Amazing Grace — coming in February 2007

The Hollywood Reporter, via Reuters, says Amazing Grace, the historical abolitionist biopic directed by Michael Apted and produced by Walden Media, has secured a distributor:Independent distributors Samuel Goldwyn Films and Roadside Attractions said they would release the film on February 23, the 200th anniversary of the British parliament’s vote to abolish the slave trade. . . .The companies are planning to target the traditional art house crowd, human rights groups and faith-based audiences.”Wilberforce is a hero to many Christians because… Read more

Back to the Future re-edited!

Never mind The Terminator! I have always wanted to re-edit the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-1990) in chronological order — but one major obstacle to doing this has been the sequence in Part II where Marty re-visits the climactic dance where his parents fell in love in 1955. To make it work, you’d have to do a split-screen or something, and I haven’t got a clue how to do that. Fortunately, though, it turns out someone else does have… Read more

The Terminator’s increasingly tangled timeline

Dammit, I have work to do, but news of the upcoming The Sarah Connor Chronicles hit a nerve — my time-travel continuity- checking nit-picking nerve — and I found myself wondering which of the Terminator movies’ contradictory timelines the series would follow, or whether the series would just invent a brand new timeline of its own. And, naturally, I just had to go through my DVDs looking for all the contradictions and whatnot.Note: I did not actually watch all three… Read more

Newsbites: Nativity! Terminator! Von Trapp!

Woke up this morning; saw a few news items. Enjoy!1. Mark Moring, my editor at CT Movies, interviews Mike Rich, the writer behind The Nativity Story. Interestingly, the church Rich attends seems to be broadly evangelical, but the three scholars he names as the biggest influences on his screenplay are all Catholic. And it looks like the film will take a stab at coming up with naturalistic explanations for at least one of the biblical miracles:One of the fun moments… Read more

Rob Reiner on Mel Gibson and The Passion

Rob Reiner talks about the Mel Gibson situation:Mel Gibson’s apology for making drunken anti-Semitic remarks isn’t enough to redeem him, actor-producer Rob Reiner said.The actor also must acknowledge that “his work reflects anti-Semitism,” particularly the 2004 hit movie “The Passion of the Christ,” Reiner told Associated Press Radio.”When he comes to the understanding that he has done that, and can come out and say, you know, ‘My views have been reflected in my work and I feel bad that I’ve… Read more

The bad buzz of Knud Rasmussen?

I mentioned back in March that The Journals of Knud Rasmussen had been selected to open the Toronto International Film Festival next week. Now Jeffrey Wells reports that he’s been getting bad buzz over the film from “a Canadian know-it-all” who called it “possibly the most incomprehensible show opener in the history of TIFF…the hix in the stix are gonna hate it.” Hmmm. Were the hicks in the sticks big fans of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner? Read more

Canadian box-office stats — August 27

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.Bon Cop, Bad Cop — CDN $5,548,626 — N.AM $5,548,626 — 100%Step Up — CDN $5,917,411 — N.AM $50,419,000 — 11.7%Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — CDN $40,776,823 — N.AM $407,571,000 — 10.0%Snakes on a Plane — CDN $2,557,377 — N.AM $26,012,000 — 9.8%Accepted — CDN $2,032,002 — N.AM… Read more

What has become of Walden Media?

Walden Media, the movie production company created by Christian billionaire Philip Anschutz for the express purpose of making “inherently educational” movies and “faithful film adaptations of great literature” (or so their home page says), had another flop this weekend. It seems How to Eat Fried Worms will rank 11th or 12th for the weekend, once the final figures are in — meaning, in other words, that it failed to even crack the top ten.This comes less than four months after… Read more

Facing the low production values

Terry Mattingly profiles Dick Staub and his negative assessment of Facing the Giants:”If this film DOES make tons of money, Hollywood may distribute more of them. Do we really want to send the message to Hollywood that the kind of films Christians want will be characterized by poor acting, low production values that are inoffensive, make us cry and also make tons of money? Is this truly how we want to influence Hollywood for God?”Hmmm, sounds not unlike those criticisms… Read more

Apocalypse Now — less and less “complete”

It’s bad enough that the so-called “Complete Dossier” edition of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) doesn’t include the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991) or the bonus features from the earlier DVD editions. But now comes word that Paramount did re-issue most of those earlier bonus features … on a third disc that was only available at Circuit City … and which may have been recalled. Yeesh. Jeffrey Wells covers the story, here and here. Read more

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