She will be caught between Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, the poor thing
And MSN has an exclusive clip from the new edition
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: 40th Anniversary Blu-ray+DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition" (Warner) - Recently, while visiting with friends one night, the adults decided to put on a DVD to keep the kids entertained while we visited. "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" started up and within minutes we realized out mistake, but it was too late. We were just as caught up in the film as the kids were.
See an MSN exclusive clip from the new edition after the jump
Because "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is that rare breed: an imaginative live-action kid's film that engages and delights adults. For all the wonder of a film, with its bouncy, silly songs, art design in candy colors, and mix of innocence and strangeness, there is also an edge to Gene Wilder's simultaneously weird and warm eccentricities, like a mix of storybook fantasy and Grimm Fairy tale updated to the industrial world of the twentieth century. The pure imagination of the world inside the factory is an escape from the dreary reality of soot-covered town, and by extension the taste of a Wonka bar is a little piece of paradise.
Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have tried their hand at adapting Roald Dahl's classic fantasy but even Burton's madcap imagination can't match the perfect balance that director Mel Stuart (a major documentarian of the sixties and seventies) and Dahl (who adapts his own book) bring to the production, and Depp fails to bring the mix of mystery and magic and dark and light of Wilder's knowing incarnation.
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: 40th Anniversary Blu-ray+DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition" (Warner) is the biggest release of this evergreen yet. Which is not to say there is a lot of new supplements to this box. The new interview featurette with director Mel Stuart isn't very long (about 12 minute) but it is quite lovingly made and features new interview snippets with his children (who had bit parts in the movie) and two of grown child actors from the film. (See an exclusive clip from this new featurette after the jump.)
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Playing cult -- or, rather, 'community' -- leader Patrick in Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene," John Hawkes continues a string of incredible performances that saw him earn a Best Supporting Actor nomination last year for his work as the career criminal and family man 'Teardrop' in "Winter's Bone.' We spoke with Hawkes in Los Angeles.
Not to be too glib, but did "Winter's Bone' open up whole new avenues for you professionally for being scary as hell?
Hawkes (laughing): Oh I don't know, I know that it has brought me more choices in the independent film world, which is the place I feel most at home. I've played several characters since 'Winter's Bone,' and several ones since this one, that aren't at all scary. Just regular people who are making their way.
Scott Derrickson ('The Exorcism of Emily Rose') will co-write and direct
On high finance, bracing to be Spock again, and coming out.
With a new movie he produced opening up, you would think Zachary Quinto -- perhaps best known as Spock in J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" reboot -- had enough on his plate. But even as he prepares to release the financial drama "Margin Call" -- with a powerhouse cast including Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, Penn Badgley, Paul Bettany, Kevin Spacey and more -- Quinto also found the time to announce, on Oct. 16th, that in the wake of the suicide of gay teen Jamey Rodemeyer " ... it became clear to me in an instant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it ... is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality."
Playing a rocket scientist turned number-cruncher, Quinto's character in many ways serves as the man who cries 'wolf' in "Margin Call -- with the difference that the wolf, in this case, is at the door and very real. We spoke with Quinto via phone from New York about "Margin Call,' the coincidences of timing and social change on the macro and micro scale.
On 'Margin Call,' you're listed as a producer -- were you hands-on, or was it just a case of one of those remarkably fortuitous circumstances where you can put your name to something and help make it happen?
Quinto: No, I started a production company three years ago, and it's my production company that's responsible for making this movie from the beginning. I was involved every step of the way, and very hands on fashion in terms of going to meetings with financiers and pitching the movie. And once we got our money in place, reaching out to actors and their reps and having conversations on a daily basis. So for me and my relationship to producing, it's not just a figurehead. It's really invested in the process, and rewarded by making something out of nothing.
What exactly did you like the most?
Quinto: Well, I liked believing in something, and I liked declaring that I wanted to bring it into the world, and then I liked taking every step along the way to make that happen. I really liked the collaborative energy of it. I really connected in a whole new way with my business partners, both of whom have been friends of mine for fifteen years. I forged a new created relationship with J.C. (Chandor), our writer director, who I now consider a very close friend. I got to work with and learn from some of the most respected actors in the industry and I got to overcome obstacles that might have prevented us from having any of those experiences on a daily basis. So for me it was a real constant challenge in the best sense of the word.
The cast that you and the director were able to put together -- Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore -- at what point did you start clapping your hands together?
Depp bobs and weaves through the fourth film in the waterlogged franchise
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (Disney) is proof that even in this era of franchise films, CGI effects and $200 million budgets, star power counts. In the diminishing returns of this waterlogged series of films based on a theme park attraction, it's Johnny Depp and his surefooted portrayal of punch-drunk pirate knave Captain Jack Sparrow that keeps the course.
Much of the original crew jumped ship before this installment and Gore Verbinski surrenders the helm to director Rob Marshall, who stages slapstick like dance choreography and action like a theme park ride. Which I guess is appropriate, but about as engaging as the soggy romantic stand-ins for Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom: Sam Claflin, as a missionary of a sailor, and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, as a captured mermaid (in this film, they are more ferocious mythological harpies than Disney damsels), are young and pretty but hardly make an impression. Geoffrey Rush tries to single-handedly make up for them with his trademark scenery chewing bluster (which, in this case, is welcome) and Ian McShane spins his dark charm as Blackbeard, while Penélope Cruz brings the hot sauce as the tempestuous love interest for Jack while they search for the Fountain of Youth. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yeah, that's the goal this time. Like it matters.
"It does, I have to admit, tend to bog down in the seemingly infinite twists and bits of business leading up to the climax, and movie-overfed-critic types are likely to fondly recall the better movies, including "I Walked With a Zombie" and "The Princess Bride," that this draws inspiration from," confesses MSN film critic Glenn Kenny, who gives the film more of a pass than I do. "(T)he "Pirates" movies have, from the beginning, tended to be bloated, overdetermined, noisy and nonsensical…. But I myself think that kind of misses the point. For as logy and simultaneously action-packed and incoherent the "Pirates" movies are as cinematic stories, they are in fact very effective and welcome movie environments."
Then again, Kenny saw the film in the theater in 3D, where the big screen spectacle and crazy details are better able to distract from the lack of story or logic or character. Shrink it down to home theater, even on a generous screen, and the environment just becomes a backdrop, and an awfully busy one at that.