Monday 30 November 2009

20 Questions for Jason Reitman

Jason Reitman's Up In The Air wins fans every time it screens, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it pick up a fair few awards in the coming months.

My old Premiere colleague Anne Thompson puts 20 questions to Reitman, starting with:

1. Are you a compulsive airline miles collector?
JR: I think when Walter Kirn wrote this book, Up in the Air, he was talking about the idea of collecting miles, ironically, but when I read it, I thought, ‘Oh, someone understands me, I’m not alone in the universe!’ I do collect air miles religiously and I did go on a mile run once—a mileage run is when you simply go on a flight at the end of the year to maintain your status. I flew from LA to Chicago, landed, picked up a Giordano’s pizza, got back on the plane, flew home to LA, picking up the necessary 2500 miles or so necessary to hit status for the following year.

Read the rest here.

Hollywood 101

Make a cool short. Get a famous musician to blog about it. Nab yourself a well-paid directing gig. Simple.

Saturday 28 November 2009

Friday 27 November 2009

Exam trailer

Empire has the exclusive on the trailer for Stuart Hazeldine's terrific thriller Exam which all takes place in one room. For some reason, I can't embed the video, so might I suggest you click here to see it. The film's out in the UK in January. And it's very good.

Thursday 26 November 2009

On The Road

John Hillcoat's gruelling adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road finally arrives in US cinemas on limited release this Thanksgiving. I liked it and so does the New York Times. I urge you to see it. Wired has a great article on the film's journey to the screen.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For more two Wolfman posters, click here

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Closer than you think

The avalanche of Avatar hype shows no sign of slowing. Jim Cameron appeared on 60 Minutes this week, and profiles and interviews and featurettes have been popping up everywhere, including CNN. Here is Wired's look at the film which finally hits cinemas in less than four weeks.

Cool cover

I have to say, Empire really do have the best exclusives.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Greenberg trailer

I want to see this film now. Like, right now.


Kat Dennings has joined the cast of Thor. This can only be a good thing. And yes, I did steal the headline from Empire. But how could I top that? Says it all, really.

Monday 23 November 2009

UFO reborn

This was one of my favourite TV shows as a kid. It shouldn't surprise you that I still have some of the toys from back then. Now the show's being remade with Joshua Jackson. Goodie.

Travelling Tim

For those who were interested in knowing the movements of the Tim Burton art exhibition, the MoMA show will finish in New York on April 26, 2010 then travel to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, where it will run from June 24 to October 10, 2010, before moving on to The Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, from November 22 to April 17, 2011.

I asked about the possibility of bringing it to Europe, and while there are currently there are no confirmed plans, they remain hopeful that that will change. Keep watching this space.

Friday 20 November 2009

Thursday 19 November 2009

Burton talks MoMA

While I was in New York, I spent some time talking with Tim Burton about Alice In Wonderland but, inevitably, I asked him how he was feeling about his MoMA exhibition.

"I’m very excited," he said, sitting in a spacious MoMA meeting room overlooking the central courtyard that houses Edward Scissorhands topiaries, and from which we could also see the giant Balloon Boy, pictured above. "It’s so surreal. It’s hard for me to look at because, really, it is like cleaning out the closet, kind of, and a bit scary. But it is really nice. We did some new little pieces for it, and Balloon Boy turned out great. So it’s fun. And it gave me a chance to do something while [Alice] is stewing away in a computer somewhere."

Tim Burton @ MoMA: A taster

I said it yesterday, but it's worth repeating: the Tim Burton exhibition at MoMA in New York is extraordinary. And astonishing. And breathtaking. In both scale and content. If you're a fan, you are going to love it. Plain and simple.

With material dating back to his student days, leading up to his time at Cal Arts, his early years at Disney, and taking in all his movies as well as his more personal artwork, including paintings, sketches and drawings, the exhibition is almost overwhelming, in terms of sheer size and the amount of creativity on display. I spent almost two hours wandering around, and I could have spent several more.

There are models — from Vincent, and Mars Attacks! and Nightmare Before Christmas — props, storyboards, letters, giant Polaroids, and student films, including those I showed at the BFI in 2007, as well as specifically commissioned sculptures based on his drawings.

They also have his little seen Hansel & Gretel short for the Disney Channel playing on a loop, as well as test footage of the stop-motion martians created initially for Mars Attacks! which had the fanboy in me staring agog.

Present at Monday's night sneak peek were many familiar faces, the vast majority of which have been longtime Burton collaborators over the years, both in front and behind the camera. Included here are a few photos I took before it got too busy. I'll post some more another time.

Paranormal Activity

I liked it. I liked it a lot.

As for the ending... well, there was much screaming in the cinema. But that's what happens when a group of early teenage girls sneak into an R rated horror movie. They will be scared. And they will scream. Loudly.

"All in the game..."

I have, over the years, been very vocal in my love for The Wire on both this site and elsewhere. For me, it remains the greatest TV show ever — despite the final season not quite living up to the level of the previous four — and it's success was all down to, fundamentally, brilliant writing from David Simon, Ed Burns and their excellent team of writers. This beautifully cut together compilation offers up 100 of the show's best lines. Enjoy.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Back from New York

Arrived home in the UK today, and am currently too exhausted to write. However, I will say this, the Tim Burton exhibition at MoMA is extraordinary. Extraordinary. I was lucky enough to go to a sneak preview on Monday night, and I'm still buzzing from it. I promise to post a full report soon. With photos.

And Hatter makes three

Friday 13 November 2009

Quote of the day

"Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing." - Cormac McCarthy author of The Road.

The good, the bad, and the stinky

The Guardian's Brian Logan discovers the secret of making a successful British film comedy. And why it's so hard to do.

Thursday 12 November 2009

New Alice poster

For the completists out there, I offer part two of three:

Wednesday 11 November 2009

It's a funny old world

About half an hour ago I walked along the road to buy some milk and found a film crew in my local bookshop. I see a crew member I recognise, and then another I know well, and I ask, "What are you filming?" I'm told Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears, and starring Gemma Arterton. I stop for a chat. Then I buy my milk. And now it's back to work.

Kick-Ass teaser

The hype around this comic book adaptation has been building for ages. I've been fortunate to see an unfinished cut, and I can tell you this much, Kick-Ass works with an audience like nothing I've witnessed in a cinema for a very long time.

Clash Of The Titans teaser

We're not in Harryhausen anymore Toto.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Stephen King's The Bone Church

Read it here.

New(ish) A Single Man trailer

A variety of crunching deadlines have made filmgoing all but impossible of late, and I've yet to see Tom Ford's debut which has been generating intense buzz since Venice. I have to say, I love this latest trailer for it.

New Alice poster(s)

If you think this latest image is cool, you're going to have your mind blown when you see what else is in store.

Monday 9 November 2009

The Killer Inside Me promo

Michael Winterbottom is one of the UK's most versatile and talented filmmakers whose output rivals that of a certain Mr Soderbergh. Here's a promo for his latest, an adaptation of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, starring Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba, which marks Winterbottom's first US set film since The Claim.

Friday 6 November 2009

Wolfman morsel

I interviewed Joe Johnston, director of The Wolfman, last night. And a very nice man he was. Can't really say anything about the contents of our chat, but all will be revealed in due course. However, he is still putting the finishing touches to The Wolfman while having already started pre-production on Captain America.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Bunny ears not included

Am I the only one who'd love to see Steve Martin co-host the Oscars wearing this get up?

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Salt teaser

Watched the Russian version of this teaser earlier today. It's better in English. And I'm really liking the whole female Jason Bourne vibe.

Films of the decade

I have, in the last 24 hours, been asked by a couple of magazines I write for to furnish them with a list of my top ten films of decade. Both wanted my selection as soon as possible, and so I had a quick think and came up with a list of around 16 titles which I then had to massage into a top ten. I'm not sure if I did the list again tomorrow, I would come up with the same top ten, but here is the list of titles from which I picked. I will reveal my final choice in due course.

City Of God
In The Mood For Love
Almost Famous
The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
The Incredibles
Wonder Boys
The New World
Mulholland Drive
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Children Of Men

Your thoughts and own lists are welcome.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time trailer

Another day, another trailer. Not sure what to say about this to be honest. Well I do, but I was always told if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all...

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Trailer Park | MySpace Video

Monday 2 November 2009

How To Train Your Dragons trailer

I have to say, I've heard very good things about this latest Dreamworks Animation release.

Sunday 1 November 2009