If you happened to miss seeing Precious or An Education last year, you might want to save yourself some time and check out Fish Tank, which is a nice little combo of the two. The latest film in the “Life of an impoverished child, and there’s an animal that symbolizes something” genre, it is to An Education what Bourne is to Bond; A little dirtier, a little meaner, and the camerawork is more likely to make you nauseous. Usually, I like my movies about stupid people yelling at each other to also have those people brandishing weapons of some kind, so it says a lot that I enjoyed this film despite it’s lack of cranial ventilation.
I followed this up by hopping over to the theater a block down to see Roman Polanski’s new flick The Ghost Writer. At this point in his career, Polanski can do a movie like this in his sleep. . . and I think he did. Not to say that it’s bad, but it just felt a bit, I don’t know, “off” to me. First, I thought the photography looked terrible; Everything looked so plastic, like it was pre-fx deleted scenes from the Star Wars prequels. Secondly; Ewan McGregor, I think I’m done with you. Thirdly, the rest of the casting was strange: You’ve got Kim Cattrall doing a Brit accent, Tom Wilkinson doing an American accent and Pierce Brosnan. . . I’m not sure what he’s doing, but he’s not doing a Pierce Brosnan accent. Also, how old is Olivia Williams supposed to be? It’s set in an amusing fantasy world, in which the citizens of a Western power are bothered by their government torturing prisoners. While I think this idea is cute, the unbelievability of it cuts into the tension considerably.
It’s a great time for movie news right now; So many things in the gestation stage. I think casting and pre-production are my favorite things to learn about. Once the cameras start rolling, I usually shut myself off from it until the finished product is out, even to the point of not watching any trailers. So, I’m going to start throwing some notes on news into these blogs of mine.
So, Ghostbusters 3. Why do we want this to happen? I mean, I LOVE Ghostbusters. The original movie. And part two was. . . ok, but completely unnecessary. Do we really need a part three? And there’s a big to-do right now about Ivan Reitman possibly being forced from the director’s chair. What was the last good Reitman movie? Dave, maybe? And I would argue that Ghostbusters was his only really great film; Stripes was pretty good, but the last act was all kinds of stupid. This might be one of those cases where I’d rather see a remake than watch a bunch of respectable old guys embarrass themselves (Harrison Ford! Cough! Robert DeNiro! Hack!). Or, better yet, just LEAVE IT ALONE! Even with all of the best people involved, great films are often just happy accidents, and I think that’s the case with the first movie.
As of my writing this, Chris Evans is the frontrunner to play Captain America. Good. I’ve liked the dude since seeing him in Cellular, and it’s time for his breakout role. And what a breakout role! I’m a bit surprised that everyone’s just assuming that Captain America will be a hit movie, though. Problem number one: The USA is not the most popular country on the international front right now. Problem number two: Does anyone under the age of 30 actually like Captain America? I mean, I think he’s sweet, but I’m also a huge nerd. He’s a dude who runs around wearing a flag costume and a giant shield; He lacks a lot of the “cool” factor that characters like Wolverine or The Punisher have. Also, while Joe Johnston is a decent director, he has yet to prove that he has the chops to handle such a delicately balanced character as this. And take “The First Avenger” out of the title of the movie; That’s just stupid.
And for the Twilight franchise, the producers have extended directing offers to Sophia Coppola, Gus Van Sant and Bill Condon to do the Breaking Dawn double feature. Neat. I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with the way they’re making this series; Fast and cheap, but with real directors at the helm. Exactly the way I would want to do it. Of the three, I would be most interested in Condon, cuz the dude needs to get his horror movie on again. Although Coppola would be interesting, since her daddy did an adaptation of Dracula.