Since 2004 hundreds of Hollywood executives have voted for what they consider the best unproduced screenplays, the scripts that receive the most nominations then going on to form an annual Blacklist. Increasingly influential, the likes of Juno and Lars & The Real Girl emerged from this curious selection process, garnering their respective studios with Oscar wins and nominations. The latest project to benefit from the Blacklist is the unexpectedly charming Cedar Rapids, a highly conventional comedy elevated by its watertight structure and an excellent ensemble cast.
The central plot is far from revolutionary: Following the death of an admired colleague in an auto-erotic asphyxiation accident, the naive and well-intentioned Tim Lippe (Ed Helms) is sent to represent his company at a yearly insurance conference held in the eponymous Cedar Rapids where he must try his upmost to secure the converted Double Diamond Award for the fourth year in a row. Read more
With the release hammer-wielding, ale-quaffing Thor this week, we couldn’t help but notice Anthony Hopkins’s Odin sporting a rather silly gold eye patch. But an eye patch can be so much more and is a reliable indicator of bad-assery. With that in mind, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable eye patches in cinema history.
Snake pretty much personifies everything that's cool about an eyepatch. He's an ex-special forces war hero from World War III who turned to a life of crime only to be offered a pardon if he could rescue the President from the maximum security island of Manhattan. The baddest of the bad asses and no arguments.
A grizzled, drunken, tough-as-nails US Marshall hired by 14 year old Matti Ross to track down the man who killed her father, Rooster is an uncompromising tracker and ruthless gunfighter. Watch the eyepatch switch from left in the 1969 John Wayne version to the right in the 2010 version.
Commander of the Marvel Universe's S.H.I.E.L.D. organisation, Fury is a skilled tactician, paratrooper, Ranger, demolitions expert, vehicle specialist and Green Beret. Bizarrely (and hilariously) played by The Hoff in 1998, he's recently been rebooted in the much cooler form of Samuel L. Jackson
HBO have released the first image of Julianne Moore made-up as Sarah Palin and we have to admit we are impressed. This looks more like a spot the difference competition than a news article so let’s just confirm, the real Sarah Palin is on the left here. Taken on the set of Game Change – the upcoming TV movie about the tumultuous 2008 U.S. presidential election – this snap is enough to confirm that producers definitely made the right choice in hiring Moore. The likeness is uncanny, and the actress has even managed to master the gormless smirk that Palin works relentlessly. Let’s hope that Ed Harris has as much success playing Presidential candidate John McCain..
Hi-ho-Winkelvi away! The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer looks set to sign up for the lead role of Disney’s adaptation of the classic western series The Lone Ranger. If he takes the part, he’ll be starring alongside Johnny Depp as Tonto (really?!).
Pirates Of The Caribbean producer Jerry Bruckheimer is behind the adaptation (no real surprise given his previous track record with Disney).
Hammer first came to prominence at the over-privileged Winkevoss twins in last year’s The Social Network and has since been in demand by casting agents. Since then, he’s landed the part of Clyde Tolson in Clint Eastwood’s J Edgar and will play the Prince in Tarsem Singh’s forthcoming Snow White.
We’ll bring you news when and if it gets confirmed.
I’ve often thought that Professor Snape and Gollum had similar roles to play in the Potter and LOTR sagas respectively. Both become more important as the stories develop while forming a crucial bridge in an otherwise surgically defined good vs evil lay-out. So it’s almost fitting so see that just as Return of the King opened with a large dollop of Smeagol origins, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II will be taking us back to where it all began for Severus Snape. We’d be surprised if it came as a prologue however..
Another person who also seems to finally be getting some serious screen time after two films worth of cameos is ‘ol Snake Face. We’ve not seen much of him since that duel with Big D in The Order of the Pheonix so we’re all looking forward to seeing him “push the boundaries of magic” with that new wand of his. What also seems clear is that after sitting through a couple of hours of strops, tantrums and awkward silences, we’re finally going to be getting some serious carnage. The last two outings have essentially just served as one protracted warm-up for this crescendo (for my money The Half-Blood Prince was hormonal when it should have been horcruxal) but its already looking pretty epic. Saving Private Potter here we come..
OTB Highlight: 1.16 – Potter and Voldemort do a ‘Richard Kimble’ off the Astronomy Tower. Can’t remember that part of the book, but it looks awesome.
James Wan and Leigh Whannel will be names familiar to those who watched the Saw series of films – a good idea subjected to the law of diminishing returns which inevitably saw its sequels descend into repetitive, gruesome, derivative torture porn. While Insidious is thankfully gore-free, it’s still lacking original ideas, borrowing elements wholesale from other movies and knitting them into a patchwork quilt of horror clichés.
A family – sceptical teacher Josh (Patrick Wilson), mum Renai (Rose Byrne) and three children move into their new dream house and are promptly harassed by all manner of poltergeist phenomenon – things go missing, doors slam unexpectedly, whispers are heard on the edge of hearing. Events escalate when their young son Dalton falls into an unexpected coma and Renai starts seeing apparitions.
Terrified out of her wits, she demands that they move house only to find that the spooks have followed them. Here the film takes a sharp veer to the left as the couple hire psychic Elise (Lin Shaye) who tells them that Dalton has been taken to a spiritual realm called “The Further” and demons (one of whom bears a striking resemblance to Darth Maul) are trying to possess his soul. Read more
What origins tale will we be seeing next? Rambo in the projects? James Bond at Eton? Anyway, next off the bulging beginnings conveyor belt is the clumsily titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes starring James Franco (157 Hours), Andy Serkis (My Preciousss..), Freida Pinto (?), Brian Cox (various historical epics), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and John Lithgow (Third Rock).
This one is out in UK cinemas on 12th August.
THOR (12A): On General Release Wednesday 27th April
Marvel Studios are keen to get as many of their properties onto the big screen as possible. With X-Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and other assorted “men” cluttering up the silver screen already comes their latest addition, hammer-wielding beefcake Thor.
Thor is the son of Odin and the heir apparent to the throne of the mythical kingdom of Asgard. Asgard has lived in peace for many years as their foes the Ice Giants have been driven back into their own kingdom by Odin who captured the source of their power long ago. But when an incursion by a party of ice giants disrupts Thor’s coronation, he’s incensed and wants to invade their lands only to have his hand stayed by his father, who realises this would start a war.
Manipulated by his scheming brother Loki into disobeying his father’s wishes, Thor gets into an almighty dust-up in the land of the Ice Giants and is subsequently cast out of Asgard.
Landing on earth and stripped of his powers, he meets Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) a researcher in New Mexico, who after hitting him with her car, helps him learn humility so that he’ll be able to wield the fabled hammer Mjolnir, regain his strength and return home. Read more
If you happen to count yourself among the slim minority of filmgoers who did not delight in
A couple of months back we heard that Arnie was eyeing up a return to acting (well I suppose it almost counts as acting..) and then a few weeks ago we found out that Terminator 5 was in the works. So when we think about it, this is the most inevitable news story since the England football team went to Amsterdam for the weekend. Yes folks, Arnold Schwarzenegger will be returning to the Terminator franchise.
Arnie has been in talks with director Justin Lin about a possible appearance recently and it seems that those talks were rather productive because the Governator has confirmed that he’s on board.
Apparently Lin, Arnie, and producer Robert Cort then put together a package they sent out to studios yesterday afternoon with Universal, Sony, CBS Films and Lionsgate showing the most interest in the movie that would return Arnie to his career defining role at the age of 63, according to Deadline.
This news is the first big move on the franchise since hedge fund company Pacificor bought the rights to The Terminator property last February for $30 million, so a deal would need to be struck with them before shooting began. But that’s not the only obstacle for Arnie’s seemingly impossible return.
In a series of events which makes that whole “So Reece is John’s dad?” argument seem elementary, Hemdale own a share of the North American rights they bought from creator James Cameron and they aren’t due to expire until 2018. Previous rights holders Halcyon (who made 2009′s Terminator Salvation) are also due $5 million whenever a new Terminator movie is made.
So a Hollywood major is already going to lay down at least $30 million in pay-offs before they write a single cheque for talent, CGI and industrial explosives.