Cameron Crowe and Pearl Jam Talk to Movie Fanatic

Almost Famous director Cameron Crowe, of all filmmakers, is the perfect choice to helm a documentary of Pearl Jam’s two decades of music excellence. Crowe, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and the entire band gathered Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival to discuss their documentary Pearl Jam 20.

Cameron Crowe and Pearl Jam for Pearl Jam 20

Crowe had a daunting task when making his documentary on the band that inspires such passion from its fans. The filmmaker, who began his career as a rock journalist as captured in Almost Famous, was presented with 1,000 hours of footage that the band had culled over the years. “I’ve always just wanted to be lucky enough to just tell a good story. And I’ve always felt that the story of Pearl Jam is a great story,” Crowe said. “It takes the usual rock story and turns it on its head. The usual rock story is incredible promise and brilliance, maybe, and tragedy cuts it short — and aren’t we sad that we’ve lost this wonderful opportunity. Pearl Jam is exactly the opposite. It’s a tragedy that was surmounted. And these guys found joy through survival and studying what happened with rock before with some of their heroes.”

Vedder then chimed in about how taken he was with seeing his audiences’ reaction to their performances in a new light by the way in which Crowe captured that essence through his lens. “You look at all the crowd reaction — or the family that is the people that come to see the shows — it’s just music,” Vedder said. “It’s just guitars and drums and bass. To have it turn into this other thing is kind of a monument. I don’t mean to self-aggrandize, but it’s really something to see it and witness it. In this case, to be reminded of it and have it right there in front of us so that we can appreciate it even more. And know that we have a really strong base to cover the next twenty.”

One of the most indelible images of the entire doc is witnessing Vedder and Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain slow dancing below the stage while Eric Clapton plays Tears in Heaven at the MTV Video Awards. “I saw it today for the first time,” Vedder recalled. “It’s not that I had remembered it. But, maybe it was a little longer than what I had seen before. For a second, the camera gets blurry or someone walks in front, and then after… you see Kurt.”

Pearl Jam Twenty Film Still

It was clear the moment in the film moved Vedder. “The first time I saw that footage, it was incredibly emotional,” he said. “I think just because he’s smiling. You just think: If he just could have pulled through.”

Crowe worked hard at getting the footage, knowing it was out there, even though some thought the video of Vedder and his sometimes rival Cobain dancing together was just a rumor.

“That had been talked about, some people didn’t quite remember it happening, others swore there was someone there with a camera,” Crowe said.
Vedder added that the timing for the film, besides it being the band’s two-decade anniversary, was perfect because of where they are at as a band.

“That’s the thing about today. You know, maybe it’s good that this movie kind of happened now. We’ve been in grateful mode and appreciation mode of each other for, I think, quite some time. The last few years, I think, have been a real graceful period for us,” Vedder said. “But it’s a galvanizing kind of moment to look at each other. It doesn’t happen that often.”

Pearl Jam 20 opens in over 60 cities in the U.S. September 20 and opens in more communities September 23.

Goon Trailer: Liev Schreiber and Hockey?

The hockey comedy Goon screened at the Toronto Film Festival and found itself a distribution deal from Magnet Releasing — part of Magnolia Pictures — of which it should be proud. And now, the Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber starring film has released its trailer.

Seann William Scott in Goon
Scott, who is currently filming the American Pie reunion movie American Reunion, is Goon’s leading man, a bar bouncer whose passion for Canada’s favorite sport of hockey knows no bounds. Schreiber, meanwhile, stars as a competitor of Scott when he joins a ragtag hockey club in search of some hope.

In the game of hockey, most teams have what many call an “enforcer,” a player who lays down the law when a star player is checked a little too hard. Judging by the trailer below, the Shakespeare trained Schreiber is perfect in that role… for that matter, so is Scott!

Goon is based on the book Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey and brought to the big screen in a screenplay by Scott and Schreiber’s co-star Jay Baruchel (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice). 

Goon TrailerVIDEO

Point Break Remake in the Works

Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros have announced plans to remake the 1991 film Point Break. The original film famously starred Patrick Swayze as Bodhi, a surfer-bank robber and Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, the FBI agent working undercover aiming to take him down.

Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in Point Break

Alcon Entertainment, currently about to release Dolphin Tale and the company responsible for The Blind Side, made the announcement this week. Point Break, circa the new millennium, has been put on the fast track for production and release.

It has been two decades since Reeves learned how to surf with Gary Busey encouraging him. The new story will apparently surround the world of extreme sports, although it occurs to Movie Fanatic that in order to keep that title, one of those sports must include surfing.

The original 1991 flick featured a director in Kathryn Bigelow who recently won an Oscar for Best Director for The Hurt Locker.

“Point Break wasn’t just a film, it was a Zen meditation on testosterone fueled action and manhood in the late 20th century and we hope to create the same for the young 21st,” the new film’s producer, Michael DeLuca, said.

Top Gun to Be Re-Released in 3D

Paramount Pictures is banking on the fact that movie goers still feel the need. The need for speed.

It hopes to release a 3D version of Top Gun in early 2012.

Top Gun Trailer

According to Rob Hummel – the CEO of Legend3D, which would convert this 1986 classic into three dimensions – Paramount is awaiting approval from Tony Scott. But the studio hopes to get it and have the Tom Cruise action flick in theaters by next spring.

“I think Top Gun lends itself to 3D due to the aerial flight,” Hummel told The Hollywood Reporter. “You can have fun with 3D by bringing things off the screen if they are not attached to the edge of the screen.

Talk has died down, but this rumor would lend credence to the possibility that a Top Gun sequel really might get made someday. Would you wanna fly with Maverick again?

Men in Black 3 Arriving May 25 in IMAX 3D

Men in Black 3 is shrouded in secrecy, but the first bit of news that can actually be reported is Sony has announced a release date: May 25. The film will arrive on screens in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Will Smith and Josh Brolin on MIB3 set

The first Men in Black film landed in 1997 with its sequel being released in 2002 — both starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

We’ve seen on set photos of Smith looking his dapper best in the black suit (remember his line, “but I make this look good?”) along with new acting cohort Josh Brolin, but little else is known about the storyline or the timing of the film. Movie Fanatic has gathered that Men in Black 3 involves some sort of time travel with Smith going back in time to reunite with the Jones character, played in the past by Brolin.

Barry Sonnenfeld is back directing a screenplay by Etan Cohen which promises to stay true to the comic book series by Lowell Cunningham. Will Jones be in the film? It looks like it as photos of him and Smith have made the rounds as well. Also joining the gang with Brolin is Oscar winner Emma Thompson.