Saturday, May 8, 2010

“Liam Gallagher Making A Movie About The Beatles? -” plus 2 more

“Liam Gallagher Making A Movie About The Beatles? -” plus 2 more

Liam Gallagher Making A Movie About The Beatles? -

Posted: 07 May 2010 02:09 AM PDT

Liam Gallagher is making a movie about The Beatles.

The former Oasis frontman is developing a film about the legendary group – made up of Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison – which will explore the band's 'stoned' years between 1967 and 1970, and their eventual demise.

Liam – who is heavily influenced by the Fab Four and in particular Lennon - has obtained the screen rights to Apple's former press officer Richard DiLello's memoirs, and the film will be based on an insider's view at the headquarters of the group's record company, Apple.

The 1972 book – 'The Longest Cocktail Party: An Insider's Diary Of The Beatles, Their Million Dollar Apple Empire And Its Wild Rise And Fall' – gives DiLello's take on the business and personal problems which drove the group apart.

It gives his account of "stoned conversations" which took place at the office's open bar and the movie will cover the years from when rock 'n' roll moved on from its carefree days to being controlled by multinational corporations.

Liam is working on the project with Revolution Films and it will be launched at the Cannes Film Festival next week.

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Movie review by Michael Janusonis: ‘Babies’ from ... - Providence Journal

Posted: 06 May 2010 09:58 PM PDT

Just about everyone loves babies, which is why French documentary director Thomas Balmes took his cameras to four very different countries around the world to chronicle the lives of four children from shortly after birth to the point more than a year later where they begin to walk.

And what he found for his "Babies" is that whether the baby lives in laid-back San Francisco, in an apartment in bustling Tokyo, in a straw hut in Africa or in a yurt on the plains of Mongolia, babies pretty much progress at the same rate, do much the same things … and are darned cute to boot.

"Babies" is a documentary with no commentary from the director and precious few words from the parents, who are those big figures in the background. If this were a scripted film, they would be minor players, billed far down in the cast list. It's the four babies who are the real stars, along with their siblings in some cases, plus assorted cats and dogs and cows and goats and even, in one of the film's most memorable moments, an inquisitive rooster.

Balmes' camera has captured some priceless images. Here's Little Bayar, swaddled in a blanket, carried by Mommy onto the back of a motorcycle driven by Daddy with older brother between them, all heading to their new home behind a truck laden with their possessions.

Here's a team of mothers pushing a parade of baby strollers through a Tokyo park, following their child-rearing class.

There's little Hattie attempting to get out of a room in which a group of parents in a San Francisco baby class are singing a song celebrating the Earth. There's a similar scene with Bayar who wears a "what have I gotten myself into?" look as a group of family elders break into a Mongolian chant.

Here's little Mari coming face to face with a gorilla and some tigers on her first visit to the Tokyo Zoo and being none too thrilled by the experience.

There's a sleepy Ponijao starting to fall asleep while sitting up and trying desperately to stay awake so as not to tip over. Later Ponijao will stick a hand into the mouth of a very patient dog that goes along with the exploratory maneuver without a bite.

Here's Bayar being amused by unrolling a roll of very uncomfortable looking toilet paper … or being curious about an equally curious rooster who has hopped onto the baby's bed … or being pushed in a stroller out among a herd of cows.

It's all very adorable. Balmes hasn't included any illnesses or crying jags or tantrums for the children. There is a whole lot of breast feeding, however. And there are only two instances of everyday bodily functions, one of them played for laughs.

It has been edited together into a brisk film that runs less than 80 minutes. But much of "Babies" looks like the kind of stuff that proud parents put on You Tube or submit to "America's Funniest Home Videos." There's nothing earthshaking or especially surprising about "Babies." But it is a well made and very enjoyable film and it serves as an example of how precious and loved babies are.

**** Babies

Rated: PG, contains cultural and maternal nudity.

Running time: 1:19.

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"Iron Man 2" Kicks Off Summer Movie Season - KNX1070

Posted: 07 May 2010 04:07 PM PDT

(AP)  By Christy Lemire, AP Movie Critic

Lots of things get blown up and torn apart in "Iron Man 2," as you would expect from any self-respecting blockbuster kicking off the summer movie season. The magnitude of destruction far exceeds that of its predecessor, from rows of cars to armies of drones to Tony Stark's cliff-top Shangri-La, and includes repeated instances of characters walking away from a massive fireball without looking back. 'Cause looking back is for wimps.

But that's not all that gets obliterated here. The substance of the original "Iron Man," the brain and the soul that set it apart from the typical seasonal fare and made it one of the best films of 2008, also have been blown to bits.

Tony Stark had purpose back then, and despite the outlandish fantasy of his Marvel Comics-inspired story, as a person he had a believable arc. Crafting the high-tech suit and transforming himself into a superhero gave this selfish industrialist and self-destructive playboy a sense of drive, a reason for being beyond just his whims and indulgences.

Here, he's purely arrogant once more, with some glimmers of mortality and daddy issues. And Robert Downey Jr., so irresistibly verbal and quick on his feet in the first film (and in pretty much every film he's ever made), seems to be on autopilot. Sure, he's got a way with a one-liner, and his comic timing is indisputable, but he's done this song-and-dance routine before and seems rather bored with it.

Then again the character -- and the sequel itself -- are less defined this time. Narratively, "Iron Man 2" is a mess. Director Jon Favreau, working from a script by Justin Theroux, throws in too many subplots, too many characters -- and what a waste of that cast, actors who can really act like Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle and Samuel L. Jackson in an eye patch as Nick Fury, offering a bit of foreshadowing to "The Avengers" film. (For more Marvel movie geekery, stick around until the end of the credits.)

As we recall from the last line of the first film, the whole world knows that Stark is indeed Iron Man. Now the government (led by Garry Shandling as a sniveling senator) wants him to turn over the suit for the military's benefit, and his best friend, Lt. Col. James "Rhodey" Rhodes (Cheadle in place of Terrence Howard) can only do so much to protect him.

Meantime, there's a new foe in the form of Russian bad guy Ivan Vanko (Rourke, buried beneath tattoos and a Boris-and-Natasha accent), who's built a suit of his own in his dank Siberian abode, complete with electrified tentacles; sadly, he and fellow acting heavyweight Downey spend most of their screen time apart. In no time, Stark's rival, Justin Hammer (Rockwell, turning on the smarm) snaps up Vanko and asks him to build an army of Iron Men for himself.

Then there's the battle Stark is waging internally, as he reflects on his own weakening body and the memories of a scientist father (John Slattery, glimpsed in old movies) who didn't love him enough. And speaking of love, "Iron Man 2" also tries to find time for the blossoming relationship between Stark and his right-hand woman, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), while dangling the possibility of a dalliance with a mysterious new assistant (Scarlett Johansson).

So yeah, there's a lot going on here. The enemy -- the focal point of the whole movie, for that matter -- remains murky, making you realize about halfway through that it's unclear exactly what "Iron Man 2" is supposed to be about.

Favreau seemed to handle all the expensive toys effortlessly the first time, an exciting discovery given his previous work on smaller films like "Made" and "Elf." The strain shows now in a lack of momentum and a reliance on generically bombastic action sequences. (The final showdown looks like several blips of light, chasing each other around the skies above New York's Flushing Meadows.)

The cinematography from Matthew Libatique is, once again, an engaging mix of bright, crisp exteriors (especially in IMAX, the way "Iron Man 2" was shown to Los Angeles critics) and tangibly gritty intimate moments. But the big, shiny action sequences -- the reason audiences get giddy for movies like "Iron Man 2," ostensibly -- too often look cartoony. That's especially true of the initial showdown between Stark and Vanko at the Grand Prix of Monaco, with its cars tumbling end-over-end before -- you guessed it -- bursting into flames, just as it seems the "Iron Man" franchise itself is doing.

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