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Entries in Nightcrawler (21)

Monday
Sep242018

Beauty vs Beast: Sugar & Spice & Everything March

Hello and happy Monday everyone, Jason from MNPP here with another edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" series - Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women just turned 150 this year and it's hotter than it's ever been. There was a BBC version with Maya Hawke and Emily Watson and Angela Lansbury that aired here in the US in the spring. Then this very weekend there's a modernized retelling hitting theaters. And then of course the one sucking all the air out of the room - Greta Gerwig's all-star edition set for next year, whose cast is so stacked we'd be here all day if I try listing off everybody - just look at the IMDb page.

Anyway a lot of us (even if we're excited to see all of those actors in one place and under her direction) aren't entirely sure why Greta's making this new version - not when there's Gillian Armstrong's perfectly lovely 1994 adaptation already, anyway. Winona Ryder as Jo, Christian Bale as Laurie, Susan Sarandon as Marmee, Kirsten Dunst as Amy, Claire Danes as Beth (cough cough)... these are the people I picture when I picture Little Women. And then one second later I immediately remember Amy burning Jo's manuscript and I see red...

PREVIOUSLY I'm not sure if it was mostly Riz Ahmed Lust or if it was just that Jake's character is so (deliciously) despicable, but y'all surprised me and went and gave Riz/Rick your prize on last week's Nightcrawler contest with nearly 60% of the vote. Lou's a loser!

Anyway maybe it's just simply what Nick T said:

 

"Rick's just a nice cute guy who doesn't even know he's in over his head and Jake's a mean ol' lizard. Easy call."

Monday
Sep172018

Beauty vs Beast: Video Nasties

Hey everybody it's Jason from MNPP here poking my head out from in between NYFF screenings to entertain us with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" real quick - this weekend Jacques Audiard's The Sisters Brothers is hitting theaters, but as I am sure you are each and all aware it's not the first time we have been gifted the sight of Jake Gyllenhaal & Riz Ahmed on-screen together. Nope four years ago they gave us the wonder that was Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler, in which the self-determined (ha, understatement) Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) took the slightly less determined Rick (Ahmed) under his wing. And what a scratchy wing that was.

 

PREVIOUSLY Although her fate was a downer in Crouching Tiger we can now these many years later finally give a round of applause to Michelle Yeoh's character of Yu Shu Lien, who roundly trounced Zhang Ziyi's Jen Yu, taking 73% of your vote. I'm sure it's little comfort given what she lost, but hey, whatcha gonna do. Said Ani di:

 

"Not fair, this is like a gay sophie's choice. Torture."

Friday
Jul312015

Beauty vs Beast: Gyllenhaal x 3

Who is with me in missing Jason's Beauty vs. Beast column? He's been offline a lot this month. So here's a Beauty vs Beast in his honor, training our eyes on the one and only Jake Gyllenhaal. Or, rather, the Jake Gyllenhaals as he's versatile.

Therein lies the twist. It's All-Beautiful Jake (Brokeback Mountain & Love & Other Drugs) versus Beautiful & Beastly Jake (Donnie Darko & Jarhead) versus All-Beastly Jake (Southpaw & Nightcrawler). Who gets your vote? Ready? You're always ready for Jake. So go... Vote and Comment. Pound your keyboard so hard that you wake Jason up and he returns to us next week to resume his series.

 

JAKE vs. JAKE vs. JAKE
Beautiful Jake
Beauty *and* Beast Jake
Beastly Jake
Poll Maker

 

Previously on Beauty vs Beast...

Janet Leigh's Marion Crane beat Anthony Perkin's Norman Bates by a slim but still surprising 55% of your votes. Your love blindsided us. Jason and I both thought it would turn out differently given that Norma Bates is an immortal villain and Marion Crane is well, dead and buried (or, rather, submerged) but y'all are so predictable when there's an actress involved. Hence this week's all male challenge. There's no actress to win your automatic vote. However will it turn out? 

Thursday
Feb192015

Long Day's Journey Into Link

All Oscars All The Time
Big Group they've taken that 'Oscar Dresses infographic' that was so successful a year ago and updated and expanded it with interactivity
AV Club wants the Oscars to add these 11 categories. I say Nay! to most of these. The Academy nixed two of these very recently (Best Casting and Title Design) when they were proposed again
David Poland thinks "preferential balloting" makes virtually anything possible in this tight Best Picture race and seems to expect a true spread the wealth night (as do I)
Gurus of Gold the full charts in all categories
The Atlantic Joe Reid on the lack of connection between Best Picture & Best Actress
Vox tries to explain all the confusing Oscar categories - not who will win but the category definitions themselves
THR Mo'Nique believes she was blackballed after her Oscar win for Precious for not playing the game and being "difficult". Hollywood is so frustrating. Who cares if she's difficult. That's one of the best performances of all time. Doesn't anyone wanna try bottling lightning again?
The Wrap, truly jumping the gun, proposed 20 actors of color and 5 directors for all 25 of the major Oscar nominations for next year's race from films like Creed, Silence, Nina, Lila & Eve, and Crimson Peak

More Movies
Keith Gow reviews The Last Five Years and he's much more satisfied with it than I am. One of my friends who is much more critical of modern movie musicals than I also loved it. I am definitely ready for a second look.
GMA Jeremy Jordan and Jason Robert Brown perform a Last Five Years number on morning TV
Empire 8 secrets from the set of Nightcrawler
Dissolve on Neil Blomkamp's plans to direct another Aliens sequel. Sigourney Weaver is planning to return as Ripley. So exciting if we really do get a sixtysomething action heroine but I'm not holding my breath since Ridley Scott is working on a Prometheus sequel, too
Interview amazing new photoshoot of Kristen Stewart who really turned it out as an actress this past year. More please
First Showing yes it's true Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has started production (Noooooooo) with Javier Bardem wasting more of his time and YA stars Kaya Scoledario and Brenton Thwaites joining the cast
The Film Stage Xavier Dolan in the new trailer for Elephant Song - he's just acting this time
Details Calum Marsh looks at The Breakfast Club 30 years on 
In Contention looks at some of the tougher to call races
THR Brutally Honest Ballot of an Oscar voter from the PR branch - these things are always a mix of cringeworthy and/or interesting revealing quotes
THR Brutally Honest Ballot #2 - this one loves Theory of Everything and admires Boyhood 

New Mad Men Trailer! "The Final Episodes"

Because of this people are speculating that the final episodes take place in 1976. People are silly. It's not like that show to jump 7 years. And Matthew Weiner said he always wanted to make a show about the decade of the 1960s and he's always been willing to be anachronistic about music. The movies on the other hand, they're usually right on schedule so I wish I knew what year the final episodes took place in so as to study that year's movies. I want to see Don Draper in a movie theater one last time. Pretty please! 

Monty waiting for more cakeOff Cinema
Wisdom Nation screw motivation, seek discipline
Billboard Madonna speaks, makes journo drink shots
BuzzFeed Trans model recreates Adam Levine's famous never-nude shot 
Towleroad Lady Gaga is engaged to her actor boyfriend Taylor Kinney (The Other Women / Chicago Fire) 
Playbill the great Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza)  is doing a diary of her out of town tryouts of Gigi, a reworking of the Oscar winning musical
AutoStraddle "50 Shades of Grey Cats". Monty made me include that one. He's breathing very loudly right behind my chair as I type this, surely plotting my murder for the recent vet visit. FTR he is also upset that Jennifer Aniston didn't get nominated for Cake because he was hoping for more edible swag.

Thursday
Jan222015

Poster Madness! The Best of 2014

Glenn here with my now annual list of the best movie posters of the year. I should apologize for being so tardy with this, but I've been working on a big non-movie-related project that took precedent. Never mind that though because we're back. Last year logged the first time that I dragged my lil ol' list of the year's best movie posters over from my own blog onto The Film Experience we're back to see what'll win this year. Last year the honor went to Spring Breakers and this year was no less fierce. I have once more assembled an... eclectic list of films ranging from French orgy dramas and Christian religious flicks to British sci-fi and obscure horror titles.

I have tried to keep the posters featured within down to American 2014 theatrical/VOD releases only. That means designs that emerged online as much as 18 months ago can be on here if the film was only released this year (hi Nymphomaniac!). Likewise, designs for 2015 releases that are already hanging in cinema foyers do not feature - I'm going to spend the next year tossing and turning over whether this hilariously unsubtle phallic poster for Fifty Shades of Grey is actually good or completely terrible. Having said that, being an Australian means I have snuck few Aussie films on the list because, I guess, my list my rules. I should also point out that, just like last year, the lack of many big budget blockbusters on the list isn't my contrariness popping up (my lonely passions are now a thing), rather it's just proves that so many working for Hollywood studios would be absolutely lost without the billions of dollars that they take for granted and the audiences that flock to their movies like sheep.

Follow me as I count down the best posters of 2014!

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan152015

The Five Stages of Grief via Oscar Nominations

Though Oscar nomination morning is my Christmas -- the day I anticipate so heavily each year when all the prezzies are ripped open -- it's not all happiness. Oscar also gives out lumps of coal on this day each year. Let us celebrate five big snubs (or omissions if you hate that word) representing each stage of grief so that we can work through it and move on.

Though SELMA got a Best Picture nod, it was ignored in every other category but Song

DENIAL I'm pretending that American Sniper, a conservative leaning (though not unartful) celebration of war heroism didn't crash the party late and win a ton of nominations (which encourages the studios to do that December/January glutting) while the progressive Selma -- which we actually need unlike a film about someone who's good with a gun! -- couldn't muster up more than two nominations.

 

ANGER Ava DuVernay, who would have been the first woman of color nominated for Best Director, should have been among the five Best Director nominees. She handled a large scale historical film and made it reverberate with danger, grief, inspiration, courage, and immediacy which is more than can be said for most historical epics. And it's only her third film! Can't wait to see what number four is like. As a subset of this stage of grief: anger. The Oscar nominations are just another reminder that Oscar does not value female narratives, not behind the scenes or onscreen. Movies about men trying to find themselves, or redemption or triumph over adversity score. Movies about women or people of color doing the same things do not (see: Wild and Selma, this year and examples in many other years; Oscar is a boys club)

BARGAINING The Lego Movie which I felt would meet more resistance than it initially had because it is basically a 2 hour commercial was nevertheless a surprise omission. I hope this doesn't discourage future filmmakers from going above and beyond because, YES, it was a commercial for toy product but it was like the best long-form commercial ever. So much funnier and more stylish and surprising than it had any right to be really. So next time someone overachieves Oscar, toss them a bone okay?

DEPRESSION All year long we (correctly) heard that it was a super strong year for Best Actor and it was. So why is the actual shortlist so disatisfying? Two answers: you could call Carell (against type / prosthetic nose) without even seeing the picture (and if you see the picture it's a heavily stilted performance and you can label Bradley Cooper a "default" nominee now with three consecutive nominations and though he's definitely under this guy's skin, it's a very unchallenging star turn compared to the snubbed competition.

This year of all years isn't time to lean on gimmicks or default status. Not when you had Ralph Fiennes's gloriously civilized sly performance keeping Grand Budapest Hotel grounded in gravitas and culture and wit when it could theoretically have defaulted to diorama kitsch. Not when Jake Gyllenhaal is doing the best work of his career in Nightcrawler. Not when David Oyelowo is becoming a great Southern orator. Not when... etcetera...

This was very disrespectfulACCEPTANCE Jessica Chastain missed out on a nod for what may well be her best screen performance yet in A Most Violent Year. But the film arrived very late and just didn't catch on quickly enough. And people got hung up on the Pfeiffer/Scarface look and missed the fact that the ubiquitous actress was doing interesting things with a more complicated character than her entrepeneur's wife first appeared to be in clip form.  (For what it's worth Pfeiffer also missed a nomination for Scarface, one of her many awful snubbings.) But we know that Chastain, who makes three movies a year and most of them high profile, will be back so we'll let this one slide. 

Who and what would represent your five stages this morning?

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