Worthless

I just bought this the other day. Excellent visual and sound values for a 1960 film. But they should have called this western semi-classic The Magnificent Six. Because Robert Vaughn‘s aloof, relentlessly self-regarding gunslinger does nothing throughout the entire film. He talks incessantly about his issues and how he has to prove he’s still got it. But does he even shoot his weapon? He pulls it out, yes, but does he fire? At anyone or anything?

Vegas Layover

Hollywood Elsewhere is currently sitting in Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport, waiting for a 3:05 pm flight to Albuquerque. Expecting a four-hour drive (6 pm to 10 pm) from AB to Durango, Colorado.


I understand Jack Daniels & ginger ale. I understand vodka and grapefruit juice. I understand boilermarkers. I even understand mixing clam and tomato juice. But beer and clamato? Who would even sample this, much less buy it?

The first thing you see in Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport every time you get off a Southwest flight from LAX/Burbank…every time.

Straight From Shoulder

A friend has asked for a quote about the apparent sleeper-hit status of Gavin O’Connor‘s Warrior (Lionsgate, 9.9), and specifically about whether it’ll be getting any award-season action. “Not a chance in the world for Oscar impact,” I answered. “Forget it. It’s a good film, but not that kind of film.

“It’s an emotionally rousing MMA sports flick, very intensely acted and atmospherically believable as far as it goes, but it’s very calculated. You can see and feel the buttons being pushed and the levers being cranked. It’s Gavin O’Connor making another Gavin O’Connor movie. A good one, yes, but straight off the assembly line. Not that there’s anything wrong with...

THR’s Feinberg: Telluride, Ho!

Hotshot Connecticut-based columnist Scott Feinberg has just signed on with The Hollywood Reporter to provide awards-season coverage. His deal was only cut a couple of days ago because Feinberg was scrambling yesterday to figure out flights to the Telluride Film Festival. Wait until 72 hours before the start of an influential, very-hard-to-get-to film festival in a remote Rocky Mountain hamlet to buy the pass and get it together? Spend top dollar to arrange transportation and lodging at the very last minute? Only way to roll.

Very Good, No Oscar Cigar

Reviewing from the Venice Film Festival, The Playlist‘s Oliver Lyttleton has given George Clooney‘s The Ides of March a solid B. “We had a blast,” he says. “It’s not as accomplished and impassioned as Good Night and Good Luck, but unlike Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, it’s tonally assured, and unlike Leatherheads, it’s, well, watchable. Very watchable in fact.

“Whether wider audiences enjoy it as much [as I did] remains to be seen. We’re fairly sure that its early annointment as an Oscar front-runner will disappear quickly , but it at least happily confirms that Clooney-the-director is here to...

Gang’s All Here

“There’s no Scarface 2, no part three, none of that with this picture. There’s just Scarface. And I think there’s something to that.” — Al Pacino during last night’s Scarface Bluray event at L.A.’s Belasco theatre (1050 So. Hill Street).

Why does Michelle Pfeiffer never take part in these tributes? She never records commentary tracks or is interviewed in any looking-back video essays…nothing. Her performance as the snotty trophy wife Elvira wasn’t Lysistrata-level, but...

Scarface Bluray At Last

The Scarface Bluray (Universal Home Video, 9.6) is edge-enhanced, all right, but it’s a better-looking home video rendering than I’ve ever seen before. Sharper, more vibrant, more detailed. Yes, it looks like two-thirds celluloid and one-third video game. Okay, maybe 75-25. But that, to me, is mostly okay, because it really looks good.

Particularly the well-lit outdoor scenes. Plus the hair texture and beard follicles. The sweat beads on Pacino’s face during the Little Havana dishwash scene. The shimmer of Michelle Pfeiffer‘s dress in the first nightclub scene. But the darker scenes inside Lopez Motors and the Havana Club? Not so much. And if you put your face...

In & Out

Similar to Joel Schumacher‘s Trespass, that Nic Cage-Nicole Kidman hostage thriller, Michael Brandt‘s The Double — an espionage thriller starring Richard Gere and Topher Grace — is another another nearly-straight-to-DVD release. It’s opening in roughly 100 theaters nationwide on 9.23 before hitting disc. Image Entertainment is distributing.

The Color Yellow

Jim Field Smith‘s Butter will play the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, of course, but you never know if it’ll appear somewhere else first. I’ve been avoiding reading about it, to be honest. I mean, a little-girl orphan in Iowa (Yara Shahidi) with a natural butter-carving talent entering an annual butter-carving competition? Going up against the ambitious wife (Jennifer Garner) of the reigning champion (Ty Burrell)?

I know we’re not supposed to judge a movie by its synopsis, but still…

“Oh, Are They?”

I was going to embed A.O. Scott‘s Critics Picks’ essay about Nicholas Ray’s In A Lonely Place, but the N.Y. Times tech guys, as usual, haven’t posted this video on YouTube yet. So the hell with it. Instead, in honor of the forthcoming Criterion Bluray of Wes Anderson‘s Rushmore, here’s Scott’s essay about that, posted two years and two months ago.

New “Greedo Shoots First”?

I only suffered once through Return of the Jedi (although I’ve watched pieces of it since on laser disc and DVD), but I remember the finale pretty clearly, and I’ll bet at least $1000 that the version I saw at Loew’s Astor Plaza in June 1983 didn’t have Darth Vader going “noooo!…no!” when the Emperor is zapping Luke at the climax.

I haven’t seen the forthcoming Jedi Bluray, and for all I know the clip below (a portion of the original mixed with an alleged audio recording from the Bluray Jedi ) is a phony. So let’s hold off for now. But if the Bluray does have the “noooo!,” watch out.

“It’s hard to believe this because Vader crying ‘Noooo!’ was one of the most widely derided aspects of Revenge of the...

Nice To Meetcha

“My name is Molly” was first spoken in a good film by a cool actor (i.e., Joe Don Baker) in the legendary Charley Varrick (’73). The line returns in this scene between Ryan Gosling and whatsername…Evan Rachel Wood in George Clooney‘s The Ides of March.

No, I don’t think anyone had this in mind when the line was written or when this scene was shot. But the instant I heard Wood say it, I immediately thought of Charley Varrick . Right away, less than second…wham.

The Ides of March will have its world premiere at the Venice Film...

Why Now?

Not to sound like what I’m sounding like, but why wasn’t this uploaded and passed around before X-Men: First Class came out?

Flying Red Sonjas (NSFW)

This Danish TV spot for Fleggaard was uploaded last January, and actually dates back to spring 2010. Fleggaard is a kind of Danish Costco. (Although the stores are located just across the German border.) For all I know everyone has seen this thing except me. I was a virgin until today.

Good on Brolin

Deadline is reporting that Josh Brolin will star in Spike Lee‘s Oldboy, a remake of Park Chan-wook‘s 2003 cult thriller. The script (which I wouldn’t mind reading if anyone has a PDF lying around) is by Mark Protosevich. Pic will roll in March or seven months’ hence. Brolin’s next gig is Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. Then comes Oldboy followed by a June lensing of Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day, costarring Kate Winslet. Let’s ignore the fact that Brolin is in Men in Black 3 — nobody wants to think about that.

Visitors With Cameras

Albert BrooksReal Life “hammers on a conundrum ducked by most documentaries, An American Family included: no matter how unobtrusive a filmmaker tries to be, his subject is still likely to react to the cameras by subtly altering his behavior, thereby making existence into a kind of performance, infusing life with fiction’s DNA and creating a hybrid monster that’s at once real and unreal.” — from a “Press Play” essay on this 1979 film by Robert Nishimura and Matt Zoller Seitz.

Mystery of Miss Bala

Update: Variety‘s Gregg Goldstein covertly reported on 8.23 (i.e., behind Variety‘s paywall) that Fox Int’l is working with David Dinerstein‘s D2 Films to give Gerardo Naranjo‘s Miss Bala a limited domestic release starting on 10.14, along with another Fox International production, The Yellow Sea. Indiewire also ran a story.

“News of both pics comes three months after Fox announced its Fox World Cinema label, designed to capitalize on...