47 FILMS: 48. MILLER’S CROSSING

In our continuing series of 47 films to see before you are murdered in your dreams we present the Coen Brothers’ Miller’s Crossing.

What’s the rumpus? The Coen Brothers gangster movie Miller’s Crossing stars Gabriel Byrne as a fixer, bad gambler and all round heel Tom Reagan. Albert Finney is one boss holding the town as Caspar, an insecure up and comer ‘Don’t come the high hat’, challenges his authority, specifically asking that he do something about his girlfriend’s dodgy bookie, John Turturro. It doesn’t help that Marcia Gay Harden is also hooked up with Tom. Yikes. Loosely based in what would no doubt now be called the Dashiell Hammett universe, the Coens create a brilliant period piece and a gangster epic as brown as a worn gun holster and occasionally as golden as those glasses of whiskey seen through firelight.

All the performances are pitch perfect with Byrne in particular showing what a charismatic screen presence he is. And how woefully underused through the years. But it’s hard put to find anything that isn’t right in this movie. The wit and snap of the script with lines that fire and hit like bullets from a Tommy gun. Barry Sonnenfeld’s autumnal  cinematography and Edward Hopper framing. The confident direction – this was only the Coens third outing. There’s a postmodern knowingness but at the same time the overall quality and obvious love of the genre elevates the movie way beyond pastiche.

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THE VIKINGS GETS MOVIE SPIN OFF

HOLLYWOOD – Popular TV show The Vikings is to get a big movie treatment.

The History Channels The Vikings is finally to get a big screen outing, it was announced today. Fans of the show will however be disappointed to learn that it won’t star any of the original cast. Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick and Gabriel Byrne have all denied they are appearing in the new version. A History Channel source to the Studio Exec:

We wanted to go with something tried and tested. Kirk Douglas will play Einar and Tony Curtis is playing Erik. I’m very pleased to announce that Ernest Borgnine is coming back to play Ragnar.

But Tony Curtis… Kirk Douglas… Aren’t they a little old, or dead?

The story is a little different. Erik and Einar are half brothers, though actually Erik is of noble birth. They have this massive horn that they blow and they run along the oars for fun. Then fights and battles break out and they throw axes at girls to cut off their braids.

Wait. This sounds like the 1958…

The important point here is that although people will say: look they’ve just re-released that film that’s always on television at Easter. What they really mean is: this is an amazingly original and accurate reproduction of how Vikings actually lived in the 1950s.

The Vikings will be released in 2018.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS PREQUEL GETS A TITLE: SOZE RISING

HOLLYWOOD – Bryan Singer has confirmed that he will be directing a prequel to his break through hit The Usual Suspects, provisionally entitled Soze.

Christopher McQuarrie today admitted he has finished the first draft of a prequel to The Usual Suspects and Bryan Singer is signed up to direct. Soze Rises will tell the story of master criminal, arch-villain and manipulator as a young man.

We want to see how Kayser Soze becomes Kayser Soze. Originally the idea was that perhaps Verbal had invented the story the way he had invented almost everything else. But then we began to wonder about what if Kayser was real and the Verbal was Kayser and what would happen. So first I wrote about him and what happened to his family. How he killed his family first and then went after all his enemies, but then we decided to go back even further. We’re gonna see the beginning of the career of a sociopath, a modern day Moriarty. And we’re gonna see him in school.

Kevin Spacey has agreed to play a cameo and there is a chance that other cast members might have their own prequel movies.

McQuarrie continued:

Benicio Del Toro and Gabriel Byrne have both been on the phone asking me if they will get prequels too. But we made that film over twenty years ago. The nature of the prequel would be that they would have to be younger and not older. Having said that, I would love to go back and see where those characters came from. What made them get to the stage that they are at when The Usual Suspects begins.

Soze Rises will be released in 2018.

GARY MARSHALL PREPS TAX DAY

HOLLYWOOD – Following the success of Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, Gary Marshall begins filming on his most ambitious project yet Tax Day.

Gary Marshall has become synonimous with the kind of feel good movie featuring a large starry ensemble based on a national day of celebration. New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and more recently Mother’s Day have all been universally praised for their depth, their good humor and the way it keeps Julia Robert’s kitchen well stocked in the high quality breakfast cereal to which she has grown accustomed. Now he’s back with Tax Day and Marshall turned up to the Studio Exec bungalow this morning armed with the biggest cake you’ve ever seen. (And we know you’ve spent your lives looking at really big cakes):

I’m always looking for a challenge. People sometimes accuse me quite unfairly of being a commercial director who is looking for just big commercial films to plop in a bunch of soon to be B-listers, but that isn’t fair or true. I’m always looking for social realism.I feel very much like Ken Loach or the Dardennes brothers. So for this film I’m going to show what it’s like on April the 18th. The day a group of disparate characters have to submit their tax forms. Is love Tax deductible?

Who is starring in it?

Ever since I floated the project my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipe, Julia Roberts, Cortney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Gabriel Byrne all want to be involved. It’s going to be a feel good movie about filling in tax forms.

Filming is due to begin on location in Panama this week.

Tax Day will be released in 2017.