13 items from 2008
A doorman who has welcomed stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne and Omar Sharif into his hotel has brought his star-studded career to an end. Ted Whitcombe has retired from The Dorchester after 50 years, having had what he described as the "best job in the world". He told the Daily Mail: "I began working here in 1959 during the heyday of The Dorchester. Film stars were real film stars back then. I've seen Elizabeth Taylor, who was always one of my favourites, walk into the hotel with six different husbands. "There were so many other guests that I admired and who were always pleasant such as John Wayne, Omar Sharif, Julie Andrews and Peter Sellers (more) »
- By Sarah Rollo
On the heels of the news that Joe Johnston will direct the film version of First Avenger: Captain America, now Variety reports that the writing duties will go to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the writers of both Chronicles of Narnia films. Before fanboys start worrying that Steve Rogers and Bucky will be jumping out of a wardrobe to keep a Red Skull from bringing an eternal winter to the Allied powers, remember the screenwriting pair also won Emmys for their Life and Death of Peter Sellers script. So, clearly, the costumed heroes will instead jump out of a wardrobe to find the thief of a valuable pink diamond.
So far there's no casting news for the movie, scheduled for release on May 6, 2011, with Avengers Movie scheduled to follow two months later on July 15. However there is a heated debate on who should be cast. (Click on User Comments tab »
- reelz reelz
Damn, someone better get control of the dude on the right
Photo: DreamWorks Animation/Paramount I can't help but think the new DreamWorks Animation 3-D feature Monsters vs. Aliens is going to have a throwback to Kubrick's Dr. Stangelove and someone will yell out some variation of the famed President Muffley quote, ,b>"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" And this new picture (as seen above) from the flick makes me believe it is an inevitability and if it isn't already in there I suggest they get off their ass and record it. After all, they got Stephen Colbert to play the President of the United States, who better than to pick up where Peter Sellers left off? At least in this case. Well, that was my roundabout way of telling you the picture above is the newest snapshot from the upcoming flick and you »
- Brad Brevet
Unnecessary Sequel To Unnecessary Remake Department: MGM has released a new trailer for the next Steve Martin/Inspector Clouseau yuck-fest. Imaginatively titled Pink Panther 2, the trailer is a groan-inducing series of labored gags that are so devoid of creativity that they depend on CGI effects just to simulate the kind of pratfalls Peter Sellers could have done in his sleep. Even the scenes between Martin and John Cleese are awful, which is really an amazing achievement. You would think these guys could crack you up by reading the phone book together. One keeps hoping Martin will reclaim his mojo and stop doing these embarrassing reamkes in search of a quick paycheck. Is this really the guy who gave us the hilarious King Tut song? - Lee PfeifferTo view click here »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
The late Gene Siskel had a famous litmus test for star-studded movies: Is the film more interesting than a documentary of its actors having lunch together would be? It's safe to assume that a filmed nosh shared by the cast of 1967's Casino Royale—David Niven, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, William Holden, Jean-Paul Belmondo, John Huston, and Deborah Kerr, just for starters—would be one of the most fascinating documentaries ever made, especially since Welles and Sellers likely couldn't have had lunch together without a fistfight breaking out. It'd certainly be more interesting than the film. For his deliriously excessive James Bond spoof, producer Charles K. Feldman bought a gaudy abundance of high-priced stars and some of the world's most expensive sets, but he couldn't buy quality, laughs, or cohesion. The product of five credited directors, three credited screenwriters, and a vast army of script doctors, Casino Royale. »
- Nathan Rabin
-- A bunch of early reviews for Quantum of Solace have arrived online, and the consensus seems to be that while exciting and fast-paced, it's not as good as Casino Royale. The Guardian adds, "I was disappointed there was so little dialogue, flirtation and characterization in this Bond: Forster and his writers Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade clearly thought this sort of sissy nonsense has to be cut out in favor of explosions. Well, perhaps that is what Bond fans want (not this Bond fan, though). But I was also baffled that relatively little was made of the deliciously villainous Amalric." [More reviews: Empire, BBC]
- Erik Davis
A source tells New York Post gossip column PageSix, "Carell is a huge Sellers fan, and this is one of his favourite movies. Seeing him in a matador outfit with a Spanish Castilian accent could be very funny."
Eva Mendes is said to be favourite to take on Ekland's role in the new version of the comedy. »
Evidently no longer content with simply being Korea’s Action Kid, director Ryu Seung-Wan has now taken it upon himself to become Asia’s Blake Edwards as well, or perhaps an adopted Zucker Brother, with his new comedy Dachimawa Lee playing like the demented spawn of The Pink Panther and Spies Like Us with pudgy Im Won-Hee filling in for Peter Sellers. A head-spinning comic riff on just about every action or spy movie Ryu has ever seen Dachimawa Lee arguably gives just a little too much bang for the buck. There is no joke too obvious, no performance too broad, no gag too - dare I say - salivary for Ryu to include here. Kitchen sink? He’s got the cabinets and light fixtures in there, too. Like all films of the type how much enjoyment you get from it will depend entirely on whether you share Ryu’s »
- Todd Brown
Didn't we all make an agreement a little while back to pretend that Pink Panther 2 wasn't happening? The first remake of the classic Peter Sellers series, starring Steve Martin, wasn't exactly a gigantic hit-- $82 million domestically--and Steve Martin isn't the kind of power player who can just greenlight everything he wants. But here we are, anticipating Pink Panther 2 in 2009, and now there's a poster to prove it's really happening. Trailer Addict is hosting the onesheet, which amounts to a teaser more than anything else. Martin's goofy eyes and the pink paw indicate its a movie mostly for kids, and the big fat "2" will deter the true sequel-haters (though how can anyone stick to their guns on that count when that's pretty much all there is to see?) The movie comes out in February, when there's typically slim pickings for moviegoers, but even so, I'll be avoiding this one »
Overweight lingerie store security guard Dennis (Simon Pegg) is still desperately in love with his ex-girlfriend Libby (Thandie Newton). The only problem is that he happened to leave her - while she was pregnant, mind you - on their wedding day, leaping out the back window of the church when his nerves suddenly got the better of him. Truth is, the usually sweet and charming (if a bit lazy) man hasn't finished a darn thing in his entire life, so when he gets it into his head the only way he can win Libby back is by running a charity-driven London marathon it's not exactly surprising no one, including the woman's smarmy new American health-obsessed beau, Whit (Hank Azaria), thinks he's going to be able to make it to the finish line. But Dennis is serious, and while his initial motives aren't exactly 100-percent above-board during his training, something strange and maybe altogether wonderful, »
- Sara Michelle Fetters
The Bond girl was reportedly romancing the newly single Cleese after he was spotted attending her performance at a theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland earlier this month.
They were subsequently photographed enjoying a romantic dinner together after the show - leading to rumours of a new relationship.
But Ekland, who was previously married to the late Peter Sellers, is adamant Cleese is just a close pal.
She says, "John did come to see (my show) Britt on Britt. We went for dinner and had a great time. But it wasn't just me and him - there's no romance on the cards."
Cleese separated from his third wife, Alyce Faye Eichelberger Cleese, in January after 19 years of marriage. They are currently in middle of divorce proceedings. »
6 August 2008 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Marco Garibaldi, the colorful entrepreneur and Hollywood writer-producer, is getting back in the entertainment game after a decade-long absence, forming a new production company that will produce a remake of the Peter Sellers cult hit "The Party."
Garibaldi, perhaps best known in celebrity circles for a longtime romantic involvement with Priscilla Presley, is an Italian screenwriter and producer who has dabbled in a number of areas, helping turn Graceland merchandising into big business and even directing several episodes of the "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" television show.
His new banner, Godfather Entertainment, will aim to make movies in the $20 million range in a manner he says will be more efficient than the one practiced by the studios, and will attract talent by coming up with creative back-end deals. "The studios are in business to spend money," he said. "I want to make movies for less and put every dime of it on the screen."
The hyphenate said he also is in the process of securing a debt facility with an unnamed bank.
Among its projects, Godfather will team with Avi Lerner's Nu Image Films for "Last Chance Motel," a psychological thriller that Garibaldi will write and direct with shooting planned for 2009. Godfather also is developing a mob movie titled "The Vault," written by Alex Merkin and Jesse Mittelstadt.
But Garibaldi's flagship project will be a remake of "Party," the Blake Edwards-directed film that has had a devoted following since its 1968 release by United Artists.
This version, however, will bear only small resemblance to the original.
The original film centered on Sellers' Hrundi V. Bakshi, a bumbling Indian extra accidentally invited to a glamorous Hollywood party, with Sellers hamming it up in a series of loosely connected vignettes.
In the new version, only part of the conceit is the same: a hapless blond Midwesterner will have his appearance changed to resemble an Indian by a zealous studio eager he fit a part. Garibaldi says that he sees the movie as ripe for a number of star cameos, all of whom will attend the titular party.
Garibaldi and "Sex and the City" writer-producer Darren Star had originally set up the project at MGM in 2003. After a series of corporate moves, it ended up at DreamWorks, which kept the project in development for several years. The rights reverted to Garibaldi two months ago, and he enlisted screenwriters Brandon Gibson and Jim Russo to help him write the new script.
Garibaldi says he can make the movie for a fraction of the budget it might have cost at DreamWorks, possibly for about $20 million.
Godfather also is the production company behind "Across the Hall," the Brittany Murphy romantic thriller directed by Merkin from a script he wrote with Mittelstadt and produced with NBA star Elton Brand's production banner. The film is close to finding domestic distribution and is likely to be released in 2009.
Garibaldi said he has high hopes for a company even in a tough market for independent and slate film financing.
"Everybody and their mother is now raising half a billion dollars," he said. "I want to go trench by trench. We're going to start with enough money to make a $20 million movie and then make another one and another one, and go from there." »
- By Steven Zeitchik
By Neil Pedley
There's something for everyone this week at the multiplex, what with Carrie and company offering something for the ladies with "Sex and the City," the Tae Kwon Do comedy "The Foot Fist Way" being an alternative for the guys, and "Savage Grace"... well, again, let's just say there's something for everyone.
"Bigger, Stronger, Faster*"
With everyone from Little League coaches to members of the U.S. Congress weighing in on the issue of performance enhancing drugs in sports, body builder (and former user) Christopher Bell injects his own story into this documentary that explores America's obsession with excellence and what it realistically takes to achieve it. Bell chronicles his own family's history of steroid use as a jumping off point to explore the wider love/hate relationship between professional athletes and performance enhancing drugs in a culture where winning is everything and there are no points for second place. »
- Neil Pedley
13 items from 2008
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