The headlines from this week’s Between The Aisles – the best Hollywood news in one post!
I Love You, Man’s Premature Marketing?
What We Can Expect From TOKYO! And Other Upcoming Japanese Films
Dakota Fanning To Play 15 Year Old Punk Rocker
New Trailers For ’09 Blockbusters (and an Indie Romance):
-Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
-X-Men Origins: Wolverine
-500 Days of Summer
As much as I’m looking forward to the barrage of bromantical comedy that’s sure to come from I Love You, Man, isn’t it a little early to be touting posters with quotes that we have no idea what they mean yet? Sure they sound kind of funny, and they’re likely to be very funny, but how would I know? I haven’t seen the movie! Nonetheless I now have the phrase “Totes Magotes” stuck in my head. So, do these posters intrigue you enough to make you want to see the flick more, or do they come off as as little too self confident in the film’s “catch phrase” status and make you want to hang back?
Beyond his recent news headlines as the new director slated to take over The Green Hornet, Michel Gondry is also one of the three directors to contribute to TOKYO!, a triptych of stories set in the overwhelming megalopolis that is Tokyo. I think a quote from the TOKYO! website says it best. “Tokyo! addresses the timeless question of whether we shape cities, or if cities shape us – in the process revealing the rich humanity at the heart of modern life.” If you watch the trailer below, you’ll see how imaginative, drastically far apart, and yet surprisingly similar these three stories are. Directors Leos Carax, Joon-ho Bong and Michel Gondry each look like they spent some serious think-tank time before ultimately deciding on what short story they would like to tell, and after all of that it is in no way surprising that Gondry would choose to portray a lazy woman turning into a chair. From what I gather Carax’s piece will follow a sewer monster man making his way through the city, and Bong’s piece will express a man’s humble life within the confines of his apartment. I’m very excited to see what TOKYO! can do. Go here for the trailer.
Tokyo Sonata is set to follow a contemporary Japanese family of four. From the outset the family appears to be normal with a husband, wife and two sons, but then the slow unraveling begins when the father unexpectedly loses his job. Unwilling to bring this burden onto his family, he becomes part of the secretly unemployed workforce. While his family thinks he’s trotting off to work, in fact he is spending his days sitting in libraries and walking through parks. Parallel to the father, The younger son, Kenji is forbidden by his mother to take piano lessons, but manages to take them anyway using his lunch money to pay. Like father, like son. Coming from Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a Japanese director known for his thriller and suspense films, is said to bring his sense of tension and fear into this quietly paced suburban Japan nightmare. But what do I know, I haven’t seen it yet. Mike Harvey from Nylon magazine called it, “Odd, austere, wry, subtle, explosive, poignant, and gorgeous.” It sounds to me like we have a beautifully composed, subtly acted, work of art that no one will see on our hands. I’m actually dying to see it, on a hunch that it will be wonderful, and I only hope I get the chance before it hits DVD status. It will start running a limited release in the U.S. on March 13th.
If you watch the trailer, then you’ll understand why I don’t know yet what to make of Big Man Japan. The plot is said to follow an approx. 40 year old man who lives in a run down house in Tokyo, alone. Sounds normal so far. He periodically transforms into a giant as tall as skyscrapers, and defends Japan from similarly giant monsters. I’m sorry what??? I mean I’m intrigued, but what? From reviews already in, it’s said to be pretty funny with an obvious absurdity that just makes you love it. It’s unlikely to ever come to a theater near you, but just in case it’s said to start running a limited release in the U.S. in mid May. The giants, monsters, and baby (?) are all done in CG, but in such a way that you understand the creator wants you to know it’s digital. I can’t even begin to imagine what was running through creator Hitoshi Matsumoto’s mind while creating Big Man Japan. Probably something along the lines of, “this is going to rock everyone’s socks, Japan style.” Even just from the trailer, I’m inclined to agree.
Floria Sigismondi’s upcoming biopic about 70’s all girl rocker group, The Runaways, now has precocious Dakota Fanning aboard. Fanning is set to play 15 year old Cherie Currie who became best known for her over-sexualized and drug abuse look beginning at a young age. The home schooled starlet first came on the map as the adorable daughter to Sean Penn in I AM SAM, and has since taken off in ways even I couldn’t have forseen. Now she’s 15, and all grown up… maybe even a little too fast. We can expect that this is just phase one of Fanning’s “prove to Hollywood I’m a real actress” plan. Next thing you know she’ll be doing a movie with a rape scene…. oh wait. Fanning will be co-starring in The Runaways with Kristen Stewart, who’ll star as Joan Jett. There continue to be rumors that Fanning and Stewart will team up again in New Moon of the Twilight Saga with Fanning taking on the role of young vampire Jane, but nothing is yet confirmed.
Star Trek – Cheers to it’s glorious youth filled future! Can you tell I’m excited? I’m really excited.
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince – My adrenaline for the summer continues to rise as another HPHBP trailer surfaces, and this one’s all business. No funny intermittent one liners to be found, just fire, brimstone, and lots of spooky smoke. LOVE IT! Bring it HP, I’m more than ready.
Terminator Salvation – I have to say this trailer got me a lot more excited than the first one. I love the idea of the robots becoming so advanced, they don’t even know they’re not human anymore. Brilliant, even though it’s been done before. Anyone wanna guess what the now infamous freak out scene was?
Public Enemies – Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard will hit theaters July 1, guns blazing in Michael Mann’sPublic Enemies. Other stars include Billy Crudup (J. Edgar Hoover?), Channing Tatum, Leelee Sobieski, Giovanni Ribisi, Emilie de Ravin, and Stephen Dorff, plus like 20 more. So are we ready for another gangster movie? Are we ready to see Johnny Depp play something other than a pirate? Are we ready to move on from the Christian Bale incident? Hell if I know.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – After the insane success of the full Terminator: Salvation trailer released earlier this week, we now have the full X-Men Origins trailer at our disposal. I have to admit, I was diggin the teaser a lot more. Or maybe I’m still so hyped from how amazing Salvation looked, that this just fell short by comparison. What do y’all think? At least Hugh has stopped singing and dancing, and gone he’s back where he belongs, ripping people’s faces off. Check out the new full trailer here.
The Hangover – What the hell happened last night? The Hangover Teaser premiered that’s what. Set to release June 5, 2009, The Hangover will follow three groomsmen (Zach Galifinakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms) on retracing their steps to find their buddy the groom. Think 3 Men and a Baby, but set in Vegas and presumably with a lot more cursing (and hopefully humor). Because it’s directed by the guy who did the Starsky and Hutch movie, I’m keeping my expectations at an all time low. However, because Zach G. is in it, they are simultaneously exponentially high. It’s got a decent premise and funny people. Lets hope that’s all they need. Check out the teaser trailer here.
500 Days of Summer – You’ve waited for it, and now here it is, the full trailer for 500 Days of Summer. Even though the new trailer gives a lot more insight into the movie and what it’ll be like, I’m still fond of the original teaser. Something about the guy’s constant narration stuck with me. Jeez Zooey, The Smiths? That was an easy one. Watch the new full trailer here.
DiCaprio To Team Up With Nolan
Wild Times With Spike Jonze
I’ve been meaning to get to writing about Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are for a couple of weeks now, but with all the insane movie news, and time spent working on a couple of reviews, it fell by the wayside temporarily. The film will be based on the 10 sentence long children’s book by Maurice Sendak and combine a mix of live action people, CGI, and Jim Henson styled creatures voiced by famous people like Paul Dano, Lauren Ambrose, and Forest Whitaker. For the last few years the movie has had it’s fair share of problems including switching studios, and rumors of total reshoots. But now the film is finally in post production and currently has a release date of October 16, 2009. I was fairly nervous when I heard about the live action adaptation given it’s iconic imagery and potential under the wrong director to lean entirely towards your cliche hollywood kids movie. But, HAVE YOU SEEN THESE PICS?! They’re gorgeous! Once Spike Jonze came on board, it’s really no surprise that I instantly began to feel an affinity for the project. He’s brought cinematographer Lance Acord to the film, the man responsible for Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette. Need I say more? So far, the imagery reminds me a lot of the music video for Sigur Ros’ Glosoli. The film is going to be amazing. I’ve already decided. Let’s just hope the studio doesn’t force Jonze’s hand to make it more “kiddie.” It’s supposed to be disturbing afterall.