Starring Pierce Brosnon, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Denceh, Joe Don Baker, Tcheky Karyo, Famke Janssen, Samantha Bond.
Directed By Martin Campbell.
The KGB is kaput. SMERSH has been smashed. And even SPECTRE is a shadow of its former self. What’s a licensed-to-kill supersleuth to do?
”Oh, there are still plenty of bad guys to keep James Bond busy,” insists Brosnan, who’s already been signed to star in three more Bond flicks. After the lukewarm reception accorded Timothy Dalton in the last two Bond films, the producers have decided to go back to basics. Goldeneye (named after author Ian Fleming’s Jamaican estate) promises plenty of nifty plot twists (007 battles a double agent who has stolen the key to a super-powerful Russian military satellite), a bevy of Bond bombshells (”He still has a weakness for the ladies — he’s still a sexist,” says Brosnan), and oodles of Q’s way-cool gadgetry (including a vintage 1962 Aston Martin DB-5, just like the one in Goldfinger). And look for some classic Bond-esque locations, including Monte Carlo, the Caribbean, and St. Petersburg — although most of the movie was actually filmed at an abandoned Rolls-Royce factory-turned-studio outside of London.
”People have been sending us letters for years, saying they want the real Bond back,” says producer Barbara Broccoli, daughter of longtime Bond producer Albert Broccoli. ”So we spent a lot of time reflecting on what it is that appeals to people about him. We’ve tried to distill all that. We’ve tried to go back to what originally made Bond the most successful movie hero of all time and put that on the screen again.”
Of course, there will be some concessions to the 1990s. For starters, Bond’s boss, M (for years played by the scowling Bernard Lee, who died in 1981), is now a woman (Dame Judi Dench, no less). Also, the look of the film has been updated for the MTV generation. ”It’s unlike any Bond movie you’ve every seen,” says United Artists vice president of production Jeff Kleeman, the exec in charge of the project. ”It’s got colors you’ve never seen in a Bond movie before. Characters’ faces zoom up to the screen diagonally. It’s more like a graphic novel. It really wakes up the formula.”
”But you don’t want to change the formula too much,” cautions director Campbell. ”I mean, even the bad Bond movies have been successful. Still, I’ve been rather disappointed with the last few films. I think it’s time we brought back a sense of style and sophistication and let Bond be Bond.”
Buzz: The rockin’ trailer is a good sign, but it’s been six years since the last 007 flick, which disappointed at the box office, so Brosnan will have to prove he can polish up the brand name and deliver the goods.
With Voices By Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Wallace Shawn, Annie Potts, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger.
Directed By John Lasseter.
They’ve done lovesick mermaids. They’ve done singing lions. They’ve done dancing teacups. But this time around, Disney has tossed out its crayon boxes and commissioned something startlingly different-looking: the world’s first completely computer-animated feature film.
Tom Hanks provides the voice of Woody, a pull-string cowboy doll who rules over a bedroom kingdom of walking, talking toys — including a wisecracking Mr. Potato Head (Rickles), a demure but streetwise Bo Peep table lamp (Potts), a wimpy dinosaur (Shawn), and a bucket of little green army men. All is hunky-dory until a new toy arrives on the scene — Buzz Lightyear (Allen), a gadgety space-suited action figure who doesn’t realize he’s just a hunk of plastic. ”He’s a totally self-assured guy with an ego the size of the Andromeda galaxy,” explains Allen. ”But he’s a little delusional. And Hanks has to convince him that he’s not what he thinks he is.”
Disney’s marketing machine is pitching Toy Story as ”unlike anything you’ve ever seen before” — which is not quite true. Audiences have seen this sort of computer graphic imaging in films like Jurassic Park (which had six minutes of CGI in some of the dino scenes) and Casper (which had more than 40 minutes). But Toy, which took four years for computer-animation company Pixar to complete, will be the first all-CGI movie ever made. ”When we started the whole project in 1991, the number one thing was to create a real character film, a heartwarming tale,” says ex-Disney animator Lasseter (who now works at Pixar). ”To develop depth, we were looking for really good, funny voice actors. Tom is a really great prop actor. Even when he plays a jerk he’s appealing. And Allen has an ability to do macho characters with a soft underbelly.”
Although the actors mostly worked solo in sound booths, they did develop a repartee of sorts. ”Tom and his older boy thought my vomit imitation was pretty humorous,” says Allen. ”Once I got them laughing so hard [the producers] said, ‘We’re just going to have to separate these two.”’
Buzz: Clips of the movie hint at a truly groundbreaking piece of animation. Which may be both good news and bad: After this, will old-fashioned Disney cartoons look obsolete?
Home For the Holidays
Starring Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Steve Guttenberg, Dylan McDermott, Cynthia Stevenson, Geraldine Chaplin, Claire Danes.
Directed By Jodie Foster.
Don’t let any of these actors tell you that filmmaking’s hard work. Since much of Home for the Holidays takes place around the dinner table of a middle-class family in Baltimore, director Foster treated her actors to Thanksgiving dinner for each of the 10 days it took to shoot the film’s extended meal scene. Talk about turkey coma. The cumulative menu: 64 birds, at least 20 pounds of mashed potatoes, 44 pies, 35 pounds of stuffing, 18 bags of minimarshmallows, and 30 pounds of sweet potatoes. ”Nobody ever really eats in movies, and I hate that,” says Hunter, who stars as a lonely single mother girding herself for a grueling holiday with the folks. ”So I really did eat.” McDermott, who plays a slightly mysterious houseguest in the film, says he kept the calories in check by simply spitting out the food when Foster yelled, ”Cut!”
Thanksgiving dinner is the climax of this small-scale look at the funny, sad intricacies of family relationships. Foster says the cast — Bancroft and Durning as Hunter’s parents, Downey as her mischievous gay brother, Stevenson and Guttenberg as her uptight sister and brother-in-law, and Chaplin as her semi-senile aunt — took on its own familial overtones during rehearsals: ”Downey would take his shoes off and put his feet up on the table right in front of Anne Bancroft, and she’d go, ‘Oh! Oh!’ It was just so funny to watch.”
Foster, who made her directorial debut with 1991’s Little Man Tate and doubles as producer this time out, says her favorite scene hinges on Downey’s ad-libbed anecdote about his broken nose. ”It’s the most disgusting story,” she says. ”He’s describing the pus and blood and spooge and brains and pooky. For some reason, that gets me going more than any other scene in the movie. I guess that’s very revealing, isn’t it?”
Buzz: Couldn’t be better, both for Foster’s direction and her able cast.