Monday, August 31, 2009
12,937 people in Mexico City on Saturday made the attempt to break the world record for the largest number of people dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller at once!
That's a LOT of zombies!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This is really interesting. Tarantino talks about the friendly rivalry he has with Paul Thomas Anderson. He says that Anderson making the masterpiece that is There Will Be Blood spurred him to "bring up his game" and make Inglourious Basterds.
I also like his comments on Daniel Day Lewis and the broken leg his character had in the beginning. I felt the same way about that long journey he must have made into town -- and how fascinating it was that Anderson didn't feel the need to show any of it. From Daniel Day Lewis' performance, you could just picture in your mind that he did it.
Popwatch led me to this hilarious mock editorial by Meryl Streep in The Onion.
...the name Meryl Streep isn’t really synonymous with one truly unforgettable film. It’s weird to think about, but it’s undeniably true. Go ahead, try and name a classic movie I’ve starred in. Not a classic character I’ve portrayed, mind you, but an overall amazing piece of cinema. You can’t. You just can’t.Then she starts going through her movies, including those she's won awards for, and the really hilarious thing is that it's true. She is undeniably great, the movies, meh, not always great (and Julie & Julia is just the latest example.)
- Kramer vs. Kramer: “Let’s be honest, Kramer Vs. Kramer isn’t really a masterpiece in the same way that, say, The French Connection or On The Waterfront is a masterpiece.”
- Sophie’s Choice: “I looked at AFI’s top 100 movies list and Sophie’s Choice was No. 91, behind Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense. And truthfully, all I could say was, ‘That’s about right.’ “
- The Deer Hunter: “[H]ow long was I in the The Deer Hunter? Three, maybe four minutes? Truthfully, I don’t really remember being in the The Deer Hunter at all.
Read the whole great article here.
Oh, and for those of you who want to say The Devil Wears Prada? Please. I don't need your charity.
So here we are. I'm 60 years old without a One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest or Bonnie And Clyde to my name. Meryl Streep: "Great actress, okay movies."And by the way, The Manchurian Candidate is not a classic. Well, at least not the one I was in.
Set in fourth century Alexandria, the story tells of the love of a slave, played by Max Minghella, for his master, played by Rachel Weisz. She is Hypatia, a teacher of Neoplatonist philosophy and, for the film’s purposes at least, a rather infamous atheist. The possibility of their romance is set against the uprising of Christianity.Add this one into the best actress mix.
Truly trippy. And to think, my kids beg for these.
I couldn't help think of Dieter from SNL while watching this. Dance, little monkey, dance! LOL!
Just showed this to my 8 year old. I wish you could have seen the "What the....!" look on his face. He said, "I wonder how much they paid those dancers?!"
Hat tip: EW Popwatch
Friday, August 28, 2009
I saw Inglourious Basterds earlier this week, and I've just been letting it sink in. I think I need to see it again because there is so much going on, that I know I didn't catch it all.
First off, it's an excellent film -- and also a lot of fun. From the trailers and many commercials, you know the set up. Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine leads a group of American Jews in Nazi occupied France looking for Nazi scalps. The Germans call them the "Basterds". Horror director Eli Roth plays one of the "basterds" who is known as the Bear Jew, and his choice of weapon is a baseball bat.
What you haven't seen in the commercials is the character of Col. Landa, "The Jew Hunter," sent to find all the hidden Jews left in France. Landa is played by Christoph Waltz, an actor known for TV work in Germany, who won the best actor award at Cannes for this role. Waltz is simply amazing as Landa. Waltz, a German, also speaks French and English fluently. Tarantino said he despaired of finding a German actor for this role, as they couldn't speak the English parts well enough. He told NPR's Fresh Air, "What I write is a kind of poetry, and I needed someone who could speak my English lines like poetry." As Waltz auditioned with the first scene of the movie, minutes in, Tarantino knew he had found his Landa. It's a tour de force performance, and I hope earns him a nomination for supporting actor for this film. He charms, and also has just this lethal edge to him the entire time. Watching him eat streudel and fussing with a cigarette in one scene, you're fascinated, and terrified for the other character he's questioning. He simply owns every scene he's in, including those with Brad Pitt.
Ah, Brad Pitt as Aldo Raines. He just chews up his part as the Southern boy leader of this band of basterds. Total fun to see him in this part - "And I want my scalps!" I also loved Michael Fassbender as Hilcox, a former film critic (!) sent on a spy mission to pose as a German officer. He explains his accent away to some Germans by saying he was in the movie, Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü, (The White Hell of Piz Palu) a movie about a mountain disaster in the Alps. I actually looked up clips from that movie on YouTube, and notably, it's a silent film! Michael Fassbender is very funny in this movie, and it's great to see him have a chance to show a sense of humor for once.
There are so many movie references that fly by in this movie. It's a movie about movies, from the Spaghetti Western music used, to the movie theater that plays a prominent part in the plot. I actually laughed out loud at one point because of the music Tarantino chose to use -- David Bowie's "Putting out Fire (with Gasoline)" from Cat People! I have to say, it made sense at that point of the film, but it was just crazy, too. Brad Pitt's character has a noose scar that is never ever explained in the film, but is yet another film reference to a Clint Eastwood western.
I read this great review of Inglourious Basterds on Spoutblog before I saw the film, and I kept thinking about what Karina Longworth had pointed out. This is a film about propaganda and rumors.
The film’s guiding spirit is encapsulated in an exclamation by Landa in the first scene: “I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading.” Tarantino has made a movie about World War II filtered through rumor — verbally-transmitted urban legends, to be precise. There is no casual conversation in Inglourious Basterds; virtually every scene involves an interrogation and a chance for someone to brag about and/or live up to their reputation. Conscious of the world they live in — ie, not Hitlers, not ours, but Tarantino’s — characters on both sides of the divide take an active role in their own myth-making, to make sure that word gets out as to who they are and why they are to be feared, and everyone takes great pride in knowing that word is getting around. The film’s most oft repeated phrase is “What have you heard?”Longworth saw the film at Cannes, and hated it, and then she watched it again and gained a new appreciation for Tarantino's film.
Tarantino has made a WWII fable, and we're tipped off to this by the beginning, "Once upon a time, in occupied France..." He's made his own revenge fantasy and rewritten history, but it's not just about that. There are layers and layers here, and it's going to take multiple viewings for me to puzzle them out. I won't say much more, because it's just fun to watch the plot lay out. Since it's Quentin Tarantino, you're never quite sure just what's going to happen next, but you know that you'll have a great time watching it.
Four stars, and I urge you to see it in a theater so you can experience it with an audience. Didn't August used to be the dumping ground for bad films? Certainly not this year! I hope we see Christoph Waltz again come Awards season -- and in more films to come. What a treasure Quentin has unearthed!
Michael Sheen as Aro
Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus
Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius (remember him as the young hero in Sweeney Todd?!)
Dakota Fanning as Jane
Cameron Bright as Alec
Click on the pictures to see them full size. I think they look amazing. Amazing and suitably creepy!
Holy Vampire mashups! Production on Priest began this week, and a few photos from the set have appeared showing Paul Bettany in costume with the cross on his forehead, just as in the graphic novels. Cam Gigandet (from the Twilight films) is shown in cowboy getup (lots of leather!), so the settting from the books in the Wild West has not changed. Stephen Moyer of True Blood has also signed on to the film, marking the first Twilight - True Blood vampire crossover!
WTF?! OMG, look at all the people in this movie!! It has George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges (playing the Dude again, with a military uniform!).
Based on true events described in Jon Ronson’s 2004 book of the same title, “The Men Who Stare at Goats” involves a down-on-his-luck reporter (McGregor) who gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent (Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to use paranormal powers to end war as we know it.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
District 9 is quite simply one of the best and most original Sci-fi movies I have seen in years, and quite possibly decades.
We should all be thanking our stars that the production of Halo, a movie adaptation of the video game, fell through. First time feature director Neill Blomkamp was disappointed when that project with producer Peter Jackson ended, but Peter Jackson urged him to do another film with him right away. Neill Blomkamp wrote the script for District 9 based on a short film he had previously done, Alive in Joburg, that he showed to Jackson.
Neill Blomkamp spent the first 18 years of his life in South Africa, and Johannesburg is the setting of District 9. When the film starts, a huge alien space ship has been hanging over the city for years. The aliens did not attack, but arrived starving and were sent to live in the slums of "District 9." Those familiar with the history of apartheid know that the coloreds of Johannesburg were sent to live in District 6. The setting of the film is so key in what makes it original. This is a film that was not filmed in Vancouver, like it seems every other film is. It's unfamiliar territory for us, and everyone speaks with that slight Afrikaans accent. The actors are all unknown, which led me to fall completely under the spell of the story. I wasn't taken out of this world thinking, oh yeah, there's Brad Pitt or Bruce Willis being a badass. In fact, the main actor of the film, Sharlto Copley, had never acted before. He was a friend of the director, a news and TV producer, who he had asked to stand in for some test footage. He did so well at improvising, that he got the role of Wikus Van De Merwe. That name is important, because in South Africa, Van De Merwe is the name used in Afrikaans jokes -- sort of like the dumb blond. A Van De Merwe is a doofus, and he certainly starts the film that way, bumbling around.
The aliens are called "prawns" and discriminated against, because they do look rather creepy. It's Wikus' job to move them to a new district further out of the city. The film is set up as if it's a documentary or TV news show about Wikus and what happened with the aliens, interspersed with interviews. It feels a little like Cloverfield, in that the footage is lots of hand held footage and some is from security cameras. It feels very visceral like you are right there as it happens. The other notable choice the director made is that the aliens are shown in broad daylight. How tired are we all of dim, dark, murky spaceship corridors where aliens jump out from around the corner. This, finally, is a different perspective.
I won't tell much more about the movie, because part of the fun of watching it is that it is an unconventional story, so you're not sure what's going to happen next! The parallels to apartheid are what gives this sci-fi film layers. It's a shoot-em-up action film, too, but it's actually about something. like all the best sci-fi stories.
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. I give it four stars, and urge you to catch it in a theater to get the full effect. I hope we see some Oscar nominations for this film, too. The director has left the door open with the ending for a sequel, or maybe even a prequel. My husband thinks it is perfect just as it is and hopes there won't be a sequel, but I wouldn't mind visiting Blomkamp's world again and seeing what happened next!
What is amazing is that with merely a $30 million budget film, Blomkamp has taken the box office by storm. Again, I'm so glad that the much more expensive Halo collapsed so that he could make this film under the radar, without studio interference, and totally his own vision. It's a true original, and that is a very rare thing.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Over the last years, I have avoided most movies about Iraq. This summer, I started hearing buzz about the film The Hurt Locker that grew and grew. The buzz centered on the director of the film, Kathryn Bigelow, who is almost certain to garner a best director Oscar nod. I have never seen her work before, but she is known for action films going back to Point Break with Keanu Reeves. My husband read about the film, too, and maybe I was just finally ready to see a movie about the war. The film slowly went from very limited release to reach us in the 'burbs.
This is an amazing film, and I am so glad I overcame my thing about Iraq war films to go see it. It is so filled with suspense that I was on the edge of my seat nearly the entire time, but there are no cheap tricks as you would find in a regular Hollywood film. The Hurt Locker is about a very elite unit that defuses roadside bombs in Iraq. They get a new member of their crew, Sgt. James, and he is both very, very good at diffusing bombs, and also an incredible risk taker. The other members of the crew are counting down the days until they can go home, and terrified every time they have to face another day under fire, but Sgt. James seems to live for the adrenaline rush and the danger.
The main characters in the film are played by mostly unknowns. Jeremy Renner who plays Sgt. James has done some other films and TV work, but he was new to me, so I was completely absorbed by the story. He is excellent, and I expect we'll be seeing more great roles for him. A few key supporting characters are played by bigger names like Guy Pearce, David Morse and Ralph Fiennes as a special ops guy. It all feels extraordinarily real, as the filming was done in Jordan. You could not replicate the kind of atmosphere for those street scenes on a studio set, and many of the extras are played by Iraqi refugees.
Everyone should see this film. Just as an action movie, it has enough to satifsy, but it is more, much more. It's very interesting to me that a woman director has made such an insightful movie about male soldiers, with very few female characters in it. Bigelow is an amazing director, and I hope she wins the best Oscar for directing. It's that good. Four stars!!
Watch the opening minutes of this fantastic film to get a sense of what I'm talking about. This is not a film to be missed. You will be hearing about this film come Oscar season, mark my words.
Alex Skarsgård, son of Stellan Skarsgard, gift of Sweden (thank you!), and Eric on True Blood, we wish you happy birthday today.
Seen him in Lady Gaga's Paparazzi video? That's pretty hot, but not as hot as this shower clip from some Swedish film.
There are so many favorite Eric moments from this second season of HBO's True Blood, but this "Is there any blood in my hair?" clip is a classic. The foils!!!
Monday, August 24, 2009
I saw The Time Traveler's Wife a week ago with a group of mostly women. We had all read the book, most of us years ago when it first came out, but a couple had just finished the book in the last month. So, I can't review this movie from the point of view of someone unfamiliar with the story. I knew what was going to happen, and those parts of the film that may have been confusing to someone who hadn't read it, I mentally filled in from my knowledge of the book.
As an adaptation, I think it works very well. It's a 500 plus page book, so yes, there are parts left out. Gone are some of the very harsh things that happen to Henry when he time travels. The problem is that he arrives naked, and he never knows what year it is. Some readers quibbled with other scenes left out, but you can't have everything included in an adaptation. The movie has the spirit of the book, to be sure.
The focus here is on the romance between Henry and Clare. Henry first visits Clare when she is only six, speaking to her from behind a bush and begging for her picnic blanket. Important events are like gravity to Henry, and he travels in time to Clare often.
In all, the movie has the feel of the film The Notebook, also starring Rachel McAdams. Something sad does happen in the end for these true lovers, and they have their difficulties in their relationship as Henry disappears for sometimes days on end. He vanishes on their wedding day, but is saved by an older grayer Henry.
It's a satisfying romance, and fun for debate with all the time travel paradoxes. The time travel rules are quite different than many sci-fi books. Our group also debated after the movie whether Clare ever had a choice, or it was simply destiny.
I give Time Traveler's wife three stars. Definitely worth a rental at least, but I recommend reading the book more (you can just picture Eric Bana naked in your head!)
Curiously, I just read that a TV drama series is being developed for The Time Traveler's Wife for ABC by the creator of Friends. That should be interesting!
I knew it!! I wrote my review of Julie & Julia yesterday, and commented that while I love Amy Adams, I thought the real Julie was probably a bit snarkier. Amy Adams played the real life blogger as rather sweet, and when being bitchy came off whiny. Julie Powell has written an obituary of her cat, but then it's really more about how her cat feels about how she was portrayed in the film:
What we see is not the sardonic, complicated, talented cat of my longtime acquaintance, but a sweet, thin, red-headed doll of a thing who watches old episodes of The French Chef with her head pertly cocked, as if to echo the words of her owner, “Julie Powell,” regarding Julia Child: “Isn’t she adorable?”
The trouble is, I would never say something like “Isn’t Julia Child adorable?” Julia Child, for chrissakes, this literal and figurative giant of a woman who changed the lives of thousands and the entire American culinary landscape ... adorable? And neither would Maxine.
Read the whole snarky piece here on Double X.
In honor of Ryan Reynolds playing both characters! LOL
Sunday, August 23, 2009
So, I finally rented and watched Liam Neeson in Taken this weekend. Totally ridiculous plot, but man it was fun watching Oscar nominated actor Liam Neeson do some serious ass kicking! The film is a non-stop adrenaline pumping action ride as Liam Neeson will do anything it takes to get his kidnapped daughter back from some Albanian baddies.
Here's one of my favorite scenes:
Forget the Oscars. This movie is just plain fun. If you haven't seen it, you need to rent it to see all the ways Liam kills and maims those baddies! Three stars.
And Liam Neeson is tall. My husband and I passed right by him in the parking lot of our hotel at 1 in the morning one night. He was in town to promote Five Minutes of Heaven with James Nesbitt (who I did meet), which is coming out soon in limited release.
Julia Child's first cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, has made it to the top of the NY Times best seller's list, almost 50 years after it was first published. All because of a little film called Julie & Julia. I'm one of 22,000 people who purchased that book last week after seeing the movie, because I've just got to try that boeuf bourguignon recipe! (And even Amazon is back ordered, so I'm still waiting.)
I remember watching Julia Child on PBS growing up, and let me tell you, Meryl Streep nailed her. She, as always, has the perfect accent, and especially her joie de vivre. I felt like she made Julia Child a real person, and we were invited to this incredibly fun dinner party during her parts of the film. Her former assistant Sarah Moulton, who has her own Food Network show now, thinks Meryl Streep really captured Julia, too:
There’s a scene in the film when Julia is being put down by the dour female director of the Cordon Bleu where Julia was taking classes in Paris. Julia has just sit down to take her final exam and the director comments, “I don’t know why you want to do this, you are a terrible cook, but if you cook for Americans, they won’t know the difference.” Julia’s response in the film? She sticks out her tongue as the director walks out the door. The real Julia might have given the finger. She was so spontaneous, and yes, at times, a little crude. If somebody pissed her off, she might shout, “Balls!”There's not a ton of conflict in Julia's story, just whether she'll get published (Gee, ya think?). The whole film is as light as a souffle, really. But I love Stanley Tucci's portrayal of her husband Paul, and it was so great to see a happily married couple on screen, with a sex life even! They would send out sexy Valentine's Day cards to their friends, and the film recreates on they photographed in the bath tub together!
I do adore Amy Adams, but I'm not sure she was the right pick for Julie, the blogger who cooked all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. I have a feeling the real Julie swore a bit more, and was more snarky. As Amy played her, the parts where's she's being bitchy come off more whiny.
I enjoyed the film, but mostly the parts about Julia Child's life in France, based on her own memoir and letters she and Paul wrote during that time. Nora Ephron has made a nice film, but I'm glad I paid the matinee price. It's a love story to food and cooking, and as I said, drove me straight to Amazon where Julia's cook book is on sale for $22.
The film is 2 and a half to three stars. Enjoyable especially for Meryl as Julia, but you could wait to rent it.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We've gone way beyond glitter cream, now! The latest in Twilight products? Get your own 6' 2" lifesize Edward Cullen shadow vinyl sillouette for your wall or door from Etsy:
Let everyone know that you are a true Twilighter by giving Edward Cullen a home! Or you can keep him to yourself... put him on the back of your bedroom door so he can be intrigued while you sleep! He'll be keeping an eye out for any roving carnivorous vampires searching for a snack, while reminding you to "Be Safe".
It doesn't say that it glitters in the sun, but you can order it in Silver Metallic.
That all seems very tame compared to The Vamp sex toy. (NSFW, duh!) Not only does it sparkle, but
by popular request... Yes the The Vamp retains hot and cold temperature. Toss it in the fridge for that authentic experience.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Casting news for HBO's Game of Thrones!! Yippee! Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is Jaime!! Maybe Virtuality failing to happen as a series was meant to be. They've cast many of the young roles, too, by relative unknowns. From the Hollywood Reporter:
The group joins the previously cast lead Sean Bean as battle-weary Ned Stark, who leaves his home to serve the king. Mark Addy, Kit Harington, Jennifer Ehle, Jack Gleeson, Peter Dinklage and Harry Lloyd also star.
In the adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series, Coster-Waldau will play Jaime Lannister, one of the king's guards and a ruthless usurper of the previous king.
The Star Tribune reports on a new kind of bar in Minneapolis:
The zombie stuff (ie the kitsch) is hilarious, and more nuanced than you'd expect from a bar named Donny Dirk Zombie's Den. In the corner, a small chainsaw sits inside a glass case that reads “In case of zombie attack, break glass.” The bartenders all dress like Simon Pegg in “Shaun of the Dead” — white button-up, red tie and blood stains. Again: This is a classy zombie joint.
Hat tip: Nerdcore
Are you like me, and you didn't score tickets to the 16 minute Avatar preview at IMAX theaters today? Well, we've got a trailer. Check it out on Apple in HD to see it the way it really should be experienced (for those of us without an IMAX theater in our homes - lol). And here's the Avatar movie website. James Cameron's film opens this December 18th.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Marvel comics is releasing a fashion comic named Models Inc. on Aug. 26 starring Tim Gunn. Similar to his role on Project Runway, Tim will act as the "wise one," helping to solve the crime of a young set designer murdered during New York Fashion Week — all while wearing an Iron Man suit! So far, we know Models Inc. will feature three ladies: Millicent Collins (Millie the Model), Patsy Walker (Hellcat), and Spiderman's Mary Jane.
Watch Tim Gunn on Jon Stewart last night discussing the comic and the new season of Project Runway which begins tonight on Lifetime:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Benecio del Toro is The Wolfman. Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving and Emily Blunt costar. The Wolfman was delayed, but finally comes out Febuary 10, 2010 - a similar release date to 300 and Watchmen.
Well, Benecio's Wolfman is no fluffy Twilight werewolf transformation, is it?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
There's a rumor bouncing around that Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles may be revived on the silver screen with Robert Downey, Jr. as Lestat. Lestat was played by Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire, and then by Stuart Townsend in Queen of the Damned. I think Robert Downey, Jr. would make an amazing Lestat.
And what does author Anne Rice think of the RDJ rumor?
"I can say without hesitation that I love Robert Downey Jr. and I think he would make a fabulous Vampire Lestat. He is a major actor, a powerhouse of talent and personality, and he evinces an irrepressible and seductive charm. He would bring great energy and skill to the role. I would love to see this happen. I've loved Robert Downey Jr. ever since I saw him in Restoration years ago, and I thought he was magical and powerful in Iron Man ... Some are saying he is too old to play the part. This is absolutely not true. He is quite youthful. Besides, Lestat is a man when he is made into a vampire. A twenty year old man in the 18th century is the equivalent of an older man today. Age just shouldn't be an issue here, not with an actor of this scope and charisma. - I'm thrilled at the prospect that this rumor might be true."
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
T-Man created this go-kart (which he calls the T-kart) from scratch and filmed his every step so that you, too, can build a Batman Tumbler in your very own garage. It doesn't have reverse yet (and doesn't appear to be equipped with heavy weaponry!)
Gerard Butler has three movies out this year. First The Ugly Truth this summer, and then Gamer in September, and now this thriller with Jamie Foxx. Law Abiding Citizen is due out October 16.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Yum! I knew Ben Barnes had been working on Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray, but I had no idea Rebecca Hall (Vicky Christina Barcelona) co-starred, or that Colin Firth was also in it!
WOW, just wow! We get little glimpses of the other actors playing Tony, Heath Ledger's role: Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell. Release date is October 16th.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
500 Days of Summer got lots of buzz from its Sundance premiere, and for good reason. This is a delightful film, and the best film I have seen this entire summer. Yes, it's really that good, and I'll tell you upfront that I give this film 4 stars. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Right from the beginning, you get the idea that this is not ordinary film. We have a text disclaimer saying that no character is based on anyone living or dead. Flash to new screen "Except you Jenny Beckman." Flash again. "Bitch".
The film structure is unique. We start the film knowing that it is about a relationship that has broken up. It's 500 days of Summer, because Summer is the girl -- that's the girl, played by Zooey Deschanel. We bounce back and forth from the end, somewhere around day 480, to day 1, with a helpful counter to tell us where we are bouncing to next, as Tom remembers and examines his romance with Summer.
This is the tag line for the film:
Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love. Girl doesn't.Summer is upfront with Tom that she is just looking for fun, and not love. She doesn't believe in love, and is surprised that Tom does. "It's love, it's not Santa Claus," he replies.
This is not a love story. This is a story about love.
The film uses animation and a fantastic soundtrack to show Tom's love for Summer, including a Hall and Oates song complete with Tom dancing in a crowded park with a bluebird like something from Disney's Enchanted. There are many sly movie references in this movie like an exact frame from The Graduate as Tom sees Summer naked on the bed just like Dustin Hoffman sees Mrs. Robinson.
Marc Webb has done a fantastic job with this film. You can tell he's had a history of directing music videos, and it's just wonderfully used in many moments. This is a movie that you're going to hear about at Oscar time. I think the writing is exceptional. We've seen romances so many times that are formula, and yes, I like those, too, but this was something new, and that's really hard when you're telling a love story.
I have never loved Zooey Deschanel like I did in this movie. She is luminous and the camera worships her showing her through the lens of Tom's adoration. But we don't truly get to know her, in the same way that Tom thinks he knows her, but doesn't really. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a revelation to me. He's all grown up from his days as a child actor on TV, and I wasn't thinking about that at all -- for the first time. I hope he has a wonderful career, and will look forward to his future work. Interestingly, he is in this week's G. I. Joe as one of the villains, and I almost want to see it just to see that! (Plus Dr. Who's Christopher Eccleston.)
Special mention also goes to the little girl that plays Tom's younger sister. She has a couple of lines that had me literally bent over with laughter. I won't spoil the funniest one, but she sums it all up with this line that a girl who likes The Smiths isn't necessarily the one:
Just because she's likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate.With the release of this music video with music from the film, there was this interesting bit:
Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt say they hope to team up repeatedly and have aspirations of being a regular screen couple, like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers or Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.Count me in as one who would love to see these two work again. They were just magic in this great film. Go and see it! 4 big stars. And don't miss the Cinemash Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel did from Sid & Nancy as a spin off from a line in the trailer below.
They’re not a real couple, but they’re good at faking it.
“I think it’s great to have continuous collaborators,” Deschanel says. “It’s a shortcut that makes it so much more fun. The job is much easier when you can go to set and be like, ‘Ah, Joe!’”
John Hughes died today at age 59 of a heart attack. John Hughes movies and the 1980's - these were my teenage years, and like millions, I thought John Hughes was speaking just to me. I lived in the Chicago suburbs, and that's mostly where he filmed. He was just a huge influence on me then. I felt like going to his movies, that I was invited to party with the cool kids.
And the list of actors who started in John Hughes is incredible: Molly Ringwald, Matthew Broderick, Judd Nelson, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, and both John AND Joan Cusack, and the entire Brat Pack including Emilio Estevez.
My favorite John Hughes movie was the classic Pretty in Pink from 1986. Interestingly, John Hughes had to refilm the ending, because the original had Duckie winning the girl in the end. Test audiences rejected that, wanting the Cinderella ending with Blaine.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I downloaded the soundtrack for 500 Days of Summer, mostly for the song She's Got You High by Mumm-Ra, and Us by Regina Spektor and have been listening to those songs on near constant repeat in my car. Marc Webb, director of the film, has made a charming music video with the stars of the film, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, to the song Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? by She & Him, Deschanel's retro-rock duo with musician M. Ward.
The music video is not directly related to the plot of 500 Days of Summer:
Gordon-Levitt plays a stoic man in a neat blue suit, turning to crime in a moment of absolute desperation. Deschanel is the gorgeous, wide-eyed teller, disarming the dangerous man (metaphorically speaking) in a playful, twirling, fox-trotting dance through the stuffy, starkly lit marble lobby. The other dour denizens go about their business unaware.
This video just makes me smile, and smile very big. My review for this amazing film coming tomorrow.
Remember Anne Hathaway's duet with Hugh Jackman in the Oscar's Opening number? Well, Hugh Jackman has signed on to film a brand new musical starring as PT Barnum, 'The Greatest Showman on Earth', and rumors abound that Anne Hathaway will be his Jenny Lind. Mika may even write the music, and Jenny Bicks, writer of 'Sex in the City' is helming the script.
The film will be produced by Laurence Mark ("Dreamgirls"), Jackman and his Seed partner John Palermo. It is an outgrowth of their work together on the 81st Academy Awards, on which Jackman was host, Mark was exec producer, and Bicks was part of the Emmy-nominated writing team.Hugh Jackman also wants to remake Carousel. Hugh Jackman singing and dancing -- don't care who he plays, you can count me there! I saw him live in Boy From Oz, and it is a night I will never forget. Believe me, Hugh really is the Greatest Showman on Earth.
Jackman will play the showman with a penchant for hoaxing a gullible public as he creates the three-ring circus that made him famous. The musical also focuses on his infatuation with singer Jenny Lind -- the so-called Swedish Nightingale.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Channing Tatum (GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra) and Charlyne Yi (Paper Heart) play “an appealingly off-beat couple wax romantic and can’t stop moving to the music as they mix intimacy and hilarity in a scene from the megahit movie” Dirty Dancing.. The short is written by Paper Heart writer/director Nicholas Jasenovec and Kashy Khaledi and written by Jasenovec and Yi.
Those wigs!! LOL!! Channing Tatum leaping on the bed -- OMG.
My opinion of Channing Tatum just went up several notches. I also can't wait to see Paper Heart with Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera.
Monday, August 3, 2009
She has an Oscar, but who cares? She's spinning her new movie and then -- OMFG it's STAN LEE!!!
Love her reaction!
Diablo Cody was at Comic Con promoting her film Jennifer's Body with Megan Fox due out Sept. 18.
The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen as Brian Clough, is about Clough's 44-day reign as the coach of Leeds United football team. It's out in the US September 25 in limited release.
The Ugly Truth currently has only a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's a bit harsh, in my opinion. Is anyone going to win an Oscar for this movie? No, but it's still worth your money as it's a very entertaining film. I laughed, and I laughed very loudly during this movie. It's a chick film, but it's rated R and has plenty of raunchy humor for the guys as well.
I've gotten more than a little sick of Katherine Heigl's character on Grey's Anatomy to the point I was disappointed to hear she was back for next season. Guess she's just in a coma or something, darn the luck. She has redeemed herself in my eyes a bit with this film. She's not afraid to do some very silly physical humor. God knows I'll take her over Kate Hudson any day of the week.
I'm a bit biased when it comes to Gerard Butler (ya think?), and I will see any movie he makes, no matter how much it stinks. But what I love about Gerry in this film, is that he finally shows that devilish funny side of him that is much closer to his real self -- the jokester from all the talk show interviews. In P.S. I Love You, we saw a hint, but it's full on here. Yes, he goes out of his way to be un-PC and obnoxious, but ya gotta love him, because he's charming, too.
The complaint I read over and over in the reviews is that the writing in this Rom Com is filled with cliches. So what? Do the reviewers complain when there's a car chase in every action flick? Basically, I view most Rom Coms like a Romance novel, and I read about three or four of those a week. Yes, it's a predictable plot, and we can spot these archetype characters from a mile away, but women want the HEA -- that's the Happily Ever After, folks. And The Ugly Truth was written by three women. They wrote a screenplay that is very close to many contemporary romance novels, and that's likely why I enjoyed this film so much. Boorish man with a mouth on him (in more ways that one) that needs to be tamed, and really has insides made of marshmellow? Check. Uptight career woman in need of sexual awakening who wants a man who loves her for who she really is, faults and all? Check. We even have the Ken doll other man in this movie. Throw these crazy kids together, and watch the sparks fly.
My one complaint is that the writers and directors mainly used the R rating for language (not that there's anything wrong with that) and of course the vibrating panties scene. Hell, I saw more of Gerry Butler's body in 300! We get one little abbreviated sex scene that's mostly in the dark with a frickin' blanket covering most of Gerry. This is a movie written by women that's an R? Give us a little butt cheeks shot at least! We want a little somethin', somethin', you know what I mean? That said, the elevator kiss was pretty hot.
Bottom line, it's an entertaining film and I give it three stars.