Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan finally has a trailer. Really looking forward to this one. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel.
Click Portman’s crazy, sexy body to watch the first high definition glimpse over at Apple.
This looks incredible. The make-out scene with Portman (Léon, V For Vendetta) and Kunis (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Book of Eli) is enough for me to buy a ticket. But, Cassel (Brotherhood of the Wolf, Mesrine) is phenomenal in everything; add in Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder, with the direction of Aronofsky (The Wrestler, The Fountain), who in my mind has never made a bad picture. I have absolutely no idea what’s going in during those two minutes, and I don’t need to. That’s what a trailer should be. Colour me excited.
This isn’t fresh news by any means; it really should have been posted a while back, but the cast kept growing larger, so I’m just dumping the whole group in one block.
X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) will attempt to elaborate on the relationship between Professor Xavier and Magneto. Presumably, the film will shine some light on how Professor X started Marvel Comics mutant superhero team the X-Men, which was first published in 1963. As mentioned, the cast keeps growing everyday, and looks supremely impressive.
After the break, see the cast in its entirety and the roles they’re portraying.
Who is Evelyn Salt? What we do know is she works for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Two years ago she was captured by the Korean authority. She was later released at the political prodding by her soon to be German arachnologist (that’s the study of spiders for you non-scientists out there) husband.
Hers is my favourite type of government agency–where everyone is really good-looking. At the forefront of course is the titular Salt (Angelina Salt). One of her top secret skills must be to look as though she just stepped out of a photo shoot. In all seriousness, she is one of the CIA’s top agents; a master of linguistics, firearms, and scaling buildings and leaping off bridges onto moving vehicles. All the while wearing heeled boots.
The film, which is essentially a one hundred minute chase scene, allows for a brief reprieve at the onset before fully delving into the action. Here we sit in with the CIA as they interrogate the Russian defector Orlov, who informs Salt, Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) of Day X, a Russian plot to (what else?) destroy the United States. Salt is pinned as the mole in this operation, which sets off the aforementioned cat-and-mouse excitement.
The story is nothing new; Salt’s formula is one we’ve seen before. But the blueprint here is strangely done to perfection. Jolie of course is easy to look at, but the film offers enough to question what you just saw–I’ll admit to being confused a few times. Day X involves the activation of a number of sleeper cell agents spread out around the States, an eerie coincidence with the recent revelations in the news.
I mentioned the action earlier, and it is indeed top-notch. Even more impressive was the apparent lack of need of computer-generated imagery (CGI) throughout. When we see Salt accomplish these miraculous feats, they are still grounded by the look of realism. Salt herself is a combination of Jason Bourne and MacGyver. Escaping from police custody, even breaking into the White House is of no consequence. She can as easily create a bazooka from a fire extinguisher, a table leg, and a medley of cleaning solutions, as she can tie her shoes.
Schreiber, one of the best character actors today, is his usual convincing self. Ejiofor is also appreciable, though he has more of a thankless role. He is seen in the opening twenty minutes and the closing ten; I would like to see him carry a film more often. It’s not spoiling to tell you Salt ends with a leap from a tall place, and on a cliff-hanger. If it performs well at the box-office, sequels will be in the works; it certainly has franchise potential.
Is Evelyn Salt a national hero, or a traitorous villain? This is the uncertainty that is questioned throughout, and whose underlying themes run concurrently and successfully with the blitzing pace of the narrative. The story is improbable, the action incredible, and Salt is ultimately memorable. We could use more of these films in our diet.
At the beginning of Joel Schumacher’s Twelve, we are given a condensed window into the life of White Mike (Chace Crawford), the lead of the story. During this brief glimpse, the hope is that we will latch on and immediately form a bond with this character, through the tragic loss of his mother from a year ago.
These forced fed feelings fall short. He spends his nights sleeping on floored mattresses, looking disheveled, while peddling drugs to privileged kids during his waking hours. But, his behaviour can be commended for the fact that he only sells marijuana and not the stronger and more addictive twelve–a supposed mix between cocaine and ecstasy. For much of the movie White Mike slowly walks around the streets of Manhattan in a trench coat (perfect for hiding those bags of weed), and sporting a few days growth of facial hair.
Twelve, the movie, illustrates its characters with one transparent cliché after another. There is Sara, the hottest one in school. A reprehensible girl, she manipulates those around to get what she wants. Be it money, or faked friendship. At several points in the film she teasingly tells others that “I have lots of boyfriends…but I’m not a slut.”
Claude is a deranged young man, who has recently escaped from boarding school. Upon his arrival, he does what anyone with a scrambled brain who do, buys a samurai sword and guns. He then spends the remainder of the film lifting weights, threatening people, and stewing in his room until the orchestrated climax.
Christopher is Claude’s younger brother. He is the quiet, lonely boy who longs to lose his virginity to Sara, and will spend thousands of dollars of his money to do so. Chris and Claude’s parents house is the setting for a great deal of the film. It’s funny I should mention parents, because they are noticeably absent throughout. Perhaps, I’m living under a rock, having grown up in a quiet, small town. Then again, I’ve lived in New York City for the last two years, and the families with kids I do know have some say in their daily lives. Twelve makes us believe that when conflict arises, a parent’s resolution is to simply bail their children out of jail and pay for their psychiatric help.
There are other personalities involved of course, but they are either drug dealers or drug users, and fail to warrant mentioning. With his earlier directorial pursuits such as The Lost Boys (1987), and Falling Down (1993), Schumacher put more consistent effort into telling stories worth hearing in front of the lens. Nowadays, for every Tigerland, there’s a neon and nipple infused Batman flick. Here, he has given us a muddled mess; where white construct scenes, and saturated camera shots pass for art.
We are thrown into the affluent lives of a group of teens from NYC’s upper east side. The problem is, Twelve lacks any character whatsoever to root for. We learn nothing through White Mike and the narrator (a very creepy Keifer Sutherland) save for being philosophical means sleeping in construction sites to mimic your dead mother. The film ends predictably: with drinks, drugs, sex, and violence. My only wish, is that I had been put out of my misery as well.
Lisbeth Salander has finally been cast for David Fincher’s (Fight Club, Se7en) upcoming American adaptation of the popular Swedish novel and film. The pint sized heroine will be portrayed by Rooney Mara (The Social Network, A Nightmare on Elm Street). From her previous work, Mara has mainly been known as the cute girl next door, which is on the complete other spectrum of Salander–one adorned with piercings and tattoos, and who literally beats the crap out of men.
Mara was selected opposite Daniel Craig who will play the other protagonist Mikael Blomkvist. There is a lot of sex in the source material, some of which shared by Blomkvist and Salander. With the severe age differential, the onscreen chemistry between the two actors will have to be believable for the film to work. There’s also a fair bit of nudity by Salander, so it remains to be seen whether Fincher will ask Mara to go down that road.
Mara beat out Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Carey Mulligan for the role.
Noé’s last was the very controversial Irreversible, a film that chronicled in reverse order a sickening rape. Void’s first look illustrates a very trippy experience. I love the way it’s shot, alternating mostly with first and third person perspectives.
In the late 70′s and early 80′s Chase was one of the funniest men in America. He was the first breakout star on Saturday Night Live, and used that platform as a springboard into the silver screen. One of his best was National Lampoon’s Vacation. He plays Clark Griswold, loving husband and father, who takes his family on a cross country mission to make it to Walley World.
Along with Chase, Randy Quaid, Beverly D’Angelo (rawwr), Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall are fellow Griswold’s, all of whom join in on the calamity the trip produces. Great cameo roles by the late John Candy, Jane Krakowski, and of course supermodel Christie Brinkley.
Vacation was written by John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink), who chronicled his own family trip to Disney World when he was a child. Hughes used the success of this film to finance his later directorial ones.
Lately, Chase is making a comeback of sorts, with a small role in Hot Tub Time Machine, and a regular one on NBC’s Community. A funny tidbit: Chase reportedly turned down the role of Buzz Lightyear (whoops) of the Toy Story trio; Tim Allen happily scooped it up.
Vacation also offers a fun commentary with most of the cast and director Harold Ramis.
One of the greatest characters in film’s history–Snake Plisskin–headlines John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. Set in a dystopian Manhattan circa 1997–the entire island is a prison, surrounded by impenetrable walls, and run by the inmates themselves–Plisskin (Kurt Russell) must save the President of the United States (Donald Pleasance) in return for a full pardon for all past crimes.
This 1981 film has had a cult following since its inception. Russell’s iconic portrayal of Snake and the B-movie quality has given New York quite the fan following. Fifteen years later, Carpenter and Russell returned for Escape from L.A. Although very much in the same vein, it’s hard to replicate what the original had. Rumour has it that a remake of New York is in talks, with Gerard Butler and Josh Brolin being tossed around as Snake.