A few weeks ago we posted about all the crazy remakes in the pipeline right now from Hollywoodland that, at best, seem questionable. Not to let ya think all we do around here is kvetch about things we just know will suck, here are some links to trailers that we hope don’t suck, and in some cases might be perfect antonyms to suck:
Where The Wild Things Are
Adapting a beloved children’s book for the big screen is, these days at least, a very dicey affair. For more proof see The Cat In The Hat. Once upon a time, Hollywood was actually good at this, even if they did make changes to the source material (see the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with a brilliantly creepy Gene Wilder).
Having Spike Jones attached to this does ratchet up hope for a good flick considerably. Then again, Tim Burton’s take on Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – though inspired – pales considerably to the original and is overall dissappointing.
Alice In Wonderland
Speaking of Burton, Mr. Dark n Scary (but not really) returns to his roots at Disney with another take on a children’s fave. This time, though, unlike Willy Wonka, there is no real beloved film version of Lewis Carroll’s famous story. Disney’s own take last time around, in 1951, has it’s moments but largely falls flat. Burton’s take looks intriguing, even before one factors in Mrs. Burton Helena Bonham-Carter, hot actress of the moment Anne Hathaway, and resident whackado’s Johnn Depp, Alan Rickman and Crispin Glover.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Idiosyncratic Wes Anderson takes on perhaps the 20th century’s most beloved children’s writer Roald Dahl’s (author of many books beyond that chocolate factory one, and also author of one James Bond screenplay – You Only Live Twice – AND the screenplay of Bond author Ian Flemming’s own kids book turned silver screen gem, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) The Fantastic Mr. Fox is the most unexpected match of auteur and kids animation I can imagine this side of Jean-Luc Godard making a claymation version of Babar. (and that may be the longest run-on sentence I’ve penned yet for TLOS!)
Either way this one has the potential to be the most interesting and surprising of the fair of animation coming up.
A Serious Man
Lest you think all we do here is watch cartoons and eat cookie dough right out of the container, here’s the trailer for the latest from the Coen Brothers. After going nearly 3 years between full lengths with No Country For Old Men following up their lone dissappointment (the remake of the Alec Guinness vehicle The Ladykillers), the brothers are back on track for a movie a year with this one, described as (shockingly) a black black comedy.
I love the Coen brothers, and have since I discovered Raising Arizona back in the video store I worked in in the late 80s, but really, has any of their films NOT qualified as a “black comedy”? Still looking forward to this one.
Also noteworthy to report: it appears chinese director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers, opening and closing ceremonies of last summer’s Beijing Olympics) will be directing a remake of the coen’s potent, spare debut, Blood Simple.
Wonder who will be expected to fill THAT GUY extraordinaire M. Emmet Walsh’s shoes.
It seems I’ve already posted the A Serious Man trailer earlier this summer…. and so while I posted about this (and a video from it) back in the spring, here is an official trailer of
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
No, The Dark Knight wasn’t Heath Ledger’s last film. The latest epic from Terry Gilliam apparently was. From Jabberwocky (made around the same time as Monty Python’s Holy Grail) through the film version of Hunter Thompson’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Gilliam was one of my favorite directors. Then his attempt to make a film version of Don Quixote was beset with disaster after disaster and finally had the plug pulled (documented heartbreakingly in the documentary Lost In La Mancha). Since then Gilliam has made mediocre fare (The Brothers Grimm) and then made what I can only term as a “fuck you” to film goers in general (Tideland).
I cannot recall before seeing a film from a director I loved so that appeared to be so loudly screaming “FUUUUCK YOU!!!!” to the viewer. Filled top to bottom with vile and demented characters, Tideland centers on little girl Jeliza-Rose and how she copes with the tragedy of both her parents ODing (at different times) by going into a fantasty world. But it’s view of humanity, despite Gilliams explanations that it’s ultimately hopefully about how children survive horror, is so dispicable and utterly without redemption, well, I’m not really sure what else to say about it. I’ve only been able to sit through it once, and though I normally love watching Gilliam in particular over and over again, I don’t think I could sit through this again (and I have tried).
So, this will be interesting to view in light of all that’s come in the last 10 years or so of Gilliam’s career. It received very mixed reviews at Cannes, but then even the best Gilliam films seem to receive mixed reviews. Not everyone appreciates the man’s asthetic. Anyhow, a new La Mancha project is back up and running for Gilliam (this time, according to IMDB, titled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote), so hopefully this film finds the man back in better spirits. I, for one, am very hopeful. I mean, it has Tom Waits for god’s sakes! Tom Waits!