6/20/2007

News Round-Up

Posted in Side Topics at 11:13 am by Sam

To Catch a Thief gets lovingly restored for a new DVD release, and here’s all you’d ever want to know about it.

Michael Apted (The “Up” Documentaries, The World Is Not Enough) will direct The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) will direct the 22nd James Bond film, which is apparently at least somewhat a continuation of the story of Casino Royale.

Indiana Jones 4 is finally starting principal photography.

Ratatouille is the best film since Undercover Brother.

I have to say, both director announcements are wonderful. Andrew Adamson made a good Narnia film, and hopefully the next one follows suit. But much like Chris Columbus’ two Harry Potter films, there isn’t a real sense of style to bring the material as alive as it can be. It’s a good movie only because it’s a good story with a lot of money thrown at it. With Michael Apted helming Dawn Treader, many people’s favorite of the books, there’s a good chance that, as Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell did with Potter, the material will be brought that much more alive by a sharp cinematic vision.

Marc Forster for Bond 22 is the kind of choice that would make me nervous except that I seem to have been here before and it turned out all right. When? When Michael Apted, ironically enough, was hired for The World Is Not Enough. Apted is a brilliant documentarian, but I didn’t know he could do an action movie, let alone a Bond movie. As it turns out, I think Apted made the best of the Brosnan Bond films. (I’m contradicting myself from Episode 6; since then, I’ve rewatched all of them and had a few minor changes of opinion, which I still need to write about here.)

Forster isn’t quite as much of a left-field choice, but Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, and Stranger Than Fiction aren’t exactly big budget spectacle thrillers. On the other hand, one glance at this list, and you know he can make you care about his characters and elicit great performances from his actors.

The action stuff on Bond films is usually done by the second unit, a crew of Bond veterans that knows what they’re doing because they’ve been doing it for many many movies now. What the director really needs to bring is the eye for the story and character behind the spectacle. I might never have thought of Forster for the job, but now that I hear he’s been hired, I’m liking the idea a lot.

2 Comments »

  1. LaZorra (60) said,

    June 23, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I never liked Dawn Treader. I always liked (surprise!) the Horse and His Boy better, but because it doesn’t involve the “main” characters, it never gets filmed. :-/

    Also w00t To Catch a Thief!

  2. Grishny (156) said,

    June 23, 2007 at 9:53 am

    My personal favorite of the Narnia series is The Magician’s Nephew. After that, I’d probably rank them Dawn Treader, TLTW&TW, Prince Caspian, TH&HB, Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.

    I never understood why I didn’t like The Last Battle as a kid. Having recently re-read it as I was reading through the entire series with my son, I think now I do; it’s a much-less-thinly-veiled allegory on some fairly deep theological concepts (apostasy, the end times, etc) and as a child it was much more difficult to appreciate that. I also never liked the way Susan was suddenly just written out of the story; it just seemed wrong. I’m not alone on that, either; I recently read an interesting short story on the subject by Neil Gaiman called “The Problem of Susan,” it was collected in the Fragile Things anthology.

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