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"All three look a little insufferable. The stupid music and the "based on a true story"/"an unforgettable story" shots and the critics quotes instantly turn me off. But I'm in for most things Lonergan, even though the plot of Manchester By the Sea is clearly Baby Boom meets Good Will Hunting." - CharlieG

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Entries in RIP (108)

Monday
Sep212015

Link Catch-Up, Oscar Warm-Up

Some of these links are a smidge old since I've been away for two weeks in Toronto, others brand new.

Get Peanutized the Peanuts Movie is advertising like Straight Outta Somewhere... by going for an internet meme. You can make yourself into a character. The options are a bit limited so this the best i could do at approximating me. I really wanted to be holding a coffee cup or a laptop
Boy Culture Novelist Jackie Collins, sister of Joan, dies at 77. My favorite memory of her will always be Sandra Bernhard reading a passage from "Rock Star" on David Letterman and then tossing the book aside after "wanna pick a flower you lucky man?"
Dark Horizons Brie Larson to play tennis legend Billie Jean King. Good luck Brie because tennis movies never get good reviews!
The Daily Beast interviews Tom Hardy about Legend, The Revenant, dogs, and that sexuality question that keeps popping up
The Telegraph their excellent film critics rank all Woody Allen movies ranked. Good read/insights even if you quibble with order
NYT "Hooray for Hollywood... No Really" a must-read conversation between the smarty New York Times film critics 
i09 Johnny Depp's six most inexplicable career decisions
MNPP Quote of the Day Paul Bettany vs. Jason Statham. Meowwww

MNPP Do Dump or Marry: The X-Twinks - Ben Hardy, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Tye Sheridan
NYT Jack Larson, aka Jimmy Olsen from TV's original Superman, dies at 87 
Towleroad are these the top ten coming out scenes from TV history?
Empire Amanda Seyfried joining the cast of Twin Peaks Season 3 in a new role
/Film Pulp Fiction original cast wish list? This is so weird to consider 
Film Stage Charlie Kaufman discusses Anomalisa 

You Know Awards Season's Coming When...
The arguments get more heated. THR published a negative piece on Truth and Awards Daily thinks it's a hit job from the Right (with more to come from The Left). And Vulture's already declaring the winner which puts a big target on its back. My goodness. We're starting early this year, huh?! ICYMI I also pitted Truth and Spotlight against each other (for fun... I don't actually think they're after the same thing at all). And finally these two pieces framing this year's Oscar Best Actress race as "Under 30 Contest" and "Women of All Ages" just goes to show you how much framing by the media can count when it comes to narrative / awards shows. 

Yes yes. I'm going to start updating the Oscar charts to reflect Festival Madness. Probably tomorrow.

Today's Watch


Downton Wars Episode 1 Bates & Thomas draw lightsabers on each other... for a good cause. Rob James-Collier, tv's most delicious evil gay butler, filmed this for charity, in the downtime on set. Mashing up Star Wars and Downton is not quite as wonderful as it sounds but both episodes have a few good chuckles.
Downton Wars Episode 2 This one is better if way too slow. The asides to the Downton actors sending up their own characters are wonderful - particularly Daisy, Mrs Patmore, and Lady Mary. Bonus Points: Dowager Countess Jedi... Dame Maggie Smith 4evah ! 

Tuesday
Sep082015

Secret in Their Link

DListed - Ralph Fiennes breaks out the dance moves at the Venice premiere of A Bigger Splash
NYT Aretha Franklin suing to block festival showings of Amazing Grace, a recently finished documentary about the making of her album filmed in 1972.
Variety looks at the swift progress of new distributor Broad Green Pictures which surprised everyone with its acquisition of and good numbers for A Walk in the Woods. They also have Learning to Drive in theaters
The Globe and Mail an evening with Udo Kier (!)

 

AV Club in his continuing bid to not ever be remotely as cool / likeable as he once was Johnny Depp is joking about eating his dogs
WSJ Magazine "A day in the life of Danny Strong" a profile of the diminutive Emmy-winning ever busy actor/screenwriter of Buffy and Girls fame behind the scenes of Empire's second season
Yahoo Judy Carne (Laugh-In) dies at 76
MNPP Who Wore it Best: Luke Evans speedo edition 
Playbill Magic Mike ....the Musical may start its stage run in Las Vegas rather than on Broadway
Boy Culture Jean Darling of Our Gang silent serials has died at 93 
Comic Alliance on the "very serious" "no-jokes" "grimace" of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Good conclusion
Variety Will Smith has replaced Hugh Jackman in Collateral Beauty and Rooney Mara has exited the project, too
The Broadway Blog looks back at The Pajama Gang which got a movie version in 1957
MNPP Jake Gyllenhaal gifs from Demolition. Sweet medicine. I'm seeing this Thursday night. woooo 

Oscar Season Cometh
Awards Daily on emergent Telluride Oscar contenders from Black Mass and a lot of praise for Spotlight
The Hollywood Reporter from Telluride: a lukewarm reaction to Carol (?), Black Mass's hilarious and haunting moments, great performances in Room, and not loving Suffragette

Image of the Day
How perfect is this photograph of Chiwetel Ejiofor from Interview by Sølve Sundsbø? Director Cary Fukunaga interviews him so it's double-handsomness).

FUKUNAGA: You have how many movies coming out this year?

EJIOFOR: Well, there's Secret and The Martian, and, next year, Triple 9. And then I'll be shooting the Doctor Strange movie.

FUKUNAGA: It's exciting. And I've done one thing that whole time. [Ejiofor laughs]

Tuesday
Sep012015

Goodbye to the Master of Horror, Wes Craven

Glenn Dunks, our resident "Scream" fanatic says goodbye to Wes Craven...

It’s not easy writing about the passing of Wes Craven. The director who was synonymous with the horror genre, and in particular the slasher franchises A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, died on Sunday at age 76 from brain cancer after having battled ill health for several years and the news hit like a stab to the chest. His three-year illness likely explains why he hadn’t directed a film since 2011’s Scream 4, but it hadn’t stopped him from working altogether. He was completing a horror comic with Steve Niles called Coming of Rage, was developing a remake of his 1991 film The People Under the Stairs, and continued to executive produce MTV’s long-form TV adaptation of Scream.

There are few older celebrities whose death could hit as hard as Craven. He wasn’t just a great filmmaker, or a filmmaker with a lot of films that people liked. No, Wes Craven was quite literally a filmmaker that changed lives. A lot of ‘em – and that’s not an exaggeration. It’s genuinely hard to make even one, let alone two, generation-defining movies and it’s been wonderful to hear so many people, friends and strangers alike, share their stories on social media of how A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first horror film they ever saw and how it turned them into scare-seeking horror fiends. Or how Scream made them want to write about film. I’m one of those people, and there are a few extra Film Experience writers who share the same sentiments, but the numbers I've seen cite that seemingly inocuous 1996 slasher as a life inspiration has been surprising and actually comforting.

So when I went to write about his passing, I actually couldn’t. Not immediately, anyway. How do you describe the man who made the movies that defined our life? I hope he knew the effect his films had on people beyond simply scaring them.

...more

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug202015

Goodbye Lovely Batgirl Yvonne Craig (1937-2015)

[sniffle]

I've probably told you this before but when I was a child and they used to show reruns of the old Batman series on tv, I would tense up during opening credits. If the image to your left did not appear I would run outside to play. That sudden Batgirl swing with a kick (who knew that kicks made a "BONG!" sound?) meant that she would appear in the episode and even if I'd seen the episode before I would always watch again.

So yesterday when I heard the news that Yvonne Craig, one of the first celebrities I ever crushed on -- before I even understood what crushes were -- had died of cancer I couldn't even write about it. I needed time to process...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug122015

Uggie (2002-2015)

Sad news. Uggie, the dog star of 2011's Best Picture The Artist is no longer with us. He lived to be 13. I'm not even a dog person as you know but he was a cinematic delight and my chin started trembling when I read the news.

After the jump, some adorable photos of this superstar dog and celebrities he loved and licked. Join us in a sing-along of "God Loves a Terrier" via Best in Show while you peruse the pics.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul112015

Roger Rees (1944-2015)

He spent the last three months of his career treading the boards with Chita Rivera. There are a helluva lot worse swan songs. "The Visit" closed on Broadway in June and Tony winner Roger Rees, who was leading man to Chita River in that strange but beautiful musical, died yesterday less than a month after closing night, though he had had to leave the musical early due to illness. He is survived by his husband.

I first became aware of him when I was a kid when PBS showed The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1982) miniseries in which he played the lead role and was Emmy nominated. I didn't know at the time that it was his signature role and he'd already won the Olivier and Tony for it. 

I had the privilege of seeing him on stage twice. When I had just moved to NYC in 1999, I went to an Off Broadway play to see Uma Thurman (he was her leading man) and I caught The Visit early in previews. He was having a rough time with the score that night... and I wondered about his health. I kept shooing the thought away -- it was just the grim melodrama of the musical, I told myself, in which Chita keeps essentially presenting him with his own coffin.

Though Rees easily hopped around in all three actors mediums, and appeared in films like Star 80Robin Hood Men in Tights, the Pfeiffer version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Prestige, and Frida, his most popular roles (aside from Nickleby) tended to be guest spots on television: West Wing and Cheers in particular. My favorite? My So Called Life (1994) in which he has a title role episode "The Substitute" wherein he played a rebel teacher who wakes Angela Chase up with his unorthodox instruction. 

Do you have a favorite memory of his work? 

Friday
Jul102015

Omar Sharif (1932-2015)

Sharif Photographed by Andrew Walker in 2011Hollywood's first and still only Egyptian movie star passed away at 83 today of a heart attack. It had recently been announced that he was suffering from Alzheimers and after such a full life this may feel like a mercy to some, though his loved one are surely grieving and our hearts go out to them.

Though moviegoers roughly 35 and up surely remember him, here's the gist of it for younger budding cinephiles: Sharif began and ended his career in Arabic language cinema but in the vast middle (1960s-1990s) he achieved global stardom via Hollywood and British cinema. His English language debut Lawrence of Arabia (1962) brought him a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and he became a genuine superstar in short order, headlining one of the all time biggest box office smashes (Doctor Zhivago, 1965). In his third enduring classic from that decade he helped Barbra Streisand ascend into the pantheon in her film debut Funny Girl (1968). 

In fact, his performances in those three hits are rather fine illustrations of what was so special about his onscreen persona: his generosity and a certain intangible 'eye of the beholder' transference. He was one of the greatest romantic leading men precisely because he seemed so believably in thrall to the particular charismas of his co-stars. And he had great ones: Sophia Loren, Barbra Streisand, Julie Christie, Peter O'Toole, Julie Andrews and more. 

And while he drank in their inimitable beauty, he looked like this:

Dr Zhivago (1965)a portrait from the 1950s when he starred regularly in Egyptian cinema
The Tamarind Seed (1974) and More Than a Miracle (1967)

Double the pleasure, then, for moviegoers who were ready to swoon. And swoon they did, all over the world. 

What's your favorite Omar Sharif performance?

 

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