Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A new look for Shakespeare?

I’m going to start by saying that I have yet to see any adaptation of Macbeth, but I hear that it is a savagely good story and so I’m really anxious to get my hands on something, anything, at this point.  Any suggestions as to which version to check out first would be appreciated.  That out of the way, I’m sure most of you have heard this by now, but new casting news has broken and I’m actually excited about this even more.

Ten reasons that Naomi Watts is better than Nicole Kidman…

LOL, I love me some Kidman, but this seemed appropriate and bit a fun.  This is one of the posts inspired by my recent viewing of ‘The Impossible’, but it is also inspired by the obvious rivalry that will spurn between the two actresses this year as their films are released for Oscar support.  They are both playing Princesses in biopics this year, and they are both going to be heavily campaigned for the Oscar.  At the moment, I’m not predicting either of them for a nomination, but there is no denying that they’ll be at least considered for the race, that is until their films are released to underwhelming reviews and even then, they are big enough stars to generate support regardless.  The fact that these two were at one time inseparable only makes this comparison all the more fun.

And for the record, this is meant to be cheeky fun and yet, I am totally Team Watts.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fisti Awards Update...

The 1992 Fisti Awards are underway.  I've got the first three big awards up for viewing over on the 90's Fisti page.  Best Picture, Director and Film Editing are the three posted.  Feel free to comment here on what you think!  What did I get right or wrong?  What films make up your top 5?  Who did I snub?  I'll have more up soon.  I'll be trying to finish the year off this week, but I can't promise it.

Fuck you; I'm crying!

That is directed at the Academy.  No, I’m not here to say that ‘The Impossible’ is the best film of 2012, but I’m here to question why on Earth it didn’t rack up a hundred Oscar nominations last year.  I mean, this film was TAILOR MADE FOR OSCARS!  Yes, it seems that the Academy has been purposefully steering away from films that are made in the typical Oscar vein as of recently, unless your film’s name is ‘Lincoln’ and you wind up nominated for ten Oscars too many (and then get snubbed for the most obvious one, Makeup).  Still, having finally seen the film I have to say that it is a technical marvel and it really should have been recognized in more than one category.

So, this starts a special week of ‘The Impossible’ inspired posts this week.  Yes, I’ll be posting more than just those posts, but I have three specific posts inspired by the film that will be coming this week (this is one of them) and possibly more so keep watch.

Friday, April 26, 2013

My DVR is ready...

I used to not have any embarrassment in saying that I didn’t watch television.  Sure, I watch the occasional reality show (that’s a tad embarrassing) but I have such a hard time getting into a television show enough to devote every week to it.  I did that with The Sopranos and the first season of Glee and Mad Men.  Outside of that, I just haven’t done it.  Like I said, I didn’t used to be embarrassed about this fact.  Now I am.  My friends have criticized me to the point of making me ashamed of my lack of Emmy contender knowledge.  No, I’ve never seen an episode of My Name is Earl.  I don’t have Showtime.  I didn’t see that HBO ‘Mildred Pierce’ tele-movie despite my obsession with Kate Winslet.  I just don’t watch TV.

Yes, it is no surprise to those who know me that I find ‘L.A. Confidential’ to be one of the finest films of the 90’s and one of the greatest film noirs of all time, not to mention one of the greatest film adaptations EVER, and one of the best ensembles ever put to film and, well, it’s just amazing.  Word on the street is that author James Ellroy is shopping around the idea of making a sequel the events of the film for a television show!  Now, personally I would love for this to be a film and reunite Crowe, Basinger and Pearce but I’ll take what I can get.  This certainly sounds like a much better idea than that ‘Scream’ television show that MTV just greenlit (seriously, and I think the 1996 film was a masterpiece but this is just all sorts of ridiculous).  

Sexy superheros and washed up treasure hunters: or two projects I'm super excited about!

Ok, so a few weeks ago I lamented over the career choices of Scarlett Johansson, one of my favorite actresses of the early aughts, but an actress who I've found to be slipping through the cracks so-to-speak.  It's like the industry forgot about her talent.  Well, despite my concerns about her choosing projects that exploit her curves, I heard some news this morning that has me really excited.  While I await ScarJo playing a sexy alien in Glazer's next film 'Under the Skin', we get to wait even longer to see Scarlett play a sexy superhero in...a film by Luc Besson?  Yup, forget another Marvel film (she's also doing two more of those), Scarlett has been chosen by visionary action director Besson to star in his next film, 'Lucy'.  In the film, Scarlett plays a young woman who is forced to work as a drug mule and winds up contracting super powers from it.  I know, it sounds totally bizarre and yet it also sounds really, really cool.  Besson has a scattered filmography, and yet he has directed some action staples.  If this is half as awesome as 'La Femme Nikita' then this could be a BIG deal for Johansson.

But there's more!  Another actor who I obsess over but who has all but fallen away from film in recent years is Jude Law.  In the early aughts, he was my acting obsession (alongside Peter Sarsgaard, who is also in need of a career intervention).  From 'A.I.' to 'Cold Mountain' to 'I Heart Huckabees' I was in love.  He could do no wrong, and then he got over-exposed and soon he was regurgitating half-assed performances and became a forgettable presence.  Then last year he delivered a nuanced and heartbreaking performance in 'Anna Karenina' and it seemed like a more mature and more layered actor was returning to us.

So, news broke that he'll be starring in Kevin Macdonald's new film 'Black Sea'.  The film features Law as a retired submarine captain who roped into a scheme involving a sunken sub and buried treasure.  Macdonald doesn't inspire as much confidence as Besson does, since he really hasn't evolved as a director yet.  Being a documentary filmmaker by trade, Macdonald has only made three films, and while 'State of Play' was a taught thriller and 'Last King of Scotland' won an Oscar (for the wrong actor), his style as a filmmaker isn't as pronounced as Besson.  Still, this sounds intriguing, and Law is seriously talented so I'm really excited to see where he takes this.

Needless to say, I'm excited.  These are two actors I'd love to see featured more prominently   They deserve better careers, and maybe this is a step in the right direction for the two of them.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Visual Reviews: or my take on the works of David Fincher

I’ve had a lot of fun looking at both P.T. Anderson and Aronofsky’s filmographies through still images, and with some persuasion (it didn’t take much) I decided to take a swing at another director; one of my personal favorites.  Yes, the problem with this particular series is that I require myself to have seen everything in a director’s filmography in order to do a complete review of their work.  Truth be told, there are a lot of directors that I love and yet am missing one or two of their films in order to do a complete list (do I really need to watch ‘The Soloist’ so that I can review Joe Wright’s career?).  The other issue is that some directors (like Coppola and Malick) who I have otherwise seen all their work have films being released this year and so I feel like I should wait until I see those before doing this.  David Fincher is a director who I actually have seen everything from, and he doesn’t have anything scheduled for this year so he’s fair game.


So, I’m not saying that Fincher’s career is perfect.  In fact, he’s had a few flops and some otherwise pedestrian films, but his visual prowess is always enticing, and even when his material is rather bland or even stupid, he manages to bring something special to the proceedings.

So, here are my visual reviews of Fincher’s filmography.  I hope you enjoy.

Check out my bling!

It's not secret that one of my most anticipated films of 2013 is Sophia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'.  I'm a huge fan of Coppola's work ('Lost in Translation' being one of my favorite films of all time) and I love the way she can insert so much honesty and blunt truth in her depictions of wayward youth and fluttering adolescence.  The topical subject of the 'Hollywood Robberies' is a great place for Coppola to flash her muscle.  The teaser looked great, but this full on trailer looks sensational.

Now, I've been a throwing all my support in the direction of this film, and have declared it my wild card pick with Oscar.  As you saw last week, I predicted it to snag nominations in Picture, Screenplay, Editing and Cinematography.  Earlier this year, when I thought that Emma Watson was the star of the film, I had her pegged as the newbie in the Lead Actress race.  Since then it became clear by those who read the script and those who saw the film (and even Watson herself) that she is NOT the lead but a mere supporting character. I took her out of my predictions at that point, but after seeing this trailer I'm wondering if she won't actually factor into the Supporting race this year.  She simply NAILS her take on Alexis Neiers, and she is really peeking at the right time.  She could certainly be one that the critics rally behind to get her a nomination.  Remember her surprising wins last year for 'Perks of Being a Wallflower'?  

She's coming to get you!
As a side note, Alexis Neiers has taken to Twitter with her thoughts on the film (apparently she's not planning on seeing the movie) and taken to her blog to explain her hopes for the film.  It's an interesting read and take on her own actions, and despite the obvious marketing of the film, I have no doubt that Sophia is taking the route Neiers hopes she will.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Judy Davis!

Cheers, bitches

Judy Davis turns 58 today!  I find it kind of ironic that she winds up having a birthday today, and I’m finishing up my 1992 Fisti Awards and she happens to be in contention for a win in the Supporting Actress category.  I’ve been mulling over that particular category because nailing down my winner is very, very difficult.  I have three actresses out in front and any one of them would be a worthy winner, but there can only be one (I’m very picky about the idea of a tie). 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Could we be looking at our Original Song Oscar winner?

Probably not, but this is pretty amazing.  I've been a fan of Lana Del Rey for a while now, and was really excited when I heard she was going to be appearing on 'The Great Gatsby' soundtrack.  This is beyond my expectations.  I have no clue if this is eligible (watch it be revealed that this was originally written for 'Australia' or something) but the lyrics are perfectly suited for the source materially, and it has this aching theatricality that just screams BAZ LURHMANN!  I'm so stoked for this film.  I love Lurhmann and I love the book (not to mention most of the cast) and this beautifully dramatic piece only gets me more and more excited.  Last year at this time no one in their right mind would have linked Oscar to 'Skyfall', so maybe 'Young and Beautiful' has a serious shot at the Oscar.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 5)

It is the final day of our special Oscar predictions week!  I hope that you guys have enjoyed Josh and my dual postings.  It’s been great collaborating with Josh.  I hope to do it again!  For the last day we’re looking at two categories that are pretty hard to put a finger on this far in advance.  No, we’re not going to bother with documentaries or short films.  I’m talking about Foreign Film and Animated Feature.

As with the last few says, I’ll be posting Josh’s summarized predictions and thoughts, but please visit his blog for more of his thoughts.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

You can't stop what's coming...

It may not be much, but it's something.  I'm still confident in this being the Oscar frontrunner, so any news is good news at this stage in the game.  Apparently, the trailer is hitting really soon.  I can't wait for this.  Early ink on the footage released CinemaCon is good.

Surprisingly, one of the films getting the most buzz right out of CinemaCon is 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty'.  In all honesty, I had no idea what this film was until I read that it was getting a slew of good ink.  This is a Ben Stiller film (directed and starred) and so I'm wondering just how legitimate these 'Oscar potential' comments are, but apparently the twitterverse has taken to proclaiming this film 'one to watch'.  It's being likened to 'Life of Pi', and while I'm not a fan of that film in particular, there is no denying that those visuals are unforgettable, so maybe this will be a surprise Visual Effects contender.  In reading the synopsis over at IMDB, I can't help but get a 'Stranger than Fiction' vibe from this, but maybe I'm wrong.

In some random movie news, the latest poster for Winding Refn's 'Only God Forgives' is out, and it looks amazing!

Why can't all poster designs be this clever?  I mean, this is some really exciting stuff, completely in tune with the atmospheric vibe of the trailer and yet it even draws some comparison to the advertisements for 'Drive' (the brightness, the color).  This poster just solidifies my absolute anticipation for this upcoming film.  I cannot wait for this!

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 4)

Today is all about the sound categories.  Predicting these is always a gamble this early out, and to be honest they are pretty much a gamble the night before the nominations are announced.  These branches can be really flighty, especially when it comes to score and song.  Who knows what will be embraced, and this early out predicting songs and scores without knowing who is composing and how integral they’ll be to the actual films can be ridiculous, but we have to start somewhere.

As with the past three days, I’ll be posting my own breakdown as well as Josh’s picks, but please visit Josh’s blog for more of his take on these races.

Let’s get it on!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 3)

Today, Josh and I will be taking a look at the visual categories for this year’s Oscar race.  You can catch my breakdown below.  I’m also listed Josh’s picks in each category, but please jump over to his blog in order to see his complete breakdown.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 2)

Today, Josh and I are tackling the acting categories.  These are notoriously my favorite aspect of the race and so debating them is of all the fun for me.  Yes, I understand that there are many facets of movie making, and following the Oscar’s every year for the past decade has helped me to understand that more fully, but I always gravitate towards the acting categories.  It is the aspect of film I have the most fun debating and discussing and actors in general make me happy.

Dissecting the races here can be difficult because the categories really develop over the course of the year and while shocks aren’t always common, they do happen and so pinpointing where the race will go is difficult until the year progresses further.

Alas, let’s get into this!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oscar Predictions: April Edition (Part 1)

So Josh (over at The Cinematic Spectacle) and I have decided to join forces this year for our initial Oscar predictions (and who knows, maybe for some updates as well) and present to you a dual post.  Its way early in the year, but films keep being discussed and the show must go on, so why not take a dive into the Oscar race for 2013!  We’re splitting the categories up this week, so be sure to check in each day for some ink on more categories.  You can jump over to Josh’s page to see more on his personal thoughts on each category, but I’ll also be paraphrasing his thoughts and posting his personal predictions below. 

For today, we’re going to jump into some big categories; Best Picture, Director, Adapted and Original Screenplay.  It kind of seems appropriate to start there, since really those categories are going to form the foundation for the rest of our predictions.  It goes without saying that the films with Best Picture nominations are going to fare better in other categories. 

So let’s dive right in.  I’m going to put this out there up front; I ramble a lot, but this is the first predictions of the year and there are so many questionmarks that not speculating everything seems bizarre to me.  In fact, there are still a slew of films I failed to give enough consideration to, and I’m sure that come November we’ll all be singing a different tune.  I eventually just had to stop myself from overthinking the whole thing and just STOP CHANGING MY PREDICTIONS.  Truth be told, I already want to change what you’re about to read.

Alas, I’m not going to (until next month, right?).

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jonathan Winters kicks the bucket...

I debated whether or not this was appropriate or tacky and then I realized that Winters himself would probably laugh at the irony, so I decided to go with it.  He was a legend, a true comedic genius, and this was the very first film of his I saw, and one of my all time favorites!  This year is early yet, and we've already lost some truly iconic cinematic presences.  Winters will truly be missed, but he leaves behind a remarkable legacy.  What is your favorite Winter's performance?  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I dreamed a dream and it was hilarious!

Leave it to me to keep the Les Mis talk alive, but I couldn't help it.  I saw this tagged on Russell Crowe's Twitter today and I just had to post it here.  The entire story told through song, Will.i.am's song.  EPIC!

A Closer Look: 1992 Supporting Actor

I’ve been wanting to revive this series, since it’s so much fun to compose, but as fun as it is it is also time consuming and so I don’t get around to doing it all that often.  With my finally wrapping up the 1992 Fisti Awards (coming to you in a few weeks) I was able to contain my thoughts on the 1992 acting races and I figured that would be as good a place as any to pick back up.  So, let’s get into Supporting Actor!

The nominees were:

Jaye Davidson/The Crying Game

Gene Hackman/Unforgiven

Jack Nicholson/A Few Good Men

Al Pacino/Glengarry Glen Ross

David Paymer/Mr. Saturday Night

Poster Break: The Bling Ring

Never thought I'd say this, but thank you Perez Hilton for posting the teaser poster for Coppola's upcoming 'The Bling Ring'.  It's no surprise to my readers that I am highly anticipating this film.  I absolutely love the director and cannot wait to see what she does with this cast and the material.  Am I weird for thinking that this could be the more accessible and commercial 'Spring Breakers'?  Yes, I know that the subject matter isn't a complete match-up  but the themes presented seem to carry a similar weight, which is why I'm throwing caution to the wind with my predictions for this film's Oscar chances.  With the buzz and popularity of a film that has not a single shot at anything Oscar (although I will not be surprised to see Franco nab a few critics awards), I think that 'The Bling Ring' could be a happy alternative for the more reserved members of the Academy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Shoot me now…

Such a punchable face...

LOL, I keep talking about this dumb movie, but all the hoopla is certainly entertaining.  Looks like Natalie Portman has a new husband, and his name is Noah Emmerich.  Yes, the ever changing roster of actors for the doomed western known as ‘Jane Got A Gun’ has just added Emmerich to the list in the role of Portman’s husband.  Well, I thought that Cooper was the worst thing to happen to this project, now we have this monstrosity.  I fucking hate this guy.  I try to avoid his movies, but when I have to see him in action my eyes bleed.  He’s just the definition of awful in every role he gets.  He doesn’t understand shading of any sort.  He’s either an emotionless void or a clichéd drama-queen.  There are few actors I want to punch in the face just for walking into a scene, and he’s one of them.  So now this film has officially lost my interest.  I mean, Edgerton is going to have to completely wow the shit out of me in ‘The Great Gatsby’ to get my ass in this seat.  If then skimp on Edgerton time like they did in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (he gets top billing of sorts and yet only appears in the last thirty minutes and has like two speaking lines) then this movie will officially suck. 

LOL, who am I kidding; after dedicating like six posts to this train wreck in the making, there’s no way I’m not seeing this opening night.

Trailer Break: Elysium

So, this broke yesterday but YouTube wouldn't let me upload it here so I figured I'd wait a day.  What are your thoughts on this?  I'm excited for it.  I loved 'District 9' more than I initially expected (not perfect, but clever and fun), and while this looks to be visually impressive, the more I watch it the less impressed I am.  When I first saw the international trailer I was intrigued, but this English version changes things a little for me. I can now read the title cards and it all seems very generic.  Like, isn't think how all sci-fi films tend to go?  Still, the visuals look great (this year is going to be insane in this category).  I'm hoping that this will flip the generic for a more insightful take like 'District 9' happened to.  Bloomkamp has a nice visual aesthetic and he certainly has a great feel for the material, so I'm hopeful despite the reservations raised by the trailer.

Anyone else find it kind of hilarious that Sharlto Copley still gets shafted from a title card despite being the film's primary villain and single-handedly spearheading 'District 9' and garnering excellent reviews and even some awards traction for the performance?

Am I the only one happy we’ll be seeing more of Anne Hathaway?

Ok, so I know that her public persona has been run through the mud with her awkward yet merciless campaigning for that Oscar last year, but it was a very well deserved win, so how can you begrudge her?  I mean, she not only nailed one but TWO Oscar worthy roles last year, both polar opposites of one another, and then sailed through the televised (and a lot of critics) awards all the way to winning top honors at the Oscars.  Sure, her speeches were far too rehearsed, semi-self-indulgent and bordered on obnoxious for the most part, but they were entertaining to say the least. 

I’m sorry, but I’m not one of those people to generally care about an actor’s public persona.  Honestly, it’s all about the work.  Who cares what you act like in real life when you deliver that wonderfully in front of the camera.  I don’t dislike Melissa Leo because she’s a train wreck in person and shamelessly campaigned for her Oscar back in 2010; I dislike her because she did all that when she DIDN'T DELIVER A GREAT PERFORMANCE.

So let Hathaway talk endlessly about how the role of Fantine was so important to her because of her mother’s connection to it and how she loves her husband so much and how she had to dig so deep into this part that she nearly killed him with cruelty and how she lost all that weight and lost all her hair and yet it was so worth it for the art and the live singing and WHO CARES WHAT SHE SAYS BECAUSE SHE WAS AMAZING IN THE MOVIE!!!!

Seriously people, get over it.

I’ve wanted to get that off my chest for a while now, and it seemed like the perfect time to get into it since news has broken that she has possibly landed a role in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar.  I don’t know a whole lot about this project, to be honest, but it’s Nolan and apparently sci-fi and if Hathaway is there then I’m in.  Sadly, McConaughey is there too, and I’m just not ready for another year of seeing his face, but I’ll deal with it for a film that I’m sure will be up to par.  The synopsis from IMDB is interesting (an exploration of gravity fields, wormholes, ect.) so I’m interested to see how this pans out.  I’m sure it’ll at least be a visual mind trip, but if it’s anything like Nolan’s last non-Batman venture, it’ll be an EVENT.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Oh where oh where have you been…?

Then you saw me, now you don't...

Brilliant debut...
Todd Field.  That name makes me happy.  Back in 2006 that name made me ecstatic.  ‘In the Bedroom’ was resting comfortably at my #2 spot of films of the DECADE (still there) and I had just finished gulping down ‘Little Children’, Tom Perrotta’s tragi-comic novel and was patiently awaiting (not so patient to be honest) Field’s film adaptation starring Kate Winslet, my favorite actress at the time.  Needless to repeat; Todd Field’s name made me happy.  ‘Little Children’ may not have been the masterpiece I wanted it to be, but it was VERY good and proved that Field wasn’t a one-trick pony.  He provided the decades finest use of narration (never has that gimmick felt to necessary and essential to the progression of the film itself) and he really used his actors to perfection.  He also took the same deft approach to grit and character development but was able to add a layer of gloss that made the film feel like a departure for him.

Since 2006 he’s done nothing.

Cooper grabs his gun...

"You said I aim straight at your movie and pull the trigger?"

I know that he has an Oscar nomination, but Bradley Cooper seems like such a step down from Michael Fassbender and Jude Law.  Sure, it’s not like Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal would be that much of an improvement on Cooper, but still.  Why is this guy so hot right now?  Alas, he’s the new villain in ‘Jane Got a Gone’, that doomed western that is still suffering the backlash of a thousand departures.  I was following this hot mess for a week or two before I decided not to care anymore, but here we are again wondering just how awful this is going to be.  Nothing about this movie outside of Edgerton evokes any confidence in me.  Not like I was all that stoked about Ramsay directing this (since I’ve only seen ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ from her filmography and that wasn’t all that wonderful) but she has a very distinct point of view, which I think could have served this genre well (something different, something new), and while I really liked ‘Warrior’, it’s not like O’Connor’s directorial style is all that compelling.  It’s kind of generic.  When this had Jude Law and Fassbender attached I was intrigued, but all of the fill-ins here are just so bland.  Still, it keeps popping up all over the place, so I’m at least reminded of how interested I am in seeing this film I’m otherwise so uninterested in.

Trailer Break x’s 4!

I was initially just going to post the new trailer for Asghar Farhadi’s (the director of 2011’s ‘A Separation’) ‘The Past’ but then I just kept finding more trailers I felt I needed to post here.  I mean, these are some big ticket films for this year so it’s only appropriate we take a crack at the images presented to us.

I’ll start with ‘The Past’ (for some reason I can't post the actual video here, but click the link for the YouTube page) since that’s what I wanted to talk about this morning.  I’ve been really anticipating this ever since seeing ‘A Separation’.  His last film was so entrancing and organic and beautifully devastating.  I have no idea what is going on in this trailer since there are no subtitles but the synopsis from IMDB helps clear up some  of the sequences going on here.  From a purely subjective point of view, I’m all for this.  As I mentioned, Farhadi’s last effort was a masterpiece of sorts and I really cannot wait to see how he develops this material.  The feel of the trailer is very much like the feel of that film.  The cast inspires a lot of confidence in me as well.  I’m still bummed that Cotillard had to pass on this, since she’s currently my favorite working actress (I’m sorry Kate) and I just want to see her in everything.  That said, I loved what Berenice Bejo did in ‘The Artist’ and so I can’t begrudge her this role.  Besides, it’s a great career move for her, taking on something with more heft and weight than just going for another comedic role.  Tahar Rahim was exceptional in ‘A Prophet’ (Fisti nominee) and he looks remarkable here as well.  All in all, I’m really excited for this one.  It could certainly play into this years Foreign Film Oscar race.

Belated birthday wishes to God…

Yes, I'm 'feeling' the beard

So, with the birthday top tens for Fassbender and Caine I totally forgot about my cinematic crush Russell Crowe (a.k.a. God), who turned 49 yesterday.  Even pushing 50, this man is ridiculously handsome.  Ever since seeing him command an army in 2000, I’ve been hooked and he hasn’t yet been unseated from his place at the top of my cinematic heart.  Sure, he’s had his rough patches over the years, as has almost every other talented thespian, but his range and undeniable dedication to his craft continue to make him a relevant face in the world of movies.  Back in June of last year, on a high from the prospect of him taking the movie world by storm with ‘Les Miserables’, I posted a top ten (much like Ruth has done yesterday) and some notes on his career so far.  I wanted to take a quick minute (been meaning to do this anyways) and note on his performances in his two films from 2012.

Friday, April 5, 2013

5 for the Fifth: or, my personal answers to Ruth's five questions of the month

I wanted to participate in Flixchatter’s ‘5 for the Fifth’ for some time now, but I keep getting preoccupied and next thing I know it’s the sixth.  Today just felt like the perfect time to participate, and so I hope Ruth approves of my taking the initiative to turn my answers into an actual post and not a mere comment on her page.  You can reference her post at the above link, and please leave her a comment with your answers.

In remembrance of one of the greats, she opened her post with a question regarding Roger Ebert.  His passing yesterday was a shock in a way, but sadly it was something we should have been expecting for a while now.  His condition had been steadily getting worse, and while it is tragic to lose such a profound voice in the world of cinema, I am comforted (and I’m sure many others are as well) to know that he will no longer suffer as he has been for so long.

Ruth’s question was as follows:

What’s your fondest memory of Mr. Ebert?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

R.I.P. to a true Legend...

You'll be missed...

Trailer Break: Only God Forgives

'Drive' is the only film from 2011 that continues to grow and grow in my personal appreciation.  It was an outstandingly deep and multifaceted film that understood the importance of subtle shifts and the great melding of style and substance.  Judging from this trailer, 'Drive' was no fluke.  Gosling and Winding Refn look in top form, and Kristen Scott Thomas is a total bombshell here!  I love that the trailer gives nearly nothing away.  We gather that presumably Scott Thomas is Gosling's mother.  Then we see Asian gangs and fighting and Gosling's beat up face (that we remember from the teaser poster below).

I can't wait to see this movie, and I hope it is as intense, gripping and complex as 'Drive' was.  I assume it will be, but assumptions aren't always the best bet.  Still, I'm all in for this one.  The atmosphere here is ridiculous; the trailer is practically dripping wet with intensity, and the cinematography is outstanding!  It is one of my most anticipated of the year, and the fact that it's basically Gosling's swan song for the time being, I can't wait to see him go out with a bang!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scarlett Fever: a look at how having boobs can sink your career (and you thought those things could float)

I love how for the longest time there was this stigma around Superhero Movies, as if starring in one made you less of an actor.  You weren’t taken seriously, because the movies themselves were mostly regarded as mindless trash with no merit outside of some cool effects and an unabashed good time.  You couldn’t become a star by pursuing those types of roles and then be taken seriously as a true thespian.  What I love more than that fact is that we now live in a world where The Joker has an Oscar for being, well, The Joker, Batman has an Oscar for playing a drug addict and Iron Man is two-time Oscar nominee.  Yes, Superhero Movies aren’t all fun and games anymore.  This isn’t the land of rubber nipples and cheesy one-liners (ok, the one-liners are still there), but this is a more realistic and acceptable world.  I guess it’s safe to say that Superhero Movies aren’t just for kids anymore.

I mean, look at the roster for last years The Avengers.  Can you count the Oscar nominees/winners?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finding Dory?

So, this isn’t entirely new news.  In fact, the idea of a ‘Finding Nemo’ sequel has been circling the web for over a year and it has been met with much speculation over its necessity.  It seems that Pixar is running out of ideas and so they keep looking at their past successes as a way to build on what they’ve already created.  We say sequels to ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Cars’ and this year we’ll see ‘Monster’s University’, which is more of a prequel (as a side note, the teaser trailer for that film is GLORIOUS and has me totally anticipating it despite initial reservations).

When I look at the Pixar filmography, ‘Finding Nemo’ is not the first choice for a sequel I see.  In fact, I wouldn’t have ever followed up ‘Cars’ either, but that’s beside the point.  I would have followed up ‘The Incredibles’ rather quickly, considering that the original film and storyline lends itself to an easy sequel.  ‘Finding Nemo’, on the other hand, already feels complete.  This isn’t because ‘Finding Nemo’ is lesser Pixar; in fact, I consider it their finest film to date (with ‘Toy Story 3’ a seriously close second). 


Well, today is Michael Fassbender’s birthday!  The man is now 36.  Fassbender has pretty rapidly become one of my favorite actors working today and is probably the best actor of his generation.  There are very few actors who have been able to come on the scene and show such depth and range in such a short period of time.  Thinking of the fact that Fassbender’s career didn’t even really take hold until 2008, it’s pretty crazy how much his star has risen. 

2011 alone was a huge year for the star.  He was inducted in a really successful franchise (X-Men), worked with a respected auteur (Cronenberg) and dropped two astonishingly good performances in two vastly different films (‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Shame’), winning the Volpi Cup for his devastating work in ‘Shame’ and then going on to generate a ton of awards talk, racking up nominations from BAFTA, BFCA and The Golden Globes.  Sure, Oscar still snubbed him, but they have a tendency of passing over truly deserving performances in less accessible films. 

Thank you Australia!

So, as my readers probably know, I love David Fincher.  He's a fantastic director and has such range and vision, bringing himself to every film he directs.  That, and 'The Social Network' is still the masterpiece of this decade by a pretty large margin.  

So, with 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' out of the way and the sequels up in the air thanks to Daniel Craig's salary demands and the prospect of replacing him (stupid idea), he's been juggling the idea of directing Disney's remake of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' and 'Girl Gone'; an adaptation of Gillian Flynn's hot new novel.  Well, thanks to our friends down under, it looks like we may be getting '20,000 Leagues' sooner than later.  Australia is reportedly paying Disney Studios 22.6 million dollars to have the film shot in Australia.  Looks like this is the funding needed to get this remake off the ground.  This has me really, really excited.  It is such a great idea for Fincher.  This type of genre flick can be really expressive and stylistic in the right hands, and Fincher has such a unique way of developing the 'look' of his films that I think he'll bring the right mix of emotional detachment/attachment and visual style to make this a standout piece.

Looks like he's courting Pitt for the role of Ned Land, but the role of Captain Nemo is up for grabs at this point.  I'd like to make a suggestion.

He's already made 'Master & Commander' and is in the process of wrapping up 'Noah', so he obviously understands his way around a sea-fairing vessel   Besides, he needs to work with some 'it' directors.  Aronofsky was a great stepping stone.  Now let him work with Fincher!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Poster Break: The Great Gatsby

I'm not going to lie, as hot of a mess as this film is sure to be, I personally cannot wait to see it.  I love the book, I love most of the cast and I absolutely adore the director, so this movie was tailor made for me and the Fisti Awards.  That being said, a slew of 'character posters' have now been released and I must say, I'm a tad underwhelmed.  I remember last year when we saw those dreadful 'Les Miserables' posters and my heart sunk (someone should fire the designer).  These aren't that bad, but these are far from great.

There is something about such extreme closeups that really should be banned in poster design.

So let's break these down one-by-one.

Spring has sprung...

It’s spring!  April is here and it’s time to break into another month of blogging and movie talking and fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!  This month we’ll see the first co-predicted Oscar predictions (something I’m super excited to unveil) as well as a couple other things I’ve been working on.  Hoping that the Fisti awards for 1992 will wrap up this month (more on that in a minute) and I’d love to bring back the ‘Closer Look’ series.

Gurll...you better watch your back!
Speaking of 1992, I finally caught ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ the other night and I have to say, I’m torn as to who was the better bitchy girlfriend that year; Rosie Perez of Oscar winner Marisa Tomei.  I’d never begrudge Tomei her Oscar win (even though Judy Davis was the best of the nominees), since she’s been a Fisti winner twice now, but I can’t help but feel like Perez’s spitfire take on Gloria was even more infectious and inspired.  They may both wind up on my personal ballot (1992 is such a bounty of brilliance in every category) but at the moment I’m struggling to put my finger on who deserves a spot more.

In 1992 catch-up, I also watched ‘FernGully’ this weekend.  God that shit was terrible.  And LOL at the Tim Curry lovefest happening on the 'Toxic Love' YouTube page.  Seriously, people want to have sex with him?

Drugs make you stupid...

Also, in actor news (not necessarily ‘movie actor’ but whatever), Cory Monteith has checked into rehab over the weekend.  I thought he was the good one!  If anyone from the ‘Glee’ cast was going to wind up abusing substances I figured it would be someone like Mark Salling, or Lea Michele (since she’s the only one who can be considered remotely famous) or maybe Dianna Agron, who is constantly stuck in Michele’s shadow.  I never really thought of Monteith as being the substance abuser type, but apparently this isn’t the first time.  It’s a sad development this day and age for young actors to get roped into these stereotypical acts.  I’m curious, does anyone really think it makes you look cool anymore?  I hope the best for him.