“Sin City” opens without banned Eva Green poster

Eva Green rejected Sin City poster

Eva Green has perfect breasts, so the good folks who produced “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” were smart enough to featured one of her puppies on their movie poster. Things couldn’t have worked out better for them, as the tight-assed MPAA rejected the poster for being too provocative, giving the film some free publicity. The film isn’t bad according to our friends at Bullz-Eye, so check out Eva and her knockers.

Monday movie news

Just a few items on a warm and sunny SoCal Ides of March…

* David Fincher is really keeping busy. I missed the story late Friday about him putting together a new movie iteration of “Heavy Metal.”

The first attempt to transpose the appeal of the legendary European-based anthology comic magazine is pretty much unwatchable these days — I know because I tried and failed to watch it at Comicon a couple of years back — but that’s all the more reason to give it another try I suppose. Considering that the late seventies and early eighties were pretty much the lowpoint of animation and the high end nature of this project, it pretty much has to be an improvement on most levels.

And that’s not all. Having taken on Facebook with Aaron Sorkin, another upcoming project may possibly involve an equally cinematic undertaking: chess.


* With John Krasinski apparently out of the running for “The First Avenger: Captain America” (a title I’m not fond of, by the way), the Marvel gang has apparently adopted a “nobody excessively interesting” rule in its prospective casting. The latest name being floated: Ryan Phillipe. Still, he played effectively off of Chris Cooper in the highly underrated “Breach,” one of my favorite films of 2007, so perhaps he can do the same with Hugo Weaving here.

* Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen are “in talks” to appear in Martin Scorsese’s ambitious, 3-D, meta-film, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.”  As a Deadline commenter notes, this one appears to be DiCaprio-free, at last. Kingsley and Coehn could make an interesting buddy film.

* Tim Adler of Deadline|London thinks that the success of 3-D screenings of “Avatar” in Europe is funding the growth of digital movie theaters in Europe.

* I’ve said it before, but the career of director David Gordon Green fascinates me. He starts out like an American Vittorio De Sica by way of Terrence Malick with the neo-neo realist “George Washington,” and then transitions to stoner-frat comedies apparently spoofing eighties sword and sorcery flicks. Attention must be paid.

* If you really wanna know more about “penis trauma” and the MPAA ratings system

* Phrases like “penis trauma” aside, SXSW really does sound like the most fun of the festivals, doesn’t it?

“Kick-Ass” trailer kicks in

I’m not exactly the first with this but, via Anne Thompson, below we have the first trailer for the movie I declared last week to be a sure thing for the most controversial comic book film of 2010. Hey, I can remember a time when the MPAA might not have allowed this title, but it’s a new age when people say “shit” on award-winning basic cable television programs and no one even notices. Of course, a mild vulgarism in the title won’t be the reason this will be controversial, especially if any violent incidents happen to coincide with its release next April.

Trailer Park | MySpace Video

Ms. Thompson, who hasn’t seen it yet beyond the clips that were shown at Comicon last summer, says the current buzz is maybe a bit mixed on the actual film, but the response to this brief trailer is good. It certainly works for me as far as it goes, and it does a great job of setting up the premise.

You can see the trailer in high-definition at the official website.

There’s also a new poster. I tend to think most modern movie posters aren’t very good and are way too literal minded, but this one takes being literal to an interesting place. Check it out after the jump.

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(Late) Monday morning movie memes

It’s a typical, hazy late morning in Southern California and, as I start this, some folks in Hollywood are still rolling into work, Don Draper style, but there is already some news.


* If you’re curious about what’s been going on the set of the motion-capture Tintin movie being co-directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, and you’re a fan of Nick Frost, Screencrave has an absolute must read interview where he candidly discusses the working methods and how incredibly nervous he was having to do “real” acting. Mr. Frost seems like an easy guy to like.

* I never got into this particular geek thing, but it appears that the new “Monster Squad” remake is not a “Monster Squad” remake.

* Blu-Ray sales are good. I guess I’m eventually going to have to get that player and high-def TV to go with it. Maybe I should start a new charity, akin to Toys for Tots. “High End Home Electronics for Underpaid Critics in Need”?

* Dan Glickman, successor to the late Jack Valenti at the lobbying arm of the movie industry, the MPAA, will be leaving the gig at the end of his contract next September. As described by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, names in the running to replace Glickman include San Fernando Valley Democratic congressman Howard Berman, Disney lobbyist Richard Bates, former Tennessee rep. Harold Ford, and this guy who’s our state’s governor right now.

Not to speak ill of the dead (which is the kind of thing you say just before you do just that), but the late Mr. Valenti was an avuncular but oily character who you instinctively knew you couldn’t trust. He also drove me batty with his inane defenses of the obviously corrupt and unfair rating system. In any case, Arnold would in some ways be a step up if they want someone super high-profile, much as I would never vote for the guy for any public office and not only because he’s a Republican. Ford, who has become a frequent TV talking head since losing his state’s senate race after some arguably racist ads is someone I trust even less than Valenti or the S man and not just because he’s an outspoken conservadem…well, mostly. He’s perhaps too obviously a slick character, even for Hollywood.

Berman I don’t really know well though looking at his Wikipedia page I’m reminded of why he’s not a particular favorite of California progressives, even while claiming to be one, but he’s probably a good choice if they want to fly under the radar. Being a fairly political guy and living in Southern California for almost my entire life, I still know next to nothing about the guy except he looks to be a direct descendent of the 3 Stooges’ Larry Fine. Not many guys over sixty still sporting the Jewfro.

* As reported by the L.A. Times (via Anne Thompson), veteran producer, high flying studio executive, and long-time UCLA Film School fixture Peter Guber — noted in the 1980s as the more sane half of Guber/Peters — is getting together with digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin and Wizard magazine owner Gareb Shamus to create GeekChic Daily, an e-newsletter whose title pretty much says it all. I just signed up here and was informed that I “rock.”

Using statistics to predict the Oscars

Movie buffs love predicting Oscar winners, but stats guru Nate Silver decided to look at hard data and trends to come up with his own predictions. Political junkies are familiar with Silver, as his blog became one of the top resources for interpreting polls and predicting election results in the last cycle.

After spending most of 2008 predicting the success of political actors—also called politicians—it’s only natural that Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com) would turn his attention to the genuine article: the nominees in the major categories for the 81st Annual Academy Awards (Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC). Formally speaking, this required the use of statistical software and a process called logistic regression. Informally, it involved building a huge database of the past 30 years of Oscar history. Categories included genre, MPAA classification, the release date, opening-weekend box office (adjusted for inflation), and whether the film won any other awards. We also looked at whether being nominated in one category predicts success in another. For example, is someone more likely to win Best Actress if her film has also been nominated for Best Picture? (Yes!) But the greatest predictor (80 percent of what you need to know) is other awards earned that year, particularly from peers (the Directors Guild Awards, for instance, reliably foretells Best Picture). Genre matters a lot (the Academy has an aversion to comedy); MPAA and release date don’t at all. A film’s average user rating on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) is sometimes a predictor of success; box grosses rarely are. And, as in Washington, politics matter, in ways foreseeable and not. Below, Silver’s results, including one upset we never would have anticipated.

Check out the article for his predictions. There aren’t many surprises, but it’s interesting to see the probability percentages he allocates to each category.

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