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092908 'What Just Happened?'
.. . . . . . Barry Levinson’s new film looks really, really good to me. I have to say I am so looking forward to this one. Levinson is directing a screenplay by producer Art Linson from his book 'What Just Happened? Bitter Tales from the Front Line'. The film stars Robert DeNiro as a struggling producer slogging through two weeks of his life. While I still have not seen ‘Righteous Kill’, from what people are saying, ‘What Just Happened?’ could be seen as a sort of antidote for the poison of that film. I’m a big DeNiro fan and seeing him in a film that looks to be as strong as ‘What Just Happened?’ is just too cool (especially after some of his recent films.) Backing up DeNiro is a strong cast including Bruce Willis (playing himself,) Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Michael Wincott (never in enough stuff) and Robin Wright Penn. This has a stellar cast, looks good, and comes out soon. 'What Just Happened?' opens on October 26. I can't wait for this film to come out and I'm hoping this as good as it looks. If you are curious, you can check out the trailer in small HERE, medium HERE, and large HERE. The official site for 'What Just
Happened?' can be found HERE. -Nate

 

092708 Paul Newman passes.
.. . . . . . Sadly, Paul Newman has passed away at the age of 83. He was one of the greats, a living legend. His film and TV credits go back to the early 50s and he continued on screen roles up until his voice work in the Pixar film, 'Cars'. For myself, it is hard to pin down my favorite of his films (he was in so many.) I love 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid', (maybe the ultimate buddy film.) I recently saw 'The Drowning Pool' for the first time and thought it was a much better film then it gets credit for. Of his later work, the 2002 film 'The Road to Perdition' is a favorite of mine and Newman is one of the best parts of the film. He made so many appearances in films that sitting here now, it is hard to pick out just a few. Outside of film, his “Newman's Own” brand of food products has grown to reach almost all corners of the supermarket. The “Newman's Own” line
was a successful small project that grew and all the while benefiting numerous charities that the business donated to. (Official site can be seen HERE.) A much better write up about Newman's passing can be seen HERE. Rest in peace Paul Newman. -Nate

 

092008 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' in theaters on October 31rst.
.. . . . . .Filmmaker Kevin Smith has a new film opening soon that looks like it will be very entertaining. I believe this is Smith's first film that is not directly connected to his usual New Jersey based characters and stories. For my part, I have enjoyed just about everything Smith made (I wasn't that big on 'Dogma' and 'Jersey Girl') and I thought has last film 'Clerks II' was a funny, often sweet, sequel to the film that launched his career. Smith, is a smart and clever filmmaker with a quick wit and I think that going off in a new direction will be a good thing. While he has perhaps not attempted the type of serious cinema that gets praised endlessly by critics, I feel he is a sometimes underrated talent that has made constantly entertaining movies. 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno' looks to be no different and it is interesting to note that Smith will be following it up with his first film in the horror genre, 'Red State'. Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks star in the film about a couple of friends who try to make some cash by filming a porno. I finnally got around to seeing a film Rogen co-wrote, 'SuperBad'. I think I was one of the last people on earth to see that film and not unlike just about everyone else, I thought it was great. Now, I have to wait for 'Pineapple Express' to come out on DVD so I can check that out too. Rogen seems perfect for the lead in 'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'. Curiously, even though the film is opening in only a little more than a month the official site (which can be seen HERE) is pretty barren. You are better off checking out Smith's blog HERE. In the mean time, see the general audience trailer in small HERE, medium HERE, and large HERE. See the rated R trailer in one, and only one, size at IGN HERE. -Nate

 

091508 Start the week and check out the 'Appaloosa' trailer.
.. . . . . .If '3:10 to Yuma' remake did nothing else when it came out last year, the film would still be noteworthy for showing that the Western feature film could still be popular and profitable. (My favorite of the more recent westerns is the underrated 2003 film 'Open Range', reviewed HERE.) Actor/ filmmaker Ed Harris will make his mark on directing a film of the western genre with the upcoming 'Appaloosa'. I tend to love Harris in films and I enjoyed Harris's previous outing as a director 'Pollock' (he also starred in that film, as well.) Harris has amassed some strong performers for the film including Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons, James Gammon and Rene Zellweger. 'Appaloosa' is based on a Robert B. Parker film of the same name. Parker is the writer behind the Jesse Stone series (I reviewed one of the film spin offs HERE) as well as the 'Spencer for Hire' series. Mortensen and Harris acted together in the enjoyable crime drama 'A History of Violence'. (I especially liked Harris in that film. Mortensen is an actor that can make a film worth seeing even if the movie itself is not entirely satisfying. Plus, I love westerns and I am happy to see that they have made something of a come back. I can only hope that they continue to be profitable so more films in the genre can be made. Mortensen will also be seen in the upcoming films 'Good' and 'The Road'. Actually, John Hillcoat, the director behind 'The Road' made a western not all that long ago called 'The Proposition' (reviewed HERE.) 'Appaloosa' will open in limited release on the September 19th. The film is scheduled to go to a wide release on October 3rd. The official
site for the film can be found HERE. Check out the trailer for 'Appaloosa' in small HERE, medium HERE, and large HERE. -Nate

 

090108 Happy Labor Day! Start the month and the week with the continuing Blu-ray saga. See a review of the Blu-ray playback software: TotalMedia Theatre.
.. . . . . .Recently I reviewed the latest version of 'PowerDVD'. The review came about, in part, out of frustration. Playing Blu-ray discs on the PC turned out to be a bit more cumbersome than I had thought it would. Now, I have switched to 'TotalMedia Theatre'. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect solution. Check out the review HERE. -Nate

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