SKYFALL: CFQ Spotlight Podcast 3:45.1

Daniel Craig as James Bond
That's a Gun in Your Hand and We're Happy to See You: Daniel Craig is Bond again in SKYFALL,

If box office numbers are to be believed, we’ve been suffering a severe case of Bond withdrawal. SKYFALL, the newest film featuring secret agent 007, had its best opening of any Bond film as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary. And critical consensus has so far fallen into line with that of ecstatic audiences, contending that the latest adventure — in which Bond, James Bond (Daniel Craig) battles a computer mastermind (Javier Bardem) determined to take down MI6’s M (Judi Dench) for painfully personal reasons – is among the franchise’s best.
But simple plaudits are not enough for the Spotlight gang, and so Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons delve deep into the details of this high-stakes attempt to revive and redefine the long-running series, debating where the film achieved its goals, where it exceeded expectations, and where it fell short. It’s one of our liveliest conversations, fitting for a film that demonstrates that it’s not too late for an old cold-warrior to undergo a rebirth.
Plus: What’s coming to theaters this Friday.

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Skyfall opens November 9

Sony Pictures releases the 23rd adventure in the long-running James Bond franchise. In SKYFALL, Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.Daniel Craig returns  as Ian Fleming’s 007.
Director: Sam Mendes. Writers: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Patrick Marber, based on the character created by Ian Fleming. Cast: Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Ben Whishaw, Helen McCrory, Berenice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Ola Rapace.
Daniel Craig as James Bond in SKYFALL

'Dark Tower' Not Dead Yet?

According to Deadline , Ron Howard’s ambitious version of Steven King’s THE DARK TOWER darktower_Coverbook series might very well still have life in it.
The site says that Warner Brother’s is  “very close to a deal”  that would give Howard the means to make the first feature film he planned in adapting the saga. 
Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman’s script would be used, and Goldsman would produce with Brian Grazer and Steven King. Warner Bros. has purchased Goldsman’s existing script (done for Universal), and he is now doing a polish on the screenplay for the studio. 
 Javier Bardem was previously tentatively attached as the anti-hero lead  Roland Deschain, last of the “Gunslingers” — in the Dark Tower world a kind of Western-themed Knight-Errant.  
javier-bardem_1Bardem’s continued participation is dependent on when the film, still to be directed by Ron Howard, is scheduled. This might be the beginning of 2013.
Right now, Javier Bardeem is playing the villian in SKYFALL , the new James Bond film, currently shooting in the UK. 
The production’s resurrection is a bit of a surprize to many, as Universal Studios backed off the plan to make three feature films and two TV mini-series out of the allegorical dark fantasy novels.
Apparently, HBO may pick up the project as a mini-series, if Warner Brothers Pictures ultimately greenlights the film.

'Dark Tower' Going Forward?

darktower_CoverIn an wide-ranging interview with Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer about the 25-year producing partnership, Deadline broached some questions about their planned adaption of Steven King’s The Dark Tower at Universal Studios.
An epic undertaking, the project would encompass three movies AND two TV mini-series. Whay take on such a massive production?
Ron Howard answered that the project may be even more ambitious.

“The universe Steve King created is so dimensional and creative. It blends scope, sweep, and adventure with some very personal compelling stories. We could have tried to force all of it into one or two or three movies.
It became clear to me that the medium of TV has become so bold and cool, we could use it to our advantage creatively, and really fulfill the possibilities of this universe of characters King gave us to work with. We can use the intimacy of television when that’s appropriate, and the scope and scale of the big screen with the bigger fantasy ideas.
We discovered elements that would probably never have a home either on the big screen or on TV, but would make fantastic narrative gaming opportunities that won’t rehash the movies or TV, but have its own material borne out of the books and graphic novels. We’ve got gaming designers and there is enthusiasm for that. It’s a way to use all the mediums at our disposal to try to fulfill what’s possible. Universal sees this as an asset that can benefit the company in a lot of different ways.”

The site mentioned rumors that Universal might be getting cold feet about the undertaking, and the fact that the start of  production has been delayed until 2012.

A multi-media franchise?
A multi-media franchise?

Howard replied that the original start date was part of a “fast track” plan that in the end went back to a “more traditional timetable”.
Asked about the studio’s desire to reduce the budget, Brian Grazer replied that writer and co-producer Akiva Goldsman is is “sensitive to cost”  and re-writing the script to reduce the expense, insisting that “the cuts aren’t that deep or radical.”
Questioned if  Javier Bardem is signed to play the lead Roland Deschains, Ron Howard said that Bardem does want to play the role and that he hoped that would be the case, but implied no one is “pay or play” at this point.

Biutiful: January 28 (limited engagement)

Biutiful_1 Liddle Entertainment and Roadside Attractions team up to provide a limited  theatrical run to this Spanish production, starring Javier Bardem as Uxbal, a “dour man but a devoted husband and father who, thanks to his ability to read the minds of the recently deceased, ekes out a living in Barcelona.” Reaction at festival screenings (Cannes, Telluride, Toronto) was not overwhelming, but Badem earned good notices. The genre element is small, so don’t expect to see a scary movie about someone who sees dead people.
Release Date: January 28
BIUTIFUL received an exclusive, Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles, starting on December 29.
Official Website: Click here

New Trailer For Iñárritu's BIUTIFUL

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu has been one of those directors who has slowly gained a larger following in recent years. His most recognizable works amongst the mainstream audience would be AMORES PERROS, 21 GRAMS, and BABEL, all movies about certain aspects of the human condition interwoven with gorgeous cinematography. After seeing the trailer for his next movie, BIUTIFUL, it doesn’t appear like that trend will be stopping anytime soon.
BIUTIFUL revolves around a Barcelona man, played by Javier Bardem (NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN), who makes a living anyway he can, usually involving the providing of cheap labor to sweatshops and managing the sale of black market goods. biutiful071610While either of those are stressful enough, he is also providing for his mentally ill wife and two children. During the course of the film, Bardem’s character learns that he has terminal cancer, a fact revealed through visions of ghosts of those he has indirectly harmed in his bid for money.
Not your typical “Ghost Story” but one worthy of a look through. BIUTIFUL is currently making it’s way through the festival circuit with fans hoping for a wide-release in the coming months.