For any of you who read John Krakauer's biography on Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild, or watched Sean Penn's moving film about his life, you know that McCandless was a restless and troubled kid who gave everything away after he graduated from Emory University and went to Alaska to rough it a bit and live out his nature fantasy. Sadly, he ended up dying of starvation in the abandoned bus he called home. Okay, it's a bummer of a story, but the following video imagines how things might have turned out differently if Matthew McConaughey (who doesn't seem to own a shirt anywhere except in this dramatization) had been in the wilderness with him. Let's just say that brah harshes Chris's mellow.
Since we now have an outline of the main characters for the rumored 90210 spinoff, my brain can't stop thinking about who might be cast in these roles. While these new characters have updated traits and hobbies (emo! YouTube!) they are, as some have pointed out, more or less the new versions of the original cast. While we all have our old favorites, I think it's really fun imagining the young stars who could play these updated versions of the original Kelly, Brenda, Donna, etc. Also, some of the original 90210 actors were, like, 30 years old when they played teenagers so I'm going to expand my own fictional casting reach as such.
For example, I could totally see Kristen Stewart (In the Land of Women, Into the Wild) as Annie, the emo girl looking to get popular, and Victor Razuk (Lords of Dogtown, upcoming Stop-Loss) as her adopted bad-boy brother, Dixon. I loved Kevin Zegers in The Jane Austen Book Club and could see him as the jock. Also, this Nickelodeon actress screams Daphne Silver to me. What do you think? Any hot young stars come to mind to fill these slots?
For a reminder of all the new characters and their descriptions, and to tell me who you're thinking could play them, read more
All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to the titles below, Awake, a thriller staring Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba is out on DVD as well.
Into the Wild
There has been no shortage of buzz around this heartbreaking and visually stunning film directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsh. While it didn't make it as far at the Oscars as many hoped it would, it did make it onto my March Must-Haves, and I know many people are just as excited as I am that this movie is finally out on DVD. Into the Wild is based on the best-selling true story by Jon Krakauer all about a young, upper-middle class man with the world at his feet who decides to part with his normal, steady life in search of adventure. He sets out on a journey across the country and eventually ends up alone in the wilderness of Alaska.
The breathtaking scenery and unforgettable characters, along with the thought-provoking tale of a young man's journey on the path less taken makes for an important and moving film. Special features include interesting information about the true-life inspirations for the movie.
For two more selections, read more
March is that kind of in-between month that's still chilly enough to require some cozy movie nights, but also shows the promise of warm Spring and bouncing down the sidewalk, listening to good music. My March must-haves allow for all kinds of weather. To check out what I'm reading, watching and listening to this month, press "Start."
Eddie Vedder's haunting and soulful tunes are laced throughout Sean Penn's drama Into the Wild, bringing a dimension and beauty to Christopher McCandless' journey in ways that dialogue or silent images probably could not have achieved alone. A video recently surfaced for one of Vedder's songs for the film, "Guaranteed," and to watch it is to be launched right back to the emotional experience of watching this poignant movie.
The video mainly consists of Vedder and his guitar, lit up on an otherwise darkened stage while still pictures from the movie float around him. The song alone is lovely, but paired with the images it's quite moving. To see the video and hear Eddie Vedder's "Guaranteed," read more
Nominations were announced today for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the only major awards ceremony guaranteed to still happen now that the writers' strike is threatening the Golden Globes. Into the Wild dominated the film side with four nominations, followed by No Country for Old Men and Michael Clayton with three each.
Into the Wild wasn't indie enough for the Independent Spirit Awards, but that didn't stop the Gotham Awards from recognizing the film. Wild, which had too big a budget to be considered for the Independent Spirits, took home the award for best feature at Tuesday's Gotham Award ceremony, which recognized achievement in independent film.
Michael Moore's documentary Sicko took home the award for best documentary, while Ellen Page nabbed the breakthrough actor honor for her role in Juno. The ceremony itself included tributes to actor Javier Bardem and The Namesake director Mira Nair. To see a full list of winners, just read more
Today's holiday gift guide features gift ideas for the boys in your family with whom you had to share a bathroom growing up.
The complete series of Arrested Development on DVD will most likely delight your brother while also providing you guys with something to laugh at together if you find that the holiday togetherness is getting to be a bit much.
I really like the Bourne movies, but the guys I know seem to like them even more. Come December 11, you can give your brother the gift of three movies' worth of Jason Bourne eluding the authorities.
If your brother loves both music and video games, consider getting him Rock Band Special Edition for his PlayStation or XBox360. The game comes with a guitar, microphone, and drums so he and his friends can play along with Metallica, Bon Jovi, and more. This would be especially good for a guy who's living in a college dorm or has enough roommates to form an impromptu band in the living room.
Before it was a movie directed by Sean Penn, Into the Wild was a bestselling book by Jon Krakauer about the free-spirited Christopher McCandless and his dangerous journey into the Alaskan wilderness. Your brother may also be interested in another of Krakauer's well-received books, Into Thin Air.
If your brother is too young to have watched The Goonies in its glory days, it's your responsibility to educate the young lad on all things Truffle Shuffle.
Though he lost his Malibu trailer home over the weekend, it didn't seem to be any skin off Sean Penn's back as he premiered Into the Wild at the Rome Film Festival last night. Penn, the film's director, and his star Emile Hirsch went casual for the photocall and dressed like twins for the red carpet premiere. Seems kinda like a father/son relationship with these two, right? After excusing his somewhat haggard appearance by saying that he had "too many rums and red wine" the night before, Sean talked a bit about his love of directing. He said:
"That's something that has changed over the years," he said. "I've increasingly fallen in love with this job of directing movies. The way that those things are chosen are very similar to how you choose a partner in life. You see her, you fall in love with her, you're stuck."
Stuck, eh? Sounds romantic. It sounds like Sean has caught the directing bug like so many of his contemporaries, and seeing him side by side with Emile, I wouldn't be surprised if his pint-sized protege wants to follow in his footsteps. Thankfully Sean's got at least one in front of the camera project coming up, so we won't be losing the actor side of him just yet.
To see more of Sean and Emile in Rome just read more
For the most part, any faults I found with Into the Wild, Sean Penn's upcoming film adaptation of Jon Krakauer's bestselling book, didn't have to do with Emile Hirsch's performance in the lead role, which I found to be rather arresting.
It was a difficult role and — as I learned straight from Hirsch himself — it was often very physically demanding. Yet for Hirsch, with Penn's guidance (er, "kick in the ass," as Hirsch puts it), it was all a part of getting the job done.
Young Emile is not one to ramble on (or even sit upright while you're talking to him, really), but I did manage to squeeze some information out of him regarding the making of the film, his connection to the story, and what's up next for his career.
Had you read Jon Krakauer's book before you heard about the film project?
I’d seen the "20/20" episode [on it] when I was 8 years old, and it really had a big impact on me. It’s pretty haunting, especially as a kid to see a story like that… a young man, ten years older than you, or more, twelve, thirteen years older than you. It’s like, "Oh my God," you know? And then Sean called me out of the blue after he’d seen a film of mine called Lords of Dogtown and he told me to read the book. And I read it that night, of course, and loved it and stayed up all night reading it in one of those kickass reading experiences that don’t come around too too often for ya. Then from there, I remembered the "20/20" episode about a third of the way into the book I went, "You know, I know this, I’ve seen this."
So, Sean Penn had you in mind the whole time?
Yeah, so he says, you know? I mean, when he called me, he had just-just-just gotten the rights to the book. So I just lucked out that he just happened to see Lords of Dogtown.
What is he like as a director?
He’s great. He’s really a man of immense creativity and intelligence, but also a really fierce courage and will that are really powerful.
For more of the interview, read more