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Entries in Sir Ian McKellen (16)

Monday
Jun232014

anything can happen in the woods... ♪ can i link you? 

LA Curbed Character actress extraordinaire Agnes Moorehead's was apparently a wealthy gal. Her former home is going for $19 million. Whoa!
Empire new stills from The Imitation Game which I'm hearing very positive buzz on
HuffPo remembers Batman (1989) with pictures from the original premiere. Such a blast from the past. Remember when Robert Downey Jr and Sarah Jessica Parker were a couple!? Glenn Close looks so young. Anybody know the unnamed woman with Tim Burton?
In Contention Kris Tapley also paid tribute to the film which he says he owes... a lot

Movie Mezzanine Lars von Trier was making movies about "rape culture" before it had a name. Discussion of Dogville & Breaking the Waves
/Film Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience (2009) is becoming a TV series. Lodge Kerrigan who made the disturbing indie Clean, Shaven (1993) and the actress Amy Seimetz are writing and directing.
VF Hollywood Katey Rich on Gary Oldman's angry comments defending Mel Gibson and Alec Baldwin's language
Vulture Hollywood's leading men arranged by height with Kevin Hart and Daniel Radcliffe as the tiniest though weirdly they skip the very tallest ones like Hugh Jackman (6'2") and Chris Hemsworth (nearly 6'3") 
Buzzfeed Daniel Radcliffe sorts celebrities into Hogwarts houses. Streep for Gryffindor ("because she's awesome"), Jon Hamm for Hufflepuff, Benedict Cumberbatch for Ravenclaw, etcetera  
In Contention composer Alexandre Desplat to head the Venice Film Festival jury
Sir Ian McKellen he's now "Doctor" Sir Ian McKellen 

Corrections or Damage Control?
Stephen Sondheim has issued a clarifying statement about Into the Woods after all the negative reaction to the changes he said Disney made. Time has passed since he made the comment...

...I had not yet seen a full rough cut of the movie. Coincidentally, I saw it immediately after leaving the meeting and, having now seen it a couple of times, I can happily report that it is not only a faithful adaptation of the show, it is a first-rate movie.

And for those who care, as the teachers did, the Prince's dalliance is still in the movie, and so is "Any Moment."

I'm not sure I trust Sondheim to judge a movie. He also approved damaging changes to the film version of Sweeney Todd and just because you're a genius in one medium, doesn't mean you know what's best or even good in another.

Two Tweets
Yeah, yeah, I'm quoting myself but for those of you who aren't on twitter I'd thought you'd enjoy/relate...

 

 

 

And my favorite Tweet of the day because it's good lolz

 

 

Tuesday
May202014

Curio: Celebrating Sir Ian 

Alexa here with some film curios for you. It's a big week for Sir Ian McKellen.  X-Men: Days of Future Past opens with his return as Magneto (along with Fassy playing the younger version of course) and on Sunday he turns 75.  He has much to celebrate, such a long and storied career on stage and screen, but I do wish there'd been an Oscar by now (he was my pick in 1999 for his James Whale in Gods and Monsters).  Maybe his turn as an aged Sherlock Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind will bring one? I'm already excited to see his interpretation of the deductive master.

 For now, here are some goodies to wish him a happy three-quarters century.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May192014

Remembering X-Men (2000)

It's Mutant Week! With X-Men Days of Future Past, the 4th X-Men movie upon us nearly upon us -- Yes, fourth, shut up...Last Stand and both Wolverine solo movies do not exist...lalala ♪ I can't hear you -- we should celebrate Marvel's homo superior this week, even if we have to do so by way of 20th Century Fox.

Herewith a retrofitted piece celebrating my choice for "Best Shot" from the first movie. (If you'd like to play the Best Shot game, post your choice by tomorrow night and I'll link up in the index) 

In some ways the original X-Men (2000) is a tentative and mediocre movie: the budget limitations are obvious, Halle Berry is as lost as you remembered (though Storm is a strangely minor character), and the central evil plot is just dumb. But in other ways it's undervalued and not just because of the downward spiral that followed after the sequel.

X-Men makes smart choices about narrowing its focus for a first film (centering on Wolverine & Rogue) and the one character it totally reimagines -- that'd be Mystique -- is a major success.

What's more director Bryan Singer actually makes use of the widescreen in his mise-en-scène. Too few filmmakers do, just shoving everything into the center of the frame or shooting everything in relentless close-up. Even action sequences are shot with a preference for top of head and chin shaving close-ups these days but, much like musical numbers, action sequences are more memorable and coherent when they include whole bodies in the frame. And even though Singer's compositional tricks get a bit repetitive, like the recurring out of focus introduction of characters in the background, which you can see above, they're aesthetically pleasing.

X-Men was lensed by Newton Thomas Sigel, who has shot all of Singer's movies since The Usual Suspects (1995). This is my favorite shot in the film, Wolverine lost in the X-Mansion, bewildered by the new sites. He sees his reflection multiplied, across the team uniforms. Isn't it a beauty, narratively speaking? And Jackmanically speaking, too.

What are your fondest memories of the first film? 

Friday
Apr112014

Splink!

In Contention the Stephen Hawking biopic Theory of Everything starring Eddie Redmayne is getting an Oscar prime November release. Best Actor is going to be tight this year, people
Telegraph interviewed Winona Ryder last month. Not sure how I missed this one but it's a good interview with smart comments on her career and age.
Shadowplay "things I read off the screen in In The Heat of the Night" interesting piece on 1967's Best Picture

Playbill has a history of Cabaret's journey from the pages of "Goodbye to Berlin" to the stage and screen
Cinema Blend I hadn't heard about this but there's a Twilight related lawsuit going on about profit sharing. Apparently Robert Pattinson made $25 million from Breaking Dawn. Wow.
Pajiba on Rob Lowe's "awesome" Reddit AMA
The Playlist Denis Villeneuve's career is heating up post Prisoners/Enemy and he's prepping a sci-fi thriller called The Story of Your Life which might star Amy Adams. It sounds vaguely Contact-esque to me.
Towleroad X-Men Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy do great impressions of Sir Ian McKellen and more. Adorable.
AV Club on "the return of the consumptive heroine" via The Wind Rises and Winter's Tale 

Today's Watch
It's a new Batman short in the style of his animated adventures in the 90s to celebrate his 75th anniversary (which is actually in but people are excited so they're starting early)

 

Creative Tributes
Cinema Blend Jackie Chan, who turned 60 this year, has been immortalized with a portrait in chopsticks
i09 2001: A Space Odyssey gets an homage via fruits and vegetables in this commercial 
Chaz Ebert her late husband Roger Ebert is getting a statue during EbertFest 

An Actor's Director
Guardian Sean Penn is returning to the director's chair for a South African romantic drama starring his new squeeze Charlize Theron (originally from South Africa so that's kind of cool) and Javier Bardem. My main concern with Penn as a director is that he's just so heavy/grim. I hope he finds a way for a range of tones here. This will also be Adele Exarchopoulos follow up to Blue is the Warmest Colour as she's playing a journalist

And finally...


AV Club let's us now the remake of Time Cop (1994) is back on. I don't care about this but I will take any excuse to post Jean Claude Van Damme's infamous kitchen counter split. It's one of my most vivid memories of 1990s moviegoing. What?

Monday
Jan062014

Linker and Commander

My New Plaid Pants the greatest "which is hotter?" of all time
Pajiba's bitch rankings for the new season of Downton Abbey. So happy it's back. Love Mary so much. 
The Backlot Did Sir Ian McKellen out gay actors who everyone knows are gay even though they're not actually really out even though they're gay? The silliest "controversy" of the weekend. Gay gay gay

Awards Daily seems convinced that American Hustle is going to win Best Picture and everyone knows it. Ummm... we don't even have the nominations yet. I'd say the race is still on.
The Carpetbagger let's ask Siri about Samantha in Her why don't we? Yes, let's.
Variety Judi Dench, Bruce Dern and 12 Years get props from the AARP in their annual "best movies for grownups" list
In Contention oooh, it's BAFTA's rising star nominees! I always forget that they do that.  The nominees are: Dane DeHaan (Kill Your Darlings), George Mackay (How I Live Now), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Will Poulter (We're the Millers), and Léa Seydoux (Blue is the Warmest Color). They aren't nominated for those specific pictures but I just include them to remind you. Who would you vote for?

Best Read
If you haven't yet read this open letter to James Franco from The Village Voice's Amy Nicholson, titled "do the double dick dude" you absolutely must: hilarious, provocative, and smart.

Today in Randomness...
A happy 25th birthday to actor Max Pirkis. Remember how great he was opposite Paul Bettany and Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: Far Side of the World? I've been meaning to rewatch that for in forever. You never know with child actors if it's merely a great director, a natural gift, or a happy accident. Pirkis later had a supporting role on HBO's Rome as the evil Gaius Octavian (I only saw the first season of that show but I understand it was akin to a King Joffrey part?) but he's been absent from screens for all of his twentysomething years. He's returning to the movies this year in Flying Home (with Jamie Dornan) and the horror flick The Quiet Ones (opening in April) and we wish him well, especially if Master and Commander was indication of his potential. As I was typing this up I realized he was on twitter and twitter accounts from non celebrity actors are a peculiar joy. There you can sometimes spot actual opinions instead of careful PR positivity about everything. For example, he has Oscar opinions, didn't like whatever Jodie Foster was doing in Elysium (but who did, really?). And, this is my favorite, because I never quite understood why people were so gaga for The World's End (which I think is the worst of the Cornetto Trilogy and by a significant margin.