Slightly early midweek movie news

Just a few items that have been swirling about the movie media news/blogosphere…

Ving Rhames in * I know conservative Hollywood-bashers think all we film people both love and fear James Cameron and will leap to his defense with the ferocity of an intimidated momma grizzly on principle. They should take a look at the hub-bub the man has kicked up with some remarks in Vanity Fair that are perhaps best described as 3D snobbery run amok. To use his own terminology, he threw “Piranha 3D” under the bus — presumably with the resulting exploding innards heading directly at the audience’s face. I’m sure the fact that, as per Hollywood legend, Cameron was fired after a week directing “Piranha 2” decades ago, has nothing to do with this.

Anyhow, here’s the oft-quoted choice bit:

…that is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3-D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3-D horror films from the 70s and 80s, like Friday the 13th 3-D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s not what’s happening now with 3-D. It is a renaissance—right now the biggest and the best films are being made in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3-D. Disney’s biggest film of the year—Tron: Legacy—is coming out in 3-D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.”

One of the first to get in on the attack — and with the ferocity of a poppa grizzly, I might add — was our pal (and “Piranha” guest reviewer) Dennis Cozzalio. Numerous others have joined Dennis in the good fight for low-budget 3D horror. Apparently not one bit concerned about being able to work in this town again, producer Mark Canton has joined the fray with a sharp counter-attack.

* John Woo directing a movie about the American trained Chinese WWII aces the Flying Tigers in Imax? Where do we send our $15.00? Remakes of his long-time favorite, Jean-Pierre Melville’s “Le Samurai,” and his own international breakthrough hit, “The Killer”? Not my absolute first choice for Woo projects, but I’ll pay to see those too. I just hope he really has something new he wants to say with those stories.

* RIP director Alain Corneau.

* A truly intelligent man like Martin Scorsese knows it’s never time to stop learning. The Onion has the scoop.

*Via an e-mail from the elusive BKS: Cecil B. DeMille rewriting Billy Wilder? Sort of like James Cameron trying to rewrite Quentin Tarantino (and he would too, I bet), but anything is possible in this crazy town.

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Flame and Citron

Conspicuously red-headed, twenty-something “Flame” (Thure Lindhart, “Angels and Demons“) is both a tortured romantic and an efficient killer and anti-Nazi patriot. Whether the target is a Gestapo officer or a pro-Nazi journalist, he’s efficient and not too concerned with moral fine-points — except, perhaps, when it comes to women. Former automotive saboteur “Citron” (Mads Mikkelson, the evil Le Chiffre of “Casino Royale“), however, is overtly troubled by the job, and even more so by his deteriorating marriage. Things become torturous for the pair, comrades but perhaps not quite friends, when a series of events involving questionable leadership, traitors within the resistance, and Flame’s emotional attachment to a sexy and sympathetic resistance spy (Stine Stengade) makes them wonder just how many of right and wrong people they’ve been killing, and why the local Gestapo head (Christian Berkel) isn’t one of them.

“Flame and Citron” attempts to blend the blunt realism of an anti-Nazi resistance thriller like Jean-Pierre Melville’s recently rediscovered “Army of Shadows” with a contemporary action film. Initially, director/co-writer Ole Christian Madsen’s bombast and an overlong first act partially derail matters in this 2008 Danish language production, but once it gets going, the film achieves its goal and becomes an honest look at the real cost of killing. A genuinely affecting, complex story kept remarkably clear by Madsen, strong acting (sometimes too strong), and some painfully effective action sequences makes this film a bitterly poignant reminder of the real cost of World War II.

Click to buy “Flame and Citron”

  

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