Happy-Go-Lucky — the review’s up!

My review of Happy-Go-Lucky is now up at CT Movies.

Newsbites: Quantum of Solace edition!

Listed in order from the least spoiler-ish to the most spoiler-ish.

1. Gemma Arteron, one of the new film‘s co-stars, says she was born with six fingers on each hand, but the extra digits were removed when she was a child. I can’t help thinking that that’s just the sort of odd physical detail that Ian Fleming and the writers of these movies might have found interesting. — WENN

2. Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) will both have “voice roles” in the new film, the latter as a helicopter pilot. — Associated Press

Warning: There be potential spoilers here.

3. For the first time in the franchise’s history, James Bond will not have sex with the primary Bond Girl. Says producer Michael Wilson: “Someone said they were disappointed there wasn’t a romance as such, but in our mind he couldn’t really have a romantic relationship . . . His relationship with Olga in this film is a romantic one in the purest sense of the word. It just isn’t a physical one. They’re sort of twin souls.” — Jam! Showbiz

Kings — a few more cast members.

Last week, it was announced that Brian Cox had joined the cast of Kings, the upcoming NBC series that is based on the biblical story of Saul and David but is set in a sort of alternate version of the present day. Cox was said to be playing a “former king” named Vesper.

Now, Entertainment Weekly reports that Macaulay Culkin is also joining the cast, as “the king’s nephew, who was exiled for mysterious reasons.” I assume the king in question is Silas, who is played by Ian McShane and seems to be the Saul figure in this series.

I can’t recall the biblical Saul having any nephews, let alone sending them into exile, so between this and the “former king” business, it does sound like the series is following its own path, and not following the biblical narrative all that closely. The question remains, though: How far afield will it go?

EW also reports that Miguel Ferrer, Michael Stahl-David and Leslie Bibb have signed on for multiple-episode story arcs, too.

OCT 24 UPDATE: Matt Page notes that NBC has posted an official website for the series, with more details about the show.

Now that he’s done his Che Guevara biopic…

Steven Soderbergh is developing a movie about Cleopatra, with Catherine Zeta-Jones as the legendary Egyptian queen and last of the Pharaohs, and Hugh Jackman as her lover Mark Antony.

It will be a musical, with music by the indie rock band Guided by Voices and a script by former bassist James Greer.

And it will be in 3-D.

Yes, 3-D.

I swear on a stack of Variety magazines, I am not making this up.

Canadian box-office stats — October 19

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

Passchendaele — CDN $847,522 — N.AM $847,522 — 100%
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist — CDN $3,320,000 — N.AM $26,500,875 — 12.5%
Body of Lies — CDN $2,740,000 — N.AM $24,424,928 — 11.2%
Sex Drive — CDN $392,668 — N.AM $3,607,164 — 10.9%

Eagle Eye — CDN $7,500,000 — N.AM $81,021,825 — 9.3%
Max Payne — CDN $1,500,000 — N.AM $17,639,849 — 8.5%
Quarantine — CDN $2,020,000 — N.AM $24,471,512 — 8.3%
W. — CDN $601,240 — N.AM $10,505,668 — 5.7%
Beverly Hills Chihuahua — CDN $3,730,000 — N.AM $69,282,560 — 5.4%
The Secret Life of Bees — CDN $245,598 — N.AM $10,527,799 — 2.3%

A couple of discrepancies: Passchendaele was #2 on the Canadian chart (it wasn’t on the North American chart at all, though if it were, it would be #19), while Nights in Rodanthe was #10 on the North American chart (it was #12 in Canada).

Newsbites: The Guillermo Del Toro edition!

Guillermo Del Toro has so many projects on his plate right now, it is doubtful he will ever find time to do them all. (He has already parted ways with Tarzan.) But here are some of his thoughts on the projects he’s still got on the go, as reported by the MTV Movies Blog.

1. Del Toro is, of course, working on The Hobbit first and foremost. And he says that he and his colleagues are now referring to The Hobbit as one movie in two parts, rather than as two completely separate movies. So where will they break the story? Del Toro isn’t saying, quite, but he does say this: “I think Smaug dies in the first movie. So draw your own conclusions.” Del Toro also says there are currently no plans for producer (and former Lord of the Rings director) Peter Jackson to do any second-unit directing. But shooting the two films in 3-D and IMAX is a possibility.

2. Next up, Del Toro talks about remaking Slaughterhouse-Five (1972), and says “digital effects” might make it easier to “push [the] narrative” of Kurt Vonnegut’s story about a man who is “unstuck in time”.

3. Finally, Del Toro says he would love to tap into the religious dimensions of Frankenstein. He sees the creature as “a lost child of Paradise” and says “there are aspects to it which is the dialogue between the creature and the creator for example [that haven’t been fully explored].”