SUNDAY CENTS: ‘Halloween’ suffers ‘Final’ cut

Posted by · 3:06 pm · August 30th, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. When it comes to a death match, would anyone bet against death himself? Two high profile horror franchises released their latest installments on the last weekend of the summer and the winner is “The Final Destination.” $28.3 million is a new high for the series and […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

Alec Baldwin on ‘Taking Woodstock’ and the event itself

Posted by · 9:01 am · August 24th, 2009

I saw Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” some weeks back and it landed okay for me.  It’s not top tier Lee, it’s not a powerful piece of work.  It features a rather over-the-top supporting performance from Imelda Staunton that, had it been reined in a bit, could have been in the awards discussion.  But on the […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

SUNDAYE CENTZ: Glory for ‘Basterds’

Posted by · 10:29 am · August 23rd, 2009

*All historical figures cited are adjusted to today’s dollars. An advertising campaign built around aggressive violence and the reputation of a polarizing director, a late August release date and mixed early word coming out of Cannes were all factors working against “Inglourious Basterds” leading up to its release. All for naught, however, as the film […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Box Office · Sunday Cents

8/18 Web Round-up

Posted by · 7:46 am · August 18th, 2009

• “District 9” and the legacy of high-brow sci-fi. [Film School Rejects] • Roger Ebert talks “Inglourious Basterds” with Quentin Tarantino. [Chicago Sun-Times] • Patrick Goldstein weighs in on the Redbox brouhaha. [The Big Picture]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Whittling further as convention flees

Posted by · 11:56 am · August 3rd, 2009

Another month, another step closer to the awards season.  As the summer winds down and the industry slowly begins to square itself with the off-season’s bombshell Oscar news, the picture becomes a little clearer.  Kind of. Universal Pictures, in a move speculated upon endlessly by now, shuffled two of its contenders — Paul Greengrass’s “Green […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

Could Focus be priming ‘Boat’ for Oscar?

Posted by · 11:56 pm · June 26th, 2009

Variety’s Pamela McClintock and Ali Jafaar are reporting tonight that Focus Features will distribute Richard Curtis’s “The Boat That Rocked,” rather than parent Universal, and instead of the originally planned August 28 release date, the studio has pushed it to November, right in the middle of the Oscar season. The article notes the fact that […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Taking the temperature

Posted by · 2:10 pm · May 25th, 2009

It’s somewhat surprising that our year-in-advance Oscar coverage is only three months old.  That now ancient list of predictions seems so long ago, and yet, even with Cannes behind us and this or that indication of a few of the contenders, I have no idea how to offer an educated update beyond general housekeeping.  The […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

Mendes hiccup

Posted by · 12:04 pm · May 23rd, 2009

I’ve been on board for most every Sam Mendes film since the director made his heralded debut in 1999.  Even “Jarhead,” which was a big disappointment, had a lot of interesting ideas concerning the alienation of war and its effects on soldiers. I still think  last year’s “Revolutionary Road” (DVD coverage from John here) was […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Antichrist’ and action

Posted by · 3:44 am · May 23rd, 2009

• Scandalising media and polarising critics, Lars Von Trier’s “Antichrist” emerged as the undisputed talking-point of the Cannes Film Festival. • That firestorm even managed to overshadow the Cannes debut of Quentin Tarantino’s divisive “Inglourious Basterds.” • In other news from the Croisette, “A Prophet” impressed critics, while “Taking Woodstock” took a hit. • We […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

‘Taking Woodstock’ fizzles at Cannes

Posted by · 3:20 am · May 16th, 2009

Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” appears to have provided Cannes with its first high-profile disappointment. While it doesn’t appear to be a disaster by any means, the general consensus appears to be that it doesn’t meet the very high standard Lee set for himself with his last two features. Allan Hunter at Screen Daily finds much […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Cannes: sizing up the Competition, part one

Posted by · 7:45 am · May 11th, 2009

With the Cannes Film Festival only two days away, it’s time to take a long hard look (or just a look, if you prefer) at the 20 films in contention for the Palme d’Or, a typically eclectic bunch married by only one factor: all but one are from directors who have been in the race […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

One from the vault

Posted by · 12:32 am · April 9th, 2009

No, it’s not a vintage Grateful Dead gig poster, but it’s close enough. I love that this new one-sheet for Ang Lee’s upcoming “Taking Woodstock” made its first appearance on the Rolling Stone site. I love that they’ve fully embraced the fabulous-slash-hideous design possibilities of its era. And I love that a relative prestige picture […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Ang Lee’s ‘Taking Woodstock’ gets a trailer

Posted by · 12:54 am · March 26th, 2009

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

OFF THE CARPET: Handicapping 2009 a year in advance!?

Posted by · 10:51 am · February 23rd, 2009

Ahh.  The dust is settling.  And on the horizon, just visible through the mist and waiting to drive us all up the wall once again: the 2009 Oscar season. I’ve been writing this year-in-advance column for probably six years now, and I always look forward to gazing ahead.  No one dives in so pathetically deep […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Off the Carpet

Ang Lee takes on ‘Pi’

Posted by · 4:02 pm · February 18th, 2009

Few film projects in recent years have come with as formidable a chain of prospective directors attached than Fox 2000’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling 2002 Booker Prize winner “Life of Pi.” First M. Night Shyamalan was on board — which, admittedly, might have been a more appealing prospect five years ago. The next name […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily

Ang Lee takes Woodstock

Posted by · 4:20 am · August 6th, 2008

Here’s what I love about Ang Lee: there is simply no way of anticipating what his next project is going to be. So far, the decade has seen him bounce from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” to “Hulk” to “Brokeback Mountain” to “Lust, Caution” – a group arguably linked by thematic concerns of outsider identity, but […]

Continue reading »

Filed in: Daily