Fifteen minutes after Josh Brolin met 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld for the first time, he was pinning her down with a blade to her throat.
No, this was not another shocking case of When Celebrities Attack. Brolin and Steinfeld were on the set of Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit remake, opening today, and their introduction preceded the rehearsal of one of the movie’s tensest scenes.
You might need subtitles to understand what Jeff Bridges is growling at you in True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel.
Here, reprising John Wayne’s 1969 role as irascible U.S. marshal “Rooster” Cogburn, Bridges doesn’t try to fill The Duke’s boots so much as he gives them a new shine, his ornery, whiskey-voiced grumblings a far cry from Wayne’s unmistakable drawl. A character actor rather than a Hollywood monument, Bridges so thoroughly cloaks himself in Cogburn’s darkness that he threatens to disappear altogether.
Woody Allen Struggles with the Agony of Creation and the Perils of Wish Fulfillment with 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'
Perhaps old dogs can’t be taught new tricks, but many veteran directors are learning to adapt in a Hollywood where sequels, remakes and treatments of popular comics are very much in season.
This fall, Stephen Frears, 69, will unveil his first take on a graphic novel, the romantic comedy Tamara Drewe, before tentatively laying the groundwork for a remake of his 1984 thriller The Hit. Oliver Stone, 64, has returned to Wall Street. And, at 67, Martin Scorsese is busy directing his first 3-D fantasy – next winter’s Hugo Cabret – and planning a Taxi Driver sequel.
Perhaps the greatest validation of Wall Street, Oliver Stone’s eloquent 1987 take on big-business corruption, was the eventual exposure of white-collar con men like Kenneth Lay and Bernie Madoff, whose unchecked greed would, years later, cost those who trusted them – and America – dearly.
Stone could at this point have let the facts speak for themselves, but instead chose to resurrect Gordon Gekko, the reptilian corporate raider, made famous by Michael Douglas, whose credo – “greed is good” – became the unofficial mantra of the Me Generation.
The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.
Jonah Hex, who first appeared in the pages of DC Comics in 1971, may not boast the same marquee value as DC colleagues Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But, after several cancellations and subsequent resurrections, the half-dead bounty hunter has found new life on the big screen, as the titular antihero of director Jimmy Hayward’s latest adventure.
Although Hex’s failure to earn a huge following in print must have tempered expectations for the movie’s box-office potential, it afforded Hayward and star Josh Brolin some creative latitude in their depiction of a hard-drinking former Confederate soldier determined to avenge the murder of his wife and child.
Despite the adulation of her fans and the editors of heavy-breathing men’s magazines like Maxim who routinely rank her among the world’s most gorgeous starlets, Megan Fox doesn’t want to get by on looks alone. What she really wants is longevity.
“I was thrown into a movie that made $800 million,” she says, referring to Michael Bay’s Transformers. “That’s responsible for whatever level of success I’ve come to enjoy. It’s nice if people think I’m pretty, but the scary part about it is that I might not be given a chance to be much more than that."
The story of Harvey Milk, who rose to prominence in San Francisco first as an outspoken community activist and later as a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, has long tantalized directors eager to capture his odyssey on the big screen.