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Entries in JGL (12)

Friday
Feb212014

Your Daily Linkage

Huffington Post a live-blogged review of critical punching bag Pompeii
Pajiba on Lupita Nyong'o on Ellen. We already knew Ellen was a perfect talk show host but Lupita is a natural at talk show guesting as well
Gurus of Gold top threes in each category from the Gurus. Looks like I'm way off consensus on Adaped Screenplay and Editing
Slate Turns out "Chivo", cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, has an instagram feed and Slate is crazy besotted with it
Pop & Hiss P!nk added to performers list at the Oscars. We're guessing aerial acrobatics but they already had those really recently at an Oscars ceremony... like I think just two years ago, right?

NY Times Manohla Dargis delivers an impassioned ode to Jennifer Lawrence's huge career... and thinks she's going to win Sunday night
/Film reports on the Live Read of Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in LA. Lizzy Caplan did the Uma/Amanda parts and Joseph Gordon-Levitt did Vincent Vega and, yes, they got up and danced
NY Times honestly I take issue with this report that Oscar nominations didn't do much for the box office of the nominees. While I agree that the expanded Best Picture field has seriously diluted the marketing pull of "Best Picture!" a lot of these movies would not have done even half of what they did without Oscar buzz. I'm talking ALL of the non-star driven ones
Culture Monster was 2013 really a great year at the movies or does social media just exaggerate all the love?
Playbill oh dear. Lea Michele hasn't given up on starring on Funny Girl on Broadway just yet. Her #1 accomplice Ryan Murphy aims to help her
Keyframe have you seen the video essays on who deserves the Oscars. I thought Best Actress was fairly interesting 
In Contention talks to the sound team on All is Lost
Awards Daily talks to Steven Price about Gravity

Finally, in case you haven't heard The LEGO Movie will be getting a sequel 1190 days from now on May 26th, 2017. Everything will probably not still be awesome -- I loved the movie but it seems like the perfect one-off rather than anything sustainable --  but franchise culture, Lord Business, and the grosses demand it. 

 

Saturday
Nov172012

Who is Hotter?

"Robert Todd Lincoln" (by way of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) or Robert Todd Lincoln?

Usually when Hollywood does biopics every actual person gets hotter by way of movie stars. But Robert Todd Lincoln was kind of a looker, yes? Anyway... I know who My Daguerreotype Boyfriend is voting for. 

Sunday
Sep302012

Review: "Looper"

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in my column at Towleroad 

"Time travel hasn't been invented yet," Joseph Gordon-Levitt warns us from 2042 in LOOPER's voiceover. "But in the future it will be." In 2072 crime lords send their victims back in time to be killed by "loopers"  like Joe since it's the only way to get away with murder. (Apparently infallible forensic science has also been invented in the future!). 

Loopers dispatch their prey unceremoniously with a crude descendant of the shotgun called a  "Blunderbuss" which is useless at long distances but impossible to miss with up close. When each Looper's contract expires, his older self is sent back to his younger self for execution which is called "Closing the Loop". In this case that's Bruce Willis sent back in time to meet his death at the hands of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Bruce Willis drag. (Joe's makeup effects, though extraordinarily non fake-looking are initially distracting -- JGL doesn't look like that!

Nothing kills genre films quicker than exposition. When you have to pass out glossaries to the uninitiated or explain the rules over and over again, a story can sputter and die or, at the very least, bore you stupid the second time throughLooper, however, is a wonderfully nimble exception given the size of the learning curve. More...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep022012

No Exorcisms Ever Rid the Box Office of Its Demons

If there's a sure way to hit #1 at the box office with minimal effort, it's this: make a demonic possession flick. Someone should do a study because it seems to me that they're the most profitable subgenre ...of anything. They always open well even if they feel virtually indistiguishable from the last one. Even if the last one was super recent. Even if they aren't innovative with f/x. Even if they have no stars. It makes you wonder if The Exorcist, discussed robustly recently here, is the most influential movie of the past 40 years rather than Jaws which usually gets the credit in building the foundation of our current cinematic culture.

Chart adapted from Box Office Mojo

This makes me wish exorcism flicks would go extreme mash-up. Let's take some genres which the mass public are weirdly averse to despite their entertainment value, say the screwball comedy or the musical or the adult romance (non comedic) and revive interest in them by throwing a little demonic possession in as a subplot. Imagine the setpieces!

What did you see this weekend? Or, since the weekend isn't officially closed until Monday night (Happy Labor Day!) which movie are you planning to see? I saw Lawless (review later tonight) and I almost made it to Premium Rush because I'm anxious for Looper. It made a kind of impulse item sense but I was thwarted.

what's in the bag?

Maybe the studio would have pushed it harder if a demon-possessed baby was in JGL's courier bag?

Saturday
Jul282012

Belated Review: "The Dark Knight Rises"

Though it's normally best to get straight to the point with reviews The Dark Knight Rises (hereafter refered to as TDKR) presents something of a quandary. How do you jump right in to speaking about this particular film when Christopher Nolan's last Batman film has so long ceased being "just a movie". So we begin with a three part preface... 

What?!? Nolan can blow seven reels of a non-origin Batman film before Bruce suits up and you object to me blathering on for three paragraphs before I review the movie? Double standards!

First, I believe that Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman is one of the greatest performances of the 1990s, the very definition of what an actor can do when they understand their auteur's vision, get the heightened play of specific entertainment genres, and are capable of imaginative stylization. It pissed me right off that people tried to pretend that no one before Heath Ledger had ever delivered Oscar worthy work within the comic book genre. So Batman Returns is my favorite Batman movie (yes, I know it has flaws. Shut up) and I entered the movie naturally resistant to Anne Hathaway's Catwoman.

Second, I saw the movie alone on Saturday, the morning after it opened. I failed to convince any of my friends to go with me and wasted my second ticket. To my great shame even though I think it's stupid to let fear change your routines (I was on a plane exactly a week after 9/11 as scheduled) I did briefly find myself thinking about where the exits were* against my will and flinched at the frequent gun battles in the movie. When I returned from the movie a friend snarkily asked me "So was is worth risking your life?" and I wanted to punch him. In a non violent way. See, every movie is worth risking your life for because movies are totally safe. Movies do not kill people, people do. People with access to firearms especially which is a lot of people given our nation's embarrassingly pro-tragedy gun laws.

*I'm super happy to report that I've been to the movies twice after this and never once thought of this.

This is a LOT of baggage to take into a movie already. I get that. And then there's the small matter of my teflon resistance to understanding the genius of Chris Nolan and residual frustration with fanboy culture that demands that I do. I was discussing the push and pull between mandated blockbuster movie culture and blogging demands last week with Rob, a reader, on facebook who paid me the nicest compliment:

I like the balance you strike. Sorta: this is here, can't ignore it, we're all gonna see it, Christian Bale is gonna sound funny, and we move on.

Rob nailed it. Yes. Yes. Yes. Hee. And we move on... finally, to the [spoiler heavy] review

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul172012

Same Link Time Same Link Channel

Matt's Movies Harvey Weinstein is talking up movies he had nothing to do with and is not distributing. "Is this some sort of reverse psychology marketing strategy?"
Towleroad a filthy gay love song for Joseph Gordon-Levitt 
/Film Anthony Mackie could be up for the Falcon role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. We could end up with two Hurt Locker guys in The Avengers 2


Press Play has a smart piece on the new Sigourney Weaver Clintonesque drama Political Animals.
Salon on the "adorable nihilism" of Bunheads with Sutton Foster. I keep wondering if I should write about this show. Are any of you watching? 
The Advocate on Bollywood's problem with gay characters
Cinema Styles warns us not to be alarmed by all the media pieces telling us that today's generation doesn't care about old movies.

It's Batman's World...
Interiors Film Journal analyzes the physical space of The Dark Knight's opening bank robbery. I love the concept behind this monthly journal.
Joblo compares the five actors who've put on the bat cowl to date
Hello Tailor isn't excited about The Dark Knight Rises for Catwoman-related reasons and here's why...  

Remember a few years ago when I just couldn't stomach the absolute blurb whore hysteria for The Dark Knight and posted things like this which pissed people off.

 I'm having a slightly easier time with The Dark Knight Rises (at least until I see it) partially because I'm too busy to contemplate and fully absorb the "Greatest! Movie!! Of !!! All!!!! Times!!!! [sic]" (yes, even the 'Of' gets exclamation points because... hysteria!). The huge undulating waves of excitement and attendant mob with pitchforks anger towards brave dissenters have already started again. Cheeky Eric D. Snider posted a fake negative satirical review, which was pulled before I could read it but it apparently ended by acknowledging that he hadn't seen the movie and that he was conducting a social experiment. The  fanboys aneurysms proved his shooting-fish-in-a-barrel point. RT freaked out and banned him from the site. Death threats for an authentic  negative review by Marshall Fine and both sane and über self-serious handwringing over the fake one ensued.

It's gonna get crazier. Especially once Awards Season rolls around. Steel yourself Gothamites.

The only thing I care about is Anne Hathaway's Catwoman. Bring it Hathaway. But perhaps you should steer clear of La Pfeiffer on your way to brought.

gifs via

 

Friday
Apr202012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Looper"

The subject is time travel. It only seemed thematically appropriate to post this highly anticipated trailer for LOOPER a week before it premiered but pretend we posted it a week late. 

This time travel crap will fry your brain like an egg"

See, the following conversation actually took place in the past with your comments arriving now from god knows when; surprise us by dating your reaction in the comments. For all we know you're writing from Los Angeles the morning after Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Oscar win as Bruce Willis in the stuffy cradle-to-tomb biopic Bruce Dies Hardest (2031). You know AMPAS will still love those Star-As-Star biopics deep into the 21st century. Ohmygod. His inflection on "Yippee-ki-yaymotherfucker" alone was chilling. He BECAME Bruce Willis.

Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker

When were we? It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system. It's time to break down the trailer after the jump with our patented Yes No Maybe So system.

Click to read more ...