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  1. #1

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    Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    Clint's 'Letters' coming early
    December release puts pic in kudos contention

    Eastwood

    'Letters From Iwo Jima'
    By Pamela McClintock
    Variety
    November 16, 2006

    Warner Bros. is moving up the release date of Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima" -- the companion pic to "Flags of Our Fathers" -- from Feb. 9 to Dec. 20.

    New frame puts "Letters" up for awards consideration, with Warners planning to make the film available to critics groups and guilds in its limited run.

    Pic will open in L.A. and New York, and possibly in San Francisco.

    Eastwood approached Warners about the date change for "Letters" after consulting with Steven Spielberg, who brought in Eastwood to direct "Flags" for DreamWorks.

    Spielberg is a producer on both pics.

    DreamWorks partnered with Warners on "Flags." The two studios partnered again when Eastwood decided he wanted to shoot a companion picture telling the story of the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective.
    The new Dec. 20 date was locked in early Wednesday evening, as Eastwood was in Japan to promote "Letters," which hadn't been set to open until Feb. 9.

    Paramount is distributing "Flags" in the U.S., where it has grossed $31 million at the box office. Warners is distributing the film overseas, where it has taken in more than $13.3 million.

    Warners has worldwide distrib rights to "Letters."

    Timing on the late-year announcement is unusual, but not unprecedented.
    In October 2004, WB announced it would release Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" in December, which caused some last-minute scrambling to book screens and work up a campaign for the film's bow, in addition to its kudos strategy. The film won four Oscars, including best picture.

    Other directors have had two films competing for kudos attention in the same year, including Steven Soderbergh with "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic." (He was Oscar nommed for both, winning for the latter.)
    But nobody has two companion pieces in the same year; Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trio were released a year apart.

    A big awards question is whether the two films will compete for attention; whether there is room for both in major Oscar categories; or whether kudos voters will view Eastwood's twin pics as two sides of the same coin and honor both by voting for one. (Some theorized that the Oscar wins for the third "LOTR" was in effect recognition of the entire trilogy.)
    (Timothy M. Gray contributed to this report.)
    http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_...ryid=1985&cs=1
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  2. #2

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    So, perhaps a move at oscar? I can see this moving into the pack.

  3. #3

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    MOVIES
    War is hell for the enemy too

    Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima" is shot from the Japanese perspective and comes on the heels of "Flags."

    By Bruce Wallace
    Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    November 24, 2006








    TOKYO -- Clint Eastwood says he wanted to make a movie about the way war intrudes and destroys young lives, and in "Letters From Iwo Jima," youth is seen sacrificed in huge, bloody, burned numbers.

    Japanese youth this time. "Letters" is Eastwood's Japanese-language companion film to the critically praised but commercially tepid "Flags of Our Fathers," completing the 76-year-old director's gamble that that he could make two different movies, telling two different stories, from the same moment and place in history.

    Using the backdrop of the early 1945 battle for an island that would bring the U.S. within bomber range of Japanese cities, "Flags" shone a klieg light onto the dark art of wartime propaganda, casting America's World War II leadership in cynical hues.

    But the Japanese made only rare cameos, mostly just to die, horribly. So Eastwood shot a second film, approaching the collision of forces from the Japanese perspective. "Letters," which was previewed in Japan last week and will start a limited run in U.S. theaters Dec. 20 in time to qualify for the Oscar race, is the claustrophobic view of combat from the carved tunnels and caves of the other side, and it tries to bestow humanity upon soldiers that Hollywood has always treated as a faceless enemy.

    "The great futility of war is explored in this picture," Eastwood says.
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...dlines-entnews
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    Seems that Dreamworks is having financial and quality issues. "Flags" didn't do so well.
    Also, the two movies could be packaged together in DVDs. Harder to do with a Feb release date.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Seems that Dreamworks is having financial and quality issues. "Flags" didn't do so well.
    Also, the two movies could be packaged together in DVDs. Harder to do with a Feb release date.
    I didn't expect Flags to be a box office blockbuster, but I am really disappointed that more people haven't gone to see that excellent film, a movie that not only shows us what heroes the young men that fought and died on Iwo were, but also how we as a society are so gullible sometimes and "never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

    I look forward to seeing the next film. History, after all, is always written by the victors. I'll be interested to see the viewpoint of the vanquished.

    --Barry
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  6. #6

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    My husband went to see Flags - and came home and was just stunned. Mainly because of the violence (but, he said it was a great movie). He said it was absolutely horrible. Now, while I believe these things are true and ugly (and the stories need to be told), I really don't want to see gore and guts - that's why I didn't go, and probably a few others as well.

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    This is a typically well-crafted film from Eastwood's recent canon featuring wonderful performances from some terrific young actors. It is a shame that it hasn't found a broader success due to squeamishness, et cetera.

    But I think alot of potential audiences out there believe they've "seen it already" with huge hits like 'Saving Private Ryan' and HBO's series, 'Band of Brothers'. 'BoB' DVD set sales passed $100 million a couple of years ago and HBO repeats showings often enough.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    Japan jams theaters to see 'Iwo Jima'
    Film has dominated box office past two weekends



    The Japanese are jazzed about Clint Eastwood’s
    WWII pic 'Letters From Iwo Jima.'

    Eastwood"Letters From Iwo Jima," which opened at
    five U.S. theaters Wednesday, has already dazzled the Japanese.

    By Dave McNary
    Variety
    December 21, 2006

    Clint Eastwood's Japanese-language companion piece to "Flags of Our Fathers" has dominated at the Japanese box office during the past two weekends. Drawing $13.3 million in its first 11 days days through Tuesday, pic's nearly matched the $13.4 million "Flags" has taken during its two-month run in the country.

    And with a decline of only 26% in its second weekend, "Letters From Iwo Jima" will almost certainly have long legs in coming weeks.

    "Letters" grossed $3.2 million at 401 playdates last weekend to top the launch of "Eragon" by 46%.


    Pic, titled "Iwo Jima Karano Tegami" for the Japanese market, tells the story of the WWII battle from the Japanese perspective. It received strong reviews locally along with a Nov. 15 world premiere at Tokyo's Budokan arena attended by Eastwood and the Japanese stars.

    The presence of pop star-turned actor Kazunari Ninomiya in the cast is helping "Letters" attract a younger demo.

    "This is such a unique movie that it's become a cultural phenomenon in Japan," noted Warner Intl. prexy of marketing Sue Kroll. "We think we'll have an excellent run."

    Warner execs predicted earlier that "Letters" could top $40 million in Japan. WWII pics have racked up respectable rather than blockbuster perfs in Japan in the past. "Pearl Harbor" topped $56 million, "Saving Private Ryan" took $37.2 million and Terrence Malick's "Thin Red Line" $10.6 million.

    Kroll explained that Warner will wait until February to roll out "Letters" in other international territories, partly to lay the groundwork for long-lead critics' screenings and partly because it needs to finish opening "Flags" in foreign territories. It's targeting the weekend before Oscars for "Letters" openings in the U.K., France, Germany and Australia.

    And rather than dubbing the film, Warner will unspool "Letters" in the Japanese language with subtitles in all markets.

    Eastwood developed the idea for "Letters" while shooting "Flags," which has shown moderate traction at the box office so far with $33.6 million domestically and $21.4 million overseas -- most of that in Japan, with France and Italy generating only mild biz.

    "Flags" opens in the U.K. this weekend, followed by Germany next weekend and Spain in the first frame of 2007.
    http://www.variety.com/awardcentral_...ryid=1985&cs=1
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  9. #9

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    Re: Clint Eastwood's 'Letters From Iwo Jima' moves up to 12/20

    I finally got to see this movie last night and thought I'd post my thoughts.

    I must say, I've never had a movie force me into deep thoughts and near meditation before. I simply cannot stop thinking about it, there are moments sprinkled throughout the movie that I don't think I'll ever forget. As a Japanese American, I've heard both sides of the story, it's one of the most confusing matters I've ever dealt with. However, this movie really put things into perspective for me. War is stupid, no matter how we are represented, people are always still people and we aren't any different than the enemy we are fighting. I hope everyone that has a chance will watch this movie and watch it with an open mind, it is truly disturbing, yet moving.

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