Please excuse any ineloquent remarks in this article, as my current rage stroke is preventing me from articulating my thoughts well. You see, the world has somehow decided that it'd be just fine to hand one of the most appreciated pieces of science fiction cinema to the man who has directed Hop, Alvin and the Chipmunks and (it gets better) Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. Tim Hill is signing on to direct a reboot... it's hard to actually get this out... of Short Circuit.
Now, let's be fair. Hill does have some quality credits to his name: he was a writer on the Nickelodeon cartoon series Rocko's Modern Life. But his directing exploits over the past decade have done little to impress. Reviving age-old childhood cartoons and concepts seems to be his M.O., but their manifestations usually turn out lacking in substance and style alike. One can argue that it's always difficult to replicate the charm of the original works in a revival film. But I'd counterpoint then: DON'T REMAKE THEM. I wouldn't be on board with any director rebooting Short Circuit. Even the attachment of some of my favorite filmmakers would inspire trepidation (Wes Anderson's Johnny 5 would be an insoluble narcissist, Darren Aronofsky's Johnny 5 would induce his own death, slowly and somberly, and Charlie Kaufman's Johnny 5 would be built as a video camera, filming the very movie that he's in), so I'm certainly not too keen on what Hill's interpretation promises to be.
But, as this project does indeed seem to be underway, let's look for the positives. Dan Milano, writer for Robot Chicken, is on board. Whether you are a fan of the twisted stop motion series or not, I would assume you agree that the minds behind it clearly have a dedicated esteem for cult classics of the 1980s. I'd trust that, at the very least, Milano loves and appreciates the nuances of Short Circuit as much as I do. And that's something.
Imogen, the flavor of the air swells with bewitching honey every time I get to report on your comic splendor. Natasha Lyonne is in the game now! Natasha Lyonne, you'll recall, played Jessica, Tara Reid's confidante in the first two American Pie movies, as well as the lead, a confused young lesbian sent to "straight camp" by intolerant parents, in But I'm a Cheerleader. But more important than any of that—than pretty much anything at all, as a matter of fact, is Imogen. Lyonne will be joining the holy grounds of Kristen Wiig's passion project about a writer's feigned suicide attempt concocted to win the heart of a young man, which leads to her being placed under the care of her overbearing mother.
Natasha Lyonne will enjoy her own love story beside Wiig's in the film. Lyonne will play a Jersey Shore boardwalk employee, sought by a character to be played by Christopher Fitzgerald (Boiler Room). In addition to Lyonne and Fitzgerald, June Diane Raphael (Going the Distance) is joining the film as a yet undisclosed character. The vigor is palpable.
In addition to this brainsplosively glorious news, Lyonne will be rejoining her old classmates in American Reunion, which, and don't you dare judge me, I will see. In theaters. As soon as it opens.
UPDATE: Representatives of Darren Aronofsky are now denying Protozoa Pictures' involvement in the Pandemonium project. However, this could just be all a big mind-melting twist (Black Swan!).
EARLIER: Darren Aronofsky, you've won me over. I was pretty impressed, albeit skeeved out, by you, when I was made to watch Requiem for a Dream in tenth grade health. The Fountain was fair, The Wrestler was a nice touch... and then came Black Swan: that's the most excited, perplexed, disturbed and encouraged by a movie I've been since The Brave Little Toaster. So how thrilled am I that you're getting involved with my favorite artistic medium of all—television? Very.
Aronofsky's Protozoa Pictures, will be producing Pandemonium, a project based off Daryl Gregory's book series concerning a reality in which spirit possessions are epidemic. In Gregory's literature, spirits move from host body to host body, possessing and releasing individuals as they see fit. However, the protagonist, Del Pierce, has played host to a single spirit for twenty years. Therein lies the rub.
Sound good? Yes. It does. Don't bother forming your own opinion.
Aronofsky also signed on to direct the pilot of the HBO series Hobgoblin, created by writer Michael Chabon.
This whole thing is a thrill-ride. Aronofsky is joining the flood of great directors moving into television, and I couldn't be more optimistic about his projects. So this is happiness.
Oh, Imogen. I cannot wait for your materialization. Once I heard that the comedic majesty—that bounty of glistening wit whose mellifluous tone is nothing short of theatrical nirvana—that is Kristen Wiig was developing this black comedy, I was enthralled. After I found out that Annette Bening would play the unwittingly antagonistic mother to Wiig's faux-suicidal, (but still reasonably unstable) writer heroine, I was pleased. And the good feelings keep coming. The latest news: Darren Criss, Glee's overwhelmingly adored (at least in my social circles) Blaine, will be joining the cast.
Criss' acting talents, while ample, are actually not why I am so enthusiastic about his inclusion. See, Criss will be taking the male lead as the man with whom Wiig's character is desperately in love. So that means Kristen Wiig can see the potential for a romance in a man Criss' age. Incidentally, Criss and I just happen to be the same age...
Seriously though (before I cross the line from innocently smitten into super-creepy), the team working on this film, both on and offscreen (American Splendor directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini will be shooting Imogen) is exceptionally impressive. I am very much looking forward to a great, probably hilarious, plausibly heartbreaking movie. I suggest everyone be just as excited.
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
The Wolverine cannot be killed. After losing a shooting location and a director, the apology sequel to last year’s Origins: Wolverine seemed like it was a doomed project. But according to star Hugh Jackman, shooting will begin this October, and the movie should be released around one year later. Although nothing is finalized, Fox is pushing for the film to begin production as soon as possible.
James Mangold, director of Walk the Line and Kate and Leopold (so you don’t know where this guy is coming from), replaced Darren Aronofsky—probably too consumed by the coming floods to remain attached—as The Wolverine’s director, working with a script by Christopher McQuarrie.
Jackman may have to push back shooting for Tom Hooper's Les Miserables, in which he’ll play the lead, Jean Valjean. Additionally, the unbearably talented actor will star in Real Steel and will cameo in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. He's in a world of mutant superheroes, the French Revolution, the Robot Fighting League, and 19th Century China. Jackman is boundless.
One of the most talked-about epic films in the making is Darren Aronofsky's Noah. After the director’s indie hit, Black Swan, packed theaters months after its debut (most people just wanted to prove that they’d be the first to “get it”), production companies are swarming to get in on this new project. Paramount is the projected winner of the rights race, intending to fund half of the budget, which is reported at between $130 and $150 million. Funding the other half will be New Regency, which is long attached to Noah.
As for the story, Aronofsky suggests that he wants to downplay the religious aspects of the Noah’s Ark story. It is in large part about God, so if this weren’t the man that has blown my mind and given me nightmares many times over, I’d predict the project's failure. But Aronosky…he’s got something going on, up there.
Also, word is going around that Christian Bale might take on the titular role. I don’t think there are too many people that are going to have a problem with that.
Aronofsky has been dedicated to this project for over five years. When he was in his teens, he actually wrote a poem about the Biblical story that won him a local contest in Brooklyn. Clearly, if you’re going to let some turn one of the most well-known tales in Western culture into an awesome movie, he’s not too far from your ideal candidate.
We’ll probably be seeing a dense Noah -- a troubled, cerebral, debatably schizophrenic Noah. And all that’s fine by me. In the hands of a pretty terrific actor and a director impressive enough to still have me questioning things about his latest film, Noah seems to have a pretty bright future.
Almost everyone agrees that Inglourious Basterds was awesome -- almost perfect. But think about this: how much more awesome would it have been if it involved MAGIC? That dream is about to come true. After dominating the controversial topics of drug abuse, spirituality and ballet, Darren Aronofsky is taking on Nazi Germany in the upcoming HBO period-drama, Hobgoblin.
The series follows a group of illusionist con-men who employ their trade in an effort to take down Hitler and the German army. Michael Chabon, also responsible for the upcoming science fiction film John Carter, is writing the program with his wife, Ayalet Waldman, author of the novel on which the 2009 film The Other Woman was based.
This project will be Aronofsky’s first gig directing for television. Since it’s HBO, he’ll be able to infuse the program with his regular doses of haunting sex scenes and a general thread of impending doom. Hopefully, this medium will allow Aronofsky the appreciation he deserves -- perhaps in the form of an award. He literally turned Natalie Portman into a swan. Don’t tell me it was a metaphor. You all saw what happened to her neck. If you ask me, that’s a bold choice. Just the right amount of bold that can make us look forward to the annihilation of the Third Reich via slight-of-hand magic.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
S1E10: Studying The Killing week-to-week has been a fascinating experience because, in 10 short weeks, the show has grown from one of the most interesting and compelling shows on television -- as we argued that you should consider it -- to, well, just a big ol' hot mess. I can't pinpoint the exact time, but there was a moment this season where I found myself doing a double take as I watched. Like, this is happening? I thought I was watching an innovative, cerebral serialized drama about the murder of an innocent young girl, yet what I watched felt like a bad, stretched-out version of Bones or CSI or any of the other countless cop dramas out there. I also wondered if the show really is as bad as I feel right now, or if I'm letting my feelings of betrayal persuade me a little too much, but then I watch another episode and it's an episode like "I'll Let You Know When I Get There" and, well, yep. I don't think I'm wrong.
"Stan Larsen just turned himself in." -Linden
After last week's beat down of Bennet, Stan confesses. And once it's known that Bennet is pretty much innocent, each member of the cast -- except for maybe Holder -- is upset. Linden feels like a terrible cop. Stan feels like a monster (so much that he just openly confesses to being "guilty" in the courtroom). And Darren is saddened (but not before he goes on the offensive and blames Mayor Adams and pretty much calls him a giant douche). And, well, that's that. Wash your hands because the Bennet plot has pretty much tied itself up, and damn, that was a very, very long (and slightly racist) journey that the writers took us on, no? This is episode 10 in a 13-episode season, after all, and now we're pretty much just back to square one.
"I like their house." -Belko
Don't get me wrong. It's not that I didn't want the writers to misguide us because, obviously, where the hell would the drama come from if it was just a simple case? But, the Bennet plot felt SO far-fetched that it just never was believable. Let's think about it. If you're investigating a murder, aren't you going to interview the more immediate family members and friends first? I mean, why the hell did we wait so long to sit down with Belko -- the weird, shifty-eyed "friend" of the Larsens -- when he should've been the first interview? Then boom, once you interview him, there's suddenly a lead that's actually believable. What I mean is that following a potential terrorist-related subplot just doesn't seem to gel with the whole approach of the rest of the show, so it just gets in the way and doesn't add anything to the story telling. Maybe if the writers had Linden interview Belko first and he led them on a wild goose chase and ended up being the murderer, hey, maybe that would've worked? I don't really know for sure, but I know what doesn't work is having extremely dramatic twists and turns in nearly every scene -- which is what The Killing did for pretty much it's first 10 episodes.
"I'm not gonna end up in a hospital again watching you stare at a blank wall." -Rick
This episode attempted to show the impact that the Rosie Larsen case has had on Linden, and, well, it's pretty much the same impact the show's hinted at all season without revealing any other details. It's not that I don't think Linden has a believable struggle (because I do -- and I also think it's one of the more (potentially) interesting arcs to be fleshed out), the writers have just had a tough time showing us that struggle. Look at Rick. He's not a character, but simply, a device. He has no depth and just happens to show up whenever we need to be reminded that, oh yeah, Linden does have depth. I understand that his role in the show is minimal, but seriously, the only side we ever see of him is when he tries to convince Linden to go to Sacramento. We don't know anything about his personal life, his history, etc. How are we supposed to care about his feelings? Or even Linden's feelings toward him? The same goes for Jack. The Killing spent so much time creating this silly, dumb terrorist/racist plot that it forgot to flesh out its most important parts -- and now, the payoff is suffering.
The actress' role as a troubled dancer has come under increasing scrutiny since she won the 2011 Best Actress Academy Award in February (11), with critics claiming her dancing double, American Ballet Theatre star Sarah Lane - and not Portman - deserves the credit for the film's most breathtaking sequences.
In a Wall Street Journal essay on her movie experience, Lane insists Portman only performed five per cent of the ballet routines in the finished film, while the actress insists she worked hard to perfect her dancing skills - and performed about 75 per cent of what is seen in Black Swan.
Director Darren Aronofsky, co-star Mila Kunis and Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied, who is Portman's fiance, have all defended the actress, as have studio bosses at Fox Searchlight - the company behind the movie.
Now Portman has finally spoken out to address the rumours she was not involved in the movie's complex ballet sequences.
She tells E! News, "I had a chance to make something beautiful with this film and I don't want to give in to the gossip."
And Portman has dismissed speculation she intentionally omitted Lane from her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards.
She says, "I don't remember my Oscar speech at all. And I'm actually too embarrassed to watch it."