Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Romeo San Vicente
‘Breaking Dawn’ finds a director
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls”) is now the chosen one to shepherd “Twilight” teens Edward and Bella and Jacob as they enter their final on-screen chapter, “Breaking Dawn.” And, not missing a single lesson learned by the people who directed the three earlier films, he’s courting fans in a way that most franchise helmers don’t really have to. Of course, those other franchises tend not to have the sort of maniacal, demanding followings that the “Twilight” series “enjoys.” The director posted an open letter to those fans online, acknowledging his newcomer status and asking for comments and questions; and they responded in droves (Two movies please? No 3D please?). The verdict? The majority of the Twihards seem supportive. The rest are angry about Jar Jar Binks. Look for the movie sometime in 2011.
‘Imperial Bedrooms’: 25 years after ‘Less Than Zero’
A quarter of a century ago, the novel “Less Than Zero” established Bret Easton Ellis as the young hipster prince of contemporary literature. Soon afterward, the disturbing, disaffected tale of amoral, drugged-up youth was turned into a strangely undisturbing movie with a strong Nancy Reagan-like anti-drug message. And any day now Ellis’s follow-up novel “Imperial Bedrooms” will revisit both its cast of characters – all grown up but no less spiritually empty – and the practice of sampling Elvis Costello for a title. Speaking recently at the “Los Angeles Times” Festival of Books, Ellis alluded to Fox Searchlight as possible producers for the film version, a project he’d like to see feature the reunited actors of the 1987 film: Robert Downey Jr., Jami Gertz, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. Great idea, but only if LL Cool J promises to re-record “Goin’ Back to Cali,” the Bangles score the rest of the film and Brad Pitt shows up as an uncredited extra like he did in the original.
‘Dragon’ returns for more training
The little dragon that could has given birth to another chapter, thanks to every filmmaker’s dream come true: great reviews and crazy box office. Dreamworks’ “How To Train Your Dragon,” from gay director Dean DeBlois and un-gay director Chris Sanders (the guys behind the sweet-natured “Lilo & Stitch”), has grossed nearly $400 million worldwide so far and earned the kind of nearly unanimous glowing reviews that classics (and 2011 Oscar noms) are made of. So it’s a bit of a no-brainer and not at all surprising that a sequel has just been announced. Obviously without caring hands to guide it (a plea to the powers that be: bring back DeBlois and Sanders, they know how to do this kind of thing just right) it could all turn to dull, cashing-in-focused merchandising, but until that goes down this remains great news. There’s now at least one sequel probably worth seeing on your 2013 calendar. That is, if you plan your movie-going that far in advance. Romeo does.
The N.W.A. Movie: Film tha police
It was 22 years ago that seminal hip-hop group N.W.A. burst onto the music scene with their album “Straight Outta Compton,” introducing gangsta rap to the world and shocking conservative critics with their song “F*** Tha Police.” That means a new generation doesn’t know who they are (their members included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E) or what they did (they were frequently accused of inciting violence, misogyny and homophobia) and that it’s time for a biopic. Enter “Straight Outta Compton,” from screenwriter Andrea Berloff (“World Trade Center”), that will chronicle the rise and dissolution of the band thanks to money squabbles and egos, as well as the reconciliation that occurred following the death of Eazy-E to AIDS. No stars are attached yet, but Romeo will keep it real with updates.