The month starts with the May 5th opening of In the Land of Women. Shot in Victoria last year and starring Meg Ryan, Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart and Olympia Dukakis. Locations included Oak Bay neighborhoods standing in for suburban Michigan, and Mayfair Mall as a shopping centre with a Cineplex.
In the Land of Women is a romantic comedy / drama about trying to makes sense of love. Adam Brody plays Carter Webb who has just been dumped by his true love. In depression and need of a change Carter escapes Los Angeles to suburban Michigan to care for his ailing grandmother. Soon after his arrival, Carter stumbles into the lives of the family living directly across the street: Meg Ryan, and her two daughters Makenzie Vega and Kristen Stewart. Through his relationships with these women, as well as with his grandmother, Carter discovers that what felt like an end was only just the beginning of something else.
I have to wonder if Cameron Bright is being type cast at the tender age of thirteen as a pivotal plot character actor? If you look at the films Cameron has been in since The Butterfly Effect in 2004, Godsend with De Niro and Greg Kinnear Cameron plays both the child that is killed and the story focused cloned child. Later that year in Birth starring Nicole Kidman and Lauren Bacall. Cameron is the reincarnation of the husband Nicole lost ten years ago. Early this year he’s Running Scared from Paul Walker and then he’s the son who makes tobacco’s biggest spokesperson realize the effect he’s having on what he cares most about, in Thank You For Smoking with Aaron Eckhart and William H Macy. Now Cameron’s other film, already out this year, was the Sci-Fi / Vampire-esque auctioneer, Ultraviolet, in which Mila Jovovich must steal a biological weapon called Six, Cameron, from a government lab before it destroys her people. In late May Cameron’s role is as Leach in X-Men: The Last Stand, and while I don’t want to give too much of the plot away as Twentieth Century has worked so hard to conceal it, I can say after careful examination of the trailer, online at apple.com/trailers, Cameron is again the key element to the whole film, while not being the lead actor or having his name above the title.
In late April at the Nanaimo premiere of Thank You For Smoking Cameron was on hand signing autographs and raising money and awareness for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, something that afflicts a fellow actor and very close friend of his.
X-Men: The Last Stand premieres May 26, 2006 and in it a "cure" for mutants threatens to alter the course of history. For the first time, mutants have a choice: retain their uniqueness, though it isolates and alienates them from society, or give up their powers and become human. The opposing viewpoints of mutant leaders Charles Xavier, who preaches tolerance, and Magneto, who believes in the survival of the fittest, are put to the ultimate test, triggering the war to end all wars: a Mutant war, or as Magneto would say the war for the survival of Homo Superior. A lot of rumors exist that this will be the final film of the X-Men franchise but even with two spin offs in development, Wolverine and Magneto, I can’t see Fox or Marvel not returning to this highly profitable and tie-in saturated series.
Speaking of film franchises that make money, Paramount is looking within to resurrect is most beloved franchise. Lost and Alias creator and Tom Cruise’s MI:III director, J.J. Abrams has been tapped to helm the Enterprise and her crew in the eleventh installment of the Star Trek film franchise by fulfilling the ultimate slash role. In Hollywood, a slash is anyone who works more than one major role on a film or television project, in this case Abrams will perform as Producer / Director / Writer, sometimes known as a double slash.
The as yet untitled script by Abrams and long time co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, is said to look at the early days of the crew from the original television series, James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet during their Academy days and first mission. (**Edit: Abrams has since, denided this plot**)
To date Star Trek has had ten films and 726 television episodes in six separate series. Things will have to move quickly as Paramount wants this film out in two years, and they still have to script and cast it before starting to film it next year.
If you’ve got your passport in order and are looking for a reason to excursion state side, the Seattle International Film Festival runs May 25th to June 18th at various venues including Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. Check out seattlefilm.org for more details and a list of the Danish films highlighted at this the 32nd SIFF
You can get more updated info from the newly revised Victoriawood blog at Victoriawood.blogspot.com. Don McCaskill wrote morning news for The New VI and has contributed on and off to local news media including radio since 1986. Don has been a writer for Attractions Arts & Entertainment magazine for seven years.