7 items from 2008
According to Latino Review, Warner Bros have an idea about who they want as Hal Jordan aka The Green Lantern. His name is Ryan Gosling, the Oscar nominated actor who has starred in The Notebook, Stay and Fracture. He was also going to play the lead in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, however at the last minute…
One way to up your Hollywood profile is to star as a superhero, just ask Robert Downey Jr. and Christian Bale. Of course, it has to be in a good superhero movie, just ask Ioan Gruffudd. So, who is apparently eyeing a role as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern in Green Lantern? Why none other than Ryan Gosling according to LatinoReview. Lr is reporting the news from what they refer to as a "trusted source within the Warner Bros" and based on their history with being the first to name Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight and Brandon Routh as Superman in Superman Returns I am not going to doubt them. I doubt I need to remind the majority of you who Ryan Gosling is, but just in case he starred in the sappy romantic drama The Notebook with current girlfriend Rachel McAdams (Limited Edition DVD on the way), the crappy thriller Stay, »
- Brad Brevet
By Neil Pedley
This week sees the opening of "The Dark Knight." Advance marketing and coverage might have you believe that that, apparently, is all, but there are other films coming out this week well worth your time. (Besides, "The Dark Knight" is totally going to be sold out.)
With Britain in the midst of a youth crime epidemic, Irish investigative reporter Donald McIntyre takes an unflinching look at Dominic Noonan, a granddad of the English gangland who's spent over half his life behind bars. Having legally changed his name to Lattlay Fottfoy (an acronym of the Noonan motto . "Look After Those That Look After You; Fuck Off Those That Fuck Off You"), the openly gay head of Manchester's most notorious crime family shows off his gentler side as a man who uses his reputation to position himself as a "problem solver" more concerned with the »
- Neil Pedley
This weekend should put a much-needed notch in the win column for Hollywood.
Eight of the past nine boxoffice sessions have underperformed year-ago frames, but the comparisons get easier for the rest of April.
This weekend compares with an $88 million session last year in which the New Line crime drama Fracture topped four wide openers with just $11 million. Three of Friday's wide releases could gross more than that, and martial arts fantasy The Forbidden Kingdom from Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co. looks likely to bow at No. 1 with up to $20 million.
"We'll be very happy with a gross of $15 million or beyond, but tracking certainly indicates that we have a shot at doing in the high teens or better," Lionsgate distribution president Steve Rothenberg said.
Starring Jet Li and Jackie Chan in their first screen pairing and helmed by Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little), Kingdom has earned mixed early reviews but should attract mostly younger moviegoers who eschew critics' brickbats. »
- The Weinstein Company, ever the straight man for indie filmmakers, picked up the Na rights to Andrew Jarecki's first feature gig, All Good Things, now in pre-production. Best known for 2003's documentary Capturing the Friedmans, Jarecki now gets to prove his dramatic filmmaking chops by working with the talented (and smokin' hot) Ryan Gosling and recently scandalized party girl Kristen Dunst. Jarecki collaborated with first time screenwriter Marcus Hinchey on the screenplay which will be produced by Groundswell Productions. This is set in the 1980s, story centers on the scion of a New York real estate dynasty (Gosling) who falls for a beautiful girl from the wrong side of the tracks (Dunst). But the fairy tale ends when the girl disappears. As a down-and-out detective stumbles on info that may lead to the truth, the political stakes get higher and people close to the case end up dead. »
After a four-decade run that saw its transformation from an upstart indie company exploiting rude John Waters movies and gory horror flicks to a mini-major winning Oscars and billion-dollar worldwide grosses with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, New Line is being absorbed into parent company Time Warner's Warner Bros. Pictures.
As part of the cost-saving consolidation ordered by TW's new CEO Jeff Bewkes, New Line co-chairmen and co-CEOs Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are leaving the company they founded in 1967, though Bewkes said they are in talks encompassing "a number of alternatives" and could end up producing films for New Line or Warners.
New Line will remain more than just a production label within Warners, though. It will retain its own separate development and production, marketing and distribution operations. The unit will report to Warner Bros. Entertainment chairman and CEO Barry Meyer and president and COO Alan Horn, with Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, also set to play a key role in overseeing the new New Line. (Shaye and Lynne had reported to the TW chairman during their tenure.)
An undetermined number of New Line's 600 staffers could face layoffs. The future of production head Toby Emmerich, who has tried to pull New Line away from horror movies, also is unknown. Bewkes said the future New Line executive lineup and details of layoffs are being worked out.
Two key factors played into Bewkes' decision, the new CEO's first major initiative to reflect the hard decisions he appears willing to make in reshaping Time Warner.
The company is in the process of reducing the number of films it distributes from both Warners and New Line, with Warners reducing its product flow from 25-30 films a year to 18-20. Bewkes said New Line, in turn, must "focus on being an indie, rather than being halfway to a major."
In recent years, as New Line's ambitions have grown, it has taken on more risk. The three Rings movies, released between 2001 and 2003, resulted in a boxoffice bonanza. But New Line hasn't maintained that momentum. Although it scored two $100 million-plus hits in 2007 with Hairspray and Rush Hour 3, most of its lineup failed to ignite, and its pricey The Golden Compass, though a hit abroad, fell flat in the U.S.
The second factor is the growing importance of foreign boxoffice. »
In Untraceable, the ever-capable Diane Lane plays an intrepid agent in the FBI's cyber-crime unit who is on the virtual trail of a psychopath who broadcasts his grisly torture killings on the Web.
Although the plot might feel as if it's made up of borrowed bits and bytes, thanks to Lane's typically committed performance and Gregory Hoblit's usual intelligent, brisk direction (Fracture, Primal Fear), the picture remains sufficiently compelling.
Toss in a killer who is sick and twisted enough to satisfy the "Saw" set, and you've got yourself a marketable Screen Gems release that should download solid midrange numbers.
Lane's Special Agent Jennifer Marsh is a single mother by day who works nights in the FBI's Portland, Ore., bureau trolling the Internet for fast-moving sexual predators and identity thieves.
It's a particularly intense game of cat and mouse that requires lightning-quick decisions and even quicker fingers on the keyboard, but Marsh and her partner, Griffin Dowd (Colin Hanks), usually nail the perps.
Trickier is finding a way to extricate herself from her high-tech, wired existence.
Driving home from work, she presses the OnStar button in her car to find out just how bad the traffic tie-up is in front of her, but she'll soon discover the annoying rubber-neckers checking out an accident is nothing compared to the growing millions logging onto a disturbing Web site offering real-time killings.
The first victim is a kitten, but the ante is upped considerably on killwithme.com, showing the systematic torture of kidnapped human prey whose ultimate time of death is hastened by the numbers of visitors to the site.
Initially the victims appear to be randomly snatched, but it soon becomes apparent that the killer is actually closing in on Marsh and her loved ones.
Hoblit, whose father was an FBI agent, maintains an effectively tense pace while making unpleasant observations about society's voyeuristic impulses, but it still can't cover one glaring character implausibility in the script -- credited to Robert Fyvolent and Mark R. Brinker along with Allison Burnett -- that lands Marsh in major hot water.
That misstep aside, Untraceable is highly watchable, anchored sturdily by Lane's convincing performance.
In addition to displaying an impressive dexterity with all that technical jargon, she really gets under her character's skin, struggling to establish some kind of division between work and home.
She gets solid support from Hanks, who shares his dad's easy affability and vocal quality, along with Billy Burke as a Portland police detective who joins forces with her, and reliable Mary Beth Hurt as her supportive mother.
Tech specs are all high res, with cinematographer Anastas Michos giving those unpleasant visuals a fittingly chilly, clinical appearance; while editor David Rosenbloom, a frequent Hoblit collaborator, cuts effectively to the bone.
A Lakeshore Entertainment production in association with Cohen/Pearl Prods.
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Screenwriters: Robert Fyvolent & Mark R. Brinker and Allison Burnett
Story: Robert Fyvolent & Mark R. Brinker
Executive producers: Richard Wright, Eric Reid, James McQuaide, Harley Tannebaum
Director of photography: Anastas Michos
Production designer: Paul Eads
Music: Christopher Young
Costume designer: Elisabetta Beraldo
Editor: David Rosenbloom
Jennifer Marsh: Diane Lane
Detective Eric Box: Billy Burke
Griffin Dowd: Colin Hanks
Owen: Joseph Cross
Stella: Mary Beth Hurt
Running time -- 100 minutes
MPAA rating: R
7 items from 2008
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