Archive for May, 2008


Posted in Movies with tags , , on May 22, 2008 by funofmovie

For competition on Wednesday, May 21st

LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (1h27) Directed by Lucrecia Martel

Argentina, Spain, France

A woman is driving on the highway. She becomes distracted and runs over something. On the days following this incident, she fails to recognize the feelings that bond her to things and people. She just lets herself be taken by the events of her social life. One night she tells her husband that she killed someone on the highway. They go back to the road only to find a dead dog. Friends close to the police confirm that there were no accident reports. Everything returns to normal and the bad moment seems to be over until the news of a gruesome discovery again worries everyone.

Movie Reviews

Cannes 2008: Tony Manero Review

Posted in Movie events with tags , , on May 20, 2008 by funofmovie

UK, May 20, 2008 Tony Manero is a film about a fifty-something man obsessed with John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever, mimicking his mannerisms, his strut and, of course, his hip-swivelling dance moves. Far from being a gentle screwball comedy however, the subject matter could not be more serious. Set in Santiago de Chile, against the backdrop of General Pinochet’s dictatorship, the film is a gripping account of a society at its lowest ebb.
Raul Peralta is the disco dancing central character, a malevolent, monosyllabic man who believes he can escape the hopelessness of his situation by aping an American anti-hero. His every waking hour is dedicated to Tony Manero, working towards Saturday night when he hits the dancefloor of the local town hall to unleash his (none-too-impressive) moves.

“Tony Manero” gives it his best John Travolta.

As the film kicks off, Peralta encounters a dream opportunity – to perform as his hero in a televised contest to find the country’s greatest Manero impersonator. His efforts to succeed in the contest lead the film into extremely dark territory however, as Peralta cheats and thieves his way around town as he tries to perfect his act. ‘Tony’ is capable of the most horrendous acts of violence, yet the people around him have become so desensitised to violence that barely anyone bats an eye-lid.
It’s relentlessly depressing stuff, yet gripping all the same, and that’s largely due to Alfredo Castro’s hugely impressive performance in the lead role. Present throughout proceedings yet barely saying a word, Castro creates a brutal, spiteful, disgusting movie monster, yet one can’t help but be mesmerised by his quest to succeed. Around him the cast is also uniformly fine; the fear, sadness and pain of the times etched on the faces of dance partners and friends.

Peralta takes flight across the rooftops of Chile.

These same people are obviously involved in some kind of underground activity against the dictatorship, but this is only hinted at throughout the film, the point being that no matter what they did, it was impossible to escape the shadow if Pinochet’s regime.
At the same time Peralta’s obsession with American culture foreshadows what’s to come for Chile, the culture of violence continuing, only to then be swallowed up by the globalist interests of Uncle Sam, bringing with him McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and the like. The result is an uncompromising film that’s difficult to watch, but sure to live long in the memory.


Best movie mistakes of all time

Posted in Movies with tags on May 17, 2008 by funofmovie

1) Star Wars When the stormtroopers break into the control room, the stormtrooper on the right of the screen hits his head on the door frame. On the DVD release they’ve added a thump when he hits it.

2) Commando
After chasing down Sully, the yellow Porsche is totally wrecked on the left side, until Arnie drives it away, and it’s fine.

3) The Rocky Horror Picture Show The criminologist describes the events of the movie as taking place “on a late November evening”. In the very next scene, Brad and Janet are driving in Brad’s car, and President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech is playing on the radio. Nixon resigned in August of 1974

4) Charlie’s Angels When the Angels are fighting the “Creepy Thin Man,” right before Drew Barrymore lifts up Lucy Liu to spin her around and kick the thin man, to get Lucy’s attention, Drew hollers out “Lucy!” even though Lucy Liu’s character’s name is “Alex.”

5) Gladiator In the “Battle of Carthage” in the Colosseum, one of the chariots is turned over. Once the dust settles you can see a gas cylinder in the back of the chariot.

Cannes Film Festival 2008 preview

Posted in Movie events with tags , , on May 16, 2008 by funofmovie

Only two weeks ago, a sense of panic hung over this year’s Cannes Film Festival. A delay in announcing those films competing for the Palme d’Or triggered fears that the line-up would be hopelessly weak.
This nervousness proved unfounded. Both in the main competition and in other sections, there’s a feast of work by proven auteurs and interesting newcomers.
As always when no British film is competing for the Palme d’Or, there’s been hand-wringing. But Cannes is a venue for great cinema, whatever its origin. Most of the films unveiled when the festival opens next Wednesday have never been seen anywhere, so any speculation about favourites to win prizes is premature.

1 The Changeling

Clint Eastwood’s directing career continues to flower in his late seventies, and this period piece, set in 1920s Los Angeles, looks promising. Angelina Jolie plays a mother whose son is kidnapped then returned to her. But she realises that the rescued child is not her own. John Malkovich plays a supportive priest.

2 Che

Steven Soderbergh first emerged as a world-class director in Cannes with sex, lies and videotape. He’s a restless talent who likes to stray outside his own comfort zone, and he’s done it again with this two-part film about Che Guevara, starring Benicio del Toro, with a total running time of more than four hours.

3 Linha de Passe

There’s a strong South American contingent in Cannes this year, so it’s appropriate that the continent’s leading filmmaker, the charismatic Walter Salles (Central Station, The Motorcycle Diaries), should have a Palme d’Or contender. Co-directed with Daniela Thomas, it’s a story about four brothers, set in the teeming urban jungle of São Paulo.

4 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Inevitably, this will generate more column inches than any other film in Cannes. It’s the fourth in the series (and the first in almost two decades), and it remains to be seen if director Steven Spielberg can still infuse the franchise with the same magic and charm. Look for teen star Shia LaBeouf to assume the mantle of Indy from 65-year-old Harrison Ford (pictured).

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‘Blindness,’ spectacle as Cannes opens

Posted in Movie events with tags , on May 15, 2008 by funofmovie

CANNES — The Festival de Cannes fixed its gaze on the world premiere of Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness” on Wednesday night as Sean Penn led his jury into the Palais des Festivals.

While a plague of blindness hits an unnamed city in Mereilles’ thriller, the Palais red carpet was seeing stars as the film’s talent — Julianne Moore, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal — gave festgoers quite the sight for sore eyes. Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Faye Dunaway added Hollywood glam to the black-tie evening.
Although the official lineup was announced fashionably late this year, the opening ceremony, broadcast live by Gallic pay TV channel Canal Plus, started on time. French funnyman Edouard Baer animated the evening with references to Dany Boon’s record-breaking boxoffice hit “Welcome to the Land of the ‘Shtis” and a warm welcome in English, telling the crowd in a thick French accent: “My heart is full of love and emotion.”
Fest toppers Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux put the Cannes lineup on a diet this year with fewer films in the official selection than usual, and the opening-night festivities were equally trimmed down compared to last year’s 60th anniversary hoopla. Opening-night guests were given a taste of the films to come with a sampling of clips from the films in Official Selection screened for the audience.

The low-key ceremony stuck to tradition as the Sean Penn-led jury — Israeli/American actress Natalie Portman, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, French director Rachid Bouchareb, German actress Alexandra Maria Lara, Italian actor-director Sergio Castellitto, Iranian director Marjane Satrapi, French actress Jeanne Balibar and Thai helmer Apichatpong Weerasethaku — took their seats onstage.
As the lights went out in the Palais theater, Penn talked about his vision for this year’s fest: “We’re going to be sending love letters to some movies. Those who don’t get them, don’t be discouraged,” Penn said, adding, “I’m making a plea to those distributors who don’t get awards: Stand behind your films as you are now. We’re going to do our best,” the actor-director said.
A montage of Penn’s career was followed by a live musical interlude courtesy of 1960s rock-folk star Richie Havens. Penn tapped his foot to the beat of Havens’ “Freedom” as the singer chanted “Freedom, clap your hands,” and they did.
Prolific Gallic director Claude Lanzmann then headed into the spotlight to declare the 61st edition of the fest officially open, but not before a lengthy speech that seemed to run almost as long as his nine-hour documentary “Shoah.”
After the screening of “Blindness,” guests headed to the Carlton Hotel for an official dinner presided by French Cultural Minister Christine Albanel and fest president Jacob.
Despite a modest start, the opening-night energy and plethora of talent set to head to in town for the event look to add weight to the fest as days go by.

Cannes ’08: Jack Black unleashes plushie furry ‘Panda’ fury

Posted in Cartoon news, Movie events with tags , , on May 15, 2008 by funofmovie

Only plushophiles busy “yiffing” and “scritching” could have missed Jack Black delivering a low roundhouse kick before a pack of 40-50 burly extras in panda suits at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday.

The not-so-high kicks and sloppy karate chops were delivered during a well-attended press-op to notify the world of the international premiere of “Kung Fu Panda.”

“And now I will teach you kung fu,” Jack told the crowd of assembled paparazzi and video crews.

Black gives voice to the “Kung Fu Panda” hero Po, following in the animated footsteps of Jerry Seinfeld, who last year donned a bee costume to publicize DreamWorks’ “Bee Movie.”

See all the kung fu inaction and White’s resort wear-inspired white pants in the clip below.
And how could we forget? Black also used his day in the sun to spill the beans on “Kung Fu Panda” co-star Angelina Jolie’s growing international brood.

Cannes Film Festival 2008

Posted in Movie events with tags , on May 15, 2008 by funofmovie

The Cannes International Film Festival, the most glamorous event on the festival calendar, returns to celebrate its 61st year from May 14 to 25. Keep visiting our Cannes 2008 page for updates on all this year’s films and of course all the latest news and gossip from the star-studded parties and premieres.

The Cannes film festival has opened with Brazillian director Fernando Meirelles’s apocalyptic thriller ‘Blindness’. Telegraph Film Critic Sukhdev Sandhu discusses how it kicks the proceedings off with a bang.

CANNES — An odd movie to open the fest? Even the director and star of “Blindness” suggested Wednesday that their movie seemed a surprising choice to kick off the 61st Festival de Cannes.

Speaking at the opening-day press conference, helmer Fernando Meirelles and actress Julianne Moore mused about how hard it might be for the gala crowd Wednesday evening to chow down in their finery after seeing this bleak allegory about the collapse of civilization.

“It’s a big honor, and it’s big pressure — but not perhaps the best film to open a festival with,” Meirelles said when asked by a reporter how he felt about being In Competition.

However, given all the disasters around the world that have piled up pell-mell since Portuguese novelist Jorge Saramago penned his masterpiece in 1995 — SARS, tsunamis, Katrina, Myanmar — a movie about the fragility of our civilization might not be that odd a subject and might indeed set the tone for what is shaping up to be a relatively sober Cannes, “Indiana Jones” notwithstanding.

Most of the discussion at the press conference revolved around the topical and political themes implicit in this unsettling tale about people who inexplicably lose their sight, then become institutionalized and neglected by the government. They have to rebuild society from scratch, and doing so reveals the brutish and redeeming features of humanity.

Several folks leaving the first screening dubbed it ” ‘Lord of the Flies’ for adults.’ ”

“There are many layers to the film beyond the obvious,” the Brazilian Meirelles said about the discoveries he made on each reading of the book. Aside from the undignified aspects of humanity that the film reveals, he said there is plenty of black humor, mostly at the expense of government politicos and policies.

“It’s happening now. Make the movie now,” recalled screenwriter Don McKellar, referring to friends who rang him in the wake of Hurricane Katrina urging him to get on with the script. Although he and Meirelles insisted that the movie does reflect the zeitgeist of the moment — we’re living in very fractious times globally — but not any one disaster, country or politician.

Speed Racer

Posted in Movies with tags on May 7, 2008 by funofmovie


Driven by the legacy of his late brother Rex (Scott Porter), who died behind the wheel, Speed Racer (Hirsch) teams up with the mysterious Racer X (Fox) to fight race fixing in the whirlwind world of motor sports he so loves.

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Is There a Real Woman in This Multiplex?

Posted in Movies with tags on May 5, 2008 by funofmovie

IRON MAN, Batman, Big Angry Green Man — to judge from the new popcorn season it seems as if Hollywood has realized that the best way to deal with its female troubles is to not have any, women, that is.
A special section featuring the return of Indiana Jones, “Sex and the City,” “Hancock,” breakthrough performances, upcoming releases, trailers and more.

Not that it hasn’t tried to make nice with the leading ladies, in films like “The Invasion” (with Nicole Kidman) and “The Brave One” (Jodie Foster). Yet, after those Warner Brothers titles fizzled, the online chatter was that the studio’s president for production, Jeff Robinov, had vowed it would no longer make movies with female leads. A studio representative denied he made the comments. And, frankly, it is hard to believe that anyone in a position of Hollywood power would be so stupid as to actually say what many in that town think: Women can’t direct. Women can’t open movies. Women are a niche.

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Indiana Jones and the Poison Pen Letter

Posted in Movies with tags on May 3, 2008 by funofmovie

Los Angeles (E! Online) – Indiana Jones has battled Nazis, escaped certain death and found the Holy Grail.

That apparently doesn’t impress J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye. Hollywood Deadline alerted us to a Salinger letter auctioned on eBay, in which the author describes his reaction to seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark:

“I got hooked into seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, which might be excused for its unwitty, unfunny awful socko-ness if it had been put together by Harvard Lampoon seniors.”

Ouch. We actually liked the socko-ness, but what do you expect from the guy who wrote in Catcher in the Rye? “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.”

At least he didn’t call Indy a phony.