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True Grit Directed by: Joel & Ethan Coen Written by: Joel & Ethan Coen (screenplay), Charles Portis (novel) Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin It makes perfect sense for the Coen brothers to direct a period western. They've danced around one for years, with modernist takes on the genre like Fargo and No Country for Old Men, while tirelessly exploring the early side of the twentieth century elsewhere in their work. True Grit, however, is their first giant leap into the past. In fact, outside of a vignette that opens their 2009 film A Serious Man, the winter of 1878, where True Grit begins, is a frontier for both the characters and the filmmakers. I'm of the mind that the Coens, who have now impressively released four films in four consecutive years, benefit from occasionally stepping outside their comfort zone. True Grit is a fascinating experiment in that regard, though in »
While director Ron Howard recently opened up a little more about the upcoming unprecedented adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, we're now starting to get into the big news with this film and TV crossover. Treat this as a rumor for the time being, but the NY Post is reporting that Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) is the top choice to play Roland Deschain, last living member of a knightly order of gunslingers, and humanity's last hope to save a civilization that will crumble unless he finds the Dark Tower. And if he's not up to the task, then apparently Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises) is a close second. Both the actors have an intimidating presence and have dabbled in the western genre before. No Country for Old Men is certainly a modern western and Bardem was quite a force to be reckoned with in the Coen Brothers' flick. »
- Ethan Anderton
Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower has set off a casting frenzy in Hollywood. Agents are tripping over themselves to land their clients coveted roles in what promises to be a blockbuster film (trilogy) and television franchise. Leading the pack for the principal character, Roland Deschain, is Javier Bardem (the scary dude in No Country for Old Men), with Viggo Mortensen a close second. Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have a deal with Universal that will translate into a TV show and three movies, all using the same cast. Brian Grazer will produce with Goldsman and King. They plan to start with an epic movie, then continue the story with the TV series, followed by a second film, and then a second TV season showing gunslinger Deschain as a young man. Then, the third movie will end the saga with Deschain as an older man. »
Brad Pitt and his The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director Andrew Dominik will be heading to New Orleans in March to begin shooting Cogan's Trade. We reported back in early November that the two were getting back together to work on the dramatic film based on the book by George V Higgins, and now word comes that production's getting ready to start up in Louisiana.
Dominik adapted the book and Pitt will be producing as well as starring in Cogan's Trade.
Scene Louisiana is reporting the cast of Cogan's Trade "is also rumored to include" Casey Affleck (Robert Ford to Pitt's Jesse James in Assassination of Jesse James), Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem (who worked together in No Country for Old Men) Bill Murray, Mark Ruffalo, Sam Rockwell and Zoe Saldana.
George V Higgins was a former prosecutor and newspaper columnist before launching a successful career as a bestselling author. »
About a week ago, director Ron Howard (Da Vinci Code) revealed that he is considering Viggo Mortensen for the role of Roland Deschain in the upcoming big screen adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower," which is being adapted by Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Robot). Now comes word from NY Post that talent agents are doing everything possible to get their clients the lead role in what promises to be a blockbuster film and TV franchise. And while Mortensen is a contender, he's second on the short list of actors vying for lead. At the top of the list is Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men). Howard and Goldsman are planning for the first film in the trilogy to be immediately followed by a TV series that will bridge the second film. After the second film, the TV series will pick up allowing viewers to explore »
It looks like actor Brad Pitt will be on a film project close to his home again. Scene has confirmed Andrew Dominik-directed “Cogan’s Trade” will be filmed in New Orleans beginning this March. “Cogan’s Trade” is based on the novel written by George V. Higgin. The story is about an enforcer investigating a robbery of a high stakes poker game protected by the mob. Scene also reported a long rumored casting list including names like Casey Affleck, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Bill Murray, Mark Ruffalo, Sam Rockwell and Zoe Saldana. If Casey Affleck is confirmed, then he would reunite with Pitt and Dominik since “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” Not to mention, Brolin and Bardem will re-team with each other since “No Country for Old Men.” That’s a great list of rumored cast members. We’ll try to get confirmation on »
Personally speaking, I will be flabbergasted if the NY Post ‘source’ that is today leaking the rumour that Javier Bardem is ‘leading the pack’ to star in The Dark Tower, with Viggo Mortensen running a ‘close’ second, is anything other than a re-tread of Ron Howard’s public name-dropping of the fanboy wishlist to The L.A. Times two weeks ago.
More probable, I suggest, than Bardem & Mortensen circling the lead role is The NY Post publishing a story they themselves probably don’t herald much faith in because they need to fill movie news column inches during the holiday down time. Personally, I think we are months away from Howard, Universal and NBC getting serious about the casting decisions for this grand universe whose introduction film we won’t see until 2013.
To recap then, The Dark Tower is Universal and NBC’s ambitious and totally unprecedented multi-platform adaptation of »
- Matt Holmes
Last weekend didn't exactly work out. Little Fockers faltered, with only $8,700k per screen, but that was still enough to win the slowest Christmas box office weekend since '06. Still, it was worth a shot. This weekend? With no new wide releases, the money has to go somewhere, but I'm having a devil of a time figuring out where. Let's break it down! Laremy predicted the #1 movie correctly 0 Weeks In A Row True Grit Films don't tend to bleed much during the weekend after Christmas. 35 percent at max. True Grit, on the other hand, will actually gain 15 percent this weekend. My reasoning is word of mouth, which is only going to help this film. It scored a B+ (Cinemascore) from the audiences, where Little Fockers came in at B-. That should be enough to sway to battle toward The Coen Brothers.
As for the historical significance, this should very easily »
- Laremy Legel
Even in the midst of our current acceptance of reality, which leads us to the conclusion that theaters will be plagued with remakes and there's little use in griping, there are still those willing to shake a fist in the air when things go too far. Remaking True Grit is the sort of enterprise that causes, at least among some, such fist-shaking.
I am not such a naysayer, speaking in general terms, but there may well be something to the idea that this remake, while not exactly sacrilege, nevertheless misunderstands all the complexities and nuance of its source. Indeed, misunderstands it in such a way that renders the remake unable to really achieve its goals before it even begins.
- Marc Eastman
Javier Bardem has revealed that he's had discussions with Glee creator Ryan Murphy about filming a guest appearance on the Fox comedy. The actor, who won a 'Best Supporting Actor' Oscar for his performance in No Country For Old Men, told Vulture that he is open to the idea of guesting on the sitcom. "The Glee situation is that Ryan and I talked together about it, and we had a blast imagining ideas. I don't know if it's gonna happen or not," he said. The (more) »
- By Justin Harp
The Coen Brothers are, to put it lightly, cinematic geniuses. They have a terrific track record, and never cease to entertain (other then Ladykillers, of course. We don’t talk about The Ladykillers, though). When I first heard that they were tackling True Grit, I was skeptical, yet excited. They proved they could handle a Western feel with No Country for Old Men, among other films. Seeing them create a genuine Western was exciting, at the very least. However, I would of much rather preferred an original film, rather then a remake of a John Wayne classic. However, being a remake doesn’t hinder this film in the slightest. In fact, True Grit is one of the best films of 2010. And with the Coens...I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Set Up
A weekly box office series, in beta, to see if we like. To remind you that you're here and not elsewhere and we can't just do things normally, we'll come at it from weird angles when we can.
Jeff Bridges stars in Tron GRITLittle Fockers $30 New True Grit $24.8 NEWTron Legacy $19.5 (cumulative: $87.3)The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader $9.4 (cumulative: $62.5)Yogi Bear $7.8 (cumulative: $35.8)The Fighter $7.6 (cumulative: $26.6)Tangled $6.4 (cumulative: $143.6)Gulliver's Travel $6.3 New Black Swan $6.2 (cumulative: $28.6)The Tourist $5.4 (cumulative: $40.8)The King's Speech $4.4 (cumulative: $8.3) How Do You Know $3.5 (cumulative: $15)With Little Fockers and True Grit topping the charts and we experience an unexpected flashback. Bridges & Babs haven't dipped into the top box office together since The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). And this time Jeff is double-dipping.
♪ this is it... Ohhhh i finally found someone... someone to share my life ♪♫
The first thing to note is that Jeff Bridges is hogging the »
- NATHANIEL R
It doesn’t take rocket science to see why True Grit enjoyed the biggest opening weekend of any Coen brothers movie to date. The film may not have won the Coens their most rapturous reviews (though the critics were largely enthusiastic), and it’s hardly their best or most defining work. Yet it’s a remake of a famous and, indeed, iconic Hollywood movie — one that, while not quite a “classic,” remains a robust and beloved end-of-the-studio-system-era Western. Omg, I used the R-word! — I called True Grit a “remake.” The vulgarity, the lowbrow cluelessness on my part! From the outset, »
- Owen Gleiberman
North American moviegoers visited the Fockers over the Christmas weekend as Little Fockers debuted at the top of the box office heap. The Universal comedy was joined by a strong debut for Paramount's True Grit and a pint size opening for Fox's Gulliver's Travels. With Christmas Eve falling on a Friday, no must-see event picture a la Avatar playing at the multiplexes and an overall so-so selection of films to choose from, the box office top ten was off a steep 45% from last year at this time.
Despite debuting 32% lower than its 2004 predecessor Meet The Parents which grossed $70.2 million in its first five days of release, Little Fockers laughed up $34.8 million over the weekend and $48 million since Wednesday. Reviews were as brutal for this comedy as they were for last week's Yogi Bear (11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but that didn't stop too many people from taking the time out »
Javier Bardem's current hot streak began with his win at the Academy Awards. Since picking up the Best Supporting Oscar for his work in Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men, Bardem collaborated with Woody Allen, romanced Julia Roberts, and dove into a project with the reclusive Terrence Malick. Bardem's latest, Biutiful, finds him exploring terminal illness with Babel director Alejandro González Iñárritu. We sat down with Bardem to talk about Malick, the Coens, and his Biutiful "life journey." Q: You've had plenty of time to discuss and dissect this film since its bow at Cannes last spring. Is there a topic or message that comes up in conversation about the film that continues to resonate with you? A: Well, I think that the movie reads to people at a very deep level. Some people feel like it is too much to take. I feel that »
There was a time when Joel and Ethan Coen, so rightfully highly regarded for their original screenplays and films, found their impeccable track record muddied by a brief rash of remakes and story adaptations. While this one-two punch of “Intolerable Cruelty” and “The Ladykillers” did them no favors roughly a decade ago, the triumph of their 2006 Cormac McCarthy adaptation and Oscar winner “No Country for Old Men” seemed to clarify that the primary fault of the former films may’ve been that they aren’t Westerns. (Yes, I’m one of those who consider “No Country…” a Western, if only perhaps a fringe one. Let’s go with “neo-western/noir”.) Taking any such lesson as that to heart, the Coen brothers are back, this time with an even higher-profile Western adaptation, “True Grit”…read more [TwichFilm]
- Allan Ford
By Scott Mendelson
hollywoodnews.com: I remember being genuinely shocked at the success of Meet the Fockers back in Christmas 2004. It had been well over four years since the original and, box office aside, it wasn’t a film that cried out for a sequel. I figured that no one cared, that it had been too long since the original, and that the sequel would do token business but no more. For the second time in 2004, I was dead-wrong. Twice that year, sequels that didn’t have all that much pre-release buzz around them exploded out of the gate and kept going for the next few months. The other was Shrek 2, which opened out of nowhere on the pre-Memorial Day weekend to $108 million over three days and $128 million over five, to end up winning the year with an astonishing $441 million. Meet the Fockers grossed $46 million over the three-day portion »
- Scott Mendelson
The holiday is over and it's time to get back to work. However, I don't plan on doing too much today, but I would never neglect my Sunday morning box-office duties.
Unfortunately, this weekend saw Laremy's seven week string of picking the #1 movie correctly come to an end, but there's still some good cheer to spread. Let's get to it. Laremy predicted the #1 movie correctly 0 Weeks In A Row Little Fockers I couldn't bring myself to go see it, but apparently families weren't as turned off by the first two or the highly unfunny trailers as Little Fockers took the weekend. Yet, there is a ray of sunshine in my life, where I hope this is the last of these focking films...
Little Fockers was tracking for a $55-68 million five-day weekend and it only managed $48.3. Does this mean we won't get a Fockers First Friends Fourquel?
As for the closest reader predictions. »
- Brad Brevet
What happens when the Coen Brothers make a western? Ron finds out, as he checks out True Grit...
Leave it to the Coen Brothers to surprise the world with what they don't do, rather than what they do. When you think of the Coens, you have a sense of what to expect. True Grit contains none of that: no real snappy dialogue exchanges, no exceptionally quirky side characters, no elements of film noir, and no peculiar set pieces with strange camera angles and general weirdness. Instead, True Grit is a western, nothing else.
Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), a 14-year-old girl, is sent to town to collect the dead body of her father, Frank Ross. Frank was a good man who was double-crossed by a hired hand by the name of Tom Chaney. Chaney, deep in the drink, lost his money at cards and robbed and killed Frank Ross in the middle of town. »
“Deep Vote,” an Oscar winning screenwriter and a member of the Academy, will write this column — exclusively for ScottFeinberg.com — every week until the Academy Awards. He will help to peel back the curtain on the Oscar voting process by sharing his thoughts about the films he sees and, ultimately, his nomination and final ballots, as well. His identity must be protected in order to spare him from repercussions for disclosing the aforementioned information.
Thus far, he has shared his thoughts in column one about his general preferences; column two about “Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions, 6/11, R, trailer) and “Solitary Man” (Anchor Bay Films, 5/21, R, trailer); column three about “Alice in Wonderland” (Disney, 3/5, PG, trailer), “Toy Story 3” (Disney, 6/18, G, trailer), and “Mother and Child” (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/7, R, trailer); column four about “Get Low” (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/30, PG-13, trailer), “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features, 7/9, R, trailer), and “The Social Network” (Columbia, »
- Scott Feinberg
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