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Entries in Val Kilmer (7)

Monday
Jul032017

Beauty vs Beast: Who's The Maverick Now

Jason from MNPP here - I think that most of us have mixed (to put it mildly) feelings about Tom Cruise, who is celebrating his 55th birthday today (yes, he was Born on the Third of July). But there's no arguing that his radar for Big Mainstream Action Movie Success has seemed fairly fine tuned for all of the four decades that he's been batting in the major leagues. Well... until The Mummy this summer, which more than just being a bad movie (he's had plenty of those) felt like an actively bad choice for him particularly. The role didn't fit him and he didn't manage to make it fit him by the sheer force of smiling will that his stardom's been so foundationally built upon.

So perhaps that why now he's finally stepping back into the role that made him a star in the first place, and asking us to remember when something as simple as a jet plane and a pair of aviator glasses was all it took to throttle the box office - the Top Gun sequel, subtitled Maverick, was finally made official this week - it will be out in two years (July 2019) and it will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who worked with Cruise on the (underrated, says me) sci-fi flick Oblivion. So let's look back ourselves, here on this Patriotic Eve, at the movie as American as American Military Might...

PREVIOUSLY I was about to say that we couldn't have made a more wild swing, celebrating Tom Cruise this week to having celebrated Peter Lorre last week, but you know... not really? Perhaps as Cruise grows older he can embrace his diminuitive weirdness to similar effect. Anyway as for last week's Maltese contest it was Bogart who won, but barely, with just 53% of the vote. Said Tom:

"I think both are lucky Mary Astor isn't here. But as it is I vote for Sam. He does such wild and unpredictable things."

Tuesday
Apr042017

Prime for April - Screengrab Roulette

As we do, we've frozen random new to Amazon Prime titles and grabbed the first screengrab that popped up. Though they're leaning heavily on 1990s titles at the moment, their quality of offerings is far outpacing whatever B pictures Netflix has been licensing of late. Comment Party: Which will you be watching and which of the "new" streaming titles would you most want to read a write-up on this month? I'll obey your consensus command. 

Okay on to the random screengrabs.

Every morning the ground is soaked with blood. The workers believe I brought this terror since it didn't begin until my arrival. Whatever I try they seem to know. All the deaths are on me. 

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)
Yes, yes, great Vilmos Zsigmond cinematography, a sound Oscar, and killer lions and but on a scale of 1-100 how kissable were Val Kilmer's lips in his prime? My vote: 118.

[no dialogue]

Sliver (1993)
Remember when wealthy perv Billy Baldwin was spying on all his tenants including sexy Sharon Stone who caught on to him? The 90s were THE decade for erotic thrillers, which have gone completely out of fashion, just like romantic comedies. 

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec092016

Golden Globe Ballots Due. (And Other Celebratory Reminders)

The members of the HFPA (The Golden Globes) have to turn in their ballots today with nominations announced on Monday. In the less celebrated corner of Precursor World the BFCA Critics Choice ballots are also due for the winners. My own votes are all over the place as I don't do lazy sweep voting but judge each category separately as one should. The Critics Choice Awards are this Sunday evening -- watch it live -- and the Golden Globe nominations are announced Monday morning. But movies, as events to celebrate, are more than just temporal things. You can celebrate anything you'd like across the time continuum via the happy things known as anniversaries and birthdays...

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz

1854 Alfred Tennyson published his famous war poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" - it would be made into a movie three times, most famously with Olivia de Havilland and Erroll Flynn in the Thirties.
1902 Margaret Hamilton, The Wicked Witch of the West herself, was born in Cleveland Ohio. She really should've been nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, don'cha think?...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul242014

Tim's Toons: The voice of Sandra Bullock

Tim here. The mission statement of this column is “something to do with animation” (I suck at writing mission statements), which would seemingly preclude me from taking part in Celebrating Sandra Week here at the Film Experience.

But wait! As it turns out, there was exactly one time that Sandra Bullock voiced an animated character, in 1998’s The Prince of Egypt (as opposed to Gravity, where she was the only thing onscreen that wasn’t animated).

An adaptation of the Biblical story of Exodus, this was only the second film ever released by DreamWorks Animation (after 16 years, it remains one of their best). It was also the second DreamWorks film to favor a voice cast chosen for marquee value over skills in voice acting, building on a tradition that the studio would proudly continue for the rest of its existence. And in this case, it continues the longstanding Hollywood habit of populating stories from Hebraic scripture almost exclusive with non-Jews: Jeff Goldblum is the sole Jewish lead in a film whose voice cast includes Val Kilmer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Patrick Stewart, and Ralph Fiennes (the latter two aren’t playing ancient Hebrews, at least), alongside Bullock, one of the most famous subjects of the “Is she Jewish? I guess not” game of all time.

More to the point, that list of people includes nobody other than Stewart and Goldblum whose voice is so obviously distinctive that they’d necessarily make sense to put into an animated movie, but that’s DreamWorks for you. Among such company, Bullock doesn’t stand out as particularly grating or out-of-place (apologies to Nathaniel, but Pfeiffer pretty effortlessly takes Worst in Show, as far as that goes). In fact, watching the film for the first time with a particular ear for Bullock’s work, I’d go so far as to call her one of thebest members of the cast. Compared to Kilmer’s generic mid-Americanisms in the lead role, it doesn’t take all that much for anybody to stand out in the cast, of course, but Bullock is especially noteworthy in that she has the exact same liability as Kilmer – a voice carefully trained to sound like it comes from absolutely nowhere in particular, but probably Ohio-ish – and still manages to shade her line readings just enough to suggest a kind of formal pre-modern attitude, something that none of the other Americans in the cast ever really manage.

That being said, she has hardly any time to make an impression, with a role whose brevity is matched only by Helen Mirren’s (so, not an actressexual-friendly movie, basically). Bullock’s own unenthusiastic description from the officially sanctioned making-of featurette of 1998 is that her character, Moses’s biological sister Miram, “is sort of the believer, the one who holds on to the faith… She helps her brother cross over, and see where he came from.” And if that sounds like a stock character who gets nothing interesting to do, that’s because it’s exactly what she is (she’s also the lead singer of the Oscar-nominated song “When You Believe”, but Bullock didn’t do her own singing).

Still, she puts some heart into it, and a lot of earnestness, and it’s enough to put the character over as a real personality, even if she’s a bit one-note in her “Moses! Are you gonna lead the chosen people yet?” characterization.

It’s more then Goldblum doing Goldblum in ancient Egypt can claim. It’s a lot more than Martin Short and Steve Martin doing nothing at all but cashing checks can claim. The problem with the DreamWorks casting trend (that has since infected virtually all animated filmmaking in America, not just that studio) is that movie stars typically look more interesting than they sound, as true for the bulk of The Prince of Egypt as anything in the Shreks or the abysmal casting of Brad Pitt as the white-breadiest Sinbad in film history. And by all rights, it should apply to Bullock as much as anybody; but she pushes herself just enough to make sure that doesn’t happen. It’s a largely unimaginative performance of a role that means only a little bit to the movie as a whole, but she manages to make a real impression, and given what she was working with, that’s a real, if small triumph.

more Sandra | more from Tim

Monday
Nov192012

The Linking Daylights

Variety's "The Vote" looks at all time great film scores
NYT remembers voice actress Lucille Bliss (RIP) the voice of Smurfette and Anastasia in Cinderella
Art of the Title Sequence has a cup of fresh coffee with Cabin in the Woods
EW watch Anthony Hopkins become Hitchcock in under a minute (though in real life it took an hour and a half each day 
In Contention Angelina Jolie campaigning for Ewan McGregor's work in The Impossible. Whoa

Unreality Marvel superheroines as Bond Girls
Salon uh oh Activists claim that 27 animals have died making The Hobbit films 
Pajiba shows us Val Kilmer and Joann Whaley's kids all grown up. Think they'll be actors? I always wished that Whaley had had a better career. Loved her in Scandal and Willow.
Movie|Line Ryan Gosling's beat up face on the Only God Forgives poster 
IndieWire first Joaquin and now Anthony Hopkins calling Oscar campaigns "disgusting" 
French Premiere the semi-finalist list for the Best Newcomer prizes at the Césars in France. Expect a nomination at least for Matthias Schoenaerts for his awesome double attention-grabber Bullhead and Rust & Bone  
The Playlist fun gallery of behind the scenes shots from Kill Bill
Awards Daily James Franco made a music video. Lindsay Lohan is in it 

And finally here's Jeremy Renner making fun of Hawkeye on SNL...

It'd definitely been the year or archery what with Brave, The Avengers and The Hunger Games among the top blockbusters. And now we have gifted archers on two television series: Revolution and Arrow... which is also about a guy who shoots arrows. That's kind of his thing. Before this trend dies a swift death from ubiquity, can someone please give actual archer and awesome actress Geena Davis a good role and combine the two?

Thursday
Dec012011

Congratulations to the Movie-ish Grammy Nominees !

Given that roughly 193,026 musicians can call themselves Grammy nominees for the first time or again in the wake of last night's announcement (so many categories), we'd like to congratulate those nominees that are somehow connected to the movies. But before we do that, tell me who has your vote for "album of the year"?

 

I have the Gaga and Adele CDs and love both. Do you recommend the others?

Anyway... Silver screen type nominees & best music videos after the jump
Including: Val Kilmer, Patton Oswalt, Daniel Radcliffe and more...

Click to read more ...