Sunday, October 14, 2007

I Really Loved this Film

It's been awhile since I have seen a really good film but today the drought was broken when I went on a hunch to see a film called Across the Universe. The movie didn't get an overwhelming endorsement from the critics over at Rottentomatoes but I really did find Roger Ebert's review intriguing, so I went on his recommendation...There is just so much to like about this film. It's interesting, very well done, emotionally gratifying but most of all, it's unique. The visuals, particularly in the second half of the film are stunning and the performances all the way around are very good. The movie is set in the nineteen sixties and everything is covered from the Detroit race riots, to the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King. I really don't know how to describe the film because it is so unique and there is nothing I have seen to compare it to, really... It's a love story, musical, and backdoor social commentary all wrapped up into one. All the music is the Beatles but everyone but none of the songs is performed by the Beatles. There are cameo performances by Bono, Joe Cocker, and Izzy Izzard. I found the film very gratifying but I like eccentric artistic endeavors and this film has it in spades. If you open to musicals this is the best one I have seen and consider it better than Almost Famous which is another sixties movie I really enjoyed...and...if you have a soft spot for the Sixties or Beatles music this film is a must see...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Return of the Ring?

Entertainment Weekly’s most recent edition has reported that “after years of feuding, Peter Jackson and Nine Line Cinema are getting closer to making the Hobbit”…This is potentially great news for the fans of the Lord of the Rings. While nothing has been settled on either side, Bob Shay, New Lines project CEO has offered an olive branch to Jackson by reporting in a recent L.A. Times interview that, “I really respect and admire Peter Jackson and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in the Hobbit”. This is extremely good news considering that Mr. Shay earlier accused Jackson of being arrogant and stating publicly that, “I don’t care about Peter Jackson anymore”….as a fan reading between the lines….This sounds like an invitation to me…but…admit it may be wishful thinking on my part…Good news bad news scenario…Bad news…Jackson has reported that he will not entertain any proposals until the lawsuit with New Line is settled…good news… apparently the civil case is “finally nearing resolution”…Bad news…Someone else may direct the film and Jackson may simply act as an executive producer…potential good news…The name of Guillermo Del Toro, the director of Pan’s Labyrinth, has been mentioned. Guillermo has a significant amount of street cred with the fantasy community because of his ability to integrate great storytelling with emotion and special effects…and now some really potential great news….Entertainment Weekly has reported that Jackson has suggested “he would make two films, with the second one filling in the story arc between the end of the Hobbit and the beginning of the Lord of the Rings”. While Tolkien never wrote a book connecting the two stories he did make references in the epilogues of The Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think it would be fantastic if Jackson made a film bridging the gap between the Hobbit and the LOTR’s. While some hard line Tolkein fans may not welcome such a proposal, I am not one of them…A bit of speculation and merry mythmaking may potentially make a contribution to one of the great myths of our time...My prediction…I predict Jackson will make the Hobbit for a couple of different reasons. There is just too much money on the table for the studios to allow this particular project to die, especially considering that the movie industry has been slumping for years...and…Jackson can save the studios big bucks because he has the infra-structure already in place to take on such a potentially daunting project…and…name recognition alone will almost certainly guarantee a handsome project…and…does any other director really want to attempt to follow up Jackson’s masterpiece? Think of all the potential comparisons and questions. I can’t think of two many directors, if any, of stature, who would want to put themselves in this kind of a situation….If Jackson doesn’t get the director gig I am confident he and his special effects studio, Weta, will have their fingerprints all over this project…So…I predict it is only a matter of time before New Line Cinema announces to the world that Jackson is on board with the making of the Hobbit…and…when that day comes, all the hobbits of this world will rejoice and get in line for their ticket to the midnight showing of what promises to be another great adventure into the fantasy world of the Middlearth and the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien who has brought a lot of joy to this world with his merry mythmaking….

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Suicide Watch

It looks like I'll be on suicide watch for the rest of the week-end after my beloved USC Trojans fell to the lowly Stanford Cardinals. I admit I didn't see this one coming...but...suspect I am in good company because no one else did either. I don't really have much to say. No excuses...USC did not play well enough to win and I give Stanford all the credit in the world. They played their hearts out and deserved to win...I can't and don't want to point my finger at any particular player or coach on USC, other than to say, I don't think I have ever seen so many passes dropped. The USC receivers are young and green and this will no doubt be an important learning experience. Just sad to see USC's hope for another National Championship go down the tubes in this way. I don't intend to give up on my Trojans and am interested in seeing how they rebound from such a terrible loss. At the end of the day, I guess it just goes to show that talent, alone, doesn't win championships or games. Today, the men of Troy, no doubt learned this hard lesson....