The Wolf of Wall Street
“I partied like a rock star, lived like a king.” That’s the tagline on Jordan Belfort’s tell-all autobiography. It also happens to be the project that re-teams Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese with his go-to lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio for their 5th collaboration. The screenplay is also scribed by Sopranos/Boardwalk Empire Emmy winning writer, Terence Winter. Could this finally be the role that lands Leo an Oscar? The Wolf of Wall Street centers on Belfort (DiCaprio), a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a massive 1990s securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including mob infiltration. The film also stars Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Favreau and Jean Dujardin. It is currently being filmed, so a late year awards season release is most likely in the cards.
Twelve Years a Slave
Talk about an interesting ensemble. The new film by Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger) stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Scoot McNairy and Beasts of the Southern Wild stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Howard. That’s a lot of talent packed into a project for one of the most unique directors on the rise in Hollywood. Twelve Years a Slave tells the true story of Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a New York citizen who was kidnapped in Washington in 1841 and rescued from a cotton plantation in Louisiana in 1853. The film is currently in post-production so a September/October release is looking possible.
There’s a rumor on the streets that Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, opens with a record breaking 20 minute plus single shot. It wouldn’t surprise me because Cuarón and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki did some groundbreaking camerawork on their previous joint effort, the amazing Children of Men. The story follows Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) who is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) who is in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. The film was originally slated for a late November 2012 release but was yanked because of limited IMAX theaters available in the crowded holiday schedule. Gravity is now locked and loaded for an October 18th release and could be the sci-fi spectacle of the year.
This is the End
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are the writing team that brought us Superbad and Pineapple Express, now they try their hand at writing and directing with their latest experiment, This is the End. The films centers on a party at James Franco‘s house, where Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. That’s right, all the actors are playing themselves. The other celebrities that make appearances are Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, Martin Starr and Aziz Ansari. That’s a lot of comedy to go around. Should be hilarious. We shall see on June 14th.
Only God Forgives
I proclaimed after I saw Drive at the Toronto International Film Festival that I believed Nicholas Winding Refn would be the next Tarantino or Scorsese. What I really hope Refn becomes though is his own unique style of director, who continues to push the boundaries and display his vision on screen. His upcoming 2013 project should do just that. Only God Forgives re-teams him with his Drive star Ryan Gosling in a story that follows Julian (Gosling) a former kick-boxer and gangster living in Bangkok where his brother is murdered by a ruthless Thai police lieutenant. Julian is forced to seek vengeance in a Thai boxing match or risk his own death. The latest Refn bloodbath will be released on March 28th, 5 days after this wiseguys birthday. Well, happy fucking birthday to me.