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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD


"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael


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Entries in Alden Ehrenreich (9)

Thursday
May242018

Review: "Solo - A Star Wars Story"

by Chris Feil

Han Solo isn’t exactly a character that has our affections enmeshed in his origins. As played in the original Star Wars saga by peak hunk Harrison Ford, Han is about 50% swagger, 30% smart ass, and 20% emotional walls. He’s a crucial element, but one whose history isn’t essential to the story we all know and love - so in tracing his beginnings, Solo - A Star Wars Story needs a strong point of view to be more than a spin on the hampster wheel. It’s sadly almost there...

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Tuesday
Apr102018

A "Solo" trailer at last!

Chris here. We've got only a month or so before we finally feast our eyes on the much reported troubled production of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Was Ron Howard able to steer the film to safety after original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller notoriously clashed with Lucasfilm brass? Depending on which reports you believe, Howard either completely reshot the entire script or just the major set pieces. Whether the final product succeeds, expect the "who shot what" discussion to continue into Star Wars lore like "Han shot first".

Adding to the concern has been a lack of footage to pore over, but await no longer for a full trailer is finally here! While the delayed glimpse at what is in store hasn't done much in the way of damage control, the actual trailer doesn't quite help either. We're served a mishmash of murky imagery and what looks to be an overadherence to formula, particularly in its character lineup. If you can already sense there are too many cooks in the kitchen from this short assemblage, it might be time to believe the worst. Doesn't it feel like the titular hero (and our beloved Alden Ehrenreich who plays him) is being backgrounded? Shouldn't our heart race immediately at the sight of the Millennium Falcon?

But the trailer isn't without its highlights: Donald Glover being sexy in space, ample capes, Woody Harrelson being weird again, and whatever it is that Thandie Newton is doing (but speechlessly so? Why?!). And thanks to Fleabag, we still couldn't be any more excited for whatever Phoebe Waller-Bridge's android brings. For now, we wait nervously on the rest...

Thursday
Jan192017

Supporting Actor, Personal Ballot

I'm still debating Oscar's fifth slot free-for-all for Best Supporting Actor, presuming they give two spots to leading men Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Dev Patel (Lion) and another two spots are held by former Oscar winner Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water) and the man I'd argue is still the frontrunner to win despite his Golden Globe loss Mahershara Ali (Moonlight). Unfortunately almost all of my favorites are quite far out of the running this year. But my final predictions will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, it's my turn. Meaning: my ballot! Mine. Mine. Mine. 

...and I do feel possessive each year about movie honors. If you're reading I presume that you, too, care deeply about acting as an artform. It can be frustrating each season to watch dozens of worthy performances winnowed down so swiftly into 5-10 Oscar potentials. So many trickily performed, gorgeously nuanced, and admirable feats of acting get lost along the way... though some happily stand the test of time and become "how did HE/SHE not get nominated?" curiousities. I don't try to be off consensus in my own awards but sometimes it works out that way. For my own shortlist, only one of the presumed Oscar players makes it. Looking over the list I've realized that all of these characters would surely be insufferable to spend actual time with but they were played by five actors so rich, every second spent with them was something to treasure. So here's to Tom Bennett, Ralph Fiennes, Mahershara Ali, Trevante Rhodes, and Alden Ehrenhreich! You can read the write ups here at the Film Bitch Awards.

Thursday
Oct272016

The Linking Dead

Towleroad Jack O'Connell will star in Andrew Haigh's Alexander McQueen biopic. Good casting
MTV Is Jon Hamm funny... when the punchline is always just, "Jon Hamm"
Guardian Tom Hardy to play famous Antartica explorer in 1914 set film
/Film Scott Derrickson says he wants to make a Doctor Strange sequel 'in the vein of The Dark Knight'. First the Inception inspired visuals than this? Someone take his Chris Nolan dvds away pronto!
Tracking Board Catherine Keener joins Del Toro & Brolin for the Sicario sequel called Soldado
The Talkhouse Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce sings the praise of...wait for it... John Travolta & Lily Tomlin in infamous Moment By Moment (1978)

Express Susan Sarandon in costume as Bette Davis for Feud
Interview talks to rising star Alden Ehrenreich - great photoshoot too
Comics Alliance shares concept art from Suicide Squad that wasn't used. Too colorful and fantastically gorgeous (Enchantress) - not grimy and ugly enough for Warner Bros / DC comic aesthetic!
Nerds of Color grades the reviews for Doctor Strange on how they deal with the Swinton casting as The Ancient One 
i09 Star Trek: Discovery just lost Bryan Fuller as its showrunner
Variety Apparently Jude & Robert are going to make yet another Sherlock Holmes movie. Wasn't 2 enough? 
/Film Shaun The Sheep Movie is getting a sequel. Hopefully this one will have a less awkward title 
Coming Soon lots of photos from the set of Thor: Ragnarok as it wraps filming 

Gay Gay Gay
People Trevante Rhodes talks about playing gay in Moonlight (straight stars are getting much better at these interviews but one wishes gay actors could get a crack at some of these key gay roles) 
Variety Will & Grace considering a possible TV revival after their election special reunion
THR Sean Hayes apologizes for not coming out sooner while receiving a prize from OutFest
Kenneth in the (212) Stonewall Fundraising Event gets help from icons like Cher, Madonna & Steve Nicks 

TV
Playbill Patti LuPone on joining Crazy Ex Girlfriend
YouTube John Cleese recap of The Walking Dead's first six seasons - it's funny and I don't even watch the show
Vulture reminds me why I don't watch the show by discussing its more exploitative qualities when it comes to the violence
Fusion a great piece on the non-sexualized dude robots on Westworld 

Just 4 Fun
Gothamist best dog costumes at Halloween in Thompson Square Park including movie spoofs like Human Centipede, The Little Shop of Horrors, and Harry Potter
Vulture remembering the best Celebrity Vines

...And Lady Gaga on Carpool Karaoke 

Monday
Jun272016

Halfway Mark: Best Actors of 2016 (Thus Far)

Halfway Mark Festivities begin now! It's never too early to start thinking about year-end lists. If you keep a list all year long, you make better choices at year's end. Unlike The Academy we don't believe that the film year begins in October. So let's name the best male performances and achievements from the first half of the year.

Disclaimer: Notable films I missed that might have factored in to these categories but that I'll have to catch up with on DVD include 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Nice Guys.

NOTABLE MALE PERFORMANCES 
(January through June, 2016 - U.S. Theatrical Releases)

Best Leading Actor


  • Alfredo Castro as "Armando" in From Afar
    One of world cinema's most dependably unnerving actors but his performances are never copies. (He's also great in the predatory priests drama The Club also released this year)
  • Colin Farrell as "David" in The Lobster
    This underpraised actor continues to push himself when similarly famous stars would have long ago started coasting. Just wonderful as this lovelorn but surprisingly amoral sadsack
  • Jake Gyllenhaal as "Davis" in Demolition
    Can someone please start giving him films that can keep up with him? He's been on such a tear. Get him while he's at his peak!
  • Daniel Radcliffe as "Manny" in Swiss Army Man
    Though it's not much of a high-bar to proclaim this Harry Potter's best performance, that doesn't negate the compliment. Radcliffe does wonders with the weird constrictions of the role, never over or underplaying this corpse that talks, marvels, and learns and yearns for love
  • Ferdia Walsh-Peelo as "Cosmo" in Sing Street
    He's a major find, superbly charting Cosmo's growing confidence and musical passion.

Four more categories after the jump...

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Monday
Jun132016

The Furniture: Merrily We Dance in Hail Caesar!

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber...

Hobie Doyle is out of his element. Tossed from the great outdoors into the drawing room by the head of the studio, Alden Ehrenreich’s cowboy careens into words with hilarious indelicacy. It might be the single funniest scene in the Coen Brothers’ Hail Caesar!, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray, or at least a close second place to the hysterical clerical debate. It also has one of the most interesting sets, if not the flashiest.

The production in question is "Merrily We Dance," a genteel comedy by the director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). A hodge-podge of George Cukor and Noel Coward, he stands in for the not-quite-closeted geniuses of the era. The film, which seems to fall somewhere between Private Lives and Dinner at Eight, sends a jilted lover to an upscale party from which the hostess has absconded to Lake Onondaga...

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