabloid," with the rather juicy subject matter of a model who allegedly kidnapped a Mormon to sex him up. I'm sure it's all more complicated than that, and it's just a great match for Morris.
For his next project, however, he'll be venturing into the world of feature films with a movie about cryogenics based on a the book "We Froze the First Man" by Robert F. Nelson and a "This American Life" segment titled "You're Cold as Ice." For me, Morris has always been at his best when he delves into the truly odd, as with "Mr. Death" and "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control," so this should be a real treat.
And now comes word that Paul Rudd has signed on to play the lead in this as-yet-untitled flick. It's unclear yet if he'll play the first man to be cryogenically preserved or Nelson, who helped invent the technology in the 1960s. Either way, this should be nothing but fun, so stay tuned.
OK, now on to the videos, and where better to start than with something new from Studio Ghibli, especially since, in Japan at least, it's coming out very soon. "From Up on Poppy Hill," directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by his father, one Hayao Miyazaki, it tells the story of a group of Yokahama teens who try to save their school's clubhouse from being torn down in preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The real treat from Studio Ghibli will be "Porco Rosso 2," which the elder Miyazaki is at work on now, but in the meantime enjoy this teaser for his son's flick, which looks like a real winner too.
As far as the clips go, it's almost all about cartoons here today, but that's the way I like it, and I'm the author here, so deal with it. Next up comes the most thorough trailer I've seen yet for "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn." I still say that Tintin just looks way too modern in this, but it should still be a pretty good Christmas gift from Steven Spielberg to finish up this year. Enjoy.
OK, I know this weekend is all about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," and I'll certainly go see that, probably on Friday, but there's also a "Winnie the Pooh" movie opening this weekend, and even though I don't have any little kids to drag with me, I think I'll sneak in to see that, too. After all, with two or three new songs from Zooey Deschanel and a good, old-fashioned story about Pooh and all his friends, what's not to like? Enjoy this trailer, and don't be afraid to unleash your inner little kid this weekend.
And where better to end up on a Wednesday morning than with a free movie, especially when it's "Repo Man," not to be confused with that "Repo Men" flick from a couple of years ago. That's right, this is the one with Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Esteves and all kinds of punky fun, so enjoy it, and have a perfectly endurable Wednesday. Peace out.