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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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"I must be the only one who completely disliked Under the Skin..." -Benji



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Someone Needs To Get More Sleep...

Someone named Christian Bale (pictured on the set of Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups) 

Hasn't he seen The Machinist?  Insomnia is dangerous!


Thoughts I Had... About 5 Recent Movie Dads

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the readers celebrating their dad today whether or not he's a movie-lover. Especially big props go out to the proud papa readers out there raising their own movie-mad tots. (Please tell me you're starting them young! If so, I approve.) 

Today is my first father's day without my own dad so to distract me from this distressing realization which ruined an otherwise wonderful morning chez moi, I wrote this impromptu brain vomit list. Feel free to share your own in the comments...

The royal clan in BRAVE (2012)

Thoughts I Had on the Six Most Recent Movie Dads Screened

"King Fergus" (Billy Connolly) in BRAVE
I don't want to give too much away about Pixar's first "princess" movie, but let it suffice to say that I was very surprised that the Queen and not just the princess is so major in the narrative. It really is their first GIRL movie (...though not quite bent or rocking enough to be their first GURL or GRRRL movie). The movie's soul and heroism are female-centered but Brave also features a large collection of proud papas starting with the formidable King Fergus his leg legendary eaten by a fierce black bear. He may be a warrior but he is a big softie when it comes to the women in his life. The other proud dads on display -- each suggesting that their first born son deserves Princess Merida's hand -- are mostly comic relief and the animators clearly had great fun detailing  the similarities, differences and delusions in the father/son dynamics.

Ancient ancient Guy Pearce in "Prometheus""Peter Weyland" (Guy Pearce) in PROMETHEUS
SPOILER ALERT. The Evil* Weyland Corporation's ancient dead figurehead is seen only in holograms and flashbacks until he isn't. Ta da! He's still alive. Cyrogenically frozen just like Walt Disney and other Empire Builders and Iconic World Changers are always rumored to be at one point or another. You didn't see saw that coming, I take it. What I didn't see coming was that "David" (Michael Fassbender) and "Meredith Vickers" (Charlize Theron) were essentially siblings. This is completely and wonderfully "duh!" obvious in retrospect given their mutual Aryan iceiness, stiff gaits and weirdly intimate vibe of 'we avoid each other.' Perhaps I was too blinded by involuntary fantasies of a robotic blonde horizontal mambo to realize the fantasy was incestuous.

Of all the scripted and unscripted mysteries of Prometheus the one that bothers me most is Why the Hell Did You Hire 44 Year Old Guy Pearce to play this character when Max von Sydow, Christopher Lee, Peter O'Toole, Sir Ian McKellen and any number of other tall, thin, great elderly actors wouldn't have required an extensive make up prosthetics team to help them act the role. True they're more expensive than make up artists but so is Guy Pearce! 

*The "Evil" is silent in Evil Weyland Corporation. It's the Corporation and Aliens so everyone understands this.

"Darryl Van Horne" (Jack Nicholson) in THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK
Jack's horny devil is very interested in impregnating the beautiful lonely big-haired movie star goddesses in this supernatural 80s comedy but he doesn't get to share custody. Who should play his sons in the imaginary sequel I long for?

Gay Son and Ignorant Dad in "Loose Cannons""Vincenzo Cantone" (Ennio Fantastichini) in LOOSE CANNONS
I had never seen this gay comedy from Turkish/Italian director Ferzan Ozpeteck and I think it might be the best of his films. It's the story of the gay son of a traditional family who run a pasta empire. The son fears coming out because his dad Vincenzo is a TOTAL drama queen about the gays. He just can't deal. It's rare to see a coming out comedy with this much gentle needling of homophobia that doesn't feel the need to demonize the people who suffer from it holding on to it (like Vincenzo). Loose Cannon just accepts that some people, some dads, have issues. You gotta be your own man anyway.

Loose Cannons is currently playing on iTunes as part of Focus Features Gay Pride Celebration this month

"Wink" (Dwight Henry) in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
I'm still processing this movie but the father / daughter relationship at its center is heartbreakingly intimate without actual physical intimacy. "Hushpuppy," Wink's daughter, longs for more affection but Wink insists that his six year old live in her own house and fend (mostly) for herself. Tenderness is weakness in The Bathtub...

P.S. It's best to know very little about this movie before seeing it so ignore the clips, the trailers, the reviews and just go see it when it comes out. It's a true original and how often do movie theaters play those?! Treasure them.

"Mark" (Kyle MacLachlan) in PEACE, LOVE & MISUNDERSTANDING
Why does Kyle Maclachlan always dick dads / philandering husbands? He used to play so square they're hip guys in stiff suits. When David Lynch abandoned him it all went down hill!

What movie dads have you been watching?


Cast This! "Witches of Eastwick" Redux

So my Witches of Eastwick 25th anniversary celebration was not at all as comprehensive as I hoped for it to be but we need to wrap up. We barely talked about the three divas at all! (Sigh). As exit music, let's chatter about casting a sequel. If you'll recall Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Susan Sarandon) and Sukie (La Pfeiffer) each had a bouncing baby (half-demon?) boy at the end of the movie, sired by that devil Jack Nicholson himself. He was still trying to share custody (through the television screen) but the witches were wise to him.

I thought about asking you to cast a reboot but why replace that irreplaceable actress trinity?

Let's cast a sequel and bring all three of the goddesses back. Who should play the three sons all grown up in a sequel? You'll need three 25-34ish guys who would look great as a ginger, blonde, brunette trio and also have a little of their moms in them, whether that's visually or personality wise.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Cast the three sons and three young demonic succubi temptresses that try to lure them back to their Daddy. Since movies are always making gorgeous women of a certain age into the devil (hi Snow White and the Huntsman) in order to glorify youth, for bonus points tell us how Cher, Sarandon and Pfeiffer defeat the young (evil) beauties. 

I may even give prizes to the best answer this time. You've got six character spells to cast. GO! 


Pfeiffer Premieres, Then & Now

It's Pfeiffer Pfriday... on Saturday! (I can't be constrained by calendars and sunsets.) Joe reminded me in the comments earlier today that 20 years ago on this very day the stars were walking the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of Batman Returns (1992) -- I'd casually mentioned it a month ago but pforgot on the day of! -- and just yesterday Pfeiffer was walking the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of People Like Us (2012) so things are set right again in Pfandom-Land. She's right where she's supposed to be.

Look how happy she is hugging Chris Pine!

And just as a reminder here she is exactly 20 years earlier at the Batman Returns premiere and at the Globes and Oscars that year, too ...

Click to read more ...


and I can't fight this linking anymore... I've forgotten what I started fighting for ♪ ♫ 

Vulture the best grimaces and grins from Mad Men season 5. Good stuff
Tim Robey interviews the great Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen on his very busy career (Thor 2, Hannibal TV series, A Royal Affair and more...)
Liz Smith on the Friar's Club roast of Tom Cruise (opening quote via Alec Baldwin) 
EW Jeremy Jordan (Broadway's Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde) joins the cast of Smash. They're really shuffling players for Season 2. Which still won't solve the problem of treating Megan Hilty like she's not the Starriest of Stars on the show. (sigh)
Hollywood and Fine "why I love/hate Rock of Ages" point of view from former rock critic. 

Stale Popcorn on Yentl "Barbra I can hear you". I also like this movie, haters begone. Here's the actor who's playing Osama Bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty 
Pop Watch Prometheus deleted scene still. Who is "the engineer" talking with? 
The Mary Sue on the trials and tribulations of superhero costumes
My New Plaid Pants does the only sensible thing and screencaps the red band Magic Mike trailer. Even with all the goodness inherent in such an effort my favorite thing is this comment from a reader named "Paco":

I am starting a petition to have this movie remade every year, with a rotating cast of actors.

Pass that petition right over. Reboot With Depantsing!

Appropos of nothing, it's Sam Hargraves, Chris Evans stunt double!Finally, the Thought Catalog has "The Life of Someone Who Didn't Like The Avengers"  Funny read.

You didn’t hate it, but you wanted to like it more, and you knew that thinking it “wasn’t terrible” wouldn’t be good enough. Like that time that you saw The Dark Knight and pointed out the badly-choreographed fight scenes to your friend who proceeded to have a hissy fit in the theater lobby...

It does get lonely out there if you don't like a universally beloved thing (like me with Forrest Gump/Braveheart. OMG I hate those movies). I never shared this tidbit from my family time away from the blog a few weeks back but my sister didn't like The Avengers at all. Sadly she didn't say why. It's so hard talking movies in depth with my family. They never explain themselves. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I talk out into the void via The Film Experience? 


The Diary of Peggy Siegal

High Powered Publicist Peggy Siegal's has just released her Cannes Diary at the Huffington Post. Better three weeks late than never. Peggy throws great Oscar shindigs here in NYC where much handshaking and FYC vote counting happened right before my very eyes last season (remember that party for The Help I wrote about? - that was one of my favorite pieces last year).

Can't wait for the festivities to begin again! For Peggy of course they already have.

Peggy @ Cannes with Michel Hazanavicius & James Woods

My favorite days of the name-dropping diary (Frank Langella would be proud) both happen to be Thursdays.

May 17th. Jacques Audiard's screening of Rust and Bone at the Palais is packed. Marion Cotillard portrays a marine-park trainer who loses her legs to a killer whale. Stop. It's a love story. A street fighter, played by Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts, literally sweeps her off her digitally-erased feet and I promise you, she is walking into the Oscars this year in a Dior Haute Couture.

Peggy promises! Translation: Take note.

Hey, it's not a bad bet. Even if Rust & Bone proves to outré for the bulk of AMPAS voters there's always Cotillard's other juicy lead role in the tentatively titled Low Life in which she plays a reluctant immigrant prostitute. If The Weinstein Company opts to give that one an Oscar qualifying 2012 release. (Oscar voters do love the world's oldest profession.) 

Kidman and Cotillard, both Oscar winners, won fresh buzz at Cannes last month. Will they snag their fourth and second nominations respectively?

Thursday May 24th is my favorite entry. It begins like so.

Lee Daniels shows the The Paperboy. Nicole Kidman is a trailer park Brigitte Bardot. Zac Efron, all grown up, lusts after Nicole wearing underpants. Matthew McConaughey is a hunky gay journalist and John Cusack is the crazy inmate on death-row in this erotic thriller set in1960s Florida.

Lee unabashedly announces at the press conference that his deep understanding of the nutty and violent characters are taken from his personal experience. As he says, "I know these people. My brother is in jail for 18 years for murder." He had Nicole interview seven real women who have long-term relationships with men in jail, adding insight to her stunning performance.

Arriving on Lady Joy, Denise Rich's 170-foot yacht, appropriately disheveled but always chic, Denise whisks me off to her stateroom and instructs her professional hair and make-up staff to fluff me up.

Famous love birds Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are staying on the boat and have just come up from their bedroom for lunch. Kim and I stare at each other's makeup as I sit as close as possible without invading her space. Her skin is like butter. She is quite beautiful.

I rant about every film I have seen. It's a tad too early for Kanye and Kim to digest all this information. Soft-spoken Kanye tells me about his short art film Cruel Summer. Filmed in Qatar, the short is inspired by theRomeo and Juliet-esque classic Middle Eastern tale Antar and Abla.

David Geffen sends the "Rising Sun's" tender, which is larger than my New York Park Avenue apartment to pick me up for lunch. At 453-feet, I board the sixth largest yacht in the world built by Larry Ellison for over $200 million and redesigned by Geffen. From sea level, I climb four flights to greet David. I have three words for him, "Not big enough."

Lunch is with Keith Urban and Wendi Murdoch on an outdoor deck. Again I rant about every film but to a more astute reception. David tells me he never leaves the boat. Would you, if you had a basketball court on board?

On the tender back to shore Keith tells me Nicole and he are moving to the South of France in September for three months while she films Grace of Monaco, a drama about thesp-turned-princess Grace Kelly.

My head is spinning from trying to imagine Kim Kardashian conversing about art movies though I have no trouble imagining the follow up with Keith Urban - he is married to our Nicole after all. But that's Cannes for you - an improbable mix of Household Name Celebrities Famous Just Because They're Famous who might never have set foot in an arthouse in their lives and films made by Household Names if your household happens to be composed entirely of cinephiles. (In which case, can I come over for dinner?)

Believe it or not, this is but a tiny sample. It's a must read. Poor Clive Owen even gets stuck in an elevator with fans for 20 minutes! 

P.S. Yes, I'll update the Oscar charts soon.


Complete the Sentence. Everyone Should Watch...

Everyone should watch ______________ immediately because ________________ . If you haven't seen it _______________.