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Entries in Jon Hamm (12)

Saturday
Mar282015

Attending the Mad Men "Black and Red Ball"

Margaret reporting from Los Angeles. On Wednesday night, television phenomenon Mad Men screened its final premiere, and I had the pleasure of attending to represent The Film Experience. This premiere leads off the second half of Mad Men's seventh and final season. While introducing the episode, AMC President Charlie Collier spoke to the legacy of the show, claiming that:

in the history of television, there will be a permanent line of demarcation: Before Mad Men, and After Mad Men.''

It's a strong claim, but it's true. 

 

Compare the television landscape of today to the television landscape of a decade ago, and the influence of Mad Men's success is evident. Certainly without that show AMC would not have taken off and there would be no Breaking Bad, nor The Walking Dead. The Americans, Downton Abbey, and Netflix's entire original programming arm also owe Mad Men a sizable debt.

The Event
In celebration of their achievement, the cast and crew gathered in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles which housed the Oscars for many year. The Pavilion isn't new to Mad Men either, the foyer having played the lobby of a Rome hotel in season three. 

Margaret and Jordan attending for The Film Experience

 

Nearly the entire cast was present except for Elisabeth Moss (currently on Broadway) and Jessica Pare. When Robert Morse was called on stage he practically held court, and all but did a soft-shoe. Jon Hamm was, understandably, like the class president, high-fiving everyone and adorably rough-housing with little Bobby Draper when he seemed to get restless. And finally, Kiernan Shipka who we watched grow up on the show, is now unnervingly tall and very poised. 

The mutual respect and love among the team was evident, and the program reserved special (and richly deserved) praise for the visual artists who gave Mad Men so much of its richness: cinematographer Chris Manley, production designer Dan Bishop, art director Christopher Brown, set decorator Claudette Didul, props master Ellen Freund, and the genius costume designer Janie Bryant whose work on the show is so long overdue for an Emmy. Christina Hendricks clearly adores them giving enormous hugs to everyone.

Coming up on seven full seasons, Mad Men has pulled down four Emmys for Best Drama Series, traced the decade of shifting cultural history between 1960 and 1970, and has inspired more spiraling fan theories than its cast has smoked cigarettes.

 

Keirnan Shipka, Jon Hamm, and January Jones at the event on Wednesday

So how does it end? The first of the final episodes, true to the series spirit, plays it close to the vest. It riffs on the show's established intertwining themes (sex, business, identity) but it's a little looser, a little more relaxed. (As if they knew that the TFE readership would be on the look out for a "Mad Men at the Movies" reference, they toss off an aces Mildred Pierce joke midway through.) The pace is unhurried, as ever, and where the slow burn will flame out is still anyone's guess. TV has changed so much since Mad Men arrived. How will it change once it's gone?

Mad Men returns to AMC for its final episodes on Sunday April 5th, 10/9c

Wednesday
Mar252015

The Links: Buffy, Disney, Hanks, Viggo, Toxic Sets and Tight Pants

Variety several distributors want the Sally Field vehicle Hello My Name is Doris, an  indie hit at SXSW. But neither of the big Oscar dogs want it (no interest from Weinsteins or Fox Searchlight. Hmmm)
Teenage Bedrooms on Screen a tumblr celebrating movie sets from teen films. I thought this was appropriate to share after...
TFE a discussion of interesting / fun film sets 
Variety our favorite Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz will serve as president of Cannes' "Critics Week" the festival's sidebar focused on newer filmmakers  (That's often where the best movies are anyway!)
My New Plaid Pants on a current rumor about the "toxic" set of Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant

Vanity Fair looks back at Pretty Woman for its 25th, specifically it's originally much darker screenplay
TFE in case you missed it Manuel also looked back on the nation's (and his) 25 year old Julia Roberts obsession
Daily Mail Lauren Bacall's estate auctioning off collections. Her Manhattan partment is also for sale for (gulp) $26 million
The Guardian match the evil quote to the Disney villain - I got a few of these wrong. The Shame!
CHUD Marvel has reportedly cast Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) already and she might even be added to The Avengers: Age of Ultron. WTH... how many actors can be in that one movie and shouldn't they have finished it already given that it opens in a month?  
Film School Rejects Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, who did such a great job on Captain America: Winter Soldier have been adopted by Marvel and will now direct all of their movies (not really but they're locked up for awhile) 

The Film Stage a one hour conversation with Jessica Chastain 
The Playlist Viggo Mortensen turned down Hateful Eight? Sad. He'd be great in a Tarantino and could use a hit
In Contention Sandy Powell talks Cinderella costumes 
ET Online and speaking of costumes, Billy Magnussen talks about his unmissably tight leather pants in Into the Woods 

Today's Watch

Tom Hanks reenacts his filmography's greatest hits in seven minutes with James Corden. Hanks seems to be having a lot of fun with himself lately, right? 

Small Screen

Coming Soon
 The X-Files stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are returning to their iconic roles for a miniseries. The original series lasted 9 years and was revived in two feature films so it's had quite a shelf-life. 
Variety I find BAFTA so confusing. They have so many different awards branches and different announcement times. But the TV craft nominations are out with Penny Dreadful doing well 
Ryan Murphy Chloe Sevigny returning to American Horror Story next season. She was a pleasant surprise for me on Netflix's Bloodline. I forget sometimes how totally watchable she is
Towleroad rumors circulating that HBO is cancelling Looking albeit with a wrap up film *sniffle* 
Salon Jon Hamm just out of rehab for alcohol addiction. With Mad Men wrapped hopefully he won't be reminded of the glass in hand for a while. Best wishes! 

Three Must Reads To Go

1. If you're a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and who isn't) you'll LOL all through The Toast's "Every Argument about Buffy on the Internet, From 1998 Until Now." It's blissfully true to its title.

2. This doesn't have a movie connection apart from a well earned dig at that awful Flawless movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman but The New York Times has an essay on the feminist evolution of the word "flawless" that is really something. A great read.

3. David Poland has said these things before and will say them again. And we've also harped on his underlying theme / advice to the Academy - 'Embrace the fact that you're THE movie institution. be proud, not worried.' But it's always worth repeating and he does a great job in "48 Weeks to Oscar: Academy in Crisis (?)" at highlighting all the problems... which don't have to be problems! Read it (if you've ever bitched about or defended the Oscars). Live it (if you're AMPAS). Love it (if you love the Oscars).

That's a lot to read and discuss, so have at it! 

Sunday
May182014

Box Office: Jon Hamm Swings & Misses (And, No, We're Not Talking About That Threesome On "Mad Men")

Amir is on holiday so I've reclaimed my number-sharing duty for tonight. It wasn't a fair fight but Godzilla squashed Jon Hamm (in his first big screen leading man gig) at the box office. Godzilla had the second biggest opening of the year.

01 GODZILLA $93.2 *new* Review
02 NEIGHBORS $25.9 (cum. $91.5) Review
03 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $16.8 (cum. $172.1) 
04 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $10.5 *new* 
05 THE OTHER WOMAN $6.3 (cum. 71.6)

In other box office news: Belle (reviewed) which is now in its third weekend added over 100 screens and is nearing a 2 million dollar gross... not bad at all considering its low profile;  Noah finally crawled past the $100 million mark as it heads out of theaters; Captain America: The Winter Soldier will topple The Lego Movie to become the year's top domestic grosser sometime next weekend; and the week's best per screen average outside of radioactive monsters was for Marion Cotillard as The Immigrant which is sadly only on 3 screens.

What did you see this weekend?

I only caught Godzilla in theaters and opted for my Jon Hamm fix via Mad Men (another fine episode that made me so angry they're splitting the season in half but more on that in the next episode of Mad Men at the Movies).

I also tried out Penny Dreadful's first two episodes and I am... intrigued but unconvinced. It's handsome enough to look at and some of the peripheral players are super vivid and amusing, particularly Billie Piper as a consumptive prostitute and Simon Russell Beale as an Egyptologist who is like what would happen if you made Harold Zidler gayer, fussier and yet more over the top.  Among the three headliners which include Josh Hartnett (nice to see him again actually) and Timothy Dalton, Eva Green is the clear standout. She understands stylization and is so autoerotic and self-sufficient a performer in every way that she doesn't even need her co-stars or surroundings to be any good - I think largely of how completely brilliant she was in the otherwise lacking Dark Shadows - and she gets the big title centerpiece of the second episode, a seance, all to herself. But I'm still not sure about the show. Individual scenes range from meh to marvelous (the best being an unexpectedly tender frankenstein creation sequence) but it feels like it's trying way too hard for self-mythology even though its borrowed most of its mythology and we can obviously meet it halfway. I got a Carnivale vibe (and I don't mean that as a compliment). I'll give it one or two more episode before I make the DVR or skip call. 

Thursday
May152014

Mad Men @ the Movies: Mutilations, Model Shop, and Mojo

Don't open the box, Peggy, don't open the box! DON'T OPE

Too late. With so much time, cameras and distance between us Peggy didn't hear the shouting from my apartment. Yeah, I was actually shouting. I am generally as quiet with the TV as I am in movie theaters... unless the show calls for raucous participation like, oh, Election Night or Drag Race. And though Mad Men invites gasping and laughter and speculation and veritably lives to provoke responses those responses are generally of the sort that take time to unpack. 

Which is, perhaps, why I never write about the show. Or at least not weekly as intended. I'm always still unpacking; the show seems denser than ever what with its ever expanding universe (now bicoastal and double-floored in NYC) and ever growing cast of characters to populate the agency which has tripled (at least) in size since Season 1. That's a lot of baggage to unpack. And not just of the personal damage variety... though there's always been plenty of that in Matthew Weiner's masterwork.

A trip to the movies, intruding showbiz, and a couple of stray observations after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep222013

Emmy Night Winners

I've opted not to live blog tonight since I was bombing earlier on twitter. Not my night...

what i'll be doing later when Jon Hamm loses again

But that's okay because it's the Emmys and my attention drifts in and out and I'm way behind on writing projects which I'll sneak in on the side when things get dull in the middle.

Here are the acting and series winners... (refresh for updates)

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Her fourth win so she joins the top ten actresses of all time for Emmy comedy (only 10 women have 4 or more) The speech was priceless with a meta-Veep moment with Tony Hale standing behind her, giving cues.
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
His third win for this role
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY Tony Hale, Veep
A minor surprise that also doubles as a tip of the hat to Arrested Development. Buster!
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY Merrit Wever, Nurse Jackie 
The most adorable acceptance speech. Wever is amazing on that show and a true original but given that Emmy seems to be over Nurse Jackie it was a surprise. Jane Krakowski must have murdered someone in Hollywood to go totally Emmyless for one of TV's all time funniest characters on a multi-Emmyed show (30 Rock) but what can you do? 

LEAD ACTRESS, MINISERIES The Lovely Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
So Elisabeth Moss lost which is a mystery as complex as the one she was investigating in Top of the Lake. But clearly the cast of Mad Men will collectively never win any Emmys. Someone has voodoo dolls.
LEAD ACTOR, MINISERIES Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra 
And yes he asked Matt Damon if he wanted to the top or the bottom of the statue. 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, MINISERIES/MOVIE Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
SUPPORTING ACTOR, MINISERIES/MOVIE James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA Claire Danes, Homeland
Her second win despite that awkward awkward moment early on when Diahann Carroll demanded a win for Kerry Washington 
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA Jeff Daniels, Newsroom

MINISERIES / MOVIE Behind the Candelabra
Oy. Listen I liked Behind the Candelabra a lot but the fact that it won all these things and Top of the Lake went home empty-handed is kind of embarrassing. 
DRAMA SERIES Breaking Bad
Apparently it's only the third series to ever win for the first time on its fifth season
COMEDY SERIES Modern Family
four consecutive wins seems crazy but what can you do. It's Emmys. It's tough for them to break character. The only show with five consecutive wins is Frasier so we'll see if Modern Family can do it next year, too. 

Now to attempt to scrub out the horrific memory of Carrie Underwood covering the Beatles.

Peace out. 

Friday
Sep202013

Emmy Predictions. Who Are You Rooting For This Weekend?

Giant all caps disclaimer coming at'cha: I AM NOT A TELEVISION PUNDIT. I have never claimed to know what I'm doing with predicting Emmys though occassionally I try. I watch way more TV than I did a decade ago mostly due to the invention of the DVR and also probably because TV got more cinematic and thus better. I am not a TV pundit but I like to watch and you know I like to opine. It's an action verb. 

Herewith my poorly informed predictions regarding Sunday nights award's. Plus a few comments and trivia notes.

DRAMA
The Nominees: Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards, and Mad Men
I'm Rooting For: Mad Men. Always. It's literally the only show I've ever watched as it aired that I'd hand the best series prize to for each and every one of its seasons (thus far). For example: I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer like life but I would've handed the top prize to a couple of different things and different times during its 7 year run.
Prediction: Given Emmy's prospensity/habit to repeat winners, you have to consider Homeland a threat for a second consecutive win even though you'd be hard pressed to find one person alive who thinks the second season measures up to the first. Downward sloping quality both true (Downton Abbey) and perceived (Mad Men isn't as "enjoyable" as it once was but it's still challenging meaty triumphant television) rules them out as well. Which leaves us with House of Cards and Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, the latter of which I think is winning the internet the Emmy for the first time.

comedy series and 8 acting categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...