When it was released in 1998, the French comedy The Dinner Game quickly became the second highest grossing French film up to that point, racking up nearly $50 million, trailing only behind Titanic. The movie’s success immediately caught the attention of Dreamworks (which was then a newly formed studio) and there were plans for a Hollywood remake. The director of the French version Francis Veber set to work on rewriting it as an American adaptation in 1999. Then the project became a Hollywood tale like so many others. It sat “in development” for the next few years. Read more…
As per usual, Woody Allen‘s annual flick is nothing new, just vintage neuroses. This one looks like a hybrid of his last comedy, Whatever Works, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona — especially with that unsubtle third person narrator.
Filmmaker Mike Leigh and Liam Neeson Express Outrage Over British Government’s Decision To Axe UK Film Council
The British government has decided to axe a program that provided over £15 million worth of funding to British filmmakers annually. Filmmaker Mike Leigh who has benefited from the government subsidy in the past, receiving funding for his Oscar nominated films Vera Drake and Happy Go-Lucky, expressed his outrage, telling the BBC:
It’s very shocking indeed. It’s from left of field in a very sudden and devastating way.
During the London premiere of The A-Team, Liam Neeson, who has starred in films that benefited from the Film Council funding such as Breakfast on Pluto and The Other Man, didn’t mince words when he told a reporter:
I think the decision is… the word ‘deplorable’ comes to mind. We have to do something about it. We need movies. It’s a powerful industry that provides a credible entertainment for millions of people and I think it is wrong, I just think it is wrong for the government [to do this].
Last summer, American Idol made headlines when they gave veteran judge Paula Abdul the boot and replaced her with Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and talk show personality with no musical background. Then Simon Cowell announced his exit from the show. Now DeGeneres wants out. She released the following statement to Access Hollywood:
A couple months ago, I let FOX and the ‘American Idol’ producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on Read more…
Last week, Bill Murray admitted that he is embarrassed by his participation in the 2004 kiddie pic, Garfield (and its 2006 sequel). Perhaps fellow Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd will be feeling the same kind of regret when Yogi Bear –an uninspired, live-action ripoff of the awful Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and its Squeakquel– is released this December. (Although, in his intro for this Yahoo-sponsored teaser trailer, Aykroyd certainly appears enthusiastic.)
As a side note: Yogi Bear basically looks like the worst movie ever. And does the allure of hastily converted 3-D honestly reel people in anymore? Toy Story 3 was great, but I kept wanting to take the glasses off and watch the clearer, crisper 2-D version.
Woody Allen‘s upcoming film, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, hasn’t even been released yet and the prolific director is already well into production on his next project, Midnight in Paris. Allen has often gone outside the box when casting his films. In his last one, Whatever Works, Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) played the lead role. For his new movie, he has gone even further outside the box, casting musician Carla Bruni, who also happens to be the wife of French President Nicolas Sorkozy, in a small role. Last summer, Allen met with the Sarkozy at the Elysées Palace to discuss whether having his wife star in his film was a real possibility. When Bruni announced that she had accepted the role in November in an interview with France’s Canal+, she said:
I go into everything blindly, or I’d never do anything at all. I am not an actress at all. Maybe I’ll be completely hopeless, but I can’t miss an opportunity like this one in my life. When I’m a grandmother, I’d like to be able to say I made a film with Woody Allen.
In addition to Bruni, the film also stars Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Rachel McAdams.
In a summer filled with disappointments like Prince of Persia and Killers, Sex and City 2 became another prime example of Hollywood miscalculation. The highly anticipated sequel failed to live up to to its promise at the box office, grossing $150M less than the first movie and the reaction from most critics and fans alike was not kind; most seemed ready to stage a full scale revolt. Due to the poor reception, it looks like it could be the end of the road for the long running franchise. Kristen Davis who has played Charlotte since the inception of the series in 1998, says she isn’t holding out much hope for a third film. Read more…
Billboards for the ridiculously titled 3-D kids pic, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, can be seen everywhere throughout the city. Although Warner Bros. seems to have miscalculated with placing an ad for the movie outside of Wrigley Field, when Pet Smart would have been the more obvious choice.
Hollywood Seeing Green At Comic-Con 2010: Studios Drum Up Excitement For ‘Green Lantern’; ‘Green Hornet’ Fails To Wow; And Joss Whedon Introduces Cast of ‘The Avengers’
For some of the biggest films that will be released in the upcoming year, Comic-Con marks the unofficial start of the marketing onslaught. Last year’s convention featured a sneak peak of Avatar which went on to be the highest grossing film ever. This year, most of the events have felt like little more than staged press conferences and movies such as Salt, The Green Lantern and The Green Hornet have had mixed success in generating excitement. Fans who camped out the night before to get a front row seat for a first look at The Green Lantern got to witness the movie’s star Ryan Reynolds reciting the “Green Lantern Oath” for a child in the audience. According to Variety, Seth Rogen appeared, “defensive,” during the panel discussion for The Green Hornet, Read more…
FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘Inception’ Outmuscles Brawny Action Thriller ‘Salt’
Salt, starring Angelina Jolie as an indestructible secret agent capable of leaping from tall buildings and moving vehicles without a scratch, had a solid opening, taking in $36M for second place. However, the action thriller wasn’t able to out muscle Inception from the top spot. The success of the mind bending drama has cemented Christopher Nolan‘s reputation as a director capable of turning out blockbuster films that are both critically and commercially successful. Warner Bros. executives can celebrate the fact that they will be collaborating with the director once again for Batman 3, the hotly anticipated sequel to the The Dark Knight. Read more…