Tucked away in the woods of Chicago, this four-bed, four-bath is a modernist masterpiece, but might be more well-know for its starring role in the painfully infamous car scene of the feature film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Its reprise on the web currently comes from its recent listing on the market for $2.3 million.
Two steel-and-glass buildings make up this peaceful palace with the garage celebrating the automobile by showcasing the cars within. Architects A. James Speyer and David Haid built the structures on steel beams, creating a Jetson-like pod above the ground. The home also has stunning panoramic views, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls spanning 5,300 square feet and lending an affect much like Philip Johnson’s famed Glass House.
To Inquire or learn more visit Sotheby’s International Realty.
Perhaps this is an obvious question, but how is it that Pixar — no matter how high the expectations for their movies may be — almost always manages to trump those expectations? Sure, a DreamWorks or Blue Sky may come along with a Kung Fu Panda or Ice Age here or there and surprise everyone with success, but for Pixar, the only surprise is how their films work even better than you might have hoped they would.
And such is the case with their latest, Up, which opens this weekend in both standard and digital 3-D forms. We’d all heard good things about this one for some time now, and as it turns out, we heard right.>
Director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and writer-co-director Bob Peterson (co-writer on Finding Nemo) have further charted the course that the company set out on back in 1995 with Toy Story, mixing family entertainment with emotionally-dense storytelling that consistently one-ups, if you will, most of the live-action films Hollywood has been churning out for years now.
As with last year’s WALL.E, Up begins in a less conventional manner than one might expect from a mainstream animated film. WALL.E had its famous wordless first act, and now this picture features a similarly effective — and quite affecting — sequence early on depicting the lifelong relationship between lead characters Carl and Ellie as they meet, fall in love, marry, and eventually grow old together until one of them dies. Subtly, of course, so as to not freak out the kiddies in attendance.
The one who doesn’t die is Carl, voiced by Ed Asner. Having lost his bubbly Mary Tyler Moore, the pushing-80 Carl has nothing left in life to keep his spirits up, as they say. And yet while this geriatric animated character has taken an emotional licking, he keeps on ticking, working through his daily routine of getting out of bed, cleaning the house, dressing, and heading out to… sit on the porch, talking to his dear departed Ellie, who in his mind has come to be represented by the home the pair shared all those years.
But when a big-city real-estate developer manages to get Carl evicted from his house and sent to an old-age home, our elderly hero takes action. Former balloon salesman that he is, Carl turns the house into a flying contraption, lifted into the air by hundreds and hundreds of inflatables which enable the old man to float above his problems, if only for the moment. The initial shots of Carl’s flight are breathtaking and beautifully rendered as the character charts a course with his house-balloon for South America, site of his and Ellie’s childhood dreams of adventure.
Speaking of which, Carl soon finds that he’s got a stowaway onboard, a neighborhood kid named Russell (Jordan Nagai) who is all go-go-go, but who we slowly piece together is facing abandonment issues of his own. The not-quite-curmudgeonly (but not-quite-nice either) Carl has to take the boy under his grey wing once they arrive in South America, where the adventure the old guy had dreamed of his whole life immediately takes to interfering with his day-to-day. These exploits include encountering a pack of talking dogs (not talking in the traditional cartoon sense, but talking via electronic thingamabobs strapped to their collars), adopting a rare species of bird, and stumbling upon a Lindbergh-esque childhood hero of his who is amazingly still alive and looks a heckuva lot like Kirk Douglas (but is voiced by Christopher Plummer).
If the Plummer character winds up being perhaps a bit too commonplace by animated-film standards in his intentions and deeds, those dogs more than make up for it — especially the canine that “adopts” Carl, a mutt named Dug (voiced by co-director Peterson, who apparently did his canine research for the role). The lovable Dug instantly enters the canon of iconic Pixar characters, barking out lines like, “My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you,” and, “My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master and he made me this collar so that I may speak. Squirrel!”
The design of these events is stunning throughout, with the climactic action scenes onboard the ersatz Douglas’ dirigible at least matched by the less flashy down-to-Earth shots of Carl dragging his slowly deflating house-balloon through the jungle. Oh-so-slightly deflated as well is one’s enthusiasm for the material late in the film, which becomes slightly more generic good-guy-vs.-bad-guy stuff when compared to the inspired opening sequences of the movie. And yet, in the end Up turns out to not be an action movie or a comedy or a kid’s film, or even necessarily a mere animated movie, but rather a beyond-the-grave love story between Carl and his lost bride. And if a tear or two is shed in the audience due to this heartfelt plotline, well, at least you’ll have your 3-D glasses to hide behind.
Release date: Friday July 24, 2009 Genre: Comedy.Animation/Adventure/Action Director: Hoyt Yeatman Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Screenplay: Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Tim Firth Producer(s): Jerry Bruckheimer Cast: Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Will Arnett, Steve Buscemi, Bill Nighy, Kelli Garner, Tracy Morgan, Zach Galifianakis, Tyler Patrick Jones Official Site:disney.go.com/disneypictures/gforce Rating:PG for some mild action and rude humor Available film art:G-Force movie posters
Synopsis Producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings his first 3-D film to the big screen with “G-Force,” a comedy adventure about the latest evolution of a covert government program to train animals to work in espionage. Armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, these highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws. Tapped for the G-Force are guinea pigs Darwin (voice of Sam Rockwell), the squad leader determined to succeed at all costs; Blaster (voice of Tracy Morgan), an outrageous weapons expert with tons of attitude and a love for all things extreme; and Juarez (voice of Penelope Cruz), a sexy martial arts pro; plus the literal fly-on-the-wall reconnaissance expert, Mooch, and a star-nosed mole, Speckles (voice of Nicolas Cage), the computer and information specialist.
Rebecca Murray from About:com Hollywood Movies interviews Dan Lin, at the US premiere of Terminator: Salvation, about the future of Lara Croft.
Terminator Salvation Producer Dan Lin
This is a reboot of the franchise because we’re not really looking at #3, right? We’re looking at #1, #2 and #4. Does it really follow #3 at all or do you have to know #3?
Dan Lin: “Only the very end of #3 when Judgment Day has happened. That’s really the only thing of #3. Otherwise, it’s a reboot of Terminator but it really goes back to the mythology that Jim Cameron set up in T1 and T2.”
Now that mythology, do you have to be an expert? Do you have to know your T600s from your T800s to be able to get into this movie?
Dan Lin: “We hope not. We really want to be able to introduce a new set of fans to Terminator, that’s why we have Sam Worthington – a great new actor – and bringing Christian Bale, a credible actor that everyone really loves. So we really hope it brings teenagers and new fans that maybe didn’t watch T1 and T2.”
How important is it at this point in the franchise to go back and do a prequel?
Dan Lin: “We do do it and you’ll see we bring people up to speed about what’s happened in the last three movies. So I think it’s important to set up the mythology before we start the movie.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t actually go on the set to do this, but he is in the film. How hard was it to talk him into doing that?
Dan Lin: “It was a digital cameo. I’ve got to say the sequence is an award-winning sequence, really amazing visual effects. It wasn’t easy. He’s a very busy man. He’s got a lot on his plate. McG really talked to him and convinced him that it would be good for everyone.”
And he said yes right away?
Dan Lin: “I wouldn’t say right away. It’s a big decision and he was really thoughtful about it.”
Okay, now Sherlock Holmes – is it a comedy? Is it an action comedy? What is it?
Dan Lin: “The tone is period Butch and Sundance. It’s almost like a buddy cop movie set in the period world. Like Butch and Sundance it’s action-oriented, but there’s definitely comedy to it. It’s really about these two guys, Sherlock and Watson, who basically they’re best friends and there’s an incident that sets them apart and they have to come back together at the end of the movie.”
So this Sherlock Holmes is actually more of an action stud James Bond-type guy than he ever has been portrayed before?
Dan Lin: “It’s interesting. When you go back to Sherlock Holmes and read the books, he’s actually a much darker, action-oriented character than what has been told in recent stories. We went back to the origin of Sherlock Holmes so, yes, he is action-oriented. But if you read the books, he was trained in a martial art called Bartitsu so we haven’t made anything up. This is really coming from the books.”
And you’re also going to be involved in Lara Croft?
Dan Lin: “Yeah, we’re rebooting Lara Croft as well. Really excited – it’s a great origin story that we’re going to tell. A very character-oriented I would say more realistic than the past Lara Croft movies.”
Any casting on that yet?
Dan Lin: “Not yet.”But it is going to be a younger version so it can’t be Angelina Jolie
Dan Lin: “It is an origin story so it is a younger Lara Croft.”
And it will be full-on action?
Dan Lin: “I would say it’s like Terminator – character-driven action. I think for me the Lara Croft games and movies have gone a little too action-oriented. I wanted to have action, but with character.”
Click on the link below to to watch the video interview:
Bond series producer Michael G. Wilson told the press in April that there had been no significant work done on the next James Bond film. What a difference a month makes.
CommanderBond.net points out that Wilson attended the Ivor Novello Awards in London this week where he spoke to British tabloid The Sun about the status of Bond 23. “We have started work on the new film, which I can’t say anything about. Daniel Craig is very keen to get going,” the producer said.
Wilson also revealed who he’d like to have sing the theme song to the next sequel. “I would love to get [Welsh singer] Duffy to sing the next tune. I think she is wonderful. Amy Winehouse would be good too.”
In an interview with IGN Movies last fall, Wilson revealed that the next Bond film would likely come out in 2011.
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Release date: Friday May 22, 2009 Genre: Comedy Running time: 83 min. Director: Damien Dante Wayans Studio: Paramount Pictures, Marvekl Studios Screenplay: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans Producer(s): Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez, Shawn Wayans Cast: Damon Wayans, Jr., Craig Wayans, Shoshana Bush, Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett Official Site:thedanceflick.com Rating:PG-13 crude and sexual content throughout, and language Available film art:The Dance Flick movie posters
Synopsis “Dance Flick” is a satirical jab at musical/dance films focusing on a naive girl who uses dance to achieve her dreams, and the street smart guy who helps her along the way. A rich, white girl from the suburbs finds herself on a series of misadventures when she moves to the mean streets of the inner-city.
Director Damien Wayans positively nails the unblinking earnestness and white-bread morality of the Hollywood dance movie in this witty send-up of cheesy sentiment starring Shoshana Bush and Damon Wayans Jr.
Though these are the same people who made White Chicks and Little Man, the good news about Dance Flick, the latest offering from the Wayans dynasty, is that it’s frequently very funny.
It’s not the lines that make it amusing – although there are more than a few great zingers flying gracefully just below the radar – but the pitch.
Director Damien Wayans (My Wife and Kids) positively nails the unblinking earnestness and white-bread morality of the Hollywood dance movie in this witty send-up of cheesy sentiment.
The real beauty of Dance Flick is just how well the spoof elements fuse with the sticky traces of genre, ensuring nothing feels all that forced – which is a small, but fully appreciated, gift to the viewer in movies that limbo down to the lowest common denominator.
Pulling the basics of plot off the shelf, writers Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Craig Wayans and Damien Wayans cobble together the classic storyline about two dancers trying to make it to the big time.
Megan White (Shoshana Bush) is a fallen ballet dancer trying to make it to Julliard. Thomas Uncles (Damon Wayans Jr.) is a street kid who just wants to dance, but whose socio-economic situation strips the spring from his step and binds his ankles with old ‘hood baggage.
These two young kids may have different dance styles, but they share the same dream of high-stepping on the Great White Way – with an emphasis on “white.”
Race always figures in the Wayans book of comedy. They are one of the few creative teams to really pick up the ball of bigotry and give it a boot in a comic context – in a way that appeals to all demographic sectors.
It’s a relief to be able to laugh at the image of Megan White backpedalling through white guilt as she tries to befriend a group of African-American schoolmates at the cafeteria.
By the same token, watching an overcooked scene of ghetto bonding between two street thugs pulls down the same walls of stereotype with giddy laughter.
By the time we make it to the big showdown, a dance contest that could net the winner $10,000 in cash, the movie’s found such a natural groove through cliche that we can sit back and wait for the magic.
If you’re eager to get all the jokes and visual nods, it helps a lot if you’re familiar with the likes of High School Musical, Fame, Flashdance, Footloose, Step Up, Rize, Dirty Dancing and other diamonds in the genre tiara – but it’s not essential.
The Wayans collective has the comic gift. Half the time, it’s little more than looks on the actors’ faces that trigger a giddy response, because they sell it straight, thus emphasizing the inanity of lines such as, “Dancing is in my heart” and “Let’s kick it, bitch.”
There’s no question the Wayans understand how and why the Hollywood dance movie became a distillation of the American Dream. They see the Busby Berkeley metaphor for self-determination.
They also recognize the underlying social strata that divided the MGM production numbers from minstrel fare, which pulls the musical out of its social closet – in a way – since the form really owes a lot of its history to the contributions of African-American culture.
Dance Flick is a fragrant mix of sweat, bowel and bawdy fun. It also has the depth to touch on larger societal issues, while perfecting the fart joke at the same time.
Terry Gilliam poses during the photocall of the movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” presented out of competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2009. Photograph by: VALERY HACHE, AFP/Getty Images
The spirit of Heath Ledger was in the air Friday as the world’s press gathered to see his final film, a fantasy called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Ledger died in January, 2008, halfway into making the film; director Terry Gilliam completed it by getting three other actors – Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell – to play Ledger’s character in separate sequences.
“I didn’t see how we could finish the film,” Gilliam recalled. “He did half the role.” But the people involved in Imaginarium told him he couldn’t be “a lazy bastard” and give up. Gilliam said he thought it would not have been respectful to get just one actor to take over the role, so he got three of them – “people who know and love Heath” – to play scenes. Depp, Law and Farrell all donated their salaries to a fund for Matilda, Ledger’s daughter.
“They came to the rescue of this thing,” Gilliam said. “To me, they’re the real heroes.”
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (which is a Canadian co-production) received enthusiastic applause after Friday’s press screening, and several journalists expressed their fondness for it at a post-screening press conference, but in fact, it is a mess: whimsy gone wrong, with a silly storyline scattered across a mishmash of clockwork production design that is garish and fake-looking as often as it is ingenious. The story concerns the owner of a travelling show (played by Christopher Plummer) who years earlier made a pact with the devil (Tom Waits) that could mean his teenage daughter is given over to Mr. Nick, as he’s called. People go in and out of a magic mirror where they meet the events of their imagination, presented as clunky fantasy; Ledger plays Tony, a disreputable businessman discovered hanging by his neck under a bridge and who is saved and added to the circus. It’s a macabre entrance under the circumstances.
Gilliam said that Tony was named after former British prime minister Tony Blair, “and I couldn’t imagine a more fitting end for that character than to be hanging from a bridge.”
The director, who was born in America but is now a British citizen, added, “I think Tony believes everything that comes out of his mouth, even though he’s never thought of it until the moment he said it.”
Gilliam is a highly inventive director – he was the animator for the Monty Python troupe and his visionary ideas for movies like Brazil and 12 Monkeys show a unique visual sense – and he said the ideas for Imaginarium came from everything he has done before. Together with Charles McKeown, who co-wrote Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, they made what he called “a compendium of all the things I was interested in, from Python cartooning to 12 Monkeys.”
Gilliam is also an unlucky one: he has been trying for years to make a movie about Don Quixote, and his movie about that movie, called Lost in La Mancha, is a fascinating account of things going wrong in a project, from on-set mishaps to a serious injury to his leading actor.
In the case of Imaginarium, the death of the leading man in the middle of shooting the movie brought the cast and crew closer together.
Gilliam said that as painful as it was, “it was not as bad as some other situations I’ve been involved in,” when people have tried to interfere with his movies.
“What was important to me was how to get Heath’s performances up there, alive and well,” Gilliam said. “Everybody was just going to make sure there was no void left when Heath left us.”
In the film, there are three sequences when Tony, the Ledger character, goes through Dr. Parnassus’ magic mirror: Gilliam uses each of the three new actors in those scenes and although there appear to be some references to the Ledger tragedy – people talking about staying forever young, for instance, or a reference to “a tale of unforeseen death” – Gilliam said those were all part of the original script.
French producer Samuel Hadida called Imaginarium a case of Gilliam going back to his fantasy roots with a bigger budget.
For his next project, he’s going back again: he said he’s going to take another crack at Don Quixote. Shooting is scheduled to start next spring.
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Most are too young to be even vaguely aware of Woodstock Music and Art Fair these days. But the impact of the three-day celebration of peace and music on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York back in 1969 marked the pinnacle of the hippie era and saw nearly half a million people descend on the 600-acre site. Acts included Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, The Who and Jimi Hendrix and the fest was an unprecedented event in music history.
Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock is the tale of Elliot Tiber (oddly renamed Teichberg in the movie), president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, who held the only permit for a music festival in the area (he planned to put on a chamber music show) and invited the event’s organisers to the town when they were denied a permit in the nearby town of Wallkill. Based on his autobiography, we join him as a young man (Demetri Martin) struggling to maintain his parent’s motel business and coming to terms with his sexuality.
When he reads that the permit for the Wallkill has been pulled, he pitches the idea of bringing the festival to Bethel to promoter Michael Lang (Jonathan Groff). Before long, plans are underway to run the show on Max Yasgur’s farm, proving a much-needed investment of capital into Tiber’s motel, which the organisers use to house themselves and their offices while the show comes together.
The film is really about Elliot’s journey without moving. While struggling with his own identity and his responsibilities to his parents – a battleaxe mother (Imelda Staunton) and ailing father (Henry Goodman) – he welcomes an incredibly liberal collection of people to his town who teach him the value of personal identity. It’s an incredibly powerful theme punctuated brilliantly by Liev Schreiber as a transvestite ex-marine, of whom Elliot asks if his father understands what he is. He replies, “Honey, I know who I am. That should make it easier for everyone else.”
Maybe it’s not surprising to see a film with powerful homosexual themes from Lee, who was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for Brokeback Mountain, but he explores the subject with an impressively deft hand, making Elliot’s journey remarkably genuine. The real Tiber was present for the Stonewall riots, which happened weeks before the film’s timeline begins, but Lee and screenwriter James Schamus focus their adaptation on a young man whose sexuality isn’t so assured before the film begins and allows the audience to take the film’s journey with him.
It’s not quite as successful in that respect as Almost Famous, another film about a young man’s journey into the world of live music, as Patrick Fugit’s character in that film is, perhaps, less affected by a history that isn’t spelled out within the film. But Taking Woodstock is as much about Elliot’s journey as it is about the foundations of the music festival. In the clash of big business and hippie ideals that gave birth to the show it’s a film both funny and engaging. On the sidelines, Emile Hirsch as a Vietnam vet and Paul Dano as an Acid-dropping hippie provide drama and comedy respectively, while Dan Fogler is hilarious as the leader of an alternative theatre troop whose main artistic contribution to the world seems to be to dance around naked.
When the festival kicks off, Elliot is nowhere near the action – if nothing else, clearing rights to that material would have been mighty tricky – but Lee gives a comfortable sense of scale in cleverly chosen CG shots mixed, predominantly, with vast scenes involving extras.
It may not be on a par with Brokeback, nor as powerful as Lust, Caution, but Taking Woodstock is another triumph for Ang Lee, a director whose resume gets more and more diverse with every project he tackles.
The fourth installment of the Terminator series follows an adult John Connor (played by Christian Bale) as he attempts to organize a human resistance force which could prove to be humankind’s last true hope for survival in the war against their intelligent robot overlords. Opening in the year 2018, Terminator Salvation finds John Connor’s certainty about the future shaken by the sudden appearance of a mysterious stranger named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), whose last memory is of sitting on death row and awaiting execution. Unable to determine whether Marcus was sent from the future or rescued from the past, Connor begins to wonder whether there is still any hope left for the human race as the robots grow more powerful and aggressive than ever before. It appears that Skynet is preparing a devastating final attack designed to eliminate the human resistance forces once and for all, leaving Connor and Marcus with no choice but to strike back at the cybernetic heart of Skynet’s operations. Once there, the two battle-scarred soldiers discover a devastating secret regarding the potential annihilation of all humankind. Anton Yelchin fills Michael Biehn’s shoes as a young Kyle Reese in what is planned to be a new Terminator trilogy from director McG.
Cast: Christian Bale, Anton Yelchin, Sam Worthington, Moon Bloodgood, Common; Directed by: McG
Sequel to the box office hit will bring the dead presidents and extinct animals of the “Museum at the Museum” back to life.
Original film featured single father Larry Daley (Ben Stiller), as he grudgingly accepts the supposedly menial graveyard shift as a security guard at the Natural History Museum. To his utter astonishment and disbelief, Larry watches in shock and awe as, one by one, the primeval beasts and storied icons that surround him stir magically to life – and total havoc ensues.
Cast: Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Hank Azaria, Robin Williams, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Christopher Guest, Jon Bernthal, Bill Hader, Alain Chabat, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon; Directed By: Shawn Levy