Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quick clips for Thursday September 4

If Sean Penn is Milk, who's the cow?

Gus Van Sant has directed some of the most intriguing (Elephant), maddening (Psycho - the remake), and just plain odd (Last Days) films in recent memory. This stands in opposition to most directors, who consider their biggest challenge deciding which talentless blonde suckhole to cast as the vacant female lead opposite their chiseled, herpes-carrying male star. So color me impressed by the trailer for Milk, a film by Van Sant that looks both unique and accessible. It doesn't hurt that this is one of the few real-life biopics that actually intrigues me, nor does it hurt that Sean Penn (whose only bad performance in recent memory was when he went "full-retard" in I am Sam...and before anyone says anything, just like Tropic Thunder, the target of that joke is the fact that exploiting people with mental retardation for Oscar gold is awful). At any rate, check out the trailer below and marvel in the fact that (A) this damn thing actually got made and (B) that it may be the first Best Picture contender (well, the first one to not feature a dude dressed entirely in leather...wait, scratch that).

You'll watch 3 and a half hours of a gawky kid sinking but complain about this?

Advanced buzz is important...not as important as most Web sites/blogs/forum-posting douches will lead you to believe, but it is important. That's why I'm worried about Slashfilm's report that Paramount is already messing with director David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the movie in which Brad Pitt ages backwards. The trailers have made it look haunting and lyrical, something that won't be easily accomplished by dramatically trimming the run-time as the studio seems to be demanding (Fincher's last movie was the good-but-critically-overrated Zodiac, which clocked in at just under 10 hours...I'm kidding, it was no more than 5). Now, I understand the need to trim over-long movies (paging Judd Apatow), but this looks like a movie that may actually BENEFIT from length. How else to convey an entire life but to have a longer film? Hell, they still play Meet Joe Black on television and that thing had to last at least a full weekend. Early buzz from clips of footage shown at the Telluride Film Festival have not been kind, but I'm guessing that this is the type of film that needs to be experienced in totality. It has Cate Blanchett in it, are you telling me you want LESS time with Cate Blanchett? Cuz that's just stupid. Anyway, here's hoping that we at least get to see the full Fincher cut at some point. The damage has already been done, Paramount, you may as well just let the damn thing come out as is.

Guillermo Del Toro is too busy to come to your birthday party, so quit asking

I love Guillermo Del Toro, not in the "let me jiggle your jowls" kind of way, more in the "you can direct anything up to and including carnal relations with my wife" way (which may be just as weird). Thus, Variety's news that the director is booked from now until roughly the point at which the stars fall from the sky is actually good news. The director is "officially" booked until 2017, and his projects include the following: The two Hobbit films, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Slaughterhouse-Five, At the Mountains of Madness, and the chance for another Hellboy (plus he's producing Hater and Crimson Peak). More or less, if you have a film that is just perfect for Del Toro, you'd better start rewriting it. Now, chances are that most of these projects will fall apart (if not at least some of them), and that's fine. The thing that makes me happy is that a guy who primarily directs genre-based projects (horror, sci-fi, etc) is arguably the busiest and best director around. If things go right, he could be this generations Speilberg. If the go wrong, he can console himself with the fact that he's not George Lucas.
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