In sending this clip along earlier today, Joe Leydon‘s point was that “back in the day, The Mike Douglas Show had the most eclectic guest lineup of any talk show, at anytime, anywhere on TV. No, really.”Read More »
Here’s Part 4 of Matt Zoller Seitz‘s epic video essay on Terrence Malick, focusing on The New World.
“This feels like closure to me in some strange way,” Seitz says in an email. “The whole reason I got into blogging was to bang the drum for The New World, which has grown in reputation since 2005 but which was shamefully underestimated at the time.”Read More »
A guy named Sean with a web advertising company asked earlier today if Hollywood Elsewhere would be interested in running an ad for Direct TV. “I can send you $150 via PayPal as soon as an agreement is made,” he wrote. I wrote back and said, “What about you keep your money and I give $150 to a homeless guy?”Read More »
With all the hoo-hah last week about Warner Home Video’s bizarre decision to crop the Barry Lyndon Bluray at 1.77 to 1, it’s ironic that impulse buyers wandering around Best Buy won’t even see the Lyndon Bluray on the shelves. Or the Lolita Bluray.
That’s because of an Amazon exclusive deal for both titles, meaning there’s no retail at all. For the time being, that is. I’m sure there was a big kickback arrangement for Warner Home Video, but after all this time….forget it. I’ve got my order coming to my LA home tomorrow so what do I care?Read More »
Adam Curtis‘s multi-part All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, which began last night on BBC2, is flat-out brilliant. Or at least brilliantly composed and sold. I could call it a fascinating, absorbing, well-told story, but it strikes me above all as an unusually perceptive explanation of the ’08 global financial collapse, and how its origins stem from the philosophical imaginings of Ayn Rand.
Take an hour and watch this first...Read More »
As much as I’ve always loved James Toback‘s Fingers, I fell a little bit harder for Jacques Audiard‘s 2005 remake, The Beat That My Heart Skipped. One reason being that this critically-acclaimed, French-produced film twice used The Kills’ “Monkey 23″, which for me was the film, at least in a residual way.
I was just sitting here and remembering getting into Audiard’s film and “Monkey 23″ and The Kills’Read More »
No one outside of the Tolkien lemming community cares about Peter Jackson‘s two Hobbitt films….nobody. Nobody gives a toss that the first one (opening on 12.14.12) will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, or that the second (due on 12.13.13) will be called The Hobbit: There And Back Again. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, blah, blah. The old Lord of the Rings gang — Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving — feeding at the trough, etc.Read More »
“Destined to be together but indecisive and unable to pull the trigger for 20 years” is not my idea of an engrossing concept. It’s my idea, actually, of a repellent one. The narration (“…but life got in the way”) is very cliched, and the British narrator’s speaking style has that same “talking down to idiots” tone that the last trailer had.
So trailer-wise this film has basically gone O for 2 (here‘s my reaction to trailer #1), and in my book that indicates a possible disaster.Read More »
Janice Min‘s radical revamp of The Hollywood Reporter “seems to be working,” reports N.Y. Times media decoder David Carr in a 5.30 article. Over the last year THR’s ad revenue has gone up 50%, unique visitors to hollywoodreporter.com have risen 800%, according to comScore, and circulation for the weekly print edition “has inched up over 70,000, which seems small, but it reaches a pretty rarefied demographic,” Carr writes.
“It’s all very lovely to behold, but of course, that’s no guarantee that [Min's Reporter] will be a great business as well,” Carr concludes. “It will be several years before we know whether the big investment in the good-looking magazine will yield pretty numbers as well.”Read More »
Update due to jetlag fatigue: At the close of the five-month mark, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids need to be added to the best 2011 films list. The others are still Win Win, Hanna, Source Code, Cedar Rapids, In A Better World, Meek’s Cutoff, Super, Applause and The Lincoln Lawyer.Read More »
When I landed yesterday I tweeted that I’d read a draft of The Descendants, the Alexander Payne-George Clooney December release, during the flight. It has this smart, up-close, well-observed quality…a family movie with a solemn meditative anchor. If it’s well-handled, I could easily see The Descendants (Fox Searchlight, 12.16) being one of the ten B.P. nominees. Seriously. Or it could just be a good film. I posted the trailer four days ago.
A 5.26 Jason Newman piece about Bradley Cooper being a “polarizing” Hollywood actor set me off on a jag. “Over the last year or so I’ve developed a small cancerous tumor because of Cooper,” I wrote on 2.24.11, “whose appearance on last June’s MTV Movie Awards proved that he’s a fizzy-souled showbiz whore.”Read More »
You are the kind of dog you have. I’m a big fan of Golden Retrievers, the love dogs. I’m also partial to Labradors and Jack Russells. It follows that any guy who owns a Cane Corso Mastif that’s been trained to kill is some kind of belligerent macho ayehole. If I had any say in the matter of this four-year-old Brooklyn boy who was killed Friday by a Mastif, the boyfriend who owned this killer dog would do serious time.Read More »
On Friday I bought two tickets to Through a Glass Darkly, the currently running theatrical adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s 1961 film with Carey Mulligan in the lead role. With my flight landing at 6:20 pm I’d hoped the tickets were for a Sunday 8 pm performance, but I learned post-purchase that they were for a 3 pm show, so I asked Jett and Dylan to go in my place.
Carey Mulligan, Ben Rosenfield in Through A Glass Darkly.
“I’ve never seen Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly so yesterday’s performance was my...Read More »
A Midwestern book publisher wrote about an old high school friend — a woman — with whom “we’re indirectly connected professionally through the Linked-In network.” He asked how I know her. I don’t know her at all, I said. “Linked In is as bad as Facebook in terms of utter meaninglessness,” I added. “I could be lying on the side of the road, bleeding to death and begging for an ambulance, and [your former high-school friend] could walk by and look at me and say to herself, ‘Wow, somebody who has the time should call an ambulance on their cell’ and then walk right on and hail a cab so she won’t be late to her Pilates class.”Read More »
I woke up this morning at 8 am Paris time (i.e, 2 am Eastern) and then woke again at 5 am, or 11 am in Paris. The wifi is working perfectly in the place I’m staying in…very nice. And it rained this morning around 6 am. No screenings today because of Memorial Day. Jesus…Memorial Day. Every time it comes around I feel listless and conflicted.
It’s been over 65 years since Americans fought and won an unambiguously “good” war. I know i’ll never stop feeling sickened by the thought of over 58,000 guys having died in the Vietnam War. And I don’t feel much pride or see a whole lot of value in the death tallies from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
So it’s a holiday about despair, really. Despair and mixed feelings and, okay, little sprigs of pride. But I hate it when someone says “he...Read More »
How much of a Bluray marketing genius do you have to be to not know that the photo of Paul Newman on the new Bluray of The Hustler is from The Young Philadelphians (’59)? And if the Fox Home Video marketing ace who chose this photo did know of its origin, why did he/she use it?
Any fan of The Hustler (’61) would spot the error in two seconds and be mildly irked by it, as I was when I bought this sucker last night at Kim’s Video. And any fan of The Young Philadelphians, a John...Read More »
The only Nazi fascist-perversion films of the ’70s that I could stand watching weren’t exploitation fare — Liliana Cavani‘s The Night Porter and Pier Paolo Pasolini‘s Salo. A couple of times I’ve felt a slight urge to see Tinto Brass‘s Salon Kitty (which is now out on Bluray) but I can’t make myself rent it. I just can’t. I keep hearing Peter O’Toole calling this Italian schlockmeister, with whom he worked on Caligula, “Tinto Zinc.”
It’s been a bit more than a year since I saw Radu Muntean‘s Tuesday, After Christmas at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. And now, at long last, it’s playing at Manhattan’s Film Forum until June 7th. It’s another one of those plain but gradually penetrating, long-take Romanian films in the tradition of Four Months, Three Weeks and Two Days and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, which I can’t get enough of.
I love the slow studied atmosphere of these films, and their very subtle pay-offs that seem to strengthen and deepen the more you think about them afterwards. They’re pretty much essential viewing, even when they’re not totally top-of-the-line.
Tuesday, After Christmas doesn’t have...Read More »
The Air France flight to JFK leaves at 4:30 this afternoon, and arrives at 6:20 pm. It’s time to get back into the stateside swing. Several LA screenings and the LA Film Festival, etc. A Super 8 press junket next weekend. I’m returning with an idea that I have to somehow find an affordable scooter that isn’t too dinky-looking. Buzzing around Paris reminded me of the necessity. Scooters are the only way to push through heavy traffic, and LA is the king of that.
I bought tickets incidetnally, to today’s performance of Carey Mulligan‘s Though A Glass Darkly in Manhattan, thinking I could just make an 8 pm curtain. Then I was told it only performs today at 3 pm, and...Read More »
Here’s a hand-held, poor-quality video of the European redband trailer for David Fincher‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. “The Feel-Bad Movie of Christmas”! Love that Zeppelin.Read More »
Roger Ebert has derided The Hangover, Part II for using perhaps the famous Vietnam War photograph ever — a capturing of a South Vietnamese military guy shooting a Vietcong guy in the head — for laughs. He called its appearance during the still-photo section at the end “a desecration.” But Ebert didn’t complain about Woody Allen‘s using the same photo for satiric purposes in Stardust Memories .
Allen’s character, a distracted film director, has a huge blowup of this photo in his living room in the film. It’s obviously a much smarter and more satiric use of the photo but it’s definitely meant to...Read More »
I’ve said two or three times that I don’t have to equate Lindsay Lohan with arrogant entitlement attitudes and self-destruction and drugs, etc. It was clear in Prairie Home Companion that she’s got that X-factor sparked, and it’s easy to believe that she leads a passionate life in all respects. She’s defintely interesting to stare at and contemplate. But until she does something besides go to court and listen to admonishments from judges then I don’t know what.
This video is supposed to invoke Brigitte Bardot and/or Liv Ullman. I would buy LiLo in a remake of Jean-Luc Godard‘s Contempt. I would buy her in a lot of things. She might yet have a chance to act in good films. But now and for the rest of...Read More »
It suddenly turned cool yesterday. Late May into early to mid October. Jackets, sweaters, scarves. I was hoping that those dark clouds might lead to something because when Paris lets go with a good rainstorm things can get very torrential.
Good clouds facing sixth-floor loft at 9 rue Gassendi — Friday, 5.27, 4:10 pm.
There’s excellent wifi throughout the entire underground Paris metro system.
Joseph Gordon Levitt‘s 50/50 character has cancer, which means if he gets into the usual chemo and radiation he’ll be losing his hair. So…he decides to get a Full Metal Jacket Parris Island buzzcut so he won’t have to deal with it falling out in strands and clumps? I admire the brashness behind making a film with this kind of story, but this bit feels like a resignation.
It seems a fairly safe bet that 50/50 not My Life with Michael Keaton.
The pre-trailer intro explains that the story is based somewhat on the experiences of screenwriter Will Reiser (i.e., the little guy standing between costar-producer Seth Rogen and John Candy-sized...Read More »
For me the funniest part of Todd Phillips‘ The Hangover was the photo sequence at the very end. That’s because it (a) revealed what had specifically gone down during the blind-drunk debauchery in Las Vegas, which looked funny, and (b) let us imagine the minute-to-minute action that happened before and after the snapping of each still. Nothing the movie depicted could match our imaginations in this regard.
It’s the exact same deal with The Hangover, Part II, which I saw this evening at the Pathe Wepler at Place Clichy. The insanity-depicting series of photos at the very end are way funnier than anything in the film itself. Except that’s damnation with faint praise because none of the acted-out material in this Godforsaken sequel is funny. Nothing. I sat there like a tombstone through the whole thing. But the...Read More »
A few days ago several fanboy bloggers were shown JJ Abrams‘ Super 8 (Paramount, 6.10) and allowed to tweet their reactions. With this many cats out of the bag I guess I can say I’ve seen it too. An “almost there” version, I should add. I signed a non-disclosure form but surely at this stage I can say two brief things: (a) tonally it’s definitely a ’70s Spielberg trip through and through (although that was obvious in the first teaser), and (b) Elle Fanning, who turned 13 last month, is a real movie star.
Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney in JJ Abrams’ Super 8...
Kenneth Turan and Marshall Fine‘s dismissal of Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, despite almost everyone falling for it in Cannes and a very strong 85% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating, tells me it may not figure that strongly in the Best Picture race.
And so what, right? Malick has never made an “Academy film,” and Life is probably, as Turan complains, too “opaque” for mainstreamers. It’ll be their loss at the end of the day. History will not look kindly. “Meh” was the farthest thing from my mind as I watched the first 40 minutes’ worth, and yet I knew, deep down, that the lack of a narrative through-line would be a stopper for more than a...Read More »
According to Variety‘s Justin Kroll, Michael Mann will probably/eventually direct Go Like Hell, a period race-car film about Lee Iacocca and Carroll Shelby‘s successful attempt to beat the Ferrari team at Le Mans in 1966. Brad Pitt is reportedly interested in starring but is as yet uncommitted; if he does it I’m presuming he’ll play Shelby.
If it happens Go Like Hell will be the second expensive French race-track movie from a major American director, the first being John Frankenheimer‘s Grand Prix (’66), which I caught for the first time on DVD a couple of years ago. It feels a little bit bloated at 179 minutes but it isn’t half bad. In fact, it would...Read More »