30 November 2007

'In Bruges' trailer

If I'd grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me, but I didn't . . . so it doesn't

Didn't know there were any prostitues in Bruges.

You just have to look in the right places . . . brothels are good

AND . . . I'm not gonna quote that last one except to say that Ralph Fiennes looks incredible (who knew he was funny?) and that I can already tell you people will be quoting this movie incessantly. I will be one of those people.

Hooray for Australian Cinema! (Part 2)

Peter Carstairs' September is a much better film than it has any right to be. The plot, when read as a 3 sentence synopsis, sounds like every coming-of-age tale you've ever read or seen, but this movie really is so much more. In his impressive first outing as a director, Carstairs' manages to take the story of the friendship between two boys, one white and one aboriginal, in 1968 Western Australia and use it to both critique Australia for its intolerant past and celebrate it for all its resilience and beauty.

The fields and skies of Australia have, in my admittedly limited experience, rarely been filmed as majestically or lovingly as they are here. Most of the action, wisely, takes place outdoors, in the middle of windswept fields and on the roof tops of farm houses. Every scene is full of Australia. At times, it's the film's third lead, for no scene in this film would have worked nearly as well transplanted elsewhere.

The two leads, Xavier Samuel and especially Clarence John Ryan, have the added benefit of being relatively unknown (to me, anyway) and do a fine job navigating their way through the adolescent akwardness of their characters. Mia Wasikowska, as the inevitable object of one character's affection, is filmed just as adoringly as the scenery around her and manages to leave an impression despite her relatively limited screen time.

The best performance, however, is given by Kieran Darcy-Smith as the father of Xavier Samuel's character, a man struggling to be both a realistic businessman and a progressive thinker in a situation supporting neither.

There are weak points, mainly with the adult Aboriginal characters who are too underwritten to make the film a truly balanced exercise, and a few scenes suffer from clunky historical dialog, most notably in a classroom discussion of the Apollo missions. Overall, though, the film's high points much outnumber its fumbles.

Not much more need be said about the plot. Twenty minutes in, it's doubtful you won't have already guessed where this is all going. The boys build a boxing ring for playful sparring, thus they come to blows for real near the end. One of them has a crush on a girl, thus this girl will cause a wedge between them (though maybe not in the way you expect). This is classic 'Chekhov's gun'. But, in the end, this film is really about Australia: its majesty, its history, its people.

One minor quibble: I would just like to say that never in my life have I seen a pair of bright red boxing gloves in the window of a small country grocery store. I haven't exactly visited a lot of small country grocery stores, but I would be very surprised to see them there.

Patricia Clarkson Reads the Phone Book

No, seriously . . . she does. Well, technically The Yellow Pages.

This WGA strike is bringing the funny.

29 November 2007

New (Supposed) Image Leaked from 'Avatar'

According to Ain't It Cool News, this is a conceptual image of an alien from the up-coming James Cameron sci-fi epic. It seems to match up with previously leaked images, so I'm pretty confident in believing it's legit.

Thoughts on it? As AICN points out, it's a little Angelina Jolie in Beowulf, but it's still clearly a work in progress.

EDIT: According to Entertainment Weekly, this is 100% fake. WHOOPS!

To celebrate the release of 'Enchanted'

Maybe the bestest GAP advert ever.

I suddenly want lots of wool sweaters.

Why does this man get dumped in every movie? Why? Who is Kate Bosworth to be dumping this guy, anyway? Why isn't he a leading man yet? I have SO MANY questions . . .

28 November 2007

Guess who recently followed in the footsteps of 3 drag queens!

I didn't climb King's Canyon in a gown and high heels, but I still geeked out enough to take a picture.

Well, waddya know?

Alright Adam . . . maybe it's more of a dark horse contender than I would have thought. I still don't see Best Picture happening, but it might actually be pretty good.

27 November 2007

Laura Linney is God

I know everyone has already seen this, but I'm posting it anyway. The YouTube channel actually has 10 or so more videos like this, but none are as good.

I do like the one featuring Holly Hunter, but that may just be because I love Holly Hunter.

New Poll!

So, rather than come up with predictions for who I think will win the Oscars this year, I thought it might be fun to put a poll up on the blog to determine the general consensus. First up is best actress.

Wow . . . she might actually win.

And you know what else? I'm 100% okay with that.

How weird is best actress this year, though? A virtually unknown (in the U.S.) French actress, a Disney princess, and a previous winner from a film LONG out of theaters are essentially the frontrunners.

EDIT: Guess not

26 November 2007


From Cinematical:
In just a week's time, Keira Knightley and James McAvoy will interview each other for Moviefone's Unscripted series using your questions.

If they use my questions, I might as well stop living. There will be nothing left for me to achieve.


I'm gonna post something soon . . . I swear!

20 November 2007

Amy Adams is Amazing

Q&A with Entertainment Weekly

I'm a little bit intimidated by my animated self, I have to say.


Because she was hot! [Laughs] And of course, that's what you will print.

Happy Birthday Jodie!

Celebrate by making more movies . . . please!

Otherwise, I may just have to plaster this picture all over the place.

Don't make me do it.

19 November 2007

The Writers' Strike Begins to Affect Hollywood

Via Variety
It was bound to happen eventualy. The writers' strike has begun delaying the production of large scale film projects. Here's the notable ones:

Mira Nair's Shantaram- Based on a novel by Gregory Dacid Roberts, this crime film is set to star Johnny Depp as an escaped convict reinventing himself in the criminal underbelly of Bombay and Afghanistan.

Oliver Stone's Pinkville- Always a controversial director, Stone's look at the My Lai Massacre is set to star Bruce Willis, Michael Pitt, Channing Tatum, and Woody Harrelson.

Rob Marshall's Nine- This adaptation of the Broadway musical '9' is set to star Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Sohia Loren, and Marion Cotillard.

Oh..and Ron Howard's Angels and Demons is delayed too. I can't imagine who exactly is clamoring for a sequel to the movie that somehow made Amélie herself as bland as Tom Hanks' hair was frightening, but those people will just have to wait to see another of Dan Brown's bizarrely succesful books come to the screen.

Maybe if I . . . insert dramatic pauses . . . every three words . . . people will think . . . the script isn't crap.

Thank You Vanity Fair!

Will this be the most amazing movie ever? Yes, yes it will.

18 November 2007

For Your Consideration: Tilda Swinton

"What about . . . the other option?"

'Brave performance' is, at this point, such an overused cliché that it hardly means anything anymore. In fact, it has become almost entirely synonymous with 'gets naked' (see "Ann Margaret gives a brave performance."). If you want to see what that phrase SHOULD mean, look no further than Tilda Swinton's portrayl of U-North's chief counsel Karen Crowder.

We see her, in her bra, meticulousy laying out her clothes and practicing for an interview, but there's nothing remotely erotic about it. It takes a brave actress to play a character who spends a great deal of the movie looking tired, used up, sweaty, and flustered and a great actress to sell it to the audience. The character of Karen Crowder is a villain written and performed right, not played as an icy caricature rubbing her fingers together like Mr. Burns. [ahem . . . MERYL, we need to talk. What EXACTLY was the appeal of starring as The Grinch Who Stole Reese Witherspoon's Husband? I'd love to know.]

Karen Crowder is out of her element, and when she must make a choice towards the end of the film, her fear and uncertainty are palpable. She may seem in control in the boardroom, but, in the outside world, she's just trying to get by.

5 things I learned from watching 'The Brood' (1979) SPOILERS, obviously

1. Deformed, homicidal children are my worst nightmare.

2. David Cronenberg has issues.

3. VERY SERIOUS issues.

4. Art Hindle (Frank) never aged. He just cut his hair and changed his name to Eric Close.

5. Did I mention David Cronenberg has issues?

Happy Monday!

Hooray for Australian Cinema!

Since I'm over here in Australia for a little while longer, I've decided it would be a great idea to look up some great Australian films. If anyone has suggestions, I'd much appreciate it. (And yes, I plan on checking out Jindabyne).

Anyway, first up was The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

I guess some people could find this offensive or something (those people need to lighten up), but I loved it. It's completely over the top while still finding time for moments of honest to god tenderness. It's so damn refreshing nowadays in a comedy full of eccentric characters for the makers to still respect the characters and treat them like human beings. When directors treat characters with spite, with no real sympathy (ahem, Running with Scissors), it shows, and doesn't make for a good movie. In Priscilla, the three leads may be over the top, but they're not just clowns we're supposed to mock for being that way. The relationship between Terrence Stamp's Bernadette and Bill Hunter's Bob is actually, GASP, sweet. We're not supposed to think it's hillarious that these people could have feelings for eachother. There's humor involved, sure, but not the type that scoffs at the two of them for the way they feel.

Hugo Weaving...how did he gut stuck pidgeon-holed as Mr. Smith? He's great in this, and it's 180 degrees from his most famous role in The Matrix. Stop working with the Wachowski brothers, Hugo. That's my advice to you.

My favorite part of the movie, though, has to be Guy Pearce. Which leads me to Today in Great Movie Quotes:

"Oh, for goodness sakes, get down off that crucifix. Someone needs the wood."

I'm totally on the Guy Pearce bandwagon. I hope the rumors are true, and he's reteaming with his The Proposition director John Hillcoat on the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Anyway...

Paint has never been hotter.

Oh...and I can't not mention the costumes. Major credit belongs to Lizzy Gardiner and Tim Chappel for the outfits they were able to dream up.

Best. Oscar. Dress. Ever.

Sorry Paul Newman...

...but that Oscar you have belongs to this guy:

As a cinephile, what I really enjoyed and appreciated about Mona Lisa was the clear inspiration the film drew from Taxi Driver, and how that comparison created expectations in me as the audience, expectations the director Neil Jordan used to suprise by fulfilling them in ways different than I would have expected.


The Taxi Driver influence isn't hard to find. Shots of Hoskins' car driving through the streets at night as steam rises from the street, and the basic idea of a man being confronted by the dirty underbelly of the city he lives in are clearly similar to aspects of Martin Scorsese's classic. Even a scene featuring Hoskins and a young prostitute set in an ice cream parlor calls to mind the diner scene between Robert DeNiro and Jodie Foster.

That's not to say the film is a carbon copy. Bob Hoskins' character George is, in some ways, less angry and more emotionally fragile. Despite the fact he's spent 7 years in prison, he hardly seems like a hardened criminal. He's certainly not the smooth gangster Michael Caine's character is.

When he asks his friend Thomas (wonderfully played by Robbie Coltrane) for a gun, we're afraid that he will follow the Travis Bickle route, partially because the Taxi Driver influence makes it seem plausible. Where the movie's genius lies, however, is in the revelation that Cathy Tyson's Simone is not the victim we would expect. It is she who blows away Michael Caine's gangster, just as Robert DeNiro blew away Harvey Keitel.

I don't mean to make too much of the similarities between the two films. If you asked Neil Jordan, I'm sure he would be the first to admit the inspiration Taxi Driver gave him in the making of Mona Lisa. Rather than just retelling that story, however, Jordan departs from that story in ways that surprise by breaking audience expectations.

Bob Hoskins and Cathy Tyson have great chemistry (when they're supposed to) and manage to inject a refreshing vibrancy to the usually cliché love/hate relationship. It's a testament to both actors that, until everyone's secrets are revealed, we feel a romantic relationship is inevitable.

As for Michael Caine, what can I say? He's been in 85% of movies released every year since 1983, usually delivering memorable performances, and this is no exception. His gangster is simultaneously terrifying and fascinating in the way only movie mobsters are. His is a showy role, surely, but Caine is the king of the showy role.

Perhaps the end ties up a little too nicely for some. All in all, though, Mona Lisa is a great movie featuring what should have been Bob Hoskins' Oscar winning role. Neil Jordan is usually a hit-or-miss filmmaker and, luckily, this one is right on the money.

(Pictures from Movie Stills Index)

13 November 2007

Today in Bull Shit

Listen, Nic...can I call you Nic? Listen Nic. I honestly couldn't give a shit if you've had cow fat injected into your lips or whatever. I mean, you have. It's obvious you have, but I'm not one to judge. Hell, Jane Fonda's composition is probably more Mattel than anything else at this point, and she's still as amazing in my eyes as she was in the '70s.

The thing is, though, JUST DON'T LIE ABOUT IT! It just makes me people start scrutinizing. Do you remember when every Gawker, Perez, and 17-year old with a computer was posting before and after shots of Ashlee Simpson's nose? Do you want that? Do you?

Just shut up, dye your hair red again, start a steady diet of solid food and sunlight, and hopefully we can all go back to being good friends.


P.S. Congrats on the hot hubbie. Seriously, where does one find a hot Australian country singer who lives in Nashville? I wouldn't believe it existed if I didn't see it in tight jeans and holding a guitar with its strong arms...

You totally beat Maverick.

EDIT: This is NOT the same person.

10 November 2007

Somebody Greenlight This Movie

It just struck me that Diablo Cody and Zooey Deschanel bear a passing resemblance to eachother.

Maybe it's just the heart-shaped glasses, but I can see it.

This got my creative juices churning. What we need is an 'Adaptation'-like mind fuck written by Diablo Cody and starring Zooey as...screenwriter and former stripper Diablo Cody. It can be set during the making of 'Juno' or a writer's strike or something even crazier that only Diablo would be able to cook up. (This is a work-in-progress, obviously).

Diablo Cody is Awesome.

I hope she wins the Oscar just so we can hear one crazy acceptance speech. That, and I'm interested to know what 'interesting facts' about her career they would announce as she walked to the stage.

Today in Great Movie Quotes

"Poetry don't work on whores."

I saw this today. What else can I say that hasn't already been said? Beautiful, moving, with spectacular performances and a great score. Where did this Andrew Dominick come from?

I'm just glad the studio didn't recut the movie or anything and screw it up. God bless 'em.

Two teenage girls leaving the theatre afterwards had this to say, "That was SO fucking boring!" Hmm...I think they got confused. 'Good Luck Chuck' was playing next door, and they must have wandered into the wrong theatre. Obviously, they'd prefer to see a comedy in which Dane Cook has sex with obese women, and Jessica Alba runs into poles.

09 November 2007


Tina Fey is even hot while picketing.

Repo: The Genetic Opera trailer

There are no words.

EDIT #1: Ok, I'm kind of obsessed with this trailer.

EDIT #2: That girl in the white about 6 seconds in...is that Alexa Vega? DAMN!



Ladies and gentleman, we are a LONG way from Spy Kids.

08 November 2007

Marion Cotillard discusses 'La Vie en Rose'

Old news, I know, but she's quite charming in this interview with EW.com. I still haven't seen the movie, but she's supposed to be fantastic in it...or something.

Video Here

'Office' Writers on Strike

Off of YouTube comes this video of several writers (and actors) discussing the strike and what it is they want. It's pretty vague, but they do mention the internet which is one of the major concerns I'm aware of.

The WGA actually has its own channel where it's posted several videos from the picket lines. It's worth a look for anyone interested in hearing from the strikers themselves.

06 November 2007

'Titanic' Alternate Ending

It don't know how many people have seen this, but it's BAD. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD. I'm not even a huge fan of this movie, but they quite clearly chose the right ending for the movie.

05 November 2007


Click to see something that made my day.