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Entries in ScarJo (63)

Thursday
Mar052015

The Avengers (Again). Three Grabby Shots

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is nearing Spider-Man 3 levels of giving the game away before it opens. Which worries. Why the hard sell with a third trailer when you're going to break records even if you advertised with only the illustration of a turd -- and I don't mean the shitty poster, but an actual turd. This hard sell combined with the bleak tone of all the trailers (where's the fun of the megahit original?) combined with Joss Whedon calling the production "a nightmare" has me suddenly worried. Because, true story: I want it to be great. I love The Avengers (in comic and movie form). Yes, TFE complains about the glut of superhero movies but that doesn't mean they should've have a place in the movie ecosystem. They just shouldn't dominate it is all. They're dessert, not a balanced meal.

So at the risk of obvious spoilers (hey Marvel provided them not us) here are the three moments we must discuss...

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Tuesday
Dec232014

Scarlett Johansson, 2014's MVP

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day

Tim here. Among its many charms and disappointments, 2014 was an extraordinarily good year to be a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

No, I can go bigger than that: 2014 was a year that could make somebody a fan of Scarlett Johansson in the first place, or in my case, knock the dust off a fandom that had been growing stale over the last several years.

What makes it such a particularly interesting year to have watched the actress is the way that three of her four performances released in the United States in ’14 are variations on each other (the outlier is what amounts to cameo in Chef, more of a favor done for director Jon Favreau than a real part). Let’s take a quick look at each of them:

Under the Skin
In a holdover from the 2013 festival season Johansson played a non-human being in the human form of a gorgeous woman under the guiding hand of director Jonathan Glazer. Icy good looks married to a deliberately unknowable inner life pretty neatly describes the opinion that tends to be held on Johansson’s acting skills by people who don’t like her, which makes this, on the one hand, an easy casting decision. [More...]

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Wednesday
Dec032014

Red Carpet Lineup: Gotham's Revenge of the Nineties

NATHANIEL: Hello dear readers. I'm pleased to announce the return of the Red Carpet Lineup series for awards season kicking off with The Gotham Awards. It's the fashion series for people who don't care who people are wearing so much as who be doing the wearing. This season I'm happy to say that two ladies who could walk the red carpet themselves are joining me: TFE's Los Angeles Branch divas Anne Marie & Margaret.

I'm calling this post "Revenge of the Nineties" because look at all these Nineties A-Listers? or at least B+ Listers (hi Heather Graham!) lighting up the room again.

UMA, ROLLERGIRL, RENE, FAMKE, and KEENER

MARGARET: I love the variety. Whatever else you can say about these outfits, they all should have felt pretty confident they weren't going to see anyone else showing up in the same thing.

NATHANIEL: I have a 100% certainty about which of these outfits Anne Marie would wear (The Russo - ding ding ding) but Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

ANNE MARIE:  I'm actually wearing Rene Russo's jacket right now. How awkward...

NATHANIEL: ...But Margaret? If you were a 90s superstar trying to get your groove back what would we see you in?

MARGARET: I think I'd go with Ms. Janssen's ensemble. All of these outfits are A Lot of Look, but that kicky little mini-dress looks easiest to pull off without mega-star-wattage, plus it provides a welcome dash of color in a neutral-heavy lineup.

NATHANIEL: Awww, "kicky" is my favorite underused adjective and Famke is one of my favorite underused stars

ANNE MARIE: Speaking of A Lot Of Look, what exactly is going on with Catherine Keener? Is that a dress? A coat? I like it in concept, but in execution it looks like a boxy reject from AHS: Coven

Broken toes, Alien haircuts, and secrets to luscious movie star hair after the jump... 

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Monday
Dec012014

Gotham Awards 2014. The Winners...

Will it be Birdman, Boyhood, Love is Strange, Grand Budapest Hotel, or Under the Skin tonight? Read on for the winners and commentary.   

8:01 Uma Thurman the awards host is even more mannered than Uma Thurman the actress. Who knew? (I love Uma so I can say that. If you're no Umaphile you'd best shut it! 

8:14 IFP is bragging about IFP. Which is okay. This is the raison d'etre of Awards Bodies essentially.

8:18 First Uma, now Heather Graham? It's getting very 90s up in herrre.

8:20 I've been pronouncing "Riz" wrong in "Riz Ahmed" as it turns out. Breakthrough Actor goes to Tessa Thompson in Dear White People. P.S. She's also really good in Selma. I love that they announce the juries. This prize was given by Shane Carruth, Michael B Jordan, Ron Simons and two actresses we love up in herre Famke Janssen & Brie Larson

8:25 Ana Lily Amirpour wins Breakthrough Director for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The other much-raved debut horror film from a woman this year (The Babadook wasn't nominated). Her acceptance speech is awesome. 

Tilda Swinton here and I'm like... GODDESS! Maybe if I can meet her and take a photo with her...

8:30 Meryl Streep is here to talk up Foxcatcher and give it a special prize for ensemble. She seems to really love it. Calls Channing Tatum a...

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Wednesday
Aug132014

Podcast: Boyhood & Lucy

The gangs back together! It's a Joe, Nick, Katey & Nathaniel reunion. We rarely get all four of us together anymore but this week we're discussing Luc Besson's Lucy and Richard Linklater's Boyhood, and, super briefly: tree frogs, forever bangs, green lantern, Interior Leather Bar and Guardians of the Galaxy.

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. We'll continue this particular conversation again tomorrow. We just kept talking (not about these two movies) so there's a bit more to come.

Lucy & Boyhood

Sunday
Jul272014

Scarlett's Weekend. What Did You See?

Amir here, with the weekend’s Scarlett Johansson re Box Office report

‘twas a battle between two kickass heroes at the multiplex this weekend, and the The Rock’s old school muscles and sword and sandals fell to the fierce power of ScarJo and the wonder of technology. Lucy beat Hercules to top the weekend. Those weren’t the only new releases that entered the top ten: the anonymously titled And So It Goes starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas started with a tepid $2k per screen average for the slightly older crowd, while A Man Most Wanted did really solid business on only 361 screens. Experts are currently analyzing whether the audience interest stems from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performance or the work of Iranian character actor Homayoun Ershadi.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 LUCY $44 *NEW* Trailer thoughts
02 HERCULES $29 *NEW* 
03 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $16.4 (cum. $172) Review
04 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $9.8 (cum. $51.2)
05 PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE $9.3 (cum. $35.1) 
06 SEX TAPE $5.9 (cum. $26.8)
07 TRANSF4RMERS $4.6 (cum. $236.3)
08 AND SO IT GOES $4.5 *NEW*
09 TAMMY $3.4 (cum. $78.1) Review
10 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.7 *NEW*

and...
11 22 JUMP STREET $2.5 (cum. $185.6) Podcast
12 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $2.2 (cum. $165.6) best movie dragons
13 MALEFICENT $1.7 (cum. $232.1) Podcast
14 BOYHOOD $1.7 (cum. $4.1) review
15 BEGIN AGAIN $1.5 (cum. $12.3) top ten thus far

But the real star of the weekend is surely Johansson. What a difference a couple of years can make. After the promise of her early years, for nearly a decade it seemed like she would never be able to fulfill her potential. But consider what she has given us in the past 10 months: two Oscar-worthy performances in Don Jon and Under the Skin, a wildly acclaimed voice performance in Her, the only positive element of the otherwise forgettable Winter Soldier and an ensemble part in the surprise hit Chef. In the process she’s worked with two of America's hottest auteurs and proved her acting chops in a variety of genres. It’s almost impossible to think the same actress is behind both the gum-sporting Jersey girl Barbara Sugarman and the nameless alien of Skin. If the final piece of the puzzle of her resurgence was to show that she can carry a film to box office success without the help of other spandex-clad superheroes, Lucy seems to have given us the answer. With exciting reports that she’s in talks with Coen Brothers to join the cast of Hail, Caesar!, there are no signs of her slowing down. Long may her reign continue!

On the limited end of things, Woody Allen’s new film, Magic in the Moonlight, received the customary Allen treatment of opening in very few locations to very strong per screen average on its way to wide release. Furthermore, in line with the other recent Allen tradition of making one dud for every hit, Magic has so far ended on the lower side of the spectrum, critically speaking. I haven’t yet seen it, so I’ll reserve judgment until I do. Unless it suffers the same fate as You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, which means I’ll never find out.

What did you watch this weekend?