Amazing Chariots

Much has been said about how Amazing Grace has tweaked history to make William Wilberforce more palatable to modern, even liberal, audiences. Some have also pointed out that the film was originally written by Colin Welland, writer of Chariots of Fire (1981), before Steven Knight was brought on board to write a script that focused more on politics and less on religion. Thinking about these two things together, I was reminded of the following passages from Margaret R. Miles’s Seeing… Read more

I thought I said no more Matt Damon rumours.

IGN.com is reporting that Matt Damon really is in talks to play “the young James T. Kirk” in Star Trek XI, even though the character is supposed to be over a decade younger in the movie than he was in the TV series, and even though Damon is already one year older than William Shatner was when he created the character.But it gets better.IGN.com also reports that Adrien Brody and Gary Sinise have been approached to play Leonard Nimoy and… Read more

How many world premieres can a film have?

Variety reports that Penelope Cruz attended the world premiere of The Inquiry — the Italian movie about an ancient Roman agent who investigates the resurrection of Jesus, which FoxFaith is releasing on Good Friday under the title The Final Inquiry — last Tuesday at the Los Angeles Italia Festival. Apparently one of the main characters in the film is played by Penelope’s sister Mónica. But wait a minute, didn’t this film have its world premiere at the Capri Hollywood Film… Read more

Is he a “fundamentalist”? a “fanatic”? or…?

I’ve been away from the computer for at least 40 hours, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.In the meantime, I just want to note two comments on Amazing Grace, a film which was #10 in “North America” this past weekend, though it does not come to Canada for almost four weeks.First, Beliefnet’s Charlotte Allen writes at OpinionJournal.com:It is rare that a Hollywood film takes up a subject like William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the British parliamentarian who devoted… Read more

Canadian box-office stats — February 25

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.Ma Fille, Mon Ange — CDN $1,066,964 — N.AM $1,066,964 — 100%Pan’s Labyrinth — CDN $4,545,411 — N.AM $32,295,000 — 14.1%The Number 23 — CDN $1,579,809 — N.AM $15,107,000 — 10.5%Music and Lyrics — CDN $2,547,527 — N.AM $32,063,000 — 7.9%Because I Said So — CDN $2,968,991 — N.AM $38,376,000 –… Read more

J.J. Abrams will direct Star Trek XI

The Hollywood Reporter reports that J.J. Abrams has finally signed on to direct Star Trek XI — he was always going to produce it, but until tonight he had not committed to direct it.The paper adds that the film will revolve “around a young James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, chronicling their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first space mission.”I don’t know if I buy this. The Memory Alpha entries for Kirk and Spock seem to confirm that… Read more

Bridge to Terabithia and mortality

My interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, was cited again yesterday — this time in an excellent article by Emily Bazelon at Slate.com on how both the book and the film treat mortality, denial, anger, and related themes.And while I like the film overall, I do agree that it “nearly wrecks” the final scene “by bursting into Disney fantasy” — a point that I considered making myself, in my review, but you never know just how closely… Read more

Justice League — ready for its close-up?

Now that Warner Brothers has tossed out the Joss Whedon version of Wonder Woman and the David Goyer version of The Flash, both of which had been in development for about two years, Variety reports that Warner has commissioned a screenplay for The Justice League of America. No doubt the studio is impressed by the success that Fox and Marvel have been having with the X-Men (2000-2006) and Fantastic Four (2005-2007) ensembles.It remains to be seen what, if any, connection… Read more

Oscar winners slipping at the box office redux

RC at Strange Culture says the Oscar nominations should not be based on which films did best at the box office. I agree.But that reminds me, I should probably update a post that I made here last year, which marked the first time since 1985 that not one of the Best Picture nominees grossed over $100 million either before or after their nominations, and possibly the first time ever that the winner was not one of the top 25 films… Read more

radio daze — heads up!

I will be appearing on the CBC Radio show BC Almanac this Friday — around 1:30pm PST — to talk about the Oscars.Fortunately, I have managed to see just about all the nominated feature films; the two remaining exceptions are:Curse of the Golden Flower (nominated for costume design; it has already left Vancouver)After the Wedding (nominated for foreign language film; it has not come to Vancouver yet)I have also seen three of the five nominated animated shorts, but I have… Read more

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