Archived entries for

2006 Preview

Today is New Years’ Eve, the celebration of a new dawn, of a new beginning…except not, really !
In my twisted mind, it can only mean new movie seasons, and boy do they look good…
[Note : All release dates are available for France only. Informations and summaries are taken from the most excellent Internet Movie Database.]

The 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2006
a completely useless yet informative guide written by me.

1. Brokeback Mountain (January, 18th)
Directed by Ang Lee
Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams
View the trailer

Plot summary : An epic love story set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, Brokeback Mountain tells the story of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love.

2. X-Men 3 (May, 24th)
Directed by Brett Ratner (*cries*)
Starring Patrick Stewert, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry
View the trailer

Plot summary : The continuing adventures of the superpowered group, the X-Men, led by Professor Xavier (Stewart), and based at his school for gifted students, as they try to foster good will for mutants like themselves, in a world where some people are born with extraordinary powers, and many ordinary humans fear them for it. When a cure is found to treat mutations, lines are drawn amongst the X-Men and the Brotherhood, a band of powerful mutants organized under Xavier’s former ally, Magneto (McKellen).

3. Superman Returns (July, 12th)
Directed by Bryan Singer
Starring Kevin Spacey, Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth, James Marsden
View the trailer

Plot summary : Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel (Routh) comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure Superman Returns, a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world’s most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all (Spacey), Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane (Bosworth), has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman’s bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

4. Walk The Line (February, 15th)
Directed by James Mangold
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick
View the trailer

Plot summary : He picked cotton, sold door to door, and served in the Air Force. He was a voice of rebellion that changed the face of rock and roll. An outlaw before today’s rebels were born – and an icon they would never forget. He did all this before turning 30. And his name was Johnny Cash (Phoenix). In exploring the early years of the music legend, he was an artist who transcended musical boundaries to touch people around the globe.

5. The New World (February, 15th)
Directed by Terrence Malick
Starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale, Q’Orianka Kilcher
View the trailer
Plot summary : Inspired by the legend of John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas (Kilcher), this is a story of love, loss and discovery set during the clash of European and Native American cultures following the founding of the Jamestown Settlement in 1607.

6. Syriana (February, 22nd)
Directed by Stephen Gaghan
Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper
View the trailer

Plot summary : Syriana is a political thriller that unfolds against the intrigue of the global oil industry. From the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the film’s multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power. As a career CIA operative (Clooney) begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to. An up-and-coming oil broker (Damon) faces an unimaginable family tragedy. A corporate lawyer (Wright) faces a moral dilemma as he finesses the questionable merger of two powerful U.S. oil companies. Each plays their small part in the vast and complex system that powers the industry, unaware of the explosive impact their lives will have upon the world.

7. Pride and Prejudice (January, 18th)
Directed by Joe Wright
Starring Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Jena Malone
View the trailer

Plot summary : Based on Jane Austen’s beloved novel, the classic tale of love and values unfolds in the class-conscious England of the late 18th century. The five Bennet sisters – including strong-willed Elizabeth (Knightley) and young Lydia (Malone) – have all been raised by their mother (Blethyn) with one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Amongst the man’s sophisticated circle of friends, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and – it would seem – snobbish Mr. Darcy (MacFadyen), the battle of the sexes is joined.

8. Cars (June, 14th)
Directed by John Lasseter
Starring the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt
View the trailer

Plot summary : Cars is the saga of Lightning McQueen, a hot-shot animated stock-car (Wilson). En route to a big race, the cocky McQueen gets waylaid in Radiator Springs, where he finds the true meaning of friendship and family.

9. A Scanner Darkly (June, 21st)
Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson
View the trailer

Plot summary : Set in the future, A Scanner Darkly imagines a paranoid world in which it seems two of every 10 Americans has been hired by the government to spy on the other 8 — in the name of national security and drug enforcement. When one reluctant government recruit (Reeves) is ordered to start spying on his friends, he is launched on a journey into the absurd, where outsourced government contractors largely define the social construct, where identities and loyalties are impossible to decode, and where not even his girlfriend can be trusted. The film highlights the inconsistencies and ironic consequences of the war on drugs.

10. V for Vendetta (April, 19th)
Directed by James McTeigue
Starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt
View the trailer
Plot summary : Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (Portman) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante known only as “V.” (Weaving). Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he detonates two London landmarks and takes over the government-controlled airwaves, urging his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the
truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plot to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

Second half of 2006 will see the arrival of usual huge-blockbuster-sequels, such as Pirates of the Carribean 2 : Dead’s Man Chest, Mission Impossible : III, Ice Age 2 : The Meltdown, Underworld : Evolution, Casino Royale. They all sound as bad as the other, heh?
And watch out for the biggest, meanest Blockbuster of the Year : The Da Vinci Code.

Happy new year to y’all !
Last-minute edit : I totally forgot about Munich ! Shame on me. It’s a movie I eagerly expect, so I’d put it just after Superman Returns in my anticipation scale.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all ! Hope everyone had a great night. I certainly did. We had a blast playing cards all night long, and eating as much as we could. It runs in the family !

For the second time on Friday night, I saw the Chronicles of Narnia : the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (referred by us geeks as tLWW), and I loved it even more. I hadn’t quite realized what a remarkable job they did, in terms of adapting the book.
I absolutely love the Pevensies kids : William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley. They are perfectly cast, exactly as I pictured them while reading the book. Little Georgie was the most amazing Lucy we could ever asked for ! She’s as cute as a button, and her relationship with Mr. Tumnus (a brillant James McAvoy) really worked well. As for Skandar, his performance was a true stand-out. Loved the dynamics between his character and Tilda Swinton’s one -Jadis, the White Witch.
And yes, it is a family movie, and yes, children are heroes, but it remains, in my opinion, a great adventure and a fantastic experience for anyone who is still a kid at heart, or has at least a wee bit of imagination. Forget about the Christian allegory, or the so-called religious implications.
As a little Christmas gift, here’s a little thingy I made during my holiday boredom (instead of studying for my exams -now, that’s serious). The pictures were too damn gorgeous, I couldn’t help but mess around with them.

They’re so picture-pretty ! *hearts them*

Oh, and Brokeback Mountain comic strips have popped up all over the place on the Internet. Most of them are dumb, others are genuinely creative. But here’s one, non spoiler-ish, that cracked me up !

Hee. Gotta love little!Ennis and little!Jack.
Last-minute edit : Légo, I’ve just seen your word on my guestbook *wipes tear away*. Hope we’ll get to see each other soon…


Everyone already knows, but can’t help posting this here.

Jake Gyllenhaal (repeat after me : Jill-en-hall) is an actor I’ve discovered not so long ago. This summer, as a matter of fact.
I knew he was this super-cool, kinda “hype” indie kid, but the only movie I had seen with him was the Day After Tomorrow, and honestly, he wasn’t that impressive at all.
But then, I saw Donnie Darko, and it felt like the cinematic equivalent of the Catcher in the Rye, which means that it was bloody fucking great. Here was this complex, multi-layered, sort of schizophrenic, completely fucked-up character, and he was a teenager. I don’t mean to creep anyone out, but we all have something of Donnie in ourselves. I personally saw a lot of myself in him. Anyway, Jake was downright incredible, and I started to like him a LOT.
Then I heard about Brokeback Mountain. As soon as I saw the trailer on Yahoo!Movies, I directly fell in love with it. As everyone knows, it has grown to become that amazing movie that just means so much to me.
I won’t say I’m obsessed with Jake. I mean, I’m certainly obsessed with the movie, Brokeback Mountain, itself (hee). But as far as Mr. Gyllenhaal is concerned, it’s just respect and admiration. I’m always amazed by how smart he is -you can really tell, just by watching or reading his interviews, or simply take a look at his filmography.
Okay, so what’s my point here ? Why am I rambling on Jake ?
Simply because 2 days ago was his 25th birthday, and the amazing Ally (webmastress of IHJ) has assembled a birthday book for him, as a gift of the entire Gyllenhaalic community.
I had left a little message for Jake a long time ago, as soon as I had heard about the birthday project. I hadn’t recieved any confirmation message whatsoever, so I didn’t give much thought to it…unless, yesterday, when I saw that Ally had put my message on the very first page of the scrapbook ! I got all teary and shaky when I saw it.
For Chrissake, if Jake ever read it -and there’s a good chance he will- then, he’ ll know… My message is the first one on the right side :

It seems like such a random, weird thing, y’know… I mean, he’s just an actor and all. But it means so much to me, to think that he’ll actually know what I want to tell him. I’m so proud of him, and so proud to be a Gyllenhaalic.
We heart you, Jakey-boy, so very very much.
And congratulations for winning Best Supporting Actor from the Phoenix Critics Awards, because you totally deserve it. Now go to the Academy and get that golden statuette, because it’s yours !

Top 15

Now that I’ve seen King Kong, I can safely post…

The 25 Best Movies of 2005 (28, actually), and their talented directors

1. King Kong, Peter Jackson
2. Before Sunset, Richard Linklater / Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan
3. The Constant Gardener, Fernando Meirelles
4. Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Nick Park
5. Garden State, Zach Braff
6. Finding Neverland, Marc Foster
7. Mysterious Skin, Gregg Araki
8. A History of Violence, David Cronenberg
9. Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood
10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black
11. Shaun of the Dead, Edgar Wright
12. The Aviator, Martin Scorsese
13. Match Point, Woody Allen
14. Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas
15. War of the Worlds, Steven Spielberg
16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Mike Newell
17. Sin City, Robert Rodriguez
18. In Her Shoes, Curtis Hanson
19. Corpse Bride, Tim Burton
20. Broken Flowers, Jim Jarmusch
21. Don’t Come Knocking, Wim Wenders
22. L’Enfant, Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne
23. Le Temps qui Reste, François Ozon
24. Sideways, Alexander Payne
25. Ray, Taylor Hackford

Now, don’t get me wrong. All the movies on this list are movies I really, really liked, no matter if they’re on top or at the bottom. For exemple, these last 5 movies, especially Don’t Come Knocking or l’Enfant, are absolutely gorgeous, but they were just too goddamn depressing. I mean, pretty much all the movies in my list depress the hell out of me (eg. Million Dollar Baby and even King Kong, who made me weep like a friggin’child). I sort of based my top 25 on how I felt during the movie, whether it was mindfucking or not, whether the screenplay was smart or incredibly funny, how many times I’d like to see it and other very vague things. Now onto the actors (main performances, not supporting ones, because they’d be too many of them)…

1. Ralph Fiennes, The Constant Gardener
2. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator
3. Jamie Foxx, Ray
4. Bill Murray, Broken Flowers
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mysterious Skin

1. Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby
2. Natalie Portman, Garden State
3. Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland
4. Naomi Watts, King Kong
5. Toni Collette, In Her Shoes

You can be sure that next year’s top 25 will begin with Brokeback Mountain. Of course, it will ! By the way, I can’t say how revolted I am by this year’s Golden Globe nominations. Jake got totally cheated, it’s disgusting -or not, but… It’s not like it really matters, but I hate it when someone gets robbed, and is being snobbed all season, and is replaced by someone far less talented, such as Will Ferrell (not that I have anything against him). But Jake’s performance in BBM seems so gut-wrenching…and he worked at it so hard, you can tell. Heath always repeats how lonely he felt during the shoot and how tough it was, but Jake, too, put his heart and soul into it. Anyways, let’s hope the SAG will recognize Jake’s talent (not that we can expect that from the Academy, obviously).

Premiere photo galore …

The Chronicles of Narnia : the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had its premiere at the Royal Albert Hall in London last Wednesday. From left to right : William Moseley (Peter), Anna Popplewell (Susan), Skandar Keynes (Edmund), Georgie Henley (Lucy), James McAvoy (Mr Tumnus) and Tilda Swinton (Jadis).

Focus Features also held a Brokeback Mountain premiere on Tuesday, at the Loews Lincoln Square in New York. Unfortunately, Jake Gyllenhaal did not attend the premiere. Funny how Heath always shows up when Jake’s not there, and how Jake is there when Heath isn’t. I don’t think it’s a coincidence… Anyway, the pictures. From left to right : Heath Ledger (Ennis), with Michelle Williams (Alma), and Anne Hathaway (Lureen).

Talking about Heath, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, Naomi Watts, is also on promotion duties for King Kong. She looked absolutely stunning at the premiere, which took place Thursday at the Odeon Leicester Square in London…I reckon she’s one of the best *and* one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood.

Also, the award season has officially began and Brokeback Mountain just won the Los Angeles Film Critics prize for Best Picture and Best Director (Ang Lee). Heath Ledger is the runner-up for Best Actor, coming after Philip Seymour Hoffman (probably this year’s Oscar winner for his performance in Capote).
The American Film Institute have just announced their top ten and Brokeback made the cut ! The AFI list is extremely important because they have a knack for picking the Oscars winners (last year’s entries were Million Dollar Baby, Sideways and Spider-Man 2). The list also includes Capote, Crash, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Good Night and Good Luck, A History of Violence, King Kong, Munich, The Squid and the Whale, and Syriana.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) has also announced the nominees for the 11th annual Critics Choice Awards. Brokeback Mountain leads in nominations with eight nods including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and nominations for Best Composer, Writer and Song. Entire list of nominees can be found here.
The New York Film Critics prize went to the Squid and the Whale, this year’s “indie darling”. Brokeback Mountain got mentionned in their top 9, though. Loads of congratulations to the movie ! I’m so glad they get some recognition from the critics, although I do think awards are of no importance compared to the audiences’ reaction. But seeing that they’ve already conquered us (well, me at least !), I reckon Hollywood should be too ! Once again, yaaaaaaaaay for Brokeback !