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Archive for the 'Directors' Category

Michel Gondry takes on The Green Hornet

Months ago, when I saw that The Green Hornet would star Seth Rogen, I sighed. And then I saw the director, and sighed even deeper. Michel Gondry is whimsical. Seth Rogen is goofy. The Green Hornet should be neither of these things.

The film opens this weekend, and initial reviews haven’t exactly been effusive in praise. Sigh. But what could have been?

The New York Times has a great article about the latest Green Hornet’s rocky ride to the silver screen. Names like Eddie Murphy and George Clooney had been interested. This was way back in 1997 and was to be Gondry’s big-time Hollywood debut. He wanted Vince Vaughn as his crimefighter, the studio wanted Mark Wahlberg and the project soon fell apart.

But it came back, this time with Stephen Chow as director and Rogen as screenwriter. Gondry took back the reins after Chow proved too unpredictable, and he put a slimmed down Rogen in the lead role. And Nicholas Cage was supposed to be the bad guy…

But the director was unable to work with Nicolas Cage, the film’s original villain. For reasons known only to him, he insisted on using a Jamaican accent. “I was quite relieved when he announced he no longer wanted the part,” Mr. Gondry said.

That’s just awesome.

If you need a Green Hornet fix, but can’t stomach the thought of coughing up $10 for a film that’s probably going to be terrible, we’re here to help. Check out Bruce Lee as a truly kick-ass Kato in the short-lived 60s TV version:

[via NYT]


Oh No, Uwe Boll Made a Holocaust Film

I originally dismissed this as a joke, but it’s true. Uwe Boll has made a movie called Auschwitz. Surely I won’t need to tell you that it looks horrible. Just look at the evidence for yourself. Or don’t. It’s pretty awful.

Maybe there should be some sort of quality test that a director has to pass, before being given permission to make movies about sensitive topics. This is insulting.

Rex Reed vs. Christopher Nolan – May the Smarter Man Win

Inception opened with a huge $60 million haul, finding critics and audiences nearly unanimous in its praise. “Nearly” being the key word. Take it away, Rex Reed:

Writer-director Nolan is an elegant Hollywood hack from London whose movies are a colossal waste of time, money and I.Q. points

The hilarious title of the review is “Can Someone Please Explain Inception to Me?”; a good tipoff that the reviewer is out of his depth. In his ensuing rant against Nolan, Reed goes on to describe Memento as “brainless”, Insomnia as “inert”, The Prestige as “contrived”, Batman Begins as “idiotic”, and The Dark Knight as “baffling”.

Can Someone Please Explain How Rex Reed Gets Paid to Write About Movies? What, exactly, was “baffling” about The Dark Knight? It has a straightforward, compelling plot. How “contrived” was The Prestige, one of the most enigmatic and original blockbusters since, perhaps, Memento? “Baffling” I would accept. The Prestige was kind of baffling! But contrived?

Look, Rex, just think about it for a second, switch your insults and slime The Prestige as “baffling” and The Dark Knight (a comic book movie) as “contrived”. Then you’ll have an argument slightly more difficult to refute. But apparently, you reach randomly into your bucketful of malicious index cards when intelligent arguments escape you. Who cares about the meaning of words like “contrived” or “inert”, when the purpose is simply to be spiteful?

Oh well, I’m biased. I consider Christopher Nolan to be the most visionary director working today, with films as interesting as they are exciting. I can’t wait to see Inception, and Rex Reed’s predictable attack only confirms that it’ll be great. But what do you all think?

That’s What Hitchcock Said

Like all great things in modern popular culture, Hitchcock did it already. Decades before Michael Scott would popularize “That’s what she said” jokes, Alfred Hitchcock used one masterfully in this 1928 screen test for Blackmail.

You dog! It’s the earliest known recording of this kind of joke, and Hitchcock proves once again he does it better than anyone else. That’s what she said!

[via HuffPost]

Decide: The Best Director’s Cuts

So, what’d you think of Ridley Scott’s epic Kingdom of Heaven? Your answer is likely to be different depending on which Kingdom of Heaven you saw. The theatrical release was a sloppily edited and incoherent mess. But the Director’s Cut, currently available on BluRay from Amazon for an amazing $11.99 is another film altogether, in which Scott’s camera-work and storytelling prowess are on full display.

Most Director’s Cuts are just slightly extended versions, and don’t make any great changes on the original. But, we got to wondering if Kingdom of Heaven is the best Director’s Cut of all time — the one which improved the most upon the theatrical release. And since we defer to the users of Criticker on all such points, we’re putting it up for a vote:

Best Director's Cut

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Anything we missed? Leave a comment about your other favorite Director’s Cuts!

Criticker Lists Wants You

Inception Trailer – Nolan’s New Film

Alright, how awesome does this film look?

Yes, we’re a little late to the party — Criticker’s Forum community has been talking about Inception since Dec. 26th — but we are now fully excited for this film. Not only is Christopher Nolan unable to make a bad movie, he seems to be constantly raising his game. And the thought of his improving upon The Dark Knight gives me tickly feelings in regions I’d rather leave unnamed.

And a director isn’t all that Inception shares with The Dark Knight. Devin Faraci of CHUD.com noticed that the posters are awfully similar:

What do you think? Leave a comment or join the forum discussion!

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I Fucking Hate You

A well-made little film by Zak Formans of Sabi Pictures, worth 10 minutes of your time.

Don’t forget to rank it when you’re done!

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