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Entries in Halle Berry (9)

Monday
Mar242014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

In my superhero clogged mind, Spider-Man 3 has remained the gold standard of a dubious honor: by the time it had arrived you could justifiably feel like you'd seen the whole movie what with the multiple trailers, numerous clips and stills and two previous features with the exact same cast. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been teasing its teases and characters and counting down to its trailer for what feels like forever but it retains at least some mystery. I hope this is our last taste before the movie opens on May 23rd. It's not likely but I can dream. 

Because I am a glutton for punishment and The X-Men were a huge part of my developmental process as a human being (you don't even want to know how obsessed I was from the ages of, like, 8-18) will do like what we did with Maleficent. A Yes, No, Maybe So™ reaction to (almost) every last piece of the trailer.

Deep breath before the plunge. Okay let's go...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct252013

Six Notes on the Six Second "X-Men" Tease

I don't want to give too much attention to a six second tease of a teaser -- I waited a whole day in fact hoping the urge to say something would pass -- but in the end my childhood hardwiring triumphed. I haven't loved or even much liked an X-Movie in 10 years but I will always love the X-Men, for better or worse. Usually worse. 

So herewith a few thoughts with screencaps from Bryan Singer's tweeting foreplay.

It's a good thing this is a period piece because Professor Xavier's helmet Cerebro is totally irrelevant today. You don't need a mutant locator anymore. The Homo Superior are impossible to miss all smeared across every movie screen and television set and website. Children of the Atom be so ubiquitous in this age of superheroes.

Unfortunately I'm not done blabbering about this yet!

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul102013

The Link Is Not Yet Rated

Vulture features a fascinating memoir about a troubled 70s childhood and the not-optimistic catharsis of TV's 70s superhero show The Incredible Hulk
Awards Daily Sasha never misses a beat with director David Fincher and his new muse Rooney Mara. Have you seen their Calvin Klein ad? What's most shocking about the ad (to me) is that Rooney SMILES in it. Can you imagine? Not the smiling sort at the cinema, you know.
Variety Halle Berry developing an indie comedy called Mother. Her frequent producer is directing but his filmography is suspect!

Zap2It "Giant Colin Firth statue emerges from lake in London's Hyde Park" a most clickable headline, don't you agree?
Awards Circuit wonders where we're not looking for Oscar contenders for this year's race. Any under the radar guesses?
Salon's description of US Weekly in this article about their "zoom-in" interactivity with paparazzi photos of Angelina Jolie's cleavage made me LOL
My New Plaid Pants "do, dump or marry" with the men of Pacific Rim: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnan and Rob Kazinsky
Salon speaks about and to Guillermo del Toro as Pacific Rim, his first film in 5 years if you can believe it given how ubiquitous his name has been in that time frame, nears release

Finally have you heard that Los Angeles banned this Project Runway ad from appearing on billboards? I don't get it.

This nudity is so safe. This is only side cheek nudity. The models aren't even in sexually suggestive poses. But hey, Project Runway has got to do something to get people talking now that it's 12 seasons old. (I hated "TEAMS" so much, I can't even. It really turned me against the show). I think this would have been a much braver funnier and more successful ad if they had all of the new contestants naked and worshipping the hosts. It would have also been more controversial since imperfect regular-person bodies really alarm people. Partially because you don't see them in the media very often. But, tell me, why was this ad banned? I've seen much worse on public display. I didn't even feel the need to hide it "after the jump". But sex, like violence, is a terribly inconsistent thing when it comes to public policy and censorship. TV has adopted film's extremely forgiving and casual relationship with violence now (they'll regularly show things you couldn't see in an anything other than an R rated movie just a couple of decades ago) and I can't any longer get a hold on what you can or can't say in terms of profanity on the small screen. But sex -- it's always sex -- still manages to get people flustered and "that's obscene!" even when it isn't. A few nights ago while channel surfing I chanced upon some sort of reality show wherein the contestants were dropped naked onto deserted islands - like an "Extreme!" riff on Survivor. They even had "Naked"  in the title. And the nakedness was blurred out.

Sunday
Mar172013

Box Office Takes The Call

To no one's surprise Oz the Great and Powerful held on to its number #1 spot and also became 2013's biggest hit (thus far). But who could have forseen that the combined draw of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey wouldn't work out so well for Burt Wonderstone. And WTF with The Call's second place showing! Halle Berry hasn't opened a movie that strong since... (gulp) Catwoman nearly a full decade ago.


my phone call to Halle

What prompted people to see it? Seriously?

Box Office WIDE
01 OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL $42 (cum. $145)
02 THE CALL  *new* $17.1 
03 THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE  *new* $10.3
04 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER  $6.2 (cum. $53.9)
05 IDENTITY THIEF $4.5  (cum. $123.7)

Box Office PLATFORM
01 SPRING BREAKERS *new* $.2 
02 STOKER  $.2 (cum. $.6) 
03 THE GATEKEEPERS  $.2 (cum. $1.3)
04 NO  $.1 (cum. $.7)
05 FROM UP ON POPPY HILL *new* $.05 

What did you see this St. Paddy's Weekend?

Tuesday
Feb192013

Quote of the Week

I can't think of anything worse than calling 911 and having Halle Berry answer."

- My hilarious friend Kenneth Walsh on commercials for The Call.

LOL

Saturday
Aug042012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Cloud Atlas"

Beau here to give Cloud Atlas the Yes No Maybe So treatment while Nathaniel remains otherwise occupied.

Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae in "Cloud Atlas"

Jesus. What to say? I’m struck by the visual nature of the beast, but that’s to be expected given the caliber of talent involved with the project. At the same time, something so grandiose and ambitious has a natural inclination to tip, like the leaning tower of Pisa. Beautiful to look upon, but you don’t want to get to close lest the thing actually crumble under its own weight. Gravity is tricky that way. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb272012

Internal Conflict & Streep's Third Oscar

My own personal history with the Oscar stretches back to the early 80s but there's so much self-mythologizing about it that I sometimes get confused about when I finally figured out What It Was. I know with certainty that the first ceremony I was aware of was in Spring 1983 because I had seen Gandhi, Tootsie and E.T. with my parents. But if I watched I remember nothing from that ceremony. My first sure Oscar ceremony memory was watching Shirley Maclaine win Best Actress for Terms of Endearment (which I hadn't seen). I remember being excited for Maclaine who I already loved but I don't remember why (probably TV airings of musicals?) and I remember being super excited by Meryl's Silkwood clip. Before I ever knew Meryl Streep as an actress -- her movies were always rated R and I wasn't allowed to see them -- I knew her as The Great Oscar Winning Actress.  I think my first Meryl movie in the theater was Out of Africa (1985) and I desperately wanted her to win her third Oscar now that we were well acquainted.

Meryl finally wins her third

When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going 'OH nooooo, oh come on. why Her? Again?' You know? But whatever.

First, I'm going to thank Don because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives you've given me. And now secondly, my other partner, 37 years ago my first play in NYC i met the great hairstylist and makeup artist Roy Helland and we worked together pretty continuously since the day we clapped eyes on each other. His first film with me was Sophie's Choice and all the way up to tonight when he won for his beautiful work on The Iron Lady thirty years later EVERY SINGLE MOVIE IN BETWEEN. And I just want to thank Roy but also I want to thank -- because I really understand I'll never be up here again -- I really want to thank all my colleagues, all my friends. I look out here and I see my life before my eyes. My old friends. My new friends.

Really this is such a great honor but the thing that counts the most with me is the friendship and the love and the sheer joy we have shared making movies together. My friends thank you, all of you, departed and here for this, you know, inexplicably wonderful career. Thank you so much. Thank you.

I waited and waited and waited and waited and waited. I waited through backlashes, box office poison, comebacks, astounding technical biopic work (Cry in the Dark), and mysteriously moving original creations (The Hours), through thrilling musical/comedy (Postcards from the Edge), improbable rebirth as box office mega-sensation (Devil Wears Prada), less thrilling musical/comedy (Mamma Mia!). I wasn't always rooting for her but I was always rooting for her if you know what I mean.

My heart danced a bit when she spoke, just a bit since I was upset. And I laughed at her psychic opening (you know that's true!) and teared up at what sounded like a lifetime achievement speech which is what it essentially was. Meryl finally won her third.

Be careful what you wish for.

Two great actresses. Only one statue.

Though I've desperately wanted Meryl Streep to have a third Oscar -- who deserved a third more? -- it became suddenly tied up with my single biggest Oscar pet peeve (the Academy's relentless all-devouring soul-crushing belief that biopic mimicry is the highest form of acting) and tied up with the defeat of a new(ish) actress who I genuinely think is one of the greats... just without the roles to continue proving it.

Though I find roughly half of the regular charges of racism levelled at the Academy tiresome and ill thought out (it has to be about the movies that are released and the performances inside of them or it holds no water -- that's all Oscar has to choose from!) it's hard not to look at Viola's loss and bemoan Oscar's (and Hollywood's) resistance to women of color.

Here we had a great actress headlining a major blockbuster hit, giving an astoundingly deep, moving performance and singlehandedly elevating her movie into the substantive kind that gets nominated for Best Picture (we can argue all we like about how "substantive" The Help is and how much other actresses contributed but it's Viola that gave the movie its only sharp edges and its soul and made it however substantive that it is). She also managed to win a few key awards and stay in the press for months and months and months on end.

It's hard to imagine all those plusses and still coming up empty-handed on Oscar night, especially in favor of a previous winner in a movie that no one likes. It's also hard to imagine a year like Viola had not being followed by major offers for major roles but so far... crickets. And this last is more anger-making than an Oscar loss, and something we'd all hoped an Oscar win might've helped to overcome... though this is perhaps wishful thinking; Hollywood is as resistant to great black actresses as the Oscars which reflect them.

In some ways you can argue that it's just the luck of the draw. Meryl was always going to win a third. It was just a question of when. But it's hard to look at the way Meryl's third was shoved aside for a Movie Star Queen doing her best but hardly statue-worthy work just two years ago, and it's hard to look at other performers who've sailed to Oscars with ease that aren't anything like Viola Davis's caliber.

In Halle Berry's Monster's Ball Oscar-winning speech she spoke movingly of her historic moment as the first Best Actress of color.

This moment is for Dorothy Dandrige, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for the women who stand beside me Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox, and it's for every nameless faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened."

Did the door quietly swing closed again?