Matt Damon for Invictus
Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Christopher Plummer for The Insider
Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds
A few months ago, this would have been a serious race between two of the contenders. Really, up until anyone with a Twitter or blog saw The Lovely Bones, Stanley Tucci was the major frontrunner to take the prize. After seeing that performance, I would argue strongly for his inclusion, but for his role in Julie & Julia instead. Due to the poor reviews for Peter Jackson’s horrendous film, Tucci will have to give up his leading place in the category to Mr Waltz.
At the UK premiere of Invictus, Matt Damon has said that the next Bourne film is likely to be a prequel or a reboot (shudder!!). Add to that the reboot of Spiderman which is on the way and the only comment I can make is “What the heck are movie companies thinking of?”
First off, spend five minutes with me and you will realise I am not a big fan of reboots. The only film that was rebooted recently and was likeable (Batman Begins aside) was in my opinion Star Trek, which I thought was very good, but I have seen it three times now and each time I like it less, so this is subject to change. My main problem with reboots of recent years is that they seem to miss the point. The first that springs to mind is the upcoming remake/reboot of Lake Mungo, a flawed but very good Australian horror/thriller. This film was made on a shoestring budget and is shot like a documentary (the film has a very Discovery Channel feel to it), and the shocks mainly come from this premise – clips are re-shown and zoomed in to reveal that a parent’s dead daughter is in the frame. Now I speak the honest truth here when I say the reboot is about to be made without ANY documentary style footage. My first reaction to this would be “then it’s not a reboot, it’s a different film”!
That is like making The Red Shoes without any dancing, Jurassic Park without dinosaurs, rebooting Clerks with a $300m budget.
My second problem with this news is that the Bourne Supremacy got its ITV premiere in 2009, that is, less than a year ago this film was seen for the first time on terrestrial TV; the trilogy was released on Blu-ray in June 2009. Now to me, this is probably at least 10-15 years too early for a re-imagining of a show, I mean, to be honest the final film in Paul Greengrass’ trilogy is still quite fresh in my mind, the DVD hasn’t even got a scratch on it yet for god’s sake and I double up DVDs as beer mats!
Thirdly (and finally you will be pleased to know), what are they trying to achieve? The three films gained critical acclaim and as previously stated in my top films of the decade, forced Bond to reinvent itself. They also grossed $945 million worldwide, so in what way can they improve with a reboot? With Spiderman, while it didn’t receive critical acclaim, the 3 films manage to acquire a large amount of moolah for all parties involved.
Now, I am by no means an oracle – these films could surprise me and be great and make me say that the originals were trash. My opinions of reboots could change if a few came along where the director has obviously made a conscious effort to keep the spirit of the movie, if they started rebooted bad adaptations (Silent Hill for one), but when you start messing with classic films like Predator, Halloween and Robocop they are fighting a losing battle.
I did predict a few little while ago, but much has changed in the interim and I feel it necessary to update my prediction season for the nominees, something I will do again in early February just before the nominations are announced.
The primary change is the fall of Nine, previously considered a shoe-in for most categories, which looks likely to win absolutely nothing outside of a possible couple of technicals. Add to that the rising popularity of Inglourious Basterds and the seemingly-unstoppable attention being given to The Hurt Locker, plus the apparently disastrous The Lovely Bones, and some things have to change.
Below then are my predictions for the top few categories, with some explanation as to why and, bold as it may be, my predictions for the likely winners in each category.
Our brand new writer, Chris Inman, has not only provided the world with his top five movies of 2009, he now furnishes you lucky people with his top twenty movies of the decade. A couple of controversial more recent choices are included and should be debated immediately, but otherwise it’s a bloody strong list that will definitely find one followers amongst the existing MOD clan who will thoroughly agree with the winner.
Onwards then, and look our for more articles to come from Chris in the very near future as he kicks off his tenure with us in earnest.
As we are prone to do, it feels like to kick-off the Oscar buzz season as awards from major film festivals begin to roll in and the ceremony approaches. I realise that this may feel like the kind of wishing-life-away feeling that it given as you walk into shops in mid-September and see Christmas stock out all over the place, but these will get more frequent as we get closer and can begin to actually predict what could win. This is more to provide an interesting gauge of how buzz works, how it changes and how wrong we could well end up being by the time the awards come around.
So, just for the big few categories, here’s what seems like it’s going to cause a stir this year: Continue reading →
Looks like George Clooney could end up directing the Hamdan vs Rumsfeld project, with Matt Damon starring.
Precious is beginning its Oscar buzz season with a win in Toronto.
Apparently Gavin Hood wouldn’t mind making a shitty Magneto movie too.
Jack Kirby’s estate has begun delivering copyright termination notices to a whole bunch folks, including Marvel and Disney, relating to characters the late creator was responsible for.
Five movies which make Film School Rejects hungry.
Declaration of Independence: The Ten Principles of Hybrid Distribution from Indiewire.
Johnny Depp is reportedly less interested in another Pirates movie without Dick Cook at the helm of Walt Disney Studios.
MTV has an exclusive excerpt from Kevin Smith’s SModcast book.
Henry Rollins voicing a Batman character? Fuck, yeah!!
Twitch has an interview with Guy Maddin at TIFF about Night Mayor.
Venice Golden Lion winner Lebanon has been purchased by Sony Pictures Classics.
District 9 has made it over to Nigeria.
So I’ve been extremely busy with film-watching and outings all this week, so I have had no time to put together nice posts and news for you all to enjoy. Today though, sitting in bed and vegging like a pro, I will provide a round-up of all the interesting happenings from the past week in film.
It’s been confirmed that Jonathan Nolan will not be credited for writing Terminator Salvation. In laterally-related news, Christian Bale said he will commit to the next Batman movie, with or without the presence of Christopher Nolan.
Universal has confirmed plans to remake Drop Dead Fred, the cult classic early-90s movie starring Rik Mayall, with Russell Brand to take over the lead role. This will go alongside the previously announced remake of Dudley Moore-vehicle Arthur for our cheeky chappy.
An interview with Lauren Shuler Donner has seen her say that spin-off vehicles for both Gambit and Deadpool will come, if she has her way. Given the utterly awful Wolverine, that would be something of a result to have a movie which will provide us with easily the two most interesting characters from the film.
Todd McFarlane has entered talks over bringing Spawn back to the screen. It was made before to a very poor reception in 1997. During the interview, with IESB, he also talked a little about the David Fincher-helmed Torso, the adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel. That was dropped by Paramount but McFarlane believes another house will pick it up given the presence of Matt Damon in the lead and Rachel McAdams alongside him.
Some photos have emerged of Megan Fox in Jonah Hex, the adaptation of the John Albano-penned DC series. As you would imagine from a movie about a gonzo version of the Wild West, Fox has eschewed the demure look in favour of chicken house chic. Fox did experience a mild disappointment this week, beat to the FHM 100 Sexiest Women poll’s top spot by Girls Aloud’s Cheryl Cole.
Rainn Wilson, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Natalie Portman have joined the cast of Hesher, an indie dramedy to be directed by Spencer Susser. /Film has a host of extra information on this, including a really bewitching zombie short directed by Susser.
Here’s an odd one. The next movie coming from Zhang Yimou, the helmer of the astounding Hero and House of Flying Daggers, is reportedly a remake of the Coens’ Blood Simple.
McG and Michael Bay could well end up slapping ’em out on the table and bringing out the rulers, should the challenge put forth by the former to the latter become reality. Yes, McG has challenged Bay to a dick-measuring contest.
So apparently Oliver Stone, Michael Douglas and Shia LeBoeuf have signed up to take on a sequel to Wall Street, Stone’s visceral attack on the lack of ethics involved in big money trading. It seems a little late at this point but, praise be, no Charlie Sheen.
On the business side, the merger between agency giant William Morris and Endeavour has been approved. Relativity and Lionsgate have brokered a distribution agreement which will cover around five movies per year. Time Warner has announced a 14 per cent fall in profits in the first quarter, primarily owing to problems with AOL, which it is looking to spin-off imminently, and in Time Inc, the magazine side of the conglomerate.
Cinematical has a review of Departures, the Japanese foreign film Oscar winner from this year.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro will open the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes.
Benicio del Toro is reportedly in talks to play Brett Easton Ellis in an adaptation of his Lunar Park.
Here’s a first look at Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 2.
The Forgotten, the indie comic series by Evan Young and Jareth Grealish, has been optioned for a movie adaptation.
Bruce Willis is reportedly being courted to star in Red, an adaptation of the Warren Ellis-penned series.
The BBC has commissioned more The Thick of It from Armando Ianucci, coming on the back of the success of In the Loop.
Warner Bros has acquired the rights to Death Note, the manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba.
Mike Newell is in talks to direct a new version of The Lone Ranger.
Fox Searchlight has picked up Whip It, the directorial debut of Drew Barrymore starring Ellen Page.
Iran’s About Elly has won the jury prize at Tribeca.
Slashfilm received a fan review of the new film from Paul Greengrass entitled Green Zone, an adaptation of the Rajiv Chandrasekaran non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, a reporter’s account of his time in the Green Zone in Baghdad. The film, starring Matt Damon, had been a high hoper for Hollywood in breaking the commercial and somewhat critical problems plaguing movies about Iraq.
But the reviewer, a one ‘Sauce’, had a few choice thoughts on the picture:
Some were hoping that due to his handling of sensitive material in United 93, he would be able to make a film about Iraq that wasn’t biased or slanted. Greengrass had even stated that his hope would be that people could see an action film that was set in Iraq without politics getting in the way. Sadly that is not the case. Time and again the political opinions and melodramatic speeches override the story and muddy the film’s goals…
This was an early screening, Greengrass was even there, but the response was not good. It only got a weak round of applause and most people did not seem to be enjoying themselves during the film or after.
It’s disappointing but let’s hope Greengrass can retool or that ‘Sauce’ just ain’t the authority he could well be.