Saturday, 1 September 2007

Box - Love my box (Tegan and Sara edition)

Every so often I will take a wander over to Metacritic to check out film, TV and music reviews, mainly for music as I like to see what is currently getting the raves and what is not.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that “Grey’s Anatomy” sound track contributor and my favorite twin sister recording act, Tegan and Sara, were getting raves for their new album ‘The Con’.

I decided I would have to listen to it on iTunes, and I liked what I heard. So when my lovely bf asked if I wanted a present I first answered “Yes please…can I have Siobhan Donaghy’s album ‘Ghosts’ please!!”.

Then I remembered M.I.A. had just released Kala so I changed my answer.

Then I remembered ‘The Con’ and realized that being mainly British acts, Siobhan and M.I.A. would be more readily available over here. So he ordered it for me, and I got it last night.

It has not stopped playing.

So I thought I would share it with you on my box
The tracks I have chosen are:

1) Knife Going In…..My current fav…it will not leave my head.
2) Call it Off…..The album closer and such a brilliant song at that
3) Superstar…..Something from a previous album ‘This Business of Art’ that I thought you may enjoy along with
4) My Number…also from that album and really shows the girls range and song writing skills.

Here is the first video off ‘The Con’ called “Back in Your Head”

I won't be ignored, Oscar!

The results are here from my fifth poll.

I asked who you felt deserved the Best Actress Oscar back in 1987.

The results were hardly surprising. I knew we all were happy Cher won an Oscar, but we all know it is for the wrong performance (“Mask” was her shining moment).

Come on…we know who the winner is…so without further adieu, in decending order:

5) With 5% of the votes we have Sally Kirkland - Anna
4) With 12% of the votes we have Meryl Streep - Ironweed
3) With 12% of the votes we have Cher - Moonstruck
2) With 16% of the votes we have Holly Hunter – Broadcast News
1) With a whopping 54% we have Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction.
No surprised there at all. We all knew Glenn was the deserving winner. And no one puts it better when discussing the statuesque and talented Close than Nathaniel of The Film Experience..

For my next poll we will be looking back to the same year, but in the Best Supporting Actress category, also know as the year of the Ann.
The women you have to choose from are:

Norma Aleandro – Gaby – A True Story
Anne Archer – Fatal Attraction
Olympia Dukakis – Moonstruck
Anne Ramsey – Throw Momma from the Train
Ann Sothern – The Whales of August

Vote now!!

Poll is in the side bar to the right, near the top.

Trailer Park

A second and better look at “Eastern Promises” by David Cronenberg, with Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, and Armin Mueller-Stahl. This looks like is could be an Actors showcase, especially for Mueller-Stahl and Mortensen (women usually do not fare as well in this genre – sorry Naomi). The thing that gets me excited is seeing a naked and tattooed Viggo in a fight. That will be worth sitting through any gruesome killings for.
Movie Box has also added loads of film clips to wet your appetite

The “Atonement” sight has loads of film clips for you to watch. The best are ‘Briony’s Play’ to get a taste of the wonderful Saoirse in action. Kiera and James prove themselves captivating in ‘Letter Writing’. Watch the site as there are more to come!!!

Another horror remake comes with “One Missed Call”. The trailers always look to be effective, but you know the end result will not be impressive.

Lions for Lambs” is desperately trying to make this look good. But the trailer does nothing for my interest……most likely because the gay scientologist midget is in it. Also Redford looks a little bit plastic.

And finally the new Cate Blanchette gimmick gets a brand new film clip.

Friday, 31 August 2007

The Venice Film Festival

What we have learned from Venice thus far:

“Atonement” will be a BIG awards contender, not only for Best Picture and Best Director (Joe Wright) but also for Best Actor (James McAvoy), Best Actress (Keira Knightly) and Best Supporting Actress (Saoirse Ronan) along will loads of writing/technical/music awards.

“Michael Clayton” may have a chance with Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkenson) and screenplay awards.

Ang Lee’s has sadly not impressed many with “Lust, Caution”.

In the Valley of Elah” is getting very mixed notices, raging from raves to yawns. However one name keeps coming up with excellent notices. “Tommy Lee Jones” looks to be getting Best Actor notice for this. (Let’s hope we do not have another Paul Haggis love fest!!)

Paint Hollywood Scarlett

There is a little phenomina called actress over kill.
It happens when a starlet is suddenly thrust into the popularity stratosphere.
This has happened to so many before, and it is currently happening to everyone favorite (?) pouty sex pot Scar Jo.

Scarlett Johansson has lined up two more projects ahead of a possible writers strike, adding a role in the ensemble cast of “She's Just Not That Into You” playing play a pilates instructor/aspiring singer who has an affair with a married man and hopes that he will leave his wife for her.

She joins the just-attached Jennifer Aniston in the Drew Barryomore-produced movie, which also features Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Connolly, Justin Long, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Barrymore. Ben Kwapis is directing.

She also landed a starring role in “The Sprit”, based on the Will Eisner comic known for women with dangerous curves.
Johansson will play Silk N. Floss, a sexy, intelligent secretary with a vindictive instinct that makes her the perfect accomplice to Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘Octopus’, an evil mastermind.
Gabriel Macht is playing the title character, a detective who fakes his own death and fights crime as the masked man known as the Spirit.

These are both due out in 2009 along with “Pompeii” which at this point she is still rumored to be cast.

And that is just two years time.
Next year she plays the title role in “Mary Queen of Scots”, a project she's had set up for some time already. Johansson is already slated to start work on Scots next March. The indie will focus the queen's early life and her relationship with the Earl of Bothwell.
The actress is in postproduction on “The Other Boleyn Girl”, starring opposite Natalie Portman, (who I feel is a far superior actress) and one of the sexiest men in the world, Eric Bana.
She then has the still untitled Woody Allen Spanish project all due in 2008.

She will burn herself out at this point I fear. She has been solidly working since 2003’s “Lost in Translation”, notching 13 films under her belt. A very impressive streak, especially for one so young…..which brings me to my burning question.

What is so great about this woman?

I do not see what the fuss is all about. Can someone explain it to me? I totally get the sex appeal….the girl is a knock out!!! Acting wise she falls on the ‘good’ mark…solidly in the centre but no higher.
To me she seems like she plays the same role, and when she tries to stretch, she stumbles (“Match Point”, “The Prestige”). Today she is still remembered for two roles, “The Girl with the Pearl Earring”, and “Lost in translation” and is costing on all the good will generated by these two films, and not coming good on the talent she showed back then.

Plus she insists on being blonde and I am so pro brunette.

"Grace is Gone" trailer

It looks as though John Cusack will finally be getting that Oscar nomination. I know it is silly to call these things out so early, but doesn't this just scream out the 'O' word?

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Brave Jodie

From "Candleshoe" to "Silence of the Lambs" Jodie Foster has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.

She started out as Disney’s tom boy princess and ended up as one of cinema’s most intelligent, powerful and private actresses (the privacy part is something I wish more of todays celebrities would practice). And now according to Variety’s review of “The Brave One” it appears she is back with a vengence (pun intended) and ready to remind us all why she is one of the few actresses who has two lead Oscars.

(we shall compare her more to the Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field side of the pond and not the Hillary Swank side. Her name really does tarnish this wonderful list)

Jodie unapologetically plays tough, smart women. She could challenge herself and play weak, but that would defeat the point of who she is, and the feminist ideals she so obviously stands for.
Sure she won her first Oscar playing a rape victim, and her first nomination playing a teenage prostitute (some of Oscars favorite roles for women), but how many actresses out there get nominated playing a cop/FBI agent?

“The Silence of the Lambs” was a changing point for women in film. Clarice Starlings only Achilles heel was being haunted by the death of her father, but even that was over shadowed by her bravery and drive.

The only other recent role up to that point that played against typical female stereotypes was that of Sigourney Weavers ‘Lieutenant Ellen Ripley’.
Neither of these women were victims, and the wonderful thing about the films they were in, is that the audience never question the fact a woman is in this role. (only Dr Chilton does in “Silence” and he is technically one of the films villain).
This is what good acting can do.

I doubt “The Brave One’s” Erica Bain will ever overshadow Clarice Starling for me ( that I feel will always be the Foster performance that wins my eternal love), what it will do is remind us all what a very special and unique actress Jodie Foster is.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Could “The Spirit” work?

Eva Mendes has joined the cast of the upcoming comic to movie film “The Spirit”.
The actress joins Scarlett Johansson (more on her later), Gabriel Macht, and Samuel L. Jackson in the anticipated movie, based on a classic Will Eisner comic and directed by Frank Miller.

Mendes will play femme fatale Sand Sareef, who dated Denny Colt as a teenager but broke from him after his uncle accidentally killed her father.

Denny was killed, but had ended up in suspended animation, waking up in Wildwood Cemetery. He establishes a base there and begins a life of fighting crime wearing a blue suit, fedora hat, gloves and a domino mask for a costume.

Sounds peachy, no? I am one who always gets a little excited at the thought of a comic movies. I am also one of many who is very disappointed upon seeing them.
However this seems like it could be a lot of fun for the actors involved.
The women are all femme fatales, with blood red lips and tiny waists highlighting voluptuous breasts. Plus they get to shoot sassy dialogue and smoke.
And we all know a woman smoking is very very sexy (in a film noir way).

Think Jessica Rabbit, but real.

The source material is also a little better than the usual comic. The hero is, although kind of back from the dead, is a regular man.
Even the bad guy, Octopus, is a regular man only just a criminal mastermind who is never seen (apart from his gloves).
I am thinking this will be more “Batman Returns” than “Ghost Rider”. What would be wonderful is if the director, Frank Miller, uses the feel of “Sin City” but improves upon it.
That was a graphic CGI world, but suited the style of that particular graphic novel.

What is the icing on the cake of me being excited is that Bill Pope has been signed as cinematographer. Yes he did “The Matrix” and “Spiderman” but what he also did was “Bound”. Talk about femme fatales and crime lords being filmed with exquisite beauty.

The man knows how to film women, he knows how to film action, and his work is usually extremely beautiful.

I will set my sites on this film, as I feel “Watchmen” will fail. Just a guess (hope I am wrong) but feel it is too vast for one film.

Dear lord not again

Just when all memories of awards attention seeking and ego building were fading nicely into the back of my mind I had to read this one headline to bring back the horrors of the 2004 Best Actor race.
Jamie Foxx is set to star in a musical bio pic.
I thought the days of seeing that man up on a podium doing the impression of a constipated rhino while getting the audience (for shame all of you) to participate were behind me. Alas it appears I was wrong.

Jamie Foxx will star in DreamWorks' drama “The Soloist.”
The movie tells the true story of musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, who developed schizophrenia in his second year at Juilliard and ended up homeless on the streets of downtown L.A., where he performs the violin and cello.

Foxx can be a very charismatic and capable actor, but he has let his ego go completely out of control. This seems like a very difficult role, very “Shine”esque, and Fox could very easily blow it.

Then again, if a good director is on board, then all could go well. which appears to be the case. The film has been salvaged with the news that “The Soloist” will be directed by Joe Wright. With “Pride and Prejudice” already on my DVD shelf, and “Atonement” set to stun, we will see Wright set his sights on a more contemporary setting, and see if his magic will follow.

The script, written by Susannah Grant, is inspired by columnist Steve Lopez's relationship with Ayers and his upcoming book.
Lopez will be a character in the movie; that role has not yet been cast. Foxx, a classically trained pianist, is being taught stringed instruments by a cellist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
To put this story in a nut shell, look for Foxx to be invited back to the Oscars. Meryl learned the violin for “Music of the Heart” and got a nomination, so can Foxx with this competent director and screenwriter (please note I am not saying he is as capable as Meryl…that would be sacrilege)

Lets just hope he doesn’t play on the podium.