Schwimmer to Tell the Truth

David Schwimmer It’s interesting how these things work. David Schwimmer hasn’t done much of note since Friends went off the air but he makes a little movie and the next thing you know he’s working again.

His next project won’t be behind the camera but rather in front of it in the political thriller Nothing But the Truth (crappy title). Rob Lurie, who’s Resurrecting the Champ is due for release later this month, will be directing the film about a female journalist who is imprisoned for refusing to reveal her source.

The film also includes Kate Beckinsale, Matt Dillon, Vera Farmiga, Edie Falco and Alan Alda. Quite the cast, especially in the last two, so it’ll be interesting to see how things go.

I was never a fan of Friends and therefore, never a big follower of David Schwimmer. I can’t even say I’m interested in this story because frankly, it sounds lame, but I have great respect for Edie Falco and I’m excited to see her in action again so I’ll keep my eye on this one.
Posted on August 23rd, 2007 at 12:29 pm by Marina in Movie News

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Pitt and Affleck in The Assassination of Jesse James Trailer
Brad Pitt as Jesse JamesFor month’s we’ve been hearing about Andrew Dominik’s Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. When I first posted the teaser trailer, talk around the web was that the studio was unhappy with Dominik’s cut of the film but it looks like things have been sorted out because just in time for TIFF, a trailer for the film has been released.

Until this point, I hadn’t given much thought to the plot of the story but now that I’ve seen this trailer, I’ve given it a second look. Pitt is Jesse James and Affleck is Robert Ford, a young man that joins James’ gang but becomes resentful of James and hatches a plan to kill him. Not bad but the trailer suggest that there’s more than that. Looks like Ford is suffering delusions – he doesn’t just want what James has, he wants to be James.

I still think this looks fantastic and now that I have a better sense of the story, I’m even more excited to see it.

Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford opens in limited release on September 21st. Hopefully it’ll expand enough before Christmas that we’ll have a chance to see it outside of NY and LA.

Check out the trailer after the jump!

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Posted on August 23rd, 2007 at 12:00 pm by Marina in Trailers

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Pegg in Run, Fat Boy, Run Trailer
Run, Fat Boy, Run StillJust a few days since I posted the teaser trailer for David Schwimmer’s directorial debut Fun, Fat Boy, Run, starring the hysterical Simon Pegg, we get our first look at a full trailer.

The film which also features Hank Azaria and Thandie Newton, has Pegg playing a dude who walks away from his pregnant fiancé on their wedding day only to realize, years later, that she’s his one true love.

The teaser looked hysterical but I can’t say the trailer had me laughing quite as much as I expected. Looks like Pegg plans to win back the girl but participating in a marathon (I’m not sure why that’s important) and though there are funny bits in the trailer, I didn’t laugh nearly as much as I had hoped. For the most part, I just chuckled here and there. This is going to be a rental for me.

One wicked cook thing: thats the Kaiser Chiefs in the trailer. That band freakin rocks!

Run, Fat Boy, Run opens nation wide on October 26th.

Check out the trailer, care of out friends at Trailer Spy, after the jump!

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Posted on August 23rd, 2007 at 11:40 am by Marina in Trailers

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Egoyan Finds Next Project
Atom EgoyanNearly three years since the release of his last critically acclaimed film Ararat, Canadian auteur director Atom Egoyan has found his next project.

The film is titled Adoration and is a drama about teens and technology and the way in which people can reinvent themselves through it.

The project, which starts filming in Toronto next month, will star Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Devon Bostick and Egoyan’s wife Arsinee Khanjian.

I haven’t seen Ararat but I did see the disappointing Where the Truth Lies and I’m hoping that this new project will work out well for Egoyan. He needs a winner.

It’s also worth noting that Egoyan also provided a short for the Canne’s film Chacun son Cinéma which is now available Zone 2 DVD.
Posted on August 23rd, 2007 at 11:18 am by Marina in Movie News

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Vancouver Film Festival Update
VIFF IconWith TIFF finalizing schedules, the Vancouver International Film Festival is starting to prepare for their 26th year with the first round of press releases.

First part of the news is the confirmation of the festival dates. This year’s VIFF will take place between September 27th and October 12th on 10 screens around town.

Second part of the news is some insight into some of the films that will be coming to the festival and they include a number of Cannes prize winners: Palme dOr winner 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days by Romanian filmmaker, Cristian Mungiu, a film I’m anxiously awaiting, Best Screenplay winner The Edge of Heaven and Special Jury prize winner, Persepolis.

As for Canadian features already confirmed, the one I’m most interested in is Normal, Carl Bessais psychological drama exploring the fallout of a deadly car accident, starring Carrie-Anne Moss.

Things are looking pretty good so far. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with future updates as they become available.

In the meantime, here are some important dates to keep in mind:

– September 1 – Advance Program Guide available at various new paper drops throughout town
– September 6 – Starbucks Hotline opens for information – 604-683-FILM (3456) from 9AM to 9PM
– September 8 – VISA Charge by Phone line opens (for passes) – 604-685-8297 from 12PM to 7PM
– September 15 – Souvenir Program Guides available at Chapters (no information yet on cost of this year’s program)

Posted on August 22nd, 2007 at 4:42 pm by Marina in Movie News, Film Festival, MAD About Town

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Mangold to Make Murderball Feature
Mark ZupanEarlier this year I saw Murderball, an excellent documentary about a team of paraplegic rugby players. It was a fantastic and entertaining documentary that I’d highly recommend people check out.

Now I read over at MTV that James Mangold of Walk the Line and the upcoming 3:10 to Yuma remake is set to direct a feature adaptation of the documentary.

I’m actually not completely adverse to the idea of a feature film based on such excellent material but I am concerned about casting. Mangold talks about how “[Mark] Zupan is a great focal point in the film” and I completely agree and I have doubts they can find anyone to capture his energy, passion and charisma with the same fervor. This is one of those occasions when I hope they bring Zupan, a non-actor, back to play himself. True, that comes with it’s own problems but I just don’t think anyone can embody this guy.

They’re working on a script now so I’d expect we’ll be hearing a little more about this project in the coming months.

Posted on August 22nd, 2007 at 4:23 pm by Marina in Movie News

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Speedman and Bentley in Weirdsville Trailer
Weirdsville Movie StillCanadian director Allan Moyle has a different take on things. Though Empire Records has become a cult classic of sorts, it’s his odd Canadian film, New Waterford Girl, about a girl struggling to break out of small town living, that comes to mind when I see his name.

I didn’t realize he was working on a new film until Sean over at Film Junk posted the trailer to his new film Weirdsville and yes, it’s just damned weird.

Wes Bentley and Scott Speedman play a couple of stoners who dump the body of a dead girlfriend in the basement of a drive-in theater not realizing that a satanic cult performs ritual sacrifices there. It looks like there’s more to the story than that but I can’t say anything can be figured out from the trailer other than to say that this looks messed up and totally my kind of thing.

Weirdsville is either going to be so crazy I’ll love it or so messed up I’ll hate every second. At this point, I’m thinking I’m going to like this movie.

Weirdsville will open in limited released on October 5th. Be sure to check out the movie’s website which has some cool videos and pictures.

Check out the trailer after the jump!

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Posted on August 22nd, 2007 at 10:16 am by Marina in Trailers

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Review: Talk To Me

Starring: Don Cheadle, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Taraji P. Henson, Mike Epps, Vondie Curtis Hall, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Sheen
Written by: Michael Genet, Rick Famuyiwa
Directed by: Kasi Lemmons

Im thinking that seeing a biopic about an individual I dont know anything about might make a film more enjoyable. Either that or Don Cheadle is a genious. At the moment, Im leaning towards part two of that statement.

Talk To Me tells the story of Ralph Petey Greene, a Washington D.C. Radio personality that revolutionized the airwaves. An ex-con with attitude and the ability to capture attention, Petey took the airwaves by storm and manged to become the voice of the people, not a small feat for a man with a street education. The film focuses primarily on Peteys rise to stardom but this is as much a story about “the man” as it is a story about relationships and particularly Peteys friendship with collaborator and sometime manager Dewey Hughes.

Peteys rise to fame is reminiscent of many others, a colourful rags to riches story. Though most biopics focus as much on the fall as on the rise to success, this film focuses primarily on Peteys rise to fame rather than his fall which, though we do not see and I am not familiar with, Im willing to assume is much less colourful. By the time Petey and Hughes separated, Petey had slowed down a fair bit – he was older and wiser yet as keenly aware of what he wanted as the day he started his journey to the top, an excellent choice on the part of writers Michael Genet and Rick Famuyiwa.

Any good story is nothing more than words on a page without great interpretation and Don Cheadle is at the top of his game here. His portrayal of Petey Greene is easily the best performance of his career and one of the best of the year. This is Cheadles moment and he shines in the spotlight. Every time hes on camera hes sizzling and when he disappears for a while towards the end of the film, his absence is clearly marked. Chiwetel Ejiofor is, as usual, also quite good but this is the Don Cheadle show and we are hard pressed to forget it.

The film isnt without a few problems. The story starts to lag slightly in the third act mostly due to Peteys absence. Hes the major draw of the film and when he falls out of the story, its clear that something is missing. Its as if all of the energy disappears with Cheadle, slowing the movie down to the point where it starts to drag. Director Kasi Lemmons doesnt let that go on for very long, quickly re-introducing Petey and wrapping up the latter part of his career and life but even when Cheadle does make his return, hes withdrawn and mellow, most of the energy having been drawn out of him and I must admit that by that point, Id lost interest in the film and just wanted it to be over with.

Talk To Me is not an unusual story, following the formula of rise, rule and fall from grace that weve come to expect from biopics (no one would bother to make a film of an uneventful and drama-less life) but what really sells this film is Don Cheadles brilliant performance. Its worth seeing for the excellent story but unmissable for the performance.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Official Website
IMDb

Posted on August 22nd, 2007 at 12:19 am by Marina in Drama, Reviews, Biography

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Review: Becoming Jane

Starring: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters
Written by: Kevin Hood, Sarah Williams
Directed by: Julian Jarrold

One would think that the events that inspired countless romances which are considered among the best in the English language, would be grand, sweeping and timeless. Unfortunately, Becoming Jane is neither of these things.

Admittedly only loosely based on the love affair that sustained Jane Austens passion for romance for decades to come, the events that make up Becoming Jane are grandiose but not unbelievable. Shes a woman who needs to marry a man of some means after all, this is a time when dowrys and status where of utmost importance, yet Jane falls in love with a man of modest means. Tom Lefroy, the object of Janes passion, is by no means a slouch: an aspiring lawyer with a bright future. Unfortunately, his future is dependent on his wealthy uncle and, as is to be expected, when uncle finds out that Jane is a common, middle class girl with no money or status to speak of, he sets an ultimatum that will change the lovers lives and not surprisingly, things dont end well for Jane and Tom. The story itself is quite good but at points, its clear that the writers dont fully understand the characters motivation and that comes across clearly in the performances.

Though both Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy shine in their roles, they dont work well as a couple. Though there is clearly passion within the characters as individuals, that passion fails to emerge in the scenes the two share and their encounters are all bland; no sparks and no indication that these two individuals are incomplete without each other. Writers Kevin Hood and Sarah Williams spend so much time building the story that they fail to create multi-dimensional characters and the performances of the leads suffers because of it. Its almost as though the actors dont understand their motivation and character, like they dont know who these people are and though its partially their fault, its also a weakness of the script.

The failings of the film are not limited to the character development but also partially to the heavy hand of director Julian Jarrold. Many of the scenes feel forced and in places, there are clearly entire chunks of story that have been edited out. Throughout Austens stories, the romance between the protagonists are natural and clearly apparent to the audience even if the characters themselves dont recognize it. In Becoming Jane no one sees the romance emerging and when Jane and Tom do realize their bond, it comes across as superficial and unbelievable leaving the viewer wondering: where did that come from?

Becoming Jane is a disappointment. Admittedly I didnt do myself any favours by watching the excellent Pride and Prejudice the day before but I would have been happy with a film that was a fraction of Joe Wrights but Becoming Jane isnt even that. Even the music feels heavy, out of place and certainly not reminiscent of any romance.Its sad to see Anne Hathaways performance wasted on such a poor film and though I wish I could recommend this just for the performances, they simply arent enough to keep this film afloat. I only hope Hathaway gets another chance to shine as she does here.

Rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Official Website
IMDb

Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 11:21 pm by Marina in Drama, Romance, Reviews

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Pegg Back On Big Screen in October
Run, Fat Boy, Run StillYesterday hubby asked me what was coming out over the next few weeks and we sat down to watch a boatload of trailers. One that happened to come to mind, even though I had no idea when this was coming out, was David Schwimmer’s film directorial debut, Run, Fat Boy, Run starring the always hilarious Simon Pegg, of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz fame, Hank Azaria and Thandie Newton in the story of a chunky, clueless guy who leaves his pregnant fiancée on their wedding day only to discover 5 years later that she is his one true love.

The teaser looked bloody hysterical and now we have word from Movies Online that the film will be opening in October!

No word on when exactly it will open but it’s good to know this is only a few weeks away.

Until a full trailer, keep yourself entertained with the laugh-out-loud teaser after the jump!

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Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 4:44 pm by Marina in Movie News, Trailers

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Rendezvous with Rama Still On
Morgan FreemanSomeone pinch me please!

MTV recently chatted with Morgan Freeman to discuss the long gestating adaptation of one of my favourite sci-fi books of all time, Arthur C. Clark’s Rendezvous with Rama.

Freeman has been the force behind the adaptation for years but the film, about a mysterious ship that appears in our Solar System and a group of astronauts who are sent to check it out, has been difficult to get off the ground. And not surprising either. Much like 2001:A Space Odyssey, the story doesn’t have a whole lot of action and explosions and the adaptation has been a little more difficult.

However, Freeman insists that they’re still working on it and that they even have a director on board. None other than David Fincher of Fight Club and Zodiac fame.

Oh my. I hope this does finally get off the ground and that Fincher sticks around long enough to make this film because it would be fantastic.

Oh my, oh my! This is good news indeed!

Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 3:00 pm by Marina in Movie News

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The Rocket Gets Second Chance
The Rocket Movie StillSome good news for a little Canadian film that made a big splash last year.

The Rocket, an autobiography of hockey legend Maurice Richard and starring Roy Dupuis has been picked up by Palm Pictures for distribution in the US.

The film was a box office success in Canada and took home a nine Genie awards (Canada’s Oscars) last year and for good reason too. The production is well written, produced and acted not to mention, an enjoyable watch. It’s already available on DVD through various retailers, including Amazon.ca, but it’s nice to see the film get a wider distribution.

I highly doubt it but I’m hoping it will even play across Canada again. I’m sure most of its $2 million in office receipts came from Quebec considering the film barely played anywhere else. It would be really nice to see it on the big screen.

I’ll be sure to provide an update once more release details are available. For now, check out the trailer for the excellent The Rocket after the jump!

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Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 2:22 pm by Marina in Movie News, Canadiana

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Nicholson and Freeman in Comedy
The Bucket List Movie StillAm I the only one that didnt know this movie was being made?

Rob Reiner is directing a comedy starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson called The Bucket List.

The film tells the story of two guys, one a billionaire and the other a mechanic, who meet at the cancer ward where they are undergoing treatment. The two escape together and head off on a road trip and a list of stuff to do before they die.

Sounds like it could be fun and with Freeman and Nicholson on board, it’s bound to be pretty decent. Neither of these great actors has been really good in a few years but I’m hopeful that they’ll manage fairly decent performances and great laughs from the film.

The Bucket List is scheduled for release on January 18th.

Thanks to the good folks over at Movies Online for the first official still.

Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 1:29 pm by Marina in Movie News

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Get An Office Space Kit
Office Space KitFreakin’ hell man. This is so damned cool!

So the other day we told you about the forthcoming Office Space toys and now Christine over at Movie Snobs has posted what is easily one of the coolest pointless gifts ever that go along beautifully with the Milton toy.

The “Office Space Kit” comes complete with:

– Milton’s Red Stapler
– Lumbergh’s Initech Mug
– Is this Good for the Company? Sign
– Starter Flair
– PC Load Letter Copy Machine Sticker
– Your Very Own Jump To Conclusions Mat
– A Humorous 32-Page Book (Complete with TPS Report Covers)

This is so friggin’ cool! Maybe even cooler than the collector’s edition red Swingline stapler. Yes, collector’s edition.

You too can buy your very own “Office Space Kit” over at Amazon for all of $10 plus shipping. Pretty good deal if you ask me!

Posted on August 21st, 2007 at 1:16 pm by Marina in Movie News

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I’m Not There Dylan Biopic Teaser
Christian Bale as Bob DylanI’ve never been a big fan of Bob Dylan. I like a few of his songs and I will admit to loving more than a handful of lyrics but I’m never been particularly impressed by his singing abilities.

That said, I was pretty excited when I hear that someone, namely Todd Haynes, was working on the innovative project which tells the story of Dylan with a number of various Dylan’s called Im Not There. I love directors that take chances and this is as chancy and innovative as you can get. Haynes managed to rope in Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw to play Dylan along with a stellar supporting cast which includes Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Bruce Greenwood.

I was keen on seeing this just for the idea but then I saw the first clip of Blanchett as Dylan and I was hooked.

This looks excellent and I can’t wait to see it but it looks like it may be some time coming. The film opens in limited release on November 21st but I read this morning, and you’ll have to forgive me but I can’t find the link at the moment, that the Weinstein’s were planning to open this in extremely limited markets (like NY and Toronto). I’ll be sure to update this if I can track down the story.

Until then, be sure to check out the teaser trailer, thanks to the Jonathan at Cinema Fusion, after the jump!

UPDATE:CHUD has more information on the release.

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