My favorite movie of the year so far is _________________ because ________________. The next thing I'm planning to see is __________________ because _____________.
Alexa here. Alec Baldwin, newly-engaged and soon-to-be-upstaged by Benigni antics in Woody's "To Rome With Love" (if the poster is any indication) turns 54 today. Hearing him deliver a deliciously clever line of dialogue is truly one of lie's great pleasures, no? I've thought so as far back as Married to the Mob ("Tony, I had no idea you was puttin' the stones to Karen"), but his performance in Glengarry Glen Ross may still be his high water mark in scene-stealing. Here's praying Woody has written him enough quality dialogue that even Begnini's arm waving won't matter. If not, well, he still has Tina. Here are a few arty celebrations of Alec's best lines.
Click for some Jack Donaghy gems...
Digital Spy Kate Winslet on Titanic then and now "he's fatter now - I'm thinner."
Baltimore Magazine an oral history of Diner (1982) the influential comedy.
Acidemic interesting piece on The Hunger Games as the They Shoot Horses Don't They of 2012
Rope of Silicon Christoph Waltz on the set of Django Unchained. First look at his character's look.
Furious Cinema films that may have influenced Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
The House Next Door 15 Famous Movie Bullies
Empire new Brave character posters. So much red hair.
Stirred Straight Up... Olivia, Newton, Johns (hee)
Awards Daily Jennifer Lawrence. She's happening.
Cinema Blend Danny Boyle making a short James Bond film with Daniel Craig? Stirring.
Gold Derby Adam Sandler and Adam Sandler and Jack and Jill took all 10 of the Razzie Awards! Clean sweep.
Guardian a bizarre story of a leprosy joke cut from The Pirates! the new animated movie.
Pajiba on the casting of Ashton Kutchner as Steve Jobs in a biopic.
The casting is ridiculous. I mean, it’s like Ashton Kutcher playing Steve Jobs: Yes, the most extreme, hyperbolic comparison I can make is THE ACTUAL CASTING.
Finally... enjoy this 5 second delight called "Vampire Bash" by António Silva
Michael C. here. This week’s Burning Question came to me when my heart sank upon seeing the poster for Woody Allen’s latest.
Maybe it's the inexplicably prominent placement of Roberto Benigni. Maybe it's because the Committee to Blandify Movie Titles reduced the movie's name from the interesting The Bop Decameron to the acceptable Nero Fiddled to the yawn-inducing To Rome With Love. Or maybe it was just the beige Nancy Meyers-ness of the whole thing. Whatever the reason, my gut tells me this is a return to the lifeless, script-out-of-the-bottom-drawer rehashes that have been the rule and not the exception for Woody’s output over the last decade.
Of course this would all be a lot less distressing if I didn’t know there was no way I would miss seeing it. Why? Because I, like many others, have issued Mr. Allen a lifetime pass out of gratitude for Annie Hall and Manhattan and a dozen other titles that constitute a large chunk of the foundation of my love of movies. Therefore I will keep setting myself up for disappointment, like Charlie Brown forever returning to kick that football.
Would it not make more sense to ignore the completist in me that insists I see every title Woody releases even when it's an obvious gutterball? Does anyone really deserve a lifetime pass?
This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad.
Once upon a time there lived a director with big canvas visual ideas. He would stretch them across just about any surface and start painting. Serial killer craziness (The Cell), muscle queen mythology (The Immortals), and uncategorizable period fantasy (The Fall) were all fair game. Any topic would do including a comic spin on Snow White because why the hell not?
His name was Tarsem Singh or Tarsem or Tarsem Singh Dwandwar or Tarsem Dwandwar Singh because he could never settle on a signature. He would halfheartedly skim screenplays until inspiration struck. Once the spell was cast, he'd toss the script into the fire, chug absinthe, and speed dial Eiko Ishioka. He'd sketch until the last of the words had turned to ash and only his drawings remained*. The end.
*not his real process.
Whether you live happily ever after from watching his movies depends on what you go to the movies for. [Continue]
It's time to buy your tickets -- or not -- for a new movie based entirely on its trailer. This one is called People Like Us and stars Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks (who introduces the trailer... I find it so weird when they do that). The film also stars La Pfeiffer but they weirdly pretend like it doesn't until halfway through. Which also happened with Dark Shadows. Marketing departments clearly think she has no bankability anymore which is depressing. She has a robust online fan community still -- far more than some other 80s superstars -- so it stands to reason that they go see movies if she's in them. Unfortunately there are few case studies to be had. And maybe Hollywood is basing everything on Chéri bombing a few years back?
Every year on the 1st of April we begin consulting our well used crystal ball. It's like "the Oscars, again? Don't you wanna know winning lottery numbers or something?" It's foolish to predict the Oscars before practically any of the contenders have screened but foolish can be fun.
This year the contest might be between two men playing beloved US presidents, Bill Murray as FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson and Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln, and even if it isn't that angle will get media play. Streep's win a month ago reminded us that Oscar has always loved political performances (if not overtly political films) and they literally can't go one year without having one of the four acting winners playing a real life character. (Benjamin Walker is also playing Abraham Lincoln this year but he's playing him as a vampire hunter so he doesn't figure into the chart.)
Ryan Gosling has a few leading roles again this year but after the past few years it's clear that Oscar just isn't that into him. So we look to people they love nearly without fail like Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master. It's possible that he'll overplay the role of a charismatic cult leader but that might actually help with Oscar. They love Clint Eastwood more as a director than an actor but one last chance to honor him for The Trouble With the Curve, a father/daughter road trip drama might be too much to pass up.
At this point I'm most curious about Hugh Jackman's chances for Les Misérables -- I'm guessing they're very good but I'm also guessing that that opinion won't be shared by all -- and whether John Hawkes can fend off dozens of upcoming contenders and keep the heat from his Sundance success in The Surrogate as a man in an iron lung.
Numerous leading men are coming but only five of them can win Oscar love. Other possibly interesting lead performances are on the way from Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Oscar Isaac, and of course Jamie Foxx as Django Unchained.
Who will it be? Here's my new guesswork.
How would you shift it?
Whose work are you most curious to see?