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Spirit Nominations
Call Me By Your Name leads with 6

"I think Good Time is going to do better this award season then people realize. It's slowly developing a cult following similar to Drive. " - Mike

"Really happy to see Harris Dickinson in male lead. That's a great category." - Joseph

Ugh Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name reeks of Rooney Mara in Carol all over again. LGBTQ film with two obvious co-leads where one is relegated to supporting and pushes out a fantastic, legit supporting player (Sarah Paulson/Michael Stuhlbarg)." - Aaron

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Entries in Joss Whedon (40)

Tuesday
May232017

Zach Snyder and the Separation of Art and Artist

by Ben Miller

Many outlets are reporting the news that director Zack Snyder is stepping down from directing the upcoming Justice League in order to be with his family following the suicide of his daughter, Autumn, in March. This news has unfortunately prompted some insensitive reactions online. This brings to light an interesting separation between the artist and the art they create.

Snyder has his fair amount of detractors.  I was impressed by his debut with Dawn of the Dead and got caught up in the zeitgeist that was 300.  But, I have been less than thrilled with his contributions to the superhero genre in Watchmen, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

This has birthed a persona of the man – Zack Snyder, director.  His personal life and character has been shielded by a believed persona of what we feel this man is like, just because of the films he makes.  We assume that the CGI heavy and slow-motion leaning visual style says more about the man than anything else...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar302017

Power Linkers

Mashable the 8 main excuses Hollywood uses for whitewashing, and why they're all bunk in this day and age
Film Doctor 5 amusing notes on "Evil Disney Hegemony" and Emma Watson as Belle
The Muse Rich Juzwiak on the recent LGBT scraps thrown in mainstream Hollywood movies. Frankly I've been insulted, rather than thankful, by both of them. I just saw Power Rangers and I cannot believe people are crediting this movie with being LGBT inclusive. The Yellow Ranger never even admits she's queer. She just stays literally silent (and you know what silence equals) when someone asks if she has a girlfriend.

 

David Poland distributors are considering shrinking the theatrical release window again. Is this just suicide? (I hate to be an alarmist but I totally agree with David Poland's thinking here
Women in Hollywood interviews The Zookeeper's Wife author Diane Ackerman
Time lists the 50 best podcasts right now. I almost never listen to podcasts. Probably because I have no commute. I should get on that.
Pajiba on the costs of running independent film sites - ugh this hurts to read. It's so hard and we dont even do half as well as they do!
IndieWire Paul Thomas Anderson's fashion drama gets a Christmas day release 
World of Reel the early reactions to the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales are actually positive 
Awards Daily talks to composer Trevor Morris (as much as I hated Iron Fist, I liked his work on it!) 
Broadway Blog Bette Midler's super gracious moment with an understudy on Hello Dolly! 

Finally, Two Directing Offers of Note
Joss Whedon might write & direct a Batgirl movie. The deal is supposedly close to happening but he had such a terrible experience with Warner Bros on his Wonder Woman screenplay (and such a difficult time with Marvel on Avengers: Age of Ultron) that this is quite a surprise. The money must be really good but we keep hoping he'll create an original television series again soon rather than reshaping other people's brands. 

Jordan Peele is being considered to direct both Akira and The Flash at Warner Bros thanks to the huge success of his directorial debut Get Out. But both those projects seem so troubled. The first because every iteration Hollywood has dreamt up for Akira includes removing its very Asianness (goddamnit Hollywood, just stop. Asia is an enormous enormous market for movies. You make no sense!) and the second from DC's habitual superhero and filmmaker interference problems. Wouldn't it be better if Peele follows his own muse? That worked pretty damn well for him the first time.

Tuesday
Sep272016

Linkscaping

Comics Alliance Joss Whedon on which Avenger would make the best US President
Vulture Tom Ford celebrates Jake Gyllenhaal's lack of manscaping
THR Viola Davis to star in Steve McQueen's Widows, a female heist picture 
Acidemic offers tips for hunting for buried genre treasures (in this case vampire films) on Amazon Prime
Bloody Disgusting the "Godfather of Gore" Gordon Lewis has passed away at 87. He's the cult filmmaker Juno and her new pal Jason Bateman obsessed over together
Huffington Post Danielle Brooks and Gabby Sidibe love their plus size bodies for Lane Bryant. Cute commercial

Watch This an interview with John Butler who made Handsome Devil which will hopefully get a release soon. Fair warning: the type is ridiculously small. What is this, Tumblr?
Coming Soon Dr Strange gets wobbly cosmic blurs motion posters
US Weekly continuing the garbage fire theme of 2016 in which both people and Love keep dying, Naomi Watts & Liev Schrieber are breaking up 
EW Tom Holland in Spidey suit with mask off, a image from filming a scene or just goofing off?
CASFFA 2016 our own Glenn Dunks was on the jury and Best Film went to Eva Nova which is Slovakia's entry in Foreign Film
TFE... those foreign film charts if you missed them. Sooo many exciting prospects to seek out 
Playbill Tony Awards announce their eligibility dates for next summer. The awards show will be June 11th 
Playbill The Broadway adaptation of Disney's Frozen just had a creative team shakeup
Kenneth in the (212) King Cobra opens next month. I forgot all about James Franco's latest gay baiting 

Off Cinema
Time Out lists the 25 best Broadway cast recordings of the new century. I definitely don't love the whole list (the high placement for The Full Monty is rather baffling) but there are many gems here. The two albums I've listened to the most from this list are Wild Party (love this write up) and The Light in the Piazza (utterly sublime -it would've been my #1)
Slate the cast of Wil & Grace reunites for a special episode about the 2016 Election
John Oliver breaks down the Trump scandals vs the Clinton scandals. The punchline is a work of prop department genius 

Tweet of the Day
Post-presidential debate movie jokes for the win 

Tuesday
Jul262016

Linkdale

The Ringer Who is winning the Chris wars: Evans, Pine, or Hemsworth?
/Film Stranger Things will get a sequel season, Netflix confirms. I'm a bit disappointed honestly because I thought an anthology approach would be more satisifying, with a whole new story. Season 1 was resolved satisfyingly. Who needs every story thread neatly tied up? Boo.
The Metrograph has a Madonna week in August which will include a Q&A with Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian - alas, the latter is already sold out. They also have a fun series in a week called "This is PG?!" featuring movies from the late 70s to the mid 80s when the MPAA was pressured into adding "PG-13" (I really have to get better at this Metrograph thing. They're big nights with Q&As seem to sell out instantly so I keep missing them.)

IGN interviews Joss Whedon at Comic Con. They talk Buffy comic book, secret projects, and whether a Black Widow movie would lure him back to Marvel
EW on the pilot for Riverdale, the new CW series that will rethink the Archie comic books. Unfortunately it sounds like all TV high school dramas mixed with Twin Peaks (???) and not much like Archie apart from the character names.
The New Yorker has a really interesting review of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
The Hairpin on the 20th anniversary of Fiona Apple's awesome "Tidal". Fun read.
Current Affairs isn't happy that our political leaders love Hamilton the musical 

"New" Musicals and Plays
Playbill This sounds interesting -there's a new stage musical in readings called Flying Over Sunset about Hollywood's LSD craze in the late 50s the main characters are Claire Booth Luce, Aldous Huxley, and Cary Grant. Good luck casting Cary Grant!
Playbill another movie to stage adaptation - the animated feature The Prince of Egypt has been adapted into a full musical and gets a free concert next month in Sag Harbor, NY
Variety wonders if the new Harry Potter play is the next Hamilton. It's sold out in London and expected on Broadway eventually 

Trekkies Rejoice
Coming Soon Bryan Fuller, who makes such good television (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) has two new series coming up in 2017. The first Star Trek Discovery, due in January, now has a visual teaser. American Gods has no air date yet but is also expected in 2017.
Forbes argues that Star Trek's movie franchise division would be smart to go smaller for bigger payoffs at the box office: Agreed.
Space a Star Trek art exhibition called "Star Trek: 50 Artists. 50 Years" debuted at Comic Con and will now be touring conventions and museums, including NYC's Paley Center for Visual Media in September
THR Gene Rodenberry's son is playing release rare unseen footage from the original Star Trek series 

Today's Watch
This reworking of the Cheers theme song by K Anderson & Rosered to celebrate LGBT history is really cool and poignant. [Hat Tip: Towleroad]

Sunday
May102015

Avengers... and Saint Laurent? Round Two

Don't judge but I went to see Age of Ultron again. I picked the earliest show of the day on a weekday in a neighborhood theater that is generally empty for early showings because I wanted to see it free of mass frenzy / noise and a seat far away from the screen - completely different than last time. But get this. I walk in to a jam-packed theater and I spy like one empty seat way back 'guess I'll sit there,' Only to be stopped by a woman who tells me that this is a field trip for the high school and ALL of these seats are taken.

A HIGH SCHOOL FIELD TRIP ... TO SEE A SUPERHERO MOVIE. Who do I call about where my NYC tax dollars are going? How is this educational unless this is a business school and the students are studying Marvel's world-domination tactics?  (The only movies I got to see on field trips in high school were French ones for French class.)

WIDE RELEASE BOX OFFICE
May 8-10 Weekend
01 Avengers: Age of Ultron $77 (cum. $312.5) Review & Marathon & Podcast
02 Hot Pursuit $13.3 NEW Review
03 Age of Adaline $5.6 (cum. $31.5)
04 Furious 7 $5.2 (cum. $338.4) Review
05 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5.1 (cum. $58)
06 Ex-Machina $3.4 (cum. $15.7) Review
07 Home $3 (cum. $162.1) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
08 Woman in Gold $1.6 (cum. $26.9) 
09 Cinderella $1.5 (cum. $196.1) Review
10 Unfriended $1.4 (cum. $30.9) 

Five More New Releases
The D Train $.4 (1004 screens) Review
5 Flights Up $.2 (87 screens) 
Noble $.2 (175 screens)
Maggie $.1 (79 screens) Review
Saint Laurent $.03 (4 screens) Review

For what it's worth, despite a shitty seat and lots of noise and cel phone activity in the theater (argh) the movie was more enjoyable this time around after expectations had settled reasonably. Expectations are like that floating city, in this cumbersome analogy comin'atchawatch out!, in that the higher they rise the more billions of people die when they crash back down to earth unless Iron Man

... I lost the thread.

In fact, I was almost agog at how elegant Joss Whedon could make such a cumbersome thing. Which is to say that it's about as graceful as something this gangly and multi-limbed could hope to be on the day it's first learning to walk if you know what I mean. Should you ever see it again, clock how many disparate agendas the screenplay and direction is asked to address in virtually every scene and you suddenly won't be as bitchy about this "disappointment". The second time around the Scarlet Witch's arc is much stronger since the plot clutter dissipates but the Thor digression is still a f***ing mess and though the trip to Hawkeye's "safe house" is a much needed breather it's way too long, losing the action-packed momentum. And it doesn't help that the scene to rev you back up, the hijacking of "the cradle," is the weakest action setpiece.

Meanwhile in Limited Release
Saint Laurent, France's Oscar submission from last year, finally opened this weekend, too. It occurred to me the other day that in the rush of Oscar campaign madness last season (and two very fun trips to LA) I never shared the story about the time I went to that French party in Saint Laurent's honor.

Here I am speaking to Gaspard Ulliel, probably about his penis.

Well it does have a glorified star cameo in the movie!

He was actually quite chatty and for all my significant qualms about the movies length and its last half hour when we jump forward to Yves Saint Laurent as an old man (and lose Gaspard in the process), he's terrific in the movie and it's quite memorable (the movie I mean -- get your minds out of the gutter). I still remember certain brilliant sequences vividly. Anyway, I would have mentioned this much sooner but distributors like to strike when the iron is cool and it's just now hitting theaters. The highlight of this party was meeting Brenda Vaccaro and Jacqueline Bissett - they were freaking hilarious (which I was not expecting) and teasing each other about recently meeting Idris Elba (at a different event). My point is this: I'm now desperate to see them in a buddy comedy.

Sadly I lost my phone in LA and with it many notes about these tiny celebrity run-ins. *sniffle*

But let's get back to the present tense. I saw Age of Ultron and a few eppys of Grace and Frankie and otherwise I played with friends who were visiting from out of town.

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
May032015

Podcast (Season Debut): Furious Ultron 7 

The Podcast is Back!

For this season's spoiler-heavy debut episode, Nathaniel is joined by Joe Reid and Anne Marie Kelly who share their feels about the Furious 7 and its home franchise from corny sentiment to Michelle Rodriguez's biceps. We also talk Joss Whedon, crowded and empty theaters, and the various intermittent joys of The Avengers: Age of Ultron from Elizabeth Olsen's elaborate hand gestures to Mjölnir getting around.

Running Time - 42½ minutes
00:01 Intro and "Previously On..."
02:00 Avengers moviegoing: geek behavior, costumes, crowds
09:00 Age of Ultron
33:00 Furious 7

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes.  

Furious Ultron 7