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RIP Gene Wilder

"He was everything and his Wonka is such a formative performance for me. RIP." -Ryan T

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Entries in NYC (80)

Thursday
Apr242014

Tribeca: "5 to 7," Or Why Frustrated Writers Should Back Away From Final Draft

Tribeca coverage continues with Diana on 5 to 7 with Anton Yelchin & Glenn Close

Based on the imaginings of an out-of-touch, middle-aged writer-director, 5 to 7 is about a 24 year-old “writer” (Anton Yelchin) who becomes involved with the 33 year-old wife of a French diplomat (Berenice Marlohe). Brian lives in Manhattan, presumedly on his parents’ dime (Glenn Close and Frank Langella, both painfully misused), and attempts to write, his creative juices facilitated by posting a multitude of rejection letters on his wall and playing lonely man wiffleball in his apartment. Arielle also lives in Manhattan  and is oh so very “French” -- husband, two kids, posh neighborhood, and ability to balance high heels with a well-fitting dress.

Spotting Arielle in front of the St. Regis, Brian pursues her through quips that sound more like early drafts of “wit” rather than the finished product (think Woody Allen without the neurotic charm). She tosses words back at him that are meant to signify mutual attraction. When they do end up in a hotel room together (after she hands him the key), there is zip chemistry between the pair, cringingly highlighted all-the-more when Arielle tells Brian that he is a natural lover and asks whether his other lovers had told him that. That’s the crux of the problem with this film - we are told things consistently through voiceover and character iteration (Brian loves Arielle, Arielle loves Brian, Brian’s mother can see that they love each other), but we’re rarely shown anything substantial enough to back up these assertions. [More...] 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar122014

Linksy

IndieWire the winners at SXSW Fort Tilden (narrative) and The Great Invisible (doc). You may recall that Short Term 12 was the big discovery last year so let's hope Fort Tilden hits theaters soon. But mostly I'm leading with this because the still released has kittens in it. Kittens!

But mostly I led with that because the first still released has kittens in it. Three. Kittens. Kittens, I say.

KITTENS

Ahem. Some links...
LA Review of Books Charles Taylor on Meryl Streep's recent string of gorgon roles and particularly August: Osage County. Really interesting article but Streep fanatics should steer clear since it is merciless. (Slightly confused about what this essay is doing at a 'Review of Books' since none are mentioned.) 
Golden Globe I hadn't seen this before - celebrities fav movies. Turns out Robin Wright loves Werner Herzog, Carey Mulligan loves Steven Spielberg, Emile Hirsch has very Oscar-bait taste, and Julia Roberts loves The Mexican most of her own ???
MNPP [NSFW] Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Everest
The Playlist on Steven Soderbergh's King of the Hill Criterion release and his dissatisfaction with his post Sex, Lies and Videotape pre Out of Sight period 

Towleroad "Hodor" (Kristian Nairn) on Game of Thrones comes out in an interview 
Movie City News on "popcorn time" and piracy
The Wrap supposedly four actors fighting for the Doctor Doom role in The Fantastic Four: Eddie Redmayne, Sam Riley, Domnhall Gleeson, and Toby Kebbell. I'd say that wasn't a great get considering the face will be covered with a metal mask... but then origin stories, you know, they'll have some time before the face plate.
Variety uh-oh chest thumping Celine Dion could be back at the Oscars again in an Original Song performance. She gets a duet with Miss Piggy "Something So Right" in the new Muppets film 

Finally...
I don't normally post any fundraiser things beyond the site's own need for funding, detailed here. For instance, I had to make a ruling on no campaigns for indie movies simply because I get so many requests every week it'd be a part time job just putting up those posts with no added value for you the reader. But for movie theaters I'll make an exception. Brooklyn is home to so many cinephiles it'd be a pity if they lost another old theater. So if you want to help save the Brooklyn Heights Cinema -- which needs to update its equipment or be shut down -- here's the info!

Tuesday
Feb252014

Tues Top Ten: Sex and the City Episodes

Jose here to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the end of Sex and the City. That's right, this weekend marked a whole decade since that last time we tuned in to HBO for a new episode. In the ten years since it went off the air, the show has inspired a myriad of copycats that ranged from the terrible (hello Lipstick Jungle) to the wonderful (hi Girls), as well as more think pieces than you can shake a stick at. And while the popularity of the Cosmopolitan as a drink of choice, has completely dwindled (what are successful women drinking nowadayas?), elements of the show's lingo and their bits of wisdom ("he's just not that into you") have become part of our daily life.

I am very aware that many people out there absolutely loathe the show but as a teenager I dreamt of nothing more than moving to NYC and pursuing a writing career like Carrie Bradshaw. I also dreamt of quitting cigarettes, finding a wonderful apartment and a great man to go with it. During the decade the show's been off the air I made some of those dreams come true and the following Top Ten is a celebration for those who, like me, found their inner "fabulous" because of this show.

READ THE TOP TEN SEX AND THE CITY  AFTER THE JUMP!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb232014

Review: "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me"

This review originally appeared in my column at Towleroad


I saw Elaine Stritch’s famous one woman Broadway show “At Liberty” in the last days of 2001 a couple of years after moving to New York. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it was nothing short of spiritual ecstasy but then showbiz is my religion and actresses are my only gods. You might then justifiably say that I am predisposed to love the hell out of the new documentary Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me and you’d be right. But I can still tell a peak performance from a Wednesday matinee and the last doc I saw on Stritch, which shared its title with “At Liberty” was significantly less stellar. Shoot Me is a must-see, even if you only know this Broadway legend from her hilarious guest appearances as Jack Donaghy’s impossible mother on 30 Rock

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan082014

Link is the New Blog

Salon Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) continues to be a great spokesperson for trans people, shutting down Katie Couric's indelicate questions 
HitFix the composers from Frozen working on Bob the Musical for Disney. Sounds like a silly/fun project. 

Gawker Neil Patrick Harris has many margaritas in Mexico. LOL. #12 is my favorite, for the text as much as the picture 
Variety Meryl Streep's ode to Emma Thompson and Walt Disney diss at the NBR gala 

NYFCC Aftermath
Film Society of Lincoln Center has the audio of Harry Belafonte's moving speech in honor of Steve McQueen 
Variety reports on the damage control the critics circle is doing now 
The Carpetbagger on official apologies and Armond White's own denials that he heckled. Since I know people who were there, I know he's lying about other people lying about him.

Julianne Moore & Liv FreundlichFinally...
We never talked about Carrie (2013) after it hit theaters, primarily because I didn't see it. I guess it's on DVD next Tuesday? Up until very recently I had seen everything that Julianne Moore ever made after falling in love with her in [safe]. Yes, even that straight to DVD horror flick with Jonathan Rhys Meyers. I have only met two people in my entire life who love Brian dePalma's Carrie (1976) more than I do: drag superstar Jackie Beat (who told me it was her all time favorite film) and my friend JA at My New Plaid Pants. He finally saw the misbegotten studio cash-in remake and lived to write about it. He predictably hated it but actually found one nice thing to say about Chloe Moretz so that... surprised me. 

The photo to your left is of Julianne and her daughter so you can see that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and also because theyre so pretty and wouldn't you rather look at that glorious matching set than a still from Carrie (2013)? You're welcome. 

Tuesday
Jan072014

I'm Linking As Fast As I Can

Who can keep up this week?

Vanity Fair Katey Rich on the embarassing Armond White display at the New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony. I seriously don't know why the NYFCC risks their reputation this way each year?
BBC Jane Campion will head the Cannes jury this year. Yay! (Although this article weirdly states that Campion is the only female to win the Palme D'Or which is no longer true. Lea Seydoux & Adele Exarchopoulus won with their director for Blue is the Warmest Color
ScriptNotes with John August and Craig Mason wonder if filmmakers will ever be able to release a surprise feature a la Beyonce's surprise record
Time 50 things you didn't know about Nicolas Cage for his 50th birthday
The Carpetbagger Will Forte on his surprise detour into Nebraska
Towleroad Lily Tomlin finally marries longtime partner/collaborator Jane Wagner
THR hilarious interview about the forthcoming Golden Globes with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Finally...
Cinema Blend Liza Minnelli loves The Dallas Buyers Club, says to McConaughey...

And, honey, if you don't win the Academy Award, I'm giving you mine."

Next time I hear "Mein Herr" I'll think, however briefly, of McConaughey. But I hear Mein Herr so often so it won't ruin it for me (what? You watch Cabaret monthly, too, right?). In fact, I'm okay with this regifting if:

1) Matthew can do the entire choreography of Mein Herr flawlessly
2) Matthew gives Liza a supporting role in Magic Mike 2

Tuesday
Dec032013

NYFCC Runners Up?

Redford's nearest rivals, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Oscar Isaac, were tied at a distant second at the NYFCCUnlike some Oscar-obsessed blogs, I don't really see much of value in sharing "runners up" from various critics orgs (running up is not winning and you can't use it as promotion unless the fine print is really really small.)

But, since NYFCC is the first and the oldest critics group, and surprised with 3 prizes for American Hustle we're not yet sick of critics prizes (that happens in about... 12 days? 7 or 8 if everyone goes samey-samey) why not talk their runners up: Lou Lumenick at the New York Post shared how the voting went down and it looks like the "almosts" went like so... Picture (12 Years a Slave lost in a squeaker), Director and Actress (David O. Russell and Amy Adams so the American Hustle voting block was strong in the final rounds. Were they true fans of the film or did they just prefer it to the others when their favorites were eliminated in the rounds of voting?), and Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). It's interesting that both Actor and Supporting Actor had no strong challenge to the eventual winners (Robert Redford & Jared Leto). Perhaps it means nothing but I find it interesting since, especially in the case of the Oscar race for Best Actor, consensus seems hard to come by as to which actor is most deserving or even which might eventually win.

Why was Redford such a clear favorite here in New York? Is it the sentimental edge from his glorious cinematic history? (That's a pretty damn strong filmography all things considered.)

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