Spoke to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Rian Johnson about Looper. Links to my THR videos below.
This week’s movie and TV DVD releases
By Rebecca Ford, Metromix
Metromix DVD pick of the week:
“Alice in Wonderland”
Stars: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter
Tim Burton takes on the classic Lewis Carroll tale, combining live-action and CGI-animation to create a visually stunning world of floating cat heads and enlarged red queen heads. While the story is on the simple side, and Johnny Depp’s role as the Mad Hatter leaves something to be desired, the twisted, imaginative world that comes to life on screen will leave you wishing for your own trip down the rabbit hole.
…Read more at Metromix
This week’s New on DVD: ‘Daria’
By Rebecca Ford
“Daria: The Complete Animated Series”
Stars: Tracy Grandstaff (as Daria Morgendorffer), Wendy Hoopes (as Jane Lane), Julián Rebolledo (as Jake Morgendorffer)
Twelve years ago, Daria Morgendorffer showed the MTV generation what an unenthusiastic, sarcastic teen could do in a suburban high school. For the first time, this eight-disc collection brings back every episode of the smart, funny “Beavis & Butt-Head” spin-off serie about a teen who tried to make it through high school with as little human contact as possible. Popularity, friends, activities… whatever.
….See more at Metromix.
Blackbird is an AFI thesis film about a boy who searched for a magical blackbird in the sky. And when George is put to a decisive test, his conviction in what he believes shows the world around him that even the smallest of people can change the world in the most unlikely way.
If you’ve ever had a dream, or a blackbird you’ve searched for in the sky, then help support these filmmakers as they go after their own dream of making this film. They’re taking donations, and it’s tax deductible. No donation is too small.
You can donate online:
An old, cruddy quarter and a new, shiny quarter may look very different, but they’re both worth 25 cents.
In the same way, the gritty 2004 Danish filmBrødre and its current remake, Brothers, look very different, but are essentially the same strong story underneath it all.
The newer version, directed by Jim Sheridan with a screenplay written by David Benioff (The Kite Runner, Stay), mirrors the original so closely that it makes one wonder what would have happened if the filmmakers had instead decided to push the movie in a different direction. However, Brothers is an excellent view into the effects of war on the home and returned soldiers. Some emotional scenes are especially haunting, as the tension between the characters continues to escalate….
See the rest of the review here.
By Rebecca Ford
Robert Feinberg is some people’s worst nightmare. The 59-year-old was once a 22-year-old with the world at his feet, working on a movie that could have made him the next big director.
But he never finished the movie. And perhaps, he believes, never really fulfilled his destiny.
HBO Documentary Films’ Finishing Heaven follows the director as he tries to finally finish his film Heaven, a very ’70s psychedelic film with no real story line, just a lot of heavy eye shadow and dramatic scenes.
As unique as Feinberg’s tale may seem, however, this film is just another story about another dream that died in the process. There are plenty of people in this world who dreamed of being an astronaut or a film star and instead ended up as a grocery store clerk, a bank teller or (in Feinberg’s case) a cruise greeter…
Clint Eastwood and his Malpaso partner, Rob Lorenz, talked about their way of producing, and if he’ll ever do another Western. See it on DHD.
|The Limits of Control Speaks to a Limited Audience
By Rebecca Ford
The Limits of Control is not a film for the masses. Many will not grasp onto director Jim Jarmusch’s affinity for the laconic. The shots held for a ridiculously long time, the outlandish characters who speak of intangible subjects and the overall sterility of this film are a deadly cocktail to those raised in a fast-moving, ADD society.
But that doesn’t mean Control isn’t a good film. Jarmusch, who brought us 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes and 2005’s Broken Flowers, has always been known for being cooler than the rest, hipper than most and, maybe, smarter than all of us. In a film world saturated by Hollywood’s formulaic happy endings, Jarmusch is the kink in the machine.
The story of Control follows a lone stranger, played by Isaach De Bankolé, as he travels through Spain on some sort of mission. Along the way, he exchanges secret messages and matchboxes with eccentric characters.
What gets frustrating as time goes on is that audiences learn very little about the leading man. We don’t know much about his mission, or why he’s doing it, or even if he gets paid. We do know that he wears the same suit for several days, he orders two cups of espresso but only drinks one and he spends his free time at art galleries.
The overall feeling of the film is actually very similar to walking through an art gallery. You stare at a painting for a while, think, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then move on to the next. You can’t touch the art, and no matter how hard you try, you can never really feel one with it. It’s just a nice scene to look at before moving on to the next… See the rest at socal.com
The trailers for Seven Pounds before its release in theaters last December were purposefully vague and mysterious. The main character, Ben Thomas (Will Smith), has a secret, and that’s about all viewers get. He runs in the rain, meets a beautiful woman (Rosario Dawson) and somehow has the ability to change people’s lives.
If you didn’t see the film in theaters, you may still not know what the secret is all about. And you won’t when you watch Seven Pounds on DVD, either—at least not for an hour and a half…
See the review at socal.com