The studio hasn’t released any pictures yet, to my knowledge, but today Sony Pictures Animation sent out a press release announcing the voice cast for its upcoming film The Star, which tells the story of the first Christmas from the animals’ point of view.
About eight years ago, something happened to Nicolas Cage. Known until then as an offbeat but fascinating charactor actor, Cage won an Oscar for playing an alcoholic who literally drinks himself to death in Leaving Las Vegas — and then he suddenly turned into an action hero. Many, but not all, of Cage’s onscreen adventures since then have been produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, including the R-rated action movies The Rock and Con Air and the PG-13 heist flick Gone in 60 Seconds. But now, with National Treasure — a PG-rated romp through the relics, myths and legends surrounding America’s founding fathers — Cage and Bruckheimer have set their sights on a younger, and perhaps less critical, audience. This film is being released as a full-fledged Walt Disney picture, and unlike some of Cage’s more intense flicks, this one has the benign villains and occasionally silly sensibility of those films Disney used to churn out back in the ’70s and show as two-parters on their Sunday-night “Wonderful World of Disney.” The main difference is, this new film has bigger stars and a bigger budget.
Wow, these discs just keep getting cheaper and cheaper. Two years, two months and a few weeks ago, I picked up the then-new two-disc Star Trek: The Motion Picture set for about CDN$32, after tax. Since then, Paramount has been re-issuing the subsequent Star Trek films as two-disc sets packed with extras, at a pace of one every several months, and today, I picked up the two-disc Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country set for about CDN$16.
First, I must gripe about the packaging. All the other films were released in black plastic cases, and indeed, if you get the new six-movie original-cast boxed set, all the discs come in black plastic cases. But if you buy ST6:TUC on its own, it comes in a white plastic case. Huh? Second, there is no booklet, at least not in my copy. Third, they are less than forthright about the fact that this film has been tweaked since the last time it was released.
IS MEL Gibson yielding to criticism over his death-of-Christ movie The Passion? In some ways, it seems he might be.
Earlier this year, Gibson told reporters Holly McClure and Raymond Arroyo in on-the-set interviews that his film made significant use of the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, a 19th-century stigmatic nun. He even cited his seemingly accidental discovery of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a published record of her visions, as a sign that he had been specially called to make his film.
But after Jewish and Catholic scholars expressed concern over the allegedly anti-Semitic contents of Emmerich’s visions, Paul Lauer, the director of marketing for Gibson’s production company, denied that Gibson had based his film on them.