Entries in superheroes (137)
For as much as I've tried to ween myself off of TV, it remains the go to entertainment medium when I'm tired- sick, writer-blocked or basically-broke... add those things up and that equals a lot of time. I wish I could kill time by listening to music since there's so much good stuff out there that I'm unfamiliar with but music, like the cinema, absorbs all of me. I can't do much else while indulging in it. The only other things I can do while listening to music is exercize and clean.
So herewith a few thoughts on various shows from the fall season, new and returning... would love to hear if you're watching or feel differently in the comments. More...
In the hall of fame of superhero/villain catchphrases “oops” (Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises) never stood much of a prayer against “me-ow” (Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns), nor could the dark side self importance of 2012’s “there’s a storm coming Mr Wayne” ever best the sexier playful 1992 ‘dark side?’ retort “no darker than yours Bruce” But catch phrases aren’t everything...even when you've got zingy ones like "life's a bitch now so am I" In the great Catwoman wars of popular culture, it’s always in some ways a draw. Every generation and every aesthetic gets their own James Bond and so it goes with all enduring characters which win several iterations. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle may never claim the easy universally agreed upon “Best Catwoman Evah!” victory you’d expect given Pfeiffer’s mammoth performance (give or take Heath Ledger, the most psychologically precise, overachieving & seismically inspired in superhero cinema) but what can you do? Before The Dark Knight Rises premiered I braced myself for the onslaught of “best catwoman ever” pieces which I knew would proliferate. In truth they would have even for a performer less dazzling than Anne Hathaway’s. Out with the old and in with the new is, generally speaking, the law that governs pop culture. It’s just How Things Work.
With the recent news that Anne Hathaway would be campaigned as Best (Leading) Actress for the role, a strategic move which has been taken more seriously than I was expecting given that she has no prayer in hell of a nomination for everyone’s favorite good/bad girl in spandex, this Hathaway/Pfeiffer story wouldn’t leave me.
Twenty years back when Michelle Pfeiffer lept into the feline role vacated by Annette Bening she nailed the role winning “best in show” reviews, winning a massive new army of fans, achieving her biggest box office hit, and sailing on to an Oscar nomination for the year (albeit not as Catwoman). Leap forward a couple of decades and history repeats itself four times over…. Well three times over for now but we all know Anne Hathaway will make it four-for-four once Les Miz hits.
It's worth thinking about Hathaway and Oscar through the prism of Pfeiffer. It's not a perfect identical twin situation but the similarities don't end with "what happened with Catwoman." At the time of Batman Returns/Love Field Michelle was a 34 year old previous Oscar nominee who had been famous for 10 years and had already co-starred in one very major also-ran Best Picture nominee (Dangerous Liaisons). At the time of The Dark Knight Rises/Les Miserables Anne is a 30 year old previous Oscar nominee who has been famous for 11 years and has already co-starred in one extremely major also-ran Best Picture nominee (Brokeback Mountain). Both actresses played Catwoman in the summer and followed it up at Christmas time by starring in something more typically Oscar-friendly, Pfeiffer in a civil rights drama and Hathaway in an epic musical.
But here's where the similarities end and Hathaway's Oscar story may have a much happier ending. For one, Anne Hathaway's Catwoman arrived in a culture that has moved past viewing superhero films as "fluff" and is therefore less shy about recognizing acting achievements inside of them. For another, the eventually nominated performance by Hathaway is likely to be "the right one of the two" whereas Michelle was chosen for the wrong performance -- not that she isn't very good in Love Field, but it's not the inspired no one else could do this work that her Selina Kyle was. Finally and most obviously Les Miserables will be no Love Field, a film that was barely released and was largely only acknowledged -- if it was acknowledged as all -- as a vehicle for a Michelle Pfeiffer nomination. If you want to stick to the Pfeiffer narrative Les Miserables is far more likely to be Hathaway's own Fabulous Baker Boys... only this time there's no Jessica Tandy in sight to steal the statue away from a glorious actress in the full bloom of her star power.
The following was written on the flight from New York City to Utah last week as I left on my vacation (and awesome people took over). When I returned home I discovered that The Avengers was reopening on a ton of cinemas for one week only -- Happy Labor Day Weekend -- so I ought not to have strained my neck.
Somewhere in flyover country...
I can't decide which screen to look at. The first one is right in my face (ouch my neck), the other too far from me for its pocket-square size. And another so far it's like looking across the row at someone's cel phone in a bout of nosyness - that won't get you anywhere. This three screen option is one kind of 3-D at least. I have plenty of time to decide which screen to look at because the opening few minutes of The Avengers were never its strong suit.
The sound mixing is atrocious on airplanes. Also I just realized that I'm listening to the movie in a Spanish dub -- Damn you channel 2. I've switched over to English just in time for meaningless human exposition on Earth. It's not like I would have understood the aliens in any language.
The Tesseract is misbehaving!"
Samuel L Jackson intones this silly sentence for $500k (he's in so little of this I figure each line delivery is worth ½ a mil) because, you know, everyone understands how a cosmic cube should behave so we all get when it's being a naughty teenager.
My New Plaid Pants asked a very smart question of Vera Farmiga. What is her deal with playing mother to murderous children? She'll play Norma Bates for a Psycho prequel tv series.
Playbill Megan Hilty continues her Marilynization with the cast recording of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes "Little Girl from Little Rock" ...♥ Hilty!
Advocate Evan Rachel Wood considering the lead in a girl truck driver drama. Although honestly, I can't imagine what a cross between Smokey & The Bandit and Thelma & Louise, as its described, would possibly be like... tonally speaking.
Movie|Line god bless Ryan Gosling. Hollywood was slow to hand Christina Hendricks the leading roles she deserves but her Drive leading man is now providing one. The film, his directorial debut, is a noir called How To Catch a Monster. Now that that problem has been resolved... can someone hand her the Emmy she also deserves?!
Stale Popcorn reacts to the news that his beloved Jamie Bell will appear in Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac.
i09 on the desperation Warner Bros / DC must be feeling having let Joss Whedon get away (via their Wonder Woman squashing). Now what to do with The Justice League movie? What to do. Meanwhile...
Vulture Joss Whedon is beginning work on S.H.I.E.L.D. your weekly televised dose of the Marvel Universe and is married to Marvel indefinitely on multiple projects
CHUD apparently Rachel Weisz has been cut out of Terence Malick's To the Wonder entirely. Oh Malick. You're so unpredictable and predictable simultaneously.
Empire Online Charlize Theron may star in a Marie Colvin biopic. Maybe she wants a second Oscar? Biopics are the way to go.
Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on Louie's brilliance
Advocate Barbra Streisand's next album -- just one month away -- is a collection of unreleased material, including "I Think It's Going To Rain Today". That's such a great song but I can't live without Bette's version from Beaches so nothing else will measure up! Do you think this winter holds a major Babs revival what with this CD in the fall and The Guilt Trip coming to movie theaters for Christmas?
Broadway Blog uncovers an old performance duet between Liza Minnelli and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Tom @ The Broadway Blog finds so many wonderful thing.
Interiors on the great Lost in Translation (2003)
Sofia Coppola creates an impossible scenario using the space of the hotel room; she brings two married people, puts them in bed together, and somehow makes their entire encounter feel innocent.
That film sure is aging well, right?