Tuesday, June 16, 2009

film news: june 2009

• Cinematical has this to say about the upcoming Cold Souls, which has perhaps one of the creepier posters I've seen in a while: "Paul Giamatti [stars] as an actor (appropriately named Paul Giamatti) who decides he wants to put some of his soul in storage in order to help better tackle a new role. [...] Cold Souls is a beautifully shot film, and it also becomes more than a little bit moving, as Giamatti struggles with a question we've all asked ourselves: Is it possible to remove the burden of our soul without taking away the benefit of it? Is it the very weight we struggle under that makes us strong? Deep questions, but Cold Souls is also funny; there are fast, laugh-out-loud gags like Giamatti's compensation anxiety over the small size of his extracted soul ("It looks like a chickpea!") or the Russian trophy wife obsessed with getting an American actor's extracted soul so she can implant it and do better Soap Opera work."

• Tim Burton's artwork will be featured at MoMA. The show will include more than 700 pieces: paintings, drawings, storyboards, maquettes, puppets and other work created or designed by Burton.

• I Watch Stuff has the poster for Ice Age 3 and makes a notable observation: the squirrel character's face is very phallic (twig and berries and all) as he ogles the eyelash-batting female squirrel. Now if only this poster were in 3D...

• Via The Movie Blog, Natalie Portman has joined Darren Aronofsky's film Black Swan, about "a veteran ballerina (Portman) who finds herself locked in a competitive situation with a rival dancer, with the stakes and twists increasing as the dancers approach a big performance. But it’s unclear whether the rival is a supernatural apparition or if the protagonist is simply having delusions."

• Cinematical's James Rocchi has a positive Sundance review of Moon, the "smart science fiction" thriller starring Sam Rockwell.

• While we're on the topic of science fiction, here's an awesome timeline by Dan Meth detailing when the movies were made (to the left of the vertical line) and how far into the future they take place (to the right of the vertical line). Click to enlarge.

• Surprise, surprise. The Hangover is getting a sequel. Why should Hollywood have any original ideas when they can capitalize off a previous success? It seems like any box office success will automatically get a sequel.

• Speaking of remakes, Film School Rejects lists 20 films from the 80s that aren't being remade. Hallelujah.

• Here's a current debate regarding female protagonists in films: Cinematical responds to Linda Holmes' request for better female leads. Holmes begs Pixar to have a female lead that isn't a princess, and Monika Bartyzel at Cinematical begs people to realize that this isn't a political issue. Holmes makes the case that "little Russell, in Up, is Asian-American, right? And that's not a big plot point; presumably, he just is because there's no particular reason he shouldn't be. You don't need him to be, but you don't need him not to be, either. It's not politics; it's just seeing the whole big world." Bartyzel agrees: "Look, women aren't flukes. We love, we hate, we learn, we fight. We go to movies. We want diversity in our interests just like everyone else. We want to see films with females in the lead roles where the characterization isn't seeped in cliche. [...] And we'd like to express our desires without having it fall into a political discussion, without our reasonable desire thrown off as a feminist rant or bit of political correctness."

• Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving are all confirmed for Guillermo del Toro's The Hobbit.

Filmoculous sent me to Hunch.com with the question, "Which sci-fi movie should I watch?" The method of finding a suggestion is quite entertaining.

• And lastly, URLesque has a list of the 10 best recut movie trailers, including When Harry Met Sally and Amelie as horror films, the latter of which is really fantastic ("You can run. She doesn't have to."). Of course, they've included my favorite recut trailer: Sleepless in Seattle as a thriller about an obsessive stalker -- which actually isn't too far from the truth.

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