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John Travolta Looking Towards Vince Lombardi Biopic

John Travolta John Woo Robert De Niro

John Travolta has been talking of some ideas for future projects at the opening of the Zurich Film Festival and they include a potential reunion with Face/Off director John Woo.

“I’m also considering doing a US film about the football coach Vince Lombardi, who coached my dad [Salvatore Travolta] before he went professional,” Travolta said. “I would play Vince Lombardi.” Legendary coach Lombardi is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s when he led them to three straight league championships and the first two Super Bowls. The Super Bowl trophy is named in his honour. He’s also “entertaining the possibility of doing” a remake of the John Woo film The Killer. The 1989 action film - which starred Chow Yun Fat - is to be produced by Woo. It looks like despite Travolta’s age, his appetite for films isn’t letting up just yet. As well as big talk surrounding his future endevours, the action thriller Killing Season, in which he stars alongside Robert De Niro is in post production and set for a 2013 release. Set in the remote Smoky Mountain wilderness, the film sees two veterans of the Bosnian War, one American, one Serbian, come to blows.

It wasn’t long ago that the Pulp Fiction actor was ready to pack it in: "I lost my son a few years ago and I had been having quite a time of that and after three years getting a lot of support from my church and a lot of support from people, fans, family I decided that it was OK to go back to work because I'd even thought of retiring at one point because it felt like too much," he told BBC Breakfast.

Blood Brothers Review

John Woo turns up as a producer of Blood Brothers, and it's not too surprising since the film is a reimagining of an earlier Woo effort, Bullet in the Head, which has a similar setup and plot points. Both films track the adventures of three friends from the boonies who seek to make it in the big and dangerous outside world but get much more excitement than they bargained for.

While Bullet in the Head is set in Vietnam during the war, Blood Brothers takes us back to the glamorous nightclubs of Shanghai in the '30s. Feng (Daniel Wu), Kang (Liu Ye), and Kang's brother Hu (Tony Yang) decide to leave their poor village and venture into town to see what they can make of themselves. It's rough going at first, with the guys taking on menial and humiliating jobs such as rickshaw pulling, but Hu lucks out by landing work as a waiter at the gorgeous Paradise Club, where all of haute Shanghai comes to party and to pay homage to the crime bosses who run it. The star of the show: Lulu (Shi Qi), who's the plaything of the big boss but is secretly in love with Mark (Chang Chen), one of his bodyguards.

Continue reading: Blood Brothers Review

Photocall To Promote The Movie 'Red Cliff' At W Hotel

Chang Chen, Tony Leung, John Woo, Kaneshiro Takeshi and Lin Chi-ling - Chang Chen, Tony Leung, John Woo, Kaneshiro Takeshi and Lin Chi-Ling Seoul, South Korea - Photocall to promote the movie 'Red Cliff' at W Hotel Wednesday 25th June 2008

Chang Chen, Tony Leung, John Woo, Kaneshiro Takeshi and Lin Chi-Ling
Chang Chen, Tony Leung, John Woo, Kaneshiro Takeshi and Lin Chi-Ling
Chang Chen

Paycheck Review

Sci-fi fans will see clear similarities between John Woo's action/thriller Paycheck and Paul Verhoeven's Total Recall (1991). Both deal with memory and identity, as adapted from stories by author Philip K. Dick. Both star thousand-watt Hollywood celebrities (Ben Affleck here, Governor Schwarzenegger in Recall) in roles that ask little from them. And, most disappointingly, both shun an intellectual and sturdy drama that would fit the subject matter perfectly, choosing action and cornball dialogue instead.

"My life is nothing but highlights," confesses Mike Jennings (Affleck), a genius computer hacker who trades big cash for small chunks of his own memory. Jennings gets rich by dissecting massive programs and passing the goods onto rival companies - at which point, all recent activity is erased from his brain.

Continue reading: Paycheck Review

A Better Tomorrow Review

John Woo's ode to slow-motion blood splatters has earned raves from his adoring fans, but this tale of two brothers -- one good, one bad -- certainly has some much better contemporaries. Chow Yun-Fat and Leslie Cheung are mildly memorable in the aforementioned roles (one's a counterfeiter, the other is a cop on his trail), but Woo's penchant for slo-mo violence as a means of getting from one scene to the next wears thin after about 25 minutes. An atrocious dubbing job doesn't help (though subtitled versions do exist), and the dated 80s plot line makes things all the worse.

Die-hard fans of Chow and Woo will find plenty to like, but frankly, I'll take the overblown theatrics of Suture instead, when it comes to a warring brothers flick.

Continue reading: A Better Tomorrow Review

Bulletproof Monk Review

Thank God for late April. Tax refunds, nice warm weather, and all of the movies that weren't quite good enough to come out in May show up in theatres. They're not fine art and they're not summer blockbusters, but at least they're not House of 1000 Corpses. Yeah, tax day seems to be the crossover point between the god-awful movies of winter and early spring and the decent cinema of summer.

Case in point is Bulletproof Monk. It's not an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, it's not laugh out loud funny, but it sure as hell ain't bad.

Continue reading: Bulletproof Monk Review

Windtalkers Review

Action is John Woo's middle name. After directing frenetic flicks such as Mission: Impossible II, Face/Off, and Broken Arrow, I knew we would get enough bombs, blood and broken body parts to give his WWII drama Windtalkers an accurate feel. But the film is about more than good gore; it has tremendous heart, too.

During the war, the Japanese were masters at stealing and translating the codes used by U.S. troops to communicate messages to and from the front lines. There was a huge loss of life as a result of these interceptions. In response, the Marines recruited Navajos to act as code talkers, and used their intricate tribal language as a new, unbreakable code. Woo's Windtalkers is an intense and emotional look at the critical role the Navajos played in the United States' success in the war.

Continue reading: Windtalkers Review

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