Trailer: Bellflower

News, nuggets and notables. Updated throughout the day. As always, newer items will show up at the top of the list.

Straw Dogs remake gets a poster remake
Rod Lurie is most definitely not shying away from having people compare his film to Sam Peckinpah’s original starring Dustin Hoffman. I smell trouble. As I noted in May on the other hand, the trailer isn’t bad when you take it all by itself.(@RodLurie)

Save the Date: Weinstein Co. rolling out Tarantino’s Django Unchained for Christmas 2012
How did they know what to get me? (Variety – firewall)

David O. Russell rumored for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty pic Maleficent
Tim Burton bailed and I predict Russell ultimately will too, just like he did with the video game adaptation Uncharted. Come on Russell. The Fighter kind of sucked (is it safe to say that out loud now? Has enough time passed?) but it made a lot of money and got all kinds of Oscar love. This is your chance to do one for yourself. Make it interesting. (THR)

LeBron James comedy Ballers put on the shelf for a little while
Well, I guess you can add “starring in shitty sports comedy” to “wearing championship ring” on list of things LeBron James will not be doing during the off season… (Variety)

Ben Stiller circling high concept comedy Neighborhood Watch
The words “high concept comedy” almost always spell big stupid trouble, but Stiller hasn’t burned through the LiC good will he earned with such films as Greenberg. What’s Neighborhood Watch? It’s the story of a bunch of emasculated suburban chumps who get their male bonding fix as part of a neighborhood watch group. Come on, Stiller. Let Kevin James have this one. Akiva Schaffer who is responsible for the Andy Samberg vehicle Hot Rod has signed on to direct. Seriously, Stiller. Don’t do it. (THR)

Billy Bob Thornton lines up Robert Duvall, John Hurt and Kevin Bacon for Jayne Mansfield’s Car
Shnike, that’s a cast. Ray Stevenson (HBO’s Rome) too. It will be the directorial debut of Thornton who co-wrote the script with Tom Epperson. [UPDATE: Except it’s not Thornton’s debut at all. Have I forgotten Sling Blade so soon? I swear the original story said it was his debut, but that doesn’t really justify me repeating it even if I’m remembering correctly.] It’s set in 1969 and “revolves around the culture clash of two families from different continents.” I’m guessing one of the families is from The Ukraine since the founder of Ukrainian TV, Alexander Rodnyansky, has bellied up to provide some production cash. (Deadline)

Anna Kendrick joins Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena in indie cop drama End of Watch
I’m still not sure we need another “gritty copy drama,” but I like the cast so far so what the hell? (Variety)

The Official “Ok we’re totally not shitting you this time” Trailer for Our Idiot Brother
Back in April, a trailer for the generally well-recieved Sundance comedy Our Idiot Brother made the rounds, but it kept getting pulled down. Yahoo’s got the official version which still feels crowd please-y while coming across a little less Our Little Miss Sunhsine-y. Paul Rudd plays an aging stoner fresh out of jail for dealing. While he figures out what to do with his life, he decides to live with his sisters, one after the other as he wears out his welcome with each. Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer play the sisters. It opens August 26. (Yahoo)

Stunt-folk want their own Oscar category
And I want them to have it, but 10-1 they’d just get fobbed off with the other un-televised technical awards so they don’t cut into the shitty and soul crushing song and dance numbers. Then again, they’d make for some great clip packages… Do it Oscar! (EW)

James Cameron interested in sci-fi pic Myth
That’s the headline. The real story is that the 20th Century Fox project (to which Cameron is attached as executive producer) now has a writer, one Will Staples who has done nothing of note yet that you’ve seen unless you play the video game Call of Duty (and any gamer whose brain has finished forming will tell you that scripts aren’t exactly the high point of most games). Cameron is possibly interested in the thing as a directing vehicle and he has Avatar’s Sam Worthington in mind for it, but Cameron’s name is floating around a lot of things. Here’s the real kicker of pointlessness: according to THR, “Nothing is known about Myth other than it’s big, it’s sci-fi, and it’s got lots of action.” OK then! Moving on. (THR)

Ed Harris, Matthew Fox in talks for World War Z
More news on Marc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ entertaining “oral history” of the great Zombie War as Ed Harris and Matthew Fox (Lost) are in talks to join Brad Pitt and the previously reported James Badge Dale and Mireille Enos. Still no mention whether Anthony Mackie’s rumored offer has become official. Either way, this thing is shaping up to have a top shelf cast. (Deadline)

Mendes “set,” Gerwig “in talks” to join Gosling, Cooper Beyond the Pines
The Place Beyond the Pines is the one that re-teams Ryan Gosling with his Blue Valentine writer/director Derek Cianfrance. He plays a motorcycle racer turned bank robber. Bradley Cooper recently signed on to play the rookie cop on his tail. The LiC jury is still out on the beautiful Eva Mendes though she turned in a nice comic performance in The Other Guys. On the other hand, I’m an unabashed fan of Greta Gerwig and look forward to anything that will put the memory of the depressingly awful Arthur remake out of my mind. (Deadline)

(above) Trailer: Bellflower
I don’t know what it is about this Sundance flick that has captured my imagination, but there’s something intriguing about a couple of pre-apocalyptic Mad Max wannabes. It’s got shades of Two-Lane Blacktop or something. I don’t know. Anyway, here’s the trailer. (IMDB)

Aronofsky eying Christian Bale for his Noah epic
It has come to my attention since I made known my bewilderment at the very idea of a Darren Aronofsky movie about the myth of the old dude with the big boat and all the animals and the flood that the choosy director has been kicking around this idea since at least 2007. I tend to pretty much let Aronofsky news go in one ear and out the other because he is a serial project juggler. Anyway, this isn’t even news really. He wants Christian Bale to be in his $130 million biblical end of the world movie. Maybe the two have discussed the idea, or maybe they haven’t. Maybe Bale will do it, maybe he won’t. Maybe this movie will really happen, maybe it won’t. I still think it’s a stupid idea, but movies about a crazy ballerina or a dude with a tree in space also sound really stupid and Aronofsky made them work. I’ll quit bitching and give the guy the benefit of a doubt until he gives me a reason not to. (Vulture)

Really ugly snap of a really ugly Avengers promo poster
Hulk smash weak blurry pictures of ugly marketing at puny trade shows! This hastily cobbled together turd is designed to drum up toy and product tie-ins for next summer’s Avengersvaganza. If I were a licensing guy it might be massively successful, but as a movie guy it fills me with ennui. (WayTooMuchTimeOnTheirHands)

Departures Oscar-winner announces pic about 17th century Japanese astronomer
Hate to be cranky for three items in a row – not sure if it’s me or just this morning’s news – but Departures was one of the worst foreign language Oscar winners in recent memory and this is not a category known for its wise choices. The very thought of that camera craning around the dude in the field playing the cello with the pretty scenery in the background like some goddamn new age “sounds of relaxation for the comatose” music video makes me want to punch kittens in the face. And I like kittens. A lot. Anyway, director Yojiro Takita plans to tackle the story of Harumi Shibukawa, 17th century astronomer, mathematician and general man-about-town who invented a Japanese calendar. The film will star Junichi Okada and Aoi Miyazaki as the astronomer and his wife. I’m feeling sleepy already. (THR)

11 Responses to “News du Jour: Super Cranky Edition”

  1. “Our Idiot Brother” just gave me an indie-gasm. So much Sundance-friendly talent on one screen. I get the same sense as you, that this trailer was cut to appeal to a certain crowd, so I’m hoping the film will be better than that, but its made by the same folks that make films for that crowd. So I don’t know.

    And I wish I hadn’t read all the quotes in the “Bellflower” trailer because its unlikely any film can live up to my expectations now. I blame myself.

    “I still think it’s a stupid idea, but movies about a crazy ballerina or a dude with a tree in space also sound really stupid and Aronofsky made them work.” HAHAHA, good one.

    That is a really ugly snap of an ugly Avengers poster, but its a direct knock-off of an Avengers comic book cover (not for the movie) so the fanboys have eaten it up with a spoon and asked for seconds. Like Pavlov’s dogs, those of many comic books have rejoiced, because this inanimate, painted rendition of characters in a live-action film aping the poses of their two-dimensional, superhuman dopplegangers obviously bespeaks cinematic splendor.

    Obviously. Geez, Craig.

  2. Idiot brother. Yeah, you know, I’m rooting for this one because I liked the cast and I want Paul Rudd to be great in more than just supporting roles, but … yeah, I don’t know.

    Avengers, yeah,a but isn’t it a knock off of like TWENTY Avengers covers? I think I’ve owned like 10 of them and I barely bought comics when I was a little kid.

    The nerd herd are just happy there’s an Avengers movie. The post could’ve been taken from inside of my colon and they would’ve gone apeshit for it.

  3. Funny, I’ve liked most of the Marvel movies that have been made so far. But honestly, I couldn’t give less of a shit about “The Avengers”. Maybe it’s because my favorite Marvel franchises aren’t included in the Paramount package (Fox owns “X-Men”, Sony owns “Spider-Man”, though they’ve royally screwed those movies up from day one). Maybe it’s because Joss Whedon is making the film, and I just don’t like most of his work (“Firefly” and “Dollhouse” are okay, but anything involving those of the blood-and-fang persuasion and I change the channel). Maybe it’s just because this forever dashes the hopes we had of ever seeing a REAL movie of “The Avengers” get made, after that abomination with Uma Thurman. Christ, seeing Scarlett Johansen as Black Widow only makes it worse, for how much she resembles Emma Peel…

    “Bellflower”, I gotta say, just looks stupid to me. Does a movie about guys who build post-apocalyptic muscle cars and flame throwers really need a love-interest to put their man-cave delusions into contrast? Would any mainstream-ish pretty girl in her right mind even go near these guys with a ten foot pole, in reality? Maybe the ten-foot pole is a weapon they built from a cattle prod. Who knows.

  4. At first I thought your anti-Avengers talk was crazy-talk Bob, in light of your affection for the Superhero movies, but as you say, Paramount/Marvel doesn’t have the rights to the “Best” superheroes. On the other hand, the Avengers have always been about a collection of 2nd tier heroes. They’d always flirt with Spider-Man or whoever, but part of their charm was power through numbers.

    You could argue that both Hulk and Iron Man are 1st tier heroes, but I think that’s only because of A) the Hulk TV show in the 70s and B) the recent iron man movies. the relatively minor performance of both Hulk films I think you can chalk up to the fact most people just don’t give a shit about that character and the relatively good performance of IM 1 & 2 I think you can lay at the feet of Downey.

    Anyway, not sure where I’m going here, but I think the very nature of The Avengers involves an uphill climb to the hearts of non-comic nerds.

    As for Bellflower, the fact it’s a low budget, indie film made by people who MADE THEIR OWN FUCKING LARGE FORMAT CAMERAS for the film makes me think it’s something to see. The idea is nothing great, but it’s an interesting twist on the so-totally-overplayed-post-apocalyptic genre and a beautiful woman is always a promising monkey wrench in any narrative. If it was a big hollywood production, I’d call bullshit, but since it’s a few guys building their own equipment, I’m officially issuing the benefit of a doubt. It could suck, but I support the attempt.

  5. On “The Avengers” being second-tier heroes. To an extent, yeah. But in the comics, they’re kept fresh and interesting by how they can interact with all the other characters, heroes and villains. Spider-Man or Wolverine don’t necessarily need to be on the team themselves (though they have been in the past) for an adventure between them and Captain American or Iron Man to be fun. Hell, when I was little the first time I ever even heard of the Hulk was from watching a cartoon where he goes on a rampage in New York, and Spidey has to stop him. Yeah, it’s cool to see Sam Jackson as (Ultimate) Nick Fury, but so far it feels like this whole thing is just leading up to the most boring parts of the Marvel Universe. But who knows, one or two contracts get signed, and I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw Andrew Garfield or Hugh Jackman making appearances in future films. It would probably be to the business benefit of everyone involved.

    As for “Bellflower”– frankly, the fact that they’re indie, industrious and delightfully mad just makes me kinda depressed that they’re using such a rote story. If it was a big hollywood thing, I’d call bullshit too, but I’d be more tolerant of it because that’s what hollywood does, what it’s there for. I expect more from the indies, but more and more it seems they’re taking less chances than the big studios. This is not “Primer”, nor is it even “Moon”.

  6. I mean 2nd tier as far as the wider, non-comic reading world is concerned. You know, the people that have to show up for a movie to be a hit.

    You might be right about Bellflower, but I don’t see how the story is “rote.” Feels like a fresh twist on a familiar idea to me.

  7. You guys are having a hell of an argument about a movie….neither of you have seen?

  8. Two movies we haven’t seen. Though I’m not sure either of us is going to bother with “The Avengers”. I’ll admit, stupid and not-nearly-as-different-as-it-wants-you-to-think-it-s, I’ll give my benefit of the doubt to “Bellflower” a little sooner, I think.

    Though seriously, the trailer looks like a low-key “Fast and the Furious” plus a little “Friday Night Lights” and flamethrowers. Which to me, just looks stupid as hell.

  9. No there’s no argument about Avengers.

    Not really an argument about Bellflower either. I think it looks promising. Bob does not concur.

  10. That Avengers poster looks Photoshopped.

    I would still watch Avengers because of one person involved with it: Joss Whedon.

  11. I’ll probably watch for one reason: Robert Downey Jr.

    Also I’m a bit intrigued by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. He’s admittedly not much of a character, but he provided the 2 most interesting minutes of the otherwise dull Thor.

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