An adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road will be released on October 16th in theaters. The film stars Viggo Mortenson, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce as survivors amidst a wasteland caused by an unknown natural disaster, and centers on the story of a man (Mortenson) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they trek the desolate landscape. Their journey is not devoid of hazard as they must escape the clutches of cannibalistic tribesmen. Monochromatic and dirty, The Road‘s barren visuals have a distinct numbing effect. Hillcoat gives The Road an undeniably haunting and biting realism.
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From Paris With Love
Director: Pierre Morel
Cast: John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Melissa Mars
Opening: 5 February 2010
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a greenhorn at the U.S. Ambassador’s office, and John Travolta is a (possibly crooked) secret agent. The movie algebra on this one is pretty transparent: take the inverse of Training Day, subtract any modicum of authenticity, and add as many explosions as possible. The bouncing brass and rakish shuffle of the soundtrack, the Bond-aping title, and the references to The Transporter strongly suggest that this film is all shot, no powder.
Travolta plays what might be termed a “bad ass” for the umpteenth time, and watching him in the role is, as usual, perverse and uncomfortable. He gives the impression of an unsettled man, not in a villainous, sinister way, but in a slimy, insecure way. Like in the wretched remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, he will swear copiously as his wormy muscles striate all over his body, and it will all seem very forced. The typical John Travolta rogue has bought into tropes of coolness and masculinity to such a degree that he exists only as a wrongheaded approximation of a man, a socially mutated human being, seething with misplaced hatred. He is such an unconvincing brute that I suspect if he does many more of these roles, scholars in later generations are going to think he’s a great satirist.
Coco Before Chanel
Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Benoît Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola
Opening: 25 September 2009
Distributor: Warner Bros. (France) Sony Pictures Classics (U.S.)
Audrey Tautou, star of the beloved indie classic Amelie, returns to the screen as Coco Chanel in the upcoming movie Coco Before Chanel. The film centers around Chanel during her youth, before her name became the iconic fashion label for the chic modern woman. Seen as a social mischief in her era, Coco allures a few prominent suitors, who vie for her heart and become intrigued by her eccentricity. Coco Before Chanel has already hit screens in France, Australia, and the U.K., and will see a limited Stateside release on September 25th.
Where does one truly find inspiration? The directorial debut of Rob Perez, writer of 40 Days and 40 Nights, presses to answer that exact question.
Lindeman (played by Sam Rosen), a sculptor with his art school final project in front of him, finds himself simply stumped. He looks for inspiration around every corner, in every scene. This includes the goth scene, the gay scene, becoming an intellect, a lover and a vegan, but nothing seems to be the answer to his artistic existential crisis. He realizes that being a nobody defines somebody.
The movie is also accompanied by a musical score and soundtrack completed and compiled by Guster’s lead singer Ryan Miller, who also, impressively enough, co-wrote the movie with Rob Perez. The film premieres Thursday, October 1 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN.
Watch and re-watch the trailer until then.
What does a director famous for his awkward, dry comedies do when he has squeezed all of the sarcastic strangeness out of real life actors? Apparently, he turns to animation. In his new stop-motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox (based on the Roald Dahl children’s book of the same name), director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) enlists the help of some of his old favorites, including Rushmore screen mates Bill Murray and Jason Bateman, to give voice to his woodland creatures. Although the failure of Tim Burton’s new film 9 to live up to its fantastic trailer should serve as a word of caution to film-goers looking into the genre of “animated film with a wonderful trailer by a notoriously strange director”, I for one am hoping this film rings true to the high tone the hilarious trailer sets.