Before we move on to our new and hopefully joyous Fall Movie Season (which begins September 13th here at TFE) let's look back briefly on the season that was... the movies that opened from May to August. How do we look back? With lists of course.
Three Best Uses of 3D
- Glee: The 3D Concert Movie - Heather Morris's boobs. ("Brittany S. Pierce" has long since surpassed "Coach Sylvester" as Glee's comedic MVP. If only the Emmys had noticed for their season 2 specific nominations).
- Transformers Dark of the Moon - the top of that building cracking and tipping over... and that time that Shia Labeouf almost fell to his death.
- Every Movie That Opted Not To Use It.
Ten Performances That Made the Summer
- Vera Farmiga and Dagmara Dominczyk all sisterly sensual with palpable chemistry in Higher Ground [INTERVIEW]
- Andy Serkis continues to elevate mo-cap into a new acting artform in Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- Viola Davis helps The Help overcome its limitations.
- "I also have an announcement!" and that's this: Kristen Wiig is awesome in Bridesmaids.
- Michael Fassbender moves metal and hearts in X-Men: First Class.
- Powerfully moving father/son relations were the story in both Beginners and The Tree of Life courtesay of fine direction and the efforts of Ewan McGregor & Christopher Plummer (Beginners) and Brad Pitt & Hunter McCracken (The Tree of Life).
Three Movies I'm Relieved I Didn't Have To See
- The Smurfs (22% RT rating), Zookeeper (12% RT rating), and The Change-Up (22% RT rating).
Most Terrible Twosome I Did See
- Green Lantern (27% RT rating), and Cars 2 (37% RT rating).
Eight Movies I Feel Weirdest About Missing and I'll Get To ½ of Them Eventually...Or Sooner
- One Day, The Whistleblower, The Future, The Devil's Double, Winnie the Pooh, Horrible Bosses, Trollhunter and The Beaver
Two Quickest Memory Fades
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and that's the actual truth and not meant as a diss on franchises which overstay their welcome. I'm using a spreadsheet of all screenings for this list and barely remember any single exciting moment from either picture... though the mermaid attack in On Stranger Tides lingers the most from these two pictures.
Delicious Looking Edibles
- Minnie's pies in The Help (well, excluding the one with a co-starring role)
- All "Cake Baby" items from Bridesmaids
- Ryan Gosling "Seriously? It's like your photoshopped."
Great Moments in Movies That Didn't Totally Work For Me Otherwise
- Super 8's best moment comes very early as the crew of child filmmakers prep for a big train station scene in their zombie epic only to be gobsmacked by Elle Fanning's prodigious screen presence; they almost don't notice that train hurtling towards them, such is the power of actressing. [reviewed]
- X-Men First Class has several fine moments -- almost all of them involving Magneto -- so why didn't the movie work for me? In retrospect I mostly blame the actual first class of dull, less then fully embodied mutant students. [full review]
- Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) comic fish-out-of-water arrogance in the diner amused. [reviewed]
Movie I Didn't See ...Except That I Did
- The Hangover Part 2 - I accidentally saw the first one again during the summer, and based on reviews and internet commentary that means that I did see Part 2 provided I can imagine it taking place in Bangkok which, as it turns out, I can. Saved myself $13!
Ten Best Animals (Ranked)
This list is dedicated to the narrating cat in The Future which I really am going to see soon. What's up with my procrastination?!?
- Nim (chimpanzee) Project NIM
- Cesar (chimpanzee) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Arthur (dog) Beginners
- dinosaurs (dinosaurs) The Tree of Life
- Flora (elephant) One Lucky Elephant
- Maurice (orangutan) in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Bridal Party Shower Favors (puppies) in Bridesmaids
- Buck (gorilla) in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Willie Nelson (dog) in Our Idiot Brother
- Nagini (snake) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2
Ten Best Movies (Chronologically Speaking)
- MAY: Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, Tuesday After Christmas, The Tree of Life;
- JUNE: Beginners (review) a dark dark movie month it would've been without this moving film;
- JULY: Project NIM (which opened just one month too early to capitalize on what an amazing double feature it makes with Rise of the Planet of the Apes -- thoughts on the movie), Captain America: The First Avenger (review) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (thoughts on the movie).
- AUGUST: Rise of the Planet of the Apes and either The Help (review) or Higher Ground... both of which have their problems as films but make up for it with plentiful actressing.
ONE MORE LIST...
and that's yours in the comments. Name your 3 or more favorite anything from Summer 2011. GO!
Oscar's foreign film submission announcements will be flying at us for the next month and you can keep track of the whole list at my foreign oscar predictions pages. A short time ago I told you that South Korea had narrowed down their Oscar submissions. That news was shortlived as the competition is over and they've gone with the battlefield drama The Front Line. [Thanks to faithful TFE reader Jin for the info.]
Here's the warry trailer.
Excuse me but I barely see any actressing! I mean other than Kim Ok-bin. Shouldn't there be a rule against films light on actressing in South Korean cinema? They have so many good ones and their one representative film for AMPAS is practically bereft of them? sigh.
To make up for their sudden xy departure, here's a recent photoshoot starring Kim Ok-bin, who you'll recall was a Film Bitch nominee right here in 2009 for Thirst.
I feel much better already...
Three other selections were announced last week...
Romania, like South Korea, doesn't have any Oscar nominations to show for years of cinephile enthusiasm. The Academy generally can take some time to catch up so if a country wants to get Oscar play their international cinema heat can't be shortlived. Their entry this year is Marian Crisan debut feature Morgen, a hit at the Locarno festival, which is about an unlikely friendship between a security guard and an illegal Kurdish immigrant.
Actor Roschdy Zem's second feature as a director Omar Killed Me stars Sami Bouajila, who international arthouse audiences might remember best from the gay comedy The Adventures of Félix or from major roles in two different Algerian Oscar nominees Days of Glory and Outside the Law (both of which happened to co-star Zem). Bouajila pops up in English language films once in awhile too (The Siege, London River). The previous Oscar heat doesn't stop there: Director Rachid Bouchareb, who directed both of the recent Algerian nominees starring these two, helped with the screenplay adaptation of this biopic about an innocent prisoner. The Hollywood Reporter calls it "intense and superbly acted."
Alejandro Bellame Palacios’s The Rumble of the Stones is about a mother attempting to rebuild her family's lives after a natural disaster. There are many hardships along the way but apparently it's an optimistic picture; one fan on Facebook called it a "true tribute to the nobility of Venezuelan women."
Not yet announced but getting there...
It's not official yet but you shouldn't be surprised if Mexico goes with festival sensation Miss Bala for their Oscar film which we've mentioned a few times. Awards Daily likes the trailer but I'm not watching it since I'm seeing the film in a couple of weeks and want to be surprised. I'm pretty wild for the poster. It's provocative ... and I mean story-wise though I'm sure breasts never hurt in selling a movie. The movie is getting a U.S. release in the fall courtesy of Fox International.
Mexico currently has these 11 features under consideration. Thanks to Armando for sending in the list. The films are
- Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo)
- 180˚(Fernando Kalife)
- Dias de Gracia (Everardo Valerio Gout Grautoff)
- El Baile de San Juan (Francisco Athie)
- Flores en el desierto (José Alvarez)
- La Mitad del Mundo (Jaime Ruiz Ibáñez)
- Bala Mordida (Diego Muñoz Vega)
- Siete Instantes (Diana Cardoso)
- Somos lo que Hay (Jorge Michael Grau)
- Una Pared Para Cecilia (Hugo Rodríguez)
- Viaje Redondo (Gerardo Tort)
If I'm not mistaken, none of these filmmakers have ever been put forward by Mexico before so with no "favorite son" precedent it could be anyone's ball game ...were it not for the obvious critical enthusiasm for Miss Bala that is. The other film that has something of an international profile is the disturbingly grotesque Somos lo Que Hay which opened in the US as We Are What We Are. For all its horror dread potency, I can't see Oscar touching that one.
VMan magazine offers up a black and white survey of future heartthrobs, the leading men of tomorrow today. All of the photos are shot by Hedi Slimane. These round-ups always amuse in retrospect because will we even know who they are in 10-20 years? (like when today's teenagers see those old Vanity Fair Hollywood covers wherein they tried to predict the new generation of Julia Roberts and Tom Cruises and half the faces have zero meaning).
This particular future stardom candidate above, Logan Lerman, declares himself a cinephile in the capsule icons and influences bios (you know the kind: it's the legit actors version of a centerfold's romantic preferences masturbation fodder quotes). Though they aren't pictured, Lerman has real balls. Consider this: the 19 year old actor (best known as Percy Jackson) is starring in Paul W.S. Anderson's Three Musketeers and has the stones to name Paul Thomas Anderson as the director he's dying to work with. W.S. must HATE that! Talk about biting the hand that just fed you. You know more than once poor Paul has had to explain that he's not that Paul and the person's face has inevitably dropped with disappointment.
Nobody else's bios has anything quite so off-mag image-conjuring but the photos are pretty.
There are more young would-be stars after the jump if you're so inclined but I wanted to give Josh Pence (to your right) his due right away since he got so shafted in the whole Armie Hammer Debutante Ball (AKA The Social Network) last year. It was Pence's face that was digitally removed to make room for twinned Armie. Maybe he'll catch up to his physical twin, career-wise, if his work in The Dark Knight Rises as the Young Ra's Al Ghul gives Hollywood whatever it is that they're looking for?
So... before he starts filming the Tom Hooper directed film version of smash hit epic musical Les Miserables (more on that in a second) we're going to have to sit through one of the most ridiculous movies of all time (that's a guess) just to satiate our love of Mr. Jackman. The things we do for Hugh.
Here's the poster for Real Steel.
I almost want to remove those arm bandages (tenderly!) and reapply them to the face mummy style, so as to save that wonderful movie star mug from B-film embarrasments. If you're going genre, go all out: wouldn't it awesome if a mummy was training boxing robots?
The Wrap In other Hugh Jackman news, we're getting our post Oscar 2009 ceremony wish: Anne Hathaway will probably be playing Fantine in the film version of Les Miserables. Ah, Hugh & Anne singing again. Together. Sort of. I can't recall if they have any songs together but I don't care. They're both finally doing a musical!
My New Plaid Pants Good Morning World, it's Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Twitch Film Josh Brolin confirmed to lead Spike Lee's remake of Oldboy. I am one of those rare souls that hates the original movie but they're still going to have a tough time surpassing its chutzpah, you know?
Just Jared Tom Hardy in the new issue of Dazed and Confused on this 'manpanion' trainer and more (I personally wish he'd lay off the bulk a little; his trapezius in Warrior is frighteningly over-sized...
Playbill Sadface. Looks like that Nicole Kidman / James Franco Broadway revival of Sweet Bird of Youth is off. I do think it's wise that Franco starts dropping projects from his ridiculously overbooked calendar (you have to have time to do things right, you know) but I hope Kidman still pursues it. Would love to see her take on that classic role.
Awards Daily I knew this would happen but it doesn't make it any less painful to see Ides of March trading in its excellent and interesting teaser poster -- the one with the magazine half faces -- for something so boring I already forgot what it looked like the second I started typing this sentence.
SplitSider a review of the porn parody of The Big Lebowski. Yes, really.
And I'm very happy to share this video of Maya Rudolph's Prince cover band Princess -- i didn't know there was such a thing (thx WoW) -- but I love them instantly. Here they are doing "Darling Nikki" once of Prince's most infamous numbers.
Come back Nikki! Come back!!! ♪
Finally, I have no idea why there's a sudden rush of Captain America postings but here ya go...
Austin Translation "Thor Loser"
Art of the Title Sequence on Captain America: The First Avenger
Comic Book Movie Curious. Joss Whedon will digitally resurrect the 40s actress Joan Leslie for The Avengers.