'Che' Trailer on the Cheap

Spanish language, on-the-hush, bootleg flickervision trailer of The Argentine, what may be the first half of two Che Guevara features (The Argentine, followed by The Guerilla) or one mammoth epic.  Directed by Steven Soderbergh.  Starring Benicio Del Toro.  For a limited time?  (via Spout)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 31st 2008 | 0 Comments

The Mad Men on Charlie Rose

July 28th, 2008: Charlie Rose with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and stars Jon Hamm and John Slattery (via Vulture)

Related: “Beyond the anachronisms and the astonishingly casual sexism, racism, and general bad behavior, the draw is the universality of the human stories caught in the period settings. In The Sopranos, the mob business was there to punctuate the inner conflicts of the characters. And where The Sopranos had whackings, Mad Men has client presentations.” – Design Observer, on the art behind the art of the pitches (via Goldenfiddle | Ace Jet 170)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 31st 2008 | 3 Comments

Trailer: Wong Kar-wai's Ashes of Time Redux


In 1994, six years before Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (followed by Yimou Zhang’s Hero) introduced contemporary Wuxia films to enthusiastic Western audiences, Wong Kar-wai’s art house martial-arts epic Ashes of Time, featuring Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, and the late Leslie Cheung, was met with mixed reviews and low box office receipts, in part due to its fragmented plot structure. Though it never reached the cult status of Wong’s Chungking Express – released in the same year – Ashes has gone on to be considered one of his most underappreciated works. Citing the sense that there were multiple unauthorized versions of the film floating around in low grade home releases, he opted to reedit and release an updated cut of the film, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year to more appreciative reviews. Said The New York Time’s Manohla Dargis, “This newly re-edited and digitally tweaked iteration runs about 10 minutes shorter than the original, and rather more coherently … Drenched in shocking color — the desert shifts from egg-yolk yellow to burnt orange under a cerulean sky — the film is Mr. Wong’s most abstract endeavor, a bold excursion into the realm of pure cinema. It also now seems like one of his most important.”  Scheduled release: October 10, 2008.

Ashes of Time Redux trailer


My Blueberry NightsFood Porn for the Lovelorn
Kanye West meets Wong Kar-wai – ‘Graduation’ at the Movies

Posted by Ted Zee on July 31st 2008 | 0 Comments

Woody's Latest: 'Whatever Works' With Larry David

whatever works

In a conversation with Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Woody Allen revealed that he’s christened his latest project in production as Whatever Works, and describes it as “a blackish comedy.” Starring Larry David (a shoo-in for the mandated Woody stand in) and Evan Rachel Wood, the film marks Woody’s return to his old New York stomping grounds after a lengthy filmmaking stint in Europe.

Woody on Larry: “He’s got a great thing of his own. He’s got a great, what would you call it, sarcastic, sour or vitriolic, wonderful, wonderful, no nonsense sense of humor.”

“I think I’m more illusory than him. He’s a stronger personality. I’m more of a schlemiel, a dope. I would be the guy they would plant the microfilm on and I would never know it, and I would be out there wondering why people are shooting at me. Larry has a different quality.”

Whatever Works is slated for a 2009 release. (via Pop Candy)

Related video: Woody, Larry, and Evan Rachel Wood, on location

Posted by Ted Zee on July 30th 2008 | 1 Comment

Oliver Stone's 'W.' Trailer is Heavy on the Frat-Com Overtones

Attention YouTube mashup artists: please, someone do me this one favor – take the trailer for Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush biopic, W., blend in some one-liners from Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughn, then cook it all up as the prequel to Old School. It’ll be seamless, trust me.

Cast: Josh Brolin as George W. Bush, Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush, James Cromwell as George H. W. Bush, Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush, Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice, Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney, Jeffrey Wright as Colin Powell, and Toby Jones as Karl Rove. Scheduled release: October 17, 2008. (via AICN)

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

Mad Men Creator Speaks on Season Two

mad men don draper

“I think people are saying ‘Fuck you!’ to each other all the time in this show, and though you can “hear it,” I don’t think you need to hear it. Does it need more nudity or more explicitness? I don’t know. You get a different kind of actor when you talk about people being naked all the time. These actors will do what the characters do, so you don’t have to worry about that. I really haven’t felt any restriction to it. I feel like the show is plenty dirty and plenty crude. I don’t feel limited by that. And at the same time, I think there’s a kind of elegance to it, to work within that framework where what you don’t see is often more enticing. It’s the oldest clich� in the world, and people use it as an excuse, but I really do feel that way. I feel like with the sex scenes and so forth, the implication of what’s going on is far dirtier than what you could show.”

Both HBO and Showtime passed. Former Sopranos writer and Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, on writing the series for AMC, in an interview with A.V. Club.

Despite the first episodes episodes suffering from overabundant servings of retro-irony – turns out that they would only set the stage for the boundless depth that Wiener would construct for dapper ad man and womanizer’s womanizer, Don Draper (Best Leading Actor nominee Jon Hamm), who has about 100 ways to convey the words “Fuck you” without taking the cigarette out of his mouth. With a cable network leading 16 Emmy nominations and frenzied critical endorsements, you couldn’t ignore Mad Men if you wanted to. The season two premiere airs tonight.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 27th 2008 | 1 Comment

'Trtwon,' Right?

While many versions of the ultra-sketchy, leaked cell phone capture of the Tron 2 (or Tr2n, tentatively) teaser shown to the Comic-Con audience this week have been taken down, Filmstalker has a blown-up & “cleaned up” version (improves dramatically at the 37 second mark). The original, for the moment, can still be seen over at Gizmodo. The clip highlights both the preserved elements and updated style of the sequel:  Light Cycles aren’t restricted to 90 degree turns and crashes are not necessarily deadly, yet Jeff Bridges still has a larger than life cranium. No doubt the 2010 release will be a feast for the eyes, and there’s still time to change that title, Disney.

Updated Tr2n teaser leak – still makes the Zapruder Film look polished by comparison, but it’s all you get for now.

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

11 Items


In heavy aggregation mode as news in and out of Comic-Con in San Diego is dropping at a rapid clip:

— Footage was revealed to the Comic-Con audience to herald the announcement of a Tron sequel, with the unfortunate title of Tr2n. Jeff Bridges will be back for the followup. (MTV Movies)

— Rack em’ up for another Harold and Kumar installment (Variety)

Darren Aronofsky, confirmed for a MGM fast-tracked Robocop sequel targeted for 2010. (Variety)

— Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy has Glee, an hour-long comedy in development for Fox, centered around a high school chorus. Do I sense a Hamlet 2 vibe?

Harvey Keitel has signed on for his first-ever regular TV role, in ABC’s adaptation of U.K. cop show property, Life on Mars. Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) also stars.

— MTV has designs on remaking The Rocky Horror Picture Show, using the original script but leaving open the possibility that new musical numbers will be developed (Slashfilm)

TV Squad recaps Alan Ball’s True Blood panel discussion at Comic-Con.

Mark Walberg and Peter Berg will star in a dramatic adaptation of the 2006 doc Cocaine Cowboys. (Hollywood Reporter)

— “Episodic” Dexter game in development for iPhone and iPod Touch. (MTV)

Geoge Lucas looking to trick out all six Star Wars films in 3-D format (io9)

— “‘Pineapple Express’ emerges as a fitfully funny, tonally trippy but not entirely satisfying effort from the Judd Apatow comic fraternity. Featuring Seth Rogen and a scene-stealing James Franco as two pot-addled losers on the run from a ruthless dealer, director David Gordon Green’s first mainstream venture is an unruly, literally half-baked hybrid of bloody hijinks and stoner laughs.” – Variety’s early review

Posted by Ted Zee on July 25th 2008 | 89 Comments

My So Called Documentary: 'American Teen' Review


When a documentary crew asks its teen subjects to share their text messages and emails so they can be graphically recreated, can you reasonably expect that the high schoolers won’t begin to craft those messages for public consumption? If the director handpicks participants according to storylines and how snugly they fit into Breakfast Club like archetypes, intentionally leaves footage of drug use on the cutting room floor, and takes an active role in guiding their favorite participant towards their own filmmaking career, does the end product still resemble a documentary, or is it something else altogether?

American Teen opens this weekend. My June 4th review.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 24th 2008 | 2 Comments

True Coincidence


Just for fun I did some internal research, finding that Six Feet Under has been referenced in 37 different posts here over the past two years. One might argue that it inspired the very existence of this blog – a defacto depository for the hopes and dreams placed upon the alumni and their followups – Dexter, Dirty Sexy Money, and The Return of Jezebel James (one out of three ain’t bad). This should be an indicator as to which of these two upcoming projects is more likely to be the recipient of unabashed bias, suspension of skepticism, and saturation point coverage. In contrast, Diablo Cody’s bill of goods will remain suspect until proven otherwise. (True Blood and Jennifer’s Body posters via AICN)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 24th 2008 | 0 Comments

At the Movies Gets the Full Disney Treatment

Disney ABC has named two new “charismatic co-hosts” for their syndicated At the Movies franchise – in E! Television’s ass-sniffing, red carpet rover and alleged critic Ben Lyons, as well as Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz (you’re not the only one that’s never heard of him) a move targeting a younger audience, reports Variety’s Anne Thompson. This comes a day after Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper both announced they were leaving the show after an 8 year run. Thompson notes that earlier contract negotiations with Roeper ended “abruptly,” making us wonder if this wasn’t a premeditated changing of the guard by Disney. Roeper is expected to shop his own show around, with Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips as co-host, and Ebert will be back, somewhere, when he’s good and ready. Full story and press release.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 22nd 2008 | 0 Comments

Trailer: Darby Crash Biopic 'What We Do Is Secret'

For his feature on The Germs frontman Darby Crash, first time writer, producer, and director Rodger Grossman enlisted the help of Darby’s best friend Michelle Baer Ghaffari as a co-writer of the screenplay and leaned on original member Pat Smear for band lessons. The film, 10 years in the making, highlights Crash’s 5 year plan for the historic L.A. punk band between 1975 and 1980. ER‘s Shane West stars, with Bijou Phillips (as Lorna Doom), Rick Gonzales (Pat Smear), and Noah Segan (Don Bolles) rounding out the group. (via MTV Movies)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 21st 2008 | 0 Comments

One Night Reboot for WarGames


Amidst the renewed Cold War tensions of the Reagan era, 1983 and 1984 were banner years for both Red Scare and Nuclear Holocaust films, starting with WarGames and ABC telepic The Day After, followed by Red Dawn, and culminating with the one true pants-wetter of the lot, BBC’s Threads. Fast forward 25 years – Red Dawn has been primed for a remake, and with an anniversary DVD release approaching, the original WarGames, starring the Tab chugging, proto-Hacking, rosy-cheeked Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, will be screened in theaters nationwide for a one-evening event on July 24. The screening will feature interviews with Broderick and Sheedy, and will also include a preview of the completely unwarranted direct-to DVD sequel, WarGames: The Dead Code. (LA Times)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 21st 2008 | 7 Comments

Ebert and Roeper Call it Quits

ebert and roeper cancelled

Story via Anne Thompson.  In separate statements, both Roger Ebert (still in recovery from multiple surgeries that have affected his voice) and Richard Roeper announced their plans to leave the nationally syndicated At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper after eight seasons.  Roeper’s last appearance will air the weekend of August 16-17.

“Over the last two seasons, as Roger has bravely coped with his medical issues, I’ve continued the show with a number of guest co-hosts,” Roeper said. “It’s never been the same without Roger, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done and I’m grateful to all the co-hosts who stepped in — and to the viewers that stayed loyal to the show.”

Excerpts from Richard Roeper statement:

“Over the last two seasons, as Roger has bravely coped with his medical issues, I’ve continued the show with a number of guest co-hosts. It’s never been the same without Roger, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done and I’m grateful to all the co-hosts who stepped in — and to the viewers that stayed loyal to the show.”

“Several months ago, Disney offered to extend my contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season. I opted to wait. Much transpired after that behind the scenes, but an agreement was never reached, and we are all moving on.”

Statement from Roger Ebert:

“After 33 years on the air, 23 of them with Disney, the studio has decided to take the program named ‘Siskel & Ebert’ and then ‘Ebert & Roeper’ in a new direction. I will no longer be associated with it.

The show was a wonderful experience. It was a great loss to me when surgery in July 2006 made it impossible for me to appear on the air any longer. Although I remained active behind the scenes, I feel that Richard Roeper and several co-hosts, notably Michael Phillips and A.O. Scott, have excelled at carrying on the tradition Gene Siskel and I began in 1975 with ‘Sneak Previews’ on PBS.

Gene and I felt the formula was simplicity itself: Two film critics, sitting across the aisle from each other in a movie balcony, debating the new films of the week. We developed an entirely new concept for TV. Few shows have been on the air so long and remained so popular. We made television history, and established the trademarked catch-phrase ‘Two thumbs up.’

The trademark still belongs to me and Marlene Iglitzen, Gene’s widow, and the thumbs will return. We are discussing possibilities, and plan to continue the show’s tradition.”

Roeper said he intends to “proceed elsewhere … as the co-host of a movie review show that honors the standards established by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert more than 30 years ago,” adding “I will be free to share the details on that program in the near future.”

Posted by Ted Zee on July 21st 2008 | 4 Comments

Fallon Will Get 'Late Night' Start Online


Jimmy Fallon’s road to residency in Conan O’Brien’s Late Night seat will begin online, said producer Lorne Michaels. Tomorrow, NBC will likely announce the end dates for O’Brien to end his Late Night run (possibly in February), allowing him to head west and take over for Jay Leno, who is expected to leave The Tonight Show in June. To prep for Late Night, Michaels will have Fallon tape 5 to 10 minute videos which will air at the regular 12:30 spot, ” so people will begin to look for Jimmy at that time.” The video segments will begin showing online prior to the start of his official start as host, which will begin sometime in the spring. (NYT)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 21st 2008 | 0 Comments

Kept Quiet: P.T. Anderson to Direct L.A. Stage Performance

fred maya

Joining Fred Armisen, Maya Rudoph will finally appear out of the post-SNL fog for a stage performance directed by husband P.T. Anderson in a two-night run in August. Via Cigarettes and Red Vines, the following email was distributed to mailing list subscribers for The Largo Theater in Los Angeles:

*Largo at the Coronet… Breaking News…….*

Well hello there! We’re making an announcement right here and now that we’ve yet to release to the general public: on Aug. 5th & 6th Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen will be appearing together in a performance co-written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

So what is this? What’s the deal? *We’re not tellin’ nothin’ more.* All we’ll say is this: trust us, you won’t regret it. You’re welcome to call the theatre to purchase tickets with your credit card… or bring cash only on the night of the shows.

*$25 • doors at 8:30 • curtain at 9
Box Office: (310) 855-0350*

366 N. La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
*(you know… next to Trashy Lingerie)*

Maya’s next screen role will be for the Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directed, Dave Eggers penned relationship comedy, Farlanders, starring alongside John Krasinski. Rampant speculation concerning PTA’s next film project has ranged from an adaptation of the Playstation videogame hit Metal Gear Solid (definitely not happening) to a high-stakes Las Vegas set drama entitled Power Play.

Posted by Ted Zee on July 20th 2008 | 3 Comments

Martin Scorsese & Tina Fey for American Express

Two people who really could do no wrong at the moment. Unfortunately this is one of those too good to be true collaborations that rarely go beyond hawking widgets or high-falluting memberships.

Bonus clip:

Posted by Ted Zee on July 20th 2008 | 1 Comment

Trailer: McConaughey's 'Surfer, Dude'

Method acting, right?  This explains everything. (via Coming Soon)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 18th 2008 | 0 Comments

Your Remake Announcement for July 18th, 2008: Valley Girl, The Musical

MGM popped a sun-warped, back catalog oldie (1983) into the cassette deck and it spit the tape back in a refried, musical feature format. They also have a Fame remake in the hopper. (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on July 18th 2008 | 1 Comment

Contribution to the Bat Zeitgeist

Posted by Ted Zee on July 18th 2008 | 0 Comments