Lars and the Real Girl — the trailer

This film just looks curioser and curioser.

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(Hat tip to D. Andrew Kern at Beside the Queue.)

Will the Rings wizards re-unite in Compass?

While New Line Cinema continues the long, torturous process of patching things up with Peter Jackson and thereby giving us a film version of The Hobbit — a recent Entertainment Weekly cover story summarizes everything that has happened on that front over the past four years — the studio is also proceeding with its plans to make Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials the cinematic heir to Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003).

If the Italian website Queste Oscure Materie, as translated by, is to be believed, it looks like the film version of The Golden Compass may feature Ian “Gandalf” McKellen as the voice of the armoured bear Iorek Byrnison, while Christopher “Saruman” Lee may play a member of the Magisterium described as “a grumpy man dressed in dark colours, whom we see sitting at a table with another character, whose daemon is a panther.”

UPDATE: Whoops, it looks like might have been quoting an article from the Italian website that was already in English. links to this page, which adds the news that “the final scenes in the movie have been heavily reworked . . . at the request of the producers, not of the director.” Hmmm.

OCT 9 UPDATE: Ian McKellen’s voice can now be heard in Teaser 2, which just went up at Meanwhile, Film Ick passes on a rumour or two concerning just how extensive the changes to the film’s ending might be. It sounds like scenes that were glimpsed in the teasers might be removed from this first film altogether.

UPPERDATE: An exclusive and more complete version of the new trailer is now up at Yahoo! Movies — and hey, look, here’s Lee:

The Year of Living Biblically — an excerpt

If you’re curious to know what the film version of The Year of Living Biblically might be like, the Globe and Mail has posted an excerpt from the A.J. Jacobs book, which comes out on Tuesday.

Yet another movie not screened for critics.

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post says Feel the Noise is “so good that Sony label Tri-Star didn’t hold advance critics screenings.”

Is the Dark still rising in The Seeker?

For those who may be following the saga of The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising and its ever-morphing title, I saw the film this morning — and the title of the version that I saw contains all six words.

It is not simply The Dark Is Rising — which is the title of the Susan Cooper book that the movie is based on and the title with which the movie went into production almost a year ago.

And, contrary to what at least two of my American colleagues tell me they have been told by their local publicists, it is not simply The Seeker — which was originally imposed onto the beginning of the title a couple of months ago, and was reportedly all that was left when the title was trimmed just a week or two ago.

Granted, the words “The Seeker” appear onscreen by themselves for a few seconds — but then the words “The Dark Is Rising” appear beneath them. So the full title is up there on the screen.

Is this one of those weird cases where the Canadian and American versions of a film have different titles, like what happened with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s / Sorceror’s Stone?

Or is it possible that I saw a not-quite-complete cut of the film — which would be odd, given that it comes out this Friday?

Or is it possible that, in the United States, the film’s publicity campaign is simply divorced from any consideration of what the opening credits actually say the film is called?

One other puzzling detail: I have read numerous reports over the past five months to the effect that the protagonist, Will Stanton, has been changed from an 11-year-old boy, as he is in the book, to a 13-year-old boy. But Will actually celebrates his 14th birthday within the film’s first act — just as, I gather, he celebrates his 11th birthday near the beginning of the book. So wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that the movie has made him 14 years old?

Just to be clear, I am not commenting on the film itself in any way here; I am simply puzzled by the way it has been packaged (and re-packaged, and re-re-packaged) and promoted, etc.

OCT 4 UPDATE: For what it’s worth, the Variety review calls the film “The Seeker”, but then notes at the end: “Title was presented as ‘The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising’ on print caught.” Hmmm.

Yet another movie not screened for critics.

I just heard that Why Did I Get Married? will be opening next week without any press screenings. Nothing too surprising about that, since at least two previous Tyler Perry movies — Daddy’s Little Girls and Madea’s Family Reunion — were also released without being screened for critics on one or both sides of the border.