Entries in X-Men (56)
The New Yorker on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice by Paul Mazursky. I love that movie so much
NYT RIP the influential filmmaker Paul Mazursky (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, An Unmarried Woman, Enemies: A Love Story)
THR The Academy sues the estate of art director Joseph Wright. His family auctioned off his Oscar for My Gal Sal (1942) for $79,200. (God, imagine how much an Oscar for a famous movie or actor would get!) But auctioning off Oscars is a big big no-no. AMPAS freaks out every time.
Bryan Singer tweets a treament of X-Men: Apocalypse
Daily Mail Johnny Depp on the set of Black Mass. Lots of old age makeup
X-Finity Matt Bomer implies that his Montgomery Clift biopic is on indefinite delay
The Wire Joe talks that Eric/Jason sex scene on True Blood and what a failure the show has been in terms of the gay. Co-sign every word.
The Black Maria on the Hunger Games of the 70s, Roller Ball
The Dissolve in the greatest summer blockbusters
Comics Alliance revisits Batman to look at Vicki Vale, the 1989 version of "Strong Female Character". (I totally forgot Ms Vale was an acclaimed photojournalist - not that it matters)
The 1989 model had fluffier hair than her successors, but that’s really the only significant difference. She establishes her Totally Empowered cred early, makes eyes at the hero, then gets the hell out of the way... She ends the film in the hero’s arms, fulfilling her role as reward for his victory, with nary a whisper of the professional goals that drove her to him in the first place. She is pretty and in need of rescue and almost entirely in service to the male characters’ plot and characterization—but she gets to be vaguely spunky and is slapped with a typically male career, so it’s totally okay.
I can only imagine the interviews that took place upon the release of "Batman", touting her modernity, her break with the damsels of the past, her ineffable 1989-ness.
Towleroad Adore Delano continues to hit it hard in that tiny assured-media-interest window post RuPaul's Drag Race. Party!
Clothes on Film wonders what happens to contemporary costumes when the movie wraps. Featuring The Descendants, Brick and Silver Linings Playbook
Variety Tom Hardy reunites with Inception co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Tilda = Best
Tilda Swinton has proclaimed that everyone should see Julia because Tilda has great taste. She's so extraordinary in that movie and she should've won her second Oscar for it. (Sorry Oscar nominees of 2009 but you just don't compare)
I made a film with Erick Zonca called JULIA of which I am extremely proud: in the United States it had a very small release by a great little and passionate distribution company called Magnolia.. but there was only so wide they could release it.. PLEASE look for that one.. it is something else.. and I LOVE it.
Her Reddit Q&A is often hilarious. Consider this response to whether or not she's a clone of David Bowie.
The laboratory gave me strict instructions to issue no comment
I'm so proud that I've been a fan of Tilda since Edward II (1991) so she's MINE. I am so proud to have given Tilda the gold medal right here for Julia. The Film Bitch Awards are awesome. *pats self on back* Should really watch that movie again.
New York Times Maya Angelou, the famous author and poet, sometime actress, and one time director (Down in the Delta, 1998) has died
Pajiba Charlie Cox, who killed my beloved Pfeiffer in Stardust will be the new Daredevil for 2015's Netflix series. I haven't seen him in act in like seven years (no really)... so I have no idea what to say about this. Kept a low profile he has as a once rising star. Thoughts?
Playbill Best Picture winner The Sting (1973) will become a musical on Broadway. (That's mandatory now for famous movies)
AV Club HBO going further back with its gay content and planning a 1960s based gay telefilm Open City about gays and the mafia... not to be confused with the modern term "the gay mafia"
i09 talks to production designer turned director Robert Stromberg about his world-building on movies and Maleficent
YouTube every time Nicolas Cage laughs in a movie. This is so funny and disturbing
Variety Gross! Clueless's Stacey Dash (Dionne) is a Republican and has just joined Fox News
Variety Golden Trailer Awards getting more popular each year
Would Be Emmy Precursors
Finally, The Broadcast Television Critics Nominations were announced today. I don't belong to this kid brother organization of the BFCA (which I do belong to) that is still very new... but I can't say that I'm pleased with them for the Mad Men shutouts in their drama nominations or that they're so conversative in their taste when it comes to some of Emmy's issues. (The Big Bang Theory, really? and no RuPaul's Drag Race in Reality Competition despite the media always complaining about how dumb the Emmys are to not see its subversive brilliance?) But if you're curious you can take a look. Things That Are Awesome: Lauren Weedman for Guest Actress for Looking on HBO. Lots of nominations for Masters of Sex and Orange is the New Black; Things That Are Stupid: Mad Men shut out; Things That Are Interesting: Joe Morton who plays Kerry Washington's father and Bellamy Young, who plays the perpetually defeated unloved First Lady are the only members of Scandal to get acting nominations. The lack of interest in Girls on HBO (only nominated for Andrew Rannels in Guest Performer). Two acting nods for Shameless as a Comedy (it's new campaign tactic) even though it's more of a Drama than it used to be.
X-Men. Emphasis on the Men.
Dim the House Lights has an excellent piece expanding on my frustrations with X-Men Days of Future Past and the X-franchise's unwillingness to care about its female characters. This article goes one step further and argues that their agency has been completely erased. Compellingly argued, too.
Rachel & Miles X-Plain the X-Men in my readings about the X-Men movies I chanced upon this great funny podcast that attempts to explain the X-Men's very convoluted history, right from the beginning in the 1960s. If you care about comic books, the X-Men, or want to just marvel at how professional some podcasts sound (seriously, what equipment do people use that their voices are always so shiny, clear and untarnished by sound debris?) [all the episodes on iTunes]
Amir here, with the long weekend’s box office actuals. All was well in America (and all other markets in the world) as audiences stormed to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film’s haul was impressive, even though it fell short of the series’ best (The Last Stand) despite the inflation of 3D tickets, but it’s safe to say fatigue hasn’t yet kicked in with this group of superheroes. In the process, X-Men knocked Godzilla off the top spot perch. Nathaniel quite liked the film, despite its limitations. I haven’t yet seen it, and with the news that Edgar Wright has been kicked off the director’s chair of Ant Man, have vowed never to see another superhero film, but that’s a gripe for another article.
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $110.5 *new* Review
02 GODZILLA $38.4 (cum. $155.7) Review & Podcast
03 BLENDED $17.7 *new*
04 NEIGHBORS $17.1 (cum. $116.8) Review & Podcast
05 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $10 (cum. $187.1)
06 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $9.1 (cum. $22.7)
07 THE OTHER WOMAN $4.5 (cum. $78.6)
08 RIO 2 $3.4 (cum. $122.5)
09 CHEF $2.9 new (cum. $4.2)
10 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $2.7 (cum. $86.5)
11 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $2.2 (cum. $254.1) Review
12 BELLE $2.1 (cum. $4.3) Review
The other big opening of the weekend was Blended, for which the $18m dollar sales is being branded a flop but this isn’t true when you stop to consider just how unappealing everything about this film is. The title sounds like a youtube compilation of mishaps to people who are making smoothies. The trailer sucked the life out of every single theatre I saw it in, and a lot has changed for the leading duo since they starred together in their hit 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer, most notably the fact that they weren’t has-beens then.
On the limited side, the Sundance critical hit Cold in July was the most significant release, but without much advertising muscle or star power, it managed a modest $4k per screen average. James Gray’s The Immigrant pulled in similar averages but on a much larger scale as it expanded to 147 theatres. If you live in the vicinity of any of those 147 screens, you Must. Go. Now! It is one of the best of the year.
Nathaniel was on a viewing/reviewing spree this weekend with X-Men, The Normal Heart, Mad Men, and some 1941 pictures (vote!) but I didn’t watch a film. Instead I had the pleasure of talking to Godfrey Cheshire for a few hours! Amazing, right? It was a hoot!
How did you spend the weekend?
Things That Are Not Cannes-Related
Vanity Fair Leonardo DiCaprio in space: the auction! I love it whenever Katey Rich's inner Titanic fangirl comes out.
Coming Soon Wet Hot American Summer to be a series on Netflix now. And, much better news: its now middle aged original cast members will all be playing high school versions of themselves. Love it. Can't wait to see Paul Rudd's sloppy french-kissing again. That movie is such a scream
Playbill oooh, here's a fun unexpected list. Ten artists that are a Tony Award short of the EGOT from Kate Winslet through Julie Andrews and on to um... Martin Scorsese?
Comics Alliance on how Quicksilver, not a major fan favorite superhero, was suddenly a hot property with two major motion pictures in the space of a year
Star-Ledger interviews Dan Callahan on that Vanessa Redgrave book we told you about a couple of weeks ago
Playbill Jim Parsons on coming out and how The Normal Heart affected his life
Vanity Fair Emma Thompson gives her usual great interview promoting her new comedy with Pierce Brosnan The Love Punch
I’d rather have root canal treatment FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE than join Twitter"
though everyone's flown home
Notebook Miriam Bale on her Cannes experience, David Cronenberg's Map to the Stars and Jean Luc-Godard
In Contention best and worst of the fest
Critic Wire averages out the grades for this year's slates at Cannes. Highest grades go to Leviathan, Foxcatcher, The Tribe, Whiplash, Two Days One Night, Force Majeure, Wild Tales, Tu Dors Nicole and A Hard Day (the last two of which I haven't previously heard a peep about online.)
The Telegraph Leila Hatami (A Separation) had to apologize for a public kiss on the cheek at Cannes which angered some Iranians. This world is madness and so wretched to women time and again.
Variety the 7 biggest surprises at Cannes Parties from Leonardo DiCaprio (all business even when peeing) to Lindsay Lohan getting kicked off a yet (um... how does the latter qualify as a 'surprise'?)
And the sales...
The Tribe the tough Ukranian picture The Tribe (the one in sign language without subtitles) has three major European countries nailed down (+ Japan) for distribution. Will we get it in the US? Pretty please?
The Wonders, the Grand Jury Prix winner is also selling briskly to multiple markets
And a final P.S. on the sales. Sony Pictures Classics who got three of the buzziest Sundance titles early this year were also buying at Cannes. I guess they want a handful of Oscars and not just to dominate the foreign film and documentary again. At this writing here's their upcoming slate:
- Land Ho! - Sundance comic hit about two old pals vacationin in Iceland [July, review]
- Magic in the Moonlight - the latest from Woody Allen, which we just discussed [July]
- Love is Strange - if it's handled delicately and smartly and the critics rally it could be a dark horse Oscar player. Either way, it's going to become a classic down the road. [August, review]
- Whiplash - Sundance and Cannes hit a father and son drama with Miles Teller as a drummer with a tough dad [October]
- Foxcatcher - a good bet for multiple Oscar noms but is it too chilly to win statues? [November, review]
- Mr Turner - this handsome art biopic could be a major player for Mike Leigh [December, review]
- Infinitely Polar Bear - their only purchase that baffled me at Sundance. But it's got recognizable stars [Opens TBA, reviewed]
- The Salt of the Earth - buzzy Cannes documentary [Opens TBA]
- Red Army -another Cannes doc about the Soviet Union hockey team during the Cold War [Opens TBA]
- Jimmy's Hall - the new Ken Loach from Cannes [Opens TBA]
- Saint Laurent - YSL biopic from Cannes [Opens TBA]
- Wild Tales - the Argentinian comedy won major raves at Cannes [Opens TBA]
- Leviathan - this Russian film from the director of The Return and Elena was expected to win big at Cannes had to settle for Screenplay. I always worry when these things happen post-buy that the distributor will then put them on the backburner. Hope that isn't the case here. [Opens TBA]
Mutant super powers aren't just for human anymore. Kittens!
[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. - Nathaniel]
The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.
In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels. But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it?
With various X-Men smearing their mutant DNA all of your movie screens this weekend, it's become painfully obvious that movie studios are still terrifed of superheroes with vaginas. Storm continues to be the single most-wasted ineptly-transferred great character from the comics but Kitty Pryde has an even sadder story. "X-Men Days of Future Past," one of the most famous and influential comic arcs of all time, originally granted the phasing young mutant (played by Ellen Page in the movies) the starring role. We all knew they would find a way to sideline her.
I lurve Hugh Jackman but one of my biggest disappointments about the X-Men movies continues to be the way the team aspects are muted in order to make it all about the charismatic clawed one. The Avengers figured out a way to balance multiple headliners but the X-Men movies haven't been that inspired. So here are two excellent reads from Slate if you care about the ladies and gender inequities within this genre.
"Why is Wolverine Doing All The Things I Did?"
Kitty Pryde herself (via Stephen Burt) writes a letter to the filmmakers about her suddenly sidelined heroics. Why is that exactly?
"David Goyer’s Comments About She-Hulk Make People Very, Very Angry"
The title is too utilitarian to get excited about but there a lot of great points raised in this article about origin stories and comic book sexism. This article was in response to screenwriter David S. Goyer's (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) comments about the character of She-Hulk on a podcast we linked to yesterday. One of the two podcast hosts Craig Mazin, who used the word "slut" in the discussion, has since published an apology/clarification of what he meant. But the conversation basically treated her as a Bride of Frankenstein sex fantasy creation for Hulk -- missing the point that she was created as a female empowerment fantasy and is Bruce Banner's cousin. (Not the kissin' kind.) I suppose it's no accident that Goyer is involved with Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice which already controversially cast a 110 lbs underwear model as the most famous amazon superheroine of all time (that'd be Wonder Woman).
The takeaway is that we're never going to get female superheroes done right until...
a) more actressexual directors get involved. Joss Whedon is a great start and our best hope at the moment - look how he rescued the Black Widow from her Iron Man 2 decorative-nothingness. Can we hope that he'll also exceed expectations with The Scarlet Witch?
b) the people in charge of shepherding this genre to the screen are more evolved than Frank T.J. Mackey and don't immediately think "great tits!" first when confronted with the idea of a superheroine. There's nothing wrong with great boobs -- We fully support them and thank Scarlet Johansson for hers at least weekly -- but boobs do not a heroine make.
You wouldn't think those two things would be such tall hurdles to clear...