Early Oscar Buzz For "Wall-E"

Steven Zeitchik, blogger for the Risky Biz Blog has blogged that Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E is a strong contender for a Best Picture nod from the academy. 

“Ever since the best ani category was created seven years ago, the conventional wisdom is that no movie eligible for the category will ever work its way into the best picture race. (“Beauty and the Beast” was nommed, but that was in 1991, long before a separate category was created that siphoned off best pic votes.)

But Wall-E is getting serious critical acclaim, not to mention pop-cultural cachet, as film editor Gregg Kilday notes in his recent story.

And while predicting Oscars in June is like predicting a World Series winner in February, this may in fact be the year that the Pixar set crashes the party.

People forecast that every year, you say? They said it with Ratatouille last year? Sure. But 2008 is different. Last year at this time Cannes had already offered a few frontrunners like “No Country,” which wound up landing best pic. This year there are no obvious candidates so far (we’re still not anywhere near sold on “Changeling”). ” 

He went on to say,

“What’s more, as well-reviewed as it was, “Ratatouille” trails even “Wall-E” when it comes to a critical Q rating; at 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s one tick higher than that film (and also higher than any best picture winner in nearly a decade).”

Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Daily wrote, “I’m told that Disney and Pixar are going to push hard for a Best Picture Oscar nomination for Wall-E on the basis of its anti-toon moody darkness and rave reviews by critics who matter. Certainly many toons have tried for that high honor over the years, and then settled for “just” a recently added Best Animated Feature nod. Only one animated movie has made it into the most competitive Academy Award category — Disney’s Beauty And The Beast in 1991 — but, alas, didn’t win. But that may not be the obstacle in Wall-E‘s way.”

And from the Pixar Blog, “New York Magazine’s Vulture blog has published a post suggesting WALL-E should be nominated for Best Picture at the upcoming Academy Awards*
So the buzz begins! Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!”



The Pixar Blog
The Hollywood Deadline Daily
The Risky Biz Blog


Weekend Box Office For June 27 – 29

#1 Wall-E from Disney and Pixar soundly beats out Wanted for the #1 position this weekend bringing in $62.5 million. Wall-E showed in 3992 theaters and cost roughly $180 million to make.

#2 Wanted from Universal debuts at the #2 spot bringing in $51.1 million. Wanted showed in 3175 theaters. Budget was roughly $75 million.

#3 Get Smart drops to the #3 spot bringing in $20 million, thats down 48.3% from last weekend. Get Smart showed in 3,915 theaters, up 4 over last weekend. Budget was roughly $80 million.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

#4 Kung Fu Panda: Weekend Gross: $11,746,000 down 46.5% / Theaters: 3,670 down 383 / Gross $179,330,000 / Budget: $130 million.

#5 The Incredible Hulk: Weekend Gross: $9,226,000 down 58.3% / Theaters: 3,349 down 159 / Gross $115,508,000 / Budget: $150 million.

#6 The Love Guru: Weekend Gross: $5,440,000 down 60.9% / Theaters: 3,012 Unchanged / Gross $25,322,000 / Budget: $62 million.

#7 Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull: Weekend Gross: $5,030,000 down 41.1% / Theaters: 2,556 down 615 / Gross $299,936,000 / Budget: $185 million

#8 The Happening: Weekend Gross: $3,850,000 down 63.3% / Theaters: 2,483 down 503 / Gross $59,063,000 / Budget: $60 million.

#9 Sex And The City: Weekend Gross: $3,770,000 million, down % 42.3 / Theaters: 1,755 down 687 / Gross: $140,132,000 / Budget $65 million.

#10 You Don’t Mess with the Zohan: Weekend Gross: $3,200,000 down 57.1% / Theaters: 2147 down 1131 / Gross $91,215,000 / Budget: $90 million.

A note on “Gross”: On average, studios will earn approximately 55 percent of the final gross.

Box Office Mojo

Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Theatrical Review: Wanted

For over a thousand years, an extraordinary order of assassins called The Fraternity have existed to “balance the scales” and keep the world adjusted by the decree of Fate. With superhuman abilities, these assassins can do things that normal men can’t, and in their way, they’re protecting the world. In the present day, a young man by the name of Wesley Gibson believes himself to just barely register amongst others, think low of himself, he’s in a state of just not caring about his station in life… but all of that is about to change…

I’m keeping this one real vague, because to say any more would just lead me to say even more and really you should just discover this one for yourself. The movie I’m talking about is Wanted and adaptation of the comic mini-series from Mark Millar and J.G. Jones directed by Russian director Timur Timur Bekmambetov, who’s best known for directing the genre films Night Watch and Day Watch. And it’s just a hell of a lot of fun… and in my mind, the movie that Jumper should’ve been.

I sort of see this movie as like a comic book equivalent of Fight Club in some way, and I think if you see it, it’ll make sense. I’ve not read the comic, though I know there’s a point of major deviation from the book, but I don’t really know if it matters here, or at least it didn’t to me. But what I got was an imaginative and very fun ride, and something just a little different from the rest of the comic book movies out there.

Timur Bekmambetov certainly demonstrated with his other movies that’s he’s a strong visualist, and he continues to do so here, but this, at least to me, goes a step further and even evokes the artwork of J.G. Jones through each frame, with some shots in particular just looking like they could’ve been covers drawn by Jones.

There’s already been lots of comparisons to The Matrix in terms of both it’s structure and action scenes, and I suppose they’re going to happen, but this manages to go just a little further over-the-top, especially with it’s characters, and Bekmambetov certainly has a fine assortment of actors at work here.

James McAvoy plays Wesley Gibson, and he looked to me like he’s just been waiting to do a movie like this, he really looked like he was totally into this in a big way. He’s backed up by Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Terence Stamp, Thomas Kretschmann, Common and Hustle’s Marc Warren and they all do a great jobs, and of course Jolie just looks magnificent. I don’t really want to say too much though about the parts each of them play though, as again, I just think this needs to be seen for all to be discovered.

I’ve got to say though, I had one hell of a good time with this movie, it delivered quite the thrill-ride and had it’s own nihilistic slant that I think is a lot more relatable (at least to me) than what something like Jumper had. And it’s even inspired me to seek out the trade paperback of the original comic series, which I don’t think is a bad thing at all… obviously, highly recommended….

Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Theatrical Review: Wall•E

Humanity has exhausted the Earth’s resources and left the planet nearly uninhabitable literally turning the planet into a huge dumping ground. Thanks to the BnL Corporation (Big n Large), humanity has left the planet and is living in space aboard huge luxury space liners, courtesy of BnL. On Earth, they’ve left behind robots, to clean-up the mess, and now 700 years after humanity has left the planet, one lone robot remains to clean up the mess, Wall•E. And now, Wall•E has found one little bit of vegetation and he’s taken it to his refuge to preserve it amongst other pop culture treasures that he’s found. Wall•E’s lone friend, a lowly cockroach, travels with him as he’s cleaning up the mess, building it into piles skyscrapers high, when all of a sudden, something comes back to the planet, a robot probe called Eva, with it’s mission being to find some sort of life on Earth, and when it comes, Wall• E becomes infatuated, and then travels back with the probe to the remnants of humanity who’ve become massively overweight and totally lost within their machine world, having everything done for them by the machines.

That’s a simplified version of the newest movie from the geniuses at Pixar, Wall•E, and yet again, Pixar shows us just why they are geniuses, yet again raising the bar with this newest movie.

It’s not enough that their own particular brand of computer animation is the highest quality there is, Pixar’s always striving to do something a little different with each new movie, and they do it again here. Yeah, sure, Wall•E is a comedic film, but it’s also a pretty decent sci-fi story and it takes a lot of huge chances by having minimal dialogue in the film, and creating characters that on their surface are far less anthropomorphized than previous films.

The opening bits of the film, on a dirty and dusty Earth, are amazingly realistic, not just in the look, but in how it’s actually photographed, in some places using a nice little handheld touch similar to how Battlestar Galactica’s space scenes are shot. And just the design alone seems to owe much more to actual science fiction illustrators more than what you might expect out of this sort of movie (or if this movie was done by anyone else other than Pixar).

And yet, they’ve still crafted a heartwarming, sentimental and funny center to the whole thing, and while the behavior of the robots won’t exactly fit the hardest standard of a sci-fi aficionado, for this movie, it shouldn’t really matter (and it certainly didn’t for me).

Pixar also bucks the trend here by not casting big names for the vocal work, in fact Wall•E’s voice is provided by master sound man, Ben Burtt, but true to form though, they still find a part for John Ratzenberger to perform.

Pixar also takes their first step with combining live action with computer generation especially in telling the story of humanity’s first step into the stars (and using veteran comedy actor Fred Williard in the part of the president of the BnL Corporation) and it’s not overdone, and still seems pretty natural and a good fit with what’s already set-up.

Wall•E is just a whole lot of big fun, not only state-of-the-art, but also with careful consideration for it’s story, it’s characters and all of the details in between. As usual, you also get a short film in front of this called Presto about a magician and the rabbit that he pulls out of his hat, and this thing in itself is amazingly well done, again technically proficient and gut-bustingly funny, evoking more the classic style of classic Warner Brothers cartoons more than anything else.

I got to see this in digital projection and honestly, if you have the chance, that’s the way to see it, but regardless, this one’s still just a hell of a lot of fun and well worth seeing whether you get to see it in digital or not. Highly recommended and right up there with the best of the year…


George Carlin

George Carlin, the man that made jokes that made history, the razor-witted comedian with little patience for the daily annoyances of life or people who take themselves too seriously died of heart failure in Santa Monica, California, on Sunday at the age of 71, according to The Associated Press.

The iconic American comedian was perhaps best known for his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine, a list of profanities that got him arrested in 1971 and later led to a Supreme Court case that helped set the regulations for what obscene language is appropriate to broadcast on the nation’s TV and radio stations. But his edgy style has influenced generations of filmmakers, writers and comedians.

“Nobody was funnier than George Carlin,” Judd Apatow said in a statement on Monday (June 23). “I spent half my childhood in my room listening to his records, experiencing pure joy. And he was as kind as he was funny.”

In addition to starring in a record-setting 14 HBO specials, multiple Grammy winner Carlin was a best-selling author (“When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?”), the voice of alternative-fuel-loving hippie microbus Fillmore in Pixar’s “Cars” movie, Mr. Conductor on the children’s show “Shining Time Station” in the 1990s and this year’s recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which he was scheduled to receive in November.

George Dennis Carlin was born on May 12, 1937, in New York City and raised, along with his older brother, by their single mother. He started his career as a traditional stand-up comedian in the late 1950s, when his act was full of wordplay and stories about his Irish working-class upbringing, according to The New York Times. But by the early 1970s, Carlin’s act radically changed, morphing into a poignant, often irreverent dissection of social hang-ups and commentary on “straight” society, pushing the boundaries of what was then considered good taste.

Gone were the suits and ties and in came T-shirts and flared jeans, accented by his shoulder-length hair, bushy beard and a rebel spirit that appealed to the hippie-fied children of the nightclub and “Tonight Show” audiences, who had been coming to see him for a decade. After years of playing bit parts on the biggest TV shows and filling the swankiest clubs, Carlin was blackballed from some of his former stomping grounds in Las Vegas and across the country, according to the Times. He gave up on those venues for a time and started doing his act in coffee houses, college campuses and folk clubs, where the audiences looked like him and appreciated his edgier jokes about drugs, the Vietnam War and the oppressive hand of polite society.

The infamous “Seven Words” routine appeared on his 1972 album “Class Clown.” He was arrested in July of that year for performing the routine at Milwaukee’s Summerfest and was unapologetic about it after being released with no charge. But the litany of offensive terms, some of which seem tame by today’s standards, others which we still can’t print continued to shock and led to a landmark 1978 Supreme Court decision. In that year, the court took up the case of a 1973 Federal Communications Commission fine on New York radio station WBAI for playing the routine, which had drawn a complaint from a father who said his son had heard it on the station.

The case, F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, lead the court to examine government regulation of indecency over broadcast airwaves. The Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s decision and decided that regulation was allowed to protect children, ruling that the routine was “indecent, but not obscene,” but it was Justice John Paul Stevens’ advisement of restraint (“We simply hold that when the Commission finds that a pig has entered the parlor, the exercise of its regulatory power does not depend on proof that the pig is obscene.”) that became a ruling standard for 25 years thereafter, ironically loosening up content on TV and on the radio, until recent events have caused politicians, lawyers, and judges to once again examine the issue.

That was exactly the kind of action that enraged Carlin, who continued to perform the bit — and get arrested for it — throughout the decade. With his signature all-black outfit and jokes about every formerly taboo subject from religion to sex, Carlin, along with Richard Pryor, became the wisecracking voice of a generation and one of the most popular comedians in the country. Carlin later said, “My name is a footnote in American legal history, which I’m perversely kind of proud of.”

He was the host of the very first episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 and was a favorite of directors looking to put a bit of bite into movies ranging from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” to Kevin Smith’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” and religion-skewering comedy “Dogma,” in which he played the irreverent Cardinal Ignatius Glick.

Kevin Smith had this to say: “In 2001, George did me a solid when he accepted the part of the orally fixated hitchhiker who knew exactly how to get a ride in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” When he wrapped his scene in that flick, I thanked him for making the time, and he said, “Just do me a favor: Write me my dream role one day.” When I inquired what that’d be, he offered, “I wanna play a priest who strangles children.” It was a classic Carlin thing to say: a little naughty and a lot honest. I always figured there’d be time to give George what he asked for. Unfortunately, he left too soon. He was, and will likely remain, the smartest person I’ve ever met. But really, he was much more than just a person. Without a hint of hyperbole, I can say he was a god, a god who cussed.”

“Some people think the routines were all about saying dirty words, but it wasn’t about that at all,” says Jamie Masada, who as owner of the Laugh Factory comedy clubs knew Carlin for more than 20 years.

“He had a different motivation,” Masada continued, “and the motivation was free speech. George believed when he was on stage that was like being in his church and he could say anything he wanted there.”

And, for the man who loved wordplay and frequently riffed on such simple absurdities as the oxymoronic phrase “jumbo shrimp,” he too was a bit of a contradiction in life, struggling with serious drug addiction at several points in his career while also finding time to play the kindly conductor on such kid-friendly programs as “Shining Time Station” and “Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.”

Jerry Seinfeld wrote in the NY times “THE honest truth is, for a comedian, even death is just a premise to make jokes about. I know this because I was on the phone with George Carlin nine days ago and we were making some death jokes. We were talking about Tim Russert and Bo Diddley and George said: “I feel safe for a while. There will probably be a break before they come after the next one. I always like to fly on an airline right after they’ve had a crash. It improves your odds.”

A stand-up at heart — he performed live onstage just days before his death — Carlin never stopped looking for new ways to describe, demystify and deprecate the world around him.

“Stand-up is the centerpiece of my life, my business, my art, my survival and my way of being,” Carlin once said, according to the Times. “This is my art, to interpret the world.”


Nike, Movies, And Neil Gaiman For Phil Knight

Co-founder and longtime chief of Nike, Phil Knight, unveiled plans for the future of his Portland film studio Laika on Tuesday. Laika’s first production, Coraline, based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, due in theaters in February, will be followed by a trio of movies and the new production house has a total of 6 projects in the works.

While Laika plans to mix in an occasional traditional, family film, the company hopes to differentiate itself from the competition with offbeat pictures and oddball humor. “There’s a very Portland feel to the kinds of things that we are doing,” said Fiona Kenshole, Laika’s vice president of development and acquisitions, who moved to Northwest Portland from England this spring. “We have a slightly quirky take.”

Animation giants Pixar, Dreamworks and Sony engineered a revival in feature animation with clever, richly illustrated movies drawn largely by computer. Laika, by contrast, plans to film many of its movies in an old-fashioned, stop-motion style with stories devoid of the pop culture references that sustain hits such as “Shrek.” It’s a risky strategy, the Portland company acknowledges, but one Laika says provides the best chance of distinguishing the studio and providing commercial and creative success. “It’s very easy to get a joke out of a fart. But that’s not what we do,” Kenshole said. “We want the story to emerge from the situation in which the characters find themselves.”

Knight acquired the financially strapped Will Vinton Studios (Christmas With The California RaisinsThe Adventures of Mark Twain) in 2003 and renamed it Laika two years later. His son Travis Knight, an animation industry veteran, is a Laika animator and executive. 

Animated films cost upwards of $50 million to make and sometimes a great deal more. Knight is bankrolling Coraline himself but wants to partner with a major Hollywood studio to underwrite development of Laika’s next three movies. “We’re looking for somebody that is willing to take some risks, both creatively as well as from a standpoint of broadening the movie audience,” said Dale Wahl, a former Nike executive who runs Laika.

Coraline is in the late stages of filming at a Hillsboro warehouse. It’s being directed by Henry Selick, a veteran stop-motion director who developed a cult following among animation junkies after making such stop-motion films as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Knight’s son Travis is serving as lead animator.

For its next three movies, Laika plans to hand the reins to a pair of experienced Hollywood directors and make the third from an in-house concept nurtured by Selick and a member of his “Coraline” team. One movie will be a computer-generated family picture directed by Barry Cook, who made Mulan for Disney. The other two are about misunderstood boys with unusual backgrounds or powers.

Coraline tells the story of a girl who passes into a mirror world where she meets sinister, alternate versions of her parents with buttons for eyes. Based on a novel by children’s writer Neil Gaiman, it will be distributed by Focus Features with lead characters voiced by teen star Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives. “It’s an unusual movie. It’s an unusual story,” said Wahl. “But from my own, personal perspective, I think it’s a fun story.”

Laika’s alternative approach to animation is a risk, said Maureen Selwood, co-director of the experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts. “The real gamble is stop motion,” Selwood said. “As well as being alternative, stop motion can be hard to pull off in a feature.” On stop-motion productions, animators painstakingly arrange puppets on miniature sets and then film them, a single frame at a time, moving the puppets incrementally to simulate motion. If Laika’s stories and directors create a coherent, original vision, she said, there’s no doubt its films will find an audience. And she said Portland’s animation community, which dates back three decades to when Oscar-winner Will Vinton started Vinton Studios, is a natural place to try something fresh. “If there’s any city outside of Los Angeles that’s an animation town, it’s Portland,” Selwood said. “It’s just loaded with people who have been in animation for a long time.”  

Knight, who’s worth about $8 billion, will start building a 30-acre studio campus in Tualitin, Oregon, later this year, around the same time he releases Coraline.  Laika’s other projects include Here Be Monsters!, a 19th-century steampunk thriller set in London, and The Wall and the Wing, adapted by Lost co-creator Jeffrey Lieber from the Laura Ruby novel about a Manhattan girl who can make herself invisible.



News Briefs

Thanks to films from Marvel, DreamWorks Animation and the team of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, Paramount Pictures has become the first studio to sell $1 billion worth of tickets in the domestic marketplace this year. Paramount bettered the record that it set last year by nearly three weeks. In 2007, it took Paramount, then fueled by Shrek the Third and Transformers, until July 9 to get the “first to $1 billion” record. Sony had established the standard on July 11, 2002, on the strength of the first Spider-Man movie. Paramount also is the first studio of 2008 to blow past the nine-zero mark in foreign box¬office. It reached that last weekend, six weeks faster than it did in setting the same record last year. (Internationally, Fox is on Paramount’s heels as it closes in on $1 billion.) The Melrose Avenue studio also boasts the year’s three top-grossing movies: Iron Man ($305 million), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($291 million) and Kung Fu Panda ($156 million).

Fandango, the movie-ticketing company owned by Comcast since 2007, announced on Monday that it has acquired, a movie news and reviews aggregator. had previously been owned by Disney’s Walt Disney Internet Group. The aim of the acquisition is to provide a one-stop movie hub for the Web, executives said.

Netflix announced on it’s blog last week that starting on September 1 the rental-by-mail service  would be doing away with separate user profiles on the same account. The reason, the post explained, is that it’s a little-used feature that some people found complicated: only a percent of Netflix members use it. “We will do our best to find better ways for families to share accounts than the existing profiles feature,” it read, “and will continue to invest in improving the Web site experience in many different ways.”

You Dont Mess With The Zohan seems to be a hit in Israel. The movie tries to bridge Jews and Arabs by making fun of them. But in Israel, where the movie opened Thursday, people are drawn in more because of its Israeli protagonist and the cadre of Israeli actors and musicians featured in the film. Israelis didn’t seem too slighted by the not-too-favourable portrayal of them. At Wednesday’s premiere in Tel Aviv, the packed crowd burst out in ovation and laughter at each sighting of an Israeli actor and at each over-the-top cliche of their behaviour – like when Zohan brushes his teeth with hummus, disco dances with a huge bulge in his pants or plays paddle ball with hand grenades. “I wasn’t insulted at all. It was funny. Exaggerated, but funny,” said Guy Ben-Yaacov, 23. “Besides, I know a few guys like Zohan.” Amir Kaminer, movie critic for the Yediot Ahronot daily, said Sandler’s Zohan is the most prominent Israeli character out of Hollywood since Paul Newman played the Jewish fighter Ari Ben Canaan in “Exodus” in 1960.

Dame Judi Dench has been honoured by Scotland’s oldest university for her work on stage and screen. The Oscar-winning actress was given an honorary degree at a ceremony at St Andrews University. She said she was surprised but delighted to be made a doctor of letters. “I feel very excited and I’m absolutely delighted to have an association with St Andrews.” she said  “I had never been to St Andrews before, so I’m very pleased and I’m going to boast about it a lot.”

India’s Reliance Entertainment and other investors are in talks with Hollywood’s DreamWorks SKG to raise up to $2 billion to create a movie venture, two people familiar with negotiations said Tuesday. Dreamworks, the movie studio founded in 1994 by Hollywood moguls Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, is looking to raise a total of $2 billion from investors — $1 billion in equity and another $1 billion for new movie projects, the two people with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press. They said they could not be named because negotiations were ongoing. Reliance Entertainment, part of one of India’s top conglomerates, the Reliance ADA Group, plans to invest more than $500 million to $600 million in equity, that same person said. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Reliance was considering an investment of about that size in a deal with Dreamworks. The Los Angeles Times had reported last week that DreamWorks is trying to raise money to break from Viacom Inc. and its movie studio, Paramount. 

A Florida obscenity case may be making history. According to the NY Times, the defense team in the case is planning to use publicly accessible Google search data to try to persuade jurors that the community standards yardstick needs to be re-examined.


The Canadian Press
USA Today


New Releases For The Week Of June 23, 2008

Tuesday, June 24

The Tattooist: R. At a tattoo expo in Singapore, American tattoo artist Jake Sawyer (Jason Behr) glimpses the exotic world of traditional Samoan tatau in the work of the fiercely proud Alipati (Robbie Magasiva). Fatefully, Jake is attracted to Alipati’s beautiful cousin, Sina (Mia Blake). When Jake impulsively steals an ancient Samoan tattooing tool, he unleashes a powerful spirit. Suddenly, his art takes on a frightening new dimension, exposing everyone he touches, including Singaporean Victoria (Caroline Cheong), to mortal peril. Seeking help from the Samoans Jake follows them to Auckland, where he runs into an old adversary, tattoo artist Crash (Michael Hurst) and a new one, the respected Samoan elder Aleki Va’a (David Fane). His investigation takes him on a journey into the dark heart of Pacific mysticism. There, Jake must recover his own soul if he is to save the woman he loves and escape with his life. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Wednesday, June 25

Shotgun Stories: PG-13. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, two sets of half brothers feud following the death of their father, discovering the lengths to which each will go to protect their family. A Lucky Old Sun Production

Thursday, June 26

Presto: G. The latest comical short film from Pixar Animation Studios follows the escalating high jinx of the amazing Presto, his rabbit Alec, and what happens onstage when a star magician’s ego provokes some clever revenge from his neglected costar. Pixar Animation Studios

Friday, June 27

Wanted: R. Based upon Mark Millar’s explosive comic book series and helmed by the stunning visualist director Timur Bekmambetov, creator of the most successful Russian film franchise in history, the “Night Watch” series, Wanted tells the story of one invisible drone’s transformation into a dark avenger. In 2008, the world will be introduced to a superhero for a new millennium: Wesley Gibson. Universal Pictures
WALL-E: G. A new animated film from Pixar. The year is 2700. WALL-E, a robot, spends every day doing what he was made for. But soon, he will discover what he was meant for. From Academy Award-winning director, Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”), WALL-E is the story of one robot’s comic adventures as he chases his dream across the galaxy. Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar

Tell No One: UNRATED. Alex Beck (François Cluzet), still devastated by the murder of his wife Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) in the early days of their marriage eight years ago, receives an anonymous email. When he clicks on the link he sees a woman’s face standing in a crowd and being filmed in real time – Margot’s face. Is she still alive? And why does she instruct him to ‘tell no one’? Revolver Entertainment

The Last Mistress: UNRATED. Secrets, rumors and betrayals surround the upcoming marriage between a young dissolute man and virtuous woman of the French aristocracy. IFC Films

 Finding Amanda: R. A television producer (Matthew Broderick) with a penchant for drinking and gambling is sent to Las Vegas to convince his troubled niece to enter rehab. Magnolia Pictures

Gunnin’ for that #1 Spot: PG-13. On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out on Rucker Park court that once saw the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Dr. J to compete in the first annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic. GUNNIN’ FOR THAT #1 SPOT follows eight of these players as they showcase their skills at the most legendary playground in the world – one that’s as intense an experience for NBA professionals as for budding young talent. Directed by Adam Yauch (founding member of Beastie Boys and director of Awesome;I F***ing Shot That!), the film trails these players on the fast track to the NBA, as they are adored by fans, wooed by colleges and sneaker companies, and face fierce pressures while being groomed to be in the spotlight of a multi-million dollar game. Combining Yauch’s unique directing style and the world’s most popular hip hop music, GUNNIN’ highlights these soon to be NBA All Stars as they wow the crowd with gravity-defying skills in a way never before seen on film. Oscilloscope Pictures

Trumbo: PG-13. A unique, star-studded film about Oscar-winning screen writer Dalton Trumbo and his heroic journey from Hollywood royalty to blacklisted writer to Academy Award winner. Samuel Goldwyn Films
Elsa & Fred: UNRATED. A romantic comedy about  two people who, at the end of the road, discover that it’s never too late to love… or to dream. Elsa has dreamt for the past 60 years of the moment that Fellini had already envisaged: the scene in “La Dolce Vita” at the Fontana di Trevi. Her dream however is not of Anita Ekberg, but Elsa instead rising out of the fountain in all her glory, and without Marcello Mastroiani, but with her true love that took so long to arrive. Alfredo is a bit younger than Elsa, a reserved meticulous man who becomes the object of Elsa’s desire. After losing his wife, he feels lonely and confused and his daughter decides that it would be best if he moved into a smaller apartment where he meets Elsa. From that moment on, everything changes. Elsa bursts into his life like a whirlwind, determined to teach him that the time he has left to live-be it more or less-is precious and that he should enjoy every minute of it. Fred surrenders to Elsa’s frenzy, to her youth, to her boldness, to her beautiful madness. And this is how Alfredo (or Fred, as Elsa calls him), learns how to live. Distrimax Inc & Mitropoulos Films

Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic: UNRATED. “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic,” (A Little Love, A Little Magic). Ranbeer Talwar (Saif Ali Khan), one of the country’s top industrialists has lost everyone he ever loved. He is now faced with a very peculiar and uncomfortable situation. In a rare and landmark court verdict, he is to look after 4 orphan children. The orphans hate him and want revenge on him. The children do not want to live with a man they hate, he too cannot face them or look them in the eye. One day they pray to God for help and He sends his most mischievous, childlike, lovable angel to the rescue, with a mission to bring Ranbeer and the kids together. Geeta (Rani Mukerjee) comes bicycling down a rainbow… and bursts into Ranbeer’s house as the self-proclaimed new nanny. And then starts the roller coaster ride of fun, emotions, magic and love. Yash Raj Films


All politics aside…

…this is just funny. Especially considering what our movie this week was.

see Obama pictures

Back Seat Producers Season 03 Shows

BSP Episode 066: Blazing Saddles

Tony, Tony and Adam recorded this special tribute episode to the late, great Harvey Korman in a local bar/restaurant. The sound isn’t the same quality as it usually is, such is the nature of bar ‘casting.

Blazing Saddles

Adam brings up the question that many have considered asking, but when it got around to it were just ambivalent enough not to. “Just how did Tony and Tony meet?”

Next week on the agenda: Blade Runner: The Final Cut… likely with a special guest or two.

Special thanks to:
Nobilis of Nobilis Erotica
Carrie P
Allen Sale of The Astral Audio Experience