Writer/director Wes Anderson has a close relationship with the wonderful folks at the Criterion Collection, and now one of his films that previously got the Criterion DVD treatment has finally gotten the Blu-ray upgrade. When The Royal Tenenbaums opened in 2001, it marked Anderson’s first major film as a “known” director. He burst onto the scene with 1996’s Bottle Rocket, but it was Rushmore that really launched his career. As such, The Royal Tenenbaums came with some pretty lofty expectations. Anderson honed the script with his partner Owen Wilson and went about assembling a truly remarkable ensemble cast. The results are kind of a mixed bag of humor, drama, and wit, but the film works more often than it doesn’t.
Hit the jump for my review of The Royal Tenenbaums Criterion Blu-ray.
When Clint Eastwood made Unforgiven in 1992, he was in a transitional period of his career. Though he was still making pop junk like Pink Cadillac and The Rookie, he had also directed Bird – which started his career as an art-house/Oscar friendly director (though that film was mostly ignored). Eastwood was getting old, and there was sense that he had to stop playing these sorts of role. Unforgiven was his great Western standoff, and he assembled a great cast that included Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, and Richard Harris in a career-defining work. Our review of the Blu-ray of Unforgiven follows after the jump.
Alexander Payne’s first film in seven years, The Descendants, has been gathering some very high praise from the film festival as it heads towards its November release date, but the writer-director has run into a bit of trouble on his next project. We reported back in January that Payne had chosen to make the drama Nebraska his next film. The pic centers on an aging alcoholic father who decides to take a road trip from Montana to Nebraska to collect what he believes to be a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House prize. His estranged son decides to accompany his father in order to keep him out of trouble.
Payne was planning on beginning production in April, but Paramount had some issues. Primary among them was Payne’s insistence that the film be shot in black and white. Hit the jump to see where things stand now, including what actors are being considered to play the lead and my choice of who should land the role.
Last we checked, Mickey Rourke, Javier Bardem, and Jason Statham were circling Potsdamer Platz, the new film from Tony Scott. No word on Statham, but French publication Le Parirsien [via The Playlist] reports that Rourke and Bardem have signed on, accompanied by Christopher Walken and French singer/actor Johnny Hallyday. The drama centers around “two soldiers in a New Jersey-based crime family who try to expand internationally.” Don’t get too attached to the German title, as the setting is being shifted from Europe to Puerto Rico, which should inspire a name change.
Scott reportedly pursued Al Pacino and a retired Gene Hackman for roles; as with Statham, it is unclear whether their services are still desired, but it seems likely that one of the roles went to a similarly-aged Walken. Subsequent to the January shoot of Platz, Rourke and Scott may reunite for the biker biopic Hell’s Angels.