BETAMAX: THE MOVIE

HOLLYWOOD – From the makers of V/H/S, comes a film of unmentionable horror: Betamax.

Bloody Disgusting and Magnet Releases announced today that a follow-up to V/H/S: Viral is already in production. As with V/H/S and V/H/S 2Betamax will be an anthology film, featuring the work of seven different directors. However, in a departure from the previous films, the directors will all come from non-horror backgrounds.

Tom Hooper is noted for his prestigious productions of The King’s Speech and Les Miserables. But is now one of the biggest talents involved in the project.

He spoke exclusively with the Studio Exec this morning:

I have never been a particular fan of the horror genre – although some have told me that the idea of Russell Crowe singing still keeps them awake at night, ha ha! But no, I’m not a fan of horror, but I did like the idea that I should try my hand at something new. And there was money.

Joining Tom Hooper is joined by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, as well as esteemed social realists Mike Leigh and Ken Loach.

Madden said:

Firstly, we should be the more refined and ultimately superior quality version of what the earlier films were doing in a more grungy way. Plus the chances are that just like the real Betamax, no one will actually see this film.

The Dardennes Brothers declined as they wish to go forward with a rival project: Laser Disc.

Betamax will be released in 2018, but only in Betamax format.

THE DANISH GIRL – REVIEW

THE DANISH GIRL – REVIEW: Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays Oscar -worthy role in timely Oscar-friendly transgender period drama The Danish Girl.

Einar Wegener (Redmayne) is a moderately successful Oscar winning landscape painter obsessively painting the same childhood vista: a bog, a line of trees, the mountains beyond, which represent the Oscar he might win. His wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander doing a fine impression of Oscar-winner Kate Winslett) is a modern type who paints portraits and smokes cigarettes in her cigarette holder. Einar likes to dress up as a lady and the two go to a ball with Einar pretending to be Gerda’s country cousin Lili. He bats his eyelids and simpers and goes all a-fluster when Ben Whishaw tries to snog him. And so Einmar begins his pioneering journey from male to female avoiding the oppressive bigotry of the time, the wicked machinations of pseudo psychiatry and finding some allies along the way, not least of all his initially suspicious but ultimately supportive and loving wife.  Oscar Winner Tom Hooper makes everything look like a painting you might see on the top of a box of chocolates and the costumes and make up are dribbled over and should easily secure Oscar nominations, vital as they are to the narrative.

So what’s wrong with it? First of all Eddie Redmayne isn’t actually that good. The performance like the film is all one tone – a luscious weepiness that bravely smiles through the tears. And his Lili presents not as a woman, the woman he is convinced that he has always been, but rather as a bad transvestite’s version of a woman – forever teetering on the verge of tears, shy glances, sulky pouts and fluttering eyelashes.Although the film is undoubtedly to be welcomed as timely etc., the fact of the matter is that the visibility and to a large degree public acceptance of transgender identity has possibly overtaken the movie, making its hand-holding as it plays through the issues a little bit patronizing. Having said that, it will do well at the Oscars.

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ED HARRIS SIGNS ON FOR PUTIN

MOSCOW – Ed Harris has signed on to play Vladimir Putin in a new biopic, provisionally entitled Putin.

Tom Hooper is directing the film from a script by English playwright Alan Bennett based on Russian premier’s autobiography Vlad to See You. The Right Stuff star told Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

I’ve long been fascinated by power and the men who wield it. Putin, of course, is one of the single most powerful men on the planet and at the same time he looks like a very lonely and sad man. Alan Bennett’s scripts as emphasized this sadness, but I’m also learning karate because there are quite a lot of karate scenes.

King’s Speech director Tom Hooper said that the film was going to be cross generic exercise.

Putin was a KGB officer for years. He knows martial arts and he can ride a horse so when I sat down and spoke to Alan about the script my notes were really about putting more action into it. Harris is a versatile actor and as well as visibly resembling the Russian leader, he also looks like he could kill you with his stare.

Putin will be released in 2017.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT TOM HOOPER

HOLLYWOOD – In an ongoing campaign to drown out the dissonance of stupidity, Studio Exec sings lead vocals of sense and truth, battling a dense cacophony of dumb with a rousing aria of 5 FACTs.

1.      Tom Hooper started his career making a series of porn films called Byker Grove from which all the sex was later removed. The far shorter films were shown on British television and horrified the nation, leading to legislation banning the city of Newcastle from ever being shown on screen again.
2.      While preparing The King’s Speech Hooper insisted on an audience with the Queen to go over various incidents that would be covered in the film. He then insisted on sitting on the Queen’s lap, ‘to see how it felt’. He also changed the race of the main character from German to English because Colin Firth couldn’t do a German accent.
3.      While on a press tour to promote The Damned United, Mr Hooper admitted to never having actually watched a game of football and being unsure what it entailed. It became clear that early in production he had mixed it up with polo and the budget had gone up on account of all the horses he had bought. ‘I sold them to Pete Jackson,’ he boasted, eating a cheese and onion pie (who had them killed).
pere!
4.      In a daring move, Tom decided that the cast of Les Miserables should all sing live during filming. For the most part this worked, but if you listen very carefully to the scenes involving Russell Crowe Tom Hooper’s voice can clearly be heard off camera saying, ‘Oh God make him stop, oh no please, what have I done? Sweet Jesus, no!’
5.      Tom Hooper comes from a famous theatrical family steeped in the traditions of English music hall. However, Tom is ashamed of this and changer his name to Hooper from Cooper in order to avoid the association.  His facial features are also a little bit too small for his head. 

For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE! 

LES MISERABLES PREQUEL GREENLIT

PARIS – Following the critical and commercial success of Tom Hooper’s cinematic adaptation of Les Misérables, Working Title Films have announced that they are developing a prequel, tentatively entitled Jean Valjean Begins.

The official synopsis reads:

Valjean and Javert are schoolboys together and best of friends in revolution-racked Paris. They lose touch due to arguments about the best way to sing even the most ordinary of sentences and Javert’s unrequited love for Valjean’s constantly pregnant sister (Renee Zellweger). Years later, when Valjean goes on a madcap bread-stealing spree for his sister’s children, their paths cross again as they pursue each other hilariously through the shit-strewn sewers of Paris.

oh God no!

Tom Hooper has said he is interested in returning, and some of the original cast may also come back, but Hugh Jackman has made it clear that he will not be playing the main role. 

It’s ridiculous. Why would anyone want to make a prequel. I mean, the original is an award-winning musical based on a novel by Victor Hugo; how are you going to compete with that?

 New songs will be provided by Elton John and Tim Rice, including titles which look set to be classics, such as: ‘The Life of a Policeman (is a very jolly thing)’ and ‘Steal me some bread dear brother (Really? What’s the Big Deal?)’.

We will give you all the Jean Valjean Begins news as it arrives.

ANNE HATHAWAY AND RUSSELL CROWE REUNITE FOR EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH

NEW YORK – After the triumph of Les Miserables last year, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe are to join together once more in song – this time without Wolverine – for the modernist opera, Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach.

Tom Hooper will once more direct but this time he said he is not insisting the actors all sing live.

That was an experiment and like many experiments, it didn’t work. You still learn something but that’s in the nature of experiments. Philip Glass is our most important contemporary composer, after Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Many think that the repetitive singing style and the musical discipline required to perfrom Glass’s Opera will be a reach for Russell Crowe but Hooper has no such qualms.

I won’t lie. We did change some lyrics. In Knee 1. The lyrics originally read ‘1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8’, so we changed it to ‘1-2-3-4’. With Anne we had no such problems and I think people are going to be amazed by how she’ll win another Oscar.

 Einstein On the Beach will start filming in August.

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER REMEMBERS LES MISERABLES


HOLLYWOOD – Resident inebriate and charmer, Sir Edwin Fluffer gives us a fascinating insight into the making of the years most popular films.
The director Tom Hooper owed me a favour after I had to drop out of The Queen’s Speech for legal reasons, so when the call came I made sure I was first on set. Unfortunately I got the day wrong and was there a week early. When I went back again they were already half way through shooting, so we felt it best if I took a step back and lent some of my credibility to the crowd scenes. 
I was overjoyed to see dear old Russell Crowe again: we still laugh about him getting me fired from Gladiator for refusing to wear the sandals. Les Mis was an absolute joy to work on, and after a few takes I couldn’t help joining in with some of the songs. If I can’t get another Oscar for this one I’d be more than happy to accept a Bafta, or if push comes to shove even a Golden Globe.