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Entries in Prometheus (22)

Thursday
Apr102014

Where My Girls At? Brie Larson, Viola Davis, Kiki Dunst & More...

And now our semi-weekly check in with actresses we love. Where / What / Who are they up to?

BRIE
Brie Larson has accepted an offer to star in the psychological horror drama as "Ma", about a woman who's trapped in her father's basement for years with her son. It's based on the novel by Emma Donoghue who also did the screenplay but the novel is narrated by the 5 year old child who's only ever known this one room so that one's going to be tricky to make breathe as a film. This seems a better fit for her dramatic gifts than that dumb Terminator reboot she lost out on. The actress is in demand now post Short Term 12 as well she should be. She's also got The Gambler remake and the comedy Trainwreck coming out. Room is not the only novel adaptation she's attached to. She'll probably co-star in The Good Luck of Right Now based on a forthcoming novel by Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. From descriptions of the novel I'm guessing she's playing the librarian girlfriend of the bipolar leading man, who believes she was once abducted by aliens. [src]

VIOLA
As we feared but predicted Hollywood wasted the golden years right after The Help (a white actress in that kind of huge hit / breakthrough would have gotten a ton of follow up offers) and kept on casting Viola Davis in thankless supporting bits that didn't really require her skill level. Just as they'd always done. But the actress stays busy. As previously discussed she has a small but potentially showy role in Get On Up, the James Brown biopic.  And she is politically active too. The actress, who often went hungry as a child living in poverty is speaking out as part of the "Hunger Is" initiative. [src

You wake up thinking about food, you go to sleep thinking about food. We live in a country where you can have anything in your reach, and it's emotionally shameful to live in a land of plenty with nothing to eat. 

That little girl who grew up in dysfunction and poverty is still with me. That's why I need to help those who don't have a voice."

She's already filmed her next five roles: as previously discussed she'll play the showy small role of James Brown's mom in Get On Up (August, 2014); she's excellent as a college professor in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Pts 1 and 2 (release date still TBA but I saw it at TIFF); she's in Michael Mann's thriller Cyber (January, 2015) with Chris Hemsworth as the headliner and supposedly her role is large there as an FBI agent; She'll headline Shonda Rhimes TV series "How To Get Away With Murder" and if it gets picked up past the pilot, don't expect to see her on your movie screens for awhile; The other leading role is Lila & Eve (she plays Lila) but her co-star is... (wait for it)... Jennifer Lopez? Huh. They play moms out to avenge their children who were gunned down in a drive by. The film is directed by Charles Stone III (Mr 3000 and Drumline). There's been little movement on the most exciting Viola projects though -- still no word on a film version of Fences (her Tony winning role despite the obvious marketability (Denzel Washington  is proven to be one of the surest box office draws in the world) and her proposed biopic about politician Barbara Jordan with a screenplay by Tony Kushner is also quiet. Both are the kind of prestige projects that could challenge her and win her an Oscar but I fear neither are going to happen.

SIGOURNEY
[SPOILER ALERT] Lt. Ellen Ripley may return in Prometheus 2 from Ridley Scott. Rumor has it that Sigourney Weaver will return to her signature role. Or a clone version thereof. [/SPOILER]

MICHELLE
There is nothing happening. I continue to be so disappointed that she does not care. She's an empty-nester this year even so for god's sake get back to work.

KIKI
Kirsten Dunst, whose career is back on track with the 1-2-3 punch of great performances in All Good Things, Bachelorette, and Melancholia has upset people with not-exactly progressive gender comments she made to Harpers Bazaar UK (she's on the cover, pictured above). But we're here to talk about her career. 

She'll be back on screens very soon in the Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January (torn between Viggo & Oscar Isaac? Tough life) and not very soon but maybe later this year in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special a father and son sci-fi-tinged drama (his follow up to Mud so one assumes he'll get bigger budgets now) so it surely won't be focused on her. Still... I feel more offers really ought to be headed her way, right? Her career is back on track but it isn't quite on fire. Some auteur needs to bring some gasoline. Because, as former co-star Ben Foster agreed in our interview in 2011, her talent is major. "She is a beast of an actor, always has been." 

Wednesday
Mar262014

The Temple of Link

Vulture Pharrell on his Oscar loss and Frozen's "Let it Go"
Cinema Blend super depressing think piece about Chris Evans planned retirement after Captain America and why our franchise culture kills an actor's passion
Empire Madonna is not done directing. Next up: Ade: A Love Story based on the novel by Alice Walker's daughter

Guardian wonders when we'll start seeing gay parents in family films from Disney
Variety True Detective will compete in drama rather than in miniseries at the Emmys. Interesting move, right? I still think the Emmys need to start making rulings on this sort of thing just so there's consistency, rather than letting the shows decide. 
The Wire FWIW this is the article that seems to make the most sense as to why HBO is doing that
Film School Rejects Plans for Prometheus 2 move forward. Rumors of multiple Michael Fassbender sound perfect to me. Fill the screen with him.
Salon on Wes Anderson and the art of Twee "It's not easy being twee"
What Culture on 18 screenplays every aspiring writer should read. Some interesting choices / points but it's VERY man's man oriented. Obviously written by a guy who doesn't get into female protagonist cinema because I don't know how you make a screenplay list and don't include All About Eve
St Paul Lutheran Church Get this. Oft employed character actor James Rebhorn (Homeland, The Talented Mr Ripley, Far From Heaven) wrote his own obituary before he died. It's beautiful

From CinemaCon in Vegas
i09 sees and loves footage from Luc Besson's "insane" Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule turned superpowered killer. They liken it to Kick Ass which is unfortunately for me a superpowered deterrent.
In Contention on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken preview - I haven't drawn up my "april foolish" predictions yet but I think I'm probably less bullish on this one than most. I keep thinking Seabiscuit. Not that that film wasn't an Oscar hit but that type of inspirational power of human (or animal) spirit isn't as easy of an Oscar sell as it once was, I'd wager. 

P.S. And in case you haven't heard Jonathan Groff (Looking, Frozen) and Lucy Liu will announce the Tony Award nom this year on April 29th.

P.P.S. I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6)  because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again.

Tuesday
Nov122013

Looking & Linking

IndieWire wonders if VOD is the future of independent film
The Atlantic Wire Joe Reid looks back on the career of Holly Hunter
Twitter yes, it's true. Stevie Nicks, the white witch herself, to guest star on American Horror Story: Coven -- and yes, I'm aware I'm like forever behind in writing about that show which I'm loving. We'll try and catch up this week
Film Comment looks back on its 50 year history
Total Film Michael Fassbender believes that Prometheus 2 is still going to happen. I'd totally go. Loved his David8
The Playlist the first image from Dark Places starring Charlize Theron 
Express Jennifer Lawrence may have lost her Oscar. (Opportunity! Let's retcon that shit and give it to Riva)
Towleroad lesbians reacting to the sex scenes in Blue is the Warmest Color 

randomness
Gizmodo Photos of malls of the '80s. The memories! 
Time Out interviews peerless stage star Mark Rylance 

Today's Watch(es)
The extremely brief/insubstantial teaser for HBO's Looking starring Jonathan Groff. 

I'm terrified of this show as someone who was deeply embarassed by Queer as Folk which is basically it's only precedent, right? But the director of Weekend has to count for something so I'm also hopeful. In addition to Groff the cast includes other (lesser-known) lookers like Rául Castillo, Tanner Cohen (Were the World Mine), O.T. FagbenieJustin Chao, and in at least one episode that adorably worried werewolf from Being Human.

And here's a Young Hollywood panel featuring Michael B Jordan, Miles Teller, Dane DeHaan, Greta Gerwig and Brie Larson (aka the ones who'll be dominating our movies for years to come)  at the AFI Fest talking about celebrity and social media...

 

Teller making fun of Jordan's selfies is priceless and Greta Gerwig's fan crush on Jessica Chastain? Adorbs. 

Wednesday
Sep122012

Is 2012 The Year of Divisiveness?

Hello, loves. Beau here, considering something I've been knocking around in my head for the past week. There has yet to be a film that's been released this year that has garnered widespread acclaim from all viewers (critics, audiences, and bloggers alike). At this point last year, we had a few already that we could point to: Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids, Harry Potter had all done beaucoups bucks at the box office, and garnered more than respectable responses from the general public and critics alike. But this year... what?

LAWL.

The Hunger Games, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises have made the most, but each inspired a heated dialogue about some element of the filmmaking. Examples: The Hunger Games 'should not have been PG-13'; 'bland, dull, watered-down'; The Avengers 'fan-fiction cum brand/merchandising cash cow' and 'Didn't move the genre forward'; The Dark Knight Rises 'nowhere near as good as The Dark Knight'; and 'WTF with the Bane sound design? the politics?')

Prometheus was enormously divisive, and Brave was widely regarded with a shrug. The critical darling Beasts of the Southern Wild didn't quite crossover. It's made $10 million so far but it's a fairly straightforward narrative, however poetically delivered, that elicits warm feelings and it made less than something as abstract, obscure and strange as Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. (The latter had the advantage of starring Brad Pitt, but even so, people don't always follow the movie stars - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford made a paltry $4 million back in 2007 as well.)  More... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep062012

Summer Movie Survey. We Celebrate! (Part 1)

How was the summer for you? Did you shove tips in Magic Mike's loincloth at the Xquisite or strap on utility belts to fight for Gotham's soul? Maybe you freaked out in outer/auteur space with Ridley Scott, or demonstrated super popcorn-eating powers with Joss Whedon and The Avengers or devoured art house offerings as enthusiastically as Hushpuppy cracked those crab shells in Beasts of the Southern Wild? 

We totally want to hear your great takeaways from summer movie season, so we'll go first. Sharing Time! I sent my frequent contributors a little questionnaire -- a "Summer Report Card" if you will -- to get the thingie about their summer at the movies to get this comment party started and here's what I got back.  I had such fun reading these and I hope you do too. This weekend I'll be joined by my podcast mates Joe Reid and Nick Davis on a two parter answering these same questions. If you answer these questions on your blog I'll link up. Or just use the comments as your own "what about me?!" personal space.

So here we go...

AMIR
Best Movie I Saw All Summer: 
Beasts of the Southern Wild, closely followed by those wild beasts of the south dancing at the Xquisite

Moment  I  ♥ So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst: 
It wasn't just my heart bursting, it was all my insides spilling out as Noomi Rapace cut herself to deliver her baby monster in Prometheus
At Least The Theatre Was Air Conditioned:
Killer Joe
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : 
Though I ended up missing that episode of HMWYBS, thanks to Nathaniel I finally caught up with Dog Day Afternoon. What a superb actor Al Pacino used to be.
 

Major Summer Crush(es)
Few things in the world are as attractive as women riding motorcycles, or women dressed in spandex. Few people are as attractive as Anne Hathaway. Anne Hathaway riding a motorcycle wearing spandex? *faints*
 

Line Reading That Stuck In My Head...

The law says you cannot touch, but I think I see a lotta lawbreakers up in this house tonight."
-Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) in Magic Mike

 

 

JOSE
Best Movie I Saw All Summer:
Prometheus
Princess Merida, Katniss or Hawkeye?
Katniss!
Thing I Actually Learned (at summer movie camp! ;): 
Rachel Weisz is not the poor man's Kate Winslet anymore even if she was doing Revolutionary Road redux in The Deep Blue Sea.
Major Summer Crush(es)
Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron in Prometheus; Princess Merida in Brave; Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man; Thor's biceps in The Avengers
 At Least The Theater Was Air Conditioned: 
Total Recall 
If Only "Hulk" Had Smashed...
...everything in Dark Shadows, except for Chloe, Eva and Michelle. 

Moment I ♥  So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst:
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" as performed by CZJ in Rock of Ages. Don't judge.
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : Les Diaboliques.
Line Reading That Stuck In My Head...

Peter Parker: "I've been bitten"
Gwen: "So have I"

 

 

MICHAEL
Best Movie I Saw This Summer:
Moonrise Kingdom
Moments  I  ♥ So Much I Thought My Heart Would Burst: 
The floating brothel from Beasts and the Wal Mart shopping trip from Queen of Versailles
Thing I Actually Learned (at summer movie camp!)
If you are fighting with a guy who relies on an elaborate face mask to live you should probably punch him in the mask
Major Summer Crush:
Alison Brie from Five Year Engagement. Just when I thought I couldn't be more in love with her she goes and adds a flawless English accent.
Princess Merida, Katniss or Hawkeye? 
Merida. Better form than Hawkeye. Better personality than Katniss. Better hair than anyone, ever.
If Only "Hulk" Had Smashed...:  
That pale humanoid guy from Prometheus. Right when he came back to life and had the smug look on his face. How satisfying would that have been?
Mash-Up ~ Summer Movie Characters I'd Like to Introduce (and why): 
David from Prometheus and The Avengers. David deserves a better franchise and The Avengers could use someone who is not such a drama queen.
Best Old Movie I Saw For the First Time This Summer - Go Me! : In researching a post about cinema's greatest cinematographers I watched Mikhail Kalatazov's The Cranes are Flying, 1958's Cannes winner and Wow. How did I miss this film for so many years? A stunning masterpiece that should be talked about more.
At Least The Theater Was Air Conditioned:
Snow White and the Huntsman. No more movies where the lead character is "the chosen one". I'm begging. 
Line Reading That Stuck in My Head...
After you die I'll go to your grave and eat birthday cake all by myself."
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
...also, all the lines Charlize Theron randomly YELLED in Snow White are still ringing in my ears but I don't think that's what you mean.
 

P.S. I heartily endorse Michael's love for The Cranes are Flying, Amir's hot and botheredness for attractive chicks on motorcycles, and I wanted to second Jose's endorsement of CZJ in musical form again but the movie let her down!
Tuesday
Aug142012

Burning Questions: Can a One-Note Performance Be Great?

Michael C here. On my list of cinematic obsessions the Alec Baldwin scene from Glengarry Glenn Ross ranks near the top, alongside stuff like the zither music from The Third Man and the ending of Barton Fink. Part of that obsession is my ironclad belief that Baldwin should have won the Supporting Oscar hands down, no contest.

Those who disagree could justifiably point to the complexity of Gene Hackman's and Jaye Davidson's nominated performances that year in Unforgiven and The Crying Game, or, for that matter, the greater range shown by Alec's Glengarry co-star Al Pacino. Baldwin's performance shows no such range. We don't see his softer side, he doesn't reveal any hidden dimensions, we don't even learn his name. He just struts in and delivers a seven minute tour de force of invective.

It's an unforgettable scene but is that enough? Can a one-note performance truly be considered great?

This discussion cropped up earlier this year when Michael Fassbender's supporting turn emerged as the clear stand out from Prometheus. All the praise came with the caveat that as an android, his role lacks the range to attract any real awards attention. To this I would ask, does not the limited nature of the role make his work more impressive? Isn't it a remarkable achievement to hold the audience's fascination while staying inside the confines of playing a machine?

Are intrinsically limited characters limitless with the right actors?

Acting, as we've so often heard, is about making choices, so in the right role is it not sometimes the stronger choice to refuse to show additional sides of a character? Look at Robert Duvall's Colonel Kilgore in Apocalypse Now. Would it make the character stronger if he dropped that guy's invincible confidence to show a few moments of vulnerability? Of course not. That would have been disastrous.

Or better yet, look at Full Metal Jacket's R Lee Ermey. There's a guy who finds precisely one note and hammers on it down to his last second of screen time. At the time, audience's could be forgiven for wondering if Ermey could act at all, or if he could merely dole out colorfully obscene abuse on command. We now know from his work in films like Dead Man Walking that he is a perfectly capable actor, and time has shown that his choices in Jacket to be the correct ones. I will never forget the impact when it became clear during his final confrontation with Vincent D'Onofrio that the bastard was still - still - not going to soften one iota even when faced with a psychotic soldier pointing a loaded gun at him. And isn't leaving a lasting impact on the viewer what great acting is all about?

What's your take on this? Are certain performances barred from top tier status by their narrow scope, or can the right actor be brilliant in even the most limited of roles, a la Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man?. Let us know in the comments.

You can follow Michael C. on Twitter at @SeriousFilm. Or read his blog Serious Film.

Sunday
Jul222012

Link On, Link On

My New Plaid Pants filled me with ??? and !!! and lolz with this post on terrible sequel movie What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby.
Vanity Fair Angelina Jolie is... SLINKY  
Amiresque on seeing your home town on film (Take This Waltz
My Boyfriend is an Engineer  awesome new tumblr devoted to Prometheus' wacky troublemaker. 

BatWorld
The Onion "Christian Bale glad to be done with the most humiliating experience of professional life" 
i09 Batman fashions and accessoris you can wear to the office? I do love the Bane coat and the Bat clip  
Hollywood.com the purrfect Catwoman? I knew we'd get a few articles praising Anne Hathaway above all else.  

Off Cinema For the Hell Of It
Towleroad New Kids on the Block, now, in the shower with mustaches. Wait, what? 
xkcd United Shapes of America 
Gawker is Project Runway still relevant in its 10th year? 
Seo Kim "I think I like wasabi peas" 

Today's Must Read
Some Came Running Glenn Kenny on the internet we made and fanboy culture. Can it ever mature? Love this part...

...this thing called "fan culture" or "nerd cuture" or whatever it is you want to call it is largely predicated on emotional immaturity combined with a variety of willed cultural illiteracy. Fan culture doesn't say "comic books can be high art," it says, "comic books are the only art." And, further, "the film of the comic book must provide an analogous heightened experience of the comic book, and YOU, the person on the outside of our purview who is now being gifted with this artifact of AWESOMENESS, must fall into line and PRAISE this artifact and confer upon it the legitimacy it has always deserved but which YOU have been too blinkered by your own pretentious prejudices to recognize." That's what fan culture wants. That's what it demands. "Nerd culture" is Peter Pan as a brain-eating zombie. 

Today's Video of Choice
Quentin Tarantino's women via Neko Case...

 

If only all guy's guy's directors were this good with female characters!