It’s been an interesting year in film. From powerhouse performances [James Franco in 127 Hours; Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone] to terrific ensemble pieces [Scott Pilgrim vs. The World]; from unexpectedly great remakes/re-imaginings [Let Me In, True Grit] to spectacular animated features [Toy Story 3, Megamind] there has been no shortage of entertaining films.
In the last few years, I’ve become unashamed about walking out of movies that I don’t like and generally I don’t review those movies, but going forward I think it’s just as valid to review a film that is so bad that I walk out of as it is to review a movie that I like. So yes, I walked out, don’t bother reading the rest of this review if this very idea offends you. I see PLENTY of movies that I WANT to walk out on but don’t because it is at least interesting enough that I want to see how the terribleness ends.
The Tourist is that rare film that NEVER gets better, it starts slow and goes downhill from there and it doesn’t even succeed as an interesting disaster. It just bored me out of my skull. Once I fell asleep at about the 70 minute mark, I decided it was time for my boots to start walking. Now maybe my attitude towards this movie is shaped by the fact that I was extremely sick the day before, so maybe I was just tired when I saw this. How could this movie have gone so wrong? In one sentence it’s not a movie – it’s an Angelina Jolie Vanity piece.
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s first film, the claustrophobic The Lives of Others, won the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film. For only his second full-length feature, he’s chosen to do a big budget Hollywood film. Not just any old Hollywood caper/thriller/romance. No, he has taken on The Tourist, based on the French film, Anthony Zimmer. In adapting it for North American audiences, he has with his co-screenwriters [Christopher McQuarrie and Julian Fellowes created the kind of Hitchcockian romp where an average guy somehow wanders into situation that he is not the least bit qualified to handle – and somehow he must fake his way through or wind up dead.
Hollywood is having the same financial ups and downs as the rest of business world.
On the down side, MGM , which is almost $4 billion in debt, said on Thursday that its lenders agreed to let it skip interest and principal payments until July 14. In a news release, the struggling studio said “The lenders took this action in support of the company’s ongoing efforts to evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders.” While MGM is treading water to keep from sinking, the creditors are attempting to fend off a take over bid by Time Warner, whose offer they feel is way too low. The creditors are instead trying to figure out a way to restructure the company and keep it as a stand-alone studio.
On the upside, In the first major film financing deal to hit Hollywood since the economic downturn, Village Roadshow Pictures Group on Thursday closed on a $1 billion credit facility to finance its current and future slate of movies. Bruce Berman, chief executive of Village Roadshow Pictures had this statement to make about the lucrative deal.“This new financing enables us to expand upon the solid foundation we’ve established within the industry and grow our slate of tentpole and star-driven films.”
Village Roadshow, which was formed in 1997, has been one of the industry’s leading financiers and producers of studio released motion pictures. Sixty-one of their library of sixty-five movies have been released in partnership with Warner Brothers. This is the longest running partnership that the venerable studio has had with an independent production studio.
Outside of these ups and downs, a lot of new projects are in the works for the folks out in Hollywood land last week. Here is around up of the movies audiences can look forward to seeing.