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Entries in Ryan Reynolds (9)

Wednesday
Jul302014

The Linkage

IndieWire takes the Verge to task for publishing a pro-torrent essay on Expendables 3
Nicks Flick Picks Nick & Joe Reid are doing Nick's trademark halfway'ish "Fifties" thing (which starts as soon as Nick has hit 50 movies in any given year. Delicious smart writeups on editing, screenplays, supporting actors and more
Comics Alliance the internet is all excited about this old test footage for that Deadpool movie that's not going to happen for some reason. Starring Ryan Reynolds.


Lincoln Center standby only for the John Waters and Isabelle Huppert event tonight. I'm sure the Q&A will be great but I didn't like that movie Abuse of Weakness much (my review)
CNN Money spends a day with a working Broadway actress
Newsweek explains the recent Buzzfeed scandal in the only way anyone should... through gifs of Shattered Glass
The Daily Beast has a great Susan Sarandon interview icymi where she talks David Bowie, drugs, politics and age discrepancies on film 
Variety Jessica Lange to be honored at the Santa Barbara Fest this year
MNPP who wore it best: Tom Hardy face masks
The Guardian the changing demographic of the movie audience that Hollywood is still ignoring in their quest for young white male dollars
AJ Bowen declares Melanie Lynskey the best actor of his generation 
Slate has an interesting review of two new sitcoms, one starring Judy Greer called Married 

Post Script
Remember The Village (2004)? It turns 10 years old today.

I remember so little about it but ten years turns out to be a long time. Back then people were still excited by the phrase "an M Night Shyamalan film," Joaquin Phoenix wasn't yet a Hallowed Serious Thespian (despite already being an Oscar nominee) and everyone thought Bryce Dallas Howard was THE FUTURE. How foolish we all were in 2004! Okay I remember a smidge more: people loved the score;  the colors red and yellow meant Something Significant (I enjoy my colorology); Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt were in it playing vaguely sinister intimidating stern "elders" - you know how they do for paychecks.

Do you have less vague memories of this one?

Wednesday
Jan222014

Sundance Stills: The Voices, War Story, Song One

One can never be fully caught up at festivals but one does what one can. So today, three quick takes on movies I saw yesterday during a five-film day. Let's use their festival guide images as a framing device just because I always find it interesting which images movies use to promote themselves, don't you?

THE VOICES
This still from Marjane Satrapi's (Persepolis) horror comedy looks nondescript enough until you pair the title with a man looking at his cat. Yes, they're "talking". The cat is the Scottish brogued "Mr Whiskers" and like 99% of cats in films he is unrepentantly evil. (Can we form a Anti-Cat Defamation Cinematic League or something?) And then you notice the woman's head (Gemma Arterton's to be precise) to the left. Gross! One thing you don't get at all from this still is the film's hard working production design, which is relentlessly candy colored (bright pink is favored) and stylized. The whole film mirrors the strainuous commitment of the design elements but it's hard to know what possessed anyone to be involved let alone give it their all (I've never seen Ryan Reynold work this hard to put a performance over. Why use all that energy now on this?). It's cutesy and gruesome simultaneously which is an unwise and at time repulsive thing to attempt to pull off... but I should admit that the production design really works in the moments when it slides mercilessly off the cliff between from one moment to the other (Jerry's warped fantasies and the actual situation) as in a scene after his first kill when he starts taking his medication and we're back in reality. But still, this "comedy" about a man-boy who works at a hot pink toilet factory, eats at a Chinese restaurant with live Elvis shows, and lives above an abandoned bowling alley where he chops up women is largely unfunny. That last sentence should give you a clue as to what the movie feels like. It's like being stabbed to death by tweeness. The Voices is not even comfortable with being scary. This marks the first time I ever walked out of movie during a happy end credits musical dance sequence... starring Anna Kendrick (and other cast members) no less! In my defense this brightly lit comic number also featured an actor playing Jesus. Grade: D? F?... or maybe it's an "A" cult movie and I just didn't get it?  Distribution: Not that I'm aware of but I'm sure it'll get something. Maybe a VOD future?

SONG ONE
This image features Franny (Anne Hathaway) falling for her brother's favorite musician James Forester (Johnny Flynn) while her brother lies in a coma. Very specific plot set up that.  I had to brighten it in photoshop so you could actually see the image which just gives a sense at how dangerously low key this film is for a festival bow. I saw it in the middle of a five film day and fought off sleep (others succumbed to the sandman without shame) but I actually think it's good if extremely modest. But relatively calm romantic dramas about women and dreamy alt-folk musicians are probably asking for it with exhausted legions of film critics who -- I'm stereotyping but I see it all the time --  prefer harrowing and heavily masculine films to anything gentle and feminine. The big selling point is the return of Anne Hathaway (what a perfect movie face she has - all anime sized eyes and expressive memorable mouth) and the films song score by Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice (mostly performed by Johnny Flynn). If the movie gets a release I hope it campaigns hard for Best Original Song nominations next year. Weirdly, Anne Hathaway only sings twice and only in off-hand character beat ways, though the movie has a lot of performance scenes. In fact the film it most reminded me of was Michael Winterbottom's Nine Songs only instead of pornography inbetween each musical number there was low key family grief and a tentative 'help me through this' love story.
Grade: B/B- Distribution: Not at the moment. It's appeal is surely very limited but with no brainer marketing hooks like Hathaway and all the great music, why not a small distributor? 

 

 

WAR STORY 
Finally let's wrap up with Catherine Keener in a Mark Jackson movie about a war photographer named Lee who is shown abrasively walking and talking and wandering about in Italy. (Does Keener ever do anything non-abrasively any more?) Lee has clearly lost her mojo, is hugely depressed (a companion was recently killed, execution style, in front of her) and is searching for new purpose while avoiding loved ones on the telephone. The image above features her listening to a conversation in the street. Or maybe thinking one of her many dark thoughts. That lack of information is representative of the movie but the image isn't since Keener's massive helmet of hair is not covering her facial expressions. I found the movie maddeningly withholding in nearly all ways: narratively, visually and emotionally. Sometimes the focus on Keener in profile (essentially just a side shot of brown hair with occasional glimpse of her nose) was so tight that I couldn't even tell what she was doing in the frame. In one disposable lengthy shot, for example, I thought she might be staring at a vending machine indecisively and then she did something with her hands (offscreen) but the image was too hard to understand and the next cut didn't clear up what had just transpired. I couldn't find any way into the movie so it was inert for me as a drama, despite possibly intriguing dramatic elements like Keener's fascinating with a Libyan refugee seeking an abortion or a late film visit to a former friend (Ben Kingsley). One minor caveat, i was a bit late to the movie (I am very rarely late to a movie) so perhaps the opening scene explained everything but given the filmmaking elsewhere I highly doubt it. Grade: D; Distribution: Unlikely unless Keener and Kingsley is enough

Which of these are you most interested in and what was your last triple feature?

Saturday
Apr272013

A Voyage to the Link

Retronaut Amazingly sexist rejection letter from Walt Disney to an aspiring female artist
Technicolor Disney has reference photos for animation mashed-up with final art. Cool 
LA Times AMPAS may expand past 6,000 members this year. They're talking about diversifying and may relax their membership cap
Cinema Blend 80s/90s hitmaker Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction) to return after a long absence for another sexual thriller, this one about an open marriage and a trail of bodies. Expect big stars to headline as the troubled couple.
Out Soderbergh interviewing Soderbergh? The director's gay brother talks to him about Behind the Candelabra. (Someone remind me why this isn't opening in movie theaters again?)

Empire Ryan Reynolds for Tarsem Singh's Selfless? This only leads to one logical question...
My New Plaid Pants what kind of revealing costumes will Tarsem put him in? 
Variety Jane Fonda about to get the immortalizing hand-in-cement treatment
Playbill the revival of Cabaret on Broadway already has Alan Cumming returning as the emcee but they're obviously looking for a starry Sally. Initial rumors said Anne Hathaway but now Emma Stone is the rumor
Slate "the secret autobiography of Tom Cruise" ...what's behind the grinning mask?
Guardian Pedro Almodóvar calls I'm So Excited his "gayest film ever". Hmmm. It's also supposed to be some sort of metaphor for Spain's economic crisis.

one more thing...
I was just bitching about Into the Woods but the idea of a new movie musical version of Guys & Dolls sounds great. Especially since the original film version isn't exactly a "classic" outside of being, well, old. It's especially good news if both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum really are on board. But if it doesn't get a good director I'll worry. A lot. 

off cinema
i09 huge breakthrough in artificial skin. How long until we see Blade Runner style replicants? 
Gothamist last three days to see Edvard Munch's "The Scream" at MoMA. When I was last there I wrote about Tilda Swinton in a box but I neglected to tell you how embarrassed for everyone I was when I went to see The Scream. People were not looking at it but posing beside it with their Scream Face on (which always ended up looking more "Home Alone Face"). some people were so confused about the pose/provenance that they were doing Monkey See, Monkey Do. TRAGIC!  

Watching "Hugo" at MoMA

In the middle of a nearby exhibit about architecture, there's a 3D screen showing pieces of Hugo because of the famous train station set. My bestie snapped a photo of me unawares looking on (above). Some of the scenes they played weren't even set-specific though. Unfortunately this meant that I couldn't even escape Chloe Moretz at MoMA.

Also tragic!

Friday
Jun292012

There Can Be Only Link

Felix in Hollywood Hilarious Pauline Kael quote on A Place in the Sun
My New Plaid Pants wishes a happy birthday to the awesome Alessandro Nivola who never gets enough work or at least not the right kind of it. 
Cartoon Brew an amusing very short animated film called Nest. Watch it.
Inside TV Matthew Weiner's favorite scene in this past season of Mad Men. Surprising cool choice.
Coming Soon Can't say I saw this coming but it looks like Edgar Wright may actually make Ant Man after all. I guess The Avengers will greenlight many an unlikely film. Though it's telling that nobody is talking about making a Scarlet Witch movie (sigh).

IndieWire "The League of Pan" huh? The Peter Pan mythos might become a TV series. I might be excited but IndieWire used a photo of the execrable Hook which killed my buzz. Abort. Abort. No Peter Pan projects is preferrable to that!
Playbill original cast members of The Sound of Music reminisce. Why? A new book is coming out.
Movie|Line Stephanie Zacharek (who often, to my recollection, understands the power of La Pfeiff) on People Like Us 
Slant Kurt attends the press conference of To Rome With Love 
Tor funny piece on Ryan Reynolds being the perfect choice for the reboot of Highlander

While post-Highlander Christopher Lambert seemed to actively choose movies that sucked, Ryan Reynolds simply can’t help it. He just slops into these parts, which is why theHighlander reboot is ideal for him. It’s an honest representation of exactly what he is in the culture: someone who will never die unless somebody does something terrible to him with a sword. 

Hee.

Exit Music. Fiona Apple's "Hot Knife". It's so weird and self-contained and auto-erotic and annoying and hot and perfect. I love Fiona so much. Why must it be so interminably long between her CDs? 

It's been a long time since she dated Paul Thomas Anderson but I think it should be mandatory that some genius auteur scoop her up.

Tuesday
Aug232011

Random Thought I Had While Watching 'Green Lantern':

Don't even get me started about all the sartorial fantasies I kept having involving Blake Lively...

Have you ever been so bored at a movie that your mind suddenly took you to such weird places?