Saturday, 18 October 2008

I hate you! I LOVE YOU!

Isn't it funny how you can utterly loathe an actor. I mean the mention of their name, or the sight of them can fill you with a complete rage. I am like that with Renee Zellweger (or lemon face as I call her (or cats arse...but it does insult cats which really isn't fair on them).

Funnily enough I used to really love Renee, although she hit her peak with me early with 'Nurse Betty', back when her eyes still opened. Now the sight of her makes my skin crawl. That "This war is like a cloud over the land" speech makes my ears bleed.

But how about those actors who you really dislike, then they go and deliver a performance where you have to eat your words. My good friend Dean HATED Keira Knightly with such a ferocious passion. He refused to listen to me about how good she was in 'Pride and Prejudice'. He would snarl his face up at the mention of her, calling her Skeletor and the such. But before last years Oscars, I forced him to watch 'Atonement'.
He ate his humble pie, he ate it all up and bloody loved it.

I am like that way with Nicolas Cage. I look at his face I want to vomit. He makes my skin crawl and I do not understand why on earth the man still works. He consistently churns out shit movies. However I do have to give him 'Adaptation' as he was brilliant in the movie, but since then I have gone back to hating the man.

I also immensely disliked Angelina Jolie. She stole Toni Collette's Best Supporting Actress Oscar with an 'ok' LEAD performance and then followed it with dreg. Up til 2006 her cameo in 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow' was her high point for me. Then I reluctantly sat down and watched 'A Mighty Heart' mainly because of the story. Well f*ck me sideways with a chainsaw, she was brilliant. And I felt terrible that she was not nominated until I realized it was karma for the Toni Collette fiasco of 1999.

Back to 'Nurse Betty' for a the heck did Morgan Freeman not get any recognition for that brilliant performance?

Well we love 'em, and we hate 'em again, or vica versa.

Who is it you hate, but have to give props for, for a great performance?

Promises Broken

Yo Yo Yiggady Yo, here I am doing something I promised myself I wouldn't. I am going to talk about 'Quantum of Solace' although very briefly.

The BBC has posted an almost rave for the film (you know us Brits...never get too excited, especially the beeb).
They call the film bleaker, better, badder but not bigger. Whatever the hell that means.

I am not a Bond fan. I did not like 'Casino Royal' aside from naked Daniel Craig. And I do not care to see this. However what I found interesting is that another review, completely slandering the film has come out also.
How I love a great divide.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Accents and advertising

You know there are good posters for a movie, and bad ones. Sometimes, especially with the bad ones, you can make your decision about if you want to see the film or not, based solely on the poster.

I was always skeptical about 'Valkyrie' from the get go, it just sounded like it was trying to hard. The Holocaust was a horrendous time in history and I am sorry, but big stars kind of take the impact away a little (I would go on and on about all the other Holocausts that have gone on that do not get nearly enough screen adaptions, but that is a different post). Can the biggest star in the world (or used to be) save the world from Hitler? Of course he can, he has survived so much worse on film.
Anyway I digress. Then I saw the trailer and almost did a mini vom in my mouth. American accents, English accents? Aren't these know....Germans? Well I guess America did win the war and the Brits helped a little, but still. Give the Germans their due....come on Tom! You know full well the rest of the cast could have done the accent, it is just that Tom can't do accents...(possible a good thing if you remember his dreadful Oirish accent in 'Far and Away')
Then comes the poster...........I get it now. It is 'Oceans 14 - The boys take on Hitler'

Is it me or do they look like they are about to break into song and dance, but in a serious 'we are killing Hitler' jazz hands at all.

Lady Updates

Lordy…just when I start getting all my predictions done you hear all the news coming at once.
For instance, ‘The Road’ may be moving to 2009. Same with ‘The Reader’ and now news the ‘The Soloist’ is being dumped too. Are these film just not as good as they could be and they are assuming that 2009 will be a limp movie year due to the writers strike? Are studios pulling films that may not stand a chance in this years competitive crop hoping that next year the field will be weaker?


Then one of my frontrunners screened, ‘Frost/Nixon’ to questionable reviews. Oh dear….not a good sign really.

Also on my mind is category confusion. Who will be in what category this year?
Heath Ledger may still be campaigned in the lead category (kind of a Hannibal Lector move there), and Cate Blanchett is either lead or supporting depending on how much you like her or care. For me I will keep her in supporting. It is after all ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ not ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s Love Interest’.

So, yes. I have updated my Best Supporting Actress predictions (don’t you love how I capitalize everything to make it Ultra Important?) but the field is still murky as all hell until some more reviews come in, and release date decisions are made.

Luck of the Oirish

Every time there is a leap year, on February the 29th women are allowed to propose to their men. Or so goes the case back about a gazillion years ago.
But apparently in this day and age Hollywood is talking this age old tradition and marketing it into a chick flick starring the wonderful Amy Adams.

The premise goes that a woman (Adams) whose boyfriend is in Ireland, finds out about the ‘Leap Year’ tradition in Ireland (technically…no…but a good try there Hollywood. Make the Europeans look all backwards) and swiftly leaves to go and ask her beloved to marry her.
Of course there are a few set back like weather and transport. So she is forced to travel cross country with a surly Irish innkeeper (on a horse and cart no doubt) in order to get to her man on time.

Ok ok ok…..I am feeling so Psychic about this boys and girls. I predict that the innkeeper, although rough and horrible at first, will turn out to be some sexy Aragorn type. I also see there being a romance blossoming between Adams and her Irish innkeeper rogue.
Further more the boyfriend will not be a very nice person.

Being as this is being made by the people that bought you “Made of Honor” you can expect some truly embarrassing clich├ęs. Everyone will drink Guinness, eat lucky charms, wear green top hats with shamrocks on them and river dance. Yipeee!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

It's time to raise the bodies!

Ok, so I loved The Muppet Show when I was growing up. It made me laugh and be really scared all at the same time (I blame Sweetums).
I also loved “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. I even bought it on DVD recently and can honestly say that is holds up, even now (would love to see a sequal).

Now comes the news that Brian (pictured with what looks like a puppet man performing oral sex on a puppet penis – with eyes) and Lisa Henson, yes them of the Jim Henson Co,) are plotting a little film called “The Happy Time” murders, a comedy with a noir twist and starring puppets.
The story takes place in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, with the puppets viewed as second-class citizens. When the puppet cast of an '80s children's TV show called "The Happytime Gang" begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced puppet LAPD detective turned private eye -- with a drinking problem, no less -- takes on the case.

This sounds like it could be brilliant as long as they remember to aim it towards us adults. We are the ones who grew up on the Jim Henson creations when we were kids, so guess what movie studios?…….we are older now and our tastes have matured so please do not make it purely slap stick with loads of fart jokes. Make it more ‘Avenue Q’ than “Scoody Doo” please.

I am wondering how will they show the murders? Will there be stiffing and stitching everywhere? Perhaps the murderer is allergic to felt and that is his motive?

"Bride Wars" trailer this does not technically look like it is going to be brilliant at all. Sure it has Oscar hopeful Anne Hathaway in it, but it also has that little rom/com regular Kate "I need a new career plan" Hudson. Sure the girl has charisma, and it shows in this trailer (she actually looks a little more at home in this genre than la Hathaway), but I would like to see her stretch.

Anywho the real reason I am posting this trailer is to do with the fact that it co-stars the funny and talented and should be working much more Kristen Johnson. I LOVED the woman in '3rd Rock from the Sun' I found her hysterical. She is able to deliver zingy one liners with ease, and she has the great combination of scary/sexy. Also she is wonderful at physical comedy, something '3rd Rock' was all the better for.

Here is hoping this and the new Woody Allen film 'Whatever Works' gets her star a-shining again.

Bride wars
Uploaded by Endling

More changes.

This time to Best Supporting Actor predictions.

Take a look at them here. A pretty big shift around. Nothing of course is set in stone, and there is always those last minute surprises that sneak up on you. I wonder what it will be this year.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Another rumor?

Well all the papers are saying that Madonna and Guy are divorcing.
Must be hard, especially in the middle of a tour, although I have to say after listening to some of the lyrics on Hard Candy, it seemed love was not in the air.
If it is true I feel bad for the kids (poor little David), especially since the press will be having a field day out of this.

Remember kids...other peoples misery is our entertainment.

Oscar Prediction Updates

Phew...took me long enough.

So many people have entered the field, and so many have dropped out.

Best Picture is still murky as all hell. I have done my best, but still not really convinced. I find it easier to know once reviews have come out.

Best Director is the same as Picture. I feel I have too many newbies in the top 5, but hey...the old gaffers need a shake up.

Best Actress has not changed much since my predictions back in the day.

Best Actor has changed a lot. Still not sure and so many of the films are opening late this year. This is an overly crowded race this it is every year it seems.

The supporting and screenplay categories will be coming later! It is hard work!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Unlike the Greek, The Oscars has no true mythology. All we have are witches and fairies.

Well f*ck-a-doodle-dee. My poll has disappeared. That bloody well suck ass, as I had not made of note of what each of the actresses got.
All I know is that the eventual winner was miles ahead of the pack.

With a disappointing fifth place finish was dear ole Susan Sarandon for ‘Lorenzo’s Oil’. This is a film I recently watched and really do not get this nomination.

In forth place Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Love Field’. This may be my favourite performance of Michelle’s so kind of sad to have seen it so low.

Third place finds the lovely Catherine Deneuve for ‘Indochine’. I was convinced she would walk away with this. Either her or

Our second place finisher, Mary McDonnell in ‘Passion Fish’. President Roslin could not even come close to beating the eventual winner, and the winner of the Oscar

Emma Thompson in ‘Howards End’.

I do love my Emma. She is just one of those instantly likeable actresses that seems to be free of vanity.
However I have not seen this film, so I cannot judge. I have seen all the other nominees, hence my voting for Mary. I had gotten confused and rented ‘The Remains of the Day’ thinking she won for that, and greatly enjoyed the film, but that was really Anthony Hopkins movie (no Tom Hanks…you were not better!).

So now I have to see ‘Howards End’, But I hear it is a good ‘un.

Now for the next poll. It seems blogger does not like me posting in the side bare, so I will just have the poll in the post.

Who should have won the Oscar in 1992:

‘Sunshine Cleaning’ trailer

I am going to stick to my promise of not just posting trailers, and at least doing some personal commentary.
This little slice of irresistible is most probably going to be yet another movie that firmly cements the next big thing status for ‘Amy Adams’. Just from this trailer you can see that the films success will be largely in part to her performance. You just like her immediately and that can go a long way, not only with boxoffice, but also with awards. I for one am looking forward to ‘Doubt’ to see her break away from the perky and hopeful, yet somehow tragic roles she has played before (hope she does not get type cast)
Alan Alda is doing a ‘Little Miss Sunshine 2’ here, which should do well I guess.
As for Emily Blunt….well I was one of the very very few that really did not get the big deal made out of her performance in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. I actually just thought it was bad acting, but I will withhold judgement on her as I have only seen her in that film and ‘Charlie Wilsons War’. I have been told she was amazing in ‘My Summer of Love’, and apparently her and Adams are sensational in this…and you know what?......I do love my quirky little comedy dramas.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Looking forward

I am really trying to get excited about movies this year. Nothing has happened yet. There was not that movie watching experience that blew my mind. As much as I loved both ‘Wall-E’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ I cannot say they rocked my world, although both films had aspects that shook me to the core (TDK – Heath Ledgers performance, and Wall-E’s sound design and cinematography), they both left me feeling that something more could have happened.
There are films I am very curious about seeing, even slightly excited to be, but I have to say there has been no ‘Atonement’ like excitement for me this year, except of course for ‘Australia’.
This is a trailer that got the goose bumps bumping, and the heart-a-racing. Baz is a master at filming beauty, and the trailer just was glorious. So far this is the only film that I am filled with an-tici------PAT-ion for. Nicole and that whip….Hugh….the war…Hugh….the Cinematography…Hugh.

That is it really. There are some films I am looking forward to but mainly to see the acting. ‘Milk’, ‘Frost/Nixon’, ‘Revolutionary Road’, ‘Doubt’ and ‘The Soloist’, but none of these are really getting the blood pumping. Perhaps this has a lot to do with the way they are being marketed with their trailers.

It is no coincidence that, for me, the years best trailers were ‘Wall-E’. ‘Cloverfield’, ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Australia’. The first three were very clever and savy with how the film was marketed. The trailers were exciting, but gave nothing away, allowing the audience to have their pallets wetted, wanting more.
‘Australia’ is just grand. You know it is going to be beautiful and epic. It pushes your emotional buttons, it makes your hair stand on end.

Milk’ just came across as Bio Pic bait, but faired much better than the lacklustre ‘Frost/Nixon’ trailer which did nothing to highlight either tension or performance.
The Soloist’ looks affecting, but is also screaming for awards attention.
More sombre in tone is ‘Revolutionary Road’ which is effective but does bring to mind ‘Little Children’ and boy oh boy does it look like a downer.
As much as I was interested in ‘Doubt’ the trailer confused me as to the tone of the film. Is this a dark comedy? A comedy drama? A plain drama? As amazing as Meryl is in it, it seems she is edited for comedy, perhaps to attract viewers who may otherwise be turned off by a film about priests molesting black boys. Stick in a funny nun! NUNS ARE FUNNY!

So what films are you most looking forward to this year? My top ten thus far:

Curious about, but more for performance:

10 – ‘Milk’
9 – ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’
8 – ‘The Road’
7 – ‘Revolutionary Road’
6 – ‘Doubt’

Festival buzz has made me a little excited:

5 – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’
4 – ‘The Wrestler’

Kind of really excited:

3 – ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’
2 - ‘Rachel Getting Married’

Oh please make the wait stop!!

1 - ‘Australia’

Sex and the Future

Last night I made my lovely other half sit down and watch the B-day pressie he gave me.
He was not overly impressed with ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’
And in watching it again I could see why. Sure I loved being in these womens company again, but it all just seemed so muddled. Many people/critics complained it felt like a stretched out episode, and this is simply not true, it felt like a season 5 of the series……a bridge to something better.

The thing that made the show so strong was not the sex, the fashion or even the city. It was the friendships of these women. They all fought with each other and loved each other, and when you take away the fantastic outfits, accessories and fornication, you are left with a show about friendship and how good friends can often outlast good lovers.

The movie kind of lost track of this insight into friendship, although it was a lot of fun. I was thinking how could they do other movies/sequels? How could it work better?

Perhaps they should do three more movies. The first one was focused on Carrie, so why not focus on the other women, a movie for Charlotte, a movie for Samantha and a movie for Miranda. Let them be in the lead for a change and let SJP be a supporting character.
I know Sex and the City is about Carrie mainly, but I think these three women deserve a story all their own. Tagging on Miranda and Steve’s marriage problems did kind of muddle things up a little, the constant focus shifts were not needed.

Charlotte has always been the Park Avenue Pollyanna. And hers has usually been a one note joke, that is until season 4. When faced with having to convey the sorrow of a failed marriage, the heart ache of not being able to have a child, and the pain of knowing you are mainly at fault in the failure of a relationship, Kristen Davis stepped up and showed great depth and range. This was all the more apparent in the film when she is both trying to comfort Carrie and let Big know just how she feels (that ‘NO’ she screams at him shook me!). In that one scene she showed such a range. The heartache for a heart broken friend, the anger at a person mixed with the disappointment in them. Her face curls with both fury and sadness. It really made me want to see more of this Charlotte.

In her movie I would have her face the excitement of getting pregnant again, but I would have her loose her baby ( a boy) and not only have to deal with her heart break, but Harry’s despair at loosing a son. This would allow us to see the strength of Charlotte, that was only hinted at in the film.
Added to this I would add the challenge of when Lily realises she is adopted and racially different from her ‘normal’ sister (Rose).
Miranda would of course be the person to comfort Charlotte the best and it would give a chance to really explore how these two very different women are friends. I would have Samantha be the one to comfort Harry and bring him out of his grief. As a subplot, it would be interesting to have Carrie care for Lily and Rose whilst Charlotte and Harry spend some time grieving so she and Big have to come to terms with the fact that they may not have children.

Cynthia Nixon was arguable the best actor in the show. She was one of those actresses that you make you crack up with a sharp line delivery one minute, and break your heart with their vulnerability the next. Miranda’s story would be the toughest to do as her character has already been through a lot.

I would love to have her facing the decision of how to balance her life.

The easiest way to do this is to have Magda die. She has been a mother figure to Miranda, even though she has fought against it. Plus Magda is the reason Miranda can remain partner at the firm and keep some of her independence.

What would she do? Care for Brady and cut back work, or hire another nanny?
This was always something that I found so interesting in the series, the fact that she was always a lawyer first and mother second. Even when she finally put her relationship with Brady at the top of the pile, she still worked hard and kept a nanny.
How would she deal with the only person she trusted to take care of her child, dying? Would she get Charlotte and Carrie to help?
What happens when you realize you cannot have it all on your terms?
She would try to convince Steve to become a house husband, but also having the girls pitch in and help for a while (including Samantha who I really would like to see have a real bonding moment with Miranda) while she figures out what to do.
In the end I would like to see Charlotte and Steve share caring for Brady after school. This would allow us to see how Steve and Charlotte interact and bond, but also Miranda and Charlotte. Out of all the girls on the show, these two have not had enough moments together.

Well you know Samantha would be the most light hearted of the movies, but with a real strong dose of realism.
Kim Cattrall only began to show real range in the final few seasons of the show. Before she was just pure, sexy, over the top, fun.
She was the main funny of the show. You could always count on Sam Jones being the thing to either shock you or make you laugh at loud.

Throughout the show Samantha Jones was always aware of getting older, and seemed prepared for it. She was always cool and confident and un-apologetic about her desire for sex no matter how old, or young her conquest were.

It would be interesting to see her facing how perceptions change once a woman hits the big five zero and how a woman in turn deals with it.
Samantha has always been independent and has never really needed the support of the girls in anyway other than just their friendship, but it would be good to see her deal with how the people deal with a woman once she is considered to be too old to be sexy. Of course this would then reflect how the girls see themselves. Miranda, always the most insecure in regards to her looks would try to vamp it up. Carrie would start experimenting with new looks and become even more neurotic and Charlotte would be the one to embrace the aging process.

I would personally love to see these women on the screen again. I do not think that just because they are in their latter 40’s/50’s that they have no stories of relevance to share. In fact they are needed more than ever. We live in a world were a force like Madonna is mocked because she is 50 and still dancing and performing and being provocative. Lets face it women over 50 are not considered a subject of interest for film or TV, so we need to see a 40 something Carrie Bradshaw looking fashionable and cute. We need to see 40 something Miranda Hobbs holding down a job and a family. We need to see 40 something Charlotte deal with motherhood and infertility and we definitely need to see 50 something Samantha Jones f*cking her way into her 60’s.