The opening paragraph’s reference to “North America” is a wee bit misleading, since Shooting Dogs (2005; my review) already played in Canada last summer, but anyhoo, Variety says the film is finally coming to the United States — under a new title:IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME coming, but “Shooting Dogs,” the “other” Rwandan genocide movie, has finally secured a North American theatrical release.New York-based Adirondack Pictures has acquired the rights and teamed with IFC Films to handle distribution.Directed by Michael… Read more

Just a few more newsy nibbles.1. The New York Times reports that Armand Jones, one of the teen actors recruited for Freedom Writers — for one of the more minor roles — was shot dead in a Denny’s several months ago, shortly after shooting on the film had been completed. Sad.When [casting director Margery Simkin] and Richard LaGravenese, the writer and director of “Freedom Writers,” first watched the movie’s promotional trailer a few months after Mr. Jones’s death, they saw… Read more

Years ago, when I was an avid reader of Premiere magazine, I remember reading an article on the making of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and how Spielberg said at the last minute that he wished the end-credits music could have used the themes for Short Round and other characters from the earlier films — to give the “trilogy” a proper wrap-up. Now, lo and behold, the Premiere website has posted that article, to mark the news that… Read more

My review of Freedom Writers is now up at CT Movies. Read more

Just a few quickies before I go to bed.1. The Golden Compass is still in front of the cameras and won’t be out in theatres for another ten months, but Variety reports that New Line has hired Hossein Amini (1996’s Jude, 1997’s The Wings of the Dove, etc.) to write the script for The Subtle Knife — i.e., the second installment of Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy, which New Line intends to complete if the first movie is a… Read more

I found myself thinking about the James Bond films the other day and marvelling at the fact that a movie franchise that got off the ground in 1962 — when my father was still in high school, or whatever they called it in Zambia then — is still alive and kicking.It occurred to me that most current franchises don’t go back much further than the 1970s, i.e. the dawn of the blockbuster era.So naturally, I began to make a list.For… Read more

Remember how Vin Diesel wanted to make an epic movie about Hannibal of Carthage — and in ancient Punic, no less?I first mentioned it here ten months ago, and you might have been tempted to dismiss it as a mere vanity project that would never see the light of day, but The Independent reported last week that Diesel is still forging ahead — and is even scouting locations:However, the shaven-headed star with the gym-buffed physique insists that he is deadly… Read more

I’m still making my way through P.D. James’s The Children of Men, and last night I came across this lovely bit at the end of Chapter 21, when Julian, her husband Rolf, and their associates have finally revealed her miraculous pregnancy to Theo:Julian said: “Please come with us, Theo. Please help us.”Rolf said impatiently: “He has no choice. He knows too much. We can’t let him go free now.”Theo looked at Julian. He wanted to ask, “Is this the man… Read more

That’s the headline on this piece by Variety writer Brian Lowry, which begins thusly:ALEXANDRA PELOSI’S latest HBO documentary, “Friends of God,” will doubtless garner some attention for her fortuitously timed interview with Pastor Ted Haggard, the disgraced head of the National Assn. of Evangelicals. Interviewed prior to allegations that he purchased illicit drugs and had sex with a male prostitute, Haggard boasts about evangelicals’ rollicking sex lives and ironically contemplates the harm done when their leaders experience moral lapses.Yet another… Read more

Here’s an extra paragraph which rubbed me the wrong way, from that Los Angeles Times story I just referenced:”If they want to market to the Christian community, they have to understand the value of prescreening to leaders,” said Michael Catt, senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. “The church leaders control what is promoted from the pulpit.”I’m quite happy to go to a church where the gospel, and not some movie, is promoted during the homilies, thank you… Read more

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