Project Nim and more...
Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Day, Jamie Foxx, Julie Bowen
Director Seth Gordon has only made two films in his short career in features. One was the fantastic documentary The King of Kong. The other was the godawful seasonal comedy Four Christmases. After a brief stint as part of the omnibus effort Freakanomics, he’s back tackling onscreen humor, and he’s bringing still trying no-talent Jennifer Aniston along to muck things up. The premise has three friends plotting to murder their awful bosses as a means toward a better life. Sounds like 9 to 5 crossed with any recent serial killer effort.
It certainly ‘feels’ like a contemporary update of Same Time, Next Year. You remember that play (and eventual film adaptation), right? A couple, committed to each other but unable to be together, agree to get together every year over the same weekend to catch up and rekindle. Well, instead of Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda, we get Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. Recently, the studio announced the release date would be moved to mid-August, which for many spells a lack of faith in the final product. Still, the source material it’s based on (a book by David Nicholls) is considered a must-read, so there’s still hope.
How does one follow up the incredible true story of Philippe Petit, the amazing high wire artist who crossed between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974? How about another amazing bit of history, in this case, the tale of a group of scientists who adopt a monkey to see if they can teach it sign language, and as a result, reinterpret the relationship between man and his closest evolutionary ally. What happens next becomes the stuff of pseudo science and sociological legend. James Marsh, like Ondi Timoner, is a genius at this kind of material. One imagines he will maintain such a streak.