Friday, 4 June 2010

Through The Grater This Week


So after a little break we're back - hi gang! Let's see what's been happening in the world to make this mouse stick her whiskers out of her home in the wall.

The biggest news this week is that Del Toro has left The Hobbit. I was dismayed when I saw this, although the more I read about it the more it seemed to make sense...and it's probably been coming. Because Del Toro is such a busy man and has so many projects to cram in over the next billion years (a list as long as your arm that includes At The Mountains of Madness, Pinocchio, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Frankenstein...) the more delays that were hounding The Hobbit the more of his time it was taking up and it was already a huge investment of his life to begin with. So it's really sad news as his interpretation of Middle Earth and its inhabitants was going to be unquestionably brilliant and now someone else has to come in and fill very large, er, hobbit shoes. And who will that person be? Ideally Peter Jackson will step up to the mark (he may feel he has to) but I'd quite like to see a new take on it from a fresh mind. There's an interesting article here about possible replacements - I think Terry Gilliam would be a bit overkill! Christopher Nolan and Sam Raimi are my top choices out of those. But we shall see - I'm sure it will be a dramatic and surprising announcement!

Let's get on with the moving images - I have 2 trailers for you this week. The first: remember Winter's Bone, one of my picks from the Sundance festival that went on to win the Best Film prize? Well the trailer's out, and... it looks pretty dull. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I just think there are certain films out there that cannot be made into persuasive and emotive trailers (see Shutter Island as a recent example), but then it tends to be because the film isn't all about the action and has a lot more going for it beneath the surface. The films that make amazing trailers often should have been made for that purpose full stop...! Iron Man 2, cough. Anyway, see what you think below. It kinda looks like they're trying to squeeze blood out of a stone.


No UK release date as of yet.

I've got another trailer to come in a bit, but let's discuss some news items first. Now I'm always one to judge a book by its cover, and I'm also one to judge a book by its title - likewise with film. I'm not a fan of either of the actors being linked to this movie, but from the name of it alone I'm drawn in - The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. So kooky. I love the word 'wallflower' (probably because I was one growing up. If you have a pretty label for yourself it makes the inner angst more glamorous). Anyway, this could be my sort of thing if the script's any good. Shall keep an eye on it. I should do a 'to watch' list for the blog, shouldn't I really? There are so many films I like the sound of, intend to 'keep an eye on them' and then promptly forget they exist until I see something and deja vu rushes into my consciousness. I'll get on that ASAP.

Following on from the news that Sam Mendes is set to direct a sequel to the Wizard of Oz, it looks like someone else wants to take the ruby slippers and wish them to another place. Drew Barrymore is set to direct Surrender Dorothy, where the story will focus on Dorothy's great, great granddaughter and her destiny with the magical land over the rainbow. I'm all for this! I can see Sam Mendes taking a darker tone and mood with his wizard and Drew Barrymore making it much lighter, especially if she has the main character quite young. Although Empire is suggesting that Mendes might not go ahead with the project now, and tackle Ian McEwan instead. Oh, misery.
But Oz is such a canvas of possibility, and how it's interpreted has always been up to the individual. Personally I love it when they go much darker - Return to Oz is one of my favourite childhood nightmares of all time - but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good chase around dark spooky woods with flying monkeys on my tail, as well. One of my favourite Oz films when I was younger was the animated Journey Back To Oz, with all the marching giant green elephants. I've been trying to trace this film down for years but had no luck - there are a few clips on You Tube but it hardly does it justice, and the VHS is freely available, but what would I do with a VHS?! It was all kinds of cartoon brilliant and I'd love to see it again all the way through. I'm loving this Oz resurgence - I hope it continues to grow!

Cannes finished last weekend, with all the winners being announced on the Sunday by President of this year's jury Tim Burton. You can check them out here. From what I've read about the festival there seems to be a general feeling of apathy towards the event - perhaps it's because there was no highly anticipated film opening, or huge controversy over a pair of scissors and a talking fox. One of my picks, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, won the big prize Palm d'Or but to the resounding shrugging of the media, who found it a surprising (and for some wrong) choice of victor. Cynicism seemed to say the director was due a win whatever he offered up, but they're just being British and wanting Mike Leigh to win - that's my theory anyway. Hahaha won the Un Certain Regard which wasn't on my standout list but anything that wins that award probably deserves a watch (if it comes over here).

One thing I did forget to mention in my Cannes preview was the Directors Fortnight - another selection of films which runs alongside the festival but is independent. I'm kicking myself a little because there are some real goodies here: All Good Children (dreamy, creepy, rural France. YES!), Des Filles En Noir (morbid teen girls seducing suicide), Lily Sometimes (a reassessment drama with the lovely Diane Kruger), Shit Year (washed up actress relives her glory days through the characters she's played) and Un Poison Violent (teenager struggling with her Catholic faith). Mostly French which is always a treat.

And now for the second of my trailers - the new one for Inception which is looking more and more stunning by the minute.


Is it July 16 yet?

As you may have gathered from my Twitter feed the US TV season has come to an end now - boo hoo. Well, all the important shows anyway (MINE!). I'll be doing a proper post next week with my thoughts on each individual finale - what disappointed and what I can't wait to see in September. But there's a bit of news tied in with all that as well.

Gossip Girl: something I've been wanting from one of my shows for a long time - scenes filmed abroad! I've been wanting Supernatural to come and investigate something in England for aaaaages. But this will have to do: GG filming some scenes in Paris for Season 4. I won't go into spoilers too much before I've talked about the Season 3 finale, but suffice to say it involves Blair and Serena on a Thelma and Louise type adventure (with er, clothes and parties) and a few unexpected visitors. I think a change of scenery will be lovely - not sure how long it will be for, but I'd expect something along the line of how they covered the Hamptons Summer. And I'm sure something scandalous will happen that will thereafter be referred to as "what happened in Paris"...

On a slightly side note, there was a very interesting but beautiful choice of song used in the GG Season 3 finale - it was a female singer doing an acoustic cover version of 'The Funeral' by Band of Horses (my favouritest band at the moment). It's by Serena Ryder, and I'm very much in love with it - have a listen below. (But check out the original as well!)



ANTM: Some very interesting news coming out of Top Model HQ here. With the introduction of Andre Leon Talley from Vogue last season as a permanent judge, the show received a bit of a cred boost. But now it's upped its game even further - going way beyond any of my expectations as I thought this show was on coast central! The winner of Cycle 15 will no longer grace the cover of Se-v-en-teeeeen ma-ga-zeeeeeen, but ITALIAN VOGUE instead. Yes that's right - an actual fashion magazine. With good pictures in it. The only top model alumni who has appeared in Italian Vogue is Toccara from Cycle 3. This is amazing news, and will hopefully mean the show starts to take itself a teeeeny bit more seriously from now on. And it also means I never have to see the huge hooter on Ann Shoket's face ever, ever again. HURRAH!

Melrose Place 2.0: cancelled. Should we be surprised? Life Unexpected must have got better ratings, and it's probably cheaper to make. Oh well. Katie Cassidy shall live on.

And to finish, a TV story unrelated to glossy Network dramas - new Thundercats! Yes, they're doing a remake with "anime style animation" - bleurch. God knows what they're going to make them all look like! I'll definitely be interested in seeing a couple of the new episodes, but somehow think it will lack the charm of the original series my childhood was defined by.

Oh, and I was just visiting the Cat's Lair the other day don'tcha know? It was a Bank Holiday so of all course all the cats were out, but I got a cheeky photo anyway...



More news next week.

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