Meet your *NEW* friendly neighborhood Spider-Man director

January 20, 2010

Kill the speculation and commence the puns.

Marc Webb, director and co-writer of last year’s (500) Days of Summer, has signed a three picture deal to direct a new ‘Spider-Man’ film series, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today.

In the short while since it was reported Sam Raimi and company walked away from an intended 4th movie starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, Webb’s name quickly shot to the top of the pile of filmmakers Sony was allegedly targeting to take the reins of a franchise reboot, utilizing a two-part script from James Vanderbilt (long in place as a contingency plan for the studio).

Vanderbilt’s story is said to reintroduce audiences to the world of Peter Parker, emphasizing the character’s roots as a high school student and maintaining an authentic, real-world “grittiness” akin to other recent comic book properties.


My Decade Wishlist (in Film)

January 9, 2010

Now that everyone’s exceedingly sick of recounting the odd events, great successes, glorious failures, and myriad other memorable moments of the last ten years, I think it’s time we make concrete our visions for the duration of this presently virginal decade of ours.

Below are ten things I’m hopeful will occur (or not occur…) these next ten years; none too terribly original, but things I still have my fingers crossed for nonetheless.

1) Christopher Doyle and Wong Kar-wai reunite, matching their 1st decade’s output.

2) Bill Murray writes his own feature, maybe directs a small indie.  He formerly wanted to be a playwright. I’d like to see what his imagination would conjure.

3) A comic book movie hiatus.  Realistically, this wouldn’t take effect until 2013 or 2014 with the current slate.  But point is most of them have been trash.  Maybe put an end date of 2020.  Let it sit dormant for 10 or so years.

4) Studios more supportive of concepts, wise spending, new talent, new ideas, promoting ‘smaller’ fare.   Tired of the 1-2-3 franchise glut.  Rural theaters should be aided in playing and nurturing foreign/indie works.

5) Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah’s Ark” movie.  Would be amazing.

6) Rangier animation, style-wise and content-wise.  Love Pixar, but it’s going to wear thin if Dreamworks remains its only “competition.”

7) A push for more experimental features.  40-minute shorts of acclaimed directors finding programming (television perhaps?).  More international casts, playing up international venues and international stars, and non-English languages.  Wes Anderson has the right idea, venturing into stop-motion.  Tired of trends.  Just because of Avatar, I don’t want to watch 3-D video games every summer for the next 15 years.

8) Let foreign directors shoot their scripts within our studio system.  Our resources.  Our budgets.  Send more of our writers, directors, actors overseas for collaborations.

9) The Academy Awards will never regain relevancy.  Awards coverage should move toward focusing on the world stage.  Domestic networks should air coverage from the Cannes film festival, allowing critics to do the reporting/interviewing instead of entertainment correspondents going on ad nauseam about fashion flubs and other shallow crap.

10) With the demise of print, many questions surround the future of film critics.  Unquestionably, they’re our connection to a world of lesser seen films that would otherwise never see the light of day.  We need to find a way to preserve and continue to support the work they do.

How about you, faithful readers?  What are some items on your own personal decade wishlists?

Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 10

January 4, 2010


David: Had we made this list a month ago, LotR would’ve maybe slid in at #50 on my ballot.  I’ve always kept a degree of distance–too many flaws.  But watching the (extended edition) trilogy once more during Thanksgiving break, I was completely engrossed through the three day stretch.  Something salient called out to me.  Tolkien’s bold Christian storytelling resonated with me moreso than ever.  Not even a drunk driver obliterating my car just prior to day three’s final act could interrupt the experience. But also, it was the joy of seeing my sister, who had never before watched any of the three films, swept up in such wonder and occasionally brought to tears.  Though the effects have already begun to fade even in these few short years since its release, this series… Well.  Let us just say its story doesn’t have an end.

Taos: It’s near impossible to choose just one of the grand trilogy. Sure, artistic liberty was taken with the book, but the renewed interest in the written trilogy was well worth it. I hope we get a remake in 20 years more faithful to the source. Until then, enjoy our generation’s Star Wars.


Taos: “I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!” It’s all about Daniel Day-Lewis here. Maybe the most impressive thing is that the first 25 minutes are dialogue free. It is likely most would not realize it until told.

David: The sights and sounds mark a sort of realistic unconscious imagery we all share of the subject and settings at hand; the film is a technical marvel; an experience.  Daniel Day-Lewis is too phenomenal.


Taos: Gripping modernist western wrapped around a morality tale to end all morality tales. The Coen’s were born to make this film.

David: Forgive the phrasing as I myself hate it but can’t think of another way to put it:  start to finish, No Country had me by the balls.  People call Chigurh (the film’s antagonist) a force of nature.  This movie is a force of nature.


Taos: Do you know what really happens? Repeated viewings make me constantly question my understanding of the truth. I hope I never know the magic to the trick.

David: It’s no coincidence Christopher Nolan appears three times on this list.  What sets The Prestige apart from his other already outstanding work seen here, or maybe more accurately what better endears it to me:  its unadulterated showmanship.  It embodies the essence of cinema.


David: What was I saying?  Oh, yeah.  It’s no coincidence Park Chan-wook appears three times on this list.  I count him my favorite filmmaker, and Oldboy his best film.  I could detail many reasons why it deserves its place as our top choice.  But perhaps the most telling explanation:  I’m moving 7,000 miles away to the Land of the Morning Calm next month, and Oldboy is a large part of the reason why.

Taos: I don’t know how this happened. Certainly worthy of the top ten, but not number one in my opinion. The Shakespearean-esque, highly stylized flick certainly contains the requisite parts for greatness, but seems to lack the cohesion. It opened up a world of cinema to me, so maybe it is worthy on that note.

Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 5

December 28, 2009

Aaaand… here… we… go!


Taos: Dysfunctional families are funny. Especially when seen through the eyes of quirky Wes Anderson. He’s an acquired taste, but I think those that give him a chance grow to love him.

David: I left this off my individual decade ballot. I fault the audience with whom I last watched it. But Elliott Smith + Luke Wilson, alone = genius. American cinema needs more artists as true as Anderson.


Taos: Maybe Bill Murray is playing himself here. I for one would watch a film of just Bill Murray’s everyday life. That is how awesome the Murray is.

David: It’s like waking up and suddenly being Bill Murray. In Japan. And without skipping a beat. This was more Bill Murray than Being John Malkovich was John Malkovich. ….even if that wasn’t the point of the latter film… stop judging me. 😦


Taos: Oh man, I’ve exhausted my thoughts on this too much to add anything. Vampires. Seven Deadly Sins. Morality tale. Vampires. Twice.

David: So glad to see this again on DVD before making this list.  Already having liked it a great deal, as with all Park Chan-wook, it gets better every time you see it.  For more, see my earlier, occasionally misguided thoughts here.


David: Singular.

Taos: I’m not sure what is worse: the emo soundtrack or the lame “twist” of an ending. Can you tell I hate it?


Taos: Batman + Nolan. What else is there to say about it? Everyone has seen it, you know why it is here.

David: Quite the roller coaster with this one. With such a, not even movie but cultural event, and all of the history it packs, the barrage of critiques ranging from fair-minded to nitpicking have been predictably unavoidable. But, if you’ll so indulge, stop to consider its plot diagram. Isolate it. The details, rather messy in places; however, the basic storytelling elements orchestrate some kind of beautiful machine. The show will forever belong to Heath, his last triumph, but Oldman, Zimmer & Howard, Wally Pfister, obviously Chris Nolan, and the countless others involved meet the ambitious scope of this genre epic.

Top 50 Movies of the Decade – part 2

December 22, 2009

And we’re back!

Sorry for the delay.  A pressing family matter kept me preoccupied all of yesterday.  To make up for it, we’ll be posting part 3 later today, keeping everything on schedule.

Now on with the show:


Taos: That first section with so little dialogue really proves Pixar’s ability for storytelling. Plus, the frickin guy is heartwarmingly adorable.

David: Didn’t fulfill the promise of its superb first act. Instead, we’re dealt a less engaging social commentary that sacrifices much of the emotional pull. Still, a fairly strong movie with a few beautiful moments and some bright, occasionally dreamlike animation.


David: First I’ll start by saying this was the best midnight showing I’ve ever been apart of; a thank you to Amarillo, Texas.  Second, I was wrong in not voting this movie higher up the list.  Now, I could spend this space and more defending my love for this movie: its detractors always find the need to disparage it.  But I’m tired.  Is it the Superman movie I would make?  No.  (Perhaps you’ll see if it I ever get the chance.)  Was it what people wanted or asked for?  No, mostly not.  But then that wasn’t the point, was it?  Superman Returns, Bryan Singer’s vision, his love letter to classic adventure serials and Richard Donner’s 1978 Superman – The Movie in particular (a movie that I grew up with close to my heart), gets its interpretation of the character so startlingly right that I’ll never understand the… not criticism, but HATE it provokes and endures.  I’ve thought of, read, watched, seen, written and listened to Superman a thousand different ways.  Anytime he is dreamt up with such sure clarity, I’m consumed by the imagination central to the character itself.

Taos: This plays worse and worse every time I see it. So, Superman raped Lois, right?


[Editor’s note – sorry, couldn’t find an English language trailer.  But this one helps set the tone, so no worries]

David: Memories of Murder, a deconstruction of police procedurals, is one of those exceedingly rare thrillers that remembers to actually thrill. It always stays a step ahead of the audience.  Funny, frightening, suspenseful, at times uncomfortable, and just enough insane, director Bong Joon-ho is on top of it all (as always).  This flick just exudes atmosphere (see it during a good evening rain).  And that ending:  !!!

Taos: Interesting little flick about a rural Korean serial killer. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it.


Taos: This was the first musical to prove itself as a legitimate storytelling medium. The songs are memorable and the performances are great. Totally earned the Oscar that year.

David: I’m not a musical kind of guy. Leave that shite to kiddy pictures and Kevin Smith. Who by the way, though I’m regretting not including Clerks 2, doesn’t make our list. But one fantastic fucking honorable mention goes out to SModcast. A round of applause, everyone!  [Editor’s note:  what the hell is up with that random Taye Diggs cameo at the end of the trailer?]


David: In composing our list of 50 films, this was the one that made me stop and say, “I want to watch this again right this moment.” Roger Ebert’s immediate response, as it occasionally is, was absolutely accurate. It’s the best movie Eastwood has ever directed, better than Unforgiven even. This month-long production is a master class. If you afford it the label as I do, it’s the best ‘boxing’ movie ever made. And to top it all off:  has a damn perfect ending.  (I haven’t seen Ray, so I can’t yet say, but I also believe this to be Eastwood’s best performance and thought it should’ve been awarded as such.)

Taos: Not so enjoyable knowing the liberties taken with the true story. Almost a disgrace to the actual person. Still, Eastwood is amazing as always on both sides.

And, even though it’s just a dash down the page, in case you’ve missed it so far, here’s Part 1.

That first section with so little dialogue really proves Pixar’s ability for storytelling. Plus, the frickin guy is heartwarmingly adorable.

Abin Sur finds his man: Reynolds to play The Green Lantern

July 11, 2009

Apparently it’s official.

Ryan Reynolds is Wally West Hal Jordan.

Huh.  Well, Reynolds wasn’t anywhere on my personal radar for Jordan, particularly when fellow JLA’er, The Flash, should have a franchise rearing to begin anytime now.

And as /Film is quick to point out, what does this mean for Marvel’s Deadpool spin-off set up at rival studio Fox?

The Green Lantern, directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale), is slated to hit theaters June 17, 2011.

It’s not an adaptation of Oldboy, It’s an adaptation of Oldboy!

November 21, 2008

According to Will Smith, who will star in the upcoming Oldboy movie, Speilberg hasn’t acquired the rights to the movie Oldboy, but the graphic novel Oldboy. See it Here!

What does this mean for admires of the original film? 


We still hate the idea.