Saturday, 18 August 2007

Exploring The Streets

I have been a fan of The Streets (aka Mike Skinner) ever since his debut 'Original Pirate Material' transfixed me with his moody and expressive rapping over trip hop/garage/dance beats.

One of the best tracks (and funniest) was "The Irony of it All" (you tube clip below). It explores the reasoning to legalize weed, buy comparing the peaceful nature of the smoker of the illegal substance to that of the legal beer swigging, fight starting, lager lout. Funny, but also make a wonderful argument.

For another great track about drug use check out ‘Blinded by the Light’, which also features a brilliant video.

To put it Bluntly

Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson have joined Emily Blunt in drama The Young Victoria, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee and produced by Graham King and Martin Scorsese's GK Films.

The story is about Victoria's (Blunt) rise to power in England with a focus on the difficult early years of her reign and her romance and marriage to Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) . Broadbent will play King William and
Richardson will portray the Duchess of Kent. Mark Strong has also joined the cast as Conroy.

I do find it difficult to believe that Emily Blunt is going to look like Judi Dench when she ages, but stranger things have happened.
I know I am one of the few out there who is not overly enamored with Blunt. Sure she served a purpose in “The Devil Wears Prada” but was not the be all and end all that critics made her out to be (or at least I didn’t see it).
I actually found her acting over the top in an amateurish way.
(cringes in the corner waiting for a bombardment of hate)

However, I have not seen “My Summer of Love” and by all accounts I hear she is gangbusters in it.
Lets hope that she the talented actress everyone thinks she is, as the woman has seven movies coming out.
Out of these there are a few noteworthy pics. Obviously “The Young Victoria” but also she will be seen in “Charlie Wilson’s War” with Tom Hanks and Julia Robert. She obviously loved the Hanks, as she will team up with him again in “The Great Buck Howard” about the career of an illusionist.
“The Jane Austin Book Club” will be chick flick heaven, but the most interesting will be “Sunshine Cleaning” with Amy Adams. The premise for this comedy is about a mother who, in order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister. Sounds CRAZY and KOOKY, and almost so bad it could be brilliant.

But back to “Victoria”. I recently watched the last film Jean-Marc Vallee directed, the brilliant C.R.A.Z.Y. which I urge you all to see. He seems to have a great gift with actors, which is always a plus for a director.
Also with Broadbent and Richardson providing no-doubt amazing support, Blunt should be in safe hands. I am of the strong belief that you are as good as the rest of your cast. If good enough, you co-stars can elevate you to great heights, or perhaps perceived heights.

Saturdays are for sisters

Because I know my friend Andra is probably my most faithful reader I thought I would honor him with these videos.
He put me on to Antony and the Johnsons a while back and I thank him for it.

Antony is like a mixture between Tori Amos and Nina Simone yet totally unique. Those of us who are heavy into music will have heard of them, those who have not should give a listen.
Like a good Oscar film, Antony's voice is drama. The opening bars to "You Are My Sister" send shivers.
If you haven’t seeked them out I urge you to do so.

“Cripple and the Starfish”................“You Are My Sister”

"Hope There's Someone"................."Bird Gerhl"

Friday, 17 August 2007

I LOVE Samantha Morton

I was not a huge fan of hers after watching "Sweet and Lowdown" the role that won her international attention and an Oscar nom.
She played a mute and love interest of Sean Penn's Emmet Ray, in one of Oscars favorite roles (long suffering wife/girlfriend and with a disability). But she was fantastic in it.
It was her performance in 1999’s “Jesus’ Son” that captivated me. In it she played Michelle a woman who introduces her lover (Billy Crudup) to heroin. The film is so much more than a drug dependancy film and Morton was funny, sexy, tragic and most importanly 100% believable in the film.
Since then she has proved her worth. Giving stellar turns in “Minority Report”, “Pandaemonium”, and the little seen, but widely heralded “Morvern Callar”.

For such sympathetic and warm face, she can play cold and distant so well. For a woman considered plain by Hollywood standards, she is strikingly beautiful. This was never so apparent as it was in 2002’s “In America”. In it she was luminous playing the matriarch of a Irish family struggling to survive in New York.
She centers the film.
She expertly sells every scene in which she exists. She does not make obvious choices with her performance, but instead chooses to be less showy and more direct, making it all the more frightening real.
She is an actress who in performance after performance reveals the power of her silences, her quiet, her presence.

In looking at her career on IMDB I stumbled across some very very interesting trivia, that if had seen fruition would have completely changed her career and even some movies.
Did you know the following?

She turned down the role of Lisa in Girl, Interrupted?
That is a performance I would have loved to see come to light.

She turned down the title role in Iris?
Which is good news for my Kate, but still oh so curious.

She wanted a role in Love Actually but was turned down in favor of Martine McCutcheon and Keira Knightley?
I can see the casting directors now “Hmm GREAT actress, but we need obviously pretty, can’t have our audience looking for an attraction.

She was actually the third choice to play Agatha in Minority Report; Cate Blanchett and Jenna Elfman both turned it down?
Thank God for that!!! Cate Blanchette would have made her all Galadriel, and Jenna Elfman…well….HA!

She was originally cast as Diane Arbus in Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus and as Harper Lee in Infamous?
Aside from being an amazing actor, she also has fore sight.

2007 looks like it will be a big year for Morton. She has three roles coming up that could see her being embraced by the Academy yet again.
Of course we all know about her role in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” as Mary Queen of Scots. Advance buzz is her role is very very small. That is a big ole shame, but then again this movie is all about getting Blanchett that lead Oscar, so I am not surprised that such a juicy, and historically large and important, role is rumored to be snipped down in editing. Can’t really have supporting players showing up the star can we.

She has gotten fantastic reviews for “Expired” which premiered at Cannes this year.
“Samantha Morton's vigorous and self-effacing portrayal of Claire is wonderful: We see Claire's bravery and her incredible strength to endure personal assaults and indelicacies.”- The Hollywood Reporter
The story is about a lonely, vulnerable meter maid who falls into a comically horrific relationship with a colleague incapable of emotional intimacy.

Then we have “Control” (see trailer below) about the lead singer of the UK band Joy Division. Already been seem at various festivals, the word on this film is good, with Morton accumulating a lot of the praise "...the distress of the often monosyllabic, and frequently epileptic Ian is occasionally eclipsed by Morton's astonishing, sympathetic performance as his suffering wife." - Russell Edwards, Variety

And lastly there is “Synecdoche, New York” the 2008 film directed by Charlie Kauffman. Who knows what dizzying heights he will take her?

Lets hope she continues to get cast in interesting roles, and her talent continues to get noticed. She is one of those actresses that disappear into the roles they play, so you barely notice that you are watching a person acting, you just think you are watching a person being.


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Thursday, 16 August 2007

Happy Birthday Madonna!!!!

Wow, my lady is 49 today. And to think for more than half of that time she has had a career. Take that you critics who thought she was a flash in the pan.
I have celebrated my idol enough on my blog as you can see, but I couldn't let this day pass without giving her a shout out!
And to keep with the "Fame" theme, here is a lovely little video I found on You Tube!

File this under WHY?

American Idol judge and TV producer Simon Cowell will produce his first feature with Star Struck, a music-themed project inspired by Alan Parker's 1980 movie “Fame.”
The story will be about 10 contestants in a TV singing competition, similar to Idol and the Cowell-produced British show X-Factor, as they try to make it to the top. Cowell describes it has a ''musical version of Rocky - an underdog story, a feel-good film.''
To bring a sense of authenticity to the contestant roles, Cowell will hold auditions around the country next year and cast unknowns. The movie will open with scenes cut from the actual auditions, which Cowell will oversee.
The film has not been set up with a studio yet, but Cowell is aiming for a summer 2008 release which ties in nicely to the remake already planned of “Fame”
This could be a really good combination of “Fame” and “A Chorus Line”. It could be updated to show the stress and heart break of auditions, the crushed dreams and the rising hope. This could really be an amazingly insightful look at the current ‘instant fame’ society we currently live in if it is done right, but we all know it won’t be.
It will be glossy, bland and fake with contestants signing their butchered and warbled versions of Whitney and Mariah songs.
I can imagine it being some sort of sentimentally retarded story with over the top acting with an “under dog rising to the top” feel.

Sorry, had a little vom at the thought of it.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Atonement Featurette

For those of you (like me) who are chomping at the bit for this, here is a little feature on the film.
Looks like the film makers are very confident.

Across The Universe more trailers

Here are some more trailers for the film I am MOST excited/nervous about. I want it to be brilliant, I really do.
Do you think it will be?

Romance & Cigarettes musical gets release

John Turturro will self-distribute his $11 million musical Romance & Cigarettes, which stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Walken, Bobby Cannavale, Mandy Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Aida Turturro, Elaine Stritch, Eddie Izzard, and Amy Sedaris.

The story is about a Queens construction worker (Gandolfini) who gets in trouble when his wife (Sarandon) discovers he has a lusty mistress (Winslet). The characters break into songs ranging from James Brown to Engelbert Humperdinck to Bruce Springsteen.

Although the movie was filmed in 2004 and premiered in 2005 at the Venice Film Festival, it has been caught in limbo since Sony merged with MGM in 2005.
It has received mixed reviews, being described as ''almost impossible not to adore'' by some, and ''downright unwatchable'' by others. It will be given an open-ended theatrical release Sept. 7 at New York's Film Forum.

I had actually thought that this was out for ages given all the clip available on You Tube, but I guess I am wrong. All I know is Kate Winslet is glorious in the segments I have seen her in. Is there anything she cannot do?

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

"Dan in Real Life" trailer

Steve Carrell is unlike most male comedians in the simple fact that he does not annoy me.
Yep it is true, every one else annoys the living shit out of me at some point. Perhaps it is the fact that like so many great actors he can find the humor in drama and visa versa. He was heart breaking and hysterical in "Little Miss Sunshine" (should have been nommed!!) and he does seem to pick roles that allow him to stretch in all directions ("Evan Almighty's" aside...can we say all together now...PAYCHECK!!).

I am not sure if his new film will be any good, but I am pretty sure he will be. A Globe comedy nom is most likely.

"A cloud over my movie going"

Renee Zellweger (Lemon Face), Ed Harris, and Viggo Mortensen will star in Appaloosa, a Western drama Harris will direct from a screenplay he wrote with Robert Knott. New Line will distribute the movie, which is adapted from Robert B. Parker's novel.

When Virgil Cole (Harris) and Everett Hitch (Mortensen) arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg (uncast..but Harris should have played him really), a man who has so little regard for the law that he has taken supplies, horses, and women for his own and left the city marshal and one of his deputies for dead. Cole and Hitch, itinerant lawmen, are used to cleaning up after opportunistic thieves, but in Bragg they find an unusually wily adversary-one who raises the stakes by playing not with the rules, but with emotions.
Things get further complicated when Cole attracts the attention of the attractive Allison French (Lemon Face), a new arrival in Appaloosa who quickly sets her sights upon him, and he upon her.

I am SO torn. I love Viggo, but damn you to hell Ed Harris for forcing me to look at that thing in period costume again. Is there no one else you can cast???
Do I have to sit through more facial hamming from that woman who frankly is looking more and more like a cats arse??
Will we have to sit through another ”They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!” monologue??
Will this torture never end??

At least I get to gaze at Viggo….sigh.

Monday, 13 August 2007

They never got better

I know most people love "The Matrix". I for one thought it was a HUGE step down from "Bound". The Wachowski brothers need to go right back to the beginning.
This is the film that made me love Gina Gershon, and solidified my already strong obsession for Jennifer Tilly (I loved her surprise Oscar nom for "Bullets over Broadway" and she broke my heart in "Relax, It's Just Sex").
This film is one of the sexiest movies ever, and it totally revived the mob/crime drama for me.
Please let my lovely Jennifer have another chance at greatness. PLEASE!!!! (I need to do a longer post about her....SO MUCH TO DO!!!)


Award-winning reporter Nate Blakeslee broke a story for the Texas Observer in 2000 about the travesty of justice that led to multiple bogus drug arrests in the small Texas town of Tulia. He told the stories of those caught up in the racist frame by narcotics officer Tom Coleman.
In the book the defendants, their families and their attorneys come across as three-dimensional individuals, consistently engaging the reader despite the wealth of details and the intricacies of the case.

Now John Singleton is on board to direct “Tulia”, a legal thriller from Lionsgate that reunites Monster's Ball co-stars Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thorton. Singleton takes over the director's chair from Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress), who was previously set to direct but then departed earlier this year.

Berry will play Vanita Gupta, the young defense lawyer fresh from law school who made the NAACP Legal Defense Fund take notice with her dedication.
One can only hope Thorton is cast as Coleman (as yet unclear), as he needs a juicy role to wrap his teeth around, but another racist character?
Halle Berry brings out the worst in him!

Singleton has not really had much to shout about since “Boyz ‘n the Hood” and that was a while ago. The man has not delivered on the talent he showed, and NEEDS this, otherwise he will be a one hit wonder.

The story of Tulia is a powerful one, but all too often melodrama and story lines are added to up the drama for the audience. And this is always a mistake.
I hate it when the studios feel the audience has to be given a reason for the hero’s interest/involvement in the case.
I do not care about your hero/heroine’s back-story to do with his/her father not loving him/her, and she/he needs to do this to prove to her/himself she/he is worth it.
Can our hero just be driven because they care? Did we need Jodie Fosters flash backs in “Silence of the Lambs”? No, not that it ruined the film, but they were not needed for the story. Jodie managed to convey more than the flash backs did.
With a good enough actor, a back-story can be filled out with gestures and body language. I am just not sure if Berry is that actor yet.
But the film has not yet been made, so I shouldn’t judge a book by its casting and director. Lets just hope it is approached with historical fact ‘cause nothing kills a movies buzz than people shouting that it didn’t follow truth. Stories like this deserve better.

Sweeney Todd - New Pic

Thanks to The Film Experience via What Blows we have a whole new pic of Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Le Strange Ms Lovett. Looks like we have caught a tender moment between the two murderous lovers...bless.
Still nervous as all hell about this pic. Not so much as to whether the actors can sing, but more about if Burton is really up to doing this justice. I have found most of his films to be missing something, a little like fast food when you are a little drunk. Sure it looks wonderful, and taste great, but when you are done you can't help but ask yourself, "Is that it?"

Anyway, gaze upon them.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

The Moaning Meme

Polivamp got me!!!

5 people who will be annoyed you tagged them.

Andy Scott – I am curious about his answers
The Cellar Door
Mainly Movies
Jose – He loves this shit…he really does.
Strange Culture – A fascinating blog…I am curious.

4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth.

I could be witty and pop culture friendly, or I could be honest. Perhaps a little of both.

George W. Bush and everyone who stands behind him and everyone who still thinks he is doing a good job. Can they get burned alive in room 101?

All weapons. Guns, Weapons of mass destruction, Bombs, Missiles. All go away.

All radio station that play records for money, instead of for joy. Music is supposed to be enjoyed you fools.

The media pandering to the masses obsession with celebrity. Just let these kids have their nervous breakdown in private. Do you think Li Lo and Brit would be in the state they are now if you/we left them all alone?

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently.

Hate. People who hate due to ignorance need to unlearn.

Apathy to the environmental crisis with the question “What difference can one person make?”. The answer is “Loads you dumb fools!!”

People who pay money to see stupid movies. If you don’t go and see them, they won’t get made.

2 things you find yourself moaning about.

The fact I do not have a gay friendly body

Having to clean up after my little darling kitties.
1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself.

I need to lighten up

Link to the original meme at so people know what it's all about!
Be as honest as possible, This is about letting people get to know the real you!
Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!
Post these rules at the end of every meme!

You can put me in the corner.

Sorry for lack of postings....damn FaceBook is so addictive!! (should you want to add me I would not complain..HINT HINT!!).

This is a really addictive little network thingy. I resisted MySpace, but could not with FaceBook.
I have even let My Stuff and Crap slip away slightly because I have been too busy poking people and throwing sheep.

Posting will begin again with regularity I promise!

So here is my latest movie news bear with me...

Patrick Swayze, Kris Kristofferson and Eddie Redmayne (yum!) have joined Forest Whitaker, Jessica Biel and Ray Liotta in the ensemble drama "Powder Blue” which is writer-director Timothy Linh Bui's film. It is about several Angelenos meet on Christmas Eve through chance, tragedy and divine intervention.

Kristofferson will play the head of a corporate crime organization who tries to convince his former employee (Liotta) not to seek vengeance on his former co-workers. Whitaker, who also serves as a producer on the film, will play a suicidal ex-priest. Newcomer Alejandro Romero will play a transsexual prostitute who shares an unexpected bond with the priest.

And finally Swayze will play the sleazy owner of the strip club where Biel's character performs. Redmayne will portray a mortician who falls in love with her.

Why does the news that Patrick Swayze is playing a sleazy strip club owner fill me with excitement. The mans career has not really followed the promise that seemed to peak with “Ghost” yet I have always found the actor to be charismatic and quite sexy.
He last impressed me in “Donnie Darko” as a motivational speaker who has a kiddie porn dungeon in his house.
The man can play creepy effectively. Who knows, this could be the role that gives his career a resurgence!

I do realize this is not really news that is going to excite a lot of people, just allow me to bask in the memory of wishing I were Jennifer Grey being lifted out of that pond in “Dirty Dancing” by a muscled and wet Swayze. ( I do try to erase all memories of him in “To Wong Fu” His Vida Bohemme is not so sexy.


Plus he does have a cool name. Swaaaaay Zeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The ups and downs of our Nicole

With Nicole Kidman film career hanging in the balance one does have to wonder what some of the choices she is making are all about? Are they out of love for the material/challenges to her craft, or are some just easy paychecks?
Universal has set up a remake of the Colombian horror movie Al final del espectro as a starring and producing vehicle for Nicole Kidman. Juan Felipe Orozco, who directed the original, will also helm the remake. Kidman will produce through her Blossom Films production company. She will play a woman who is struck by tragedy and becomes a shut-in at a fancy apartment building where she begins to see a ghost. Not sure, but the original trailer gave me the creeps.
Sounds very very “The Others”, but we all know that she can do haunted stressed out ice queen brilliantly.

Ace girl needs to STRETCH.

Sure she is never terrible in her films, but she has not wowed us like she did in the “Moulin Rogue” to “Dogville” run of brilliance.
Please do not tell me that was it!!

Next up we have “The Invasion” which I hold out NO hopes for (although the trailer is effective). It was slammed in test screenings, and I have yet to hear of a film that was saved by re-shoots…there is a first for everything, but…

“Margot at the Wedding” looks like it may return her to our good graces, but she could have the film stolen by her co-stars Jennifer Jason Lee and Jack Black (a VERY likely scenario if she is not up to Noah Baumbach’s trademark snappy dialogue).
The other problem is that when she acts up a storm, yet in a quiet and subtle way (like she did in “Birth”) people applaud, but no one tends to reward. Awards bodies LOVE visible acting. If in “Margot” she has a tantrum or two she will be back in their good graces again.

Her final test will come with the fantasy “His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass”. The trailer looks RAVISHING, but we do not get a strong feel for the menace and evil of Kidman’s Ms. Coulter. Perhaps this is on purpose, so that the impact is not spoiled for the audience. I hope so as I have HIGH hopes for her in this role. Just look!!

After this she has “Australia” with Hugh Jackman, and “Need” with Naomi Watts, which should see her back in her element and stretching those acting muscles once again. In more exciting news she is rumored to be joining Kar Wai Wong’s ”The Lady of Shanghi” about a mysterious woman who claims that she came from Shanghai and embroils in a dangerous affair with a spy. Oh la la….sounds very interesting, but how does any stretch of the imagination make Nicole Kidman from Shanghi? Guess I will have to read the book to find out.

All in all I have my concerns with her. More and more I am getting the feeling that the actress has had her peak, and is now just coasting.
I really hope not, as I love her work a lot.
Anyone who can give me Grace, Satine, Suzanne, Virgina, Grace again, and Anna will always have a permanent home in my heart….and all these characters take up a lot of space, but Nicole there is room for LOTS more.