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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 | letterboxd


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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it



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Tues Top Ten: Me Blogger, You Janes.

Today is the anniversary of the first day of Lady Jane Grey's infamous reign as the Queen of England. "Infamous why?" you ask. On account of its length, see. Her days as Queen numbered only nine.

They made a movie of the short event in 1985 (Lady Jane) which is all but forgotten today. Maybe it shouldn't be since it starred baby faced rising stars Cary Elwes and the now resurgent Helena Bonham Carter. HBC quickly became the go-to actress of choice for directors who wanted a porcelain dress up doll for their costume pictures. And by directors I mean the great James Ivory.

So herewith a top ten top nine list in Lady Jane's and Helena's honor...


With apologies to four time Oscar nominee Jane Alexander, Susan Sarandon's delightful Jane Spofford, Jane Lynch (before Glee), Fun with Dick and Jane, and Demi Moore's G.I. Jane, Thomas Jane, and Jane Goodall. I'm sure I forgot someone wonderful but that's what the comments are for.

09 Jane Wyman
I didn't really understand Wyman until I finally saw Magnificent Obsession (1954) in which she can't see. I highly recommend that you don't remind blind to it because what a good picture that is.

Judy Bernly: What did you call this again?
Violet Newstead: Mowie Wowie!
Judy: Well, I love it.
Violet: Primo. 

08 "Mary Jane"
Or as Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton like to call it "Maui Wowie." Recently while watching a terrible 80s movie, (not 9 to 5 which is great) The Boyfriend and I were discussing which drugs make good movies and which ruin them. And Mary Jane is clearly the winner. Case evidence: Robert Altman's filmography. In the 80s Hollywood was on cocaine and it shows. Not in a good way!

Seven more classic "Janes" after the jump!

Click to read more ...


Curio: Alan Cumming Snaps

Alexa here.  I've always enjoyed a bit of Alan Cumming; he seems to pop up every now and again, bringing a smile, even if it's just catching him hosting Masterpiece Mystery. As I'm not in New York I can't catch his one-man Macbeth currently at Lincoln Center, something I'd love to witness.  But we can all own a little piece of Alan's vision: turns out he is quite an avid photographer. 

"Listening To The Snow Falling"

Alan apes the look of old Polaroids by altering all his images to create saturated colors and a square format: as he says, "my life is a colorful blur, and so I think it only appropriate that the pictures I take embody that too."  If you have a few hundred dollars to spare, you can purchase signed prints here.  Here's a sampling of Alan's world. 

"Lustrous Pinnacle"

Here's a sampling of Alan's world... 

Click to read more ...


DVD. You Choose. I Watch. We Talk.

Last year or a bit further back (?) I tried to give you the choice of which DVDs I would review from the weekly crop released but we didn't get very far on account of Netflix's month-long delays with some studios and my policies of mandatory procrastination. So irritating! Given that the bulk of readers and, indeed, the bulk of everyone watches their movies at home now (sigh), let's try again! I'll figure it out on my end.  We'll skip the newish releases we've already discussed like 21 Jump Street (review) and Mirror Mirror (review) and the one's I have no interest in. 

Let's start simple with 2012 movies fairly fresh on DVD that I haven't seen. though perhaps I'll speak out if there's a great commentary. If there is I trust someone will let me know. 


  • THE FLOWERS OF WAR Zhang Yimou's historical epic starring Christian Bale that was submitted for foreign film last year but didn't make it.
  • THIS MEANS WAR Reese Witherspoon's terribly reviewed slutty* action comedy in which she can't choose between Chris Pine & Tom Hardy. Her friend suggests a sex off (*I'm guessing? hoping?)
  • JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME An indie from the Duplass brothers co-starring the always welcome Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon.
  • THE PERFECT FAMILY Kathleen Turner returns to the screen as the mother of a dysfunctional Catholic family. 



You choose for me and I'll cover it somehow next week.
Make your case in the comments if you'd like other people to vote your way.



Stripper of the Day: "Nancy Callahan"

While Magic Mike is in theaters we're celebrating memorable movie strippers.

Just a horny excop watching an exotic dancer

Though Sin City (2005) plays like a compilation of short films rather than a traditional narrative feature, the story that's barely tying it all together features an old cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) with a heart condition and his life-changing rescue of a kidnapped a little girl named Nancy Hallaway. Hartigan is punished for his good dead, framed as her rapist by a powerful senator and rots in prison. Nancy writes him weekly as "Cordelia". She grows up to be Jessica Alba. And as Hartigan says observantly in voiceover once he's out of the slammer and in her club...

She grew up. She filled out.

The club in question is  a "lousy saloon" called Kadies, specializing in Booze & Broads. It advertizes this way: "liquour upfront" and "poker in the back". [Ahem] Given Sin City's horny adolescent boy sexuality, it's impossible not to read that euphemistically.

Given the  Alba Mania circa 2005 you'd think her strip routine was the end game of movie stripteases but she doesn't actually take anything off. 

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Do the Right Link

Cracked 5 true (?) stories of dangerous movie scenes. Reckless endangerment on the sets of Inglourious Basterds, Evil Dead and Carrie, among others.
After Elton "Best Movie Ever? Truth or Dare" well, it's one of them at least! Anyone who ever questions Madonna's magnificence, needs to watch it.
Gothamist The Zeigfeld Theater in Manhattan is losing a million a year and may close. This is terrible terrible news for cinema since it's the only grand theater left in one of the two most important movie markets. It's hallowed ground. The place where I first saw Moulin Rouge! and first saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh. And so many other great experiences.

BadAss Digest theories on an important deleted scene in The Amazing Spider-Man
Vulture has an excellent interview with Spike Lee on his new film, Hollywood today, and the Obamas.
Salon Who are you, Katie Holmes? 

...and this is my pick for Tweet of the Weekend from Allie Goertz


Coming Soon The Dark Knight Rises and... Charles Dickens?


What is Happening To My Girls?!?

Our Miss Hathaway and The Bening, both wounded!

Get well soon divas.


Next on "Hit Me..."

I'm debating whether Hit Me With Your Best Shot will get a season 4 but it depends on how the rest of the summer goes. If you've always wanted to join in, please do. The more the merrier... the more the essential actually as it's meant to be a film club conversation with all eyes on one movie, making a case for the movie's single best shot.

Wednesday July 11th

*10th Anniversary*
Sam Mendes' stately and self-conciously "best shoty" gangster drama, adapted from a graphic novel, won Paul Newman his last Oscar nomination, introduced many moviegoers to both Daniel Craig (now very James Bond) and Tyler Hoechlin (now very grown up on Teen Wolf) and won the Oscar for Best Cinematography. How has it aged? 117 minutes.
Netflix |  Blockbuster | LoveFilm  

Wednesday July 18th
Black Narcissus was one of my top three favorite episodes of this series, so why not? Hee. This NSFW underground indie classic about a rent boy's erotic fantasies was shot almost entirely in the then "Anonymous" director James Bidgood's apartment over a seven year period. But it's quite a lot more visually resourceful than its undoubtedly miniscule budget would suggest. 70 minutes.
Netflix |  LoveFilm (instant watch)  

Wednesday July 25th

Moonrise Kingdom would be a great option for this series but it's still in theaters. (Go see it!) Instead let's revisit Wes Anderson's greatest film about a wealthy, artistic, incestuous, funny, idiosyncratic, intelligent, stylish and manically depressed clan. Yes, lots of adjectives apply... and maybe this noun, too: "Masterpiece". 110 minutes.
Netflix |  LoveFilm | Blockbuster 

Wednesday Aug 1st
*Marilyn Week*
The 50th anniversary of Marilyn's death (August 5th) will likely take up a lot of media space in August so we'll celebrate with one of her lightest confections, as three roommate friends (Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable) husband hunt in this Cinemascope comedy -- very widescreen for lots of actresslicious three shots. Why this one? Oh, I haven't seen in a long time. 95 minutes.
Netflix |  Blockbuster | LoveFilm 

Depending on how those go, we'll wrap up on the 8th, 15th, 22nd or 29th. How's that for decisive?!?

Complete list of all 39 episodes thus far (with links)