Screen Junkies » michel gondry http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:40:21 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Michel Gondry Is Headed To The Moon http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/michel-gondry-is-headed-to-the-moon/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/michel-gondry-is-headed-to-the-moon/#comments Wed, 16 Feb 2011 16:48:37 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=27480 Michel Gondry has announced plans that he is adapting Philip K. Dick's Ubik. I'm assuming the announcement was made via a yarn megaphone while Gondry wore plaster beehives as shoes.

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Michel Gondry has announced plans that he is adapting Philip K. Dick‘s Ubik. I’m assuming the announcement was made via a yarn megaphone while Gondry wore plaster beehives as shoes.

Named as one of Time magazine’s top 100 English-language novels, Ubik tells the story of a man that works for an anti-telepathic spying firm and the misfortune that befalls the company when they take a job on the moon.

I’ll keep you posted as the production develops because this one looks like it’s a long way off. As of right now, Gondry is working on getting The We And I before cameras this summer, as well as his on-going hand-drawn Noam Chomsky documentary. Then there’s always the risk that he may drown in a ball pit filled with red crayons. (via The Playlist)

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‘Green Hornet’ More Rogen’s Than Gondry’s, Says Gondry http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/green-hornet-more-rogens-than-gondrys-says-gondry/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/green-hornet-more-rogens-than-gondrys-says-gondry/#comments Sun, 16 Jan 2011 23:21:56 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=17158 The Green Hornet is the number 1 movie this weekend, but that doesn't mean that everyone is satisfied.

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The Green Hornet is the number 1 movie this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is satisfied. While it might not be a surprise that there are a lot of people on the internet with complaints about it (like 80 percent of the internet is powered by complaints, after all), it might be that the movie’s director Michel Gondry isn’t totally on board with his star Seth Rogen. He recently told the LA Times:

”Seth was as important, if not more important than the studio. So I felt, ‘well, it’s not really my movie.’ I accepted that. But I realized there was still tons I could infiltrate or infuse my personality through discussion all the time.”

This confirms my suspicion that Seth Rogen is our generation’s David O. Selznick. Rogen isn’t denying the creative clash between himself and Gondry, though. Here he is on the scene in the movie featuring Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”:

“I remember when we were shooting it, [Gondry] was sitting there with his arms crossed and a grumpy look on his face but there wasn’t a second when we thought we might be wrong. We were like, ‘You are going to feel so stupid when you see that this is the funniest [EXPLETIVE DELETED] thing in the entire world.”

How many more creative partnerships are going to dissolve before Coolio is stopped!? (IndieWire)

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Michel Gondry Talks ‘Green Hornet’ Visual Feats, Stephen Chow Crazy Demands http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/michel-gondry-talks-green-hornet-visual-feats-stephen-chow-crazy-demands/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/michel-gondry-talks-green-hornet-visual-feats-stephen-chow-crazy-demands/#comments Wed, 12 Jan 2011 19:22:09 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=15660 Here’s a Masters course in the aesthetics of film. And why Stephen Chow asks "Why?" so much.

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Here’s a Masters course in the aesthetics of film from Michel Gondry. I asked him about some of his flashier visual tricks in The Green Hornet and he not only explained the entire process, but gave examples from his earlier film or music video work. Kato-vision shows us how the Hornet’s sidekick sees his enemies in a fight. Britt Reid’s (Seth Rogen) early party days are presented as a fast motion romp through the Reid garage. When Britt and Kato (Jay Chou) have a disagreement, they battle through the Reid mansion with everything from the plasma TV to a foosball table.

The part you’ll really want to read is when Gondry tells the truth about Stephen Chow. Chow was the first choice to play Kato and to direct the movie. And spoilers follow because Gondry gets extremely specific.

Q: What was your idea about varying the speed, not just in Kato-vision but in the beginning when Britt’s taking his girl through the garage?

MG: Well, it’s something that I like to play with. The idea of the scene in the garage, if the camera goes very slowly in a very steady way, it becomes a reality. This motion is real because it seems like normal. But then the character in this environment is going way too fast so there is a contradiction that is interesting for the audience. I always work like that. I did a shot for Eternal Sunshine that we couldn’t use because it was too early in the movie and it would unsettle the audience if we took a train and we moved it four miles per hour, like super slow because we owned the train at this moment. I asked the little boy who was playing the younger Jim Carrey and was dressed as Superman, he would run as fast as he could but by doing that he would not go more than four miles per hour because he’s a kid. But then we shot super slow so when we projected, the train was going full speed and then the little boy was following. This idea that you take a train that weighs hundreds of tons and you can control it like it was a piece of paper, then the rest of the world seemed to follow. You think that the world is bound by the heaviness of the train. That’s how I see special effects all the time. It’s a way to unsettle the audience, something that’s not supposed to happen at this speed and then you change the speed, but the camera is moving at the speed that’s a contradiction. It’s confusing what I’m saying right now so I think you’re going to have a hard time to convince your reader that I’m making sense.

Q: Actually, that illuminates a lot. I wasn’t thinking of how slow the camera was moving while they were sped up.

MG: Okay, I think that’s why the scene works. If the camera was not moving or it was moving like crazy, then you have nothing special happen but if you combine two elements that are in contradiction, the heaviness of the camera makes you feel the camera is just going at the normal speed. Then you don’t understand why they’re going so fast. That’s the trick I think.

Q: Is Kato-vision even more impressionistic?

MG: Yeah, there is that thing you can argue it’s a sort of tradition of the theory of relativity. The perception of the motion is relative if you’re moving with the object or watching the object move. It’s all about that, so it’s kind of close but it’s helpful as one way to describe it, but it’s kind of abstract. There is some sort of philosophy behind that. His fight is so violent that there is an impact in the audience perception of the environment. It multiplies, it stretches, the time stretches, the time compresses. The differences with what’s been done is it’s speed changing within the same frame at a different ratio while the camera is moving at a constant speed. It’s a lot of parameters that we tried to meld together.

Q: You’re French, you had a Chinese actor and a German actor (Christoph Waltz). Did anyone understand each other on the set?

MG: Well, when you can’t understand each other in the words, on the surface, then you have to have a deep understanding I would say that you develop. There has to be another layer and I think it just paid off. We were not sure it would work but I think at the end it paid off. It’s true that it was not the easiest film in terms of communication.

Q: What was the unspoken understanding?

MG: It could be many layers. To me it’s very, very funny when I see Jay acting like he understands Seth in the scene. I knew he doesn’t understand him and he’s just acting like that, like very cool. He has no idea so that’s another example of this sort of friendship of understanding that goes beyond the understanding of the world. Whenever I would talk with Seth and we were shooting Jay, I was saying to Seth, “What should I tell him? What should he do?” He would say, “Don’t say anything. He’s going to do something cool anyways.” That’s one example and I could find more if we had more time. I’m not just saying that to make it cool sometimes. It’s really true. I had this experience on many occasions because I’ve been working most of the time in countries where I didn’t really understand the language. When I started to do videos in America, I didn’t understand the lyrics of the song. I did this video for Foo Fighters, my first video in America, and I understood 10% of the lyrics. So I took this 10% of the words and recreated my own story by bridging all these words to tell the story. The little bridge in between the words had nothing to do with the other words in the lyrics, but when I showed the story to Dave Groll, it’s crazy, he goes, “That’s exactly what I meant when I wrote the song but it was not written.” So it looks like it’s a sixth sense but it’s just a common understanding from the tip of the iceberg.

Q: When you came on, were you still developing it with Stephen Chow as Kato?

MG: Yeah. I think he had another movie in mind and he was not really willing to go our way and we had to part.

Q: Was he still trying to be the director?

MG: Yeah, I don’t know what he was trying to do. To tell you the truth, it was very confusing. I had headaches trying to convince him because I liked him very much and I thought he would have been a great Kato. He would ask me questions like, “Why my character? Why should I do this movie? What’s good in my character?” I was giving him a million reasons and then he’d say, “But why?” So at the end I just realized he didn’t want to understand any reason. He just wanted to ask why all the time.

Q: He wanted to know why he should play the character?

MG: What was special about his character, I don’t know. Every single thing we suggested, I suggested or we suggested, would not be enough for him. Then when he would come up with an idea, it was completely ludicrous most of the time, completely undoable in terms of production, in terms of what the studio expected from us and all sorts of things.

Q: So his version could have been even crazier than the Michel Gondry version?

MG: Well, maybe or maybe not. I don’t know. I’m big fan of his work so I was disappointed. The thing is when they asked me to direct the film the first time, all I knew Stephen Chow was attached to play Kato. I said, “Why don’t you ask him to direct the film? He would do a better job.” They said, “We tried but it didn’t work out.”

Q: What was your discussion about the tone of the movie?

MG: The thing we all agreed upon was we didn’t want to make a spoof. We knew it had to have an element of comedy but we didn’t want to be a Seth Rogen funny movie. It was about friendship so it’s character driven, although there is a lot of solid action. We wanted the action to feel real. We wanted Christoph Waltz to be scary but we wanted him to be funny at the same time. So the conversation was about how much funny can it be before we lose the audience in terms of feeling the danger.

Q: Now that you’ve done a big action movie, would you do another one?

MG: Yeah, starting with the sequel maybe. If the character intrigues me, yes. I think I’m always going to be careful about picking stories about people that interest me. Otherwise, if I don’t feel connected to the actor I’m shooting, it’s just going to be dead I think.

Q: What was the biggest challenge of the climactic finale in the Daily Sentinel building?

MG: We wanted the character to still be there while so many things were happening. When we were shooting, I didn’t feel they were talking enough between them or doing enough character stuff. I didn’t know exactly. I was not sure. Seth was telling me, “Don’t worry, we’re going to add stuff after and it’s going to work.” I was like, “But you should write them down.” He said, “No, no, we don’t want to write them down.” That was a challenge for them. A lot is done in editing to pick the right moment.

The Green Hornet hits theaters Friday.

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Review: The Green Hornet http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-the-green-hornet/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-the-green-hornet/#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:55:38 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=15271 The Green Hornet is as good as any Green Hornet movie could probably be, which is to say he’s not a very interesting superhero.

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The Green Hornet is as good as any Green Hornet movie could probably be, which is to say he’s not a very interesting superhero. He owns a newspaper and his sidekick is a martial artist? That leaves a lot more room for Seth Rogen to play than maybe a character with more definition, but the superhero blockbuster as an art film doesn’t really work.

It’s actually when Britt Reid (Rogen) become The Green Hornet that the movie falls apart. Before that, the story of an antisocial rich kid has an edgy attitude, even if it only manifests in a PG-13 drunken party. Finding out his dad (Tom Wilkinson) died on the news in his limo is effectively dramatic. Christoph Waltz looks great as Chudnofsky with a goatee, a Caesar cut and a double barreled gun.

Reid becomes a total dufus, doing happy dances to celebrate victories. He never shuts up during an action scene and often just states what’s happening to him. Reid’s interview with Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz) is just weird, perhaps an uncomfortable bit of failed improv, and he’s always babbling at her. The Spy Kids were more mature.

I get the attempt to deconstruct the hero/sidekick relationship but it’s really forced. Reid would be insecure that Kato (Jay Chou) is such a badass, but he’s just whiny about it. Kato’s issues with being a servant as his cover are better played but still come out of nowhere. Reid’s analysis of superhero movies is pure Rogen. He’s wrong about all movie heroes being good guys though. Spider-Man and Batman always have trouble with PR.

By the time Kato and Reid are reall fighting, it becomes cartoon slapstick with bouncy sound effects. The gas gun bit is funny, but then Reid is still going totally gaga over Lenore like she’s the only one who can save his newspaper. This is a secretary with little journalism experience. There is plenty of people way more qualified for the job, and I bet some of them are also hot too.

The action is pretty awesome. If they’d have just done a straight generic plot with these action scenes they would have had a solid movie. Kato-vision basically alters perspective, time and physics at the same time. The climax in The Daily Sentinel is thrilling. Then there’s more silly comedy epilogue.

The 3-D looks fine. There are some good shots of the Reid mansion and roses coming into focus, plus more abstract Michel Gondry shots towards the end. There’s also a lot of blurry background from the post conversion process. Anything CGI, like flying bottle caps or missiles, can come out of the screen pretty easily.

Ultimately The Green Hornet is as troubled as its many delays would indicate. You know, superhero comedy is tricky. They can’t all be Blankman.

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The Green Hornet http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/the-green-hornet/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/the-green-hornet/#comments Mon, 03 Jan 2011 21:14:25 +0000 Reza F. DIRECTOR: Michel Gondry CAST: Seth Rogen; Jay Chou; Cameron Diaz; Christoph Waltz; Edward Furlong; Tom Wilkinson SYNOPSIS: By night, debonair newspaper publisher Britt Reid fights crime as a masked superhero...

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DIRECTOR: Michel Gondry

CAST: Seth Rogen; Jay Chou; Cameron Diaz; Christoph Waltz; Edward Furlong; Tom Wilkinson

SYNOPSIS: By night, debonair newspaper publisher Britt Reid fights crime as a masked superhero known at The Green Hornet. At his side is martial arts expert Kato.

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New ‘Green Hornet’ Trailer Busts Out Kato-Vision http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-green-hornet-trailer-busts-out-kato-vision/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-green-hornet-trailer-busts-out-kato-vision/#comments Sat, 20 Nov 2010 00:14:53 +0000 Col. Longshanks http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=8845 The new theatrical trailer for The Green Hornet has a lot going for it. It's got lots of guns, cool cars, some hot chicks, and even a few jokes thrown in for good measure. But what most impressed me about the trailer was the "Kato Vision."

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The new theatrical trailer for The Green Hornet has a lot going for it. It’s got lots of guns, cool cars, some hot chicks, and even a few jokes thrown in for good measure. But what most impressed me about the trailer was the “Kato-Vision.”

Apparently, the Green Hornet’s trusty sidekick, Kato, has the ability to see things in super-slow motion. This allows him a distinct advantage when fighting villains. I’m not sure if all Asians have this power, or just Kato. Either way, Panda Express has seen the last of me.

The Green Hornet buzzes into theaters January 14.

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Seth Rogen Blows Sh*t Up In First Official Look at ‘The Green Hornet’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-rogen-blows-sht-up-in-first-official-look-at-the-green-hornet/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/seth-rogen-blows-sht-up-in-first-official-look-at-the-green-hornet/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Though the trailer isn't set to premiere until tonight, we've got a duo of official photos from Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet. The photos show a slimmed-down Seth Rogen as the Hornet and Jay Chou's Kato in action. In the first, we see the boys running away from a massive explosion in full action hero mode. In the second, we see Kato with his gun trained at someone in what looks like a Benihana restaurant. A word to the wise, you throw broccoli at Jay Chou's face, you risk losing your face.What's missing is Gondry's trademark loopy art direction. I don't see yarn or cardboard in either of these. There's not even any macaroni art. Somebody had better swede this movie immediately.SEE SETH ROGEN: ACTION STAR AFTER THE JUMP...

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Though the trailer isn’t set to premiere until tonight, we’ve got a duo of official photos from Michel Gondry‘s The Green Hornet. The photos show a slimmed-down Seth Rogen as the Hornet and Jay Chou‘s Kato in action. In the first, we see the boys running away from a massive explosion in full action hero mode. In the second, we see Kato with his gun trained at someone in what looks like a Benihana restaurant. A word to the wise, you throw broccoli at Jay Chou’s face, you risk losing your face.

What’s missing is Gondry’s trademark loopy art direction. I don’t see yarn or cardboard in either of these. There’s not even any macaroni art. Somebody had better swede this movie immediately.

SEE SETH ROGEN: ACTION STAR AFTER THE JUMP…

 

(via /Film)

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