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Entries in 50/50 (5)

Monday
Dec052011

Links: Wings, 50/50, Serkis, Streep, Top Tens

Drawn Need Christmas Gift ideas! Here's favorite art books of 2011. Love to see "Hark! a Vagrant" and "Amazing Everything" listed, both of which we've linked up before. Several movie books also make the list including The Art of Pixar and Saul Bass.
Movie|Line is still on Team Uggie (The Artist) even if the dog may soon retire. 
In Contention Andy Serkis on MoCap performances and Oscar.
toh! Zoinks. I want to go to this restored Wings (1927) screening so bad. Someone buy me a roundtrip to Los Angeles. The silent classic was the first to win Best Picture and let's just say that ol' Oscar started on a high note. Especially since he essentially gave two Best Pic prizes that year and they other one Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is also wondrous.


Gold Derby on the opening weekend performance of a "need to see this" movie like Shame
Stale Popcorn the ladies who lunch with The Ides of March. Hear hear on the Giamatti/Hoffman business. 
Telegraph Daniel Radcliffe joins the bizarrely long list of actors to play Beat poet Allen Ginsberg .
The Guardin Pixar House inspired by Up goes for $400,000
Pajiba 'movies that should've made an assload more at the box office than they did in 2011'. Interesting list though I'd argue that the gross that 50/50 did receive was much higher than one could reasonably expect given that it was a) a tearjerker for guys and guys aren't supposed to like tearjerkers and b) a comedy ABOUT CANCER. The movie should be proud of its gross.

The Wrap super-duper insanely great news for Meryl Streep fans. The living legend will reprise her guffaw-worthy Camilla Bowner character on the second season of Web Therapy. If you never saw the original Web Therapy shorts that played on the internet (before it was a Showtime series) she played a reparative therapist who was attempting to 'cure' Lisa Kudrow's character's husband of his homosexuality. 

Top Ten o' the Day - David Edelstein
I lurve top ten lists. It matters not whether I find them (individually) nonsensical, just right or aggravating. There's something in me that adores the cataloguing of each year's work. So in each day's link-roundup, I'll be bringing you my favorite bit from whichever top ten list I've just been reading. Here's Edelstein on Beginners:

Melancholy and madcap, Mike Mills’s inventive weave of past and present ushers you into the mind of its hero (a superb Ewan ­McGregor) as he agonizes over his emotional inheritance. As the dad who comes out of the closet at 75, Christopher Plummer is light and lithe, buoyed by his new life among the boys.

I also really dig his question-mark description of Alexander Payne even though The Descendants isn't coming anywhere near my list. 

Monday
Dec052011

DC Critics Love Movies About Movies... And Dogs

This year marked the 10th anniversary for the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association. What a mouthful their name is. Henceforth WAFCA which omits the DC part but they like it that way.  In their very first year they picked an odd duck for Best Picture by way of the Stiff With Prestige Adaptation Road to Perdition but since then they've hewed much closer to Oscar, only giving two top prizes to films that weren't eventually Best Picture nominees or winners (Eternal Sunshine and United 93). This year they went crazy for movies about movies... with dogs.

DC Film Critics are Dog People. The Artist and Hugo win big.

Let me be clear... In no way does my happy photoshopping imply that President Obama is a member of WAFCA though the Obamas are dog friendly. It's just me thinking 'bout DC and the movies.

Here are the WAFCA prizes...

Film The Artist
Director Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Actress Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Actor George Clooney, The Descendants
Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer, The Help
Supporting Actor Albert Brooks, Drive


Acting Ensemble Bridesmaids
Adapted Screenplay Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash  The Descendants
Original Screenplay Will Reiser for 50/50
Animated Feature Rango
Documentary Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams 

"Skeletor" is a real healer in Original Screenplay winner 50/50

Foreign Language Film Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In
Art Direction Dante Ferretti and Francesca LoSchiavo for Hugo 
Cinemagotraphy Emmanuel Lubeszki for The Tree of Life
Score Ludovic Bource for The Artist  

The Artist and Hugo are certainly starting the awards season off well. Given that they both opened for the Thanksgiving Holiday does this mean next Thanksgiving we'll see an even larger clusterfuck than this year's insanity?

How long do you think it'll be before one of the critics groups gives the Supporting Actress prize to one or all of the Bridesmaids? Monty didn't totally go for Bridesmaids but then he's not a dog person... er, cat. 

Saturday
Dec032011

Link Hunters

The Guardian Ken Russell was nearly finished with a new screenplay adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, to be made as a risque musical. Will it still be made with a new director?
Nullco Preorder The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack and download a sampler
Rope of Silicon first look at Sam Worthington in Wrath of the Titans and a curious plot synopsis
Thompson on Hollywood talks to one or our favorite craftsmen, production designer Jack Fisk (of Terrence Malick and Mr Sissy Spacek fame.)
24 Frames Hugo steps up as a powerful Oscar contender.

Empire wonders if paranormal romance Smoke and Bone about an angel and a demon that fall in love will be the next big movie franchise? Have any of you read it?
Inside Movies Deliverance actor Bill McKinney has passed away. 
Wipe Your Feet "Watching Melancholia is like..." I love the movie but this is totally LOL. 
Pop Watch tries to imagine Buffy alum Michelle Trachtenberg as Bella Swan. Supposedly, it could have happened.
Hollywood News talks to Will Reiser about 50/50 and the power of Anjelica Huston. 
IndieWire Mike Leigh will head the jury at February's Berlinale. (This year's jury picked Oscar buzzing Iranian film A Separation as the best of the fest. Good luck topping that one!)

Finally, EW has released the first photo of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

I don't want to be bitchy about it since we've seen so little -- the trailer hits next week -- but doesn't it seem like revisionist fairy tale revisions and dark leathery bad-ass costuming are getting a little, shall we say, generic these days? How will this distinguish itself?

And when will Jeremy Renner star in a drama again after all this time spent Bourne Avenging Impossible Missions With Witch Hunters ? Does he want to be Samuel L Jackson that badly? Seems like a waster after his dramatic brilliance in The Hurt Locker.

Wednesday
Oct052011

"Link, I Am Your Father"

This doesn't need an entire post to itself but if you haven't heard you should know that SHAME, the eagerly awaited Hunger follow up from visionary Steve McQueen will open on December 2nd. That's the one that stars the naked raw talents known as Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Yay! I'd tell you that I'm seeing it this week but the press screenings at NYFF this year have been more difficult than in past years... so I plan to see it this week.

LINKS
Rope of Silicon has first pic of Russell Crowe as Superman's father in Man of Steel. I get why the capes are that muted color but it's still weird to think of SuperPeople with muted color palette costumes.
Movie|Line Awesome inimitable director/personality Werner Herzog will play the villain in the Tom Cruise vehicle One Shot. As TFE's unsung hero Michael put so well on twitter "The only thing that would make that Werner Herzog news cooler is if he's playing Werner Herzog."
Hollywood and Fine  on the shifts of star generations and how that plays into The Ides of March with Ryan Gosling vs. George Clooney. It's a smart piece though some of the claims are suspect (like DeNiro and Pacino still having great work in them...uhhhh)  
MNPP Luke Evans Seven Times 

The House Next Door Jaime N Christley is a dissenting voice on Mexico's critic's darling Miss Bala 
Frankly My Dear.... War Horse newbie Jeremy Irvine already has his follow up picture. He'll be in the umpteenth Great Expectations adaptation. This one for director Mike Newell.

Vanity Fair Johnny Depp is the new cover boy and apparently he hates being photographed (uhhhh) and he says yes to all the stupid money for his kids (Uhhhh... what kids need $300 million dollars? Isn't becoming  a hack really for your kid's kid's grandchildren at this point? $300 million for the Pirates franchise alone.) Unsolicited advice: Take a challenging role soon, maybe by a new visionary writer/director who nobody would think to bankroll without you, do it for scale and rediscover your gift. Just sayin'. 
Antagony and Ecstasy Mr Brayton, one of the best critics on the net and a twentysomething cancer survivor, reviews the twentysomething cancer comedy 50/50.

Today's Recommended Watch
The making of that infamous nippley The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo poster set to the film's score. 

Saturday
Oct012011

50/50

Joining the very slim ranks of Cancer Comedies, 50/50 must surely number among the best of them. The film begins with a long shot of 27 year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) jogging. It's unclear why the film begins this way (we never see him exercise again) but it's telling. Adam is about to embark on a sweaty exhausting journey with no set destination and it takes him awhile to come into focus.

As protagonists go, Adam is a passive blurry character. He lets his loud friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) control their friendship. Even though he's only just given her a dresser drawer, his girlfriend Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) is calling all the relationship shots - including no blow jobs which infuriates Kyle on Adam's behalf. Adam seems content to sit back and take whatever life does or doesn't offer him. Enter: Cancer...

...read the full review at Towleroad

P.S. Are you visiting JGL in the hospital this weekend or do you have other movie plans?

P.P.S. I didn't spend much time on her in the review but Anjelica Huston is just a marvel in her very brief role (2 ½ scenes?). She's had plenty of (unfortunate) time now to hone her skills at delivering full characterizations in mere moments. She gets two of the biggest laughs in the movie but it doesn't end with comedy. She's fierce and touching, too. Brava.