Director Ang Lee has yet again tackled a seminal part of the American Dream in Taking Woodstock. Perhaps it is his immigrant perspective (he arrived to America when he was 25) that allows him to encapsulate American values in such films as Brokeback Mountain and The Ice Storm. Whatever the cause, his movies are worth watching. Enjoy the trailer, and Demetri Martin’s funny intro.
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Me and Orson Welles
Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Zac Efron, Claire Danes
Opening: 25 November
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat—Zac Efron is not, I repeat not playing Orson Welles in the upcoming film by Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, School of Rock). Let’s pause for a moment so that we may collectively let out an enormous sigh of relief before continuing on to the task at hand.
Ready? The good news is apart from that, Me and Orson Welles looks to be an engaging and entertaining view of Welles’ Mercury Theater and its 1937 staging of Julius Caesar. Despite having recieved excellent reviews since its first screening at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, the film has had trouble finding a distributor here in the United States. The fault for this, however, would seem to lie more in the limited appeal of its subject matter (with nary a crime-fighting guinea pig or wisecracking robot to be found!) rather than in its level of quality. We’ll find out for ourselves on November 25th when it is scheduled for release.
It has been quite a while since we’ve seen a really good werewolf movie, hasn’t it? Well, fellow movielovers, butter your popcorn and buckle your seatbelts because if the highly-anticipated trailer to The Wolfman is any indication, we’re in for… you know what, I’m not going to lie to you. Grab a seat. Looks like we’re going to be waiting a bit longer.
Benicio Del Toro (Che, Traffic) reapplies the makeup from his early role as “Dog-Faced Boy” in 1988’s Big Top Pee Wee to star as the lycanthropically challenged title character while Anthony Hopkins is stuck providing fatherly support (or more accurately, lack thereof, judging by the archetypically overinformative Hollywood trailer).
A disparate melange of accents unheard since Oliver Stone’s Alexander populate the film’s overly familiar Van Helsing-esque landscape. Hopkins again inexplicably chooses not to alter his Welsh accent, Geraldine Chaplin utilizes the generic creepy Eastern European affectation which only exists in movies, while one can only assume that Del Toro was born and raised in Mumblevania.
In its defense, the film’s special effects appear to be a respectable step above its increasingly effect-laden, quantity-over-quality competition. Also, the potential camp factor on this one is enormous. (Hopkins as Del Toro’s father? Seriously?) At best, this one looks like passable popcorn-chewing summer entertainment. Problem is, this comes out in November. *sigh*
Lubezki is one of the finest working cameramen in the business. He has worked with the reclusive Malick previously on The New World, one of the most beautiful films to just look at in recent memory, and is also responsible for the auteur’s upcoming The Tree of Life, which is rumored to be coming out this year (but we’ll just have to wait and see…).
Hitting the stores in October is this nice-looking behind the scenes film takes a look at Johnson’s 2008 world tour with an accompanying CD of live music. All of the proceeds from the tour and this film project are being donated to Kokua Hawaii Foundation and the Johnson Ohana Family trust, which continues to distribute endowment’s to Jack’s favorite environmental charities…