“But really, what makes Pontypool worth watching is that fascinating (and often underutilized) actor, Stephen McHattie. With his sunken cheeks and eyes that burn with a kind of canny madness, McHattie, playing the reluctant hero, is completely believable, a guy with demons who suddenly finds that the world is even scarier than his interior landscape. Language is a virus, Laurie Anderson once sang – and Pontypool takes that notion to frightening extremes.” — Hollywood & Fine‘s Marshall Fine in a 5.29 review.
“The harrowing truth remains unchanged from what it was before Dick Cheney emerged from his bunker to set Washington atwitter. The Bush administration did not make us safer either before or after 9/11. Obama is not making us less safe. If there’s another terrorist attack, it will be because the mess the Bush administration ignored in Pakistan and Afghanistan spun beyond anyone’s control well before Americans could throw the bums out.” — from Frank Rich‘s column in today’s N.Y. Times, called “Who Is To Blame for the Next Attack?”Read More »
If you were casting around for an actor to play a good-time 30something guy with a beard, a barrel chest and a wisecracking mouth, would you go with The Hangover‘s Zach Galifianakis or Humpday‘s Joshua Leonard? Appearance-wise the differences are mainly about weight (Galifianakis is bulkier) and hair color (Leonard’s hair is blondish). Is the Galifianakis similarity the reason Leonard’s beard was shaved off for the Humpday release poster?
(l.) The Hangover’s Zach Galifianakis; (r.) Humpday‘s Joshua Leonard
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If you’re in LA, Jack Morrissey says it’s absolutely essential to visit the Rubber Room’s Monsterpalooza at the Burbank Marriott Convention Center, which features the work of Drag Me To Hell model/prosthetic guy Greg Nicotera (also the creator of “Bruce” in Jaws and Dirk Diggler’s appendage in Boogie Nights). But today’s the last shot! Here’s Nicotera talking to Time Out.
My son Dylan and I happened to be standing on 6th Ave. and 36th Street around 7:35 or 7:40 pm when President Barack Obama‘s motorcade came howling by. He and Michelle had been to dinner at a West Village restaurant called Blue Hill, and were on their way to the Belasco theatre for a performance of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
I...Read More »
With all the hullaballoo over the last several months about John Madden‘s Killshot being delayed, regionally released (barely) and generally being shown little love by the Weinstein Co., you’d think there’d be a bit more reaction to this adaptation of an Elmore Leonard thriller coming out four days ago on DVD. Apparently it’s a bit underwhelming, but are there any HE reader reactions?
“Killshot hasn’t enjoyed the easiest road to a suitable release,” wrote...Read More »
The first message I read after landing this afternoon was from former Newsday film writer Lewis Beale, to wit: “Don’t know if you’re back, but you should check out Pontypool, a Canadian low budget zombie flick. It plays like a horror film written by a semiotician. Utterly unique.”
N.Y. Times critic Stephen HoldenRead More »
Got into JFK from Barcelona around 1:30 pm. Currently sitting in the terminal that houses Iberia Airlines, waiting for son Dylan’s plane to arrive at 4:07 pm. Sitting next to a Starbucks, a Subway and other manifestations of corporate sterility. It was awfully nice to be away from all that. Yes, corporate chain branding is ubiquitous worldwide, but the climate feels a tad earthier and more home-grown in Europe.
JFK Terminal 7 — Saturday, 5.30, 2:40 pm.
“I caught The Hangover at a screening in London a couple of weeks ago, and it really was a great little comedy,” says HE reader James Smith. “Zach Galifianakis is superb, and the sequence in the [end] credits is fantastic — the night they can’t remember is finally seen through digital camera photos (although I overheard a few studio people say at my screening that a couple of frames featuring a blowjob won’t be in the final released version).
“It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but you wouldn’t expect it to. It’s loud and it’s stupid, but not derivatively or in a way that would make someone as notoriously pissy as yourself (like me!) irritated that it’s pandering to the masses. Sometimes a movie comes along with enough belly laughs to see you through an evening and part of the next day, and The Hangover does just that. And I’m saying...Read More »
“Swift and sure, Drag Me to Hell unfurls in vertiginous, comic-book frames, like a long-lost issue of Tales From the Crypt” writes N.Y. Times critic Jeannette Catsoulis. “Neither small humans nor smaller animals are exempt from the carnage, which is orchestrated by director Sam Raimi and his screenwriting sibling, Ivan.
“As for Alison Lohman, she suffers the indignities of the genre like a champ, morphing from mouse to hellion as her expiration date approaches. And while no one will mistake her journey — whose title sounds like a desperate plea from the director’s fan base — for a masterpiece, the movie has a crackpot vitality that breaches our defenses.
“In films like Darkman and the...Read More »
“The obvious solution is to brand ‘new IMAX’ so customers know what they’re getting,” Roger Ebert wrote the day before yesterday. “Call it IMAX Lite, IMAX Junior, MiniMAX or IMAX 2.0. Or call the old format ‘IMAX Classic.’
“Hey, that worked for Coke. Significantly, a lot of exhibitors favor specifically identifying the new format, perhaps because they’re offering something better than on their other screens, yet getting flack from customers because it’s inferior to IMAX Classic.
“One reason exhibitors are friendly to IMAX is that the company is spending money to convert the target theaters. The exhibitors themselves, however, are expected to pay for an upgrade to the latest 3-D technology. Everybody is short of money these days, and both formats offer an excuse for a $5 surcharge.”Read More »
Okay, yes — an intriguing taste of Terry Gilliam‘s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. But where’s the clip featuring Heath Ledger that anyone who’s even half interested in this film wants to see? To think that someone actually thought things through and said, “Yes….this is the clip we’ll make available.”Read More »
“Republicans have to know how bad this is for their party — especially given the shifting...Read More »
Movieline’s Stu Van Airsdale, an admitted smoker with a slight-to-moderate guilt complex, bitched yesterday afternoon about a recently announced Facebook finger-wagging campaign supported by a “voluntary” arm of the American Medical Association. (As opposed to an involuntary arm?)
The idea, as reported yesterday by the N.Y. Times‘ Brooks Barnes, is to “publicly shame movie studios for depicting images of smoking in their mass- appeal movies” with aRead More »
Finally seeing McG’s Terminator tonight in Barcelona con subtitles, and this fairly decent mashup piece is getting me in the mood, I suppose. Being out of the timely-screening loop feels queer and relaxing at the same time. The only problem here is that I hated/currently hate/will always hate Transformers.Read More »
A friend who’s also looking forward to The Hangover believes that Sam Raimi‘s Drag Me to Hell (Universal, opening tomorrow) will be an even bigger sleeper hit. So far it’s got a Rotten Tomatoes creme de la creme rating of 75% positive with a 93% from the rank and file. “Raimi has made the most crazy, fun, and terrifying horror movie in years,” wrote EW‘s Owen Gleiberman. Too bad it’s not opening in Barcelona tomorrow. I missed it in Cannes but I’ll be back Saturday, etc.
The Wes Anderson Film Festival mentioned in type at the end of this video is hypothetical. The piece, made for a gradate design program, is by Alex Cornell and Philip Mills. It’s not bad. The Rushmore style is dead-on. The pipe is very Max Fischer, granted, but smoking cigarettes also makes it all seem a bit too affected. I don’t know if I’m doing these guys a solid or not, considering the likely drubbing they’ll get from the notoriously savage HE talk-backers.Read More »
“Every summer has its surprise hit, and The Hangover is starting to look like this season’s unexpected breakout,” writes L.A. Times reporter John Horn. “Even though the bachelor-party-gone-bad comedy doesn’t open until June 5, The Hangover already is generating such positive reactions that Warner Bros. is developing a sequel — a strong vote of confidence for a movie with no big stars, no comic book tie-in and no obvious franchise traits.
“Just as the R-rated comedies American Pie, Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin transformed excellent word-of-mouth into strong summer ticket sales, The Hangover should benefit from the kind of positive moviegoer chatter that largely has been...Read More »
Werner Herzog‘s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is going to be hilarious, a must-see cult film. Nicolas Cage vs. old ladies! His insanity levels are growing exponentially with each new performance, and all to the good. Plus his light-brown, blond-tipped rug isn’t bad in this one. I’m buying this on DVD — issue settled.Read More »
An Esquire movie-trivia quiz (i.e., 21 questions) that I could have linked to a couple of weeks ago but didn’t. Sample questions and answers: (a) The Wizard of Oz was the first movie filmed in color. Answer: Esquire even asking this tells you what they think of their readers’ awareness levels; (b) “Myth or true — if you watch The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, they sync up perfectly.” Answer: True. (Never tried this!); (c) “Myth or True? Hollywood stardom is a cruel bitch-goddess that entraps even the purest souls into lives of ever-increasing degradations so punishing that the sweet release of the grave becomes but a faint stain in its shadow.” Answer: Better conveyed by clicking through.Read More »
N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has pointed to a morality quiz website that determines the extent of your leanings along liberal/conservative lines. “One of the main divides between left and right is the dependence on different moral values,” he summarizes. “For liberals, morality derives mostly from fairness and prevention of harm. For conservatives, morality also involves upholding authority and loyalty — and revulsion at disgust.”
There are six questionaires covering six moral areas. Moral Foundations (i.e., what underlies the virtues and issues you care about? Why do you have the political orientation that you do?), a Satisfaction with Life Scale (how happy are you these days?), a Sacredness Survey (what would you do for a million dollars?), Systems...Read More »
Last night the comma/left carrot and b keys escaped from the keyboard. Just like that. And now the k and question mark/forward slash keys are thinking about liberating themselves also. Out of nowhere, rebellion in the ranks. “Guys…the comma/left carrot key is free. We can do it too! What’s Wells going to do? I’ll tell you what he’s going to do….nothing! Okay, he’ll have some computer technician stick us back on eventually but c’mon…we’ve been stuck to this damn keyboard for over three years!!”
At Seville’s Plaza de Espana, the officers’ club in Lawrence of Arabia — i.e., the palace-like buidling where T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) first arrives after being driven into “Cairo” following his trek across the Sinai desert with Farraj (Michel Ray) and Daud (John Dimech).
Center Courtyard of Seville’s Alfonso XIII Hotel, which doubled as the courtyard of the officers’ club where Lawrence, General Allenby (Jack Hawkins), Dryden (Claude Rains) and Colonel Brighton (Anthony Quayle) talk things over after Lawrence’s arrival.