Indiana Jones: a hero for the ’50s or ’60s?

A number of people, including my CT Movies editor Mark Moring, have asked whether a new Indiana Jones movie can work, given Harrison Ford’s age. But I think an even bigger question than the age of Indy is the question of when the movie will take place.The two questions are related, of course. And how we answer them is further complicated by the fact that, in addition to the three earlier movies, Ford also played Jones in the framing narrative… Read more

To fight piracy, we’ll cut off Canada: Fox

To judge from this Globe and Mail story, it looks like times could get tougher for freelance film critics like me, who live and work in Canada and write day-of-release reviews for American outlets:It was the kind of letter that can ruin a guy’s day.Late in November, Twentieth Century Fox fired off a blunt, one-page missive to Ellis Jacob, the Toronto-based chief executive of Cineplex Entertainment, Canada’s biggest cinema chain.Bruce Snyder, Fox’s Hollywood-based president of domestic distribution, had spent the… Read more

Newsbites: Stiller! Malick! Sundance! Stomp!

Just some quick items here; more later.1. One of the bigger surprises when I re-visited Empire of the Sun (1987) two years ago was seeing a rather young Ben Stiller in one of the supporting roles. Now Production Weekly says Stiller is basing a comedy on his experience making that movie:Ben Stiller plans to star in and direct ‘Tropic Thunder’, a high concept comedy that he’s been developing ever since he worked on Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun” way… Read more

And now, a look back at happier times.

FWIW, the increasingly nasty war of words between New Line Cinema co-founder Bob Shaye and Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has had me thinking back wistfully to this story that I remember reading way, way back in November 2001 (gadzooks, Harry Potter looks so young in that photo):At a time when the big, mainstream studios are managed by teams of bland executives whose marching orders are set by corporate bean counters, New Line, despite its ownership, has… Read more

This movie was not screened for critics, 2007.

Time to start another list.Ten months ago, I posted an item on Ultraviolet and several other movies which had not been screened for critics in the first two months of 2006; and then, as the year progressed and the ranks of such movies swelled, I posted updates to that original post.Well, here we are, with the second weekend of 2007 upon us, and already a film is going into wide release without being shown to critics in advance — unless… Read more

Movie affirmation time.

My wife listed Dear Frankie (2004; my review) among the videos she wouldn’t mind getting for Christmas last month, and since that film happened to top my own top ten list last year, I was happy to oblige. Today she watched it while she played with the kids, and since I was working off to the side, every now and then I peeked at the screen and savoured a moment or two. Fine performances, intelligent script, enchanting music — it’s… Read more

New Line Cinema blacklists Peter Jackson

Oh, how could I have neglected to link to this item that’s been making the rounds. It seems Bob Shaye, who co-founded New Line Cinema in 1967, has resolved never, ever, ever to work again with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson:”He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to… Read more

Newsbites: De Carlo! Devil! Children! Writers!

Here’s another batch to keep you all going.1. Variety reports that Yvonne De Carlo, the Vancouver-born star of The Ten Commandments (1956; she played Moses’ wife) and The Munsters (1964-1966), has passed away at the age of 84. While she may be better known for roles like those, among my siblings she will always be remembered for her performance as Peter Ustinov’s flirtatious wife in the World War II comedy Hotel Sahara (1951).2. Ever hear about The Devil and Daniel… Read more

Genie Awards 2007 — and the nominees are …

The nominations for this year’s Genie Awards came out yesterday, and surprise, surprise, four out of the five Best Motion Picture nominees are from Quebec.It is interesting to see how this list matches — or doesn’t — the top ten list that was issued last month by the team that runs the Toronto film festival. Only two of this year’s Best Picture nominees were on that list, namely Un dimanche à Kigali and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie — though… Read more

Don’t read the book — it’ll only confuse you!

Thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet at the Looking Closer Journal for catching Steve Greydanus catching this interview with Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón in Filmmaker magazine:Filmmaker: Your adaptation of the novel is quite loose. How did you approach your source material?Cuarón: Once we decided to do this exploration on the state of things – and you don’t have to go very far to realize that the environment and immigration are pretty much on the top of the list – then… Read more

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