In the upcoming movie “The Secret Life of Bees” (starring Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah) Tristan Wilds portrays Zack Taylor, a young, idealistic teen growing up in the tumultuous racially charged sixties during the height of the civil rights movement. As a young black man trying to find his way to becoming a lawyer, Zack works part-time for the Boatwright sisters who introduced him to a world of bee keeping, love, sisterhood and a forbidden friendship with Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning); a young white girl on a quest to find out the truth about her dead mother.
I had a chance to sit down and chat with Tristan about his role in this film, bringing “The Wire” to a close and his newest adventure on The CW’s smash hit remake of 90210 – which airs Tuesday nights at 8pm.
It’s been twenty years since Heathers was released by a dying New World to critical acclaim and some box office success. Now, Anchor Bay has released the dark high school comedy as part of its Cult Classic Film Series. The film’s indictment of kids who will do anything to be popular – and become the ultimate jerks once they achieve it – is as grotesquely funny today as it was when it was first released.
Veronika [Wynona Ryder] is one of the Heathers – the most popular girls in school [the other three are all named Heather] – and the least ruthless. About the same time as she reaches her limit with her so-called friends, she meets a charismatic new guy in school, J.D. [Christian Slater] and becomes in embroiled in a series of murders that the two stage as suicides.
First-time director Michael Lehman and first-time writer Daniel Waters produced a terrific film with its own peculiarly daring sense of humor – and its own slang. With its budget constraints, what propels Heathers is the energy of its performances. Ryder and Slater have, frankly, never been better – And Shannen Doherty stands out as the shyest of the Heathers.
Features include: Audio Commentary by Lehman, Waters and Producer Denise DiNovi; Swatch Dogs and Diet-Coke Heads [a 30-minute of reminiscences by the cast, director, writer, producer and editor]; Trialer; Screenply Excerpt; Original Ending, and Talent Bios.
We have news on the video game for the Spiderwick Chronicles, including a ton of new screen shots. Players can choose to play as ANY of the three Grace children; each possessing unique abilities crucial to combating hordes of Goblins, hunting and capturing Faerie creatures and solving puzzles to successfully complete each mission. Players may also adventure through special tasks in the Spiderwick Estate as Thimbletack, the tiny Brownie who helps the Grace kids throughout their journey. Equipped with context sensitive controls for attacks and environment interaction, the game includes several combat elements, along with a creature collection component that allows players to log objects found during the journey into the Field Guide, earning the player new abilities, quest solutions or unlockable items.
Picking ten films as the best of the year is difficult when you don’t get to see everything [and, frankly, even with every studio providing press screenings of every film, no one critic can see everything released in a given year]. So, then, out of the far too many movies I saw in 2007, these are the ten that most impressed me in one way or another.
I went in to Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem expecting a terrible film. After all, the first one [on which I burned a free DVD rental coupon] was hideous beyond belief [so much so that I couldn’t believe that Uwe Boll hadn’t directed it]. I was in the mood for a big screen bonanza of senseless violence and mayhem – especially since this AvP edition carried an R rating. To my extreme disappointment, it was a decent enough timewaster.
I Am Legend will likely be the season’s most massive hit. It stars Will Smith and the trailers have been hyper-involving. Given that it’s at least the third attempt at bringing Richard Matheson’s classic SF novel to the big screen – and given that it really captures the essence of the novel for as long as it does – the odds are that the few who will leave the theatre feeling let down will be those who have actually read the book.
39 Washington, DC area Film Critics (WAFCA – of which I’m one) huddled together in a small broom closet this weekend to do our annual duty of selected the best of the year. In the last three weeks we were hit with an avalanche of DVD Screeners (about 50) and had a bunch of screenings to attend (about 100) and walked away with our eventual best Picture selection. Generally, I disagree with my fellow members, but last year and this year they got everything right, with the exception of Clooney for Michael Clayton – a film I absolutely HATED. I’m still mixed on No Country for Old Men, which is why I haven’t written a review yet. The first 90 minutes I sat there thinking, I’m watching the clear Best Picture of the Year, but then that weird ass last 20 minutes just ruins the entire film for me. I left the theater really angry and wondering what the f just happened. I’m still not entirely sure if the last 20 minutes is enough to throw out the first 90 minutes of brilliance or not. Ultimately, I did cast my ballad for No Country and am glad that it won. Because the other selections where two films that I absolutely loathe (Atonement and Michael Clayton.) So we did good this year and I’m happy with the results. Without Further adieu……
BEST PICTURE Winner:No Country for Old Men
BEST DIRECTOR Winner: Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
BEST ACTOR Winner: George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Winner: Julie Christie (Away from Her)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Winner: Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Winner: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Winner: Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Winner: Diablo Cody (Juno)
BEST ENSEMBLE Winner:No Country for Old Men
BEST ANIMATED FILM Winner:Ratatouille
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM Winner:Sicko
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Winner:The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
BEST ART DIRECTION Winner:Sweeney Todd
BEST BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE Winner: Ellen Page (Juno)
Wow, Fox has been taking it on the chin from Film Critics lately because this summer they started playing games with screening access and while they have been ticking me off with their new policy – it’s why I refused to see or review The Simpson’s Movie, I can’t fault the Home Video division, so with that said, we have five copies of the recently released Live Free or Die Hard Unrated, 2 Disc Special Edition DVD (what a mouthful) to giveaway!Check out our reviews of the movie here. To win, let us know what your favorite Bruce Willis film is, or your fondest memory of the Die Hard Trilogy.We’ll run this contest until December 12, 2007.On that date shoot us an email with your Full Name, Address, and User ID.Be sure to check out the amazing Blu-Ray version of LFDH, it includes an unlocked digital copy of the movie that you can play on your portable devices. And yes, I’m aware that I probably misspelled Kayay!
Last month I caught up with Morgan Freeman at the LA Press day for Feast of Love, a small Indie film that had a limited release a few weeks ago with the hopes of having it go wide in the coming weeks. Feast of Love is a small indie film that talks about the various stages of love from the perspective of 3 different couples – one young couple in love, to the middle aged couple who end up getting a divorce and Freeman and his wife who have been together for several years. Check out my review. Morgan was in a great mood for this round table interview and was surprisingly funny and was a little reluctant to talk about Batman, but our friend Frosty over at Collider kept at him till Morgan gave us a quote. It’s funny Frosty and I was battling over who gets to ask the Batman question and I told him to go for it. Check out the interview it was fun, and I expect the studio will do an award campaign around this film. In this really weak year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Morgan get some attention in the supporting actor category for this.