Thursday, February 25, 2010
Brazilian artist Raoni Nery produces photorealistic digital 3D art. This is his rendition of what Buzz Lightyear would look like in real life. Pretty sexy.
I find his Homer Simpson and Mario kind of creepy, though.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, is in previews in London. They released this official video of the song Til' I Hear You Sing, which just blew me away. Ramin Karimloo plays the Phantom in the show and his co-star Sierra Boggess is Christine. Sierra Boggess was Ariel in the Broadway Little Mermaid.
Ramin is a hottie, and WOW that voice. Simply amazing.
We know the musical is set in New York and Coney Island. Still unanswered: Does the Phantom get laid this time?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
MasterCard has been the proud sponsor of The BRIT Awards for 12 years and to celebrate 30 years of the BRITs and thank music fans across the country for their passion and support, MasterCard devised the ultimate Priceless experience - a once in a life time opportunity for a member of the British public to win a BRIT Award winner playing live in their very own living room.She had to write 600 words on why she should win a personal show by a Brit Award winner, answer a Brit Awards quiz and send in a photograph of herself in an unusual place. When the Pet Shop Boys arrived, all the furniture was removed from her living room, and they set up a video screen and all their equipment, giving her an intimate version of their arena show:
Lorraine Sands, a Project Manager from Twickenham won the prize. ‘When I opened the front door and saw Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe standing on my doorstep I thought I must be hallucinating! I’ve been a massive Pet Shop Boys fan for over twenty years and to have them play a gig right in my front room, for just me and my closest friends, was too good to be true!"
Watch the whole thing here.
I became interested in your film A Single Man long ago, when I first heard about who was starring. I love Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode, and the story sounded very interesting. I loved the beautiful trailers, and the production looked gorgeous. I didn't expect to be so incredibly moved by your film, your directorial debut.
When I saw A Single Man, I first started to cry during the scene when Colin Firth's character George finds out that his lover of 16 years has died in a car crash. You only see Colin Firth react to Jon Hamm's voice on the phone, who tells him "only family" can attend the funeral. I was riveted by Colin Firth's performance, an amazing one for an actor I have followed for years. You revealed new depths to his acting, especially in that scene. At the end of the movie, I started to cry, and I sat watching the credits until the theater emptied. When I was alone, I started sobbing. I have not had a reaction like that to a film in I can't remember how long. I was loudly sobbing -- me, a surburban homemaker, so immensely moved by this beautiful film about a man's loneliness and grief. I may not have been your intended audience, and some may think this is a niche "gay" film. But George's pain is both universal, and specific to him and his time. I'm tearing up again just remembering and thinking about A Single Man.
George moves through this one particular day in his life, and he is determined to commit suicide, as live is not worth living with out the love of his live. At first, I thought there was something wrong with my eyesight, as the film is often in very muted colors and looks washed out, but occasionallly becomes vivid with color. I realized that it reflects George -- his life is muted and gray, and only comes into brilliant color and focus when he interacts with a few people that day. One of his students reaches out to him, he meets a sexy hustler, and he spends dinner with his old friend (Julianne Moore) who wishes they had been more than just friends.
With your talents as a fashion designer, I expected the film to look beautiful, and it was truly stunning. (Matthew Goode has never looked better!) The production design was done by the same man from Mad Men, and every detail looked perfect. It was beautiful to look at, but I didn't expect to be so incredibly moved. Colin Firth very much deserved his Oscar nomination. It's one of his career best performances. Julianne Moore was also fabulous (and robbed of a supporting nomination in my opinion).
Thank you Mr. Ford, for making this film, and hope to look forward to many more from you. Make me cry like that again.
Three and a half stars. If you love Colin Firth as I do, then this is a must see film. Just watch this scene where he finds out Jim, his lover of 16 years, has died in a car accident:
That scene continues a little longer with his reaction, and that's when I first lost it watching this movie. Watch the trailer here.
Also, Terry Gross of Fresh Air interviewed both Tom Ford and Colin Firth. Interestingly, Colin Firth talks about how difficult the scene above was to do because it was filmed on election day, and he was so happy that Obama won!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Oscar producers announced this week that none of the Best Original Song nominees will be invited to perform at the Mar. 7 Academy Awards. Given that we recently dubbed this year’s crop of music-Oscar contenders the “worst nominations ever,” I suppose it would be hypocritical to get too upset at this news. Will anyone really miss seeing Nine’s “Take It All” or Paris 36’s “Loin de Paname” performed live? It would have been nice to see Crazy Heart’s “The Weary Kind,” maybe, but that’s about it.
Hallelujah. Rare indeed are the moments like the performance of Falling Slowly from Once. I watched the producers message to the Oscar nominees about their speeches. It seems like they have really studied the past Oscars, and are really trying to speed things up.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I went to see Valentine's Day today with three girlfriends, and we enjoyed the film, and laughed out loud at several parts. It was a fun movie to see this weekend, but it just didn't have the heart of a film like Love, Actually. Love, Actually is one of my all time favorite romantic films, one I could rewatch any day of the week. Valentine's Day was a light confection, but not something that's going to have staying power for me.
Garry Marshall got what seems like every star in Hollywood to take part in this multiple storyline movie, and that's part of the problem. There are so many characters and storylines, that it ends up having the depth of a puddle. It was enjoyable. They are all pretty to look at. I laughed. But at no time were my heartstrings pulled like that scene in Love, Actually when Emma Thompson gets the CD for Christmas from her husband instead of the necklace and she realizes he's having an affair. Just try not to cry as she attempts to pull it together to go to the Christmas play with her kids.
I thought Anne Hathaway was one of the best actors, as a young temp who's trying to pay off her student loan debt by being a phone sex operator. I also liked the Bradley Cooper/Eric Dane storyline very much. Eric Dane as the football player facing possible retirement makes the biggest Valentine's gesture of the entire film.
There's a neat scene in the film where Shirley MacLaine and Hector Elizondo reunite while an old film is playing outdoors in a park. The film that's playing in the background is one of Shirley MacLaine's first films, Hot Spell, from 1958. Hector's character points to her on the screen and tells Topher Grace's character, "That's the girl I fell in love with."
So far, Valentine's Day seems to be coming out on top for the box office this weekend. Plans are already in place for a sequel of sorts, another multi-storyline film about New Year's Eve. Trim down the cast list a mite, if you please, and how about a little more diversity in the cast.
I give Valentine's Day 2 and a half stars. It's a fun chick flick to see with your gal pals, but I'd pay the matinee price.
Stay around for the credits, as there's a funny joke with Julia Roberts as she drives down Rodeo Drive.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was a highly anticipated movie in our household. Two of my sons have read the entire five book series, and my youngest (9) has been reading the first. I've read The Lightning Thief myself, and I was so excited that it was being made into a movie. So, did it live up to all our expectations? It was a good movie, but it wasn't great.
My sons may have been like other fans of the book, some of the movie's harshest critics. They were like Potter fanatics, who griped about every change to the movie script that varied from the book. My memory of the book was fuzzier, and I give adaptations a little more leeway. You just can't have everything from a book in the movie. You just can't. Some things that work well in a book, do not translate as well to the screen.
One of the biggest changes is that in the book, Percy is only 12, and they've aged Percy to high school age, possibly 17. As my 17 year old griped, "A twelve-year-old can not drive a car!" I didn't mind the eye candy, and I can understand that they are trying to appeal to a wider audience, and not be placed in the family film ghetto.
I enjoyed the stars they found to play the Greek gods. Sean Bean from the Lord of the Rings films plays Zeus, and his brother Posiedon (and Percy's father) is Kevin McKidd (Rome, Grey's Anatomy). I thought McKidd was great. Steve Coogan (the English director in Tropic Thunder) was a funny Hades costumed as one character notes as a sort of Mick Jagger rocker God of the Underworld. Uma Thurman looked like she had a blast camping it up as Medusa, too. I got a kick out of Joey "Pants" Pantoliano from the Sopranos playing Percy's horrible step-father, but that great casting went over my kids' heads.
We all enjoyed the film, and if it does well at the box office, this is likely to become a franchise. There are five books written already, after all. Maybe like the Harry Potter film, the sequels will get better scripts and a more interesting director.
Logan Lerman, last seen in Gamer, plays Percy, and he did a very nice job. There are rumors that he may be the next Peter Parker in the Spiderman reboot.
Three stars and a good film for the whole family.
Valentine's Day is out this weekend, trying to recapture the magic of Love Actually, one of my favorite romantic films from the last ten years. Are these films all Oscar worthy? No. But I love them, and would stop and watch them again on cable any day. Not necessarily in order:
14. (500) Days of Summer. That musical dance scene still makes me smile just thinking about it. I love how this film is not constructed as every other romantic boy meets girl is scripted. They was robbed for not getting a screenplay Oscar nomination!
13. Moulin Rouge. Ewan McGregor in an angst filled frenetic musical. What's not to love?! And it's Baz!
12. Amelie. A French film filled with whimsy.
11. The Holiday. Jack Black is sweet, but Jude Law redeemed himself to me (somewhat), and that took some doing. He's what we call mommy porn in this movie, and I just try to ignore Cameron Diaz.
10. Far From Heaven. Modeled after the melodramas of the 50's and just beautiful to look at, too. I'm so excited to hear that the director of Far From Heaven will be doing the 5 part mini-series Mildred Pierce starring Kate Winslet on HBO. Can't wait!
9. Lost in Translation. Not everyone likes this film, but I adore it. Bill Murray is so great in this, and from someone who knows him, totally himself in it.
8. 40 Year Old Virgin. What could have been just a crass comedy, is actually incredibly sweet. The first of the Judd Appatow dynasty.
7. Pride & Prejudice. Nothing can match Colin Firth's mini-series, but this movie does a great job capturing the essence of the romance in a two hour film.
6. Bridget Jones Diary. Hilarious, and also you have Colin Firth spoofing his own performance as Darcy from the Pride and Prejudice mini-series.
Bridget: Wait a minute... nice boys don't kiss like that.5. Twilight. Swoon! An excellent film version of the novel.
Mark Darcy: Oh, yes, they f**king do.
4. Once. A simply magical little film. The two musicians in the film became lovers in real life, although I heard they just broke up.
3. Brokeback Mountain. If Heath Ledger won the Oscar for playing the Joker, partly for being robbed for his amazing portrayal of Ennis. I dare you not to cry when he clutches those two shirts, one inside the other at the end.
2. Kate & Leopold. I absolutely adore Hugh Jackman in this movie as the Duke. It's my favorite film of his, and it tickles me pink that he and Liev Shreiber were reunited in Wolverine, where Liev will play Sabretooth.
Horse scene with the purse snatcher:
Leopold: I warn you scoundrel, I was trained at the King's Academy and schooled in weaponry by the palace guard. You stand no chance. When you run, I shall ride, when you stop, the steel of this strap shall be lodged in your brain.
[bag snatcher throws down the bag an flees, onlookers applaud]
Love Actually. I remember seeing this movie in the theater with a friend, and the first thing she said when it ended was, "I want to see it again!" There are so many great moments in this movie (Hugh Grant dancing!), but I love Colin Firth and his maid who only speaks Portuguese. He learns enough to come back and propose to her:
Jamie: Beautiful Aurelia, I've come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person - because I hardly knows you - but sometimes things are so transparency, they don't need evidential proof. And I will inhabit here, or you can inhabit with me in England.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Woot! Finally the trailer from Centurion with Michael Fassbender! It brings to mind his intensity in 300. No release date yet, though.
Hat tip: My New Plaid Pants (who's almost a bigger Fassie fan than me)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood, the deals have been struck to make Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer's longest novel in the Twilight series, into two films. They will be shot back to back in October. No word yet on the director.
Breaking Dawn is being adapted by Melissa Rosenberg, who has adapted the scripts for all the other Twilight movies. She'll have a bit more of a challenge with Breaking Dawn, as several of the scenes in the book are definitely not PG-13.
I'm not at all surprised that they decided to go with two films. It's just like The Hobbit. Why wouldn't you milk the franchise for all you can, if you can get the actors to sign on for both? Wonder how much Summit had to pay to make this happen, as the three main actors had only signed for four films.
Eclipse is due out June 30th.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I got my Vanity Fair in the mail today, and here are three of my favorite pictures from the photo series of actors and directors:
Monday, February 8, 2010
This is one of the lamest Oscar posters in years. I suppose it's supposed to be Devil and Angel on the Oscar shoulders. We've had some great artists do the poster in the last 10 years, and now this?
"You've Never Seen Oscar Like This" is the tag line. Yawn.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
This film is just so amazingly funny. So many great lines and funny scenes. I give this three and a half stars and a hearty recommendation. Do yourself a favor and rent this gem.
Watch the trailer below to get a taste.
This is WAY cool. Andrew Sullivan at Daily Dish clued me in to this extremely cool Wrangler Ad. It's completely interactive. You can literally rip the shirt right off his back. Andrew describes it thusly:
It's for Wrangler's Blue Bell fashion brand. If you're a gay man or heterosexual woman, it's particularly awesome. You get to interactively toss Tony Ward around and even rip his shirt off. Ward, if you recall, is Madonna's former baby-daddy. And the one thing you can say about Madonna is that her taste in men is flawless.Totally agree about the hotness, and the music! Pure awesome fun to throw around this boy toy!
Seriously, seriously: way hot and fun. And the music is awesome.
In the same vein as the books "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters", comes "Gone with the Wind with Vampires", an alternate reality version of the beloved Southern epic. The film tells the story of Scarlett O' Hara, one of the last surviving human beings, who is caught in the midst of a great vampire civil war. Marvel as she outwits the forces of the undead, while she flirts with her true bloo... er... love. Complete with heartaches and staked hearts, "Gone with the Wind with Vampires" will 'blow' you away.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I composed a piece of music made entirely from sounds that I had recorded from a collection of antique cameras. Constructed using the digital composition software Reason, this piece carried a strong hip hop feel [ed.: Gottseidank nicht] and seemed to connect past with future technologies. Constructed using the digital composition software Reason, this piece carried a strong hip hop feel [ed: do not thank God] and seemed to connect past with future technologies. To accompany this track I created a video response that captured traditional, analogue techniques yet also had a strong contemporary theme. To accompany this track I created a video response that captured traditional, analogue techniques so yet had a strong contemporary theme.
This short film is made entirely with stop motion animation, with over six thousand still photos shot and then edited together. This short film is made entirely with stopmotion animation, with over six thousand still photos shot and then edited together. The cameras are literally 'brought to life' here, while image composition and lighting is as carefully considered in each video frame as they would be for individual photo shots. The cameras are literally 'brought to life' here, while, image composition and lighting is as carefully considered in each video frame as they would be for individual photo shots.
Hat tip: Nerdcore
Friday, February 5, 2010
Who knows if it will translate in sales, but you’ve got to hand it to Michael Ian Black for shrewdly marketing to parents with a twisted sense of humor. The author of the children’s book Chicken Cheeks has returned with The Purple Kangaroo, on shelves now, and he’s shot a “making of” video that shows the collaborative process between himself and his illustrator, Peter Brown. “Here’s the thing, I really feel like the kangaroo needs to have just a little bit of sex appeal,” he says while posing for Brown wearing kangaroo ears and encouraging him to draw the titular character with his legs behind his head.How could you read this book to your child without cracking up after watching this?
And after watching the Making Of, you have to watch his video on Amazon reading the book out loud to children (in kangaroo costume, of course). Hilarious!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
He was Ned, the insurance guy, in Groundhog Day, and he's been in nearly 200 movies and TV shows, most recently as the former touch happy music teacher turned pot dealer on Glee.
Stephen Tobolowsky has teamed up with /Film to produce a podcast where he just talks about all his experiences on all these shows and movies. In the most recent episode, he talks about auditioning for commercials, the movie The Insider and working on Heroes as Bob, the evil head of "The Company". It is just riveting. I can't recommend Stephen's 45 minute long podcast highly enough, for all its background dish! Think Heroes can be confusing to watch? Try acting in it!
On the set of Heroes, he had to use his superpower for the first time. One of the directors explained that as the show had evolved, the heroes had to show a bit of exertion when using their power. "It's more than a burp, and less than a crap." Stephen comments, "They just don't teach you these things at university!" LOL!
You can listen to the podcast here, or find it on iTunes!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
George Gershwin tragically died young of a brain tumor at the age of 38. Gershwin, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, started on Tin Pan Alley, writing songs for $15 a week. He wrote the music for several Broadway shows, Hollywood musicals, and crossed over to classical music with orchestral pieces like An American in Paris, and the opera Porgy and Bess. You can't escape his music, especially whenever a United airlines commercial airs (Rhapsody in Blue).
I think Zachary Quinto would be great in this role. He is really one of the best actors on Heroes, and I loved him as Spock. He is so incredibly intense in both roles, and yet is very different and lighter in his personal interviews. He's a very talented guy, and I think doing something completely different from his genre Sci-fi parts is a great move for his career.
But Mr. Spielberg, what is going on with that Lincoln biopic starring Liam Neeson?
Here's one of the few film recordings that exist of Gershwin playing the piano, I've Got Rhythm:
Could you have imagined before this movie having the words Queen Victoria and sexy in the same sentence? Our mental image of Queen Victoria is of her at the end of her reign, in her widow's black, with that stern expression. Her reign lasted for 63 years, the longest in English history. She became queen at the young age of 18, and that is the setting for this wonderful period drama film.
Emily Blunt plays the young Victoria, in the months just before he uncle, the King, dies and she becomes queen. Her mother (Miranda Richardson) and her mother's lover Sir John, played by the menacing Mark Strong of Sherlock Holmes, try to pressure her into signing a regency agreement until she turns 25. She resists, and becomes queen without a regent.
She doesn't know who to trust as her mother had kept her isolated from the court. Lord Melbourne, played by Paul Bettany, advises her, but also stacks her ladies in waiting with his supporters and friends. And her uncle, the King of Belgium, tries to influence her from afar, and has his nephew, Prince Albert coached to become her suitor.
Amongst all this intrigue is a very young pretty girl who wants companionship. She and Albert fall in love, but it's complicated, as she, being queen, needs to be the one to propose! She also wants to wait to establish herself as the new queen. There were assassination attempts on Victoria early in her reign.
All I really knew about Queen Victoria was her later years, as played by Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown. In the film Mrs. Brown, we see Queen Victoria in deep mourning for her husband who had died years before at age 42. She spent the remainder of her life wearing mourning black and living in near isolation. Mr. Brown (Billy Connelly), a Scottish manservant, became her constant companion. What we see in The Young Victoria is the beginning of this great love, a love so strong that she had Albert's clothes laid out every morning after he died.
Emily Blunt is just exquisite in the role of Victoria. I'm disappointed that she didn't get an Oscar nomination. (Did Meryl really need a 16th?) Emily Blunt is an actress that I've enjoyed watching since her supporting role in Devil Wears Prada. The gorgeous Rupert Friend plays Prince Albert. I just adore period dramas like this. It's a great romance, and even more fun because it's a true story! The costumes are amazing, and all the palaces and so on great to look at.
I give The Young Victoria three and a half stars. My friend and I were a little teary eyed at the end -- and in a good way. A great film to see with girl friends. Emily, I have a feeling we'll see you nominated for that Oscar down the road.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
"I always believe it's very unlikely that lightning will strike twice. I believe it's very unlikely that we will win because I made such a jackass out of myself last time. Although there might be some curiosity about what I might do. The Hurt Locker is a very, very strong picture. Of the contenders, it's definitely the strongest. Certainly it's Kathryn's moment. I would happily lose to her. I've already got one of those damn statues. I'd be pissed off if somebody else won, but I wouldn't mind if she won."
Hat tip: Perez Hilton
"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." -- Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in Groundhog Day
Happy Groundhog Day!
- Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
- George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
- Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
- Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
- Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”
Best Supporting Actor
- Matt Damon in “Invictus”
- Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
- Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
- Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
- Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”
- Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side” (Warner Bros.)
- Helen Mirren in “The Last Station” (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Carey Mulligan in “An Education” (Sony Pictures Classics)
- Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Lionsgate)
- Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Best Supporting Actress
- Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
- Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
- Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
- Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
- Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Best animated feature film of the year
- “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
- “The Princess and the Frog”
- “The Secret of Kells”
- “Avatar”, James Cameron
- “The Hurt Locker”, Kathryn Bigelow
- “Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino
- “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Lee Daniels
- “Up in the Air”, Jason Reitman
Best motion picture of the year
- “The Blind Side”
- “District 9”
- “An Education”
- “The Hurt Locker”
- “Inglourious Basterds”
- “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
- “A Serious Man”
- “Up” (Walt Disney)
- “Up in the Air”
- “District 9”, Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
- “An Education”, Screenplay by Nick Hornby
- “In the Loop”, Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
- “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”, Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
- “Up in the Air”, Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
- “The Hurt Locker”, Written by Mark Boal
- “Inglourious Basterds”, Written by Quentin Tarantino
- “The Messenger”, Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
- “A Serious Man”, Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
- “Up”, Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
So, in the final tally Avatar and The Hurt Locker tie with 9 nominations each. Wow! Even with all the technical categories for Avatar, they are even with the actor nomination for Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. I am so pleased that District 9 did so well in the nominations. Very well deserved.
This will be the first year since 1943 that there are 10 Best Picture nominees (Casablanca won that year). I think it will do what was intended, garner a bigger viewing audience for the award show. There is something for everyone, with two very popular films, The Blind Side and Avatar nominated. Also, there's two for the sci-fi crowd, with Avatar and District 9 for Best Picture.
Here's hoping Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker win the big prize on March 7!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Most people think first of Gone with the Wind, but my favorite Gable film is the classic romantic comedy It Happened One Night. Clark Gable is a journalist on the trail of an heiress (Claudette Colbert) running away from marriage.
In this Walls of Jericho scene, they're sharing a small cabin in a rain storm. Clark Gable taking off his shirt with, *gasp*, no undershirt was completely scandalous in 1934. Still pretty darn hot in 2010!
At the end of the film, they honeymoon back at this same cabin, and you hear the sound of a trumpet!