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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Mickey Rourke

Barry Levinson and Sheryl Crow remake 'Diner' for Broadway stage

September 20, 2011 |  3:08 pm

  Diner

Eddie, Shrevie and Boogie are heading to Broadway.

Production company Base Entertainment announced Tuesday that it will mount a musical version of Barry Levinson's 1982 seriocomic hit "Diner"--and has enlisted Levinson to write the book and Sheryl Crow to write the lyrics and music.

Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall (she won three times for best choreography) will direct the show, which will come to Broadway after playing a limited road engagement in an as-yet unnamed city.

Levinson' poignant male-centric tale centers on twentysomething friends growing up in Baltimore in the 1960s.The film featured then up-and-coming actors including Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg and Mickey Rourke in leading roles and is told via the conversations of the group, who gather in a diner to reminisce as one of them gets married.

"Diner" completists will recall a television pilot in 1983, so it's not like a spinoff is without precedent. But unlike many of the other movies that have become Broadway musicals, there isn't an obvious hook to "Diner"; the movie is, of course, more of a rambling discussion about life and love than a series of set pieces with obvious musical connections.

The movie-theater pipeline has flowed heavily in recent years; "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" became "Spamalot," and Disney has turned seemingly every other one of its hit films from the 1990s into a show on the Great White Way.

Perhaps the closest analogue to "Diner" is "Movin' Out," Twyla tharp's Billy Joel-oriented dance musical about young men growing up slightly later, in the '60's and '70s. Here's hoping for a Rourke cameo in the "Diner" musical--and that he doesn't dance.

RELATED:

Barry Levinson to receive WGA's Screen Laurel Award

Review: Sheryl Crow's 'Detours'

What happened to Mickey Rourke?

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: "Diner." Credit: MGM


'Immortals' tries to give a worn genre new life [Video]

April 27, 2011 |  2:02 pm

Immort
The success of “300” four years ago could have ushered in a new era of artistry for swords-and-sandals tales, or simply a new era of knockoffs. Judging by what’s come since, it’s getting harder to argue the former.

“Immortals,” which shares producers with “300” and follows a trio of films similarly themed with honor and epic battle (“Clash of the Titans,” “Prince of Persia” and “The Eagle”), begins its pre-release campaign with a new teaser trailer released Wednesday.

Tarsem Singh (“The Fall”) brings a sense of style to the material, which this time around takes on the battle of Thesus (Henry Cavill) against King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke, trying out a new villainous accent). But amid the flaming arrows and leaping swordsmen is a generic story of honor and gods and battles, and a somberness that can border on the comic. The earnest disrobing from the likes of Freida Pinto doesn't help, nor do the "Eyes Wide Shut" masks, or the boilerplate dialogue. (“Today we are offered something we would never have. Today we fight for honor.”)

When it was first developed three years ago the action movie, now scheduled for November, looked like it would compete in the marketplace with “Clash of the Titans.” In fact, Warner Bros. contemplated buying the script on which it’s based for use in developing “Titans," so closely related were the pair. “Immortals” is now sandwiched between that movie and its sequel next March, which may or may not give it enough breathing room.

Sandal-philia aside, the interesting question is how “Immortals” will affect Cavill’s stock -– the film will be closely watched by Superman lovers to see what kind of hero chops Cavill demonstrates.

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Mickey Rourke in "Immortals." Credit: Relativity Media

 


Toronto 2010: Little passion for 'Passion Play'

September 11, 2010 | 11:18 am

Passionplay_01 

Sometimes everything seems to be in place -- the crowds are there, the stars are arriving, there is an air of expectation and excitement -- but that can all change once the actual movie starts. Such was the case on Friday night with the world premiere of "Passion Play," the directing debut from longtime screenwriter Mitch Glazer ("Scrooged"). The expressionistic fable was received as something of a spectacular folly, made all the more crushing in that Glazer had first written it as an expression of his feelings while in the process of falling in love with his now-wife, actress Kelly Lynch.

The script has been around for some time -- Glazer noted that star Megan Fox was 3 years old when he first sold the script -- while the screenwriter held tight to the idea of directing it himself. In the film, Mickey Rourke plays a Chet Baker-ish jazz trumpeter who gets taken out to the desert by a hood. After the hood is killed off by a roving band of Native American assassins, the trumpeter wanders until he comes across a traveling carnival. There he sees a woman with wings (Fox) and immediately falls for her. After getting her away from the carnival, the pair become ensnared in the clutches of a cruel mobster (Bill Murray) who wants the woman for himself.

While it is difficult to beat up on something made with as much seemingly genuine sincerity as "Passion Play,"  it comes together in such a loopily haphazard way that it is hard to think of it as even much of a movie.

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Spirit Awards try for a Mickey Rourke-ian level of entropy

March 4, 2010 |  4:59 pm

Those seeking a quick primer on Film Independent’s Spirit Awards need only YouTube Mickey Rourke's acceptance speech at last year's ceremony.

The “Wrestler” star, as you can see above, began his address — which clocked in at an Oscar-unfriendly six minutes — by imploring the room to hire Eric Roberts, then nearly broke into tears over the death of his dog and, in what may or may not have been a joke, threatened to beat up host Rainn Wilson over a “Wrestler” impersonation.

Is Rourke available for an encore?

As the Spirit Awards prepares to stage its 25th-anniversary show Friday night in downtown Los Angeles, it will try to capture the anarchic tone that over the years has made it a fun and sometimes headline-worthy alternative to the Oscars. But reaching that high bar won’t be easy. The show has instituted changes in venue, time and format and also must cope with the contraction of the specialty-film business, an absence of the year’s most buzzed-about independent film and the eternal question of its balance between the indie and mainstream.

When Film Independent, the nonprofit group that runs the Spirits and the Los Angeles Film Festival, announced last summer that it was making a number of changes to the event, the announcement was greeted with a few raised eyebrows. The group was moving the awards out of its slot on the Saturday afternoon of Oscar weekend, which it had occupied for the past 10 years, to an 8 p.m. Friday slot. The show was also moving from its customary location under a large tent on the beach in Santa Monica to a venue at L.A. Live.

Those may seem like small trivial changes, but in the small, incestuous world of independent film — which can be just as tradition-bound in its way as its studio counterpart — many veterans privately wondered if the Spirits were simply trying to save a few pennies. In the process, they said, it was fair to ask if the show would lose its let-down-your-hair feel.

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