'Zack and Miri' Make a Teaser

NSFW, for language. Says Kevin Smith, of this Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks hosted tease for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, “Don’t call it a trailer, ’cause it’s not a trailer; it’s a teaser. There ain’t a frame of footage in this puppy that’s in the actual flick, so feel free to watch it without fear of “spoilers”. This is just a little something to give you a bit of a feel for the flick.” Scheduled release: Oct 31st, 2008. (hat tip: Cinematical)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 30th 2008 | 0 Comments

Emily the Strange: First T-Shirt to Film Adaptation?


Cult design figurehead Emily the Strange – created by skateboarder Rob Reger in the early nineties – never fell out of fashion, and the anti-Hello Kitty franchise eventually spawned a multi-million dollar business. Dark Horse Entertainment picked up Emily for a comic series in 2005, and now has designs on bringing her to the big screen, though there’s been no decision yet on whether it will be live-action or animated. Dark Horse president Mike Richardson, who has also served as a producer for the Hellboy and 30 Days of Night film treatments, will join Reger in pegging a right-fit director. (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 29th 2008 | 4 Comments

Red Band Trailer: The Coen Brothers' 'Burn After Reading'


If you wanted to be fussy about it you could complain that it’s an apparent waste of a “Red Band” tag, but the fact of the matter is that the trailer for the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading is pitch perfect. The decidedly more Lebowski than Chigurch comedy of errors stars John Malkovich as an former-CIA guy who learns that his classified files have ended up in the hands of a pair of doltish blackmailers (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand). His soon-to-be ex-wife (Tilda Swinton) and a gun-for-hire (George Clooney) also seek to exploit his vulnerability from different angles. Scheduled Release: September 12, 2008.

Burn After Reading trailer

Posted by Ted Zee on May 29th 2008 | 1 Comment

We're Not Going to Be Fooled by the Sequel in the Tailpipe


People are squawking about Brett Ratner’s reported involvement in Beverly Hills Cop 4 (Summer 2010), but the real issue here is whether Eddie Murphy can time-machine back into a legitimately funny, adult role. You can put Axel Foley into the Pluto Nash, but can you take the Pluto Nash out of Axel Foley? (Variety)

Previously: “Filth Flarn Filth” never happened, says Cosby

Posted by Ted Zee on May 29th 2008 | 2 Comments

Trailer: He's Just Not That Into You


Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) joins Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, and Justin Long in this multilayered, Love Actually meets Crash type Sex in the City chaser. Based on the best selling book – and if you’re in the target demo it wasn’t necessary for me to point that out. Directed by Ken Kwapis. Scheduled release: October 24, 2008.

He’s Just Not That Into You trailer (via Coming Soon)

Related: “A Fandango survey of 2800 Sex and the City ticket-buyers reports that (a) 94% are women, (b) 67% plan to see it with a group of women; (c) 16% of the female respondents said they are going with a single woman friend; and (d) 6 % said they were going with a man.” – Hollywood Elsewhere

Posted by Ted Zee on May 28th 2008 | 13 Comments

NBC Greenlights New Workplace Comedy From '30 Rock' Writer

Jonathan Pollack, a member of the 30 Rock writing and producing team, will head a new workplace comedy just greenlit by NBC, which at first glance appears to be unrelated to any of the network’s plans for an Office offshoot. Pollack’s previous credits include broadcast comedies Just Shoot Me! and Spin City, in addition to lesser and shorter-lived works Joey and Andy Barker, P.I. The new, untitled comedy will focus on “a female boss looking to navigate the male-centric business world.” (Variety)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 27th 2008 | 0 Comments

Muppets Take the Other 'Manhattan'

Kermit, Miss Piggy, et al. over Woody Allen’s Manhattan – further proving that in addition to what they’ve done for classics from Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, and NWA (all somewhat NSFW), Jim Henson’s Muppets can always punch up a scene. (via The Reeler)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 27th 2008 | 0 Comments

Tarantino Says 'Inglorious Bastards' May Premiere in 2009


Slashfilm quotes Quentin Tarantino during this taped interview in Cannes last week, when he was asked about his next project:

“The next movie I’m doing is my WWII movie Inglorious Bastards. I actually just finished the first draft of the script and when I go home I’ll be finishing it up…and if all goes well [pregnant pause] I will be here 2009 at Cannes with my war film INGLORIOUS BASTARDS!!! [applause].”

Tarantino has reportedly been working on the World War II epic since just after Pulp Fiction, and initially churned out a 600 page screenplay that he’s been revising and condensing up to now. Michael Madsen has long been talked about as the star of the film, which involves a group of U.S. soldiers saved from firing squads for their misdeeds by heading a suicide mission into Nazi-occupied France.

Whether the notoriously overcommitted director follows through on his Cannes announcement or again backburners Bastards for lower hanging fruit will be the question until further confirmations are made.

Related: “I did this kind of silly comedy called My Best Friends Birthday.” – Part 1 of Tarantino’s first, unfinished feature (Pierreism)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 27th 2008 | 0 Comments

Sydney Pollack Dies at 73


Two-time Oscar winning director, producer, and actor Sydney Pollack died at his home in Los Angeles on Memorial Day. Starting out in television in the sixties, then moving on to direct over twenty films in forty years, including The Way We Were, Three Days of the Condor, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, and Absence of Malice – Pollack’s standing in the Hollywood mainstream was bolstered in the early eighties with the blockbuster hit Tootsie and then the Best Picture and Best Director winning Out of Africa.

Pollack also produced close to fifty projects and for decades has also acted in mostly supporting roles – up to Made of Honor, released this month. Pollack also produced and appeared in the Oscar nominated Michael Clayton last year. (New York Times)

“Within the world of big-budget Hollywood moviemaking, Pollack brought intelligence, political awareness, and solid craftsmanship to projects in a variety of genres and subject matters…While still being commercial films aimed at mass audiences, his films were elegant movies attuned to both the DNA of his stars but also to the sociological and political currents of the times in which they were made.” – Filmmaker Magazine

Video: “I’m sorry. Is my directing interfering with your phone call? Well how rude of me.”

10 interviews, 3 trailers – Movie City Indie

Posted by Ted Zee on May 26th 2008 | 0 Comments

Fincher's 'Button' Trailer

Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, directed by David Fincher, begins just after World War I. In Fitzgerald’s story, Benjamin Button (played here by Brad Pitt) was literally born in the body of a man in his seventies, growing younger at the same rate as his family and world were getting on with age. Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton co star. Button is scheduled for a Christmas 2008 release.

Spanish trailer, via Cinematical (watch while you can)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 23rd 2008 | 0 Comments

I Think I'm Entitled


From Aeon Flux to Vertigo: The Art of the Title Sequence (via The Apt)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 23rd 2008 | 0 Comments

Cannes Clips: Synecdoche, New York, Tôkyô!, What Just Happened?, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Blindness

Featured video: Tortured playwright Caden (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and assistant Hazel (Samantha Morton) walk the near-life-size scale replication of New York constructed for his dream production in Charlie Kaufman’s hyper-ambitious debut Synecdoche, New York. Cast includes Catherine Keener, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Michelle Williams.

Synecdoche, New York – 3 clips

Tôkyô! a triptych in the spirit of Paris, je t’aime from Michel Gondry, Joon-ho Bong, and Leos Carax. 2 teaser trailers, 3 clips

What Just Happened?Barry Levinson’s Hollywood comedy starring Robert De Niro and Catherine Keener. 2 clips

Vicky Cristina BarcelonaWoody Allen’s lastest overseas tour reaches Spain with Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Javier Bardem. 2 clips

Blindness – directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God), with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. A doctor’s wife (Moore) becomes the only person still able to see as chaos breaks out in a town stricken by sudden, unexplained blindness. Based on the novel by Jose Saramago. 1 trailer, 4 clips

(source: CommeauCinema.com)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 20th 2008 | 0 Comments

9 Items


Charlie Kaufman on the change from turning over the scripts to Being Jock Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to keeping Synecdoche, New York to himself. His directorial debut, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman premieres later this week at Cannes, and I can’t think of another film this year that I’ve anticipated more. (via indieWIRE)

Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams have signed on for Noah Baumbach’s next relationship dramedy, entitled Greenburg. This following last year’s modest, decidedly minor Baumback, Margot at the Wedding. (Hollywood Reporter)

— “‘Tokyo!’ is made up of three unrelated shorts directed by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho, all set, yes, in Tokyo. Stop, you’re shrieking, how much hipness can one little omnibus film contain?” – Indie Eye review

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is Good Enough – Anne Thompson. “What they’ve [Steven Spielberg, George Lucas] done is certainly okay or good enough.” – Jeffrey Wells

— [Woody] “Allen has created one of his best works in years, a film that is funny, philosophical, and imaginatively explorative of the meaning of love and desire.” – Cinematical on Vicky Cristina Barcelona, with Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Javier Bardem. Trailer

— He [James Toback] certainly succeeds in rendering a man [Mike Tyson] frequently depicted as an almost animalistic stereotype of African-American manhood as a tortured and vulnerable person who has genuinely struggled to understand his flaws.” – Salon on Tyson. (via GreenCine Daily)

— MGM with remakes of Red Dawn (Wolverines! Wait, what invading nation will replace the Ruskies?) and Robocop in the pipeline. (THR)

— Scarlett Johansson performing Falling Down, live. (via Pop Candy)

— Oddity of the week: no joke, with the woman sitting at his side, David Lynch sticks a fan’s balled-up pair of underwear in his mouth. I need a judges ruling on whether this is Safe for Work. (via Kottke)

Unrelated: today’s the two-year mark for the blog. Thanks to all of the great people behind the sites that have befriended, supported, and inspired envy over this time. Thanks especially to you for reading. Now tell a friend, and take a minute to peruse the little buddy blog, Cash and Carry.

Posted by Ted Zee on May 19th 2008 | 0 Comments

Miranda July's Sophomore 'Satisfaction'

miranda july

A year ago, while preparing for the stage run of her mulitmedia performance Things We Don’t Understand and Definitely Are Not Going to Talk About, omnipresent but soft spoken artist Miranda July (birth name Miranda Grossinger) mentioned offhandedly that she might turn the same work into a film script. Noncommittal when asked when the stage-to-screen transfer might be expected, she said “It’s so dangerous to say because no one could want to finance it.” Variety is reporting that there is interest in getting her back on screen, and that July will follow up her well received 2005 indie Me and You and Everyone We Know with another romantic comedy, entitled Satisfaction, in which she’ll again write, direct, and costar with her signature idiosyncratic slant.

It might be that July either approached the adaptation of Things We Don’t Understand from a new angle, or chose to scrap her notes altogether and start anew. The basis of Things was a stage performance which incorporated live and taped video segments from real-life couples and singles: “a classic love triangle” (Art Forum) between a couple (Donnie and Fiona) and another woman. Satisfaction, says Variety, revolves around a young couple, Jason and Sophie. Sophie starts an affair with an older man while Jason is away. The new film is set for a summer shooting schedule with a budget of 8 million (her debut Me and You was given 2 mil) and casting for her two male costars is underway.

Previously: Miranda July is everywhere, though still managing to sidestep any major backlash

Related: Book interview

Posted by Ted Zee on May 16th 2008 | 11 Comments

P.T. Anderson's Not Touching 'Metal Gear' Though There are Plenty of Other Laughable Headlines That You Actually Can Take to the Bank


Heaps of morning coffee spitting stories in the past 24 hours, though this was the most dubious: rumors were flying Tuesday evening that Paul Thomas Anderson was “circling” the upcoming film adaptation of the long running Playstation cash cow, Metal Gear Solid. Slashfilm talked to sources at Konami Games that reasserted that it wasn’t a case of mistaken identity between P.T. and the lesser Paul W.S. Anderson (with fistfuls of crap game-to-movie credits to his name already) and that the There Will Be Blood director was truly in play. Though as was to be expected, they later offered another update from Collider that refuted the whole thing: their source attached to the film’s production blew off the speculation as “completely false and ridiculous.”

Offer of dweebish consolation: The Cash and Carry Tournament of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh Tributes to There Will Be Blood.

And now, legitimate but equally hard to swallow headlines:

Nicolas Cage to star in Werner Herzog directed remake of Bad Lieutenant (Variety)

Michael Moore plans Fahrenheit 9/11 sequel, but sidesteps the Weinsteins (Anne Thompson)

Point Break: Indo (Hollywood Reporter)

Jonah Hill in talks for 21 Jump Street adaptation (Entertainment Weekly)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 14th 2008 | 2 Comments

'Fraggle Rock' Feature in Works for Weinsteins


The Weinstein Company will take the 1980s Jim Henson property Fraggle Rock to the theaters in live-action musical form, reports Variety. Just as Forgetting Sarah Marshall director and star Nick Stoller and Jason Segel have been lined up by Disney to oversee another Muppet Movie, the Weinsteins have entrusted the cave-dwelling Fraggles to a relatively unproven talent in Cory Edwards, who has but the 2005 animated feature, Hoodwinked! to his credentials as a director. In the film, the Fraggles – consisting of characters from the original production – will be removed from their natural habitat and interact with humans, who mistake them for aliens. Edwards will also write the screenplay for the Jim Henson Company produced feature.

Posted by Ted Zee on May 13th 2008 | 0 Comments

Baldwin Interlude

A day after getting serious with Morley Safer (Defamer) until the line about being “a young man” by “60 Minutes correspondent terms” – Alec Baldwin counterbalances with The Hollywood Reporter, talking up his upcoming pilot: “a hybrid between Star Trek, Falcon Crest, and Girls Gone Wild.”

Posted by Ted Zee on May 12th 2008 | 1 Comment

Finally, a Scripted Performance


Former “modeling” dabbler and current “reality” show “celebrity” Audrina Patridge is the “first” participant of MTV’s The Hills to land “an acting job.” Partridge will join the cast of Into the Blue 2, the newest installment in the “prestigious” “franchise,” as “a no-nonsense, beautiful beach babe whose boyfriend caters to her every command.” (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on May 12th 2008 | 1 Comment

Early 2008 Cannes Shots


Cannes lead up images: Rope of Silicon shows off Benicio Del Toro in Steven Soderbergh’s doubled-up Che Guevara biopics, Philip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York, and Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Gael García Bernal in Blindness.

— Slashfilm, with first images from Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Toyko!, the triptych project from Michel Gondry, Bong Joon Ho (The Host), and Leos Carax (Bad Blood).

— More images and details from the whole Cannes lineup at the official site.

Posted by Ted Zee on May 12th 2008 | 0 Comments

Johansson's 'Five Dads'

scarlett in paste

For the cover feature in Paste Magazine’s June Issue, Scarlett Johansson expounds on the transformative effects that Bill Murray, Woody Allen, Tom Waits, Barack Obama, and Bob Dylan have had on her young career and future projects – including her new album, next project with Woody, and her directorial debut (Daily Mail) as one of the host of stars contributing short films for the upcoming New York, I Love You.

“My Five Dads” – Paste

Posted by Ted Zee on May 09th 2008 | 2 Comments