ENJOY THE MOVIES
It's Day 38. Just one week to go until Ruben Fleischer's horror comedy Zombieland is wrapped - under time and on budget. And today it's time to break shit. Lots of shit. Shit that took the production designers and set decorators weeks to put together. But I'm getting ahead of myself. A while back, the good people at Sony invited FS.net out to Atlanta, Georgia to spend a day on the set of Zombieland. For those of you who haven't already seen the brain-exploding trailer, this is the story of two friends: Columbus, played by Jesse Eisenberg, and Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson. So let's venture into Zombieland, shall we?
This isn't much of an update on the highly anticipated Venom spin-off, which was spurred by Spidey's dark nemesis appearing in Spider-Man 3; but being that I got to spend some time with screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick during a recent visit to the set of Sony's Zombieland, which they wrote, the topic was assured to come up. If you recall, word got out last July that the pair, who have been friends since high school, were signed on to script the Venom film. When asked about the project, both had the dissatisfying yet expected response: "We can't really talk about it. It's super secret. We're under strict orders."
One of the more unique films in theaters this weekend is a small, flavorful one called Alien Trespass, directed by R.W. Goodwin. Goodwin is readily associated with "The X-Files," considering he brought audiences more than 100 of TV series' early episodes (as producer and occasional director). Now, however, Goodwin may be better known for achieving the lofty goal of making an authentic 1957 in 2009. Unlike what you might read from the poster, Alien Trespass isn't a spoof or homage to sci-fi films of old. By all accounts, the film is a product of that time, and according to Goodwin he "just happened to make it a little bit later."
The topic of illegal immigration from Mexico can be a pretty heated one at times. But if you put politics aside, it's hard to deny the intrinsic hope and optimism that is often lost in the debate - that these people are simply striving and struggling for a better life. And by "these people," I'm not just talking about immigrants directly from Mexico, but also those that come from deeper parts of Central America. When newcomer director Cary Fukunaga worked on his short film Victoria para chino in 2004, he learned that for many immigrants, crossing the border into the United States was in a lot of ways the least of their worries.
With no feature films under his belt, I wasn't sure what to expect when I scheduled an interview with newcomer Cary Fukunaga. But after seeing the writer/director's debut film, Sin Nombre, I knew I'd be talking to one of the industry's next great artists. When I entered the empty bar at the Ritz in Georgetown, Fukunaga was on the phone explaining the difficulty of translating the title of his feature film into English. While "sin nombre" does actually mean "without name" or "nameless," you can't exactly re-title the film without losing some of the intrinsic cultural nuance of the phrase. And this was only the beginning…
Platinum Dunes' recent reboot of the Friday the 13th franchise wasn't a completely horrible trip back to one of the genre's classic scares. But what's in store for the studio's similar attempt at a modern A Nightmare on Elm Street? Well, Latino Review has a wonderful wrap-up of El Mayimbe's recent look at the script-in-progress (authored by Wesley Strick of Cape Fear, and, um, Doom), which appears to suggest a similar glossy, blockbuster makeover as with Friday the 13th. It sounds like a decent enough approach, but I'd obviously prefer something a bit more humble and disturbing than this. Read on for the early plot details.
Back in 2007, Samuel L. Jackson starred in a movie called Cleaner, where he played the owner of a business that tidied up the biological mess of crime scenes. He was duped into helping cover up a murder, which kicked into gear the active and interesting plot. While Sunshine Cleaning leverages that same odd-but-curious career track, it's an altogether different film. Not nearly as bright and fresh as the title would leave you to believe, Sunshine Cleaning is an overcast and melancholy film. Despite its grey tones, the film contains a spectrum of color thanks to the performances of Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin.
John Carpenter's original The Thing first scared audiences back in 1982, and now 27 years later an extension of that story has finally been written and is being readied for the big screen. "Battlestar Galactica" scribe Ronald D. Moore (who was announced back in January) told IGN this week, "I did my drafts. They were happy. They have a director and, you know, it's the feature world and I'm not the key player so we just wait and see if they're going to greenlight it or not. I'm not the chef. I'm the short-order cook who comes in and does my thing and we'll see what they want to serve." Well put. Now we just hope it's a good script.
Those of us attending SXSW in Austin were treated to 22 minutes of raw footage of the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie Bruno, the funny man's follow up to Borat, where he plays a gay Austrian fashion reporter for youth TV. The footage spanned three scenes, each of which included a personal SXSW greeting from Cohen. To the say the material was funny is a laughable insult itself. This brief look at Bruno quite possibly promises a more raucous laugh than Borat, which is no small feat. But how, you might ask? Take the first scene, which has Bruno interviewing parents in an attempt to find the right baby for a video production.
I think we all need to have a moment of silence and welcome back the Sam Raimi of old. Lump the man in with Cher and Madonna, because Raimi has returned to his particular recipe for horror, shaped during his days of Army of Darkness and Evil Dead, with a vigor that deserves an applause. And that's just what he got at the historic Paramount theater in Austin during the first ever public screening of Drag Me to Hell last night as part of SXSW. I will confidently say that it's an experience unlike few other and vintage Raimi through-and-through. The camp, the scares, the art, the gross-outs - it's all there, and then some.
The fourth installment to the double-clutching Fast and the Furious franchise isn't even out yet and folks are already talking about taking the story another step further with a fifth movie. I, like many, felt the street racing film line blew a head gasket with third film, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, back in 2006. That film shed any association to the original storyline and brought in roughly half of what each of the first two grossed. Now that the fourth reunites most of the original crew and has decent buzz for its April 3rd release, can we believe lead Paul Walker when he says a fifth film is "beyond rumors at this point"?
Yep, that headline is right. When Pinhead graces the big screen again with the help of French filmmaker Pascal Laugier, it will be in the form of a reboot to the original Hellraiser and not a remake, per se. At least that's what ShockTillYouDrop tells us came out of a recent interview FilmsActu had with the Martyrs director. Personally, I'm becoming blind to the dividing lines between remakes, reboots, re-imaginings, and so on. But on the subject of the Cenobites' return, Bloody Disgusting caught up with Clive Barker, also, and discussed the new project, specifically about it being in Laugier's demented little hands.