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Entries in Chang-wook Park (8)


Stretch Linkstrong 

Film School Rejects it's all about talking animals who sound just like celebrities this year
Towleroad ABC rejects a TV ad for Carol because (GASP) naked lesbian shoulders
John August shares depressing box office stats on why we get so many sequels
Guardian picks 5 best moment of Jane Fonda in the movies - bizarre choices beyond her Oscar winning roles
Guardian investigation of why movie posters are so terrible in comparison to their aged counterparts
The Wrap TV adaptation of American Gods (a must read from Neil Gaiman) has cast Ricky Whittle (the 100) in the leading role
MNPP ...goes all out with an endless gratuitous post celebrating Whittle
Awards Daily Awesome crusading Senator Elizabeth Warren loves The Big Short

New Projects
Tracking Board Chan-wook Park to direct the adapation of sci-fi novel Genocidal Organ about homemade nuclear devices
Coming Soon Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) are reteaming for a film about the 1967 Detroit Riots. Shooting to start this summer
Variety Ruh-roh Jennifer Aniston is doing a true life sports drama called The Fixer -- she's got her eyes on The Blind Side's surprise prize if you know what I mean
Coming Soon (sigh) Dear Toni Collette's Agent, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I know we ask this all the time but you have not answered. (Toni is now signed to do a bureaucrat role in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage because Hollywood weirdly believes we want every Vin Diesel franchise revived)
/Film Stretch Armstrong series (yes, the boys doll with stretchy arms) is going to Netflix. For kids.
Variety Meg Ryann behind the camera. Her first film Ithaca did not yet find distribution which is weird (all star cast) but she's signed to direct a second, a romantic comedy even, called The Book 

 Theatre People
Playbill Zachary Quinto, about to reprise his Spock role on the big screen, on why he prefers theater to film or television 
Playbill Dominic Cooper returning to the stage for a new production of The Libertine about the hedonistic Earl of Rochester in 1670s London. Did any of you ever see that Johnny Depp film version of the play?

Today's Watch
A well timed brief history of white actors playing ethnic roles from Screen Crush. (Minor Quibble: Technically some consider Russian born Yul Brynner as Asian -- he claimed Mongolian heritage but others denied it was true)

Awards Update
Everyone's making their final moves -- Oscar ballots out on Feb 12th. Jennifer Jason Leigh is getting a tribute at the American Cinematheque. They'll be screening Hateful Eight, Georgia (the closest she ever came to a nom' previously), her divisive Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle (she's excellent), Single White Female and breakout hit Fast Times at Ridgmont High.

Finally, the ACE Eddie Awards were handed out last night. The winners:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Drama)
  • The Big Short (Comedy)
  • Inside Out (Animated)
  • Amy (Documentary).



Review: Oldboy (2013)

Greetings, Dear Readers. Michael C. here. Since Nathaniel is on record as being emphatically NOT a fan of Chan-wook Park's original Cannes prize winner, I thought it fitting I, an enthusiastic Oldboy lover, would step in to review Spike Lee's hotly anticipated English language remake.

One of the smallest changes to Spike Lee’s American remake of Oldboy is the most revealing. A subplot involving hypnosis has been excised from the film. No doubt the filmmakers decided mass audiences wouldn’t accept such an outlandish plot device, but therein lies the fatal error. An Oldboy that comes anywhere near plausible reality is no Oldboy at all. 

Park Chan-wook’s original version pulsed with bonkers confidence, dancing on the edges of sanity, and, when need be, careening right over the cliff. In dragging the remake closer to the director’s realism comfort zone, this version has drained the story of the operatic pitch it requires.

Click to read more ...


Review: "Stoker" Disturbs. But To What End?

A slightly abridged version of this review was previously published in my weekly column @ Towleroad

Thirst > Stoker

A few years ago Park Chan-wook, the acclaimed genre fabulist from South Korea, made an award winning vampire film called Thirst. With the exception of the Swedish instant classic Let The Right One In, it's the best vampire film of the past 20 years. Second best might not seem like high praise but consider the volume of competition!  

In Thirst, a priest and reluctant vampire, infects a young girl with his addiction and she flips from moody troubled teen to lusty adult trouble-maker. Is she his impressionable victim or his soulmate apprentice? Or is she much harder to pin down? Having raved about Thirst when it was released (including a Best Actress nomination for Kim Ok-bin right here) and being a shameless Kidmaniac I walked into Stoker with high expectations. Despite the title's nod to Bram Stoker, I was not expecting an English language pseudo-remake of his earlier vampire feature. There are no literal vampires this time but the central power play relationship and overall bloodlust are like eerily similar echoes. Even the supernatural powers remain: India (Mia Wasikowska) even begins the film boasting of her preternatural hearing in voiceover while she hunts a defenseless animal in the tall grass. It's like a Terrence Malick sequence with brutality in place of spirituality. India's hearing is so acute she even catches spidery footsteps (So do we since Stoker shares with Thirst masterfully creepy and super detailed sound design.)  

A Stoker family dinner. Bloody steak.

"Don't disturb the family" is a stupid fun tagline for Stoker's ad campaign and poster since the warning is pointless. This family was disturbed long before you bought a ticket. [more...]

Click to read more ...


Clips w/out Context: Nicole Kidman in "Stoker"

So many people have sent me that first official clip from Stoker over the past week, a monologue from Queen Kidman, that I figure it's a sign from the cosmos that I've been neglecting my genuflections. (I had had another big Nicole (!) piece planned last week and then they went and snubbed her/spoiled it. And then there was The Hours anniversary and I thought maybe I had Kidmandeered the blog too much. Apparently not!)

Lights on. Camera. Actress!

Almost every time someone has sent or linked to the clip they've done so with a variation of "OMG!!!" or "all the Oscars for Nicole!" in their text and a quick check of online reactions fall roughly along those lines too. My reaction was more like "..." with a side of "♥"

...which I shall explain alongside the clip and Stoker @ Sundance madness after the jump.

Click to read more ...


Thoughts I had while watching that "STOKER" tease

As you may now Park Chang-wook of Thirst fame has trained his keen cruel eye on something a little less supernatural and subtitled for his next film Stoker. We got the first taste of it on Entertainment Tonight days ago but... you know... (how long do you think I can milk this "but I have pneumonia!!!" excuse?). So herewith some unedited thoughts I had while watching it...

Personally speaking I can't wait to see life tear you apart."

• Love La Kidman lashing out. These opening eye daggers reminded me more than a little of The Golden Compass and I mean that as a compliment. That book trilogy was beyond and Nicole Kidman really got that character (Mrs Coulter) so it's such a pity that the movie didn't really get the book and the ending didn't even get the ending and no other movies will be gotten to get it all retroactively like! I have pneumonia.

• I'm tickled that this isn't a biopic on Bram Stoker! 

video and more thoughts after the jump...

Click to read more ...



Comic Convos an animated summary of Michael Fassbender's role in Prometheus. Hee
Trespass Our friend Glenn reviews The Dark Knight Rises 
Slate's Tanner Colby gives HBO a free drama series pitch, a bridge between the America of Mad Men and the America of The Wire if you will... 
Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film 
Cinema Blend 5 Batman villains they wish Chris Nolan had used in his trilogy. But, you know, you can only use so many and Batman does have the best rogues gallery. the latest hiccup for The Wolverine. Jessica Biel is not on board after all. So much pre-production trouble with this movie.  Now the role may go to Tinker Tailor's Svetlana Khodchenkova

Today's Video Must See
Here is Annette Bening and Warren Beatty's eldest child Stephen who was born Kathlyn.

He doesn't speak about his parents at all in this video but the internet is saying that this is Stephen Ira Beatty so I believe (everything on the Internet is true, right?). Stephen makes a joke about staring at us uncomfortably to end the video but the only thing uncomfortable about this charming motor mouthed super smart kid staring at me is a) how hideous the walls in this room are and b) freaking out over how much he EXACTLY looks like a cross between his parents. Especially when he smiles. Well, more Beatty than Bening but still...  Right?

Finally, you should know that Park Chan-Wook's first English language film Stoker, featuring a dreamy triangular cast of Mia Wasikowska as a lonely girl, Matthew Goode as her shady Uncle and Nicole Kidman as her unstable mother is no longer the 2012 release we were hoping for. It will open on March 1st, 2013 in limited release. Don't be sad. We still have more Nicole Kidman coming in 2012 with The Paperboy. Next year: Stoker and Oscar Bait The Railway Man.


Stoke Yourself For Stoker

JA from MNPP here, curious if y’all have been following the delightful casting news that’s been coming out bit by bit day after day for Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s first English-language film Stoker. I mean just the fact that PCW is making an English-language movie’s exciting enough – not that I have trouble with subtitles, I'm fervently infatuated with every movie he's made, but it means one of my favorite directors is getting to round up some of my favorite Hollywood actors, which he’s doing in spades.

First, some background: Stoker’s script was written (under a pseudonym) by Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller, and is described as “a dramatic thriller about a young woman whose eccentric uncle comes back into her life after the death of her father.”

Attached to the script way back when it was first being talked about were Carey Mulligan and Jodie Foster, which already got us thinking something really good is going on with the script or Park's exciting enough all on his own to snatch up such solid names... hopefully both! Unfortunately scheduling got drawn out and Carey took off to star opposite Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s upcoming film Shame (can’t blame her for wanting to go hang with Fassy for awhile) and Jodie went to work with Roman Polanski on Carnage (also can’t blame that). But Park & Co. managed no downgrade in their replacing – Mia Wasikowska and Nicole Kidman (making up for this) stepped right in. Now them's a two-fer.

The role of the “eccentric uncle” was rumored for awhile to be recent Oscar picker-upper Colin Firth, but somebody apparently decided to age the character down a whole bunch and the role went to the 50 year old Firth’s 33 year old Single Man boyfriend Matthew Goode instead. Even though he might not pack the immediate wallop that Firth does, Goode’s shown a lot of promise in the past – he was mesmerizing in The Lookout.

We don’t have word yet when filming begins, but we're thinking it must be soon since three more names have hopped on board over the past week – Lucas Till, who played Havoc in the recent X-Men movie; Alden Ehrenreich, a cute young thing that caught Steven Spielberg’s eye and can be seen in both of Francis Ford Coppola’s most recent efforts; and most awesomely Jacki Weaver, who shoulda won that Supporting statue last year for her terrifying turn in Animal Kingdom just for the way she arched her eyebrows and smiled that sinister Grinch’s smile. If you’re keeping count, that's three count ‘em three singular Aussie actress sensations for the price of one. Can’t beat that!