"Edison Force," Justin Timberlake‘s acting debut, comes out on DVD today, having bypassed theaters entirely. It’s an ignominious end for a title that, as Natalie Finn at E! Online reminds us, was the closing night film at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and whose cast includes Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman and LL Cool J.
Then again, it’s generally considered to be a mightily mediocre stinker (if it had been truly awful, it would have probably made it into theaters after all, bad press being better than none). Amusingly, the trade critics called this one way out: reviewing it at TIFF, the Hollywood Reporter‘s Michael Rechtshaffen mused that
Coming after the screenings of so many high-profile, awards-season
contenders, it would seem like an odd choice, but given a cast that
includes Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, LL Cool J, Dylan McDermott, Cary
Elwes and a nonsinging, nondancing Justin Timberlake in his feature
acting debut, it probably made perfect sense to the party planners.
For most everyone else, this Millennium Films
presentation’s domestic best bet likely will be as a DVD rental, though
those big names alone will ensure international interest.
And Scott Foundas at Variety wrote "Its high-profile (and inexplicable) slot as Toronto’s closing night gala notwithstanding, ‘Edison’ should be coming soon to a cable channel and a video store near you."
Elsewhere, John Hooper at the Guardian reports that an angry mob of Florentines stormed a train station in the city and sat on the rails in an attempt to block north-south rail traffic through Italy, all at the behest of…Franco Zeffirelli? The "Romeo and Juliet" director, an ardent supporter of Florence’s Fiorentina football club, was angered by the stiff penalty given to the club as a result of Italy’s recent football scandal.
Franco Zeffirelli, who received an honorary knighthood from the Queen two years ago, had earlier appealed to his fellow Fiorentina supporters to "cut [Italy] in half" as a protest against punishments meted out to their club by a tribunal set up to judge claims of match-fixing…
He hinted that, if the punishment of his side were not revoked, the Florentines might think of taking even more drastic steps. "Closing the museums for a while wouldn’t do any harm," he said.
The BBC has a list of 25 classics compiled by Andrew Collins of Radio Times as a "crash course" for aspiring film buffs. Collins takes an interestingly inclusive approach in his choices, including "Armageddon" on his list along with the most expected titles: "Snobbery does not belong to the film buff… To understand the 1980s/1990s blockbuster, you must accept producer Jerry Bruckheimer into your life. ‘Armageddon’ is the pinnacle of Bruckheimer excess."
And at the Hollywood Reporter, Gregg Goldstein claims that the casting for Ang Lee‘s next, "Lust, Caution," has been finalized, and that the leads will be, as rumored, Tony Leung and film newcomer Tang Wei, along with (as previously announced) Taiwanese pop star Wang Lee Hom.
Also, indieWIRE turned 10 — congrats!
+ Timberlake Film Fizzles (E! Online)
+ Edison (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Edison (Variety)
+ Football fans block railway line after Zeffirelli call to arms (Guardian)
+ Casablanca is buffs’ ‘must-see’ (BBC)
+ Ang Lee finds stars for World War II thriller (Hollywood Reporter)
+ First Person: indieWIRE @ 10, And Counting… (indieWIRE)