Tarantino Two-Step—Quentin Tarantino is planning on releasing his long promised single-film cut of Kill Bill. Tarantino said he spent so much time working on the two-part film that he wanted to take a year off from it. Starting early next year, though, Tarantino will begin editing the two films, Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2, into one epic saga. The mega-version is expected to differ in several respects from the original releases and will hit theaters sometime late in 2006. A special DVD version, featuring plenty of supplementary material, will come out shortly after. ... Of course, this is all on top of directing duties for the horror anthology Grindhouse, which Tarantino is splitting with pal Robert Rodriguez. Grindhouse is expected to begin official filming sometime in January.
Fun with Dick and Jane
Stale remake of '70s comedy knows the fine art of ripping people off
To remake or not to remake: That is the Hollywood question. ... Although, considering the number of remakes clogging cineplex marquees this year, it's probably a moot question. The more apt question, I suppose, is what to remake? Logic dictates that remake-hungry movie executives should probably stay away from classic, already perfected films with which audiences are intimately familiar. Except that Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong was one of the best films of 2005. By a similar token, little-known, cleverly conceived but poorly executed films are probably perfect for remaking. Except that the brand new update of 1977's little-known, cleverly conceived but poorly executed Fun With Dick and Jane isn't really much fun at all.
Well-crafted slasher flick misses the heart, but gets the guts, at least
You've got to give freshman filmmaker Greg McLean all the credit in the world for trying to make a good horror movie. As it stands, the year 2005 will go down in history as producing some of the worst horror movies since the dawn of the drive-in era. Amid the 2005 tangle of White Noise, Alone in the Dark, House of Wax, Cry_Wolf, The Fog and countless others, McLean's lean, mean Aussie import Wolf Creek stands as an impressive achievement. It is genuinely shocking, impressively acted and McLean proves he knows his way around a camera right out of the gate. ... Which is why it's such a crying shame Wolf Creek is saddled with a totally generic Texas Chainsaw Massacre ripoff script.
Ledger, Gyllenhaal reach new heights with heartfelt drama
Brokeback Mountain, the much-buzzed-about new drama/romance, makes a powerful and timely statement. No matter how often some in society try to marginalize, denigrate or “amend” away the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, love will always exist--whether it's between people of the opposite sex or people of the same sex, whether in rural or urban America. Brokeback Mountain isn't a “gay cowboy” story, as some in the media and pop culture have tried to portray it--it's an American love story, plain and simple.
Dick Clark's Ball Drops
New Year's Eve around the dial
There are plenty of good reasons to watch TV on New Year's Eve--not the least of which is it's the only way to settle arguments over whose watch has the correct time. If you don't use the Idiot Box as tiebreaker, you'll have people shouting “Happy New Year” at a dozen different intervals.
The Week in Sloth
“Zixx” (Cartoon Network 8:30 p.m.) CN gives viewers a sneak peek at one of its new Saturday morning lineup series (debuting January 14). This Canadian series features a blend of live-action and CGI and tells the story of a tough space chick who crash-lands on Earth and joins forces with some normal teenagers to fight intergalactic bad guys.
“The eBay Effect: Inside a Worldwide Obsession” (CNBC 6 p.m.) I was gonna look up a description of this show online, but I got distracted bidding on a 23-inch Godzilla Shogun Warrior figure from the mid-'70s.