This 5.31 video announces Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Megan Fox‘s replacement on Transformers 3, at the invitation of director Michael Bay. I’ll tell you right now she’s no actress. Her beautiful face has that poised, porcelain look that some models have; her eyes say come-hither but not much else. Rosie makes Fox look like Jo Van Fleet. Nice gams though.Read More »
As we began our Sicilian journey it seemed important to visit Forza d’Argo, a small, centuries-old village near Taormina that Francis Coppola used for scenes in The Godfather, Part II. It’s the village that young Vito escapes from while local mafioso are seeking him out. The film conceals the fact that it overlooks the Ionian sea — quite an eyeful.
With 3D Blurays sure to catch on eventually, I’m guessing that sooner or later the first wave of Hollywood’s 3D movies (released between ’53 and ’55) will eventually hit the home market. The 3D version of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M or Murder (which I’ve seen once in a theatre) would be well worth the price. Ditto the 3-D black-and-white version of The Creature From The Black Lagoon. As well as Hondo, Miss Sadie Thompson and Money From Home, the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy.Read More »
A web journalist interviewed me last week about the way Jesse Eisenberg, whose latest film is Holy Rollers, seems to play the same guy all the time. That led me to conclude that this isn’t just true for Eisenberg but also Michael Cera and Jay Baruchel. They’re the leading lights of this spindly-Jewish aesthetic, I think — the smart-sensitive nerd triumvirate of 21st Century cinema.
(l. to r.) Jesse Eisenberg, Jay Baruchel, Michael Cera
They tend to play the same kind of thin, hesitant, cerebral types. Always susceptible to romantic delirium at the drop of a hat. Always with a girl who’s a little bit (or a whole lot) hotter than they deserve to be with, or...Read More »
There’s a fundamental disconnect factor at the heart of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Universal, 8.13) that no one I’ve read has mentioned, so I guess I’ll have to. Why do fans of comic-book adaptations always seem so undiscriminating, so willing to unconditionally embrace despite distinct warning signs telling them to hold up a sec? Because this issue is about as big and broad as a barn door.
Directed and co-written by Edgar...Read More »
The first news that I read upon arrival at JFK was Guillermo del Toro‘s decision to abandon The Hobbit…yes! I realize it’s a major heartbreaker for the guy, obviously, but I’ve long regretted his commitment to this project per my staunch belief that nothing of any profound value can result from any kind of Peter Jackson collaboration.
Guillermo is his own man, of course, with his creative hand always decisively in place, but I’m convinced that somehow or some way the hand of Jackson would have made the watching of the two-part Hobbit a laborious, forehead-smacking experience. For people like me, at least. And now that grim prospect has been erased.
I’m sorry for Guillermo and his team — they must be...Read More »
I was (and am) very pleased with the Easy Rider Bluray that I bought a few months ago. It looks rich and alive and intensely celluloid-y (which is starting to become a welcome distinction). Under-30s who haven’t had the pleasure need to see it this way. The Bluray reminds (or instructs) that this 1969 film is not a dimissable (as David Thomson recently implied) but something that knows itself and the culture from whence it sprung, and which works according to its own mantra and ticker.
Last...Read More »
I got into Amsterdam airport a half-hour ago and went right to my favorite spot — a cool-climate, Jetsons-designed multi-media internet lounge with great wifi and all kinds of desks and chairs and drinks at a nearby bar. It’s beautiful — nirvana for someone like myself. I’ve seen an operation like this in Zurich and maybe one or two other European cities, but I don’t know of any U.S. airport that has anything remotely like it.
A greeting for passengers on their way into the departure terminal at Rome’s Fiumicino airport.
It feels mildly irksome that Paramount Home Video has never to my knowledge stated an intention to issue a Bluray of George Stevens‘ Shane. Wouldn’t this fit almost anyone’s definition of a no-brainer? It’s all but de rigueur for major studios to give their classic titles Bluray upgrades, so it seems odd that one as beautiful-looking as Shane would be sitting on the sidelines.
It’s been almost seven years since Paramount Home Video’s Shane DVD, which was fine for what it was. But it’s time to step up and do this film proud and give a nice angel erection to George Stevens, who no doubt has been wondering from whatever realm or region why Paramount hasn’t yet bit the bullet on this thing.
The Bluray...Read More »
At the end of a thoughtful assessment of Sergio Leone‘s “Man With No Name” trilogy, L.A. Times contributor Sam Adams says that the new MGM Bluray versions (available Tuesday, 6.1) are afflicted with the Patton/Spartacus virus.
“[Featuring] exemplary audio commentaries by biographer Christopher Frayling, the ‘Man With No Name’ set duplicates earlier editions in terms of features, giving the images a high-definition...Read More »
The Special Relationship…ah, yes. An “entertaining period piece” and a pleasurable trio of performances, it is widely agreed, from Dennis Quaid (Bill Clinton), Michael Sheen (Tony Blair) and Hope Davis (Hillary Clinton). I won’t be seeing it until tomorrow night, when I arrive back home, so if anyone’s had the pleasure, please share.Read More »
This morning’s sunrise (taken around 6:15 am) from the deck of the Palermo-to-Napoli ferry that we took last night. Nice quiet cabin w/shower. Good way to go.
I bought a warm salami panini for this guy in Capua this morning, and then laid the slices on the ground before him, and he just sniffed it. No sale.
My all-time favorite Dennis Hopper imprint, on the occasion of his passing earlier today: “You can’t travel in space, you can’t go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, with fractions, man. What are you going to land on — one-quarter, three-eighths? What are you going to do when you go from here to Venus or something? That’s dialectic physics. You either love somebody or you hate ‘em.”Read More »
Forgive the tardiness (which I’m blaming on Sicilian distractions), but Peter Howell‘s 5.27 Toronto Star piece on the decision by Tim Burton‘s Cannes jury to hand the Palme d’Or to Apichatpong Weerasethakul‘s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is delicious stuff.
“In the same week that Burton’s box-office champ Alice In Wonderland hit the $1 billion mark globally, one of just six movies ever to do so, he presided over golden laurels for a film so resolutely uncommercial, even Thais can’t figure it out. The gesture struck me as one of the most political and cynical moves ever from a Cannes jury. Burton and his crew, acting on his cue, wanted to show how cool and cutting-edge they...Read More »
Reviewing Peter Weir‘s recently Blu-rayed Picnic at Hanging Rock (1979) some 31 years ago was a kind of cliff-leap experience. I didn’t know at first how to explain what it actually amounted to (at least according to the cinema-appreciation terms I was used to), or where it had actually “gone” in a narrative sense, but I knew it had a curiously haunting (and haunted) quality, and that the unsolvability of the disappearance of two or three schoolgirls wasn’t the thing as much as how the mystery just hung there in the air, and how the humid Australian sun seemed to gradually melt the characters’ brains.
This clip from a 1978 Jimmy Stewart roast, HE’s third Orson Welles post since Wednesday, includes remarks from emcee Dean Martin and a brief shot of June Allyson laughing along. I was immediately reminded of Nick Tosches‘ descriptions of their 1948 affair, surely one of the strangest extra-marital couplings in Hollywood history, in Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams.Read More »
“And I don’t know your noises yet.”
That’s one of Renee Zellweger‘s lines in Jerry Maguire, spoken to Tom Cruise. I for one was glad to hear her say that. Because this is one of the things that well-written movies always do (while doing other things, of course). They remind us of recurrent, recognizable, sometimes banal things about ourselves, but with a little English.
One of my noises is a simulation of a very old man groaning in pain. I won’t attempt to simulate it phonetically, but I make this guttural sound when I’m tired and walking and under some physical stress. Jett commented on it the other day, and I found myself explaining where it came from. I began using it in my teens as a form of quiet mockery (i.e., for my own ears, not meant to be heard) whenever I would see a...Read More »
The question of whether or not Megan Fox is over comes down to whether Hollywood honchos, who’ve already written her off as an audience-luring star after the weak opening of Jennifer’s Body, have also written her off as an actress. Can Fox do anything except read sassy pouty dialogue like a porn star? That’s the question posed by this trailer for Jonah Hex, and perhaps by the film itself.
If I were Fox I’d be scared shitless right now. The excessive weight-loss...Read More »
Earnest Prince of Persia hate seems almost nonexistent out there. People who should know better seem to be sighing and shrugging and going, “Oh God…effin’ Bruckheimer again. What are we supposed to do? We can’t keep fighting the same battle over and over. We’re getting tired.” Bruckheimer, in other words, appears to be winning simply because he keeps on coming. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — quote from British philosopher Edmund Burke.
“For twenty years, audiences have been noticing the similarity between big action and fantasy movies and video games,” writes New Yorker critic David Denby,...Read More »
I did a little reading about Palermo over the last few weeks, knowing I’d be visiting there during my post-Cannes travels. And having yesterday spent a few hours traipsing around Palermo’s mean streets, I can now state with authority that certain travel writers and travel websites have lied through their teeth about the essentially ugly and rancid nature of this city.
Entering Palermo — Friday, 5.28, 11:55 am.
Palermo is a Mafia rathole — a corrupt, crime-infested, economically challenged, overly-congested sprawl of mostly unattractive apartment and commercial buildings (mostly of a skanky gray, grayish-brown or dogshit-orange color) with a few historical buildings and commercial diversions to keep the tourists happy. Air-polluted, generally unkempt, vaguely smelly, over-populated, too many buses and scooters, overflowing garbage...Read More »
There’s a soulless, stone-glass-and-steel, black-and-white corporate hotel sitting next to our hotel (the Villa Gaia) here in Cefula. I suspect that you need to be a kind of soulless, stone-glass-and-steel corporate asshole (or the wife or girlfriend of one) to want to stay in one of these chilly Dante-esque abodes. Every attractive European town has one, and the people walking in and out are always Masters-of-the-Universe types driving shiny black cars and wearing slick dark suits.
In an era of diminishing natural resources and encroaching corporate cancer, old-world elegance (i.e., aged wooden floors, organic plaster or brick exteriors, organic clay-tile roofs, Oriental throw rugs, grandfather clocks, 19th Century paintings) is the only way to go for anyone with a smidgen of taste. Try telling that to the Hugo Boss hotshots who swear by those corporate hell palaces. They don’t get it, and they...Read More »
Deadline‘s tube reporter Nellie Andreva has posted an official “yup, it’s really happening” story about Diane Keaton and Ellen Page being set to star in HBO’s Tilda, a forthcoming half-hour series about a female Hollywood blogger modelled on Nikki Finke. I reported the Keaton-Page castings as a straight fact on 4.29.
Last month an HBO spokesperson told Hollywood Reporter columnist Matthew Belloni that ‘”the Tilda script is a fictional composite and not based on any one person,” I mentioned in...Read More »
“The ugly smell of unexamined privilege hangs over this film like the smoke from cheap incense.” — from A.O. Scott‘s 5.27 review of Sex and the City 2.
Sex and the City 2 has drawn 14% and 33% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively. Who, then, has given it a pass? The Philadelpha Inquirer‘s Carrie Rickey, Boston Pheonix‘s Jeffrey Gantz, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘sRead More »