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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Catherine Zeta-Jones (7)


The Links

The Wrap Emily Blunt is joining Charlize Theron to double the evil sorceress perfection that terrorizes Chris Hemsworth in The Huntsman. Now I suddenly want to see it.
MNPP Whatever happened to Sean Maher (Firefly). Jason has the answer 
Vulture John Travolta without his hairpiece. Ditch it permanently, John. Bald is beautiful. Or at least more beautiful than pretending you have hair (you did have a great head of it) when you no longer do. 
THR Michael Keaton in talks to star in a "gritty" drama from John Lee Hancock (who, tbh, we don't associate with "gritty" since he made The Rookie and The Blind Side*) called The Founder about the rise of McDonalds and behind the scenes shady business. It sounds like there are three good male roles so I wonder who will join Keaton? Can I put in a request for Edward Norton. I want them to become a new movie duo - so great together!
THR Good idea, Tom Cruise. Reuniting with your Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. That was your best movie in ages 
The Stake on the 10 most profitable movies of 2014: horror, comedy, YA and even two heavily CG movies  


Oscar Oscar
Wired fact-checking Oscar morning outrage tweets 
The Dissolve the "Critics Choice" Awards righting Oscar wrongs. (But, in fairness, true fact: we voted before the nominations so these achievements are entirely accidental) 
Cinesnark is angry about the Selma snubbings -- a feeling which is going around and which will definitely in the future, no fuck that, RIGHT NOW make the Academy look bad -- though I would actually disagree on one point: I don't actually think the Screenplay deserved a nomination in that, I think there were five better. The movies power is in its direction, staging, cast, and feelings of immediacy despite being from the past. I think the screenplay actually has a few clunky bits.
Interview Jennifer Lawrence interviews Eddie Redmayne. I love this bit:

REDMAYNE: Do you ever watch dailies? 

LAWRENCE: No. Unless I keep getting the same note and I'm obviously not getting it, then I'll watch it again on the monitor. But, oh my God, did you watch rushes of this? 

REDMAYNE: We sort of had to, because we were jumping in and out of all these different time periods and trying to track the illness and the physical decline. I had an iPad with all the documentary footage of Stephen and then we had the dailies. I kept hoping that the two things were going to meet, but obviously they never did. [laughs]

It's fun to remember occasionally that big stars are actually directed and get 'ur doing it wrong' notes, isn't it? 

Old But Not Stale!
Slate details how a bad Jennifer Aniston movie turned into an Oscar Cinderella story. Really interesting piece except for that this Cinderella got stuck living with the stepmother Prince Oscar never found her with that one shoe. 
Nick's Flick Picks I never read Nick's annual liveblog until I've fully moved on from my Globe coverage because it's just too intimidatingly funny. It's my dessert that I have to force myself to wait to devour. This is my favorite part at the moment:

8:56: I feel like it's brutal to transition immediately from the Affair producer's advocacy for "how important our marriages are" to Catherine Zeta-Jones's entrance. But CZJ does brutal plenty well herself. "They're having a well-deserved party" is unmistakably a Welsh phrase meaning, "These bitches need to get out of my light!"

*This is not meant as snark. I liked The Rookie a lot. It's just meant as "he's not a gritty director"


Podcast: Side Effects & Oscar Symptoms

Have you ever sleepwalked? Joe, Katey, and I (Nathaniel) discuss this creepy phenom and a wide variety of other things that Steven Sodebergh's Side Effects brings to mind in this spoilery discussion including 'best in show' acting honors and which thrillers it reminds us of.

For those who'd like to see the movie fresh, the Side Effects discussion takes up the last half of the podcast. The podcast begins with very brief words on A Good Day To Die Hard (which just opened for Valentine's Day Weekend) before we move on to Oscar theories like "which Oscars can Lincoln and Amour win?" and "Who the hell will win Best Director?" as well as pressing Oscar-Obsessive-Only Worries like "will winning the Oscar kill Jennifer Lawrence's drive as a young actress?"

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen right here at the end of the post. 


Side Effects & Oscar Symptoms


Summer Movie Survey. We Celebrate! (Part 1)

How was the summer for you? Did you shove tips in Magic Mike's loincloth at the Xquisite or strap on utility belts to fight for Gotham's soul? Maybe you freaked out in outer/auteur space with Ridley Scott, or demonstrated super popcorn-eating powers with Joss Whedon and The Avengers or devoured art house offerings as enthusiastically as Hushpuppy cracked those crab shells in Beasts of the Southern Wild? 

We totally want to hear your great takeaways from summer movie season, so we'll go first. Sharing Time! I sent my frequent contributors a little questionnaire -- a "Summer Report Card" if you will -- to get the thingie about their summer at the movies to get this comment party started and here's what I got back.  I had such fun reading these and I hope you do too. This weekend I'll be joined by my podcast mates Joe Reid and Nick Davis on a two parter answering these same questions. If you answer these questions on your blog I'll link up. Or just use the comments as your own "what about me?!" personal space.

So here we go...

Best Movie I Saw All Summer: 
Beasts of the Southern Wild, closely followed by those wild beasts of the south dancing at the Xquisite

Moment  I  ♥ So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst: 
It wasn't just my heart bursting, it was all my insides spilling out as Noomi Rapace cut herself to deliver her baby monster in Prometheus
At Least The Theatre Was Air Conditioned:
Killer Joe
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : 
Though I ended up missing that episode of HMWYBS, thanks to Nathaniel I finally caught up with Dog Day Afternoon. What a superb actor Al Pacino used to be.

Major Summer Crush(es)
Few things in the world are as attractive as women riding motorcycles, or women dressed in spandex. Few people are as attractive as Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway riding a motorcycle wearing spandex? *faints*

Line Reading That Stuck In My Head...

The law says you cannot touch, but I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house tonight."
-Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) in Magic Mike



Best Movie I Saw All Summer:
Princess Merida, Katniss or Hawkeye?
Thing I Actually Learned (at summer movie camp! ;): 
Rachel Weisz is not the poor man's Kate Winslet anymore even if she was doing Revolutionary Road redux in The Deep Blue Sea.
Major Summer Crush(es)
Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron in Prometheus; Princess Merida in Brave; Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man; Thor's biceps in The Avengers
 At Least The Theater Was Air Conditioned: 
Total Recall 
If Only "Hulk" Had Smashed...
...everything in Dark Shadows, except for Chloe, Eva and Michelle. 

Moment I ♥  So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst:
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" as performed by CZJ in Rock of Ages. Don't judge.
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : Les Diaboliques.
Line Reading That Stuck In My Head...

Peter Parker: "I've been bitten"
Gwen: "So have I"



Best Movie I Saw This Summer:
Moonrise Kingdom
Moments  I  ♥ So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst: 
The floating brothel from Beasts and the Wal Mart shopping trip from Queen of Versailles
Thing I Actually Learned (at summer movie camp!)
If you are fighting with a guy who relies on an elaborate face mask to live you should probably punch him in the mask
Major Summer Crush:
Alison Brie from Five Year Engagement. Just when I thought I couldn't be more in love with her she goes and adds a flawless English accent.
Princess Merida, Katniss or Hawkeye? 
Merida. Better form than Hawkeye. Better personality than Katniss. Better hair than anyone, ever.
If Only "Hulk" Had Smashed...:  
That pale humanoid guy from Prometheus. Right when he came back to life and had the smug look on his face. How satisfying would that have been?
Mash-Up ~ Summer Movie Characters I'd Like to Introduce (and why): 
David from Prometheus and The Avengers. David deserves a better franchise and The Avengers could use someone who is not such a drama queen.
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : In researching a post about cinema's greatest cinematographers I watched Mikhail Kalatazov's The Cranes are Flying, 1958's Cannes winner and Wow. How did I miss this film for so many years? A stunning masterpiece that should be talked about more.
At Least The Theater Was Air Conditioned:
Snow White and the Huntsman. No more movies where the lead character is "the chosen one". I'm begging. 
Line Reading That Stuck in My Head...
After you die I'll go to your grave and eat birthday cake all by myself."
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
...also, all the lines Charlize Theron randomly YELLED in Snow White are still ringing in my ears but I don't think that's what you mean.

P.S. I heartily endorse Michael's love for The Cranes are Flying, Amir's hot and botheredness for attractive chicks on motorcycles, and I wanted to second Jose's endorsement of CZJ in musical form again but the movie let her down!

Rock of Ages Will Rock You... (Or At Least Lightly Jostle You)

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

At a recent press screening in Manhattan, heavily attended by the gays, the choreographer turned So You Think You Can Dance judge turned movie director Adam Shankman cheerfully introduced the screening of his latest stage-to-screen musical Rock of Ages. It's his first musical since the exuberant Hairspray (2007) and he charmingly expressed his nerves and excitement about showing it off. He invited the assembled crowd to not take the movie too seriously, "dumb fun!", and sing along with it if they felt the urge. I was sitting near the front and as Shankman bounded up the stairs to exit from the back, he shouted out  'Oh, and I'm gay' as a "no shit" style punchline. The crowd laughed and the lights went out. 

The energy of Shankman's introduction can't have hurt the screening but his invitation to sing-along proved redundant. It doesn't take long for the movie to send out its own karaoke invitation.  In the jukebox movie musical's very first number we meet a small town girl, living in a lonely world, who takes a midnight train bus going anywhere. Her name is Sherry Christian (Julianne Hough) but she's not exactly going anywhere. She's purposefully headed to Los Angeles to try to make it in the music business. No sooner has she begun singing "Sister Christian" (get it? Um… haha?) than the unnamed extras on the bus start grabbing solo lines from the verses until the whole bus is singing about Sister Christian. Her time has come!  

Upon her arrival in the big city, this girl from the sticks lands both a new job and a new bartender/songwriter boyfriend (Cam Gigandet) at a famous club operated by a beleaguered old pro (Cher) and her gayish sidekick (Stanley Tucci). The club is having financial trouble thanks in part to a mercenary money man (Eric Dane) and hopes that a big voice (Christina Aguilera) will resurrect its fortu--- NO, WAIT. THAT'S BURLESQUE! More after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Tom Cruise Has Magic Hair

Today Tom Cruise released the first picture of himself in character as "Stacee Jaxx" for the musical comedy ROCK OF AGES (2012) which is based on this Broadway hit. I'm sure some blogs will say this looks ridiculous but it's supposed to. The show is a broad comedy! The weird part is that his storyline revolves around a journalist trying to expose him. Wasn't that a subplot in Magnolia... or was that just Frank TJ Mackey's paranoia talking? I haven't seen that movie in forever.

In addition to Tom's magic sperm, which seems to unlock greatness in actresses as soon as they reject it, he has always had magic hair. No matter what style it's in for a film, no matter if its buzzcut military or yuppie floppy, or long and lanky, or rock-star wispy it always looks crazy perfect. It always ends up looking like that's the way his hair was always meant to be. Barring Interview With a Vampire but that was a wig. (Oh god please tell me that was a wig. Otherwise even magic has its limits)

Rock of Ages opens in June 2012. And what that boils down to is this: One more year until we get to see Catherine Zeta Jones singing and dancing again. Yes! The cast list also includes Alec Baldwin, Mary J Blige, Julianne Hough, Paul Giamatti, Russell Brand, Bryan Cranston and Malin Akerman.

P.S. this tattoo is made of LOL.  I sincerely hope that the costume designer -- not yet named on IMDb -- is on point for this movie. It could be a joyously funny movie if the details are great.


Red Carpet: Serious Actresses, Voices of Reason, Flamboyant Firemen.

For this week's red carpet convo, Your Movie Buddy Kurt is back to chat with Nathaniel and we're joined by special guest Guy Lodge from In Contention! We're discussing a couple handfuls of usually cross-platform celebrities who hit the Tony Awards.

Kurt: ‬ ‪i should say first that i did not watch the show‬
Guy: ‬ ‪That makes two of us!‬
 ‬ ‪but i did see NPH's opening number. killer.‬
Nathaniel: Here we go... soak it in.


Guy: WOW where to even begin?
Nathaniel: Let's start at the obvious place. Make up a show in your head that allows for all of these looks to happen. A schizo show it might be...

[long pause]

Guy: ‬ ‪I'm imagining a revisionist take on the Wizard of Oz where a washed-up tennis star, a washed-up Lilith Fair singer-songwriter and a washed-up Julianna Margulies body double all join forces to seek guidance from an all-knowing, black-clad sorceress -- except instead of lacking heart-brain-courage, they simply all lack style. And a mirror.‬
Kurt: ‬ way to make Whoopi the magical negro.
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪I love you, Guy. You've even brought us full circle to TAMMY BLANCHARD's original calling card: that Judy Garland miniseries aeons ago! Tammy is in a sparkly blue number here. I don't think we can top Tom & Lorenzo's comment "serving drag queen realness." But Tammy is a biological woman.
Kurt: She's really out of place here. Has my taste level plummeted or does she look pretty ok?‬


wow. ouch.‬
Guy: ‬ ‪That she's also the best dressed person here doesn't bode well.‬
Nathaniel‪: ‬ ‪Well, I've started with dessert - this is as crazy as it gets.‬
Kurt: ‬ ‪fo realz‬. I really want to talk about Frances but we should probably move left to right.
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪We can hop around. Something is telling me that FRANCES MCDORMAND wouldn't mind that breach of etiquette as she showed up to an awards show in a jean jacket!

Guy: ‬ ‪On reflection, I think Whoopi's actually the best-dressed here -- because she looks more like herself than any of the others. You know she only dresses to amuse herself.‬
Kurt: She's amusing me, too.
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Is that how you explain WHOOPI GOLDBERG's Queen Elizabeth Oscar look?‬
Guy: ‬ ‪Totally. And remember that purple dress with green leggings she wore to the Oscars one year? Frankly, if she pitched up dressed in a sleek Prada number, I'd be worried about her.‬
Kurt: ‬ ‪very true‬


Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Perhaps one can say the same for Frances, who clearly cannot be bothered to project FAMOUS MOVIE STAR and instead opts for THEATER COMPANY EARTH MOTHER‬
‬ ‪this look is absolutely nuts.
 ‬ ‪She clearly wants to show how serious she is about her craft that she can't be bothered with all this glam-up business... but come on.‬
Kurt: ‬
‪it's a little tooo defiant‬.
 ‬ ‪I was talking to Joe Reid earlier today and he said that he wanted to go on record.‬ 'Make sure someone defends Frances McD' he says. I'm like "ON WHAT GROUNDS?!" and he says "That she's Frances McDormand and can do as she pleases"
Guy: ‬
‪Well, she's Frances McDormand and we love her, but that's as far as the defence goes.‬ Remember the navy dress she wore when she won the Oscar? It was simple and sensible and got the same message across without being fugly.‬
Nathaniel‪: ‬ ‪True Story: I once had a jean jacket and painted Annie Lennox on the back of it (circa SAVAGE cd) and wore it everywhere and everyday. But i don't know that I would have pulled it out for awards night.‬
Kurt: ‬Should Frances turn around then?
Guy: ‬‪Yes, in fairness, we can't see what's on the back of Frances's leather jacket.‬
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Ha. I think she mentioned some hippie rock band being on that stage last time she was in this very theater.‬. I forget who. Maybe I'm mischaracterizing.
Kurt: from the waist up, she's on her way to see a hippie rock band.
Nathaniel: also she's in Transformers: Dark of the Moon so maybe SHE HAD TO DO THIS to reestablish her Serious Thespian cred.
Guy: ‬ ‪If it has "SUCK IT, VANESSA REDGRAVE" on the back or her jacket in iron-on letters, she's totally forgiven.‬
Kurt: ‬ ‪HAHA
Nathaniel: ‬ Frances nears the triple crown -- just the Emmy remains -- but ‪Vanessa is a triple crowner already
Guy: ‬ ‪As she should be‬

As is AL PACINO. Do you think anyone would notice if Whoopi and Pacino traded headgear?‬
Kurt: ‬ ‪i really like guy's washed up tennis star notion; however, i can never look at Al anymore without thinking of Roy Cohn, and here, Roy just got back from a tryst and still has the dude's underwear on his head‬
Nathaniel: ‪That is so wrong Kurt... so so wrong.‬
Guy: ‬ ‪Whoopi's hat would help Al's look -- if only because it could fall over his face and he'd be spared the embarrassment of being recognised.‬
Nathaniel: Was there a hairplug incident? He had to mprovise last minute and Whoopi would just not trade!‬
Guy: ‬ ‪Maybe the hair is ATTACHED to the hairband.‬
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪...serving drag queen fierceness‬.
Kurt: ‬ ‪is that the evening's theme?‬
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪no, sadly.‬
Kurt: ‬ ‪because frances would be lip-synching for her mother effin life‬

Guy: ‬ ‪Aside from the headband, though, what's up with the ill-fitting suit? He looks like a teenager wearing his older brother's tux to the prom.‬
Kurt: ‬ I was gonna say. Sadly, the vest is actually the outfit's worst feature. it's blinding me‬ and it's enormous.
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪Incidentally since you guys missed the show. Frances's acceptance speech was kinda awesome if a little braggy. She said she's played both Stella and Blanche‬ AND ALL THREE OF CHEKHOV'S SISTERS.
Guy: ‬
‪Rub it in, Frances.‬
‬ That's not easy to boast while wearing that. Rock star.
Nathaniel: ‬ ‪and then implied she thinks this role she won for in "Good People" would one day join the canon of "great parts"‬
Guy: ‬ ‪Yeah, bet she said that about "Handler" in Aeon Flux.‬


IT'S NOT OVER! keep reading for...  Catherine Zeta-Jones inner fire (plus super gay firemen!), and Viola Davis as "the Voice of Reason."

Click to read more ...


Stage Door: Kathleen Turner in "High"

The Film Experience has always loved talking up theater, the true 3D experience. So let's do it weekly, even if it's brief. We'll make it movie adjacent: films adapted from stage, movies hitting the boards in a new form or worthy crossovers of any sort... that sort of thing. The lines in entertainment are much blurrier these days, aren't they? Many actors now do all three (tv, film, theater) with increasing regularity, don'cha know, no longer defining themselves as one medium actors.

Kathleen Turner on Opening Night | Turner w/ Evan Jonigkeit in "High"

I recently had the opportunity to see one of my all time favorite actresses on stage again: Kathleen Turner. Her major film career dwindled in the 90s but she's become a regular on Broadway and she's now starring as a foul-mouthed nun in Matthew Lombardo's drama "High". But not for much longer. It was announced yesterday that the show is closing Sunday after only 8 regular performances. Ouch. We're two weeks away from Tony nominations and we'd assumed that Kathleen would be nominated. But maybe not.

So is the play really that bad? The answer is a simple no. But it is a play that lacks the mythic enormity that you sometimes just have to have to fill up a big house with energy if not ticket buyers. Lombardo's last play "Looped" about the final movie performance of Tallulah Bankhead (played by Valerie Harper) had a similar problem though it was a much stronger show all told and was really helped by a transcendent sequence in the second act that was creatively staged as Tallulah remembers performing Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Both Looped and High are very simple in format -- which is not really a problem if the writing or story are superb -- but they rely too entirely on the star charisma of the lead actress, who is often monologuing, to really push them over.  High recounts the counselling sessions between a recovering alcoholic nun / social worker who is working with an unrepentant gay hustler and drug addict who has recently been involved in the overdose death of a teenager. How involved he was he won't say. The show has only three characters and while the nun and the drug addict have somewhat meaty if very traditional arcs, the Father character who pushes them together, just doesn't work in the writing or performing.

I'm glad I saw it and I hope Kathleen is Tony nominated being much stronger than the show but even she of that inimitable arresting rasp and considerable star charisma is unable to elevate it beyond its limitations. It might have worked far better as a made for TV movie, not for the subject matter exactly but for the intimacy that that medium can bring to small human struggle stories.

Stage/Screen News of the Moment
New York City Opera remember that Oscar nominated 60s movie Seance on a Wet Afternoon? It's now an opera by Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz. Should I see it and write about it?
Playbill an unauthorized musical parody of The Silence of the Lambs comes to Off Broadway in June.
Rama's Screen has the breakdown on the Rock of Ages cast -- who is playing who -- including a new character to be played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. So happy about this one as we needed Velma in another musical. I haven't seen the show -- I was put off by the American Idol stunt casting at the opening -- but now I'm curious and I have heard that it's very funny.