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Entries in Spider-Man (42)

Wednesday
Jul162014

Lukewarm Off Presses: Colin, Emma, Birdman and Thor

You might have thought you were done discussing these but I'm just getting around to posting about them, so don't shut your trap just yet. Here's five stories that we didn't get to in anything like a timely fashion but so what? Time is a flat circle

Story 1 COLIN IN TALKS
I was going to wait to post about this until it was official and not just "in talks" but since the internet moves with the speed of everything casually mentioned as fact that everyone is aware of and will be old tomorrow, it should be noted that it looks like Colin Farrell will be the leading man of True Detective Season 2 (possibly Taylor Kitsch beside him). Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey will be tough shoes to fill but as I relayed on twitter, he's a smart idea because people will be surprised when he's great because they haven't noticed that he often is. It's very Matthew McConaughey if you think about it. An actor who was always talented and then only through a unique set of career moves did people admit it and suddenly acted like he was a brand new actor. And then they overpraised but that's another topic. 

Colin has been utterly amazing a couple of times (Tigerland and In Bruges) but even in his less heralded successful or more divisive pieces where the performance arguably feels more strained (A Home at the End of the World, Alexander, Saving Mr Banks) he often feels like he's reaching for greatness. He doesn't phone it in... which is more than can be said for many actors who get paychecks that big.

Story 2 FESTIVALITIS
The Fall Film Festivals are approaching which means before too long I will be having weekly nervous breakdowns trying to keep up with all the news and discuss all the Oscar buzz. I'm waiting on my TIFF credentials now but it's exciting to hear that Venice will open with Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone. (I had never quite processed that it had a longer title than just "Birdman" though we've already discussed the brilliant trailer) Websites are already speculating on which films will show up at which festivals but I prefer not to try and guess. Half the excitement of festivals is all the "another present? for me!? ABUNDANCE!" elation that comes with discovering the goods. And since I can't afford to go to them all I don't want to worry about the films I'm missing at the other ones.

Story 3 A FEMALE THOR
It's probably worth mentioning that Marvel has announced that we'll have a female Thor for awhile (in the comics. Don't worry for Chris Hemsworth's career just yet) and she'll be wielding Mjölnir. Superheroes are replaced more often than the layman thinks within comics (and actors are replaced in movies too -Bruce Banner holla!) but it almost always reverts back to the original guy.

Besides messing up all of our favorite Thor/Dr Horrible jokes...

...this news bugs me for two reasons.

  1. A female hero (Yay!) but she'll just be a glorified substitute (Boo!) for the real thing (a man, natch). What kind of message is that sending?
  2. This is in the comics where there have been several female superheroes given their own books over time. What we need is a female superhero at the movies. That would still be revolutionary which is a pretty pathetic thing to type in 2014. Female characters have been carrying stories in virtually ever medium for as long as any of those mediums existed. And yet the studios are still assuming that female superheroes can't carry movies... don't they realize that two of our top ten grossers this year thus far are essentially female superhero movies (Divergent & Maleficent) but not by name and in entirely different genres.

 

soon every movie will be a bit expensive one episode season of a tv seriesStory 4 FRANCHISES WILL BE THE DEATH OF US ALL
There's some speculation happening in the superhero-crazed internet (when isn't there?) that Sony is rethinking that whole Amazing Spider-Man reboot thing now that the movies are underperforming and just as they were announcing a whole set of spinoff movies around them. Release Emma* & Andrew into the wild again, I BEG YOU!

"Underperforming" is a sad word when these movies should have bombed spectacularly. Shouldn't you at least have to wait for another generation to arrive before you yell "do over!"? All the movie studios want to essentially make movies into multiple TV series that release one big expensive 2 hour long episode each season so there are 22 superhero films on the way in the next 4 years and Universal is now going to try an interconnected Classic Monsters Universe. Um, none of those monsters except for the Invisible Man ever went away? Talk about long running franchises. I guess, in keeping with tradition, we should start complaining now that the Bride of Frankenstein is never going to get her own solo movie so it's another universe that will utterly fail the Bechdel Test.

Tell me something that will give me hope for the future in the comments!

* Story 5: EMMA & WOODY
Since Emma Stone was already name-checked twice in this post ... let's note that she is also filming her second Woody Allen movie in a row (Untitled 2015) before Magic in the Moonlight has even landed so expect media stories about Emma as Woody's new muse in  3...2...1...

Do you think she'll pull a Scarlett and make a third? Her romantic interest isn't Colin Firth this time.

 

 

Monday
Jun302014

Second Helpings. How Often Do You Have Them?

Ten years ago today Spider-Man 2 (2004) was released. I loved it so much that I went back the next day for seconds. This is not in my nature. This is so infrequent for me, in fact, that I can remember every single time it's happened. The othertimes being Queen Margot (1994) and Ladyhawke (1985) and, once on DVD if you want to count that, with Trouble in Paradise (1932). Because those four movies are so similar, what.

So I guess my next-day-rewatches are on the same timetable as Cher's #1 singles and Diane Keaton's Oscar nods arriving once per decade; We're due for another.

This still from Sam Raimi's awesome movie (still my choice for best superhero film) neatly sums up how I feel about the hateful reboot franchise which is just wasting so much money and talent (Andrew Garfield, who was supposed to be one of our great new actors, has literally been in nothing else since Social Network and it's been FOUR YEARS). In case you need help interpreting the photo the reboot is James Franco and he's trying to kill the best superhero. Greed ruins everything.

Anyway...

How often have you seen the same movie on consecutive days? I doubt I'll ever start doing this but I will probably end up seeing movies a second time more frequenty than I used to since MoviePass makes the money much less of an obstacle. I saw Snowpiercer today and may actually need to see it a second time to clarify my feelings. 

Thursday
Jun122014

Some Came Linking

Vulture dreams up sequels for The Fault In Our Stars. We'll obviously take the Laura Dern one
The Awl "The Tortured History of Entertainment Weekly" - god I was so in love with that magazine when it debuted in the 1990s. The first issue I remember buying was #5 with Jamie Lee Curtis on the cover for Kathryn Bigelow's Blue Steel
Pixar Times Pixar teases the first five minutes of Inside Out their June 2015 release
Theater Mania Laura Benanti auditions for Peter Pan Live

Boy Culture RIP supporting actress Martha Hyer, Oscar-nominated for Some Came Running (1958) 
Kenneth in the (212) teases a new stage production with the music of the The Go-Gos?
Comics Alliance a giant statue of Spider-Man in Korea is causing a stir thanks to its Spider-Manhood
Empire there's a new trailer for The Boxtrolls
Variety expects crazy ladies to dominate the Guest Actress race at the Emmys 
THR has a lengthy cover story on the suicide of the director of Searching For Sugar Man 

Foreign Film Oscar Watch
The Great Beauty, Italy's Oscar winner just lost its home-field Oscar race to a film called Human Capital which also won three acting gongs. Human Capital wasn't eligible for submission by Italy last year (since it hadn't yet opened by the cutoff date) so it could well be Italy's submission this year.

P.S.
I'm not sure how I missed this excellent interview with Lori Petty over at The Daily Beast on Sunday but it's a must read if you have any affection at all for Lori or the 1990s when she just kept doing her inimitable thing all over now classic movies like A League of Their Own, Point Break, and... well, the interview weirdly neglects Tank Girl but what can you do? She talks working with Jodie Foster, Madonna, discovering Jennifer Lawrence and how she got her cameo part in Orange is the New Black despite definitely being off the radar in recent years. 

Lori Petty & Naomi Watts in Tank Girl (1995)

Why do you think the roles started drying up after Tank Girl?

Well, because I was thirty-something and I hadn’t married my agent, married any guy co-stars, or gotten fake titties or Botox. I never wanted to be a bombshell; I wanted to be an actor. I would much prefer to be a woman than a man, but if I was a dude, maybe I’d have Johnny Depp’s island because women in this industry after a certain age definitely don’t get to do Pirates of the Caribbean. Poor Keira [Knightley], they even airbrushed huge tits on her on the poster, and she’s flawless! I was trying to play football with a baseball, and you can’t really do that.

Monday
Jun022014

Link o' the Morning To You

Film Society NYC's annual Asian Film Festival starts at the end of the month and will pay tribute to Jimmy Wong Yu (Taiwanese director), Lee Jung-jae (Korean actor), and Sandra Ng (Hong Kong actress) among others. Lots of interesting sounding films as usual
TMZ a few dozen images from the set of Star Wars Episode VII - mostly it's just charactor actors mulling about Tattooine sets with dark sunglasses in those earth colors heavy robes. Don't get too excited.

MNPP Good morning Jamie Dornan. This new photoshoot seems to be taking over the web (but I am willing to predict that 50 Shades of Gray won't do justice to Dornan's smolder.
LA Times Ann B Davis, "Alice" the housekeeper from The Brady Bunch has passed away. She was already a two-time Emmy winner when she started that show in 1969 but can you believe The Brady Bunch was never nominated for a single Emmy? Of course the awards were much different then with far fewer categories. Out of curiousity I looked up on the nominees that year from The Brady Bunch's first year 69/70 and the winning comedy was "My World and Welcome to It" and the winning 'new series' (a category they don't have anymore) was "Room 222" which was an interracial drama. I've never heard of either.
Towleroad Penny Dreadful [SPOILERS] got a man on man kiss last night between Josh Hartnett and Reeve Carney. I did *not* see that development coming given what we've seen of Hartnett's character
Collider James Cameron on his new projects, Avatar and Terminator franchises, and one old aborted movie involving a webslinger
James Cameron's Spider-Man Treatment  I can't decide whether or not to read this. I love Cameron movies so much that I fear forever wishing this had happened

 

Brie & ShaiToday's Must Read
Lynn Hirschberg invites Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson to dinner for Vulture and she agonizes about how to cook for them (in a kind of gentle mocking tone?) and they talk friendship, staying honest, and fixing Hollywood. Brie Larson reveals that she misses rejection ("it's real and I don't want to lose that") and Shailene talks about her failed Oscar campaign for the Descendants (‘Are you telling me that if I dress a certain way, my chances are better for an Oscar? That makes me want to show up naked.’).

Anyway it's a great read...

They both approved of my soup (thank God!) and did not question my out-of-­season tomatoes imported from some ­faraway, nonlocal place. The girls talked like long-lost sisters, airing their ­frustrations and expectations in equal measure. Woodley, for instance, hates sleeping scenes in movies. “It’s so ridiculous the woman wakes up and she’ll have makeup on! I don’t even look like that after a photo shoot!” And both women worked hard not to be judgmental. “Girls in this industry sabotage one another,” Larson said. “We will never do that.” It was a lovefest with big stakes: Together and apart, they were constantly pondering how to improve the movie business. Or, at least, how to mobilize their army of two.

It's  sad to me that Shailene Woodley spoke out against feminism recently because she clearly doesn't know what it means and would love it if she got educated and understood it.

Saturday
May312014

The Darling Buds of May: Aunt May

May's end snuck up on us so quickly. We meant to do far more of these "May" characters. But here is abstew with one final tribute to a darling bud named May...


Full Name:
May Parker aka "Aunt May" The complete name of the Aunt May from the comics is May Reilly Parker-Jameson (she later marries the father of The Daily Bugle's J. Jonah Jameson)

Film She Starred In: Although Aunt May has appeared in all of the recent Spider-Man big screen ventures of the past 12 years (5 and counting), let's focus on the first, Sam Raimi's 2002 film, simply named, Spider-Man.

Played By: Acclaimed British actress Rosemary Harris brings this Aunt May to life. Adding some gravitas to the film, Harris studied at the famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is a nine-time Tony Award nominee (winning in 1966 for The Lion in Winter) and an Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress in 1994's Tom & Viv. [More...]

Click to read more ...