Archive

Posts Tagged ‘drive’

EW 25 Movies They “Can’t Wait to See”

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I really do enjoy Entertainment Weekly’s periodic lists. Last year, they announced what they felt were the ten most undeserving Best Picture wins of all time and I offered my own up for comparison. Also, I’ve thought that their piece on the 25 most controversial films ever made is worth taking another look at every once in a while. Every year, I look forward to their categorical opinions on filmmaking.

Recently, they released a preview list of some of their most anticipated films of the upcoming Oscar season. The article features some exclusive photos and info that I haven’t come across for certain features. In particular, my excitement towards Clint Eastwood’s Hoover biopic “J. Edgar” has reached a fever pitch. News that Leonardo DiCaprio will be donning a large amount of prosthetic make up to portray the crime-buster in his later years is highly enticing.

EW hasn’t ranked their list, and I definitely can’t say that all of these look very appetizing (“Abduction”? Really?), but I’d say my top five from these selections would look like:

5. “Drive”
4. “Contagion”
3. “J. Edgar”
2. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
1. “The Ides of March”

I will try to come out with a list of my own must-see list, soon. In the mean time, check out some of the new photos and tidbits over at EW’s official site, here.

2011 Venice Film Festival Lineup = WOW

There are four major film festivals that occur in the world which Oscar pundits eagerly anticipate. Sundance kicks things off in Utah during January. Springtime brings about the prestige and glory of the Cannes in southern France. The season is then capped off with bicoastal festivals in Venice, Italy and Toronto, Ontario, both occurring in the month of September.

Presently, we’re halfway through the year and September is fast approaching. While the TIFF announced its lineup last week, Venice has recently joined the club. Both showings are killer and contain more than a few likely contenders. Expect “The Ides of March,” “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and “A Dangerous Method” to develop as Oscar contenders (as well as a good horse to bet on for the Festival’s prize). However, don’t count out “Carnage” (featured below) directed by European favorite Roman Polanski or “Shame” the sophomore effort by Steve McQueen to take home the Venice gold.

Here is the lineup for the 2011 Venice Film Festival:

Venice 2011  Competition

The Ides Of March – George Clooney (US) [opening film]
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany)
Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold (UK)
Texas Killing Fields – Ami Canaan Maan (US)
Quando La Notte – Cristina Comencini (Italy)
Terraferma – Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France)
A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada)
4:44 Last Day On Earth – Abel Ferrara (US)
Killer Joe – William Friedkin (US)
Un Ete Brulant – Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland)
A Simple Life (Taojie) – Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong)
The Exchange (Hahithalfut) – Eran Kolirin (Israel)
Alps (Alpeis) -Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)
Shame – Steve McQueen (UK)
L’ultimo Terrestre – Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (Italy)
Carnage – Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland)
Chicken With Plums – Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany)
Faust – Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)
Dark Horse – Todd Solondz (US)
Himizu – Sion Sono (Japan)
Seediq Bale – Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan)

Out of Competition

Vivan las Antipodas! – Victor Kossakovsky
(Germany/Argentina/Holland/Chile/Russia) [opening film]
Damsels In Distress – Whit Stillman (US) [closing film]
La Folie Almayer – Chantal Akerman (Belgium/France)
The Sorcerer And The White Snake (Baish Echuanshuo) – Tony Ching Siu-Tung (China/Hong Kong)
Giochi D’estate – Rolando Colla (Switzerland/Italy)
La Desintegration – Philippe Fauchon (Belgium)
The Moth Diaries – Mary Harron (Canada/Ireland)
Alois Nebel – Tomas Lunak (Czech Republic/Germany)
W.E. – Madonna (UK)
Eva – Kike Maillo (UK)
Scossa – Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo (Italy)
La Cle Des Champs – Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou (France)
Il Villaggio Di Cartone – Ermanno Olmi (Italy)
Wilde Salome – Al Pacino (US)
Tormented – Takashi Shimizu (Japan)
Contagion – Steven Soderbergh (US)
La Meditazione Di Hayez – Mario Martone (Italy) (short)
Tahrir 2011 – Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama (Egypt)
The End – Collectif Abounaddara (Syria)
Vanguard – Colleftif Abounaddara (Syria)
Evolution (Megaplex)(3D – Marco Brambilla (US)

Out of Competition Events


Questa Storia Qua – Alessandro Paris, Sibylle Righetti (Italy)
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel – Lisa Immordino Vreeland (US)
Golden Career Lion – Nel Nome Del Padre – Marcho Bellocchio (Italy)

The Toronto Fest includes some of the same titles, but in addition will also feature some stellar contenders such as:

“The Descendants” by Alexander Payne,
“Albert Nobbs” by Rodrigo Garcia
“360” by Fernando Merielles
“Moneyball” by Bennett Miller
“Corolianus” by Ralph Fiennes
“Drive” by Nicolas Winding Refn
“Machine Gun Preacher” by Marc Forster
“Melancholia” by Lars von Trier
“Rampart” by Oren Moverman
“The Skin I Live In” by Pedro Almodovar
“Take Shelter” by Jeff Nichols
“Twixt” by Francis Ford Coppola

There are more than a few that I did not even bother to mention, so, just from looking at this list, I’m beginning to realize that this movie season has potentially quite a bit to offer. I look forward to covering it.

“Drive” Red Band Trailer

One of the big surprises at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was the award for Best Director going to the young Nicolas Winding Refn for his new film “Drive.” This is not because Refn is unqualified, for he certainly proved his worth directing Tom Hardy in the psychedelic mind-trip “Bronson,” which more than probably got the actor his role as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Nor is it because of the film’s high profile cast that includes the brilliant and all-powerful Ryan Gosling, as well as other Oscar nominees Carey Mulligan and Albert Brooks.

What made it seem surprising is the nature of the film, itself. IMDB’s synopsis reads: “A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.” The plot seems more like a vehicle for a Jason Statham spinoff than a prestigious Cannes winner.

However, after certain select clips were released on Youtube, as well as few early reviews (or “rave” reviews, is more like it), it appears that this film might have more to offer than meets the eye. One scene in particular that I viewed absolutely floored me as a critic. Now, with the debut of this red band trailer, I’m starting to get the feeling that this could end up being one of the best movies of the year and perhaps one of the greatest straight-up action films in recent cinema.

Check out the trailer below:

I’ve also included the clip that first grabbed my attention. It’s easy to see here how the material, if read off of the script, could have been completely generalized and fumbled by a lesser director. Instead, Refn molds the action into a form of gripping entertainment of the likes I’ve never seen before. Enjoy: