“…a great result considering the pic’s negative cost is only $30M. Then again, producer Peter Jackson’s name means so much to aged 18-49 moviegoers. Comic-Con geeks and movie critic geezers loved it. It was the #1 most tweeted topic Friday night. And Marc Weinstock’s viral marketing campaign for a year bore no Sony/Tri-Star logo on purpose so it wouldn’t have a big studio’s PR machine feel to it. (As if the audience had organically discovered the pic themselves.)”
…Here’s how it went down: District 9 director Neill Blomkamp was supposed to be Peter Jackson’s helmer on Halo, which went down in flames. But Peter and his partner Fran Walsh kept Neill in New Zealand to develop his short film, Alive In Joburg.
Craig Kennedy at Living in Cinema found Alive in Joburg on youtube, so I’ve relocated it here.
[UPDATE: Incidentally, District 9 leaps into the IMDb Top 250 this weekend, landing on its lobstery feet at #78. That's 26 slots higher than Star Trek, currently at 108. UPDATE 2: Now jumping to #35.]
It’s the story of the titular Dorian (Prince Caspian’s Ben Barnes), a privileged and beautiful young man in Victorian England who wishes, as he gazes at his latest portrait, that the picture could age instead of him. Lo and behold, it does – but as Dorian becomes older and more corrupt, the portrait in the attic becomes a monster.
Here’s the trailer, for anyone who missed it last week.
From the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the 7 perfect scores of 100 District 9 received in becoming one of the best reviewed movies of the year:
Every now and then, a film comes along that both defies and compels description. “District 9″ is one such movie: a science-fiction action vehicle so brilliantly and fully imagined that real life, when it resumes after the credits, arrives with a new sense of dread… this is categorically one of the best releases of the year – a spellbinding genre flick that’s also a corrosive assault on the baroque inhumanity of common human beings.
On my way out to see for myself right now. Open thread here, for reader reactions and for sharing your “new sense of dread.”
Peter Sciretta at /Film scored a coup from an anonymous email offering today, with this first official photo from Avatar. If you want to remain clueless about the basic premise of the film you should skip Peter’s description of what’s depicted:
Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully a paraplegic war veteran, who gets the opportunity to travel to another planet, Pandora, to work with a mining operation. Because the planet is so harsh, traditional armor and envirosuit solutions are not good enough to protect miners, and a clone program has developed in which DNA from humans and Na‚Äôvi, the natives that inhabit Pandora, are combined. The result is essentially a cloned Na‚Äôvi that can house the consciousness of an individual with human DNA. This means that Jake will be able to walk again. The photo above shows Sully in front of the tank that houses his Avatar.
The concept of Avatars and consciousness transplanted into other bodies play a significant part in the plot of Iain M. Banks’ Look to Windward, which I happen to be reading this week (on sartre’s recommendation). The parallels are a pleasant surprise.
We had early word of this a few months ago from our esteemed reader, richard crawford, so I posted a piece about the rumored Mildred Piece project on May 13th. It now appears that we were climbing out on a sturdy limb. Variety reports today:
Kate Winslet is attached to “Mildred Pierce,” a miniseries adaptation based on the James M. Cain novel that Todd Haynes is writing and directing. Sources said that HBO is the lead contender to get the mini, but payweb sources said no deal has been struck.
The involvement of Winslet–right after her Oscar-winning performance in “The Reader” and her work in “Revolutionary Road”–underscores how much paywebs like HBO have become prestige venues for films that might vanish as theatrical releases, a fact underscored by the success of “Grey Gardens,” which garnered Emmy noms for Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.
It seems now not so much a question of whether or not this is happening, but merely a matter of who’s going to pick up the tab — and reap the awards. Firstly, it’s a smart move for HBO to secure this project. It’s bound to be amazing. And secondly, it would be smart for us to lend a keen ear to any future tips from richard crawford.
My tweeps and I were ruminating on the idea of an ideal remake of All About Eve starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams as Margot and Eve. Amy Adams, I feel sure, really needs to play a bitch – to turn the whole eager beaver thing on its ear. No one will ever top Bette Davis and Anne Baxter but Streep and Adams work so well together – this would really exploit what the two have individually and as a team, an odd team but a team nonetheless. Anne Hathaway is also a possibility.
As everybody who’s interested already knows, Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno has joined the cast of the second sequel to Twilight, due in theaters June 30th, a scant 7 months after New Moon in November. (Thanks to ZiZo Abul Hawa for letting us know overnight and bambi for the reminder today. I’ve been digging my way out of a deadline avalanche since Wednesday, and finally have time to post some things.)
I’m one of half a dozen people around here who didn’t think Twilight was worthless. But since I can’t be arsed to slog through the novels, ScreenCrave fills me in on what to expect from Eclipse:
Moreno has been cast in the role of Maria. She‚Äôs a vampire who‚Äôs responsible for turning Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) into a bloodsucker, back when he was a Confederate soldier in the 1800‚Äôs. He was a victim of her plan to create a legion of powerful vampires. There seems to be a theme going on with the third film that focuses on everybody‚Äôs vampire origins. A similar story has been given for the recently cast Jack Huston, who‚Äôs character Royce King II will be responsible for the turning of Nikki Reed‚Äôs character Rosalie.
Vampire origins, always cool. The best segments of True Blood this season (for me) have been the historical flashbacks. I’m getting a little weary of seeing everybody eat strange stews and wake up with grass-stained knee-burns from the backyard Bon Temps honky-tonk bonk romps.
If Legion is the sort of movie you like, here’s 5 minutes of spoiled surprises for you. If it’s not, well, either way, you’ll probably see way more than you want to. On the other hand, if there are any highlights left then this could be a kick-ass trip down the lost highway to hell. Angels & Demons rolled into one.
Foreign Language Film
Live Action Short