As Robbie Burns wrote it....
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
There has been a most unlikely viral video sensation in the last couple of weeks - a 7 part, 70 minute video review of Phantom Menace. Today The Daily Dish unveiled the creator, a 31 year old Milwaukee filmmaker named Mike Stoklasa, in an interview.
Mike, as a crotchety narrator, picks Phantom Menace apart and reveals flaws both huge and minor, while interjecting strange bits like a hostage in his basement and other surprising digressions that keep you riveted. Yes, riveted, for 70 full minutes.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the most disappointing thing since my son,” the narrator begins. “And while my son eventually hanged himself in the bathroom of a gas station, the unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequels is that they'll be around forever.”The first clip compares the strong characters of the first three films to the weak ones in Phantom Menace. He dares 4 friends to describe Han Solo and C3PO without describing makeup, clothes or jobs. Easy. Han Solo is a rogue, a sexy bad boy, the thief with a heart of gold. C3PO is the prissy comic relief, a bumbler. Now try the same with Queen Amidala or Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn. The best the friends can come up with, after laughing hilariously, is monotone and stoic!
In just a few weeks, this improbably long viral sensation has garnered 2 million views! And the video has some high profile fans: Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof posted the film on Twitter with the review: “Your life is about to change. This is astounding filmmaking. Watch ALL of it.”
I agree, you must watch all 7 parts! (Just be aware that Mike drops the f-bomb often.)
I wonder if George Lucas has watched it yet?
He's done it again!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Hopscotch announced the actors via Facebook today:
Hopscotch will release ‘The Talking Cure’ directed by Cronenberg, starring Keira Knightly, Michael Fassbender, Christoph Waltz. A beautiful young woman, driven mad by her past. An ambitious doctor on a mission to succeed. An esteemed mentor with a revolutionary cure. Let the mind games begin…'"I am doing cartwheels!! Christoph Waltz and Fassie in the same film again, AND directed by the genius Cronenberg. Joy!!
To put you in a Xmas mood!
Tom Sharpe, the drummer on this Mannheim Steamroller tour, is my son's piano teacher.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I saw Avatar this weekend in 3D and it totally lived up to the hype. We couldn't get into the IMAX showing, but I just couldn't wait to see this movie. In a word, the movie is simply amazing, and incredibly beautiful. Avatar does what movies should do -- it transported me to a different world. The 3D was mostly subtle, and made me feel that I was truly in that forest on the planet of Pandora.
The story was a bit of Dances With Wolves in space, but James Cameron makes movies for the main stream audience. My husband was deriding Titanic as we waited for the movie to begin, but I love that movie and all it's hokey plot lines. James Cameron delivers something for everyone. A little romance, a little action, stuff blowing up, and visuals that just plain stun.
The way that the motion capture and animation totally immersed me in the story, and never left me doubting these blue Na'vi 10 foot tall beings were real is just amazing. I felt walking out of that movie like I did after seeing the first Matrix film with all the bullet time effects. I had just seen something totally new, and game changing. And I wasn't the only one. Here's what Steven Spielberg said after seeing Avatar:
Steven Spielberg: “The last time I came out of a movie feeling that way it was the first time I saw Star Wars.” … “The most evocative and amazing science-fiction movie since Star Wars.”
Cate Blanchett dropped her three boys off for a play date with Hugh Jackman's son Oscar Sunday. Hugh took them all to a park in New York for a snowball fight! Yeah, he has to be a great dad on TOP of being a sex symbol.
Just Jared has some more great pics, as well as Bauer-Griffin.
Hat tip: Pink is the new Blog.
Monday, December 21, 2009
If you've seen 500 Days of Summer (out on DVD next week!), you will recall the celebratory musical number in the middle of the film. (You can watch it here.) In response to a challenge from their rival school, the students at Shorewood High School, in Shoreline, Wash., recreated the 500 Days number with a bit of a twist: They did it in one unbroken take. Oh, and they did it backwards. That is to say, the main performers had to listen to the song played in reverse and learn how to lip-sync it that way, so that it would look right when the video was played backwards.That is one cool teacher!! I know we didn't have that much fun in high school. That scene in 500 Days of Summer was one of my favorites, too.
Hat tip: Cinematical
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I really admired Sam Worthington in Terminator Salvation. He was the best part of that movie. This weekend we'll see if he lives up to his promise in Avatar. He's an up and comer. Looks good here in Clash of the Titans!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Our first look at Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian, joining Russell Crowe as Robin Hood in Ridley Scott's remake. Russell looks in Maximus form. Via the Courier Mail, which has a few more pics from the set.
Adam Brody is 30 today. Oy! I feel old!
This is one of my favorite episodes of The O.C. We celebrate Christmukkah ourselves in our house. The kids get 8 days of presents followed by one day of many presents, what's not to love?
Listen to Seth - Dip a toe in the Chrismukkah pool! There's no choosing in Crismukkah!
And remember, you can never have too many copies of The Goonies.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Hugh Jackman is vacationing in St. Bart's after finishing up his play A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig on Broadway. He did some yoga on the beach this weekend and then took a dip.
And the rest of the world is grateful for our early holiday present. Thanks for unwrapping!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A Single Man Director Tom Ford took these gorgeous pics of four of the stars of the movie - Colin Firth, Matthew Goode, Nicholas Hoult and Julianne Moore. Yowza!
Dragon Age Origins Gay Elf Sex
It seems fitting, somehow, that the same week the New York State Senate voted down a bill legalizing gay marriage, a racy gay-elf sex scene in a video game “came out,” so to speak. Or maybe we mean, it is sadly hilarious that actual, real-life gay people are not allowed to marry each other in New York, but this elf, who exists exclusively in a videogame with the title “Dragon Age,” can have as much gay sex as he wants.
I find this clip awesome. (And I've always wondered about that Legolas....)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
"Pokémon World Is A World Of The Demonic!"
Well, I guess my kids are going to hell. I always knew Jiggly Puff and Pikachu were out to get us.
Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan and Everything is Terrible
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
But after looking up Pienaar online and seeing photos of him, Damon was also incredulous he'd been asked to play the part. "Clint, this guy is huge," Damon protested. "We've never met, but I'm only 5 foot 10."
Eastwood started to laugh. "Oh hell, don't worry about that," he said composedly. "You go worry about everything else!"
Damon had six months to master an elusive South African accent and pack some new muscle on a frame that – because European rugby is a sport that doesn’t use the protective gear of North American football – would be facing pulverizing punishment on the field. He would be playing a real-life character who, in the course of his career, has broken his nose 14 times and received 400 stitches to his face.Read the whole great article here. I think this is going to be a fantastic holiday film.
“I had to build myself up to try to pull off the illusion of being the captain of a South African rugby team,” Damon says. “Ultimately, I was trying to look at every possible pitfall: What are the things that could possibly blow this illusion?”
That’s the way Damon works: thinking hard about a role long before he hits the set. “So I kind of made my little checklist of things to do.”
The 39-year-old actor will always remember his first meeting with Pienaar. He and Freeman received an invitation to Pienaar’s house for a gourmet dinner the South African sports icon was cooking himself.
“He invited me to meet his wife and two boys, and Morgan and I went, and I remember I rang the door bell and I looked UP at him! The first thing I ever said to Francois Pienaar in my life was – ‘I look much bigger on film.’ And he laughed and laughed and gave me a big hug and took me into his house, and that was it.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I have been obsessed with performance art for over a decade—ever since the Mexican performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña came to visit my class at Cal Arts summer school. I finally took the plunge and experimented with the form myself when I signed on to appear on 20 episodes of "General Hospital" as the bad-boy artist "Franco, just Franco." I disrupted the audience's suspension of disbelief, because no matter how far I got into the character, I was going to be perceived as something that doesn't belong to the incredibly stylized world of soap operas. Everyone watching would see an actor they recognized, a real person in a made-up world. In performance art, the outcome is uncertain—and this was no exception. My hope was for people to ask themselves if soap operas are really that far from entertainment that is considered critically legitimate. Whether they did was out of my hands.The final episode of the story arc will take place in a real gallery, and he plays the artist Franco (who poses as a street graffiti artist) furthering the reflexive nature of the whole enterprise.
The folks at "General Hospital" informed me that in three days of filming we backlogged enough material for 23 episodes. There will be one more step. After all of the Franco episodes are aired, my character's storyline will be advanced in a special episode filmed in a "legitimate" New York gallery. One more layer will be added to this already layer-heavy experiment. If all goes according to plan, it will definitely be weird. But is it art?Read the whole thing here.
Okay. This just completely made me crack up. Helicopters. check. Knife throwing. check. Plenty 'o explosions. It's Michael Bay. Check and triple check.
Totally over the top. Totally Michael Bay. As one blog put it - The focus is on the breasts as in Transformers, but at least this time it's for a reason!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Want to do something special for your woman this Hanukah?" says actor Josh Pais in one. "Schedule her Pap smear. Just a schmear could save her life."
Then, as a shot of an animated menorah comes to life, he adds, "Give the gift that will light up her menorah."
"If your main objective is to offend no one, than you're on a fast track to being irrelevant," Margo, vice president of CBS, says.
Does it come with an assortment of bagels?
Read more at the NY Daily News.
Friday, December 4, 2009
According to the LA Times, Taylor Lautner is in talks to play teen superhero Max Steel. Max Steel was a Mattel action figure released in 2001, and there was an animated show that ran for three seasons. It's still very popular in Latin America.
Lautner would play Josh McGrath, a 19-year-old extreme-sports athlete who is accidentally exposed to the unleashed power of nanotechological machines, which become part of him and (in the old show, at least) give him increased strength, near-invulnerability and the ability to change his appearance.Taylor appears next in a small role in the film Valentine's Day, and next week hosts SNL.
The Dude abides! Jeff Bridges talked recently about how glad he is that The Big Lebowski became the cult film it is:
“I love that,” he says. “It’s so gratifying because it didn’t do much when it first came out, then it was a bigger hit in Europe and it splashed back over here. I’ve been to one of those festivals. I played it. It was my Beatle moment, playing to a sea of Dudes, screaming and excitement.
“It’s great to have a movie that I loved being a part of, and some people think the Coen brothers, they’re so good at what they do, it must just be like nothing, improvisation. But on that movie, no improvisation. Everything is scripted. They’re very precise. And to have the appreciation that it’s got now, and people study it, it’s great.”
Jeff Bridges may be having his best year yet with all the Oscar talk for Crazy Heart.
Besides Bridges in Tron, I remember being obsessed with him in the movie Starman. I can't even count how many times I've seen that movie. Here's an interesting comment he made about that opening scene as the alien:
So I’d go through my phone book and I’d go, ‘Which friends are in this book that I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out they were an alien?’
Jeff Bridges in Starman“One of those guys was a fellow named Russell Clark who was a dancer and had these interesting movements, so I thought I’d hire him to teach me some dance and kind of approach this thing like a dancer. I felt if I cracked that opening scene, then it would be a process of just becoming more human as the film went on.
“It was almost like imagining that I was somebody in a human body as if it was a ride, not myself. Like I was driving it around. And then it was impersonating. Like you’re sitting like this right now (he indicates the interviewer’s posture), and you’re sitting that way because you’re comfortable. So Starman would see that and rather than knowing why you did it he would do it and it wouldn’t be for the purpose, it would be kind of a bad impersonation.”
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Holy Crap! CBS (!!!) made this mashup! CBS!! O.M.G.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Breaking Dawn is a very different book from the others in the series. It's definitely an adult book with the marriage of Bella and Edward leading to sex scenes and a bizarre new relationship for Jacob. Adapting that script to keep the movie PG-13 could be much more of a challenge. Really though, with the extreme financial success of the first two Twilight movies, was there any doubt they'd adapt the fourth book?
There are four clips of producer Wyck Godfrey discussing New Moon and Twilight, including breaking down the cliff jumping scene in New Moon. My favorite was this one about the casting difficulties of Twilight. "Why don't we look at some of those Harry Potter kids..." lol!
We get our first look at The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader via an unexected source: Facebook. 20th Century Fox took over the Narnia series, and they've started a production blog of sorts on Facebook. The best thing is that Ben Barnes is back as Prince Caspian. Dawn Treader comes out next year for the holidays in December of 2010.
Monday, November 30, 2009
This was a real feel good film, and Sandra Bullock was just excellent as the spitfire Southern Belle Leigh Anne Tuohy. She deserves an Oscar nomination for this role, and she had one of the best performances I've ever seen her do. Tim McGraw was also surprisingly good as her "Yes, Dear" husband.
The real find was gentle giant Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher. That must have been a challenging casting search. I also really enjoyed Jae Head as SJ, the wise cracking little brother. Yes, this family is a bit too good to be true, but the essence of the story is, in fact, true.
It's a heart warming tale that I give three stars. You could wait for a rental, but this is a great choice to see this holiday season in the theater with your whole family.
Sandra Bullock said she spent one day with the real Leigh Anne, and she was simply exhausted trying to keep up with her!
Good morning, Daniel Radcliffe! EW's latest issues has a few of the pictures from photographer Tim Hailand's new book, One Day in the Life of Daniel Radcliffe. The book has 50 photographs of Daniel in New York last January when he was performing in Equus on Broadway. Part of the proceeds go to charity, and this is the first in a series. You can order the book here.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
T.J. Miller, an LA-based comedian (Cloverfield, Carpoolers) shot this video after two unsuccessful auditions for the Warner Bros' Yogi Bear movie. Studio boss Alan Horn and producer Donald De Line saw this footage and offered him a major part in the film. He's already in New Zealand shooting.
Yes, they're making a Yogi Bear film and Dan Akroyd is in it. What else can they grab from my childhood and make into a movie?! Oh, yeah, I forgot. Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman -- a futuristic take on Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots.
This Thanksgiving weekend I saw the best animated film I've seen all year - Fantastic Mr. Fox. Yes, that includes Up. I liked the quirky Wes Anderson humor of Fantastic Mr. Fox better, and the stop motion animation you know is all hand-done, which makes it even more amazing.
This has been an interesting year with two unique directors of adult films, with Spike Jonze doing Where the Wild Things Are with live action puppets, and Wes Anderson's amazing tour de force here with Fox. Anderson's off-beat style seems perfect for a Roald Dahl story. This story was not one I'd read as a child, so I came in with no preconceived notions. But the character of Mr. Fox, who schemes the perfect squab-nabbing job at the neighbor's farm is just dead-on perfect for George Clooney, almost reprising Danny Ocean of Ocean's Eleven. I adored Clooney in this film with his trademark click and whistle. Everyone is fantastic. Meryl Streep doesn't have a lot to do as his wife, but of course she's great, as always. Bill Murray is a lawyer badger, and the "Are you cussing with me?" scene in his office with Mr. Fox where they briefly turn into their wild animal selves just slayed me.
It's most of the regular cast of actors from other Wes Anderson films. We've got Owen Wilson as a sports coach, but Jason Swartzman as Mr. Fox's son is so like every other offbeat character he's played. The son who's just a little different, but doesn't know it, like Rushmore, my favorite Anderson film. Really, Rushmore was the pinnacle for me of Wes Anderson films, and until Mr. Fox none of his other films have quite measured up to that greatness. I enjoyed them, but not the wayI adore Rushmore and now Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The animation is just superb. Listen to Wes Anderson's interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air to get some sense of the painstaking care that went into creating the fur-covered miniatures and stop motion animation. The color palette is all browns and golds - autumnal colors - because Wes Anderson visited Dahl's writing hut in England at that season, and it's the setting for the book. Wes Anderson said that animation like this, where he has control over absolutely every part of the look, including every sunset and cloud, is the closest a director can get to being God. I loved the look of this film. All that care was worth it.
The story is very fun, as Mr. Fox sort of has a mid-life crisis, going back to his youthful poultry stealing. The chief mean farmer is voiced by Michael Gambon (Dumbledore), and it took me about half the film to realize that as he is so menacing sounding. Willem Dafoe plays a Rat, one of Mr. Fox's nemesis.
Mr. Anderson, my hat's off to you. The movie was just a delight. I give it 4 stars and an enthusiastic recommendation that you must run out and see it in a theater this holiday season. It is a great film for the whole family. Kids will love the basic story, and adults will love the subtle adult layers as well. I adore the hand made feel of it, and I hope Wes Anderson does more family films. His quirkiness works well in animation and children's stories, like Tim Burton works well for fantastical stories like Alice in Wonderland.
Here's a cool short featurette that shows some of what went into the film behind the scenes, including how they recorded the voices on location at a farm, instead of in a studio as is the case with most animated films:
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Dear Lord, thank you for this Thanksgiving holiday. And for all the material possessions we have and enjoy. And for letting us white people kill all the Indians and steal their tribal lands. And stuff ourselves like pigs, even though children in Asia are being napalmed.
No one does snarky like Christine Ricci.
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. It's one of my favorite roles for Robert. Just watch "The Turkey Scene" and try not to die laughing.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The classic! "Those aren't pillows!" LOL
Pieces of April - a Katie Holmes film I actually like. This movie is very funny, and extremely touching. Katie Holmes plays a girl trying to host her family for Thanksgiving for the first time. Her apartment oven stops working, so she has to involve all her neighbors to help make the meal. 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 as the father.
Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters and The Ice Storm also revolve around Thanksgiving, but the above three are my favorites.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I was flipping channels last night, and came upon the replay of General Hospital on SoapNet. Whoooo Boy! James Franco was smokin' hot on this episode. Here's a small taste of his "Franco" character in action.
I'm not a regular GH watcher, I used to be an AMC girl, although I followed Luke & Laura in high school. I think that GH has earned a spot on my DVR for Franco's run. That way I can fast forward to the Franco bits like these!
"You're a very talented man. You know that?" LOL