Hat tip: Carpetbagger
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
This is fun! Worth1000 has had a series of photoshop contests for people to make Celebrity Aptronyms -- a picture that fits their name. A Smith used to be a blacksmith, and so on.
Orlando Bloom the florist
Penelope Cruz takes on the Love Boat
Edward Norton whips out his anti-virus protection
Gerard Butler. Did you shake it gently for me, Gerard? LOL
Hat tip: List of the Day
I've been putting this off forever. I saw this movie a month ago, and I couldn't quite bring myself to write this review. I wanted so badly for this movie to blow me away, to top the Oscar and best movies of 2008 lists. I was disappointed. It didn't help that I had obnoxious young people behind me laughing at every possible moment that shouldn't be laughed at -- like a character dying! I walked out of the movie seething, and upset with myself that I didn't do more than glare at them. So, I waited to write this review, hoping that all my misgivings were due to the awful circumstances. They weren't.
Award's Daily said of Australia, "How can a movie be so glorious and so God-awful all at the same time?" I agree wholeheartly. The shower scene, in particular, lived up to the hype. Hubba hubba!
I adore Baz Luhrmann. I really do. Others hated Moulin Rouge, but I loved it. I love Baz's creativity, and how off-beat his films are. He truly listens to the beat of a different drummer. But he should listen to some expert editors and producers next time, too. Oy. This movie is all over the place, and there are several endings. Baz's parents owned the movie theater in the small Australia town he grew up in, and it was like he tried to fit every old movie genre in one film -- it's a star-crossed romance, a coming of age film, a Western, a war movie, a melodrama! Australia would fit right in on Turner Classic Movies or AMC. It's like he wanted every story about Australia in one movie -- the Lost Generation, Aborigine discrimination, the Outback, the bombing of Darwin, the huge cattle ranches! Any ONE story would have been enough, but we had them all. Just the bombing of Darwin IS a story that should be told. Our family was visiting Australia when word of this movie hit the papers. We visited Darwin, and I had no idea that Australia had been bombed in WWII. They couldn't film this in Darwin because hardly one pre-WWII building still stands! It's disconcerting how modern looking the town is -- so they had to film on the East Coast.
Nicole Kidman did fine, and she certainly didn't mind showing herself in all her ridiculousness. I just wish she's lay off the botox so we could see more emotion than the widening of her eyes. Hugh was great, but I admit to some bias. Others wished the role had stayed Russell Crowe's (but Russell was the one to turn it down). Maybe there would have been more chemistry, but Nicole is best buds with Crowe, too, so who knows. Their romance didn't really send a tingle up my spine, but I may have to view the film again, since that nitwit behind me laughed through all their kissing scenes.
The real discovery of the film is Brandon Walters, who plays the young aboriginal boy. He was amazing! And the gorgeous Australian scenery! It was worth it to see it on the big screen just for those amazing vistas. I've been there, and Baz has not only captured the magic, but made quite the tourist commercial! I wish Baz had edited this film better. It was long and could have been trimmed quite a bit. Did we need Hugh to get in a bar brawl and smash the suitcase with all Nicole's unmentionables before he meets her? Not really. He's a cowboy, she's an aristocratic priss. Move on with it.
Baz Luhrmann's movie has not done the business that had been expected -- but the director points out that it is tracking ahead of Moulin Rouge for the same 4 week period. He has been eviscerated in the press, not only for the story and direction of the film, but for its brief marketing campaign. Baz has rebutted his critics (me included) for the fact that his movie cannot be pigeon holed. He compares it to films like Gone With the Wind, which he says has warts, too:
"There are those that don't get it. A lot of the film scientists don't get it. And it's not just that that they don't get it, but they hate it and they hate me, and they think I'm the black hole of cinema. They say, 'He shouldn't have made it, and he should die'..."This is not (simply) a romantic comedy for 40-year-old women or action movies for 17-year-old boys, and that's not OK with some people. It's not OK for people to come eat at the same table of cinema."
"You look at movies like 'Gone With the Wind' and Old Hollywood classics, and they don't fit in any box....No large-scale movie doesn't have warts, just by its nature."
When you do what I do, you expect to be covered in mud. But there seems to be a lot of misinformation...I'm used to the waves crashing around me. And what I do is stick to a craggy rock as they keep coming. And if you stick to it long enough someone else will stick to it, too, and then someone else and then someone else."
I think I need to see this movie again and give it another chance. It didn't meet my expectations, but maybe my expectations were wrong. I give the man points for ambition, if nothing else. I reluctantly give it only 2 1/2 stars. Baz's next project is The Great Gatsby. That should be interesting!
Kate tries to hide her fame from eight year old Mia and five year old son Joe - and by extension, the fame of her husband Sam Mendes and their family friends like Leonardo DiCaprio. But Kate explained recently that sometimes the children get a peak behind the curtain at the reality where they’re A-listers: “There was a picture of Leo on the front of a newspaper. “Mia picked it up and went, ‘Mum, it’s Leo, he’s on the cover of the newspaper! We should really keep this and send it to him, Mummy!’”
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I just had a blast from the past. I used to be obsessed with Brendan Fraser after the Mummy came out. He was the first actor I joined an online community for...which led me to seek out every obscure film he had made. I just caught one on cable this morning: Mrs. Winterbourne with Ricki Lake and Shirley MacLaine. This is my favorite scene from the movie -- Brendan being both suave and goofy. I haven't seen this movie in years. It's a little trifle of a movie, but I still love this scene. It is notable for being a romance with a not so pencil thin heroine.
Ah, Brendan, when he still had all his hair. ;)
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
It's fake trailer day! OMG, the wizardry and time that went into this! They took footage from Troy, LOTR, X-Men, Farscape, some Vin Diesel pic and others and made what will probably be a better trailer than what Warner Bros. will give us for it's version of an animated Thundercats! Brad Pitt is Lion-O! They did the digital face painting, frame by frame in Photoshop. Holy crap!
Hat tip: Spoutblog, who thinks this CG Snarf will be better than Warner Bros. version, too!
Watch it in High Quality!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Perez has the scoop! It's funny that this is "mayjah" news, as Perez says, but the man with the famous hair, Robert Pattinson has cut it! (And, we presume, someone washed it.) Robert famously was not allowed to cut his tresses by the studio so that he would keep the Edward look during the press & premiere tour. He also (I hope joked) that he hadn't washed it for 6 weeks. Looking good and short & sassy! So, filming for New Moon is in 12 weeks. Time enough to grow it back?
Friday, December 19, 2008
It aired only ONCE in 1978, and George Lucas may pretend it doesn't exist, but it DID. Chewbacca's family celebrates Life Day, and Princess Leia sings. Merry Christmas and a Happy Life Day to you!
Hat tip: The Movie Blog
I keep showing it to people so they can hold Star Wars in a new light and stop whining about how bad the prequels were (they are not as good as the Original Trilogy, but I dont hate them) and once they are forced to sit through this gem, everything else just looks like a masterpiece.
This copy even has the original commercials that aired with the show, so there is a little bit of nostalgia when ads for Alice, 60 Minutes, and All in the Family come on.
I have always contested that every true Star Wars fan should have to sit through this thing at least once. So this is my public service offering to you.
Hat tip: Spout Blog
I don’t quite understand the inspiration behind the concept, but someone decided to superimpose the heads of the cast from Valkyrie onto little bodies in elf costumes dancing to a disco version of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (courtesy of JibJab’s Elf Yourself program). Tom Cruise with an eyepatch flailing his arms about like a Nazi Tony Manero is just about the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.
Just what are these guys so excited about? The holidays? The death of Hitler (though not thanks to them)? Or could it be they’re celebrating the fact that the reviews of Valkyrie aren’t as dreadful as many expected? Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the actual movie doesn’t feature any scenes as great as this one.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
From E! Online:
Majel Barrett Roddenberry might have rated a Federation command. As it was, she helped rule the Star Trek universe.
Roddenberry, the actress whose best-known role was the wife and, later, widow of Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, died today at her Bel Air, Calif., home, Roddenberry.com said. The reported cause of death was leukemia.
Billed through much of her acting career as Majel Barrett, the dark-haired Roddenberry played Dr. McCoy's blonde, beehived assistant, Nurse Chapel, on the original 1966-69 Trek series. She also supplied the voice of the USS Enterprise's computer—a service she continued to provide through the franchise's various offshoots, including J.J. Abrams' upcoming big-screen reboot, Star Trek.
I cannot wait for this movie. I adore Paul Rudd, and he is back starring with Jason Segal in the bromance I Love You, Man about a man's search for someone to be his best man. They were very funny together in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Here's the trailer!
Caroline Winter reports from Berlin for The Daily Beast on all the Germans lining up to be blown up and brutally killed in Quentin Taratino's Inglorious Basterds.
What does it take to become a Quentin Tarantino Nazi? First, it helps if you're naturally blond. And as 6,000 Germans who came out for the September casting call found out, a nasty sneer doesn’t hurt, either.
Both Jens and Jan are over 6 feet and have boyish good looks. They’re 100 percent German and look it—that is to say, they blend into the German male landscape. The problem is that both have dark hair and, more important, they’re just not sinister enough to play Germans. After having their portraits taken, both were turned down by an apologetic casting agent. “She told us that we look too friendly,” said Kage, laughing. “They wanted people who the audience would like seeing killed.”
But why, you might ask, would anyone want to play a Nazi extra? The measly five-euros-per-hour stipend isn’t much of an incentive. The Tarantino Nazi wannabes I met were all liberal Berliners who don't usually act in movies and who have no fondness whatsoever for the Third Reich. In fact, some claimed that the main attraction in this case is the fact that they will be gruesomely killed, Tarantino-style, by Jewish-Americans.
“Sure, you’re a Nazi—but you know that, in the end, you're going to get your head hacked off,” said a friend of Kage’s who managed to get cast and thus spoke with me anonymously. “That was definitely part of why I wanted to do this.”
Read the whole article here.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
There's a rumor going around that the part of Captain Jack Sparrow's brother in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 will not go to Russell Brand, as previously was rumored. Russell Brand's slamming of the Jonas Brothers' chastity is the tip of the iceberg as to the ways he has offended people in recent months and Disney is touchy about their brand, er, child actors. I think Russell would be perfect as Johnny Depp's brother, but this latest rumor has me excited. If Orlando Bloom is out, who's your heart throb in the movie then, to bring in all those teen girls (and their moms)? Robert Pattinson! My how his movie stardom has changed things, eh? So far this is all rumor. I'll believe it when it's printed on Nikki Finke's blog or Variety.
Hat tip: RobertPattinson.org and HollywoodDame
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Jessi Klein has written a hilarious article on The Daily Beast about the return of chest hair:
After many years of drought, during which the only reliable source of manly tuft seemed to be the Baldwin brothers, chest hair has returned with a vengeance as the sign of sex appeal and virility. Mad Men star Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper) is entertainment’s tall drink of testosterone du jour.
Even the Tiger Beat crowd is sporting post-pubescent chest curls these days. Robert Pattison, the delicately anemic looking young star of Twilight, has unbuttoned just enough on the red carpet to reveal a healthy crop of pectoral fuzz. And Gossip Girl fave Ed Westwick, while barely of legal drinking age, has the dark downy appearance of someone who has spent all day frolicking with a black Pug.
Then there are the ubiquitous everyman hunks of the Judd Apatow empire, the thinking woman’s boyfriends: Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and Seth Rogen. All three are endowed with chest hair that could best be described as “enough for a handful” (employing the phrase I’ve heard men use to evoke the ideal-sized breast.) And while they all play man-children with immature tendencies, their resolute hairiness is a reminder of their ultimately full-grown hearts.
Frolicking with a black Pug! *snort* Read the rest here. Being married to a hairy man myself, I have to admit that I also agree that an obviously waxed chest (Daniel Craig are you listening?) is a bit off-putting. I find Seth Rogen's teddy bear "enough for a handful" qualities, well, sexy!
Perez is reporting two casting rumors for New Moon, Twilight's sequel, which already has a release date for November of 2009. Chris Weitz is on as the new director, and he has only 12 weeks to get the cast together. Both Weitz and author Stephenie Meyer released statements trying to calm down fans about the change in director. Baby faced and barely 16 actor Taylor Lautner is not confirmed to be back as Jacob in New Moon.
Now, reports are that the 26 year-old actor Michael Copon, from Scorpion King 2, is one of the several actors director Weitz is considering to play the new and larger Jacob Black role.
A rep for Copon said they are making all efforts to land this gig. Even Copon is taking to self-advertisement by changing his Facebook status to messages such as "Michael Copon in a Twilight Zone!" and "Michael Copon is the older Jacob Black!" His rep confirmed that the Facebook is indeed Copon's.
Michael Copon is not Native American, but is half Filipino. Catherine Hardwicke had difficulty finding Native American actors for Twilight, and Weitz has to find actors to play Jacob's whole pack for New Moon. Michael isn't the only actor campaigning for a role in the next Twilight movie:
Additionally, 27-year-old Prince Caspian star Ben Barnes is also campaigning for a role. He's said to be actively trying to get the role of Aro, "a mind-reading vampire whose "New Moon" encounter with Edward and Bella helps shape their destiny together." And, coincidentally enough, Barnes has the same manager as Copon and Twilight star Cam Gigandet.
We smell a big paycheck coming in for their manager!
But even when a lead for Jacob has been cast, director Weitz is only left with about 12 weeks until filming starts.
Monday, December 15, 2008
If you're wondering why Bill Condon (director of Chicago) and the new producers of this year's Oscars chose Hugh Jackman to host, remember, he's not only the Sexiest Man Alive, but a man who won a Tony award for A Boy From Oz. He's hosted the Tony's and earned an Emmy for that gig. I think he's going to be a fantastic host, and look fantastic in a tux doing it! If you've only seen Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, take a look at these videos of Hugh, song and dance man and host extraordinaire. Awards Daily has found three great YouTube clips of Hugh from the Tony's over the years:
I just adore this one.
Like Awards Daily, I hope we might see a bit of Peter Allen at the Oscars, gold lame pants, leopard shirt and all! I saw Hugh in A Boy From Oz on stage, third row center and worth every penny. He was beyond amazing. Hugh does one of the numbers from the show on the 2004 Tony's (where he won!) and mortifies Sarah Jessica Parker. It's priceless!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I missed this show from December 8th. Craig Ferguson lost his mother December 1st, and returned to the show a week later after attending the funeral in Scotland. It's very touching, similar to the eulogy he gave his father 3 years ago.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Variety reports that Hugh Jackman will be hosting the Oscars this year. I don't expect a comedy monologue, but I'd bet on a song and dance number. Hugh was fabulous hosting the Tony's a couple of years ago. Well, he has no chance of winning an Oscar this year after Australia, so this is one way to get up on that stage!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Hmmm. I would have thought that Summit would avoid the bad press, and find another woman to direct New Moon. Nikki Finke reports:
Yes, he's had tremendous success working with tweens and teens (About A Boy as director and writer, American Pie as producer and uncredited director). But Chris Weitz also did The Golden Compass (as writer and director), and my source says Summit Entertainment liked the look of that even if it didn't heat up the domestic box office (but did better overseas). I don't have official confirmation yet that this Twilight sequel offer has gone out to Weitz. But my insider says another reason it came down is because Weitz and Summit's president of production Eric Feig are longtime pals. The source tells me Weitz is "still considering" the offer to helm New Moon and possibly also Eclipse if the sequel and threequel movie adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's series of vampire books are made back-to-back.
I liked Golden Compass just fine, loved About a Boy, and American Pie was amusing, but it is disappointing that among the women directors who have done action films, they couldn't have found one. Word is that Catherine Hardwicke did not get on well with Summit Execs, and isn't it cozy that Weitz is best buds with Summit's prez.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
An incredible fanvideo about fandom:
I heard about this because there is a petition to make ripping DVD's for fan videos fair use. This is one of the videos mentioned by name in the petition, as is this incredible 300 fan video set to Vogue by Madonna!
More movie news! From The Hollywood Reporter:
Fresh from the success of "Twilight," Kristen Stewart is set to portray Joan Jett in "The Runaways," the rock 'n' roll biopic of the 1970s all-girl band. The Runaways were hugely influential as the first successful all-girl hard rock band; its members included guitarists Jett and Lita Ford, drummer Sandy West, singer-keyboardist Cherie Currie and bassist Jackie Fox. The band was brought together in late 1975 by impresario Kim Fowley, who thought a novelty act of teenaged girls performing in leather and lace would be an easy sell, but the girls ended up proving to be serious and influential musicians with songs like "Cherry Bomb." The band lasted about four years together, falling apart over management and money issues.
Poor Kristen is not terribly coherent in TV interviews, but she's a natural actress. This looks to be a great part for her, and they're willing to work around her Twilight sequel schedule, hoping to film in 2009.
The LA Times and other outlets are buzzing about an Arthur remake. At first I groaned, as who could top Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli (not to mention John Gielguld!). But then I heard that it is being talked about for Russell Brand, and I am totally on board for that! Russell would be perfect.
Bloody brilliant, mate!
It makes total sense for Brand to play the lead role (originally Dudley Moore), a lovable, filthy rich hopeless alcoholic who falls in love with a working-class gal (Liza Minnelli) and doesn’t want to marry the high-society control freak his family has set him up with.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the British comedian is developing the "Arthur" remake for Warner Bros.
The original is old enough to not be familiar to many. Who for Liza's role and the butler? Mabye Anne Hathaway and Ian McKellan? Ian saying "Would you like me to wash your dick?" would have a special resonance, don't you think? LOL
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Jack Black as Jesus! Wow, what a cast! The credits say:
Conceived and Written (six weeks later than he shoulda) by-Marc ShaimanDirected and Staged by: Adam Shankman
It may be six weeks too late, but it's still hilarious!
Martha Stewart and Adrien Brody were making Cosmos on her show Tuesday, when part of the mixer flew off spilling the red drink all over Martha and Adrian. As she apologizes, he tells her it's the most exciting thing to happen to him on his entire press tour!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The Year Without a Santa Claus is one of my favorite Christmas specials. The Heat Miser and Snow Miser songs rock. I even call my husband the Heat Miser! Oh, man, this sequel could suck, but I'm going to pray it doesn't.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Major Spoilers if you haven't seen the film.
A review of Twilight told in What the Buck's breathless style as only he can. Just like he's summarizing an episode of 90210! Spork! Glitter tits! ROFLMAO!! OMG, I almost peed my pants watching this.
"Twilight is a metaphor for the virtues of chastity, but it's had the opposite effect," a chagrined Robert Pattinson told us shortly before the goth blockbuster slayed audiences in late November. "I get letters that say, 'I'm going to kill myself if you don't watch High School Musical 2 with me.' " Says Pattinson, "A mother recently gave me her baby and asked, 'Can you please bite his head?' "
Peter Travers, RS Movie Critic talks about how well Robert is handling the Edward Cullen mania, and says that he has the goods for a long career in Hollywood. Watch the short video here.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
MTV got this reaction from Russell Brand to the rumor that he might play Captain Jack Sparrow's brother in Pirates 4:
“I’ve seen some talk about that matter but I think they’re still writing the script,” he said. And of course, then Brand launched into a riff that makes you wonder how far he will go for his art should the role pan out. “I am having a skull and crossbones tattooed on each of my nipples in anticipation of the plotline. I just hope it doesn’t affect my other work in Jane Austen adaptations.”
Here's hoping the rumor pans out!
“There’s a scene in the first X-Men movie,” said Jackman, “where Wolverine’s introduced in a bar, fighting in a cage, and you felt that he did this every night of his life. If this movie is successful, you should feel that this guy can walk straight off the end of this film and into that bar. “
from Empire magazine. Hat tip: The Movie Blog.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
I love Spoutblog's lists! Really, if boys want to learn something about teenage girls, they should read the books and watch this movie. Kevin Kelly lists 10 reasons:
Girls Like Boys Who Ignore Them
When Edward first sees Bella in class, he stiffens up like he’s smelled a dead skunk and avoids her like the plague. Days go by and he doesn’t return to class, but she searches for him every day. Finally, when he does come back, he alternates between being nice to her, and telling her she shouldn’t be friends with him. It ends up driving Bella nuts, which is maybe what he wanted all along. Next time you see a girl you’re interested in, make sure she catches your eye, then act like she repulses you and you should be well on your way.
Girls Like Boys Who Are Mysterious
It’s important to maintain an air of mystery about yourself, and not come in all blundering like cheerful dork Mike Newton in the movie. The guy is an open book, and as a result Bella is bored by him. The only thing that catches her fancy at the new school is the bunch of aloof, slightly goth students who mosey in with tons of hair product looking like they wandered off the campus of a private school. Don’t let people know about your past, sulk around, and randomly break off during conversations and walk away. You’ll be a man of mystery.
Girls Want Sex Just As Much As Boys Do
This one shatters an age-old myth that guys just want to get in girls’ pants. Let me tell you, girls want to get in your pants just as badly. Bella definitely tries to put the moves on Edward, and she pursues him a lot harder than he pursues her. There’s no discussion about waiting for an appropriate time or making sure the moment is extra special. No, she just wants to get him out of those clothes and get busy. Not to say that Bella’s a slut, because she’s actually a pretty chaste girl. But she definitely wouldn’t mind getting Edward in the sack for some extra-curricular activities.
Girls Like Boys Who Can Resist The Urge
Whether that urge is to suck your blood or go all the way in bed, girls love a guy with self-restraint, and it also goes back to the whole “ignore her and it’ll drive her crazy” tip near the top of this list. Edward and Bella have one fairly intense makeout scene in this movie. They’re up in Bella’s bed, and she’s in her panties. Things get hot and heavy and suddenly Edward flies backwards and slams into the wall. He knows he has to be careful with her or he’ll probably tear her to shreds. Instead of getting naked and going for it, he just lays next to her and watches her sleep.
I definitely agree that the key to that scene is that Bella wanted to go further, and it's Edward who stops the action -- by slamming himself back into the wall. Mormon values about premarital sex, Stephenie?
Read the rest here on Spoutblog!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
To celebrate Thanksgiving, here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving films.
Home for the Holidays, Jodie Foster's directorial debut, is underrated. It has Holly Hunter, Anne Bancroft, and Robert Downey Jr. as the hilarious gay brother. Just watch "The Turkey Scene" and try not to die laughing.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The classic!
Pieces of April - a Katie Holmes film I actually like. This movie is very funny, and extremely touching. I think this is the first film where I saw Patricia Clarkson who plays the mother. She is amazing in this film. Oliver Platt is also excellent.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Twilighters at the Mall of America appearance of the cast of Twilight
The numbers are in for the opening weekend box office for Twilight. The film blew away the competition and made nearly $70 million. What does this mean? It means that Catherine Hardwicke has the record for the highest opening weekend gross for a female director ever, as the previous record was only $41 million for Mimi Leder's Deep Impact a decade ago.
The world truly tilted on its axis on Friday, and the studios are taking note. A $70 million dollar weekend outside of summer is usually reserved for fanboy fare or family films like Harry Potter. The audience for Twilight was 75% female, and 55% were 25 or under. But that also means that 45% were over 25 (like me!)
"This is a game-changer. This is an industry-changing performance," Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock said today. "With the success of Sex and the City, and Mamma Mia!, we've awoken a sleeping giant at the box office."We have the power. The buying power, that is. Twilight has now dethroned Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing as the highest opener for a vampire pic. Twilight is in fact, one of the top opening movies of all time. If Harry Potter had kept its November release date, we would not likely have seen these numbers, but move it did freeing up theater space.
Going into the weekend, Twilight was expected to make, at best, a big $60 million. Where did the extra $10 million come from? Word of mouth, said Summit Entertainment distribution president Richie Fay, who talked of teen girls catching the Friday midnight screenings, and then deciding they had to see the movie again—and again. "It turned out they really liked the movie," Fay said.The Chicago Sun-Times Bill Zwecker reports on the surety of sequels after this weekend's success:
So, not only have deals been cut for a not-unexpected second ''Twilight'' film (based on Meyer's New Moon book), but I've learned a third film is also virtually a done deal, based on Meyer's Eclipse novel -- though that won't be confirmed for some time. Also, sources say stars Robert Pattinson, 22, and Kristin Stewart, 18, will get huge salary boosts from the $2 million each earned for "Twilight" -- reportedly $10 million more, per film, plus a nice percentage of the future movies' box-office take.It's not a done deal that Catherine Hardwicke will direct the sequels, but she is in discussion with the producers.
Hardwicke, whose previous films include "Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown," also said she was thrilled about the prospect that the success of "Twilight" will inspire other women and young girls to pursue a career in filmmaking. "We've been having a lot of events, talking to a lot of fans, and so many kids of course are madly in love with Robert but tons of kids of every kind (and) girls are coming up to me and saying `I want to direct now, I'm writing a screenplay now, you're my inspiration.' I think it's great that people are getting excited."I don't know why this is a surprise, but the buying power of girls and women has finally been acknowledged:
"Teen girls rule the earth," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers. "If you look back at the `Hannah Montana' movie, how well that did, and now this movie, the teen girl audience will never be ignored again or underestimated. It was always teen boys who were the coveted ones, but someone finally caught on to the idea that girls love movies, too, and if you create something that they're into, that they're passionate about, they will come out in big numbers and drive the box office."We are women. Hear us roar! (or squeal, as the case may be...)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Did I love it? Did it measure up to the hype? Did it honor the book? Was he Edward? Yes, yes, yes, YES!!!
Yesterday afternoon, I went with four other moms to see Twilight. The mom next to me had serious doubts that Robert Pattinson could live up to the Edward Cullen of the book, especially after she saw some of the clips of Robert doing goofy interviews. She was totally won over by his performance. "He IS Edward!" The first thing she said after the movie ended was, "I want to see it again!" I totally agree, and may even be seeing it again tonight with my hubby.
It was great seeing it in a theater chock full of teen age girls. The other moms and I gave each other looks as the girls squealed at the first look at Edward in the movie. We were squealing inside right along with them! Jasper and Jacob had their squeals, and even Carlisle got some hearty sighs and squeals.
The male reviewer from the LA Times said in his thumbs up review:
I am not now nor have I ever been a 13-year-old girl, but "Twilight" made me wish I could be, at least for a couple of hours, the better to appreciate a movie that has been targeted to that demographic with the delicious specificity of a laser weapon... "Twilight" is unabashedly a romance. All the story's inherent silliness aside, it is intent on conveying the magic of meeting that one special person you've been waiting for. Maybe it is possible to be 13 and female for a few hours after all.Yes, I felt like one of those teenage girls again (well, as faithful readers know, inside, I never grew up.) I swooned over Robert Pattinson's James Dean cool. He's the bad boy, and you can't help but fall in love. I wasn't the only one that thought he channeled a bit of James Dean. From the Boston Globe's review:
And Pattinson is good - close to a revelation, in fact. It’s the silliest of roles, really, since Edward has to be noble, messed-up, dangerous, and a sweetie-pie all at once, but the young British-trained actor makes it work by letting us see the absurdity of this vampire boy’s life. He knows when to step on the gas and when to hit the brakes - both he and Stewart underplay their lines to keep them from tipping into comedy - and he conveys above all the pain of being, literally, forever young. At times, Edward shivers like James Dean without his jacket. He’s a rebel without a pulse.This movie is a romance! It's Romeo and Juliet. It's Heathcliff and Cathy. It's the modern take on star-crossed love. In modern times, how else do you keep those young lovers apart? All the complaints from male reviewers about special effects that weren't top notch, not enough action, not enough blood, not enough scariness. You don't get it. This movie is not for your demographic. This is not an action film with a few minutes of romance thrown in to get the women to come. This is a romance, a full on old fashioned, say those lines with sincerity and not mocking, ROMANCE with a few minutes of action and peril thrown in. Bella is only in danger so Edward can save her like a white knight!
Richard Corliss, of Time magazine gets exactly what this is about:
It rekindles the warmth of great Hollywood romances, where foreplay was the climax and a kiss was never just a kiss.Exactly. God, it feels like forever since we had a movie where lines like this weren't said with a mocking tone. It's deadly serious, and the two main actors are so very good at pulling it off. I can't say enough about the performances of Robert Pattinson as Edward, and Kristen Stewart as Bella. They WERE Edward and Bella, and got the tone exactly right. Robert, I thought, played Edward a little more depressed than in the book, maybe foreshadowing New Moon, but it felt right to me. He just oozed anguish with every line, "What if I'm the bad guy?" Swoon!
Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, gets my ultimate respect and kudos. It is not an easy thing to adapt a novel that has such a fervid following, and she did a great job. She captured the essence. You can't have everything included, and some things need to be different to play on screen. The best example is how she combined the meadow scene where Edward reveals his diamond skin, with the first time that Bella says to Edward that he is a vampire, which I believe in the book is in the car. Combining the two together made it much more dramatic and worked extremely well. The diamond skin in sunlight special effect wasn't as radiant and glowing as I'd pictured in my mind, but given their budget looked good. With more money for New Moon, it will be interesting how the special effects improve. There will be a lot of them with all the werewolf changing!
I loved how Cathy Hardwicke captured the relationship between Bella and her father, Charlie. It was pitch perfect. Cathy Hardwicke, the director who made Thirteen, made her best choices in the casting. I can't think of one single person who was "off". And her finds in Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson! Kristen Stewart she saw in Into The Wild, a film I have not seen. Hardwicke has said, "I felt her yearning -- it was just palpable," and it is that quality that sets the tone for the entire film. That was just what was needed for Bella. It's all those looks she gives when she's not even saying anything! Even Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight, had doubts about Robert Pattinson as Edward, because in real life he is a goof and kind of shy. She said that once a scene would start, he was instantly transformed to Edward and he exceeded her expectations. My God, that intensity smolders right off the screen, and even his "crooked grin" felt just right.
I don't think I have been as happy about the adaptation of a book to screen since Lord of the Rings. They did it. They made something the fans of the book can love. One of the moms with us had not read the books, so we were especially wondering what she thought. Was this a movie that would only be good to those who are already fans of the books, the converted? She loved the movie, and went home with our host's copies of Twilight and New Moon in hand. My son went on his first (alone just the two of them) date with his girlfriend last night. He had read all four books, and she had not. They both loved it. He thought it was true to the book, and Robert was a very good Edward. What a great first date movie to remember!
All those thirteen year old girls will be seeing this film multiple times, and I will be, too. Three and a half stars and better than I even hoped it would be. Twilight is likely on track to make $150 million. It did so astonishingly well in its opening day, making $7 million in midnight shows alone, that Summit announced Friday that plans for the sequel New Moon are officially under way. Can't wait!
All the stories I read about the box office predictions talked about how unique this film's demographic is and how difficult it was to predict how huge it would be. Is it really? It's not a "family film" like Nancy Drew or Harry Potter. It's not a video game adaptation for teen boys. It's not a Rom Com. It's not Sex and the City which is for women, but an older demographic. It really was funny to me that this seemed to be the first movie for girls, but for older women, too. Let's hope it starts a trend. We girls and women have money to spend, too, and a hunger for romance. Are you listening studio heads?
Trivia note -- look for Stephenie Meyer's cameo in the middle of the movie. She's sitting at the counter of the diner where Charlie and Bella go to eat dinner.
Friday, November 21, 2008
'Twilight''s Robert Pattinson: Handing Out Hickeys! ET has the video clip!
(It autoplays, so I'm not going to embed it. Just trust me. It's a must watch short clip.)
The episode where Robert Pattinson appears on Tyra Banks airs November 28th, and from this clip, plus what I've read, it's a can't miss. OMG! Well, Meredith Viera didn't ask him to bite her! It doesn't hurt to ask, as my BFF always says.
The zaniness continues, when a fan who couldn't see Robert at his SF appearance wins his car from the movie in a pie eating contest. I kid you not. Taylor Lautner (Jacob) is also on the show. I've never seen Tyra, but man, I think I'll be setting my DVR for this one. What channel is that again? This certainly tops the "Bite Me" underwear Ellen gave Robert!
Elizabeth Snead of the LA Times is worried:
Oh, no. Does this mean that Tyra is now... immortal. And that her talk show will go on ... forever?
Since the film has debuted at midnight last night, the reviews have started to pour in. It's a mixed bag, with the Rotten Tomatoes rating standing at 45%. Most of the reviewers are men, and they are pretty condescending to all those swooning teenage girls. Why is it supposed to be obvious why guys swoon over airheaded blonde cheerleader types, and male reviewers have to reveal their own insecurities wondering how it is that women see anything in a bad boy type like a gorgeous vampire when their nerdy self was ignored in high school? He's swoon worthy. Get over it. Note that Ebert gave Twilight 2 1/2 stars, and Quantum only 2.
These are some of my favorite lines from some of the reviews.
" Part of the appeal of the story is an almost-Victorian sense of repression, sacrifice, and longing, so sincerely depicted it just might single-handedly bring back the swoon." - Nell Minow
When he finally explains that he is a vampire, he goes up from 8 to 10 on her Erotometer. Why do girls always prefer the distant, aloof, handsome, dangerous dudes instead of cheerful chaps like me? - Roger Ebert (because they're hot, Roger!)
A self-described monster, he has all kinds of cool, superhuman powers (running, leaping, mind-reading), but nothing compares to how he masters his universe: he keeps his fangs in his mouth. That may make him catnip to anyone with OJD (obsessive Jonas Brothers disorder), but it also means he’s a bore, despite the efforts of the capable and exotically beautiful Mr. Pattinson. - A. O. Scott, NY Times (OJD! *snort*)
It rekindles the warmth of great Hollywood romances, where foreplay was the climax and a kiss was never just a kiss. - Richard Corliss, Time (This one's my favorite. Yes! He gets it!)
Invest any spare cash you have in companies that deal in hair gel. I have a feeling this film is going to be huge. - Peter Hartlaub, SF Chronicle (Yep, it's going to be huge.)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
My friend Nadine has just sent me a link to an amazing article in Texas Magazine about the Goree Girls called O Sister, Where Art Thou?
The story of the Goree All Girl String Band is being made into a movie with Jennifer Aniston, and rumor has it, Gerard Butler.
In the early forties, eight inmates of the Goree prison unit formed one of the first all-female country and western acts in the country, capturing the hearts of millions of radio listeners.This sounds like it could be a sort of A League of Their Own, but in prison and with music. The story is one of those that if you wrote it as a screenplay, you'd say it was unbelievable, but it's all true! From what the article says about the woman inmate who started the band, Reable Childs, I could see Jennifer Aniston playing her. And there is an amazing love story with an inmate from the male prison, on death row for murder, that she married in real life after they both got out of prison! Cue smoldering Gerard...
They called themselves the Goree All Girl String Band, and every Wednesday evening in the early forties, an estimated seven million Americans tuned their radios to WBAP in Fort Worth—then a 50,000-watt clear-channel station that was able to broadcast its signal across the country—just so they could listen to a musical variety show that featured the group.
Turns out Jen was interested in… Gerard’s acting! Life & Style has learned that Jen, 39, has nabbed the 300 star, 39, for a role in The Goree Girls, a woman’s prison saga she’s set to produce and star in next year. “The thing that really blew her away was P.S. I Love You,” says a Jen insider. “Gerard’s performance made her laugh and cry.”
So that's what all those dinners were about... But women's prison???
Turns out Jen was interested in… Gerard’s acting!
Life & Style has learned that Jen, 39, has nabbed the 300 star, 39, for a role in The Goree Girls, a woman’s prison saga she’s set to produce and star in next year.
“The thing that really blew her away was P.S. I Love You,” says a Jen insider. “Gerard’s performance made her laugh and cry.”