Friday, August 24, 2007

Fall Movie Previews

Okay, you all know how much I love movies. Old movies. New movies. I just love good films.

My friend Carleen directed me to TV comedy writer Ken Levine's blog. Ken did a three-part post this week previewing fall movies.

Here are my three favorite comments:

MARGOT AT THE WEDDING – Nicole Kidman – THE INVASION, FUR, and BEWITCHED – is only one bomb away from television. Will this family drama by Noah Baumbach (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE) save her, or does she join the cast of BONES next fall?

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH – Francis Ford Coppola directs his first movie in ten years. Financed by his winery. There was going to be a big car chase scene but the 2005 Zinfandel crop was disappointing.

SLEUTH – Who knew psychological torture could be such fun? Remake of the Michael Caine/Lawrence Olivier starrer (sic). Caine plays the Olivier part in the new version. And Jude Law plays the other. You’re probably saying, “that part requires a real actor. How did Jude Law get the role?” He’s also the producer.

Go here to read Levine's blurbs on 66 new films.

And, for the record, I don't care if the screenplay is by Neil Gaiman or that it does star Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins. I was so traumatized by my reading of Beowulf in junior high that I find it difficult to believe anyone can turn that epic poem into a pleasurable viewing experience.

On the flip side, two of my favorite old movies are a pair of bookends: Sleuth and Deathtrap. In 1972's Sleuth, Laurence Olivier plays a wealthy older man who invites his much younger wife's lover to his country home for a deadly battle of wits. The tagline read: "If it was murder, where's the body? If it was for a woman, which woman? If it's only a game, why the blood?"

Ten years later, in 1982, Michael Caine played the older man while Christopher Reeve played the younger guy in Deathtrap. Caine is an aging playwright who hasn't had a hit in years. Reeve, a former student, sends him a play to read. The play is so perfect that Caine invites Reeve to his country home where he contemplates murdering the young man and stealing his work. Using a line from the play, Deathtrap is so perfect that "a gifted director couldn't even hurt it."

I can't imagine a remake of either film--especially a remake starring Jude Law. Of course, the part of the young lover requires a certain smarmy sexiness that Law possesses naturally so maybe it will be playing to type. We'll see.

BTW, yesterday's USA Today also took a look at the fall previews complete with photos here.

Today's a two-post day. Read on for the second post.

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