Friday, July 18, 2008

Terminator, Felon, Bollywood and More... in NM News

First, Terminator... partially because I'm jealous of all the folks seeing a certain Christian Bale this weekend.

Sneak Peek: Christian Bale takes on the Terminator in the Fourth Installment
From the UK's Daily Mail:

Terminator is back and while there's no sign of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the fourth installment promises to be bigger than ever.

Batman Begins and Dark Knight star Christian Bale steps in as rebel leader John Connor, a decommissioned terminator whose last memory is of being on death row.

The hotly anticipated Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is set in a post-apocalyptic 2018 and picks up the story of Connor, who is now in his early thirties.
The film also stars Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard and Helen Bonham Carter, with Josh Brolin rumored to appear as the Terminator...

Bale says he only agreed to the role because he was confident the film will reinvent the franchise.

He revealed: 'What I saw with Terminator was what I saw with Batman Begins.'

More at the article.
Felon Reviewed in the Hollywood Reporter
”Felon” reworks many of the conventions of prison movies that have gripped audiences since “The Big House” in 1930.

In this case, familiarity breeds pleasure rather than contempt. Directed with pounding energy by Ric Roman Waugh and acted to the hilt by a cast comprising several of yesterday’s stars proving their mettle, the movie delivers the thrills and emotion that prison movies require. Although it aims to make a case for prison reform, it essentially is a solid B-movie with just a few pretensions. Boxoffice returns will be limited, but the film will please its core audience.
The most startling performance comes from Val Kilmer as Wade’s hardened cellmate, a man who combines bitterness with wisdom. Although Kilmer’s character has committed heinous acts, the actor brings a genuinely tragic dimension to his portrayal.

Aside from a few overly arty shots, technical credits are strong; the film makes excellent use of the Santa Fe settings, including the New Mexico State Penitentiary. Viewers, like the inmates, will feel the walls closing in.
From the New Mexico Business Weekly:

Bollywood Calling
Hrithik Roshan might not be a household name in the United States, but suffice it to say he's the Brad Pitt of India.

A major star in his home country, Roshan is coming to New Mexico with the new film "Kites," produced by his father, Rakesh Roshan, a Bollywood veteran. It will be a truly international production, in Hindi, English and Spanish, and will also feature Barbara Mori, star of telenovelas and the Mexican film "La Mujer de Mi Hermano."

Film officials here said the production is indicative of an increasing interest in New Mexico by international producers. The weak dollar places the state in an excellent position to lure foreign film companies, particularly if their funding is in euros or British pounds.

"Word has really gotten out in the global production community about what we're doing in New Mexico," said Eric Witt, director of media industries development in Gov. Bill Richardson's office. "It's also a reflection of the increased attention we got from the Academy Award nominations."

Films made in New Mexico garnered 14 Oscar nominations this year, and one, "No Country For Old Men," took top honors in numerous categories, including Best Picture.

"That gave tremendous exposure to us," Witt said. "So all of a sudden inquiries to the film office doubled, and inquiries from overseas started coming in earnest."

Since 2003, more than 100 films and television projects have been shot in New Mexico, bringing about $1.8 billion to the economy, according to Richardson's office.

Lisa Strout, director of the state film office, said the influx of international projects includes several from India, an Italian film and a Spanish production company wooed by Richardson on a recent trip.

She also has had inquiries from television series productions in Germany and London.

The weak dollar and the state incentives are part of that increase, Strout said, but she is also seeing creative trends behind the decisions.

"Foreign filmmakers are expanding their content or storylines to incorporate American themes," she said. "Bollywood films are flocking to the U.K. and have a sudden interest in the U.S., particularly the West."
This subject came up at last night's Coronado Ventures Forum -- and it's true, countries around the world have heard of what we're doing in New Mexico. And sometimes it's just cheaper and easier to shoot here.

AAA calls it: Albuquerque and NM are Hot Destinations:
From the Business weekly:
AAA travel agency managers say Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico are "hot spot" destinations this summer.

A recent survey of the managers indicated that the top domestic vacation destinations were Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., with Albuquerque, San Antonio, Texas, Miami/South Beach, the state of New Mexico and the state of Oregon noted as "hot spots."

Top international destinations were Rome, London, Cancun, Dublin and Vancouver; international "hot spots" were Croatia, Montenegro, Vietnam, Cinque Terra in Italy and the Douro River in Portugal.

Destinations noted for providing the most attractive bargains or best values for summer travel were Las Vegas, Orlando/Walt Disney World, Fla., Branson, Mo., Anaheim/Disneyland and San Francisco. Best international bargains were the Caribbean, European Cruises, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and South America.

In another survey, 95 percent of AAA auto travel managers said that high gas prices will impact travel plans, causing travelers to take trips closer to home, take fewer trips and reduce the number of vacation days traveled.

AAA is North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, with more than 51 million members.
In other news possibly more important to media-makers, Starbucks will close four stores in New Mexico (more in the Business Weekly)


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Anonymous said...

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