December 16, 2010
THE NEXT TIME Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci team up for a movie, it may be to play characters from a video game. That's the dream of David O. Russell, who's currently working on a movie version of "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. " Mark Wahlberg is already on board as Nathan Drake, and Russell wants De Niro as Drake's father, Pesci as his uncle. "I'm writing the project with Mark, and with De Niro and Pesci in mind," said Russell, who's pitched the idea to both men, whom he's admired as a longtime Martin Scorsese nut, and addicted fan of the movies "Goodfellas," "Casino" and the fight classic "Raging Bull.
June 3, 2010
VINCENZO NATALI is trim, bespectacled, bright, and, like almost all Canadians, polite - he doesn't seem at all like one of the sickest dudes in movies. Yet his sci-fi horror movie "Splice," wherein human weakness meets DNA science, contains some truly sick stuff. And not in the mindlessly repulsive manner of the modern "horror" movie - finding, say, a photo-realistic way of showing a drill bit going through some coed's frontal lobe. Natali's aim is to make a true horror movie, with classic dimensions.
August 26, 2010
AS A LAD in Northern England, Neil Marshall used to stand at the ruin of Hadrian's Wall and wonder about the forces that led to its construction. "I'd look out on a misty rainy night and wonder what a Roman soldier might have thought, standing in the same place centuries earlier. What were the Romans afraid of, what was out there? Why did they retreat behind this massive structure?" Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Marshall, now a director of horror movies, is sitting in a pub, spitballing ideas for his next project when a buddy asks him if he's ever heard of the legend of the 9th Roman legion.
February 28, 2014
IF YOU LIKE Oscar sweeps, you're not going to like this year's race. The large 2014 bounty of great movies points to another unusually competitive contest - with some uncanny echoes of last year - and virtually guarantees that no single picture will dominate the tally. Look for the awards to be spread pretty evenly over half a dozen films. The question is, who gets what? The answers: Best Picture/Director Let me boldly and definitively assert that when it comes to Best Picture, I haven't much confidence in my pick.
August 26, 2011
WELL THAT'S over with. The empty-calorie summer, with its frivolous robot fights and cowboys and aliens and smurfs and sequels and remakes and romcoms and doomed teens reaching their final decapitated destinations. Now, finally, it's on to autumn, with its substantive roster of weighty prestige motion pictures. Films such as "Shark Night 3D. " And "Piranha 3DD. " The extra D makes all the difference. Yes, weighty prestigious films, full of erudition, and Oscarness.
November 18, 2011
THE BEST documentarians, to my mind, build a bond of trust with an audience by making us feel as though we are on a journey of discovery right along with them. No preaching, no preconceived agenda. One of the best working today is Werner Herzog, whose docs are far too weird and singular ("Encounters at the End of the World," "Grizzly Man") to be designed around any sort of agenda. That's true of his latest - "Into the Abyss" - which wanders around the edges of capital punishment, but ends up going off in typically (for Herzog)
November 4, 2011
"HAROLD AND Kumar Go to White Castle" didn't look like a cultural game-changer when it opened in 2004, but its influence has been quietly substantial. Starring Kal Penn and John Cho as a kind of Asian-American Hope and Crosby, the movie made a nice pile of money - foremost by being funny, but also by quietly acknowledging our country's changing racial makeup. Its two regular guy leads - red-blooded, pot-smoking, burger-craving American males - were Korean and Indian. Penn, who describes himself as "a normal American kid who grew up in New Jersey, watching the same stuff that everybody else was watching," said that growing up he couldn't help but notice a shortage of Asian-American characters.
August 17, 2007
THE UPROARIOUS comedy "Superbad" has a character with a name so indelible it's likely to be linked to the actor forever. Newcomer Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays a teen who comes to be known as "McLovin," the name that appears on his ridiculous fake I.D. "Right now, I'm really excited about it," said Mintz-Plasse, who recently stopped in Philly with co-stars Michael Cera and Jonah Hill to promote the comedy. "I don't know what I'm going to think later, but I guess I'll worry about that when the time comes.
January 11, 2013
"LINCOLN" TALLIED the most Oscar nominations Thursday, but the biggest winner may have been Philadelphia's own "Silver Lining Playbook. " The low-profile movie picked up eight Oscar nominations - fewer than the 12 for "Lincoln" - but "SLP" is the only movie to be nominated in all of the most important categories - best picture, best director (David O. Russell), best actor (Bradley Cooper), best actress (Jennifer Lawrence), best supporting actress (Jacki Weaver) and best supporting actor (Robert De Niro)