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6/30/2006

Wolverine from X-Men to star in his own movie

Written by David Benioff, this spinoff from the "X-Men" films is based on the Marvel Comics character made popular by Hugh Jackman. His character has an as-yet-unrevealed back story in which researchers replaced his original bones with a metal skeleton.

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Superman Returns marketing tries to "stem the gay buzz" surrounding the movie

Superman Returns too gay to break box office records?

From IMDB:

Rival studios were claiming Thursday that Warner Bros. overestimated the opening-day gross of Superman Returns by more than $2 million, according to L.A. Weekly columnist Nikki Finke. Finke also reported that Warner Bros. is rushing to "retool" its marketing campaign in an effort to "stem the gay buzz surrounding" the movie. "In any case, Superman Returns is expected to exceed $100 million by the end of the July 4th holiday.

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From National Ledger:

Superman Returns opened on Wednesday night with a $19 million take at the North American box office according to industry insider Nikki Finke. When you add in the early Tuesday night screenings you get a bit over $21 million.

That seems low for Superman Returns, and Finke concludes that number is "only OK — not great, not terrible." Did 'Superman Returns' open super enough for a blockbuster?

Of course the film does have the whole long Independence Day weekend to bring that number higher.

Could it really be the buzz that 'Superman is gay' that kept the number down?

Finke claims that box office guru analysis is that "the gay whisper campaign which crescendoed into newspapers and on the Internet hurt the movie’s viability as did its star Brandon Routh’s anonymity."

The film cost over $200 million to make and coming up next week is the daunting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Finke - who gets this stuff right more often than not - believes that may be the films down fall - at least at the box office.

Link

Clint Eastwood's daughter to direct film

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter)

Alison Eastwood is poised to make her directorial debut with "Rails and Ties" for Warner Independent Pictures.

"Rails" is based on an original screenplay by Micky Levy and revolves around two families and their physical, emotional and psychological collision.

The story begins on a beautiful stretch of the California coastline, where a suicidal mother parks her car on a railroad crossing and awaits the arrival of a speeding train with her 9-year-old son in the car.

Alison Eastwood has starred in an array of films, including 1997's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," 2002's "Poolhall Junkies" and 1984's "Tightrope." She also performed songs in "Garden" and "Space Cowboys."

TRAILER: The US vs John Lennon



Check out the trailer here.

Check out the movie website here.

REVIEW: The Proposition


By Wayne Francis
Jacksonville, Florida

MY RATING


RATED

R for strong grisly violence and naughty language

CAST
Guy Pierce, Ray Winstone, Richard Wilson, Danny Huston,
Emily Watson, John Hurt, David Wenham, Tom Budge

DIRECTOR
John Hillcoat


SCREENWRITER

Nick Cave


R
UNNING TIME
One hour, 44 minutes


RELEASE COMPANY
First Look

OFFICIAL SITE
www.thepropositionfilm.com

TRAILER
The Proposition Trailer

SYNOPSIS
The Proposition will gallop in under the radar of American audiences, and this is a shame. It’s a tremendous film—one of the year’s best—and surely would have been appreciated more had it been situated among a different batch of currently released movies. Written by Aussie musician Nick Cave (who also does an amazing job of scoring the film), and directed by John Hillcoat, this film adds a grim, nihilistic dimension to the classic Western genre.

REVIEW

19th century Australia closely resembles the American West; there are white settlers, natives (exchange Aborigines for Indians) small towns, and gun-totin outlaws. We’re first introduced to outlaws “The Burns Brothers” during a whorehouse shootout where Charlie Burns (Guy Pierce, Memento, The Time Machine), and Mike Burns (Richard Wilson) are captured by Police Captain Stanley (Ray Winston, Cold Mountain, King Arthur).

Captain Stanley, though, wants their older, more infamous brother Arthur Burns (Danny Huston, The Constant Gardener) for his part in the “The Hopkins Outrage,” a massacre of settlers in which the three brothers raped and killed a pregnant woman. Arthur lives in the hills, well-defended and supported by his small clan, so Captain Stanley coerces Charlie to find Arthur, betray and kill him, and deliver his corpse to the Captain before young Mikey is hanged on Christmas Day. Charlie agrees, and during his absence, townspeople publicly flog the hell out of the young brother, nearly killing him and causing further complications in the aforementioned proposition.

Outside some atmospheric similarities, the film shares as much in common with bleak, nihilistic dramas as it does classic Western frontier tales; think Unforgiven meets Seven. When a bounty hunter with a knack for the poetic recites Darwin’s thesis as if it were comical rubbish, it’s hard not to see him in ironic terms, considering how closely aligned these characters are with an uncivilized animal kingdom where “law” is replaced with a form of mob justice that functions only to satiate the thirst for revenge.

When an aborigine kills a white settler in response to a previous aborigine murder, a settler remarks that the natives kill one settler for every one murder of the native people. Instead of ordering a halt to violence against the natives which would prevent white settlers from violence, a lawman suggests that the solution is to find and kill more aborigines.

Hillcoat doesn’t dwell on the gore; it’s just a medium required to tell such a story. A genuine demonstration of the darker side of Western frontier expansion naturally includes graphic violence of the sort. The film borrows from Western pioneer tales and from revenge stories—I’m reminded of Kill Bill and Munich—though it refuses to cradle our desire to see characters in easily detectable hero and villain classification.

REVIEW: loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies

Say it loud: This is one of the year's best documentary films.

By Wayne Francis
Jacksonville, Florida

MY RATING



DIRECTOR
Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin

RELEASE COMPANY
Stickfigure Productions

OFFICIAL SITE
www.loudquietloud.com

TRAILER
loudQUIETloud Trailer

REVIEW

I had the great fortune of watching loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies in a small theatre during the Jacksonville Film Festival, and it was easily the best film of the festival, and unquestionably the best documentary so far this year. Like many small coffee-house type venues that show film festival movies, the theatre where I saw the film had outdated sound technology and uncomfortable seating arrangements, but in this case, that didn’t matter.

This documentary was both visually stunning and musically entertaining; and I’ve never bought a Pixies album or attended their concerts, but I enjoyed every minute of these filmed shows, and it was a delight to see that the concerts were shot and edited with great precision and awareness to the excitement that accompanies live performances.

The Pixies parted ways in 1993, and this film chronicles their reunion tour of 2005, the good, bad, and ugly of it all. As for the good, the band performs flawlessly and still inspires large audiences to cheer like mad. As for the bad, the band uncomfortably sits backstage without ever speaking, and during individual interviews, they show little interest in each other. And as for the ugly, a few members have gained some pounds, and lost some hair, (there's some scenes of members shaving their heads bald before performances to minimize the appearance of receding hairlines) but nobody seems to care; the Pixies sell great music, not image.

The music, to be sure, distinguishes them from other artists; when they first began playing as a group, many people called attention to the fact that a band with such revolutionary, aggressive music had remarkably ordinary taste for fashion and style. Imagine that.

As concert docs go, this film rates among the best. It’s no surprise to learn, after watching the Pixies perform live and seeing the audience respond with such intensity, that Kurt Cobain and other alternative rock bands that followed him indirectly attribute much of their success, and the success of alternative rock music in general, to the Pixies.

And while this film could stand alone as a great concert doc, it also captures some striking footage of the band between performances. When they sit beside each other before a show, there are long, awkward silences. Lead singer Frank Black is conscious of this, and says that the band doesn’t hate each other, it’s just that they don’t like talking to each other.

This is as far as the film prods into what is surely a deep, complicated past that, as I can best decipher, contains an abyss of secrets closely guarded by band members. What’s no secret here, though, is that the band still draws massive crowds to their venues, and do not disappoint in their live performances.

TRAILER: The Transformers

Dreamworks' highly anticipated "Transformer's" Movie released its first trailer today Check it out here.

6/29/2006

TRAILER: "The Last Kiss"

Zack Braff's (Scrubs, Garden State) latest movie"The Last Kiss" is set for Septebmer 2006 release.




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