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The Movie Overdose #34 – Adventureland and 500 Days of Summer

The return of the Cooper! Jon Cooper comes back to the podcast to have a chat about Adventureland. Tom and Sam have a think about (500) Days of Summer and the gents all think about the YouTube rental model. They go on to reminisce about Hackers, praise Fish Tank to the hills and have a good ol’ natter about Supernatural. The conclusion sees Tom depart and Producer John step in to talk about music in movies.

Download The Movie Overdose Episode 34

Show notes coming in later post.

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Round-Up: Baron Cohen For Eurovision

Sacha Baron Cohen

Sasha Baron Cohen’s next project will, according to The Sun, be another mockumentary about character trying to enter the Eurovision song contest. I would love to see him walk away from that style as Borat and Bruno were too hit-and-miss for my tastes. Isn’t this well dry?

Terminator Salvation/Avatar duffer Sam Worthington is in talks to star in The Tourist, alongside Charlize Theron.

Hugh Jackman is going to star in The Greatest Showman on Earth, a biopic of PT Barnum.

Carla Gugino is to reteam with Watchmen director Zack Snyder on his Sucker Punch.

News Morsels

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Jake Kasdan has signed on to direct 2008 Blacklist screenplay Bad Teacher, about a cuss-heavy teacher and her rivalry with her sugar-sweet colleague. /Film is suggesting Rashida Jones may be up for the lead, but I’ve got to disagree with any suggestion Scarlett Johannson could to this kind of comedy as her rival.

Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller may be joining the cast of Bioshock.

Tom Cruise has signed on alongside Cameron Diaz for Wichita, an action comedy being directed by James Mangold.

Jonah Hill says the remake of 21 Jump Street will be ‘Bad Boys meets John Hughes’.

Fox may be planning to reboot Alien.

Seann William Scott and Adam Brody have joined the cast of Kevin Smith’s A Couple of Dicks.

Here’s a guide to when to go to the toilet during a movie.

Clifton Collins Jr, from Star Trek and previously great in Capote, is in talks to join the cast of Thor.

Some viral marketing here for Funny People.

Cinematical has an interview with Sam Raimi ahead of the full release for Drag Me to Hell.

The first collaborative horror novel from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is on the way.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says Paramount will benefit from its franchise properties and greater control of its release slate.

The board of Time Warner has formally announced plans to spin-off its AOL business.

Please check out the trailer below, for the truly insane looking Werner Herzog reimagining of Bad Lieutenant.

Round Up: Details on The Details

Diane Kruger

James McAvoy, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Friel and Laura Linney have all signed on to join The Details, the new film from Mean Creek helmer Jacob Estes.

Kiefer Sutherland has got himself in more trouble with the law again and, after surrendering to police, has now been charged with assault.

Marisa Tomei and Liv Tyler have signed on for 10A/10B, a remake of Korean psychological thriller 301/302.

Inglourious Basterds has been trolling out a host of character posters in the past week.

Marc Forster’s next film will be a tech thriller called Disconnect, not an adaptation of the Max Brooks book World War Z.

Brett Ratner is no longer directing the remake of Conan.

Heroes of the East- Stephen Chow

Stephen Chow has been doing his ‘nonsense’ comedy for quite some time now. Please don’t think I’m being disrespectful by calling his brand of humour ‘nonsense’, since his style is actually refered to as ‘Mo lei tau’ in China, which literally means ‘with no source’ or in other words ‘makes no sense’. Of course this has made it pretty hard for his early films to make an impact outside of Asia. With cultural gags, random obsurdities and ridiculous pratfalls that would be at home in a Benny Hill sketch, a lot of his comedy is hugely popular in HK, but not so much internationally. Things like From Beijing With Love and Sixty Million Dollar Man, while obviously spoofing American pop culture are so crazy, they defy belief and are certainly not for everyone’s taste (for instance I don’t remember Steve Austin ever transforming into a toilet!).

Stephen Chow

However with Shaolin Soccer, Chow quickly became a worldwide sensation. This film still contains plenty of nonsense, but it’s certainly more accessible than some of his previous movies (though the use of the ‘hilarious’ song ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ in the Miramax cut is a little too much!). And now that his profile is bigger than ever, he actually appears to be slowing down a little bit. For instance, in 1992 he acted in all five of the top grossing films in HK (according to trusted source Wikipedia), though Shaolin Soccer came out in 2001, Kung Fu Hustle in 2004 and CJ7 in 2008. Of course I can’t begrudge the man a break, though it is a shame that we’re not seeing enough of his comedies in this decade!

TOP 3 STEPHEN CHOW MOVIES

1- Kung Fu Hustle- This film is probably Stephen Chow’s most accessible movies in terms of limiting the ‘Mo lei tau’ and increasing the crowd pleasing action, however it is simply sublime. The cartoonish style mixed with the wuxia parody plot is wonderfully executed, mainly because it is evident that Chow is a huge fan of the genre. In some of his past films such as King of Beggars and Legend of the Dragon, he has exhibited some nice martial arts skills, but this is where his talents truly shine. What is also interesting about this movie, is the fact that Stephen Chow is absent for quite a bit of the run-time. It’s a shame, but at the same time shows a generosity towards his supporting actors (Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu in particular are awesome). Of course he might have just been lazy, but I highly doubt that. So yeah, I can’t recommend this movie enough! (Trailer)

2- God Of Cookery- I’d say this film is a pretty good introduction to ‘classic’ Stephen Chow flicks. It’s wacky, nonsensical and completely insane, though the movie is consistantly funny! Some jokes fly over my head and Karen Mok’s make-up makes me feel ill, but there is rarely a moment where it’s not doing something to make you laugh. The whole thing culminates in a parody of Iron Chef, which makes me chuckle just thinking about it. Also to note, is that it stars Ng Man Tat who is in a lot of Stephen Chow comedies. These two have such great chemistry, which makes it a big shame that they didn’t work together on Kung Fu Hustle. (Trailer)

3- Tricky Brains- I might regret later that I placed this in the Top 3 instead of Shaolin Soccer. But my reasoning is while Tricky Brains is a stupid movie, it is also one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. Now I admit that I have a fairly weird sense of humour which might not gel with others, however this film is so relentless in its goofiness that I’m sure it’d make anyone burst (or on the other hand give them a headache). The plot is all over the place and the characters are obscenely mean spirited that you kinda dislike them, but I highly recommend that you give it a go. The gags are non-stop, so there is bound to be something you like (though if you dislike  the idea of Stephen Chow playing a character called ‘The Handsome Tricky Expert’ who constantly plays practical jokes on people, then stay away as that’s pretty much the entire movie). (Clip)

Uber Round Up

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Scott Pilgrim has his very own movie website.

Michael Sheen has joined up with the cast of New Moon, the upcoming sequel to Twilight.

William Hurt is now in the cast of Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood adaptation/reimagining thing.

Un trailer for Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth.

Watchmen scribe Alex Tse is to write an adaptation of the upcoming Paul Pope graphic novel Battling Boy.

Zac Efron will play Johnny Quest. No nothing about Johnny Quest although, I imagine, fanboys will be furious!

Angelina Jolie is in talks once more for a part in Sin City 2.

Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and the lovely Anna Friel have signed up for William Monahan’s London Boulevard.

The trailer has shown up for Johnnie To’s Vengeance.

Some early, positive buzz has been flowing in for Pixar’s Up.

Adam Shankman could be making Hairspray 2 in 3D, according to reports in First Showing.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey may well re-team, despite the lukewarm weakness of Baby Mama in my books.

Could the sequel to Tron rack up $300m in budget, or is this another Avatar-Time typo?

Heroes of the East- Donnie Yen

Now I wasn’t planning to write two columns in a row about martial arts stars, but after seeing Ip Man last week, I decided I was in the mood to discuss the career of Donnie Yen. Added to the fact that Ip Man was choreographed by Sammo Hung and you have quite a nice link into this post, though this was simply a coincidence and should not be considered a stroke of genius.

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen

Now as you might gather from the photo above, Donnie Yen is a bit of a poser. Unlike Sammo, the man rarely plays things for laughs (and when he does, such as in the film Wing Chun, the results are a bit awkward). Though this is not a problem for him, as he oozes charisma and is still one of Hong Kong cinema’s biggest bad-asses (the most technical term that I could come up with!). Western audiences might recognise Yen from his roles in Blade 2 or Shanghai Knights (his fight with Jackie Chan being a huge letdown for those waiting years to see the two duel). However he has been around since the Hong Kong New Wave in the mid 80s, making his debut in the rather ridiculous Drunken Tai Chi. And he pretty much still looks and moves the same as he did decades ago, which can be evidenced in recent films like S.P.L and Ip Man! Acting wise, he’s ok, but his fighting techniques have always remained stunning. Donnie Yen is quick and well versed in a variety of styles, so it’s always a pleasure to watch him fight (even when he’s matched up against lesser performers).

TOP 3 DONNIE YEN MOVIES

1- Iron Monkey- This film was probably the first time that Donnie Yen caught my attention and it remains one of his most well known movies. The wire work goes a little overboard, but for the most part it’s spectacular to watch, including a fight sequence involving umbrellas and another where Yen battles an opponent while standing on top of wooden poles. (Trailer)

2- Once Upon a Time in China 2- I think it takes a little courage in China for leading men to play villains. I know Jackie Chan has turned down a bunch of bad guy roles to protect his hero image, so it was great to see Donnie Yen play the evil Commander Lan. The movie itself is decent enough, but it’s the final fight sequence between Yen and Jet Li, which is a stand out in the whole of kung fu cinema (Donnie Yen also uses rolled up wet cloth as a weapon during the film, which further demonstrates his immense bad-ass status). (Trailer)

3- In the Line of Duty 4- This film is definitely just about the fights (barely a story), and don’t worry if you have not seen the first three in the series…it really makes no difference. But once again the moves displayed by Yen are a sight to behold and a great deal of the thanks can be attributed to his frequent director/choreographer/collaborator Yuen Woo-Ping (a man who is unfortunately often billed as simply being behind The Matrix fight sequences, seemingly ignoring most of his other amazing credentials…but more on him later). In the Line of Duty 4 is a brutal film and will make you wince at the beatings the actors receive…I hope these guys have a good health care system! (Trailer)

Special Mention- Ip Man- I’ve mentioned this film at the start of my post and while I don’t think it’s one of Donnie Yen’s better movies, it’s still extremely entertaining and even in his mid-40s, the man moves like lightning. It also tells a surprisingly interesting story about the first master of Wing Chun who taught the style openly and eventually becomes Bruce Lee’s teacher (a subject which is going to be covered in the sequel). Of course the film does take extreme liberties with the truth. It’s set during the Japanese occupation of China, and there were moments where I thought Donnie Yen’s character was going to rewrite history and end the war himself. However it’s a fun ride filled with short bursts of intense combat…not quite an action overload (though it’s more of a loose historical biopic anyway), but still very entertaining. (Trailer)

Round Up

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Twilight racked up first-day sales of 3 million for its DVD release.

Warner Brothers is to open its archive for sale, offering custom made DVDs for $20 a pop.

A biopic of Steve McQueen is in the works. As is one on Pancho Villa. Oh, and one about Judy Garland, starring Anne Hathaway.

Kurt Russell has turned down an opportunity to star alongside former cohort Sly Stallone in The Expendables.

Amanda Seyfried has dropped out of Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. Apparently its due to a shooting conflict with HBO drama Big Love.

Who Will Be The Green Lantern?

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I don’t know too much about the Green Lantern as a character, but I know that the casting rumours at present are giving me no confidence or interest in jumping onto another comic book franchise.

The most recent name thrown out has been Chris Pine, the man about the burst onto the map by playing a young Kirk in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. This has been disputed but his name being bandied around does indicate a desire from the studio to cast someone young and spunky in the role. Elizabeth Rappe on Splash Page notes the screenplay calls for someone at 27 years old, something neither Chris Pine or Anton Yelchin can pull off. Rappe has also listed a few possible other candidates for the role, including David Boreanez.

Her others are much stronger however. Jon Hamm would be significantly older but I would argue this is an actor that changing that age, which doesn’t seem to be integral the the story, would be a worthwhile move for. Nathan Fillion would be even better, bringing a titanic-level of charm to the role, slightly similar to Downey Jr in Iron Man, and a man who has already played superhero and regular heroes in the past. Then she notes Jamie Bamber and Tahmoh Penikett, both veteran of Battlestar Galactica and both deserving of a chance to jump into the quality action movie world.

I am definitely going to need to see a decent lead actor in the role to even remotely peak some interest in the project. I will have nothing more on this with Pine or Yelchin as I honestly can’t see either of them saving anyone or being super-powered.

Round Up

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Activist investor Carl Icahn has revealed details of the offer he launched this week to purchase debt of around $325m in studio Lionsgate. He has said he will not push for a sale of the company if his offer, of between 73 and 75 cents in the dollar, is accepted.

Judi Krant’s Made in China, her debut feature, has won the narrative feature jury competition prize at the SXSW Film Festival. That Evening Sun, directed by Scott Teems, won the audience award. Here’s an interview with Krant and one with Teems.

Neil Gaiman gave a terrific interview on The Colbert Report, which you can watch here.

Ray Stephenson says the Rome movie is going ahead.

Alex  Proyas is currently in the process of guest-blogging for /Film and his most recent post concerns the plane crash scene in Knowing.

Witch Mountain Director Gets Monster Movie

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Andy Fickman, the director of the box-office topping Race to Witch Mountain, has been tapped to direct an adaptation of graphic novel Monster Attack Network. The book itself sounds like something of a rollicking adventure tale and, by the sounds of this Variety piece on the news, the film will take a similar route.

It sounds okay but, from the looks of Race To Witch Mountain, I’m not sure Fickman will be able to deliver anything that both parents and children will enjoy together. Nothing wrong with that, just it doesn’t elicit a great deal of excitement for me.

Welcome to the Movie Overdose!!!

Hello all who come across us!

The Movie Overdose is a new movie podcast from us folks over on the rainier side of the pond which will take the form of a conversation on movies between me, Sam, and my longtime buddy and movie watching chum Tom. All of our conversations will then be edited with far more skill that we can muster by John, the numero uno sound engineer in the world of podcasting.

We will provide a small degree of insight and a large degree of (hopefully) amusing ignorance to you all with the aim of getting you involved in the discussion and maybe, just maybe, sometimes opening your minds to new and wonderful filmic experiences.

You will be able to download the podcast from here, along with a host of show notes and links to give you a little extra for your time, and through iTunes.

Until it’s all rolling though, I encourage you all to check out any of the links to your right and some of the other podcasts that will likely be far more insightful and knowledgeable, if decidely less English, than us.