By now, it doesn’t take a well-honed Spidey sense to recall that, almost exactly a year ago, Tobey Maguire (35), Kirsten Dunst (28) and director Sam Raimi (age unimportant) parted ways with Sony Pictures and Marvel over the studio's decision to send superhero alter ego Peter Parker back to high school, essentially changing horses midstream and rebooting a billion-dollar franchise still seemingly at the peak of its powers.
The second Oakland Underground Film Festival kicks off tonight at the historic Grand Lake Theater with South by Southwest Film Festival favorite Thunder Soul, about the charismatic band leader who turned an inner-city Houston high school's jazz band into a powerful funk outfit, and American Grindhouse, a revealing documentary about cheerfully trashy exploitation cinema. Elsewhere:
Heavy with gloom and so pervasively violent that a single misstep might have reduced it to macabre comedy, Red Riding: 1974 has the feeling of a nightmare. This is no accident.
Director Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) favors his lighting dim and his skies oppressively bleak, mitigated only by illuminating flashes so brilliant as to be blinding. If they seem to suggest a break from the grim reality of Tony Grisoni’s story, about a journalist investigating a series of child murders in Yorkshire, the illusion is fleeting. At no time is 1974, the first episode of the Red Riding trilogy released last year for BBC television, anything close to cheery
You’ve got to admire Terry Gilliam even when his madcap experiments shatter the test tubes. The former Python is the ultimate independent filmmaker. He has worked within the studio system before, often frustrating the moneymen, but you get the feeling he’d rather burn the negatives than conform to their whims. He is not, as they say, a company man.
Despite early speculation that Michael Cera or Shia LaBoeuf might be tagged to play Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in the upcoming David Fincher movie The Social Network, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin recently disclosed that Jesse Eisenberg, the 26-year-old star of Zombieland, has landed the role. His co-stars will include Justin Timberlake, who will play Napster co-founder Sean Parker, and Andrew Garfield (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) as fellow Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin.