I’m a huge fan of British television. They have some of the best programming on the planet. They’re doing some stuff that American audiences can’t even begin to imagine. Of course, they also do some of the worst (thanks for X-Factor and American Idol, jackasses), but I’ll just focus on the positive aspects of it. And generally, I’m all for bringing British television across the pond and remaking it for an American audience. Of course, it has to be done with reverence to the original, have solid talent behind it, and respect the original without being stupid. It worked very well with The Office, perhaps it can be done again?
Larry Charles has been tapped to direct the pilot for Outnumbered, a popular British sitcom. Charles directed the amazing Borat and Bruno, prior to that he also wrote some of the strangest and craziest episodes of Seinfeld. Needless to say, he’s a great talent and should bring something amazing to the project.
Outnumbered is a (relatively) quiet and low key family sitcom that follows a couple who is overrun by their three children. Of course, shows about families with crazy kids usually ends up on TLC but Fox decided to go with it this time. The show seems to have a similar vibe to it like Modern Family, but it seems more chaotic than the hit ABC show. The original show has gotten mixed reviews from critics but is popular enough with the general audience. Hopefully, Fox won’t cut it off another brilliant show before it finds it foothold and is destined for cult DVD status.
Machete is coming, and I don’t think you’re ready. This week Danny Trejo hacks and slashes his way to bloody satisfaction. For those of you unfamiliar with this project, it began life as a faux trailer that played between the two segments of the 2007 Rodriguez/Tarantino co-production Grindhouse. Much in the same way that Machete is a celebration of the revenge films from the 42nd Street era, I intend to celebrate some of my favorite classic, score-settling revenge cinema. I want to make sure I am adequately prepared for people who may or may not mess with the wrong Mexican.
Thriller (AKA They Call Her One Eye)
First up is a nasty little treat from the sleaziest country on the planet: Sweden? Christina Lindberg plays a girl kidnapped, drugged, and forced into prostitution. I typically am not a fan of the female rape/revenge films (I Spit on Your Grave is reprehensible in all ways), and I won’t lie, the first half is incredibly explicit and very hard to watch. But by the time you get to the slow-motion, beautifully photographed shotgun rampage, you’ll understand why this film makes almost every list of the best revenge films of the '70s. The scene in which she loses her eye features one of the most grisly, and unflinching, practical effects I’ve ever seen.
Major Charles Rane lost his wife and child during a robbery -- and his right arm. But when he replaces that arm with a razor-sharp hook, he becomes a savage wraith with nothing to lose. As much as William Devane owns in this film, and he truly does, the real reason to watch is his costar: a baby-faced little upstart named Tommy Lee Jones. Jones plays an army buddy of Devane’s who spends most of the movie silent -- that is, until Rane informs him he has found the men who murdered his family. At which point Jones stoically stands and nonchalantly states, “I’ll just get my gear.” You can guess what happens next.
One of my all-time favorite subgenres of exploitation has to be blaxploitation. If you are a fan of revenge films, blaxploitation should be your bread and butter. The spirit of the movement -- black heroes/heroines fighting back against the white establishment -- manifests itself in an entire catalogue of wronged protagonists bathing the streets in blood. My pick of the litter has to be Pam Grier in Coffy. The scene in which she shotguns the dope pushers who caused her sister’s overdose is a hallmark of Grier’s legendary badass status.
Another of my favorite exploitation subgenres is Ozploiation. Australia put out some of the most unabashedly awesome films from 1970 to 1989, and one of them was a low-budget preapocalyptic revenge thriller called Mad Max. Yes, I know Mel has since actually gone mad, but watching him systematically hunt down the marauders who murdered his family is sinfully entertaining. This film is so good that the writers of Saw constructed an entire franchise out of the final kill in Mad Max -- Max chaining a thug to a burning car and giving him a hacksaw to cut through his foot before the car explodes.
Charles Bronson made his mark on American cinema playing a regular Joe whose family is assaulted and who spends the rest of the film on a one-man crusade against crime. And of course by “crusade” I mean he blasts fools into next week with a gun the size of a trumpet. What is so great about Death Wish, apart from Jeff Goldblum making his film debut as one of the attackers, is that Bronson’s character is so tortured by his bloodlust that it keeps him sympathetic despite the fact he’s killing more than just those who wrong his family. Also, did I mention the gun the size of a trumpet?
When you take two cult heroes of mine, Robert Forster and Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson, and put them in the same film, you already have my attention. When you let the director of Maniac Cop helm a film about factory workers who moonlight as outlaws cleaning up what the court system lets slip through the cracks, you win my heart. It’s not enough that these guys fear no gangster, drug dealer or vicious criminal in the city and beat them all to a bloody pulp; they do their work in a tricked-out van a la the A-Team!
The beloved royal wore the strapless gown in 1981 shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles, when she was just 19.
The silk taffeta creation, designed by Elizabeth and David Emanuel, caused controversy at the time for its low cut neckline and dark colour, but it established Diana as a budding fashion icon.
The dress will now be shown off at the Fundacion Museo De La Moda in Chile after museum founder Jorge Yarur snapped up the gown at the sale, held by Kerry Taylor Auctions, on Tuesday (08Jun10).
However, Yarur promised to have the dress returned to the Princess' official royal residence of Kensington Palace in London upon his death.
As he sits out his house arrest awaiting possible extradition to the US, Roman Polanski has filed a complaint of his own: The director is suing photographers for a little over $1 million after claiming his privacy has been invaded.
The complaint, filed in Paris, claims Polanski's family has been harassed by cameramen in their chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland.
In a test case which will have worldwide implications, The Telegraph reported, Polanksi's lawyers will argue that even a self-confessed sex offender on bail has a right to privacy, especially as he is staying with his wife and their two teenage children.
The photographs of the family were taken on public land outside the chalet, but French privacy laws are among the strictest in the world.
Even paparazzi shots taken on public beaches and in shopping areas are often considered a breach of the law, although damages remain low.
Polanski previously won a high-profile libel case in London against Vanity Fair in 2005 when it was found the magazine had defamed him by publishing claims that he tried to seduce a model soon after his wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Charles Manson gang.
The current Polanski privacy case will be held in Paris on Jan. 12.
Swiss authorities have said they will announce a decision in January on whether Polanski will be extradited to the US.
The director's low-budget sci-fi movie has won him glowing reviews and a growing trophy haul - and his success continued at the BIFAS ceremony in London as he accepted the Best Debut Director honour.
Jones, who also took the top prizes at Scotland's Edinburgh International Film Festival and Spain's Sitges Film Festival earlier this year (09), was not present as he's currently in Los Angeles to prepare for his next movie.
Elsewhere at the BIFAS prizegiving, Andrea Arnold won the Best Director trophy for Fish Tank, while the film's star Katie Jarvis was named the Most Promising Newcomer.
Carey Mulligan's turn in An Education earned her the Best Actress prize, while Tom Hardy won Best Actor for his performance as Charles Bronson in Bronson.
Daniel Day-Lewis and Sir Michael Caine also received special awards in recognition for their contributions to British film.
Buckley, who played a gang member in an episode of the programme that aired in April (09), claims his left knee is in need of surgery and he has suffered a torn right shoulder and back pain after another actor slammed him to the ground seven times while filming.
He has filed a notice filed in New York's Queens Supreme Court of his intent to sue the producers at Topanga Productions and Entertainment Partners, claiming his complaints of pain were ignored.
Buckley, 57, also claims he has been out of work for eight months as a result of the injuries.
He tells the New York Daily News, "I was being thrown to the concrete because they said it would make it look more real. I'm in a lot of pain, extreme pain. Very depressed."
The Unusuals was canceled in May (09) due to low ratings.
After his Oscar-winning portrayal of Ray Charles turned him into a sought-after dramatic actor, one-time comedian Jamie Foxx followed up 2004’s Ray with a slew of serious-minded projects, including Miami Vice, The Kingdom and The Soloist. But on the eve of the release of his latest dramatic vehicle, the revenge thriller Law Abiding Citizen, the In Living Color alum is poised to return to his roots, with three high-profile comedies on the horizon: Valentine’s Day, Due Date and ... Skank Robbers?
Foxx confirmed the latter film, in which he'll pair up with funnyman Martin Lawrence, in an exclusive interview with us earlier today. “We’re gonna do [Skank Robbers] together and just really, really knock a hole in the game’s head right now with that type of big, broad comedy,” he revealed.
The project will bring together Foxx’s In Living Color character, Wanda Reid, and Martin Lawrence’s Martin alter-ego, Shenehneh, for the first time on the big screen. To gauge the public’s demand for a feature-length Wanda/Shenehneh vehicle, Foxx and Lawrence released a teaser trailer (see below) for Skank Robbers back in June. “We shot the trailer a while back to see what people would say because, you know, people might think this is corny, you know what I’m saying?” Foxx explained. “People went nuts. I’m like, ‘Yo!’ So we went to Screen Gems and Clint Culpepper, who is a friend of Martin’s, and we set it up. Now we’re getting ready to shoot that thing and get it on out.”
Lest you think that a movie like Skank Robbers is a too low-brow for a “serious actor” like Foxx, know that he’ll be joining a prestigious group of Oscar-winning actors who’ve dressed in drag for laughs, including Jack Lemmon (Some Like It Hot), Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) and Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire).
Click here for the rest of our exclusive interview with Foxx, whose latest film, Law Abiding Citizen, opens this Friday, October 16, 2009.
The son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana split from the Zimbabwe-born socialite eight months ago, following a series of rows and tearful telephone calls.
The young royal was allegedly devastated by the break-up - especially when trainee lawyer Davy changed her relationship status to single on social networking site Facebook.
But after trying to date other people - Harry has been linked to Aussie singer Natalia Imbruglia - the pair has decided to give the relationship another chance, according to Britain's Daily Mail.
A source tells the publication, "Harry and Chelsy are back on, but they are keeping things very low key. They want to take it very slowly and are determined to keep things quiet.
"Chelsy in particular finds the media attention when she's with Harry very hard to bear. They don't want any pressure and have decided to keep the news very much between themselves.
"There is still a big physical attraction between them and Harry has told Chelsy he hasn't met anyone he really cares about since they split."
Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp) is just the kind of tortured addlepated writer you'd expect to find all alone in a backwoods upstate New York cabin in his ubiquitous ratty moth-eaten robe hair disheveled from the couch pillows on which he's constantly sleeping Jack Daniels bottle lurking conveniently on the coffee table and a blank page in his typewriter. It comes as no surprise that Mort's been unceremoniously dumped by wife Amy (Maria Bello) whom he found cheating on him in a hotel room with unctuous Ted (Timothy Hutton). Not much for Mort to do then besides rattle around his cabin trying (sorta) to stay awake long enough to pound out a few sentences of his latest work of fiction--until that is a black-hatted good ol' Southern boy calling hisself John Shooter (John Turturro) shows up on the doorstep accusing Mort of plagiarizing his short story "Secret Window " several years ago. With only a few days to prove to this Shooter that his story was his own before the guy makes good on his threats to kill everyone Mort knows Mort finds himself with a sticky situation on his hands--literally as pretty soon first his dog then his neighbors start turning up with screwdrivers sticking out of them.
Cast any other actor as Mort and the movie would sink faster than a truckload of bodies in a rock-quarry lake. As it is this is pretty silly horror fluff that barrels headlong into camp territory--but Depp knows it the whole time managing a self-awareness that avoids winking at the audience just enough to pull off some real tongue-in-cheek corkers. As he sinks his teeth into the corny stuff ("This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife " he muses a la the Talking Heads while lurking outside his house now inhabited by Ted and Amy) he proves yet again that he can work miracles with the kind of material he's given. It's entirely to his credit that Secret Window ends up a highly entertaining little horror movie. He's not necessarily to blame however for the pathetic lack of chemistry he has with cuckolding wife Amy. Not only does she dwarf him physically but it's also next to impossible to believe they were ever into each other despite mushy flashbacks that show them lovingly decorating the cabin or cavorting in their big house in the 'burbs. Turturro chews the scenery with gusto Hutton is effectively oily and Charles S. Dutton makes a quick but decent turn as Mort's protective lawyer.
Filmmakers seem to have a hard time successfully translating Stephen King's writing to the big screen and have done so with wildly varying results (read: from Shawshank Redemption to Dreamcatcher). But you have to give credit to writer David Koepp (Spider-Man Panic Room) who took on directing duties here for winding up a pretty tight little B-movie that ends up being entertaining in spite of (or perhaps because of) having more ham in it than an Easter dinner. Plus your guess about the "who" in "whodunit" will no doubt be spot-on. Despite all its homespun hokum despite the fact that the entire first third of the movie seems to be a musing on whether Mort can ever get to sleep in peace and despite the fact that the final third of the movie is about as secret as a glass window the blackhearted true-to-King ending still comes as something of a shocker. Kudos goes to the moody understated score by Philip Glass (The Hours) which ramps up the suspense without overwhelming it.
Three major movie studio films opened nationwide Friday, including Jackass: The Movie, Ghost Ship and The Truth About Charlie--and it was the dumbest one that cleaned up at the box office.
Jackass: The Movie, the big-screen adaptation of the MTV series featuring a bunch of guys doing really stupid stunts, took in a rather tasteful $22.7 million, while The Ring chimed in second with a close $18.8 million. Ghost Ship finished third with a frighteningly real $11.7 million.
Sweet Home Alabama came in fourth with $6.4 million, while My Big Fat Greek Wedding placed close behind, taking in $6.3 million in its 28th week. Red Dragon lost steam in its fourth week, coming in sixth with $4.7 million.
Universal's The Truth About Charlie took in a tepid $2.3 million and averaged a low-slung $3,105 per theater at 752 runs.
THE TOP TEN
Paramount Picture's Jackass: The Movie opened with a strong ESTIMATED $22.7 million at 2,509 theaters ($9,047 per theater).
Directed by Jeff Tremaine, it stars Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, and Jason 'Wee Man' Acuna.
Jackass' average per theater was also the highest for any film playing in wide release this week. The film is rated R for dangerous and sometimes extremely crude stunts, language and nudity, perfect for its target audience of youngish males up to about 30 in age.
In Jackass, Knoxville and his crew take the concept of the MTV reality series Jackass to the extreme.
"I've basically given money to a bunch of idiots saddled with enough dimwitted ignorance to try one bad idea after another," MTV Films President Van Toffer told Reuters Friday. It looks like the gamble paid off.
The film is the third best October opener of all time (if estimates hold) behind Universal's Red Dragon, which took in $36.5 million when it debuted three weeks ago, and Meet the Parents, which grossed $28.6 million when it opened on Oct. 6, 2000.
Jackass' take also bucks Paramount's series of under-performing openings, including Abandon, The Four Feathers and K-19: The Widowmaker.
DreamWorks' PG-13 rated horror thriller The Ring came in second, although its ESTIMATED $18.8 million (+25%) take at 2634 theaters (+653 theaters; $7,137 per theater) is better than its opening weekend gross of $15.0 million. Its cume is approximately $39.7 million.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, it stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and Brian Cox.
Warner Bros.' R-rated horror thriller Ghost Ship sailed third with an ESTIMATED $11.7 million at 2787 theaters ($4,203 per theater).
In Ghost Ship, a salvage crew comes across the remains of a vessel thought to be lost for more than 40 years floating adrift in a remote region of the Bering Sea.
Directed by Steve Beck, it stars Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard and Desmond Harrington.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's PG-13 rated romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama dropped to fourth place in its fourth week, with an ESTIMATED $6.4 million (-33%) at 3,182 theaters (-100 theaters; $2,011 per theater). Its cume is approximately $107.2 million, heading for $125 million in domestic theaters and is the 16th film released in '02 to cross the $100 million mark.
Directed by Andy Tennant, it stars Reese Witherspoon.
IFC Films' release of Gold Circle Films and HBO's PG-rated romantic comedy blockbuster My Big Fat Greek Wedding went down a notch to fifth place in its 2th week, with an ESTIMATED $6.3 million (-12%) at 1967 theaters (-47 theaters; $3,211 per theater). Its cume is approximately $177.8 million, heading for $185 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
Universal's R rated thriller Red Dragon, presented in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, fell three rungs to sixth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $4.7 million (-46%) at 2886 theaters (-421 theaters; $21,635 per theater). Its cume is approximately $84.9 million, heading for $100 million.
Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Revolution Studios and Columbia's R rated romantic comedy drama Punch-Drunk Love expanded in its third week to a solid ESTIMATED $3.6 million at 481 theaters (+403 theaters; $7,277 per theater). Its cume is approximately $6.0 million.
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, it stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson.
The G rated animated feature Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie from Artisan's FHE Pictures and Big Idea Productions, came in eighth place in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.9million (-26%) at 1,625 theaters (+44 theaters; $1,785 per theater). Its cume is approximately $19.7 million.
Directed by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, it was produced by Ameake Owens.
20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated action drama The Transporter slipped to ninth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $2.8 million (-44%) at 1880 theaters (-730 theaters; $1,513 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.5 million.
Directed by Cory Yuen, it stars Jason Statham and Shu Qi.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Fox Searchlight Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Brown Sugar, which dropped five slots with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-47%) at 1,149 theaters (-229 theaters; $2,415 per theater). Its cume is approximately $22.3 million.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, it stars Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan.
This weekend also saw the arrival of six new releases, including The Truth About Charlie, Paid in Full and Frida.
Universal's PG-13 crime caper The Truth About Charlie opened with an all too modest ESTIMATED $2.3 million at 752 theaters ($3,105 per theater).
The film is a remake of 1963's Charade, which starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
Directed by Jonathan Demme, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Thandie Newton and Tim Robbins.
Miramax Fims' R-rated urban crime drama Paid in Full opened with an ESTIMATED $1.4 million at 268 theaters ($5,224 per theater).
The film, set in Harlem, New York, in 1986, is about a young man who is lured into the seductive world of drug dealing.
Dirceted by Charles Stone, it stars Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris, Kevin Carroll, Esai Morales and Chi McBride.
Miramax Films' R-rated biopic Frida opened to a solid $0.2 million at 5 theaters (a whopping $40,000 per theater average).
The film is based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo--from her complex and enduring relationship with her mentor and husband, Diego Rivera, to her life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary.
Directed by Julie Taymor, the film stars Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas.
The top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $87.9 million, up about 19.53 percent from last weekend when they totaled $73. million, making this the seventh "up" weekend in a row.
The top 12 were also up 11.21 percent from last year when they totaled $72.47 million.
Last year, Universal's opening week of K-Pax was first with $17.2 million at 2,541 theaters ($6,775 per theater); and Warner Bros.' opening week of Thirteen Ghosts was second with $15.1 million at 2,781 theaters ($5,453 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $32.3 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $41.5 million.