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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Friday
Dec202013

Linkies

Empire Bryan Singer and his writing team working on X-Men: Apocalypse already. My only objection to this article is the conditional phrase for X2 "one of the best of the franchise" I'm sorry... one of... I think they meant to type "the best by such a significant margin it's actually kind of embarrassing"
Pajiba wonders if movie reviews matter anymore 
The Wire plays goldilocks with Martin Scorsese classics and their running times: "too long, not enough or just right?"
Dorkly imagines George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) as Santa Claus  

In Contention I neglected to share the London Film Critics Circle nominations because I forgot that unlike virtually every other critics organization, they don't announce their winners a few days after the nominations and instead save it for their actual ceremony... (which begs the question: how do they get the recipients to show up? tipped off?) so in case you missed it, read away 
Deadline on the struggle to shift the dialogue on August: Osage County. I have to say that I find this piece both telling and bizarre. Telling because Tracy Letts himself refers to Barbara (Julia Roberts) repeatedly as the "protagonist"  (and yet she's "supporting?" oy!) and even how he beefed up her role to justify the new ending. Bizarre because the piece ends with the implication that Streep is doing more promotional work for this film than she usually does (I see no evidence of this but, okay?) culminating in this absolute untruth: 

...when Streep shows up for a film that has her in Oscar contention, she usually wins.

The great lady has won 3 times out of 17. And it's not like she didn't "show up" for a number of those other 14 Oscar nominated films. She is as good as any big star at promoting her work.

The Gays
People awww, Sharon Needles and Alaska from RuPaul's Drag Race broke up. But very amicably it seems so good on them
David Kawena [NSFW] the popular web artist is at it again with his Disney characters as underwear hunks. This time it's Kristoff from Frozen. What would Jonathan Groff think of this?!
Theater Mania on the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 Carol Channings 

List-Mania
Buzzfeed 23 most important 'selfies' of the year
Hey U Guys 10 Best Comic Book Movie Moments of 2013
i09 thinks these are the best comic books of the year
The Wire Joe Reid's top ten list and...The Act of Making Them
The Dissolve's top ten list. I like seeing All is Lost and Gravity together with All is Lost slightly higher. They really do make good companion pieces. Neither will make my list so I'm not a champion of either really but I prefer the Redford. As for Her. You know, it's funny. As soon as I knew the subject matter long before we'd seen a frame of it, I just knew it would be a huge deal on critics top ten lists, topping many of them. I should've written a prediction piece on that so you could all marvel at my psychic ways.

Friday
Dec202013

Here We Go!

Just what I needed.

Thursday
Dec192013

Animated Feature Contender: Rio 2096

Tim Brayton will be looking at several of the contenders for Oscar's Animated Feature race. He previously reviewedThe Wind RisesErnest & CelestineFrozen, and Letter to Momo. This week: Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury.

At times, one is reminded to despair for the English language. We have before us a certain Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, named in the original Portuguese Uma História de Amor e Fúria, a superior title on two levels. One is that the “Rio 2096” business is an inelegant distraction. The other and more important thing is that in almost every Romantic language, the words for “story” and “history” are the same, and plenty of writers have gotten mileage out of that fact through the years. At any rate, describing Rio 2096 as something that’s both story and history at the same time is merely accurate. Whereas describing it as something that takes place in Rio de Janeiro in 2096 is accurate-ish, though it reeks of marketing to an audience that remembers when “adult animation” and “used-up future” were basically synonymous, back in the 1990s.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec192013

Interview: Asghar Farhadi on Globe Nominee "The Past"

Amir and Asghar Farhadi @ TIFFAmir here, to share with you my fantastic experience of interviewing the director of The Past, A Separation and About Elly. About a decade ago, when Asghar Farhadi made his first feature film after years of successful theatre and TV work, even the most optimistic fan of Iranian cinema could not imagine his stratospheric rise to International Auteur status in such a short span of time. It is heart-warming for an industry that has only gained international prominence in the past two decades to see one of its sons holding an Oscar statue. Farhadi’s popularity comes at a critical point for Iranian cinema, when festival presence is not as regular as it was in the nineties and several major filmmakers have had their careers stalled for political reasons.*

Farhadi's follow up to the Academy Award-winning classic A Separation, The Past will be representing Iran in the Best Foreign Film Oscar competition and was just nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film. Farhadi's latest is a Paris-set melodrama starring two recognizable stars in The Artist's Berenice Bejo (Cannes Winner Best Actress) and Tahar Rahim as well as Iranian superstar Ali Mosaffa.** In the film, Bejo plays Marie, a French woman married to Ahmad (Mosaffa) who is in custody of their children after a breakup. When Ahmad receives a letter from his wife to return to Paris to finalize the divorce, he is confronted with Samir (Rahim), Marie’s new boyfriend, himself married with a son to a woman in a coma. And that’s just the beginning of the complications in this romantic triangle.

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Thursday
Dec192013

The Man In Black Vs The Big Blue Boy Scout

JA from MNPP here, taking a look and a listen at the whispers coming from Warner Brothers that no less than Joaquin Phoenix is being "sought" to play the bad guy in the next Superman (slash Batman slash Justice League) movie, which is thought to be a little somebody named Lex Luthor. "Sought" meaning somebody's floating the idea, and Joaquin hasn't even been offered anything yet, but hey it's the internet and we have to fill this place with something, so let's talk about it!

I personally was on a bit of a cold streak with regards to Joaquin for awhile, but then I thought he was the best thing going on in The Master last year, and then Her happened and in my review of that film (which is out in some theaters now! See it as soon as you can!) I called it "probably... when it all comes down to it, my favorite Joaquin Phoenix performance that will ever, ever happen." I stand by that effusive assessment here a few months later - indeed my affection's only grown. So Joaquin and I, we're totes good right now! And I kinda love the idea of him tackling a big bad super-villain.

Side-stepping over to the topic of whether it's a good idea to cram every character in the DC universe into Zach Snyder's next whizz bang opus though, well that's a bald horse of a different color. There are lots of Superman characters - Lex again? Really? And the stink off Man of Steel, which might've given me lasting brain damage, is making me wonder if Joaquin might be better off sticking to his auteur pieces anyway. What do we think?

Thursday
Dec192013

20:13 for 2013 screen capping fun!

Six long years ago I ran a popular series called 20:07 where I shared freeze frames for various films at the 20th minute and 7th second of the film. T'was super fun and popular and every once in a while we bring it back.  So here we are at the tail end of 2013! These are screencaps from the 20th minute and 13th second (or thereabouts - streaming titles do not always promote accuracy of screencapping) from films released this year that are already available for home viewing*

Which of these seven movies did you see? Do they bring back fond memories? 

Feels as if the world is perfect. Like it's never going to end..."

Spring Breakers. James Franco's Alien enters seconds later. It is going to end.

 

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Thursday
Dec192013

Oscar's Documentaries: Tales from the Shortlist (Part 2)

Glenn continues his 3 part look at the 15 finalists for Best Documentary. (Here is part one if you missed it). Watch along with us!

Blackfish
Synopsis: How do you solve a problem like SeaWorld? Animal cruelty is exposed at SeaWorld theme parks and others associated with it around the globe. Particularly of interest is that of Tilikum, a 5,400kg orca responsible for multiple deaths including trainer Dawn Brancheau.
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite (City Lax: Un Urban Lacrosse Story)
Festivals: AFI Docs, Athens, Hamburg, Hot Docs, Kosovo, Melbourne, Miami, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, Sitges, Sundance, True/False
Awards: Best Documentary 2nd Place (Boston Film Critics), Best Documentary (Washington DC), Best Feature (Nominee, International Documentary Association)
Box Office: $2.07mil (max. 99 screens), out now on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD
Review: From my review back in July:

Its mission is similar to that of Oscar-winning eco-doc The Cove, and would make a curious companion to Jacques Audiard’s Rust & Bone. All it needed was more “Firework” by Katy Perry, obviously. … The secrecy surrounding [Brancheau’s death] forms the backbone of Cowperthwaite’s engaging documentary; inarguably an important and illuminating one that will hopefully lead to positive action against the torturous conditions that killer whales face in captivity. As a piece of filmmaking it’s traditionally assembled, but the topic and access to disturbing video footage makes for a potent and powerful indictment.

Oscar? Good to go! Animals and animal activism are popular in this branch with nominee Winged Migration and past winners March of the Penguins and the aforementioned The Cove. It’s proven successful in forcing change, plus we already know it has fans in Academy members like Kim Basinger and the folks at Pixar. If nominated I’d be tipping it for the win. They will be very impressed with themselves.

Dancing gangsters, wannabe Olympians and more after the jump...

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