Upcoming Flix Spotlight: The Coen Brothers’ Gambit remake

I haven’t visited impawards site in a while but I’m glad I did so today. How have I not heard of this film before?? I mean, hello Col. Brandon and Mr. Darcy… I mean, these are two of my all time favorite period drama heroes!! 😉

The gist:

So what’s Gambit about? Now, you comic-book fans out there might think of the X-Men character, but no, it has nothing to do with that. Here’s the synopsis from Orange.com:

Private art curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) devises a finely-crafted scheme to con England’s richest man and avid art collector, Lionel Shabandar, (Alan Rickman) into purchasing a fake Monet painting. In order to bait his buyer, he recruits a Texas rodeo queen (Cameron Diaz) to cross the pond and pose as a woman whose grandfather liberated the painting at the end of WWII.

It’s described as a crime-comedy. Now, another thing that piqued my interest is that the screenplay is written by the Coen Brothers, who specializes in this kind of genre. But this time they’re not directing the movie, instead, it’ll be Michael Hoffman (One Fine Day, The Last Station) doing the directing duties. The story is a remake of the 1966 movie of the same name with Michael Caine as Harry. I don’t know how many remakes the Coens have done in the past, I think The Ladykillers and True Grit were remakes, but I’ve only seen the latter and that was one of my top 5 movies of 2010.

The Cast:

See my first paragraph. Obviously the two male leads Alan Rickman and Colin Firth sold me already on this movie. But add the always excellent Stanley Tucci and this automatically becomes a run-don’t-walk-to-the-theater kinds of flicks. But Cameron Diaz?? Heh, can’t say I’m enthused about her casting… but I’ve got to admit, she’s got good comedic skills, case in point: Something About Mary, and I totally could see her as a Texas rodeo queen. Besides, it could be worse… Jennifer Aniston was considered for the role of PJ Puznowski.

Looks like the pics above are snapped at Heathrow Airport. Boy, even at 40 Diaz’s still rockin’ those daisy dukes! I like the fact that the movie is filmed on location in London. No Rickman in sight though, but no matter, I just have a good feeling about this one. With the Coens’ script, this seems poised to be quite an entertaining caper comedy.

Now the bad news… for us in America anyway…

Release dates:

According to Cinemablend, Gambit has been pushed back by CBS Films from October 12th of this year to a mysterious time in “Winter 2013.” Not sure why that is, but apparently the studio is placing Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths in its slot. Looks like my UK friends are the lucky ones as they still get to see it this year on November 21.

Added 9/20:

The trailer is now here!

Man, now I’m even more excited to see this!


Thoughts on this movie folks? Are you going to see this one?

My Movie Influence: Sense & Sensibility (1995)

My friend Andina over at the gorgeous Inspired Ground blog invited me last week to take part on her on-going series My Movie Influence.

Here’s the gist of what the series is all about:

Many people have their own movies they think highly, praised and probably started seeing things differently after watching them. I’ve shared mine and I always wanted to know what others have. I asked other people which movie they think to have the best influence on them.

Naturally I pick this movie…

Some of you aren’t surprised by that as this Jane Austen adaptation by Ang Lee is one of my favorite films of all time.

If you have to pick one movie that changed your entire/one phase of your life, what would it be?

Sense & Sensibility (1995) – a Jane Austen adaptation by Ang Lee, starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Greg Wise. I’m forever indebted to my cousin who rented this movie when I visited her in college, but somehow it didn’t have as much an impact as it did the second time around. I couldn’t remember when exactly I saw it again but I was so swept away by it.

Set in the late 17th century, the story centers of the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who must navigate through the harsh realities of their circumstances after losing their father. The two sisters are very close but of polar opposites, one is passionate and very much driven by feelings, and the other is much more guarded, strongly guided by her senses. Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her brilliant screenplay, deservedly so, and the film was nominated for seven Oscar. I wish Patrick Doyle’s music also won Best Original Score, it stands as one of my favorite movie music of all time.

In what way does the movie changed you?

This film not only sparks my love for period dramas but also opens the world of Jane Austen. I never read Austen growing up but now period romance is one of my favorite movie genres. I have seen many, many period dramas since but none compared to how I feel about this film. I’ve seen it countless times and I love it more every time.

There’s so much human emotions explored in this film… love, wickedness, patience, heartbreak, devotion, passion… themes all of us could relate to hundreds of years after this film is set. What I love most about this film is the decency of the main characters, choosing to do what’s honorable no matter how painful. Elinor and Col. Brandon truly suffered for love, so tormented for their feelings for Edward and Marianne respectively, but neither one is self-centered and so wallowed in self pity, but instead I find their kindness and compassion to others so inspiring. That’s why Brandon is one of my favorite period drama heroes, he’s the quiet hero who’s so worth the wait.
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What character of the movie you could relate to?

I go back and forth between Elinor and Marianne. At first I identify most with Marianne and her unbridled passion, I love how she defied convention and the strict norm of society of her day in the name of love. I love how she doesn’t care what people thinks of her, and she loves with all her heart. But the older [and hopefully wiser] I am, the more I could relate to Elinor. She loves just as much but at the same time she isn’t defined by it. I think I am more inspired by her than being able to relate to her, but at the same time, I feel that I probably would’ve acted the way she did given the circumstances.

I also identify with the Dashwood sisters in losing a loved one so young in life, as I lost my mother when I was 16 years old and so I could relate to growing up without a father and raised by women.

Favorite quote of the movie?

Though I LOVE the ‘Love is not love’ sonnet that Marianne uttered in this wonderful rain scene, but it’s this quote from Elinor that I find so wonderfully inspiring…

“…It is bewitching in the idea of one’s happiness entirely depending on one person”

She said it to her sister Marianne when it’s finally revealed that Edward has been secretly engaged for five years, that is dashing her hope to be with him once and for all. Marianne always thought that Elinor never really deeply loved Edward but this scene shows that obviously that’s not the case. Yet even in her deepest heartbreak, Elinor still has her head screwed on tight and she never lost her perspective. I wish I had such strength, such wisdom could be applied at any era, whether in romance or otherwise.

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If you could summon/conclude the entire movie’s message, what would it be?

I think the message that I get is that one must follow their heart but also has the good sense not to be controlled by our emotions. Seems that Austen also has a strong notion about marrying for love instead of money, which is quite a modern thinking as women like her in her day could not earn a living on their own. Yet, it’s sad to say that some women today do choose marry for money more than love, and their parents perhaps even advise them to do so.

There’s also a message about defying social conventions that are deftly portrayed by Austen’s characters. Though Elinor seems to have proper decorum and seems to conform to society’s norm, there’s a subtle sign that she doesn’t necessarily agree with them. She is a headstrong woman so naturally she’d rebel against the idea that women had no status except through marriage.

Regardless of the era though, there’s that timeless theme of the eternal struggle between following our heart and using one’s head, especially when it comes to the intricacies of love.


Well, now you know why that film means so much to me. What’s your thoughts on Sense & Sensibility?

7×7 Award

You like me, you really like me!

Ehm, pardon my heartfelt enthusiasm but I really am grateful for this award and pardon my tardiness in getting this post up. I share this award with my wonderful contributors, especially Ted S. and Jack Deth.

Firstly, let me say thank you so very much Michael, Diana, Ruth, Julian, Niels, Richard, Pete, Andina and Dan for tagging me. Now I gladly oblige to the rules that come with this award 🙂

The rules to the 7 x 7 Link Award are simple:

1: Tell everyone something about yourself that nobody else knows.

2: Link to a post I think fits the following categories: The Most Beautiful Piece, Most Helpful Piece, Most Popular Piece, Most Controversial Piece, Most Surprisingly Successful Piece, Most Underrated Piece, Most Pride-worthy Piece.

3: Pass this on to 7 fellow bloggers.

As for a fact that nobody knows… Well, I think with the exception of a few close friends, most people don’t know that Gerry Butler inspired me to write a novel. An unusual inspiration I know, but when I had a massive crush on him after seeing Phantom of the Opera back in 2004, I actually started writing a novel a year later in which the protagonist is inspired by him. I even named the character Eric, a variation of ‘Erik’ which is the real name of the Phantom in the original Gaston Leroux’s novel. You can read an excerpt from an earlier draft of one of the chapters here. I’ve since put that post on the back burner since I started this blog, but I’m still hoping to pick that up again in the future.

The Most Beautiful Piece

Beauty is so subjective, but I think I’d have to go with the two part list of 15 favorite period drama heroes that I collaborated with my friend Paula. It took quite a bit of effort to do this and I must say, it’s filled with a lot of really beautiful men 😀

The Most Helpful Piece

Hmmm, I don’t want to be presumptuous that people find any of my posts helpful, but I suppose for non-Bond fans or those who aren’t familiar with this franchise might find Our picks of Best & Worst Bond films from each decade handy when they want to get into Bond movies.

Most Popular Piece

To this day, no post has been able to beat this Actors who are (surprisingly) good singers post I did back in November 2009. Thanks to IMDb hitlist (which sadly is going away soon), this post got nearly 20,000 hits in one day and over 100 comments. I guess everyone has some strong opinions as to who they think are good singers… or not 🙂

Most Controversial Piece

No doubt this one is the most controversial so far – Tired of boys ruling Hollywood? Get these real men to the rescue. It’s another post that got picked up by IMDb in 2009 that generated quite a lot of angry responses! Some actually call me a racist for the lack of colored actors in the post. Geez, I’m not white myself but since when is it wrong to have a preference in actors?? People take these things way too seriously, ahah.

Most Surprisingly Successful Piece

Well, unlike the King of Blog Series that is Nostra, there’s barely any that I keep regularly here on FC. But the Five for the Fifth series prove to be quite successful ever since I launched it back in January of 2011. Thanks everyone for participating on these posts every month!

Most Underrated Piece

Well, I often mention Return to Me on this blog as one of my favorite rom-coms ever. I wrote a lengthy piece as to why it’s such a beautiful, poignant chick flick more people should check out, sadly I don’t think anyone’s read it.

Most Pride-Worthy Piece

I spent a ton of time on each of the fantasy movie pitches that Castor of Anomalous Material started, so those posts are very special to me. My favorite of all of them remains to be Hearts Want, a romantic thriller starring Timothy Dalton and Helen Mirren in the lead roles, directed by Ridley Scott. It’d be a dream come true to someday translate that into a real screenplay.


Well, since I’m quite late into this meme, seems like everyone has done this already or been tagged by others. So I’d like to pass this award to those who hasn’t done this yet but whose blogs are one of my favorites. So here goes:



Thanks everyone for your support of this wee blog. Your readership and comments are always sincerely appreciated!