Tag: Rodrigo Garcia

Serious offers and old gossip

Just another sane Monday in movieland.

A robot* Halcyon, a somewhat odd firm with an all but empty website, has officially put its one and only asset and reason for being, the rights to “The Terminator” franchise, on the auction block. So reports Variety and Nikki Finke. Suddenly, over at Whedonesque — yes, the Joss Whedon fansite where the beloved cult TV and occasional film creator occasionally posts  — Whedon links to it and posts a very serious offer. So serious, in fact, that Finke — who occasionally claims she “doesn’t do geek” runs the item. Meanwhile, back at Whedonesque, the Whe-man and a commenter who appears to be both a fan of the Joss and the late singer-songwriter Warren Zevon (some folks are just blessed with too much taste) note an earlier serious offer.

Quote of the week (probably):

Well, here’s what I have to say to Nikki Finke: you are a fine journalist and please don’t ever notice me.

* Sony Classic has picked up the rights to “Mother and Child,” the latest film from arthouse/cable director Rodrigo Garcia, still probably best known to a lot of people as the son of Columbian literary great Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s not too surprising a pick-up, even in this tough market, given that the cast includes Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, up-and-comer Kerry Washington (“Ray,” “The Fantastic Four”), and Samuel L. Jackson.

* The box office “actuals” for most of the big releases turned out to be a couple of million higher than the estimates I reported yesterday. Sorry MJ’s ghost.

* Thinking about “The Men Who Stare at Goats” which comes out this Friday, Jeff Bridges gets appropriately trippy but not in too dudish a way.

* This is a few days old, but for those of us who find ourselves unduly fascinating by the Church of Scientology, via Kim Masters, here’s an interesting new story opened up last week. Writer-director Paul Haggis (“Crash”) announced he’s leaving the church.

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Whenever a movie with an A-list cast suddenly disappears from the release schedule only to pop up on DVD several months later, you know it was probably for a reason. In the case of “Passengers,” it’s that the movie isn’t very good. Anne Hathaway stars as Claire Summers, a young psychologist assigned to the small group of survivors of a recent plane crash. When the patients begin disappearing, however, Claire teams up with one the survivors – a surprisingly carefree man named Eric (Patrick Wilson) – to unlock the truth behind the incident. Though Sony originally marketed the film as a supernatural thriller (it even had a very limited theatrical release around Halloween), there’s almost nothing supernatural or thrilling about it. Director Rodrigo Garcia tries to ratchet up the tension by sprinkling in ominous stalkers and conspiracy theories, but to little avail. Even the big twist ending – which the script tries to protect by ignoring the obvious – can be seen from a mile away, making the wait seem even longer. It’s always sad to see a great cast wasted (along with Hathaway and Wilson, the film also stars David Morse, Andre Braugher and Dianne Wiest), but “Passengers” just doesn’t have what it takes to be an engaging thriller.

Click to buy “Passengers”

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