Thursday, February 28, 2008

Iron Man: Franchises Aren't Born, They're Built

I know, that's a dorky headline. Sue me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Juicing The Oscars

Okay, the ratings for this year's Oscars were pretty bad. Was it the dark-themed movies up for awards? Was it because almost nobody saw any of the dark-themed movies up for awards? Was it because nobody cares who takes away a golden statuette, regardless of whether they acted in, directed, wrote, or were otherwise affiliated with said dark-themed movies?

Hmm. One thing's for sure, the show needs a shot in the arm. Here's Frangela's (aka Frances Callier and Angela Shelton) ideas for stoking up some interest in the goings on, which include hiring Prince and Debbie Allen.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunset Over West Seattle

Photo by Alan Green

Photo by Alan Green

Frank Lucas: American Gangster

American Gangster DVD coverI just finished watching 'American Gangster' on DVD. Movie is nicely directed by Ridley Scott with 'invisible' camera technique that not only doesn't bring attention to itself, it makes you forget you're watching a movie. Also to credit for this movie's easy flow is screenwriter Steven Zaillian whose script brings this true story to life in a direct and accessible way, without over-stylizing it for the big screen. Drug lord Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) and the detective that chased him, Ritchie Roberts (Russell Crowe), are brought to life by Zaillian's script, and backstory is handled so effectively and naturally you feel like you know them by the end of the movie -- in fact you feel like you've known them for years.

'American Gangster' is a pleasure. I'm looking forward to watching the extended unrated version.

Here's Denzel's outlook on Lucas, with comments by Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott, and Russell Crowe.

From The 'For What It's Worth' File

Apparently, a tongue-in-cheek no-budget version of a Hollywood movie is called a Swede, or maybe to Swede a movie is to make a no-budget version -- I'm not sure whether it's a noun or verb, perhaps it's both/either -- I feel so out of the loop. Anyway, Esquire's Daniel Murphy collected a few -- my fave is the Die Hard one -- you gotta like these guys for putting this together.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Charlize Theron

Lynn Hirschberg Talks With Charlize Theron

Will Ferrell Sells Goo

"The finest street-legal antiperspirant you can get outside of Mexico that's not poisonous". Yes!

Charlie Bartlett: This Year's Bueller...Or The Other Juno

Charlie Bartlett

That's Anton Yelchin as Charlie Bartlett and Robert Downey, Jr. as Principal Gardner (you know when the character's first name is 'Principal' he's in trouble). I've liked this picture since I saw the trailer.

But, then I saw this promo and I didn't like it anymore.

But, then I heard Bob Mondello's review and I like it again. Go figure.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Funny Games (Funny Version)

I'm very much looking forward to this. Don't ask why. It just seems smart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Visitor

Here is an interview at Sundance with 'The Visitor' director Tom McCarthy and lead Richard Jenkins. I like this trailer. These small films keep me going.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Vanity Fair 'In Memoriam'

Here's VF's spoof 'In Memoriam' video for this year's Academy Awards show. It's a real tearjerker.

Post Production

Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight

Kim Masters on fine tuning 'The Dark Knight' without Heath Ledger

Andrea Shea On Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Andrea Shea continues NPR's series 'In Character' with a look at Darth Vader.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jim Zarroli On Gordon Gekko

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street

NPR is running a series called 'In Character' in which they explore the origins and impact of famous American fictional characters. On this week's show Jim Zarroli looks at the main character played by Michael Douglas in Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street', Gordon Gekko.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jason Reitman On The Treatment

Jason Reitman and Elvis Mitchell

Jason Reitman, director of 'Juno', with Elvis Mitchell

Oscar Picks

Here's JD and Eric's picks for Score, Song, and Supporting Actor from

Will Ferrell Interview

I like this talk Eric Melin has with Will Ferrell re: the success of Funny or, 'Semi-Pro', and the Funny or Die Comedy Tour.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Future Of Movie Distribution

One of the major concessions of Hollywood's new deal with the writers is a cut of internet revenue from downloads. Here's Michael Lynton, chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, with Renee Montagne about where internet revenues might come from. Here's Anne Thompson on the future of online distribution.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Will Jumper Fly As A Franchise?

The footage I've seen is not what I'd call subtle -- the acting and dialogue are brassy with plenty of edge, just this side of comic-bookish. What seemed like a very cool premise hasn't yielded very cool looking trailers. But, the premise is still there: a guy can teleport to any location in an instant, and...and...what? Who cares...really. I'm thinking a lot of people will go to see this one despite the cheesey trailers and bad reviews.

And, how about those reviews? Here's William Arnold: ...the proceedings soon deteriorate into one more tedious slugfest, with some laughably inane dialogue and so many story holes that you quickly lose count. Ouch. What does James Verniere say: I am not proud of this, but there are times when I walk into a press screening thinking, 'This film cannot possibly be as bad as its trailers make it look.' Oh, yes, it can. Okay, that's not too good either. Here's Bruce Newman: ...the only force on Earth so dense that it apparently can't be moved even by the movie's special effects is Christensen's wooden acting. After bringing the second "Star Wars" trilogy to its knees as the inert Anakin Skywalker, his performance here threatens the very fabric of time and space.


Wait a minute, you guys. You're missing the point. It's not about slick dialogue and great acting, is it? Think of the premise -- the guy can teleport. Like, look at the picture -- there he is in Egypt someplace. In another second he'll be back in his apartment in New York or London -- Cool. Do we need the plot to be airtight? Do we go to the movies to hear characters say words we have to look up? Do we really care whether the story adheres to logic? We just wanna have fun. This movie may not be too smooth around the edges but I'm thinking the kids will like it.

Will 'Jumper' fly as a franchise? I think so. Look for 'Jumper 2', or 'Jumper: The Big Leap' coming soon.

Star Trek Delayed

Star Trek

Paramount is pushing Star Trek back from Christmas to Summer 09. I knew it -- I could tell they were trying to roll this one out too fast. It just takes more time to make this kind of flick. Besides, those welders need more time to build the Enterprise. Look at that guy, welding much could he get done in a day? They should hire more welders, get that ship built, and finish the movie.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Trailer vs. Scene

Above trailer for George Romero's (sorry...George A. Romero's) upcoming 'Diary of the Dead' is nicely put together and promises a fair experience at the cinema of the living dead. It seems taught, fun, gory, you know...just what you're looking for in a zombie movie.

However, below complete scene plays a bit ludicrous, over-the-top, silly, and features an unfortunate member of the undead being rekilled in a manner that's hilariously gruesome -- which, come to think of it may be...just what you're looking for in a zombie movie.

After I saw the trailer I was considering seeing 'Diary', but after viewing a scene I think I'll wait for it in the 2 for 1 DVD bin -- even if I have to wait a long time.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Lego Batman Trailer

There's been a lot of these but this is my favorite.

Break-Outs Of 2007

NYT Breakthrough perfomances. Photo by Ryan McGinley

Here's Lynn Hirschberg on the break-out performances of 2007, including a nice audio slide presentation. Of course, Ellen Page tops the list.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Vanity Fair's Women Of Hollywood

Amy Adams. Photo by Kathryn MacLeod for Vanity Fair

Here's Amy Adams shot by Kathryn MacLeod for Vanity Fair as Amy preps to shoot a cover for Annie Leibovitz. More of Kathryn's behind the scenes shots. VF cover making-of video. Who knew shooting a cover for VF was so much work?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Juno Clip

Here's a good clip from 'Juno' -- Ellen Page has brought this character to life. Here's an interview with screenwriter Diablo Cody aka Brook Busey -- the former stripper and author of The Pussy Ranch -- which keeps changing addresses. I believe Cody's latest is available on her MySpace page.

8 Minutes From I'm Not There

With the DVD release of 'I'm Not There' and, hopefully the Oscars, right around the corner The Weinstein Company is stoking support for the movie and Cate Blanchett as best supporting actress by posting the first hour or so online. Here's the fifth installment -- 8 minutes from 'I'm Not There'.

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