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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. "Like it" on facebook!

 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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Thursday
Feb092012

JGL + ScarJo ?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is on his way to becoming an actor/director. His first dual effort behind and in front of the camera will be a romantic comedy. Interesting choice and one we applaud because lord knows that genre needs fresh voices. Scarlett Johansson is his co-star of choice though apparently there's a second female lead (as yet uncast). JGL will play a lothario. Will ScarJo or the other leading lady reform him? Hopefully this one will skirt the misogyny that was the only thing really dragging the otherwise charming 50/50 down.

I'm hoping Joe and ScarJo will find a way to sing together since it's the one thing they totally have in common besides being, you know, gorgeous movie stars.


Initially I had trouble picturing the two stars together given that he is slim and long and she is short and voluptuous. I'm use to picturing her with much much beefier men (like her shortlived marriage) but after my initial shock I'm liking the idea. Contrast can be very attractive...  

On the other hand it may be tough to top his more twinnish love pairing with Zooey Deschanel. [I am always rooting for a "Zoooey" reunion --where are we at with (500) Days of Summer right now? It went through such a weird love/hate thing with the internets --  but with "New Girl" a hit on TV, there's little chance of her returning to the big screen in major roles anytime soon.]

The film starts shooting in April. I wonder if she's still in for that John Carney (Once) movie that was supposed to start shooting this summer called Can A Song Save Your Life? Two movies in a row where Scarlett may actually be acting instead of just posing?! Exciting. Maybe But never fear. Lots of posing coming up as well in The Avengers (2012) -- recently discussed -- and Iron Man 3 (2013).

JGL stars in Premium Rush which hits theaters a month after The Dark Knight Rises

As for JGL, he's about to have a Jessica Chastain crazy year. Scratch that. A bigger year than that. In addition to directing his first feature he's co-starring in five more, three of them among the year's most anticipated features: Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

Which upcoming project are you most excited for?

Wednesday
Feb082012

LA, NY, HI, AE, LINK

The Film Doctor makes a passionate case for Hawaii and The Descendants... but I'm still having trouble. I just don't think it's very good. And also it's hard to be receptive to the arguments when they start by dissing The Artist. 'Can't we all just get along?' That said I do agree that the final shot is pretty wonderful. Just wish the rest of the movie was.

They Live By Night
Awww, there was an Amadeus Blog-a-Thon and I didn't even know about it. Blog-a-thons just don't have as much outreach as they used to. Totally would've done that one.
The Awl  (speaking of the 80s...) remembers The Thorn Birds in a funny piece. OMG. I was so into priestly Richard Chamberlain when I was a wee boy. 
Cineuropa Iceland's Volcano didn't go the distant with Oscar this year in the Best Foreign Film Category but it's doing very well at home to augment its critical reputation. 14 nominations at Iceland's own Oscars!

Coming Soon. So wait let me get this straight. Will Smith turned down Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) but signed up to work with M Night Shyamalan? Has he never seen these things we call movies? Here's Will & Jaden on the set of After Earth (formerly titled One Thousand Years A.E.). They're filming in beautiful Costa Rica.

Oscar 2012/13 Notes (Too Early?)
Playbill Les Miserables... will all the Oscars belong to it. Apparently they have their sights set on Best Original Song as well. They're giving Hugh Jackman a new number as Jean Valjean.
Empire Tom Felton of Potter/Malfoy fame will play another spoiled kid, Glenn Close's in fact, in Therese Raquin. Now that Close is about to tie Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter for Most Losing Oscar Nominated Actress (6 times) ... I am kind of excited for her to try to beat Peter O'Toole (8 times. no competitive wins). Think she can win attention again for this classic story? I know SHE would prefer to win but it's kind of exciting for US to have someone fighting for these records. Kind of. I mean, we still feel for her. Don't misunderstand

Goings about town(s)...

Los Angeles Readers
Recover from the Oscars in a couple of weeks with some classic animation. On March 7th-11th, the LA Animation Fest happens and there's special screenings of The Iron Giant and Akira, two unmissables. Both are presented by Sean Lennon who is this year's artistic director. Would that the Akira screening could convince Hollywood to abort their current plans and only pursue this live action adaptation madness with Asian leads. More on the fest at its official site.

New York Readers
This Friday the Film Society of Lincoln Center starts a four day tribute to 70s sex symbol Raquel Welch. The brunette bombshell will be appearing at some of the screenings over the weekend. The big ticket is undoubtedly bizarre cult camp object Myra Breckinridge this Friday. She'll be interviewed by Simon Doonan (!) after the screening. No word yet on whether actor turned critic Rex Reed will appear but it would be kind of hilarious for Raquel and him to pose for a photo op I think. The actress will also be at the One Million Years BC, Last of Sheila, and Three Musketeers screenings. You can read more about Welch's allure and legacy at the New York Observer.

Need a suggestion for next weekend? You can't really go wrong with a Barbara  Stanwyck Double Feature. Author Dan Callahan (full disclosure: a friend) just released a new book on the legenadary actress and he's introducing two of her most beloved films, the screwball comedy The Lady Eve (heaven) and the western Forty Guns.

Wednesday
Feb082012

Get Swept Away With Mr Lessmore's "Flying Books"

Have you had a chance to see any of Oscar's short film nominees yet? The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore is available for the iPad in interactive format but it's also viewable in its original form here as an animated short. It's a beauty. 

The fifteen minute short, well worth a quarter hour of your time, starts with a hurricane and Mr Morris Lessmore is yanked up into it along with his stack of reading. The words are literally blown off the page. Not that the short is literal. (More after the jump including the full short)

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb082012

"Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter". Have You Read It?

Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly offered up a new batch of photos for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter starring Benjamin Walker (aka Meryl Streep's brand new son-in-law, recently married to Mamie Gummer).

For those who aren't familiar with him, his star making role (of sorts) was a lead on Broadway as "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"... so this will be his second consecutive blood-splattered US President. What an odd odd start to a career.

Stage and screen require different scales of acting. Charisma and skill in one doesn't always transfer to the other so you never know. But on stage he just popped. He unarguably had "it" and a lot of "it", too. He turned down the role of Beast in X-Men First Class -- a potentially lucrative franchise gig -- to stay with his minor hit stage show which reveals either true devotion to the theater, strict contractual ethics or real confidence in his gift. Or all three. It didn't take long for another opportunity to present itself. 

Out of accidental curiousity I recently picked up the book at the library. I wonderd about its content and if I could pick up any clues as to why this one didn't have any trouble getting off the ground while his first fiction novel Pride & Prejudice & Zombies can't seem to get out out of development hell. 

The thing that surprised me the most and I'm not sure bodes well for the movie is how earnest it was. I was expecting comedy or at least satire but it read very much like a straightforward entry into the subgenre of historical fiction that twists history with supernatural elements. It's basically Lincoln the younger years only with a backstory that involves hunting super evil bloodsucking creatures. In the book the vampires are quite powerful in the south (though their nature is a secret from most) and they're all entangled financially and socially with plantation owners which gives them a neverending supply of defenseless prey (the slaves) that no one will miss. And here is where I had the problem. I actually found the book a little offensive. No one, least of all Abraham Lincoln, should need an overlay of supernatural bloodsucking to give them an epiphany about how cruel and unfair and irredeemably evil slavery is/was.

I wonder what the movie will do with the books framing device which is a modern discovery of Lincoln's private diaries. It seems like it might be an awful lot of wasted running time in a film version but we'll see.  I haven't read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and if its similar I can only assume it isn't filming already because Hollywood is so skittish about female leads, no matter how many hits feature them.

Have you read either of Seth Grahame-Smith's books?
Do you like the supernatural alternate history genre?

Wednesday
Feb082012

Our Favorite BAFTA Tradition

I forgot to mention this goodie but with BAFTA hitting this weekend (we'll live blog) we're quite happy that this is an annual tradition now with BAFTA. Each year they hire illustrators to make Best Picture guides for their nominees. Look at this one for Drive

The scorpion jacket is an obvious image to go with but where this really wins me over is the little touches like the bold red splash, the clenched fist, the faint suggestion of an elevator (that glowing button) and that tell-tale glove hanging from the back pocket. It just such an instant recall of so much of the movie's indelible moments. 

The Help, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Artist and The Descendants after the jump

Click to read more ...