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Saturday
Apr062013

Oscar Preview Time: The Tentative Release Dates

I was more than a little surprised to read this week that the Weinstein Company had chosen a summer release date for their Sundance pick-up Fruitvale whilst Fox Searchlight went with the Weinstein-like December 27th for Steve McQueen's Twelve Years A Slave. While summer is by no means a bad move for Fruitvale (movies without stars, instant hooks, or famous directors need time to build) and Fox Searchlight can sell a movie to Oscar with any date, it's weird to see the Weinstein Company go this route; Harvey Weinstein is more than a little responsible for the modern "DECEMBER OR BUST!" fanaticism that awards campaigns live by. For a moment I worried that they might have no faith in Fruitvale at all.

It's never been true, of course, that you have to release a movie in December to be an Oscar player but the important thing in regards to release dates is that it feels true to the studios which is why we get movie gluts every year 'round Christmas. ANYWAY... that's just the two most recent release date announcements. Here's what's coming our way -- a monthly calendar after the jump -- that might conceivably have Oscar dreams of some sort or another. (Feel free to add to the list in the comments so I can finally get around to the first Oscar predictions of the year!)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr062013

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Carrie 2013"

If you remake Carrie they're all going to laugh at you!

the Mean Girls of Thomas Ewen Consolidated High School.

Or, if not laugh, than shake their heads in annoyance that you've dared to keep company with a 70s classic. I've never disguised or hedged my opinion here. I think Carrie (1976) is a GREAT motion picture. Not just a good one. Since it can't really be improved upon (specifically in the performance arena since Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie both did risky revelatory Oscar worthy work) there's no reason to remake it. Unless of course you have a fresh take on it, which is the only reason to ever remake anything that's great to begin with.

The teaser which featured merely voiceover about the telekinetic PMSing high school misfit over a zoom in on Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie White as Firestarter was a hit as teasers often are (leave them wanting more!) but the new trailer basically says "hey, I'm just the same as the old Carrie only with actors you kids know. Look, it's all the famous scenes including the climax. Come see me in October!"

Pray for forgiveness Julianne! You're risking ANOTHER iconic do over?!

Having clearly stated my bias -- I'm a "no" ahead of time on principle -- let's break it down anyway after the jump with as much of an open mind as I can muster on this one.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr052013

Four Reasons Why Jurassic Park's Visuals Still Amaze

by Tim Brayton

Twenty years ago – an eon in filmmaking years – Jurassic Park was the shiniest new toy on the block. Now it’s getting an anniversary release as a bona-fide classic, having existed for more than the entire lifespan of the teenagers that make up the target audience for splashy popcorn fare. Those twenty years have seen the computer-generated visual effects that were so radical in 1993 become more commonplace and utilitarian than ever seemed plausible back then; we live in an age when even romantic comedies and family dramas have CGI work in them. Summer tentpoles of the Jurassic Park lineage exist only in computers to such a degree that it’s really little more than convention that makes us refer to them as “live-action”.

You’d think, with all that time gone by to refine the technology, that Jurassic Park would look hideously outdated, or at best charmingly quaint. After all, the effects showpiece DragonHeart, released just a couple of years later, more resembles a cartoon now, than anything aiming for photorealism. It took less than a decade for Spider-Man to look a bit flimsy and thin; the later Harry Potter movies already seemed a bit wan when they were still in theaters. But Jurassic Park is as impressive now as it was all the way back then.

With just this one exception:

more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr052013

At the Linkies

It's been ages since I had a moment for a link & news roundup so here you go. If you've already read some of these I apologize for my tardiness. If not, enjoy them.

Big Screen
Huffington Post I have to give Peggy Siegal's Oscar Diary pride of place because if you haven't yet read it -- it debuted a few days ago -- you must. Peggy is fabulous and after which movie stars show at her parties here in NYC the thing I'm always most intrigued to see is what she'll be wearing. 
MovieLine a sequel to The Host is now more than a little unlikely and it won't be the next Twilight. That's OK because we didn't want Saoirse tied up with a franchise for aeons. 
NPR Saoirse Ronan loves Clueless. See, she's just a regular teenager. (as if!)

Encore's World a fun appreciation of Anne Baxter in The Ten Commandments 
In Contention rule changes for the documentaries at the Oscars 
MNPP Gregory Peck Or... His Grandson? 
Deadline Sally Hawkins joins the cast of Godzilla in an apparently big role.
/Film ...reports the same news but oddly calls Sally Hawkins an Oscar Nominee. IF ONLY! 
Cinema Blend and a million other sites are breathlessly excited about the photo of Beast that Bryan Singer tweeted for X-Men Days of Future Past. Everyone is all "which actor is it????" but it seems pretty clear to me that that's a concept drawing and not Kelsey Grammar or Nicolas Hoult.
Nerd Approved Disney Princesses as Sith Lords?
Guardian can Josh Trank (Chronicle) save Fox's Fantastic Four franchise?
Empire Allison Janney may play Melissa McCarthy's mom in the comedy Tammy 

Miscellania
/Film alerted us to this Prada Candy commercial from Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola.

 

It's always nice to see Léa Seydoux -- love the shot of her munching on popcorn so cheekily -- and for directors to have a little fun paying homage to the classics. In this case that's Jules et Jim
i09 the 20 most epic beards and moustaches in the multiverse... a fun list given that hairy Game of Thrones has returned 
Gawker "what the hell is going on with Amanda Bynes: A treatise" 

Small Screen
PopWatch who will replace Matt Lauer and what was his television crime? Great piece by Mark Harris 
Variety TV's Hannibal didn't take much of a bite out of the ratings. But time will tell whether the latest movie to series effort becomes a hit. 
E.T.  Teen Wolf Season 3 Details. No Colton Hayne?
Uproxx Elisabeth Moss plays "fuck, marry, kill" with the men of Sterling Cooper and makes the correct choices with those Mad Men 

Ebert RIPs
Movie City News David Poland remembers his friends hosting passion and group nights out at Ebertfest
Press Play has a video tribute to Siskel & Ebert's sparring chemistry 

Roger's widow Chaz released a statement today which read in part:

I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger -- my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years. He fought a courageous fight. I've lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other."

I love that line "more beautiful and epic than a movie" because I've always been curious what it was like for Chaz to be married to the movies; Roger Ebert had to have been a package deal since he was so synonymous with the cinema.

Friday
Apr052013

Secret Messages: A 'Drawring'

secret messages

Who drew it, why, and which movie is it from?

Thursday
Apr042013

For Roger Ebert.

 

Hard to put into words exactly how much this means to the film community in general. Suffice it to say, one of the great film critics, one of the kindest, most influential, most humane since the birth of cinema is going to be deeply, deeply missed.

Please share in the comments any thoughts or feelings or memories you may have about his writings, his musings, his blogs, his bantering with Siskel and/or Roeper.

Sound off, lovelies.