Typically enough, I’m more than a little distracted by the election today, but this item about director Tarsem Singh signing on for “Snow White and the Huntsman” got my attention.
I’m sure like most of you, when I hear “Snow White” I think of this.
Now, I understand this is going to be a very different take on the material. Even so, under Singh’s distinctive hand, it could end up looking like this.
UPDATE: I really was distracted when I wrote this. “Snow White and the Huntsmen” is a different Snow White project entirely than this one, which Anne Thompson tells us has been described as the “slutty” “Snow White.” Sort of the like the pacifist Rambo. You gotta love how Hollywood decides to suddenly decides to have five different versions of the same long-dormant topic/property. I mean, for 73 years, we were all just fine with no new “Snow White” projects. Now, all of sudden, there’s at least three. Why?
It’s been a matter of movie legend for decades that theater owners at one time or another — like perhaps whoever ran New York’s Radio City Music Hall in 1937 — had to replace some of the seats because of the urinary byproduct of the sheer fright induced in children by the appearance of the evil queen in “Snow White.” But, whether or not it’s true it’s certainly a fact that, by this point, nearly everyone alive in the Western world has been a small child scared out of their wits by a Disney animated villain.
Now, continuing our “Monster Mash” Halloween theme, enjoy the dulcet tones of Bobby “Boris” Pickett as his classic melody is performed in glorious 2D traditional and puppet animation by a host of Mouse House baddies in very good little mash-up I stumbled over.
Posting over the next few days is going to probably be news-free, so we’ll make hay while the cinema news sun shines. We start off with casting news.
* Jeremy Renner of “The Hurt Locker” is “near a deal” to play Hawkeye in the Avengers film to be (theoretically) directed by Joss Whedon, who hasn’t said a word officially to anyone in months, as far as I can tell. Renner is a smart choice. Playing a character who hasn’t previously been introduced is going to be a special challenge in this movie and actors without real ability and charisma probably need not apply.
* So, if the Wrap is correct, Brad Pitt likely won’t end up staring in the U.S. remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” It looks like that will be Daniel Craig, instead. Having seen the Swedish film, it seems to me he’s a much better fit for the part of the male lead. The character has a bit of a hang-dog, defeated quality to him that just doesn’t fit Pitt. I think Craig can pull that off easily. He should probably gain or lose a bit of weight for the part. This guy might do okay with woman, but he’s a coffee-and-cigarette addicted journalist, not a perfectly exercised super-spy.
* Speaking of matters Bondian, as per the Playlist, Christopher Nolan is describing his very highly anticipated “Inception” as his Bond film, in a way. I’m personally not a fan of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but it’s an interesting model, nonetheless.
If you’re even a halfway serious film fan, you may have noticed that directors like Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, and Quentin Tarantino do not make movies set on Planet Earth, they make movies set on Planets Anderson, Burton, and Tarantino. I’m a bit less of an expert on France’s extremely popular Jean-Pierre Jeunet, but it’s obvious that, even when his films are set in Paris, they’re really set on Planet Jeunet. His films have their own look and exist in their own reality.
As with Tim Burton, Jeunet’s roots are in animation. Together with his early collaborator, cartoonist Marc Caro, he made two films that pretty much destroyed the idea of France as a land where all movies were gritty examinations of the lives of depressed intellectuals (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Dystopic but decidedly non-realistic, “Delicatessen” and, to a much greater extent, 1995’s “The City of Lost Children” broke through internationally, with the latter becoming a popular midnight selection and attracting a geek audience that might have ordinarily rejected subtitled films. That was followed by his first solo production and also his first and, so far, only American film. 1997’s “Alien: Resurrection” was a domestic commercial disappointment that generated mixed reviews and more than a little fan hate in the U.S. — even its screenwriter, fan-master Joss Whedon, has entirely disowned it — but it was nevertheless an international success which is still warmly embraced by its jovial director. After that, Jeunet broke through even bigger with the worldwide success of “Amelie” in 2001, easily one of the most widely seen French films in the United States of the last couple of decades — so much so that it was simply referenced as “the French movie” in last year’s “Up in the Air.”
Now, Jeunet is back with his first film since his worldwide box office and critical hit, 2005’s “A Very Long Engagement,” with his own take on Chaplinesque/Keatonesque comedy with just a dash of Rube Goldberg not-quite-sci-fi. “Micmacs” stars comic Dany Boon (“My Best Friend”) as the hapless Bazil, whose father was killed by a landmine and whose health and livelihood was ruined by a bullet — each produced by a ruthless arms manufacturer. Homeless, he is befriended by a ragtag assortment of seven eccentrics with various unique skills. Bazil enlists their aid in avenging himself against the two firms.
The film has done reasonably well in its initial New York opening, and will be expanding to more theaters this Friday. It’s generally also been a hit with critics, very definitely including PH’s own Jason Zingale.