Let’s see what’s happening in this Thanksgiving week, shall we?
IN THIS WEEK’S ” Perfecftly normal movie for giving thanks” story, Filmmaker Nicolas Pesce burst onto the scene in a big way at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival with his debut feature, the startlingly reassured The Eyes Of My Mother, a twisted horror movie rooted in a kind of disturbed empathy about a woman who consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her quiet country life. Pesce’s encore movie Piercing, marks another visceral chapter in his fascinating filmmaking career.
And it’s also rooted in a very f*cked up psychology. It’s about a man (Christopher Abbott from Girls, but who has gone to carve out a great indie career) who kisses his wife and baby goodbye and seemingly heads away on business, with a plan to check into a hotel, call an escort service, and kill an unsuspecting prostitute. But said prostitute (Mia Wasikowska) has other plans for him.
The Official synopsis:
“Reed (Christopher Abbott) is going on a business trip. He kisses his wife and infant son goodbye, but in lieu of a suitcase filled with clothes, he’s packed a toothbrush and a murder kit. Everything is meticulously planned: check into a hotel and kill an unsuspecting victim. Only then will he rid himself of his devious impulses and continue to be a good husband and father. But Reed gets more than he bargained for with Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), an alluring call girl who arrives at his room. First, they relax and get in the mood, but when there’s an unexpected disruption, the balance of control begins to sway back and forth between the two. Is he seeing things? Who’s playing whom? Before the night is over, a feverish nightmare will unfold, and Reed and Jackie will seal their bond in blood.”
Ok, sounds like something I’d like to see.
IN THIS WEEK’S “His optimism is cute” story, Ezra Miller thinks the Flash movie is still going to happen.
Speaking to Playboy, promoting his most recent film in another major franchise Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Miller opened up about his superhero escapades and why the Flash solo film is going to be great and why you shouldn’t believe all those crazy DCEU casting rumors.
“When there are these leaks of information—or however people get stuff—it’s pretty unreliable,” Miller said, when asked about the status of Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in the DC film universe. The actor is, of course, commenting on all the reports and speculation that has stolen headlines in the last year, saying that Affleck would be retiring the cowl and Cavill would be returning his blue and red costume after disappointing critical and box office results with Justice League and what is perceived as a change of course in the Warner Bros./DC camp.
When asked about his own film, the long-in-development Flash film, Miller can’t confirm anything (even falling short of confirming the film will be made), but he’s super excited either way.
“Nothing is ever certain in this world, but as certain as things get, we’re making a fucking crazy-dope Flash movie,” he said. “It’s one of my great life dreams, and just the fact that we’re on the way—anyone who knows about Barry Allen knows he may arrive late, very late, but once he gets there, it’s all solved. We have to trust.”
Ok, Ezra. Here’s to hoping.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Post Mad Max” story, Three Thousand Years of Longing, the upcoming feature from Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller, is slowly spreading worldwide.
Glen Basner’s FilmNation, which introduced the project — starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton — to buyers at the American Film Market earlier this month, has closed pre-sales in much of Europe and Asia for the feature.
Alongside previously announced deals in France (Metropolitan) and Italy (Eagle), FilmNation signed agreements for the film in Spain (DeA Planeta/Tri Pictures), Poland (Monolith), Scandinavia (Nordisk) and Switzerland (Ascot Elite), among others. The epic love story will be going out in Latin America via IDC, in India through PVR Pictures, in Japan via Kino Films and in Hong Kong through Golden Scene.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Is VR the ‘thing’ of the future?” story, STXsurreal, the VR studio for Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment, announced on Tuesday the launch of The Limit, a new VR film from director Robert Rodriguez.
Michelle Rodriguez, Norman Reedus “and YOU” star in the immersive new story from Rodriguez, a 20-minute action movie captured in a new VR format that stretches wider than 180 degrees. It’s designed to bridge the gap between traditional, large-format filmmaking and newer 360-degree video.
“The launch of The Limit is a watershed moment in VR, and gives fans of premium scripted entertainment a compelling reason put their headsets back on,” Andy Vick and Rick Rey, co-presidents of Virtual Reality & Immersive Entertainment at STXsurreal, said in a statement. “In keeping with STX’s talent-driven model, we enlisted Robert, Michelle and Norman, who collectively have millions of passionate fans across the globe, to break new ground and bring this category-busting cinematic VR film to life.”
In The Limit, you, the viewer, play a rogue agent with a mysterious past who enlists the help of enhanced super-assassin M-13 (Michelle Rodriguez) to retrieve your identity and strike against the deadly organization that created you.
Robert Rodriguez will participate in a fireside chat on the Oculus Venues live event platform on Friday, Nov. 23 to discuss The Limit and show clips from the VR film. Audiences can tune-in on Oculus Go and Gear VR. You can also purchase and download The Limit as an app now on major VR Platforms, including Oculus, Steam, Samsung VR, Viveport, Google Daydream, Google Play and Apple iOS.
Ok, this is an interesting idea. I’d be curious to see this.
IN THIS WEEK’S “A return to Northern Exposure?” story, A long-talked-about revival of CBS’ cult fave drama series Northern Exposure is moving forward. The project has been put in development at CBS with original series star Rob Morrow set to reprise his role and executive produce. It hails from original series co-creators Josh Brand and John Falsey, actor John Corbett, Morrow, Ben Silverman and Universal TV.
Written by Brand, the revival centers on Dr. Joel Fleischman, played by Morrow, who returns to Cicely, Alaska, for the funeral of an old friend and finds a new set of quirky characters and reunites with old ones in this continuation of the classic series.
Brand executive produces with Falsey, Morrow and Silverman. Corbett produces. Universal TV is the studio.
The quirky comedic drama series ran on CBS from 1990 to 1995. During its 110-episode run it received a total of 57 award nominations, winning 27, including the 1992 Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, two additional Primetime Emmy Awards, four Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globes.
I liked Northern Exposure in its’ original run. I’d have to wonder if there is enough fan base to bring it back successfully, though. Sort of like a Firefly situation. Even if fans clamor for more, will they be attentive enough to make it worth while? I don’t know about that.
IN THIS WEEK’S “That cumbersome” story, Margot Robbie has debuted the full title to Birds of Prey, her upcoming superheroine girl gang movie from Warner Bros. and DC.
The actress/producer made shared it on her Instagram on Tuesday. The full title is: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn).
Ok…that’s a bit wordy.
Robbie, reprising her Suicide Squad role, will also produce Birds of Prey. The film is centered around a revolving group of female heroes and villains, individuals with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.
Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) will be released on Feb. 7, 2020 via Warner Bros.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, right, that’s happening” story, Vin Diesel’s character Xander Cage is coming back, once again.
There is now confirmation that xXx 4 is indeed in the works, directed by the previous film’s helmer DJ Caruso, and we know who’s going to star opposite Diesel in the film.
The H Collective, the financiers behind the forthcoming sequel, have announced that Asian superstar Jay Chou will star opposite Diesel in the film. Chou isn’t a huge star in the US, but he has appeared in the films “The Green Hornet” and “Now You See Me 2.” However, overseas, he’s known as an actor, director, and musical superstar.
Released in January 2017, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” grossed only $45 million in the US. However, internationally, the film earned more than $301 million, with $168 million coming from China alone. Much like Pacific Rim: Uprising, the upcoming xXx 4 is hoping to be more of an international play than a US hit.
I’m fairly confident that won’t be hard to accomplish.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Is this someone you really want to stalk?” story, Allison Mack — who played Chloe Sullivan on Smallville and got arrested for sex trafficking — doesn’t feel safe from a guy she claims is haunting her while she’s under house arrest.
A judge has just granted Allison a restraining order against 53-year-old Thomas Sekera. She claims he’s practically been camping outside her parents’ L.A.-area home, where she’s been restricted since April.
In docs, obtained by TMZ, Mack says Sekera harassed her several times this month, including one time when he knocked on the door and claimed he was sent to help with her legal defense. She says Sekera has also peeked into all of the ground-floor windows and even waited outside the house for 6 hours.
Sekera’s now been ordered to stay away from Mack and her parents’ house.
As TMZ reported … Mack was indicted on sex trafficking charges for her alleged role in the NXIVM sex cult. She’s pled not guilty.
And IN THIS WEEK’S “Craziest ideas” story, Rocky III was pretty iconic by the 1980’s movie standards, but it could have been crazy.
Rocky III saw Sylvester Stallone‘s persistent pugilist stepping into the ring to battle Mr. T, but according to Stallone, there was an even crazier idea for the film at first. In an old interview, Stallone revealed his original Rocky III idea had a half-blind Rocky Balboa duking it out in Roman Coliseum, with the Pope himself in the audience.
It’s hard to believe now, with Creed II about to punch its way into theaters, but at one point, Sylvester Stallone wanted Rocky III to be the final adventure of Rocky Balboa. In Rocky III as it exists now, Rocky Balboa has become lazy due to his successes. He’s put to the test when he has to go up against opponent Clubber Lang (Mr. T). To make matters worse, his trainer Mickey (Burgess Meredith) dies. Rocky turns to his former former adversary, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), to help get prepare for his big fight. That’s a fairly straightforward premise, but according to Stallone, an alternate Rocky III idea was much, much different.
ScreenCrush highlighted an old Roger Ebert interview with Stallone (from 1979), in which the actor, screenwriter and sometimes director of the Rocky franchise revealed his original Rocky III idea. “I’ll tell you what’s gonna happen,” Stallone said at the time. “Apollo retires. Mickey, Rocky’s manager, has a stroke. Rocky wants to retire, but there’s this street-tough challenger and Rocky decides on one more fight, even though he’s half blind, and this’ll be his last fight one way or the other. He goes to Apollo Creed and asks him to be his trainer. And Apollo teaches him to fight the way he does.” So far, this is close to what happens in the final film – minus the half-blind part. What comes next, though, is much different.
According to Stallone, he wanted to have Rocky’s final fight take place in the Roman Coliseum, and to have Rocky meet the Pope at one point:
“His last bout will be in the Roman Coliseum, carried worldwide by satellite,” Stallone said, and his voice picked up enthusiasm. “Can you see it? Rocky in the Coliseum? The last gladiator? And, for training, running up the Spanish Steps? And, Rocky’s deeply religious; can you imagine him inside St. Peter’s? I’m seriously gonna try to work in an audience with the Pope into the film. I dunno. Maybe with this Pope, he’ll go for it. If he don’t, we get another Pope.”
Stallone also goes on to add, “[T]here’ll never be a Rocky IV. You gotta call a halt.” Of course, we all know how that turned out.
I’d have to say I’m glad it worked out the way it did, even though the sequel train kept rolling, and now Stallone is, like, one of the greatest perpetrators of sequels.
~ So, that’s it for this holiday week. Everyone enjoy their big meal based on a celebration of a terrible lie perpetrated on the American people.