Justin Lin adds another project in the form of an adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s play, ‘Chinglish’

Over the past couple of years, director Justin Lin has become one of the busier filmmakers around.  Despite being connected to and eventually dropping out of both the HIGHLANDER franchise reboot as well as the forthcoming TERMINATOR film, Lin has still managed to solidify himself as one of the most sought after directors around.

Now, according to Deadline, the director will helm an adaptation of David Henry Hwang’s play Chinglish. The play is described as a cross-cultural romantic comedy, and joins FAST SIX and LONE WOLF AND CUB as projects that Lin is currently set to bring to the big screen.

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LONE WOLF AND CUB heading to the big screen thanks to Justin Lin

Is there a hotter director out there right now than Justin Lin? With his FAST FIVE shocking the world by being a truly solid entry into the action genre, he’s now apparently set to adapt one of the world's biggest manga properties.

Deadline is reporting that he’s set to helm an adaptation of Kazuo Koike’s classic, ‘Lone Wolf And Cub,’ following the story of Ogami Itto, who is accused of a crime he never committed, only to become a for-hire assassin caring for his three year old son.

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Producer Megan Ellison triumphs over Lionsgate for the rights to TERMINATOR

The lovely Kate Erbland mentioned this in her Cannes acquisition roundup earlier but, seeing how this is some of the biggest news to come out of France since someone saw someone else's underpants after they also saw London, here is the expanded version.

Producer Megan Ellison (TRUE GRIT, KILL BIN LADEN) and her Annapurna Films company beat out Lionsgate in a bid for the rights to make at least two more TERMINATOR films. It looked as if Lionsgate would be the victor on late Thursday, but Ellison won it out in the final hours. The winning bid was not disclosed, but Deadlineis reporting it could have been as high as 20 million dollars upfront, or around "half of the $29.5 million that Pacificor spent to claim the property in a bankruptcy auction." Ellison had no domestic distributor attached at the time of the bout, so this could turn out to be one hot ticket item in Tinseltown, making her risky offer not so risky after all. Continue reading

Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the big screen with CRY MACHO; TERMINATOR 5 not his next film

CRY MACHO. It sounds like something you would hear Arnold Schwarzenegger yell at a bunch of kindergarden kids. But, no, it is potentially the title of the actor-turned-governor-turned-actor's next film.

From director Brad Furman (THE LINCOLN LAWYER) penned by late novelist and screenwriter N. Richard Nash, MACHO is a project that Schwarzenegger has actually been attached to for quite some time (see also: a decade). Production is planned for this summer, should the producers find the financing their looking for at Cannes this month. The story centers around a washed up horse trainer that gets mixed up in a kidnapping scheme for his ex-boss, in which the man must abduct his boss' 11-year-old son from his rich ex-wife. Turns out, she doesn't want the kid anyway. I wonder if Edward Furlong is available and could play young? Continue reading

Theatrical Review: FAST FIVE

FAST FIVE

Rating: 4/5

Writer: Chris Morgan
Director: Justin Lin
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Gal Gadot
Studio: Universal

Forget THOR, the summer movie season has started with the release of FAST FIVE. This is everything you would look for in a summer movie blockbuster: attractive people doing attractive things, thrilling action sequences complete with fast, over-the-top car chases and a very light and broad storyline. And sure, you’ll get the cheesy dialogue, passable but not very good acting, and glaring plot holes but despite all of that, you’ll get a fantastic time at the movies. After all, this movie is meant to be fun and exciting and not a display of high art. Continue reading

New TERMINATOR film, Schwarzenegger and all, heads out studio hunting

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

With FAST FIVE set to take theaters by storm this Friday, director Justin Lin has found himself in the middle of what appears to be one hell of a potential purchase for one lucky studio.

Deadline is reporting that a package has been sent out to studios, which would find Lin directing a new TERMINATOR picture, which now has actor Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to star.  Universal, Sony, and Lionsgate have all allegedly proclaimed their interest in the film, which itself is in an interesting position.

For those who may not remember, the rights to the franchise are in the hands of hedge fund company Pacificor, with some of the North American rights also in the hands of Hemdale, which they obtained from James Cameron.  These rights will expire and be placed back with Cameron in 2018, so to say that this franchise is have a few rights issues, is putting it really lightly. Continue reading

Poster for FAST FIVE released

With the fifth film in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise, FAST FIVE, on the way relatively quick, IGN has revealed the film’s first poster, and it’s not much to look at.

The film stars Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, and follows the team of former cop Brian O’Conner and ex-con Dom Toretto, as they try to elude the law, trying to keep Dom out of the hands of the law after breaking out of custody.  Toss in a tough federal agent going on the hunt for the two, and their returning crew, and you have the premise for FAST FIVE. Continue reading

The Rock to join FAST FIVE?

Talk about random.

Deadline is now reporting that The Rock, a.k.a Dwayne Johnson, is looking at taking up the lead role in the upcoming FAST FIVE, the fifth film in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS series.  The film will most likely see him on the right side of the law, on the hunt for the crew of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.  The new film will see Justin Lin back in the director’s chair, and Chris Morgan as the writer, with the crew currently on the look for exotic locations to shoot the film. Continue reading

Universal gears up for FAST & FURIOUS 5

Just last week, while interviewing Lucas Black for his new film GET LOW at Sundance, I discussed a fifth FAST & FURIOUS film with the TOKYO DRIFT actor. As coincidences often happen around Hollywood, Universal has just given the green flag to FAST & FURIOUS 5, officially titled FAST 5. Guess they ran out of interesting ways to word the title.

But hopefully not gas, as they have already signed on series stars Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. Along with director Justin Lin who will be back in the driver's seat for this one after helming THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT and FAST & FURIOUS 4. Longtime series producer Neal Moritz and screenwriter Chris Morgan (WANTED, TOKYO DRIFT, FAST & FURIOUS) will also be returning to the film.
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REVIEW: Fast & Furious

Rating 7/10

When a loved one is mysteriously murdered in a drug run gone bad, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) returns to the U.S., chancing imprisonment, in order to find out who’s responsible and exact some swift & angry revenge. But he has help, just as he did five years prior, in his estranged cohort Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker). As Brian, now reinstated to the FBI, and Dom, still on the run from Johnny Law, infiltrate the drug smuggling racket, they find they must put the past behind them and once again trust each other if they want to bring down yet another shared enemy.

At times, FAST & FURIOUS plays a little like an episode of C.S.I, right down to the stylistic flashbacks of car wrecks. This is meant not as criticism but as a compliment to the film’s script and Justin Lin’s directing, which seems to have grown up and matured a little bit just as the original film’s audience has. The over abundance of sticker clad, candy colored imports have been traded in for good ol’, classic American muscle. The ten second straightaway races have fallen away for edge-of-your seat car chases on open streets and in narrow tunnels. The POINT BREAK-esque plot now left behind for the struggles and tension between the characters and the investigation they attempt to solve in the process.

Don’t be mistaken! Those elements still play a part in the FAST & FURIOUS, just not in the same manner they did in the past. When they do play a part, they are done in such a way that is more plot driven and action based as opposed to oddly placed drag races present only to show off hot cars and even hotter women. And while there is one or two scenes like this, they come off more as a nostalgic throwback to the first film.

If you have been a fan of the entire series, chances are you will most likely enjoy FAST & FURIOUS for some of the same reasons that have always drawn you to these films. If you checked out after the first film, you might want to give this one a chance, as it returns to its roots with the same characters in a similar story while adding a sense of maturity to the things that once felt novelty.

In the end, FAST & FURIOUS attempts to show its audience that, while it may be the same model of car, it has a new coat of paint.