Peter Gabriel has halted his year-long hiatus to record the original score for a new short film collection. The Sledgehammer rocker announced he'd be taking 2013 off to travel the world with his family, but it appears he has cut his plans short and signed on to contribute an original song and score to Words With Gods, an anthology of films about spirituality and featuring work by directors including Mira Nair and Hideo Nakata.
The film's producer, Lucas Akoskin, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the original Gabriel track will close out the film.
It's not Gabriel's first attempt at composing a movie score - he contributed to the Grammy-winning score for The Last Temptation of Christ and he created the music for Phillip Noyce's 2002 drama Rabbit-Proof Fence. He also came up with the original music for cult 1984 film Birdy.
A relatively little-known (or at least little-publicized) factoid about this week’s Mark Wahlberg-starring action thriller Contraband: It's a remake of the 2009 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam. The American remake of a foreign film happens pretty often, and while the former is rarely – very rarely – as good as the latter, there have been some pretty solid remakes. Here are our favorites.
Based on: Infernal Affairs (China)
Martin Scorsese scored his biggest box office hit and first-ever Best Director Oscar (don’t get us started on how long overdue he was) with this remake of Hong Kong’s similarly themed Infernal Affairs. American moviegoers, critics and award voters were pretty much smitten across the board, but Infernal’s co-director, Andrew Lau, and co-star, Andy Lau, expressed then what we all probably feel now: The Departed is very good, if not great, but it’s not without flaws. And it’s long!
Based on: La Totale! (France)
James Cameron’s extended remake of the very like-minded (but much shorter) French film La Totale! represents probably the least serious and stuffy movie of his career. And – thanks to the stunt work commissioned by the director and the action/comedy in his script … and, yes, Ah-nold – maybe his most fun offering.
Based on: Funny Games (Austria)
Both versions were directed by Michael Haneke, and both were divisive, love-it-or-hate-it exercises in testing audiences’ tolerance and bloodlust. Count us among the fascinated (partly because of the stellar performances that are under-appreciated because most people didn't see them through).
Based on: Ringu (Japan)
The success of The Ring was largely responsible for the annoying PG-13-horror trend – as well as “Let’s remake every Japanese horror movie”-mania – but most people would agree that Gore Verbinski’s faithful remake of Hideo Nakata’s 1998 Japanese original was entertaining at the least, horrifying at the most.
Based on: Insomnia (Norway)
The most overlooked film in Christopher Nolan’s resume – OK, maybe it’s The Prestige. Or Following...– changed quite a bit from the Norwegian film on which it is based (different setting, different arcs for the main characters, slightly different plots overall), but both are modern-noir, psychological-thriller classics.
Let Me In
Based on: Let the Right One In (Sweden)
Thanks to some fumbling by the marketing team, not many people saw Let Me In, but it’s one of the few remakes that matches, if not exceeds, the original movie on which it is based in terms of quality. Do yourself a favor: Watch both and be the judge.
Based on: Brothers (Denmark)
The American version didn’t fare quite as well as Susanne Bier’s original five years earlier, but the star-studded cast (Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman) turned in unforgettable performances.
Scent of a Woman
Based on: Profumo di Donna (Italy)
Al Pacino won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal as the blind Frank Slade in Scent, which scored several other big noms – basically matching the critical praise of the Italian version on which it was based.
Based on: La Jetee (France)
It’s hard to believe that an American movie that feels so contemporary and even futuristic could be based on a 1962 short film from France, but that’s the case with Terry Gilliam’s masterful 12 Monkeys and Chris Marker’s influential La Jetee (“The Pier”) – even if the former is merely a loose conceptual update of the latter.
Based on: Interview (Netherlands)
The Birdcage (1996)
Based on: La Cage aux Folles (France/Italy)
Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)
Based on: Boudu Suave des Eaux (France)
The Debt (2011)
Based on: The Debt (Israel)
Based on the novel by Japanese author Koji Suzuki (The Ring) we open on one of the many endless rainy days in the film. The recently separated Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly) who is trying to start a new life for herself and her daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade) is looking for an apartment. Embroiled in an ugly custody battle with her estranged husband (Dougray Scott) Dahlia is sort of forced to move into a dilapidated sprawling housing block on Roosevelt Island. With cracked walls hideous Formica and giant water stains Dahlia and Ceci's new apartment isn't exactly ideal--but the mother and daughter try to make the best of it. Until that is the water leaks begin to take over their lives. Oh no! Not the dreaded WATER LEAKS! Yes it seems something menacing and malevolent lurks in every faucet every washing machine basically every puddle of water in the building playing mind games with the already fragile Dahlia. It's even threatening her little girl's life. Now Dahlia has to figure out the riddle and protect her daughter before it's too late--even as the dark water closes in around them. Um here's a solution: move out.
For the love of God Jennifer lighten up! Connelly is forever playing beautiful but tortured and depressed women in films such as Requiem for a Dream House of Sand and Fog and A Beautiful Mind for which she won her Oscar. And her somber performance in Dark Water is no exception. True she is tailored-made for these kinds of roles with her sad eyes and delicate features. But it would be nice to see if she has any other range just to watch her smiling and laughing once in awhile. As the solemn Ceci Ariel Gade is at least spared the pasty-face sunken-eye look so common in child actors starring in horror dramas these days. And she only draws one creepy picture (she's forced to actually). Of course she does have a malicious imaginary friend who isn't all that imaginary but I guess we can't expect to lose all the ghostly conventions. The rest of the cast fills things out nicely. There's Scott (Mission: Impossible 2) as the spiteful ex-hubby who turns out to be a caring father; John C. Reilly as the superficial and neglectful apartment building manager; Pete Postlethwaite as the somewhat suspicious building super; and Tim Roth as Dahlia's kindly custody attorney. Too bad this pool of talent couldn't make the film any better.
Dark Water is yet another remake of yet another hit Japanese horror flick made by The Ring's Suzuki and director Hideo Nakata. Yet all the elements that made The Ring frightening--single moms with kids in jeopardy water little girls drowning--doesn't translate nearly as well in Dark Water. Sure Brazilian director Walter Salles (Central Station) does his best to show you how dark these waters are going to get. But instead of chilling your spine he just depresses and bores the hell out of you. First of all it is continually raining throughout the whole film which naturally brings things down a notch. Then once we get inside the apartment building the immediate question arises: who in their right mind would want to live in such a place? As if the dismal lobby alone isn't enough we are then subjected to the rickety elevator; the narrow dingy drippy hallways; and the horribly rundown dank water-stained apartment in which Dahlia and Ceci move around slowly and methodically. In the last 10 minutes things do pick up but by then it's too late. I know this is suppose to be a slow-build ghost story but I feel like climbing into my bed drawing the shades and sleeping for the next 12 hours just describing it to you.
Cult Japanese film Ringu has topped a new poll to find the best Asian horror film ever made.
The 1998 Hideo Nakata chiller, which was remade for American audiences as The Ring in 2002, beat zombie video game adaptation Biohazard and torture shock movie Audition to claim the top spot in Giant magazine.
The top 10 films are:
1. Ringu (1998)
2. Audition (1999)
3. Biohazard (1996 )
4. Versus (2000)
5. Godzilla (1954)
6. The Red Snake (2004)
7. Cure (1997)
8. Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
9. Silent Hill (1999)
10. Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
The Ring Two director Hideo Nakata is planning a prequel to the hit horror
movies after watching the sequel crash into the top of the American box office
The sequel scorched the opposition, opening with an impressive $36 million
at the weekend and now Nakata, whose films inspired
the first Ring film, is keen to remake a prequel he once created in his native
He says, "I directed a Ring prequel called Ring Zero. It's about how the
little girl (in the film) was killed at age eight."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
It's been six months since journalist Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her ashen-faced sunken-eyed son Aidan (David Dorfman) outsmarted the sinister Samara and escaped that darn cursed tape. Or have they? They've moved to a new town and are trying to get on with their lives. Then Rachel discovers evidence at a local crime scene including an unmarked videotape which makes her fear it might not be over. Aidan suddenly starts behaving even more strangely scratching at walls saying things like "She can't hear us when we sleep " as his temperature drops dangerously below normal. He even has detrimental effects on the fauna in the area. Hmmm. It indeed seems like Samara isn't quite done putting the pretty blonde and her son who looks nothing like her through the ringer. Rachel must now try to save Aidan's life for the second time--and finally send that demented well dweller back where she belongs.
When Naomi Watts made The Ring--and agreed to do a sequel--she had no idea how the sleeper hit would turn her into a major star. But it did. Now with an Oscar nomination under her belt for her searing turn in 21 Grams Watts is reprising her Ring role. While she looks a little uncomfortable doing it Watts' tortured performance undoubtedly makes the film. Her talent is palpable as Rachel a mom who knows she isn't perfect but is trying desperately to make good for her past mistakes. As for the sullen Dorfman if you thought he was the least bit annoying in the first Ring with his hollowed look and doom and gloom proclamations he is doubly so in The Ring Two. Poor kid. It's not really his fault he's being set up to be the terribly irritating "old soul" who knows far more than he should (and looks a heck of a lot older than he should even though Aidan's aged only six months since the original). Then there's the doomed supporting cast. They include Simon Baker as Rachel's new journalist friend; Elizabeth Perkins as a concerned psychiatrist who believes Rachel may be abusing Aidan; and Sissy Spacek making a return to horror as a mysterious woman who holds a key to Samara's past. Cue the ominous music.
Right from the start The Ring Two is at a disadvantage. We already know the hook. We already know what the menacing videotape can do and the urgency in finding out its origin all of which made the first Ring so oppressive and terrifying. So where do you go from there? Hiring director Hideo Nakata who helmed the successful Japanese versions of The Ring films is a promising start. The Ring's director Gore Verbinski was too busy filming other movies including The Weather Man and prepping the sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean but that's OK. Nakata certainly knows the material and has a handle on using effects to build tension including a rather disturbing scene in which Rachel and Aidan are attacked by antlered bucks (similar in feel to the horse scene in the original). But ultimately The Ring Two can't keep up the momentum. Having Rachel once again race around this time to stop Samara from possessing her son just doesn't instill the same fear. And just once it would have been cool to see how Samara actually dispatches her victims by turning them into life-sized versions of the famous Munch painting "The Scream." Oh well.
Mike Myers and DreamWorks have inked a unique feature film production deal dubbed "film sampling." Film sampling is much like music sampling, in which an artist reworks an existing song with new lyrics. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the idea is for DreamWorks to acquire the rights to existing motion picture hits and classics, write new story lines and--with the use of digital technology--insert Myers and other actors into the film to create an entirely new piece of entertainment. "Film sampling is an exciting way to put an original spin on existing films and allow audiences to see old movies in a new light," Myers said. "Rap artists have been doing this for years with music, and now we are able to take that same concept and apply it to film. Think of me as the Puff Daddy of film or 'M. Diddy' or 'M & M' or just 'M,' or maybe when you sample movies you don't need a special name." Myers collaborated with DreamWorks on the Oscar-winning animated feature Shrek and the upcoming Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, set for release Nov. 21.
Stacy Keach, Sr., best known for developing, producing and directing the radio and television series Tales of the Texas Rangers, died Thursday of congestive heart failure, Reuters reports. He was 88. Keach had battled heart illness for 14 months and died at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California. Keach also had parts in a variety of TV shows spanning six decades, from The Lone Ranger in 1949 to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in the 1990s. He also played the inventive Professor Carlson in 1960s James Bond spoof Get Smart.
Judi Dench is in final negotiations to star opposite Vin Diesel in Universal Pictures' highly anticipated sequel Riddick, while Colm Feore has come aboard to play the lead villain. The film is a follow-up to the 2000 film Pitch Black, about an intergalactic prisoner named Riddick who has the ability to see in the dark. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the sequel finds Riddick in the middle of two opposing forces in a major crusade. Feore will play Lord Marshal, a warrior priest who is the leader of a sect that is waging the 10th and perhaps final crusade 500 years in the future. Dench will play Aereon, an ethereal being who helps Riddick unearth his origins. Production begins in Vancouver in April.
Barbershop director Tim Story will helm Society Cab for Universal Pictures, a drama based on the real-life exploits of the last black-owned, black-run taxi company in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Story told Variety the appeal of the script was its larger-than-life characters who drive the unsafe area, minding residents' children and even policing it themselves, knowing the cops will show up long after they do. The film follows a newspaper reporter who becomes a cabbie to write a feature story for the Miami Herald. Tom Hanks' Playtone Prods., the company behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding, will produce the picture.
Japanese director Hideo Nakata will make his English-language feature debut with the MGM supernatural thriller True Believers. The film is an adaptation of the Doug Richardson novel about the intersecting paths of a senator with White House aspirations, a woman who wants to have a child and a death row inmate who thinks he is a messiah whose bloodline must be carried on, Variety reports. Nakata directed the 1998 Japanese film The Ring and its sequel, which inspired the Gore Verbinski-helmed 2002 DreamWorks film of the same name and its sequel, The Ring 2.
The proposed merger between CNN and ABC News is off, AOL Time Warner executives said Thursday. A statement from AOL TW said: "After careful review, it was determined that although there are great merits and possibilities to a merger of CNN and ABC News, for us, the potential problems associated with the completion of such a transaction and the integration of these two distinct and great cultures was more than we wanted to pursue at this time." The statement seemed to leave open the possibility of future talks, but insiders were not optimistic, saying the issue is dead, with little or no chance of revival. "There will be no merger between ABC News and CNN in our lifetimes," one executive told The Hollywood Reporter.
Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly, who was arrested on child pornography charges last year, seems to be on a roll, despite being arrested on additional child pornography charges last month. Kelly has written a No. 1 song for the teen boy band B2K and scored his own hit with the sexually charged "Ignition." In fact, the video for his song is one of the most requested on BET and has been on MTV, he's up for a Grammy, and his record label, Jive, is releasing the CD Chocolate Factory on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. "He's probably more popular now than during 'I Believe I Can Fly' (in 1996)," Kedar Massenburg, president of Motown Records, said.
Police in Sydney, Australia, recovered reel-to-reel tapes reportedly recorded by the Beatles and believed stolen from the band's Abbey Road studios in London in 1969, the AP reports. Detectives raided a home early Friday in western Sydney and seized tape recordings of the Abbey Road album and The Beatles, better known as The White Album. Police said the recordings have been turned over to a musicologist to determine their authenticity. The raid stemmed from a British investigation into a suspected piracy racket that led to the recovery of 500 tapes believed to be original Beatles recordings during a raid in Holland last month.