Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Notable Films of 2012: Volume Six

In this sixth volume I look at films that include a young assassin targeting his older self, another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, the return of the "Madagascar" animals, an all-star male stripper comedy, Russell Crowe in a kung fu movie, Paul Thomas Anderson's skewering of Scientology, and the return of the Men in Black.
There's also a Bollywood meets pop culture-gag laden take on Snow White, Guy Pearce essentially playing Snake Plissken in space, Woody Allen's latest effort, Luke Evans becoming a bad ass killer, a nurse who moonlights as a serial killer, an Alaskan-set mystery, and a film based on the most famous book of the Beat Generation.
On the Road
Opens: 2012
Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams 
Director: Walter Salles
Analysis: The term 'long gestating' film takes on a whole new meaning with this adaptation of the definitive novel of the Beat Generation. For over five decades now there's been talk of a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's autobiographical book about his time spent traveling America in the 1940's with his friend Neal Cassady. Kerouac wanted to play his literary counterpart Sal Paradise himself alongside Marlon Brando as the Cassady-inspired Dean Moriarty back in the late 50's when the book first came out.
It wasn't until six years ago that Francis Ford Coppola, who attempted to adapt it himself and failed, convinced Brazilian director Walter Salles to direct and this $25 million production got underway at last. In preparation, Salles shot a documentary taking the same road trip as Sal Paradise and speaking to other Beat poets who knew Kerouac.
Using much of the same crew who shot "The Motorcycle Diaries", filming got underway in August in Montreal with the cast undergoing a month-long "beatnik boot camp" where they all learned about the Beat Generation. Shooting also took place in New Orleans, San Francisco, Calgary, Arizona, Mexico and Argentina with minimal crew members on hand to lend an almost documentary feel to the proceedings.
Reviews of the script have been raves and Salles will certainly bring his A-game to the material. The only question now is will this stand up to the scrutiny that comes when any film is adapted from a beloved novel that's considered one of the defining works of a generation.

darkhorizons for the rest


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