Monday, September 17, 2007



Dir. Wes Anderson

Starring - Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston, Natalie Portman

The Darjeeling Limited is the latest from off-beat virtuoso director Wes Anderson (Rushmore/The Royal Tanenbaums/The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou), described as an "emotional comedy about three brothers re-forging family bonds", set on a train trip across India. After viewing the trailer, the pic seems like another fun ride, Wes Anderson style, with an impeccable soundtrack. For any die hard Anderson fan, what more could you hope for? The cast is fantastic and the setting, inspiring. I'll definitely be there when this one opens on September 29.

Not to discount the quality of the film, but as for Oscar chances, I think it's best to say Anderson hasn't found his Oscar-bound voice yet.

Release Date - September 29, 2007

Oscar Buzz - Not so much. :(


Thursday, September 6, 2007


Dir. Paul Haggis

Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon, James Franco, Jason Patric, Josh Brolin, Frances Fisher

Release date: September 21, 2007

Despite the absolutely awful poster (see above), 'In the Valley of Elah' might make waves in the Oscar race this year. Directed by Hollywood darling Paul Haggis ('Crash', 'Million Dollar Baby'), the film centers around the father (Tommy Lee Jones) of an AWOL soldier who has just returned home from Iraq and the detective (Charlize Theron) who tries to help him find his son. With Susan Sarandon as the mother of the missing soldier and a supporting cast that includes James Franco, Frances Fisher, and Jason Patric, this film seems like it should be cemented into the Oscar race come January. But the buzz is quite mixed. On one hand, The Daily Variety says the film "is too self-serious to work as a straight-ahead whodunit and too lacking in imagination to realize its art-film aspiration." While The Hollywood Reporter praises the film, calling it "a powerful work that is as timely as it is moving."

It should become apparent very soon if this one has the guns to make the long haul to January, as it opens wide on September 21st.

Oscar Potential - I think 'Elah' is a longshot, though I keep waiting for the day that Sarandon will return to form with a solid role. Tommy Lee Jones has a good chance at a Best Actor nomination.


Dir. David Cronenberg

Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl

Release date: September 21, 2007

David Cronenberg is back with the follow-up to his critical breakthrough 'A History of Violence', and this time he is serious about grabbing some Oscar love. 'Eastern Promises' is a dark crime-thriller set amidst the Eastern European mafia world of North London, starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts.

Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors, with a number of edgy classics under his belt - 'Videodrome', 'The Fly', 'Dead Ringers', 'The Dead Zone', 'Scanners' - as well as off-beat cult classics like 'Crash', 'Rabid', 'eXistenZ', and 'Naked Lunch'. This man deserves some recognition. And as much as it seems Cronenberg may be experiencing a conformative renaissance, his recent films - 'Spider', 'A History of Violence' - remain dark and twisted, yet matured with a newfound artistic precision. It has been said that 'Promises' is extremely violent, not to mention a naked fight sequence with tattoo-laden Mortensen. Therefore, Cronenberg's resurgence may not yet hit its peak, but the momentum is surely building.

Oscar Potential - In my opinion, this one will be a hard sale. Early buzz says the film is a riveting thriller with exceptional performances. After being snubbed for 'History', Mortensen may get a Best Actor nod. More solid though, would be a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Armin Mueller-Stahl. Cronenberg will most likely have to wait until next time.


DIR. Neil Jordan

Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews, Mary Steenburgen, Jane Adams

Release date: September 14, 2007

Summer is nearly over, September has arrived and that can only mean one thing. Movies with Oscar potential officially start rolling in. And who better to kick off the season than two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster? Her new film 'The Brave One' gives Foster her most baity role since 'Nell', starring as a woman controlled by her tragic past, who embarks on a search for justice as a means out.

Director Neil Jordan is very hit or miss, but when he's good ('The Crying Game'), he's good. Oscar nominees Terrence Howard and Mary Steenburgen, as well as Naveen Andrews ('Lost') and Jane Adams round out the supporting cast. But this one is certainly all about Jodie.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


THE HOTTEST STATE is the latest directorial effort from Ethan Hawke, starring Mark Webber and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Oscar nominee for Maria Full of Grace). The film, released August 24th by ThinkFilm, has been described as a "bittersweet romance" about an actor who falls for an elusive singer-songwriter. The cast also features Laura Linney, Michelle Williams, Sonia Braga, Frank Whaley and Ethan Hawke.

What is almost more exciting than the film itself is the soundtrack, which features an array of artists - Feist, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Bright Eyes, Norah Jones, M. Ward and The Black Keys - each covering songs by real life singer songwriter Jesse Harris. The soundtrack is available now.

The Hottest State Trailer

Posted Jul 23, 2007

Check out the new trailer for Ethan Hawke movie The Hottest State - featuring music from Bright Eyes, Feist, Cat Power, Willie Nelson, M. Ward and Jesse Harris.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Director Zoe Cassavettes is the daughter of indie legends John Cassavettes and Gena Rowlands, so the pressure is on when her new film BROKEN ENGLISH opens in limited release on June 22. The film stars Parker Posey and Melvil Poupaud alongside an impressive ensemble, including Jeanne Moreau, Josh Hamilton, Drea de Matteo, Griifin Dunne, Gena Rowlands, Peter Bogdanovich and Justin Theroux.

Here is a random synopsis I found on IMDB:

"Nora Wilder is freaking out. Everyone around her is in a relationship, is married, or has children. Nora is in her thirties, alone with job she's outgrown and a mother who constantly reminds her of it all. Not to mention her best friend Audrey's "perfect marriage". But after a series of disastrous dates, Nora unexpectedly meets Julien, a quirky Frenchman who opens her eyes to a lot more than love." - anonymous


As is always the case with Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai, early reviews from the recent premiere at Cannes were very mixed for his latest film 'MY BLUEBERRY NIGHTS'. Many die hard fans are biting their nails, waiting to see just how successfully Kar-Wai makes the transition with his first English language film, featuring American stars such as Norah Jones, Jude law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris and even Chan Marshall (aka: Cat Power). We'll just have to wait until the film opens, sometime this fall via StudioCanal.

Friday, May 25, 2007

CONTROL (Ian Curtis biopic)

'Control', the new Ian Curtis biopic recently premiered at Cannes and now the trailer has emerged online. The film stars Sam Riley and Samantha Morton and was directed by Anton Corbijn, who is best known for directing music videos for Depeche Mode and U2. Check out the trailer below.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Welcome to The Final Reel

This is a brand new blog, which will be devoted solely to quality cinema (and not the lack thereof). Come back soon, as posts should be flying up in no time!

In the meantime, if you are also a music lover, check out my other site The Sky Report.