More Festival News
The Men Who Stare at Goats:
(Reuters- Ewan McGregor, Grant Heslov and George Clooney
at the Venice Premiere of “The Men Who Stare at Goats”. )
The Grant Heslov anit-war comedy starring Clooney, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor got a mild pan from Deborah Young. “. . .should have been funnier than this, but even if "The Men Who Stare at Goats" is not worth comparing to "Dr. Strangelove," it should satisfy audiences with its great cast and patent absurdities, coated in quaint nostalgia for the happy hippie days of yore.” "The Men Who Stare at Goats" is based on a book by Jon Ronson about a secret unit created by the U.S. army in 1979 which, the author said, believed troops could become invisible, walk through walls and kill goats just by staring at them. The movie opens nationally on November 6th.
During a Q&A session for the film a gay reporter stripped to his underpants and asked Clooney "May I kiss you, please. Just one kiss?" Without a pause Clooney responded back “"It’s hard when you take a big chance and it doesn’t really work," he chuckled. "It’s always embarrassing when you take one real big swing for the fences and it just falls flat," said Clooney, who was decidedly not persuaded to do some switch-hitting. "It was a good try, though."
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The pre-Oscar campaigns start this week at the 34th Toronto Film Festival. More films and less glitz is the dominant theme as 304 films from 64 countries will be screened during the ten day festival. That should mean more wheeling and dealing as studios vie to uncover the next Slum Dog Millionaire. At the present, one-third of the films being represented lack major distribution deals. Toronto offers more public access to films than Cannes or Sundance, so distributors get the benefit of seeing how the movies play in front of a real paying audience.
Toronto will have 96 world premieres. Among the more anticipated ones are the Coen brothers “A Serious Man” and Drew Barrymore’s first directorial effort “Whip It”, a roller derby derby drama. Other anticipated films are Jason Reitman’s (Juno) “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney and “Get Low” starring Robert Duval and Sissy Spacek. George Clooney, Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz and Steven Soderbergh, as well as talk show queen Oprah Winfrey and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner are scheduled to appear.
The Opening Night film is “Creation," which tells the story of Charles Darwin and his struggle to bring the idea of evolution into a world rooted in religious belief. It is directed by Jon Amiel and stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly.
Check out the lineup of films at http://www.tiff.net/filmsandschedules/schedule?sdate=10/09/2009.
New Rambo an Alien versus Predator Remake?
Apparently the recently circulated plot for the Rambo V is a red herring. That plot had Rambo fighting human traffickers and drug lords to rescue a young girl. According to interviews Stallone conducted with Aint It Cool News that is no where near the officially released plot synopsis for Rambo 5: The Savage Hunt. The film is based on the novel Hunter by James Byron Huggins.
Here is the official plot summary:
“John Rambo could track anyone – or anything – on earth. Now the military desperately needs him for a mission that his ultrasensitive instincts tell him he should refuse. A beast is loose somewhere north of the Artic Circle. It has already decimated a secret research facility and annihilated a squad of elite military guards. And the raging creature is headed south toward civilization, ready to wreak bloody devastation.
It’s a job that Rambo and his 22-year-old hunting partner, Beau Brady, can’t turn down, but they and a team of highly-skilled special forces kill team discover that the prey is a terror beyond their wildest imagination – a half-human abomination created by a renegade agency through a series of outlawed genetic experiments. It has man’s cunning, a predator’s savageness, and a prehistoric power that has transcended the ages. And even if Rambo and Beau survive its unrelenting hunger for human blood, they’ll still have to contront the grim reality that it may have grown immortal.”
It sounds more like the next Alien versus Predator movie than a Rambo film. The official poster which will debut at this weeks Toronto Film Festival seems to confirm it.
Read more at http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=58909.
The Wonderful World of Disney News
The Disney Corporation is holding a fan exposition for its growing Disneymaniac base. The D23 event (a nod to the year Walt Disney founded his animation studio) will be held September 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The 10,000 or more so fans expected to attend will be treated to unprecedented access to items in the Disney Archives, as well as sneak peaks of upcoming films, TV shows and theme park rides. "When Bob (Iger) became CEO (in 2005) we almost immediately started getting feedback … that they wanted to know why there wasn’t an official fan club in our 85-year history," Steven Clark, head of D23 Expo, said in an interview. "It made sense to him and he said: ‘What can we do?’" "Every business unit at this company jumped on the bandwagon immediately. They saw the value in it," Clark said. "Our fans are our biggest evangelists," Clark said. "They have made Disney a part of their lives. They live it, they breathe it and they tell people about it." The Expo has been more than a year in the making. Read more at http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090908/en_nm/us_disney_d23_5 and http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/movies/09archive.html?partner=rss&emc=rss.
Disney is looking into exploiting its Marvel Comics acquisition by doing either an animated or live action version of the Ant-Man series. British filmmaker Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) has been developing a project about the shrinking superhero for years. Expect him to be involved if the Ant-Man film starts to spread. Read more at http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=8663.
The New Red Menace
The Redbox company has the major studios worried. Its DVD rental machines can be seen at major drugstores, grocery and supermarket chains. Each Redbox machine has an inventory of about 500 DVDs and charges a one dollar per day rental fee. Redbox was formerly owned by the McDonald’s corporation but was sold to the Coinstar group a few years ago. Redbox and its rivals makeup 19 percent of the DVD rental market, while Netflix and other rent by mail services garner 36 percent, with DVD rental chains making up the remaining 46 per cent. The studios (Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and Universal) fearing cannibalization of the shrinking DVD market and an eventual price devaluation are refusing to sell DVDs to Redbox until 28 days after their DVD debut. Redbox is slapping the studios with an antitrust suit for their behavior against them. Sony and Paramount Pictures have signed deals with the company. Walt Disney does allow third party distributors to sell to them while avoiding a more direct relationship. Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/business/media/07redbox.html?partner=rss&emc=rss.