Law Abiding Citizen scoring session

F. Gary Gray, LAC’s director, keeps his fans up-to-date on his projects via Twitter, God bless him. He just posted this scoring session with composer Brian Tyler recently. Tyler’s resume is pretty massive, he’s done a lot of action movie scores such as Fast and Furious, Constantine, Eagle Eye, among others.

Gray wanted a retro, noir-ish theme that’d go well with the movie’s vibe, and it’s cool to see a composer at work with the 52-piece orchestra. As Gray said, most modern flicks these days use synthesized work instead of a real orchestra. He also said the orchestra route is kind of ‘old school’ but I’m guessing the effort would yield a richer, more organic score.

I’m no music expert but from the snippet that I hear, it sounds really good. It kind of elevates my expectation for the film more. Check it out for yourself:

Art&Copy Documentary – Creativity can solve anything

artcopy_film

Hate advertising? Make better ads. – that’s director Doug Pray’s statement on its official site.

As an interface designer who once yearned to be in advertising, this is absolutely fascinating. Lee Clow, George Lois, Hal Riney, these are advertising rock-stars whose career everybody in my mass comm class drool over. It’s been said that Lois is one of the original “Mad Men” with his in-your-face celebrity advertising, but my advertising hero has always been Lee Clow, the brain behind the Apple Computer‘s famous 1984 Super Bowl spot and Taco Bell‘s talking Chihuahua. I used to compete with my hubby in college collecting those imaginative Absolut Vodka ads, another brainchild of Clow. But you don’t have to be in creative field to appreciate the work of the people featured in this documentary. In fact, it’s very likely that you’ve bought stuff because of the advertising behind whatever that stuff is.

Synopsis: ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE, SCRATCH, HYPE!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time — people who’ve profoundly impacted our culture, yet are virtually unknown outside their industry. Exploding forth from advertising’s “creative revolution” of the 1960s, these artists and writers all brought a surprisingly rebellious spirit to their work in a business more often associated with mediocrity or manipulation: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney and others featured in ART & COPY were responsible for “Just Do It,” “I Love NY,” “Where’s the Beef?,” “Got Milk,” “Think Different,” and brilliant campaigns for everything from cars to presidents. They managed to grab the attention of millions and truly move them. Visually interwoven with their stories, TV satellites are launched, billboards are erected, and the social and cultural impact of their ads are brought to light in this dynamic exploration of art, commerce, and human emotion.

So if you’re like me who watch the Superbowl just for the ads, this is a movie for you.

Daniel Day Lewis’ new musical NINE

Daniel Day Lewis and his band of babes
Daniel Day Lewis and his band of babes (click on the image to see a larger version)

Nine seems to be the lucky number in Hollywood this year. There’s that recent sci-fi indie-blockbuster set in South Africa, the animated feature film voiced by Elijah Wood and Jennifer Connelly set in post-apocalyptic world, and just in time for Thanksgiving, there’s NINE the musical!

The description on Apple trailers’ page says: NINE is a vibrant and provocative musical that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his film star muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Fergie) and his mother (Sophia Loren).

Rob Marshall, who got an Oscar nomination for Chicago, directed and co-choreographed  the film, and the late Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) co-wrote the screenplay. The story is based on Arthur Kopit’s book of the same name, which was derived from an Italian play by Mario Fratti inspired by Federico Fellini’s autobiographical film . The original 1982 Broadway production with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, won five Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Taking over from fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), who dropped out of the project, this looks like every actor’s dream role. I don’t think I’ve seen this many famous actresses involved in one movie, many of which have bagged at least one Oscar. Judging from the trailer, it looks mah-velous! It’s the kind of movie to escape to and just be lost in the music and dancing. Daniel looks great as usual, you can throw this guy into pretty much any genre and he’ll dazzle you, that’s just how talented this guy is. I’m not a huge musical fan per se, but with a cast like this, it’s definitely a must-see for me!

This Just In: INCEPTION teaser trailer

Goodness, I’m getting buzz-overload here with all these sci-fi stuff…  but hey I’m not complaining =) First there’s District 9, then Avatar, and now, all the mystery surrounding Christopher Nolan’s Inception just got a potent boost thanks to the awesome teaser trailer that’s just released about an hour ago. The bootleg got leaked over the weekend but why settle for a low-res,grainy version when you can see it in its kick-@$$ HD glory!
 

All I can say is WOW! I don’t think Chris Nolan has done a bad movie in his short career and looks like he’s kicked it up a notch here. I’d think The Dark Knight is a pretty tough act to follow, but apparently not to Nolan. I respect the guy for refusing to be boxed into one type of genre. Composer extraordinaire Hans Zimmer once again collaborates with Nolan on the score and the bit that I hear seems to capture that dark and shadowy mood of the film

Billed as a mind-bending contemporary sci-fi thriller, the synopsis sounds mystifyingly fascinating: A thriller set within the architecture of the mind about a CEO who is involved in a blackmailing scandal. Looks like David Fincher’s The Game with Michael Douglas meet The Matrix. It’s an oversimplification on my part, as I’m sure Nolan can do better than those two flicks combined! Leo DiCaprio looks intense here as the CEO, and all that matrix-like moves in the hallway with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, way cool!  The movie also stars Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Tom Berenger, and sir Michael Caine. What an impressive cast, wouldn’t you say? The NolanFans site has some on-set pictures in Paris.

This is definitely at the top of my must-see list for next year. Man, Summer 2010 can’t come soon enough!

Oldies but goodies? High Fidelity

TGIF, folks! Just a few more hours before the workweek is over and I tell you three things I’m excited about this weekend:

1. My BFF is returning from Indo tomorrow after being home for over a month!
2. The AVATAR in 3D free-screening I’ll be seeing tonight at 7 – with sincere hope it’ll blow me away more than the recently released teaser trailer.
3. High Fidelity DVD

I’ll update y’all on #2 on Monday, so I’m going to suspend my two-cents of the trailer until then as well.

John Cusack as a record store owner
John Cusack as a record store owner

Now, as for #3, what’s to get excited about this one? Well, I’ve been wanting to see it ever for a while. And then I came across these posts: Top 25 Romantic Movies For Guys and Top 10 Chick Flicks Guys Like not too long ago. Of all the flicks on the list, something about this movie caught my attention. Not sure what it is exactly, as I’m not even a John Cusack fan. The lure of great dialogue & one liners plus great music certainly is a factor, but perhaps I’m just tired of the stereotypical chick flicks with predictable endings and banal over-sentimentality. From what I heard and read so far, this one appears to be neither. And the fact that it’s based on a Nick Hornsby book makes me want to see it even more. I quite like his book adaptation About a Boy, even if it stars the king of rom-com, Hugh Grant.

For those who’ve seen this, what are your thoughts on High Fidelity? Is my enthusiasm over this flick justified? No spoilers please …

Good news for Richard Armitage fans!

Richard as John Thornton
Richard as John Thornton

With all the sci-fi stuff swirling around in my head ever since District 9, I just had to take a break and watch something entirely different. As you know, my taste in movies span across genres, and one of my all time favorite period film is Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel adaptation North & South. Thanks to a Youtube clip I found randomly (oh how I survived without that site before I’ll never know), I immediately rented it and had to have it for my collection. Set in the mid-19th century, the story exposes the industrial North and its conflicts from its heroine Margaret Hale’s point of view, an outsider from the South. But the heart of it is a love story between its Margaret and the dashing mill owner John Thornton, much like Pride & Prejudice where the lovebirds didn’t get off on the right foot from the start.

This is the movie where I discovered British actor Richard Armitage, who played the role of John Thornton so brilliantly mesmerizing it made Colin Firth’s Darcy as exciting as an A&E Saturday afternoon special. No offense to Mr. Firth, though he never did tickled my fancy, but Richard’s gaze and gravely voice definitely give his Darcy a serious run for his money.

In my previous post, I suggested Richard for the role of  futuristic Robin Hood, having just played his nemesis Guy of Gisborne in the BBC series about the medieval hero. Now that series’ run has ended, his IMDB profile still doesn’t list any future project in the works for him. But perusing his forum did produce a glimmer of hope! A director/producer by the name of Mike Ogden is currently producing a film called Charlie, and Richard’s been tapped as the lead. Check out the premise:

Southern Italy, 1943. An on the run Allied prisoner of war – Charlie – encounters Marco, the teenage son of an executed partisan leader, out for revenge. Charlie wants nothing to do with Marco or his friends who have also run away. As the German commander ‘Schwarz’ ruthlessly sweeps the valley searching for him, Charlie finds he has to rely on the help of the children to survive until Marco discovers Charlie’s secret, one that could tear their fragile trust apart.

According to its official site, pre production will start in October 2009 with filming taking place during January/February 2010 in Italy.

All I can say is hurray!! I hope this will find a distributor in the US, but even if it’s released on DVD, it’s better than nothing. Oh well, I guess that’s what happens when your taste run in the obscure when it comes to actors. I found Gerry Butler far more intriguing when he was lesser-known. I did wish one day people will discover him and I wouldn’t have to search hard and might just to find a picture of him in a magazine. Oh well, be careful what you wish for I guess.

In the meantime ladies, here’s a clip of Richard as the fabulous John Thornton for your (and my) amusement:

It’s inevitable, District 9 sequel chatter has begun

Please put your scrawl here ...
Please put your scrawl here ...

Death and taxes aren’t the only things certain when it comes to the movie industry. Sequel is a sure bet as soon as a flick recoups at least the same amount it takes to produce. So now that District 9 already made more than its modest 30 million budget, it’s no surprise the sequel buzz has started swirling. Heck, the buzz was already so high even before the movie even opened. At the San Diego Comic Con last month, after Peter Jackson had only previewed the movie for the first time, people were already asking him about its future. Wisely, he said he would rather wait how the movie does and go from there.

Now, I’m torn with this. I REALLY like this movie that it should almost be left as it is. Sequels rarely do justice to the original, and a lot of flicks hardly ever merit a follow up. But by the same token, the movie also left me curious to see more of this new world, or mythology if you will, that Neill Blomkamp has created. Do I even dare to call this the next Star Wars? I wouldn’t go there as I for one wouldn’t want any George Lucas groupies to be all over me like a ton of bricks. But one thing I can assuredly say is that District 9 ends in such a way that made a lot of moviegoers go, ‘now what?’ So it seems that although the film makers weren’t exactly planning for District 10, or whatever else they’d end up calling it, they weren’t opposed to it, either. It also didn’t hurt the fact that, according to actor Sharlto Copley, the very nature of the production — its improvisatory dialogue, the filmmakers’ decision to shoot tons of material and see what developed — left nearly enough video on the cutting room floor for another installment. “There were a lot of exciting avenues to want to go down and you really [have to fit it all] into a small block of time,” he said.

Thus, with so many angles and back stories Blomkamp can explore and the biggest question will be which one should he take?

The folks at Cinema Blend has crafted some interesting ideas. For those who haven’t seen the movie, I’d rather you skip it as it contains some major spoilers. I personally don’t have a preference as to a specific angle, but just like Batman 3, I’d only be interested if the original brain behind the terrific film—in that case Chris Nolan—were involved. Similarly, Blomkamp has done something really special with District 9, and Cinema Blend’s writer Josh Tyler nailed it here with his suggestion of what NOT to do: Please, Mr. Blomkamp don’t go Hollywood. You’re going to get a bigger budget for the sequel, a much bigger budget I’ll wager. Don’t turn it down. Use it. Use it to make something even bigger and better. Spend it on special effects and wicked cool sets. Don’t use it to buy yourself an over the top sports car, move to LA, and turn the thing over to Hollywood’s never ending cadre of mega-producers. We don’t need to see Sharlto Copley replaced by Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. You don’t have to bring in Jada Pinkett Smith to be Wikus’s sassy, tough as nails sidekick. Don’t step back into a supervising role and allow Michael Bay to take over. For that matter don’t even go to Hollywood. Stay in New Zealand, with Peter Jackson, and make your film.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, I guess I’ll just keep an eye on this one and see what they’ll do. Whatever route they’d take, I’m somewhat rest-assured by Peter Jackson’s response to MTV news in regards to the sequel buzz:

“I believe movies should come from the heart, and if there’s any sequel or continuation of District 9, it should only be because there’s a good idea involved, not because it’s a money-making venture,”

For that reason alone, it’s all the more imperative that nobody else should helm any follow-up to this soon-to-be-a-classic scifi flick.