The 20 Most Tempting Titles of 2009
(Warning: Not sold temptingly.)
(Warning: Not sold temptingly.)
(11) King Shot
Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Executive Producer: David Lynch
Starring: Nick Nolte, Marilyn Manson, Asia Argento, Udo Kier, David Hess
If you look at that roster and feel nothing, you're at the wrong blog, mister. That's a whole lot of crazy on one crew sheet, and more than enough to make one hell of an interesting movie -- or at the very least a compelling disaster. Looks like cult cinema is about to give birth to a bastard child, and I can't think of anyone better to raise it than Jodorowsky and Lynch; two of the finest of fantastic filmmakers. Their work is supremely cinematic, audacious, ominous and wholly consuming... and little bit fucked up in the very best way. That last bit pretty much sums up that entire cast as well.
(12) The Countess
Director: Julie Delpy
Starring: Julie Delpy, William Hurt, Anamaria Marinca
I love me some Julie Delpy walking around European cities and talking. I'm not averse her to her ritualistically bathing in the blood of virgins either, as apparently she's prone to do now and again. Delpy's so multi-talented that she's playing the lead villainess, directing herself, and scoring the entire film. I'd say she should start her own cosmetics line, but you know those prices would be outrageous...
Countess Bathory had such a ritual in 16th-century Hungary, but such a small price for attaining that youthful glow. It all seems the making for a sinister and salacious costume drama, with some real talent on all sides of the camera... oddly enough all in the form of Julie Delpy.
(13) 17 Photos of Isabel
Director: Don Roos
Starring: Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow
Last time I wrote about this "difficult stepchild drama" (the gist of the plot), I was saying "Enough!" to Jennifer Lopez in the lead opposite the great director of The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings, Don Roos, and my beloved Lisa Kudrow! Turns out Natalie Portman's since taken over in the lead and the world breathes a little lighter today. The title also changed from Love and Other Impossible Pursuits to the chick-lit stylings of 17 Photos of Isabel. Write down that title in your diary next to your drawings of unicorns in love.
Here's one of the first photos of Isabel so far:
Not sure I care to see sixteen more if they're all like that...
Director: Dario Argento
Starring: Adrien Brody, Emmanuelle Seigner
My dreams for the final part of his eerie and majestic Three Mothers Trilogy were dashed against the cheaply constructed rocks, but I have an undying love for Dario Argento no matter my ambivalence to his recent efforts. I'm hoping that this one's less a rush job and more of a return to the genre he helped define, as the title would indicate. If The Third Mother gave us anything it was a reminder that Argento will always shatter silly notions of good taste. This plot's "jaundiced psycho on a model hunt" looks to have all the right setup with a promising old-school edge.
But this trailer is stale and bland on dry toast...
Oh well. More in the vein of The Card Player -- which is to say nothing particularly bad, just nothing spectacular either. Argento will still crack this list next year and probably the year after that. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have Dario's career.
(15) The Informers
Director: Gregor Jordan
Co-writer: Bret Easton Ellis
Starring: Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Chris Isaak, Kim Basinger, Brad Renfro
The works of Bret Easton Ellis have a sardonic, ambiguous edge which should score lots of points with you if you're socially detached, bitter, jaded, sarcastic or rude. Since you're still on this site, I'm guessing you're all of those things and should check this movie out. Hey, I'm just the informer...
Plus, how great and bizarre is that cast? Mickey Rourke fresh off his winning lead as The Wrestler, Winona Ryder gracefully and graciously crawling out of the woodwork, and the deceased Brad Renfro (The Client, Apt Pupil, Bully) in his final appearance. This is also Bret Easton Ellis's first time trying his hand at his own novel's adaptation in the wake of two fantastic ones by other authors (American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction). Hopefully he keeps it that much truer to the book's desiccating, eerie and hilariously detached mood.
Or it could turn out something like this: