Tag Archives: russell crowe

Chris’ Twenty Films of the Decade

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.

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Sam’s Top 42 Films of the Decade

Just for the sake of my own sanity and desperate need to have these written somewhere, I give you my favourite forty-two films of the past decade. There are at least fifty-six other films I would like to put onto a list, but I think I need to forcefully prevent any more decade-based listmaking as quickly as possible. So beneath is the top ten list, along with a sentence or two on each film and then thirty-two, out-of-list-order, films which I had to include.

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Zefron Age Swaps to the Top

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17 Again has managed to top the US box office over the weekend, racking up a total of $24m as Zac Efron carried his HSM box-office power over into the adult world.

It’s opening is small but it still managed to trounce the next closest film, the Russell Crowe-Ben Affleck thriller State of Play. That only managed $14m despite relatively decent reviews.

Monsters vs Aliens remained resilient in third place, taking $12.9m and pumping its total gross to $162m. That contrasted to the relative lack of resilience from last week’s number one, Hannah Montana: The Movie, which dropped off 60 per cent to take $12.6m, and Fast & Furious dropping of further to $12.2m.

Crank: High Voltage must be considered a disappointment, given the absolute genius of the first film, taking only $6.5m to take up sixth place.

Blair and Clinton’s Special Relationship

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Peter Morgan, something of a specialist at penning stories about real-life prominent British figures, often about their relationships to prominent, real-life American figures, is to make his third Tony Blair-related piece with The Special Relationship. The film, a co-production between HBO and BBC Films, will focus on the bond held between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton from the commencement of Blair’s premiership in 1997 until Clinton’s final days as President in 2000.

Michael Sheen, who played Blair in the Morgan-penned The Deal and The Queen, will reprise his role as the former Prime Minister. Dennis Quaid has reportedly won the role of Clinton, apparently beating out competition from the likes of Russell Crowe, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Alec Baldwin and Tim Robbins. Hillary will be played by Julianne Moore. Helen McCrory, who played Cherie Blair in The Deal and The Queen, will return. The sticky (ahem) issue of Monica Lewinsky will be sidestepped through showing the intern in only archive footage, apparently included video of her closed-door testimony to Congress on the scandal.

It will mark the first time Clinton has been portrayed on film in power, having been the heavy inspiration for the subject in Primary Colors, the 1998 Mike Nichols film in which John Travolta played a thinly-veiled version of the president during the campaign season.

Interestingly, should the funding be raised, it would be Morgan’s directorial debut, having had Stephen Frears in the chair for The Deal and The Queen. That could prove a challenge for Morgan, whose scripts are often the strongest element but who does need a steadying hand to deal with the actors to prevent any sense of impression falling into the performances.

By a similar token, this will prove a real challenge for the actors, especially Quaid who will be taking on one of the most charismatic political figures in recent years and must avoid falling anywhere close to caricature.

Movie News Round-Up

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Michel Gondry has been signed up to direct The Green Hornet, the crime-fighting comic book adaptation starring Seth Rogen and Stephen Chow. Chow had been signed up to direct but later dropped out over what were described as ‘creative differences’. Gondry’s presence makes this easily the most interesting comic movie on its way at present. I may not have fully loved Be Kind Rewind, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of the best films of the past ten years while Science of Sleep is an endless well of whimsy and imagination. Notably, the news was first reported on the Twitter feed of Production Weekly. Also, the trailer for Rogen’s new movie, Observe and Report, has emerged and looks like something of a departure for him into a slightly darker area.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Drew Barrymore, she of the adorable poppet-ness, is among the candidates being considered for Eclipse, the third movie in the Twilight series which will follow up the next instalment, New Moon, in 2010. Barrymore has recently signed off on her debut in the chair, Whip It, starring Ellen Page.

Eddie Murphy has apparently signed on to play Richard Pryor in ‘Richard Pryor: Was It Something I Said’ for director Bill Condon. It will reunite the pair who worked together previously on Dreamgirls, the film which garnered so much buzz for Murphy and won him an Academy Award nomination. Seems like a strong part for him given the placement of Murphy as the next in line in succession in the evolution of black comedians after Pryor and preceding Chris Rock.

Cate Blanchett has signed on the dotted line to play Maid Marian in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. This news follows that from last week that Scott has changed the name and vision behind the project to a more straight-forward retelling.

Samuel L Jackson is to play Nick Fury in Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and, possibly, in a Nick Fury movie should Marvel decide to do this too. There had been issues over Jackson joining in the past but now it seems such things have been pushed aside for the sake of continuity.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are to team for The B Team, a comedy from Adam McKay which will follow the misadventures of two mismatched cops. Sounds like it be in a similar vein to all other Ferrell/McKay projects and have around four very funny Ferrell moments, almost no story and an effort to make up for any shortcomings through shouting.

Sean Penn and Naomi Watts are involved in talks for Fair Game, not a remake of the Cindy Crawford-starrer from the mid90s, but a drama about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson. It would reunite Penn and Watts from when they starred together in the Innaritu/Arriaga piece 21 Grams, a role which won Watts a Best Actress nod at the Oscars. Fair Game will be directed by Doug Liman.

Joss Whedon has spoken out during an interview with Maxim on why many DC comics adaptations are having difficulty in getting to the big screen, including Wonder Woman, which he was often linked with in the past. Whedon said the difference in the era in which the DC comics were made meant that the heroes were not being created as people, but as gods. ‘DC’s characters, like Wonder Woman and Superman and Green Lantern, were all very much removed from humanity. Batman was the only character they had who was so rooted in pain, that had that same gift that the Marvel characters had, which was that gift of humanity that we can relate to.’ Whedon has long been working on getting Wonder Woman off the ground with Eliza Dushku in the lead. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Dushku’s acting so I’d put forward Morena Baccarin of Firefly and Serenity fame instead. Probably wouldn’t get made either way though.

Francis Ford Coppola has given out some new information on Tetro, his new film following the life, loves and troubles of an Italian family of artists. It stars Vincent Gallo and is, according to Coppola, his first ‘original screenplay’ since his The Conversation. A film from Coppola about an Italian family of artists, autobiography much?

Also in the news: Emily Blunt will definitely not be in Iron Man 2, instead she’ll have to star alongside Jack Black in Gulliver’s Travels; Mel Gibson’s The Colonel has a trailer; Jim Carrey and Jake Gyllenhaal are to star in a remake of Damn Yankees; Naomi Watts and Freida Pinto have joined Woody Allen’s next movie; Warner Bros has picked up the rights to adapt comic series Suicide Squad; The Coens have directed a 30-second commercial mocking the claim of clean coal; Gore Verbinski is to bring Clue/Cluedo to screens; Seth Green will star in animated caper Mars Needs Moms!; Ed Helms is to write and star in a Civil War-themed comedy; Danny Boyle and Dev Patel may take part in the real-life Who Wants to be a Millionaire; Peter Baynham, a collaborator of Sasha Baron Cohen on Borat, will write the Arthur remake for Russell Brand;