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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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Entries in David O. Russell (18)

Wednesday
Apr092014

April Showers: Flirting With Disaster

waterworks each night at 11

How many of you have seen David O. Russell's Flirting With Disaster (1996)? With the exception of the stupidly maligned I ♥ Huckabees, it's his funniest film. One day it will surely be rediscovered given the attention his films regularly win now. The film centers on bickering spouses Mel & Nancy (Ben Stiller & Patricia Arquette) who are searching for Mel's birth parents. In the screwball chaotic final act, they end up sharing the guest rooms in the crowded home of drug-loving hippie conspiracy theorists (Lily Tomlin, Alan Alda, Glen Fitzgerald) with a neurotic adoption agency executive Tina (Tea Leoni) and federal agents partners Paul and Tony (Richard Jenkins and Josh Brolin) who are also lovers. Eyes start to wander: Tina and Mel get flirtatious and Tony just can't stop coming on to Nancy.

While Mel enjoys a very uncomfortable dinner downstairs, upstairs tattooed and pierced Tony walks right into Nancy's bathroom where she's brushing her teeth. She immediately gets nervous and drops a picture frame on the floor and begins babbling about prints she has at home. Should she frame them? Anything to avoid looking at this bisexual hunk in a towel. He interrupts...

Tony: Do you want to take a shower?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb172014

Beauty Vs Beast: Oscar Hustle

JA from MNPP here with this week's edition of everybody's new favorite fun-time activity Beauty Vs. Beast, wherein we pit a movie's good and bad guys against each other in a death-match of public opinion. First things first let us congratulate the winner of last week's inaugural poll - Rebecca's diabolical Mrs. Danvers pretty much shoved The Second Mrs. de Winter right out the window at the starting line and never looked back. We do love our maleficently repressed domestics. Viva Team Danvers!

And so on to this week's face off. I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but the Academy Awards are coming up in less than two weeks. Did you know that? I know! It's nutso bonkers. So in the spirit of the season let's do some Oscar-themed showdowns til then. And what better place to start than with the cinematic ode to financial slash follicle excess which translated into similar nomination generosity - David O. Russell's American Hustle, which really when you come down to it is just a series of show-downs itself between actors being looney-tunes all up on each other. And with that spark of gladatorial excess let's make this week a two-fer, lads versus ladies style.

 

 

 

 

 

You've got one week to vote, and we'll be back with the winners and a brand new round next Monday! And please do make your cases  for these folks in the comments...

Sunday
Feb162014

Podcast: Our Favorite Films by This Year's "Best Directors"

It's a special edition of the Podcast. And by special I don't mean "filled with sound problems for which I apologize" but that we're not staying in the now but looking back. Joe and Nick join Nathaniel to discuss this year's Best Director Nominees... but not for their new films. We each choose our favorite film by the five artists nominated.

We throw in a few Oscar party food tips as well...

00:00 Oscar Fatigue and Scheduling
02:30 The Films of Steve McQueen
07:45 The Films of Alexander Payne 
16:00 The Films of Alfonso Cuarón 
20:25 The Films of David O. Russell
28:30 The Films of Martin Scorsese 
39:30 Tangent: The Departed and Modern Day Scorsese
43:00 Oscar Parties - Do We Go? Do We Have Them?
47:00 Choosing Oscar Party Food Items

You can listen to the podcast right here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments! Hunger, Shame, I Heart Huckabees, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambíen, 

Director Filmographies

Tuesday
Jan142014

The Year of the Hero. And Other Links

The Wrap all time lows for unemployment for women in the movie biz. what the what now?
Veteran Fan Girl on Frozen's groundbreaking depiction of mental illness (depression) in a Disney Princess movie 
Variety Johnny Depp might be our Doctor Strange. Which would be awesome news if it weren't 2014 and his eccentricities didn't yet feel like a factory-produced cans of name brand Quirk

Terry Richardson for some reason the internet seems surprised today that Jared Leto posed mostly naked for this controversial photographer. Doesn't the internet know that they're friends and this happens pretty regularly? C'mon internet, catch up
The Wire an Oscar completist's prayer: please don't nominated these movies
BuzzFeed why Emma Thompson was the best part of the Golden Globes 
Awards Daily final Oscar predictions 
MNPP a fun retro poster for the new horror flick Cooties 
Pajiba provocatively predicts the biggest flops of 2014 from Pompeii to Transcendence to Jupiter Ascending without calling it predictions 
Vulture speaking of provocations... David O. Russell really put his foot in it comparing Jennifer Lawrence's Hunger Games contract to 12 Years a Slave 

...and by now you may have heard that Oscar has picked his theme!

like my photoshop?

They've announced that the 2013 Oscars (WE'RE SUPPOSED TO CALL IT BY ITS FILM YEAR. EVEN OSCAR KNOWS THIS THOUGH SOME WEBSITES DON'T!) to be held on March 2nd, 2014 will be "The Year of the Hero". This sounds like another lame ploy to win the demographic that just doesn't care about them since it's not like they're going to nominate Man of Steel or Thor or Iron Man 3 for anything (okay maybe Iron Man 3) and it's not like anyone wants them to, either! (Besides Marvel and Warner Bros) Can't it be enough that other demographics care about the Oscars?

If they mean this in a less lame way than a "please love us, fanboys!" ploy, then this is good news for Captain Phillips, which is basically the only film in the running that plays like a hero's journey. A more appropriate theme for this year in cinema might be the Year of the Survivor with Gravity, All is Lost, The Butler, Nebraska, and 12 Years a Slave and more factoring in but I guess that doesn't have as much of a kick to it since surviving is kind of exhausting and nobody producing the Oscars probably wants you to think about exhaustion until, like, the 180 minute mark on Oscar night.

Sunday
Dec222013

Podcast: American Hustle & Her

NickKatey and Joe join Nathaniel to wish you all a very happy holiday week. We begin by talking about David O. Russell's American Hustle. Katey wishes the movie had applied itself more, Joe doesn't believe a second of it, but Nathaniel and Nick enjoy the fun groovy chaos quite a lot more. We're split on Jennifer Lawrence's showboating, three of us think Bradley Cooper is amazing but the podcast quickly turns into an Amy Adams ♥fest. (Shout-outs to Saïd Taghmaoui and Michael Peña, too)

We also discuss Spike Jonze Her and its lovely script and performances. The Scarlett Johansson/Samantha Morton business on the voicework is also on the menu. Do we think Her hits its themes too hard or just right? And would we wear its futuristic fashions? 

PLEASE NOTE: If you're spoiler averse you might want to skip one minute from 18:00- 19:00

You can listen to the podcast right here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes

Her Hustlin' Holiday

Wednesday
Dec182013

Late Night Link

The Wrap the new triangular Oscar logo
French Films About Trains "Category is: 2013 Realness" 
i09 Paul Rudd to play Hank Pym aka Ant Man in the future Marvel movie for Edgar Wright
Digital Spy... and Edgar Wright shares his ten favorites of 2013 (and Short Term 12 is on it so I love him even more now)


Cinema Blend Hugh Jackman to play the villain in the new Peter Pan film for Joe Wright... but he's not Captain Hook
Deep Cuts the best music scenes in movies this year
Film School Rejects 3 films getting Oscar rereleases and 3 that deserve to get the same treatment
Variety 'how American Hustle conned the critics' a scathing review of... um... either the movie or its reviews. 
Vanity Fair David O. Russell's last minute decision to cast Jennifer Lawrence
Vulture Taylor Kitsch on The Normal Heart, Lone Survivor and his resistance to doing a Friday Night Lights movie
Cinema Blend Superman heirs still seeking back the rights. So much drama with superman. (Shouldn't he be in the public domain soon anyway? Damn corporate America and its perversion of copyright laws!) 

National Film Registry
Finally, the Library of Congress announced the 25 new titles they're adding to their list of culturally important films. The honor is mostly symbolic since nothing actually happens to the films in question. It doesn't grant them funding for cleaning of their negatives or restoration or guarantee a Blu-Ray release or any some such but it's still a lovely tradition. Mary Poppins is included this year which only prompted "that wasn't already in there?!?" from me followed by a 'well, that's suspiciously good timing for its 50th anniversary Blu-Ray release and the Oscar campaign of Saving Mr Banks." But I love Mary Poppins (here is evidence) so i'm thrilled.

The 25 Films:  Bless Their Little Hearts (1984), Brandy in the Wilderness (1969), Cicero March (1966), Daughter of Dawn (1920), Decasia (2002), Ella Cinders (1926), Forbidden Planet (1956), Gilda (1946), The Hole (1962), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), King of Jazz (1930), The Lunch Date (1989), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Martha Graham Early Dance film (1931-44), Mary Poppins (1964), Men & Dust (1940), Midnight (1939), Notes on the Port of St. Francis (1951), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Quiet Man (1952),The Right Stuff (1983), Roger & Me (1989), A Virtuous Vamp (1919), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Which ones that you haven't seen are you most curious about? I'm thinking I should finally get around to The Quiet Man because Maureen O'Hara. And though I've seen it already I should probably revisit / write up The Right Stuff because it's so good and people just don't talk about it enough.

 

 

Wednesday
Oct162013

Who Has What To Prove in "American Hustle"?

Guest Discussion. The Reader Spotlight is coming back soon but here's the last of our Reader Guest Posts for the moment. This one is from Matthew Eng, who has been sending in quite awesome Smackdown ballots (share yours for 1968 soon). Here he is to talk American Hustle anxiety/anticipation. - Nathaniel

what will this film do for each of them?

 I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I’d almost gladly forego seeing everything else that’s slated for release this season if it meant getting my eyes on American Hustle right. this. second. I still have only the vaguest notion of the movie’s actual plot (corrupt politicos? mob-tied wheeler-dealers? ABSCAM? Jersey?), and yet my eagerness sky-rocketed the very second those opening chords of “Good Times, Bad Times” kicked in. 

Alright, fine, it was upon seeing that glorious perm in action.

Matthew EngTwo knockout trailers later, it hasn’t dissipated a bit, not even during that only somewhat-discouraging “bigger balls”-off that ends the first teaser. There’s a supremely high level of expectation behind this project to be the complete Oscar package, what with its high-profile director, dynamic cast, juicy Black-Listed script, period costuming, retro textures, and Christmas release, etc. etc. But there’s also, interestingly, a lot of pressure for both its alluring cadre of stars, each with varying levels of something to prove, and its increasingly in-demand helmer.

The following is a ranked analysis of which of American Hustle’s main players has the most on the line (from lowest to highest) and what each serve to gain and/or lose this Oscar season, with a slight emphasis on one player in particular:

06 Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence faces one of two exciting possibilities with Hustle...

Click to read more ...