Now I Know What I’m Doing on November 14 – New Poster for Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

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kirk-camerons-saving-christmas1

I haven’t seen anything this funny or stupid in quite some time. It’s almost like the folks who made Sharknado are trolling us all. With a poster this fucking bad, you might think The Onion has entered the fray, but alas, this movie is really for real. And really all one needs to know about this is that Kirk Cameron is involved so it’s bound to be laughable.

His motivation for making this films is spot-on Cameron: “My hope for Saving Christmas is that families all across the country will join with my family in putting Christ back into Christmas.” He’s back to get us atheists out of his holiday armed with a big candy cane and a snow globe. That’s Kirk – always bringing the fire.

Sigh.

Here’s the awesome trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOSiZIgZ2JQ

And here is a funny clip of Kirk and his buddy-in-arms against evolution Ray Comfort discussing God’s design of the banana specifically for human comsumption…only to be refuted in a quick minute:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfucpGCm5hY

And who better to save, Christmas than Kirk Cameron? God dispatched his finest soldier, yeah?

RIP Richard Attenborough

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This past weekend, Lord Richard Attenborough passed away at the age of 90. Renowned for his stage and film acting as well as his directing, Attenborough leaves behind a legacy that looms quite large. An Oscar-winner for his direction and production of Gandhi, Attenborough dazzled audiences for over six decades on screen acting in classics such as Doctor Dolittle, The Great Escape, and Brighton Rock and behind the camera directing other classics such as A Bridge Too Far, Cry Freedom and Chaplin. Attenborough‘s charitable efforts were as immense as his record on stage and film. He had been a longtime supporter (50+ years) of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 2004, he became the organization’s Honorary Life President and in 2012, the Richard Attenborough Fellowship Fund was established, “to honour his commitment to world-class research and offer Fellowships to enable clinical research and training at leading neuromuscular centres in the UK.”

I have to admit that most of the notices of his passing listed him as “Richard Attenborough, Jurassic Park actor…” – laughable to think that’s how he will mostly be remembered.

RIP, Lord Attenborough.

Here he is winning the two Oscars for Gandhi:

Interview with The Zero Theorem screenwriter Pat Rushin

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zero theorem poster 1

When Terry Gilliam makes a movie, there is a large swath of the filmgoing community that eagerly awaits its release. We are fortunate this year to have The Zero Theorem hitting the big screen in September although it’s already out on VOD and iTunes as of this week. I was tremendously lucky to have a chance to speak with screenwriter Pat Rushin back in February about the script.

Qohen Leth, a man on a mission.

Qohen Leth, a man on a mission.

What’s the film about you might ask? Well, it goes something like this: Qohen Leth (played by Christoph Waltz) is a master computer programmer who happens to be stuck in an existentialist crisis waiting for a call that will explain to him the meaning of life/existence/consciousness. While he waits, he is tasked with a project at Mancom, his place of employ, that makes 100%=0, or everything adds up to nothing. Already a recluse, Qohen accepts the challenge and it slowly eats away at him, compromising what little he had and what little he believed. Mixed in is a woman who reaches Qohen on a level he’s not quite allowed anyone before (Mélanie Thierry) and a mysterious boss that may or may not be real (Matt Damon).

Here’s what he had to say about his process, working with Gilliam and funny quips about production:

I know that you are a creative writing professor at University of Central Florida in Orlando with a focus on short stories. How did you come to write a screenplay?

I wrote a novella titled The Call in between semesters one year and I based the script off of it. I wrote it about ten years ago. It shows you how long this process takes.

And what was your process in adapting the script?

I’d never seen a screenplay before so I checked a bunch of them out of the library and read them so I knew how to structure it, one of which was Brazil. When I started writing the script I just sat and did it. I worked 12 hour days for about 15 days and it was finished.Writing the feature screenplay seemed to come easy. Rewriting was different. I would work for a half day on the rewrites, of which I did six complete Page 1 rewrites.

Do you think that writing short stories prepared you in any way for writing the script?

I think the economical nature of short story dialogue lends itself well to screenplay dialogue. So in that way, yes.

What was the length of your first draft?

The very first draft was145 pages. I got it down to 120, then 110. The shooting script ended up being 98. When Terry read it, he had some problems with it and wanted to see the first draft. He reinstated some of the older material. There are changes that he made – settings he played around with. He threw a better party than I did.

zero theorem - frustration

Did you do any research on the scientific/mathematical/computer lingo when writing the script? It all seems very legit to me, although I’m neither a math nor computer person.

I did do some research, but not a great amount. Some of what’s in the script is mumbo jumbo. As a kid I was a voracious sci-fi reader and was up to college so that influenced what I wrote. A lot of it I just kind of made up.

How did the script get to Gilliam?

I had initially entered the script in a contest at the Houston International Film Festival where it took first place in the science-fiction category. That got me a management deal. The script was optioned by The Zanuck Company under the guidance of the late Richard Zanuck. He courted Terry and that’s how Gilliam came aboard. The film was supposed to shoot in 2010 but then he had the troubles with Heath Ledger dying during production of The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassas and he dropped out of the project. Lucky for us, he came back to it.

Was there any literature that you read during the time you wrote the script or anything that influenced you in anyway in writing The Zero Theorem?

I don’t know that I actually sat down and read anything when I was working on this…maybe some David Foster Wallace. The dialogue in Don DeLillo’s White Noise was certainly an inspiration.

(Side note here – Don Delillo happens to be my favorite writer and White Noise is the book that changed my life forever when I read it. It’s no wonder that I connected so much to the script.)

zero theorem - bainsley

After reading the script, it’s incredibly hard for me to fathom anyone else in the lead role of Qohen than Christoph Waltz. I know that roles are like revolving doors in Hollywood, so was there anyone else ever cast in that role?

Ewan McGregor was initially interested in the role and Billy Bob Thornton had accepted it afterwards. However, he dropped out when he found out we were going to shoot in London.

Any reason he dropped out?

Well…because he has a fear of antiques and there are so many old things in London.

You’ve got to be kidding me?

(laughs) Not kidding.

How did the rest of the casting get set?

That was all Terry. He called his up friends and that’s really how it was cast.

zero theorem - management

Were you on set for any of the shoot?

The shoot was 37 days and it was shot in Romania. I was there for a week when Matt Damon was there. He actually told me, “Great script, man!”. I was an extra, writing on a park bench.

How was working with Gilliam?

He is a man of immense talent who has created some really incredible films. I love that he considers this the third of his dystopian trilogy along with Brazil and 12 Monkeys. In fact, he referred to this film as Brazil II on set. That was a great source of pride.

Do you have any other projects going right now?

I have written two other scripts which were finalists in festival contests and I’m working on a book of short stories now. Also, my novella, The Call, that was the basis for the script is hopefully coming out soon and marketed as the inspiration for this film.

A big thanks to Pat Rushin for allowing me to talk to him about his process, the inception and evolution of the script and about the filming itself. At the time I conducted this interview, I had yet to see the movie, so it was hard to ask specifics about the film as I wasn’t sure what appeared in the actual film as opposed to the script that I was allowed to read. I’d love a chance to revisit with Pat now that I have seen the film.

My review of The Zero Theorem is forthcoming, so be on the lookout for it. Until then, check out the trailer and hit up iTunes to watch the film now or better yet, wait to see it on the big screen when it opens on September 19.

Interview with Bluebird writer-director Lance Edmands

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bluebird posterIf you followed my coverage of the Indy Film Fest, you might remember I was able to catch (full review here) the Grand Jury & American Spectrum Prize-Winning Bluebird, written and directed by Lance Edmands. You also might remember that it was my favorite of the films that I saw at the festival. I was curious to learn more about the film, its evolution and its journey to the screen so I reached out to Lance and he was kind of enough to give me 45 minutes of his time.

bluebird - lance

Here’s what he had to say…

I know you are from Maine originally. Did you grow up knowing people like Richard, Lesley, Paula and Marla?

Definitely. Particularly in the emotional sense, there was something that was unique to Northern Maine, a certain amount of stoicism. There is/was a great sense of don’t complain too much, fight through things. Keep your head down. In the film, it serves to alienate [Richard, Lesley and Paula] from each other in a way, in a sense of not admitting that there is a problem. I knew that sensibility, my family is like that. With regards to the logging and  bus driver aspects – I needed to do research. A logger helped introduce us to the people in that world, minutiae of the world. With the bus driver – I needed to know how does the day goes. I wanted to get those details right.

Did you start the project with one character in mind, writing from his or her point of view?

The film started as sketches, primarily centered around location. Mountains, remotely located – failing dying mill towns. I wanted to capture the feeling of being there, incredibly close presence to nature, cut off/isolated/economic depression. What characters inhabit this world? What about this place really resonates? I drew from stories of my own – my brother once  fell asleep on a bus and was left behind. There was a momentary panic and he was found later that day, but it’s simple events like that can which have such big repercussions, which is obvious in the film. All these different ideas spooled together to make up the story.

amy morton bluebird

Was there a particular character that was hard to nail down in the writing process?

As a writer, I have one life experience and I’m embodying these other experiences, the characters’ experiences. I was a a moody teenager, a young adult feeling self-centered and angry, but I’m not a father (I looked to my experience with own dad) and feeling powerless when you can’t do what you’ve always done, who am I? But the most challenging character to write was Lesley. I tried thinking of my own mother.  Also, digging into the psychology about what has gone  with this character, her feeling responsible for not seeing Owen and the state of his health afterwards…it can lead you down a wormhole.

I was curious about the title – a bluebird is typically associated with happiness and are the bearers of happiness in mythology in cultures ranging from the Chinese to Native Americans. Given the content of the film, it seems like an ironic title – why did you choose to use it?

The title comes from a lot of different things – the idea of the “bluebird of happiness”, this thing that you chase, but you can never reach, it flying away. To me it signifies that  happiness is elusive and fleeting. Is it real? It’s the personification of what [Lesley] is going through. The bluebird that lives in Maine is migratory, flies south for the winter. It’s not supposed to be there [in the bus]. It, too, was trapped on the bus, left behind like Owen. Another wrinkle is the most common type of school bus is one made by Chevrolet called the Bluebird.

You shot Bluebird on film – will you continue to make future projects on film especially in light of the announcement in recent weeks that Kodak, with urging by people like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Christopher Nolan, will continue to make film stock?

YES. I would love to keep doing it. If you had talked to me three years ago, I would have gone on a rant about how great film is…but I’ve been beaten down lately about how depressing the (film) situation is. If budget and resources are there, I will always shoot on film. I like the way it looks better, I like the process better – when it comes back after being developed, it’s like magic. When I went to film school, it wasn’t comparable to the situation now with technology. It’s just a feeling that is impossible replicate. I do think it looks cooler. We really did want to exaggerate the look of it with Bluebird – very granny, left the dirt in, tactile analog nature we left in there.

bluebird - family

Did you and the actors rehearse at all? The dynamic between them was amazing, especially between John Slattery and Amy Morton. If so, how long did you have with them?

There was rehearsal, a week or two. I keep it pretty loose –readthroughs, having conversations about relationships and the characters. I try not to say too much and let the actors take hold of the characters. I told them to run with it – history of the characters. With John and Amy, they asked, “What is our marriage like?” It’s great if you can get your actors to agree with it. We would read script and talk about it so we could change lines if they weren’t organic enough.

Do you think that you’ll ever direct a film that you don’t write or do you think that the two processes go hand-in-hand?

I would direct something that I didn’t write. However, it would depend on the material. I’m working with other writers, adapting a novel right now. I don’t feel that I need to personally generate the material. Once I have it, I would take ownership of it, doing my best to make it my vision.

At the screening at the Indy Film Fest, you did a Skype Q&A. One of the questions that was asked was about the ending and I felt like I just wanted to punch the guy who asked it because he wanted you to defend why you ended the film the way you did. Any thoughts on that?

People are not used to ambiguity. We are seeing more and more independent movies starting to emulate big budget endings, wrapping up everything neatly and sometimes you just can’t do that. You have to trust your audience that they will do the work to figure out the direction these characters go after the credits roll.

And that’s that. I want to thank Lance Edmands for taking the time to talk with me about this film. Like I said in my review of Bluebird, this is one of the strongest debuts for a filmmaker I’ve seen in quite some time. I truly hope it gets the release it deserves and people flock to see it. I also look forward to Edmands‘ future projects as from this first film he appears to be a major talent.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

RIP Lauren Bacall

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lauren bacall

God damn, this is getting exhausting. Another day, another legend gone. Lauren Bacall passed away today at the age of 89. She will undoubtedly be remembered for that smoky voice and the most famous eyes of Hollywood’s Golden Age this side of Bette Davis which could melt you in a Nevada second. Her time onscreen with first husband Humphrey Bogart in noir staples like The Big Sleep and Key Largo, in classics like How to Marry a Millionaire (with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable) and Douglas Sirk‘s Written on the Wind as well as perfect turns in later films like Harper, Dogville and the wildly underrated Birth have long cemented her legacy. Lauren had been working up until the time of her death and was set to make her return to her noir roots with Trouble Is My Business. I don’t know the status of the film and I hope that we get to see it in a finished form. She was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2010 for “her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”

Bacall is one of the last of the old Hollywood icons. When each of these last legends die, the few remaining lights of the Studio System burn out. Will there ever be another Betty Bacall? You know there will not be. She was an important link to the past, able to bridge the decades with her flawless work. She will be missed.

Damn, the In Memoriam video at the Oscars just keeps getting longer. Let’s take a break for a while, okay?

Rest in peace, Lauren. You were a true pleasure to watch ply your craft.

RIP Robin Williams

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RW RIP

As I was getting ready to order something from Amazon for my oldest son this evening, I stumbled across the news that Robin Williams, comedy extraordinaire, had passed away by way of an apparent suicide. Williams had his demons in the past, had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was currently battling depression. This is a sad loss for the film and comedy communities. Always colorful in his dress, behavior and language, Williams was always just that – himself. For better or worse. We saw plenty of better and lots of worse with him, but he still managed to carve out a great career for himself on film, excelling in both comedic and dramatic roles. His performances in The World According to Garp, The Birdcage, The Fisher King, Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting (for which he won an Academy Award) and his small but unbelievably memorable role in Deconstructing Harry will always remain with me. Of course he had other great roles and that’s what we had come to expect from him. I hate typing these words as I have done for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harold Ramis in the not too distant past. His career spanned the bulk of my lifetime and I first got to know him through Mork & Mindy which is one of the first TV shows I can remember watching. He was talented, emotional and tortured and brought to life some really great characters.  In short, he was a winner.

May you rest in peace, Robin. Thanks for the memories.

Fresh Ass New Poster for Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem

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zero theorem poster 1I can’t wait to see this film. It’s been high on my list ever since it was announced. Stay tuned for my interview with The Zero Theorem screenwriter, Pat Rushin, in the coming days. I will say this, the script is amazing so if Terry Gilliam did it justice like I hope he did, this film is going to be bonkers…in that good Gilliam-esque way.

Here’s the trailer:

Well, maybe the new poster isn't as fresh ass as this one which was banned...

Well, maybe the new poster isn’t as fresh ass as this one which was banned…

2014 Indy Film Fest Coverage

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indy film festLast year was the first time that I went to the then Indianapolis International Film Festival, now the Indy Film Fest, and I was incredibly impressed with the great number of films they had represented there, including  Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s Don Jon being the closing film. It really whetted my appetite for this this year’s fest.

All Access...the only way to do it.

All Access…the only way to do it.

Since the commute from where I like in Bloomington to Indianapolis is over an hour each way, I only went up to the festival twice – I caught three films one day and went back to see Lance Edmands‘s Bluebird, which took home both the Grand Jury Prize as the top film at the festival as well as the American Spectrum Prize for the best American film submitted to the festival. Needless to say, both trips were well worth my time. Here are the synopses of those that I saw with links to full reviews:

Last Days in Vietnam directed by Rory Kennedy

last days in vietnam posterThis was the first film I saw and the only documentary I caught at the fest and boy was it fantastic. Detailing the evacuation of Saigon as the Viet Cong pushed in, Last Days in Vietnam is a heroic tale of the American soldiers who were responsible for getting thousands of South Vietnamese nationals who were at risk of death had they remained behind. That the bulk of the operation was done under the radar as US Ambassador Graham Martin refused to believe that the city and the South would fall is all the more amazing. This film gets the adrenaline up and plays like a thriller in parts, which is hard to do since most everyone knows the outcome of the war and the evacuation. Kennedy‘s structure, interweaving historical footage of the evacuation with testimony from actual participants, creates the framework for a really strong film. I couldn’t have been happier that I was able to see this one on the big screen. It was really amazing.

Click here for the full review.

Here is the trailer:

Hard Drive directed by William MacGillivray

hard drive postgerHard Drive was the next film I took is and also was the film I liked least.  The film is about a slacker named Ditch (Douglas Smith) who, like many post-high school teens and twenty-somethings, sit adrift unable to look for and find their niche. When Ditch meets the mysterious Debs (Laura Wiggins), his fortunes seem to have changed. She’s attractive, funny, impulsive – all the things that Ditch really isn’t. But she has secrets and she is elusive when pressed about them. When Ditch finds out what they are, he and Debs try to confront them head on. Overwrought and flush with ridiculous plot points, it didn’t get my engines fired on any level. The characters were stale and incomplete, the situations silly and the acting, outside of Wiggins, was also suspect.

Click here for the full review.

Here’s the trailer:

Fort Tilden directed  by Sarah Violet-Bliss and Charles Rogers

FortTildenPoster Fort Tilden is incredible. No ifs, ands or buts about it. An incredibly funny film about two friends, Allie (Clare McNulty) and Harper (Bridey Elliott), who are caricatures of many middle-twenties kids holed up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Bridey is a pampered daddy’s girl who also is an aspiring artist who is more talk than artist. Allie is a girl who never completes anything she starts. She is the perfect embodiment of the post-baccalaureate youth – started Teach for America, now going into the Peace Corps. She clearly has a heart but can’t bring herself to actually follow through with the giving back she feels is necessary. After meeting two boys at a rooftop concert and agreeing to meet them the next day at the beach at Fort Tilden, the ladies embark on a trip that is more comedy of errors than anything else as they try to rendezvous with these possible paramours. Fort Tilden has garnered some serious buzz, especially after taking home the Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival in March and all of it earned and well deserved. This is a fantastically funny and extremely spot-on film from the first scene to the last.

Click here for the full review.

While there is no trailer yet for this movie, check out this teaser that is very representative of the film:

Bluebird directed by Lance Edmands

bluebird posterWithout a doubt, Lance Edmands‘s Bluebird was my favorite film of the festival. Brooding and melancholy, which means right up my alley, Bluebird takes place in the northern part of Maine where logging and paper mills are king and small towns entire economy depend on them for support. The film chronicles the struggles of one family as a mistake made my the mother, Lesley (Amy Morton in a career performance), plays out, the repercussions reverberating in every sphere of their lives. Flush with terrific performance from John Slattery, Louisa Krause and Margo Martindale among others, Bluebird is as fantastic a debut feature as I’ve seen in quite some time and deserving of both the Grand Jury Prize and American Spectrum, both of which it took home. Stay tuned for my interview with director Lance Edmands in the coming days. With echoes of Atom Egoyan‘s The Sweet Hereafter, this film, to me, is a can’t miss.

Click here for the full review.

Here’s the trailer:

So another year in the books. I hope that the Indy Film Fest is able to build on their triumphs of the last couple of years and grow this festival. It has all the makings of something great. Next year will be the 12th year (I believe) of the festival and I look forward to another slate of great films.

Be sure to follow me over at Reel News Daily for more film-centric chatter from me and my great cohorts there.

“It’s a lack of imagination” – Donald Rumsfeld goes before the Interrotron in Errol Morris’ The Unknown Known

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unknown known - poster

I will admit that when I read that Errol Morris was going to do a movie on former Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, Donald Rumsfeld, I was perhaps more excited than usual. Morris had not only won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for his interview of former John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara in The Fog of War, but he also tore into the Bush Administration and their handling of the Abu Ghraib scandal in his stunning documentary, Standard Operating Procedure. So here, I thought, would be his chance to really hammer Rumsfeld on what he covered in Standard Operating Procedure and take shots at the ill-conceived Iraq War that he presided over before being sacked in December 2006. And so we are presented with The Unknown Known, whose name was taken from an enigmatic statement Rumsfeld made at one of his many entertaining press conferences : “…because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

Rumsfeld, the stoic.

Rumsfeld, the stoic.

To my surprise, Morris took a different approach. Morris (well, his voice) is far more present in this documentary than maybe any of his others. He walks Rumsfeld through his early days as a congressman and working in the Nixon and Ford administrations including even some unflattering audio recorded by Nixon and H.R. Haldeman about his ambitions and inability to be a team player. We even get Rumsfeld talking about his wife and the impact she has made on his life. Pretty flowery stuff, really and somewhat unexpected. As the narrative moves along and we get to the Iraq War and the justifications made for it when it was repeatedly shown that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, we don’t see any of the contrition we saw from McNamara in The Fog of War, one of the key elements that film is so powerful. What we do get the same smarmy sheen complete with snarky grin that we have seen from Rumsfeld in prior years. Morris peppers him with questions and counters his answers with other facts or statements, but Rumsfeld always has a response, going so far as when challenging Morris on a question, that he literally and proudly chalks one up for himself.

Morris and his subject

Morris and his subject

While to me watching Rumsfeld is fairly difficult, he does make for a fascinating character to watch, even through his patented squint and his puckered face looking like those old Looney Tunes cartoons where the characters swallow a mouth full of alum powder. He sticks to his convictions, be they good or bad and is never rattled by Morris or his line of questions. While a great amount of the film is centered on the tens of thousands of memos he created and sent in his tenure as Secretary of Defense, many of which Rumsfeld reads aloud. Morris pounces on points from these from time to time and we see the few back-and-forths between the two occur within semantic arguments of what was and is and might be somewhere down the line. I can’t imagine that Rumsfeld was an easy nut to crack. After all, Morris had already done a whole movie questioning the key policies and strategies he was responsible for as Secretary of Defense. And at the very end of the film when Morris asks him, “Why are you doing this, why are you talking to me?” he responds nonchalantly, “I don’t know.”

I'm coming for you.

I’m coming for you.

Believe me when I say this, I never in a million years thought that I would say that I am thankful that someone did a feature-length film starring Donald Rumsfeld. Errol Morris has the uncanny ability to take something that you think you would never see or would want to see and make it so fascinating that you not only watch it once, but you watch it multiple times, looking for nuances in questions and manipulations in his responses, besting his subjects or at least getting more out of them that even they might suspect that they are giving.

The Unknown Known is not Morris‘ strongest work, but when you put that in perspective alongside the rest of his ouevre, that is still speaking volumes about the quality of this film. Read: it’s still fucking amazing. Morris is the finest documentarian working in film in my opinion (and I’m not sure you would find many who would argue). His films are exceedingly compelling and his patented flourishes – using reenactments, the scores of Philip Glass, John Kusiak and Danny Elfman and his wonderful creation, the Interrotron – create some of the most unique film viewing experiences I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. This film is no exception and is worthy of everyone’s attention. Watch two masters of their craft go head-to-head and see who comes out the victor.

Dedicated to the memory of Morris‘ good friend and revered film critic Roger EbertMorris created a film that Ebert likely would have heaped praise and many a thumbs-up for. This film is out now in stores on DVD and Blu-Ray. Don’t miss your chance to see something that is layered and thought-provoking. Far too few films are these days.

Here’s a clip of Errol Morris talking about Rumsfeld and the film:

Here’s the trailer:

God damn it – 1981 soccer classic Victory getting the remake treatment.

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victory posterSince Hollywood likes to remain topical (what with the World Cup and all), it was announced today that Swingers director Doug Liman is taking on the newest unnecessary remake to be announced – John Huston‘s WWII POW/soccer/prison break drama starring Michael Caine, Pelé, Max von Sydow and Sylvester Stallone (of course) is up for duty now. The basic premise of the film is that a mixed soccer team of POWs are forced to play against the Führer’s racially and athletically superior team as a show of good will. So, let’s think about this – a film that takes place in a POW camp behind enemy lines during WWII where a large portion of the prisoners happen to be all-world soccer players (there are representatives from Ireland, England, Poland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Scotland and Norway). What possible reason can there be to update this film? It can’t be transferred to another, more recent war. Does this work in Iraq, Afghanistan or even Vietnam? Not a fucking chance. Even with Gavin O’Connor writing the script, I just don’t know how this works.

The wall with Stallone at the helm. Germans beware...

The wall with Stallone at the back. Germans beware…

This is just so fucking pointless, it makes my damn head hurt. Liman has had a decent career doing some fairly original material. Why does he have to stoop to this? The almighty dollar prevails, I guess. And how many people can ever live up to Pelés delivery of the all-important “You can do it, Hatch” line? This is wrong on so many levels. Sigh.

So, once again, Hollywood execs – you and your sequel/remaking asses can suck it. Somewhere out there, there is an original, thought-provoking script just waiting to see the light of the big screen and you deal us this shit. Bah. If I didn’t love the movies so much…

End rant.

Here is the trailer for the original and triple awesome film:

P.S. I will admit I don’t appreciate that it’s the Irishman whose arm is broken so that Stallone can join the team. Always the Irish…

And better yet, here is Pelé doing what he does best:

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