THE NEXT THREE DAYS Review
by Matt Goldberg Posted:November 18th, 2010
If he’s not trying to cram a heavy-handed message about Important Things down his audience’s throat, it turns out that writer/director Paul Haggis can make a decent thriller. The Next Three Days is a welcome departure for Haggis, who instead of preaching about race (Crash) or the Iraq War (In the Valley of Elah), crafts an exciting, prison-break film with a strong central performance from Russell Crowe. While some may love it when a plan comes together, The Next Three Days shows how it can be far more exciting when a plan falls apart.
Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) is about to be sent to prison for the rest of her life for a crime her husband John (Russell Crowe) believes she did not commit. John embarks on an ambitious plan to break Lara out of jail even though she’s resigned herself to her fate. The Next Three Days makes a major gamble by not showing us much of Lara and John’s life before her arrest, but it pays off since it helps us share in the twinge of doubt John must feel and yet has to ignore in order to complete his mission. It also lets our imagination do the work as to their backstory rather than draw out the first act and have the film prove their love to us. John’s love for his wife is obviously strong enough that he’s willing to ignore all the evidence that points to her guilt and risk everything to get her out of the slammer.
The Next Three Days is a fun film because it not only flips the prison-break genre on its head by having the break executed from outside the prison and with the prisoner having no input into the plan, but because it pulls the drama out of John’s numerous screw-ups. It’s not that John is stupid as much as every plan is subject to the whims of chance. If getting forged passports were easy and everyone knew how to do it, then real passports wouldn’t be worth very much. However, there are times when John’s ignorance is carried too far, like when he asks a pawn shop owner where the bullets in a gun go.
by Talia Soghomonian Posted: November 18th, 2010
After a rough ride, On the Road is finally getting closer to completion. After the first set photos, new shots from director Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal novel have been released, and appear to perfectly transcribe the poetic energy and black-and-white imagery that the story inevitably conjures up, raising the question whether the movie will also be in black-and-white.
Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, the film stars stars Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy) and Sam Riley (Control) as Sal Paradise, the mystic Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise embark on a road trip across North America in search of adventure and freedom. The cast also boasts a long, all-star cast, including Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Moretensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Terrence Howard and Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss. Hit the jump to see the photos and find out more about On the Road.
It is certainly a challenge to attempt a book that is considered to be the testament of the Beat Generation. Walter Salles has fully invested in the project with a documentary, In Search of On the Road, and reunited the stellar team from his award-winning 1998 movie The Motorcycle Diaries, including screenwriter Jose Rivera (Letters to Juliet) director of photography. Eric Gautier, production designer Carlos Conti and Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla.
On the Road is now considered a modern classic that “heralded a change of American consciousness,” claims Beatnik specialist professor Ann Charters. It is a story swinging to the underground culture of 50s America, where jazz music, cigarette smoke and hallucinogens accompany a pursuit in self-knowledge and even self-awareness, or so claim many pseudo-intellectuals. One of the most overrated books of the past 50 years, to musicians and filmmakers alike – Bono was so excited to see my copy that he signed it – On the Road contains the ever-fascinating theme of self-discovery through a simple road trip. Other great travelers have paved their way since Sal and Dean, notably Easy Rider’s Wyatt and Billy (the unforgettable duo played by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper) and Thelma and Louise.
Filming is expected to wrap up in December with the movie set to hit theaters in 2011. [Photos via OnTheRoadFilm and The Playlist]
by Matt Goldberg Posted: November 18th, 2010Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire has reportedly landed a release date. According to The Playlist, the film is set for release on April 22, 2011. The movie boasts an outstanding cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Bill Paxton, Michael Angarano, Matthieu Kassovitz, and Antonio Banderas. MMA fighter Gina Carano leads the film as a “black ops soldier on mission of revenge after she’s double crossed by one of her team-mates.” The Playlist says that the script by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) was “taut, lean, and mean.”
If the April 22, 2011 holds, Haywire will be going up against the documentary African Cats, the Adam Sandler-penned comedy Born to be a Star, the Steve Carell/Ryan Gosling comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family.