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12 Things we learned from the Oscar noms

"Emily Blunt's day will come and she'll be Blue Jasmine amazing..." - Yavor

"I learned that the industry really wants to punish films that cost a lot of money to make and do not crack at least a megabuck in revenue. I have no idea how much money First Man lost, but the message has gone out loud and clear... " - Carl

"Ethan Hawke needs to stop saying European Art Films are better than Hollywood movies, even though he's right." - Dan H

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Tuesday
Jun122012

True Blood 5.1 "Turn! Turn! Turn!"

I had such a good time covering True Blood last year that I decided early on that I'd chime in again this year. Unfortunately those slutty Bon Temps whackjobs and their blaspheming god (Alan Ball) did not reward me with a fine debut. Cliffhangers are rarely the best way to end a TV season -- especially one with a really devout fanbase that's coming back anyway. They invariably make the return feel like less of a drunken celebration and more like the clean up after A Lost Weekend. No one remembers how things got so messy but excuse us while we mop up.

Turn Turn Turn... TARA? The angriest bartender in Bon Temps won't be happy about this.

There's so much clean up. Sookie's house had not one but two dead girls to dispose of (Tara and Debby) and icky leftovers (the tooth!) but to avoid Tara's death being a true one, Sookie bargains with Vampire Pam to turn her. This is a terrible terrible decision but Sookie makes notoriously terrible decisions and almost always for selfish reasons so this is par for the course. More after the jump including the usual NSFW shenanigans of those Bon Temps hookers...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun122012

Burning Questions: Broadway's Cinematic Potential?

Michael C. here in the aftermath of the Tony's to return the focus to where it belongs: Movies.

The film version of Porgy & Bess (1959) is rarely seen. Audra McDonald & Norm Lewis in the Broadway show, with movie star looks and thrilling voices, suggest its cinematic potential

As I've written before in this column, as a rule I don't go in for the sort of rose-colored nostalgia that assumes pop culture is on some kind of inexorable decline into the sewer and if only we could return the Golden Age of the 30's or the 70's or whenever then we would experience some kind of artistic renaissance. It is now as it ever was - a little quality, lots of junk.

But one trend I do resist, one that I mark as the undeniable decay of the natural order of things, is the movement toward reverse-engineering successful movies into Broadway shows and away from the reverse. I will fight this trend to my dying breath, or at least I will stand outside the stage production of Ghost and shake my old man cane at it like Carl from Up

Yet there is hope. With Les Miserables finally landing in theaters this December, and August: Osage County getting the Streep treatment as we speak, maybe there is still a chance to return to the glory days of stage to screen transfers the way that Thespis intended. But with only so many big Broadway titles left unfilmed that brings me to this week's Burning Question: Are there any current Broadway shows that deserve the big screen treatment? 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun122012

Tuesday Top Ten - Motion (Picture) Sickness

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JA from MNPP here. First off, my apologies to those of you with weaker constitutions. This might not be your sort of Top Ten list today. With that out of the way, want to know why I still won't eat cherries to this very day? Since it's "The Witches of Eastwick week"I think y'all can probably put two and two together. Take a giant silver bowl of them, stir in a trio of witchy women under the influence of one Big Bad, and shake thoroughly - out spills what might be the always game Veronica Cartwright's most memorable cinematic moment. (And this is a woman who has been terrorized by Hitchock's birds and phallically attacked by HR Giger's Alien, so she knows from memorable scenes.)
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You'd be excused for expecting it to be the walls and furniture to be what tumbles out of her mouth since she spends the first half of the scene devouring the scenery in a tour de force of bravura overacting, but the devil's in the details - that red-stained torrent of cherry pits is something you just don't forget, even 25 years later. (Watch the whole scene here.)
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So in it's honor, a list!
Here are 9 more cinematic spews... from Bridesmaids through The Exorcist

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun122012

'Best Shot' Resumes Production on June 27th

 

"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" returns from its month-long hiatus in two weeks. Will you join us? I'll try to catch up soon with Possessed (1947) which had terrible timing given my father's passing. Other than a short upcoming moment with Joan Crawford, what's next?

 Wednesday June 27th - THE STORY OF ADELE H. (1975)

For Isabelle Adjani's birthday (and considering that Victor Hugo madness will be heading our way at Christmas time) we'll look back at François Truffaut's Oscar nominated tale of obsessive love. Trivia: Adjani held the "youngest Best Actress nominee" record for three decades until a certain Whale Rider teared up.

*THURSDAY* July 5th -PICNIC (1955)


Technically this is a Labor Day movie as opposed to 4th of July but the point is who wants to sit at home blogging on Independence Day? I've never seen this - hence the choice - but I hear it's visually appealing (James Wong Howe on cinematography duties!) and I enjoy me some Kim Novak and William Holden. Bonus points: filling in the Oscar gaps. This one was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture.

Wednesday July 11th - ROAD TO PERDITION (2002)

It's the tenth anniversary of Sam Mendes' self-consciously 'best shotty' graphic novel adaptation with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, little Tyler Hoechlin before he was an alpha werewolf and the then (mostly) unknown Daniel Craig who found it all so fucking ridiculous.

Wednesday July 18th - PINK NARCISSUS (1971) 

I like doing short movies for this series (since it's asking a lot to assign y'all a movie each week) and this one is only 64 minutes. Luishergio suggested a NSFW edition and why not? This influential cult classic (the debt Pierre et Gilles owe will never be paid in full) about a rent boy's fantasies was shot almost entirely inside director James Bidgood's apartment and yet it's visually ravishing (the intense color helps). It's one of those movies then that all indie filmmakers without $ resources ought to look at.

Wednesday July 25th TBA
Wednesday August 1st TBA
Wednesday August 8th TBA.. it's so hard to choose but you get the point.

Previously on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"
in case you missed any... 

Tuesday
Jun122012

Curio: Witches Brew

Alexa here, chiming in for The Witches of Eastwick week. The film remains one of my 80s favorites, a strong showing in an especially strong year for women in film (Moonstruck! Broadcast News!). Veronica Cartwright's second-most-famous gross-out scene had me off cherries for 10 years, minimum, so I was surprised that no one has designed a minimalist cherry poster for the film yet. 

Custom poster design by Alex Kittle.

Instead, the climactic voodoo scene seems to inspire artists the most. Here are some of the better voodoo poster designs, and one voodoo curio, in honor of the frizzy-haired trio...

Click to read more ...