In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, “True Grit” teases, and IMDb points a camera at Kevin Spacey.
If you were to run across Kevin Spacey and ask him to recommend a great movie you should see, here’s what he’d suggest: “Super Troopers.” Honest. That’s one thing you’ll learn from the first installment in the Internet Movie Database’s 20th Anniversary “Stars of the Day” feature, which’ll showcase a new video interview with a different notable each day until October 17, the official anniversary. (IMDb CEO Col Needham talks about it here.) In the video, Spacey and his producing partner Dana Brunetti spend five minutes talking about movies they love, and two promoting their new projects. The IMDb anniversary countdown also begins with a look back at 1990, including trailers of “Goodfellas,” “Home Alone” and “Pretty Woman,” among others; a photo gallery (“Days of Thunder” to “La Femme Nikita”); and an essay heavy on things that were “doomed” in 1990, from Tom Hanks’ acting career to the NC-17 rating. (One of the two would recover nicely.) It’s a breezy read, though it could use some copy editing. (Internet Movie Database)
With the Coen Brothers' “True Grit” teaser trailer hitting the web on Monday, reactions are starting to come in. “Yum,” says Kim Voynar, who points out that trailer mentions the Oscar wins and nominations of just about everybody involved, indicating pretty clearly that Paramount is gunning for gold with this one as well. (Movie City News) Anne Thompson, meanwhile, is just as enthusiastic, though she strangely compares the lead character played by Hailee Steinfeld to the Frances McDormand character in the Coens’ “Fargo,” when Steinfeld pretty much seems straight out of Charles Portis’ novel, though perhaps a touch less stilted. Thompson also thinks there’s an “Unforgiven” flavor to the trailer, which seems like a stretch to me. I’d say there’s a “True Grit” flavor, a tone that has little to do with Clint Eastwood’s masterwork but everything to do with Portis’ novel – and more than a passing resemblance to the 1969 Henry Hathaway film, though the Coens’ version seems a bit moodier and more somber and a little less jokey. (Thompson on Hollywood)
With controversy raging over the stalled production of “The Hobbit,” which was hobbled by MGM’s financial woes and now the subject of union complaints, Kyle Buchanan has a modest proposal: producer (and possible director) Peter Jackson should “do the right thing and shut ‘The Hobbit’ down – for good.” His basic argument is that when a project is this beset by woes, and delayed for this long, it can never live up to expectations. “At this point, it seems like the universe is conspiring against the movie,” he writes, “and by now, we should have learned to trust the universe when it comes to troubled, long-delayed film projects.” I loved Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” movies, but as somebody who never understood why the slightest and lightest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s rings books needed to be puffed up into two movies, I’d say that Buchanan probably has a point. (Vulture)
Here’s a film festival with rarefied tastes: special events at the seventh Reykjavik International Film Festival include a “Talent Laboratory” discussion with director Jim Jarmusch, who received the fest’s Lifetime Achievement Award on opening night, and a special video conference with controversial linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky. Annika Pham has some info, though without mentioning that the festival is also showcasing some marginally more mainstream offerings, such as “Winter’s Bone” and “The Tillman Story.” (Cineuropa)