Midweek movie news, and then…

After tonight, I’ll be taking a break from the daily blogging grind for just a bit. That means I’ll be out completely for a couple of days at least and then you may see a post here and there and then, suddenly, I’ll be back like I was never gone in the first place, probably towards the tail end of the month. So, this will have to hold you for a little while.

* As of tonight, corporate raider Carl Icahn appears to be a majority stockholder in Lionsgate.

* I’ve never been a fan of the seventies movie of the silly seventies film version of “Logan’s Run,” but with Carl Erik Rinsch directing, my interest in the new film perked up considerably. Now, Alex Garland — who wrote and produced the not-entirely-unrelated upcoming version of “Never Let Me Go” which I discussed yesterday — has jumped on board, making it even more interesting. Better, they’re approaching it as a new version of the book, not a remake of the film. In the 1976 film, by the way, no one in the futuristic society was permitted to live past 30. In the novel, it was 21.

* Sam Raimi has been confirmed as the director of “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” Apparently Robert Downey, Jr., who just formed a new company with his producer wife, Susan Downey, is the most likely Oz at this point.

* Be sure and check out Will Harris’s terrific interview with one of the best, Isabella Rossellini. Easily one of the most fascinating  actresses of the last thirty years or so, with quite a backstory behind her. Don’t miss it.

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*Though Ms. Rossellini seems perfectly at home in a very humorous way with her fifty-something status, that is not really always the case for actresses. This month’s conversation between Jason Bellamy and Ed Howard at the House Next Door underlines that point as the cinephile thinkers discuss two of Hollywood’s greatest show-biz based films, “Sunset Boulevard” and “All About Eve,” both released in 1950 and both dealing with actresses who struggling with this whole passage of time thing.

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It’s time for another end of week movie news dump. Yay.

Yup, with Cannes going on and the early-early summer movie season happening, things are hopping.

* Nikkie Finke broke the news this morning of the latest chapter in the never-ending tale of the battle over the rights to the character of “Superman.” It seems DC is countersuing lawyer Marc Toberoff on the grounds of conflict of interest. Sure does sound like “hardball” but that’s what happens when millions of dollars are at stake.

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* It never ends. It just never, ever ends. A new alleged victim has come forward claiming that Roman Polanski raped her during the eighties when she was sixteen. (The terms used in the article are “sexually abused” in “the worst possible way” — I have no clue how that could not be rape, at the very least, if true). The woman is being represented by, naturally, Gloria Allred.

At this time, there’s no corroborating evidence beyond the charges. If there is, I think it’s curtains for Polanski and he’ll find himself suddenly and justifiably all-but friendless in Hollywood. It’s one thing to have one extremely nasty episode in your past, it’s quite another to be a serial sexual predator.

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No Blood, No Tears

Director and co-writer Ryu Seung-Wan’s 2002 thriller deserves some credit for mixing things up a bit. It attempts to blend Guy Ritchie-style crime-comedy with heavy dramatic elements, the feminist ethos of the Wachowski’s “Bound” (minus the hot actress-on-actress sex), bonecrunching martial arts, and a healthy dose of the semi-mandatory sadism of Korean action films. The only things missing from the exercise are a heart and a point. “No Blood, No Tears” brings us Lee Hye-yeong as a down on her luck cab driver with a criminal past who teams up with a younger woman (Jeon Do-Yeon) trapped in an abusive relationship with her despicable gangster boyfriend (Jung Jae-Young). Their plan is steal a sack full of money during one of her boyfriend’s illegal dogfights and abscond with the loot. The dangerous job turns out to be even trickier than you might think.

Though Seung-Wan tries to goose things along with an endless parade of irritating fancy camera tricks, his film takes an unconscionably long time to get started, the comedy is never funny, while the drama and thriller elements are doomed by paper-thin, almost soap-opera characterization and an overly complicated heist-film plot. On the other hand, some of the hardcore fighting that comes late in the story is impressive, but these fights are so brutal and elongated that they comes across as not much more than nasty mayhem for its sake. Add to that an inexcusable lame non-twist twist ending, and you’ve got one heck of a fancy but kind of revolting piece of non-entertainment.

Click to buy “No Blood, No Tears”

  

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