You probably recognize Ashley Greene as Alice, the psychic member of the sexy, undead Cullen clan in Twilight and New Moon, in theaters now. Yeah, you’ve seen the movies. Just admit it. Soon, you’ll see her in another guilty pleasure, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, due in just a few weeks. Greene sat down with PopMatters writer Ian Chant for a brief interview to talk about body paint, her upcoming film Skateland, and how to have a film career after being one of Hollywood’s most recognizable bloodsuckers for years.
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The Blur documentary No Distance Left to Run had its London premiere last night in Leicester Square. British fans can catch the film in theatres now and pick up a copy of the DVD on 15 February. Those of us on this side of the pond will either have to switch our computers to PAL format to play the import DVD or wait until some underdetermined date for the US release. Me, I’m not waiting and will opt for PAL. It’s an easy change in your computer settings.
Moon, the critically-hailed Duncan Jones-directed film that had swept several of 2009’s film festivals is released on DVD and Blu-ray this week. At the end of his three-year rotation on the surface of the Moon, astronaut scientist Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), joined only by his flight-deck computer GERTY, comes face-to-face with as an astounding personal discovery. Writer-director Duncan Jones crafts one of the most original screenplays in years with Moon, depicting a lonely man in an all-encompassing dark and claustrophobic environment, 25,000 miles from Earth, and from any human contact from any kind. Moon is, without a doubt, a must-see film.
The busy holiday season is here, which means you have shopping to do, dinners to prepare and in-laws to avoid. Somewhere in there, the studios hope, you’ll find time to see a movie.
Which to choose?
Fox is hoping it will be “Avatar” (opening Dec. 18), the sci-fi adventure from James Cameron with a reportedly humongous budget of $500 million. It’s already the most-talked-about film of the year, though whether it will connect with audiences remains to be seen. Its star, Sam Worthington, is a relative unknown, and its reliance on computer-animated actors could be a liability rather than a draw — just ask Robert Zemeckis, who replaced humans with pixels in “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “Beowulf,” both box-office disappointments.
That means there’s room for competition. Also on Dec. 18 comes “Nine,” a musical from director Rob Marshall (of the Oscar-winning “Chicago”) with an A-list cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz. On Christmas, Warner Bros. will unleash “Sherlock Holmes” with Robert Downey Jr. sexing up the fusty fictional sleuth. And Fox will go up against itself Dec. 23 by releasing “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel” five days after “Avatar.”
For more serious-minded filmgoers, the studios are also rolling out several movies based on novels, including Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalypse drama “The Road,” Walter Kirn’s semicomedic “Up in the Air” (Dec. 4) and Alice Sebold’s thriller “The Lovely Bones” (Dec. 11). Even long-dead writers Christopher Isherwood and Tennessee Williams have new movies coming out.
In case you find a few spare hours this season, here’s a list of major movies to choose from through January.
Me and Orson Welles, starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes, is releasing today, November 25th.
Efron plays a teenage actor who nabs a minor role in a Welles-directed production of Julius Caesar. The movie portrays one fateful week in the young actor’s life and his encounters with Welles and love. The period drama screened at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, but found no buyers. Luckily for Efron and co., and surely all of us, Freestyle Releasing bought the rights and the movie can be seen tomorrow in a few theaters in L.A. and New York City.
Catch the trailer below: