‘The Fountain,’ ‘Wall-E’ and ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Star in the Top 10 Movie Stories of the Week
After taking a weekend off, the Reject Recap returns with another look at the best movie news and features of the past week. As usual, we’ve got a mix of our own content and favorite stories from around the web. If you wrote or know of something posted that’s potentially deserving of being showcased here, please email me. Even if it’s not chosen for the top ten, if I like it I’ll give it a mention of some kind.
While this Saturday morning sees yet another slot filled by Star Wars and obviously devotes another to SXSW before the fest has hardly even begun, there are some other good picks for both the movie geeks (features involving The Fountain and Big Trouble in Little China, for example) and the more academically minded cinephiles (a look at Romanian cinema and a few considerations of the best music docs ever made). Also, there’s two funny mash-up videos for your enjoyment.
Start your weekend right after the jump.
We’re already in the midst of covering the 2013 SXSW Film Festival ‐ bookmark the SXSW tag to stay on top of it all. First, though, read through our preview of 15 highlights we’re looking forward to, including Grow Up, Tony Phillips. Neil gave the reason: “Local kid Emily Hagins‘ story is one with which you might be familiar. She’s the one who made her own zombie movie at age 12. In the almost seven years since, she’s made a number of steps toward making films at a very high level, culminating with the premiere of her last film, the vampire romance spoof My Sucky Teen Romance, at 2011?s SXSW fest. This year she’s back with this coming-of-age tale, her fourth feature, and it will be interesting to gauge her maturation as a filmmaker. If her trend of growth continues, we could very well be in for a treat.”
Carrie Fisher told a reporter that she’s on board for the next Star Wars movie, though Disney won’t confirm this or any other casting. Yet, George Lucas is quoted this week at Bloomberg Businessweek saying she, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill had been cast before Lucasfilm even sold to Disney. Meanwhile, Movies.com reports from Emerald City Comic-Con that Billy Dee Williams would also like to return as Lando Calrissian. Chris Clow wrote of the news: “He hasn’t yet been approached but said that he would gladly be in it. His representative at this point snatched the microphone from his client and said to the audience that he encouraged anyone that wants to see Lando in the film to tweet, send letters and e-mails, and be very vocal about it to the likes of Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, Disney, and anyone on the production team.”
With Stoker now in theaters, Rob ranked the films of its director, Park Chan-wook. Apparently many people disagree with him, but his pick for best is Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. He wrote of it: “This remains Park’s best film in every regard. From the story to the cinematography to the performances to the sheer perfection of its ending this film is nothing less than a fucked-up masterpiece.”
More on Park Chan-wook:
Watch Park Chan-wook’s 1999 Short Film ‘Judgement’
Nick Horton of Den of Geek ambitiously counted down the Top 50 Underrated Films of the 2000s, starting with Zathura through some of my favorites (The Rules of Attraction; The Man Who Wasn’t There) to their number one pick: The Fountain. Horton wrote: “Simply astonishing, an epic romance across the ages which takes in elements of sci-fi, fantasy, historical swashbuckler, and religion, and blends them with acceptance of death as a part of life, while all the time pushing an incredible and moving love story. The Fountain feels like director Darren Aronofsky’s most personal film, and that passion shows on screen. While it doesn’t always work (it’s at times a bit too earnest and unfocused, perhaps, and the reduced budget from the original version limits Arofonsky’s ability to truly fulfil his ambitions) The Fountain is at times a truly transcendental triumph which speaks to us all, helped by the stunning camera work and macro-effects, as well as Clint Mansell’s finest score (yep, even better than Moon).”
Proof that the upcoming sci-fi action film Oblivion is a live-action remake of Wall-E with Tom Cruise in the role of the lovable robot (“Essentially, he’s Wall-E,” Kate wrote in a trailer post last month, making this spoof obligatory):
Timed to this weekend’s release of Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, and certainly timely with the Oscar win for Searching for Sugar Man, Matt Singer’s Criticwire blog surveyed numerous critics (including yours truly) for “the greatest rock doc of all time.” Meanwhile, our friends at The Film Stage listed 20 Great Music Documentaries, one of which is the necessary Gimme Shelter. Jordan Raup wrote: “Perhaps the finest documentary on this entire list, the Maysleses were more than just in the right place at the right time for this Rolling Stones documentary. Taking what they learned on masterpieces like Salesman, this group was on the forefront of the Direct Cinema movement and here they captured the iconic, horrific Altamont stabbing with staggering authenticity ‐ a definitive turning point of the era. Coupled in with an inside, intimate look at the highs and the lows of one of the most popular bands on the planet, this is vital viewing for anyone interested in the medium.”
More on music documentaries:
Why Are Mainstream Documentaries So Invested in Resurrecting Personalities?
Are Cinderella Stories the New Trend in Music Documentaries? [Movies.com]
They didn’t happen (and maybe weren’t intended), but David wished they had. He highlighted eight films that should have been followed up as promised, including Little Shop of Horrors, The Incredibles, Super Mario Bros. and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes. Here are his comments on the end tease from Big Trouble in Little China: “It was probably not a serious sequel hook, the leftover monster hiding in the back of Jack’s truck, but that’s not going to stop a man from dreaming. The beauty of Big Trouble In Little China is that you can continue the plot any which way you like. It’s not like Star Wars where there is a high demand for plot continuity; the sequel could be Kurt Russell fighting ice sharks at Santa’s workshop and it would keep to the spirit of the original film.”
If you dislike A.I. you may not care, but if you’re smart you’ll be excited for another collaboration between the late Kubrick and Spielberg, who is picking up the late master’s Napoleon epic where it was left off in the 1970s, as a miniseries. Scott commented: “It’s a shame that Kubrick never got to make his epic, but there are few names better to take up the torch, craft something astounding and deliver it with fanfare to the biggest crowd possible. At any rate, Spielberg’s working with a script from Kubrick. It doesn’t get much more film geeky than that, even if it’ll never see theaters.”
If you’re a fan of the Romanian New Wave and/or specifically Cristian Mungiu’s latest, Beyond the Hills, you need to read our own Daniel Walber’s conversation with the filmmaker over at Film.com. More than just an interview, it’s also a look at how the new government in Romania is changing its support of the arts and culture for the worse. From the intro: “This shift toward a simplistic nationalism inevitably discourages honest and prosaic portrayals of life in Romania. Many of the best films of the past decade were seen by some at home as irresponsible representations of Romania, and may not have been funded at all if the new policy had been in place years ago (a point producer Ada Solomon made when accepting the Golden Bear last month). No film is a better example of the work that might be prevented than “Beyond the Hills,” and no film is a better example of exactly why we should be worried.”
It’s a bit longer than is necessary, but this parody mashing up Wreck-It Ralph and the documentary The King of Kong is a brilliant idea, and it comes via the animated feature’s director, Rich Moore. Watch Garlan Hulse: Where Potential Lives: