Hopefully, people start releasing films over the weekend, when they may have more time. In the meantime, here's my third film:
From the people who brought you 24, and the writer of the Da Vinci Code
Director: Stephen Hopkins
This is a television series, in the style of 24, where each episode will be an hour of real time, with the season being 24 episodes long.
Guy Pearce - Dr. Thomas Porter
Katherine Isabelle - Isabelle Douglas
David Hewlett - Daniel Rosenbaum
Michael Caine - Nigel Douglas
Xander Berkely - Fred Williams, head of the research team
Miguel Sandoval - A Venezuelen Oil Executive
Josh Charles - Pearson, former military operative, now a hired killer.
Number of Episodes: 24
Cost: $3.5 million per episode. A whopping $84 million cost for the season. Very high for a television series. A second season will see the costs rise, but Pearce is the central character, and the only one that is guaranteed to return season to season, and he's the only one that could demand a major pay raise. Dan Brown is the other "name" attached to this project, and his pay check would also be signficant. Much of the cost is due ot the high production values involved in such a show. As a comparison, the first season of 24 cost $35 million.
Filming locations would take place in Europe, another major expense. Again, risky, but I am trying to follow the Dan Brown template, and I think it's a necessary expense.
-Guy Pearce is a Princeton professor, Dr. Thomas Porter, specializing in popular consipiracy theories in modern civilization. He is not so much a believer in these consipiracies, but instead, examines the social context, and examines how these theories develop. His general outlook is that most of these theories are usually fabricated, and are likely the outcome of exaggerations, with a few solid facts between, and usually imaginitive thinking by theorists to fill in the blanks. His focus is on the societal influences that shape these issues, rather trying to expose them as real conspiracies.
-The time period has him returning back to the U.S. after spending time researching in the Middle East about the long standing theory of alternate fuel technology being suppressed, and many of the factors going into it. He comes back a little disappointed, as he found many doors closed to him, not allowing to really come to conclusive findings.
-Michael Caine will play an old friend of Dr. Porter's father, Dr. Peter Thomas. The plot will be that they met up accidently while he is passing through Belgium, on a bit of a mini-holiday on return from his trip to the Middle East.
-When Caine and Pearce's character's meet, Caine is very vague as to what he's working on. He says that he's busy now, but they should meet up in a couple of hours, to join him when he's scheduled to meet his daughter Isabelle (Katerine Isabelle) for dinner. Caine's character looks extremely paranoid while they speak, making Porter suspicious that he has something he wants to tell him.
-Michael Caine will play an environmental scientist, working on an alternate fuel source with a group of other leading minds on the subject. Even he isn't fully aware of who he is working for. He reports to a Dr. Fred Williams (Xander Berkely), who manages the whole group. He is not allowed to reveal who they all work for, but all of them are well paid. The issue of who they are all working for is kept secret by Williams. The worry is, that other alternate fuel projects have been sabotaged in the past by parties interested in maintaining the worlds dependency on oil.
-The time period of the first season will be on the eve of a major environmental symposium. The plot will deal with the intended announcement of this new fuel technology.
-Caine's character will die off in the first or second episode, before he goes to meet Isabelle's and Pearce's character, at the hands of the assassin.
-There will be a hired killer, who murders Caine's character, Pearson (Josh Charles), and goes after the two protagonists. He will have a former U.S. military background, but has since become a contract killer. He is not a large man, but is athletic. His right hand is permanantly disabled though, although his arm is fully functioning. He also has signficant scars on the right side of his face.
-While Isabelle and Porter are waiting for Caine's arrival, they start discussing that he seemed to want to tell them something. Isabelle seems like she knows something, but doesn't reveal everything. They receive a call that her father is dead.
-As the plot moves forward, and more is learned about the research (from Isabelle, a graduate student in her father's field, as they come across the research of the other dead scientists).
-Porter's knowledge of the mystique of the conspiracy theory is the driving force behind figuring out who is involved, and untangling the web. Isabelle's role is to piece together the science, trying to figure out some of the potential conwequences of the research, mainly, it's potential use as a destructive weapon, creating more suspicion on the intentions behind these murders.
Other Major Characters:
-David Hewlett will play another scientist on the team, who is at risk of being killed, but is also suspected of being behind the killing. The team of scientists is made up of 5 people (Hewlett, Caine, Berkely, and 2 other generic characters that are killed off 2nd and 3rd). Porter gets to him before the killer, however, escaping death from the killer raises his involvement in the scheme.
-Miguel Sandoval will play a Venezuelan oil company president that Porter is familiar with, and, who is unexpectedly seen at the symposium. Doubt is raised on his involvement in the suppression of this new technology, as he stands to make big gains from the continued production of oil.
-The U.S. Secretary of State (Bruce Gray) will be participating in the Symposium, which raises doubt on America's potential involvement.
-There will be a character who will be leading the criminal investigation into Michael Caine's death, who is not very receptive to the theories that Porter and Isabelle put forward, leading them to investigate on their own. Once they start appearing at the sites of the murder, suspicion is cast on them, forcing them to operate without the co-operation of the police. Doubt is raised as to whether he is working for the bad guys.
-The American ambassador to Belgium (Stephen Tobolowsky), who Porter and Isabelle go to for help, isn't fully co-operative. He appears to know more than he lets on.
Title : A Song of Ice and Fire - A Clash of Kings Genre : Fantasy/Medieval Category : Inspired Running Time : 190 Minutes Rating : R Budget : 145 Million Director : Peter Jackson Writers : Fran Walsh, George R R Martin Soundtrack : Original Cast:
Stannis Baratheon : Joseph Fiennes
Renly Baratheon : Colin Ferrel
Daenerys Targaryen : Catalina Sandino Moreno
Lady Catelyn Stark : Catherine Zeta-Jones
Tywin Lannister : Peter O'Toole
Queen Cersei Lannister : Annabella Sciorra
Jaime Lannister : Alan Tudyk
Jon Snow : Heath Ledger
Jeor Mormont : Derek Jacobi
Plot Summary : A comet the color of blood and flame cuts acros the sky. And from the ancient Citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a trecherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the mena nd women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.
In the land, there is the Iron Throne who's sitter is the king of all, and seven major factions, three of which are 'Wardend'...the Lannisters the Ward of the West, Starks of the North, Arryn's of the East, and the other houses of Frey, Tully, Baratheon, etc each having their own holdfast. With the death of Robert Baratheon in the first movie, the Lannisters now control the Iron Throne and all the land, as well as the West through Tywin.
In the first movie, King Robert Baratheon was slain by a boar (though under the effects of alcohol poisoned by his scheming wife, Queen Cersei), and when his Hand, Eddard Stark, began investigating, charges of treason were laid against him, and he was beheaded. Cerei's teenaged son conceived with her brother Jaime, though credited to Robert, became King, with Cersei effectively running the realm. However, Stark's son Robb has gathered his fathers' banners-at-arms and at the end of the first movie, was beginning to attack lands held by both the Lannisters on the Iron Throne in the South, and Tywin Lannister (Cersei's father), who was the Ward of the West. Starks were allied with the Freys, Arryns (Catelyn's sisters' new house) and Tullys (Catelyn's original house), the Lannister's with wildmen, with the Baratheon's unsure.
In the first movie, Daenerys Taragaryen, the sole remaning child of the king who was slain for Robert to take the throne 15 years past and was shipped away to another continent (only two known continents in the world) as an infant, had married a Dothraki (think : Natives) tribal leader, who was killed in battle. Their son was killed by the woman delivering it, right after her husband died, so when all of his 'bloodriders' left to start their own tribes since they were no longer bound, she took up arms with what few people she had left to build her own army, and reconquer the Seven Kingdoms. In this movie, she travels across the continent to build her army of slaves and volunteers and eunuchs. She was given three long-dead dragon's eggs as a wedding gift, and for an unkown reason, since she was the last of the 'House of Dragons', her touch gradually awakens them, and they hatch.
Jon Snow, ******* son of Eddard Stark before he married Catelyn, had lived with the Starks until Eddard left for King's Landing in the first movie, when he went up to the Wall and became a man of the Night's Watch. The Night's Watch was a group of people that used to be strong who gaurded the Realm by virtue of a 700-foot-high wall of anyone on the other side; wildlings and whatever else lay out there. They took vows, took no wife, absolved themselves of any previous scuffles and problems to serve on the Wall. The force is not what it once was, with most of the people there cravens, rapists, murderers, etc. Snow becomes a central figure, and on a ranging, is taken into captivity by a band of wildlings. Jeor Mormont is the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and towards the end of the movie, leads a raid of all its strength to be done with the masses of wildlings gathering strength and forces beyond the wall.
Tywin Lannister is fighting Robb Stark throughout the movie, with the final scenes being a massive battle of Stannis Baratheon (Renly is killed by black magic partway through the movie) at the head of a massive host, and all the Lannisters massed outside King's Landing. Ships, artillery, and a magic fire that grows with contact with water contributes to the absolute mayhem. Catelyn Stark is caught in the middle of it all, protecting, encouraing and strategizing with her son, while helping her father in his last days.
The Incumbent gets a TV viewing. Its a story that just doen't appeal very much due to the cliched kid rises up to conquer factor. You get points for a non-traditional ending, but its not enough to draw my interest in.
Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings gets a theatre viewing. Even better than the first in my opinion (or perhaps just explained more thoroughly) with a lot of potential for Jackson to work his magic. Well done.
A Song of Ice and Fire - A Clash of Kings gets a TV viewing, I wasn't all about the first one, I think this one is done a little better but I still have a bit of trouble following the plot. Or maybe I'm just not that smart.
A Song of Ice and Fire - A Clash of Kings - I'm not the biggest fantasy fan out there, but I did like the LOTR series. This is a tough call for me. Without being that familiar with the source material, it's really hard to follow the plot, but, usually, the fantasy genre is complex, which explains the long running time.
I think I would end up seeing it, the question is when. I'm not the biggest fan of the casting, but I don't really have objections to anyone there. They are just not people that draw me to the theatre.
In reality, this movie would come down to the trailer for me. If it's well done, with some great visuals, it would generate some interest. I think, with the budget that's allocated, and with Peter Jackson at the helm, there would be something cool that would excite me about it, but not enough to be a theatre draw. I'll give it a rental.
I thought it would be a good time to post how the ratings systems work. I figure we have some new people on board, plus, the TV projects are new, so people may be unfamiliar with what the rating options are.
Based on the infamous short story by Edgar Allen Poe
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron with an adapted screenplay by Terry Gilliam
Score composed by Howard Shore
Starring... Ben Kingsley as Montressor Al Pacino as Fortunato Tom Wilkinson as Luchesi Sigourney Weaver as Montressor's Wife
Rated PG-13 for language, and disturbing scenes. 107 minutes length
Genre of Drama and Thriller Inspired
Production Budget: $60 Million
The film begins at a local carnival in 19th century Italy. Montressor (Ben Kingsley) is searching for friend and fellow wine enthusiast Fortunato. Montressor is incredibly eager and excited, claiming to have found at the carnival, a cask of Amontillado, an incredibly rare wine. He tells Fortunato, who is beyond words at the time that he is keeping it with his other wines in the catacombs beneath his house, and both whisk themselves away to retrieve of it.
The movie however is told in a non-linear fashion very similar to Christopher Nolan's famous piece, Memento. The rest of the film is told both moving backwards and forwards (though unlike in Memento, the two stories do not meet). The film is split between their journey into the catacombs (which is chronicled in the Poe story) but also the days leading up to the fair (which is used to make sure the audience knows the movie is going backwards, using it as a timeframe "landmark")
As the story moves backwards, it becomes clearer and clearer the type of people Fortunato and Montressor are. Fortunato is jovial for the most part but can be rude and unforgiving. Montressor on the other hand has a quick temper and is one to hold a grudge. The story shows the two as they sample wines and as the two meet on the street or in shops.
As the journey into the catcombs progresses we also start to see that Montressor's intentions are not as they seemed as he coaxes Fortunato into the catacombs despite him having trouble breathing (One of his tactics is to say that he could just as easily invite Luchesi (Tom Wilkinson), another wine sampler, but one which Fortunato looks upon with disdain). As the movie moves onwards, the key is the character development as the beasts within each man are allowed to some out further, showing their more private moments.
The final scene is told in ttwo parts. The first begins in the catacombs as Fortunato is lured into a dark room by Montressor. He continues walking, getting increasingly nervous, at which point we move to the second part. The second part involves a constant flipping between shots of Fortunato and Montressor in the catacombs and a scene of Montressor with his wife (Sigourney Weaver). This occurs as Montressor enters his house in a furious rage, going to far as to hit his wife for little reason. Flip back to the catacombs and Montressor yanks a chain across Fortunato's chest and legs, forcing him to the wall. We then flip back in between Montressor with his wife yelling about how "Fortunato has done himself in this time," and "I have borne his injuries long enough, but now he ventures upon insult?!" to Montressor who digs bricks and mortar from a pile of bones and starts walling the room off from outside.
As we flip back and forth Montressor begins to get closer and closer to explaining his motives to his wife, while in the catacombs Fortunato quickly goes through disbelief, to thinking its a joke, to trying to cry for help, to hysteria. Montressor nearly holds up in his work once but continues. As we flip back and forth, and the wall slowly closes off the room, we come to hear Fortunato's (who has been having breathing problems for quite some time) dying breath before Montressor seals him off.
And finally we and with a shot from Montressor and his wife's conversation. She asks him what Fortunato did to upset him, and Montressor turns around and with the coolest, evilest voice Kingsley can muster "He called me a..." CUT TO BLACK, ROLL CREDITS
Note: During one scene where Fortunato comes across Montressor in a shop, Montressor (subtly) is ordering brick, "For a garden wall," he explains. Also the characters fo Luchesi and Montressor's wife will appear throughout the flashbacks as tools to help develop the characters.
Final Note: For the closing shot, Kingsley better be able to use his eye's properly.
And for those who wish to read the original story (which I definitely would encourage) you can find it here.
The Cask of Amontillado - I really had a tough time with this one. Right off the bat, there are elements that I like. Kingsley automatically generates a level of interest, and Pacino, when he's motivated, can still put in a great performance. Gilliam's involvement also helps it along. As ashamed as I am to say it, the only work of Cuaron's that I have seen is what I've caught of Harry Potter 3 on TV. I did, however, like what he did with the visual style, which helps put this movie into perspective somewhat.
However, the story really doesn't draw me in. In fact, I find, the story isn't grand enough given that it's a period piece. I probably would be more interested in the story, if it was told in a modern setting, personally.
I'm torn between a rental and a TV viewing. I think it really needs something to get up to a rental. I'm afraid I'm going to have to give it a TV viewing.
Directed by: Christopher Guest Written by: Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest
Budget: $25 million
John Turtorro - Danny, security guard, and founder and president of SOSHOPSAFE
Patrick Warburton - Assistant Director in charge of securing 3rd level terrorists targets at the Department of Homeland Security
Duane Johnson - VP Sales of SECURICOM, one of the leading security companies in the world, who has created a whole new line of products specifically for mall security. They are the chief sponsor behind the event
Brad Garrett - Former mall security guard, now working for the CIA, after he reached hero status by detecting a known terrorist while he was shopping for socks
Jon Favreau - Mall security guard, and SOSHOPSAFE New Jersey regional chapter president
Eugene Levy - Manager of the mall which Danny works at.
Samantha Bee - Danny's girlfriend
Ethan Suplee - Security guard, North Dakota SOSHOPSAFE regional chapter president
Jared Leto - The Sacremento SOSHOPSAFE regional chapter president. A young kid who's trying to become a cop, but has been unable to get in yet. He's gung ho on law enforcement, and is trying to build his resume.
Terrence Dashon Howard - Philadelphia regional chapter president.
Danny is a the head security guard at the St. Louis Galleria. He takes his job very seriously. After the president's latest state of the union address, where he addresses the nation after more recent terrorist threasts cast the potential to undermine confidence in the security in America, and poses a threat to the American economy, as people fear leaving the safety of their home. There are two key elements of his address than touch a cord with Danny. The president employs all security agencies to show courage and leadership. He also tells Americans to go shopping, like they would any other day, as to not let the terrorists win. Danny, inspired by the president's words, feels its up to him to answer the call, as he is on the front lines. It's up to him to organize mall security guards across the country.
So, he goes to work in creating an association for mall security guards called SOSHOPSAFE (Security Officers Securing HOmeland Public Shopping Areas From Evil), and organizes their first ever conference. The movie covers the trials and turbulations that Danny has in organizing a conference for his peers, such as trying to get enough delegates from across America, getting keynote speakers from the various government agencies, having security companies demonstrate their products at the booths and coming up with appropriate seminar topics.
Some of the seminar topics will include:
-Stopping Terrorists From Shoplifing America's Freedom
-Being Pro-active: How to use the Patriot Act to our advantage
-Red Wire, Blue Wire: How to diffuse a bomb with a pocket knife
-How to evacuate a major shopping centre in 90 seconds flat
-The good of the many outweighs the good of the one - When to sacrifice yourself for the good of your country
Some of the products that will be on display:
-The Profiler - a sophisticated security camera that can examine and process facial features in order to identify people of Middle Eastern descent.
-The Purchase Tracker - A software package that identifies when a "flagged" item has been purchased from any store in the mall. Potential items to flag include "Flying for dummies", large quantities of chemical fertilizers, box-cutters, etc.
-Riot control gear that allows for ad space for stores
-Various sophisticated tracking equipment, and automated weapons for the security guards
The movie will follow Guest's patented mockumentary style. The camera follows Danny as he tries to put this thing together for the first half, and then follows the events of the conference itself in the second half. The characters are the real focus, as the plot just serves as a backdrop. Like other similar films, the real joy will be watching the actors do a great job of improvising, and coming up with off-the-wall backstories on their characters. There will be more than a few digs at the current U.S. administration on security, but nothing too deep. The characters will be wacky, and it will be shown as people that are a little off the deep end. It does make a statement about overzealous security concerns and the absurd importance of shopping during times of crisis in the American economy, but it is first and foremost a comedy.
SOSHOPSAFE gets a rental. Not because its a rental level film (its one of my favourites this season) but just because its the type of comedy I'd prefer to view at home. Excellent work and as I said before, your work with The Rock is superb.
SOSHOPSAFE gets a rental. Not because its a rental level film (its one of my favourites this season) but just because its the type of comedy I'd prefer to view at home. Excellent work and as I said before, your work with The Rock is superb.
Morgan Freeman - The BFG
Dennis Haysbert - Bonecrusher
Brad Garrett - Fleshlumpeater
Patrick Warburton - Gizzardgulper
Dennis Quaid - The Ameican President
Sophie will be played by an unknown child actress
Sophie, a young orphan girl, about the age of 10, wakes up in the middle of the night. She looks out her window, and sees a giant roaming the streets, with a long horn-like device blowing into the rooms of children in the neighbourhood. She quickly runs back to her bed. Spotted, however, she is suddenly wisked away from her bed. Her captor, a big friendly giant, or, the BFG for short.
The BFG takes her to the hidden land of giants, a place not found on any map. Because she spotted a a giant, the BFG can't let her leave. Sophie enjoys her time with the BFG though, as he's friendly. However, not all giants are friendly. While the BFG roams the street, blowing dreams in the heads of children, the rest of the giants, like Bonecrusher, Fleshlumpeater and Gizzardgulper, go around and eat children. The land of giant has no natural food, except for the unappealing vegetable, snozzcumbers. The BFG is the only vegetarian giant, as the rest travel the world, plucking children out of their beds, and eating them.
When Sophie discovers that all the giants are going to her town to eat the children, her and the BFG hatch a plan to enlist the help of the President of the U.S. to help stop them (Dennis Quaid).
Robert Downey Jr. - Michael Wilson
Topher Grace - Rick Wilson
Diane Lane - Julie Myers
Eliza Dushku - Lisa Miller
Lena Olin - DA Grace Sharpe
Barry Pepper - Jay
Kristin Bell - Madison Deever
Roger Howarth - Pete
Clint Eastwood as Frank Wilson
Michael (Downey Jr.) and Rick Wilson (Grace) were severely and brutally abused as children, to the point of near death, by the Rickís biological father, Frank (Eastwood), from their motherís second marriage. This left both of them with deep emotional scars as they have grown older, more so on Rick, as Michael left as soon as he was old enough.
Michael has finally put it all together. He has a nice apartment in an upscale part of New York, he has a successful career, as a lawyer, he has put a few youthful indiscretions past him. He is actually engaged to be married, to the beautiful Julie (Lane) his first real relationship. Where he once felt weak, he now feels powerful.
Unbeknownst to him, Rick, who he hasnít spoken to in years lives not too far away, and is falling apart. He is emotionally erratic, fallen in with some bad people (Pepper and Howarth) and that has gotten him in trouble with the law, in fact, he is suspected in several current investigations, ranging from arson to attempted murder. Most of these go back to a woman (Dushku) he had fallen in love with, who did not feel the same, and he couldn't handle it. He knows what he does is wrong, but it is the only way he knows how to deal with problems. He is considering taking his own life.
One day, their lives cross paths. Itís not a happy reunion, there are a lot of unresolved issues to be worked through, which are, eventually. Michael is disappointed at the life Rick leads, Rick blames his older brother for abandoning him when he was younger, leading him down a bad road. Theyíre deep down hostilities for each other culminates in a full out fight, where each of them gain a respect and understanding of each other.
They begin to make up for lost time. They begin to get closer, as brothers should, just as Michaelís success is skyrocketing, he is now one of the most sought after and highly paid attorneys in all of New York. Rick is improving too, he is seeing a therapist and beginning to put the pieces of his life back together. He meets a girl (Bell) who accepts his past and helps him move on.
Unfortunately for them, Michaelís success is big news, and it comes to the attention of their former tormentor and father, who was had a run of bad luck. He re-enters their lives determined to control and torture them into to giving him a cut. He still has a hold on Rick, who is stunned motionless upon his return.
It begins to work in Frank's favour, he seems to have the same effect on the two as he has always had, until the two tap into a new found confidence and resolve to end it once and for all.
Last edited by TwineSniper: 08-28-2005 at 07:12 PM.
The Patriarch - It's an interesting premise. I'm a little worried that the age difference is too wide. Grace looks younger than his age, and Downey, maybe even a little older. Still, I like both actors, even if you're stretching Grace into a more complex role than he's ever had. Still, I think he shows promise, so I'd be curious to see how he'd do.
Everything as it is, I'd probably catch it on video, but, with Paul Haggis attached to it, I'm more inclined to see it. I thought Million Dollar Baby was a good script, and I thought Crash was absolutely excellent. In fact, I would rather you had Haggis behind the camera, rather than Eastwood, personally. Still, I was so impressed with Crash, that I would probably see Haggis' next major film in theatres
BFG gets a rental from me. While I know I'd want to see it, and I love the concept, I always end up renting anything animated.
The Patriarch gets a rental as well, though it borders on theatre viewing. I'm not sure if I agree with the choice of lead actors, and given the hype around the performances in Crash (which I have yet to see) I think Haggis would've been better suited to a directorial role. However Eastwood is still easily one of the better filmmakers of this decade and Haggis's work on the screenplay, coupled with a fairly strong story, definitely draw me in.
Budget: $20 million
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director: Sofia Coppola
Writer: Sofia Coppola
based on: Exposure by Kathryn Harrison
Composer: Nancy Wilson
Ann Rogers - Maria Bello
Edgar Rogers - Nick Nolte
Carl (Ann's husband) - Ethan Hawke
Theo (speed dealing receptionist) - Jeremy Davies
Benny (partner at Visage Video) - Giancarlo Esposito
Ann is the thirty-seven year old co-founder of Visage Video, an uber successful video company that records special events, etc. and then puts them into a movie format for people. She is in the early stages of becoming a diabetic, is a speed junkie and a chronic shoplifter. She is married to a man who works as a renovator and who has no idea how messed up she is.
She is also the daughter of a famous (perhaps infamous) photographer father who made a name for himself photographing his adolescent-young adult daughter nude and in sexual situations. A twenty-five year retrospective of her Father's work is about to go on display at the Museum of Modern Art.
As the opening of the retrospective nears, Ann's life spirals out of control. He drug habit worsens, her shoplifting becomes more prolific (and she begins getting caught), and her marriage is slowly being torn away.
Ann must find a way to reconcile herself with her past and her connection to her father, as well as dealing with the various afflictions she has allowed to fester in her life. Will she be able to turn her life around, or will she spiral out of control and crash spectacularly?
Exposure - I like the premise. It sounds like a very strong dramatic picture. It's a challenging role though, and I'm not sure if Maria Bello is able to carry it. I've seen her in a few things, but she's usually playing a smaller role, with other actors carrying the film (The Cooler, Silver City). In fact, in the films that I have seen her in, she never has really stood out too much. As for Coppolla, I think she's talented, but I wasn't too enamoured with Lost in Translation. It was good, but I thought, overrated. Nolte seems perfect for the part though, especially the more I think about it.
The concept is strong though. I think I'd probably catch up to this movie on the rental market. I may have been more inclined if the casting and crew were designed my tastes specifically, but, I think everyone here would do a good job of it. They're just not the people that I happen to rush out and see. This is another film of yours where you have me thinking that I should trade you Charlie Kaufman, as I think you have better projects suited to his style than I do.
Title : Cerebral
Budget : $45 Million
Category : Original
Genre : Drama
Running Time : 144 Minutes
Rating : PG-13
Director : Alan Parker
Writer : David McKenna
Composer/Soundtrack : Patrick Doyle
Robert Newman : Jude Law
Carolyn Garett : Allison Janney
Brian Falker : Dule Hill
Monica Newman : Jewel Staite
Jerry Newman : Jack Nicholson
CIA Agent : Jean Reno
Plot Summary :
Robert Newman (Jude Law) is a Manhattan psychologist, specializing in trauma and post-traumatic stress patients. He's pretty much a loner, going to and from work on the subway, reading his magazines (New Yorker) and papers (New York Times) dilligently, keeping his Upper-East-Side apartment in impeccable and classy shape, with his cat Marbles for company. On the side, he's a mathematical wizard and enthusiast, solving equations out of university textbooks in his spare time. His age isn't given, but it's somewhere in his mid-late-30s. His neighbour and closest he has to a friend, Carolyn Garett, is always trying to take him out and have fun with him, but he almost always declines. One of his more recent patients, Brian Falker (Dule Hill), who just experienced the death of his younger sister while they were both at a nightclub and she got in a fight and was stabbed, relates to Newman that everywhere he looks, he sees a potential thief, criminal or murderer. It's starting to affect all aspects of his life, which is why he came to Newman.
Newman dwells on this particular patient as he goes about the following week or so, nothing changing about his regular pattern or whatnot. About a month after his first meeting with Falker, he gets a call from his own younger sister, Monica (Jewel Staite) in tears, as she tells him that his father was in critical condition back home in Wisconsin after suffering a stroke. Something about this news clicks into Newman's head, and he begins to suffer from increasingly acute anxiety. Whether it be elevators (he lives in a high-rise...begins taking the stairs up and down), the subway (he buys a bike so he can 'stay in control'), nightime (always is home before the sun sets, gets frantic about it when he has late patients) or central park, nearly every aspect of his previously-comfortable routine becomes a source of anxiety and fear. This comes to a turning point when he's confronted by a thief after walking home late since his bike was stolen and his patient was late. He gives the thief his wallet and sprints off to his apartment, and when he gets up there, he has a full blown panic attack. Once it subsides, he resolves to himself to create a focal point for his anxiety and fear. That focal point becomes the CIA and Secret Service, and he begins to think that agents are following him.
Over the next little while, he begins to get more paranoid throughout his home and worklife, though all his other anxiety is gone. He always has his blinds shut, at home and the office, has a radio on at medium volume so they can't hear him talk or think, doesn't answer the phone, and engulfs himself more and more in his maths and reading. He invests in a giant chalkboard that he puts up on the wall where a painting used to hang, and using his math skills, begins to track the 'patterns' of the agents. He makes a logbook and logs the descriptions, places, times and distance of the agents. One particularly gripping scene occures when he wakes up one morning and opens the kitchen cabinet to grab his shaving cream. When he closes it, the mirror reflects the agent behind him, leaning against his bathroom wall. The camera is placed behind Newman, so we see what he sees. He has a conversation with the 'agent', who reveals to him that they think he's a threat to the Soviet Union (though it no longer exists, the KGB is alive and well underground, the agent says) and that he will soon be apprehended for inspection. Newman picks up a glass and smashes it on the kitchen sink as he yells in frustration, and when he looks up the agent's gone. He hears a knocking at the door, and goes to get it. Carolyn is at the door, deathly worried for him since he hasn't been answering the phone, and asks him to go out that night to dinner. Newman agrees.
That night, as they walk home after dinner, Newman sees one lone agent turn out from an alleway ahead of them. He grabs Carolyn and pushes her up against the wall, fixed intently on the agent, yet Carolyn says no one's there. The agent dips back into the next alleyway, and Newman says it must have been his eyes acting up. They keep walking, albeit slightly faster, with Newman looking in all directions, until a few minutes later he sees several agents, one behind, one ahead and two ont he other side of the street. He begins to run, dragging Carolyn along with him, and just as the two agents from behind and in front would have reached him, he turns up the stairs into their apartment building. They run up the stairs full tilt, get up to his room where he closes and locks the door and they sit there in the dark for a second catching their breath. He tells her to talk in a quiet voice or they'll hear, and turns on a light. We're greeted with a messy living room, the chalkboard full of calculations and papers pinned up all over all the walls to continue the calculations. Carolyn is now incredibly worried about his health, and the next day calls back to his sister in Wisconsin, asking her to take him back home for a bit to see his dad and recover himself from whatever it is that's troubling him.
His sister does manage to convince him to go back to Wisconsin, where he does make what seems to be a full recovery. He heads back to New York, where everything seemingly returns to normal. Newman and Carolyn eventually form some form of romantic relationship, and he continues on with his practice. Some time later, they are living together in his apartment, when they awaken to a knock at the door. Newman opens the door, and it's the agent (Reno), who says in a subdued voice "I want to talk to you" as he drags Newman out into the hall. There's an agent on either side of the doorframe, and they drag him out onto the street and load him into an unmarked van. Just before getting in, he manages to put up a fight and bring the two agents down and begins to fight Reno. He's on top of him and in control, their faces inches apart, when he comes to a realisation through a series of incredibly quick flashbacks : The 'agent' was the same thief who set off his anxiety, and though there weren't agents tailing him, the face he put on the agent in his bathroom was the thief who had mugged him. It is assumed that Reno got his information through his wallet, and decided to pay him a visit. Newman drops Reno to the ground and stalks shakingly up the stairs back to their apartment. He opens the door to find Carolyn sitting on the couch asking who it was at the door. The final shot shows Newman's back with Carolyn off to the left of the screen, as Newman closes the door behind him saying "it was real."
The first half of the movie depends greatly on silence. There aren't a whole lot of lines said outside of work and the occassional interactions, and even then minimal, and it isn't really until Carolyn comes along more forcefully that dialogue begins to emerge more. The uses of shadows and darker lights are emphasized in Newman's flat, despite the modern and classy decor, and the New York at night is right out of Hollywood, with steaming sewers, a strangely empty 8th Avenue during the mugging, etc. The movie is realtively slower-paced, with several anti-climactic moments. I really hope the mood came across decent enough.