Newsbites: Trek! Genies! Bush! CleanFlicks! U2!

Newsbites: Trek! Genies! Bush! CleanFlicks! U2! January 29, 2008

Time to round up another batch of blurbs and things.

1. Well, now we know why the actor playing James T. Kirk’s father in Star Trek XI is only 24 years old. reports that Spencer Daniels, who is 15, and Jimmy Bennett, who turns 12 in less than two weeks, will be playing George Samuel Kirk Jr. and his brother James T. Kirk, respectively. Looks like someone other than Chris Pine can lay claim to playing “the young Kirk” now, eh?

2. The nominees for the Genie Awards have been announced, and, as Variety reporter Brendan Kelly puts it:

For the first time in years, it looks like English-Canadian pics rather than French-Canadian ones will dominate the Genies, the Canuck film awards.

The leading contenders are David Cronenberg’s London-set mob thriller “Eastern Promises” and Roger Spottiswoode’s Rwandan-set drama “Shake Hands With the Devil” with 12 nominations each for the March 3 awards.

The other top nominees, announced on Monday, are Sarah Polley’s Alzheimer’s drama “Away From Her” with seven noms; Bruce McDonald’s troubled-teen drama “The Tracey Fragments” with six noms; and, with five nods apiece, Stephane Lafleur’s black comedy “Continental, a Film Without Guns” and Francois Girard’s romantic epic “Silk.”

The leading French-language nominee is “Continental.”

The contenders for best picture are Denys Arcand’s “Days of Darkness,” “Away From Her,” “Continental,” “Eastern Promises” and “Shake Hands With the Devil.” . . .

Incidentally, that ‘Canada’s Top Ten of 2007‘ list that I mentioned here last month is coming to Vancouver; seven of the ten films will be at the Pacific Cinematheque between February 13 and 22.

3. Variety says Oliver Stone has lined up financing for Bush, his just-announced biopic on George W. Bush, and this means the film “could be in theaters by November’s presidential elections, and certainly before Bush leaves the White House in January.”

4. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Daniel Thompson, co-owner of the CleanFlicks service which edits all the naughty bits out of mainstream movies so that families can watch them guilt-free, was arrested “on suspicion of having sex with two 14-year-old girls”:

The booking documents state Thompson told the 14-year-olds that his film sanitizing business was a cover for a pornography studio. He asked the girls if they would participate in making a porn movie, but they refused, the documents state.

Police found a “large quantity” of pornographic movies inside the business, along with a keg of beer, painkillers and two cameras hooked up to a television. Thompson told police he didn’t know the teenagers were under 18 or that they were paid for sex. He said pornography found at the business was for “personal use,” according to the documents.

The Tribune also says CleanFlicks was “closed in December after threats of legal action from Hollywood studios”, but the company’s website still seems to be working. Maybe Thompson closed only one or more of the “four CleanFlicks shops” that he owned two years ago.

5. Entertainment Weekly has an interview with Mark Pellington, one of the directors of the new IMAX concert movie U2 3D:

Were you at the U2 premiere screening? People dancing in the aisles?
It was great. Look. If you’re a fan of U2, you’ll love it. If you’ve ever seen them live, their lighting, their set, their show is amazing. So to capture that and the energy of 80,000 people, that’s a pretty religious experience. That’s why we specifically chose Latin America. The band hadn’t been there in eight years, and [the fans are] nuts. I mean, think about it. It’s like a totally different, religious, spiritual fervor that goes on. It’s in the blood. It’s in the DNA of the culture, differently than it would be in Eastern Europe or Australia. It’s inherent in the generational history of the culture, and its relationship to music.

I find it hard to believe that there is an entire continent of people who are even more fanatical in their religious devotion to U2 than some of the people I have met, but, well, anything’s possible!

6. The New York Times has a fun little article on Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind and the nostalgia it evokes for the bygone days of VHS. Among reporter Dennis Lim’s interesting observations:

Since they function as elegies for a departed medium, “Be Kind Rewind” and “Son of Rambow” differ substantially in tone from most other movies that have prominently featured videotapes and video technology. During its lifetime VHS often symbolized alienation and malevolence, perhaps because video quickly became the medium of choice for pornography and surveillance.

7. Variety says Dennis Quaid will star as General Hawk in Stephen Sommers’ upcoming G.I. Joe. Quaid, eh? That kind of makes me interested in this film. Then again… Sommers, eh? This better not be as much of a chore to sit through as Van Helsing (2004) was.

8. Dave Gordon, writing in the National Post, doesn’t like the fact that Mathieu Amalric, who is playing the bad guy in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace, says he is basing his performance on such “invisible villains” as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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