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Review: Ready or Not

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Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

" I am not liking this trend of portraits of terrible women, like Meghan and Phyliss Schafly, unless it's camp." - Jane

"Miss Charlize is like, "Do I need to remind you guys again who is the baddest bitch around here?." I just can'ttttt! She looks like Megan Kelly's twin -- that makeup work is insanity!!!" - Jono

"if Nicole doesn't wear a bad wig in a it really a must see event?" -Chris

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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in zombies (30)


Curio: Horror Movie Posters by Stephanie and Mark Welser

Alexa here. One of my favorite ways to decorate for Halloween is by throwing up a few great horror movie posters. I'm no longer goth enough to have them up all year long (although things were a bit different in the 90s). I've been looking to invest in a few by indie designers, and I'll probably start with Stephanie and Mark Welser.  They make great Saul Bass-inspired designs for some horror classics (and some not-so-classics). You can buy prints here, at a totally reasonable $20 each!


Click for more, including Phantasm and Zombieland...

Click to read more ...


Small Screen: Prime and Suspect Pilots

I promised a bit more TV talk this year and though I haven't seen any show that would inspire me to cover it weekly (Mad Men and True Blood are rare beasts, as interesting to write about as they are to watch) here's a quick overview of first impressions of new series. 

A bit strange to watch this one in the receding shadow of last weekend's Emmy Awards. The whole time I kept thinking "Oh... here's one to shake up the Best Drama Series field next year if it can be shook. And Best Actress, too!"

But then, immediately after it ended, I felt ashamed of this inner golden-winged monologue. Great acting is no promise of statues after all. I must must must remember my own mantra -- difficult as it is to remember whilst enthusiastically prepping for Oscar season -- Great Work Is Its Own Reward. And Maria Bello is her own reward (and so rewarding, too).  Which is as it has to be given the cold shoulder from Oscar in the past (The CoolerA History of Violence).

Prime Suspect, her new show (adapted from the now 20 year old Helen Mirren series) details the murder investigations of the smart abrasive Jane Timoney, the only woman in her homicide department. The first hour had a few script and performance beats with the zing of those 'Clarice Starling surrounded by tall men' visuals in The Silence of the Lambs but Bello just refuses to shrink. Though procedurals never really capture my imagination, character studies do and Bello demands that I keep watching. Her detective is funny without feeling scripted-quippy and unusually capable without seeming infallible (such a danger for protagonist roles in TV and film). Best of all she shades all of Timoney's more typically admirable qualities like confidence, cleverness, intelligence, and femaleness in such a way that they throw shade; her confidence curdles into arrogance, her cleverness veers towards the reckless, her intelligence has zero warmth and her vagina is both interference and scapegoat. Yes, her department is sexist but isn't her cold arrogance and lack of sympathy for co-workers (who have justifiably open wounds in this episode)  more than half of the problem in being welcomed into their club?

Click for more on Prime Suspect plus Revenge, Charlie's Angels and two more newbies.

Click to read more ...


John Wood (RIP) and Link Roundup

Before the link roundups I wanted to say a fond farewell to British actor John Wood who died at 81 this weekend in his sleep. I'll always remember him as the Bishop of Aquila who was driven to madness and lust by the beauty of the young Michelle Pfeiffer in Ladyhawke (1985). It happens.

Though the Tony winner spent much of his time on stage he also had several screen roles including parts in hits like War Games (1983), critical darlings like Orlando (1993) and The Purple Rose of Cairo (1995) and Oscar favorites like The Madness of King George (1994) and Chocolat (2000). His final feature film was also the final Merchant/Ivory film The White Countess (2005). RIP John Wood.

Socialite Life Harry Shum Jr (Glee) is taking voice lessons. Guess he doesn't wanna wear that "CAN'T SING" t-shirt on the show anymore.
Vulture surveys Southern accents in the movies and compares them to the real thing.
Kenneth in the (212) remembers Body Heat (1981) and bemoans the passage of time. It gets us all!
i09 Matt Damon is playing a cyborg in Neil Blomkamp's District 9 follow up Elysium. Here's some unofficial photos so proceed at your own risk.
Cinema Blend surveys the extremely crowded December release schedule... in 2012. It's already crazy. Zombie epic World War Z with Brad Pitt is the latest inductee. 

Stale Popcorn Glenn surveys the 60 (gasp) films he watched at the Melbourne Film Festival. Drive gets his number one spot and Melancholia is another favorite.

Off Cinema
The Awl shares t-shirts on view at 2011's Lollapalooza (they still have that?). This amused me for some reason. 
Tom Shone on the election of 2012 and Rachel Maddow's problematic prediction. I so agree and Shone always give good prose. 



Scouting New York Fun/creepy. Take a retro tour of American Psycho's New York City landmarks. 
Pajiba Speaking of Christian Bale. The web is abuzz with all those Dark Knight Rises on set photos now that filming has commenced. I agree with Iggy on Tom Hardy's lipless "Bane" look, however true to character it may be. Iggy wrote...

Hardy. Better with lips.

it must be a cinematic crime hiring Hardy, the most lusciuous male lips, and make him wear that thing. Could this be considered playing against type?

Geekscape Since Batman is in the air, why not a ranking of all filmed Catwomen? I find it hilarious that Anne Hathaway is included in this six-wide field since she hasn't even purred yet. Who knows how good she will or won't be? The Pfeiffer write up is insightful.
Twitch Superhero fatigue has not yet set in. Commissioned scripts for Ant Man and Doctor Strange have been turned in to Marvel Studios. 
My New Plaid Pants surveys the current wanting cinema crop 
Twitch Forbes Highest Paid Actors list: Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are up top but the list is soooo 1990s as if nothing ever changes in Hollywood. 

La Daily Musto Hello Gorgeous. Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) will star in the revival of Funny Girl. I'm stunned and happy. Here's a video making the rounds of her doing the famous closing number "My Man"

It's such an interesting choice because it clearly signifies that the producers are NOT trying to duplicate Barbra. Which is, I think most people of sound minds would admit, the only sane way to approach reviving such an iconic connected-to-one-legend piece of theater.

Austin Translation "there's a snape in my boots" 
Regretsy Zombie Golden Girls 
Broadway Blog the original Evita and Che, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin are reuniting for a limited run concert on Broadway. 

Finally, mark your calendars for August 31st. Gonzo 80s 'classic' Scarface will be showing at 500 screens nationwide to celebrate an epic Blu-Ray release. I'm not wild about the movie which is so widely embraced by gangstas who love its excess unironically and ignore its cautionary tale finale. But if you've never seen it you'd be crazy to miss the chance to see Michelle Pfeiffer's first great performance on the big screen. That year's supporting actress nominees can kiss her skinny pampered ass. Imagine that arguably star-making backless dress / elevator descent entrance on the big screen! Al Pacino's ambitious criminal is hypnotized and so were movie audiences, rescuing La Pfeiffer from her then status as 'Grease 2 girl'. If her entrance isn't enough imagine those 80s dance moves, or the huge-ass sunglasses. Chase those Pfeiffer visuals with mounds and mounds of coke snorting and utter icy contempt for everyone in her field of vision... including herself. She's mesmerizing. Oh and, yeah, some people would describe the movie that way, too.


Man vs. Link

Grantland Molly Lambert's incisive piece on Shia Labeouf's star persona "Tears of a Fighting Clown"
Super Punch "Zombie Snow White MacBook Stickers" Eeek and Yay!
i09 wonders which DC characters could save DC's miserable movie track record. I voted for "Aquaman but only if James Cameron directs it" because James Cameron is awesome. The end.
PopMatters muses on Marvel and whether or not they can sustain their own coherent movie universe.
The Awl "30 Ways to Say 'I Want You'"

xinmsn Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Carina Lau are trying to get pregnant. A fan snaps them having lunch with Faye Wong. I personally think Wong Kar Wai should film all such too-starry lunches.
Towleroad Reason #21,318 to Love Brad Pitt. He's still fighting the equality fight with mouth and money.
Critical Condition would like to know what you think of this new serenity in the face of death as seen in Restless, The Big C, 50/50 and the like.

And the season premiere of Man vs. Wild is nearly upon us (July 11th) with Jake Gyllenhaal hitting Iceland with Bear Grylls.

Jake's technique is looking good. His body is relaxed which means his trailing leg is hanging well down, making it easier to keep his balance.



Links: Frankenstein, Hughes, Zombies, Swampthings

FriiiiiiiiieeeeeeeendAntagony & Ecstasy by way of Green Lantern, Timothy looks back at another ill advised green-hued DC adaptation, Swamp Thing
the Wrap John Landis's son hired to write the reboot of Frankenstein. I was wondering when that stitched man monster would try to lumber through the current supernatural crowds again. Hey, Craig was just talking about the original Frankenstein in the Take Three series.
i09 considers True Blood characters who still haven't had sex with each other yet. Who should? 
IndieWire looks at five female directors on the verge 
Movie|Line says the offer is out for Emma Stone to headline Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Natalie Portman was previously rumored but I think Emma is a much better idea for this kind of tonally specific project. Portman is too uneven with the fanciful stuff. Superb in Black Swan but less so other times that f/x surrealness have been involved. But will Emma really say yes given that she's already done Zombieland?

Howard HughesMeanwhile I was asking on Twitter why anyone would want a Chris Nolan Howard Hughes bio (he previously expressed intent) now that the news is out that that's the Warren Beatty project that is in the works. So many blogs were all "but what about Nolan's movie???" Excuse me but has no one seen Reds (1981)? If all biopics were as resonant, well acted and potent as that one it'd be a different film world altogether and Oscars love of the same would be fully and thoroughly justified and not just THIS again?(Nolan is excellent at certain things but I wonder why people think he'd be the man for a biopic when depth of characterization isn't exactly his forte.) Warren will play Hughes (who Leonardo DiCaprio already played as a younger man of course in The Aviator) in his later years and it'll focus on a romance with a younger woman. Rumored to be involved or interested in being involved are: Andrew Garfield, Alec Baldwin, Annette Bening, Shia La Beouf, Rooney Mara and Evan Rachel Wood. Oh and Jack Nicholson who gave one of his all time best and least characteristic performances in Reds. No word yet on who will be playing who but the important news is already out in the cosmos: Warren Beatty is getting back to work. Fi-nal-ly.



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