Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Rango) has teamed up once again with cinematographer Bojan Bazelli (Rock of Ages, Pete’s Dragon) for a new thriller titled A Cure for Wellness. The story follows a young business executive who is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a mysterious wellness center isolated in the Swiss Alps and comes to suspect that the center, although renowned for its miraculous (if not unconventional) treatments, is not all it’s made out to be. Leading the cast are actors Dane DeHaan (Lawless, Kill Your Darlings), Jason Issacs (The Patriot, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Mia Goth (Nymphomaniac: Volume II, Everest), Ivo Nandi (Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire), Adrian Schiller (Bright Star, The Danish Girl), Celia Imrie (Nanny McPhee, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), and Harry Groener (Patch Adams, Road to Perdition). Continue reading →
This week, a 2010 mystery-drama from the Weinstein Company will finally see a limited American release after having spent five years waiting on the studio shelves. Director Mikael Hafstrom (1408, The Rite) and producer Harvey Weinstein were set to begin principle photography on the film Shanghai in 2008 when the Chinese government suddenly pulled their permits, forcing the production to relocate to Thailand and England to complete filming. The film is a period piece, set in Japanese-occupied Shanghai in the 1940s just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor occurs, and follows an American who returns to probe the mysterious death of his friend. As the mystery begins to unfold, however, and as he falls into a personal romantic relationship, the truth behind his friend’s death begins to reveal a much larger conspiracy at work. Starring in the lead role is actor John Cusack (2012, Hot Tub Time Machine), who has worked with director Hafstrom on the suspense-thriller 1408 in 2007. Also in the supporting cast are actors Li Gong (Miami Vice, Hannibal Rising), Yun-Fat Chow (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Curse of the Golden Flower), and David Morse (The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker). We’re not entirely sure why Weinstein decided to hold the US release back for so long, but this isn’t the first film the company has withheld from the public for a number of years before releasing it. Whatever the case, the Weinstein Company is usually pretty good about investing in worthwhile features, and the trailer reads more like an action-thriller than a romantic drama. Either way it should be a great watch. Enjoy!
The chances of somebody never having seen Christopher Lee in a movie may be virtually impossible. The 93 year-old-actor, who died Sunday in London, was a veteran of the big screen, whose life achievements can easily be seen in his long repertoire of films. Lee covered all of the basics during his career. He appeared in classic stories like Dracula (1970) and The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), and he would carry his villainous streak over to such roles as James Bond‘s nemesis in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) to Count Dooku in George Lucas’s latest Star Wars trilogy, to the dark-wizard Saruman in director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings series. Some music fans may even recognize him on the cover of Paul McCartney’s most popular post-Beatles ablum Band on the Run alongside McCartney and Wings and actors James Coburn (The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven), and Kenny Lynch, among others. In later years Lee would also collaborate regularly with director Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns) on such films as Sleepy Hollow and Alice in Wonderland, and he was knighted in his home country of England in 2009. He leaves behind his wife of 50 years Birgit Kroencke and their daughter Christina. May he rest in peace.
If you are a fan of the original Halloween series from writer/director John Carpenter, this should be some exciting news. The entire series, beginning with the original in 1978 that featured Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, and ending with the most recent reboot sequel from director Rob Zombie, will be available as part of a Blu-Ray box set this September. The set features all of the films in a re-mastered format and is composite of 15 discs that include bonus materials with never-before-seen interviews and documentary footage, as well as the infamous Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Curse was the sixth film in the series and the last to star veteran actor Donald Pleasence in the role of Dr. Sam Loomis. Although Pleasence completed the film, many of his scenes ended up being replaced by last-minute re-shoots in the editing room, and much to the disappointment from the cast and crew, director Joe Chappelle’s final product was almost completely different from the original script that Pleasence agreed to make. The alternate (original) version of the film was never released to the public and has only been available over the years via online bootlegs and poor quality video streaming, even though many fans who have come across it consider it to be the superior version to its theatrical counterpart. But now, despite the near 20-year wait that fans have endured, the Producer’s Cut will finally be available in proper format. So fans, rejoice! You can expect to find the box set in stores September 23rd.
Even though Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides failed to deliver a genuinely interesting story compared with its predecessors, it still made Disney enough money to move forward with a fifth installment in the series that started back in 2003 with Curse of the Black Pearl. This means that audiences will get to see Johnny Depp reprise his iconic role at least one more time, while giving the writers the chance to send Captain Sparrow out on a solid note. The film has now been given an official release date of July 7, 2017, the same date that also saw the release of Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man’s Chest in 2003 and 2006, respectively. Disney was originally anticipating an additional two films to follow each other after Tides was released (just like Dead Man’s Chest set up the plot for At World’s End) but thus far only the fifth installment is in pre-production and an official title is still to be determined. On Stranger Tides directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg will both return to direct the new project. Stay tuned!
Jerry Bruckheimer has famously spent the last decade working for Walt Disney Pictures. His breakthrough film with Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was an instant classic when it was released in 2003, and brought Johnny Depp into a brand new era in his career after appearing in films like Blow and From Hell (both released in 2001), Chocolat (2000) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Depp had yet to break into the family-friendly movie genre, but all that changed when he agreed to play pirate for director Gore Verbinski on Bruckheimer’s new project. Since then both Depp and Bruckheimer have experienced great success at Disney, but all that changed when they decided to push their limits and make a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, and then thought it would be a good idea to take Depp’s pirate character and dress him up as Tonto for a remake of The Lone Ranger, which completely bombed at the box office this summer. Since the failure that was The Lone Ranger, Depp has agreed to make a fifth Pirates movie, but Bruckheimer’s employment with the production company has taken a turn for the worse, and the producer will no longer be taking on any future projects with Walt Disney Pictures.
This is not necessarily bad news for the producer, however, as Paramount Pictures has decided to draft a new contract with their old production partner, beginning with sequels to some of Bruckheimer’s most early successes: Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). As of now, Eddie Murphy will be brought back to his original character in what may be a reboot of the series and which will be directed by Brett Ratner, but there are no official reports concerning the plot line. Top Gun is also on its way to a sequel with Tom Cruise, but a director for this film is yet to be determined, especially since original director Tony Scott committed suicide last year. While this is good news for Bruckheimer, fans of these Hollywood gems may be less enthused about further installments, especially with a thirty year gap for both and one of which already has several sequels. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised to hear this. Bruckheimer could try surprising us with some fresh material instead of following the rest of Hollywood in their movie revival scheme, but if his main focus is keeping his job he may have to stay on the bandwagon for now. We’ll keep you posted.
Walt Disney Pictures made Johnny Depp one of the most famous actors in the world when Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl first hit theaters in 2003. Ten years later, after three sequels, the last of which was regretfully lacking in originality and excitement, Depp is once again stepping into the boots of Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth Pirates installment. With the production going smoothly, many were surprised to hear that the studio has decided to move the release date for the sequel back to 2016, instead of the originally slated July 2015 release. According to production president Sean Bailey, the studio is simply taking the time to ensure a well written script that can fulfill the expectations of audiences around the globe and hopefully bring some redemption to the franchise. While Disney is pushing Pirates back an entire year, Twentieth Century Fox is also moving the next Star Wars sequel back for a holiday release date instead of summer 2015. Star Wars movies have a history of being released in May, beginning with the original and all the way up to the most recent, but maybe this will be good for Star Wars. A lot of successful movies are released during the holiday season, most recently Les Miserables andThe Hobbit, so it could end up paying off for the studio in the end. We’ll have to wait and see.